Main Course Meals | 4 Beyond-Basic Rules to Make Your Life 10X Easier

Main course meals are essential to every household. Follow these 4 quick and easy tips to make each of your main course meals an easy triumph.

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Main Course Meals

Everyone loves to eat but not everyone loves to cook! Not only that, but it’s like no matter how hard you try, the more you cook the more you clean.

Especially if you run a full house.

But that’s okay, it’s 2023 and there is some kind of gadget or solution for everyone. You just have to find it, and apply! Voilà, you’re cooking and you’re cooking good*

These are 4 easy tips, that we try our very best to stick to throughout every week. Use this as a thought guide to build upon when you are creating your shopping list, meal plan, or whatever your strategy is when it comes to feeding you and your family.

This post is all about nailing your main course meals!

1. Bare Necessities

Easy Main Course Meals

What’s for dinner?

If we had a dollar for every time that question was asked right?

I use to dread hearing those words because I’m like, I don’t know!? Whatever I cook! Then it would probably become a whole thing because honestly, I didn’t have an answer.

Thinking about the excruciating next three hours. When loving to cook became a chore, I swore that I would change this even if I died trying. It took some time to get used to, but that’s only because all of a sudden I realized:

We had no rhyme or rhythm when it came to food shopping, cooking, or anything. No structure.

This was all good and dandy until it came down to joining households, budgeting to make money moves and everything else we’re doing in our daily hustle. We wanted to have our cake and eat it too. So this is what we’ve got and it has worked thus far.

We have three go-to staples that I know are heart-healthy, versatile, and a breeze to cook. They easily take on whatever flavor we need. We always make sure that we have

  • Chicken – whether it be breasts, tenders, boneless thighs, legs, or cutlets
  • Shrimp – any size, never pre-cooked (they get rubbery), always cleaned
  • Ground turkey- varies from lean percentage (your preference)

TIP: If you’re keeping frozen shrimp, I recommend buying larger in size, they hold and cook better. (in my opinion)

If your family is more catered to red meat then either way, choose 3 staple proteins that they consume and stick with them for your freezer. It’s like a reliable safe buddy system. If you want to vary from these staples then buying that specific meal or dish should be cooked right away.

Additionally, the other benefit of having these items on hand is the cooking time tends to be generally fast for any type of shrimp, precuts of chicken, or any type of ground meat of course.

Having all kinds of junk in the freezer kept me from using what was best even if it was dated. Life gets in the way. Full-time jobs, sports, clubs, lessons, EVERYTHING. Keep your family ready at all times by sticking to a couple of main proteins that you know won’t slow them down.


2. Start Shopping Right

Main Course Meal Ideas

Knowing I have, no matter what, shrimp, chicken, or ground turkey to build from,  I know that whatever I buy at the grocery store or market will be just fine on a plate next to any of these things.

I can then make sure that whatever my budget, time frame, or mental capacity is for the time, it won’t be wasted trying to figure anything out.

In life, in Momming, in everything, being efficient will help you cut out unnecessary stress, so you can accomplish everything you need. No more double thinking, it is a waste of time.

Use these 3 rules to maximize your efficiency when going shopping:

  • Stick to the Fluffin list.

Make a list. Write in handwriting that you understand. Group Like items together. STICK TO IT. No buying random items that look good. Not that you can’t afford it or you can’t have what you want but what about where will it go once you get home?  Just actually think about every item instead of willy-nilly throwing it in the cart

  • Give each of your family members a snack budget.

Whether it be personal snacks, items you know they will eat, or what, this helps you understand what everyone will be eating in between meals. Everyone in my house likes different snacks and I don’t always have time to prepare something. So with everyone picking their own snack and learning how to spend their money, it’s a win-win.

  • Organize along the way.

This drives my family crazy but I don’t care. It helps gives me peace of mind and it WORKS. This is how I got so good at using reusable bags!

Picture yourself at the end of your shopping trip and just piling all of your items however you want on that little belt thingy and you’re thinking, dang, how did this get in the cart? Who picked that? When did I grab these? Treacherous.

I group my items together in the cart as we stroll so I never lose track. It is important. Even after shopping when you get home and you have to empty all the bags, and put away groceries and everything else that makes your shopping trips “events” this I promise you, will put an end to that.


Okay now after all that, you’re like awh shit well I learned all the things and still have no main course meal. This is where the giving gets good. Get yourself one of these ASAP:



Invest in an INSTANT POT.

I already had a rice cooker, a slow cooker, a steamer, a crock pot practically everything. They took up space and just drove me crazy to use and clean.

I had been reluctant to buy one but boy am I glad I did. This puppy can cook your meat from FROZEN in 20-25 minutes. I didn’t believe it, I literally had to test it myself. But damn, it works.

