My Family Dinners The Week of July 1st

#MomsFoodHacks #MomsSavingTime #MomsDoingDinnerFaster

For the holiday, I decided to do classic ‘Americana-4th-of-July-week’ kind of food which brought me to burgers… and also barbecued ribs.  We had an amazing string of sunny warm days and there’s now been enough ‘summer’ to practically forget about that drawn out, closed-toed-shoes+coats weather that defines much of the Northeastern year.

Ok… let’s not think about that too long.  I’m fully feeling summer. Let’s forget about the other seasons!

I’ve been shifting to stovetop and the slow cooker when possible (except for baking) in lieu of the oven and am preparing simpler, faster meals….even on the weekends. After all, when given the gift of sun shining until after dinner time, who wants to be confined by four walls?  This is my time to agree to ‘pleeeeeaaaaase-moooooom-15-mooooore-minutes’ at the playground and fully appreciate the beauty of New England’s parks and beaches.

Saturday (1X – Feeds Your Family Once). 

This ended up being a rather rushed day where I didn’t quite get my act together to cook a ‘big meal’ (2 to 3X) as I usually do on Saturdays.  I ended up going the easy route with leftovers that were (thankfully) still available to me and delicious.

It was one of my ‘dress up chicken leftovers into fun and interesting quesadillas & burritos’ nights.  As always, with some fresh cut vegetables for the kids.

All Purpose ‘Leftovers Reimagined’ Burrito Recipe

Sunday (1X – Feeds Your Family Once). 

This feeds my family of 4 one time, however, depending on how big your family is this could easily be a 2X meal (doubling the meat and freezing the extra or making double if needed, etc.) As mentioned, shifting gears into the kind of quickie meals I typically make during the week for use on Saturdays and sometimes Sundays to allow more outdoor time.  Burgers also feel like classic ‘July 4th weekend’ food and with the addition of homemade buns (I know, I know…not time efficient but they’re just so good) everybody enjoyed the meal.

Beef burger on a wheat bun with Zucchini & Pea Salad
Beef burger on a wheat bun with zucchini & pea Salad, farmer’s market tomato on the side with a touch of salt.

Monday (2 – 3X Feeds Your Family Two or Three Times)

A little departure from the traditional July-4th-fare with a quick shrimp dish (thanks to my stash in the freezer) and fabulous veggies from the farmer’s market visit during the week.

Shrimp, shisito peppers & garlic over tomatoes & cous cous
Shrimp, shisito peppers & garlic over tomatoes & cous cous
  • Shrimp with garlic & seared shisito peppers over cous cous & tomato salad .  Note, my children are not eating shrimp at the moment, so as always the ‘kid modifications’ are noted in the recipe.  You can either substitute the shrimp for something else quick to prepare (i.e. tofu, ground turkey) or as I did, serve the kids the side dishes (cous cous with tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers) and they enjoy a vegetarian night.  See photo below.
Kids plates - cous cous, tomato, cucumbers & carrots on the side
Kids plates – cous cous, tomato, cucumbers & carrots on the side

Tuesday (2 to 3X Serves Your Family Two or Three Times).

For the 4th of July holiday, I opted for barbecued ribs… made in the slow cooker to spend the day playing outdoors.  I also caught up on my ‘big meal’ since I had done smaller 1X meals over the weekend.  We stayed local (by choice) and the entire holiday felt more like an extended weekend.

Kids plates for the Slow cooker BBQ ribs & corn salad
See my Kids’ plates for the Slow cooker BBQ ribs & corn salad. Easy to modify for kids, by cutting the pork into small pieces, putting salad veggies separately onto the plates.

Wednesday (2 to 3X Serves Your Family Two or Three Times)

A good friend introduced me to a lovely slow-cooker curry dish that will join my regular rotation.  I happened to be working from home that day, and put it into the slow cooker during lunch…otherwise I would have tried this on a weekend (chicken cooks in about 4 1/2 to 5 hours on low, making it a bit too quick to start early pre-commute on office days.  Dreamy, satisfying and rich flavors of a curry plus one of my favorite rice side dishes that I hadn’t made in a while.

Thursday (1 X Feeds  Your Family Once)

So, with all of the leftover pork ribs I had at this point, I decided to do my favorite dress up leftovers into ‘super-interesting-let’s-make-this-new-to-you-burritos’ (or quesadillas with the (pork) protein as a side for the kids) .  My hubby also decided to make a delicious and fresh blender salsa with the farmer’s market tomatoes I had, a myriad of spicy peppers, onions and lime juice.

img_7402.jpg

All Purpose ‘Leftovers Reimagined’ Burrito Recipe

Pork burritos with slow cooked onions & fresh blender salsa
Pork burritos with slow cooked onions & fresh blender salsa

Note, For the kids, I made quick quesadillas with the tortillas, cheese, a (shhhhh don’t tell them) layer of hummus and the leftover pork on the side.

Kids' quesadillas + veggies

Friday (1 X Feeds  Your Family Once)

To make a nice ’15-minutes-to-done-meal’ I used the leftover chicken curry (still delicious) over cous cous.  I also served it with a nice salad using the fresh tomato, steamed snap peas and cucumbers.  Yummy, easy way to wrap up a busy week.

See this lovely ice cream Swoffle sandwich?  Okay, you’re thinking, but wait…MHN does not do desserts… weeknight meals are generally pretty healthy right?  Yes. Right. However, I was writing a post for the Swoffle Blog that week and tested this recipe for several days.  The kids were pretty happy!

Yummy swoffle ice cream sandwiches with vanilla bean ice cream
Yummy swoffle ice cream sandwiches with vanilla bean ice cream

Did you try any recipes or have questions? Leave a comment and let me know.  Would you like the weekly update? Good deal. Let me know.

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