I know that I am not the only one with super active kids – I talk to people all of the time who are actually even busier than I, running their kids around town to more than one activity. I am lucky that my kids only participate in one activity and it’s at the same dance studio (although a lot of time is spent there). It seems that Tuesdays is our ‘extra-busy’ day this year – I am making dinner to be ready at 2pm because both of my girls go straight to the studio after school for the rest of the evening. Other days, they are eating at the studio also, so my a friend suggested I share some of my healthy meals for other families like us – families with active kids on-the-run.
I haven’t written too much before about my recipes or cooking, even though I am a passionate home cook. I enjoy creating meals and using as many fresh ingredients as I can – something lean and something green is the motto that I try to stick to. So I have a few things that I seem to be making over and over, that the kids like, or are easy to send in their gym bags, are okay re-heated or even cooled down a bit.
I’ve sourced all of the recipes, that are variations but close to my own, from Pinterest, and you can get all of the recipes at the Pinterest tag below each photo 🙂
Broccoli Cheese Stuffed Potatoes – These are very easy to make ahead of time and have sitting in the freezer. The girl’s love to take them as an after-school-before-dance snack and it gives them a lot of fuel, as they hardly eat lunch with the crazy bell-schedule at their high school. I have to admit, my mom makes these often and freezes them in individual baggies and brings them to my house. They have become one of my number-one go-tos and are fairly easy to make. You can also stuff them with bacon, or tuna and cheese, which would amp up the protein.
Whole Wheat Spaghetti and Meat Sauce – I asked both girls what their favourite meal is and Isabella chose this as her favourite. I have been making spaghetti and meat sauce at least bi-weekly for-ever it seems! I love using whole wheat spaghettini as the noodle because it’s just a little thinner and whole-wheat pasta is heartier. I sometimes vary the meat, using ground beef with 1/3rd ground pork or ground Italian sausage for more flavour. I use pre-made sauces, and prefer to use one tomato-based sauce and one-vodka sauce for a more rich tasting sauce. But depending on what I have on-hand, I vary it quite a bit.
Beef Skewers – I realize that not everyone eats beef, but we are a family of strong former Prairie kids, and we eat beef. However you could make a variation of these with chicken or turkey and still be able to eat them over rice or noodles. Again, something to make (or buy from the butcher) ahead and cook so that they are easy to throw in a container with some rice and be done.
Tikka Masala and Rice – This recipe is also a favourite, and I often make the Tikka Masala from a pre-made mix (in a jar) rather than make my own. You can also make it in a pot, rather than a crock-pot, as sometimes with a crockpot, the chicken breast can get chewy. I like a mix of cut pieces of chicken thigh as well as breast and it’s great for more variety. The kids love this and ask for it often. It smells delicious too so that makes it that much more encouraging to take it to dance and eat later.
Tabouli Salad – A vegetarian option! My kids have grown to love tabouli salad, as I did when I was a kid (a boyfriend’s family introduced me to it in high school). The quinoa makes this dish a bit more hearty, and you can make it on a Monday and by Friday it’s still good in the fridge. As easy way to get some dark green veg into your kids. I buy the pre-made box of Tabouli mix with couscous, and then add my own fresh parsley (two bunches) and tomatoes. So good.
Mexican Soup – I have to say first that this one isn’t quite as popular with my kids, however it’s a nice way to used ground turkey or chicken (other than in tacos) and smells delicious and keeps well. In this recipe it calls for chicken breast, and I sometimes make it that way too. Essentially, with a piece of bread and a little cheese, avocado sliced separately and added, it’s a pretty filling meal.
So those are 6 of my go-to recipes. I have more that I will Blog in a Part 2.
If you are an active family on-the-run, what types of things are you making for meals on those day?