Family Life

When You’ve Misplaced Your Superhero Cape

dinner hero

This post is sponsored by Revolution Foods, but my enthusiasm for this product can’t be bought

My great-grandmother, who I never met, said she decided not to complain about doing the dishes because otherwise she’d be complaining about it three to four times a day for the rest of her life.

Throughout my childhood, my parents mentioned this many times.

If you’re guessing they mentioned it any time one of us kids complained about setting the table, making our beds, cleaning the bathrooms, taking out the trash or any other thing that has to be done over and over and over, you’re correct.

I think about this a lot in my life since so much of family life, especially with little children, is doing the same tasks over and over again.

There’s the laundry, changing diapers, and vacuuming.

And dinner time.

This is one I’ve struggled with over the years because I have strong aspirations to have family dinner pretty much every night, and especially now, with the bigger girls gone more ¬†during the day, I want that as a time to connect at the end of the day, play silly games at the table, talk about our days, try new foods, and make sure no one goes to bed hungry.

I’ve finally gotten into a good routine with meal planning and grocery shopping that’s working pretty well for me, but even then, I still have at least one or two days a week where my plans go awry.

We go to the pool after school and come home ready to eat dinner, and I don’t want to start a full meal from scratch.

Or I come home from the grocery store with a bunch of new food but now I’m too tired to actually make dinner.

Or we run errands or visit the library in the afternoon, and by the time we get home, everything on my meal plan just takes too darn long.

In the past, I’ve resisted acknowledging the fact that my plans would go awry.

Which meant that several nights a week, I’d be frantically opening the fridge or pantry hoping something would magically appear that wasn’t there when I checked 10 seconds earlier (my children do this when they’re looking for snacks – it doesn’t work any better for them than it does for me).

Over the past year, I’ve tried to be better about having back-up plans for the many nights when dinner from scratch is just not going to happen.

dinner hero

I know freezer meals are super popular, but I have to admit that many times, I just don’t like to eat something that’s been in the freezer for weeks. Plus, defrosting and reheating can take forever.

Also, because of the layout of our kitchen, we got a counter-depth refrigerator so that we could actually open our dishwasher, which means our freezer is pretty tiny. Bart and I have been talking about getting a second freezer for. . . the last 22 months. But we haven’t, so freezer space is at a premium.

Which means the Dinner Hero packages from Revolution Foods are PERFECT for me.

dinner hero

I can keep them in the pantry (where I have significantly more space) and then have a hot meal in almost no time at all. No freezer burn required.

And they’re very affordable, at around $6 per box. For a dinner with four full servings, that’s hard to beat.

dinner hero

They have a variety of family-friendly meals that are all ready in less than 30 minutes and all you have to add is the protein (chicken, beef, sausage, etc) and maybe a bit of water or oil.

The package flips open like a cookbook so you can see at a glance the steps (with photos included!) and it recommends possible side dishes too, which I love.

dinner hero

It just gives me a lot of peace of mind to know that I can grab one out of the pantry at a moment’s notice and have a real dinner on the table that everyone will eat (you can only serve oatmeal for dinner so many nights ina row. And actually, I don’t really even like oatmeal).

dinner hero

I’ve been so impressed by how flavorful and delicious they are, and how truly easy they are to put together.

This Smoky Tomato with Tri-Color Couscous and Sausage saved the day last week when I had forgotten to make pizza dough for Friday movie night and I was out of dinner ideas.

I was sold the moment I opened the spice packet and the most flavorful scent filled the kitchen. And then the sauce tasted AMAZING. The girls were totally intrigued by the couscous, which I don’t think I’ve ever made, and I already had a package of sausage in the fridge ready to chop up and toss in the pan.

dinner hero

These Dinner Hero packs have definitely earned a place in my pantry.

And they also have breakfast and lunch packs (Bart saw the frozen pancake batter and said, “Hey, I might actually make pancakes now!”) so if you’ve mislaid your supermom cape during the breakfast and lunch hustles, they’ve got your covered there too.

My girls were so excited about these LunchBundles because snack lunches are their favorite thing on the planet.

But not nearly as excited as I am about having a back-up plan any time I need it.

Which is pretty often.

dinner hero

Photos by Christie Knight

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9 Comments

  • Reply Paige August 9, 2017 at 6:09 am

    This is exactly what we need. Since Derek’s been sick everyone from church has been bringing us meals and I’m so far out of the making dinner mindset that when the meals stop I’m never going to want to cook dinner again. I need to put a few of these in my pantry to help ease me back into cooking.

  • Reply Ashley Pullen August 9, 2017 at 6:27 am

    Do you know if these are loaded with sodium? They look SO delicious, but I’m always afraid of the amount of sodium in meals like this. (Heart disease is rampant in my family and I already have high cholesterol at the age of 29. I’m really not a snob! haha!)

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw August 9, 2017 at 6:41 am

      They’re actually not! In fact, someone asked about it on Instagram and before I could look it up, she came back and said she’d checked it out and it was the most impressive she’d ever seen in a boxed meal!

    • Reply Emily C August 9, 2017 at 6:50 am

      Ashley, I am 31 and have been diagnosed with high cholesterol as well, high enough that I was given three months before they put me on statins despite no other risk factors. If you want to take control of it before you get to the scary heart disease part of life, I highly recommend a few resources. On Netflix there’s a documentary titled Forks Over Knives. You could also read any of Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s books, like Eat to Live or The End of Heart Disease. I dropped my cholesterol by 90 points in three weeks without adding exercise or taking meds, all I did was change my diet (which I thought was pretty healthy to begin with, but it turns out it wasn’t for me). Despite being the most skeptical of skeptics, I tried eating a nutrient dense low-fat vegan diet and it worked wonders. Give it a try, because reducing sodium isn’t going to do enough for you.

  • Reply Alison S. August 10, 2017 at 9:26 am

    I would love to try these! I looked at the only retailer (Whole Foods) listed in my area and they couldn’t find anything on their shelves. Do you know if you can order online?

  • Reply Laura August 10, 2017 at 10:53 am

    These look like Hamburger Helper for Millenials!

  • Reply Jodi August 11, 2017 at 7:28 am

    I’ve never heard of these. Sounds awesome. And a side note, we got a small freezer from costco for like $200 that we keep down in storage and it’s so so great.

    • Reply Janssen Bradshaw August 12, 2017 at 3:07 pm

      Did you get a chest freezer or a upright? The chests seem cheaper but kind of a pain.

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