Say No To Kraft Dinner!

I’m participating in Stephanie’s “Say No To Kraft Dinner Recipe Carnival” today!  Already, I am enjoying reading the quick, healthy recipes others have posted.  


Since the subject of avoiding packaged/chemical-laden foods is a topic I am passionate about, I’ve been looking forward to this all week.  

Now that I’m not working outside the home anymore, I don’t have the pressure for a quick-fix meal as often as I used to.  But since I do make quite a few “time-intensive” meals (or with make-ahead prep time), it was good for me to look over my recipe stash, and rediscover some of our family’s favorite quick, whole-food summer meals.

Especially as the busy summer-time approaches, it’s always nice to have something that we can just toss together quickly on nights when we’d rather be outside than in the kitchen.  So, here are a few of my summer favorites (and they also make great picnic foods!)  For most of them, just add a loaf of crusty bread, and a glass of sparkling lemonade or ice water for a complete, refreshing summer meal.  

Please note:  I rarely measure when I create a recipe.  I just toss stuff together. Thus, any measurements are approximate and to taste.  

This is the recipe that caused Calvin to realize that maybe avocados are actually pretty tasty, and worth eating, after all! :)  It’s a great one to make after a stop at the Farmer’s Market, or an abundant garden!

Tuna Salad Stuffed Peppers
2 or 3 bell peppers (I like yellow or red for this)
2  3-oz cans of tuna
2 Tbls. mayonnaise, or to desired consistency
1 Tbl. lemon juice
A dash of salt & pepper
A sprinkle of chopped chives and parsley (or other herbs as desired; lemon basil is good too)
1/4 cup diced red onion (optional)
1/2 cucumber, diced (lemon cucumbers are delicious!)
1 avocado, diced
Mixed salad greens (optional)

Mix up tuna salad (tuna, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt & pepper, herbs).  Gently stir in veggies (onion, cucumber, avocado).  Slice peppers in half, and fill each half with tuna salad. Sprinkle salad greens on top, if desired.  Serve cold.  

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Grape & Chicken Salad
1 large bunch seedless grapes, washed & dried (green or red)
2-4 oz almonds, slivered or sliced
2 cups cubed or shredded cooked chicken
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup mayonnaise 
1 tsp lemon pepper
salt & pepper to taste

Combine grapes, almonds, chicken, and celery in a bowl.  Stir in mayonnaise and seasonings gently.  Serve cold.  
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Chickpeas & Tuna
1 cup of cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans) or 2 cans, drained
2 3-oz cans of tuna
1/4 cup red onion, diced (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
1-2 Tbls. balsamic vinegar
1-2 Tbls. lemon juice
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
Handful of chopped fresh herbs (chives, parsley, lemon basil, etc.)  
Salt & Pepper to Taste
A Sprinkle of Rapadura sugar, if desired
Serve over Mixed Salad Greens and/or Couscous, if desired
Other diced veggies (cucumber, tomato, etc.) are also good additions

In a bowl, combine chickpeas, tuna, herbs, and onion.  Mix together dressing (oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt & pepper, garlic, sugar), and pour over salad.  Gently combine, and adjust seasonings, if needed.  Serve cold, stirring well before serving.   

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This is another great recipe to make after a late summer Farmer’s Market trip! It’s a wrap with a homemade “pico de gallo” type of filling!  Fresh melon is a delicious side to this meal.  

Black Bean Wraps
1 cup cooked black beans (or 1 can, drained)
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1 cup fresh corn
1 cucumber, diced (lemon cucumbers are delicious!)
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 cup diced pineapple or mango (optional)
1/2 cup diced bell peppers
1/4 cup chopped herbs (fresh basil, cilantro, parsley, lemon basil, etc.)
2 Tbls. lime juice
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
Sprinkle of red pepper flakes, salt & pepper to taste
4 thin slices of chicken or turkey breast
4 tortillas (If using homemade, make sure they are thin enough to roll up!)

Stir together beans, tomatoes, corn, cucumber, onion, fruit, herbs, lime juice, garlic, and seasonings.  Lay one slice of meat on each tortilla.  Sprinkle veggie mixture on top, and roll up.  Slice in half and serve.  

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I made this recipe constantly throughout college, after walks to the Farmer’s Market.  I usually ate it with cheesy rice/nut crackers.  

Tomato Basil Chicken Salad
2 cups shredded cooked chicken
3 tomatoes, diced
1 cucumber, diced
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup red onion, diced
3 Tbls. mayonnaise
Dash of Lemon Juice
Sprinkle of Garlic Powder
Salt & Pepper to taste
Mixed Salad Greens (optional)

Combine chicken, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and basil.  Gently stir in mayonnaise, lemon juice, and seasonings.  Serve on salad greens, if desired.  

For more great recipes, visit Keeper of the Home!
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