Dinner's in 5!

As in 5 minutes! Yes, it can be done. Even with kids! For me, it's essential to have quick, easy, and affordable dinners that are still healthy and tasty.  I plan out a week's worth of dinners before I head to the grocery store for the week. Then I post the list on the fridge so I am never left asking myself "what's for dinner???" 

Okay so that doesn't put dinner on the table though...but it's what I do with that little list that saves me bundles of time. I'll take a few hours one day during the week (the weekend's easiest when my husband is home to watch the baby) and I'll cook several  dinners for the week. I try to make things that can be frozen and/or split into more than one meal. Then all you have to do is pop them in the oven, heat and serve! Wa-la dinner in 5! 

One of my family's favorites is Chicken Turnovers. They're so simple and delicious. Not only can they be made ahead, you can make two servings at once and freeze one for the following week. If it was up to my husband, he'd eat the second batch the next day, he loves this recipe! Another easy recipe that puts dinner on the table in no time is Pulled Pork Sandwiches.  I split the leftovers (click here for  ways to avoid wasting leftovers) up into two serving portions put them in ziplock sandwich bags and freeze them. Since this recipe makes about 10 servings you can have a pulled pork dinner ready in no time. Just defrost one of the bags, heat up some buns and you're done!  You can do the same thing with your favorite Chili recipe.  I've always made Homemade Manicotti...they're great for freezing and forgetting.  Manicotti sounds complicated, but it's fairly simple and once they're made, I freeze them individually, then throw them all in a freezer bag.  If it's just me and my husband I'll pull out 4 and heat them up, if I have unexpected company I'll grab 10 or 12 or whatever I need, pair them with store-bought frozen meatballs and there you have it - a traditional Italian dinner! Pair it with homemade cheesy garlic bread and your tastebuds will thank you!  If you like seafood this Salmon recipe is the absolute best....all you need is five free minutes.  Make it within two days of going to the grocery store so you don't have to freeze the piece of fish and then worry about defrosting it.  There's no need to cut the skin off the fish...it'll easily separate after you cook it.  Using a spatula (or your clean hand) spread a generous amount of dijon mustard on the flesh side of a large salmon filet.  Cover the mustard with 6 tablespoons of brown sugar. You can either put it in the fridge for later when you're ready to cook it or stick it in the oven. Just cook it on 350 for about 20 minutes or until the fish flakes apart.

So there you go, I just planned a week's menu...and the best part, you'll have a second or maybe even a third full serving in the freezer for the following week or whenever you need to get dinner on the table in no time!  Be sure to check out all the recipes and let me know what you think. 

Homemade Manicotti with Cheesy Garlic Bread

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