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Five Back to School Recipes with Healthy Family Project!

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

For many parts of the country, school is back in session! Healthy lunches and dinners can sometimes be challenging as we are learning to balance schedules, extra-curricular activities and more. I am here to help make your life easier! While this post is sponsored by Healthy Family Project, all opinions and the recipes are my own.

Is school back in session yet for your kiddos? We went back around 2 weeks ago, and I can’t believe how quickly that time is already flying by. My oldest son Drew is a junior in high school, and Brady, our 10-year-old is in fifth grade. Since I have 2 very active boys, you can imagine that they are always hungry!

 

I teach part-time at Brady’s school, so meal planning and preparation are very important to me! The last thing that I want to think about each night is what to make for dinner, or what to pack in the boy’s school lunches for the next day. The meals and snacks that I prepare for my family, must not only be quick and easy, but they must also be healthy. I love to add lots of fresh fruits and veggies to every meal or snack to ensure that our family is getting the nutrients that we need.

With the kids heading back to school, life is about to get a lot busier for all of us! Whether you are taking the kids back and forth to school, or all the extra-curricular activities that they have, here are 4 easy and healthy dinner and lunch recipes to help your school year get off on the right track. I am also including an extra bonus dessert recipe because some days you need dessert!

Sausage and Avocado Cream Cheese Zucchini Boats

Quick and easy dinner ideas are a must for our busy family! These Sausage and Avocado Cream Cheese Zucchini Boats are sure to be a new fave that your family will ask for again and again!

Ingredients:

4-6 zucchini washed and halved

1 tub of ¡Yo Quiero! Brands Avocado Cream Cheese (you can use any variety, but I used the Spinach Bacon)

16oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

1lb. Italian roll sausage

salt/pepper for taste

1 small RealSweet Onion, chopped

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Scoop out the center of each of the halved zucchinis to make a “boat”.

Place in a greased baking pan.

In the meantime, cook the Italian roll sausage on medium heat and add the RealSweet Onions. Cook until done. Add salt/pepper to taste.

Combine cooked sausage and onions with the tub of ¡Yo Quiero! Brands Avocado Cream Cheese

Spread sausage mixture into each zucchini boat and top with the shredded mozzarella cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until zucchini are tender and the cheese is bubbly.

Serve and enjoy!

 

 

Guacamole and Caramelized Onion Patty Melts

Some evenings call for a quick, yet comforting meal! These Guacamole and Caramelized Onion Patty Melts are sure to give you the comfort factor that you crave yet are very easy to prepare and oh-so delicious! Add other veggies or toppings as your family prefers. The possibilities are endless!

Ingredients:

16 oz. Ground Turkey or Ground Beef (I used half of each to cut down on the fat content)

Slices of Monterrey Jack Cheese

3-4 RealSweet Vidalia Onions sliced

salt/pepper to taste

8-10 slices of your favorite bread

Butter spread

¡Yo Quiero! Brands Guacamole

Instructions:

Place sliced RealSweet Vidalia Onions in a skillet to caramelize. Cook until golden brown.

While onions are cooking, form the Ground Beef/Turkey mixture into patties.

Place Hamburger/Turkey Patties on a griddle or in a skillet to cook. Cook each patty through.

Place caramelized onions in a bowl to cool down.

In the meantime, butter one side of each bread slice then place the buttered side down of the bread on the skillet to get golden brown.

Add cooked hamburger patties to bread slices and top with caramelized onions, cheese and ¡Yo Quiero! Brands Guacamole. Turn sandwich over to continue cooking and to become golden brown.

Serve with your favorite veggies and enjoy!

 

Chicken Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles

One of my favorite time-savers for getting dinner on the table during a busy week is by utilizing my slow cooker. I can throw something in before I leave for school in the morning, and we will have delicious and easy dinner later that evening! I particularly love the pre-cooked chicken meatballs from Costco. I throw them in the slow cooker with a jar of our favorite marinara sauce, and voila dinner is almost ready! I serve them over Pero Family Zucchini Noodles that you cook in the microwave for just a few minutes. This meal is a family favorite and filled with veggies and protein!

