Now that the kids are back in school, how about giving them some fun “homework” by having them help whip up an easy but satisfying dinner? These recipes require a minimum of cooking and a maximum of fun hands-on time in the kitchen. (You could even cook the chicken and quinoa in advance to make the meal prep easier.) Depending on how old your kids are, you might need to help them use the spiralizer—watch out for the sharp blades!—or have them just cut the zucchini into cubes instead. Either way, they’ll be thrilled to be part of the action.

Tomato, Pumpkin & White Bean Caribbean Gazpacho with Zucchini Strands & Tortilla Chips

Makes 4 servings.


2 pounds large yellow tomatoes, stems discarded

1 yellow pepper, seeds and stem removed

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon allspice

1 ½ teaspoons ginger

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

15 ounces white beans, drained

3 green onions, green part only, minced

¾ pound cooked chicken, shredded with forks or cut into small cubes

1 medium zucchini

Tortilla chips for topping


Cut the tomatoes and pepper into rough chunks and place in a food processor. Add the pumpkin, spices, thyme, salt, and olive oil and blend until you have a chunky soup. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in the beans, minced onions and chicken.

 To make the zucchini strands, create the long, thin noodles by using a spiralizer. Cut or break them into short strands before stirring them into the gazpacho. Serve the gazpacho topped with the tortilla chips. Leftover gazpacho can be refrigerated for 3 days.


Quinoa, Red Pepper & Avocado South-of-the-Border Bowl with Chimichurri Dressing

Makes 4 servings.


For the dressing:

Juice of 1 lime

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 small bunch cilantro, leaves only

2 small garlic cloves

2 teaspoons dried oregano

½ teaspoon sea salt


For the salad:

2 cups cooked quinoa*

15 ounces canned corn, drained

15 ounces canned black beans, drained

Two 5-ounce cans of sliced water chestnuts, drained

1 red bell pepper, chopped

4 green onions, green tops only, minced

1 avocado, cubed


To make the dressing, place all ingredients in a small food processor and blend well.

To make the salad, place all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss well. Toss again with the dressing. If you think you’ll have leftovers, add the avocado to individual servings rather than tossing it with the entire bowl—without the cubed avocado, any leftovers can be refrigerated for 3 days. (Avocado start to brown when they’re cut.)

Quinoa triples in size when cooked, so 1 cup of raw quinoa = about 3 cups of cooked quinoa. You’ll need about 2/3 of raw quinoa for this recipe.


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