But meal genies are only for the rich. Or the really really lazy folks of this world. As single or not-single parents, we must muster up the energy to make breakfast, lunch and dinner each day, so CPS doesn't knock on our doors.
To honor time and the health of our growing children, here are several time-saving recipes that make mealtime easy (but not KFC easy). Enjoy.
Okay, okay, you are probably thinking, "Pancakes? That isn't quick..." But it can be/ I always, always make pancake batter the night before to save time in the morning. Actually, you could double this recipe and pancake the crap out of your kids for the whole week...It saves well in the fridge. These pancakes have a protein punch alongside a fruity addition.
Ricotta Blueberry Pancakes
- 1/2 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
- 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 large egg plus 1 egg white
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp coconut oil, melted and divided
- 3/4 cup fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries
1. Mix whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and nutmeg in a small bowl.
2. Whisk ricotta, egg, egg white, buttermilk, lemon zest and juice in a large bowl until smooth. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined.
3. Brush a large nonstick skillet with 1/2 teaspoon oil and place over medium heat until hot. Using a generous 1/4 cup of batter for each pancake, pour the batter for 2 pancakes into the pan, sprinkle blueberries on each pancake and cook until the edges are dry and bubbles begin to form, about 2 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes more.
4. Repeat with the remaining oil, batter and berries, adjusting the heat as necessary to prevent burning.
VEGAN? Don't Like Eggs? No big deal -- substitute for 1 banana and a 1/4 cup of fruit puree. Use the milk of your choice -- I don't care.
There is no better way to celebrate midday than with a sweet, tangy sandwich filled with BBQ chicken, carrots and all of the fixings. This sandwich is so simple to make and you can use leftover chicken from the night before to make this meal. If you are a vegetarian, use lentils or meat substitute.
BBQ Chicken Sandwich
- 1/2 cup shredded cooked chicken
- 1/4 cup shredded carrots
- 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce
- 2 teaspoons light ranch dressing
- 1 small whole-wheat sandwich bun
- 1 leaf romaine lettuce
1. Combine chicken, carrots and barbecue sauce in a bowl. Spread ranch dressing on the bun. Top with the chicken mixture and lettuce.
*use leftover chicken from the night before to make this easy, on the go delight!
Loaded baked potatoes are the perfect dinner for every lifestyle. I like to make them on a cold winter's day when I am to tired to do anything more than throw potatoes in the oven. Kids love this meal because they can decorate with toppings!
Loaded Baked Potatoes
- 4 medium russet potatoes
- 8 ounces 90%-lean ground turkey
- 1 cup broccoli florets, finely chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese, divided
- 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3 scallions, sliced
1. Pierce potatoes all over with a fork. Place in the microwave and cook on Medium, turning once or twice, until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes
2. Meanwhile, brown meat in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Increase heat to high, add broccoli and water to the pan, cover, and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the broccoli; add to the meat.
3. Cut off the top third of the cooked potatoes; reserve the tops for another use. Scoop out the insides into a medium bowl. Place the potato shells in a small baking dish. Add 1/2 cup Cheddar, sour cream, salt and pepper to the potato insides and mash with a fork or potato masher. Add scallions and the potato mixture to the broccoli and meat; stir to combine.
4. Evenly divide the potato mixture among the potato shells and top with the remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Microwave on High until the filling is hot and the cheese is melted, 2 to 4 minutes.