Go To Meal Ideas Your Family will Love on Busy Days

I’m always looking for new ideas to share with my family. I’ve got some go-to meals that are quick, easy and healthy! I have a few go-to meal ideas that I always turn to when I’m too busy to cook. These are the meals that my family loves and they’re easy enough for even me to make, which is a huge bonus!

These days of trying to juggle it all, I realized some time ago that something had to go. For years I made everything from scratch. I like to feed my family healthy food and we try to avoid foods that have a lot of unnatural ingredients.

And while I still work to feed my family the very best ingredients, I’m not so particular about everything being “homemade” or “from scratch.”

I still cook delicious meals on a regular basis. I still make a lot of homemade food. But I rely on quick and easy meals a lot. The thing is, food doesn’t have to take a long time to prepare to be delicious and sometimes it’s okay to get a little help from your favorite store. And really, what you serve at meal time is not nearly as important as the time your spend together eating.

Everyone needs a handful of Go To Meals for those days when you just need something quick that you don’t have to think about.

My Go To Meals

1. Tacos are always a hit and so easy to make, it’s almost like not cooking at all. We buy Taco Bell brand shells because they are all natural. Taco Salad is similar to Tacos, but I mix everything together and add Thousand Island dressing to the salad. It’s quick – can be made in less than 15 minutes!

2. Trader Joe’s Naan Pizza is amazing and only takes a few minutes to prepare. 15 minutes in the oven and you’re ready to eat! Serve with a tossed salad.

3. Spaghetti is always a favorite. We had it today for lunch. I usually buy organic Classico jarred sauces and saute some veggies to add to the sauce. If I’m in a real hurry {like when I’m trying to get out the door for choir practice} I’ll cook up a pot of angel hair and just add some jarred alfredo sauce or pesto sauce. Serve with steamed broccoli or a tossed salad and a loaf of bakery bread or homemade bread if you have it on hand.

4. Trader Joe’s Palak Paneer with rice is one of our absolute favorites. We buy the frozen Palak Paneer from Trader Joe’s and heat it up in the microwave and serve with Basmati rice. This is one of those meals we eat after a long day at the ice rink.

5. Trader Joe’s Tiki Masala – again this is one of thos AH-MAZING frozen dishes from Trader Joe’s that we often eat after a long day when everyone is tired and just wants a yummy meal. Serve with Basmati rice and you’re good to go.

6. Progresso Artisan Tomato and Roasted Red Pepper Soup with a grilled cheese sandwich or crusty bread. We’ve been buying this soup by the case at one of our local favorite salvage stores 3 for a $1.00!

7. Chili Mac. So, my husband isn’t crazy about this, but I love it and the kids do too, so I usually make it when he’s not home and I’m needing something quick! Basically you just boil some elbow macaroni noodles and serve with your favorite chili. We like Chili Man Chili and Meatless Select Chili.

8. Taco Soup in the Crockpot is delicious, easy to prepare and is waiting for you when you get home. I like to serve it with my famous cornbread and maybe some sour cream and shredded cheese. Other crock pot favorites are Enchiladas, Potato Soup, and Bean Soup.

9. Earth Fare Market is my other go-to place for prepared meals. At least one day a week we drive 2 1/2 hours one way to Knoxville so my daughter Hannah can ice skate for eight hours. We are typically gone from home about 14 hours. It’s a long day. I try hard to pack delicious and healthy lunches and food for our supper to save money, but sometimes I just run out of time and/or ideas! Earth Fare is right around the corner {within walking distance} of the ice rink. It’s a great excuse for me to get more steps in and pick up supper.

What we love:

  • Kids Meals – only $3.00 each – and your child gets {see in top of photo above} her choice of an entree {we like the grilled cheese sandwiches and the veggie wraps}, grapes, and carrot stick with either ranch dressing or hummus.
  • Vegetarian Sushi Rolls – only $5.00 on Wednesdays!
  • Hot Soups
  • And the Meal Deals {see above} from the deli are amazing.

10. And finally, whenever I am able, I like to make meals ahead – like on a Sunday afternoon and stick them in the freezer. Especially for breakfast.

What’s your favorite meal when you’re short on time? Share it in the comments below or post a blog post of your own!

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