Late Night Light Dinner Ideas

I just started a job that with hours such that I do not get home until after 9:00 PM. Does anyone have any ideas of what to make for dinner? I don't relish the idea of preparing a big meal at 10:00 PM.

By Lynda from Kearny, NJ

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If you own a crock pot. you can make many different meals. Put the meal together in the morning. let it cook while you are at work. and come home to a hot meal. There are many recipe sites for crock pots, and some of them let you adjust the number of servings and amount of ingredients. Google crock pot or slow cooker recipes for whatever dish you are interested in eating. If you make a larger quantity recipe, you can freeze part and thaw/reheat later.

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Cooking for one or more? I agree with the crock pot idea. Using it to cook up any meat can make for many different meals. A simple seasoned chicken and/or beef roast can be added to any canned soup, salads, or veggie dish.

Minute Rice is quick and easy and you can find those packets of pre-seasoned rice and pasta that cook in less than 7 minutes (some of the meat to it too!).

When I worked hours like this I did a Saturday "cooking day". I used recipes and dishes with similar ingredients and cooked all my dishes that day, then froze them in those disposable Ziplock Dishes. Worked great!

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Hi Lynda,

One word, Crock pot!

Depending on the time you have to leave to go to work, have your food ready to go into the crock pot before you leave, then leave it on low, and your dinner will be done. You can also have the crock pot already loaded and in the refrigerator if you need to do that. All you'll have to do then is set the crock part into the Pot and turn to LOW. So simple.

If you have time, whip up a quick Jiffy Corn Bread or use frozen biscuits unless you know how to make the wonderful Angel Biscuits that you can have ready in about 20-25 minutes, and they are delicious.

These things can be done in the mornings, then reheated in the evenings if you like.

You can also have prepared all sorts of fruit jellos for desserts as well as salads to go with your crock pot dinners. I don't think you'll ever miss a thing.

Good Luck to you. I've been where you are more than once in my life.


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Always shop the perimeter of the store for fresh foods. I can make some very quick meals, faster than going through a drive through. Broccolli & Steak 10 min, Tiliapia with Feta Cheese and Spinach 15 min., eggs and hash browns 15 min... Also you can use one weekend day to do casserole cooking, meatloaf, etc. all the messy work and cleanup in just one day. Refrigerate or freeze and microwave during the week. Add ready prepared salads that you eat after the meal and not before. Snack on nuts or dark cocoa chocolate. If you don't get home until 10 when you eat your meal, don't eat unless it is 3 hours prior to your bedtime. Eat your biggest meal for lunch. (a plate of quick cooked frozen veggies with creativity in new grilling spices are good too. )

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Make soup and assemble salad fixings on the weekend. This will make a quick meal during the week. Also, this will be a healthy, light meal before you go to bed.

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Fill a sealable relish tray with chopped lettuce, shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes etc. Then fry up an omelet, a pita pizza, a salad or even a taco--use grilled chicken strips like for salad or make ahead taco meat and freeze in small muffin tins then place in freezer bags.

Also I buy hamburger in bulk and make taco meat, meat loaves in muffin tins, sloppy joes and hamburger for spaghetti. These are quick meals for later, I freeze them and eat as I want. Good luck with your new job. :)

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Here are some throw-together crock pot recipes to get you started. The bonus is, they taste good.

Crock Pot Pork Chops

4 pork chops

1 (1 1/4 ounce) pkg. onion soup mix

1 cup water

1 sliced onion

Place pork chops in crock pot. Stir together the onion soup mix and water. Pour over the chops. Place onions on top. Cook low 8 hours.


Crock Pot Chicken Breasts

(The sauce makes good gravy for instant mashed potatoes or Minute Rice.)

2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts

garlic powder

2 cans cream of chicken soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

Sprinkle chicken with garlic powder. Stir the soups together and pour over the chicken. Cook low 6 to 8 hours.


Crock Pot Chicken with Black Beans

4 to 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 can black beans, drained

1 lb. pkg. frozen corn (defrost in the microwave)

1 (15 oz.) jar salsa

8 oz. cream cheese

Place chicken in crock pot. Add the beans, salsa, and corn. Cook low for 8 hours. Place the chunk of cream cheese on top, replace the lid and let sit for about 30 min.


Crock Pot Pot Roast

pot roast

1 can onion soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup

Place roast in crock pot. Stir soups together, pour over meat. Cook low for 8 hrs. or more.


Crock Pot Swiss Steak

round steak, cut in serving sizes.

2 cans diced tomatoes

2 chicken bouillon cubes, crushed

4 Tbsp butter, melted

1 sliced onion

Place one can of tomatoes in the crock pot. Add the bouillon cubes, then crush them, and stir. Add the other can of tomatoes, then stir in the butter. Add the onion, then place the meat on top and cover with the liquid. Cook low for 8 hours.


Crock Pot Pork Steaks

2 to 4 pork steaks

2 cans diced tomatoes

2 chicken bouillon cubes, crushed

4 Tbsp butter, melted

1 sliced onion

Place one can of tomatoes in the crock pot. Add the bouillon cubes, then crush them, and stir. Add the other can of tomatoes, then stir in the butter. Add the onion, then place the meat on top and cover with the liquid. Cook low for 8 hours.

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Cereal, a healthy one not sugary brands. Salad a healthy one like Cesar (romaine, very little of light Cesar dressing, if you want you can add baby spinach and avocado. Tostadas with beans, avocado, some ground beef. lettuce. etc.

look also at frozen healthy foods for those days you don't want to cook.

I recommend you eat light and not much. At that time regardless at what time you sleep is very late to be eating heavy.

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10 things to always keep on hand when you work late:


Fresh Salad veg


Minute rice

Canned beans

Fresh fruit

Single serve dry soups

Easy Mac


Deli meat n' cheese

You can make tons of different dinner options with just these 10 things. And for the most part they can be had cheaply at your local grocery.

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Food and Recipes Recipes AdviceJune 27, 2010
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