Now this helps when oops! You forgot to take out dinner! Throw it right in with your seasonings and a bit of liquid and it’s ready to use in no time! Now say you did defrost your meat, you can either brown it or toss it right in and call it a day.

It’s cooked, seasoned, and ready to eat on or with whatever and it all happened while you were doing other things. LIFE SAVER. Boom, main course meals! We love home-cooked, all-day, delicious food but we want it every day.

With the instant pot, takeout is not a desire anymore, last-minute frozen, or store-bought meals (not including frozen veggies, we use these all the time) are a thing of the past. We can have meals every night of the week that taste like they took all week to cook.

Mine came with this quick guide, as you can tell I put it to good use


Best Books For Main Course Meal Ideas

Rice takes minutes and you literally can’t mess it up and it tastes like you know what you’re doing! Pulled chicken, pulled pork, your mixture for tacos, anything! Pasta, anything! It’s great.

Rule of thumb: Be mindful of putting raw meats in with everything else when using the pressure cooker setting because your chicken might just be finished cooking meanwhile you can’t even tell that you had carrots in there! Everything takes a different amount of time. So if I am going to cook rice, I cook the rice real quick (literally a 10-minute process from start to finish) put it to the side, and then proceed to cook the chicken or ex item.

I don’t have to watch it, I don’t have 8 pots and pans to clean and the food is still made with the same amount of love!

BONUS: These instant marinades are literally the winning shot. Switch up night to night, with effortless flavor. Marinade  –> meet INSTANT POT. You can literally have something new every day or every other day.

This is the A Dozen Cousins’ variety pack. These are little miracle workers in a bag that come to the rescue anytime you need it! They have a long shelf life and they are good for the body and soul.


You can put this seasoning sauce on everything and anything. They also have rice seasoning packets that I like to keep on hand as well. You just add a packet to rice and the water right into your instant pot.

Here is another brand that we all know and love. If you’ve read any of my posts, you know that we use Mccormick often even though we love trying new brands and products. Mccormick is a known household name and perhaps their flavors are more up your alley.

Here are a few items we also use to make our lives just a bit easier.

McCormick Instant Pot Teriyaki Chicken Seasoning Mix


McCormick Instant Pot Ranch Chicken Seasoning Mix

McCormick Slow Cookers Fiesta Chicken Seasoning Mix

4. Don’t Store Stupid

Main Course Name

So now tie everything together.

Think about everything you do with your main course meals all the way down to how you store the leftovers! Leftovers never make it to some refrigerators and others sit in the back until they grow another city.

Wasting food is the absolute WORST.

Like I have made myself sick trying to eat the rest of whatever was left from the week before. It’s ridiculous how much food we waste as a society. The anti-leftover homies just need to know how to spruce their food up.

I am the leftover queen. I love to challenge myself to make 3 meals out of one night of cooking. Different meals of course and not always 3 dinners but here is an example:

If we’re cooking chicken in the instant pot, tonight we may have chicken with rice and vegetables. Simple. Well, when we are done eating I look at what is left over. I immediately think, what can I use this for? Don’t package it up into a container that’s unidentifiable 2 days later, crowded by all the other groceries.

Just decide right then and there.

Leftover rice = breakfast or lunch

Leftover veggies = throw together a stir fry

Leftover chicken = chicken tacos or a pasta

This is what I do every time for whatever we are cooking or worrying about our main course meals. If we are going to eat it just how it is then put duplicate dinners into containers right away. However, works best for you and your family. Then the next day you can throw it in a pan or pop it in the oven and you’re good to go. No more wasted leftovers, easy access meals throughout the day the following day.

Included are some storage secret weapons. These few items for you to help make everything run smoother.

HOMBERKING 3 & 2 & 1 Compartment, Glass Food Storage Containers

These containers are more than affordable, dishwasher safe, oven safe, and microwave safe.

Silicone Lid For Instant Pot – 6 Quart *

This is helpful for if you need to store it and go, or if you premade a dish and want to put it on the warmer setting the next day. But again be mindful, this is for the 6-quart size. I have not tried it on any other size instant pot.


Soup Master 8 Oz cubes Storage & Freezer Container

If you have soup, sauce, chili, or anything of that nature, these are perfect. I would buy 2 or 3 because they come in handy often and if one is already in the freezer but life still goes on, then you’ll need an extra.

Water Soluble Food Storage Labels

These really are the cherry on top! The closing act! These labels wash off in water and you can put them on everything! No more writing on plastic containers, no more date stickers that leave behind a sticky residue, no more goo be gone smelling up your house. All of the headache is behind you.

I hope this quick guide will you help your family soar through your lives by leaving all the petty upkeep in the past. We are meant to live full lives and sometimes you just need that extra helping hand to make it all possible.

This post was all about how to get ahead of all your main course meals.