Making healthy dinners for my family from scratch is a priority, but trying to watch the kids while prepping dinner isn’t a walk in the park– unless a walk in the park is defined as ‘having the kids compete for my attention under foot as I furiously chop and make supper while simultaneously attempting to keep them away from the flaming hot stove area.’
I’m pretty sure that’s not the definition of ‘walk in the park’.
Which is why I’m always looking for easy shortcuts to achieve this lofty goal, such as creating ‘double duty’ dinners: ones that can be make one night and transformed the next into something new. Two meals for the price of one! And making them both in the slowcooker so you have only minutes of prep time in advance? BOOYAH!
While chili may seem more of a winter food, I love to make it in the spring as well especially if I lighten it up using ground turkey or other vegetables. One night we’ll have our favorite chili, and the next a baked potato bar (using potatoes cooked in the slowcooker– I know, easy, right?) and other favorite toppings INCLUDING THE CHILI FROM THE NIGHT BEFORE.
Ahhhhhhhhhh! (angels singing)
Here’s how we make this double duty dinner delight. Let me know in the comments your favorite double duty combos too!
Dinner One, Crockpot Chili: Here’s our favorite slowcooker chili recipe, tweak as needed or make your own! (note: I drained all the beans for the chili, unlike the original recipe. I didn’t want it too runny for the next night.)
Dinner Two, Baked Potato Bar: Making baked potatoes in the slowcooker is easy.
Here’s how I do it:
- Scrub potatoes and coat with a little olive oil and kosher salt. Poke a few times with a fork. Wrap individually in tinfoil.
- Place foil wrapped potatoes into crockpot insert. Cover. Cook for 4 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low (I prefer them cooked on low but they still taste good when cooked on high)
- Served baked potatoes on individual plates and have everyone choose their favorite toppings! If you use last night’s chili on top it becomes a tasty main dish. Other ideas include shredded cheese, bacon, broccoli, roasted veggies, chives, and sour cream. What’s your favorite potato topping?
Such little effort, such big flavor, and NO time for the kids to even start to try to distract you. You’ve got this, mama.
What are your double duty dinner ideas? Please share, I’m hooked.