Ingredients:

1 package of pre-cooked chicken meatballs (I buy the Amylu brand from Costco, but you can use whatever meatballs that you prefer or have on hand)

1 jar of your favorite marinara sauce

2 containers of Pero Family Zucchini Noodles

 

Instructions:

Place the package of chicken meatballs in the slow cooker.

Pour the jar of marinara sauce over the meatballs,

Cook on low for 4-6 hours.

Before you are ready to serve cook the zucchini noodles in the microwave until done.

Serve the chicken meatballs over the zucchini noodles and add extra sauce and grated parmesan cheese.

This meal couldn’t be easier to prepare and is so delicious! I can almost guarantee that there will be no leftovers!

Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad

I don’t know about you, but Chicken Salad is one of our family’s favorite go-to lunches. There are so many different varieties of fruits or veggies that can be added to make it your own. This Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad is sweet yet savory, and every bite is a pop in your mouth that keeps you coming back for more. This is the perfect lunch idea for every member of your family!

Ingredients:

3-4 cups of cooked chicken breast (I used a rotisserie chicken for the convenience factor)

3 celery stalks, diced

5-6 Bee Sweet Citrus Mandarins, peeled and segmented

3-4 green onions, diced

Celery salt for taste

Pepper for taste

1/3 cup stone ground Dijon mustard

½ cup avocado oil mayonnaise

Instructions:

Combine chicken breast, diced celery, green onions, mayonnaise, and mustard in a large bowl.

Add celery salt and pepper for taste.

Gently fold in the mandarin oranges.

Serve with your favorite bread as a sandwich or topped high on your favorite crackers! This is such a refreshing and healthy lunch for yourself or the kiddos!

Caramel Apple Galette

Had a rough week? Sometimes a special dessert for the family is in order! This Caramel Apple Galette couldn’t be easier to prepare, and every bite is packed full of delicious Jazz Apples! The sweet apples with the caramel drizzle are the perfect pairing. Add some vanilla ice cream for an even more decadent dessert!

Ingredients:

1 premade pie crust (the roll out variety)

3-4 Jazz Apples, peeled and sliced into ¼ inch pieces

Jar of your favorite caramel sauce

1-2 Tbsp. of sugar

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Dash of salt

Egg Wash: 1 large egg

Dusting Sugar for crust

Optional: Vanilla Ice Cream

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Roll out the pie crust into a pie pan or glass baking dish

In a bowl, mix the apples, cinnamon, and salt

Place apples into the rolled-out pie crust.

Gently fold the edge of the dough over the apples.

Brush the crust with the egg wash.

Sprinkle dusting sugar on the crust to give it a nice sheen as it bakes.

Bake for 35-40 minutes or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly.

Drizzle with your favorite caramel sauce

Serve with your favorite vanilla ice cream and enjoy!

 

 

Are you familiar with the Power Your Lunchbox program? If not, I highly suggest that you check it out! I am honored to be a part of a campaign that helps empower families as they get ready for the back-to-school season. The Power Your Lunchbox program, in partnership with Healthy Family Project has so many tips and recipes to offer as they help to support accessibility to fresh produce in schools through the Foundation for Fresh Produce. The back-to-school campaign has raised over $180,000 for charitable organizations that promote health over the years. Isn’t that amazing?

A big THANK YOU to the sponsors who have helped to make this campaign a huge success! Jazz Apple, Bee Sweet Citrus, Pero Family Farms, Nature Fresh Farms, RealSweet Onions, Crispy Green, ¡Yo Quiero!

 

 

Three Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins

(All posts may contain affiliate links or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

As a lover of all things Pumpkin, I am excited to share this super easy recipe for 3 Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins! I love that you can make these and store the rest in the refrigerator or freezer when you need a Pumpkin Spice pick-me-up! These would be great served during the holidays as well for a brunch or breakfast! The vanlla yogurt in these makes them super moist and adds a ton of flavor!

