Back to School Meals Made Simple

Back to School Meals Made Simple
 
Getting back into a school routine can be hard for the student as well as the one feeding them.  Here are five of our go-to recipes to simplify weeknight rush and even better, leftovers can double as school lunch.  Dinner by night, lunch the next day- true recipe super heroes!
 
Italian Meatballs- Serve over your favorite pasta with marinara for dinner then use the leftovers for Meatball subs for lunch.  Pack the bread and meatballs separate in lunches so the bread doesn't get soggy.  A plastic fork helps with easy assembly.

Recipe Ingredients 

  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 large Onion, diced
  • 2 large Garlic Cloves, chopped                              
  • 1/2 pound Lean Ground Beef
  • 1/2 pound Ground Pork
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1/4 cup Fresh Parsley Leaves
  • 1 cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Water

Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion, season generously with salt and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes. The onions should be very soft and aromatic but have no color. Add the garlic and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to cool.
  2. Meanwhile combine the meats, eggs, parmesan, parsley and bread crumbs. It works well to squish the mixture with your hands. Add the onion mixture and season generously with salt and squish some more. Add the water and do 1 final really good squish.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. Shape the meat into desired size. Coat a large saute pan with olive oil and bring to a medium-high heat. Brown the meatballs on all sides. Place them on a cookie sheet and bake them in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked all the way through. If using right away, add them to your big pot of marinara sauce. If not using right away, they can be frozen for later use.
 
Roasted Chicken With Vegetables- A simple but elegant dinner that provides the chicken for a taco lunch the next day.  Shred leftover chicken, wrap it up in small tortillas and throw some shredded cheese, lettuce, salsa and sour cream into the lunchbox for a fun build-your-own taco lunch
 

Recipe Ingredients

  • 6 stalks Asparagus
  • 2 large Baking Potatoes
  • 4 Carrots
  • 3 large Chicken Breast
  • 1 package Dry Onion Soup Mix
  • 1/2 cup Olive Oil
  • 1 small Red Onion

Instructions

  1. Cut chicken breasts in half. Place in roasting pan. Wash potatoes and cut into quarters.  
    Peel carrots and cut into thirds.  Quarter the red onion. Rinse asparagus well and trim off bottoms. Add all vegetables to roasting pan. Sprinkle dry onion soup mix over top and then cover with olive oil. Bake at 450 for 45 minutes.
 
Easy Cheesy Pasta Salad- This one requires no work for leftovers.  Get the kids involved in making it- they will be more excited about eating what they have helped create.
 

Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 bottle Berenstein Salad Dressing, small bottle
  • 1 package Bowtie Pasta
  • 1 bunch Broccoli
  • 1 Carrot, large
  • 1 Cucumber
  • 1 can sliced olives
  • 2 sticks of String Cheese, cut into bite size pieces
  • 2 Roma tomatoes                             

Instructions

  1. Cook and drain pasta. Pour a little dressing on pasta so it won't stick, then cool it in the fridge. Cut the vegetables into bite size pieces. Once pasta is cold, add vegetables and cheese and most of the bottle of dressing. If you aren't serving right away, save some dressing to pour over salad right before serving.
 
 
Italian Flank Steak- This recipe gets rave reviews and is so crazy easy to make that I hesitate to even call it a recipe.  A hoagie roll and some cheese slices are all you need to turn leftovers into a fabulous steak and cheese sandwich.
 

Recipe Ingredients 

  • 2 Flank steaks, pounded thin
  • 3 cups Italian Salad Dressing

Instructions

  1. Marinate the steak overnight (or at least 3 hours) in dressing. Preheat grill to high heat. Oil the grill rack (oil a folded paper towel, hold with tongs and rub it over the rack). Grill steak to desired doneness, 5 to 6 minutes per side for medium. Transfer to a plate and cover with foil. Let sit for five minutes. Slice the steak very thinly across the grain. You can serve this warm or chilled.
 
Roasted Vegetables- Can serve as a main or side dish for a healthy dinner then they make a reappearance on top of an English muffin for a simple and healthy lunch.  A slice of cheese can be melted onto the muffin the night before for added flavor.

Recipe Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons Dried Herbs
  • 1 Lemon
  • 3 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Squash, cubed
  • 3 Tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 Zucchini, cubed

Instructions

  1. Lay out vegetables on cookie sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on dried herbs. Squeeze lemon over top. Bake at 425 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Krista Numbers

Krista is the founder of Simplify Supper. She is passionate about making family dinner a priority and strives to provide simple solutions to make it happen.

Feb 02, 2014
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