#SundaySupper is a group of bloggers who are on a mission to bring back sunday supper around the family table in every home. This special Back to School #SundaySupper will focus on fast weeknight meals that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.
Days are long and frenetic with work, school, and extracurricular activities. My kids are still in preschool and I’m bracing myself for even crazier schedules within the next few years. Regardless, 4 o’clock seems to be the critical hour. It’s a race to cook and get something on the table before the kids hit their tired/hungry wall because once they hit that wall, there is no turning back. It’s meltdown city and…the kids are not having fun either. My priority has been to give the kids something home cooked and healthy on the table even if it zaps my last joule of energy. Admittedly, some days are more difficult than others.
Here are a few tips I’ve picked up in the last couple of years. Please share any meal time tips that have proved invaluable to you.
1 – Plan your meals for the week.
I thought there was a science to planning meals, but lo and behold there is no formula or equation. You just sit your arse down with your preferred writing medium and figure out what you’re going to make for the week! Select your recipes, make your shopping list and just do it. Believe me, the weeks that I do it (hey, I’m only human), it makes life so much easier.
2 – Reserve a couple of Sundays a month to just cook your brains out.
Plan for it and commit. Cook like the apocalypse is coming down upon you. What do you cook? Your favorite soups, sauces, meatballs, dumplings, etc. Whatever dishes that you can make ahead of time that freeze well or dishes that you will have later in the week.
3 – Don’t experiment during the week.
If you have at least one child who is not the adventurous type, you need to have a few good dishes in your arsenal to ensure happy times at the dinner table.
During the week is not the time to go crazy and experiment. Believe me, I have done it a couple of times and have sorely regretted it. The weekends are the best time for me to try a new recipe, sit back and see how the kids like it. I have about 7 or so dishes that I fall back on, and if I can make them ahead of time, then all the better.
4 - Yummy, Yucky, or Kinda Yummy, Kinda Yucky.
Oh wait, your kid(s) sees a new dish that doesn’t look remotely like buttered penne? I love this game that Sustainable Dad came up with to get his kids to try new foods, AND it amazingly works with my kids!
5 – Did you have an especially rough day?
Go ahead, have a glass of vino.
Here’s a recipe that I fall back on when I need something in less than 30 minutes. It looks like it would take forever, but it’s pretty fast and easy. I pick up some fresh cod on the way home and I’m good to go since the rest of the ingredients are pantry staples. This dish also freezes well so you can make a batch and freeze some for later. Just make sure the pieces are cooled before you seal it in a freezer-friendly bag.
Pan-fried fish or saeng sun jun
Serves 2 hungry toddlers and 2 adults.
1 pound cod (hake is a good substitute)
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs, beaten
salt and pepper
1 – Slice the cod, across the grain, in 1/4-inch slices.
2 – Season with salt and pepper. Let sit for about 10 minutes.
3 – Prepare a shallow bowl or pie tin of flour. Prepare a separate bowl for the eggs.
4 – Heat a 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil.
5 – Dredge each slice of cod with flour. Then coat with the egg mixture and place into the skillet. Repeat until the skillet is full but not crowded. Cook until golden brown.
6 – Flip each piece and cook until browned.
7 – Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 until all the fish is cooked.
8 – Set aside on a platter. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce. We like just plain ketchup or a soy sauce/vinegar sauce which is made up of equal parts soy sauce and white vinegar.
I usually accompany this dish with steamed brown or white rice and a side of roasted broccoli or oi muchin (seasoned cucumber) as shown in the first photo.
You are not going to believe the quick and easy Back to School Meals that the #SundaySupper team has put together for you this week. Just look at what they have made!
