While the weather is still hot and humid in most of the country, families are gearing up to head back to school and back to work after summer vacations. Even though schedules become more hectic during the school year, it’s important for families to continue to dine together.
Studies have proven that children who sit down to dinner with their families have better grades and stronger language skills than those from families that don’t have regular meals together. Opt for a hearty meal inspired by some of our favorite summer ingredients next time you decide to set the table for a family meal.
Crockpot Pineapple Chicken: After a busy day of work and school it helps to come home to a home-cooked meal. Combine fresh pineapple for a taste of summer with savory garlic and soy sauce for a meal the whole family will love.
Delicious Seafood Casserole: If you’d rather pop your favorite seafood in the oven than stand over a grill after a long day of carpooling to soccer games, whip up a fast casserole packed with nutrition and flavor.
Spaghetti Squash with Tomato & Basil Sauce: Spaghetti squash is a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber – plus, it’s low in saturated fat and cholesterol. A healthy alternative to regular pasta, spaghetti squash pairs perfectly with your favorite tomato-based sauce.
Zucchini Boats: If you grow zucchini in your summer garden, it’s likely that you have more of it than you know what to do with. Instead of baking your weight in zucchini bread, slice your green summer squash in half and stuff it with onion, bell pepper and egg. Hearty and healthy!
Chicken Cilantro Enchiladas: There are a lot of fresh herbs reminiscent of summer, but cilantro is sharp and refreshing – perfect for Mexican inspired dishes that offer comfort at the end of a long day – without too many calories.
Vegetarian Rice Casserole: Easy and versatile, casseroles are a good way to please the non-meat eaters and the carnivores in your family at once. Substitute whatever vegetables you find in season from your farmers market and invite the kids to help you prep.
August 15th, 2011