Roast Snapper Salad

Last week I broke one of my time saving rules and roasted a whole fish on a weeknight. Truth be told, I wanted to lure my husband back to the dinner table. Although we’ve both been working long hours, he typically arrives later and has fallen into a habit of grabbing food at the office and skipping dinner. In favor of a late evening snack.

I want the whole family eating dinner together every night. It’s something I care about, even though it’s not always possible. And yes, with young kids, it’s also not very relaxing … but the routine and Continue reading “Roast Snapper Salad”

Roast chicken breast over warm pea, cauliflower, zucchini and spinach salad.

20 minutes or less. No fuss, One pan. Yes, seriously!

Sometimes you need a simple, yet deeply satisfying, ‘small’ meal. By small, I mean, for you. Perhaps for you and your children. My husband is traveling, which frees me up to play with small, ‘snack like’ foods for myself and ultra simple meals (read quesadillas) for the kids. After enjoying a few nights of crackers and cheese, then scrambled eggs for dinner, I decided to treat myself better tonight. Tonight, I made a proper meal.

This dish is easy to dial up, down or modify for more people. My little ones still consider chicken the Queen-of-protein, so I tend to keep it on hand, in all of it’s configurations. Breasts, thighs, on the bone, off the bone, whole … there’s a chicken for every occasion in my freezer. Tonight, I pulled out a single Continue reading “Roast chicken breast over warm pea, cauliflower, zucchini and spinach salad.”

Sweet potato soup with apple, sage & chili

This was an accidental soup. Sunday, I intended to make butternut squash soup, because there’s half a butternut squash sitting (still) in the fridge. I had a plan for that squash but neglected to buy white potatoes and since I already started defrosting chicken stock, I thought… let’s figure out a way to make a soup with sweet potatoes instead.

To my surprise, the sweet potatoes make a light, yet richly flavored soup. This makes Continue reading “Sweet potato soup with apple, sage & chili”

Stealthy, Healthy Quesadillas (Kid-friendly & grownup versions)

On the quest to save time, making quesadillas has become a popular weeknight solution in our home. I usually make them once a week. Sometimes more. My children think they’re delicious and I can get dinner ‘done’ within 20 minutes. Yes… I said ‘within’ as in, less than 20 minutes from when I get home!

Kids & Grownup Versions

Sometimes I make the kids quesadillas as their ‘carb’ to accompany chicken or some other protein and vegetables, while we (grownups) eat the same protein/vegetable combination on top of salad. Other times, I make quesadillas for everyone and my husband and I get a ‘grownup’ version with more interesting fillings.

Yes… It Even Works Cooking For a Crowd

If you’re looking for a fun, casual meal that works well feeding a crowd, whether entertaining impromptu visitors or a large family, make the quesadillas in the oven to get them all done at the same time. It’s super easy that way.

About Serving Sizes

My children are young and I give my little one (newly 4) about 1/3 of one whole quesadilla and my son gets the remaining 2/3. I serve the quesadilla slices with veggies (i.e. broccoli, carrots, cucumbers, and/or peas) and a small serving (1/4 or 1/2 cup) of a protein (i.e., chicken, pork, turkey burger) on the side.

Ingredients You’ll Need

Stealthy-Healthy Kids Quesadilla – Serves 2 Children Continue reading “Stealthy, Healthy Quesadillas (Kid-friendly & grownup versions)”

For the Love Of Food: 1 Chicken, 3 Easy Meals

#MomsSaveTimeCooking #KidAndGrownUpFriendlyFood #HealthyFamilyMeals

It took a while (ok years) to adjust from cooking, as a hobby (making battenburg cake, homemade cheese with my husband, perfecting my croissant dough) to cooking for sustenance (read speedier-to-cook-meals-the-whole-family-can-eat.)

Once I fully embraced this new normal, I started seeking opportunities to make it more enjoyable, delicious, mostly nutritious and yes, time-efficient.

Early on, I wrote a post about how I handle weekly meal planning because the ‘how do you cook everyday’ question is one I’m asked often.

I’d like to share one of my menu all-stars, the humble chicken. I know, I know…it’s not fancy Continue reading “For the Love Of Food: 1 Chicken, 3 Easy Meals”

My Family’s Dinners Week of June 10

Green garlic, asparagus, early (hothouse) tomatoes, evening sunlight, outdoor concerts…happy almost summer!

I am smiling… can you tell? Because we’re entering my favorite time of year.  Temperatures have been rising here in the Northeast and the whole city of Boston seems lighter, brighter and more vibrant.

Last week we had several decent days in-between bouts of spring rain and the farmer’s market near my office has helped me support local farms, reduce grocery store runs and mix fresh spring flavors to the dinner system. Continue reading “My Family’s Dinners Week of June 10”

All of the MHN Recipes In One List

Hello foodies! Although the main point of sharing my weekly dinner menus is to show how you can cook one dinner that satisfies everyone in the family (yes even the picky ones), every night and save considerable time following a ‘system’ — where all of the dishes and leftovers work together for the week. I keep getting requests for an easy way to ‘browse’ all of the recipes.

Here it is! I’ll update this page as I add my family’s latest meals, typically before I post the full menus: Continue reading “All of the MHN Recipes In One List”

My family’s Menus The Week Starting April 22nd

#MomsDinnerHacks #MomsSavingTime #LessDishesForMommy #KidFriendlyFood

I’ve asked friends, Mom’s at work and even moms at the playground…right now it’s an even split between ‘loved it’ and ‘so happy it’s over’.

How about you?  Did you enjoy the recent holiday? I’m so curious about this… my newest survey is all about holidays and stress… please take it if you’re inclined to weigh in.  Stay tuned for the results…in about 2 weeks.

I was (still) recovering from all of the extra baking and holiday activity last week and craved quick, simple everything.  A little bit of spring is making it’s way into the mix…a sugar snap pea here, a roasted beet there… more spring food soon as the weather improves!

A quick reminder about the rules of saving time with the dinner blueprint system:

  • Make bigger meals (that serve your family at least 2 times on the weekends)
  • Creatively ‘dress up’ leftovers so they don’t feel like leftovers
  • Weeknights, make quick dishes that cook in 30 minutes or less
  • Use as few dishes as possible (always)
  • One cutting board, one knife — limit heavy duty chopping projects during the week
  • Weeknights, use ideally one, at the very most two, pots or pans

Continue reading “My family’s Menus The Week Starting April 22nd”

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