HANNAH ZOLLARS Special at the Roanoke Times
The holidays can be fun and joyful, but the rush of shopping and multiple meetings, not to mention Christmas dinner prep, can stress out even the coldest personalities.
Once the festivities are over, or on those odd days in between when no one even knows what day it is (like the week between Christmas and New Years), the last thing everyone wants to think about is knowing what to cook for dinner. This article is for those times.
These recipes are not only quick and easy, but they produce leftovers that last and are just as good when reheated in the microwave. So sit back, relax, and forget about the seemingly everlasting question: “What’s for dinner?” ” We have what you need.
There are plenty of quick, healthy recipes and snacks you can keep on hand during the holidays and throughout the year. Crystal Fink and Degra Nofsinger, midwives and co-owners of Roanoke Birth and Perinatal in Roanoke, emphasize the importance of nutrition to their clients. However, their nutritional information can be useful for everyone, not just expecting mothers.
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One tip they recommend when you’re short on time is to keep some lightly or unprepared snacks on hand. Fink often keeps a fruit and protein snack on hand, like an apple with peanut butter or berries and Greek yogurt. It provides a good, healthy carbohydrate and protein that “packs a lot of nutritional punch.”
Nofsinger loves to cook and loves peanut butter energy balls. A quick and easy snack to prepare, they keep in the refrigerator for up to five days or can be frozen for up to three months. The combination of peanut butter, oats, flax seeds and honey makes for a delicious, guilt-free snack.
Fink and Nofsinger also recommend adding flax or chia seeds to a variety of dishes – this gives extra fiber and protein to a meal. They add these ingredients to salads, smoothies, oatmeal … even desserts!
When it comes to dinner parties, making a variety of soups, stews, and casseroles with bone broth is easy and nutritious and enough for a large family or for a few days of leftovers. Additionally, Fink and Nofsinger recommend freezing meals. If you’ve got extra time, but know your next few weeks will be hectic, whip up your favorite recipes like the lasagna or pan-fried fajitas below, and you’ll have a delicious dinner in no time!
1Â¼ pound skirt steak, thinly sliced ââinto Â¼ inch strips
3 medium bell peppers, seeded, seeded and sliced
1 yellow onion, halved and sliced
2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro (optional)
Preheat the oven to 400 Â° F. Lightly spray wide rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
Combine chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper in a small bowl until combined. Put aside.
In a large bowl, combine the steak strips, peppers, onions and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil and toss gently to coat. Sprinkle over seasoning mixture a little at a time, continuing to mix to evenly coat.
Distribute the steak and vegetable mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the steak is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, place the tortillas wrapped in foil in the oven to warm them up.
When the dish is out of the oven, drizzle evenly with lime juice and garnish with the desired amount of chopped fresh cilantro.
Serve in heated tortillas with your favorite toppings.
The steak can be substituted for chicken in this recipe, if you prefer.
1 to 2 lbs of roast (I use game but you can also use beef)
5 medium potatoes, cut into Â½ inch squares
1 packet of Ranch Onion Soup Mix
Place the roast in a slow cooker and add four cups of beef broth – add water if the beef broth does not cover the top of the roast.
Add the potatoes and diced carrots and dip in the broth around the roast. Sprinkle onion soup mixture, salt and pepper over contents of slow cooker.
Turn the slow cooker to high heat and cook for 6 hours.
Carrots and potatoes should be tender and the roast should shred easily when fully cooked.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole
1 roast chicken, meat removed and shredded
Â½ pound of sliced ââcharcuterie style black forest ham, chopped
1Â¼ cup seasoned breadcrumbs
Place the chicken in the bottom of the dish followed by the ham and finally the Swiss cheese.
Melt the butter over medium heat, in a medium saucepan, and add the garlic as it melts. Keep stirring with a rubber spatula to avoid scorching.
Stir in the salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, smoked paprika and lemon juice.
Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
Add the milk, slowly. Whisk often to prevent lumps from forming. Lower the heat to high and cook until the sauce thickens and boils completely.
Pour the finished sauce over the base layer already in the pan.
Combine topping ingredients in small bowl until butter is evenly distributed over crumbs.
Sprinkle the top of the dish and bake for 45 minutes at 350 Â° F.
Let cool 10 minutes before serving so that the sauce thickens a little.