Quick Meals for Busy Families

With everything else that has to be fit into a busy family’s schedule, it can be difficult to prepare a healthful yet fast and easy meal. Too often meals are the one thing that falls through the cracks of our busy lives, and we wind up with take out, frozen dinners, or the same old thing time and again. It doesn’t have to be that way. With a few simple tips you can have a new and different meal on the table every night in less time than it takes to gather up the family to eat.

Soup Reinvented

Canned soups are a staple of the pantry in most busy households. Cracking open a can and heating it in the microwave is the quickest way to have dinner on the table in no time flat. But with just a little extra effort and a slightly longer cook time, you can have a home made soup that tastes better and is better for you.

Keep the basics of a soup in the house. While homemade broth might taste great, it’s not realistic for most families on the go. Buy cartons of store bought broth. It’s available in chicken, beef, and vegetable. By mixing together broth, a few seasonings, and some fresh chopped vegetables, you will have a tasty homemade soup in no time. Quick and easy soup recipes are readily available online, or you can make up your own. Toss in leftover chicken or potatoes; add whatever vegetables you have on hand. You can also choose from noodles, rice, or even beans. There are endless possibilities, and all you need is the basic broth. As soon as the veggies are tender, your soup is ready to serve.

Make it even easier on yourself by throwing the soup fixings in a slow cooker before you leave the house in the morning. You will come home to a lovely aroma and a meal ready to eat.

Wrap It Up

Take the boring sandwich and the same old burrito to a new level using tortillas and interesting fillings to create delicious wraps. Look for tortillas in different flavors, such as spinach and cheese to add flair and taste to your wraps. Then lay out a buffet of possibilities for filling them!

Try a Southwest wrap with fillings of beans, rice, corn, spicy chicken, cheese and ranch dressing. Go Asian with some crispy chow mein noodles, cooked chicken or pork, fresh greens and a sesame-ginger dressing. Or roll romaine lettuce, chicken, Caesar dressing and parmesan cheese into a tortilla, skip the fork and eat your chicken Caesar salad with your hands. The possibilities are endless.

Switch Up Your Pasta

If your family groans every time you serve up spaghetti and meatballs, change things up a bit. Try some different noodles, such as penne or rigatoni. Toss with pesto and chicken instead of tomato sauce, or try fettuccine alfredo at home – it really isn’t all that hard to make. These meals can be on the table just as fast as that tired old spaghetti.

Add chopped fresh vegetables to cold pasta and toss with a salad dressing such as Italian. Who says a pasta dinner has to be hot? On a summer evening a cold pasta salad is sure to be a hit.

These are just a few of the ways you can come up with a fast meal your family will love. Look to old standards and change them up for a fresh look at dinner, and your family will thank you for it!

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