Being a full-time working mama, I have a lot of guilt. You too, right? Most of my guilt involves time, or the lack there of, especially when it comes to cooking. I made a pact a long time ago. I decided that no matter how strapped for time I was, my family’s nutrition would never suffer. It’s a tall order but not impossible. In order to keep my pact, I had to approach things differently and organize myself (im a mess!).
Mornings are a flurry of frenzy; dogs to be walked, shoes to be found and messes to clean up! I don’t have the time to make fresh batches of pancakes on a Monday morning. What I do have, is time to make a double batch on Sunday and freeze them for the week ahead. It takes little or no extra effort or time to double a batch, but it saves me so much time during the week. This strategy has helped my guilt a lot (ok, a little) but it definitely helped me get morning meals on the table without too much scrambling. I don’t have to resort to feeding my son cold cereal every morning if I prepare a little on the weekend. Microwaving a frozen pancake or cutting a piece of oatmeal square from the pan takes less time and is easier and more nutritious than anything I can get out of a box.
These squares make for a delicious on-the-go breakfast or snack for preschool. They keep on the counter for a day or two or up to a week, covered, in the refrigerator. Make ’em your own by adding chopped nuts, dried fruits or even chocolate chips.
What are some of your tips for getting meals on the table faster? Please share! Together, we can make feeding without frenzy a reality!
Makes 6-8 squares
1 1/2 cup oatmeal (instant or rolled oats)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tespoon, salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 large ripe banana, mashed
2 tbsps butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
1 cup milk
1)- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8×8-inch pan with butter or cooing spray, set aside.
2)-Dump all of the ingredients into a large bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for 5 minutes and cut into squares. Cover leftovers with foil and store in the refrigerator.
Tips on Feeding without Frenzy aka “How I get it done!”
1)- Make double batches of pancakes on the weekend and freeze. Want tips on freezing pancakes and a yummy Pumpkin Pancake recipe? Click here
2)- Cook large batches of brown rice, quinoa, couscous to use as quick sides or to mix with sauteed veggies for a quick lunch or dinner.
3)-Hard boil a few eggs to keep in the fridge for up to one week. Use in egg salad or as a quick breakfast, lunch or snack between meals.
4)- Make a weeks worth of salads on Sunday night (lunch for hubby and I). Wash, dry and chop lettuce and veggies and place into a weeks worth of tupperware containers. Grill a few chicken breasts on sunday and store in separate tupperware. Each morning, all I have to do is slice chicken, place over pre-prepared salads, drizzle with olive oil, vinegar and salt and pepper. Keeping chicken separate until the morning of use is key. This method saves me so much time each AM and ensures that we always have a healthy, inexpensive lunch ready to go!
5)- Pre-roast carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash for quick mashes to add to babies lunch box or as a side for dinner. Can be kept in a tupperware container for up to a week.