One-Dish Meals Harried Parents Can Serve

With the school year fast approaching, it's going to be tough for busy parents to find time to prepare meals.

But in her new cookbook, Mom a Licious, chef and mom Domenica Catelli has some great tips on how to make wonderful meals, even if you've got a crazy schedule.

It has advice on everything from packing the kids' lunches to after-school snacks.

It includes a section every parent will love, on one-dish suppers, enabling you can get your kids to eat dairy, meat, and veggies from one dish -- nutritious and delicious for them, and time-saving for you.

Catelli shared some of those recipes on The Early Show Tuesday.


One-Dish Dinners

Lemony Chicken with Vegetables and Parmesan

Serves 2-4

1 pound chicken tenders (or boneless, skinless breast cut into one-inch strips)
2-3 tablespoons garlic, minced
2-3 cups vegetables of your choice, cut into small pieces (sweet potatoes, rutabaga, celery, carrots, broccoli, etc… Cut hard vegetables such as winter squash into 1/2-inch pieces, summer veggies such as zucchini can be in bigger pieces)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
4 leaves of fresh basil, chopped or 1 tablespoon fresh thyme
pinch salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Place chicken, garlic, and vegetables in a baking dish.
3. Drizzle with lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil. Mix in salt and pepper.
4. Top with the Parmesan cheese and fresh herbs and bake for 15-20 minutes.
5. Serve and enjoy!

Ginger Tofu Stir-Fry

I married a man who was raised in Texas on beef. Tofu was one of those wacky California hippie foods. Are you guilty of this same perception? I have made a believer out of many people, including my husband. Tofu is high in protein but low in flavor, so it easily combines with many flavors. If you like a "meatier" texture, freeze the tofu then unthaw it. That being said, you can also make this with chicken, shrimp or beef.

Serves 4-6

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cups mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, grated
1/2 medium yellow onion, cut into thin half circles
2-1/2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli, chopped
1 carrot, cut into thin strips
1 celery rib, cut into ½ inch pieces
2 big handfuls of snow peas
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
6 oz. low-fat tofu, cut into cubes
Dash of salt

1. In a wok, heat extra virgin olive oil and add onion and ginger. Sauté for about 3 minutes over medium heat.
2. Add mushrooms and cook until moisture evaporates (about 3 minutes).
3. Add peas, celery, broccoli and carrots and stir for a few minutes. Add the soy sauce, stirring frequently.
4. Add the tofu and cook until warmed through. Add salt for taste.

Nutritious Nuggets and Veggies (with creamy dill dipping sauce)

The fantastic and nutritious coating for the nuggets is great on everything from chicken, to fish, to veggies. Asparagus and squash are great with this. You can roast your favorite veggies alongside the nuggets on the same sheet pan. Cumin roasted corn is fantastic with this (and one of the easiest things to make in Mom-a-Licious).

4 half chicken breasts or two whole breasts
1 cup breadcrumbs (I like panko, Japanese style breadcrumbs)
1 tablespoon dried garlic
4 tablespoons brewer's (nutritional yeast)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pinch of salt & fresh pepper
3 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat oven or toaster oven to 375 degrees
1. Mix breadcrumbs, garlic, yeast, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl (add Parmesan if using).
2. Place chicken between sheets of plastic wrap and pound until 1/4-inch thick.
3. Cut chicken into two-inch strips (if your chicken is thick, pound it out a bit more).
4. Coat chicken with the breadcrumb mixture and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cook for 10 minutes.

Serve with creamy dill dipping sauce or sweet and spicy mustard.

Creamy Dill Dipping Sauce

If you love ranch dressing, this is a much healthier veggie dip, packed with probiotics. It is also a great salad dressing.

1/3 cup plain kefir (can substitute plain yogurt)
1/3 Greek yogurt or sour cream
2 teaspoons dill (dried) or 1 tablespoon fresh dill, chopped
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup of red bell pepper, celery, carrots or broccoli, cut for dipping

Place sour cream and kefir in a medium size bowl and whisk in remaining ingredients. Stir until well blended. Keeps in refrigerator for up to a week.

Lemony Zucchini and Basil Quinoa Pilaf with Chicken

Quinoa is a superfood that has all eight amino acids and couldn't be easier to prepare. It's also high in protein. Toasting the quinoa in a dry pan then rinsing it gives more depth to the flavor.

Serves 6

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups quinoa, dry toasted and rinsed
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
Dash salt and pepper
2 zucchini, cut into ¼ inch pieces
1 cup basil leaves, torn up
2 lemons, juiced
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup slivered raw almonds

1. Sauté the onions and garlic in extra virgin olive oil in a medium sized pot. Add quinoa, chicken, a pinch or salt, pepper and broth.
2. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low.
3. After 15 minutes remove lid and stir in zucchini, lemon juice, almonds and 3/4 of the basil.
4. Turn heat off and replace lid for two minutes.
5. Finish with the remaining basil and Parmesan cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.