Busy Mom Dinner Solutions :: Healthy Style

Over here in our world, like I’m sure with many of you, we are BUSY. The type of busy that has your mind moving faster than you can physically keep up with. And with all our commitments and to-do lists and responsibilities – something just has to give. A lot of times, it happens to be home cooked dinner. I am still very puzzled at how my mom kept up with 3 children, her own job, and had a balanced meal on the table nightly. Jessica and I get it done in different ways, and we’re here, sharing them with you!

busy mom

Sarah’s World

I love to cook. OH, I love to cook – I feel so good inside when I pour everything into a meal and it makes those that I love happy. And this is something I really don’t want to lose so I had to figure out a way to make this work within my life as it stands right now. I don’t get home from work in time to cook a good dinner nightly, and my husband is in class 3 nights a week…so there isn’t really anyone to cook for who will tell me how amazing my food is anyways. My solution is to cook on Sundays! I enjoy the grocery store {by myself!} during nap time and then hit the ground running when I get back. This usually consists of pulling together 3 big things that we can eat all week – 1 in the crock pot, a one-pot soup/meal, and then something else. Lately, my “something else” has been feta/spinach turkey burgers. They are a fan favorite around here, 2-year old approved, and they re-heat easily! Try em – on a bun, dipped in salsa, or topped with guac…I know you’ll like em!

Spinach and Feta Turkey Burgers

1 pound ground turkey
1 egg
handful of bread crumbs
feta cheese {I usually get reduced fat}
1 bag of baby spinach
tony’s {chachere’s}, s&p

1. Cook the spinach in water until it wilts, drain the water
2. Combine ground turkey, spinach, feta, egg, breadcrumbs, tony’s, and salt and pepper
3. Form into patties
4. I cook mine on the stove using olive oil in a skillet pan at medium/high heat. You can also whip out your old George Forman…it’s great for these!

Jessica’s Life

I’m a plan it, prep it, make it happen in one swoop type of chef, my friends – it’s what works for me. I usually find a recipe while waiting in the carpool line, or text Sari to send me something she already made for the week as I’m creating a sidewalk chalk masterpiece with my kids after school.  Then, I swing by the grocery store on the way home from music class or swimming or whatever the day has brought me.  Afternoon Naptime =’s Dinner Making Time, because on days when I give myself an A+/100 for being sooo on my game, everyone is fed and bathed when Josh gets home from work at 6:45.   It’s how its done around here! And get excited because I’ve got a new favorite I’m sharing! It’s YUM, it’s packed full of vegetables, and I’m sure Sarah is rolling her eyes that I’m using zucchini for noodles.

Zoodles and Sauce

For 2 preschoolers, 1 toddler, and 2 grown-ups ::

5 zucchinis {is zucchinis a word?}
1 jar of your favorite sauce
1 onion and 2 cloves of garlic {optional}
1 lb of your fave ground meat
Salt, pepper, and something sweet {sugar, stevia, maple syrup, honey}
Parmesan Cheese

Y’all…..I feel like superwoman when I get my kids to eat green things, and this recipe works. every. time. So easy it will blow your mind. Especially if you have a julienne peeler. Please get one. It’s a game changer. Ready???

Step 1 :: Grab your brand new julienne peeler and go to town on those zucchini.  In 5 min, you will have a bowl full of zucchini “noodles.” You’re going to be nervous because the skin is green, so some of the noodles are green, but I promise you…it will be okay…covered by sauce and sprinkled cheese…okay!

Step 2 :: Dice the onion, mince your garlic {or scoop it out of the jar like I do}, and brown your meat. I like 95/5 beef or extra lean turkey, but if you want to go crazy, try some bison…people do that, right??

Step 3 :: Add a full jar of your fave pasta sauce to the pan. I just grab the Whole Foods brand with the most recognizable ingredients on the label and smile on the inside because I know I won’t be spending time I, FOR SURE don’t have, making sauce.

Step 4 :: Add salt, pepper, and something sweet {sugar, stevia, maple syrup} to taste.

Step 5 :: When the sauce bubbles, turn the heat down and add your zucchini.  Mix it all together and let everything cook for 5 minutes or so.

To serve :: Put some zoodles and meat sauce in bowls for your fam.  Let the kids pick the big boy/girl fork you don’t usually let them use and sprinkle on a little Parmesan cheese all by themselves!!

Just sit back and watch them eat it all up!  Kids and picky husbands will be in the clean plate club tonight. Promise!

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Jessica and Sarah are tandem bloggers and self-dubbed ‘sister-cousins’ because sometimes the lines get blurred, and they wouldn’t have it any other way. Both New Orleans natives, these cousins transplanted to Houston after Hurricane Katrina and have never looked back. Jessica is the mother of twin girls, Laine and Olivia {March 2010}, and a sweet and curious one year old boy, Owen {Jan 2013}. Sarah is mom to Maggie {Aug 2011}, who keeps her on her toes, and the most adorable little brother, Jack {Nov 2013}! By day, Jessica is a stay at home mom, and Sarah works on the financial and managerial end of the healthcare industry. By naps, lunch breaks, and nights, they run an adorable children’s clothing company called The Little Crane Smocked Shoppe. Follow these two, their families, and their adventures in small business ownership on their blog…and don’t forget to show them some love at their shop too!



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