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Thursday, January 3, 2019

3 Weeks of Easy + Healthy Weeknight Dinners



Back to school time!!! Although it's great to get the kiddos back to school and get back into a routine, I sometimes miss the relaxed "lack of routine" of the summer. Back to school seems to just hit with a vengeance! Paper to sign! Lunches to pack! Practices! Homework! Oh my!!  Dinner and healthy eating can often be tough when life gets busy but I have you covered with my 10 Easy + Healthy Weeknight Meals for Back to School!

Dinner during the week can be a struggle with kid’s activities and practices! When life gets crazy, I always try to keep things simple. I've divided these meals into 3 categories that work well for Back to School craziness:
  • Sheet Pan Dinners: There's nothing easier than putting everything onto a baking sheet and let the oven do the work! These meals can be prepped a couple of days in advance, too and just heated up as you need them.
  • Portable: For meals on the go!
  • Crockpot: Who doesn't love throwing everything in a crockpot and having a delicious hot meal when you get home??!
  • Leftovers: These meals are make great leftovers.
  • Just Simple: These meals can be made in about 20 minutes or less.


Sheet Pan Dinners
  1. Chicken Fajitas: Just use a store bought low sodium taco seasoning to simplify this more!
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2. BBQ Smoked Sausage and Veggies:  Keep it healthier and use turkey or chicken sausage.
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Source: Meatloaf and Melodrama

3. Pesto Chicken: Just use a good store bought pesto--my fave is Kirkland brand from Costco!
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Source: Cooking Classy

Portable Dinners

1. Cobb Salad Wraps: Wraps are GREAT for wrapping up and eating on the go. Customize this cobb salad wrap with whatever you favorite wrap ingredients are!
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Source: Living Well Kitchen

2. Quesadillas: This is my family's favorite portable meal. I make up a bunch, fill it with their favorite "fillings" (deli meat, favorite cheeses, chicken, etc.) wrap them up in foil, pack some fruit and it's dinner on the go! This is also a great use for leftover chicken or taco meat.

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Source: Written Reality

3. Pasta: A thermos is great for keeping pasta hot for an easy on the go meal! Use your favorite pasta recipe or try this one pot fave of mine: One Pot Chicken Fajita Pasta.

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Source: Chew Out Loud

Crockpot

1.Seasoned Chicken and Potatoes: This is one of my family's favorite crockpot recipes and it's SUPER simple! The cooking time is not long, so if you will be gone most of the time, set your crockpot's timer, if possible.
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Source: The Magical Slow Cooker

2. Taco Soup: I love this "dump and go" recipe! Feel free to substitute lean ground beef or turkey, but brown it in a skillet first.

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Source: Kristine's Kitchen

3. Lasagna Soup: Italian chicken sausage works great but you can use ground beef or turkey too. The leftovers make a perfect lunch.

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Source: The Little Kitchen

Leftovers

1. Turkey Meatloaf: I think the leftovers are better than freshly-cooked! Ha!! Great on a sandwich too for a portable meal!

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2. Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes: Whip up a double batch and have an easy and portable meal for the next day, too!
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Photo Credit: Dinner Then Dessert

3. Lemon Broccoli Pasta Skillet: The kids pick out the broccoli and love this pasta and I am 100% fine with that! Serve it with a salad and/or bread the first night and the next night, heat it up a bit and put it in a Thermos for another easy on the go meal.

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Just Simple
1.Breakfast for dinner:  This is my son’s ALL TIME favorite meal. I love it because you can customize it for everyone’s preferences. You can check out how we do ours in THIS POST.
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2. 3 Ingredient Salsa Chicken: This counts in the Super Simple, Crockpot AND Leftovers category! Doesn't get much easier than this! Here's the "recipe"--
Put four chicken breasts in your crockpot with one container fresh salsa (from the deli) and a half a packet of low sodium taco seasoning. Cook on low 4-5 hours until chicken shreds easily. Serve in tortillas with lettuce, sour cream, avocado and whatever other taco toppings you love!
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Photo Source: Gimme Some Oven

3. White Chicken Chili: I LOVE how this recipe uses store bought rotisserie chicken and store bought salsa verde!
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