Get an A on weeknight food

Posted 9/16/19

I’ve been looking at the activity and sports calendars for our area schools and quite frankly, I don’t know how Moms and Dads do it.

Not only are they running kids to practices and games, …

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Get an A on weeknight food

Posted

I’ve been looking at the activity and sports calendars for our area schools and quite frankly, I don’t know how Moms and Dads do it.

Not only are they running kids to practices and games, they’re trying to keep up with the laundry — including the uniforms found in the laundry nearly every night.

On top of that they really don’t want to go through the local fast food restaurant or order out for pickup again not only because it’s tough on the budget, but they want the family to eat healthy.

Take it from a carboholic, friends, there are ways to get to the games or practice and have a healthy meal for everyone.

My weeknights are crammed with meetings to cover or getting articles ready for the next edition of The Prairie Press. But on weekends — especially when rehearsals for the Mayo musical I started — I put the best purchase I ever made for the kitchen to work: my InstaPot.

“Oh no,” some are probably thinking, “not another lunatic raving about the wonders of that Instant Pot contraption.”

I, too, was initially skeptical of the Instant Pot, but I’ve come around.

In a nutshell, it’s a pressure cooker, which is a device that cooks food by heating liquid to boiling, which forms steam within a sealed pot. The steam cooks the food rapidly and also forces liquid into it, which increases moisture and helps quickly tenderize cuts of meat. Once it’s done cooking, the steam vents out of the pot through a valve on the top.

I remember the pressure cooker my mom had but the only thing I can ever remember her using it for was to can tomatoes or green beans.

Quite frankly, I was scared of that contraption because my mom told stories about so-and-so blowing a hole in the ceiling when the little thing on top blew off.

But I digress.

There’s no reason to be afraid of the Instant Pot and those running between football practice, games, baseball, jazz band and musical practice — yes, I’m looking at you Kim Curl — could make life a lot easier with one.

Why?

Two words: it’s fast. On can cook an entire pot roast in 90 minutes, start to finish. Something simple like macaroni and cheese takes around 10 minutes. It makes peel-easy hard-boiled eggs and cooks a meal in less than an hour even if the meat is frozen.

So what does all this have to do with being a carboholic?

It means it’s possible for Mom or Dad to put healthy ingredients for dinner in the Instant Pot when they finally get home and by the time the kids take a shower and a load of laundry is started, the family can have dinner.

I’m including the recipe for one of my favorites, barbacoa beef which can be used for tacos or if some may prefer — and I do — making a healthy bowl with brown rice. There will be leftovers to take to work the next day to warm in the microwave and everyone will want a taste.

I’ve also included my favorite Mediterranean salad as well as cheesy taco skillet, another recipe that easily can become part of dinner bowl.

Everybody has a favorite go-to weeknight recipe? I’d love for readers to share.

Just drop it by The Prairie Press or email me at the address below.