Hours of emails, staff meetings, phone calls with vendors, and handling co-worker drama; the last thing working moms want to deal with after these days is making an elaborate meal. While it’s super helpful to meal plan, it’s also crucial for your sanity to have a few meals in your repertoire that you can pull out at the last minute that involve minimal prep and cooking time.
Possibly one of the most versatile meals possible, burritos bowls are a staple of many working mom’s meal plans. Begin with a base of grain: most popular is rice, but quinoa comes in at a close second. If you are often pressed for time and don’t have a rice cooker with a timer on it, stocking up on microwaveable packs of rice can be a game-changer. Burrito bowls are also an excellent place to get rid of leftovers! Cut up whatever meat you have left over, and throw it on top of your grain with some lettuce, salsa, cheese, avocado and sour cream for a delicious and nutritious dinner that everybody in the family will love.
If you want to upgrade your basic sandwich dinner, look no further than creating a panini. Simply make whatever type of sandwich you’re craving, and then heat it up on a panini press. If you don’t have one, grilling it on a cast-iron skillet is absolutely fine, too, just be careful when you flip it to avoid the insides from falling out. Some tasty combinations include turkey, provolone and arugula, or Swiss, ham and blackberry jam.
When you’re feeling the Asian food vibe but don’t have the time, energy, or money to get takeout: ramen is there for you. While traditionally known as the food of poor college students, ramen can be easily and very seriously dressed up to a delicious, easy, and healthy main meal that the whole family will love. The first step is to take the packet of seasoning and throw it in the trash. You can make a much better (and healthier) seasoning with soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chives. Sautee vegetables (mushrooms and carrots are a fan favorite) in this mixture until soft, while simultaneously cooking the ramen noodles in a separate pot. Add the noodles into the mixture, then move it to the side to allow space to cook an over-easy egg (or a few, depending on how much you are making). Break the yolk and mix in right before serving.
Throwing food into a wrap is one of the easiest ways to eat quickly, and can hide a bunch of vegetables in the process. Include a protein (chicken, pork or black beans are good options), with vegetables such as shredded carrots, mixed greens, cucumber; and whatever condiments you fancy. Hummus is a great healthy alternative to mayo, and goes great if you choose to add chickpeas and kalamata olives for a Mediterranean twist. To up your health game, make sure to pick up whole-wheat wraps.
Breakfast for Dinner
Even though it can often be the cheapest and easiest option, the beauty of serving breakfast for dinner is that it is viewed as a treat by all who enjoy it. If you’re in a savory mood, throw together some over-easy eggs with microwaveable breakfast sausage topped with spinach served on a whole-wheat English muffin. Feeling basic? Have traditional cereal with milk and top it with fresh-cut fruit. Want to upgrade that a little? Make a parfait with Greek yogurt, some fancy granola, and whatever fresh fruit you have on hand. And, of course, don’t forget the momma of all breakfast for dinner: a big old stack of pancakes with syrup and whipped cream. Heck, let’s get crazy and throw some sprinkles on top; life is too short to not add sprinkles.