Friday, October 15, 2010

Working Mom's Recipe of the Week

Hi - Instead of posting a new recipe this week, I'm going to respond to some of the comments raised at the last meeting after Darcy discussed her difficulty making healthy meals after work and then feeling guilty that she didn't have time.

There are lots of creative ways to make dinner time easier on a working family (food swap). Here is how I deal with it. First, boring doesn't mean it's not a good, healthy dinner. Ask yourself what's important - fancy new dishes or something your family will eat that is actually good for them? I'm guessing the later. I make a weekly dinner menu of meals my family likes. Here's an example for the fall season:

Sunday - Spaghetti and salad
Monday - Leftover spaghetti and salad
Tuesday - Baked chicken, potatoes and green beans
Wednesday - Leftover baked chicken tacos (lettuce, tomatoes, black beans and cheese)
Thursday - Pork chops, couscous and corn
Friday - Pizza Night! (Give yourself a break)
Saturday - Experiement with something new

The first big hint is to make double batches of food so you have at least two nights covered. The second hint is that not everything has to be from scratch. Use a jar of spaghetti sauce and dress it up with pre-cut mushrooms. Use pre-cut, pre-washed salad mix. Keep frozen green beans and corn kernels on the ready. Have boxes of pre-spiced couscous in the pantry. Third hint, make use of the microwave - potatoes take an hour in the oven but only 10 minutes in the microwave.

If your family gets bored - Use alfredo sauce and penne pasta instead of marinara sauce and spaghetti noodles. Substitute sweet potatoes intead of russet. Use broccoli in stead of green beans. Make risotto instead of couscous (there are good, quick boxed risotto mixes available). Do salmon instead of pork. Personally, I change up the menu each season but I always keep it simple - mac-n-cheese, chili, grilled hamburgers, soup.

I also suggest that you plan your menu out each week on Sunday and get all your shopping done. If you have time on Sunday, you an pre-chop veggies too. Good luck!!

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