** BE SURE to comment at bottom of post….I may just send you $100 for sharing with me…**

My dad was in international sales when I was growing up. This job required him to travel quite a bit. When I was little and adults asked me what my dad did for a living….I would tell them that he worked at the airport—because every Friday and Sunday we would pick him up and take him back. He was a hard worker, and weekends were spent filled with family time. That is when we would build projects and play. Since he traveled most weeknights, my mom was left with dinnertime duties, along with everything else like homework, activities, school projects, play dates…everything. She too was a hard worker :) My mom never ever ever failed to put a meal together and have dinner on the table for all of us. I grew up knowing that mealtime was family time. It was a top priority. You don’t answer the phone, you don’t answer the door, and the TV is off. You talk, you share, you find out how everyone’s day went. We still hold dinnertime very sacred. We sit down to the table every week night.

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Even during busy basketball season, my son will eat the meal that we eat—it’s just how we roll. I know that everyone is busy. Everyone has places to be and things to do, but I would urge you to take just 20 minutes and eat together. The meal does not have to be grand; it can be put together in a matter of minutes, and there are so many products available to you in the grocery freezer and dairy sections that can help you do so. You can have dinner on the table faster than you can go through any drive-thru. Healthy, enjoyable, crowd-pleasing dinners that will get everyone talking….and that is the whole point, my friends. Because before you know it, your dinnertime conversations will be centered on what colleges to visit, what cars they want to drive, and you will feel so good that you took the time. I wrote a post awhile back—a few tips to getting dinner on the table….that might be a good place to start :)


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Here is another great place to start….this Slow Cooker Tomato Soup + Cheesy Green Salad + Chicken Taquitos (a new twist on the classic grilled cheese and tomato soup combination). All of these items are fan favorites. They can be pulled right from the fridge and freezer to your table in a moment’s notice. Dinner will be done and done!


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Here is another great place to start….this slow cooker tomato soup, green cheesy salad and Taquitos. What is great about using freezer products is that everyone gets involved in the prep and getting dinner to the table. My peanut made the El Monterey Taquitos…hubs made the Cheesy salad…I whipped the soup and my son set the table. Having everyone participate makes the meal personal….no matter what is on the plate:)

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What is great about using frozen products is that everyone gets involved in the prep and getting dinner to the table. My peanut made the El Monterey taquitos (so simple and delicious, just heat and eat straight from the freezer!) My hubs made the cheesy salad using Sargento, I whipped up the soup and my son set the table. Having everyone participate makes the meal personal, no matter what is on the plate :)


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You can be assured that you are feeding your family quality food at a reasonable cost…and quickly! An easy soup paired with a healthy green salad topped cheese with bite-size taquitos add up to a complete meal in no time flat! You don’t even need a recipe for the salad or taquitos – almost any dish is fail-proof when the hardest prep is already done for you. Simply assemble together and you’ve got yourself one heck of a dinner!

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Slow Cooker Tomato Soup, Taquitos & Easy Greens: Make dinnertime HAPPEN

Tracie at CleverlyInspired
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 8 hours
Total Time 8 hours 5 minutes
Servings 16


  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 72 oz. can whole tomatoes with juices
  • 14 oz. roasted red peppers drain the oil from jar
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper


  • Place everything in a large slow cooker and let cook on low all day (8 hours) Blend with an immersion blender and serve. Makes enough to eat all week long!
  • Getter done friends!


FYI: this soup makes a TON! Be prepared to share:)

Now it is your turn….please comment below and share with me why YOU feel meal time is a priority? How do you accomplish this in your home? Tell me what works! I will be selecting my best tip and forwarding on a VISA gift card for $100 to help you with your mealtime prep! 

I am a brand ambassador for the NFRA (National Frozen and Refrigerated Foods Association) & a member of the Cool Food Panel. I have been compensated for my time spent writing this post. All opinions, photos, and thoughts are 100% mine own.

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Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes...all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha's Circle of trusted bloggers.

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  1. Hi! We’ve always made dinner a priority in our household. On occasion, we can’t sit down with each other but most nights we do! My crockpot is a HUGE help during the week to get that accomplished! As a matter of fact I own 3 because I use them so much!. We also have pizza night every Friday night, which the kids love & it’s a night I don’t have to cook :). On the weekends, I’m able to cook more. Dinner is the time that we can all slow down & reconnect. One of the things we do, which is our kids favorite, is go around the table & tell about their favorite thing that happened during the day.

  2. Somehow dinner time seems like the busiest time of the day, with work projects, homework and sports practices. We still try to make dinner together a priority. My 7-year-old counts on it and will often refuse to eat if we are not all together, unless the occasion has been previously discussed. Really. So we often adjust meal time according to our schedules and add in an extra snack in the afternoon for the growing boy if the meal will be served later. The one kitchen item I rely on the most is my Ninja multi-cooker. They market this as your entire kitchen in one tool, and it almost completely lives up to this claim. I use the slow cooker function frequently. We all know the secret to slow cooking meat is to sear the meat first. With the Ninja you don’t even need to dirty another pan. First sear your meat on stove top mode, then turn to slow cook. I’ve cooked pasta and steamed veggies at the same time with the veggies in a basket on top of that pasta. It’s a serious time saver in more ways than one, since you also save on dishes. (This is NOT a paid advertisement, I’m just a fan) .

    One night per week we also get take-out or order pizza, choose a movie or favorite shows and all pile in the living room for some extra family time.

  3. Weeknight dinners were always enjoyed together as a family with no interruptions. Didn’t answer the phone, no TV and often neighborhood kiddos waited outside on the patio until our dinner was done. They knew the drill. We said Grace before every meal, passed the food around, told stories and adventures of our day and always, always had dessert! It goes by too fast! Enjoy it!!

  4. […] Tracie Stoll, Cleverly Inspired, Slow Cooker Tomato Soup with Taquitos and Salad […]

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