Let me set the stage for you: I got out of work later than anticipated. I come home from work to the house still a disaster and my husband practically sprinting out the door to go to work. The baby is at my feet and whining if I’m doing anything BUT paying attention to her. I want to pick up the piles of toys everywhere, empty the dishwasher, read 5 books to the baby AND have a delicious dinner on the table for us in an hour. What could I possibly whip up when I’m being pulled in a million directions at once?
I am a mom who works outside of the home full-time. I cannot pretend that I have a homemade dinner prepared every night of the week or even 3 nights out of the week, for that matter. BUT I can say that I’ve got a few go-to meals that are easy enough that I can muster up the energy to get it going (no crockpot or forethought necessary) when the LAST thing that I want to do is cook. These are the recipes I can turn to, knowing that it doesn’t take THAT much upfront effort and we’ll all enjoy the outcome.
- The easiest lasagna ever. Thank you AllRecipes.com.
- Two words: cowboy hash. Brown ground chuck, drain the fat. Return to pan, add taco seasoning and water and mix. Add a can of drained black beans, about 1-1.5 cups of frozen corn and about 1/4-1/2 cup salsa. Simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice or in tortillas and garnish with cheese, sour cream, whatever you like!
- Quickest chicken breasts. Did I mention frozen chicken breasts?? Recipes that call for something to be frozen are the ones I perk up when I hear them because I’m terrible at planning ahead. Take 3-4 frozen chicken breasts, run them under water and sprinkle each side with your favorite seasoning (we like cajun) before placing in a glass dish. Cover well with tin foil and bake on 350 for 1.5 hours. And slather some of this Awesome Sauce while you’re at it.
- Herb pasta. Cook whatever kind of noodles you enjoy (including ravioli), drain. Douse with some EVOO (extra virgin olive oil), salt and pepper, oregano and, if you like some zip, some crushed red pepper, toss with or without a steamed veggie (we like broccoli) and serve.
- Italian beef sandwiches. Buy some delicious roast beef at your local deli. In a large saucepan, combine the 2 cups water, 1 tbsp beef bouillon, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 tsp pepper flakes, a pinch or two of oregano and 1/8 tsp garlic salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes. Then, add the roast beef to heat it up. Serve the beef on kaiser rolls (you could even add some provolone and put the sandwiches in the oven for a bit to melt the cheese, yum!).
So those are some of our go-to dinners on busy nights. Microwave a frozen vegetable to serve as a side and you’ve got yourself a pretty well-rounded meal. What are some of your easy weeknight meals?