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Tips to Make Quick and Easy Dinners

We also consider nutrition, and how long it takes to make!

This meme taken is describing just one of the realities of adulting.   In addition to figuring out what to cook every night, we also consider nutrition, and how long it takes to make. The hectic schedules of single parents can make cooking dinner a much bigger challenge.

Read on for Great Tips to Quick and Delicious Meals

Sometimes it’s what you cook, sometimes it how you cook it, and sometimes it’s using a few ingredients that are already prepared.  If you want your family to eat it, we can all agree that taste is the most important factor in a successful outcome.

1.      Taco Tuesday – this takes about 20 minutes from start to finish

Tacos can be a quick and easy meal. Serving the ingredients family style allows each person to customize their taco. The solution for picky eaters. Below are suggested ingredients, you can do some, or all.

Ground beef or ground turkey – This can be bought already seasoned or add Taco Seasoning mix to toss in the cooked meat. Corn is a great filler and can tone down the spice for younger kids.

Taco bar bottom border with assorted ingredients on a dark wood banner

Refried Beans, Black Beans, or Pinto beans – adds fiber and protein as well.  They are great as a single ingredient or a stand in for meat if you have vegetarian in your family. These are also a great side dish!

Grated cheese – can be grated by one of the kids, or you can buy it already grated for greater convenience.

Diced tomatoes – this one you’ll have to do yourself. Personally, I like to use the Roma Tomatoes for a neater dice.

Shredded Lettuce – I buy this already shredded.  For those dieting, all of these taco ingredients also make a great taco salad.

Salsa for spice and yumminess!

Tortillas – a lot of variety here.  You can use the hard corn shells – heating up briefly in the oven, or the soft corn or flour tortillas that can go in the microwave wrapped in a warm wet towel for 30 seconds.

Chopped onion (optional) – can also be chopped on the spot or purchased at the grocer pre-chopped.

…if you want your family to eat it, we can all agree that taste is the most important factor in a successful outcome. 

Mixed peppers (optional) – one more item that can be cut up on the spot – personally, I like to buy the Trader Joe’s frozen pre-cut mixed peppers.  I set them out to thaw in the morning, just requires a little planning.

Other options include Tortilla chips, avocado, or guacamole.

Spanish Rice – I use Rice-a-Roni.  Less than 20 minutes from start to finish. (You’ll need tomato sauce! 8 ounces)

2.      Spaghetti Night

This was my go to dinner for years with or without meat it takes less than 20 minutes to prepare. You can use jarred spaghetti sauce, or if you prefer a healthier version make up your own sauce occasionally and freeze in the portions you will use. Healthy Tomato Sauce recipe link.

Healthy recipe for kids lunch

Angel hair pasta cooks quickly and tastes great. Surprisingly substituting Spaghetti Squash for pasta tastes pretty good.  It takes longer to make, so I wouldn’t use it if your short on time – maybe save it for the weekend.

To get in some vegies, serve “steamed in the package” broccoli or peas – bright green vegetables, with spaghetti.  You could also use a salad mix.

Garlic bread in the foil bag rounds off this meal nicely and can be placed in the oven as you start to prep for the meal.

3.      Crock Pot One-Pot-Meals

Crock-Pot meals take a little prep and the then typically cook for a longer period. Below are 3 of the many online sources for one pot meals.

Taste of Home Sunday Chicken Supper is quick and balanced.

Real Food – Whole LifeBalsamic Tomato Basil Pulled Chicken is delicious, takes 15 minutes prep time and 4 to 6 hours to cook.  Love it!!

TastySlow Cooker Chili Mac and Cheese is hearty, well balanced and delicious.

4.      Tried and True Quick Meals from Mom – 5 minutes each

Grilled cheese sandwiches and Campbells’ tomato soup made with milk is a dinner staple.  Easy to make and yummy to eat!

Fancy Top Ramen, add left over chicken and mixed vegetables.  It takes less than 5 minutes and is a teen favorite.

French Bread Pizza – Split the loaf of French bread in half, add leftover spaghetti sauce, cheese and the vegetable or meats of your choice and broil for just a few minutes.

Summary

Quick meals can be healthy.  Experiment with ingredients.  Add carrots to sweeten spaghetti sauce.  Add extra vegetables whenever you can.  Mealtime doesn’t have to be a chore!

Use the comments to share your favorite quick meals or let us know how you like our suggestions.

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