Evening meals pulled together in early back-to-school days should have their own theme music by now — something along the lines of “Jaws” or “Law and Order.” Must. Stay. Positive. To facilitate that, we’ve rounded up quick, family-friendly recipes and listed their ingredients, so you can cut and paste as you head into the market. Every one of them would make dandy leftovers for lunch, so think about using our Recipe Finder tool for scaling-up amounts.
Do you have strategies for getting back in the kitchen groove on school nights? Share in the comments below. But first:
2. Spaghetti With Fresh Tomatoes and Cucumbers. A Top Tomato 2015 finalist with a simple, refreshing twist.
3. Aunt Phil’s Blue Crab Sauce. Messy, terrific Italian American comfort food, in large quantity.
4. Skinny Tomatoes. Another Top Tomato finalist from this year, a no-cook lunch option.
5. Tamatar Piaz. A meatless Indian curry with onion and ginger, from Top Tomato 2015.
For those early back-to-school nights, try these dishes. Each link is followed by a cut-and-paste shopping list that assumes you’ve got salt and black pepper on hand:
Creamy Greek Noodle Soup:1 carrot, 4 cups no-salt-added chicken broth, 1 cup thin dried egg noodles, 1 lemon, 6 ounces cooked chicken, fresh dill (pantry: 1 onion, olive oil, 2 large eggs)
Chicken and Tomato Meatballs: 2 pounds raw ground white-meat chicken, 1 cup seeded chopped tomatoes, 5 scallions, 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning blend, plum jelly (pantry: plain dried bread crumbs, white pepper, 4 tablespoons salted butter, vegetable oil)
Pumpkin Sloppy Joes: 8 ounces lean ground pork, 1/2 cup plain tomato sauce, 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, 4 flatbreads or naan (pantry: 1/2 medium onion, 1 clove garlic, light brown sugar, Dijon-style mustard, chili powder, pumpkin pie spice
Quick Brown Rice With Tuna and Green Beans: frozen green beans, 1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, 2 cans tuna, instant brown rice (pantry: 1
Ginger Shrimp With Carrot Couscous: 1
Fettuccine With Creamy Zucchini Sauce: 12 ounces dried fettuccine, 2 ounces zucchini or yellow squash, 8 ounces ricotta cheese, basil leaves, freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (pantry: olive oil, 1 clove garlic)
Chicken Packets, Italian-Style: 4 zucchini, 4 red bliss potatoes, 1
Eggplant Parmesan Sub: 1