For the past several weeks, I have been keeping the same pace as when the kids were in school. In the mornings, I spend my time running back and forth to camps, I work in the afternoons, and in the evenings we have softball games. This pace is not dinner friendly.

For weeks we have been eating less desirable meals then we are used to. We order in pizza, make quick burgers and dogs on the grill, make sandwiches or have the “every man for himself” dinner. This menu includes frozen food, cereal, leftovers or whatever you want to make for yourself in the limited time before we head out the door.

I am really tired of the crappy meals. Last week, I finished work at 4:30 and my husband and daughter had to be out of the house at 5:00. What could I make for dinner in 15 minutes? I searched the fridge and pantry and pulled out some staples. That’s when I came up with Anything Stew.

I always have canned diced tomatoes and chicken broth on hand. To that I added garlic, salt and pepper, garbanzo beans (chick peas), a bag of spinach and smoked sausage. I cooked up the sausage, deglazed the pan with a little wine and poured everything into a large pot. While it was cooking, I quickly got ready for the game. It was ready in 15 minutes and was very tasty.

The reason I call it Anything Stew is because you can switch out the ingredients to suit your tastes or based on what you have at home. You can replace the smoked sausage with any meat you have on hand or skip the meat completely. Change the spinach to zucchini or corn or green beans. Switch the garbanzo beans to pasta. I plan to make it a more Mexican flair next time by using black beans, corn and chicken and flavoring it with cumin or cilantro or jalapenos.

If you make enough of the stew, you can have leftovers the next night! If you try your own Anything Stew, let me know what you used. I am always looking for new ideas!

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