Healthy, Lazy Dinner

From Happy Healthy Mama

After a long day at work and the commute home, it is hard to muster up the energy or enthusiasm to cook.  On days when my oomph has deserted me, I like to open a bottle of red and make up a new recipe.  The adventure lies in the fact that I have absolutely no idea about the outcome…will it be edible?  Will I like it?  Will the kids eat it?

I always know it will be healthy, but edible is another matter.  I am typing as I am waiting for the concoction to cook, so I really don’t know the answer!  Here is what I decided to put together:

4 organic boneless/skinless chicken breasts sautéed in coconut oil, garlic, organic tinned tomatoes and a good dose of wine – all simmered down to a mush (my technical term) and I cut up the chicken into strips. I also sprinkled sesame seeds on the chicken as it cooked…yummy!

1 cup of quinoa most of which I add to the concoction, leaving some plain for fussy kids.

Steamed green beans

So simple to throw together…no measuring (except the quinoa) and it smells delicious!  Now I’m off to serve the meal.  I’ll report back in a few.  Oh!  I forgot to grab the camera so I’m adding pictures more for the sake of interest than to actually show my handiwork.

Okay, I’m back and we all survived.  I think the meal was pretty successful all in all.  I think the following tips helped that happen:

  • I served everything family style so the boys could be in charge of what they chose and how much they put on their plates – I’ve always done this but was reminded how helpful it can be over at Blog for Family Dinner
  • I served the concoction in one dish (chicken, quinoa, and tomato sauce) but also served plain chicken and plain quinoa (the boys were expected to try the concoction – three bites – but could then opt for the plain versions if preferred)
  • As the boys finished their chosen portion of green beans, I gently guided them to help themselves to more, which they happily did!

We enjoyed a nice family dinner with conversation guided away from the food and towards our daily evening chat:  What was the best and worst thing about the day?  We always have that talk, as I like to catch up with things going on in my boys’ lives, but also so they have the opportunity to share anything that is not so great.   I believe in creating a safe environment to talk about the stuff that might be on their minds.  My plan is to ensure that conversation is part of our family life  now, so communication is open when we hit the dreaded teenage years.

19 comments on “Healthy, Lazy Dinner

    • Hi Eila,
      Believe me, I have done many pizza nights, but sometimes I do better just throwing stuff together as it gives me the push I need to actually feed the kids 😉

  1. Love one pot meals on a busy day, and you are wise to start the conversations early…teenagers are a whole different story, but hopefully for your kids it will just be part of their normal routine.

  2. Love it. I was JUST trying to come up with tips for clients about this exact same thing as this is what I do but never remember to summarize after so it’s hard for me to explain my “lazy dinners”. Now I’ll just point them here!
    I’ve found at my house the lazy night meals sometimes end up being family favorites. Oh and the serving style-that’s key. With my kids they never bought into “they’ll eat if they help cook” but they do eat way more when they’re allowed to serve themselves.
    Thanks for this.

    • So glad this was helpful and thank you for pointing people my way if they need it. I also tried the ‘cook it with me’ trick and I ended up with mess all over the kitchen and kids announcing they didn’t like it….and I’m not surprised…it generally did taste bad.

  3. Very interesting about how you always serve your meals family style. I’ve always plated my daughter’s dinner for her (she’s 3), but I may have to try your method. What age did you start this? Thanks!

    Oh, and the dinner sounds fabulous, especially for a “lazy dinner”! 🙂

    • I also plated the kid’s dinners at three. I think I started family style once the oldest was five. We also had health issues with my youngest which meant he could not eat certain foods or tolerate certain tastes. It helped to have a few choices to prevent too much short order cook syndrome. I also started introducing new foods which were more adult once my big boy turned seven and they could ‘try it’ a few times…now he eats a lot more.

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