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Easy Summer Meals for Busy Families

Jessica Carey

Posted on June 27 2018

Easy Summer Meals for Busy Families!

Taco Salad Night

Healthy Meals with Options for Every Family Member

I love to cook, but sometimes it's a challenge to find recipes that are healthy and that everyone in the family enjoys.  When you add time limitations and hot weather, getting dinner on the table can be a challenge! My three kids have a variety of likes and dislikes- My 14 year old doesn't care for meat and my 6 year old doesn't like food that's mixed together.  I've found a few meal options that are quick and easy to make and that everyone in the family enjoys!

Finger Food Friday

Finger Food Friday is a HUGE hit in our house.  Bonus- you can prep it in 5-10 minutes and it doesn't require turning your stove or oven on! I usually serve everything on a large cutting board and we all sit around the table and eat off the board.  It creates a nice feeling of community that's different from normal dinner time. And it pairs really well with a nice bottle of wine or a craft beer for the adults in your house. :) There are pictures below that show some of our favorite Finger Food Friday meal boards!

Finger Food Friday meal options

Lentil Dip (recipe here- super quick and easy!) | Pita Bread | Salami | White Cheddar | Cherries

Finger Food Friday meal options 2

Salami | Honey | Strawberries | Colby Jack Cheese | Sliced Baguette | Brie | Marcona Almonds | Apples

Finger Food Friday meal options 2

Strawberries | Sliced Baguette | White Cheddar Cheese | Crackers | Apple | Salami | Parmesan Cheese | Brie | Walnuts | Honey | Dijon Mustard

Finger Food Friday meal options 4

Pita Chips | Carrot Sticks | Hummus | Baked Feta (the recipe for this is here- it's AMAZING!) | Colby Jack Cheese | Salami | Strawberries | Apples

Taco Salad Night

Taco salad night is another go-to meal in our house.  It's a great option because it can be customized to each person's likes and dislikes.  I love it in the summer because the only cooking is cooking the meat on your stove or grill and everything else is ready to assemble out of the fridge!

Taco salad picture

Taco "Salad" for the 6 year old who doesn't like his food mixed | Taco Salad for everyone else

There are so many options for taco salad toppings.  I listed some of our favorites below.  We switch it out regularly depending on what we have in the fridge!

  • Grilled chicken or steak
  • Ground beef or turkey cooked with taco seasoning
  • Black beans or pinto beans
  • Roasted corn
  • Tortilla chips
  • Diced avocado or guacamole
  • Shredded cheese
  • Salsa
  • Fajita veggies- bell pepper and onion
  • Green onions
  • Cilantro 
  • Sour Cream
  • Hot Sauce

Korean Rice Bowls

Another meal that we all like in our house are Korean Rice Bowls.  This is similar to Taco Salads because each family member can modify it for their tastes. 

The main ingredients are brown rice (you can buy precooked to save even more time!), Bool Koogi from Trader Joe's (but you can sub in any meat) and whatever veggie your family likes.  This night we had broccoli and sugar snap peas.

Karen Rice Bowl Ingredients

You can also top your bowls with whatever you'd like! This night we topped ours with Sriracha, soy sauce, sesame seasoning, cilantro and green onions.  Other options could be an egg, pickled veggies, or sliced carrots.

 Korean Bowl Toppings

I like to use Trader Joe's Bool Koogi because it's already marinated and it's sliced super thin so it cooks in a few minutes!

Bool Koogi cooking

When the meat is done cooking I slice it up and everyone can assemble their own bowl.

Bool Koogi serving bowls

This is the finished product- you can see how each family member can change their bowl based on their preferences.

Bool Koogi dinner

Vegetarian Bowl | 6 year old plate | Bool Koogi Bowl

 

Why Family Meals are Important

It's really easy when we are rushing through our day to forget the importance of sitting down with our kids and connecting over dinner.  I know when we take the time to do it, everyone in our family feels (and behaves!) better.  I love having a few meals that I can make quickly and that everyone likes.  It removes the stress of preparing a meal and allows us to focus on the most important thing, which is time together!

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