Use a vegetable steamer/rice cooker that lets you prepare two healthy side dishes at once. Even better - get a steamer with a built-in timer so your vegetables will be ready when you get home.
Buy a slow cooker. Make your own hearty soup with some low-sodium broth, chunks of lean beef or chicken, potatoes, carrots, onions, garlic and celery or try an easy slow cooker recipe. You can also buy dinner mixes meant for your crock pot. But read the labels; they usually are high in fat and sodium.
Do you have a bread maker hiding on the back shelf of your pantry? Bring it out and make your own fresh bread. Set a timer so that when you get home the bread will be warm and ready to serve with a meal or a simple bowl of soup. There are boxes of bread mixes all ready to go; just add a bit of water and some canola oil and press the start button. Have fun with your bread mixes by adding extra ingredients such as a quarter cup of chopped nuts or shredded cheese. You can also substitute a cup of room-temperature beer for the water, and maybe add some chopped chili peppers for a little kick.
I Need Dinner Right Now!Don't go the fast food route, stop at your grocery store instead. Most grocery stores have deli sections with lots of dishes that are ready to heat and serve. Be sure to choose foods that aren't loaded with creamy sauces or gravies, and don't buy the fried chicken and greasy potato wedges. Instead, pick up a hot fresh rotisserie chicken. These chickens are low in fat, often nicely seasoned and all you have to do is carve the bird and serve it with vegetables and a salad.
The freezer section of your store has several varieties of healthy vegetables. There are blends of vegetables with their own sauces (watch for fat and sodium) as well as brands that steam right in your microwave.
Make your own salad at the grocery store's salad bar or grab some greens and pre-cut vegetables. Wash the greens and fresh vegetables, toss and serve. Serve with low-fat salad dressing on the side.