The world has watched either in awe or in horror as Katie Holmes and six-year-old daughter Suri eat their way through restaurants of every genre and price point. While she and her daughter have private chauffeurs and don the cover of tabloid magazines, the duo aren’t unlike many Americans. Katie is a newly divorced mom with a hectic career and a daughter she dotes on. While Katie can seemingly give young Suri anything she wants, a home cooked meal isn’t one of them.
“I’m a terrible cook,” she told Us Weekly. That would explain the revolving door of restaurant excursions for the new New Yorkers. Katie paints a devastating picture of piles of pans and burned food that would make anyone want to grab a take-out menu. But maybe Katie, and a lot of moms like her who also feel overwhelmed with this domestic duty, should take a step back, breathe, and get a little help.
Cooking doesn’t have to be overwhelming, hard, or tragic. With a few simple ingredients, a little patience with yourself, and some thoughtful planning, there isn’t any reason you can’t make one of these easy dinners in your home. We think Katie could pull these dishes off too if she wanted to. Besides, she could enlist Suri to help for one more mother-daughter bonding moment.
Provencal Beef Stew
It might sound fancy, but it’s perfect for novice cooks thanks to the slow cooker. With this tool the meal practically cooks itself. You do some minor chopping of lean beef, onions, mushrooms, and carrots, and use some basic herbs and spices from your pantry. When you return six hours later you’ll find a ready-to-eat meal.
Sure, a box might be easier, but it’s no where near as healthy as this is. Using high-quality cheeses, like a sharp cheddar and pecorino romano, you get big flavor in every bite. And the butternut squash puree gives a boost of nutrition that the kids won’t notice. Serve with a salad as simple as opening a bag and dinner is done with ease.
It’s like a grilled cheese but way more fun and a little more versatile. If you’ve got a hot skillet, tortillas, and cheese, you’re already half way there. This vegetarian quesadilla can be served as is, or filled with chicken, peppers, onions, and anything else you and the kids desire. Serve with Wholly Guacamole (ready-to-eat from the store) for a well-rounded dinner at home.
Bring the kids menu home with a much healthier and ridiculously easy variation of this fast-food favorite. Buy chicken tenders sliced and ready from the store, dip in egg white and roll in Panko, Parmesan, and a few spices. Place on a baking sheet and 10 minutes later dinner is ready! These would go well with any of the Alexia frozen sides, like sweet potato tater tots or Yukon Gold french fries.
Here’s another meal that practically makes itself and enough to freeze and eat again later. The pork tenderloin can roast for about 30 minutes in the oven. Then use store-bought ingredients like bagged cole slaw mix, barbecue sauce, and slider buns (or dinner rolls) from the bakery. You just have to assemble the tiny sandwiches and serve with fresh fruit or applesauce.
November 19th, 2012