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Wondering what a five minute family dinner can be? Then stay tuned. Ever since I wrote about 5 Minute Dinner and Another 5 Minute Dinner, I have had a couple of emails a week from readers who are looking for more ideas for quick and easy meals. There is also 5 Minute Chicken Salad.
Yesterday, I asked my Facebook readers if they ate our more often than what they would like. I discovered that “like” may not have been the best word because so many people, myself included, would like to eat out nearly all the time. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?! In the midst of the week when it is hot and sticky out, the idea of not having to make dinner sounds good to me, and this is where I was just last night.
I was so tempted to use a gift card that we have to grab a couple of quick pizzas, but I refrained and went to one of my go-to meals instead. Most of the people who answered my informal poll on Facebook said that they end up eating out more than they should.
I think, that if we have a decent collection of quick dinner ideas in our memory bank and some basic supplies on hand, we can whip up something in no time. Oftentimes it is just the idea of what to make that holds us up, at least if you are anything like me.
My posts on Stress-Free Pantry Staples and Stress-Free Freezer Staples tells you what I always have on hand. Yesterday my plan was for tacos, so all I needed to do was haul my prepared *taco meat out of the freezer and chop up the fresh ingredients. Easy peasy, right? In theory, but when I forgot to pick up the tortillas on the way home at 5:00, tacos just aren’t possible, and I was not going out AGAIN!
So, into my memory bank I went for some easy meals that come together quickly and can please everyone since I also was not in the mood for complaining.
This meal idea stems from foods that you most likely have in your refrigerator. If you have read about my Personal Pizza Bar, you already know that I love meals when everyone can have their food made to order – as long as it is not inconvenient to make.
This is the reason that a baked potato and salad bar is one of my favorite go-to meals. The ingredients work together, so I have two components to the meal with only having to prepare one thing, essentially.
- So, it really is this easy, and altogether it only took me five minutes to gather and chop:
Throw the baked potatoes in the microwave. Then, set about chopping your fresh ingredients…the salad and whatever toppings you like or have on hand. For me, this is different every time. If I’ve got avocados, for instance, they become an added topping choice for either the potato or the salad. I’ve also had ham, chicken, or ground beef to use up, and leftover taco meat makes for a quick and easy taco salad, too.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
For the potatoes:
- sour cream
- ranch dressing
For the salad:
- any vegetables
- hard boiled eggs
- leftover meat (have you ever had steak on a salad with a little fresh parmesan cheese? YUM)
- black beans
- garbanzo beans (or chick peas)
- chip crumbs at the bottom of the bag to add some crunch. See my BBQ Chicken Salad recipe
If you are looking for a quick, nutritious, and fresh meal to give the troops in order to avoid running out for fast food, a pizza and baked potato bar can give you a 5 minute family dinner that everyone will love! Get creative, and use up what you’ve got. This is a great way to clean out the fridge and to be frugal, which is one of the tips allows me to feed my clan for $250 a month.