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Kid-Friendly Dinners in a Jiff

by Administrator | August 13, 2014 | Recipes

It’s a hard balance trying to hit the dinner trifecta: making sure they are pleasing to kids and adults alike, quick to pull together on a weeknight, and healthy to boot. But we have a few dinner recipes to the rescue that meet all three requirements.


Turkey Sloppy Joes with Slaw

Here are sloppy joes that are made with ground turkey instead of beef, along with a slaw that is creamy from Greek yogurt and sweetened with pineapple juice. (Pour extra pineapple juice into Popsicle molds for a quick and healthy dessert.)

Turkey Sloppy Joes

Serves 4

  • 1/3 cup pineapple juice
  • 4 teaspoons white or apple cider vinegar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons 0 percent Greek yogurt
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (14-ounce) bag cole slaw mix
  • 2 cups grated carrots (about 2 medium carrots)
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 whole-wheat hamburger buns

In a large bowl, combine pineapple juice, 2 teaspoons vinegar, mayonnaise, yogurt, salt and pepper. Stir in cole slaw mix and carrots. Taste, adjusting salt and pepper, if needed. In medium sauté pan, warm canola oil over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey, salt and pepper to pan, stirring every couple minutes to break up meat. Sauté meat until fully cooked, 6 to 7 minutes. Remove pan from heat. Push the cooked meat to one side of the pan, and use a spoon to remove and discard a majority of the liquid from the cooked turkey meat. Placing back over medium-high heat, stir in ketchup, mustard, brown sugar, and remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar into the ground turkey. Stir until combined and the sauce is warm. Serve sloppy joe mixture on buns with a side of slaw.


Honey and Sesame-Glazed Salmon with Couscous

This salmon is slathered with a honey and sesame glaze that cooks via a quick stint in the oven. For a side, couscous is as easy as it gets—just mixing with boiling water or chicken/ vegetable stock is all the work for a fluffy 10-minute side dish.

Salmon Recipe

Serves 4

  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup couscous, preferably whole wheat
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ tablespoon sesame oil
  • ½ tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 4 (4- to 6-ounce) salmon fillets

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium saucepot, bring chicken stock to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat. Stir in salt, pepper, couscous, cranberries, and pine nuts. Cover with a lid and let sit for 10 minutes. When done, fluff the couscous and adjust the seasoning as needed. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together honey, sesame oil, lemon juice and sesame seeds. Add salmon fillets skin side down into a baking dish. Season each salmon piece with salt and pepper; then, coat salmon with honey mixture. Bake until salmon is desired doneness, about 10 to 14 minutes, depending on salmon thickness. Serve with couscous.


Chicken Tacos with Fruit Salsa

Refried beans or rice accompany tacos: chicken strips and a homemade fruit salsa are rolled into tortillas for another quick and nutritious meal. 

Chicken Tacos Recipe

Split the fruit salsa in half; add 1 chopped jalapeno (or more depending on desired heat level) to the adult version. Serve tacos with refried beans or rice.

Serves 4

  • 1 (15-ounce) can mandarin oranges in light syrup, drained and lightly rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped pineapple
  • 1 peach, chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ pounds chicken breast tenders
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 8 to 10 (6- or 8-inch) flour tortillas

Into a small bowl, add all the fruit, plus scallions, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Stir together to combine. Taste, adjusting salt and pepper, if necessary. Season the chicken tenders with salt and pepper. Heat the canola oil in a medium sized nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Working in batches if necessary, add the chicken and sauté until golden on one side, 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the chicken over and cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes longer. Cut into the thickest piece to determine that it’s no longer pink. Serve the chicken strips in a flour tortilla with fruit salsa.


These recipes are destined to be fan favorites in your home any night of the week.


Written by:  Andrea Lynn