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Quick Meal Prep: Ingredients to Always Have on Hand

Quick Meal Prep: Ingredients to Always Have on Hand
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Meal Ingredients in a Pinch

As we get further into the fall season, we want to identify some go-to meals that we always have whether it’s cold outside or not. Most of the time, we plan our meals week by week. But as most of you know, this little thing called life gets in the way from time to time. So, what is a parent to do when we’ve failed to put together a list of meals for the week?

One of the best things anyone can do is to always have some ingredients on hand for meals that are very easy to make. We want to share some of those go-to meals with you, because they are often lifesavers for us when we have those lapses in meal planning. Well, let’s get right to it!

Chili

This is by far a must have in our home. We always have the essentials on hand to make chili. Plus, once we use up our last supplies, we always reload on our next grocery visit. This is a hearty meal that our kids will always eat. Well, they’ll eat everything but the tomatoes. So, check out what we normally put in our chili, but feel free to add or replace to fit what you like best.

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 cans of kidney beans
  • 1 packet of mild chili seasoning
  • Optional add-ons: 1 can of black beans and 1 can of corn

We don’t always add black beans and corn to our chili, but if we want to extend it for a couple of meals, then it’s an easy fix.

Homemade Lunchables

Our kids LOVE Lunchables, but it’s not something we buy very often. It saves us money to make them ourselves. So, we try to provide a favorite for our kids by making it. And by making it, we mean putting all of the ingredients on the table and letting them pick and choose. Letting our kids grab food from the center of the table is the greatest invention since sliced bread. That’s how we get our kids to eat so many fruits and vegetables. We place them at the center of the table and they’re more likely to eat them than if they were strictly put on their plate ahead of time. So, it works equally as well for homemade Lunchables.

  • 1 sleeve of wheat crackers
  • 1 package of turkey pepperoni
  • 1 package of deli turkey meat
  • Cheese -> sliced American, string cheese, or a block of mild cheddar
  • Yellow mustard

Now, we don’t use all of the ingredients at once. We usually use half of the pepperoni. The turkey usually has two packages within one, so we use about half of one package. As for the cheese, we break up whatever cheese we have on hand. If it’s sliced cheese, we fold them and break them into smaller pieces. If it’s string cheese, we cut them into small pieces. And, of course, we cut slices from the block of cheese to fit the crackers.

Crockpot Chicken Pot Pie

Okay, so this is a pretty incredible dish. You combine all of the basic pot pie ingredients together and let them cook for hours on end. At the very end of that cook time, throw in some canned biscuits on top for another hour or so. Boom, chicken pot pie.

  • 1 - 2 lbs. of chicken breast
  • 1 can of cream of chicken soup
  • 1 bag of frozen mixed veggies
  • 1 can of biscuits

So, this is such a simple recipe to throw together. Put it in the crockpot, forget about it, and then you’ll have dinner by the time you get home from work.

Enchiladas

If it’s not tacos, our kids love enchiladas. Marshall and Adelaide would gladly have Taco Tuesday every day of the week. So, this veggie dish is something they ask for quite often. It’s the easiest recipe to make, beyond the homemade Lunchables, and there are always leftovers.

  • 1 pack of tortillas
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can of enchilada sauce
  • 1 pack of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 container of sour cream

Wrap 8 to 10 tortillas with black beans, corn, and cheese and then put them in a baking dish. Smother the wrapped tortillas in enchilada sauce and shredded cheese. Once you bake it for about 15 or 20 minutes, top each portion with sour cream. This is such a flexible meal, because you can add a variety of things to mix it up. Prep some kind of meat beforehand or add refried beans to make these enchiladas a little more versatile.

Your Go-To Meals

What are meals you always have the ingredients on hand for? Share them with us here! Find us on Facebook and Twitter, so you can share your go-to on our page and with all of your winey parent friends.

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