Weekday dinners can be difficult at our house. Between a full day of work, sports, activities and other commitments, mealtime can weigh on my husband and I. We have a habit of looking at each other around 5 p.m., shrugging and asking, “What’s for dinner?”
I’m not a Sunday eater, and I’m not a crockpot or instant pot mom. These things require pre-planning and full disclosure, I’m not that good at planning. Also, I never know on Monday what I want to do on Friday. People who plan well fascinate me for this reason alone.
I’ve tried meal prep classes, explored crockpot repeats, and even considered buying an instant pot to inspire proactive eating habits. Unfortunately, I am what I am – last minute and deadline driven.
So instead of trying to become someone I’m not, I’ve accepted that we can go to the grocery store for dinner at 5pm, or have dinner at 6pm, or cook with the meat that’s already in our fridge . So I have a short mental list of weekday recipes that support my lifestyle. Below I share some of the recipes we use when we run out of PB&Js, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets and pizza. Enjoy your meal!
Chicken thighs, potatoes and green beans
Confession: I stole this straight from a church cookbook. Why? Because everything in a church cookbook is delicious. And if church families are taking the time to compile and publish their recipes, you’d better try them for two reasons. First, you know you won’t be disappointed. Second, it’s a unique form of southern hospitality. (Call out to my mom and sister, who insisted I try this despite questioning it, and to Teresa Ivey at my children’s church for the recipe.)
1 pound chicken thighs
1 can of green beans
6 (slightly) large red potatoes (1 inch pieces)
1 stick butter (melted)
1 packet of Italian dressing seasoning
Salt to taste
Place the chicken, green beans, and potatoes in a casserole dish. Pour melted butter over it. Sprinkle salt and Italian seasonings over everything. Cover with aluminum foil and cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour (or until chicken reaches 165 degrees).
This one is so easy and an absolute crowd favorite for kids at our house. This recipe is a direct result of a “we only have ground beef in the fridge” experience a few years ago. My kids gave them the name “tucked in” because the ends of the crescent roll are always tucked in to keep everything in place. I usually serve them with applesauce and something healthy.
1 can of crescent rolls
1/3 pound ground beef, chicken or turkey
4 slices of cheese
Brown Meat. Halve the cheese slices (leaving 8 half slices at the end). Roll out crescent rolls on a baking sheet and separate. Place a piece of cheese on each croissant. Add a few tablespoons of meat on top of the cheese. Roll up each crescent roll and tuck the corners up. Place in the oven and cook according to package directions.
Grilled Turkey + Corn Salsa
Unless you have picky eaters like me, you’ll be satisfied with this family-friendly one. On the other hand, if your kids shudder at the thought of eating veggies, you might want to stick with the two options above. This recipe is great for spring and summer weather and is easy to change up depending on who we’re feeding or what you’re craving.
1 pack of turkey fillet
cumin (to taste)
salt (to taste)
1 can of fiesta corn
¼ cup diced tomatoes
2 spring onions (sliced)
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons lime juice (I add more)
Fresh coriander (to taste)
Black beans (optional)
Coat the turkey with cumin and salt, then grill. Mix all other ingredients together and chill. Top the grilled turkey with salsa. Serve with rice… and a margarita.
Stephanie Llorente is a mother of two and a regular Go Ask Mom contributor. She is the owner of Prep Communications and Restored, a faith-based business that provides working moms with relevant resources and a conscious community.