So, the trick for me in the summer is meal preparation . . . and not cooking three meals a day! The kids like hot food and always ask for something cooked--or at least that's what I hear when they ask, "What's for breakfast/lunch/dinner?" I know my great-greats did it, but I think it's a bit much. So I told them we'd cook one meal a day. If I'm cooking dinner, then we'll do something simple for lunch, which honestly I have no good ideas for (I could say sandwiches, but we only allow deli meats a few times a month--which they'll use up in two weeks at camp. Maybe simple soups, grilled cheeses, quesadillas--sure, that's all cooking but it's more like heating than actually cooking.) If there are leftovers for dinner, we can cook a special lunch. Together. (I should have put cooking lessons on our Summer Fun list.) Breakfast is mostly catch as catch can, though I will occasionally make biscuits or, as this morning, crumb cake. And Sis can make her own scrambled eggs.
Meanwhile, for me, I'm also experimenting with canned beans.
Ahh, I know, you're shocked. We gave up canned goods for the BPA a few years ago and have almost none in our house. And I always cook my own beans.
But with summer, I find that canned beans are a better option than a frozen meal, and just as quick. I've made two delicious salads with them in the last few days, a Tortellini Bean Salad and a Mexican Black-Bean Salad. So tonight while the kids ate leftover Brisket--T's choice, but with just a bit of the tomato that the original called for (and she liked it!)--I had a delicious salad.
Now, if I could only get them both to eat bean salads, I'd be all set!
Tortellini Bean Salad
1 can pink beans
1 small container Butoni cheese tortellinis, cooked according to package
1 small can sliced olives
1 yellow pepper, seeded and chopped
(a red onion, chopped, would have been nice)
Combine hot tortellini with beans, olives, and pepper. Add dressing to taste. Cover and chill in refrigerator for a few hours. Serve.
Mexican Black-Bean Salad
1 can black beans (or Trader Joe's Cuban Black Beans)
1 red bell pepper (or yellow or orange), seeded and chopped
1 cup frozen corn, defrosted
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup Pace picante sauce
1/2 cup guacamole
several cups of mixed greens, washed
Fritos, as desired
Combine beans, pepper, corn, cheese, and picante sauce; set aside. Place greens in large salad bowl. Top with bean mixture. Add guacamole and Fritos.
4-5 lb brisket
1 1/2 cups baby carrots
3-4 Yukon gold potatoes, cubed
1 onion, chopped
2 cups broth (chicken or beef)
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
Layer carrots, onions, and potatoes in large slow cooker; lay brisket on top. Combine broth, tomatoes, and garlic and then pour over beef and vegetables. Add three bay leaves. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours until brisket is tender.
Mommy Hungry, adapted from The Mom 100 Cookbook