Back to school is coming.
If you’re a parent with elementary and middle school-aged children, you have a lot on your mind: back to school shopping, school supplies, and (of course!) the busy fall meal schedule. If prepping those weekday dinners between school meetings, team practices, and late night evenings at the offices isn’t stressful enough, in the AM you have the challenge of packing those school lunches. Will they eat it? Are they trading that apple for fruit snacks? What are they serving in the cafeteria?
Don’t worry. I’ve rounded up a few experts to help you with innovative lunch ideas and offering tips to make those weekday meals a little easier (not to mention healthier!). Exhibit A: Katie Workman, blogger and author of Dinner Solved!, a cookbook directly aimed to help busy families create quick and easy dinners. Check out just two of her back to school recipes below:
Savory Zucchini Puff Pastry Tarts
Prep time: 30 minutes • Servings 8+
- 2 sheets puff pastry (from a 17.3-ounce package)
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 small zucchini, thinly sliced
- Kosher or coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the puff pastry from the freezer and thaw according to the package directions.
- Unfold both of the puff pastry squares onto a clean surface and cut them into thirds (it will probably be very easy to cut along the folds). You will have 6 pieces. Place them onto 1 or 2 rimmed baking sheets—whatever will fit the pieces without them touching. Use a fork to prick holes all over the pastry, leaving a 1/4-inch border unpricked on all sides (see the Cooking Tip).
- You can continue with Step 4 to make the zucchini topping, or see the Fork in the Road for some other topping suggestions.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini, season with salt and pepper, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in the oregano.
- Spread each piece of pastry with 1 teaspoon of the Dijon mustard, if using, leaving the borders plain (again about 1/4 inch on all sides). Spread the sautéed zucchini evenly over the mustard, still maintaining the border.
- Bake until the border of the puff pastry is nicely browned and puffed, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and let the pastries cool for a couple of minutes, before cutting each into pieces.
Fork in the Road: Simple, or with a sprinkle of your favorite cheese.
Savory Continued: You could also sprinkle grated Parmesan, Gruyère, or crumbled goat or blue cheese on top for the last couple of minutes of baking. Use about ¾ cup of cheese for the 6 rectangles.
Today (Aug. 20th) on Fork This with IntoxiKate:
Heather Stouffer, east coast mom and the creator of Mom Made Foods, is chatting about quick and easy ways we can shop, prep, and make dinner on busy school nights. We also have Amanda, the director of marketing communications of Produce for Kids. We’ll be chatting about innovative ways you can pack those lunches and take the Power Your Lunchbox Pledge to support Feeding America® children’s programs. Tune in to 1490 WGCH or listen live at wgch.com at 1 p.m.
Puff Pastry Breakfast Egg Tarts
Prep Time: 15-30 minutes • Servings: 4
- 1 (17.3 oz.) pkg. Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry sheets, thawed
- 1 (10-oz.) pkg. Bird’s Eye frozen spinach, thawed
- 1 tsp. unsalted butter
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1 cup shredded Borden’s cheddar cheese
- 8 large Eggland’s Best eggs
- 4 pieces crisp-cooked bacon, crumbled
- Chopped chives to serve (optional)
For more quick and easy dinner recipes, pick up a copy of Dinner Solved!
The photographs and recipes are courtesy of The Mom 100.