A 15 Minute Dinner Really is Possible!
Is anyone out there not constantly crunched for time? Today I decided to give you a glimpse of dinner at our house. While we don't often have much junk around here (some, but not a lot), we for sure don't have many fancy dinners, rarely is anything beautifully presented, and certainly not beautifully photographed.
But food doesn't have to be any of those things as long as it's nourishing.
So in this post we're gettin' real.
By the way, Kent's not in the video because he wasn't real excited about me videotaping him right as he walked in the door after work. Our 20 year old for SURE wasn't about to let me put him on camera. So you'll just see myself and our other 3 kids.
Watch the video here (video plays after the ad):
(Be sure to stick around after the video so I can share links with you to some of the stuff I talked about…)
Links from the video:
- As mentioned, we had brats from the farm. Find pastured meats here if you don't have a good local source. (Also here's where you can find beef tallow for homemade French fries and onion rings to go with them!!)
- I always buy organic peppers as they are generally highly sprayed with pesticides. I also usually buy organic corn, to avoid GMOs. (I'll pass on my family being part of a big GMO science experiment, thank you very much.)
- Here's my favorite Stainless Steel Electric Pan that I mentioned – I use this for everything and a bonus is how easy it is to clean. (We needed the 16″ for our family, but a 12″ is also available for less money.)
- Dinner is always served with raw milk, of course. 🙂
- You can get grassfed ghee here.
- We generally eat germinated rice for more nutrition. Here's my Spanish rice recipe. (Always made with nourishing bone broth. Here's how to make bone broth)
My favorite “15 Minute Meal” is fried cabbage with ground beef. While I brown my ground beef, I shred the cabbage. If my pan needs more fat and if I have bacon fat, I use that, but if not then I use lard or avocado oil and fry my cabbage in the same pan with some onions salt and pepper. Bam! Dinner is done.
What a great idea, thanks for sharing Trixie!!!
Danielle Levins says
Love this! Yes, we have some meals that are elaborate, and then we have some that are “quick! What do we have in the fridge and what can I do with it!”. Many times I’ll cook once and we’ll eat 2 or 3 meals from it too. Have to maximize that effort where you can. I call mine little turkey’s too, so that just tickled me pink!
You guys are FULL of great info, I love it!!! I’m going to put this on social media and try to get even more ideas. 🙂
Hey everyone, loads more ideas came in via FB: https://www.facebook.com/KellytheKitchenKop/posts/10151201853316262
Thought you might want to check it out.
We pretty much live on leftovers, hah! We concentrate on having healthful basics around: homemade bone stock and pastured meats in the freezer, veggies in the garden (kale seems to thrive year-round in our climate), butter and ghee in the fridge, lard and bacon fat ready to use at any time. We use stock to make soup, of course, and also for reheating leftovers, instead of plain water.
Our favorite no-cook meal is usually a plate of cheeses, crispy nuts, fruit (apples from our trees this time of year!), pate if I have made some recently (I haven’t tried freezing it, but I will), stuff like that. Goes great with wine!
Or, quesadillas with sprouted corn tortillas, raw milk pepper jack cheese, perhaps some beans (often mixed with some hamburger or goat meat), salsa (I’m out of homemade lacto-fermented (but even store-bought can be lacto-fermented with whey), cilantro from the garden, in season, tomatoes if in season, sour cream.
Or, roast butterflied chicken with rice or potatoes and veggies. Or reheated chicken etc.
Or, Niman Ranch sausages heated in a bit of ghee or lard, with salad or veggies. Plus sauerkraut, which is sometimes homemade.
David insists on cooking a whole bag of potatoes from the store at once, then reheating them as leftovers. That avoids waste from them sprouting away in a cupboard, forgotten, and contributes to fast meals.
We usually plan ahead for rice, soaking it in the morning to eat that evening. I occasionally sprout some brown rice but we usually eat white jasmine rice, or basmati.
Burgers. Yep, burgers! The beef is grass-fed, the cheese is raw, the veggies are organic. The buns are organic, but some of the ingredients are questionable, so I apply Ann Marie’s 80/20 rule and simply go with it. Fridays are my shopping day, so by the time I get home from buying food, I cetainly don’t want to stand in the kitchen to cook it, so I turned every Friday into burger nite. While my husband cooks the meat, I chop the veggies and my daughter gets all the fixin’s out. Within 20 minutes, we are eating. We’ve been doing this weekly for months, and no one has complained because, heck!, everyone loves a burger!!
