The Simple Meal Series- Quick, Easy Meal Ideas
The simple meals series is a collection of quick, easy meal ideas. The meals use common, whole food ingredients. Do meals and recipes fall under the simple living/minimalist scope? Absolutely! I am by no means a food blogger or an aspiring chef, but it is important to me to prepare healthy meals for my family. Easy and simple ingredients are a priority in my meal planning- and the Casado ingredients are that!
Food is an important part of our lives. We eat three times a day and spend a significant amount of time menu planning, grocery shopping, food prepping, and preparing meals. Simplifying these tasks gives us back time in our day. Minimalism ideas are relevant to more than our belongings. The same way we can create a capsule wardrobe, we can also create a capsule pantry.
Minimalism Principals To Apply to Your Pantry:
- Quality over Quantity
- Functionality (with food- think potatoes for an example)
- Only Items You Love
- What you won’t see in the simple meal series: complicated recipes, exotic ingredients, or hours in the kitchen
- What you will see in the simple meal series: quick, easy meal ideas, common ingredients, and healthy, whole foods
A capsule pantry will save you money, reduce your stress and you will spend less time in the kitchen.
Costa Rican Casado
The very first quick, easy meal in the series is a dinner we call the “Costa Rica plate”, otherwise known as a Costa Rican Casado. The Casado ingredients are simple, healthy, and pantry staples.
In October 2015, my husband and I found a fantastic deal on airline tickets to Costa Rica and took the opportunity to take one last trip as a family of two. The landscape is beautiful, the oceans are breathtaking, and the wildlife is like nothing I’ve experienced before. In the evenings we relaxed on the balcony of our hotel and watched monkeys swinging through the jungle behind us.
The food in Costa Rica is so simple, yet delicious. One evening on our vacation we had dinner at a local guide’s house, and the food was AMAZING. She prepared a “Casado” for us. We loved the meal so much we prepare a Costa Rican Casado one night a week back home in Texas.
What is a Costa Rican Casado?
“Casado” means married in Spanish and it is the perfect description for the plate because it is a complete, well-rounded meal. The dish consists of rice, black beans, a meat (we usually have chicken, but fish is also great), and a variation of greens (we usually throw together a side salad).
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The “Recipe”- Casado Ingredients
Total “Hands On” Cook Time: Approximately 10 minutes
- 1/2 cup uncooked white rice ($0.07)
- 1/4 cup black beans ($0.12)
- 1/2 organic free-range chicken breast ($1.95)
- Roma tomato ($0.18)
- green leaf lettuce ($0.16)
- 1/2 avocado ($0.35)
- Total: $2.83
For my “American” version, I cook dry black beans in my Instant Pot (usually takes 45 minutes total and can be done earlier in the day), or use canned black beans if I’m short on time. The rice is also cooked in my Instant Pot, and I usually pan cook the chicken. I keep it simple and season with salt and pepper, then cook in either real butter or olive oil (our local guide battered the chicken, as seen in the photo below). The side salad consists of green leaf lettuce, a tomato, and oil and vinegar dressing (and an avocado is a perfect addition). And that’s it!
With those simple steps, you have created a quick, easy meal for your family that is healthy AND delicious. The Casado ingredients are already in your capsule pantry, so try this easy dinner tonight.
With those simple steps, you have created a quick, easy meal for your family that is healthy AND delicious. The Casado ingredients are already in your pantry, so try this easy dinner tonight.
How has travel inspired your meals?
This post was proofread by Grammarly