This post is sponsored by KRAFT. All opinions are my own.


I’m on a very unsuccessful search to locate an extra 10 hours to add to my day. And I don’t just mean today. I’m talking every day.

But clearly, the kids would need to be sleeping during those hours to make them worthwhile. But considering the speed at which the first year of my son’s life flew by, I wouldn’t mind a few extra hours with them as well. I’m conflicted but the verdict remains: I need more time.

One way I manage to create more time is to simplify meals. Especially on the weeknights when Ben is at work and I have a 1-year-old clinging on my leg and a 3-year-old who is pulling things off the counter and doing an ungodly amount of whining. She’s a great kiddo but what is it about being in the kitchen that makes a kid whine 10 times as much?


When KRAFT approached me to do a series of posts with the theme “Inspired Authenticity, Weeknight Simplicity,” I was on board right away. A perfect fit for my family and hopefully for all of you too. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing a couple recipes as well as some tips that I use to make weeknight dinners more simple but just as delicious. Kraft asked me to use their Grated Parmesan Cheese and HUNT’S Tomatoes in my recipes. I always have these two ingredients on hand in my pantry to make dinner prep easy and help us avoid 5:30 rolling around without a dinner plan. We all know that always results in carry-out runs.


Having a stocked pantry is one of the most important tips that I can offer to make weeknight meals easier. I especially like KRAFT because they use only 100% grated Parmesan in their cheese and a can of HUNT’s Tomatoes contain 100% natural tomatoes peeled with FlashSteam, not harsh chemicals. ‘Cause I’m not crazy about feeding my kids chemicals, ya know? Hunt’s offers a ton of variety, but I most often reach for the classic diced tomatoes on the grocery store shelves. You can add spices to them or purée them for a quick and easy tomato sauce. And of course they are a staple in stews and chilis. They are certainly a must-have.


And can we talk about the magical power of KRAFT Grated Parmesan Cheese? I sprinkle some over my toddler’s plate and she devours the food as if it is cookies and cupcakes. This works especially well for peas and broccoli, in case you’re wondering.


Other than a stocked pantry, another tip is to plan ahead! If you have more free time on Sundays, prep some food for the next day (more on that next week). If your kids take good afternoon naps, use that time to chop some vegetables or get a sauce simmering on the stove. You can have Real Housewives or Friends reruns on while you do it!

What do you do to make weeknight meal prep easier?

 If you need some inspiration for easy meal prep — make sure to check out my Pinterest board devoted to the topic!

Follow Rachel Cooks | Rachel Gurk’s board Inspired Authenticity, Weeknight Simplicity #spon on Pinterest.

Still need more inspiration? Check out KRAFT’s Facebook and Pinterest pages for tons of great recipes.

Disclosure: I am working in partnership with the KRAFT brand and I am receiving compensation for my participation in this campaign. All thoughts/opinions are 100% my own.