Thursday, April 28, 2011

What is Your "Go-To" Meal?

Long day at the office or at work?  Kids are hungry, the laundry smells and the dog needs a walk.  Sound familiar?  At that point in time... you have better things to do than peal potatoes or be every ones personal chef in the kitchen.  Am I right?

Have a picky eater in the family?  Have a whole army of picky eaters?  How do you handle dinner for all the kids and the spouse when they don't seem to enjoy the same foods?

In situations like that it's always easy to just throw a frozen pizza in the oven, grab a grease bag of cholesterol from the local fast-food chain or maybe just eat a bag of 100-calorie popcorn.  Well none of those are healthy dinner options, especially for little ones.

My sister, Megan, is the inspiration behind this post and finds herself in that situation frequently.  She has a 6 year-old and 1 year-old son at home.  Her husband is rather particular about food.  On top of having a busy family, Megan is also an RN in the emergency room.  Coming home after working a 12-hour shift on her feet all day can be exhausting. 

Can you relate?  Maybe just like Megan you want some kid-friendly, hubby-particular and super easy dinner options for your diverse family.  Yes?

I recently purchased a few Pillsbury products and have been thinking of ways to get creative with these food products.  In the process, I discovered some kid-friendly recipes.  These are not recipes that I have made but definitely plan to try on a night that I need more relaxation and less time in the kitchen.  So yes, I am endorsing recipes that I haven't tried yet.

Chicken Enchilada Crescent Bake
 - Find the recipe in link above
 - 4 ingredients, 30 minutes until eating time
 - A meal that the kids can help to prepare

Crescent Pizza Pockets
 - Find the recipe in link above
 - 5 ingredients, ready in less than 30 minutes
 - The kids can help!

Here are a few tips:

- Assemble early.  These recipes can be assembled the weekend before or even the night before.  Do not bake, just assemble.  Freeze.  Bake (as instructed) when you get home from work.

- "Staples".  Keep ingredients like these on hand for a quick "go-to" meal: i.e.  Pillsbury crescent rolls or biscuits, shredded cheese, lunch meat, pizza fixings, quick-cut veggies, red sauce.

- Plan ahead.  The reason we end up eating frozen pizza and fast-food is because we do not plan dinners any more.  I am guilty of this too.  Have list of what you would "tentatively" like to make for dinner and try to stick to it.  When we first got married, I actually kept a stick note of the weekly menu on our refrigerator.  That is what I had to do to get in the mindset of planning ahead.

- Healthy substitute.  Choose a lower-fat or lower-calorie option for the bread, meat and cheeses in the recipes.

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