I was planning to do a lunchbox roundup of recipes, but the only one I could find from the last few weeks of parties was Pizza Muffins from Spaceships and Laser Beams.
A few days ago, I received an email from Pasta Fits asking if I would like to share a few easy weeknight recipes for those busy nights after a school day that all parents need to have on hand. I knew I would like to try a couple of the recipes, and so I thought you might like seeing these recipes too!
Three Back to School Recipes for Dinner
One pot Tex-Mex chili with pasta.
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 12 oz. lean ground chicken
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup diced carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 2/3 cup frozen corn kernels thawed
- 1 poblano pepper, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
- 1 tbsp. chili pepper
- 2 tsp. cocoa powder
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
- 3 tbsp. tomato paste
- 1 can (28 oz.) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
- 1 can (14 oz.) no-salt-added pinto beans
- 1/4 cup brewed coffee
- 4 oz. small shell pasta
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced radishes
- 1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted and thinly sliced
- 2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
- lime wedges
Heat oil in large Dutch oven or heavy-bottom pot set over medium heat; cook chicken for 5 to 7 minutes or until browned. Add onion,garlic, carrots, celery, corn, poblano, jalapeño, chili powder, cocoa powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutesor until vegetables have softened and spices are fragrant. Add tomato paste; cook for 1 minute.
Stir in tomatoes, beans, coffee and 1 cup water; simmer for 15 minutes. Add pasta; cover and cook for 12 to 15 minutes or until pasta and vegetables are tender.
Garnish chili with radishes, avocado and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
Mix and match toppings: Try crushed tortilla chips, grated Monterey Jack cheese, sliced green onions or sour cream.
This quick pasta makes a satisfying dinner.
- 8 oz. whole wheat elbow macaroni
- 2 cup frozen peas
- 1/3 cup prepared basil pesto
- 3 cups chopped zucchini
- 3 cups small broccoli florets
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1 red pepper, chopped
- 2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
In large pot of boiling water, cook macaroni according to package directions, adding peas in the last minute of cooking. Drain, reserving 2/3 cup cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, in large skillet set over medium heat, heat pesto and 1/3 cup cooking liquid; cook zucchini, broccoli, onion and red pepper, covered,for about 3 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp.
Add macaroni and remaining cooking liquid to skillet; toss until macaroni is coated and vegetables are tender. Stir in Parmesan cheese.
- 4 oz. elbow macaroni
- 2 cups (8 oz.) small broccoli florets
- 2 Tbsp. (1 oz.) butter
- 6 Tbsp. flour
- 2 cups (16 oz.) skim milk
- 4 oz. grated sharp cheddar cheese
- 8 oz. cooked chicken (leftover), small dice
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Cook the macaroni according to package directions. Drain and reserve.
Heat a small pan of salted water. Cook the broccoli until crisp tender, about 2 minutes. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking. Chop into ½” pieces. Reserve.
Heat a large saucepan over medium low heat. Add butter and, whisking constantly, stir in the flour taking care the flour doesn’t brown. Continue to cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk. It will thicken as it gets hot. Whisk constantly; any lumps will smooth out. Cook for 5–7 minutes. Mixture will bubble and thicken, and when it no longer changes in consistency, it’s done. Stir in cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in pasta, broccoli and chicken. Spread into a 9” x 9” pan. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and press them into the surface. Cool completely, at least 2 hours. Cut into 6squares.
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