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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Quick Supper Survey Results (with the staples list for items to keep on hand)

That quick meals survey . . .
(By the way, my favorite part of that survey was the image at the top of each page. I don't know if you caught this, but stuff moved in the image, such as the salad was tossed, the wine in the glasses swirled around. I thought that was amusing.)

There were 41 respondents. Here's the breakdown of how the results ended up.

From the moment that you walk into the kitchen until dinner must be served, can you estimate how much time you usually have?

22.2%  20-30 minutes
36.1%  30-45 minutes
41.7%  45 minutes or more

Are you and your family. . . ?

97.2% omnivores (we eat a variety of foods, including animal products)
2.8%  vegan (strictly no animal products)

What are some of the tricks that you employ to keep dinner prep-time to a minimum, when you are busy? (this was a check all that apply question)

44.4%    I prepare make-ahead meals for the freezer, to heat and eat on busy nights     
41,7%    I cook extras on the weekend, we eat leftovers throughout the week      
61.1%    I cook extra on night one, we eat leftovers on night two   
5.6%      We eat a lot of commercial/convenience products, or get take-out often   
72.2%    I prepare simple meals, using minimal, but fresh ingredients   
16.7%    Someone in the family gets dinner started before I return home, then I help as I am able 
47.2%    I use a crock-pot or Sabbath mode on my oven, to start dinner prep before I leave in the morning  
19.4%    We eat non-traditional dinner foods, or peanut butter sandwiches 
13.9%    Other   (take a day to chop fresh vegetables for the week; we usually eat what is in the garden at the time, and we usually eat vegetarian or fish; I batch cook grains, beans, potatoes on the weekends; I use my electric pressure cooker)

What staples do you think would be most handy to have on hand for quick meals?
Listed in descending order:

19 dried pasta,
18 eggs
17 frozen veg (one specified like veggie blends)
15 beans, canned or dry, or frozen, refried or plain and 1 lentils (I listed separately because they’re quick cooking, which makes them good for fast meals)
11 rice
10 cheese
9  pre prepped cleaned fruit/ veg/ salad items, salad mix
8  pre-portioned cook frozen beef, ham, poultry
8  fresh vegetables:including broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, onions
7  ground beef or ground turkey
6  canned tomatoes, tomato paste, rotel, puree
5  potatoes
4  frozen rice portions, orzo
4  canned or frozen soup,
4  convenient fruit/veg sides (applesauce, canned, frozen or whole fresh fruit, etc.)
4  baking supplies such as flour, sugar etc.
4  tortillas, pitas, wraps, taco shells, tortilla chips
4  frozen fish (defrost ahead of time), or frozen shrimp,
3  homemade or jarred of marinara
3  milk 
3  frozen chicken breasts, or boneless skinless chicken thighs
3  canned tuna or salmon
3  bread
3  frozen chicken breasts, or boneless skinless chicken thighs
3  butter
3  sausage,turkey smoked sausage or kielbasa, chicken Italian sausage
2  quinoa, polenta, couscous
2  frozen pesto and other sauces
2  pre-made homemade chicken or vegetable  stock,
2  frozen meat,
2  frozen chicken
2  sour cream,
2  frozen pizza dough/bread,or garlic bread
1  frozen lemon juice in ice cubes
1  unsweetened nut milk
1  saved bacon/ham fat
1  dehydrated potatoes
1  whole turkey breasts and chicken,(for crockpot)
1  proteins
1  cooked fruit and vegetables
1  grilled cheese fixings/panini
1  quick cooking grains
1  cream of mushroom soup (hangs head in shame
1  precooked onions
1  variety of spices and herbs
1  homemade frozen soffrito

That's some list! Look it over and see what jumps out to you. Just because something was only listed once doesn't mean that it's not valuable. It could be one of those ah-ha moments when you think, yes, that would really benefit me. And notice those items that you do probably already keep on hand, but that you never think to use for quick suppers. I listed things in groups where I felt they belonged together. Some things which are vey similar, I listed separately, because I felt they could be used in different ways, or offer more convenience, pre-seasoned, etc.

I will get to the other question in the survey tomorrow or the next day. These compilations take some time, as we all use different words for similar items. Have a great day!


  1. Since you like to play with numbers, are you having fun with this? Or because you're under a time crunch are you finding this a chore?

    1. Hi live and learn,
      I wish I had more time to examine the numbers and sort the items. This was all I had time for last night, I'm almost done with projects. Soon, I'll have time again.
      I hope your week is off to a great start!

  2. I find this kind of thing fascinating. And looking at the numbers, I must be the only person who doesn't consider pasta a staple, LOL. But I do really enjoy seeing what others do use in a time crunch and gleaning ideas along the way. Thanks for sharing your results.

    1. Hi Cat,
      I think pasta made it on the list so many times is that it cooks so quickly, compared to things like brown rice. I like it, as I can make a whole grain starch, with whole wheat pasta, in a fraction of the time to make whole grain rice. Have a great evening, Cat!


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