With so many back-to-school demands, putting a healthy dinner on the table can feel out of reach. That’s why I was so excited to be asked back on the KTVU Fox2 News Show to share my strategies for making weeknight family dinners a breeze.
I first start with what our family likes to eat–dinners like veggie fried brown rice, grilled meat with two roasted vegetables, or fast fajitas. None of these meals requires a recipe, just throwing together what’s on hand with a very short list of grocery items to round out our ingredient list.
The two easy dinners I’d love to share with you use my other strategy which is how can I have zero waste in my kitchen, which involves using the items I buy at the store in multiple meals (and back-to-school lunches!), and using a dinner technique that literally takes less than 30 minutes to put together.
This past Saturday (also my husband Jim’s birthday), I shared two new favorites on a live segment with Claudine Wong, my favorite local newscaster, who is also a busy mom who knows how challenging cooking on top of a long day at work can be. The whole crew fell in love with our Mango Chicken Soba Noodles, which employs my “build a bowl” technique as well as our Breakfast for Dinner strategy, using cupcake muffin tins to build mini rainbow frittatas alongside carrot curry fries. Both meals are children and family friendly, filling, and healthy–plus you’ll have zero guilt when you use up all of those fresh ingredients you bought on Sunday when you reach the end of your week and find an empty refrigerator!
- Soba noodles, 7 oz, cooked, drained and rinsed
- Rotisserie Chicken, 1, shredded with hands
- Mango, 1, peeled and diced
- Red bell pepper, ½, diced
- Carrot, 1, shredded on a cheese grater
- Soy sauce, 2 tablespoons
- Rice wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon
- Sriracha, 3 teaspoons
- Sesame oil, 2 tablespoons
- Sunflower oil, 2 tablespoons
- Lime, 1 small
- Salt, ½ teaspoon
- Sesame seeds
- Cook noodles separately, according to their package instructions (approximately 5-7 minutes in boiling water—do not salt water!). Get a colander ready so you can rinse the noodles right after they are done cooking in cool water. Note: soba noodles should not be al dente, but you also don’t want to overcook them so taste one before pulling the pot off the heat. Once they have been rinsed, you’re now going to dunk the cooked noodles in a big bowl of cold water and “wash them” of their starch. Use your hands and rub them in the water. Drain again in the colander. Now they are ready to be used.
- While noodles are cooking, make sauce with the last six ingredients (from soy sauce to lime juice) in a separate bowl.
- Toss sauce, cooked and rinsed noodles, vegetables, mango, and chicken together in a bowl. Enjoy with a sprinkle of sesame seeds on top and some chopped cilantro.
- Eggs, 6, cracked and beaten
- Carrot, 1, shredded
- Yellow bell pepper, 1, diced
- Basil, 2 tablespoons, chopped
- Cheddar cheese, 4 oz, grated
- Salt, ½ teaspoon
- Black pepper, ¼ teaspoon
- Preheat oven to 375F. Line cupcake holder with liners.
- In each cupcake liner, add a mixture of vegetables and basil, filling it two-thirds the way up.
- Top with cheese and divide egg mixture among them until it fills the cupcake liner.
- Bake for approximately 12 minutes. Touch the tops before removing to make sure they have cooked through and are not soft.
- Serve with "curry carrot fries." To make carrot fries, toss cut carrot sticks in a tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 tsp. curry powder, and roast at 400F for 15 minutes.