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(Family Features) As kids and parents return to busy schedules full of sports, homework and weeknight activities, building a plan for nutritious and easy meals can be challenging. Piecing together a menu that fuels active minds without spending hours in the kitchen is a common goal for many families.
These recipes require minimal prep and call for on-hand ingredients like dairy food favorites that provide nutrients people of all ages need to grow and maintain strong bodies and minds.
Whether you enjoy it together in the morning before getting the day started or mix it up with breakfast for dinner, this Sustainable Frittata is called “sustainable” because you can use leftover cheeses, veggies, ham, sausage and more to recycle ingredients you already have on hand.
For a customizable kid-pleaser, turn to Chopped Chicken Taco Salad and garnish with your family’s favorite toppings. When it’s time to put a twist on a classic while changing up your dinner routine, Roasted Red Pepper and Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are perfect for putting something new on the table. Make supper a cinch with Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese, which lets you put the work in the hands of your slow cooker for a versatile dish that can be served when homework is finished.
Visit milkmeansmore.org to find more recipes perfect for bringing loved ones together.
Chopped Chicken Taco Salad
Recipe courtesy of Megan Gundy of “What Megan’s Making” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup buttermilk, plus additional (optional)
- 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice, plus additional (optional)
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 head leaf lettuce, chopped
- 1 avocado, chopped into bite- sized pieces
- 1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup corn
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup shredded cheese (Monterey Jack or Mexican)
- tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips, for topping
- To make dressing: In small bowl, stir yogurt, buttermilk, lime juice, cilantro and taco seasoning until combined. Taste and adjust lime juice and cilantro as needed. If dressing is too thick, add buttermilk 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To make salad: Season chicken on both sides with taco seasoning. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add chicken to pan and cook on both sides until outside is golden brown and chicken is cooked through. Remove to cutting board and slice into strips.
- On large platter, heap chopped lettuce. Sprinkle chicken over top. Add avocado, beans, corn, tomatoes and shredded cheese. Drizzle dressing on top and sprinkle with tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips.
Recipe courtesy of Jenn Fillenworth of “Jenny With the Good Eats” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 12 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup whole milk, half and half or heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups shredded cheese, any variety
- 3 cups assorted cooked vegetables and pre-cooked meats
- fresh herbs, for garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 450 F.
- Preheat cast-iron pan or oven-safe skillet over medium heat.
- In large bowl, mix eggs, milk and salt then add shredded cheese.
- Add cooked vegetables and meats to pan to reheat. Once vegetables have softened, add egg mixture to pan and scramble. Let sit over medium heat 1 minute.
- Carefully transfer to oven and bake 10-15 minutes. Frittata is done when eggs have set. Remove from oven and top with fresh herbs.
Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese
Recipe courtesy of Rachel Gurk of “Rachel Cooks” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
- 16 ounces elbow pasta
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
- 2 cups whole milk
- 12 ounces evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- 3/4 teaspoon ground mustard
- pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 8 ounces grated provolone cheese
- Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and pour into large slow cooker.
- In small saucepan over medium heat, whisk butter and cream cheese until melted. Stir in milk, evaporated milk and sour cream; whisk until combined. Remove from heat; whisk in eggs, ground mustard and pepper, to taste. Stir in cheeses. Pour mixture over cooked macaroni and stir to combine cheese and pasta.
- Cover and cook 2 hours on low. Switch to warm until ready to serve.
Roasted Red Pepper and Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
Recipe courtesy of Katie Serbinski of “Mom to Mom Nutrition” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 4 slices French or Italian bread
- 3 tablespoons prepared pesto
- 2 large roasted red peppers
- 4 slices mozzarella cheese
- 2 tablespoons butter, softened
- Preheat skillet or grill pan over medium-low heat.
- Spread insides of bread slices evenly with pesto. Stack red peppers and mozzarella cheese.
- Spread outer sides of bread with softened butter and grill until toasted and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes per side.
- Rest 1 minute before cutting.