Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Too Busy to Cook? Try Some Easy Dinner Ideas

Too Busy to Cook? Try Some Easy Dinner Ideas

Full-time mothers, not to mention working moms, definitely lack the time and energy to work up delicious and nutritious meals for the family at the end of the day. Making elaborate dishes, no matter how delectable, can seem like an enormous task to the harried parent. So, in order to tone down the strain brought on by meal preparation, here are some easy dinner ideas to try out.

1.    Don’t Eliminate the Basics

Good old American staples like hamburger meat and macaroni and cheese can be prepared in unconventional ways to make appetizing dishes everybody will love.

Hamburger meat can be easily acquired at your local butcher’s shop or grocery store. This protein-rich staple is wonderful when paired with clove garlic, minced onions, pepper, mushrooms, flour, minced parsley, butter, sour cream, and cream of chicken soup and served with piping hot pasta to make hamburger stroganoff. Another quick hamburger meal is Potato Burgers Quick Meal, which contains potatoes, onions, pepper, and salt. The best part is that this meal only takes around fifteen minutes to prepare!

It is always possible to come up with something new just by adding herbs and spices to a simple meal. You can also add different ingredients to spice up a meal. For the usual mac n’ cheese, you can put in some shrimp and scallops to add that special seafood touch, or, as Food and Wine suggests, you can add in some carrots to make a healthier meal.
2.   Make Use of Appliances to Lessen the Workload

There are kitchen aids that help make cooking easier. Get a wok when you feel like making a stir-fried dish. Stir-fried dishes can be kept for days, and they are the perfect leftovers to save you time. The appetizing chicken and broccoli stir-fry gives you all the nutrients you need from protein and veggies. You can make it with chicken, garlic, scallions, broccoli, sesame oil, soy sauce, and noodles or jasmine rice.

For meals that need to be prepared in a hurry, a panini grill is very useful. You can make all kinds of hot sandwiches with a panini grill in ten minutes or less. If you are craving a more exotic tasting sandwich, experiment with recipes like the Chorizo-Pear Panini, a favorite of The Food Network. It contains manchego cheese, Spanish chorizo, fig jam, and crunchy pear slices stuffed into a soft roll. 

Slow-cooked stew, which won’t spoil for days if kept in the fridge, is another problem-solver to your cooking dilemma. A crock-pot or slow-cooker cooks meat and veggies to perfection while you’re away from home. All you have to do is put some meat and vegetables in, and eight hours later, you have a delectable meal. Feel free to add your choice ingredients like corn, chives, carrots, celery, turnips, potatoes, beans, spices, and sauce. For a twist, you can put in some wine or exotic spices.    

3.   Check Out Meals the Grocery Store Prepares for You

If you are particularly pressed for time and can’t feasibly prepare a meal, you can stop by the grocery store on your way home from work. There are a lot of pre-cooked meals and dishes cooked there. If you prefer green veggies, you can visit the salad bar. Many stores also have rotisserie chicken with side dishes. You can pick up starters like guacamole and chips, and you can find a whole range of delicious desserts that taste homemade. With these grocery store meals, all you need to do is buy and serve!  

It is not necessary to spend hours in the kitchen in order to eat healthy and tasty food. There are plenty of ways to enjoy dinner at home together with a little inventiveness and timesaving kitchen equipment.

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All the recipes here have either been sent to me, adapted by me or found on the web. If I know the source I always give credit to the author/website. If you know of a source I may have missed please let me know.