Is it just me, or does it feel like we just blinked and summer is over? We’re getting ready for back-to-school at my house as I imagine are many families around this time. In addition to making sure we have everything we need for school, I find that food choices change at this time too. Gone are the easy and relaxed dinners we enjoyed all summer. Now we need meals that are easy and quick but still healthy and delicious. Between school, homework, sports, and other extracurricular activities, it can be difficult to find the time to make healthy dinners and get them on the table with time to do everything else on my busy boys’ schedules. This doesn’t have to be the case, though. These tips will help you serve your families delicious dinners while fitting in all the extra activities that come with the busy school year.
“We’re just so busy!” How can we find the time to cook and eat, let alone find time to eat together? Time is certainly one of the biggest obstacles to families gathering for dinner or even eating a proper meal on one’s own, but so is thinking that meals have to be cooked from scratch and labored over for hours. Quick, easy meals can be just as good as gourmet ones. With a full-time job and 2 boys in school and sports, I’ve learned a few things along the way that help to simplify dinner for the family, while also keeping me sane.
One good time-saving strategy is to cook a big batch of soup or a double batch of roasted vegetables or of a casserole over the weekend or whenever you have more time, and then freeze some to make weekday dinners quick and easy. Some meals can be thrown together quickly with help from store-bought ingredients, like pre-cut veggies, rotisserie chicken, or a pre-made pizza crust. There are also tons of recipes that take less than 15 minutes. Check out our recipes. You’ll discover recipes that only require 3-4 ingredients and are fast and easy to whip up!
If the schedule allows us time to go home before or between after-school activities, I have mastered quick meals to eat at home or that can easily be eaten on the go. Recipes like this burger are portable, nutritious, and delicious. Smash burgers or these Buddha Bowls are full of healthy ingredients you can make ahead and are just as yummy at room temperature or even cold for something that can easily be eaten on the go.
One of my favorite things to do is to set up a little crockpot bar in the back of the minivan or hatchback. My car even has an outlet back there to plug in and keep things warm, so you can serve a hot meal that can be eaten at the sports fields. Even if the meal isn’t actually cooked in the crockpot, many foods can easily be kept warm in one, like these tasty dishes which still taste wonderful as heated-up leftovers kept warm in a slow cooker: Chicken or ravioli.
With Bellisari’s, you can prepare convenient, quick meals with gourmet flavors. Back to school can be hectic, but it doesn’t have to be hard! Happy back-to-school time from all of us at Bellisari’s!