Monday, November 12, 2012

Dinner On-the-Go: Weekly Menu 11/12

Dinners on the Go for nights with games, practices and other family activities

Back when I first launched this blog, I put out a call for content requests and my friend Alyce said that a pain point in her household was trying to figure out how to feed the family when dinnertime is interrupted by sports practices or games, dance rehearsals or other activities. Turns out this is a pain point for a lot of you out there.

This fall, we are SO in that boat. Three nights out of the week, there are volleyball and soccer practices right at dinnertime. The kids on the go need to eat... so do we... and so do my younger kids. For the past couple of months I've tried different dinners to see what could be prepared super-fast, travel well and reheat well if needed. This week, there's no extra credit - we are all about the dinners on the go.

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad - a dinner for nights on the go to games, practices and more
The kids and my husband totally devoured this dish. It has a fresh taste that can be adjusted in lots of ways with different fresh herbs (chives would be nice) and salad dressings, such as buttermilk ranch instead of Caesar.

Sides: Baked sweet potatoes

  • Buy feta cheese that's already crumbled
 Make Ahead Notes
  • Slice Romaine lettuce, tomatoes and basil; chop tomatoes and parsley
  • 3 cups skinned, shredded roasted chicken breast (I use store-bought rotisserie chicken)
  • 3 cups hot cooked penne (about 6 ounces uncooked pasta)
  • 2 cups thinly sliced romaine lettuce
  • 1 1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/3 cup creamy Caesar dressing
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 (4-ounce) package crumbled feta cheese
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; toss well to coat.
ON THE GO:  Place in a Tupperware container with dressing on the side if the dinner will not be eaten immediately.

Recipe adapted from

Barbecue Chicken Sliders

Barbecue Chicken Sliders - dinners for nights on the go to games, practices and other family activities
If you have NO time, this is the dinner for you. To get the soft butter called-for, I highly recommend a butter bell, which keeps butter safely spreadable at room temp. It is now a must-have in our kitchen.

 Sides: Roasted corn (frozen) from Trader Joe's or oven fries

Make Ahead Notes
  • Bring butter to room temp
  • Chop parsley
  • Combine butter, parsley, garlic, S&P, cover and set aside at room temp if you'll use within a couple hours or in fridge if you'll use later

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups favorite bottled barbecue sauce
  • 3 tablespoons room temperature butter
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • Salt and pepper
  • Slider rolls or other favorite rolls
  • Combine the butter, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl.
  • Set the butter mixture aside.
  • Shred the chicken.
  • Put the chicken into a saucepan and add the barbecue sauce. Warm over medium heat until heated through.
  • Meanwhile, butter your rolls. Stick them in a hot oven or toaster oven to toast.
  • Put some chicken mixture on the toasty, garlic roll. 
  • ON THE GO: Follow all directions and wrap sandwich(es) in foil.
 Recipe from BakedBree

Fried Rice

Fried Rice: dinners for nights on the go to games, practices and other family activities
 Here's what I love about fried rice - it's comforting and warm, it's nutritious and filling, it can handle just about any veggie on hand and the main ingredient is a leftover item. 

Sides: This can be a main dish while on the go or a side dish if served at home. If it's a side, serve it with something like Asian Glazed Grilled Chicken or Korean Style Pork Tenderloin.

  • Use leftover carry-out or home-cooked rice (this is an essential time-saver). Make sure the rice has been refrigerated and is COLD. Freshly cooked, hot rice is too soft and will turn gluey if you try to fry it.
Make Ahead Notes
  • Chop up cooked veggies and/or defrost veggies

  • 2 1/2 tsp sesame oil or other cooking oil such as canola, divided
  • 2-3 eggs, whisked together
  • 2 cups cold cooked rice (must be cold to fry properly)
  • Any cooked leftover or thawed veggies you have on hand - shelled edamame, cooked, diced carrots, mushrooms, etc.
  • Soy sauce and hoisin sauce to taste
  • Chopped green onions (green part only)
  • Heat 1 tsp oil over medium heat; add whisked eggs. Pour in eggs and let them set on the bottom (we're making scrambled eggs here). With a heat-resistant spatula, push eggs from outside to center, repeating until eggs are cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • Add remaining oil and turn heat to medium-high. Add cold rice and stir-fry for about 4-6 minutes, or until rice becomes golden brown from the frying. Stir only occasionally; the rice needs time to sit in the pan and develop a bit of a "crust." 
  • Add veggies until heated through.
  • Stir in soy sauce and hoisin sauce to taste. About 1 teaspoon each is a good start.
  • Garnish with chopped green onions.
  • ON THE GO: Place fried rice in a thermos to keep it hot.

Orecchiette with Mozzarella & Tomatoes

Orecchiette with Mozzarella & Tomatoes: dinners for nights on the go to games, practices and other family activities
This salad is mild and contains ingredients that even picky eaters will usually accept. Spice up your portion with a sprinkle of crushed red peppers if you prefer a little heat.

Sides: Arugula salad tossed with vinaigrette or choice and crusty bread

Make Ahead Notes
  • Chop tomatoes and mozzarella, set aside for later
  • Chop mozzarella and set aside in fridge for later
  • 2 cups uncooked orecchiette (about 8 ounces uncooked
  • 3 cups chopped plum tomato 
  • 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) diced fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup loosely packed chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain and rinse under cold water. Drain. Combine pasta, tomato, and remaining ingredients. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
ON THE GO:  Place in a Tupperware container; consider adding basil right before eating.

Recipe from

1 comment:

  1. Love these ideas! I just got a similar request from a subscriber - definitely a hot topic :)