You know that point in the day when you already produced at least one nourishing, palate and-mind expanding meal? And you had to clean up. And then someone got irrational because you said “no more screen time” even though you say it all the time. Every. Single. Day. To add injury to insult, you can’t pinpoint exactly when you wrenched it, but your neck is definitely hurting.
So, here you are, it’s 5:30 p.m. and you’re facing the existential crisis otherwise known as “dinner.”
Anybody can look up a recipe on their phone, but that might look Instagram perfect and make you feel worse. And it goes without saying that you should refrain from watching cooking shows on TV right now. They’re aspirational and perfect for the right time of day, which this is most assuredly not.
Well, moms, dads and caregivers—we’ve been there and we’re here to help. You want easy? We have it. Ingredients likely to be in your cabinet? Check. We don’t call these recipes—we call them lifelines.
Here’s our list of five ideas to get you on to bath time, bedtime and beyond.
They fall for it every time. With just a little help from you so they don’t spill sticky mango juice all over the just-cleaned floor, they can assemble a group of yummy finger foods. If you have one of those “the carrot is touching the cheese” kids, just break out the segmented plate. (You’re welcome!)
Dinner can be as easy a few grapes, several nuts, string cheese, a turkey roll (deli turkey rolled up), a piece of whole-wheat toast and a carrot stick. Nobody’s picky when they made it themselves. Wink, wink.
White beans, olive oil and lemon juice. If you have sage, go ahead and get jiggy with it after you chop into microscopic pieces—the smaller the green stuff the fewer the complaints. If not, salt and pepper are fine.
Now, you’ve got a crostini topper (just make some toast), a bed for some canned or jarred tuna if they’ll eat that or a perfectly delicious pasta sauce.
Breakfast for Dinner
On a day like this, a few food groups are enough. Stop flipping out and flip a pancake or an omelet instead.
If you can handle some drips and spills on the table, this can be quick and painless. Beans and cheese are the basics. Rice is optional. Left over chicken or meat can be cut up and heated easily. If you have an avocado, you’re in the big leagues!
Sauce in a Jar
Anytime you have about quarter jar of peanut butter left, make Pong Pong sauce right in the jar. Just add about 3 tablespoons each of sesame oil, tamari and rice wine vinegar until the consistency is just about pourable. If you have any, add chopped scallions, garlic,and ginger.
Trust us, it is yummy on any carb you can think of, from soba noodles to sponge cake. (Okay, that one’s gross.)
Dinner dilemma, be gone!