It’s National Family Meals Month! Family meals fuel better nutrition. They also foster emotional balance and strengthen family bonds.
Don’t let fancy meals with a lot of prep time be the reason to neglect family mealtime. Even healthy, well-rounded meals can be simple and easy to prepare. Sometimes a “good enough dinner” is all you need. When preparing a good enough dinner, try and fill your plate with something from each of the five food groups: vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein. If you don’t get them all, that’s okay! You can add in what you missed at your next meal. Here are a few ideas on how to throw together a good enough dinner:
1 – Pick up a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. Serve it with brown rice. Although whole grain brown rice is the preferred choice when it comes to good nutrition, instant rice is good enough in a pinch. Heat frozen veggies in the microwave, open a can of pears, and pour a glass of milk to make it a MyPlate meal.
2 – Make mini pizzas on bread, bagels, or English muffins. A little tomato sauce, pizza toppings of your choice, and shredded cheese are all you need. Grab a bagged salad from the grocery store and serve peaches with yogurt for dessert.
3 – Make a taco bowl. Start with brown rice. Top it with chicken or ground beef. Add in black beans, canned corn, salsa, cheese and taco seasoning. Fresh, frozen, or canned fruit served on the side will round out the meal.
4 – Potatoes are an economic and healthy choice for meals. Bake potatoes in the microwave. Top them with steamed broccoli, cheese, canned chili, or cottage cheese. Make a smoothie for dessert with milk, yogurt, and a little bit of fruit.
5 – Make breakfast for dinner. Pancakes, waffles, or French toast are quick and easy to make. Top them with peanut butter and fruit. Scramble some eggs to add on the side. A little bit of spinach, peppers, or onions in your eggs will add some veggies to the meal. (Find my favorite pancake and waffle recipes at the end of this post).
Are you starting to get the idea? Pick something quick and easy to make as the meal base. Fill in with the rest of the food groups, and you have a good enough dinner! It helps to have a well-stocked refrigerator, freezer, and pantry. Click here for a list of foods that are good to have on hand.
Fall is on the horizon and this week I was in the mood for a warm, hearty soup. With little time on my hands to cook, I searched for a soup recipe I could make in minutes.
Rotisserie Chicken Noodle Soup worked great! From start to finish the recipe was ready and on the table in 30 minutes.
If you’re really in a pinch for time, try these substitutions:
- Use a bag of frozen carrots instead of fresh. Add them to the pot at the same time you add the chicken.
- Substitute 1 Tbsp. onion powder for the chopped onion. Add it to the pot at the same time you add the chicken.
- Instead of fresh, grated garlic use 1 tsp. garlic powder. If you’re using fresh carrots and onions, add the garlic powder as you sauté. Otherwise, add the garlic powder at the same time you add the chicken to the pot.
- If you have cooked rice in the fridge, you can use that instead of pasta.
What will you put together this week for a good enough dinner?
Maple, Walnut, & Flaxseed Pancakes