(Family Features) Nothing says fall better than delicious, savory comfort foods and particularly those that are a snap to prepare. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average American spends about one hour per day engaged in meal preparation and cleanup. Want to beat the clock? Check out these solutions for busy families facing the time crunch.
A trip down the frozen food aisle is the answer for countless families when it comes to tasty dinners that deliver on quality, but don't take a lot of time to cook. Using prepared proteins, such as fully cooked meats that are frozen (to lock in freshness), is a great way to reduce preparation time.
Products such as Byron's Fully Cooked Pork BBQ (available at Sam's Club) are among the easiest time savers, delivering authentic, slow-smoked barbecue with the convenience of heat-and-serve. These items also can add an unexpected twist to the dining occasion. Kimberly Sneed, who writes about family, mealtime and more on her blog, A Night Owl, shared some creative meal suggestions her family enjoys when the craving for comfort food hits.
"We love traditional comfort food favorites, but sometimes it's fun to add your own personal touch," Sneed said. "For example, my boys love pizza, so when the seasons change I swap out tropical toppings, like pineapple and ham, for savory ones, such as barbecue and caramelized onions."
Adding such variety to the mealtime mix can introduce new, welcome flavors into traditional favorites. Families can spice up their go-to recipes any number of ways, such as using barbecue to top a potato, stuff a taco or stir into chili, without adding any additional time.
A simmering BBQ chili, in fact, is the perfect midweek meal for families looking for a fall-friendly dinner, without the fuss. Using a quality, fully cooked meat such as Byron's, which is hickory-smoked, hand-pulled and expertly spiced, makes this a satisfying, stress-free meal to produce. "Dishes that are simple to prepare and easy to clean up are a mom's dream come true," said Sneed. "As a mother with a full-time job, I use recipes like this to save on both prep time and cleanup."
For other savory comfort food recipes that make family mealtime easy, visit byronsbbq.com.
Recipe: BBQ Chili
- 1 pound Byron's Fully Cooked Pork BBQ
- 1 large onion, diced
- 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies
- 1 package (2 ounces) chili seasoning
- 2 cans (14.5 ounces each) chili beans
- 1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- Sour cream, shredded cheese, chopped scallions (to garnish)
- Thaw barbecue meat (ideally, overnight in refrigerator).
- Sauté diced onions over medium heat about 5 minutes, until translucent. Add green chilies and chili seasoning, stirring often. Stir in chili beans, tomatoes and barbecue.
- Simmer over low heat until thoroughly heated (approximately 30 minutes), stirring occasionally.