5 Easy Summer Dinner Recipes

5 Easy Summer Dinner Recipes

Tired of rotating the same dishes over and over again for dinner each week? Try out one, or all, of these five recipes. They’re sure to spice up dinner time for the summer.

 

Lemon caper chicken on a plate

Lemon Caper Chicken

This tasty recipe consists of zesty lemon, an array of spices and capers that all work together to flavor the chicken breasts. With a prep time of 15 minutes and only nine minutes to cook, this dinner for three will be ready in no time.

 

 

Mango-BBQ fish tacos in a basket

Mango-BBQ fish tacos from http://www.midwestliving.com/recipe/mango-barbecue-fish-tacos/

Mango-Barbecue Fish Tacos

Looking for a recipe that adds some sweetness to your summer? This fish taco recipe combines the flavors of fruit and barbecue sauce to create a sweet and savory fish taco dinner for four.

 

 

 

 

 

Tuna salad on a sandwich

Fresh Herb Tuna Salad

Summer means days full of activities and adventures. With this quick and easy recipe, dinner for two will be ready in about 15 minutes. With herbs and curry powder, your tuna salad is sure to have that summer kick it needs.

 

 

Chicken Cobb Salad

From start to finish, this easy and healthy recipe only takes 30 minutes. With a rotisserie chicken, your salad is sure to be just as delicious and easy as it would be if you were dining out.

 

Bowls of ham florentine soup

Ham florentine soup from http://www.midwestliving.com/recipe/pork/ham-florentine-soup/

Ham Florentine Soup

Are you a lover of greens in your dinner? This healthy soup combines your favorite greens along with ham and other veggies to give you a creamy and delicious soup that the whole family’s sure to love.

 

 

 

 

Next time you’re in a hurry or are looking for a quick dinner after a long day, give one of these dishes a try. Don’t feel like cooking? Let Market Table do the cooking for you! Stop by for our fully prepared meals, like our fresh Sesame Chicken Salad or our low-carb, family-friendly Chicken Enchilada Casserole. They’re sure to give your summer the kick of flavor it needs.

How to Throw the Best 4th of July Cookout with Kids

How to Throw the Best 4th of July Cookout with Kids

Fourth of July cookouts are one of the best ways to make fun out of the summer heat. There’s no better way to bring people together than with food. Whether you’re at the beach, the pool, or in your own backyard, consider incorporating these elements into your 4th of July cookout party.

Cooking on grill.Cook on the Grill

There’s a certain smoky aroma associated with the 4th of July, and it isn’t the smell of your uncle burning his eyebrows with cheap fireworks. Nothing beats being outside while the air is filled with the fragrence of food grilling over a fire. Cooking on the grill is key to throwing the best 4th of July party. The menu wouldn’t be the same without authentically grilled hot dogs and burgers.

 

Fire PitHot dogs over fire pit.

If you are throwing a party with both kids and adults, you might want to try splitting up the menu accordingly. Kids love burgers and hot dogs, but the adults might prefer something a bit more special. One great idea is to light a fire pit for the kids. Give them skewers so that they can grill their own hot dogs. While this does require supervision, your kids will have a blast — and learn a little about cooking, too.

 

Smoked ribs.Branch Out with Your Menu

For the adults, you might want to try one of our premium cuts of steak. We also offer a variety of prepared sides, including summer BBQ classics like potato salad and pasta salad. Best of all, our pre-prepared meals give you more time to spend with your family. You could also consider adding in a shrimp boil. These are fun, tasty and they look amazing spread out on tables! Add a personal flare to your menu with different 4th of July recipe ideas.

 

Don’t Forget the SweetsWatermelon slices.

The most important sweet treat of this holiday isn’t a dessert at all—it’s watermelon! Watermelon is the best summer fruit. Its slight sweetness is not too overpowering for the summer heat, making it perfect for your cookout. Another key sweet treat you must include in your cookout is banana pudding. This classic dish is served cold, which makes it apt for the hot summer months. It’s also a fan favorite amongst the kids.

 

Ice cream machine.Make Your Own Ice Cream

As if banana pudding and watermelon aren’t enough, we have one more dessert option for you. There’s something special about the taste of homemade vanilla ice cream. Buying an affordable ice cream machine and putting your kids to work is a great way to enjoy this great taste while keeping your kids occupied and having a blast. To top it off, set up a topping bar so that guests can customize their homemade ice cream bowls.

Text by Martha Kendall Custard

3 Easy and Healthy Frozen Summer Treats

3 Easy and Healthy Frozen Summer Treats

With the kids out of school and summer in full swing, we put together a few healthy frozen treats to cool everyone down on any hot summer day. These treats are easy to make and utilize natural sugars and healthy sweeteners. Enjoy!

Frozen Strawberry Blend.

