Friday, November 13, 2009

Superfast Dinner Solutions

Busy, busy lately- which is why I am offering today a handful of super fast, super easy dinner ideas. These aren't recipes, and I offer no guarantees as far as nutrition goes. They are simply meals that I turn to when I have no time or few ingredients, and three hungry boys. They are kid-approved, at least in this house. What quick meal solutions do you regularly turn to in your kitchen?

"Noodles with Green Sauce"
(at least, that's what the kids call it)

Boil some of whatever pasta you have on hand. Meanwhile, follow the instructions to microwave a package of frozen creamed spinach. Drain pasta, and toss thoroughly with hot creamed spinach. Serve alone, or with whatever protein you can whip up quick. My kids prefer (cringe) bacon. But I prefer boneless skinless chicken, baked up quick, diced and tossed in with the noodles.

Crackers, Cheese and a Chat

We love this one. Grab a cutting board, a block of cheese, a box of crackers, an apple or two and any number of other delights: grapes or other fruit, sausage, baby carrots, a boiled egg, french bread and olive oil for dipping, hummus. . . you get the idea. (Don't forget a glass of wine for Mommy!) Slice, share, much and have a nice relaxed conversational meal.

Smoothies and Popcorn

Sorry. It's a treat, OK? Throw some popcorn in the microwave or popper. Meanwhile, blend up bananas, pineapple, fresh spinach, and frozen fruit such as strawberries or peaches, with vanilla yogurt, juice and a little protein powder. Taste often and adjust ingredients until you have something yummy. This "meal" goes very well with a movie.

Black Beans and Rice

This is the "I'm in a hurry" version. Dump some rice in the cooker or pot, and get it started. Meanwhile warm up a can of Goya brand black bean soup. Combine, mix thoroughly, and serve hot. Yumm. I like to serve with salad, steamed broccoli or asparagus, but that's just me trying to get the green veggies in. :)

Mac & Cheese & Peas

Nothing new here! Follow cooking instructions for whatever brand of boxed macaroni & cheese your kids favor. I prefer the organic stuff. Meanwhile, follow instructions to microwave some frozen green peas. Drain peas, and toss with finished macaroni and cheese. Serve. For protein, I either bake some boneless skinless chicken, or brown some ground beef or bison and toss it in. But I'm not averse to serving this one as is. Babyman tears it up.

Creamy Garlic Baked Chicken

This takes a little longer if you're using the frozen chicken, but needs no prep and just a couple ingredients. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Place frozen boneless skinless chicken in a single layer in the baking dish. Spread one undiluted can of cream of chicken soup over the chicken. Sprinkle on a little fresh ground black pepper, if desired. Peel a few garlic cloves, halve or quarter them, and distribute over top of chicken. Bake until done, but not dry- I usually bake for 40 to 45 minutes from frozen. Serve hot with rice or noodles and a veggie or two. Easy peasy.

Hope these help! Enjoy!


Five Bears A-Blogging said...

Yum! Thanks for the great ideas. Life is getting busy, isn't it? - Mo

Mel said...

Great ideas. We also do the mac and cheese with peas. If I'm feeling fancy, I stir in a can of salmon for extra deliciousness and protein.

And green smoothies are a stable for us.

Kit said...

@ Mo: You're welcome! I hope they're helpful. Yup- very busy!

@ Mel: Thanks! Mmm- I will have to try the salmon in the mac & cheese w/peas!