This past year has been filled with transition! We are quickly approaching another transition, the start of school for parents, kids and college students. For many, this means that those carefree days may get traded for days of more structure. To help you prepare for the upcoming transition, I wanted to share one of my favorite quick meals that is also economical and versatile. As we approach the new school year and also during the school year, I tend to get a lot of questions from patients and/or families about meal ideas that are fast, flavorful and do not require heating. This pasta dish checks all of those boxes!
As I read the name of my dish, I find that it is lacking in creativity. Don’t fret … the dish itself is chock full of flavor! I have a one-year-old at home and this dish is great for helping him practice independent feeding skills (pincer grasp, appropriate use of utensils and coordination). Bonus points because he is also eating what the family eats. This meal is versatile, quick and a family favorite!
Suddenly Salad Caesar Pasta Salad Kit (you can find this with the boxed meals at your local store)
3- 3-4 oz Grilled chicken breast shredded/cubed or 1 Rotisserie Chicken, deboned and shredded (You can use leftover grilled chicken, rotisserie chicken or purchase the pre-shredded chicken to save a step!)
1 large Avocado, diced
- Prepare Suddenly Salad according to box directions using olive oil as the base. (If I am making the pasta in advance, I will eat it chilled as the box suggests. This pasta tastes great at room temp, as well, if you are preparing it right before consumption.)
- Add chicken. (Based on taste preference, you may want to have the chicken cold or pop it in the microwave for 30 seconds.)
- Top with diced avocado.
- Serve alongside your favorite fruit (fresh, frozen or canned).
Many people tend to shy away from boxed meals at the grocery store. The truth is that our food supply on the inner isles of the grocery store also provide us with great nutrition. The items not only meet nutrition needs, but the shelf stability can also help with limiting food waste and tend to be more economical for the household.
This dish makes for great leftovers or quick lunches for kiddos (or adults) that do not have access to a microwave at school or are bored with eating the same PB&J sandwich every day. The meal can also be versatile with different variations of proteins, seasoning additions, oil bases (avocado oil or olive oil), and veggies added. The meal also serves as a great opportunity for kiddos to get involved in the kitchen with age-appropriate tasks: mixing the oil and seasoning (per box directions), shredding the chicken, dicing avocado (use plastic knife when appropriate) or just practicing following step-by-step directions.
I would love to hear about some of your favorite quick meals!!
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