It’s Time to Eat!

You can feel it in the air.  Kids and parents alike everywhere are just about to launch into another ten months of scheduling insanity. The piles of homework, projects, fundraisers, sports, and other activities are really just the beginning.  Don’t even mention the holidays.  Yikes!

Amidst all this chaos, home-cooked dinners have become a foreign concept for many families.  Quick and easy meals are a necessity these days. However, while processed and prepared foods may be easy, they are loaded with artificial ingredients, sodium, and unnecessary sugars that wreak havoc on your body.  Creating meals based on whole ingredients sounds complex for the time-pressed family, but your family’s health is at stake.

Our family has a few “go-to” meals that save us time and money and are still exactly what we need to stay healthy enough to keep up with all the events scribbled on our calendar.  Try a few of these “recipes” this fall, and feel proud of yourself for feeding your family healthier meals against the current of rushing obligations.  All of these “recipes” are vegetarian, but you can add meat if you desire.

Pasta night:  You can’t get any better than this if you are looking for an easy and inexpensive way to please your family. Organic pasta and marinara is only about $2 more expensive per meal for a family of four than a conventional bargain brand.  The payoff is no fillers or ingredients grown with harmful pesticides, so you actually are getting more bang for your buck.  Put out some organic carrots (the big bags are quite inexpensive) and some organic ranch (no high-fructose corn syrup or MSG) while you’re squeezing in that spelling list before dinner.  Need this meal to be gluten-free? Use brown rice noodles or corn spaghetti and no one will notice!

Mexican Slop:  Lovingly known by my family as “slop” because each person in the family can “slop” their own ingredients together, this meal is full of fun and flavor!  Start with brown rice, which is inexpensive and can be cooked quickly.  Next, slop on a scoop of black or pinto beans.  If you can prepare the beans ahead of time, dry beans are incredibly cheap, and a whole bag is enough for several meals. Canned beans are acceptable also, as they still pack lots of protein and fiber.  Fresh salsa adds great flavor to this dish, so try a freshly made local brand from the supermarket.  Next, top with a healthy portion of sour cream or even better, plain greek yogurt. It tastes just as creamy, but offers much more nutritional value.  Lastly, you can garnish your “slop” with some shredded cheese and corn chips!  Another perk to this meal is that it is naturally gluten-free!

 Stir-fry: Use brown rice or pasta as the base for this dish.  If you are feeling creative, you can even try exploring the nutty texture of quinoa.  Although it is slightly more expensive, it is another great choice for its health benefits.  Fresh organic vegetables can be expensive, but our family has enjoyed Whole Foods Markets’ frozen stir-fry vegetable blends.  They have three different choices that give you excellent variety for a very good price.  Stocking up on these in your freezer ensures you always have a healthy meal to offer your family at short notice.  Top with your favorite soy or teriyaki sauce and enjoy!  If you need your meals to be gluten-free, use rice or rice noodles and a gluten-free soy sauce and you will be free to indulge!

About Heidi Morris

Rochester Hills mom of three. Loves life, loves family, loves to share new and interesting things with everyone. Contact her today at