My favorite quick meal:
Scrub and slice one potato per person, then roast in a hot oven (at least 400F) until tender. While potatoes are cooking, fry chopped link sausage or bulk sausage until browned. We love apple maple sausage, but sweet Italian will work in a pinch. Scramble 14-16 eggs (there are 7 of us), and cook in butter. When the eggs are almost cooked, add the sausage to the eggs, and finish cooking.
My family absolutely loves this meal, and there are never any leftovers, no matter how much I make.
LOVE this, Kelly! You should be a home-ec teacher! Thanks for being real, and making it simple. Not everyone wants to be a gourmet chef, but it is too easy to, out of need for simplicity and speed, rely on pre-packaged foods from the grocery store. This is the kind of instruction new wives and mothers need, as well as others who have gotten into a rut of relying on unhealthy choices for the convenience.
Thanks for sharing personal photos and video. That’s neat. I think making quick meals is so satisfying. It keeps us from “ordering out” or picking something up at an unhealthy fast food place. Most days, you can just open your refrigerator and find items you need. Sometimes I’ve made something reallyyyyy delicious out of the blue with items I’ve had.
Sausage (all kinds) is great for me because it keeps in the fridge for quite a long time and can be cut up in a stir fry, browned whole, put in a casserole, put whole on a bun or whatever. It saves you when you don’t have anything defrosted. Find one you really like that is healthy and keep some in the freezer too. Even if you don’t have sausage in the fridge, they will defrost very quickly in water and then while cooking.
If you’re really short on time, don’t peel your potatoes, just scrub them, cut in slices or small chunks and they will cook in no time.
Cleanup? Get the kids involved. They might complain but they will be bonding with the family. Fun cooking!
Your go-to meal would go great with MY go-to meal !!! 🙂
Right now, in the winter time, I will cook beans about once a week . . .and boy do I mean BEANS !!!
I will cook a pound in one whack, at least. I will use some in a dish (soup, chili, etc) THEN I will freeze two cup servings in a zippy bag in the freezer.
If I need a quick meal I’ll pull out a bag, dump in the pan and defrost/simmer.
Then I can add:
1. Ham and make cornbread
2. Sausage, Italian tomatoes, barley and spinach (to white beans) for a Touch of Tuscan
3. Smash and add taco seasonings for burritos/tacos
4. more chili
5. Black bean burgers
6. Whatever else I can think up.
I’ve made everyone of these meals in the past 2 months, btw ! 🙂
Like you said, nothing fancy but gets the job done.
A hungry man and kids are NOT pretty ! o_o
Genet, what kind of beans to you prepare that you use in all of these dishes? And are they cooked in broth? I need some inspiration and you’ve piqued my interest.
Ok. . . .since someone here has already asked. . .NO I am not vegetarian or anything like that! I love my butter and bacon as much as anyone else here. But sometimes, as far as time goes (and budget) the occasional “bean-heavy with a bit of meat” works for us.
I use mostly black, pinto or white beans. (Great Northern or Navy).
Pintos are good for “re-fried” beans or soups/chili. White beans are good w/ ham or sausage dishes. Black beans are good in the mexican dishes or with nachos. . .etc.
I cook them from dried using the overnight soak/cook a few hours method. You can also use a pressure cooker or crockpot, if you’re into that.
I cook them in water only. Of course, you don’t want to add salt as beans are cooking. That only makes them hard. To save some for another meal, I freeze them in a zippy bag or container. Then thaw before cooking OR just dump them frozen into your hot pan. They melt eventually. They might get a bit mushy but we actually like them that way. It is a good way to thicken your sauces/soups without extra starches.
Hope that helps. 🙂
Oh, and I DO use bone-stock in the dishes I am cooking and LOTS of it when I can. I DO sometimes cook the beans in stock if I know that the flavors will mix. You can certainly do that. I tend to default to water mostly though and add the broth later in the dish.
Stanley Fishman says
Great video Kel! Simple meals can be wonderful, and are so practical.
By the way,it is really cute that everyone in you family has a first name that starts with K!
Kathy @ Granny's Vital Vittles says
Loved this post Kelly! Too often I think TV food culture makes us feel a little embarrassed to make simple meals. But moms need simple meals to get by timewise … simple meals are usually more affordable too! Here’s a link to my favorite standby … fried ham, mashed potatoes and buttered veggies. Sometimes I do sausages instead of the ham.