In Your Kitchen

10 Family-Friendly Meal Ideas

So just like that, summer is almost over, which means for most parents kids are back to school and it’s time to get back our regular grind. I am taking one class this semester and needs to be somewhat more organized because after a long, relaxing summer it takes a little bit of adjustment to back the routine of doing assignments again. When I saw this month’s Recipe Redux theme “Back to the Dinner Table” I was very excited because many recipes on my blog are centered around quick, wholesome meals that will help families easy back to the dinner table. While I don’t have kids, I am almost always tired to cook meals after work so kudos to all the parents who after a long day (stay at home and working parents) muster up the energy to cook and feed what is best for their families. Today I am sharing 10 family friendly meal ideas, which I hope will inspire you and your families to cook and gather around the table more often. I have also provided some tips + substitution ideas to fit any allergy/diet restrictions.



1. Easy Roast Chicken – There is nothing more comforting that a dinner that involves roasted chicken. I suggest you make this on Sunday night and enjoy leftovers throughout the week. If you have kids, involve them in preparing sides such as roasted potatoes/veggies or a simple side salad to go with the chicken.



2. Peanut Butter Sauce and Sesame with Green Tea Noodles – If you don’t want to turn on your oven (completely understand) and want something quick, vegan, delicious – this dish is for you. You can make a big batch and eat it throughout the week as well. You can always substitute the green tea noodle with your favorite kind of pasta if you wish.



3.Easiest Thin Crust Pizza – Homemade pizza is a weekly affair in our house and so much better than a take out, in terms of money and nutrition. I have been using this crust recipe for almost two years and I have nothing but great things to say about it. Now only if someone would teach me how to make with wheat flour, I’d be happy forever and ever. Pizza naturally brings everyone to the table and since everything is pretty simple here- encourage kids to choose toppings and sauce to create their own pizza. Some interesting ideas for you – Lamb Pizza with Cilantro Yogurt SauceHealthy White Sauce Pizza with Sausage and Brussel Sprouts, Chicken Tandoori Mango Pizza. If you’d like you can swap out the pizza crust with naan or pita bread as well. I have seen people do it on tortilla wraps but I am not a big fan of that.



4. Kale, Leek, and Cheese Frittata – Frittata makes a great meal any time of the day; it’s super easy to make and very forgiving with ingredients. If you have a ton of veggies and several open packets of different cheeses, this is a great way to utilize everything into a weeknight meal or a wholesome brunch. Once cooked, you can also store them in an airtight container and can be eaten later in the week. If you are into eggs, how about these Green Masala Egg Curry?



5. Easy Chicken Kebabs –  This kebab is probably one of my favorite recipes on the blog. Not only this is a favorite at dinner and BBQs, two days ago my cousin, who doesn’t care too much about meat called me up to tell me how much she enjoyed them. That was my super proud food blogger moment. You can make these ahead of time, freeze it, and make it when needed or throw them on the outdoor grill, pan fry them, or bake them. I won’t mind if you used ground spices in lieu of whole ones, it will work just fine. Enjoy these kebabs with rice, throw them on your salad, or assemble them into chicken kebab wraps.



6. Tofu Tikka Masala – Tofu is probably not everyone’s favorite and I totally get it. It’s a texture thing for many people but I always tell people to try different recipe, cooking methods, tofu types. This Tofu Tikka Masala is the most popular recipe on this blog, which also happens to vegan and gluten-free. Please give this recipe a chance before you ditch tofu altogether. If you are already a fan of tofu, I have got Easy, Thai Green Curry lined up just for you.



7. Vegetable Korma – Instead of a Indian take-out, why not learn how to make Korma Paste at home (which is NOT DIFFICULT, trust me) and make vegetable korma in your own kitchen. PS. your kids and significant others can prep/cut everything for you. This is vegan/gluten-free but if you’d like, swap some of the veggies with chicken.



8. Healthifying Instant Noodles – We all have our days where cooking is the last thing on your mind. In those instances, you do best with what you have for you and your family even if it means, boiling instant noodle packets with boat load of veggies and eggs. Just be sure to toss that sodium laden seasoning packet.



9. Slow Cooker Turkey Chili – If you are a busy individual or someone who loves to have meals cooked without much effort, you absolutely need a slow cooker in your life (PS. Everyone Essential Kitchen Tools). Besides turkey chili, you can make this comforting daal (lentil soup) and apple butter among many other great things in a slow cooker. Go get it already!!



10. Soup Dumplings – While this may not be your typical weeknight meal but it will certainly bring you, your families, neighbors, strangers, and everyone around the table. I maybe little biased towards dumplings ( I am a Nepali, what can I say) but these are my favorite things to make and eat, all day everyday. Here is a slightly different vegetarian version.



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I hope these 10 family friendly meal ideas will be inspiration to you and your families. If you’d like more family-friendly recipes/salads/soups etc, please don’t forget to check out the recipe index. Be sure to see what other recipe reduxers are bringing to the table this month.

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Dixya Bhattarai

Dixya Bhattarai

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