You don’t know me very well, but what you may know from my previous blog posts is that I am a stepmom and I work from home. I also love to meal plan, prep, and cook. My husband is a competitive triathlete and keeping him fed is important. My two step-daughters also love to eat; one is pickier than the other, which is always a challenge, but they like most of the tasty meals that we prepare at home. When all else fails, butter noodles and frozen chicken nuggets win the hearts of almost all kids!!
Below are some of the meals that I am cooking during COVID-19. We are doubling up recipes for lunches and leftovers; even those of us who love to cook need a night off! We will enjoy take-out once per week or so, as long as we feel comfortable doing so. In addition to the recipes below, my husband and I eat vegetable salads almost every night and we always have a vegetable and/or fruit for the kids. Share some of your favorite recipes in the comments below so that we can all benefit from each other!
Thank you so much to all the store employees (as well as many others: medical personnel, waste management, utility employees, etc.) that have to work and deal with the public during COVID-19.
Easy Kid Friendly Dinners
- Ground turkey meat cooked with a jar of spaghetti sauce and noodles.
- Frozen or fresh ravioli and garlic bread.
- Taco night. I use this simple taco seasoning recipe and I sometimes add a can of black beans after the meat has cooked. Serve with tortillas, shells, rice, beans and all the taco fixings.
- Steak on the grill served with sweet potatoes or mashed potatoes.
- Pork chops (Costco has the BEST boneless pork chops and they are so affordable). I use Lawry’s seasoning salt and grill them. Serve with a potato, quinoa or farro, and a veggie.
Other Great, Tasty Meals that May or May Not be Kid Friendly in Your Home
- Bush’s All American Chili: (I don’t add the sugar!) We bake cornbread to enjoy with our chili.
- Barre3 Sweet potato, turkey and black bean chili
- Hamburger Soup in the Instant Pot (ground turkey or ground beef are great in this soup)
- I make a chicken soup in the crockpot that the girls call “unicorn soup” – I’m not really sure why but it makes me laugh. Add to the crockpot: 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (I also make it with thighs), 1 chopped onion, a couple of chopped carrots and celery ribs, 2-4 gloves of garlic, 8 cups of chicken or veggie broth, 1 TBS chili powder and a couple dashes of cumin powder, 1 tsp or so of oregano, salt, and pepper to taste. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred chicken with forks before serving. If you have it available, you can add a little lime juice and cilantro when serving.
- Lemon shrimp and noodles (the kids love this!). I saute a package of shrimp in olive oil, salt, and pepper. When it’s done cooking, I stir 2-3 teaspoons of garlic, 1-2 TBS butter, salt, pepper and the juice of a lemon. Mix with a package of noodles. (I prefer veggie noodles for myself)
- Broccoli, Italian Sausage, Pesto and veggie noodles: I pan fry two cups of broccoli and remove from the pan. In the same pan, fry up half a package of mild or hot Italian sausage. Mix the broccoli back in after the sausage finishes cooking. To the pan, add in about 8 oz or so of cooked noodles and 2-4 TBS of prepared pesto. Salt and pepper to taste. So good!
- Frozen package of potstickers, rice, and a veggie.
- Pork loin (2-3 lbs): grate the peel of 1 lemon and juice it. Combine it in a bowl with 2-4 garlic cloves, 2 tbs thyme or rosemary, a splash of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Make slits in the pork and rub the mixture all over the pork. Grill or bake until pork reaches about 135-140 degrees and tent with foil for a few minutes after you remove it from cooking.
- Stir-fry a protein and veggies. Serve with a side of rice.
- I haven’t cooked boneless country-style pork ribs in awhile, but I have a package in our freezer. You can bake these with bottled or homemade BBQ sauce. Here is a link to a fun Cajun recipe for pork ribs. Serve with rice/mashed potato and veggie.
Bring the kids in the kitchen with you to help, unless you need a mom break 🙂 Eat well to keep up your energy and sanity! What are some of YOUR go-to meals? Click on the recipes tag below this post to find more of our contributors’ favorite tasty meals!