My family is at one of those times in the year when we rely more heavily on quick and easy dinner options. While we love that one of our sons is excited about acting and performing, it means that our schedule is full of late rehearsals for the latest production.
Since eating dinner together is a priority for our family, it means that we need dinners that can go together quickly and don’t rely on hitting a drive-thru every night. One thing that has been helping me make sure that I can get meals together quickly is to include deli meats as part of the meal about once a week, since that means that I don’t have to spend a lot of time preparing the meat/protein portion of the meal.
When I grab deli meat at the store, I usually grab HORMEL® NATURAL CHOICE® products since their lunch meats and bacon have no added preservatives, as well as a clean and simple ingredients list.
Now, I know you might be thinking that this just means cold sandwiches, but that’s just not the case. Whether it’s sandwiched between your favorite fresh ingredients or made into an inventive appetizer, there are so many ways to enjoy NATURAL CHOICE® deli meats.
Six Quick and Easy Dinners that Use Deli Meat
While I am going to focus on the main course of some of these meals, I want to encourage you to find ways to add in fruits and vegetables to those that don’t already include it. We’ve been working on that lately at our house, even if sometimes it just means that there are some cut up raw veggies or fruit on the side.
Quesadillas are a great way to allow individual family members to put in the fillings that they like best. We like to have a variety of lunch meats and cooked bacon available, as well as shredded cheeses. With some sour cream, salsa and guacamole available for dipping, quesadillas are a quick option where nobody has to complain about an ingredient they don’t like.
Baked Potato Bar
This is another “make your own” option that my family loves. While this isn’t always a quick option as far as time that it takes to get to the table, because of the baking time on the potatoes, this are such minimal effort involved in the potato prepping that this makes it great for us for busy nights.
While you know the things that your family loves best, some great topping ideas to offer for the baked potato bar are: a variety of shredded cheeses, warm deli meats, bacon that has been cut into small pieces (I just use kitchen shears), chili beans, black olives, jalapenos, cooked broccoli, wilted spinach, chives, green onions, sour cream, and butter.
Grilled Sandwiches or Paninis
Okay, so I know that I indicated that there were things other than sandwiches for lunch meat, and then here I am talking about sandwiches. For us, grilling the sandwiches or making a panini makes the whole experience different. Plus, it is again a chance for people to have some customizations.
My favorite is to use the NATURAL CHOICE® Honey Deli Ham with Swiss cheese on wheat bread, so that’s what I try to make for everyone, since it’s my favorite. But, my oldest has recently been touting the deliciousness of a grilled sandwich on wheat with NATURAL CHOICE® Oven Roasted Turkey and Provolone. Clearly we will just need to continue to disagree on the best, but at least it means we both get to have our favorite.
Although not a grilled sandwich (but you can toast the bread), I had to give a shout out here to using the NATURAL CHOICE® Oven Roasted Turkey along with lettuce, tomato, avocado and NATURAL CHOICE® Original Uncured Bacon for an amazing sandwich that always gives me a taste of summer in the middle of winter. Yum!
I like that wraps are not only another thing that can be set up like a “make your own bar,” but that there are so many options for the wrap in general. You could opt for cold wraps or hot wraps, plus you could decide to skip the traditionally tortilla altogether and use a large piece of lettuce instead for a lettuce wrap.
I know that some of you may feel like your kids might not eat a big salad for dinner. My kids used to be like that too. While it’s not something we do all the time, they now enjoy it when we do. I think it has all come down to making sure that we have a great variety of things to add to the salads.
Fabulous fixings to offer up for big salads might include: different types of greens, shredded carrots, peppers, olives, mushrooms, peas, broccoli florets, avocados, ham, turkey, bacon, chicken, hard boiled eggs, shredded cheese, cottage cheese, croutons, a variety of dressings, and whatever else your family loves. Having lots of options, including some great protein options, definitely changes a salad from a side to a whole meal.
Omelets or Scrambled Eggs
For you egg experts out there (or at least those that are better than I am), you can add in deli meats to your omelets to add a wonderful flavor to the omelet.
For those of you that are considerably more egg challenged, don’t let that stop you. Forgo the idea of an omelet and just add your cheese, deli meat, and any other fixings that you really want right into your scrambled eggs to make a fun breakfast for dinner meal. You can even fill out the meal by making whole wheat toast, bacon, hash browns, and fresh fruit.
A Little More about HORMEL® NATURAL CHOICE® Deli Meats
Since I mentioned that I like the NATURAL CHOICE® Deli Meat because they don’t use added preservatives, I thought I would share a little more about what that means.
NATURAL CHOICE® products are not preserved using artificial ingredients and added preservatives like other brands may. They use a process called HPP. HPP is an all-natural process that enhances wholesomeness and maintains quality. The products are packaged, sealed, and pasteurized by being placed under high-pressure water exertion. Just check out some of the ideas on Facebook or Pinterest, or other delicious recipes and ideas on the NATURAL CHOICE® Recipe Pages.
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