September 5, 2012

School Night Recipe Round-Up {Naptime Simple Tips}

School is officially in session and stress season in the kitchen. One of the hottest cooking topics amongst my group of friends is quick, easy recipes for school nights. Of course, I am a huge advocate for a little advance prep the morning or afternoon before meal time if possible. If not, I focus on powernap-style recipes that are quick and easy and somewhat experimental. Above all, I really try and remind people that, no matter what, cooking should be fun. While whipping something up against the homework clock is not always a snap, it is possible. Give yourself a break in the kitchen and remember that food is love, serve up it with a smile and enjoy. To help you along with your quest I’ve compiled a round-up of some great recipes for school nights for your consideration. As always, let me know if there are more recipes you are interested in that you don’t see here!

School Night Recipes via The Naptime Chef

Make Now, Eat Later:

Mushroom Leek Soup with Peppery Parmesan Croutons (vegetarian) : This creamy soup is perfect for making well in advance and can even be packed in lunchboxes. Serve it with chicken or fish or a fresh bean salad for added protein.

Roast Chicken Stuffed with Corn & Parsley:  A roast chicken is easy to prep ahead. Season and stuff in the morning and roast before dinner. Or, roast it well in advance then carve and reheat the meat for dinner.

Spiced Whole Wheat Crab Cakes: For a healthy seafood meal make these crab cakes in the morning and lightly fry them before serving.

Baked Pasta with Cheddar and Leeks (vegetarian): A fresh twist on traditional mac and cheese, this awesome baked pasta is idea for both parents and adults.

Mexican Lasagna: This lasagna is made my stacking all of your favorite Mexican ingredients into one tasty lasagna. Serve some healthy green rice on the side. For a vegetarian version omit the chicken and use seitan or chopped tofu.

Eggplant Involtini with Feta & Pistachios (vegetarian) : Eggplant is one of the best substitutes for pasta that I know. This healthy dish stuffs the eggplant with barley and loads it up with great flavors.

Slow Cooker Beef & Barley Stew via The Naptime Chef

Slow-Cooker Meals:

Mushroom-Sage Risotto (vegetarian): Forget endless stirring over the stove, put your risotto in the slow-cooker! This incredibly simple method is perfect for busy school nights.

Beef & Barley Stew: This high-protein soup is perfect hearty fall soup. Serve it with a big fresh baguette.

Lemon-Thyme Chicken: Sometimes something as simple as baked chicken is easier in the slow-cooker. Try your favorite chicken meal using this method. The skin may not be as crispy, but the flavor is immense!

Chicken Tortellini Soup: One of our favorites, this classic can be adapted for the slow-cooker. Just add the tortellini in the last hour of cooking.

Stromboli via The Naptime Chef

Powernap-Style (Quick & Fun):

Mushroom Arugula Pizza  Р(Vegetarian) : Pizza in a flash is always a hit. Choose any toppings you want!

Pepperoni Stromboli with Tomato Dipping Sauce: For a change from pizza make this awesome, easy stromboli. Fill it with meats and cheeses and serve it with a side of your favorite dipping sauce.

Simple Creamy Shrimp with Penne: Shrimp is always easy to cook in a snap. Here is a new way to make it, with an extra bit of heat and a simple creamy sauce.

Sausage with Grapes & Onions: This oldie but goodie is such a favorite of ours on a school night. The grapes caramelize and form a simple, special sauce that pairs beautifully with sweet sausage.