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Easy weeknight meals for back-to-school season

Caroline Del Col

Scratching your head over what to make for supper? These quick and easy recipes will help you prep a delicious meal on busy weeknights.




  1. In a warmed, large sauté pan over a medium flame add the olive oil and smashed garlic cloves.
  2. Cut the sausages into half-inch pieces, add to the pan and cook until browned, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the shredded cabbage stirring with a wooden spoon until all ingredients have blended together for 2 minutes.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Meanwhile, cook Rao’s Homemade® Fusilli until al dente or according to packaging directions.
  6. Add the Rao’s Homemade® Tomato Basil Sauce to the sausage and cabbage.
  7. Mix together the sauce, sausage and cabbage. Reduce the flame and simmer the mixture.
  8. Once the pasta has finished cooking, drain and add to pan with sauce, sausage and cabbage. Toss together gently with a wooden spoon to coat evenly.
  9. Serve and top with Pecorino Romano cheese.



  • 1 cup Lundberg Family Farms Organic Short Grain Brown Rice
  • 1 ¾ cups water or vegetable stock 
  • 4 sweet potatoes, scrubbed, rinsed, dried
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup poblano peppers or green bell peppers, diced
  • 1 cup corn kernels
  • ½ cup green onions, sliced
  • ½ cup tomatoes, diced
  • ¼ cup shredded cheese or shredded vegan cheese
  • 1 avocado, smashed and divided into 4 servings
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • Cracked black pepper and sea salt, to taste
  • Cilantro, for garnish


  1. Add 1 cup of Lundberg Family Farms Organic Short Grain Brown and 1 ¾ cups of water or vegetable stock to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce heat to low-simmer and cook for 45 minutes.
  2. Set the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub, rinse and dry whole sweet potatoes. Coat with olive oil, salt and cracked black pepper to taste. Place on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Bake for 45 mins to 1 hour or until an inserted knife provides little to no resistance.
  3. In a small saucepan, heat the beans on medium heat for 5 mins or until completely heated through.
  4. Make a cut down the middle of each sweet potato, opening each sweet potato and scraping out approximately half of the sweet potato flesh. Mix flesh with pinto beans.
  5. Arrange ingredients and enjoy!



For the sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
  • ½ cup orange marmalade
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

For the stir fry:

  • 2 small heads cauliflower
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 head broccoli, broken into small florets
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons finely minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages APPLEGATE NATURALS® Gluten Free Breaded Chicken Tenders
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • ½ bunch Thai basil, leaves torn, for garnish


  1. To make the sauce, heat the olive oil in a small saucepan over moderate heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, until sizzling and aromatic, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the marmalade and vinegar and stir until smooth and well combined. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.
  2. To make the stir fry, break the cauliflower down into large pieces and pulse in a food processor to make “rice.”
  3. In a large shallow pan over moderately high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the cauliflower rice and cook, stirring frequently, until cauliflower is tender but still has some bite to it, about 4 minutes. Transfer the cauliflower to a large bowl.
  4. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan and add the broccoli, carrots, onion, bell peppers, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring frequently, until crisp tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the Worcestershire sauce.
  5. Meanwhile, cook the chicken tenders in the oven or air fryer, according to package instructions. When finished, toss the chicken tenders in the marmalade mixture until coated and glossy.
  6. To serve, divide the cauliflower rice among 6 shallow bowls. Top with the vegetable mixture and chicken. Garnish with sliced scallions and torn basil.




  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Heat an ovenproof skillet with 1 Tbsp. avocado oil to medium heat, until oil begins to sizzle.
  3. Lightly season both sides of each chicken breast with salt and pepper and add them to the pan. Sear until golden brown on the outside.  
  4. Remove chicken from the pan. Add minced garlic, chicken broth, and alfredo sauce to the pan and stir until lightly bubbling. Add sun-dried tomatoes, oregano, and red pepper flakes and stir together.
  5. Add chicken breasts back into the pan and bring it back to a simmer, basting with the sauce as you go.
  6. Place the skillet in the oven and cook at 375°F for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Serve over chickpea pasta with additional Alfredo sauce, top with fresh basil if desired, and enjoy!




  • 2–3 cups cooked, chopped chicken
  • 16 oz package frozen mixed vegetables
  • ½ Tbsp kosher salt
  • ½ Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ Tbsp onion powder
  • ½ Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 cups chicken broth, divided
  • 2 Tbsp Bob’s Red Mill Cornstarch



  1. Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch casserole dish.
  2. Combine chicken, vegetables, salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika, ginger, turmeric and 1 ¾ cups broth in a large, high-sided pan over medium high heat. In a small bowl, combine cornstarch with ¼ cup chicken broth. Whisk well and pour into the chicken mixture.
  3. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the mixture thickens. Pour filling into the prepared casserole dish.
  4. Mix eggs and buttermilk in a small bowl and set aside. Place baking mix in a large bowl. Using a fork or pastry blender, cut in cold butter until it’s the size of small peas. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients with optional add-ins and stir until evenly moistened.
  5. Turn out onto a piece of plastic wrap and pat or roll the dough ½ inch thick. Carefully lift the plastic wrap and turn the dough over the chicken pot pie filling.
  6. Brush with melted butter and season with salt and pepper, if desired. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
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