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Cook once and dish up three ways is my goal for today. As a busy mom cooking dinner is always a chore, but I always make it a point to cook every night and my goal for the month of February was to come up with ideas how I can create dinners with shortcuts and hacks that would get me a little further and I wouldn’t spend hours in the kitchen every night after a busy day at the office.
Yes… As most of you know I work outside the home, full time sometimes even 45-50 hrs. a week, I have no housekeeper, cook or maid besides my husband, so everything gets done by us with help from the kids. Drive thru isn’t an option, I think it can be done easier, cheaper and healthier at home so cooking my own meals for the family is my only option each and every night. Don’t get me wrong, I love it! Sometimes I’m too tired to get things done though and a short cut comes in handy.
Check out below a few short cut tips I came up with and a few dinner ideas that helped us stretch our food budget and meal planning last week. I made one dinner in the crockpot and it was amazing for three different dinners and I only cooked once. Honestly, I wasn’t even cooking, my slowcooker was. Pretty cool, huh?
I picked up all my ingredients during my weekly shopping trip at Walmart. I love that I can incorporate cans like RO*TEL Tomatoes or fresh produce and meat and create a delicious dinner in no time thanks to my slow cooker. A little tip, cook dinner over night while you sleep, that way it will be done in the morning, you can take some for lunch and put the rest in the fridge. No more overcooked dinners if you get home late from the office and the kitchen will be all clean before you leave the house in the morning. Pretty good idea, don’t you think?
We made the Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Chili recipe below and trust me one recipe will go a long way, I made enough to take for lunch for my husband and myself for 2 days, we also had dinner three different ways with the Chicken Chili, all while cooking once. I’m in love, can’t wait to find more recipe ideas where I can stretch a meal.
For the first meal we dished up the Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Chili recipe, courtesy of RO*TEL just the way it was. I added some Avocado and cilantro but everyone else did their own thing for a fast dinner. Hubby loved adding chips to his, the kids enjoy theirs with a slice of bread. It is delicious and flavorful and overall just a great dinner!
The second dinner I chopped a bunch of parsley and cilantro in my kitchen blender and I like to chop that in bulk, add to freezer bags and freeze for later use. It’s the best way for me to have fresh herbs in the house at all times. I use a lot of fresh herbs but I can never eat them fast enough before they go bad, plus if I chop them once I don’t have to do it every night. Great kitchen hack!
If you use a blender to chop them makes it even easier, just toss all your herbs, separate or together depending on your flavors and likes, chop and transfer to plastic bags, freeze and voila always ready when you need them.
With the leftover herbs in my blender, I added some water and used all the herbs, in my case cilantro and parsley in the water to cook my rice. Now we ended up with Cilantro and Parsley herb rice, top with the Chicken Chili and your favorite veggies and a second dinner idea is dished up. Pretty simple and delicious as that.
My third dinner ideas was another simple one, we had lots of potatoes in the cupboard, put them in the microwave and used the Potato bake button, but you can prick your potatoes, place in microwave on high for 5 minutes then turn and another 5 minutes. That’s it, top your hot baked potato with the Chicken Chili, some cheese, fresh avocado and sour cream and enjoy!
Wasn’t this as simple as can be? We made 2 lunches and 3 full meals for the week out of one recipe. Can’t beat that. Very easy to do, very affordable and will feed a crowd. I have a family of 5 and we all enjoyed it very much.
Now you know how dinner can be simple, delicious and quick by using ConAgra products and other ingredients like fresh produce or baked goods. Keep that in mind for your next dinner idea and give it a try.
I can’t wait to hear how you enjoyed my kitchen hack idea, my dinner and meal planning idea and how you put your very own twist on the recipe, leave me a comment below and we can chat.
Need more recipe and dinner ideas, be sure to check out the Yes You Can Recipes corner, lots of great ideas there.