The Answer to a Busy Mom's Meal Planning: One-Dish Dinners

The Answer to a Busy Mom's Meal Planning: One-Dish Dinners

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Who doesn't love a simple and delicious dinner? What about a simple and delicious dinner, that's all cooked in just one dish?

I am a busy, busy, busy parent, just like many of you. And I work hard to make the most use of my time, and spend as little of our family's hard earned dollars at the grocery store, and ultimately on dinner. With all the fiddling with food that I do in the kitchen, I have found the simplest way to getting dinner on the table that works wonderfully for our family…with less mess and less preparation time.

One-Dish Dinners.

These are meals that you cook all in one dish. The protein, the starch, the veggies and sometimes fruit. Cooked all together in just a dish. See, the less mess part.  Just one dish.  One-Dish Dinners. Many of the one-dish dinners that I enjoy making are often of the "dump and run" variety, as these are perfect for our family's busy schedule.  We love the Beef Roast with Apples, Carrots and Pearled Onions and the Slow Cooker Sweet Potato and Chicken Curry. Simple to prepare, easy to clean-up and everyone leaves the dinner table satisfied.

I also like to double up one-dish dinners that I'm preparing, like the Dutch Oven Beef Stew with Butternut Squash, and either cook up a second batch, or add all the ingredients to a dish or gallon-size plastic storage bag, and stash the extra meal portion in the freezer to use in the future.

Less time in the kitchen and less mess to deal with after dinner are extremely important to me as a busy mom. I'd much prefer to spend time with my kids on their homework, building elaborate train track schemes or out on the back patio listening to them play with delight in the backyard. And really, these days are so precious and every second really does count.

Erin Chase is the founder of $5 and author of The $5 Dinner Mom's One-Dish Dinners Cookbook.



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