Creative And Quick Dinner Ideas

Mar 20 07:36 2012 Maria Noble Print This Article

Planning a quick and easy meal doesn't have to mean ordering a pizza or running through a drive through on your way home from work. Use common tools you probably have in your own kitchen to have dinner on the table quickly. 

Busy school and work nights mean that parents are often left scrambling when it's time to cook dinner. If you have under an hour to pull together dinner,Guest Posting here are some quick, easy and healthy dinner ideas that the entire family will love. Don't order a pizza or fast food -- try one of these easy meals.

Muffin Tin Favourites

If you're short on time, but still want to feed your family a home cooked meal, consider making lasagna, meatloaf and more in muffin tins instead of large pans. Nearly everyone loves lasagna, but it can take time to pull it all together and then it needs to bake for an hour. Making mini lasagnas in muffin tins is quick because the smaller servings cook faster than an entire pan. Cook some lasagna noodles and then cut them in half. Layer your noodles with seasoned ground beef, sauce and cheese in the muffin pan. Cook for just 15-20 minutes until the sauce and cheeses are hot and bubbly. Serve with a spinach salad and some garlic bread and you've got a meal the family will love.

There's no reason that muffin tin meals should be limited to lasagna. Another favourite that typically takes a long time to cook is meatloaf. Combine lean ground beef or turkey with whole wheat bread crumbs (using whole wheat bread crumbs helps up the nutritional value, especially if you use a whole wheat bread with fibre and nutrients), chopped onions and an egg. Make a ball and place one in each muffin opening. Top with a little BBQ sauce or ketchup and bake for around 20 minutes. Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans or make meatloaf sandwiches using whole wheat bread.

Get Out That Slow Cooker!

A slow cooker can be a busy family's best friend. Toss everything inside the crock in the morning (or even the night before) and then just put on the lid and turn it on. Slow cookers are traditionally used for soups and stews, but there's no reason why you can't roast a chicken, make French dip roast beef sandwiches and more. To roast a chicken, first ball up some foil and place it in the bottom of the slow cooker. This keeps the chicken out of the liquid and helps ensure the skin gets crispy, just like it would if you were to roast it in the oven.

To make French dip sandwiches, take a roast and add some beef broth, onions and some dry soup mix and put everything in the slow cooker. Cook everything on low until the beef is fall apart tender and serve on French rolls and add a little provolone or Swiss cheese. For a twist, try using a whole wheat hamburger bun, which can be a source of fiber.

A great meal doesn't have to take hours to prepare. Instead, consider speeding up the cooking process by using a muffin tin or get the cooking done while you're at work with your slow cooker. By using these tools you probably already have in your kitchen, you can avoid the fast food drive through and provide your family with a quick and healthy meal.

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About Article Author

Maria Noble
Maria Noble

Maria Noble is a Canadian mother and writer who likes writing about ways to improve her family's health, including eating whole wheat hamburger  buns and other whole wheat bread. A lot of her research comes from analyzing one of her favourite products WONDER Invisibles Bread.

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