Tackling this daily task in the Weekly Household Planner:
Every day is hectic and the weeks fly by. For some of you, school is back in session and your meal planning is even more critical. You want to feed your family well, but you have no time to spend hours in the kitchen. How are you going to give your family healthy, tasty meals and avoid bringing home fast food for dinner?
Here are five suggestions for getting through a no-time-to-cook week:
Have a soup and salad or sandwich night. This can be anything from good old-fashioned tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich, to homemade lentil soup with a healthy salad of dark greens, tomato, sliced black olives and a sprinkling of cheese.
You can use soup from the can, or throw together a quick homemade recipe, or even cook up a batch on the weekend for serving during the week. I often make a double batch of soup so that I can freeze half for an easy dinner later.
Sandwiches can be served on whole grain bread or rolls with a variety of veggies, meats, and cheeses. Salads are quick and easy to make and you can serve them with a simple oil and vinegar dressing or a side of dressing from a bottle.
Crock Pot Meal. Make use of that crock pot that’s stuck in the back of your cupboard. Get the crock pot out in the morning, toss in some cubed beef, sliced potatoes and carrots, some onion and a bit of water or broth and you’ve got stew when you get home. You can also make soups, chili and other recipes in the crock pot – very convenient and easy.
Try a simple pasta dish. Everyone loves pasta and you can make a tasty, and easy pasta dish by tossing any kind of pasta with your favorite sauce and maybe a sprinkle of cheese. Or try a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of basil. Serve with whole grain rolls and a quick salad and you’ve got a simple family-friendly meal.
Stir fry a quick and healthy dinner. Buy pre-cut stir-fry vegetables at the grocery; add some chicken, shrimp or beef, a package of stir-fry seasoning and serve over rice. Use low sodium and no MSG seasonings for a healthier stir-fry. You can use any combination of vegetables and meat, or go meatless. Your family will love it. Another quick idea is fried rice – cook up the rice when you walk in the door and throw it together in a jiffy.
Enjoy breakfast for dinner. Crack open some eggs and make a tasty omelet for the family. Serve with fresh sliced fruit and a side of toast. Or serve breakfast burritos and a side of healthy turkey bacon or sausage. Waffles are always a dinner favorite at our house – especially on a cold evening.
Eating well doesn’t have to involve long recipes that take hours to complete. And eating quick doesn’t mean a run to the nearest fast food restaurant. Take advantage of the simple things that you know your family loves. It is easy on the budget too.
Satisfying, healthy and quick meals are at your fingertips with a bit of imagination. Don’t forget to let the kids help with preparing the food, setting the table or cleaning up. How about having older kids plan and prepare a meal during the week? If you want to be sure that your family enjoys wonderful, cooked from scratch feasts, save those for the weekend when you may have more time, or make them on the weekend and freeze them for use during the week.
If having less processed and prepared foods in your kitchen is a goal you would like to work towards, you will want to pick up the newest e-book written by Life. Your Way editor and founder Mandi Ehman. Easy. Homemade: Homemade Pantry Staples for the Busy Modern Family is chock full of recipes to help you make your very own mixes for a fraction of the price of those in stores. The 60+ recipes are simple to follow and rely on basic ingredients you’ll find in your pantry. The best part – it is priced at $0.99 for just a one more day, then it will go to $3.99. You can get the ebook PDF or grab a copy on kindle, both are the same price!