My daughter, not unlike me, has the tendency to go from zero to holy-crap-I'm-freaking-out-feed-me-now! in about sixty seconds. Yes, there are nights when I'm actually on top of things and I can get dinner made and on the table before the hunger-induced meltdown happens. And then there are the other nights, like tonight, when I'm exhausted and the baby is exhausted and I feel like I'm always at least five or ten minutes behind...
Those are the nights when I rely on Super Fast Meals. And by Super Fast, I mean less then five minutes from fridge to table. I don't have a huge repertoire, but I have a few, and I thought I would share them here.
First, those foods which need to be cooked ahead of time, but make great leftovers, and can be served either cold or with a minute or less of microwave time:
- Poached salmon with yogurt (There's a good recipe for poaching salmon here - and you can make it without adding all the veggies. Just boil the water, add a little salt, stick the fillet in, and cook it until it looks cooked when you cut it open.) I add a little yogurt instead of fancy-schmancy dill sauce, and voila! (Can be served cold or warmed up.)
- Baked sweet potatoes. Preheat oven to 425. Cover a cookie pan with foil. Scrub the potatoes and poke a few holes in each one. Stick 'em on the pan, put it in oven, and check on them about an hour later. EASY and healthy. I store them in tupperware, and just cut off a chunk at meal time. Choochie will eat it cold or heated up.
- Pasta - I cook up a big box at a time, feed some to the Chooch, and store the rest in tupperware for future meals. When it's time for dinner, I throw in some frozen peas or carrots, heat it up in the microwave, and then add a little olive oil and parmesan. Choochie won't eat the peas these days, but I keep trying.
Now, let's say you don't have anything pre-cooked. Here are some ingredients (fresh, frozen, and canned) that you can keep in the house and mix and match for a fast meal. (And I mean, faster than making Mac N Cheese out of the box,which takes about 20 minutes to cook the noodles. There are nights when I don't have 20 minutes!)
- Veggie burgers (Choochie loves them, and they can be microwaved in about 90 seconds!)
- Avocado - very healthy!
- Canned beans (pinto, black, or green)
- Microwave burritos - there are some healthy options out there that are primarily beans and cheese. We buy these, and the veggies burgers, in big boxes at Costco.
- Fresh or frozen veggies hidden in hummus
- Cottage cheese
- Black bean dip from Trader Joe's
- Frozen turkey balls from Trader Joe's
- Fruit and cheese
- Pita bread in tiny pieces
Anyway, that's what comes to mind. What do you all like for Super Fast Meals?