With our busy lives, we have all mastered the art of squeezing it all in and doing more with less. You don’t have to sacrifice a home cooked meal for the clothes heap; instead, pop in a load of laundry and fix a fast family dinner while you’re waiting for the ding of the final rinse cycle!
Think small for these mini-faves! Press your favorite meatloaf mix into muffin cups and bake at the temperature called for by your usual recipe. Pack it loosely and don’t over-handle the mixture to keep it moist and tender. Add a handful of cracker crumbs, cornflakes or bread crumbs along with one beaten egg to prevent crumbling. Add some nutritional zing to your meatloaf muffins by adding grated carrots or chopped red and green peppers. Season with fresh basil and don’t forget to make extra to freeze for future meals!
The only absolute requirements are tortillas and cheese. Any kind of cheese will do. Sprinkle, spread or layer the cheese on one tortilla, top with whatever other ingredients you happen to have, top with a second tortilla and slide onto a frying pan. Cook on medium-high heat for 2 minutes, flip and cook until melted inside. Slice into wedges. Garnish as desired and enjoy!
Take a walk on the wild side by spicing up fettuccine with a savory sausage, tomato and peppery arugula mix. While your fettuccine is cooking, heat oil in a skillet and remove the sausage from the casings, breaking it into bite-sized pieces as you add it to the pan; stir frequently and add garlic, tomatoes, salt and pepper, covering it to cook for 2 minutes. Crush the tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon to break them up; cover and cook for 3 minutes more; add the pasta and the arugula and you have yourself a clever meal before the stain cycle even takes charge!
Lentils and rice
Lentils are packed with protein and easy to cook. Saute a chopped onion in olive oil then set it aside. Pour a bag of lentils (found at your local grocer) into a colander and rinse. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, add lentils and cook for about 20 minutes, or until they’re tender; add onions and rice, along with salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Great accompanied by a salad and fresh dinner rolls.
Scrambled eggs and corn
No, you don’t have your time mixed up, this egg recipe dubs as dinner in a flash! Heat your oven’s broiler on high. Drizzle the tomato slices with a bit of olive oil, coating both sides, and season with salt and pepper; put them on a baking sheet and broil in the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until they begin to caramelize on top. While the tomatoes are cooking, heat butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat; add corn (yes, corn) and season with salt and pepper, and cook for 1 minute; add the eggs and scramble, turning off the heat and crumbling in some goat cheese, feta cheese or gorgonzola cheese. Use a spatula to transfer the tomato slices to a plate, then top with the eggs.
Whether you call it multi-tasking or just being creative, dinner and laundry can actually work well together with these quick and easy recipes.