I have been talking to some who have limited cooking experience so I thought I would explain the theory of meals I have used over the years. I try for a nice mix of carbs, vegetables, and protein for every meal.
So BBQ meat, or make pork chops, or buy a cooked chicken down at the grocery store and make a pasta salad and you pretty much have that covered.
It's also a great thing to take along to a picnic. In an ice cream pail.
Now I have posted a recipe for pasta salad before ( http://gramma-d.blogspot.ca/2012/12/pasta-salad.html. ) but this is a detailed explanation of the procedure behind making it.
You cook pasta. Elbow macaroni is fine but I love pasta shapes and would use bow ties or wagon wheels if I could get them on sale. I would cook a half or 3/4 cup dry pasta per person. Cook it in lots of boiling salty water. Drain and rinse with cold water.
While your pasta is cooking prepare your veggies. Choose the same things you would put into a lettuce salad. Or a vegetable salad. Pick and choose. Raid the fridge. About a half cup chopped veggies per serving. Vary the colours.
If you like science use a recipe. If you are artistic use your imagination and make it pretty.
Chick peas, from a can, drained
Chopped dill pickle
Little cheddar cheese chunks
Black olives and feta cheese (for a Greek Pasta)
Choose your dressing. Ranch is good. Unless you are doing Greek. Then a Mediterranean style dressing would be good. Put plenty on and let it marinate in the fridge for several hours. The pasta will absorb some of the dressing so you might want to stir more dressing in before serving.
Easier to eat off a paper plate than a fluffy lettuce salad.
This is a great idea for coming home with company. Just have the salad waiting in the fridge, and pick up the BBQ chicken and some buns on the way home.
"Wait, wait," DH would say. "What about the dessert?"
OK. Then buy a pail of ice cream. (Then eventually you will have a container for taking the salad along to a picnic) Or check the blog for something chocolate. That can be done the day before and be ready and waiting too.