Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Supper in a cinch

6 p.m.: Get home

6:01 p.m.: Kiss Miles

6:01.5 p.m.: Kiss Mark

6:02 p.m. Mark asks when dinner will be ready.

And that's him being polite because, truth be told, by the time I get home from work we're both starving. He's spent the afternoon coaching track and feeding Miles his cereal with hummus and hasn't had time for a snack. As for me, I usually run out of snacks by 3 p.m. and find myself counting the seconds till I'm home.

While I'd love to make an elaborate dinner, ones like I did before Miles, it's just not in the cards. We need something fast and easy. (Insert joke here). Oh, and healthy.

Salsa Verde Enchiladas

I made these just before I went to New Orleans. One pan for while I was gone, and one pan in the freezer for later. Later as in last night. I took the pan out of the freezer in the morning, putting it in the fridge to thaw. When Mark got home, he threw it in the oven at 350 degrees.

And you know what? Dinner was served 15 minutes after I got home.

Fat-free refried beans on the side for me, Spanish rice for him. All of it for Miles. Well, some chicken, beans and rice.

Note: I made the enchiladas using tortillas I had on hand - white flour for him and Tumaro's whole-wheat for me - as well as slow cooker shredded chicken. I cannot stress enough how easy a few pounds of chicken breast in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours can make your life. The chicken shreds super easy, freezes awesome and can be used in anything from Buffalo Chicken Tacos to Chicken Caesar Sandwiches.

"Rotisserie Chicken" and vegetables

Another slow cooker dish for the win. I put in chicken thighs (skin and all - I'm so bad), 10 red potatoes (halved), 5 carrots (peeled and chunked) and 6 ribs celery (cleaned and chunked) with a sprinkle of time and a hearty splash of chicken stock. I let it cook on low for 8 hours ... and, yeah, that's it. Dinner's ready the minute you walk in the door. If you have 15 minutes, make some of those  "so bad they're good"

The chicken falls off the bone and the carrots and celery are oh so good, reminding me of my grandma's famous pressure cooker pot roast.

The greatest part of the meal, though, might have been that it was something Miles (and his FIVE teeth) could enjoy. I just cut it all up in tiny pieces and gave him his own plate. He loved it. Seriously - he was shoveling it by the handful into his mouth.

Some of our other go-to weeknight meals:

*Grilled pork chops with - I'll admit it - shells and cheese. The 2% version, of course.
*Repurposed leftovers, such as pork loin turned into Cuban sandwiches and spaghetti and meatballs into meatball subs.
*Burgers. I'll make homemade veggie burger and freeze them so I can take out a patty whenever I want, and I will make Mark a beef patty.
*Casseroles, such as shepherd's pie and lasagna, that I can make before work and Mark can throw in the freezer before I get home.
*Quesadillas/tacos. If I have chicken ready (ala the slow cooker method above), these come together in a few minutes. Our favorite combos: BBQ Chicken with red onions and cheddar cheese; Greek style with feta, tomato-cucumber salad and kalamata olives; and Cebolla-style with pico de gallo inside and mounded with guac.

What are your quick and easy dinner ideas?


  1. this post is reminding me of one important thing: i NEEED a crockpot. I need more quick and easy meals and always see such great ones with slow cookers. I need to get on that, stat. Miles is getting so big!! love that pic of him :)

  2. I eat refried beans mixed with sauteed frozen vegetables way more than I'd like to admit! Like almost a few times a week. It's my go-to meal and it's good.

  3. I love enchiladas so easy and fast to whip up!!! I think that when we have kids I'll probably batch cook more and do the freeze ahead of time meals like you!

  4. Ha! Sounds exactly like my life right now.

    I'm a big fan of crockpot salsa chicken: put chicken in crockpot, dump in jar of salsa, put on high for 4 hours, shred + eat. I throw it on salads, spoon into tacos, or just heat by the heapful. Easy.

    We also do a lot of spaghetti, homemade pizzas (w/ TJ's fresh pizza dough), turkey meatloaf muffins (sounds gross, tastes good), and sandwiches!