Facing Weeknight Meals With a Smile!
Summer cooking can be wonderful and challenging at the same time. Especially if you have worked all day and come home to a house full of hungry kids. Here are a few tips for keeping your summer sanity and making dinner something to look forward to!
- Try a vegetarian meal. It’s less expensive and it will last longer. It also transitions nicely into lunches, soups or salads if produce begins to lose its original appeal. Make it last longer and purchase frozen vegetables such as peas, carrots, spinach, corn… Try this recipe for a Cheesy Quinoa Vegetable Bake.
- Pasta is your friend. Pasta sometimes gets a bad rap. Its low in fat, and many versions supply essential nutrients such as protein and iron. Pasta made with higher-fiber ingredients and vegetables tend to be higher in certain essential nutrients. Try whole wheat, spinach or quinoa pastas and remember that pasta is a blank slate for anything. That means all those frozen vegetables from #1. Or, whatever protein you have on hand. It stretches the dollar, it’s fast, easy and works well in large batches. Try this Whole Grain Pasta and Pesto Chicken recipe.
- Stock your pantry. The five staples to always have on hand: extra virgin olive oil, fine sea salt, lemons, chicken stock, frozen vegetables. Step up your game with five more? Quality dried pasta, beans/lentils/dried grains, tomato paste, butter, canned crushed tomatoes.
- Make it fun. Weeknight cooking doesn’t sound fun, let alone fun. Get out the grill and make some lemonade. The kids would love to butter and toast some buns and form lean ground beef into delicious hamburgers to enjoy outside as a family.
- When in doubt “kitchen sink” it. There’s a reason people love Thanksgiving, a muddle of different items on a plate that don’t seem like they go together – actually do! Use leftovers (from dinners out, left over grocery shopping or your freezer) to throw together a frittata that will wow everyone in the house!