10 FAMILY-FRIENDLY DINNERS THAT YOU CAN MAKE IN LESS THAN 10 MINUTES
I'm big into freezer cooking and meal prepping, so that I don't have to stress about "What's for dinner??" even if it's been a crazy day.
- •Scrambled French ToastGrab a half dozen slices of bread, and quickly cut them into cubes. Start some butter warming in a skillet, and beat six eggs in a large bowl with a little milk (almond milk works great here too!) Add a splash of vanilla and a sprinkle of cinnamon. Dump the bread cubes into the eggs mixture, toss till coated. Pour the egg/bread combo into your hot pan, and scramble, till the bread is nice and toasty! It's great with fresh fruit or some syrup on top.
- •Lazy Spaghetti CarbonaraOk, this might take a tiny bit longer than 10 min, so start boiling water now! While it boils, fry a few slices of bacon and shred a little mozzarella cheese. When your water is boiling, add angel hair pasta (which only takes 4 min!). Mostly drain your pasta. Put it (and about 1/2 cup water), back into the warm pan. Add a few handfuls of cheese, and of frozen peas, and crumble in your bacon. Pour in a splash of milk, break an egg over the top, stir to combine, and serve!
- •Taco SaladI always have taco meat of some sort in my freezer. On a weekend sometime, cook up a couple of pounds of ground beef with diced onions and peppers and your favorite taco seasoning. Then freeze it in quart-size baggies. When it's dinner time, grab the meat out of the freezer and start microwaving. While it heats up, tear some lettuce, dice a tomato, and shred a little cheese. Assemble your ingredients, top with salsa & a handful of crushed tortilla chips.
- •French Bread PizzaI keep sauce frozen in 2 cup portions, and shredded mozzarella in sandwich baggies. (Or you can buy pre-shredded cheese and a jar of pasta sauce if you want things even easier!) Turn your oven on to 400, slice a loaf (or two) of French bread in half long ways, spread sauce over both halves, and let the kids go to town, sprinkling cheese, and applying pepperonis, black olives, and strips of bell pepper to make faces. Bake for 6-7 minutes, until cheese is melty and bread is toasty. Slice & serve!
- •Toasted Hot DogsAt any given moment, there is always a pack of Hebrew National hot dogs and a pack of buns in my freezer. Throw the hot dogs in the microwave for a minute, pop the buns under the broiler with a dab of butter (to eliminate any chance of freezer burn taste) and do a steamable bag of veggies in the microwave. Hey, presto! It's dinner time!
- •Grilled PB&JSome adults might balk at PB&J for dinner. But just spread a little butter on the outside of the sandwich, and cook it up like a grilled cheese. No one can resist a warm, melty sandwich!
- •Veggie Fried RiceThis hinges on having pre-cooked rice, frozen in quart size bags. Pull one or two out of your freezer, and start them cooking in a big pot with a little water and sesame oil. In a smaller pan, sauté a bag of frozen carrots & peas. Dump the veggies into the warming rice, and use the small pan to scramble a few eggs. Add the mostly-cooked eggs to the rice/veggies, stir everything, and add soy sauce to taste.
- •Caprese Grilled CheeseA basic bread and cheddar sandwich is always great! But up your game a little - slice up some mozzarella instead. Add a few slices of tomato, a sprinkle of garlic salt, and a couple of basil leaves, and you will have yourself a delectable dinner in minutes! Bonus points for using a pesto or garlic sourdough as your bread, mmmm.
- •Carnitas NachosI also like to keep carnitas in the freezer. Ahead of time, cook a pork roast or two in the crockpot with some salsa, garlic, thinly sliced onion and jalapeños, a little strawberry jam, and a splash of orange juice. Shred the meat, freeze in quart size bags. When it's dinner time, put tortilla chips on a plate, layer carnitas and shredded cheese, microwave till melty. Top with tomatoes, olives, sour cream, etc.
- •Cheese and Fruit PlatterSlice up a few kinds of cheese, and your kids' favorite fruits. Add some salami and bell pepper strips or carrot sticks. Then let everybody play with their food - make sun shines out of orange slices, faces with apple mouths and cheese hair and grape eyes, etc. See who can make the most realistic truck or tiger or flower with the ingredients on hand.