There are definitely evenings when time is not on your side: your meeting ran late, the kids all have activities, or traffic was a nightmare. Of course there’s still the perpetual question “what’s for dinner?” It’s tempting to run through the drive-thru or order a pizza as an easy solution. But, in the time it takes for delivery, you can create a healthier meal without much time or added energy.
Market Stop: Instead of wasting 15 minutes in a “fast-food” line, a quick trip into the market will save you time, money, and questionable ingredients. Pick up a rotisserie chicken and some Romaine lettuce and you have your own “fast food”: salad with shredded chicken, chicken/lettuce wraps, or tacos.
Befriend the Pizza Joint: Most pizza places are willing to sell you bags of dough. Keep a few bags (or make your own when you do have spare time!) in your freezer. The dough defrosts quickly, then let everyone top their own crust. Cook on the grill to simulate a brick-oven taste.
Call it Tapas: Fridge full of miscellaneous leftovers? Create your own charcuterie tray or dinner bar and let everyone serve themselves. It’s an easy way to clear out the fridge without typical “leftovers again??” complaints.
Rethink Take Out: Drive-thru or pick up your only option? Skip individual orders and pick 2-3 meals for everyone to share. Most restaurant portions are certainly large enough for more than one person. Split combo meals, choose healthier/non-fried appetizers as a meal, or turn a large salad into a side salad for everyone.
Mix it Up: Eliminate a dinner rut and do something different. Try breakfast for dinner. Or, enjoy a fresh baguette with brie and berries.
Plan ahead: When you know a busy week lies ahead, do a little prep work earlier in the week. Chop veggies, pre-measure ingredients, and start the crockpot before heading out in the morning. A few minutes planning tonight will make dinner tomorrow night a breeze.
Go Al Fresco: Just because you’re on the go doesn’t mean you have to resort to eating in the car. Stop at a nearby park for a little “outdoor dining.” Allow yourself (and your family) a few moments to slow down and enjoy the food and experience of eating together.