Feeding the family can be a real challenge, especially if you have picky eaters on your hands. These five quick and easy family friendly meals are nutritious and can be ready to serve before you’d get to the Golden Arches and back.
1. Fajita’s and their fixings. The greatest thing about fajita’s is that each person in the family can top theirs the way the like. Simply cook up some seasoned chicken, onions and peppers in a bit of olive oil on the stove top (Fajita seasoning can be purchased in the international or spice isle of any major grocery store). Set out tortillas and sides of Spanish rice, beans, diced tomato, shredded cheese, sour cream and guacamole. If you’re feeling adventurous, throw some corn, red onion, black beans, chopped tomatoes, oil and vinegar in a bowl for a Mexican side salad. In a jiffy you’ll have yourself a well balanced fresh tasting meal!
2. Baked Ziti and garden salad. If you’re looking for a baked ziti dish that can be made up in advance that both adults and kids love, this is it (it also freezes exceptionally well). Combine 24 ounces of cottage cheese, 2 eggs, 3 ounces of grated parmesan cheese and a dash of salt and pepper in a bowl. Cook ziti and drain. Add ziti to mixture. Add enough pasta sauce to the mixture to turn it pink. Line the bottom of an 8 by 13 pan with pasta sauce. Add mixture. Top with remaining sauce. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35 min. Take cover off and let top brown. Serve with a garden salad!
3. Stir Fry. Add a bit of olive oil to a large fry pan and toss is thinly sliced beef or chicken and fresh or frozen veggies. Cook until tender. Some great combinations include chicken, mushrooms and broccoli and steak and mushrooms. Stir fry can be served “as is” or over rice. Some kids love a slice of cheese melted on top of their stir fry.
4. Homemade Fish Sticks. Beat at egg in a small dish. Combine breadcrumbs, paprika and parsley in a bowl. Cut a fish fillet into strips. Dip fish into the egg, and then into breadcrumb mixture. Place on a lightly greased baking dish. Bake at 450 degrees for 7 to 10 minutes. Serve with steamed veggies.
5. Dinner salad. Most parents are surprised to learn that kids will actually eat a salad if it’s served to them. The key is to not make a big deal about it. Toss up your favorite garden salad and top with grilled chicken, shrimp or beef (left over meats are great on top of salads). Add diced cheese, croutons and cheese and serve up with an assortment of dressings. If you’ve got left over peppers and onions, sizzle them up and serve with salsa and sour cream for a twist!