- Greek Dogs by Supper For a Steal
- Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad by Magnolia Days
- Double Duty Fajita Chicken: Nachos Supreme and Enchiladas by Doggie at the Dinner Table
- Zucchini, Corn and Bacon Crepes by Vintage Kitchen
- Oregon Shrimp Quesadillas by Pescetarian Journal
- Korean omelet rice by Crispy Bits & Burnt Ends
- Lemon Dillled Salmon Croquette Burgers by Granny’s Down Home Southern Cooking
- Gluten Free Pepper Steak with Rice by No One Likes Crumbley Cookies
- Crispy Ravioli in Cherry Tomato Sauce by Shockingly Delicious
- BLT Soup by Meal Planning Magic
- Korean Pan-Fried Fish by Kimchi Mom
- Stove top mac ‘n cheese by Gotta Get Baked
- Deconstructed Enchiladas by In the Kitchen with KP
- Croque Monsieurs by Juanita’s Cocina
- Summer Squash and Mushroom Quesadillas by Chocolate Moosey
- Seared Lamb on a bed of Mashed potatoes with Artichoke Hearts by Cooking Underwriter
- Pasta with creamy kale pesto by Webicurean
- Baked Spanish Tortilla by Happy Baking Days
- Grilled Chicken Caesar Pizza by In the Kitchen with Audrey
- Garlicky Pasta with Swiss Chard and Beans by The Lemon Bowl
- Tomato Pie by My Catholic Kitchen
- Shredded Chicken in Peanut Sauce Tacos w/ Corn & Zucchini Sauté by GirliChef
- Tomatillo Chicken Stew by Small Wallet, Big Appetite
- Pollo a la Crema by La Cocina de Leslie
- Baked Tilapia Fish Tacos by Home Cooking Memories
- Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken with a Yogurt Dill sauce and a Greek Salad by Noshing with the Nolands
- Wagon Wheel Pasta with Pancetta & Peas by Chelsea’s Culinary Indulgence
- Lemon & Dill Shrimp Pasta w/ Oven Roast Corn by Mama, Mommy, Mom
- Ricotta – Tofu Tomato Toasts by Yummy Smells
- One Pot Spicy Asian Chicken and Rice by Hezzi D
- Turkey Italian Brown Rice Casserole by Momma’s Meals
- Flatbread Pizza with Cilantro Garlic Sauce by Mom’s Test Kitchen
- Cashew Chicken Stir-fry by Diabetic Foodie
- Chicken Bacon Avocado Quesadillas by Dinners, Dishes and Desserts
- Roasted Butternut Lo Mein by The Meltaways
- Potluck Casserole with Cornbread Stuffing by Cindy’s Recipes & Writings
- Jerk Chicken Chili by Mrs. Mama Hen
- Loaded Chicken and Steak Stuffed Potatoes by Big Bears Wife
- Steamed Tofu Serve with Fried Mix Vegetables by My Trials in the Kitchen
- Pasta with sausage and cherry tomatoes by Tora’s Real Food
- Chicken Ravioli with Peas and Bacon by Daddy Knows Less
- Quick N Easy Thai Coconut Shrimp Stir Fry by Sue’s Nutrition Buzz
- Whole Wheat Pizza with Hummus & Fresh Greens by Family Spice
- Speedy ‘n Spicy Shrimp Pasta by The Weekend Gourmet
- End of Summer Grilled Peach and Chicken Salad by Sustainable Dad
- Teriyaki Tuna Bowl by Family Foodie
- Weeknight Stir Fry by From Fast Food to Fresh Food
- Baked Egg with Mushrooms and Bacon by Pippi’s in the Kitchen Again
- Taco Bake by Daily Dish Recipes
- Fried Rice and Black Beans by Mama’s Blissful Bites
- Chicken with Broccoli, Sun-dried Tomatoes and Bow Ties by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Pasta in Tomato sauce and turkey meatballs by Basic & Delicious
- Pasta Primavera by Midlife Road Trip
- Tots Your Tots Will Love by The Hand that Rocks the Ladle
Can you believe that line up of recipes? What a fabulous list of meals we have and like I said, I can meal plan for weeks!
Please be sure you join us on Twitter throughout the day today. We’ll also be meeting up at 7:00 p.m. EST tonight for our weekly #SundaySupper live chat where we’ll talk more in depth about Back to School Meals and ways to make meal time easier with tips & tricks to help you out! If you’re a busy parent, you don’t want to miss this!
All you have to do is follow the #SundaySupper hashtag, or you can follow us through TweetChat! We’ll be sharing great recipes and tips all afternoon, and we’ll be talking all things Back to School Meals during our live chat!
We’d also love to feature your Back to School Recipes on our #SundaySupper Pinterest board and share them with all of our followers!