Fast, Family-Friendly Recipes Make Dinner Doable

(Family Features) As the fall season begins, kids go back to school and schedules once again book up with activities.

Between work, the carpool line and shuttling kids to extracurriculars, the increase in family commitments often leaves little time in the kitchen or at the dining table. Although the drive-thru is an easy solution, healthier options can be scarce and the cost of takeout piles up. Instead, add some quick family meals to your arsenal.

Southwestern Bean Mexican Pizza made with READ Southwestern Bean Salad is a fun twist on the Italian favorite that pairs perfectly with fruit, carrot sticks or a salad for a complete, family-friendly meal.

For an easy make-ahead option, grab a jar of Aunt Nellie's Beets and make Beef, Beet and Horseradish Wraps. Both recipes can help you have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less.

For more quick and easy dinner ideas, visit READSalads.com and AuntNellies.com.

Southwestern Bean Mexican Pizza

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 8-10

  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) READ Southwestern Bean Salad
  • 1 pre-baked pizza crust (10-12-inch diameter)
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (about 1/4 cup crumbled)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup thin bell pepper strips (1/4-inch thick), any color or combination
  • 3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • chopped avocado (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  1. Drain bean salads. Place half of beans in bowl of food processor; process until pureed but chunky.
  2. Spread puree evenly over pizza crust. Spoon remaining drained beans over puree. Sprinkle with bacon, bell pepper and cheese.
  3. Bake as directed on pizza crust package until heated through and cheese is melted, about 10-12 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve with avocado and sour cream, if desired.

Nutritional information per serving: 276 calories; 11 g protein; 35 g carbohydrates; 10 g fat; 648 mg sodium; 14 mg cholesterol; 5 g dietary fiber; 11 mg iron; .02 mg thiamin; 575 IU vitamin A; 7 mg vitamin C.

Beef, Beet and Horseradish Wraps

Prep time: 30 minutes

Servings: 4

  • 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie's Sliced Pickled Beets
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 cup spreadable cheese (such as goat cheese or herb soft cheese)
  • 2 large soft flour tortillas (about 10-12-inch diameter)
  • 10 green onions (green parts only)
  • 10 thin slices deli roast beef
  1. Drain beets; chop. Discard beet liquid. In medium bowl, combine beets, carrots and horseradish.
  2. Spread 1/4 cup cheese evenly over each tortilla, leaving 1-inch border. Arrange five green onions (do not chop) on each; press lightly into cheese. Place five slices roast beef on each tortilla to cover green onions then sprinkle beet mixture evenly over beef.
  3. Roll up tortillas in parallel direction of green onions. Wrap each roll tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate up to 4 hours.
  4. To serve, remove plastic wrap; cut each tortilla into two pieces.

Substitution: If horseradish is too pungent, omit or replace with diced jarred roasted red peppers or Dijon mustard.

Nutrition information per serving: 300 calories; 17 g protein; 34 g carbohydrates; 10 g fat; 520 mg sodium; 35 mg cholesterol; 2 g fiber; 3.18 mg iron; .26 mg thiamin; 2963.87 IU vitamin A; 8.79 mg vitamin C.