September is National Family Meals Month. All month long, Kahikians are gathering together for delicious meals. Numerous studies have shown the long-term health, academic and societal benefits of eating as a family. According to a 2013 Harris poll, only about 30% of American families share dinner every night. This national movement aims to increase that number.
Given our fast-paced lifestyles, dinner seems more of a necessity than a relaxing and enjoyable part of the day. Many of us struggle to find time to make dinner. That is why we created 7 easy family dinner ideas for you to try this week to help your family join the movement. The following recipes make 4 - 6 servings. Click here for a convenient, printable shopping list with all of the ingredients from the recipes below.
Sunday start with Two Step Lasagna
- 1 jar pasta sauce
- 2 18-oz refrigerated large cheese ravioli
- 2 zucchinis, diced
- 1 8-oz bag shredded mozzarella
- 1/2 cup (2 oz) grated parmesan (optional)
Heat oven to 375°F. Spoon a thin layer of sauce over the bottom of a 9 x 13" baking dish. Cover with a single layer of ravioli. Top with a third each of zucchini, sauce, and mozzarella. Repeat with two more layers. Sprinkle parmesan on top. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake until bubbly, 5 - 10 minutes more.
Monday make Parmesan Crusted Turkey with Mashed Potatoes
- 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- ½ cup parmesan, shredded or grated
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 4 turkey cutlets
- 1 Tbs oil
- 1 lemon
Combine breadcrumbs with parmesan. Dip turkey into eggs and coat with breadcrumb mixture. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add cutlets and cook until done, flipping once. Remove from pan and add the juice of one lemon hot pan. Scrape of browned bits and pour over cutlets. Serve with Bob Evans instant mashed potatoes.
Tuesday try Chicken and Black Bean Burritos with Tomato-Avocado Slaw
- 1 Tbs oil
- StirFresh Sweet and Sour Chicken
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- Shredded cheddar or pepper jack cheese
- 6 whole-wheat tortillas
- 1 1/2 cups shredded lettuce
- 1 tomato, diced
- 1 avocado, diced
- 2 Tbs oil
- 1 Tbs lime juice
Heat oil in skillet. Add onions and saute a few minutes until translucent. Add beans, salsa, and cumin. Warm tortillas and top with bean mixture and cheese. Combine remaining ingredients (lettuce through lime juice) in a bowl and serve on the side.
Wednesday it's Tuna Casserole
- 2 cups macaroni, cooked according to package
- 1 can Campbell's cream of celery soup
- 1 packaged cream cheese, left at room temperature to soften
- ¼ cup milk
- 2 cans tuna
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp mustard powder
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 2 Tbs butter
Preheat oven to 375°F. While macaroni cooks, melt butter in skillet and add onions to cook until translucent, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, combine cream of celery, cream cheese, and milk in a casserole dish. Add tuna and sprinkle garlic powder and mustard on top. Drain macaroni and stir into casserole dish. Pour butter and onion mixture on top. Bake for 20 minutes.
Thursday create Salmon Teriyaki with Egg Rolls
- 1 cup uncooked rice
- 1 Tbs sesame oil
- 1 lb salmon
- 1 bag frozen bell peppers
- 1 jar favorite teriyaki sauce
- 1 box Egg Rolls
Prepare rice and egg rolls according to packages. Meanwhile, heat oil in a skillet over medium. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Add salmon to skillet and cook 7 to 8 minutes or until opaque throughout, flipping halfway. Remove salmon from skillet and add bell peppers and as much teriyaki sauce as desired. Add rice to plate and top with salmon and bell peppers.
Friday can be BBQ Chicken Personal Pizzas
- Whole wheat English muffins
- Rotisserie chicken, diced
- BBQ sauce
- Red onions, thinly sliced
- Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Top whole-wheat English muffins with barbecue sauce, chicken, onions, and cheese. Bake until the cheese melts and the English muffins are toasted.
Saturday finish the week with Drunken Roast Beef and Sweet Potatoes
- 3 lb beef roast
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 large sweet potatoes, chopped
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 2 Tbs Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp liquid smoke
- 1 can beer
- 2 cups beef broth
Combine ingredients in a slow cooker. Set for 6 - 10 hours. Serve with warm rolls.
These easy family dinner ideas provide a healthier - and cheaper - alternative to take-out restaurants.Give your family the time it deserves to slow down and enjoy good food and conversation.