Cooking Ideas

Fun Lunches for the Whole Family

In a busy household, it’s not uncommon to forget about having a nice weekend lunch and put off mealtime until evening, but wouldn’t you prefer the chance to sit down and enjoy a hot lunch with your family once in a while?

Don’t worry — preparing a midday meal doesn’t have to be stressful or time-consuming. There are plenty of tasty, simple recipes you can put together ahead of time and enjoy with your family around the table. Here are a few of our favorites!

CHILI (CLASSIC OR VEGETARIAN)

Some meals make you stop in your tracks at the mere scent, and chili is one of them. If you’re all carnivores, go for the classic recipe! If you’re catering to vegetarians or vegans, substitute the beef with a nice, fat eggplant.

  • 2 pounds ground beef (substitute with one chopped eggplant for vegetarian/vegan version)
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 8-ounce can marinara sauce
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • Olive oil

Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large pan or Dutch oven and add the ground beef or eggplant. Fry until lightly browned, then add the chopped garlic and onion. Fry another few minutes until the vegetables are translucent; add marinara sauce and seasonings. For the ground beef version, lower the heat, cover, and cook for an hour. For the eggplant version, lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Finally, add the beans and simmer another 10 minutes.

CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS

The perfect lunch for blustery autumn days, chicken and dumplings is a meal that every member of the family will be overjoyed to dig into.

  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 12 ounces of uncooked, cubed chicken
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 1/4 cups biscuit mix
  • 2/3 cups milk

In a large saucepan, combine chicken broth, chicken, onion, carrots, celery, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil, then lower to a simmer; cover and cook for 20 minutes or until the chicken and vegetables are done. Mix the milk and biscuit mix in a bowl to form a soft, sticky dough. Form small balls of dough and drop them into the simmering broth. Cook for 10 minutes.

POZOLE

This classic Mexican soup is hearty, delicious, and surprisingly simple to make. Be sure to use a nice ripe avocado to garnish the finished meal so that it will be smooth and creamy in the warm soup.

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 32 ounces chicken broth
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 dried ancho chile, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups shredded chicken, cooked
  • 1 15-ounce can hominy, rinsed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 1 handful chopped cilantro
  • 1 sliced avocado
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven or large pot. Add the onion and season with salt and pepper. Cook slowly, still on medium, about 10 minutes, until the onions turn translucent. Add the chicken broth, canned tomatoes, and ancho chile and slowly bring to a boil. Add the chicken and hominy, then turn the heat down to a simmer. Cook for about four minutes. Serve in bowls with lime wedges and cilantro on top.

All you need is a few spare hours each week to create unforgettable, family-pleasing afternoon meals. Get the family to help and prep time will fly by!

AVO TIP: Ever wondered how to cut an avocado? Learn from a pro in this quick video!

By Avocados From Mexico September 10, 2016

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