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Quick Meals for Busy Days

 

With our busy schedules and having kids with after school activities, how do we fit in healthy family dinners? Days can be very hectic as we play the role of chauffer.  Even though we have taken on the chauffer role, we still need to remain the chef of the family.  It can be tempting just to run through the drive thru or order a pizza.  Two things are wrong with those quick dinners.  First it is not healthy and second it can become very expensive.  With our schedule jammed pack, how do we fit in healthy, fast family dinners?  Like everything else, it just takes some planning.  Here are some ideas on meals that are easy and fast, plus you can make them ahead of time.

 

Let’s start with meals you can freeze, remember to add the date before you freeze the meal so you can keep track of when you made each meal.  The easiest way, for this method, is pick one day each week to be the cooking day to prepare the meals.  It will be worth the time you spent to make the upcoming week(s) less stressful.

• Tacos:  Cook and season the meat then store it in a Ziploc bag.

• Meatloaf: Prepare your meatloaf, bake, cool, remove from baking dish and put into a Ziploc bag.

• Hamburgers:  Cook the burgers, once cool place them in a Ziploc sandwich bag individually.

• Plain Meat:  Can be used for beefy mac, sloppy joes, quick chili, etc.

• Lasagna:  Make as you normally would then store in an airtight container.

• Chicken:  You can pre-cook by boiling chicken tenders that can be used for a busy day.  You can use the frozen chicken to make various meals like:  chicken burritos, quesadillas, bbq chicken, chicken salad, chicken alfredo, chicken hoagies, quick casserole, etc.

 

Make pizza dough and freeze it.  You can do so many things with pizza dough outside of the obvious: make pizza.  You can make quick calzones, broccoli & cheese pies, or something my children call footballs.  For the footballs, you just use a round cookie cutter or biscuit cutter to cut out circles in the dough then add meat, cheese then fold them over using a fork to press the edges together.  Kids can even help make these.

If you were not able to prepare meals the week or so prior, there are still quick & easy meals you can make in a hurry.

• There is nothing wrong with having grilled cheese & tomato soup.

• Spaghetti with salad and garlic bread.

• Tuna noodle casserole is very quick to throw together.

• Mac & Cheese, even homemade can be fast.

• Hot dogs & French fries, to jazz them up use crescent rolls in place of hot dog buns.

• Loaded baked potatoes with salad.  Have a build your own potato bar to save time by putting out a few different toppings on the table so each person can make their own.

This is a small list of ideas.  With some thought and a little planning, you can make a quick healthy dinner and skip the drive thru.

Share your quick meal ideas below with us!