The Munchkins

Life with identical twins

Our 30 minute meals

on February 4, 2016

During the week, dinner needs to be ready quickly. First, I have no desire to spend hours in the kitchen and second, none of us want to eat dinner late. This list definitely isn’t our definitive list of weeknight meals, but it covers everything that is in heavy rotation. I thought I would post them here in case they inspire anyone else, and to see if anyone has any we should add to our repertoire!

1. Tacos. With piano on Monday nights, I need something quick and easy. I usually brown the ground beef on Sunday, so all I have to do is reheat and put out the toppings. We are all hard shell fans, Delaney likes sour cream and I like guacamole. I like to pretend salsa is a vegetable. This is also a great use of leftover chicken if I roasted some on Sunday, or carnitas if we have those on hand.

2. Fried rice. We had this last night! I made a lemon honey chicken over rice Tuesday night, and then used the leftover rice to make fried rice last night. The girls like edamame and corn only, and we do either chicken or shrimp or a combo of both. This is a good one because it comes together quickly, everyone loves it, and I can reheat the next day for my own lunch.

3. Sausages plus veggies. I know a lot of people love the Aidell’s chicken apple sausages, but our family is loyal to the garlic chicken sausages from Trader Joe’s. In the summer I’ll grill them, but more often I cut them and saute with vegetables (they are lovely paired with the asparagus/onion/mushroom combo Trader Joe’s sells). This can also be chicken plus veggies, or even shrimp plus veggies. We do this a lot, and I’ve found that if I saute the protein first and remove it from the pan, saute the vegetables, then add the protein back in, it allows everything to cook quickly, but still lets the flavors meld together at the end.

4. Steak bites. This is an old Pioneer Woman recipe but basically, you cut up steak into bite size bites and season heavily with salt and pepper. Melt a lot of butter (or ghee) in a pan (2-3 tablespoons) until it starts to brown, then throw the steak in. The girls gobble this up! Their favorite part is the butter sauce.

5. Honey lime shrimp. Thaw the shrimp, marinate with some olive oil, lime, honey, and garlic powder, then saute. These are delightful! The second batch in the pan always turn out better, they get a nice caramelized crust.

6. Bacon wrapped chicken. Wrap a slice of bacon around a chicken tender and bake. Sometimes I get fancy and brush a little honey mustard sauce on top.

7. Breakfast for dinner. When we’re in a pinch and I’m looking for something out of the pantry, this is what we do. Either homemade pancakes, or pancetta scrambled eggs. We love the diced pancetta that Trader Joe’s sells.

8. Spaghetti. Obviously. I either do corn noodles, or if I’ve thought ahead, spaghetti squash for me and regular noodles for the girls.

We are clearly in need of easy vegetable dishes. I sometimes roast sweet potatoes if I have time. The girls love edamame and corn and those are easy to buy frozen and just throw in the microwave. We are not salad at dinner every night people although I always wish we were. When I’m thinking of dinner I focus on the protein, and sometimes that means I just pull out some fruit and hope for the best.

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