After seeing our lunch of hamburgers, Lyn asked:
I wonder if you have any other good ideas for quick meals. Sometimes I only have enough energy for a very short time in the kitchen. Thanks.
Lyn, thanks for asking!
Taco Salad is one of my staple last-minute meals, especially since it's a favorite of Joshua's. :) Tammy's Chicken Rice Bake involves very little preparation (it has a long baking time though!) and I think it's yummy. :) Grilled cheese sandwiches are another fall-back on busy days. :)
I used to make a Homemade pizza with a pre-baked crust (crust can be frozen until needed), which, when using a bread machine to knead the dough, was a quick-prep meal. Now, I've gotten fast at making Tammy's Easy Pizza and it's another last-minute, less-prep-time solution for me. :)
Another thing I consider when searching for a quick meal to make, is this: What leftover ingredients do I have in my freezer or refrigerator that can be used for a fresh dinner?
If I have leftover chicken or cooked ground beef, I often make a simple gravy-based meal, like Chicken Gravy over Egg Noodles, or my Simple Beef Gravy Supper. Cheesy Chicken Vermicelli is very quick to assemble if you have leftover chicken to use. I have a page devoted to leftover ideas (which is in need of updating). :)
Here is an index of all of the recipes on this website that I've termed "quick and easy". There's quite a variety, and I think most take between 15 and 30 minutes to make. Trying a new recipe usually takes me longer than normal, though, so even a "quick" new recipe may not be extremely efficient.
Since I cook mostly from scratch, I don't have many 5-minute main dish recipes. Most of my "quick and easy" meals are actually meals that I planned and partially prepared ahead of time. Here's some more info about how I utilize "cooking ahead" to fit our needs.
For example, today we had spaghetti and meatballs for lunch. I boiled some pasta, and heated up some (homemade, frozen) meatballs and sauce. Because I do most of the work ahead of time, spaghetti and meatballs is a very quick meal for me to prepare.
So the two main ways I achieve homemade, from-scratch, low-prep meals are:
1. Cooking ahead and/or freezing leftovers
2. Using leftovers
This is just what works for me and our family. :) Does anyone else have any other tips or recipe ideas for Lyn? Thanks!