‘What is for dinner?” That was my number one question I used to ask my husband on a daily basis. This has changed since the beginning of the year, which I am sure he is super happy about. It was in one of our Intentions for 2019 in order to save money we would meal plan for the week. It is discussed in our Sunday weekly meeting, where on taske if to make our grocery list.
Even though we have this put in place, we are still wondering every Sunday what we should make for the week. I decided to make a list of our ‘go-to quick meals.’ The best thing about all these meals, all can be made under 30 minutes, which is critical for us. We usually eat around 6 every night, so dinner gets started around 5:15/5:30 when CJ usually comes down from work. If I am lucky I can start earlier, thanks to Super Simple Songs.
All the recipes below are Parker tested as he eats them most nights.
Brats and Fries
CJ and I used to make brats all the time while we were doing our low car diet. Once we stopped doing it, we for some reason just stopped eating them. It wasn’t until a couple of months ago I was looking back on meals we used to make and spotted them. Brats only take 10-15 minutes once the water is boiling. I am a firm believer you should have at least 2, sometimes 3 things in every meal. We needed something easy to pair with this, so immediately I thought fries. We usually buy these crinkle fries from Kroger. One time I decided to be adventurous and make my own (thanks Food Network Channel.) They took a lot longer to make and didn’t turn out how I had wanted them to. Maybe I will try again, but for now, I will stick to what is easy.
Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
This has become a staple in our house for the past couple of months. The best part of this particular dish, you can use whatever you have on hand, so it’s a good clean out fridge/pantry meal. Parker loves anything that has ground beef in it which is awesome. The meat sauce is only two ingredients and spices if you want to make it a little more flavorful. First I start by browning the ground beef (can use any ground meat of your choosing), once browned I pour in the Marinara sauce. We usually, buy Newman’s Own marinara sauce, it doesn’t have ‘added sugar’ which is great. In the past I have used other sauces, it is usually whatever I have on hand and need to use in the pantry. When making the sauce I will throw in basil, parsley, oregano, rosemary, and thyme spices. If I have some time and Parker is cooperating that day I will start my sauce around 4 and let simmer for 2 hours. Also, it still tastes good if you don’t have time to do that.
We on average eat pizza once a week in our house. I thought it would be fun to try and make ‘homemade’ pizza one time for the family and see how it worked. While doing Weight Watches I made some on the flat-out pizza, but CJ wasn’t a fan of that bread. When at Kroger I saw the ‘Boboli Mini 8″ Pizza Crusts’ and thought we would give it a try. It comes with two mini pizza crust which was perfect. That particular day we had some leftover chicken so we decided to make a BBQ Onion Chicken and Cheese pizza. They actually turned out delicious, and we have made them several times since. The best part it takes only 8-10 minutes in the oven and you can get creative with the toppings. It’s ideal that it comes with two crust, make one for the kid(s) and one for the adults.
Do you ever watch the BuzzFeed Tasty cooking videos on your Instagram/Facebook? I get sucked into them all the time, and always wanted to make them. It wasn’t until I saw this recipe that I pulled the trigger and made the dish. I then asked myself, ‘why did you wait so long?’ It was absolutely delish, and the best part you make it all in one-pot. You still use other dishes like measuring cups, cutting board, spoon, etc but you make it all in big dish including the pasta. This meal takes a little over 30 minutes to make, but not by much. It just takes a little while to cut up the chicken, onion, and mushrooms; then for the pasta to cook. Thanks to this recipe we now have “Marsala Mondays!”
Steak, Corn/Cauliflower, and Quinoa
When I was pregnant with Parker, my number one craving was steak and corn on the cob from the grill. This was a complete shock because before this I wasn’t a fan of steak at all. I was afraid after I was done being pregnant, I would go back to not liking it. I was wrong and so glad. We usually buy our steak from Sam’s (thanks Aunt Amanda for the suggestion) or Findlay Market, down in OTR. Right now with corn on the cob not being in season, we use canned corn (not as good, but Parker loves it.) To add some more veggies to the meal we decided to throw in some frozen cauliflower and mix it with the corn. For Parker, it looks a little like rice and mixed with his favorite, corn. My mom introduced us to ‘Seeds of Change Certified Organic Quinoa and Brown Rice with Garlic,’ and it has been a game changer in our house. It only takes 90 seconds in the microwave to heat up and you have a quick carb for your meal.
Spaghetti/Zoodles with Shrimp
One thing we always have in our freezer is frozen shrimp. It only takes 5-10 minutes to cook shrimp and pasta only 15-20 minutes. When it’s shrimp pasta night, I am in charge of the pasta and CJ the shrimp. I have never cooked shrimp and for some reason makes me nervous. One day I will have him teach me, but for now, I am okay 😉 When he makes the shrimp he uses butter or ghee, cilantro, garlic, and lime juice. It always turns out delicious but tastes different every time. Ha. Sometimes we also make zoodles (zucchini noodles) depending if we have them on hand that day. Also, a way to sneak in some veggies for Mr. Parker.
I hope these quick meals under 30 minutes will help you when planning out your week! We are always looking for new recipes to add to our weekly rotation. Let me know in the comments your go-to quick weeknight meals!
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