Continued from Quick, Quick, Quick
More recipes/ideas for quick meals:
Chicken breast: unlike the dark thigh meat, chicken breast takes only minutes to cook. It is so versatile and can be added to liquids to poach or sautéed (browned) or baked in the oven. I also don’t know many kids who don’t like chicken. Again, just adding a few herbs or spices to the chicken can create a flavorful and quick meal. Just a pinch of paprika and cumin over the cut breast and sautéed in olive oil for just minutes and served over potatoes, noodles or rice. Add a 1/4 cup of cream and you’ve got a wonderful sauce as well. Panko bread crumbs or my homemade bread crumbs with herbs (thyme, oregano, basil, rosemary, sage) coating pieces of chicken breast then baked make a wonderful alternative to chicken nuggets.
Pasta: always on hand in our pantry is a variety of pastas for different meals. There’s nothing wrong with keeping some jarred tomato sauces in there too. I often have Trader Joe’s Organic Tomato Basil sauce in my pantry (it’s healthy and cheap at just over $2 for 25 oz). It’s easy enough to create quick and healthy meals with pasta this way. Pasta is great for sides or for the main course and a wonderful way to incorporate vegetables, especially for those kids who are more resistant to eating them on their own. Just chop veggies, (broccoli, zucchini, squash, beans, spinach, mushrooms, peppers, carrots, kale— all are great in pasta), add to olive oil and minced garlic, some protein (chicken, shrimp, beans, tofu), season with herbs, salt and pepper and lastly add to the pasta and you’ve got a great dish that most kids will love. Ideal way to use up small amounts of vegetables and meats/seafood.
Vegetables: whether the main focus or the side, incorporating many into your children’s diet is ideal. Kids need around 9 servings of fruits and veggies a day. Think of that as 9 fistfuls (the size being that of the recipient). If you need a quick side dish frozen peas are super fast— microwave on high for about 2 minutes, stirring half way. Add a touch of butter to help make it more palatable. Spinach can also be cooked in microwave, steamed for few minutes over boiling water or just throw in sauté pan with Tbsp water, dash of sea salt and cover. Cook for few minutes (until wilted) and drain any excess water, add butter. Broccoli can be boiled/steamed for a several minutes. Just put in cold water when it’s done (soft yet still got some crispness/color). Again add a pat of butter. Butter helps many kids eat their vegetables by providing umami the savoriness they/we like. Fat (butter) is also helpful to absorb many vegetables’ nutrients. Hope this gives you all some ideas to help getting kids to eat healthily. I wish everyone the best for this New Year! I hope more kids will eat well and thrive.
You can always contact me if you have recipe questions or requsts!