No dinner, no time, no problem!

I love food blogs. I also love food. What I do not love is how unorganised and short for time I always am. Apparently I need to feed my family at least three times a day. Every day!? What’s up with that? So you can imagine my (lack of) surprise when 4:30pm came around and I realised I had nothing prepared for dinner. Best part, we had just returned the day before from a week long out of town trip, and had NOT gone to the grocery store. <le sigh>

But I do have SOME forethought – I always try to keep the ingredients on hand for my quick and dirty pasta sauce.  It takes me about 20 minutes to prepare, a little more if I have veggies that are at the tail end of their shelf life that need prepping.

So I gathered up all my base ingredients:

ground turkey
canned tomato sauce
canned diced tomato (I normally purchase the unseasoned ones when they are on sale, but anything you like works)
Italian Seasoning
Celery seeds (I have skipped this when I am out of them)
Fresh garlic (you can do powdered as well)

Then I went and gathered what else needed to be used up:
a pepper
a few celery stalks that were on the limp side of things
an onion
and a handful of frozen peas. (I’ll use peas and carrots; this is my attempt to add green to my kids meal, don’t judge me!)

Mise en place – grabbing all your ingredients before you start ensures you actually have them!

At our house we mostly do ground turkey (the hubby cannot digest bovine protein or we ALL suffer if you know what I mean), so we try and keep a few packs in the freezer at all times.
I normally toss my thawed meat in my pot and cook it down with the seasoning in it.

Using the Pampered Chef Mix’N Chop to ensure I do not have big clumps of meats.

If I have onion/celery/pepper I add them here right before the meat is fully ready – I sauté them until they go lucid. Turkey is very lean. As such, I do not drain my meat, but with fattier ones you may want to.

After that I open both cans and mix them into the meat (and veggie) mixture.

Smooth-edge can opener ensure there are no sharp edges! Yay! Pet and kid friendly can.

I usually let it all simmer until my pasta is ready (yeah, nothing fancy for me, just some boxed stuff).
A few minutes before the pasta is ready I toss in my frozen veggies. Makes them pop when bit into.

Serve it all up.

You may want to make some garlic bread to go with it. When I include bread I normally make it extremely garlicky!

This is when happens when the hubby portions out the food. 

What are some of your quick and easy back up meals you have on hand?


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