Strawberry Watermelon Homemade Popsicles

Homemade pops are a favorite healthy treat on those hot summer afternoons. The key to any good ice pop is the mold. You can find a popsicle mold just about anywhere, but we love Nopro’s ten-pop mold (Amazon, Walmart, Target). The pops look store bought and are easy to remove. For the strawberry watermelon pops, you need two cups of strawberries, two cups of watermelon and one the juice of one lemon. Combine all three ingredients in a blender and blend until they are liquified. Fill the molds and freeze for four to six hours. And there you have it – a sweet summer treat with only natural sugars. This will make 10 pops.

Healthy frozen Fruit Bark.

Frozen Yogurt Fruit Bark

Here’s another frozen treat to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. You will need a sheet pan that can fit in your freezer. We suggest lining it with wax paper before you begin for easy cleanup. Grab a large container of your favorite plain yogurt and mix it with a tablespoon of vanilla. Pour the yogurt directly on to the pan, evening it out slightly with a knife or spoon. Add fruit directly to the yogurt. Get creative with your combinations! Blackberries, raspberries and strawberries make a good combo as does kiwi, pineapple, blueberries and strawberries. Freeze the bark as-is for four to six hours. Slice and enjoy! For a fun twist, add granola and raisins or used flavored yogurt.

Easy Raspberry Sorbet.

Lemon Raspberry Sorbet

This easy sorbet recipe doesn’t even require an ice cream maker! Simply blend together one cup of frozen raspberries, one-half cup of water, and one-half tablespoon of lemon juice (add a bit more if you like it tart). As these are blending, slowly add up to one-third of a cup of raw honey. This will add a natural sweetness. Taste it regularly as it blends until you reach the desired flavor. Then freeze until the desired consistency is acquired. This only makes one serving but the recipe is easy to double (or triple!).

And there you have it: three quick, easy, and healthy desserts your whole family will love — even the picky eaters! Wondering what’s for dinner, now that dessert is covered? These frozen desserts are the perfect treat to complete a meal begun with one of our fully-prepared freezer meals or meal kits. The One Pan CBG (Chicken, Bacon, and Green Beans) meal kit and the Vegetarian Lasagna freezer meal are both staff family favorites.

Text by Amy Haupt

Is Breakfast Really the Most Important Meal of the Day?

Is Breakfast Really the Most Important Meal of the Day?

You’ve heard it everywhere: from your mother to your doctor to TV nutritionists, everyone says that breakfast is the most important meal we eat. But what is the truth behind the claim? Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day?

Our research responded with a resounding yes!

Warm Farro and Fruit Bowl

It’s Good for Your Health — and Your Metabolism

When we wake up, our blood sugar levels are usually low. Breakfast resupplies our bodies with the nutrients needed to level out our blood sugars. In addition, breakfast kick-starts our metabolism. This, in turn, burns more calories throughout the day than if you didn’t eat breakfast. Studies actually show that people who eat a big, protein and carb-heavy breakfast are less likely to snack unhealthily throughout the day. This limits unhealthy fat intake and leads to a maintainable, healthier weight. Here at Market Table, we love to kick-start long days with our Breakfast Plate, featuring eggs, bacon or sausage, multi-grain toast and a side of greens tossed in our sweet and savory Maple Vinaigrette.

 

Avocado Toast

Breakfast Gives Your Body the Nutrients It Needs

Breakfast provides a great opportunity to load up on hard-to-get vitamins and nutrients like dairy, grains, fruits and protein. Look for whole grain breads and cereals and low-fat milk and yogurt as a healthy way to make your daily intake goals. Peanut butter is another way to get protein in your breakfast meal. Making a fruit smoothie with low-fat yogurt and fruit is a great light option for a filling breakfast. Not interested in making your own breakfast? We don’t blame you. For a hearty yet healthy treat packed with whole grains and fresh fruits, try our Warm Farro and Fruit Bowl. We also offer a delicious line-up of breakfast sandwiches. From Brie and Berries to an Egg Scramble to everyone’s favorite, Avocado Toast, our sandwiches provide the perfect balance of protein and whole grain to start your day on the sunny-side up.

 

Happy child eating a balanced breakfastBreakfast Makes You Smarter (Sort Of)

Eating a good, balanced breakfast boosts the body’s energy levels. This provides a clearer head and a longer and more focused attention span. This is an especially important factor for children. Kids who skip breakfast are more likely to misbehave and lack focus in a school setting. They may be cranky or restless because their bodies have not replenished themselves for the day. Kids eating a balanced breakfast see increased test scores and better overall moods. Not to mention, without breakfast it is hard for kids to get all the nutrients they need to grow at a healthy rate. And, with our à la carte menu, kids can choose the breakfast foods they like best from Fresh Fruit Salad to Pimento Cheese Grits to Gravel Ridge Farms eggs made exactly their way.

