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Delicious Back-to-School Recipes from Dinner Solved! by Katie Workman

In her new cookbook Dinner Solved!, bestselling author Katie Workman turns her attention to the biggest problem that every family cook faces: how to make everyone at the table happy without turning into a short-order cook.

Expanding on one of the most popular features of the first cookbook, The Mom 100, her ingenious “Fork in the Road” recipe solution, which makes it so easy to turn one dish into two or more, Katie shows you how Asian Spareribs can start mild and sweet for less adventurous eaters—and then, in no time, become a zesty second version for spice lovers. She shakes up the usual chicken for dinner with Chicken Tikka Masala-ish—and feeds vegetarians, too, by offering a fork where cauliflower is used in place of the chicken.

Here she shares three great and easy recipes that will make getting back-to-school a little easier, for everyone:

Breakfast Wraps Recipes from Dinner Solved! by Katie Workman

Breakfast Wraps

Fork in the Road: This is a choose-your-own adventure breakfast.

This is one of the many recipes that is a jumping-off point for whatever moves you. If you are making it for, say, a brunch gathering or sleepover, think about putting out a pile of warmed tortillas, a big bowl of fluffy scrambled eggs, and a bunch of toppings and letting everyone do their own thing. You know when you go to a hotel that has a full-on brunch buffet, and there’s a person in a white coat standing behind two pans making individual omelets to order? Yeah, that’s not you. But this, this could be you.

Makes 4 wraps

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 large eggs
  • Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 4 tortillas (8 inches in diameter), any flavor
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheese, such as cheddar, Monterey jack, pepper jack, provolone, a Mexican blend, or crumbled feta

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Beat the eggs with salt and pepper in a medium-size bowl. Melt the butter in a medium-size skillet over medium-high heat. Pour in the eggs and scramble them, stirring occasionally, until cooked to your liking.
  2. Meanwhile, place the tortillas on a plate with a slightly damp paper towel covering them and microwave for 20 seconds.
  3. Place about 1/2 cup scrambled eggs on a tortilla and sprinkle over a tablespoon of shredded cheese. Then, either call it a day and wrap it up, or sprinkle over any of the suggested toppings and roll up. Repeat to make 4 wraps and serve.

What the Kids Can Do

  • Beat the eggs, maybe scramble the eggs with help, choose their wrap fillings, and wrap up the tortillas.

Make Ahead

  • Not really, but you can wrap these while still warm in aluminum foil and eat on the run.

Optional Additions

  • Diced avocados
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Salsa
  • Chopped olives
  • Crumbled cooked bacon or sausage (turkey or pork)
  • Black or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • Minced raw onion or sautéed sliced onion
  • Raw or sautéed spinach
  • Minced raw bell pepper or sautéed sliced bell pepper 

Stupid Easy Chicken and Pasta

Stupid Easy Chicken and Broccoli Pasta

Fork in the Road: Try the ramped-up version with pesto (and/or skip the chicken for a vegetarian dish).

The title of this recipe may not make your mouth water, but the actual dish will. All of us need those dinners that require little thought, little time, and a little collection of on-hand ingredients. I have no compunctions about opening up a jar of good sauce, pouring it over pasta, and calling it dinner . . . but this feels much more like a real meal.

Think of the recipe as a template (as with so many of my recipes), and swap ingredients in and out as you like. Check out some of the combos on page 208 of Dinner Solved!, and more importantly, check out what’s in your fridge, in season, or on side.

INGREDIENTS

  • Kosher or coarse salt
  • 1 package (1 pound) linguine or other long, thin pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
  • 2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves or 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken broth, preferably low-sodium
  • 4 cups (about 4 large stems) small broccoli florets
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously and add the pasta. Return the water to a boil and cook the pasta according to the package directions, but stop when it is very al dente, about 2 minutes before it’s done. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a very large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, chicken, oregano, and salt and pepper and sauté until the chicken is just lightly browned on the outside, but not cooked through, about 3 minutes (see So What Does Sauté Mean, Anyway?, page 204).
  3. Increase the heat to high, add the white wine, and cook and stir until the wine is reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add the chicken broth, ½ cup of the reserved pasta water, and the broccoli florets.
  4. You can continue with the recipe or see the Fork in the Road to amp up the flavor with pesto.
  5. Cover the skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the drained almost-cooked pasta to the skillet, as well as the red pepper flakes and butter and stir well. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pot, and simmer until the pasta and broccoli are just tender, about 2 minutes; add additional pasta cooking water if the amount of liquid seems too skimpy—you want it a little saucy. Stir in the Parmesan, add additional salt and pepper if needed, and serve, passing additional Parmesan on the side.

Beefy

One-Skillet Beefy Enchilada Noodle Casserole

Serves 8

INGREDIENTS

  • Nonstick cooking spray, for the skillet
  • 1½ pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive, canola, vegetable, or peanut oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 red, yellow, or orange bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher or coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 to 3 cups chicken broth, preferably low-sodium
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 can (28 ounces) enchilada sauce
  • 1 package (1 pound) fusilli, rotini, or egg noodles
  • ½ cup light or heavy (whipping) cream, or half-and-half
  • 1½ cups shredded Monterey jack, cheddar cheese, or a Mexican blend

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Spray a very large, deep (13-inch; 6 quart) skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring frequently and breaking up the meat, until it is crumbly and browned throughout, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a colander and drain.
  2. Heat the oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, bell pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt and pepper. Sauté until the onions are softened and the spices are nice and toasty and aromatic, 5 minutes.
  3. Raise the heat to high, add 2 cups of the chicken broth, the tomato paste, and enchilada sauce, and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-high, add the drained beef and noodles, and stir well. Cover and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue to simmer, covered, until the noodles are cooked, following the package directions. Stir once halfway through the cooking time. The liquid should be pretty much absorbed, but the mixture should still be moist looking. If the noodles absorb all of the liquid before they are cooked, add up to an additional cup of chicken broth to the pan, stir, and cover until the pasta is tender.
  4. You can continue with Step 5 or see the Fork in the Road if you want a spicy casserole.
  5. Stir in the cream, and sprinkle over the cheese. Cover and cook until the cheese melts, just 1 or 2 minutes. Serve hot

Variation

  • You can also make this with ground turkey for a slightly lighter version.

What the Kids Can Do

  • Measure the spices, cream, and cheese; dump things into the pan and stir (with supervision); sprinkle on the cheese.

Fork in the Road

  • Nicely seasoned for those who don’t like a lot of heat, pumped-up seasoning options for those looking for some kick. The main version has a nice level of flavor, but the Fork in the Road really gives your taste buds something to think about.

Make Ahead

You can make this casserole up to the point that the noodles are about halfway cooked, and refrigerate it, covered, for up to 2 days. Bring to room temperature and warm the casserole gently over low heat until the noodles are cooked through (you may need to add a bit more broth). When it is hot, stir in the cream (and the spicy ingredients if using) and finish it off with the cheese.

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