My family used to sit down to dinner with each other EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. My mom did a pretty good at putting wholesome meals on the table that included all of the nutrients growing kids needed. The dinners ranged from chicken breasts, potatoes, and salad, to homemade pizzas or hot dogs. Sure, they may not have always been the healthiest options around, but we were always fed and eating together.
After the years went on and the three of us kids got older, dinners became more sporadic. We had sports practices to attend, piles of homework to finish, and friends we needed to see. Priorities. Dinners were not so planned out as time went on.
Another thing that changed was eating habits. My sister was VERY picky and ate a minimal amount of things. She could live off turkey sandwiches for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and be perfectly happy. Those, or Del Taco, and we all know Del Taco isn’t the best option. My brother decided to follow along with the rest of the teenage boys and follow the muscle building diet. You know, protein, protein, and more protein…and a side of beer. I on the other hand, was just sliding into an eating disorder and focused on all things health.
Making dinners were much more difficult to try and please everyone. My parents both worked full time, and didn’t have the time to slave over the stove all day. It was all they could muster up the energy for to get something cooked in 30 minutes or less.
My family started taking up the semi homemade approach to dinners. More wholesome than boxed or takeout dinners, yet still easy enough to get onto the plate in a short amount of time.
Have you ever been to Trader Joe’s and sampled some of their creations in their back kitchens? It seems that every time I walk in there, I leave purchasing the ingredients to make what they were sampling. EVERY TIME!! They have some serious marketing strategies going on. Anyways, they inspired a soup recipe that my family absolutely LOVES! It is very versatile to please everyone and takes very little time to throw together.
The only ingredients you need are a can of broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable), a can of diced tomatoes, a bag of your favorite meatballs (turkey, beef, meatless, or homemade), and a bag of frozen multigrain blend with vegetables from Trader Joes.
Throw it all into a pot, and let simmer until boiling.
Done. Dinner is served.
There are so many variations to please anyone and everyone. I am a vegetarian, so I use vegetable broth and meatless meatballs. My mom prefers turkey meatballs, while my dad likes beef. Play around with the flavors and determine what you like.
inspired by Trader Joes
-15 oz can of diced tomatoes
-quart of favorite broth (vegetable, beef, chicken)
-a bag of frozen of fresh meatballs (any flavor)
-a frozen bag of multigrain blend with vegetables
Add everything to a pot and cover. Simmer until boiling. Serve.
What are your favorite family dinners? Do you all sit down and eat together?