Nobody told me just how busy I would really be with Ethan starting kindergarten and the girls in preschool. The battle of the schedules, different start times, different schools, after school activities, and homework have all made me nearly lose my mind. So one thing I’ve been focusing on is organizing my favorite quick and easy weeknight dinners.
Even though Jason has a really weird work schedule and isn’t always home to eat with us for dinner, me and the kids (and Jason when he is home) always have family dinner together. I think it’s important to sit down and reconnect as a family. To chat about our day. So always having some quick meals that my family loves on hand makes dinner prep a breeze and gives us more time together.
Here is one of our favorites, Oven Baked Chimichangas. You’re going to read this recipe and think, Whoa! Too many steps! But I promise you it’s super simple to do and once you do it once or twice, it’ll be a breeze to do in just 30 minutes from start to finish!
Oven Baked Chimichangas
1-1/2 pounds of pork, cut into pieces (I use Hormel Always Tender Pork Center Cut Loin Filet)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, and any other seasonings you love to cook with
1/2 teaspoon chili powder (for a little heat)
1/2 cup hot water
1 chicken bouillon cube
4-6 flour tortillas
1 can pinto beans
1/2 cup chopped green onions (Don’t forget you can regrow green onions, so save the last inch of the green onions to replant in the garden!)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or a bag of the Mexican-style cheese you can buy at the grocery store)
Preheat oven to 350. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and all of the spices. Cook about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
Next, add the pork and toss it with the spices until it’s coated. Cook through until no longer pink in the center.
Stir the chicken bouillon cube into the hot water until dissolved. Add the water to the pork mixture. Cook an additional 5 minutes. At this point, the mixture should be thick, but not soupy.
Spread the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over one side of each tortilla. You can use a basting brush or a paper towel. This is just so the tortillas will brown and crisp up in the oven.
Place the tortilla, oiled side down, on a plate. Add a spoonful of the pork mixture, beans, cheese, green onions, and cilantro on top of the tortilla. Fold and roll it up (just like you roll would a burrito), and place it on a cookie sheet, seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
Put the cookie sheet in the oven and cook for 10 minutes, or until the tortillas are lightly browned on the outside. Cut in half and serve along with any fixin’s of your choice: hot sauce, salsa, sour cream, more cilantro, cheese, and onions or anything else your family likes!
Much to our dismay, the kids like everything separate on their plates. Clearly they must have inherited this trait from a long-lost relative because Jason and I are both mixers. So I do a deconstructed version for the kids!
I make a quesadilla out of a tortilla that I fill with cheese and fold in half, then bake with the chimichangas. I give each kid a spoonful of beans, pork, and anything else they like. They like this meal as much as Jason and I do!
So my question for you is this: do you set a weeknight meal plan for those busy school nights? What are your go-to recipes? Feel free to include links to them in the comment section below!
Disclosure: In the spirit of full-disclosure, I’ve partnered with Hormel Foods as part of the Hormel Foods Extended Family Blogger Program. Throughout the year I’ll be receiving product, coupons, giveaways and promotions. However, no payment was given or expected for posting about the program, and as always, all opinions given here are fully my own.