I love making tacos for dinner. I've even posted a recipe about it on this blog before. I usually make them from scratch but when you;re in a time crunch, there are some great kits available to help speed up the process. There are many available on the market, including some great premium store brands, or the Old El Paso line. If you don;t want to make your own m=seasoning mix, or are simply looking for supper to be served in a hurry, these make a good choice.
Fish tacos are a great way to get fish into your kids, because they usually love anything wrapped in a taco shell! Some kits come with batter for fish tacos, but I like to modify it a bit. Using any fish of your choice (I used inexpensive defrosted sole) you first coat the fish pieces in batter that you then fry. I was worried my children wouldn't like the batter so I did half the fish with only salt and pepper. While the fish cooks you mix mayonnaise with a spice mix to make an aioli. The box recommends you serve the tacos with shredded cabbage. I also bought an avocado and mango to mix in with the cabbage. These were delicious. While I don't think you really need the batter to coat your fish it did taste good and in the end my children didn't mind it, they actually really liked them. Topped with the aioli and cabbage/avocado/mango slaw, some cilantro and served in a warmed up tortilla it was an exceptional dinner. My whole family finished these in seconds!
If you feel more comfortable buying a kit and following the easy steps than that is fine too, sometimes it is nice to not have to think about dinner and have most of the ingredients together in one box. Here is my recipe for super quick fish tacos. Since buying the kit and realizing how easy fish tacos are to make at home, I make them at least once a week. The health recommendation is to eat fish 2 times a week, so this gets you half way there! My children eat their fish tacos with only fish in the wrap, so my advice is to make the tacos according to your family's preferences.
I love this pasta dish because it is so tasty. I also love it because it makes a great dinner and everyone in my family likes it. Simmering the sauce for 5 minutes at the end makes it very flavourful, but not too strong. It's quick, delicious, easy, and pleases everyone, so there is nothing not to like! I use fresh noodles but you can use dried pasta also. Feel free to add grilled chicken on top or on the side; any protein would go well.
Add oil to a medium size skillet over medium high heat. Add garlic and allow to cook but not brown for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of water with 1 tsp salt added. Save 3/4 cup of pasta water. Add reserved pasta water to pan and 1/2 tsp salt and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
Add cooked pasta to pan and mix well with sauce.
Transfer to a dish and add parmesan on top. Serve right away.
Serves 4 as a main course, 6-8 as a side dish.
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa.
These crispy quinoa cakes go very well with a salad as your main course, as a side dish, or instead of carb heavy potato latkes for Hanukah.
Even though these cakes don't have a lot of ingredients in them, they are flavourful and delicious. Don't tell your kids they're made with quinoa and they will love them too! (What's a secret when it's for their health?) Dip the cakes in anything you want, from creamy Caesar dressing to ketchup, or sour cream or apple sauce. After they are cooked they keep in the fridge for a week, or, freeze for a month and reheat in the oven.
Bonus: Quinoa is a nutrient-rich grain with 2 g of fibre and 7 g of protein in 1/4 cup.
* to cook quinoa bring 2 cups of water or chicken broth to a boil. Add 1 cup uncooked quinoa bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer, covered for 12 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Mix cooked quinoa with eggs, salt and bread crumbs. Allow to sit for 5 minutes.
Form quinoa into 10-12 small size patties.
Heat 1 tablespoon in medium size pan and heat over medium-high heat.
Add half the quinoa cakes to pan and cook 7-10 minutes or until bottoms are lightly brown. Turn gently with a spatula and cook the other side for same amount of time.
Makes 10-12 quinoa cakes.
Adapted from epicurious.com