It is a well-known fact that family mealtime is important to the physical, emotional, and social well-being of the our loved ones. But with the busyness in our modern lives, it can be difficult to get everyone around the table for a good dinner. Here are a few tips to help make that happen.
1. Plan the weekly meals ahead of time. Concentrate on recipes that are easy to prepare and that your family likes.
2. On especially busy weeks, prepare casseroles or slow cooker meals ahead of time and freeze. Then just pop them in the oven or crock pot the next day. The crock pot is an ideal kitchen tool for busy families. You can make soups, stews, roasts, and casseroles in your crock pot and it only takes a few minutes of your time.
3. Take time on the weekends to chop vegetables for the week. This also makes it easy to grab fresh veggies as snacks for lunches or after school.
4. Get age-appropriate help from your family. This not only helps you out, but teaches children skills and responsibility. Plus, it can provide quality time together.
5. When searching for fast family meal ideas, look to your resources. A slow cooker and make-ahead recipes are a busy family’s best friend. Plan ahead, prepare what you can in advance and enjoy meal time with your family.
Southern Slow Cooker Chicken
Layer the following items in your crock pot.
4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
8 oz. can of green chilies
15 oz. can of fire-roasted, diced tomatoes, not drained
15 oz. can of corn, drained
15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz. can of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
15 oz. can of kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Sprinkle a packet of taco seasoning or chili powder on the mixture. Cook for 6-8 hours on low. When you get home at night, shred chicken with a fork. Serve with tortillas and your choice of sides and toppins, such as shredded cheese, salsa, and shredded lettuce.
Choose your favorite pasta shape and cook according to package directions. Slice your favorite vegetables; consider zucchini slices, broccoli, carrots, and cherry tomatoes. Toss all the vegetables with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the oven for twenty minutes at 350 degrees F.
Toss the pasta with the vegetables and serve with parmesan cheese. It’s a healthy meal with grains and vegetables. Use whole grain pasta for added nutrition