After Work Tips for Dinner
Posted on 4/18/14
(photo credit: Think Stock)
Unless you're a professional chef or work in the back of a restaurant, it may be quite near impossible to separate your hectic schedule at work from the bustle in the kitchen. For many working moms, there's little time (or energy) to cook up a storm once you walk in the front door and the kids are either jumping in your lap or asking you a million questions about the marathon that is the weekend: soccer practice, dropping your teen off at a friend's for a sleep over, shopping for their new spring clothes, etc.
Yet, you're a parent that cares about your kids' health and what they're eating at night, so here are few suggestions that might help transition you from working mom to nurturing mom after you make it home from your daily commute.
- Stick with the same recipes, just swap out different ingredients. Does your vegetable casserole always have to have green beans in it? Is is possible to switch out your legumes for green peas, snow peas, asparagus, or brocolli. Do all of your salads have to have a bed of iceberg lettuce? Why not spinach, kale, or swiss chards? Making your familiar recipe will be like second nature and swapping out ingredients isn't just effortless, but also a great waty to mix things up each week.
- "It's always better the second night." Your kids might look at you sideways for saying this, but try making double the helpings and serving the second batch the next evening. Have you ever had a roasted pork loin or lasagna the night after and wondered how it got juicier or more savory? Yes, it's a bit of a shortcut, but you're not just saving time - you really are going to make your kids fans of leftover foods.
- Working moms unite. Alright, how well do you know your neighbors across the street? Does your sister-in-law live down the block? Consider a "cooking mom exchange" where each working mom takes one weekday evening to cook for all the kids in your group. Enjoy the night off. You deserve one.
- Time warp. This is kind of the suggestion that suggests itself: Kids love breakfast for dinner. We don't know why cravings for omelettes and pancakes get more intense at sun down, but many young ones like the idea - except take this concept one step further and make some easy-to-prepare buckwheat pancakes instead of flour and add a savory side with a slice of low-sodium ham, turkey bacon, or substitute scrambled egg mixture (less clean up too).
- Soup. Did you miss our recent post on slow cooking through the spring? Seriously, don't pack away the crock pot just yet, which may just be your best friend when it comes to keeping things simple in the kitchen.
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