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Top 10 Mommy Meals to Make in 10 Minutes or Less

As a relatively new mom, I’ve come to realize that even the best intentions don’t get things done around my house all the time. Sometimes the laundry suffers, sometimes the dishes, sometimes everything around me looks like a tornado tore through my home. I’m sure I’m not alone on this. I can’t tell you how many times it gets to be 2, 3, or even 4 o’clock in the afternoon and I haven’t eaten lunch yet. I think those days occurred more frequently when my daughter was younger, but now that she’s crawling and sitting unsupported, I find it a little easier to make up a snappy lunchtime meal in 10 minutes or less.

In thinking about it, I realized other new moms, and moms of more than one child, might be able to benefit from some Quick Chef ideas. So, my friends, here you have it – my favorite 10 mommy meals to make in 10 minutes or less. Enjoy!

Leftovers – It probably goes without saying, but if you have a feeling you won’t have time to make yourself a decent lunch, just cook a little more for dinner a few times per week. You can have leftovers with just about anything you make, but my favorite leftover dishes are any kind of pasta bake like lasagna, baked ziti, macaroni and cheese, and other things like Stromboli, stir fry, or whatever your favorite meals are. My other favorite leftovers tip is when you are having meat, especially chicken, ham, or some kind of steak, get ready to use those leftovers in a nice mommy meal as outlined in my other favorites below…

Gourmet Salad – If you don’t mind the bagged variety, you can eat healthy and instantly. Save some leftover chicken, steak, ham, or even salmon or shrimp from the previous night’s dinner and top your salad off with a few strips of that yummy protein, sliced hard-boiled egg, shredded cheese, and some bacon bits (we keep a jar of real bacon bits in our fridge). I occasionally also top my salads with walnuts or pecans and dried cranberries or Craisins. Yum! Top with your favorite dressing. You can alternate between house salad, Caesar salad, and some variety of a chopped or wedge salad if you like. Plus, a few meals of salad each week should help you get back to your preferred weight, if you haven’t already.

Oatmeal – Oatmeal is one of the quickest meals you can make, especially if you pop it in the microwave. Add Craisins or other dried fruit, a little sugar or brown sugar, and I even throw in some mini chocolate chips from time to time. This fast mommy meal makes a great breakfast or brunch item, but I just had it for lunch a few days ago.

Omelet – I am not big on scrambled eggs, but I do like a nice turkey, bacon, and cheese omelet done MY way. I like to use those little egg and pancake molds that you can find in just about any cool kitchen store, or online at places like Amazon. (Added bonus—your kids will love pancakes shaped like hearts and flowers!) I simply add some leftover turkey or deli turkey / lunchmeat, some of the aforementioned bacon bits, and top with a slice of provolone cheese. You can make your omelet YOUR way as a great breakfast, brunch, or even lunch idea in just a few minutes.

Tuna Melt – Simple and yummy – top an English muffin or half of a plain bagel with your choice of tuna and a slice of your favorite cheese. (You can add shredded cheese instead if you prefer.) Pop it into the oven at about 350 for 7 or 8 minutes or so, or until desired doneness. As a special tip, you can do this if you have other foods on hand as well, like a chicken melt, turkey melt, ham and cheese melt, etc. Enjoy!

5 More Mommy Meals…

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Grilled Sandwich – Sometimes grilled cheese just hits the spot. You can also add yummy extras in your grilled cheese, like a slice of ham or turkey, a few slices of tomato, or some bacon bits. Grill to perfection or use a Panini press to get those even more delicious golden creases in your sandwich! Grilled sandwiches can be a nice meal that warms your tummy, especially this time of year.

Quesadillas – Anytime we have leftover chicken, we usually end up making at least one round of chicken quesadillas. You can also make quesadillas with shrimp, steak, salmon, or almost anything you have on hand – that is the beauty of owning a quesadilla maker. I bought ours for $35 for a Cinco de Mayo party and haven’t looked back. (Other than to marvel at how many times over it’s been well worth the investment!

Easy Stir Fry – If you have pasta or rice, some kind of meat / poultry / seafood, and some kind of veggies, you are in luck. Warm up a little olive oil and a small pat of butter. Toss in some chopped garlic and simmer until tender, then add your meat selection. Some foods take longer to cook than others – make sure chicken is white all the way through, no pink, before adding your chopped veggies. Steam until tender yet still crisp. Add pasta or rice to your bowl first, then toss in some of your delicious stir fry! This meal can be longer or shorter than 10 minutes, depending on what you are cooking fresh and what you are using as leftovers. It is definitely one of my go-to quick and easy dinners to make on a time crunch.

Pasta ala Mom – Like my stir fry dinners, you can quickly whip up some pasta and toss with leftover chicken, a little ground beef, or some shrimp (we have some of the frozen, cleaned, cooked variety in our freezer). This works best if you have a little sauce already on hand, unless of course you don’t mind jar sauce. I always doctor up the jar sauce, so if I don’t have any already prepared, I usually turn to a quick scampi type sauce, which I make by melting a little butter, mixing with a little olive oil, some minced garlic, and a splash of lemon juice. Of course, this only really goes well with the shrimp or some kind of seafood, and you MIGHT be able to get away with it for chicken. (Chicken Scampi? Hmm… not sure on that one…)

Delivery – Hey every mom deserves a treat once in a while. If you are really stuck, consider ordering yourself a sandwich, salad, or Chinese food to get you through the day. Besides, you can probably get a load of wash done or scrub a few dishes while you wait for it to get there!


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Kathryn D'Imperio: