Avoiding Boredom With Minimal Effort

Anytime I am being good about cooking healthy meals at home, I find myself eating the same things for meal after meal. I tend to make a few things at the beginning of the week and then eat leftovers for several meals to come. And while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can get old kind of fast if it’s more than a few meals in a row. But, it can be tough to cook for one with enough variety to keep me from getting bored, while still using up all the ingredients and keeping the effort minimal. This week, I figured out a way to take three super simple staple ingredients and make them into several different meals that were easy to prep side by side.

I started with 1 pound of lean ground beef, 1 can black beans, and 1 bag of frozen brown rice.

photo 1 (12)

I cooked the beef in a pan with half of an onion that I found in my fridge. After it was browned, I set aside about half of it, and then mixed some of the brown rice and black beans into the beef left in the pan.

I stuffed that beef/rice/bean mixture into two green peppers, and added one can of tomato sauce underneath and on top. I cooked those stuffed peppers for 45 minutes at 350 and that was it.

photo 2 (15)

Then I took the rest of the black beans and brown rice and mixed them in the same pan I cooked the beef in until they were heated through. That left me with a good amount of rice and beans, plus the rest of the beef.

photo 3 (14)

I made a salad with some of each of those to eat right away, and then added some sour cream, pickled jalapenos, and shredded cheese. I ended up packing up ingredients for a repeat salad for a future lunch.

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Tonight I’m going to make fried rice with what is left of the rice and beans, plus an egg and whatever veggies I can find in my fridge to throw in there.

So this meant I was able to stretch those three staple ingredients into two stuffed peppers, two salads, and fried rice, so basically 5 meals for one person. And while each meal has a lot of the same ingredients and are fairly similar, adding in a few extra things for each dish makes it feel different enough.

How do you keep from getting bored with your eats?

9 Comments on Avoiding Boredom With Minimal Effort

  1. Less of Less
    July 1, 2014 at 4:34 pm (6 years ago)

    That’s very helpful. It can be so difficult to vary meals when you are cooking.

  2. Katie Marini
    July 2, 2014 at 12:04 pm (6 years ago)

    Hey Beth,

    Long time no see! It sounds like you are doing great. I think it’s hard cooking for one and things can get a little repetitive. Honestly, I ate the same 3-4 things over and over again when I was single/staying OP so I don’t know if I have a ton of advice. The only thing I can think of is looking at food blogs/cookbooks for inspiration. Can You Stay For Dinner has some good recipes…

  3. Louise
    July 17, 2014 at 11:31 pm (6 years ago)

    Great ideas! Super easy and looks delicious. From a fellow WW Leader!

  4. wannabeloser (@wannnabeloser)
    July 21, 2014 at 10:36 pm (6 years ago)

    I wish I knew! The hardest part is cooking for both my husband and I and not just doing the same dishes over and over.
    We basically have a rule that anything we cook at night has to bleed over in leftovers for the next days lunches. That is officially four servings per recipe made at night. Since I’m lazy I like to go with recipes that serve eight so I can stretch the meals but then we get really bored really fast.
    I just basically try and find recipes online and tweak them to make them healthier.

  5. Alexis
    July 24, 2014 at 7:13 pm (6 years ago)

    I love making stuffed bell peppers. It is such an easy recipe and it is so incredibly healthy as well.

  6. Sophie
    August 19, 2014 at 2:48 am (6 years ago)

    its an inspiration. thanks for the great idea. looking at the blogs such yours has given me some great ideas for my food boredom.

  7. anon
    August 31, 2014 at 2:07 pm (6 years ago)

    Long time no see!

  8. Hannah Kane
    September 1, 2014 at 10:35 am (6 years ago)

    Losing 90lbs is incredible! I can only hope that I work hard enough to achieve even half of that! Your blog is such an inspiration and I love it! Can’t get enough of stuffed peppers 🙂

    I’ve recently wrote a post on the beginning of my healthy lifestyle journey, it’d be amazing if you could check it out and if you had any tips that’s be so helpful!

    Thanks 🙂 http://thatthoughtfulgirl.blogspot.co.uk/2014/09/healthy-lifestyle-update.html

  9. Angie
    March 16, 2015 at 3:46 pm (6 years ago)

    Hi! I just found your blog by accident. I am married with two little ones, but I cook for one all the time b/c I live overseas where I have trouble finding lean proteins. So, when I get my hands on them, I don’t share! Let my healthy, slim family eat the fatty, yummy meats, and I’ll eat the chicken breast, shrimp, etc. Sooo, since I cook for one a lot, here’s what helps me get variety: I cook up a huge batch of something tasty and WW friendly, then I pack it into portions and freeze it. I try to keep several bags in the freezer with portions of meals ready to pull out and defrost. That way, even though I don’t eat the same thing as my family often, I’m not cooking twice as often every day.


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