Thursday, August 8, 2019

BUSY MOMS CAN COOK {SIMPLE recipes from a busy Mama of 3}

As a busy Mama of three little boys ages 4 and under, I am ALWAYS on the hunt for simple meals that are quick to make and don't require 20 different ingredients. One of my goals for 2019 is to cook more for my family and eat out less so the recipes I am sharing today are all recipes I have made within the last two months that we have enjoyed eating and that I haven't stressed about cooking! Win, win! But first a few things that have been making my life easier when it comes to cooking dinners for my family...

+Make a "Meals for the week" Pinterest board. Save all your meals you are making that week to this board and then you have the ingredients and recipe easily accessible when you go to make them!
+Plan out your meals each week. I do this on Sundays and then my sweet husband goes to the grocery store for all the ingredients or I will use Kroger Clicklist and pick it up Monday morning.
+Make a meal board to display in your kitchen. Display it where you can visibly see your meal plan so you can be more likely to put it in to action! You got this!
+Group your ingredients for each meal together. As I unload my groceries for the week, I put ingredients together for each meal. Obviously they can't all be put together because some are refrigerated and some aren't, but having them grouped together helps me out big time!
+PREP anything you can in your spare time during the earlier part of the day. I can't begin to tell you how much this simple change has helped me. While Aiden was at preschool and while the other two nap, I cut up veggies, thaw meat, mix spices, etc. I do anything I can to make the evening meal making easier! This has been a game changer for me.
+Get yourself an Instant Pot! Knowing I can cook frozen chicken or frozen beef quickly with my instant pot has been huge for me. Honestly, in the past I would simply not cook dinner if I had forgotten to thaw the meat needed for that nights recipe. That sounds terrible, but it was so discouraging to me when I went to start cooking and the meat was rock hard. So this gives me no more excuses! I know not everyone has an Instant Pot, but I decided to share a few Instant Pot recipes I've loved at the bottom of this post.

Real Mom confession:
You guys, I was making so many excuses about why I couldn't get dinner on the table (the baby wouldn't nap, I didn't have the ingredients I needed, I was too tired, I didn't know what to make, etc.) and then I would feel so guilty. We were wasting so much money and even though we were eating healthier options when we would eat out, it still isn't what was best for my growing boys. I know there are nights where I still won't cook for my family, but I am actually giving this whole cooking every night thing a whirl and I am making it happen slowly but surely. If I can do it, you can do it! Trust me!

Please let me know if you try any of these recipes or if you have any I should add to my ever growing list!!! 

EASY MEALS: (with few ingredients)

+Spinach Lasagna Roll-ups {I always double this recipe. So good!}

+Taco Pie: {A family favorite and the first recipe my husband and I ever cooked together as a married couple. 10 years later we are still making it!}

+Oven Chicken Fajitas

+Rotini with Salsa di Limone

+Southwestern Stuffed Peppers

+Bubble Up Chicken Bake

+Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos

ONE PAN MEALS: (because who has time to cook annnnd clean all the pots & pans)

+Ranch Porkchops and Potatoes

+Italian Sausage and Veggies

+Sausage Pesto & Veggies with Gnocchi {Our absolute favorite!}

CROCK POT: (or use the slow cooker setting on your Instant Pot)

+Chicken Taquitos

+Chicken, Potatoes +Green beans

+Steak Fajitas

+Buffalo Chicken Sweet Potatoes {Don't knock it until you try it. YUM!}

INSTANT POT: (I am obsessed with my Instant Pot)

+Instant Pot Taco Meat {You could make this ANYTIME during the day or even the night before and refrigerate it until you are ready to eat it then just reheat and serve taco bar style!}

+Instant Pot Beef Stew

+Instant Pot Salsa Shredded Chicken {2 ingredients! Salsa and chicken! Use as the meat to your tacos. So yummy and couldn't be any easier!}

+Instant Pot Garlic Parmesan Chicken {I did not cook the noodles in the IP, but cooked them separately and added the cooked noodles to the dish after it was cooked}

+Instant Pot Chili Mac {Kid Approved}

+Instant Pot Cheeseburger Macaroni: {Kid Approved}

+Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta

+Instant Pot BBQ Meatloaf + Potatoes: {My husband's favorite Instant Pot meal I've made. Yum!}