Libby’s provided information and products for this post. All opinions 100% my own.
Cooking homemade meals for my family every night is a passion of mine but I also dread it. Gavyn, my 11 year old son detests ground beef, most vegetables and many sauce type meals. My husband dislikes chicken. My daughter and I well we are very easy to get along with. Whatever is put in front of us (minus seafood), we’ll usually eat. But then you have me, whose been living a healthier lifestyle so trying to cook more nutritious meals for my entire family, however when you get “the look” when dinner is served, you know nobody is going to eat a healthy meal of chicken, couscous and steamed vegetables. Dinner is always a dilemma, trying to please everyone, so I don’t have to listen to complaining while we are sitting at the dinner table.
There are not many meals I can make that all four of us enjoy. I know if I cook breakfast for dinner, tacos, pork chops, macaroni and cheese or roast everyone will be pleased. But with the new school year just starting, a husband working insane hours at work and not enough time to prepare dinner, I need quick meals that are convenient for me and everyone in the family. No way do I want to spend hours in the kitchen preparing the last meal of the day. Which is why Libby’s is here to solve your dinner dilemmas with amazing and delicious recipes everyone is sure to enjoy.
Here are a few tips from me, a mom with a very fussy family.
Be Sneaky: It can be a huge challenge to get children to eat vegetables, I know this from my son who avoids all vegetables except canned corn, mashed potatoes and iceberg lettuce. I cannot allow him not to get much needed nutrition he needs from vegetables so I sneak them into everything I can. In tomato based sauces add pureed carrots. You can do this with fresh veg or to make it even more convenient open up a can of Libby’s canned carrots, mash and add to your pasta sauce. Try adding cauliflower to mashed potatoes, shredded zucchini to casseroles and mashed black beans to a burger.
Convenience: To cut time in the kitchen use jarred pasta sauce, canned vegetables, beans and tuna and boil-in-a-bag rice. There are so many varieties on shelves now including no salt added and healthy alternatives. The other night our family enjoyed baked rigatoni all with conveniece products such as jarred pasta sauce, diced tomatoes, hidden pureed carrots and rigatoni. It was a dump and bake meal.
Plan Ahead: Yes a meal plan is essential. I no longer have those nights where I say to myself “what am I going to make for dinner tonight”. With Pinterest, Stumbleupon and countless food blogs, you can plan out your meals ahead of time, shop and be ready every single night. Make a menu so the whole family can see what you’ll be having and even let the children select a meal one night a week.
Use the Slow Cooker: Let your slow cooker do the work for you. Seriously, my slow cooker is my best friend. I can fix anything and EVERYTHING in it without any trouble other than throwing all the ingredients in and waiting until dinner time. You can prepare soups, stews, roasts, potato dishes, sides and more.
Invest in an All-in-one Appliance: Forget the knives, food processor, blender, huge mixing bowls, whisks and grater. The Magic Bullet Express Mixing Set is your all-in-one appliance that chops, mixes, blends, grinds and more in seconds so you can forget about the tedious time consuming tasks of chopping vegetables for meals, sauces or dips. Plus there are cups and stay fresh containers to keep the food fresh. I whipped up a 45 seconds macaroni and cheese for my son and daughter. Super easy by adding in 1/4 cup shredded cheddar, a bit of milk and microwaving right in the Magic Bullet cup. I always have macaroni cooked ahead of time for my picky son, so this was a quick side with dinner one evening; I even added in broccoli for my less picky daughter.
Leftovers: Do not get rid of the leftovers. You can make tons of meals with leftover foods so you do not need to prepare a huge meal again. For instance. When you have a roast dinner with much remaining, use that leftover roast and have hot roast beef sandwiches a couple nights after. Tons of leftover mashed potatoes? Keep them for that shepherds pie or potato pancakes. Chicken has tons of uses such as enchiladas, soup, pizza and chicken salad. And I always prepare pork stir fry or BBQ pulled pork sandwiches after a pork loin dinner.
Dinner doesn’t have to be an inconvenience. With families rushing to after school activities, sports and making sure homework, reading and school work is finished, the last thing we need is a stressful dinner. Stay stress-free this busy school year with these tips and by visiting www.getbacktothetable.com where you’ll find fabulous ideas on what’s for dinner!
@LibbysTable #DinnerDilemma Twitter Week
During the week of September 16-20, five bloggers will be partnering with @LibbysTable to host mini-Twitter parties dedicated to discussing and solving dinner dilemmas.
-Monday through Friday, each day will focus on a different theme – from how to cook for kids, to how to plan ahead or how to organize the most efficient and convenient pantry.
-From 3:00-3:30 pm EST that week we encourage people to join the conversation using #DinnerDilemma (the party on September 18th will take place at 2:30 pm EST).
-Each party will allow participants the opportunity to win a #DinnerDilemma themed prize pack!
-Follow @LibbysTable on Twitter to learn more!
What’s your dinner dilemma?