Ah, having time off over the holidays was so relaxing — no fixed schedules, no 7 a.m. school bus, no lunches to pack, lots of dinners out (so I didnt need to plan and cook every night). Reality crashed back in, though, when I received an email message last week from Celias coach informing us that our one and only free weeknight had now been claimed for winter soccer practice. Goodbye relaxing Thursday night.
Whether or not your weeknights are filled with soccer and band practices or other activities, chances are excellent that youre also feeling the need to get your family dinners back on track after the holidays. For most of us, that means making quick and nourishing recipes that the whole family will gladly enjoy at the dinner table. (You have cleared all the holiday cards and gift wrapping paper off the table by now, havent you?)
To keep things saner, I always plan my meals for the week on Sunday morning before heading to the grocery store (and farmers market, in the warmer months). My kids favorite meal of the week is often pasta night. If your children are pasta lovers, too, theyll likely fall for this ravioli dish with spinach and sundried tomatoes. Serve it with a green salad with grapes, walnuts and gorgonzola cheese and your wholesome, colorful dinner is done in less than 30 minuteswhich still leaves plenty of time for baths, homework, sports and musical instrument practices
Tip: If your young children are eager to help you in the kitchen, you can give them a plastic knife and a cutting board and ask them to cut the grapes in half for the salad. They can also use their math skills to count the ravioli to determine how many each family member can eat.
This dinner has a combination of sweet, spicy and savory that I love. It may look like a lot of spinach at first, but it melts away to practically nothing once its cooked, so the kids probably wont even mindours didnt.
What do you do to keep family dinners on track now that the holidays are behind us?