Anyone else feel like making dinner every night can be a bit (aka very) stressful at times? Even for me, I love to be in the kitchen! However, coming up with dinner every night can get to be a bit much especially after a long day. Even a long day when Mila and I only went for a walk and a Target run. I’m just being real here. I have really great weeks when things are working like a machine. Dan and I stay on top of our joint Google calendar, I’ve prepped dinner ideas on Sunday like a boss and come the end of the day I get a second wind. BUT there are some weeks when things aren’t working, Dan and I are confused about our daily schedules, I’ve skipped any sort of meal planning and ordering take out becomes our back up plan. Like most things for me, organization comes in waves and I either hit a home run or foul ball. I can’t be the only one right?
Again with the honesty thing, lately I’ve felt more like a mess than anything and dinner around these parts have been cereal, salad or ya, take out. So, I’ve been trying to kick my own ass into shape and what it comes down to is … Is it easy? If not, I’m not doing it! Last week I focused on dinners that took 30 minutes or less to make and I also gave my husband the task of dishes. Which quite possibly is the equivalent to a home run in my opinion. I HATE doing dishes. It is that whole, asking for help thing. I hate to do it because I want to do everything myself. But when I do everything myself I get a crazed look in my eye and end up running around the house throwing things back in their place. Mumbling "I am the only one around who cares!" Which isn't true, so Dan does the dishes now. End of story.
I am combing through my dinner recipes and adding new twists to things I already know how to make. I’ve also taken to sharing quick dinner ideas via my Instagram stories (@babyboybakery) if you are interested. Plus, the recipe here today Quick Turkey Meatballs is a family staple and I think it could become one in your house too! Back to creating twists on things we already know how to make, I think that is KEY. Why try to learn a whole new recipe when we can take what we know and just switch up the protein, add a veggie or grain, take away the carb and toss it on a bed of greens? Life is hard you guys and all about improvising! Let’s improvise dinner!
Ok, some tips you can follow when you have the headspace to …
-Meal Plan On Sundays. Yes, this is great! When I can I like to plan our meals for the week. Take inventory on what you have in pantry and grab the groceries you need to make said week night meals. Sometimes its fun to write out the weekly menu and post it on the refrigerator or somewhere in the kitchen. Doing that is fun for the kids to see what they are having for dinner. (and also holds you accountable ;)
-Pasta, Spinach, Quinoa or Rice. These things I always try to have on hand. To me adding one of these can instantly make food a meal. To make these more interesting, try making your rice or quinoa with chicken stock and a couple of chopped garlic cloves and use sea salt when boiling your pasta. I’ve made the switch from iceberg and romaine to spinach in our home because it packs more of of a nutritional punch. Plus when in doubt make it a salad!
-Brinner. This one I think most families are familiar with. As a kid I used to LOVE when my mom made breakfast for dinner, ‘Brinner’. Pancakes, scrambled eggs anything goes when it is Brinner!
-Dinner On A Platter. You know those fancy cheese boards? Those can be such a fun and easy dinner. On a giant cutting board slice cheeses, add meats, grapes, olives, crackers basically whatever it is your family loves to snack on. Be sure to include nice and filling things on there with hints of fun too like chocolate covered raisins or candied nuts. Is it dinner? If it has protein, dairy and a vegetable it is dinner. Also, you make the rules in your house! If you say its dinner, it is dinner!
-Don’t Sweat It. A lot of the time I find myself apologizing to Dan about dinner. I’ll say things like “I’m sorry about dinner.” “I’m sorry I didn’t make dinner tonight.” or “Is it OK? I know its just rice and grilled chicken.” and Dan 100% of the time is like “I don’t care! It is good!” So, I’m finding out that it is me who puts the pressure on myself. I’m trying hard to loosen up and be nice to myself. If dinner isn’t going to happen, it isn’t the end of the world and take out can be fun sometimes! Also, you aren’t a bad mom if your kids eat goldfish crackers and cheese for dinner one night. To me that is awesome and says, “You are doing life mama! Keep pushing because what you are doing is enough.”
Happy Weeknight Dinners Friends! Try my recipe below for the easiest Turkey Meatballs and add them to your week day dinner arsenal.
Quick Turkey Meatballs
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 finely chopped or grated yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped or grated
- 2 tablespoons chopped FRESH parsley
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 tablespoons olive oil (3 for the meatball mixture, 1 to top the meatballs prior to going in oven)
- shaved Parmesan cheese to top meatballs *optional
- hearty pinch of salt and pepper
Start by pre-heating your oven to 375 degrees and prep a baking sheet with either non-stick cooking spray, parchment paper or a silicon baking mat.
Next prep all your ingredients. Place your ground turkey in a large mixing bowl. Chop your parsley. Finely dice or grate your onion and garlic. I have found that grating these offers a nice texture and flavor through out the meatballs. Measure your breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, herbs and spices.
Add all your ingredients into the large mixing bowl with your ground turkey. Add the egg and 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
You can use a wooden spoon to mix, but I think using your hands is easier. Try mixing everything until just combined. If you over mix the turkey mixture it could make your meatballs a little too dense.
I use an ice scream scoop to measure out each meatball. Then form them into a ball with the palms of my hands.
Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil over all the meatballs. Bake at 375 degrees until golden brown and cooked through. These typically take around 25 or 30 minutes and I like to rotate each one in the middle of their bake time.
Enjoy with marinara sauce and toasted bread. I love to double this recipe and freeze the meatballs to defrost for quick lunch and dinners too. If you freeze, be sure to store in an air tight container for up to two weeks.