Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Meals For Lazy Evenings

I enjoy cooking for my family, and rarely ever buy pre-made convenience foods since I would rather know exactly what I am feeding them. But some nights I would love to have a frozen pizza or lasagna in the freezer so that I can take a break from the cooking and the kitchen clean up that comes after! Over the years, I have managed to come up with a few meals that I can throw together with a minimum of mess and preparation so that I can use the time saved to hang out with the kids.

Spaghetti is one, of course. It's versatile since I can add all my own veggies or make my own sauce if I want to, or I can just throw in some ground beef and canned sauce and call it a meal. I always make a huge pot either way, so lunch is taken care of the next day too.

Our own version of black bean tacos always feels like a break from cooking to me, but to the kids it's a treat since they absolutely love them. All I do is throw two or three cans of black beans, with juice, into a pot and add a can of corn. Stir in a pack of what ever taco seasoning I have on hand and let it all simmer. Once the juice has all simmered away, I put the mixture in soft taco shells and top with cheese, sour cream, guacamole....just what ever we have on hand.

Macaroni and cheese is another big favorite around here and throwing in some kind of meat makes it a meal. Tuna, leftover chicken, pork or hamburger can be mixed into the macaroni after you add the cheese. Veggies can be mixed in as well, or served on the side. My kids particularly love apple sauce along side the mac and cheese. We almost always have a box of macaroni and some shredded cheese, so it's an easy thing to throw together.

What are your go to recipes on the nights when cooking is the last thing you want to do?


  1. Okay - black beans or mac 'n cheese - either one and I'm there! You guys are totally teasing me as I read recipe blog posts...unfair! ;-)

    Thanks for the easy ideas - meal preparation must be efficient for busy parents!

  2. Aren't black beans wonderful? They are so versatile and can be used to replace meat in a ton of recipes. Just writing this post made me hungry, so I know how you feel! :)

  3. When all else fails, it's frozen pizza. Those black bean tacos sure sound a lot better, though.

  4. My husband does the cooking here at home because I hate cooking. His food is so good but when he doesn't feel like cooking, we pop something in the microwave to eat. It is very rare for us to do this but sometimes we do so he can have a break from cooking. Sometimes I cook too but I truly hate doing it.

  5. Black bean tacos rock! :D
    I love cooking, I just never, ever have the time. I tend to go for these super complex things that take hours. LOL


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