People sometimes think that being a stay-at-home mom means my hubby comes home to a gourmet meal every night. This is definitely not the case. Between entertaining a little one, running errands, trying to keep the house somewhat in order and going to various activities and playgroups, there’ not a lot of time to cook. In fact, there are nights when I’m scrambling to make dinner.
Gymnastics night is one of those nights. Actually, we call it our super secret adventure because if we mention it before we leave, we have a meltdown on our hand. Last time, I mentioned that we would going to gymnastics about half an hour before we left, and she stood by the door with her boots on screaming that I need to get the keys and go! So, yeah, gymnastics night it s a little hectic.
Then there are nights, when I just want a quick and easy dinner. After a morning of errands and doctors appointments, this pregnany mama just wants a nap. So an easy dinner is must on those busy and exhausting days.
Here are 5 of my favourite go-to dinners for a busy night!
Balsamic Chicken Stir-Fry
I often bake chicken breasts plain and then place them in the freezer for busy nights. Then I just defrost, chop and throw them into things like this stir-fry.
- 2 Chicken breasts, cooked
- 8 oz mushrooms sliced
- Green beans
- olive oil
- 1/2 tsp honey
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 2/3 cup of Balsamic salad dressing
- If your chicken is not already cooked, sautée it until cooked through and golden brown. Remove from heat and place in a bowl
- In a skillet with a little olive oil, sautée the mushrooms until they are soft and have shrunk to about half their size
- Add green beans and cover to allow them to steam. When they turn bright green and are tender, they’re done
- Add the chicken, honey, soy sauce and Balsamic dressing. Stir and sautee until everything is hot and well-coated.
- Serve with a bed of rice and enjoy!
This is a super easy chicken dish that only requires 3 ingredients and 30 minutes to bake.
- 4 Chicken Breasts
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- 4 tbsp of grated parmesan cheese
- Flaten your chicken breasts slightly by giving them a pounding. I use a rolling pin or the smooth side of a meat tenderizer. This helps the chicken cook faster. Place on a baking sheet.
- Spread 1/2 tbsp of mayonnaise on top of each chicken breast.
- Sprinkle with 1 tbsp of parmesan (or more if you like)
- Pop into a 375-degree oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through and the cheese is golden brown
- Serve with a side salad and you are ready for dinner
Salmon (or any fish for that matter) is a great option for a busy night because they cook so fast.
- Salmon fillet or pieces (I usually buy frozen and defrost in warm water about 10 minutes beforehand)
- BBQ dry rub – we love Club House no-salt-added BBQ seasoning
- BBQ sauce
- Place salmon on a baking sheet.
- Sprinkle with rub until lightly but evenly coated
- bake in a 350-degree oven for about 12-15 minutes until flaky but moist.
- drizzle BBQ sauce over each piece and return to oven on broil for 1-2 minutes.
- Add a quick side salad and you are ready to eat!
Creamy Mushroom Pork Chops
- 4-6 pork chops
- 1 can of concentrated cream of mushroom soup
- 4-6 chopped mushrooms (optional)
- Place pork chops in a 9×13″ pan
- sprinkle with chopped mushrooms
- pour the contents of the mushroom soup over the pork chops. (do not add any water or milk)
- Cover and bake in a 350-degree oven for 20-30 minutes.
- Uncover and bake until cooked through and there’s a light golden crust starting to form
- Serve with a bed of rice and a side veggie, like steamed broccoli and enjoy!
Chicken Noodle Soup
This is a classic soup that everyone loves. The best part is that it doesn’t take long to make. Again, I use my pre-cooked and frozen chicken breasts to make the cooking time even shorter.
- 2 large chicken breasts; cooked and chopped
- 2 L of low sodium chicken broth (I always use low sodium because it’s easier to add salt than to try and fight with something too salty)
- 1 L water
- 1 1/2 cup baby carrots; chopped
- 1 1/2 cup corn
- 2-3 bay leaves
- 1 1/2 tbsp thyme
- 2 tsp dried parsely
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 Cups dried Pasta (something small like shells or elbow is great)
- salt and pepper to taste
- Combined all the ingredients except for the pasta into a pot and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and allow to boil for about 30 minutes until the carrots are soft.
- Now you have 2 choices with the pasta.
- You can add the pasta right to the soup and let it cook. Once the pasta is soft, serve and you’re done. This is best if you are going to eat all the soup in one sitting.
- Cook the pasta in a separate pot and drain. Add a little of each bowl and then cover with hot soup. Let sit for 1-2 minutes and you are good to go. The nice thing about this is if you have leftovers, you can store the pasta separately and this will keep it from going soggy in your soup. This is usually how I do it.
There you go! Five easy, go-to meals that are ready in less than 45 minutes from start to finish. They are sure to please any family and are perfect for those busy weekday nights!