When back-to-school time rolls around at the end of summer, families’ schedules change dramatically and things often get a lot more hectic. While you may have made special time for backyard barbecues and weekday dinners during the summer vacation months, it can be a challenge to keep those family traditions going once everyone has homework, extracurricular activities, and more social plans. However, this is no time to start resorting to fast food takeout or having everyone snacking throughout the evening without sitting down for a real, healthy meal.
To keep things simple, healthy, and natural even at this time of the year, here are some family dinner recipes to try out with the loved ones you live with.
Easy Salmon, Spinach, and Lentil Dinner
Many people are intimidated by cooking fish, but you shouldn’t be because many types of fish are actually easy to prepare, quick to make, and very healthy for the whole family. You can spice salmon up anyway you like, but on busy weeknights, keep it simple with just a few familiar ingredients for minimal cleanup and no fuss.
- 4 salmon filets
- ½ tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. pepper
- 2 tsp. olive oil for skillet
- 2 lemons, cut in half
- 2 tbsp. olive oil for dressing
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme
- ½ red onion, chopped
- 1 can of lentils, drained
- 3 cups baby spinach
- 1 cucumber, diced
- Heat a large skillet on medium heat on the stove.
- Coat salmon filets with a light dusting of salt and pepper.
- Add the 2 tsp. of oil to the skillet.
- Follow with salmon and two lemon halves with the cut side facing down.
- Cook salmon for about five minutes per side.
- Squeeze halved lemons grilling in the skillet over the salmon.
- In separate bowl, combine juice from the second lemon, 2 tbsp. olive oil, thyme, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
- Add onions, lentils, cucumber, and spinach into bowl to make a side salad.
- Serve salmon and salad together on plates and enjoy!
Tortellini and Spinach Soup
What’s great about this recipe is that it only takes a few familiar ingredients to take care of dinner. Pasta will satisfy even the pickiest of eaters while you sneak in some healthy veggies too. This soup recipe makes four servings, but you could also double the quantities for a larger family or to have leftovers for another night this week.
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups tomato sauce
- 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
- 2 cups tortellini, cheese or your choice of meat
- 1 tsp. garlic, minced
- ½ tsp. crushed red pepper
- ½ tsp. dried oregano
- Parmesan cheese for topping
- Bring broth, tomato sauce, and spices to a boil in a large pan on high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium and put in tortellini.
- Cook for about 10 minutes or according to the package directions.
- Add spinach during the last five minutes on the stovetop.
- Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve.