I know that a lot of you work full time and don't have nearly as much time to cook as me. The truth is, I start dinner early. Really early. If I need to chop veggies or fix a marinade, or do any prep work really, I do this during Miles' morning nap (10AM). That's when I assemble crock pot meals as well. If you work a 9-5, you can't really make that happen. Unless you boss is cool with you chopping at your desk.
Even so, I do a lot of cooking that is pretty low-cook, particularly when Nelson travels. Since Nelson is going to CA for most of next week, I thought I'd show you guys the kinds of meals I plan when I'm flying solo.
On weeks like this one coming up, I try to do super duper kid friendly meals so I only have to make one meal per night. That means no red meat and lost of sausage and carb based meals. I also stick to low-effort, easy meals; nothing fancy that requires a lot of prep work or marinating or anything like that; and I try to use as few pots and pans as possible.
Here's the plan for next week:
Bean and cheese quesadillas
Whole baked chicken with roasted baby carrots and zucchini
Chicken and dumplings (with the roast chicken leftovers)
Brats with peppers and onions and sweet potato fries (a great meal, stolen from my friend Jane)
Pasta (whole grain, of course) with (frozen) turkey meatballs
Left over/take out night
Dinner at Pam's (the easiest and most delicious dinner of all, for sure.)
My kids should eat every one of these meals, and they are all really easy to cook. Like, even if you can't/don't cook, you could cook these. Next week's plan also incorporates on of my favorite cooking maneuvers - using leftovers to create a whole new meal. A bonus meal, if you will. This always makes me feel super clever and efficient (I'm really just feeling the "super" today, no?)
A quick word on my use of frozen turkey meatballs - I use these suckers a lot. We probably have them once a week, or every other week at least. I use them straight up with pasta; I pop them in a spicy Italian-style veggie soup; I'll bake them in with some penne; I'll put them on roll with some fat free mozzarella and marinara sauce for meatball sandwiches. My kids love the hell out of them, and they are relatively healthy and I get ones that are All Natural and don't have any weird crap in them that I can't identify. I make a mean meatball myself, but my kids prefer store bought. There's no accounting for the tastes of toddlers, I suppose.