Tuesday, May 28, 2024

A Trio of Easy, Tasty and Healthy Dinners that Busy Dads Can Make

dad & daughter in kitchen
A smiling African American father and daughter baking in the kitchen.

*Okay, Dad, it’s your turn to cook tonight. But between your late meeting at work and your kids’ various practices and playdates, you probably don’t have a lot of time or energy to put something on the table, let alone cook healthy dinners.

While you are tempted to make a fast food run, you know this isn’t a healthy option, plus by the time everyone fills up on burritos or cheeseburgers, sides and drinks, you haven’t saved much in the way of money.

Fear not, Chef Dad, there are a number of fast and healthy recipes that are a cinch to prepare, and as a bonus, you and your kids will love them. Here are a few ideas.

Barbecue-Stuffed Potatoes

Most kids love baked potatoes loaded toppings. Cooking Light has a tasty and easy recipe for Barbecue-Stuffed Potatoes that you can prepare pretty quickly. You can even do the whole thing in the microwave if you want. Bake one russet potato for each member of your family, or if you have hearty eaters (read: teenage boys), cook a few extra. If you are home from work a bit early, bake them at 400 degrees for about an hour. If time is extra tight, microwave them. Then, set out a container of sour cream, a bowl of chopped green onions and/or white onions, shredded cheddar cheese and a tub of store-bought shredded barbecue chicken. As the taters come out of the oven, slice them open and invite your kids to top theirs with their favorite fixings. You can also buy shredded barbecue beef and pulled pork if your family likes that better.

Dutch Oven Vegetable Beef Soup

For busy parents who don’t have a lot of time to fuss over a hot stove, a Dutch oven will be your best friend. You can load up the huge cooking pot with ingredients and then let it simmer on the stove or in the oven for awhile. On cooler evenings, prepare a hearty meal of Dutch Oven Vegetable Beef Soup; the recipe combines top sirloin, celery, onion, beef broth, canned tomatoes, potatoes, carrots and other ingredients, and it will be ready in about two hours. Putting the ingredients together is quick and easy, and then as the soup simmers away on the stove you can attend to other chores and work. Even better, if someone is home to watch the soup, you can run errands and pick up and drop off the kids.

Honey Lemon Garlic Butter Salmon in Foil

Tin foil can be a go-to cooking utensil. Simply pile your various ingredients onto a square of foil, seal it up and bake it or place it on the grill. As a bonus, clean up is majorly easy. A great and tasty example of this cooking technique is Honey Lemon Garlic Butter Salmon from EatWell101; it combines salmon fillets, pineapple slices, garlic, honey, lemon juice and some spices in foil packets that are baked in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. There are a wide variety of foil packet dinners that are easy and healthy that may inspire you for future meals.


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