Ideas for Busy Times

The past month has been very busy but when I was filling out dates on June’s calendar I realized May was just a teaser on what being hectic means.  So I thought it appropriate to share some of my quick meal tips/ideas for those who like me have little time to cook but want to give their kids healthful foods.  These can all be cooked/prepared in under 10 minutes.  Combine them as you like or add to another quick recipe idea.

Snow peas.  These are in season and go so well with Asian stir-frys and pasta mixtures.  They cook in a mere 3 minutes and are great as a healthy side vegetable.  One of youngest son’s favorite vegetables. Try some with dash of sesame oil, soy sauce and peanut or canola oil. 

Snap peas.  Another of my kids’ favorites.  They too are now coming into season here in the Northern Hemisphere.  They cook quickly and are great raw too!  Sweet and crunchy, many kids will prefer them over plain peas or more bitter vegetables. Just add a tiny bit of butter when cooked and watch them gobble them up!

Organic Baby Spinach.Again a fast cooking or raw vegetable.  No fuss in preparation— no trimming or cutting, just rinse and serve. Perfect to add some more dimension to a romaine or iceberg lettuce salad.  Cooks in less than 3 minutes with just a touch of water, covered.  Add a pat of butter and serve.  Great with pasta blends, stuffing for pork or chicken.  Chop some and add to prepared Nan with boursin or goat cheese for a pizza-like creation. 

Swiss Chard.  My kids love this vegetable that’s similar to spinach but earthier and more flavorful.  It can be steamed like spinach.  I chop the stems and give most to my youngest who prefers the crunch over the wilted leaves.

Frozen organic brown rice from Trader Joe’s.  Brown rice is so much better for you, for one it doesn’t spike blood sugars like white rice.  I find this an easy and delicious short cut.  One packet gives our family of five a great side that only takes 3 minutes in the microwave. (3 packets in a box.)  Brown rice usually cooks in 35-45 minutes, so it really helps save time!  My kids love the heartiness of brown rice. If you want to make a fried rice dish, this is perfect!

Pork tenderloin.  Can often find on sale.  Cut into one inch medallions for a really quick meat dish— pan fry for few minutes each side.  (145ºF) Salt & pepper  add some seasoning like Penzy’s Mural of Flavor.  My mother makes a quick sauce in the pan with 3 Tbsp tamari soy sauce, 3 Tbsp apricot jam, 2Tbsp dry sherry or vermouth, 1 clove chopped garlic.

Trader Joe’s Beef Bool Kogi (Bolgogi/Korean Barbeque).  Not exactly authentic per most reviews, but my kids and I love this as a quick meal.  Usually it’s grilled and served in lettuce but I just sear it in very hot pan and serve with rice and veggies. You can buy shaved beef and marinate it with soy, scallions, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, and rice wine vinegar for your own Korean-style beef.

Chicken tenders  These are the strips of breast meat that are sometimes sold separately.  Cut these into bite sized portions and sauté, they’re done in minutes.  You can sprinkle some curry powder, paprika or garlic salt for a bit of flavor that won’t need a sauce.  Or find a really good prepared marinade from a store (with natural ingredients) and that morning cover it with sauce, leave in fridge so it’s ready to cook that night. Can use bread crumbs and bake for a fairly easy and quick meal. 

Green salad.  Whether you like lots of color with multiple vegetables or a plain salad of just lettuce(s), giving your kids fresh raw vegetables is a great way of providing them healthy foods in little time.  Go for a home made dressing of oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, mustard and lemon juice or buy a good prepared one.  Just make sure its ingredient list is not full of preservatives or fillers.

Hope this helps give you some ideas so that your kids get a few healthy meals during the rush of the week!

My camera lens is broken and I’ll be sending it off to get fixed.  Hopefully will be done quickly.  I’ll pass on the recipe I used for the dal in this photo Chicken thighs, not breast were used here.

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  1. Pingback: Meals for Nights when there's practices, games, scouts... | My Kids Really Eat This

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