If you opened my fridge at any time over the past 20 years, you would have found the makings of a quesadilla. You might not have been able to make anything else and there might not have been any fresh fruit or veg, but I feel confident that you would have been able to walk away with a crispy, cheesy quesadilla. And there was probably a bottle of Tapatio hot sauce to douse it with.
I learned this trick, always have stuff in your fridge to make a quick meal everyone in the house would eat, from my best friend’s mom. When we were teenagers, my best friend and I ate constantly. If we were awake, we were eating. I’m going to pause here for a few moments to remember the joy of a life spent constantly consuming salty snacks. Delightful.
Anyway, my friend Felicia and I required a steady stream of food. Felicia’s mom had a secret weapon when it came to waging the war that was keeping two teenage girls fed: bean burritos.
Yes. A large tupperware container of refried beans, a package of flour tortillas and, if we were lucky that week, some shredded cheese. We could always make ourselves a burrito and we would be happy for at least an hour. It couldn’t have cost more than 50 cents a serving. One dollar an hour to keep two teenage girls fed?
That woman was a genius.
And once I had charge of my own kitchen, I always had stuff in my fridge to make a bean burrito. And then the plan hit a snag. My older son thought refried beans were from the devil, so we deleted them and changed it to cheese quesadillas.
But you don’t have to stick to what has been done by me and Felicia’s mom. It’s possible that as read this you are thinking, “Hey, I usually have the makings of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches!” Or there’s always a pizza in your freezer, or a jar of spaghetti sauce and packet of noodles in the cupboard. Felicia always has bagels and cream cheese. There are as many easily prepared food items as there are people.
I took an informal survey of the lovely mamas in my mom’s group and I got some brilliant answers –
- We do turkey and cheese plates with fruit. The kiddos love hard boiled eggs and yogurt. Shelled edamame with shredded carrots.
- Pasta with butter & cheese.
- Peanut butter/almond butter, apples, bread, cheese.
- Eggs. Mushrooms. Cheese. Very versatile (quick omelet, or just a plain egg cooked any way the kids want with cheese).
- Pickles, cucumbers, and a variety of fruit.
- Cream cheese, avocado and bread.
- Frozen blueberries with plain yogurt and freeze dried strawberries.
- Usually egg based as well. We don’t do dairy though so no cheese, but we will use leftover broccoli for omelets/scrambles plus nutritional yeast. Oh the kids love “frog in a hole” toast with the egg in the circle cut out.
- Dino chicken nuggets, baby carrots, Persian cucumbers, Fuji apples.
- Mac and cheese, frozen chicken nuggets.
The moral of this story? Being in charge of feeding people can be difficult at the best of times. Work goes crazy? End up the lead volunteer of the Father-Daughter Dance at school? Flu strikes?
At least there will be burritos. Or bagels. Or whatever it is you decide everyone in your house will eat.