It’s the New Year and things haven’t slowed down one minute. If anything, things seem even busier. To cut down on rushing and picking up fast food, here are several easy weeknight suppers that can be pulled together with easy prep- to leave more family and relaxation time. All meals serve 4-5 people.

Roasted Chicken, copyright Wikipedia, 2014

Roasted Chicken, copyright Wikipedia, 2014

Make n Bake:

Cut 2-3 chicken breasts into chunks and set aside. In a plastic Ziploc bag or brown paper bag, add a cup of seasoned bread crumbs, half teaspoons of Parmesan cheese, the sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and any other seasonings you prefer. This way you control the sodium and fat intake. Add the chicken to the bag and toss until the chicken is fully coated. Remove from bag and cook in a shallow baking pan for 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with a salad and sweet potato fries- cut up and baked sweet potatoes with a sprinkle of olive oil and salt.

Tuna over Rice:

Saute rinsed mushrooms and a clove of garlic in a large skillet. Add a can of water-packed tuna to the skillet and stir. After a few moments, add a can of low-sodium cream of mushroom soup and stir. Cook on medium for about 10 minutes. While the tuna mixture is cooking, cook some brown rice. Some people like rice in a bag; Minute Rice microwavable brown rice cups are quick and easy and taste great. When everything is fully cooked, add a scoop of rice to each bowl with a ladle of the tuna over the top. Add a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese and enjoy.

Cup of Homemade soup, copyright Wikipedia, 2014

Cup of Homemade Soup, copyright Wikipedia, 2014

Homemade Chicken and Chicken Soup:

Turn that store-bought chicken into several meals. Purchase a rotisserie chicken from the store and enjoy with a salad and veggies, and don’t forget the chicken sandwiches for lunch! After you’ve eaten all the yummy chicken, submerge the chicken bones in a stockpot full of water. Add garlic, salt, pepper along with any veggies- kale, onion, carrots, etc.

Let simmer on the back burner for 2-3 hours. A crockpot can also be used for cooking the broth as well. After 3 hours, let cool and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, remove all the bones and vegetables, and skim off the fat and discard (not the down the drain, in the basket). Slowly heat the soup, adding diced veggies and cooked rice or noodles, and season to taste. Perfect for a cold night after practice and homework.

Shirmp Creole copyright Wikipedia, 2014

Shrimp Creole, copyright Wikipedia, 2014

Marina Saute:

This one is great for Friday nights when everyone has a moment to breathe and enjoy a heartier meal.

Saute chicken and tomatoes in a skillet, or add fresh or frozen shrimp, fish, and tomatoes, or any other protein-filled leftovers that might be in the fridge.

Using homemade tomato sauce, or a jar of canned sauce, simmer in a saucepan, and add diced garlic, a teaspoon of olive oil and the chicken or fish. Heat through. This makes a chicken parmesan-type dish, or if using seafood, adds more a fisherman’s stew-type flavor. This can be served over pasta or rice. Add a bit of cheese on top and serve with French bread, and maybe a glass of red wine. Enjoy- it’s the weekend!