Archive for: Easy Weeknight Meals


Cheesy Shells with Broccoli and Chicken - Mac and cheese with a nutrition boost! | Kristine's Kitchen

Cheesy Shells with Broccoli and Chicken

A steaming bowl of macaroni and cheese is pure comfort food. Mix in some cooked chicken and broccoli, and you have a complete meal. These Cheesy Shells with Broccoli and Chicken are creamy, cheesy pasta at its best. Macaroni and Cheese. The ultimate comfort food. When it's cold outside, there's nothing better than sitting down to a bowl full of warm, cheesy pasta. The only problem is that on it's own, mac and cheese doesn't make much of a balanced meal. Sure, you can roast some broccoli or make a salad to go alongside, but how about instead boosting the nutrition of the mac and cheese itself? Enter these Cheesy Shells with Broccoli and Chicken. Here we have four food groups all ... [Continue Reading]

Easy Cheesy Beef and Pasta Skillet:  a one-pot meal the whole family will love | Kristine's Kitchen

Easy Cheesy Beef and Pasta Skillet

This pasta skillet is a one-pot meal that the whole family will love.  The pasta cooks right in the tomato meat sauce, soaking up tons of flavor! Hey there. How was your weekend? We've had gorgeous weather here, with plenty of sunshine and temperatures in the 70's. It's so beautiful outside this time of year with all of the fall colors. Brad took the kids to the park on Saturday while I got my hair done (I was way overdue!), and then Julia and I went out for a walk and some fresh air on Sunday. Saturday night about 12:30 we woke up to the sound of the signature barky cough of croup. William apparently is prone to getting croup, as this was the third time he's had it. The past two ... [Continue Reading]

Chicken and Rice Salad with Ginger-Sesame Dressing | Kristine's Kitchen

Chicken and Rice Salad with Ginger-Sesame Dressing

With a ginger, sesame, and lime dressing, this colorful salad is packed with flavor! Enjoy it for an easy dinner or lunch. As I type this, it's Thursday night, and can I just say how glad I am that tomorrow's Friday?  As you read this, it will be Friday, so happy almost weekend to you!  I don't know about you, but I am t.i.r.e.d. by the end of the week.  My Friday night routine these days consists of (1) an easy dinner, (2) bathe the kids, read stories, and put them to bed, and (3) relax on the couch with the latest episode of Parenthood and a bowl of ice cream.  (If I wasn't pregnant, there would be wine.  Ice cream works for now, though!)  Then I'm off to bed by about 9:30, which ... [Continue Reading]

Pan-Seared Tilapia with Melon Salsa | Kristine's Kitchen

Pan-Seared Tilapia with Melon Salsa

A refreshing fruit salsa is the perfect counterpart to pan-seared tilapia.  I feel like I'm stuck somewhere in between summer and fall. In the blog world, it's all about pumpkin and apples. Which, by the way, I am totally ready for. I've shopped for a few new pairs of maternity jeans (gotta have the skinny jeans to go with my boots!) and sweaters, and can't wait to wear them. The only problem? We've had temperatures in the nineties for the past week and according to the forecast, plenty more warm weather is to come. Maybe October will bring cooler days?  Sigh. I'm balancing this all out by both baking with pumpkin and enjoying lighter, no-oven-necessary meals. Like this Pan-Seared ... [Continue Reading]

Almond-Crusted Salmon - this will become your quick, go-to salmon recipe! | Kristine's Kitchen

Almond-Crusted Salmon

You can have this Almond-Crusted Salmon on your dinner table in no time.  It's baked (easy clean-up!) and best served with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Have you ever dined with a toddler eating couscous? It is quite the messy food to serve to children. I remember serving couscous one time when William was less than a year old. By the end of that meal, there was couscous all over the floor extending in a 6-foot radius around his high chair. Now, William is 2 ½ and the couscous still manages to get all over the table and the floor near his chair. If you've ever tried cleaning up a couscous mess, you know it's not the easiest to wipe up, either. Today's recipe isn't for couscous, ... [Continue Reading]

Chicken Tortilla Casserole - a little spicy, a lot cheesy, and full of crushed tortilla chips! | Kristine's Kitchen

Chicken Tortilla Casserole

This Chicken Tortilla Casserole is a one-dish skillet meal that you can have on your dinner table in no time.  It's a little spicy, a lot cheesy, and full of crushed tortilla chips! I know I'm stating the obvious here, but just about everyone (those with young children, at least) is busy adjusting to the back to school routine.  That means your mind is likely on early bedtimes and early wake-ups, packing lunches, homework, and keeping schedules straight.  What you're probably not too interested in at the moment are complicated dinner recipes.  I know I'm not. I've got your dinner needs covered with this Chicken Tortilla Casserole.  You can have this skillet casserole on your table ... [Continue Reading]

