Easy Meals for Busy Working Parents

When 5pm strikes, it can be mayhem if there isn’t a meal ready to rock and roll by 6pm! Preparation is the key ingredient in a successful meal planning strategy. To be ahead of the game, aim to plan ahead by at least a week, if not two. If that’s not possible, or plans change, you can fall back on these quick and easy recipes using ingredients you may already have on hand!

You can be ready to whip up a meal on the fly by simply assembling the following ingredients:

  • Legumes (eg: chick peas, beans etc..) that have been soaked and boiled for 10-15 minutes
  • Marinated chicken tenderloins in zip lock bags (stored in the fridge, frozen) with either honey soy, tarragon & lemon or sweet chilli
  • Washed and pre-sliced salad or vegetables that can be stored in plastic containers

Now you’re ready to go when the “What the heck is for dinner?” moments hit you!

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Everything you can do in advance can help ease your stress and increase your productivity in the kitchen. Those pre-sliced veggies, chopped salad, and legumes? Add a basic on-the-spot salad dressing (a drizzle of olive oil, crushed garlic, a squeeze of lemon juice, and some salt & pepper) and you’ve just created a tasty tossed salad! The marinated chicken tenderloins can be seared in your grill pan, cooled slightly, and chopped to create the perfect topping for your salad.

Pre-planned-grilled-chicken-and-salad-leaders-in-heelsPre-planned grilled chicken & salad

Time: 15 minutes

Cost: $16.49 (Chicken $10, Dressing $3, 1 Cucumber $1.49, 1 Mixed Salad 200g $2)

Keeping a few “Pantry Essentials” on hand can also help inspire delicious dinners on a moment’s notice:

  • Ready cooked brown rice packs (or legumes)
  • spring water tuna
  • sundried (or fresh) tomatoes
  • olives
  • parsley
  • lemon juice
  • olive oil

Add salt & pepper to taste, and voila! You’ll have dished up an amazing tuna and rice recipe that took 90 seconds to cook in the microwave!

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Pantry-meal-Leaders-in-HeelsPantry meal

Time: 5 minutes

$18.50 (Rice $1.50, Large Tuna can $6, Olives $4, Sundried Tomatoes $4, Cucumber $2, Parsley $1)


For more daily inspo and info on how I manage to keep fit and healthy, come check out my IG page @1danistevens or visit DaniStevens.com and grab some affordable healthy recipes and ideas.

Featured photo credit: Panama Supermarkets 2 via photopin (license)


Dani-Stevens-Leaders-in-HeelsDani Stevens

Motivated to share her lifestyle transformation with the world, Dani loves to help others reach their personal goals for healthy living! You can find her offering words of wisdom, great recipes and other health and fitness inspo on her website, gorgeous pics on Instagram, and sharing the love however she can!

She is also the First Australian Food Blogger to join Jamie Oliver’s Food Tube network!