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Nibbles

Chocolate Sunflower Butter Energy Bites

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).

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

Tortellini Skewers

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.

Total time: 25 minutes
Poultry

Chicken, Broccoli, & Mushroom Stir Fry

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.

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 30 minutes
Pork

The Juiciest Grilled Pork Tenderloin

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.

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 45 minutes
Poultry

Cashew Chicken

This homemade version of the Americanized Chinese food classic is fool-proof enough for a harried weeknight and delicious enough to make you happy you’re making the effort of cooking. Kids and adults wolf down the tender chicken, bite-sized chunks of bell pepper, cashews, and delicious sauce.

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 30 minutes
Nibbles

Lemon Cream Cheese Muffins

These tart-sweet lemon muffins, topped with a brown sugar crumble and lemon glaze are deliciously moist, since the cream cheese is mixed right into the batter.

Yield: 12 muffins Total time: 35 minutes
Vegetables

Skillet Green Beans

This is a simple, perfect preparation for green beans. It’s fast and easy enough for a weeknight family dinner, and works with any main dish.

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 15 minutes
Poultry

Guy’s Fried Rice

Fried rice is versatile, weeknight dish that’s just as good using fresh ingredients or the week’s leftovers.

Yield: 4 to 6 servings Total time: 25 to 40 minutes
Munchies

Soy Eggs

We’ve fallen in love with the soy-marinated boiled eggs found at ramen shops and the festivals at Leo’s school, and they’re so easy to make at home. We use medium-boiled eggs (though the little dude likes them hard-boiled), and soak them in a solution of soy sauce, sherry vinegar, and sugar.

Yield: 6 eggs Total time: 6 hours 30 minutes
Seafood

Volcano Salmon

This honey-soy salmon is prepared under the broiler, which gives it a blackened char that appeals to our volcano-obsessed preschooler.

Serve with Volcano Noodles, a rainbow salad that includes purplish black rice noodles, for a visually spectacular and delicious dinner. (Prepare the marinade and the dressing for the salad first – they’re similar, and you can prepare the veggies for the salad while the salmon marinates.)

Yield: 4 servings Total time: 40 minutes