What is a "Working Mom™ Minute Meal"?
It's a quick homemade meal prepared from common household ingredients. There are several factors I've considered:
No matter how much of a rush you're in, it's vital to keep the meal nutritious. This isn't always so easy to do. My own situation is even further complicated due to food allergies which limit my options. Nevertheless, the primary purpose of a meal is to keep the family nourished.even if you've got just minutes to do it.
When there's less than 10 minutes to get out the door in the morning, no one has had breakfast and lunches aren't packed.speed is what you need! For dinners, consider a Working MomT minute meal when you get home late or have a lot to do in one night.
I love fresh cilantro, coriander and exotic fruits like the quince. The problem is I don't always have these ingredients handy, and the kids probably wouldn't eat them. I usually just have things like bread, eggs, cheese and seasoned salt. A minute meal that calls for something uncommon or highly perishable is unrealistic.
Acceptability of Kids:
Tough one.In my un-scientific study of my own kids, nieces and nephews, the Working MomT Minute Meals get eaten without arguments. No matter how quick, nutritious and handy a meal is, if you've got to fight really hard to get the kids to eat it.you've won the battle, but may end up losing the war.
For breakfast and lunch, anything that creates a potential spill or could leave an obvious stain is OUT of the question. Even for dinner, something quick to make but hard to clean later does NOT a minute meal make. Remember, if it uses a lot of pots, requires soaking or a scouring pad to clean, you've automatically lost the time you saved.
If you have the money, you could probably order "take out", or afford pre-packaged frozen meals in the grocery store. Working MomT Minute Meals are designed under the assumption that you work to make money for your family, not spend it. However, on occasion, "take out" can be the most economical, nutritious option. (For example a restaurant coupon or a pizza delivery special)
Could you give us some examples of Minute Meals?
Sure! These recipes started out without names, but over the years, nicknames have evolved and stuck. You'll make the most of these meals if you have a microwave, a 4-slice toaster, and keep a can of non-stick cooking spray in your cupboard.
Click for printer friendly examples
"HOCKEY PUCK AND BOX JUICE" (or box milk)
(Translation- "box milk" & "box juice" are "juice boxes" or travel-sized Parmalat)
Fork split English muffins
(Turkey bacon optional)
Time: 6 minutes from start to finish
Break English muffins in half, and put in toaster. Spray non-stick cooking spray into a small microwave save bowl. Crack open one egg, and scramble it inside the small bowl. Microwave for 30-45 seconds. Place slice of cheese inside toasted English muffin. Turn bowl over on top of English muffin and let the egg drop out. Close sandwich and place in a zipper lock sandwich bag. Give child a juice box and go.
(Strips of turkey bacon (pre-cooked) or cold cuts can be added to this recipe, just place the meat inside the sprayed bowl before you cook the egg.)
"MOVIE THEATRE TRIANGLE CHEEZE"
Piece of Fruit
Time: 4 minutes from start to lunchbox
Put 2 slices of bread in the toaster. Put one package of microwave popcorn in microwave. Get two zippered sandwich bags. Put a slice of cheese on each side of the toast. When popcorn is done, pour it into the zippered sandwich bag and close. Now put both slices of toast inside microwave with the cheese side up for 10 seconds. Carefully close sandwich so both sides of softened cheese touch. Cut in quarters diagonally creating triangle shapes. Place in other zippered sandwich bag. Add a piece of fruit and a juice box to the lunch and go.
Boneless Chicken Breast
Frozen mixed vegetables
Instant mashed potatoes
(Butter and seasoned salt optional)
Time: 20 minutes from start to dinner table
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Take aluminum foil and place over a cookie sheet or grilling pan. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Put chicken on top, sprinkle with seasoning and place inside oven for 18 minutes. (Time will vary depending on thickness of chicken breast; thinner cuts will cook even faster)
Open bag of vegetables into microwavable container. Season or add butter if desired. Microwave until done (3-6 minutes depending on your microwave)
Follow instructions on instant mashed potato mix and prepare. Take one serving each (about a ½ cup) and spread on top of dinner plate making a circle about ½ inch deep. Take the cooked vegetables and have kids decorate their plates around the circle making facial features such as eyes, nose smile etc.
When chicken is done, use pieces to complete the face as a hat, or collar on the bottom of the face. Serve and enjoy!
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Is there anything else you'd like to add?
These Meals are deliberately very simple.many Mom's already use them and could add a lot more. If you find the time crunch in your family leaves you wishing for a minute meal every day, then you need to make sure you're not so over-scheduled that your family doesn't even have time to eat!
Minute Meal's are not designed to be a way of life, just an option when time is tight or something comes up. I hope this helps. Send me your comments or your own recipes. If we use them on Workingmom.com we'll send you a free autographed copy of the book "Prayers for the Working Mom." Contact me at Fawnya.email@example.com