5 Kid Friendly Meals You Can Make Today

mini pizzasI like to try different recipes just to mix things up at meal time. Eating the same old foods gets boring after a while. I’ve listed 5 recipes that my kids enjoy:

1. Pizza – Sloppy Joe Style
1 can refrigerated biscuits
1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 can sloppy joe type sauce
1 can whole kernel sweet corn, drained
8 slices American cheese
1 small green bell pepper chopped *optional

Separate dough into biscuits. Press or roll each one to be between 4 and 5 inches around. Bake on ungreased cookie sheet at 350 degrees F for about 12 minutes. This will become your pizza shells. Brown ground meat in skillet, drain as usual and return to pan. Add sloppy joe sauce and corn and pepper, stirring until well mixed. Simmer until heated through. Spoon meat mixture into your biscuit pizza shells. Top with slices of american cheese. Return to hot oven for a few minutes to melt cheese if needed before serving. If you’d like a large pizza or need to save time try buying pre-made pizza shells (like Boboli) at you local grocery store and spread the ingredients on one of those and bake according to package directions.

2. Shells with Grilled Chicken and Mozzarella
1 1/2 pounds chicken cutlets
8 ounces medium pasta shells
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons butter
salt and ground pepper

Season chicken with salt and pepper to your liking and grill until juices run clear and chicken is done. Cut grilled chicken into chunks. Boil water and cook noodles according to package directions. Drain pasta and return to pot. Add in the chicken, tomatoes, cheeses, parsley and butter. Toss to coat and distribute ingredients evenly.

3. Better than Out of a Box Chili Macaroni
1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 can (14-1/4 ounces) tomatoes, cut up
2 cups water
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon oregano
8 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni

Brown ground beef, onion and garlic and drain as usual and return to pan. Add tomatoes, water, tomato sauce and seasonings to pan and bring it all to a boil. Cover and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. Add uncooked noodles and return to boiling. Cook approximately 8 or 9 minutes (or until noodles are tender) stirring frequently. Better than those dinners out of a cardboard box on the grocery shelf any day!

4. Mom’s Homemade Creamy Tuna Casserole
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1 soup can milk
1 can (6 ounces) tuna
1/2 package (1 pound) egg noodles, cooked and drained
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Pepper to taste
1/2 cup crushed butter flavor crackers, optional

In a casserole dish blend together milk and condensed soup. Stir in tuna, noodles and cheeses, stir to coat well with the soup mix. Pepper to your liking and top with crushed cracker crumbs for a crunchy top. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes.
*TIP: You can replace tuna with a can of cooked chicken or shredded left over chicken breasts.

5. Pita-rific Turkey and Veggies
Something about a round sandwich makes kids happy!

4 ounces cooked turkey breast (sliced, cubes, ground … etc… whatever is on hand)
Lettuce shreds
1 tomato, sliced
1 green pepper, chopped up
1 cup shredded or cubed cheddar cheese
Low fat ranch dressing
4 pita rounds

Divide turkey into 4 portions and fill bottom of pita shells. Mix tomato, peppers and cheese in a bowl and toss with the ranch dressing until well coated. Use this mixture to finish filling each pita.

5 Budget Friendly Turkey Leftover Ideas

As Thanksgiving preparations begin in our house, there are a lot of things that I look forward to. Family celebrations are so much fun. I love to see our house filled with friends and family. Kids are running all over the place as adults catch up with each other about our busy lives. Despite the warm feeling I get looking forward to the big day, I have to admit there is one thing I’m dreading: leftover turkey. Having leftover turkey to deal with always seems inevitable. No matter how hard I try to plan our meal so that it doesn’t leave us with a mountain of turkey, we always end up with some. Before long, my family starts to groan whenever the leftover turkey makes an appearance on our dinner table. This year, though, I have decided to plan my leftovers ahead of time. I’m going to come up with some leftover turkey meals now so that I know what to do. Here are some of the front runners I’ve come up with so far:

Turkey Pot Pies
You can make this classic dish in the same style that you make chicken pot pies. You simply have to substitute chunks of turkey for the chicken. Using some staples from your pantry, you can quickly craft the crust of the pies, and a can or two of mixed vegetables will fill the pies out nicely.

Thanksgiving Salad
Lunchtime after Thanksgiving can take on a whole new personality if you make Thanksgiving salad. Mix chunks of turkey with chopped pieces of celery, onions, bell peppers and pecans. Add a heaping spoon of mayonnaise to the mixture to help it stick together. Salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate until lunchtime. Spread over your favorite sandwich bread and enjoy.

Barbecued Turkey
This slow cooker recipe will be great for Black Friday. I can get the meal started before I go shopping and let it cook while I’m out. Begin by mixing one cup of barbecue sauce with one-half cup of water. Place turkey pieces, cut up potato pieces, and chopped carrot sticks in the slow cooker. Pour the barbecue sauce mixture over the other ingredients and cook at the low setting for nine hours.

White Chili
Who says chili has to be red and filled with beef? Using white beans and turkey instead can turn a mediocre batch of chili into something your family will look forward to. If you don’t feel like experimenting with your chili recipe, a quick Google search will reveal a host of white chili recipes.

Turkey Alfredo
A plate of simple noodles, topped with Alfredo sauce and chunks of turkey breast will make the family forget that this is a leftover meal. Heck, I may not even remember myself.