Nicole MacPherson: Meatless Mummy Con Carne


The Five O'Clock Scramble: 5 Steps To Dinnertime Bliss

Create dinner bliss with these five easy steps

Here's the situation: the clock has just struck five. The floor is littered with bookbags that are stuffed with forms that need to be filled out and lunchbags that need to be emptied, not to mention homework projects that need completion. The calendar on the fridge shows that tonight — and every other night — is filled with varying activities that will require chauffeuring back and forth, even though you really need to get some work done at home. The toddler flings himself to the floor in a hunger-induced rage, the older kids are bickering. You need to get dinner on the table, immediately, but a quick glance into the fridge shows nothing that can be put together in a hurry. You grab the phone and a take-out menu, again.

Does this grimness sound familiar? It doesn't have to be that way. Beat the grim and bring back the bliss with these five easy steps!

This sounds daunting, I know, but it makes the 5:00 hour infinitely easier when the "what's for dinner" decision is taken out of the equation. I make a weekly plan and add it to my calendar, IN PEN. Deciding on Sunday afternoon what we will eat on Wednesday night might seem strange at first, but it simplifies life immensely. My children never ask what's for dinner anymore; they just look at my calendar. That alone is worth making a meal plan.
Using the meal plan, create a shopping list — and remember to take it with you! The meal plan will be useless unless the ingredients are in-house.

I was a Girl Guide, and I've carried the "Be Prepared" motto with me since my days of badge earning and campfire songs. Some days just do not go according to plan, and for those days I keep a package of flatbreads in the freezer and canned pizza sauce in the cupboard; along with some cheese and veggies, mini homemade pizzas are a quick and healthy alternative to calling the pizzeria. Not a pizza fan? Rice and canned beans in the cupboard, along with veggies and chicken in the freezer means that putting together a stirfry is a snap on hectic weeknights. Keep staples such as these in the kitchen and you'll always have something to throw together.

Speaking of quick meals, having a selection in the freezer to defrost and serve cannot be beat for convenience. I batch cook whenever I can: spaghetti sauce, meatballs, lasagna are all meals can be doubled or tripled easily, and then frozen for later consumption.
Out of my seven-day meal plan, three or four of those meals appear on a weekly rotation. There is nothing wrong with this; in fact, the children will enjoy seeing their favourite meals on a weekly basis. So what if every Tuesday is Taco Tuesday, or if every Friday is Stir-Friday? A mix of old favourites and new culinary adventures makes for a blissful week of dinners!


For more articles, tips, and tricks to help you get organized and make the most of your blog and business visit our BlissDom Canada 2014: How Do You Find Your Bliss? page.

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