Quick Meal Ideas for a Family

Fresh Basil, Mozzarella, and Tomato Sandwiches

While Summer may be coming to a close, bring those fresh flavors back and remember the warmer, slower months that summer tends to bring. For my daughter and I, nothing screams hot weather and lazy days like our favorite BMT (or Margarita) Sandwiches.  Bonus points for sourcing the basil and tomato at home from your very own garden!

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Yield: 4

Basil, Mozzarella and Tomato Sandwiches

basil mozzarella sandwich

Nothing is quite a delicious and refreshing as a Basil, Mozzarella and Tomato Sandwich. Literally you can make this in 5 minutes.

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 4-6inch sub rolls
  • 1 Lg Slicing Tomato
  • 1 Ball Fresh Mozzarella Cheese (fresh mozz is key)
  • ~10 or so fresh basil leaves
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Balsamic Glaze (optional)

Instructions

  1. Slice Lengthwise your rolls and toast on Broil (LO) in the oven on a sheet pan until golden brown
  2. Brush both halves insides with EVOO
  3. Slice and Salt + Pepper your tomatoes - the S&P will bring out the best flavor!
  4. Slice your mozzarella into about ⅛” thick slices
  5. Layer each sandwich with 2-3 slices of tomato, 2-3 slices of Mozzarella, and 2-3 fresh basil leaves
  6. Drizzle your Balsamic Glaze over the cheese, construct your sammies, slice in half and DEVOUR!

Get Kids involved! 

Our Kookist family tends to eat these sandwiches for lunch (add fruit and chips!) making for a healthy, fresh meal to keep energy and spirits high during the hot season. It’s also a ton of fun and super easy to get kids involved – in our house we have a garden that produces tons of tomatoes and basil, so we have our kids doing everything from picking produce to brushing the EVOO on the rolls.  In fact layering & building the sandwiches while allowing the kids to customize theirs is half the fun! My daughter, for one, prefers the sandwich with just one slice of tomato, but heavy on the oil and balsamic. Me – extra tomato and mozz please!

English Muffin Pizzas

There’s really no busier time for families than the fall; school and activities start for the kids and those work projects for parents seem to pick up. Sometimes our family of four needs to have dinner prepared, cooked and eaten in about 25 minutes. 

English muffin pizzas are super quick, easy and with some veggies can be pretty healthy too. We shared our recipe below with a few tweaks we made to keep it healthy (and Vegetarian). There may not be a faster dinner than these!

Yield: 4 servings

English Muffin Pizzas

english muffin pizza cooked

Quite possibly the easiest and quickest dinner ever!

Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 18 minutes

Ingredients

  • 6 Whole Wheat English Muffins
  • 1 jar Tomato sauce
  • 1 8oz package Mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Yellow Bell Pepper (chopped)
  • 1 Bag Spinach
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Split English Muffins and place on baking sheet sprayed with Olive Oil Pam
  3. Spread sauce on muffins, then add cheese, peppers and spinach (the spinach will cook down a good amount so don’t worry)
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Bake for 10 minutes

Broccoli and Cheddar Quiche

Our Family of four absolutely loves quiche night. While we normally have this easy dinner at least twice a month, it is such a versatile main and can be made meatless, themed up (Mexican quiche!), or adjusted in any number of ways, that you could truly eat this weekly and never get bored.

This also happens to be a dish that is a tremendous value and can get you to the dinner table and gone for just a couple of dollars per person.

While we tend to use a splash of half and half or cream to up the creaminess and mouth-feel, its completely optional, in fact I think this would be fine with Low Fat milk only if you are watching your saturated fat.  Ditto on the cheese or protein options.  In fact an Egg-white only quiche might be worth a try, but I’m not sure that would go over as well in our house – I’m just sayin’!

Yield: 4

Brocolli and Cheddar Quiche

quiche

The great thing about this quiche is that it's vegetarian and no crazy measuring; just throw ingredients into the egg mixture and bake it!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 prebaked pie crust
  • 4 Eggs
  • ¾ Cup of Low Fat milk (we use 2%)
  • ¼ Cup of half & half or light cream (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ to 1 cup of shredded cheese (cheddar, swiss, mozzarella, etc - you pick it!)
  • 1 cup of lightly steamed fresh broccoli crowns (optional)
  • Dash of nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Bring your Eggs and pie crust to room temperature.  Spray a glass pie dish and unroll the crust into the dish, pressing it into the bottoms and sides. Prick it in a few areas with a fork 
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  3. Chop your broccoli into bite sized pieces and the put into a microwave safe dish
  4. Lightly steam your broccoli for no more than 60 seconds on full power in the microwave - let cool
  5. Beat your eggs with a whisk, adding the milk, shredded cheese, and cool to the touch broccoli.  Mix well until everything is incorporated and smooth
  6. Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg if desired
  7. Pour the egg mixture into the pie crust and move cheese or broccoli around with a spoon until everything is evenly dispersed in the pie
  8. Bake at 425 degrees for about 20-25 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and the quiche no longer wiggles on the oven rack. Crust should be a golden brown.

Notes

Enjoy with a light salad and fruit.

Other variations to consider:

  • Chopped bacon or ham
  • Sauteed Spinach and Garlic
  • Sauteed Mushrooms
  • Peppers & Onions - Diced and Sauteed

Get Kids involved! – 

With the quiche requiring cutting, slicing, grating, and heat at first glance this might not be the most kid-friendly recipe going, but there are definitely elements of the quiche construction where children can participate and might enjoy themselves at the same time. 

We at Kookist recommend your kiddos help with the following tasks:

  • Gathering and Measuring Ingredients
  • Whisking the Eggs and Milk together
  • Unrolling the pie crust and preparing the pie tin – coat with a basic cooking oil or use a standard pan release spray before unrolling your crust, positioning it in the tin and pressing it into the corners.
  • Inspiration – get your kids thinking about what they might like in the quiche – olives? Tomatoes? 2 cheeses?
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