Summer Vegetable Skillet Lasagna - a healthy one-dish weeknight meal! | Kristine's Kitchen

Summer Vegetable Skillet Lasagna

Need another easy summer meal in your rotation?  You will love this Summer Vegetable Skillet Lasagna, full of fire-roasted tomatoes and summer squash! I'm all about the easy meals these days. You too? When dinnertime nears, I just don't have the motivation or desire to make a complicated meal. And, let's be realistic, even easy meals take longer than they should when you're also supervising 5- and 2-year old siblings. Julia and William have actually been wonderful about playing together nicely lately, but, you know, sharing is hard! Most often, I'm having to stop them from having so much fun that someone's going to accidentally get hurt. Like when they decide to ... [Continue Reading]

Tortellini with Spinach, Onion, and Pine Nuts - a favorite easy meal that's full of flavor! | Kristine's Kitchen

Tortellini with Spinach, Onion, and Pine Nuts

This simple pasta dish is full of cheesy tortellini, healthy spinach, and crunchy pine nuts. It's a delicious easy dinner, and is also great as a cold pasta salad for lunch. Today's recipe is an old favorite from the early days of the blog (July 2010!) that deserved an updated photo and repost to highlight it once again. I've been making this Tortellini with Spinach, Onion, and Pine Nuts for years, and it's still a family favorite! Are any of you feeling a little lazy lately? I certainly am, especially when it comes to cooking dinner. I want a homecooked meal most nights, but don't want to put in a whole lot of effort to get it! I'd much rather spend my time outdoors or relaxing ... [Continue Reading]

Easy Two Cheese  Pasta with Chickpeas - make a big batch for healthy lunches or a quick dinner | Kristine's Kitchen

Easy Two Cheese Pasta with Chickpeas

Make a batch of this Easy Two Cheese Pasta with Chickpeas and you'll have a healthy lunch ready for yourself or the kids in no time! This recipe is part of my Healthy Bites for Kids series, featuring easy recipes for breakfasts, lunches and snacks. While I’ve designed these recipes to be enjoyed by kids, adults will love them too! Do you get crazy hungry super fast when lunch time nears? Like, so hungry you need to eat something right now or those around you better watch out? I, unfortunately have this problem. And my kids do too. (Uh oh.) Julia especially, but William's extreme hunger grumpiness came out the other day as well. Three people in one house who all get crazy hungry at ... [Continue Reading]

Spicy Grilled Portobello Tacos - you will LOVE this healthy, meatless meal! | Kristine's Kitchen

Spicy Grilled Portobello Tacos

Spicy Grilled Portobello Tacos, topped with grilled onions and creamy feta and avocado, are a delicious, quick, and easy meal! Tacos are one of those meals that I can eat again and again without tiring of them. I'm always glad to find new variations on the taco that my family and I can enjoy. It's even better when those variations are meatless yet still full of flavor. These grilled portobello tacos are a little spicy, and a lot delicious! The grilled portobellos act like the “meat” in the taco, filling you up with nutritious vegetable yumminess. Add in grilled onions, tomatoes, avocado, and feta cheese, and you have a taco that is sure to satisfy even on a super hungry ... [Continue Reading]

Deconstructed Falafel Salad - easy, healthy, flavorful | Krisitne's Kitchen

Deconstructed Falafel Salad

This Deconstructed Falafel Salad is a lovely mixture of flavors and textures. Chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumber, herbs, and avocado are all tossed in a flavorful lemon-cumin-tahini dressing. Easy, homemade pita chips add a delicious crunch! What do you usually eat for lunch? I tend to make sandwiches, since they are easy and don't require much thought. Sandwiches can get boring quickly, though. I find that when I eat a healthy salad for lunch, I have more energy in the afternoon and am less likely to want to nap! The key to a healthy and filling salad is to have a good balance of protein, fiber, and healthy fats. This Deconstructed Falafel Salad has all of that, plus plenty of ... [Continue Reading]

You will LOVE this Southwestern Pasta Salad with a spicy chili-lime dressing | Kristine's Kitchen

Southwestern Pasta Salad

Full of all of the southwestern flavors that you love, this Southwestern Pasta Salad with a spicy chili-lime dressing is sure to be a crowd-pleaser! Pretty much everyone is a fan of pasta salad, right? It's a great crowd-pleasing dish that's easy to make and share at BBQ's and potlucks. The best pasta salads are full of pasta (of course) and veggies, all coated in a flavorful dressing. I've made all sorts of varieties of pasta salads, including this flavorful Greek pasta salad, an amazing pesto pasta salad, and one with orzo, tomatoes, and mint. I know I'm not alone in my love of southwestern flavors, and I thought they would make an awesome pasta salad. And was I ever right! ... [Continue Reading]

