Monday, October 7, 2013

Busy Night Meal Ideas

Right now life is feeling a little crazy and I am feeling stretched thin.  I know I'm not the only person that feels that way now and then.  Because I know we all need help and ideas on how to get dinner to the table as quickly and stress-free as possible– here are some great tips and recipes to help you out.

Tip #1-  Prep ingredients ahead as much as possible
Most of us know at the beginning of the week which days will be the craziest.  Help yourself out a bit by chopping vegetables the night before and storing them in bowls, containers or plastic bags.  One of my favorite money and time saving tricks is to buy at meat on sale in large quantities and then prep it as soon as you get home and freeze it in portions.  I freeze chicken breasts–already sliced for stir-fry– in 1lb portions.  They defrost quickly this way and you will save yourself so much time and mess!


Tip #2- Plan your meals ahead
This tip seems so obvious but let's all be honest for a moment here– we have all walked into our kitchen  and had no idea what we were going to make.  That is an awesome way to get creative when you have some time– but on a busy night–you're just asking for trouble.  When planning meals try and coordinate your meals when possible so that you are using some of the same ingredients that can be prepped together.  If you roast a chicken one night, make soup with the leftovers the next night.

Tip #3- Stock up on frozen vegetables you actually like to eat
Frozen green beans are meal savers in our house.  They are cheap and cook up awesome (sometimes I even like them better than fresh).  They are quick and you don't have to worry about them going bad on you quite as fast.  I always keep 3 bags in my freezer to pop out on a busy night  so we  can still have our vegetables.  But remember, there is no point in stocking frozen brussel sprouts in your freezer if you don't like them.

Here are some awesome recipes that will help you throw great meals together in a jiffy!  

Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken
Simple and fantastic crock pot dinner–what could be better.

Brown and Wild Rice Salad
This is a great make-ahead dinner!  Healthy, filling and tasty!  I make it all the time and look forward to the leftovers.

Quick Noodle Stir-Fry
This is a quick vegetable filled dish.  Perfect for any night of the week and will make you glad you opted to make this instead of order take-out.

Ginger Chicken with Vegetables

One Pot Wonder Pasta




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