Last Tuesday I found myself in a situation that many a stay-at-home mom of a toddler prays for but so rarely happens.
Eve was into hour four of post-trip marathon nap, recovering from a late return the night prior from a family getaway. I found myself grappling with a major decision: Should I continue to let her catch up on much-needed sleep (and secretly, my own luxuriating in having so many uninterrupted hours to do work)? Or, should I wake her up so that her bedtime wouldn’t totally be screwed up and so that we would also have time to do something fun together in the afternoon?
I have found that the afternoons with a toddler I am often faced with a conundrum, as I’m never entirely sure when she going to wake up from her nap. There is a fine window of time where I can get her down to sleep so that we sufficient time to have an afternoon adventure AND get back in time to make dinner without feeling rushed. Otherwise we risk being stuck in the house, and time seems to slow down.
The struggle is real, my friends.
As much as I love cooking dinner, and it can be a really nice creative break for me, I don’t want my afternoons to be ruled by getting dinner on the table. Given that I never know from one day to the next when Eve is going to wake up, it can be tricky.
The solution? Fast and easy-to-prep meals that are tasty and nutritious. No matter what our afternoons brings us — or what type of creative adventure I have up my sleeve — I find having an arsenal of recipes that take less than 30 minutes to prep and cook are vital to surviving the afternoon slump.
(Plus, less time cooking means more time for your own creative pursuits!) Regardless of your family’s needs, you’ll find some easy weeknight meals to satisfy everyone! I can’t wait to try out some of these recipes myself.
Lightening-Fast Cheesy Three-Pepper Ravioli with Italian Sausage from Two Healthy Kitchens
Pesto Baked Salmon with Veggies from Fantastic Food
Flatbread pizzas from Food Fun Family
Hummus Pita Pizzas by Home Cooking Memories
Classic Chicken Salad & Avocados from Wannabite
Creamy Garlic Pasta Shells with Smoked Sausage from Thrifty DIY Diva
Curry Mac & Cheese (allergen-free!) from Strength & Sunshine
Chicken & Apple Baked Polenta from Serendipity & Space
Unstuffed Paleo Cabbage Rolls from Confessions of an Overworked Mom
[Tweet “Don’t let dinner prep dictate your schedule — try one of these quick & easy weeknight #recipes!”]
What will you make for dinner?