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Mom's Day Off: Quick-Meal Tips for Dads and Kids

Don't cook? Don't worry! You can still whip up a mom-worthy meal

Make Mom lunch:

  • Whip up a batch of albacore tuna salad with a can of water-packed albacore tuna, drained; a tablespoon of light mayo; and some pickle relish. Serve on her favorite bread with lettuce and tomato.
  • Make a quick pasta salad by tossing cooked, cooled pasta; less-fat salami slices (cut into quarters); cubes of part-skim mozzarella; diced zucchini, red pepper, and/or broccoli florets; and bottled light Italian salad dressing.
  • Bake up some nachos by layering reduced-fat tortilla chips; canned, fat-free refried beans; shredded reduced-fat jack or cheddar cheese; and chopped green onions. Bake in 400-degree oven until cheese melts (10-15 minutes). Top with fat-free sour cream and salsa.
  • Grill or pan-fry a Gardenburger (you'll find several flavors in the frozen food section) with a slice of reduced cheese melted on top. Serve on a toasted multigrain bun with grilled onions or sliced tomato and lettuce.

Make Mom dinner:

  • Toss up a chicken Caesar salad using shredded, roasted chicken breast (from a rotisserie chicken bought at the supermarket), Romaine lettuce (you'll find bags of ready-to-use romaine in the produce section), and bottled light Caesar salad dressing.
  • Make a chicken quesadilla by sandwiching reduced-fat, shredded Jack or cheddar cheese and shredded, roasted chicken breast (from a rotisserie chicken) inside two flour tortillas (use the higher-fiber ones if you can find them). Fry them in a nonstick frying pan until the cheese melts; serve with sliced avocado, salsa, and fat-free sour cream.
  • Grill some salmon teriyaki. Coat salmon filets with bottled teriyaki sauce, then broil or grill them until cooked throughout. Serve with cooked brown rice (follow the directions on the box or bag) and steamed veggies.
  • Serve up soup in a bread bowl! Hollow out a small sourdough bread round (usually around 6 inches wide) and fill with gourmet canned soup that you've heated in a saucepan over the stove (Wolfgang Puck has tasty soup options with 6 grams of fat or less per serving). Garnish with shredded Parmesan cheese and parsley flakes.
  • Shrimp cocktail can be quickly put together with defrosted pre-cooked shrimp (from the frozen fish section) served in a pretty glass or bowl with bottled cocktail sauce.
  • For quickie pasta, boil fresh packaged tortellini or ravioli, drain, then serve with bottled marinara sauce or frozen pesto (available in the frozen pasta section of most supermarkets) warmed up. Serve with cooked veggies and fresh fruit.
  • Make designer pizza! Start with a Boboli pizza crust and top with bottled pizza sauce (or defrosted pesto sauce). Add shredded cheese of choice and whatever toppings you desire (sun-dried tomatoes, mushroom slices, less-fat salami or turkey pepperoni, artichoke hearts, green onions, green or red pepper slices, etc.).

If you'd like to cook for Mom, choose from these cool Mother's Day dishes kids can make!

Originally published April 11, 2005.
Medically updated April 2006.

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Reviewed on April 11, 2005

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