We are a hybrid family with a vegetarian and meat eaters, therefore making quick meals that are tasty is a challenge. Some evenings we are so busy with our three boys’ activities that we have just minutes to prepare and eat a meal before we are out the door.Though there are a few frozen food companies who make vegetarian meals, most frozen food companies only make meals that contain meat. Fresh is always better tasting so over the years I have come up with a few fast meals that can be meatless or meat can easily be added. Here are a few of my most frequently used favorites:
1). Tortilla Roll-up: Place a tortilla on a microwave safe plate. Pour a line of salsa down the center about an inch thick. Sprinkle shredded mild cheddar cheese along the top of the salsa line. Spread a spoonful of light sour cream along one edge of tortilla. Add desired optional items: spoonful of cooked meat, canned corn, black beans, crumbled up hash brown patty (precooked), chopped precooked peppers, diced tomato, jalapeno slices, or candied jalapeno slices (yum! The sweet and spicy addition is delicious). Fold the tortilla sides in to the middle, first fold in the side without the sour cream, then fold the side with sour cream so that when you fold the tortilla the sour cream will act like to glue to keep the it rolled. Cover with a paper towel and microwave for 1 minute.Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomato, guacamole, diced avocado, or jalapenos, or nothing.This makes a warm, delicious, quick meal that is one of my favorites. Also I can turn it into a quick meal for meat eaters by adding already cooked pork or leftover grilled chicken pieces or simply leave meat off. Having leftover grilled meats are a giant plus because they can quickly be added.
2). Ranch Wrap: When at McDonald’s, we order a version of this and the workers always question me, and I always say that yes, please do not add the chicken. This is how I do it at home. In a bowl combine a handful of any kind of lettuce, a teaspoon of sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts, 1/8 cup chopped cucumber or red pepper, sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese, and pour ranch dressing over it all. Stir to coat with dressing. Spoon onto tortilla and roll or fold tortilla in half. Again that leftover grilled meat comes in handy because it is ready to add. I add leftover crumbled bacon (yes, save your leftover cooked bacon!), leftover grilled chicken, or turkey. It goes perfect with mini rice cakes on the side instead of chips for some extra crunch.
3). Spicy Bagel Sandwich: Whether toasted or not, this is a delicious quick sandwich I make before heading out for a busy evening schedule. Spread jalapeno cream cheese on both cut sides of a plain or seeded bagel and top with a romaine lettuce leaf, slices of tomato, slices of avocado. Again adding a slice of turkey or chicken sandwich meat makes the meat lover in your family happy with this easy sandwich.
4). Egg Tortilla Wrap: I love this one in the morning, for lunch, or for dinner. Spray a microwave safe bowl with cooking spray (the spray keeps the egg from crusting onto the bowl, scrubbing caked-on egg off a bowl defeats the purpose of a fast meal). Crack one or two eggs into the bowl and add about a tablespoon of milk. Scramble with a fork and microwave for about a minute, add 10 seconds in increments if still runny. Slide egg patty onto tortilla and top with salsa and shredded cheese and spread sour cream on one edge of the tortilla. Fold side without sour cream in first and then side with sour cream next to seal it. Precooked or canned corn, onions, or green pepper are delicious addition to this before folding, again if I have leftover veggies I save them in the fridge for an easy addition. For the meat eaters, add crumbled cooked bacon, ham chunks, or crumbled cooked sausage.
As a busy mom I save all bits of leftovers for easy additions. I hope this gives you some ideas to try for quick meals for both the vegetarian and the meat eaters in your family, as busy parents we need quick meals especially when the evenings schedule is packed with practices, games, Cub Scouts, or music lessons.Or when we are just too tired from running kids all around to make something elaborate or gourmet.
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