With the busy holiday seasons approaching, there will be many more events in the evening, many more errands to be run, much more running around than our busy lives already have!
One of the issues when life is so busy is feeding our family. If you are like me, your tendency is to run through a drive-thru and grab dinner on the way home or on the way to an event. While I know that sometimes that may just be the only way to get some grub into their tummies, if you take some time to plan ahead a bit, you will find that you can throw together a quick and much healthier meal in minutes.
Now, these meals below are not the MOST nutritional with the least amount of sugar and preservatives. I know that these things are very important to some parents, keep in mind that these meals are an alternative to Happy Meals full of who knows what!
I encourage you to buy some ingredients of the meals that are appealing to you to have on hand so that you can put together a quick meal before you run out the door.
Buy 5 pounds of lean ground beef. Brown, drain and divide into sandwich bags, seal and freeze. Buy a 3 pound bag of chicken, boil, cool, cut into chunks, separate into sandwich bags, seal and freeze. Having this part done can make putting together a meal much easier!
Chunky Ramen noodles (beef or chicken)-
- 2 paks Ramen noodles, beef or chicken
- 1/2 pound of lean ground beef browned and drained, OR a cup of cooked, cubed chicken
- a bag of shredded cabbage* from produce section (small bag)
Bring water to boil, add in noodles (I break to make easier for small children) add bag of cabbage and your meat, boil for 5 minutes, ladle and serve!
*Could also try frozen bag of mixed veggies in place of cabbage
Spaghetti (beef or chicken)
- Jar of good spaghetti sauce, I like Ragu Garden variety
- Box of spaghetti noodles
- bag of ground beef or chicken from freezer, thawed
Boil noodles and drain. While still very hot, stir in jar of sauce and meat and serve. While pasta is cooking, you could do a bag salad and/or a quick garlic bread.
Rice-a-roni (beef or chicken)
- 2 boxes of Beef or Chicken Rice-a-roni
- ground beef or chicken from freezer, thawed
- a bag of frozen corn or brocolli
Put your veggie in a microwaveable dish and start cooking. Follow directions on the rice-a-roni box, adding in the designated meat when you add the water.
- 1 or 2 bags frozen cheese ravioli
- 1 jar Classico Florentine Spaghetti sauce
Follow directions to cook ravioli, making sure not to overcook as the cheese will all comeout in the water. Drain and add jar of sauce. Serve with bread and/or salad if you’d like.
- 2 bags of ground beef (see pre-prep)
- 2 cans kidney beans
- 1 small can tomato paste
- 1 large can diced tomatoes
- 1/2 green pepper chopped
- 1/4 chili powder
- onion and garlic to taste
Throw everything into the crockpot, set on low and you can leave all day. You can also cook on a higher temp for 3 or 4 hours if you are close by to stir. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips, if you choose.
Nachos (chicken or beef)
- One or two bags of ground beef or chicken thawed
- kidney beans
- chili powder
- tortilla chips
- sour cream, etc..
Put meat into a pan with drained can of beans, add 1/4 cup water and a packet of taco seasoning. Simmer for 5 minutes. Assemble nachos with desired toppings.
There you have it, 10 different meals to prepare on busy nights! And several of this recipes can be increased so that there are leftovers that could be taken for a lunch or eaten another evening. Click for a print-friendly version of the recipes!
This post is linked up with Amanda’s Top Ten Tuesday!
What is an easy, go-to dinner that you prepare during busy times? Please share!