3 Ingredient Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Prep Time: 3 minutes

Cook Time: 16-18 minutes

Total Time: 19-21 minutes

Makes: 18 muffins

Ingredients:

● 1 box of Duncan Hines Perfectly Moist Spice Cake (or any other boxed spice cake)

● 1 15oz can of pumpkin

● ⅓ cup vanilla yogurt

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350℉. Line two cupcake baking pans with cupcake liners. (18 for larger muffins, or 24 for smaller muffins)

2. In a large bowl add the box of spice cake mix, can of pumpkin, and vanilla yogurt. Mix lightly with a spoon, then blend with a hand mixer to remove all lumps.

3. Using a spoon or small measuring cup, fill the cupcake liners ¾ full with the prepared batter. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean. Place on a cooling rack and let cool slightly. The muffins are best served slightly warm. Muffins will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

4. I hope that you will enjoy!

Two Ingredient Slow Cooker Meatball Subs

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If you are tired of making dinner each night, I have an easy and budget-friendly recipe idea for you that takes little effort. Two Ingredient Slow Cooker Meatball Subs are so yummy and your entire family is going to think that you spent hours preparing them!

Ingredients:

1 bag frozen meatballs

1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce

Instructions: 

Place the frozen meatballs and pasta sauce in slow cooker.

Cook on low for 4-5 hours or until the meatballs are cooked through.

Serve on your favorite sub roll and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese.

Enjoy!

Three Ingredient Pretzel Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders

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I don’t know about you, but the name of the game for dinner lately is definitely Easy. I had some chicken tenders in the freezer and thought to myself how it would be good to mix honey mustard and pretzels as a topping for the chicken. Boy, was I on to something. My boys could not stop talking about these Three Ingredient Pretzel Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders! Give it a try. I think that you will love this delicious and super easy dish as much as we did. How can you go wrong with a three ingredient dish?

Three Ingredient Pretzel Crusted Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders

Ingredients: 

2 lb. Chicken Tenders

1 bag of your favorite pretzels crushed (I used GF pretzels to make this a GF dish) I would suggest that you keep some of the pieces larger for a crunchy texture on the chicken

1 bottle of Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce

Instructions: 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the crushed pretzels onto a plate.

Squeeze about 3/4 of the bottle of Honey Mustard Dipping Sauce onto a plate. You can save the rest of the sauce in the bottle to dunk your tenders in when you serve them.

Dip each tender in the Honey Mustard then into the crushed pretzels to coat.

Place on a baking pan that has been covered with aluminum foil. This just allows for no sticking and easy cleanup.

Bake at 350 degrees for around 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the pretzel topping is golden brown.

Serve with your favorite veggie and enjoy!

Easy Shepherd’s Pie

(All posts may contain affiliate links and/or sponsored content. Please see my disclosure policy)

For many of us, cooking from what we have in our pantries right now is essential! One of my boys’ favorite things that I make very often on rotation is this Easy Shepherd’s Pie. This recipe couldn’t be easier to prepare and you can use whatever veggies that you have on hand. It really is such a versatile recipe. You can even use a Onion Soup packet to give it more flavor and change up the cheeses for a different taste!

We even make a BBQ Chicken version of this that you can find HERE.

Easy Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs. ground beef or ground turkey

1/4 onion

2 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 can of corn, drained (you can use whatever veggies your family prefers)

1 can of green beans, drained

1/4 cup shredded mozarella cheese

1 container of Refrigerated Mashed Potatoes (you can also use instant if that is what you have on hand, but these are BOGO this week at Publix) I suggest that you cook these in the microwave for around 3 minutes.

Seasoned Salt/Pepper for Taste

Several pats of butter

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a skillet sautee the onion and garlic together just until soft.

Add in the ground beef and cook through.

