Kids are back in school! For many parents, this can make life more hectic than it already was. Back-to-school also means back-to-after-school-activities. Many parents are running to soccer games, cheer leading practice, or countless other activities that pack our schedules full. We have to find some way to squeeze dinner into our busy evenings, and that is not always easy.
We haven't gotten into the after school activities yet, but all of our week-day evenings are very hectic. My husband and I both work full time, so by the time we pick the kids up and get home each evening, there is not much time to make dinner. We eat the same four or five meals most weeks, and we eat convenient, processed food way more than I would like. When I was given the opportunity to talk with a real chef about how to make our dinner preparations easier and healthier, I jumped at the chance. I need all the help I can get!
I was given the opportunity to interview Executive Development Chef David Eisel of Bob Evans Farms to get his tips on making dinnertime as easy as possible so that family mealtime doesn't fall by the wayside. I also wanted to find out how to make our meals healthier. Some of the questions I asked him were:
- What staples should I keep in my pantry for evenings when we just need to throw something together?
- My children will not eat plain vegetables. What are your best tips for dressing them up, or sneaking them in to other foods, in order to get picky kids to eat them?
- I realize that fresh food is usually better for you that processed and prepared foods, but with two working parents, we don't have much time in the evenings to get dinner ready. Are there certain prepared foods that are healthier than others, and what ingredients should we look for and which ones should we avoid?
That was such an informative video! He made the Sausage & Mushroom Calzone recipe look super easy! We made our own calzones, and while they were very easy to make, they sure didn't come out as pretty as his. They still tasted great, and that is all that matters. We omitted the mushrooms from our calzones because I do not like them, but next time I will definitely substitute some peppers and onions in place of them.
We have been a fan of the Bob Evans side dishes for a while now, but I had never tried any of the sausage products. Chef Eisel made a comment about how little grease was in the pan after cooking the sausage, and he was exactly correct. The sausage tasted so fresh, too! It had such a great flavor to it.
I really liked Chef Eisel's tip about getting the kids involved and getting them excited about their food. My kids are ridiculously picky eaters, and I think that if I let them help create their dinner, they will have more desire to eat it. And adding vegetables to gooey cheese and sauce? Brilliant! They won't be able to tell.
Bob Evans can help you find a way to provide quick, convenient solutions so mom and dad don’t have to spend all evening in the kitchen. You can visit Bob Evans Farms online to find more great recipes that may make your dinner preparation easier. While you are there, be sure to sign up for BEMail - your #1 source for farm-fresh news, promotions and offers.
Disclosure: All opinions are my own. I received a gift basket from Bob Evans Farms in order to try the recipe featured in the video above. No other compensation was received.