Meals Made Easier

(NAPSI)—Finding time to cook a healthy dinner for the whole family to enjoy can be a challenge.

With a little planning and advance prep, however, making a family dinner can be a cinch. Here are six ways to get ahead of the curve:

• Create a weekly menu.

• Keep it simple with easy-to-prepare meals that can be made quickly or in advance.

• Write up your grocery list and do the shopping all at once rather than making numerous trips to the grocery store throughout the week.

• As you’re unloading the groceries, wash and dry the fruit and veggies and store in <span class=”SpellE”>resealable</span> bags.

• Prep dinner early in the morning before the day gets hectic.

• Keep your pantry well stocked with items such as canned tuna, canned tomatoes, and Lindsay olives, capers and peppers, so you can throw together <span class=”GramE”>a quick</span> and tasty pasta or a dinner salad.

Then try these no-fuss, easy-to-make dinner ideas:

• Combine bone-in chicken breasts with equal parts water, chicken stock and canned tomatoes in your slow cooker. Add chopped carrots, onions and celery. Cook low and slow all day. About an hour before dinner, remove chicken from slow cooker and add one package of frozen corn and one can of pinto beans. While the corn and beans are heating, shred the chicken using two forks and return to the soup. Serve soup in warmed bowls and garnish with green and black olives, cilantro, avocado, green onions, wedges of lime and shredded jack cheese. Serve with a simple green salad.

• Assemble a quick sheet pan dinner by creating a flavorful base using a good amount of green and black olives, halved cherry tomatoes, and a small handful or two of capers. Drizzle with a good <span class=”SpellE”>glug</span> of <a href=””>Lindsay Buttery California Extra Virgin Olive Oil</a>, season lightly with salt and black pepper, and toss so veggies are well coated. Lay a flaky white fish fillet of your choice on top of the veggies and drizzle with more olive oil and salt and pepper. Scatter a few sprigs of thyme on top. Store in the fridge until dinner time, <span class=”GramE”>then</span> bake until fish is done. Serve with a tossed green salad and crusty French bread.

• Then there’s the popular, the ultimate make-ahead meal: bubbly, gooey, creamy, comfy casseroles, whether it’s baked ziti, tuna casserole, turkey <span class=”SpellE”>tetrazzini</span>—the options are nearly endless and you’re sure to please just about everyone. Throw in a green salad and you’ve got a delicious dinner.

• Here’s a protein-packed version of the classic <span class=”SpellE”>mac</span> and cheese:

<strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight:normal”>Baked Chicken And Cheese<o:p></o:p></strong>

<strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight:normal”>2 tablespoons unsalted butter<o:p></o:p></strong>

<strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight:normal”>2 Anaheim chili peppers, diced<o:p></o:p></strong>

<strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight:normal”>1 tablespoon minced garlic<o:p></o:p></strong>

<strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight:normal”>2 tablespoons all-purpose flour<o:p></o:p></strong>

<strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight:normal”>2¼ cups low-sodium chicken broth<o:p></o:p></strong>

<strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight:normal”>2½ cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese<o:p></o:p></strong>

<strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight:normal”>1 (1-lb.) box macaroni pasta, cooked<o:p></o:p></strong>

<strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight:normal”>8 ounces grilled chicken breast, diced<o:p></o:p></strong>

<strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight:normal”>1 (6-oz.) can Lindsay Ripe Pitted Olives<o:p></o:p></strong>

<strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight:normal”>½ cup Japanese-style <span class=”SpellE”>panko</span> breadcrumbs<o:p></o:p></strong>

<strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight:normal”>⅛ teaspoon paprika<o:p></o:p></strong>

<strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight:normal”>Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until melted and foamy. Stir in peppers and garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in flour and cook for 1−2 more minutes until smooth and golden. Whisk in chicken broth, a half cup at a time, until smooth and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to simmer and cook for 3−4 minutes. Stir in cheese and remove from heat. Add pasta, chicken and olives and pour into a lightly greased 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish. Top with breadcrumbs, sprinkle with paprika and bake in a 400° F oven for 15−20 minutes.<o:p></o:p></strong>

<strong style=”mso-bidi-font-weight:normal”>Learn More<o:p></o:p></strong>

For other delicious recipes, tips and <span class=”GramE”>ideas,</span> go to <a href=””></a>. For more information about Lindsay, go to <a href=””></a>.

On the Net:<a href=””>North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)</a>

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