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Homeschool Mom’s Guide to Easy Meals

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I don’t know about anyone else but mealtime takes up a lot of time at our place. I’m usually cooking for 5-6 people at each meal, and I laughingly say it takes them 5 minutes to devour a meal that took me 1 hour to make. I’m sorta teasing.  Anyway, I don’t have the time to spend 3 hours a day on preparing food, and I’m betting you don’t either. So here is a guide to quick homeschooling meals for very busy moms.

First off, I want my meals to be healthy.  As a result, I cook with freshly ground flour and whole foods as much as possible. I do buy nitrate free lunch meats, and these make great lunches on whole wheat, low carb wraps with cheese and fruit.

For breakfast, I often make blueberry granola, and the kids love this so I make a double batch. This makes great snacks as leftovers. To make it, take 1/2 cup olive oil (not virgin), 1/2 cup maple syrup, 2 1/4 cups old fashioned oats, cinnamon, blueberries, and nuts.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On the stovetop, heat oil and syrup. Add cinnamon and oats. Then stir in blueberries and nuts. Make sure everything looks wet. I use a heavy iron skillet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Serve warm!

For lunches, I often make cheesy pasta, loaded baked potatoes, homemade pizza, or a breakfast food like pancakes or waffles.  To make a healthy cheesy pasta, simply cook whole wheat pasta, add a couple teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil, 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, and lemon pepper seasoning.  Stir until melted.  Serve hot! For a variation, add crumbled leftover bacon and diced veggies.

Loaded baked potatoes are extremely easy and yummy. Scrub potatoes and poke holes in them. Rub olive oil and salt on the outside. Bake in a 445 degree oven for 45-60 minutes or until fork tender.  Top with leftover cooked meat, stir fry, cheese, or lunch meat. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and enjoy.

It’s easy to make a double batch of pancakes or waffles then for lunch stuff them with meat and cheese and bake for 10 minutes in a 400 degree oven until crispy and melted.  You can also double or triple your batch, cool, and freeze to reheat later.

For a premade biscuit mix, take 10 cups of whole wheat flour (I use Prairie Gold.), 12 tsp. of baking powder, 6 tsp. salt, 2 cups milk powder, and mix well. Store in an airtight container in the freezer. Then take 2 1/2 cups of mixture and cut in 1/2 stick of butter and enough water to make a thick dough.  Knead a few times and roll out on floured surface 1/2 inch thick.  Cut out biscuits and place in oiled pan, turning once to coat.  Bake at 445 degrees for 15 minutes or until golden.  Makes 4-5 batches of 12 biscuits.

If you don’t have an instant pot, I highly recommend getting one! You can cook a pot of dry beans in under an hour and 2-3 pounds of frozen chicken breasts in 35 minutes with no effort on your part other than loading the cooker!  I use mine to make mashed potatoes, whole chickens, BBQ, soup, chili, sauces and more. In fact, other than my iron skillets, it’s my most used kitchen tool!

It’s also helpful to large batch cook, when possible, on rolls, muffins, and even cookies or pies. Wrap and freeze the extras for busy mornings or evenings.

I hope these ideas help you get out of the kitchen more while still enjoying healthy homecooked meals. Have a wonderful fall!

 

Jenny Underwood is a wife to her amazing husband of 21 years and 4 lively children. She blogs at https://www.inconvenientfamily.com where she is learning that blessings aren’t always convenient.

 

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