The long summer nights are winding down and the set schedules of fall and back to school have crept back in. Making an easy & nutritious dish my whole family can enjoy has been a challenge. I often find myself playing short order cook- cooking multiple meals to appease everyone. Finding healthy dinners that are quick to assemble and please everyone can be like finding a needle in a haystack.
Here are a few easy dishes my entire family enjoys to eat that are perfect as we transition to fall– I hope yours will too!
Zoodles with Tomatoes & Turkey
My garden is always over grown with tomatoes & zucchini end of summer, so I have been lucky to make this dinner with our fresh grown vegetables. Store bought or homemade, the fresh flavors in this dish are delicious and it is so simple to put together. Kids love slurping up zoodles the same as noodles! If you prefer – you can always sub the zoodles for a pasta option (We love red lentil pasta).
3 large Zucchini – spiralized
8-10 medium sized tomatoes – chopped (remove stems)
1 onion- chopped ( I buy pre-chopped at the grocery store to save time making meals)
1 clove garlic – chopped
1 lb Organic ground Turkey
Parmesan Cheese- grated
In a medium pan, cook turkey until fully browned while breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Once cooked, remove from heat and cover. Return pan to stove on medium heat and add 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil . Add garlic & onion. Cook, stirring, for two minutes. Add tomatoes, stir. Once pan is sizzling, lower heat and cover for 10-15 minutes. Once soft & fragrant, remove lid and return turkey to the pan with the tomatoes. Cook, stirring for a few minutes then remove from heat. While this is cooking, make sure zucchini is fully drained (Squeeze it out in towels) . Heat a medium saucepan to medium and add 1 tsp olive oil. Cook zoodles, stirring for 2-3 minutes. Remove zoodles and spread evenly between bowls. Top with turkey/tomato mixture & grated parmesan cheese.
Strawberry & Spinach Salad
This is a go-to easy salad year-round in my house (great for entertaining too!). I have been throwing this salad together for years, so I don’t use exact measurements and instead just layer the ingredients into a large salad bowl. My kids can be fussy about eating “salads” so a lot of times when I make a salad to go with dinner I remove the lettuce (or in this case spinach) and make them a salad to eat of just the toppings ( the good stuff, am I right?). They love lettuce-less salads and they are fun for them to eat by hand too!
Organic Baby Spinach
1 cup pecans
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese
Poppyseed Dressing (We love Annie’s)
Put a small pan on the stove on low-medium heat. Toast pecans for a few minutes (stir frequently and don’t walk away from pan- they can burn quickly). Once toasted- remove from heat and place on separate plate to cool. Wash and chop strawberries (removing stems) into quarters. I usually use around 2 cups of chopped strawberries. Fill large bowl with washed baby spinach. Top with chopped strawberries, toasted pecans, and goat cheese. Serve with poppy seed dressing. If your kids are picky about eating ‘salads’- put the strawberries, pecans and goat cheese in a bowl with a little poppy seed dressing for them to dip in.
Crunchy Kale Chips
Who doesn’t love something crunchy? Kale chips are super simple to make and are a nutritious swap for regular potato or tortilla chips. My kids absolutely love them and I love knowing they are crunching on kale. My recipe is simple and can be spiced or changed however you like with whatever spices/seasonings you have in your kitchen. My two big tips for kale chips is the kale needs to be completely dried before baking it, and also they should be eaten fairly soon after being baked (they don’t store as well).
4 cups washed and dried kale – stems removed, ripped into small “chip” sized pieces
1 Tablespoon Avocado Oil
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
Salt to taste
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, mix kale, avocado oil, and nutritional yeast with hands until well coated. Spread kale evenly on tinfoil lined baking sheet ( no mess clean up). Bake for 8 minutes. Remove pan from oven, flip kale over and return to oven for 7-8 minutes. Once done, remove from oven and sprinkle with salt (We love Duxbury Sea Salt!). Cool & serve immediately.