Recipes to Feed a Family (Kid-Approved!)

Try one of these quick, easy, kid-friendly and healthy meals for busy nights on a budget—this blueberry custard makes a delicious and healthy treat!
Photo: Elizabeth Cecil
Ditch the chicken strips, mac n’ cheese and french fries for these family-friendly dishes.

Try one of these quick, easy, kid-friendly and healthy meals for busy nights on a budget—this blueberry custard makes a delicious and healthy treat! No matter how busy you are, you'll have time to cook these family-friendly meals from Sarah Waldman's Feeding a Family.

Slow Cooker Indian Butter Chicken With Peas

Try one of these quick, easy, kid-friendly and healthy meals for busy nights on a budget—this slow cooker Indian Butter Chicken makes a delicious and healthy meal!

Throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker and you're set for a delicious meal later.

What You'll Need

Serves 4 to 6

  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken pieces (thighs and/or breasts)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 in. piece fresh gingerroot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • One 6-oz. jar tomato paste
  • One 13.5-oz. can full-fat coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1½ cups sweet peas (thawed if frozen or blanched if fresh)
  • Cooked basmati rice, for serving

Toppings

  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Toasted coconut flakes
  • Toasted slivered almonds

Directions

Step 1: Cut the chicken into 2-inch chunks. Fill a 6-quart slow cooker with the chicken, onion, garlic, ginger, curry powder, cinnamon, cumin, and salt. Stir to combine. Add in the butter, tomato paste, and coconut milk. Mix again. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours until the chicken pulls apart easily with a fork.

Step 2: Before serving, stir in the Greek yogurt, lemon juice, and peas. Allow everything to heat through, then serve the butter chicken over a bed of basmati rice. Top with cilantro, toasted coconut, and toasted slivered almonds, if desired.

Slow Cooker Greek Chicken Gyros

Try one of these quick, easy, kid-friendly and healthy meals for busy nights on a budget—these slow cooker chicken gyros make a delicious and healthy meal!

These gyros are delicious the night you make them and also serve as perfect leftovers and lunches for the week.

What You'll Need

Makes about 8 gyros

Chicken

  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 lbs.boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh oregano
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Lemon-Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Assembly

  • Lavash or pita bread, warmed (1 per person)
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Chopped cucumber
  • Minced yellow onion
  • Pitted Kalamata olives
  • Baby arugula
  • Lemon slices, for serving (optional)

Directions

Step 1: In a 6-quart slow cooker, combine the onions, chicken, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, dill, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, until chicken can be easily shredded with a fork. Before serving, taste and add more salt, pepper, fresh dill, or lemon juice as needed.

Step 2: To make the sauce, whisk together the yogurt, lemon juice, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Sauce can be made ahead and kept, covered in the fridge, for up to 3 days.

Step 3: To assemble the gyros, spread some of the lemon-yogurt sauce onto each piece of lavash or pita, add a few forkfuls of chicken, and top with chopped tomatoes, cucumber, onion, olives, and baby arugula. Squirt with more lemon juice if you like.

Lemon-Blackberry Custard

Try one of these quick, easy, kid-friendly and healthy meals for busy nights on a budget—this blueberry custard makes a delicious and healthy treat!

The magic of this custard is the filling—the top is fluffy and light and the center is creamy and decadent.

What You'll Need

Serves 6

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing the pan
  • ½ cup pure cane sugar
  • 2½ tsp freshly grated lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 3 tbsp unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries (or any fresh summer berry), plus more for serving
  • Whipped cream, for serving

Directions

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch pie pan with butter.

Step 2: In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together the sugar, butter, and lemon zest. Beat in the egg yolks, then add one-third of the flour followed by one-half of the buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Continue alternating between the flour and buttermilk, then turn off the mixer and stir in the lemon juice.

Step 3: In a new bowl, using clean beaters and the electric mixer, beat the egg whites until stiff, glossy peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter. Pour the custard batter into the buttered pie pan and top with the berries. Place the custard pan in a roasting pan or large skillet (whatever fits). Add enough water to the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the pie pan. Bake the custard until it is set in the center and just begins to brown, about 40 minutes. Serve with fresh whipped cream and blackberries.

Frozen Peaches N' Cream Cake

Try one of these quick, easy, kid-friendly and healthy meals for busy nights on a budget—this frozen peaches and cream cake makes a delicious and healthy treat!

This is the perfect spring and summer treat. Dump all the ingredients into ice pop molds for a different take on the refreshing dessert.

What You'll Need

Makes one 9-inch cake

Crust

  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus more for buttering the pan
  • 2 5.25 oz. packages gingersnap cookies

Filling

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups full-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups peeled and chopped peaches (about 4 peaches)
  • 1 to 2 peaches, peeled and thinly sliced, for garnish (optional)

Directions

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly butter a 9-inch springform pan and set it aside.

Step 2: Place the gingersnaps in a food processor and pulse until the cookies resemble coarse sand. Pour in the melted butter and pulse a few times to combine. Transfer the cookie crumbles to the prepared springform pan and, using your fingers, press the crust evenly across the bottom and up the sides. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove the pan from the oven and set it on the counter to cool completely.

Step 3: While the crust bakes, whip the heavy cream in the bowl of an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. In a separate mixing bowl, stir together the yogurt and vanilla extract. Gently fold in the whipped cream, then the chopped peaches.

Step 4: To assemble the cake, pour the filling into the cooled crust. If desired, decorate the top of the pie with additional peach slices. Freeze the cake for at least 4 hours before serving. About 20 minutes before you plan to serve the cake, take it out of the freezer and set it on the counter to soften up (the cake might take more or less time to soften depending on the weather). The softer the cake gets, the more delicious and less icy it is.


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From Feeding a Family by Sarah Waldman, © 2016 by Sarah Waldman. Photographs by Elizabeth Cecil. Reprinted by arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boulder, CO.