Now that Spring is upon us and Summer is just around the corner, the influx of evening activities is reaching its peak. My children are 6 and 3 and we are just staring to get into this – with gymnastics for one, swimming lessons for both, and potentially starting martial arts classes soon, we need all the easy meals we can get.
Evening activities often bring about the question of when to eat – 4:30 seems ridiculously early, but 7:00 is also so late that my kids (and I’m assuming yours) would be tiny little terrors of hunger and exhaustion when it was time to eat. Currently my family is still able to eat at home (as long as we get the timing right), but I know the many families need to eat out some nights of the week – the choices tend to be picking up something on the way to the ball field, or packing a meal in.
Packing a meal doesn’t have to be as daunting or boring as it can sometimes feel. Below you will find some easy yet creative ways to make meals away from home easier, healthier, and still delicious!
Make and Take Main Meals
Easy Blackened Chicken and Quinoa Salad – Packed with flavor and tons of great flavors, this meal would be perfect to throw together for busy nights away from home. Use leftover chicken and/or quinoa to make this come together even faster. If you are going to store this for a while before you eat it, store the salad dressing in a little container until you are ready to eat.
Easy Chicken Parmesan Wraps – These puppies take only 15 minutes to make plus are a total hand-held treat! Either eat them as you walk out the door or wrap them in foil and pack them along with you. You can make them ahead of time, or right when you need them. Plus they are freezable, so you can have a ton ready for when you need something like NOW. Serve with a simple salad and some fruit.
Curried Egg Salad – Seriously the best egg salad out there! Tons of awesome flavor and healthy ingredients, you will want more and more of this! Leftovers are great for days, too! Serve as a sandwich, or with crackers!
Chickpea Avocado Salad – What’s great about this dish is now versatile it is! It can easily be a main (throw some grilled chicken on top if you need to add some meat), throw it on some lettuce as a salad, wrap it up like a taco, or serve in smaller quantities as a side dish. It keeps well in the fridge, so you can be sure to enjoy it for a few days.
Amazing Chicken Salad Sandwich – A good chicken salad is so easy for when you need something easy! Make this ahead of time to give it plenty of time for the flavors to meld together. Serve either as sandwiches (croissants make it seem extra special), in a pita pocket, or serve with crackers for dipping, or just use a fork to dig in. Pack with some fresh veggies and fruit.
Easy Cuban Turkey Sandwich Wraps – These sandwiches are super easy to make, but have tons of flavor! Make the special dressing ahead of time. Serve with a small salad and some fruit and/or fresh veggies.
Make and Take Side Dishes
Tomato Salad – simplicity at its best here! Use the best quality ingredients you can get your hands on to make this recipe shine. Plus it tastes better as it sits, so don’t be afraid to make it up the day or night before you need it. If you are worried about the jalapeño for little ones, feel free to either leave it out or swap it for a little bit of green bell pepper.
Honey Lime Fruit Salad – Seriously one of the best fruit salads I have tried. I love that it is simple to throw together, has only fresh and natural ingredients, and tastes so dang amazing. Plus you can literally use any fruit you have on hand!
Best Broccoli Salad – A perfect picnic dish, this combines fresh broccoli with all the best things – cranberries, bacon, and more! It gets better the longer it sits, so make enough for leftovers!
Watermelon Basil Feta Salad – Oh, my goodness, yes! This salad is filled with fresh fruit and awesome flavors! Its utterly perfect for hot evenings at the ball field! This is better the closer to making it the better, so don’t plan on keeping leftovers for days. But because its so easy to throw together and so delicious you won’t mind making it often!
Bacon Parmesan Arugula Potato Salad – This ain’t your mama’s potato salad! Fresh, simple ingredients combine perfectly to make a super stellar dish. And any leftovers are just as awesome! It packs well, too!
Antipasto Salad – This can seriously be a meal in itself! Filled with pasta, meat, and veggies, what more could you want? Ok, so you can totally pair it with a more traditional main dish, too! Leftovers keep beautifully, too!
Mexican Garbanzo Salad – This delicious side is super fresh and easy to make! Serves beautifully with tortilla chips!
Grilled Vegetales and Couscous Salad – This salad is the perfect picnic food. Amazingly flavors, packed with veggies. It will pair perfectly with anything you want to pair it with.