We have a rule in our house that we eat together as a family as many nights as possible at the dinner table. That means a lot of meal prep/planning, schedule planning and craziness ahead of time in order for this to happen. While I’d love to make it sound like it’s all puppies and rainbows leading up to these magical dinners, it’s not. It’s hectic and, as you’d imagine, the food that we eat gets prepared as much ahead of time as possible, but with our otherwise busy schedules, this slice of evening time is important to our family.
On Friday evenings/Saturday mornings, depending on what else we have going on, I will meal plan for the upcoming week and make a grocery list. All grocery shopping is done online and delivered to my home. I call this leverage to our busy schedule. If you have grocery delivery service in your area and have not tried it yet, DO IT – it’s life changing!!
We have staples in our home that we eat every week, like Q2 Square Muffins, for example. And tacos. Then we plan out the rest of the week. If it’s a night that the kids or we don’t have anything going on in the evenings, which is rare, then we will plan to make a more elaborate meal that will carry over for leftovers to the next evening as well. But honestly, this rarely happens, so most of our meals are quick and simple and can be done in 20 minutes or less.
Sundays are my prep days. I try to schedule out a couple hours on Sunday mornings, afternoon or evenings – depending on what else we have going on in our lives. I wash fruits and vegetables, pre-slice everything, cook chicken, get lunches prepped for the week, etc. The more time that I put into prep on Sundays, the less hectic evenings AND mornings are! In the mornings, all we need to do is grab lunches, add in anything “extra” that needs to be added, and out the door we go vs shuffling through the refrigerator or staring into it saying “hmmmm…what am I going to bring in today?” with a bunch of people rushing around also eating breakfast, etc.
QUICK MEALS WE MAKE:
- TACOS: A major go-to for Taco Tuesday! Sometimes I will cook the meat on Sunday, so I just have to heat it up on Tuesday, cut up the tomato, onion, cilantro and add in some salt and pepper for Pico de Gallo, and we are good to go! Get some taco shells, Mexican cheese blend, taco sauce, sour cream — all set! And to change it up every now and again, change out the taco shells for tortilla chips and have some taco nachos! YUM!!!
- SPICY SHRIMP & RICE: While not a fan for our kids, us adults love this dish! Shrimp coated with a mix of mayo, Sriracha sauce and Sweet Chili Sauce. Serve with either brown or white rice – whichever you prefer. Another quick and easy meal!
- ROTISSERIE CHICKEN & SALAD: Grab a Rotisserie Chicken from the grocery store, some fresh salad items and you are set! Easy, fresh, healthy and so simple!
- “BRINNER”: Breakfast for dinner! Who doesn’t love some pancakes, eggs, bacon, Q2 Muffins and fresh fruit after a long day? Now if that doesn’t put a smile on your face, I don’t know what will!
- BLTS: Another fan favorite, and very quick and easy. Now, don’t get me wrong, I will of course sneak in the 8 grams of protein whole grain break and turkey bacon to make this a little healthier, but it’s still oh-so-delicious! And quick!! Fry up some bacon (or turkey bacon, if you’re like me), slice up a tomato and some lettuce and you are good to go.
I hope these quick meals and prep tips will make life easier for you and your family. With school starting and all of the extras that come along with the back-to-school season, we can all use any time saving tips we can scoop up!