On those hot summer days we'll bet the last thing you want to do is spend time cooking a big family dinner.
We're all for convenient and easy meals that can appeal to even the pickiest eaters at our dinner table. To help parents make a menu that won't break a sweat, we put together some of our summer favorites that are simple and semi-homemade.
You might even have some tasty leftovers to pack in your poolside picnic the next day!
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 4 ounces fresh baby spinach
- 1 (8-oz.) prebaked thin pizza crust (such as Mama Mary's)
- 1/4 cup lower-sodium marinara sauce (such as Rao's)
- 4 ounces lower-sodium deli ham, diced
- 2 ounces shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup)
- 2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn
- 1/2 cup julienne-cut Fuji apple
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Preheat oven to 500°F.
Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add spinach; cook 3 minutes or until completely wilted, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Place pizza crust on a sheet of parchment paper; spread marinara sauce evenly over crust. Arrange spinach, ham, cheddar, and mozzarella evenly over sauce. Place pizza on parchment directly on oven rack; bake at 500°F for 9 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown. Remove from oven. Top with apple and peppers; drizzle with remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Cut into 8 wedges.
- 8 ounces uncooked large elbow macaroni
- 2 cups chopped broccoli florets
- 1 1/2 cups 1% low-fat milk
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 center-cut bacon slice, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter
- 4.5 ounces reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (about 1 cup)
Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Add broccoli during the last minute of cooking; cook for 1 minute. Drain.
Combine milk and next 5 ingredients (through salt) in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk until smooth.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook 4 minutes or until crisp. Add butter to pan; swirl until butter melts. Add milk mixture to pan; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in cheese. Add pasta mixture to pan, stirring to coat.
- 5 tablespoons yellow cornmeal, divided
- 1/4 cup 1% low-fat milk
- 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard, divided
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup finely crushed unsalted pretzel twists
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 8 chicken breast tenders (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- Cooking spray
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1/4 cup canola mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 375°.
Place 4 tablespoons cornmeal in a shallow dish. Combine milk, 2 teaspoons mustard, and egg in a separate shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Combine pretzels, remaining 1 tablespoon cornmeal, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, sugar, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a third shallow dish, stirring with a whisk. Lightly dredge chicken in cornmeal, dip in milk mixture, and dredge in pretzel mixture, pressing gently to coat thoroughly. Lightly coat chicken with cooking spray.
Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chicken; cook 3 minutes or until browned. Turn chicken over, and place pan in oven. Bake at 375° for 7 minutes or until done.
While chicken cooks, combine mayonnaise, yogurt, chives, lemon juice, remaining 1 teaspoon mustard, remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Serve sauce with tenders.
- 2 1/2 cups grated carrot
- 2 1/2 cups grated baking potato
- 3 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2/3 cup)
- 1/2 cup grated onion
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup whole-milk Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 teaspoons honey
Preheat oven to 325°.
Place carrot and potato on paper towels; squeeze until barely moist. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, onion, garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and eggs in a large bowl. Add potato mixture; stir to combine.
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil; swirl to coat. Heap 3 tablespoons potato mixture into pan to form a patty; flatten slightly. Repeat procedure 5 times to form 6 patties. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook 6 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Place pancakes on a baking sheet; keep warm in oven. Repeat procedure twice with remaining oil and potato mixture to yield 18 pancakes. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, yogurt, curry, and honey in a bowl. Serve curry sauce with pancakes.