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Simple and Kid-Friendly Meals for Busy Families

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mother and children preparing a meal Photo: Getty Images

When the kids go back to school, my schedule is even busier than before and I find myself left with less time in the day. To avoid hating mealtime, I came up with a list of dinners that I know that my family will love and I won’t have to put a lot of effort into planning. Here is a list of my family’s favorites:

1. Sloppy Joes. Traditionally, the ones made with BBQ beef are so flavorful and good as the meat sits nestled within a fresh sesame bun. But I have also played around with ground chicken and ground turkey. This is a type of food that you can alter so you could have it frequently and it is never quite the same. You may want to try it with ground chicken and Mexican seasonings, put the mixture on top of a tostada and top it with some shredded cheese. It doesn’t take long for the sloppy joe meat to season so it is a fast meal to make. One of these days, I may even try putting everything in a slow cooker on low at the beginning of my crazy day and see if I can arrive home to a hot meal.

2. Make it a “Crumb Coat” night! I came up with this after feeling guilty for throwing away another bag of tortilla chips with a large amount of crumbs in the bottom. I decided that I could do something to avoid the waste. I use chicken or pork and any bag of chips or crackers (or even some cereals) that you want to use. (I have used everything from tortilla chips, sun chips, Ritz crackers, Cap'n Crunch, just to name a few.) I then roll the chips or crackers into tiny crumbs with a rolling pin. I dip the meat in flour, then a light mixture of egg and milk and press the meat into the crumbs. I bake it in the oven at about 425/450 depending on how large the pieces of meat are. (Make sure you line the baking sheet with foil, makes clean up easier.) Again, depending on the size, they will bake for about 30-40 minutes. Always check the meat to make sure it is done before serving it to your family. I usually bake it but as a special treat, I will sometimes pan fry smaller, thinner pieces of meat. The crumb crust fries up to a golden crispy coating that reminds me of my Mom’s homemade pork chops. That, of course, is not as healthy but is a big hit.

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EmpowHER Guest

More please!!!!

September 4, 2010 - 9:09am
(reply to Anonymous)

I am working on a weekly menu to share with readers. Be sure to check out my articles over the next few weeks!

September 8, 2010 - 12:44pm
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