7 solutions for when you can't deal with dinner - 510 Families
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7 solutions for when you can’t deal with dinner

At our {510} Mom’s Night Out event, we surveyed attendees to find out what East Bay resources other parents are leaning on when they simply cannot deal with dinner. It was a relief to see notes in the margins of the questionnaires we passed out that said things like “You mean every night?”

Mom tricks: What to do about dinner in the East Bay Every Single Night

photo: Tom Carmony

Here are 7 ideas that your neighbors are choosing for take out or easy meals.

  1. Mexican food. Topping the list were Cactus Taqueria, vegan and celiac-friendly Chipotle (moms love the kids deal), and Picante.
  2. Sushi. One Oakland mom said that her kids love all the little bowls at when they go out for sushi. Takara in Rockridge places sushi on boats that float past you if you are seated at the sushi bar. Places to pick up your sushi include Berkeley Bowl, Genki Sushi, or Tokyo Fish on San Pablo.
  3. Breakfast for Dinner. This theme always tickles kids; my own like to order pancakes at Jimmy Bean’s at 6 pm. Scrambled eggs and toast is easy to execute at home, and frozen peas quickly add a touch of green.

  4. “Dinner in a bag” from La Bedaine on Solano Avenue, who, by the way, are closed for a long part of the summer – that’s how European they are. Vaccum-packed entrees range from polenta and rattatouille to grilled pork loin. Simply boil the bag of meat and veggies per instructions on the label.
  5. Pizza. Gioia on Hopkins Street in North Berkeley or Pizziaolo in Temescal if you’re feeling fancy. Paisan works for West Berkeley residents, while Zachary’s sells half-baked pizzas that you can keep in the fridge and heat up in 20 minutes.
  6. Thai Delight take out. This Thai restaurant uses organic meat and delivers for those who live nearby and order more than $25.00 worth of food!
  7. See our list of 99 restaurants parents and kids love.

What’s your go-to solution for evenings when dinner is just one thing you can’t fathom putting together?

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3 thoughts on “7 solutions for when you can’t deal with dinner”

  1. Our pizza go-tos are Little Star on Solano and Cheese Board. Another great option for healthy, no-stress dinners are the Bolani & Sauce guys, who sell filled soft flat breads (spinach, lentil, potato, and pumpkin) that you dip in any combination of their incredible sauces. They do great deals if you buy five or more items. They’re at several farmers’ markets, including SF on Thursdays at the Crocker Galleria. They also sell out of either Whole Foods and maybe the Bowl, but those aren’t as fresh in my opinion. We get easily 2+ meals for the four of us for $25.

  2. Here are some great lessons in dealing in-house:

    Mise en place partially:
    “Time Saver #1: Batch-process your veggies. When you get home from the grocery store or farmers market, take a few minutes to rinse, spin, chop and properly store your fruits and veggies so they’ll be ready to use the way you like to use them.”

    Beans, wonderful beans:
    “Time Saver #2: Soak beans overnight. This is a no-brainer and huge time-saver. Beans can be used in so many different ways, so why not soak some tonight, just in case?’

    Make once, eat twice:
    “Time Saver #3: Make double batches. Next time you build a lasagna or roll up enchiladas, make an extra pan and freeze it for a quick dinner sometime in the near future.’

    Slow cook, take it easy…:
    “Time Saver #4: Use a slow cooker to eliminate time spent standing over the stove. Added benefit: This is a great way to use less expensive ingredients, such as tougher cuts of meat, that benefit from low-and-slow heat.”

    For more:
    How Do You Save Time in the Kitchen
    Mother Earth News

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