Friday, May 19, 2017

What's for Dinner {April Edition & When you don't want to cook}

 April came and went.  When I looked back to see what I made, there really wasn't anything new or really that impressive.  Between Spring Break, Easter, and a weekend away we really just ate the stuff to get by.  I think we ate out a lot, too. I'm not sure. The weather was wonderful, so there was a lot of grilling and eating fresh produce.  We ate a lot of dinners outside and the kids played soccer and badminton.  So, this month instead of linking up to other recipes (because apparently, we didn't eat anything new last month), I am going to share some of my quick and easy dinner ideas.  These ideas are great, because when it gets super hot I don't really want to cook. . . or heat up the house! 

1.  Use the grill.  We are charcoal grill fans, but a few years ago, My husband bought a gas grill and taught me how to use it.  This has saved me on so many nights, because it doesn't dirty up pots and pans, cleans easy, and I don't have to watch it all the time.  Perfect for multi tasking.  I try to do as much on the grill as possible. . . including the veggies.  Nothing beats grilled veggies!   Just grab some meat, pick a marinade, and grill away.  Sometimes, I will come home with meat and mix my marinade and then toss it all in a bag with the chicken or beef and freeze it.  Easy and delicious!

2 Sandwiches. 
There is nothing wrong with having sandwiches for dinner.  Sometimes we have French Dips and I pick up some fresh cut Roast Beef from our local meat market.  Other nights we have Paninis and Grilled Cheese.  We always keep a jar of pesto in the fridge and try to have a loaf of sourdough slices laying around.   I always try to have Bacon in the freezer, because it defrosts quickly and you can't have a BLT without it. 

3.  Wraps. 
Wraps are another thing we like to have ingredients for.  Some chicken tenders, cheese and BBQ sauce and you have a great wrap.  I've been pinning lots of new wrap ideas because it's just so simple!

4.  Quesadillas.  
Tortillas and cheese are a must have at all times kitchen staple.  This keeps the kids happy and the hubby.  I like to keep the individual containers of guacamole laying around to make things even tastier.  You can even change things up and make buffalo chicken or BBQ chicken quesodillas.

5.  Breakfast for dinner. 
My kids love eggs.  My hubby does not.  But, it makes a super easy dinner when we need it.  Last night, Jon was working late, so we had scrambled eggs, sausage, and hashbrowns.  Other options that are Klassen kid approved are breakfast burritos and eggs and toast.  Or even egg salad.  I almost through a party when I realized my kids would eat egg salad a few months ago. 

6.  Hot Dogs and Hamburgers.
 Nothing beats a delicious hamburger and my kids could live off of hot dogs.  So every now and then this make it into the menu.  I'm obsessed with the Shake Shack smoke stack and since we don't have one of those here, I whip up my own copycat version of their sauce and cut up some sweet peppers from trader joes and wah-lah deliciousness.  Jon likes to copycat a Weston Bacon Cheeseburger. . . which I am sure is way more healthy than eating at Carl's Jr. 

7.  Spaghetti Nights. 
A guaranteed dinner that my gets both my boys attention is Spaghetti.  I keep a jar of Trader Joe's sauce laying around and some Penne and we either eat it with Italian sausage or meatballs.  There are no complaints on these nights and it's super easy!

8.  Crockpot Meals. 
Take advantage of your crockpot.  Buy the liners. . . best thing ever!  No crusty clean up!  I like to make my black bean chili, chicken tortilla soup or pulled pork.  Sometimes, I just buy some pollo asado from Trader Joes and throw it in or find a quick recipe on Pinterest for pulled pork.  Last week, I put a pork loin in and topped it with a jar of Apple Cider Starter from Williams Sonoma.  Sometimes you can find them on sale and they are awesome!

9.  And have a list of go-to quick dinner options. Here's my list. 

Indian Chicken Simmer Sauces with chicken and rice - I buy the simmer sauces at Costco and use the microwavable white rice from Trader Joes.

Trader Joes Orange Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken, Walnut Shrimp and rice.  Again. . . I just keep these on hand for a quick dinner option.  And those microwavable rice things. . . amazing!

Trader Joe's General Tso Sauce.  It's always in my pantry.  Just cut up some chicken breasts or thighs, cook on your skillet, and pour sauce over and continue cooking until warm.  Serve over rice.

Taco/burrito/bowl nights.  Always a big hit.

Teriyaki Meatballs and veggie stir fry.

BBQ Chicken Salad

Simple Sesame Noodles

 Build your own pizza.  If I don't have time (or energy) to make pizza dough, I stock up at Trader Joes.  Their dough freezes well and is wonderful!  We also keep naan frozen and english muffins to make pizza quickly. 

I also like to keep Trader Joe's frozen mac and cheese, Daiya mac and cheese, Annies Bunny O's, and Chicken nuggets in the fridge because there are some nights where we get take out after the kids go to bed (like every Sunday Night!).

I hope that helps you.   It helps me to get in into one spot.  What's your favorite quick and easy dinner option at your house? 

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