Thursday, December 9, 2010

Mom?? Is There Anything To Eat Around Here?? Tales of A Hungry Teen

Taco Salad, salsa, & chips
 As I putter around the Little Kitchen getting my lunch containers washed and ready for tomorrow's lunch and pondering the much asked question "What should I make for dinner?"   I hear a key rattle in the lockset of the back comes the click of the door handle turnings.  The door opens and in comes the plodding footsteps of my lumbering teen age son.  Sounding like the call of the wild I hear "Hello!?"  After a quick verbal exchange circling around our days, homework, and what's new, the big question he is dying to ask finally surfaces: "Do we have anything to eat around here?  I am starving!"....

Well, it has started 15 year old son came home from school absolutely ravenous!! While this in not completely unusual, he was just that much more hungry than normal.  He exclaimed that he had eaten all of his lunch at school today and was still hungry.  Most days he comes home and has a snack.  No problem here.  Most kids (and adults) require a little snack to get them through to dinner.  However, he will come home, make a chicken ceasar salad or some other fairly decent snack.

We keep already cooked and sliced chicken breast in single serve portions in the freezer so he can just thaw them in the microwave.  While his chicken his thawing, he prepares his salad with already washed, dried, and stored in fridge romaine lettuce, dressing, some cheese, croutons...all the fixings.  Of course he still eats a full dinner with us later.  Even my son seemed confused by how hungry he was today.  I do try to keep the fridge and freezer stocked with items he can quickly assemble and eat.  This is especially helpful when he has a baseball practice or team workout!  Yes, that is correct, I said baseball.  I realize there is a thick blanket of snow on the ground right now but currently his team practices on skill develpment and strengthening indoors. (They will also get to travel far enough South on their spring break to play in the States where it will already be warm enough to play outdoors.)

Big pot O' taco meat
 Here is our new idea for this week of feeding frenzies!
  • Cook up a big batch of taco meat and store it in the fridge.  Add your favourite taco seasonings.  This can also be stored in single serve (1/4 cup or 1/3 cup) portions and frozen for quick heating in the microwave.  Ideas for taco seasonings can be found here.
Taco meat for the week:

In batches, fry up a large family pack of ground beef, transferring cooked meat to a bigger pot.  While the meat is cooking, add some finely diced onions, garlic and green pepper.  (sneak in those veggies if you have to!)

Mix together in a bowl:
  • 2 tbsp dried red pepper, crushed
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp  kosher salt
  • 1 ½ tbsp paprika
Start by using about 1 tbsp seasoning per pound of meat.  Taste and adjust seasonings. Add more hot peppers if you wish. 
  •   Cut up favourite toppings for tacos and taco salads (peppers, shredded cheese, onions, tomatoes, pickeled peppers).  Store the toppings in baggies or containers and place them in a basket in the fridge.  Keeping everything in one basket makes it easy to take that basket out, assemble your taco, salad, or other food item.
  • Add a package of taco shells or flour tortillas to the basket.
  • Store the taco meat next to the basket.
  • Store a big bunch of pre washed lettuce on top. 
  • Let your teen make a taco, taco salad, or even a danged quesadilla for snack or for lunch.
basket o' toppings with flour tortillas

  The salsa was made with a little help from Epicure.  It is a simple, easy way to make salsa.  I use a can of no salt added diced tomatoes, some diced peppers, diced onions, and the Epicure spice mix....voila!  Tasty salsa to go with taco week.

My son's taco wrap, chips and watermelon

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