Mom and Dads with busy schedules often need meals that are quick to prepare and liked by everyone, especially the kids. Appealing meals are fun, tasty and encourage even the pickiest eater to enjoy before rushing off to a sports event, meeting or other occasion. However, these zippy meals should be just as nutritious as full-course meals that take longer to prepare. Here are just a few example ideas of what could make a quick meal for busy parents.
Macaroni and Cheese – With a Twist
Macaroni and cheese is universally loved by children. Parents can make this one their own by preparing their own sauce using traditional condensed cheddar cheese soup or nacho cheese condensed soup for a zestier taste. Consider experimenting with different, more exotic cheeses to give it that special something. Elbow macaroni or small stove pipes are the macaroni of choice but you can opt for the fancier shell pasta to get the most out of your meal. Browned hamburger can be included in the dish or Italian sausage with diced tomatoes for a spicier flavor. Consider using some Sriracha sauce to make it ever spicier!
Spicy Chorizo Sausage Gravy
Mexican chorizo sausage is first browned thoroughly in a skillet, and the grease is not drained. For every one pound of sausage, three teaspoons of flour is sprinkled on top. Continue to brown the meat and flour then add milk to achieve the desired consistency. Then pour in half a cup of black coffee and whisk until thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. This recipe is especially good on biscuits or country-fried steak but can also be seen on toast or egg noodles.
There are hard and soft tacos in different selections like tortillas, enchiladas, crunchy boats or bowls. Shells can be filled with browned hamburger or shredded chicken with taco sauce, lettuce, cheese, olives, diced tomatoes and sour cream. This simple recipe can be modified in numerous ways, so let your imagination take control!
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Bottled sauce is fast and convenient, and noodles cook in almost the same amount of time as it takes the sauce. Sauce can be meatless or include browned hamburger or sausage. Kids enjoy fun shapes like choo choo wheels and bow ties and adults will enjoy how simple this meal is to prepare on-the-fly.
Beverages with Meals
Carbonated drinks, juice, Kool-Aid and milk with chocolate or strawberry syrup are at the top of the list of favorite beverages for kids. Adults often enjoy water, tea, milk and even coffee with meals. Alternatives to traditional black coffee with cream and sugar are adding two tablespoons of cocoa and brown sugar for a sweet, chocolaty taste. Molasses, nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger added to black coffee spices up the flavor. Caramel sauce from Monin and some brown sugar can be added for another twist.
Grocery stores always stock packaged quick-and-easy meals that take just minutes to prepare. However, sometimes the portions are too small, nutritional value is low and fat content is high. It is always best to make homemade entrees whenever possible that are more filling, healthy and taste better.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter: @RachelleWilber.