As a busy mom juggling your family, housework and responsibilities outside the home, your time is limited to say the least. Getting dinner on the table at a decent hour every night requires militant planning and preparation, along with a dash of creativity for good measure (and to keep your little soldiers from getting bored by your meals).
Here are two new meals to try working into your meal plan this week. These recipes are both healthy and require minimal effort to make, ticking all the right boxes for busy moms like you.
Black Bean & Sweet Potato Chili
This one-pot meal takes about 40 minutes to make from start to finish, with roughly 25 minutes of active preparation time. You probably already have most of the ingredients on hand, which is another added bonus. This veggie chili recipe does require a Dutch oven, which help ensures even heating, as well as a flavorful finished product thanks to its tight-fitting lid. Serve with a simple green salad and some fresh cornbread for a balanced, hearty meal.
2 tablespoons of organic extra-virgin olive oil
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into a small dice
1 large yellow onion, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
4 teaspoons of cumin
2 tablespoons of chili powder
½ teaspoon of dried chipotle chili powder (depending on personal preference)
¼ teaspoon of sea salt or kosher salt
2 ½ cups of water
1 14-ounce can of organic diced tomatoes (plain or seasoned)
2 15-ounce cans of organic black beans, drained and rinsed
5 teaspoons of freshly squeezed lime juice
⅓ cup of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Begin by heating the extra-virgin olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add in the onion and sweet potato, stirring frequently, and cook until the onion begins to soften, which should take about four to five minutes. Next, throw in the garlic and all of the spices and seasonings (cumin, chili powder, chipotle chili powder and salt), stirring to thoroughly combine and cook for about 30 seconds. Add in the water and allow the mixture to come to a simmer, gently increasing the heat a bit if necessary. Once a simmer is reached, cover the Dutch oven and reduce the heat, making sure to maintain a low simmer. Cook this mixture for 10 to 12 minutes until the sweet potato reaches a tender consistency.
Next, combine the tomatoes, black beans and limes juice together with the sweet potato mixture in the Dutch oven. Increase the heat back up to medium-high to thoroughly heat the newly added ingredients. Once a simmer is reached, back down the heat to reduce the simmer a bit and cook off some extra moisture, stirring and cooking the chili for an additional five minutes. Remove from heat and add in the fresh cilantro, stirring it in before serving.
Chicken Burrito Bowls
Instead of stopping at Chipotle for a quick takeaway meal, make your own burrito bowls at home and save yourself some calories and cash. Have each family member assemble their own to please even the most particular eaters.
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce, finely chopped
1 tablespoon of organic extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon of cumin
½ teaspoon of garlic powder
¼ teaspoon of salt
1 pound of organic or local free-range chicken breasts, preferably boneless and skinless
2 cups of cooked quinoa
1 15-ounce can of organic black or pinto beans, drained, rinsed and heated
2 cups of organic romaine lettuce, chopped or shredded
2 avocados, seeded and diced
½ cup of cheddar or pepper jack cheese, coarsely shredded
½ cup of pico de gallo
1 lime, cut into wedges
Preheat the oven broiler. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and coat it with a bit of oil or nonstick spray. In a small bowl, combine the chipotle with the olive oil, cumin and garlic powder, stirring it all together to create a glaze. Salt the chicken evenly to season it and then place it on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the top of the chicken breast with a coating of the chipotle glaze and place it under the broiler for about nine minutes. Flip chicken over, brush the glaze on the other side of it and replace under the broiler for an additional nine minutes, until the thickest part reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Once fully cooked, place on a cutting board to cool slightly before chopping the chicken breasts into bite-sized pieces.
Place all remaining ingredients in their own small bowls and serve family-style, so everyone — even your picky eaters — can create their own delicious, unique combination.