Back to School Dinner Ideas Made Easy with Cultivatr

Brought to you by Chef Kai

 

 

As summer is winding down and we transition into fall,  we are fast approaching that daunting time of back to school for the kiddos. I personally enjoy the routine and scheduling that comes with the kids going back but like many parents out there, we are now faced with coming up with meals for the kids while juggling work and all the household responsibilities we have. 

As a Chef by trade, I may have a little advantage over some people in the cooking department. But I do have three kids that eat non stop and sometimes can be more picky than I would like. We at Cultivatr have an abundance of fresh local produce and products to choose from but today I’d like to focus on a category that can help ease the cooking burden at home. 

Heat and Eat.  

I don’t usually advocate buying ready to eat products, I’m a chef after all and love to cook. However, there is certainly a time and a place for these products, as long as they are somewhat nutritious and you know where they come from! I try to balance my week out at home with some heat and eat meals thrown in with some scratch cooking. The weeks can easily get away from you as a parent and having a freezer with some easy to pull/thaw items can definitely save your sanity.  Dinners do not have to be complicated, they just need to be fun, flavorful and substantial enough to fill those voracious appetites.

The meals I’ve outlined below are quick and relatively simple with not much prep time or knife work. These are meant to help guide and can be easily adapted to add more ingredients or veggies!

 Meal #1: Chicken Pot Pie and Garden Salad

Prep Time: 10min

Cook Time: 1 hour 15min

Serves: 3-4ppl

Cost Per Person: Approx $8.25

Ingredients:


Method: Preheat the oven and cook pot pie according to package directions. Slice or dice your cucumbers and tomatoes. Toss salad mix, veggies and salad dressing together and serve. 

Meal #2:  Lasagna, Caesar Salad and Garlic Bread

Prep Time: 15min

Cook Time: Approx 2 hours

Serves: 3-4ppl

Cost Per Person: Approx $10.00

Ingredients:


Method: Preheat the oven and bake lasagna according to package directions. Chop up your romaine and toss with caesar dressing. Slice sourdough bread and toast, finish with the Foothills Garlic Butter. Garnish lasagna and caesar salad with parmesan cheese.

Meal #3: Chicken Ravioli with Alfredo Sauce and Parmesan 

Prep Time: 10min

Cook Time: 10-15min

Serves: 3-4ppl

Cost Per Person: Approx $7.75-$8.00

Ingredients:


Method: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt heavily. Boil ravioli’s according to package directions. In a large saute pan, heat alfredo sauce and add cooked raviolis. Toss well and garnish with parmesan cheese. 

Meal #4: Handmade Perogies with Bacon and Sautéed Onions 

Prep Time: 15min

Cook Time: 20min

Serves: 3-4ppl

Cost Per Person: Approx $8.75

Ingredients:


Method: Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt heavily. Slice bacon and fry until almost done, add in sliced white onions and finish sautéing. Boil perogies according to the direction on the package. Add to bacon and onion mixture, fry for a minute or two. Serve with sour cream. 

Meal #5: Grass Fed Beef Burgers with Crispy Potato Wedges

Prep Time: 10min

Cook Time: 45min

Serves: 3-4ppl

Cost Per Person: Approx $11.00

Ingredients: 


Method: 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Slice the potatoes into wedges and toss with oil, salt and pepper (or a seasoning salt if you have). Line the potatoes up on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake until golden brown and crispy, flipping the wedges half way through. 

Cook the burgers either on a sheet pan in the oven, bbq or seared in a pan. Build the burgers with the toasted brioche bun, garlic mayo, butter leaf lettuce, sliced beefsteak tomato, sliced white onion and grated cheddar.  



Quick and Easy Snacks for the kids when they get home from school