One of the more tedious aspects of homeschooling is the monotonous mealtime routine. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, repeat. Sometimes it feels like all I do (between helping kids with their school work and taking care of a baby) is prepare meals and clean the kitchen! Now, don't think because I'm posting about food that I'm a good cook and I'm about to give you some great recipes. In style, my cooking more closely resembles a mess hall than the food network. I want the meals I serve my family to be easy, cheap, and healthy (in that order). And yes, I too just realized that taste is not one of the criteria that makes a good meal in my book. Hey, if your kids are as hungry as mine, they'll eat anything. What I want to share with you are a few of the meals that help me feed my crew in a hurry and on a budget.
Overnight Oatmeal with Apples- I just found this recipe in the Sep/Oct 2009 Weight Watchers magazine and tried it out the other day. Most of my kids loved it and it was so wonderful to wake up to breakfast and get an earlier start on our homeschool day.
2 Gala or Fuji apples cut into 1/2 in pieces (I used 3 and left the skin on the apples)
juice of 1/4 small lemon (I used the juice that comes in the plastic lemon)
4 c. water
1 c steel-cut oats (I have no idea what these are, so I used the plain old generic oats and I also used a cup and a half) I've just realized that I have a problem following directions. So that's where my kids get it from!
1/2 tsp kosher salt (I left this out)
1/4 c. brown sugar (They call for this after you've cooked it and divided it into separate bowls, which seemed like a waste of time to me, so I put it in when I assembled everything.)
3/4 c. low-fat (1%) milk (Again, they called for this as a last step and I left it out.)
Bake overnight at 225 (about 8 hrs). Mine was a little on the mushy side (maybe that's where the steel-cut oats come in??) Next time I think I'll use a little less liquid and cook it 7 hrs (it's not like I sleep more than that anyway:)
Last night I assembled a breakfast casserole with sausage, eggs, cheese, and bread. There are a million of these recipes out there. Here's what I did.
Sausage, egg, and cheese casserole
Sprayed Pam in the bottom of a 9X13 and layered the following ingredients:
Bread- (I did not tear it into small pieces, but had 3 whole pieces and 3 halves just covering the bottom of the pan.)
Browned and drained sausage (1 lb) sprinkled evenly over bread
Cheese (Walmart's generic grated colby and monterey mix 8 oz or 1 package)
8 eggs whisked with about 1/2 cup milk on top
Refridgerate overnight then bake 45 min at 350.
So far, I've found two fast and cheap lunches that my kids really like. I would just love to add to my repertoire, so please share your favorites in the comments section.
Hot ham and cheese sandwhiches on a bun:
I buy the cheap small buns at Wal-Mart for $1 and I open up the buns and lay them face up on a large cookie sheet. I can make 5-6 sandwhiches at a time this way. Next I place ham and cheese on each bottom bun leaving the top buns open. My kids aren't wild about American cheese, so I've started just sprinkling a little of the shredded colby monterey on top of the ham. Then move the oven rack to the top position, put your oven on broil and put them in for a minute or two until cthe heese is melted and the buns are toasted. My kids love a hot meal and it bypasses the whole condiment issue of who wants what. By the way, roast beef and baby swiss make a good combination, too, but the baby swiss costs a little more.
Black bean quesadillas:
This is not quite as fast since I use the microwave, but it's not bad. I use flour tortillas, the same shredded cheese used above and black beans. I can feed my whole family this lunch for under $4. I nuke each one for about 40 seconds give or take. The kids and I recently saw a quesadilla maker at a store and read that it takes 5 min to make each quesadilla! I had a good laugh at that and wondered which one of us would go hungry since we didn't have that much time to spend just making the lunch, let alone eating it! (Of course it's not much of a mystery which one of us would go hungry, which is why we didn't buy the quesadilla maker;)
I'm worn out and suddenly hungry, so I'm going to call it a post.
Please share your favorite fast and cheap meals that feed an army! I need more variety.
Thanks in advance!
- I'm an on-the-run mom to 6 kids who studied and taught exercise science in a previous life. I love all things running, nutrition, and health-related. I usually run at zero dark thirty in the morning and am often quite hungry before, during, and after my run, but I live a rich, full, blessed life with my children, family, and friends. My faith in God is my anchor, and looking to Him and His promises allows me to live fully even when life circumstances are difficult. While running gives me an appetite, my desire is to hunger and thirst for righteousness more than for physical food.