September is a busy time of the year for many families—something the VG Meats team and Van Groningen family know very well. After all, there are a lot of young kids between the four brothers and their wives! Life gets busy, but that doesn’t stop the call of “what’s for dinner?” in every household—and in our family, we like to eat healthy, delicious, nourishing meals made with local beef, chicken and pork.
If you’re looking for easy, family-friendly meals to make during the week, we have some ideas. You can shop for high quality local meat in store at VG Meats in Simcoe or Stoney Creek, or online at VGFarmToCity.ca. Now, let’s get cooking!
Keep it simple
Never doesn’t need to be complicated or fussy. If you’re a busy family, stick with a simple formula: a protein, a vegetable and a starch. If you throw some chicken or pork chops in the oven (or on the BBQ), you can quickly prepare some rice or potatoes and a serving of vegetables while the meat cooks. Some nights, you’ll have the time (and energy) to roast broccoli or sauté carrots with local honey—and other nights, you’ll heat up some frozen peas or toss together a bagged salad. Both of these options are fine, so do what works and enjoy your meal!
Use your slow cooker
We love slow cooker meals! Take some time to prep the ingredients in the morning (or even the night before), set it up early in the day and enjoy a great dinner without the hectic rush to prepare it after work and/or school. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
If you don’t have a slow cooker, consider investing in one—or, try these easy sheet pan meals instead.
Make extra protein (and enjoy the leftovers)
Sometimes, a little planning makes all the difference. If your family is super busy on Thursdays but has a slower Wednesday routine, for example, cook some extra protein on the Wednesday night—chicken breasts, pork chops, ground beef or even a roast. Then, use the leftovers to make a quick dinner that next night: a pasta dish with sliced peppers and leftover chicken, a quick homemade soup or salad, chicken caesar salad wraps, or sandwiches with yesterday’s grilled chicken. You don’t even need to repurpose the meat—you can simply reheat it and serve with a couple of simple sides, like a salad, rice, steamed veggies or some buttered noodles. Yum!
We hope this takes some of the stress out of your weeknight dinner rush. Remember, we also have delicious prepared meals for those nights you don’t want to cook. Thanks for reading, and take care!