But, the kids still expect to eat. Three times a day, no less. What is their deal?
A while ago I posted about convenience foods my family uses and enjoys, and tops on the list were jarred marinara sauce and bread (also-tortillas!) We eat tortillas every day. (Mission brand whole wheat are very good. Thin and not to “wheaty”. Good for making wraps.)
Another thing that helps our busy family stick to a “real food” way of eating is that I’ve made a short list of super fast, easy meals and I keep the ingredients on hand. Yes, I have whole grain rounds and hot dog buns in my freezer!
Having a list of ideas, plus ingredients, at the ready will save your bacon on those nights when everything gets crazy and you realize no one’s eaten. It will save your wallet, too. These meals are much cheaper than ordering pizza!
15 Minute Meals for Real Foodies
- Instant brown rice (or, make brown rice and freeze in muffin cups for easy thawing and measuring.
- chicken broth (Better than Buillion is MSG free)
- frozen veggies
- link sausage (get MSG free)
- chopped onion
Toss the instant rice and frozen veggies in a pot, and use chicken broth instead of water to cook the rice. Slice a kielbasa-style sausage into coins, saute with onions to get a little color on it, and mix all together. If you have any tomatoes, chop them up and cook with the rice and veggies.
- Frozen meatballs (I get mine from Costco, or you can premake these with organic ingredients to keep on hand.)
- Marinara sauce (watch out for added sugars, weird preservatives, or GMO soybean oil. I buy it at Costco, and the ingredients are tomatoes, water, tomato concentrate, onions, garlic, basil, sea salt, olive oil, oregano, and citric acid.)
- hot dog buns (we like the 100% whole grain from Nature’s Own)1
Put the meatballs in a pot with marinara sauce. Heat through. Serve on hot dog buns or hoagie rolls, serve with coleslaw.
5 Minute Coleslaw:
- Shredded cabbage, carrot, etc. or coleslaw mix
- rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
Put your chopped cabbage in a bowl. Plop a spoonful of mayo on it. Add a splash or two of vinegar. Mix it all up, wait about 5 minutes. The vinegar will cause the cabbage to melt a bit and leach out some juice, giving the dressing a coleslaw consistency. Add salt or more vinegar to taste.
- Fish sticks (I get the wild-caught ones from Costco)
- Tortillas (corn or flour, your choice) or Indian Fry Bread
Cook the fish sticks, then roughly chop. Load up your fish tacos, using the fish in place of taco meat and the coleslaw in place of lettuce and tomatoes.
Serve it up with a plate of crunchy veggies (carrots, celery, peppers) and black bean salsa!
- 1 can black beans, drained (or 2 cups prepared black beans)
- 1 can corn, drained (or 2 cups frozen corn)
- Salsa to taste, or pico, or chopped tomatoes if you don’t like it spicy, or 1 can Rotel
In a pinch, there’s always breakfast for dinner! Scrambled eggs and pancakes, with a fruit plate or fried egg sandwiches on english muffins, either way it cooks up super quick.
What are your go-to fast and easy recipes? I can always use a few more ideas!