(Family Features) During the hustle and bustle of a busy school week, juggling after-school activities, homework, dinners and next day lunch prep can be exhausting. Finding ways to simplify evenings while running a more efficient kitchen routine can make life more delicious for parents and children alike.
Consider these ways to make family meals work overtime for you.
Plan for leftovers. One easy way to make the most of your time in the evening is to make dinners that serve dual purpose – choosing recipes that shine when leftovers are reinvented for lunch the next day, like an all-time classic: chicken fingers. Making them at home is not only healthier than typical restaurant offerings, but leftovers can be used in a recipe like this Chicken Tender Smart Pocket, perfect for packing in your child’s lunchbox.
Use kid-friendly, better-for-you ingredients. It’s no secret it can be tough to serve smart choices your kids will actually reach for again and again. Set up a simple toppings bar with a favorite protein, chopped crunchy veggies and simple sauces alongside fun, do-it-yourself foods like stuff-able Toufayan Smart Pockets. Available in Original, 100% Whole Wheat, Everything and Organic Sprouted Whole Wheat varieties, they’re easy to hold, fun to stuff and only 80 calories each.
Focus on family favorites. When you’re busy making a meal the whole family loves, your time spent in the kitchen may not feel so much like a drain on the evening. Throw it back to childhood with these Sloppy Joe Smart Pockets, an easier-to-eat version with the timeless taste of seasoned beef.
Discover more family meal solutions at Toufayan.com.
Chicken Tender Smart Pocket
3 breaded chicken tenders
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 Toufayan Smart Pocket, any variety
2 pieces curly lettuce, washed and dried
2 thinly sliced tomatoes
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
Bake chicken tenders according to package instructions.
Spread mayonnaise evenly on insides of pita bread pocket.
Layer lettuce then tomatoes and place chicken tenders evenly across pita bread pocket. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Sloppy Joe Smart Pockets
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard
1 cup water
4 Toufayan Smart Pockets, any variety
In large skillet over medium heat, brown ground beef, celery, onion, carrot, garlic, salt and pepper, breaking up beef until browned and no longer pink, approximately 6-8 minutes.
Add tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar, mustard and water; mix well.
Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook 15-20 minutes until sauce thickens and flavors meld.
Remove from heat; taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
Divide evenly among pita bread pockets and serve.