Julie Fortenberry, RD, LDN

Back to school can be a tough transition for both kids and parents. Many parents have to struggle balancing their kids different schedules and their own lives. However,  it is still important to squeeze in a healthy, delicious meal for your family. Here are a few quick, an easy Back to School recipes for your hectic schedule.

Sauteed Eggplant

This dish is perfect for the end of summer and beginning of fall months when all of the vegetables you need are in season and can be found at your local farmers market! This dish freezes well for those upcoming busy school nights.

Ingredients

1/2 cup water
2 onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large eggplant, diced
1 15-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 medium zucchini, sliced

Directions

  1. Heat the water in a large pot and add onions and garlic. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Stir in eggplant, tomatoes, basil, oregano, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Cover and simmer, stirring frequently, until eggplant is just tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 minutes.
  3. Stir in bell pepper and zucchini. Cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve hot with fresh basil and mozzarella cheese.  This dish goes very nicely with baked chicken or grilled shrimp.

Sausage, Spinach and White Bean Soup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (12.8-ounce) package smoked chicken sausage, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
3 carrots, peeled and diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 bay leaves
4 cups chicken broth
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 cups baby spinach

Directions:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage, and cook, stirring frequently, until lightly browned, about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Place sausage, garlic, onion, carrots, celery, beans, oregano and bay leaves into a 6-qt slow cooker. Stir in chicken broth and 2 cups water until well combined; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Cover and cook on low heat for 7-8 hours or high heat for 3-4 hours. Stir in spinach until wilted.
  4. Serve immediately.

Julie Fortenberry is a registered dietitian at Touro Infirmary. She obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics from the University of Southern Mississippi. Julie believes that lifestyle changes and wholesome nutrition are obtainable, and brings real-life understanding to wellness and nutritional counseling.

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