I am super, ultra, very, extremely lazy when it comes to food. I'm also very cheap. These two seem to be in competition with one another, as the laziest way is to eat out or buy a freezer meal, while the cheapest is to make everything from scratch.
Part of my problem is... this is going to shock you... I'm lazy. I don't plan ahead, as I'm slightly ADD. Also (***this is another important step in being a lazy mom-- a very important mental attitude) I have low expectations. If I thought that I should put gourmet meals on the table everynight... well... I won't and I'll be disappointed in myself. Every. Single. Night. Except for the possible 2 days a month that I actually cook something that takes more than 15 minutes.
To answer the dichotomy of feeding my family lazily AND be cheap about it, I have come to an easy solution. (This is mostly made possible by the fact my husband will eat anything, and also, fortunately, has low expectations of dinnertime around here ;) Drumroll please........ All my protein is pre-cooked. How? We eat canned salmon, pre-cooked shrimp, canned beans or previously cooked, cubed, and frozen chicken, turkey or ground meat.
When we do eat chicken, I cook a bunch at one time, chop and freeze it, then add it anywhere, most likely in place of the white beans. We are not vegetarian, but we certainly have a vegetarian leaning and do not eat red meat or pork. These foods are in my rotation of meals that I keep all of the ingredients for on hand, since, as I mentioned before, I do not plan ahead. Planning ahead would not be the lazy thing to do. So, this series will be about my lazy menu.
Nothing takes more than the time to cook the pasta or rice, which is 15-20 minutes, max. Anything longer than that and I am just not likely to do it.