Thursday, May 03, 2007

Meals on the run, for baseball nights

Thanks to a full schedule of weeknight baseball games and practices, it is time to get a grip on dinners besides fast food. I need to prepare dinners ahead of time, or stock practically ready to eat fixings from the fridge, and figure out dinner food I can pack in our little rolling cooler cube to eat before, or between, or during games.

Our first, basic thoughts were these:

Fast at-home dinners
Sandwiches, especially messy ones (hoagies/subs...)
Pasta salad
Bean salad (for the adults!) -- three-bean salad, my blackeyed pea salad with diced bell pepper in vinaigrette

On-the-go food
Lay in supplies for sandwiches and tortilla wraps
Cheese hunks
Granola bars
Cut-up fruit
Pasta salad
Bean salad

Then I asked on a favorite homeschoolers' discussion board, and got a bunch more ideas (thank you!!)

Almond butter and jelly sandwiches
Salad wraps
Pasta salad
Hummus and carrots
Coleslaw variations
Trail mix
Granola bars
Frozen fruit such as mangos and pineapples -- they'll partially thaw on the go, very yummy.
Cold pizza
Cottage cheese with fruit on top (we don't do cottage cheese, but yogurt -- yum!)
Hard-boiled eggs
Bean dip with whole-grain tortillas
Eggs microwaved in a coffee cup then kept warm in a thermos -- wrap in a tortilla, and top with salsa and cheese packed in small containers.
Cook a chicken in a slow cooker, remove the meat, and use for chicken salads or sandwiches, or finger food.
Vary the bread as well as the fillings -- bread, buns, tortillas, etc.
Heat meatballs in a slow cooker for meatball subs
Pasta with meat sauce
Chicken sandwiches, especially BBQ'd earlier in the day and served on homemade bread
Calzones -- little bread pockets stuffed with meat & sauce

Many of these will be great for us, and now I've also thought of:

Fast at-home dinners
Sloppy Joes -- filling done ahead, and veggie sides
Tacos -- all prep done ahead
Pasta salad with our very favorite things in it
Big green salad with lots of veggies and sliced hard-boiled eggs, or chicken (beef), and/or cheese
Cold-cut sandwiches on good bread or rolls or tortillas
Maybe try muffaletta or other "stacked" prepared sandwich? Might be too different for Son2, though.

On-the-go food
Yogurt-fruit-granola cups
Thai-style noodles with peanut sauce, veggies, and nuts
Lo mein with whole-wheat noodles, veggies, and protein
Same all-our-favorites pasta salad
Same cold-cut sandwiches
Peanut butter balls (with oats and dry milk and stuff)

Now come the next challenges: keeping ingredients in the house, and doing the early food prep. It makes sense to cook and prep everything in the morning or at lunchtime, way before I might run out of time, and to lay out dinner or fill the cooler shortly before we need it.

I feel much better about the task of dinners for the next two months. Whew! And don't those foods sound delicious?


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Elliott Broidy said...

Crock pot meals that can be taken to go are a wonderful idea!