Roasted tomatoes and broccoli make this mac and cheese-style pasta something special. | Kristine's Kitchen

Cheesy Broccoli Tomato Pasta Bake

This macaroni and cheese-style pasta bake is made even better with roasted broccoli, roasted tomatoes, and whole grain pasta. The other day, the infamous “What's for dinner?” question came up in my house. I had a plan (as I usually do) but didn't feel like eating what I'd planned for. What's a busy mom of two to do? Make macaroni and cheese, of course!   Mac and cheese is always a winner with the kids, and this time I upped the nutritional value by adding some roasted broccoli and roasted tomatoes. My whole family loves roasted vegetables, and who can resist broccoli coated in a creamy, cheesy sauce? Not I.   ... [Continue Reading]

This Salmon Power Salad is full of health-boosting superfoods! | Kristine's Kitchen

Salmon Power Salad with Honey-Dijon Vinaigrette

This Salmon Power Salad is full of superfoods such as blueberries, walnuts, spinach, and of course, salmon. This delicious salad is full of health-boosting power! Dinner salads are one of my favorite types of meals. I know that the name “salad” can be deceiving, as some are filled with unhealthy, high-calorie ingredients. By making main dish salads at home, you can control the ingredients and nutrition. Plus, eating at home is usually much more budget-friendly, too.   I had two goals when making this salad. First, it had to taste good. Taste is so important when it comes to our food, right? My second goal was to incorporate as many healthy “superfoods” as possible. Superfoods are ... [Continue Reading]

These Ham and Cheddar Sliders with Honey Mustard are kid-friendly and super easy to make! | Kristine's Kitchen

Ham and Cheddar Sliders with Honey Mustard

Ham and Cheddar Sliders with Honey Mustard are the perfect make-ahead party food. Who can resist a warm sandwich with melty cheese, salty ham, and sweet honey mustard sauce? When we celebrated William's 2nd birthday with a Thomas the Train party, these Ham and Cheddar Sliders with Honey Mustard were the hit of the party menu. Everyone kept raving about how good they were, and they are so easy to make! I wanted to keep the party menu simple but still delicious, and sliders were definitely the way to go. I assembled these earlier in the day, popped them in the fridge on a baking sheet, and then warmed them in the oven right before dinner time. For these sliders, I made a quick honey ... [Continue Reading]

Hummus and Grilled Vegetable Wrap - easy, healthy, delicious | Kristine's Kitchen

Hummus and Grilled Vegetable Wrap

This hummus and grilled vegetable wrap makes a healthy and delicious lunch or easy dinner. I'm always trying new recipes for dinner, snacks, and treats, but lunch often gets overlooked in my menu planning process. Which means we end up eating a lot of sandwiches, cheese quesadillas, and, sometimes leftovers. Usually I don't have much time to devote to preparing lunch, so if I'm going to make something out of the usual rotation it needs to be easy. These wraps totally fit the quick and easy requirement. ... [Continue Reading]

Chicken Tacos with Cucumber-Avocado Salsa | Kristine's Kitchen

Chicken Tacos with Cucumber-Avocado Salsa

Grilled chicken tacos with a refreshing and flavorful cucumber-avocado salsa. This recipe is one of the very first that I shared after starting this blog- over four years ago now. It had gotten lost in the archives and desperately needed a little updating and a new photo. This is one of our favorite meals to make during grilling season, and a friend recently found the recipe on my site and reminded me of it. While we used to make these tacos all the time, I had forgotten about them. Well, now that I've been reminded, we've made these three times in the span of two weeks. There is so much to love about this recipe. The marinade for the chicken is simple, just lime juice, garlic, and ... [Continue Reading]

Portabello Pesto Panini- you will love this veggie sandwich!  | Kristine's Kitchen

Portabella Pesto Panini

Pesto, roasted portabellas, red onion, and fresh mozzarella grilled to panini perfection. I could eat this sandwich every week. Here's what we're working with: ciabatta rolls, pesto, roasted portabellas, sauteed onions, and fresh mozzarella. These ingredients combine to make an amazing vegetarian panini. I happened to have just the right amount of pesto stored in my freezer left over from a recipe I made a few months ago. I had planned to use it as a pizza sauce, but I'm so glad I didn't because it made these panini unbelievably easy to put together. My new plan? To make a big batch of pesto every few weeks and store it in the freezer in ¼-cup size portions. Then I will be prepared ... [Continue Reading]