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I know I’m not the only mom who occasionally (ahem!) forgets to plan a meal and stands staring into the fridge at 5pm, trying to figure out what to make using what we have in the fridge. And I also know I’m not the only mom who actually does sit down and plan a meal, including side dishes, and isn’t home in enough time to start the meal so we eat when we’re supposed to.
To combat this I pick easy weeknight meals and do as much prep work in advance as I can.
Prep in Advance
The first thing I began doing is to assume we will be held up, delayed or otherwise arrive home late if we are supposed to be out of the house anytime past 3pm. Thanks to the kid’s evening activities on certain days of the week, we have to start dinner at 4pm and begin eating by 5 to leave on time for martial arts, guitar lessons, scouts and everything else.
If I know I am going to be out of the house in the afternoon any given day, I do any needed chopping, deboning, cooking rice and other needed tasks the night before or in the morning before we leave. This means that a meal that can take 30-45 minutes to do can now take 10-30. This allows us to get out of the house on time for our 6pm Scout meeting even if our ‘supposed to be home by 3:30’ class or meeting extends to 4pm or later.
I store the prepped items in bowls or ziplock bags by meal, fish them out of the fridge when I get home, grab the recipe and get it done quickly.
A Note About Soy Sauce
Several of these recipes call for soy sauce. If you don’t have any food allergies or intolerances, soy sauce is fine. But if you are gluten-free, I recommend you use a gluten-free tamari (which contains soy) or coconut aminos. If you are soy-free, use coconut aminos.
Chicken and Turkey
‘Bourbon’ Chicken from Intentionally Domestic
Summer Salad from Every Day Full
Easy Baked Chicken Nuggets from Whole New Mom
Nourishing Chicken and Broccoli from It’s A Love/Love Thing
Broccoli Cashew Chicken from Recipes to Nourish
Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken from Strength and Sunshine
Marinated Turkey Breast from The Fit Blog
Instant Pot Ginger Garlic Drumsticks from Living Sweet Moments
Honey Tabasco Lime Boiled Chicken Thighs from A Sprinkling of Cayenne
Simple Chicken and Vegetable Curry from Delicious Obsessions
Chicken Cabbage Stir-Fry from Wholesome Yum
Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken from Strength and Sunshine
Teriyaki Bowls from Every Day Full
Pineapple Ginger Chicken from Recipes to Nourish
Skirt Steak Fajitas from Delicious Obsessions
Eggroll in a Bowl from Intentionally Domestic
Ground Beef with Kale and Mushrooms from This Is So Good
Korean Beef Recipe from Having Fun Saving and Cooking
Taco Bowls from Every Day Full
Healthy and Easy Beef Fajitas from The Fit Blog
Classic French Ratatouille from Bacon is Magic
Scrumptious Super-Quick Pulled Pork from Lisa’s Counter Culture
Five Spice Pork with Broccoli, Carrots and Garlic Scapes from This Is So Good
Honey Sesame Seared Salmon from Delicious Obsessions
Baked Salmon with Maple Glaze from Having Fun Saving and Cooking