Too busy to cook? 5 easy meal ideas

Calling all busy dads and moms! If you have little ones who are picky eaters, but you are tired of being creative each night while fixing dinner, this blog is for you. 

Having to create a delicious homemade meal that isn't soup can seem like a daunting task when you’re a busy parent. While eating healthy (team go greens!) is on your card, the challenging part is the entire process of planning and preparing meals ahead of time for your family. Well, not to worry - Martie has your back. 

Read on to explore these super easy and cheap meal ideas that are perfect for your picky eaters that are healthy too!

Did you know?
According to a study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the time you spend preparing and cooking meals at home leads to better dietary habits. 

Cheesy Salsa Chicken Tacos 

Cheesy Salsa Chicken Tacos


    Prep time: 30 mins

    Rotisserie chicken can be a real timesaver when it comes to fixing a quick lunch or dinner. Simply pull and shred the chicken, and mix it well with sour cream and salsa. You can try Tomato Jalapeno Salsa to add a tangy flavor. Stuff the mix into yellow tortillas with shredded cheddar cheese and bake until the cheese is melted and the tortillas turn golden brown. Serve this super delicious and flavor-packed meal with pico de gallo or guacamole.

     Also Read: Your Basket on a Budget

    Ranchero Supper


    • 1-1/2 pounds of ground beef
    • 1 can (28 ounces) of baked beans
    • 1 can (11 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
    • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
    • 2 tablespoons ketchup
    • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
    • 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
    • 7 cups tortilla chips
    • Sliced green onions and sour cream (optional)

    Prep time: 15-20 mins

    This hearty dish is definitely our favorite one too. Almost all the ingredients found in this nacho-style ranchero supper are available in your pantry! 
    In a large skillet, cook the beef over medium heat until the color of the beef is no longer pink: crumble beef; drain. Stir in the remaining ingredients and heat through. Sprinkle cheese on top and cook until the cheese melts. Garnish it with onion and sour cheese and serve it with your favorite corn tortilla chips.  
    For all of those plant-based people out there, no need to fear. Simply swap out the beef for your favorite red meat alternative, tofu, or just more beans! (click here to explore our options) 

    Greek Chickpea Salad


      Prep time: 10-15 mins

      This Greek chickpea salad is the perfect side dish or can shine all by itself. It is fueled by refreshing produce that bursts with flavor and doesn't even get us started on the lemon dressing. One big bowl is all you need. Chop and toss in all the veggies that you would like to add to your salad. Choose a good quality brand of chickpeas that are packed in its viscous cooking water and runs clear. Drain the water away and toss in a cup of chickpeas for that added protein. Mix everything together with feta cheese, and olive oil, and season it with dried oregano, salt and pepper. Squeeze in lime on top of it before serving.

      Chicken Alfredo with Veggies 


      • Chicken breast
      • Salt, pepper, dry herbs and spices
      • Veggies–bell pepper, broccoli, and garlic
      • Pasta - you can use fettuccine, rotini, or spaghetti
      To make the Alfredo sauce:
      • butter
      • cream cheese
      • heavy cream
      • Parmesan cheese

        Prep time:
        30 mins

        A classic pasta treat for your family. This classic Chicken Alfredo with Veggies has a rich, flavorful sauce that coats the soft pasta. And the veggies are an added delight. Before you cook, prepare your ingredients. Chop all the veggies according to your preference. Place a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta and cook for the doneness you prefer. Meanwhile, prepare the chicken breast by cutting them horizontally and pounding them out gently into an even thickness. Season it with salt and pepper and any of your favorite herbs. Heat about one tablespoon of oil in a large skillet on high heat and add the chicken. The chicken will easily turn over when it’s nice and golden. Cook the chicken for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat, then turn the chicken over, lower the heat to medium-low, cover the skillet and cook until it is cooked through.

        Once the chicken cools down, keep it aside and use the skillet to sauté the veggies. After sautéing for a few minutes, pour in 1/4–1/2 cup of water or broth to the skillet, cover and steam on low heat until the vegetables are as tender as you like them.

        To make the Alfredo sauce, combine the butter, cream cheese and heavy cream. Cook it on medium-low heat, whisking until smooth. Off the heat, add the Parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.

        You are almost there! Toss in the pasta after draining the water, top it with sliced chicken, veggies and grate more parmesan cheese on top and season it with your favorite herbs. Your pasta is ready to serve. Yesss! 

        Sesame Noodle Bowl

        To make the sauce:

        • 1/4 cup sesame paste (or tahini)
        • 1/4 cup warm water
        • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
        • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
        • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
        • 1 clove of garlic, grated
        • Sugar and salt to taste
        To make the noodle bowl:
        • 6–8 ounces of your choice of noodle (shop here)
        • 2 cups edamame, cooked
        • 2 cucumbers, diced
        • 1 lb. Chicken breast, cooked and diced
        • Sesame seeds

        Prep time: 15 mins
        This last meal option is great for using your leftover chicken or whatever protein you have lying around. This sesame noodle bowl has a homemade sauce that you won’t believe can be made that quickly. The best part is, most of the ingredients needed to make this yummy bowl of goodness are available on the Martie site.  
        Let’s start off with the sauce. Whisk all the sauce ingredients together until you get a smooth paste. Keep it aside. Boil the noodles in a large skillet for a few minutes.

        Once it is closer to cooking, turn off the heat and drain out the water. Toss the noodles with about half the sesame sauce.

        Divide noodles, cooked edamame, cucumber, and chicken into containers. Add more sauce on top and season it with sesame seeds. Voila! Your noodle bowl is ready. Enjoy it when it’s hot. 

        Hope this helps. Do you have any such yummy and cheap meal ideas to share? Share with us on Instagram and Facebook

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