Above: Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Not to flaunt my Super Homeschool Mom trophy or anything, but I use Pinterest recipes.

Actually, there’s no trophy. Just a Pinterest board called “Recipes to Try.” Since I’ve actually used a few of the recipes that I pinned, I thought I’d share my successes. (I haven’t tried all of the recipes I saved. I haven’t gotten to the cherries dipped in white chocolate and decorated with edible silver dots.)

I don’t mind spending some time cooking, but like any homeschooler, I’m always balancing school and life. So I definitely prefer something quick and simple. The following recipes are one or the other—often both.

1. Easy Chickpea Curry

Do you like Thai food? If you don’t know, please allow me to give you a new life purpose. This recipe is a good start. It’s quick and has a warm, creamy, slightly exotic flavor. In larger towns, you ought to be able to find the curry paste at the grocery store. If you live more remotely, it’s available online. Our store carries Thai Kitchen red curry paste.

2. Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

This salad is a convenient substantial meal—chicken, pasta, and green salad all in one! It’s more expensive to buy pre-cooked chicken, but you can also put the whole thing together in about 20 minutes, plus a little chilling time. (Confession: I usually forget to start it that far ahead, so we eat it warm. The salad wilts a little, but it’s still very good.) Buy some yummy bread to go with it, and it’s a meal.

3. Chicken and Avocado Lime Salad

Fast, flavorful, creamy, and very good on French bread. (I served it over egg noodles just to make it go further, which was okay but not ideal.) But this dish is not cheap, at least not if you’re buying avocados in Virginia in October. The recipe also calls for cilantro. Some people like cilantro. Others realize it’s a horrid weed that tastes like caterpillars, and they can spot a sprig of it in food at fifty paces. In related news, I left out the cilantro and offered it, along with fresh basil, on the side.

4. Crispy Roasted Rosemary Sweet Potatoes

I didn’t quite get these potatoes “crispy,” and it took over an hour for them to cook all the way. So this dish takes some commitment. But they turn out incredibly sweet, a perfect pairing with sausage and polenta. A good weekend or company dish.

5. Cauliflower Cheese Flats

The recipe title claims these are “bread sticks,” but no. If you love bread, you’re not going to be excited about cauliflower instead. So I changed the name in order to adjust expectations. The only fussy part of this recipe is “ricing” the cauliflower, which is very easy if you have a blender. The rest of it is straightforward. They’re a very good vegetable indulgence—especially when warm out of the oven, but not bad heated up the next day, either.

Now, I make no promises that your kids will love these. Mine don’t. I’ve got the pickiest kids since…well, since I was a kid. But when you need to get good food on the table for the people who actually eat good food, maybe this list will give you some new ideas.

Just don’t hold dinner for me. I’m busy saving ideas on my new board, “DIY super homeschool mom trophies.”


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