fast and easy kid-friendly dinner

Kid-made pizza

My kids love make-your-own pizza night! I shape the dough and they top it with whatever they want.

store-bought pizza dough*

marinara sauce

shredded mozzarella cheese

assorted toppings, such as pepperoni, sausage, ham, olives, pineapple, onion, peppers, artichoke hearts, spinach, etc.

Preheat the oven to 400.  Shape the pizzas on an oiled sheet pan or pizza pan.  Spread with a few tablespoons of sauce and let the kids go wild.  Bake in the oven until the cheese starts to bubble and brown.

*you can also use english muffins as the crust.  Just as much fun and yummy!


Mini Meatloaf

  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 3/4 cup rolled oats
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ketchup, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large bowl, combine meat, tomato sauce, oats, eggs, chopped onion, salt and pepper. Mix lightly but thoroughly.  Shape into little loaves on a baking sheet. Top with optional ketchup.
Bake for 35 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink and juices run clear.  Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Homemade Chicken Fingers
  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 cup dried bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive  oil
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Trim any fat from chicken and cut into 1 inch cubes.
  3. In a bowl beat the eggs with the water and add the chicken.
  4. Combine the bread crumbs, basil,  ground pepper, and salt. Stir in the oil with a fork and mix well to distribute evenly. Pour seasoning mixture into a resealable plastic bag, add the chicken pieces, and toss to coat.
  5. Place coated chicken pieces on an oiled baking sheet and bake at 425 degrees  for 10 minutes, turn the pieces and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Great served with homemade oven fries!
Homemade oven fries
Slice potatoes(or sweet potatoes) into large matchsticks, toss with olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake on cookie sheet at 400 for 30 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned.
Salmon cakes with quinoa
Mix canned salmon with one egg, breadcrumbs, salt/pepper, and herbs (dill, parsley, etc). Form into patties and fry in a little oil until crispy brown.
Cook quinoa following instructions on box. Only takes 15 minutes!
Baked chicken teriyaki with rice and simple stir-fry
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup brown sugar
1 Tablespoon both fresh ginger and garlic.
Cover chicken pieces with sauce and bake.
For stir-fry: sauté frozen bagged stir-fry mix with soy sauce, sesame oil, ginger, garlic
or make your own with a mix of cabbage, carrots, broccoli, snow peas, bean sprouts, or what ever other vegetable you like.
Baked Tofu
My kids loved this when they were toddlers!
1 block firm tofu, pressed to remove excess water and then cubed
2-3 Tablespoons tamari
2 Tablespoons maple syrup
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar, optional*
nutritional yeast
Gently toss cubed tofu with tamari, syrup, and optional vinegar. Pour into a rectangle baking dish, top with a sprinkle of nutritional yeast, and bake at 400 for about 45 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and tofu is browning on the edges.  Top with more nutritional yeast if desired.
*The vinegar gives the tofu a little tang, which I love but my kids didn’t.  You choose.

2 Comments on “fast and easy kid-friendly dinner”

  1. Hillary
    August 4, 2011 at 7:47 pm #

    Hi Melissa!
    Sounds like you are doing great! We’re still in full swing summer mode here, but I know you will be sorely missed once school starts up again.
    I was thinking about quinoa that you made for one of our parent meetings once and wondered if you’d share that recipe.
    Take care!

    • melissadavisfood
      August 5, 2011 at 8:02 am #

      Hi Hillary!
      I’d love to share, though I’m not sure which version I made that day. I’ll just send you a basic one, and you can add whichever veggies you like.

      Great to hear from you! I know I’ll be missing you guys once school starts too! I love GrandView! and all the wonderful people there! I hope Paula does come back and get the garden going again!

      Have a great rest of the summer!

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