The words all kids dread to hear, “back to school”! For us parents it means also getting back in to a routine and for meal planning. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing some ideas for easy to put together meals for the kids, and yourself, for any time of day.Here are a couple easy to stage after school snacks to replace those frozen “who knows what’s in them” pizzas. Simply put together the quick red sauce and refrigerate. Have the bread sliced and cheese grated along with written directions as how to assemble and bake in the oven. Go crazy with toppings from left over meals such as roasted chicken, grilled veggies or even leftover steak.The noodle bowl is similar as it can be staged by pre-cooking the pasta and veggies. Cook pasta minute or so under package instructions, run under cold water until cool and drain well. Drizzle a touch of olive on pasta and toss to coat to keep from sticking. Portion pasta in zip bags in individual size portions Whisk together hosin, soy sauce, ginger and sesame seeds and store in fridge. Also pre-blanche veggies and portion.The rest is super easy, heat stock in a pan and bring up to a low simmer, add vegetables and cook to warm through. Next comes the pasta, it will only take a minute. Remove noodles with tongs, place in bowl, scoop out veggies with some stock and pour over noodles. Drizzle on some of the premade sauce and that’s it. Come back right here next week for more back to school meal ideas!
French Bread Pizza
1 Loaf-Fresh French Bread
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2 Cups-Basic Red Sauce-see recipe or store bought
3 Cups-Mozzarella Cheese-shredded
To Taste-Dry OreganoDirections1. Preheat oven to low broil, with rack in middle of oven.
2. Slice French bread evenly in half, separating top from bottom.
3. Place on foil lined baking sheet cut side up.
4. Place in oven just long enough to lightly toast, 1-2 minutes.
5. Remove and smear on sauce, top with cheese, pepperoni and season with oregano.
6. Place on foil lined baking sheet, place in oven and bake until golden and gooey, 2-3 minutes.
7. Remove, allow to rest for at least 5 minutes and serve. Quick Red Sauce 35 Ounce Can-Crushed Tomatoes/Tomato Sauce
1/4 Cup-Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Cloves-Fresh Garlic-sliced thin
6 Leaves-Fresh Basil-rough chopped, plus extra for garnishing
To Taste-Kosher Salt/Black PepperDirections1. In a stock pot warm olive oil over medium heat.
2. Add garlic, cook to flavor oil, about 2 minutes, don’t burn garlic.
3. Add tomatoes, basil, salt/pepper.
4. Bring sauce to a strong simmer, reduce heat and cook until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
Noodle Bowl with Vegetable and Chicken
3 Cups Chicken Stock
½ Cup Broccoli Florets-fresh, par-boiled, cooled
½ Cup Cauliflower Florets-fresh, par boiled, cooled
½ Pound-Linguine-cooked, drained and rinsed under cold water
1 Cup-Chicken-leftover, or deli bought, pulled off bone, shredded
½ Cup-Sugar Snap Peas-fresh
To Taste-Kosher Salt/Black Pepper
2 Tablespoons-Hosin Sauce
2 Tablespoons-Soy Sauce
1 Teaspoon-Ginger Ground
1 Tablespoons-White Sesame SeedsDirections1. Whisk together hosin sauce, soy sauce, ginger and sesame seeds and set aside.
2. Place stock in a pot over medium heat and bring to a simmer.
3. Once stock is at a simmer add broccoli, cauliflower and cook for one minute.
4. Add linguine, snap peas, chicken and cook for one minute more.
5. Using tongs remove noodles and place in bowls.
6. Using a slotted spoon scoop out vegetables and place over noodles.
7. Ladle over stock, season with salt/pepper, drizzle in sauce and serve.