The last couple of weeks have been so busy, that if I don’t manage to carve out some time in the morning to cook dinner, then it doesn’t seem to happen at all. On Mondays Eva has dance class, and on Wednesdays Lola has Children’s Music Theater, and both of those days we get home at or just after our typical dinner time, at 5:30. Tuesdays is French group, which often ends up outside, with the kids playing on the swings and slides, until at least 5:30. So all of my pre-dinner prep time is eliminated. But I still want to serve healthy, largely home-cooked meals for my family. Here, a few solutions for when you are pressed for time:
1. Chicken sausage: I love to buy natural or organic chicken sausage because it’s healthy and super-fast. All you do is heat it up in the microwave for a minute – it’s already fully cooked. Serve it with one of those packets of ready-cooked rice that you pop in the microwave, or rice and beans, and veggies or a salad. Instant dinner.
2. Salmon burgers: I recently discovered that one of my family’s favorite dinners is brown rice (the instant kind from a packet), steamed green beans (organic ones in those steam-in-the-microwave bags), and salmon burgers, which cook in minutes in the toaster oven, no defrosting necessary. Yum.
3. Tapas: Tapas will never have the same meaning for my girls as they do for other people, because at our house, it’s a fancy word for taking out everything that we have in the refrigerator, putting it on one big plate, and letting the kids eat just what they want. They love it, and the fridge gets cleaned out. : )
4. Tastybite Indian Entrees: Okay, completely cheating, but in a healthy way. Foil pouches of Indian entrees, ready to go. Just serve with – you guessed it – a pouch of rice.
5. VeggiePatch Meatballs with Pasta: These vegan meatballs are available in the produce department at our Publix, with the tofu. They are so amazing, no one will ever guess that they are meatless. And they’re already cooked. I heat them up, stir them in my favorite jarred pasta sauce, and pour over spaghetti.