Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Double Duty Dinners = Easy, Breezy Weeknight Recipeasies!

Having two toddlers, I'm finding I have less and less time to cook except when they are asleep. I like to spend nap time cleaning up around the house and I'm usually exhausted by they time the go to bed. I always have big hopes for dinner when I make my grocery list and then when it comes time for dinner all my plans go out the window and we eat the same thing.

I decided this week to take a look at double duty dinners.  I searched my Recipes file on Pinterest and found two recipes that called for Balsamic Chicken. I thought we'd start with this recipe from Maggie's Bites for Balsamic Chicken and Asparagus and follow up the next night with Multiply Delicious' Balsamic Chicken, Spinach and Tomato Pasta Salad. After reading that the second recipe used Newman's Own Balsamic as the chicken marinade, I took the shortcut and put 6 skinny chicken breasts in that to marinade instead of making my own. I love that both of these recipes require just a few ingredients that I already have on hand.

We just finished the first meal and I loved it, and so did one of my girls. The other one only likes beans, avocados and strawberries, but that is a whole different post. I love that all the extras from meal 1 can be tossed right into menu 2. I went ahead and made the second meal tonight, while I was making a mess in the kitchen. My husband wasn't a fan of the tangy balsamic dressing on the pasta, but I thought it was a great dish to be served hot or cold. It would make a healthy and filling lunch on the go, too.

Meal 1
Balsamic Chicken and Asparagus

Meal 2

Here are some other double duty recipes for cutting down your weeknight cooking.

I love this Honey Garlic Chipotle Flank Steak recipe from She Knows followed by steak fajitas the next night. I can't wait to try this next week.

The crock-pot BBQ chicken found at Stick a Fork in It could be turned into a variety of 2nd night meal options like salad, quesadillas, wraps, pizza or even calzones. This is sure to be a recipe that my husband will love.

Happy Cooking! I would love to know how other moms manage weeknight meals, so please feel free to share your weeknight cooking tips and recipes!

Posted by Liz

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