Busy weeknights call for quick meals, but with the right ingredients fast food can actually be good for you, too. So whether you are a busy single career woman or a mom with a brood of hungry kids, try these simple, flavorful recipes to change up the weekly menu.
A meal that includes dairy is right in line with the recently released 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend three servings of dairy foods every day. That’s because dairy foods such as cheese, milk and yogurt provide a unique package of nine essential nutrients: calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin and niacin.
Individuals and families that want an extra reminder about the importance of integrating three servings of dairy into their daily diet can take the Dairy 3 for Me pledge as motivation. There are many delicious and creative ways to get your three servings of dairy every day, such as using plain Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise in your favorite recipes or substituting syrup on pancakes and waffles with flavored yogurt.
For more deliciously quick dinner recipes, and to take the Dairy 3 for Me pledge, visit MidwestDairy.com.
Spice things up with this southwestern-flavored quesadilla pictured above.
Prepare stir-fry pepper blend with diced onion added and heat barbecue beef according to package directions. While vegetables and beef are cooking, mix barbecue sauce and ranch dressing in small serving bowl; set aside for dipping sauce.
On a tortilla, evenly layer ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons each of shredded beef and cheese. Add about ¼ to ½ cup vegetables. Cover with a second tortilla.
Repeat for total of 4 quesadillas. Spray large skillet or counter-top grill with non-stick cooking spray. Cook each quesadilla for 3 minutes on each side or until golden and cheese is melted.
Cut into 8 wedges; serve with barbecue-ranch
This is a good way to use up leftover BBQ beef! In addition to the frozen veggies, you can also stock a bag of frozen onions to use in this recipe.
For fajita-ranch quesadillas, substitute chicken strips for the shredded beef. Mix light ranch dressing with salsa instead of barbecue sauce for dipping.
Hot and Sweet Grilled Cheese
Peach Jalapeno Jam
3 tablespoons peach preserves
1/2 fresh jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (about 2 teaspoons)
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
4 slices 12-grain bread, divided
2 slices white cheddar cheese, divided
2 slices pepper jack cheese, divided
2 slices smoked Gouda cheese, divided
1/2 small avocado, thinly sliced, divided
To make peach jalapeno jam: in small saucepan over medium heat, combine peach preserves and jalapeno. Stir mixture constantly until preserves are melted. Remove from heat and set aside.
To make sandwiches; heat large nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Butter one side each of 2 slices of bread. Turn buttered slices over, buttered side down and spread peach jalapeno jam over second side of each bread slice. On top of jam side of each bread slice, layer 1 slice cheddar cheese, 1 slice pepper jack cheese, half the slices of avocado and 1 slice of Gouda. Spread jam on remaining slices of bread and place jam side on cheese. Spread remainder of butter on bread on top of sandwiches.
Place sandwiches buttered side down in pan. Partially cover with lid, allowing steam to escape, and cook for 1 1/2-2 minutes, or until bread is toasted and browned. Flip sandwiches over with spatula. Partially cover with lid and cook for additional 1 1/2-2 minutes, watching carefully for bread to brown and cheese to melt. Remove lid and check for doneness. Remove sandwiches from heat and cut in half. Serve warm.
Beef Burrito with Pepper Jack Cheese and Black Beans
1/2 pound ground beef sirloin
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 cup chunky salsa, divided
2 cups cooked brown or white rice
6 whole wheat flour tortillas (9 inches)
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed, divided
1 can (11 ounces) corn kernels, drained, divided
2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese, divided
sliced green onion, including green tops
In medium nonstick skillet, brown ground beef and garlic over medium heat, breaking beef mixture into smaller chunks with spoon. Drain fat and stir in 1/2 cup salsa; set aside.
Spread 1/3 cup rice in center of tortilla, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Scatter about 2 tablespoons of beans and 11/2 tablespoons corn over rice. Spread 1/3 cup beef mixture and 1/4 cup cheese over corn. Top with 2 teaspoons salsa and a few pieces of green onion.
Fold in two opposite edges of tortilla 1 inch each and roll up. Place, seam side down, on microwave-safe dish.
Repeat with remaining tortillas. Place burritos in microwave and heat 1 minute, or until heated through. Serve with remaining salsa.
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