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Quick dinner ideas for working moms

March 11th, 2014 9:54 am by Lisa Cianci

Quick dinner ideas for working moms

Orlando Sentinel

(MCT)

As a working mom, dinner is always the vexing question: What am I making tonight, and how quickly can I get it on the table? I’m not talking fancy or elaborate — just meals that don’t take a lot of time and that my finicky guys (husband and son!) will appreciate.

I’ve found some really good recipes. I’m all about getting the evening meal prepped in the morning or — even better — using the slow cooker. It’s such a great feeling when I’m ready to leave work and remember dinner is already done.

— Mediterranean roast turkey in a slow cooker ( http://bit.ly/19ZtJkG ). I made this recently, and it is delicious. I will definitely be adding this to my rotation. My son loved it so much that he had three servings. I didn’t have sun-dried tomatoes or kalamata olives, and it was fine without them. I also doubled the amount of Greek seasoning. For the gravy, instead of adding more flour and broth to the slow cooker for the last 30 minutes (who has that kind of time?), I simply put the broth from the slow cooker in a small saucepan with the flour and whisked for a minute. Do not bypass this step. The gravy makes the dish. Next time, I might add some small potatoes to the slow cooker.

— Chicken Stew with Lemon and Rosemary (http://bit.ly/1cB6vmv ). This one isn’t the quickest recipe, but it’s well worth the time to have an amazing weeknight dinner. Braising meat is a wonderful way to get tender dishes with intense flavors. I do most of the prep on this in the morning, so the only thing left when I get home is popping it into the oven. (Tip: I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs and it needs to cook for less than 30 minutes, not the 40 in the recipe.)

— Spanish Chicken with Chorizo and Potatoes ( http://bit.ly/1cgoX3z ). This is another do-ahead dish that requires little prep time. Again, I use boneless, skinless chicken thighs to speed up cooking time. And for a healthier option, I often substitute Italian turkey sausage for the chorizo. In the morning, I simply line a cookie sheet with foil, spread some olive oil on it, then add the chicken, sausage chunks and raw potatoes. Cover with oregano, onions and orange zest so it’s ready to go when you get home. Roast for 30 minutes in the oven. (I also only make one pan, with six to eight chicken pieces, one pound of sausage and as many halved potatoes that fit in between.)

— Slow-cooked carnitas tacos ( http://bit.ly/1qfadFO ). This one couldn’t be easier. Throw the ingredients in the slow cooker before work and it’s ready when you get home; just shred and top tortillas with cilantro, avocado and maybe a squeeze of lime. I use any kind of pork pieces I have on hand, and I’ve been known to squeeze the juice of an orange into the slow cooker, too.

— One-pot pasta and beef ( http://bit.ly/O1J2iP ). This is sort of like a semi-homemade Hamburger Helper. Ground beef, sauce, ravioli, some onion and garlic = a quick and easy meal.

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