Little cheats: 10 ways to get quick meals out for dinner

Little cheats: 10 ways to get quick meals out for dinner

It’s one of those days? Your afternoon meeting went long, and then traffic is heavier than usual getting home. While stuck in traffic, you suddenly realize you’ve completely spaced your mom’s birthday and the day is nearly over. When you finally get home, and look in the fridge – nothing is coming to mind for dinner. The kids are starving and cranky. Now what?

If you’ve had one of those days, or even one of those weeks, what you need is a no-fuss approach to getting a nice meal together quickly. Without sacrificing quality, taste and nutrition, here are 10 shortcuts to putting quick meals on the table now:

10 Think: meals-in-one

A terrific way to cut time is by making a full protein-starch-veg dinner all in one dish—slashes dish washing time, too. We like Potato & Shrimp Skewers with Green Pea Pesto (microwave the potatoes) and Easy Steak and Creamer Potato Kabobs.

9 Fill the pantry

Keep a good supply of staples on hand (in the fridge, freezer and cupboard) so you can slap something together in minutes. Think about what you use on a daily basis and make sure you’ve got plenty of each, then make a simple recipe you know by heart. Fancy can wait for the weekend!

8 Microwave

Fresh-steamed, nicely seasoned potatoes—sound good? There’s no better “cheat” than our Microwave Ready Creamers because we’ve done the work for you: our pre-washed, no-peel Little Potatoes in microwaveable containers are ready in five minutes. Choose from different seasoning packs (included): Savory Herb and Garlic Parsley—all-natural and low-sodium. Cook, toss and go.

7 Cook once, eat twice

Very few people have the time or energy to start from scratch every day. Here are our best suggestions to get the most out of your recipes.

6 Go Grill Ready

You don’t have to sacrifice health for speed. You can set our our Oven|Grill Ready Creamers right on the barbecue or in the oven, then toss in the included seasonings with a dash of olive oil or butter. Just like our Microwave Ready Little Potatoes (see No. 8), they cook in their own heat-safe container. Grill up a protein (salmon, steak, tofu) alongside, and perhaps some zucchini, too.

5 Go slow

Grandma’s secret was the workhorse slow cooker and it’s a lifesaver for the busy family. Prepare Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken and Potatoes the night before. Turn on the Crock Pot at breakfast, and it’ll be ready to serve when you walk in the door. Hearty and tangy, this one is flavored by cream of onion soup, mild green chiles and rosemary. A family fave!

4 Limit ingredients

Stick to five ingredients or fewer to keep things ultra simple. Especially good are Caprese Potato Skewers—colorful and easy—a complete vegetarian meal on a stick. The kids will love the fun format.

3 Go prepackaged

Yes, ideally we want to make something home cooked from scratch every night, but it isn’t always realistic. Give yourself a break and take an open-the-bag approach. For example, choose a pre-made salad pack, including greens, toppings and dressing. Add a roasted-in-the-store whole chicken and round it off with our Microwave Ready Creamers (we suggest Savory Herb). Another good one is a stir-fry using pre-chopped/washed veggies, including Little Potatoes, of course.

2 No cooking required 

Chop and go. Gather what you’ve got in the fridge and pantry—olives, cheese, veggies, lettuce, canned beans, a hardboiled egg, salami or ham—to build a big, fully-loaded salad or wrap. Add last night’s leftover Microwave Ready Creamers, sliced in half. Yum!

1 Do your prep

Get ingredients ready in advance: slicing, measuring, grating, etc. Store in the fridge in small airtight containers. Then when you are ready to cook, you’ll hit the kitchen deck at full speed ahead.

HOW DO YOU GET DINNER ON THE TABLE FAST? SHARE YOUR BEST QUICK CHEATS WITH US?

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Photo Credit: Cocoa Bean, The Vegetable

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