Easy and healthy back-to-school dinners kids will love

It’s that time of year again! The kids are back in school and life just got a little busier for everyone with work, school, and after school activities. Dinner time is often a struggle to get something fast and healthy on the table. Chef Jenn is here to show us some easy dinner ideas that also pack in the vegetables in unique ways!

Blended Burger

Ingredients:

  • ½ lb mushrooms
  • 1 lb 80/20 ground beef
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 slices swiss cheese
  • 4 tomato slices
  • 4 leaves of lettuce
  • 4 buns

Directions:

  1. Place mushrooms in a food processor and pulse until finely crumbled.
  2. Mix ground mushrooms, beef, salt, and pepper in a bowl and form 4 equal-size patties.
  3. Grill burgers until the desired cooking temperature is reached. Place swiss cheese on the patty during the last 2 minutes of cooking.
  4. Serve with lettuce, tomato, and enjoy.

 

Hidden Veggie Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces medium pasta shells
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
  • 1 1/4 cups half and half
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups butternut squash or sweet potato puree
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

Directions:

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; drain well.
  2. Melt butter in the skillet. Add garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
  3. Whisk in flour and sage until lightly browned, about 1 minute.
  4. Gradually whisk in half and half, milk, butternut squash, and Dijon. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced and slightly thickened, about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Stir in pasta and cheese until melted, about 2 minutes; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Serve immediately, garnished with chives, if desired.

 

Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Enchilada Sauce

For the filling:

  • 1-15 ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 cup precooked and shredded chicken, rotisserie works well here
  • 1 cup corn, if frozen thaw first
  • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne
  • 10 corn tortillas

For the sauce:

  • 1-28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • half an onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 jalapeno, ribs and seeds removed
  • ½ teaspoon salt (more to taste)

Directions:

  1. For the filling, combine all of the ingredients listed under the filling up until the corn tortillas. Rewarm corn tortillas in a pan to make them more pliable for rolling.
  2. Place about ¼ cup of filling toward the bottom 2/3 of the tortilla, begin to roll the bottom end of the tortilla over the filling. Place seam side down and finish rolling the remaining tortillas.
  3. To make the enchilada sauce, combine all ingredients in a blender and combine until smooth.
  4. In a 9x13 baking dish, add enough enchilada sauce to cover the bottom. Place enchiladas seam side down in the baking dish. Cover enchiladas with remaining enchilada sauce and bake for 15 minutes.

Here is an optional cilantro lime sauce to drizzle over top:

For the cilantro-lime yogurt sauce:

  • 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • Finely grated zest of 1 medium lime
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Learn more recipes from Chef Jenn, at jennywiththegoodeats.com.

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