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mom I know needs recipes for quick, easy dinner ideas.
matter whether you work outside your home, are a stay-at-home mom or a
work-at-home mom. If you're a mom, you are busy!
Here are some of my family's favorite recipes for quick, easy dinner ideas.
(Scroll down past the meals for a list of helpful tips designed
to make cooking faster and easier overall.)
1. Chicken nuggets served with mashed sweet potatoes.
You can certainly buy frozen chicken nuggets and pop into your oven for
super-convenience, but I like to make my own chicken nuggets so I can
control the salt and fat content more easily. Don't worry; they are a
snap to make and if you are wanting quick, easy dinner ideas, this is a smart way to cook.
My convenience splurge in the kitchen is not premade items but foods I really like so I can put recipes together faster and with more
nutrition. Chicken is a great example of this. I buy only skinned,
boned chicken breasts. When my recipe for a quick and easy dinner idea is
chicken nuggets, here's what I do.
Grab three or four frozen chicken breasts.
- Thaw slightly in the microwave and cut into nugget-sized pieces while partially frozen (easier to cut that way).
- Shake chicken in a bag with a generic, purchased seasoning coating mix.
- Pop the nuggets into the oven and they're done before I know it (be sure and cook thoroughly).
For the sweet potatoes...
- Do a quick scrub (the kids can do this).
- Peel and chop into one or two-inch pieces. Remember, the smaller the pieces, the quicker they'll cook.
- Place potatoes in water, boil for 15 minutes or so.
- Drain and mash.
- Add butter and milk to taste. Or go for non-fat sour cream as a topping.
Sweet potatoes are very nutritious and make a nice alternative from
regular potatoes. My kids love them (and I have seriously picky eaters).
This quick, easy dinner idea takes about 15 minutes to prep and
another 15 minutes to cook. When I was using more convenience-type
foods, it took that long anyway and the food quality was seriously
2. Hamburger with cheese and wild rice with corn.
Think cheeseburger-with-no-bun for this recipe.
This is another winner at my table. 20-30 minutes from start to finish
(I live in high altitude and have to cook some items longer than folks
at lower altitudes.).
- Brown hamburger, drain and sprinkle cheese over top to melt.
- While hamburger is browning, make a package of wild rice mix
(watch these packages, as they can be very high in sodium) and toss in
some frozen or canned corn.
More quick, easy dinner ideas...
3. Roasted veggies.
This is something my kids were sure they wouldn't like, but my teenager
loves them. The eight year old isn't as convinced (it's a VEGGIE, mom!),
but she had to admit they taste very different from our other veggies.
See what your kids think.
This is a great snack-type meal and it's truly quick and easy. Add some bread to complete the picture.
- Cut bell peppers (green, red, yellow - whatever you like), onions, and tomatoes into strips and wedges.
- Spray with an olive oil non-stick spray or brush lightly with olive oil.
- Sprinkle with your favorite seasoning mix and broil for a few minutes. Watch them closely, they'll cook fast.
Gotta love breakfast food at dinnertime. When you are collecting
recipes for quick, easy dinner ideas, you can't go wrong with
waffles. I make them in batches and freeze for later use. Just pop into
the toaster and eat! Our favorites are banana waffles, apple waffles,
and whole wheat waffles. We'll be trying the pumpkin waffles next. Oh,
yes, and don't forget the cheddar cheese and bacon waffles. Yum! Here's
a great waffle recipe site you can use for inspiration.
Turn your favorite recipes into quick, easy dinner ideas.
Here are some of my favorite tips for making the most out of my kitchen
time. If you get into the habit of using even a handful of these ideas
instead of stopping at the store on the way home from work, I think you
will find you get better meals in no more time than using convenience
foods. As a bonus, you might even save on your grocery bill since
convenience foods are generally quite pricey. (If you need to seriously
save money at the grocery store and want more of these types of cooking
tips, I recommend you check out my review of a resource entitled "Saving Money on my Grocery Bill." It may be something that can really help you.
Make mealtime family time. I'll be
honest; we don't sit down to a dinner table together every night. But
we do regularly cook together. It's a vital skill for kids to learn and
we chat about our days while we cook. All ages can participate and when we use quick, easy dinner ideas we can focus on the family time!.
Many hands make light the work.
Use paper plates and disposable utensils. Clean-up's a breeze.
Once a week, hold a picnic.
I buy only frozen, skinned, boned chicken breasts. Then I cook the
whole package at once, dicing one part, slicing strips with another
part (if you do your cutting when the chicken is still partially frozen
it's much easier and faster.). Then I refreeze individual meal-sized
portions using the diced and sliced chicken so it's ready for me to pull out of the freezer and use. Quick and easy!
In only about
an hour (while watching your favorite taped show or cooking with a
friend), you can get your meat cooked and ready to refreeze, eggs boiled, and veggies chopped (use your quick, easy dinner ideas
that require chopped veggies first during the week for maximum
freshness). When you do most of your prep work at one time, you only get dishes
dirty once plus you go through the cooking motion once...not multiple
times during the week. This really works and adds to your desired theme of quick and easy.
Get into the habit of doing recipe prep work once a week.
When you're considering quick, easy dinner ideas, think about healthy and easy family meals, too. Over time, wean your family off of high-fat, high-sodium products and
get into the habit of only purchasing low-fat/no-fat and low salt
products. We have genuinely changed the way we eat at our home; even my
teenager complains about how salty 'regular' chips are now. You will
save many, many calories over time and you won't even miss them. The
secret is to make the change gradually. There may be some specific
products that you only like in the high-fat or high-sodium variety.
That's fine, because you've cut down elsewhere. Think about the
long-term health of your family. Mom, you're in charge!
You'll gain fiber and taste, plus the
fiber will keep tummies from rumbling as quickly. A natural appetite
premake seasoning mixes. You can get some great ones here.
Use seasonings to make quick, easy dinner ideas.
Get weekly dinner menus delivered right to your email inbox.
- Let someone else do some of the work.
If you want more quick easy dinner recipes, here they are.
Colleen Langenfeld is a mother with over 29 years of parenting experience and helps other busy moms around the globe at www.paintedgold.com.
Note from Colleen: Remember, I earn my living making excellent recommendations to you, Mom, so when you choose to click any of the links on this website and make a purchase, I may earn a commission.
Naturally, that means I care about what you think! If you try a product or service I recommend, I'd love to hear from you. How else can I keep my recommendations top notch for all my visitors?
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