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5 Easy Weeknight Meals

Brooklyn chef Chris Scott shares simple, family-friendly recipes.

Friday

Chicken and Veggie Kebabs

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

2 red peppers (or other vegetables, such as zucchini or grape tomatoes)

1 large onion

3 or 4 cloves garlic

2 sprigs each of fresh herbs, such as parsley, cilantro, or mint

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

Pepper to taste

Directions

1.  Preheat oven to 400º F.

2. Cut chicken breasts and vegetables into 1-inch cubes.

3. Thread 6 skewers with alternating pieces of chicken and vegetables.

4. Finely chop garlic and herbs, and combine with a generous quantity of olive oil (about 1/4 cup). Season with salt and pepper.

5. Pour herb-oil mixture over skewers to coat evenly. Refrigerate 1 hour (or overnight).

6. Place skewers on baking sheet, and roast in oven about 25 minutes, or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165º F. Serve immediately.

 

Per serving:

274 calories, 35 g protein, 6 g carbohydrate, 11 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 87 mg cholesterol, 2 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 249 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 37%

3 Kid-Friendly Pantry Staples

Want to help your kids make healthy food choices? Keep these ingredients on hand.

1. Popcorn kernels. Air-popped corn is the perfect do-it-yourself project for kids: They have to prepare the popper, measure out the kernels, and wait for the corn to pop. "It's so much better than having them just open a bag" of premade snacks, Scott says. Kids learn that the best eats take a bit of effort, and "when they finally sit down with this snack, they feel a little bit proud."

2. Dried fruit. Fresh fruit is one of the best snacks for kids, but dried fruits such as cranberries, raisins, and mango strips can be a convenient alternative. Packed with beneficial antioxidant compounds and fiber, dried fruit is "definitely a better alternative to candy or other junk," Scott says. But dried fruit has plenty of sugar, so make it an occasional treat.

3. Dry yeast. It's a key ingredient in an all-time favorite: homemade pizza. Kids love the hands-on process of mixing, kneading, and punching dough and then layering on toppings. Scott also uses dry yeast to make bread for sandwiches and soft pretzels -- a great weekend project for families.

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Reviewed on July 15, 2012

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