Toss in the drained canned vegetables and toss together with the hamburger mixture.

Add seasoned salt and pepper to taste.

In a square baking/casserole dish add the hamburger/veggie mixture.

Top with 1/4 cup shredded mozarella cheese.

Place the microwaved mashed potatoes on top.

I like to take a fork to “rake” out the potatoes on top of the dish.

Add 5-6 pats of butter on top of the dish. I also like to sprinkle on some seasoned salt and pepper on the top.

Cook in a preheated 350 degree oven for around 20-25 minutes.

For the last 5 minutes of baking, I like to turn the broiler on in the oven and let it brown the potatoes slightly.

Serve and Enjoy! Be sure to let me know if you make this!

3 Ingredient Lucky Charms Treats

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Do you need a fun and easy treat to make with the kiddos for St. Patrick’s Day? These 3 Ingredient Lucky Charms Treats are sure to be a winner! We make these quite often since they are gluten free!

Lucky Charms Treats 

Ingredients:

  • 10oz Bag Marshmallows 
  • 5 Cups Lucky Charms 
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter 

Instructions:

  1. In large pan melt butter over low heat. 
  2. Pour in the marshmallows & stir until completely melted. 
  3. Remove from heat.
  4. Add Lucky Charms.
  5. Stir until all Lucky Charms are coated in the marshmallow/butter mixture. 
  6. Pour into a greased baking pan or my favorite, silicone pan.
  7. Cool.
  8. Cut into 2 inch squares.
  9. Serve & enjoy! 

 

Cream Cheese Chicken Pockets

If you are like our family, this March is packed full to the brim of sports, spring break and so much more. I love to have easy dinner options ready for those crazy days! This recipe for Cream Cheese Chicken Pockets always hits the spot for hubby and oldest son Drew!

This recipe is so easy and requires very few ingredients. It is absolutely delicious, and I promise you won’t be able to eat just one! They are so light fluffy and oh so decadent!

Cream Cheese Chicken Pockets 

Ingredients:

1 bag Tyson Fully Cooked Grilled Chicken Breast Strips, 12 oz. shredded

1 7oz. tub Arla Cream Cheese removed from package and softened in the microwave

2 8-count packages of crescent rolls

2 cups breadcrumbs

1 stick butter, melted

salt/pepper to taste

¼ tsp. garlic powder

¼ tsp. onion powder

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Place shredded chicken and softened cream cheese in a bowl.

Add in seasonings and mix until combined.

Unroll the crescent dough. Use 2 squares of dough to form your pocket. Place the chicken mixture inside the dough and fold over to form a “pocket”.

Dip the chicken pockets in the melted butter then into the breadcrumb mixture.

Place the pockets in a baking dish and bake until golden brown.

Serve with your favorite vegetable or salad and enjoy! My guys love this dish and ask for it quite frequently!

This recipe yields 8 big cream cheese pockets

Doritos Casserole

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If you are like me and love both Doritos and Tacos, this recipe for Doritos Casserole is going to be your new fave! It couldn’t be easier to prepare, so if you are on a time crunch for Taco Tuesday night, this is sure to be a favorite go-to meal!

Ingredients 

  • 1lb. Browned Ground Beef 
  • 1 Packet Taco Seasoning
  • 8oz. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 Cup Salsa
  • 8oz. tube of Crescent Rolls 
  • Doritos 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a casserole dish, unroll and lay flat one package of crescent rolls, pinching any seams shut.
  3. In a mixing bowl, pour in ground beef, salsa and taco seasoning. Mix well.
  4. Spread ground beef mixture over the crescent roll crust.
  5. Sprinkle cheddar cheese on top and bake for 25-30 minutes or until crescent roll crust is fully cooked.
  6. Take casserole out of the oven. 
  7. Sprinkle with crush Doritos.
  8. Garnish with any of your favorite toppings. I especially love black olives, sour cream and cilantro for an extra touch! 
  9. Serve & enjoy. Your family is going to love this one I promise!