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Meals for conflicting schedules


SquirrellyMama
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My family has all sorts of different schedules going, which means we are often eating at different times. I'm in need of quick meals that can be eaten by different people at varying times from 4pm-7pm. I need something that can be kept warm in the crockpot, or heated quickly in the oven. We don't have a microwave.

 

Any good meal suggestions, or websites to check?

 

Kelly

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Ahhhhh the story of my life! We also do not have a microwave.

 

It is helpful to have two or more crockpots, especially the smaller sized ones. Cost ranges from $8-$20 https://www.target.com/p/proctor-silex-1-5-qt-slow-cooker/-/A-12982549?ref=tgt_adv_XS000000&AFID=google_pla_df&CPNG=PLA_Appliances+Shopping&adgroup=SC_Appliances&LID=700000001170770pgs&network=g&device=t&location=9006108&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5vixkMbD1QIVBYezCh0yxQ_nEAQYBiABEgIqOPD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

 

Small crockpots are nice for keeping just one person's food warm, or separate side dishes, such as mashed potatoes.

 

Also, plan at least one day of a cold dinner, such as green salad with chicken tenders or other cold meat.

 

I don't know how old your kids are, but two of mine drive themselves and will often "call ahead" to request their meal be heated up so they can eat when they get home. That's important when it takes 20mins to heat up in the oven and they don't finish work until 10pm and need to eat. LOL and if the rest of us gobbled up all the food I can warn them to pick something up :D

 

Anyway, for ideas, common meals here are:

Mac n cheese

Tacos or enchiladas

Pizza- preferred way for leftovers is cold/room temp

Salads with cheese and meat, usually chicken

"Picky Platter" cheese cubes, pepperoni, raw veggies, crackers, popcorn, olives

Chicken with some kind of sauce, and either rice or mashed potatoes

Sandwiches

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It wasn't on purpose but we have fallen into a routine where I am often just making a protein and letting everyone else figure out what to do with it. I keep tortillas, rolls, condiments, lettuce, cut up veggies available. I sometimes put rice in the rice cooker too and that keeps for awhile.

 

For example: "There is fajita chicken on the stove. You can make a wrap, a fajita, a salad, a bowl, a quesadilla, whatever you want to do with it." Same with seasoned pork, beef, pretty much any meat and keep it warm in the crockpot.

 

I was feeling bad that I was not providing traditional dinners but everyone was coming and going and I am sick of cooking and cleaning up. This way I cook just that one part of the meal and everyone takes care of themselves self serve and cleans up after themselves. I try to do a regular meal on the weekends when everyone is home but as a weekday dinner survival this method is working well for us. I have figured out it is more economical than a traditional menu and usually healthier and I don't have to think too hard.

 

I also do a pasta casserole (just basically layers of pasta, sauce, ground beef, pepperoni, and cheese). That can keep for awhile in the crock pot but I do have to watch it and make sure I keep it on warm so it doesn't dry out.

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