Cucumber Tomato Avocado Salad

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 15 minutes

This fresh, summery side dish gets even easier if you replace the oil, lemon juice, and cilantro with a little bit of high-quality bottled dressing.

Recipe from Natasha’s Kitchen.

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Broiled Frozen Shrimp

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 25 minutes

Being able to pull a main course out of the freezer after work some days is the only way to save your sanity. This cajun shrimp is hot and juicy 25 minutes from start to finish. It’s hard to get better than that.

Recipe from The Kitchn.

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Chocolate Back-to-School Cake

Yield: 8 servings Total time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Our son started Kindergarten this year, and I was excited to adopt a tradition of Joanna Goddard’s – celebrating the beginning of the school year with a cake.

This single-layer 8-inch square cake serves a small family a treat the night before school starts with enough leftover for the next night as well. It’s an easy recipe to make on a weeknight and is absolutely delicious. Rainbow sprinkles add a sweet touch of celebration.

Recipe from i am a baker.

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Poached Chicken Breasts

Yield: 1 to 4 servings Total time: 30 minutes

This simple chicken preparation is perfect for salads, pasta dishes, or a school lunch bento box.

Recipe from The Kitchn.

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Chocolate Sunflower Butter Energy Bites

Yield: 16 to 18 energy bites Total time: 45 minutes

Packing school lunches is a whole new challenge at our house. After six weeks, these protein-packed treats have become a lunchbox favorite. Any nut butter will do, though sunflower butter makes them allergy-friendly. They’re so easy to make that they’re a great hands-on activity to do with a new kindergartener, and they never come home at the end of the day (unlike those poor rejected baby carrots).

Recipe adapted from The Gingered Whisk.

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Mexican Martini

Yield: 1 large serving Total time: 10 minutes

Like margaritas, but garnished with olives and served straight up rather than frozen or on the rocks, Mexican martinis are a quintessential part of hot Austin summers.

Recipe from Texas Monthly.

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Tortellini Skewers

Total time: 25 minutes

When you’re squeezed for time and trying to get dinner on the table, your grocery store’s deli will save the day. Prepare any flavor of tortellini from the refrigerator case, and thread onto skewers with antipasti favorites.

Recipe from The Kitchn.

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Chicken, Broccoli, & Mushroom Stir Fry

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 30 minutes

This dish is so good, our five-year-old loves it even though the ingredients are all mixed together. Fresh broccoli, mushrooms, tender chicken, and teriyaki sauce pair with rice for a satisfying weeknight family dinner.

Recipe from Dinner at the Zoo.

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The Juiciest Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 45 minutes

This easy, versatile grilled pork tenderloin is equally suited for weeknight dinners as it is for serving to company. The ultimate goal is a crispy exterior and rosy-pink insides.

Recipe from The Kitchn.

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Roasted Frozen Broccoli

Yield: 2 to 3 servings Total time: 45 minutes

Broccoli goes straight from the freezer to the oven to get a flavorful, roasted vegetable on the table even when you’re running low on fresh produce.

Recipe adapted from The Kitchn.

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