All About "quick & easy"

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Cheeseburger Pie

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The holiday rush is on and before you rush off to grab dinner at a not-so-cheap-or-healthy food joint, consider this quick and easy pie. Not only does it taste just like a burger from the local drive-through, it also happens to cost less per person; about $1.10 per serving. This was a winner with my entire family as long as I used the onion powder option over the real onion. Add a green salad rather than fries and a homemade milkshake for a dinner that's both fast and economical -- and healthier than the alternative.

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Corn with Bacon & Mushrooms

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This simple combination of corn, mushrooms and bacon goes with everything from burgers to lightly scrambled eggs and toast.

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Crispy Turkey Tostadas

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Shredded leftover turkey tops homemade tostadas in this Tex-Mex favorite. Making your own tostada shells from fresh corn tortillas is easier than you might think—crisp them up in the oven while you prepare the toppings.

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Grilled Chicken Ratatouille

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We gave this classic Provençal dish a taste of summer by grilling the vegetables traditionally used in ratatouille (bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, tomato). Topped with grilled chicken, it makes an easy main course for summer...

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Cold Peanut Noodles

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Okay, I don't know that you can really smell the orange, but my kids thought this sounded fancy. Boost the main-dish status here with some shredded grilled chicken breast or rotisserie chicken.

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Easy Calzone Rolls

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Here's a kid-pleasing favorite that's not too hard on the budget. Even with less meat than a traditional calzone, there's still plenty of flavor and all for about $1.10 per serving (2 slices).

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Extra Yummy Snack

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There are good reviews from a panel of experts about the latest snack we made together. Of course, those experts are only half my size, but they have a very distinct palate, so I trust them anyway. Hey, if all the kids like the same food at the same time, it works!

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Grilled Chicken Pizza

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I love the challenge of something new and different, but for basic weeknight meals, just like every other parent, I need quick and delicious. Under 30 minutes is optimum, especially if you work outside the home or have kids in various extracurricular activities. Many is the night I've found myself harried and racing around the kitchen to get a meal together and still have time to trek kids back and forth to different functions. This is where chicken comes in very handy. It's healthier than some other choices, carb-free and low-fat, and the choices are nearly endless. I'd be hard-pressed to come up with a food that doesn't go well with chicken. From marinated to rubbed, roasted to grilled, sautéed to fried, it's the easiest and quickest thing going.

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Ham'n'Cheese Ranch Roll-Ups

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While everyone else is into wraps these days, I'm back at roll-ups. Wraps are good, don't get me wrong; but for kids they're generally too big and too full. Little hands need something easier to get a grip on, and my kids like plain old roll-up sandwiches. This is their favorite.

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Chicken BBQ Cheddar Pitas

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Top pita halves with chicken, barbecue sauce and cheddar cheese for a quick busy-night dinner that will satisfy everyone. Add vegetable dippers and you're good to go with minimal fuss. The cost per serving (about $1.20) makes this easy on the wallet as well.

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