Work responsibilities, appointments, after school activities, and conflicting schedules can sometimes make weekday mealtimes a challenge. It can be hard to find time to sit down together as a family to eat, let alone prepare a healthy meal for your brood.
But since dinnertime is an important chance for your family to come together, share what’s happened during the day, and enjoy each other’s company, we want to help you make weeknight meals a little simpler and quicker (but still delicious) with some tips and suggestions for easier eats from Fine Cooking.1
Knowing you won’t have a lot of time during the week, plan your weekday meals on the weekend. That way you can shop for everything you need on Saturday or Sunday when you have a little more time, and even prep some of the elements of the upcoming meals. Vegetables can be chopped in advance and stored in plastic bags in the fridge, some sauces and marinades can be mixed up a day or two before they’re needed, and you can even cook freezer meals that you simply pull out and reheat on those crazy-busy weekdays. Healthy, hearty soups are great meals to make and freeze. Just add some crusty bread and a quick, fresh salad for a complete meal.
You may not have time to roast a chicken on a Tuesday, but you can slice chicken breasts into thin strips for a quick vegetable stir fry (made even easier if you prepped the veggies on the weekend), or pound them flat so they cook up in no time. Think about the fastest way to cook your protein (the part of the meal that often requires the longest cooking), and opt for that.
If you can put all your ingredients into one pot, pan or roasting dish, not only will everything cook at the same time with minimal effort, but the cleanup will be quicker too. Check out The Food Network for some great casseroles and other easy one-dish meals.
Get creative with those leftovers from the night before. Not only will it make you look like a genius, but your family may be more apt to dig in with gusto if the leftovers taste like a whole new meal. If you roast a couple of chickens on the weekend, shred some of the leftover meat to make quick and easy chicken quesadillas or a hearty chicken noodle soup. Consider turning leftover roast beef from your Sunday dinner into delicious roast beef dip sandwiches in just 30 minutes!
For more great ideas that will help make weeknight meals easier, check out our tips on how to make fast and delicious dinners, and for 23 homemade weeknight meals you can cook in 30 minutes or less, visit Buzzfeed.
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