Being a mom and balancing all of the things can be hard. Figuring out what is for dinner is pretty much one of my LEAST favorite things to do most nights. Not to mention cooking it, clean up and crossing my fingers that the kids eat it.
Over the years, I figured out some pretty easy & quick dinners that my family love & I thought I would share them with you. I'm not a professional recipe sharer, or food blogger, so this will be basic.
Disclaimer: I try to offer a balanced dinner, but we don't pay too much attention to whether foods are organic, processed, has red dye in it, etc. My husband is a pescatarian, but the rest of us eat all types of meat. I try to ensure he has some sides if our meat isn't fish.
Easy Dinner Ideas
Kim's Green Bean Recipe:
2 cans of cut green beans, drained
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespooons of minced garlic
1/3 yellow onion diced
1 32 oz container of veggie broth
Garlic powder, onion powder, salt & pepper to taste.
1. Add extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic and diced onion to the bottom of a sautee pan. Heat on medium and sautee until onions are soft.
2. Add drained green beans. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Mix together.
3. Add veggie broth until green beans are almost covered with the broth.
4. Cover with lid and cook on medium until heated through and liquid is about halfway gone. Keep on low until ready to serve.
Mama Needs Coffee + Mama's Coffee Date
2. Breakfast for Dinner
Another fan favorite around here is breakfast for dinner. I usually make scrambled eggs, bacon, grits, and frozen french toast sticks when I am doing this for dinner, but I've also thrown in fruit, hash browns, or sausage depending on what we have in the fridge. You can make this as simple as a fried egg sandwich or a full course breakfast.
3. Salsa Chicken Bowls
This is my personal favorite easy dinner because I only have to throw it in the crockpot, heat a few sides, and then I have an easy dinner with a ton of leftovers. This cooks quick, so even if I forget, I can throw it on at lunch & it will be ready by dinner. I follow Skinnytaste's embarrassingly easy crock pot salsa chicken recipe found here: https://www.skinnytaste.com/embarrassingly-easy-crock-pot-salsa/
I usually double this recipe for the chicken. Then, I heat up white rice, black beans and canned mexi-corn. I have store bough guac & pico, and cheese and sour cream for toppings. I make mine and my husband's like those bowls from a popular tex-mex restaurant that is named after a pepper, but my kids eat theirs separated because they don't like their food to touch.
Retro Mama + Mama's Bestie tees
4. Frozen Chinese or Pasta
This is the easiest one of all. I keep 2 bags of either Fettucine Alfredo or Mongolian Beef in my freezer at all times. You can usually find these in the dinner section in the frozen section of the grocery store. I heat up the Alfredo with some frozen garlic bread. If I make the Mongolian Beef, I heat up white rice to serve this over, and some frozen egg rolls. My husband doesn't eat this, but it's great when he's not home or has something else for dinner.
5. Veggie Fried Rice
You can probably tell that I use white rice a lot for an easy side. I always try to make extra and keep it in the fridge overnight. Day old white rice makes the best fried rice, but it has to be cooked the day before or else it won't be the right texture when you make it as fried rice. Here's my recipe, but you can add anything you like. I always make this with veggies but you could add chicken, shrimp, or pork.
Kim's Veggie Fried Rice recipe:
4 cups cooked day old white rice
2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon of canola oil (or any oil)
1 tablespoon of sesame oil
1 teaspoon fish sauce (use sparingly and try to not smell it)
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
12 oz bag of Frozen peas & carrots
1 container of sliced bella mushrooms
1/2 onion diced
3 scrambled eggs
1/2 cup soy sauce (more or less depending on your preference)
1. Add canola oil to frying pan or wok and heat over medium heat. Once heated, add diced onion to the bottom of pan until onions are soft.
2. Add frozen veggie and stir frequently until they soften a little. Add sliced mushrooms and any other raw vegetables. Stir often and cook until soft.
3. Add sesame oil to the pan. Dump cold white rice into the pan and mix together. Add ground ginger, garlic powder, onion powder, and fish sauce. Mix well, then stir in soy sauce.
4. Cook over medium until there is no liquid in the bottom of the pan and the bottom gets a little crispy. Be careful to not let it burn.
5. Scramble eggs in a bowl. Make a hole in the middle of the rice and add 1 teaspoon of canola oil . Add scrambled eggs and let firm up before stirring into rice mixture. Let the eggs finish cooking while stirrng into the rice.
6. Remove from heat and add salt & pepper if necessary.
I hope these ideas help you on a night where you really need something quick & easy. Writing these down reminded me how much I love the veggie fried rice, so I'll be making that for dinner tonight!