Spinach Artichoke and Goat Cheese Frittata

Breakfast is a crucial meal because it impacts every part of our lives from the moment we wake up and even through our sleep. Having a balanced and healthy diet has been shown to improve your night’s rest. And practicing healthy eating habits start with eating breakfast. The morning time when we’ve just woken up is when our bodies are most needing nutrients to start the day. It is also when our bodies are most capable of processing and absorbing nutrients that will limit our appetite for the rest of the day.

Tomorrow morning, skip the donuts and reach for the whole grain cereal and fruits. Head to Market Table for a fresh-baked Frittata or Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Croissant. And, if you’re in a rush, at least grab a whole grain protein bar. It is crucial to feed your body something within the first hour of waking up so that you can be at your best for the rest of the day.

It’s true what they say: breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.

 

Text by Amy Haupt

5 Tips for the Perfect Valentine’s Day In

Celebrating Valentine’s Day from the comfort of your own home allows for a certain level of intimacy that a busy restaurant will never be able to offer. You can even do dinner and a movie without fighting traffic. Instead, it’s just a few steps from the table to the living room couch.

Romantic table setting with candle and lavendar

Set the Mood

You know your partner best, so transform your home into the atmosphere where they feel most at-home. Celebrate by framing and displaying your favorite pictures of you and your partner. These stenciled Valentine Heart Frames would make the perfect home for your favorite photos. And if you’re crafty, try making some of your own decorations. If you still want the environment of a fancy restaurant, use a tablecloth, candles, a floral centerpiece and background music. You may even get some bonus points if you put your partner’s favorite songs on the playlist.

Woman and man clink wine glasses

Wine

No romantic evening is complete without a good bottle of wine. Red wine and chocolate are known as some of the best — and most romantic — aphrodisiacs. With so much chocolate available during this season, why not grab a bottle of red to accompany it? You can even buy a couple of different bottles to taste-test with your meal. Between dinner, dessert and a movie, there will be plenty of time to finish off the leftovers. At Market Table, you’ll find all the reds, whites and rosés your heart desires — plus, we can play matchmaker and find the perfect wine for your meal. 

Charcuterie tray with meats, olives, cheese and fruit

The Perfect Dinner

You may want to impress your partner with a home-cooked meal. If you’re short on time, try Market Table’s meal kits. The ingredients are already prepared for you, down to the chopping and measuring. All you have to do is put it all together and throw it into the oven. While you are waiting on the food to cook, a Market Table cheese plate will pair nicely with the wine that you bought for the evening. Or, if you’re in a rush, let us do all of the work! Market Table offers three full Valentine’s Day dinners: Garlic Shrimp Alfredo, Steak, and Creamy Tuscan Chicken. For desert, our cheesecake or flourless chocolate cake will make even the busiest heart flutter. 

Two wine glasses and dessert plates

Speaking of Dessert …

Honestly, Valentine’s Day is all about sweets. This year, trade in the tired heart-shaped box of chocolates for a decadent dessert. Anything chocolate is sure to be a winning choice, but you can also try one of Market Table’s prepared desserts to mix things up this year. And remember — if Market Table does the cooking, you won’t have to do many dishes!

Man and woman on the couch watching a movie

Save the Dishes for the Morning

Don’t let a few dirty dishes get in the way of your romantic evening. Instead, use that time to watch a good, corny romantic comedy. Pick a few classics that you and your partner will both enjoy and spend the night relaxing with a movie marathon. Valentine’s Day should be about celebrating your relationship and having fun, so let the chores wait another day.

 

Text by Katherine Polcari

Tech-Free Mealtimes Make a Happy Family

Tech-Free Mealtimes Make a Happy Family

For many, mealtimes provide much more than time to fuel our bodies with healthy fuel. More than that, mealtime can create a sacred space where families can spend time together and learn about each other’s lives. However, technology can cause distractions and turn attention away from loved ones. Tech-free mealtimes encourage a positive and conversant family environment.

Here are a few tips for fun, device-free family dinners:

 

Mother and son washing dishes and laughingStart with a plan.

Explain to your family why a tech-free mealtime is important to you. Then, as a family unit, decide the best way to handle technology at the dinner table. Maybe everyone has to leave their phones in a bowl before sitting down. Maybe make it a game: anyone who uses their phones has to clean the dishes.

 

Mother and daughter eating breakfast

Lead by example.

If you want your family to be tech-free during mealtimes, then you must also follow the rules! Your kiddos are always watching. Using your phones at the table tells them that it is acceptable to use theirs. If your children see you practicing tech-free mealtimes, they will be much more likely to respect that rule.

 

Turn off the T.V.

We know how easy it is to leave on the kids’ favorite movie or the big game during mealtimes. However, this impedes that essential connection families gain while talking during meal times. Not to mention that watching T.V. while eating has been proven to encourage overeating.

 

Two young people having fun talking while eatingMake dinner conversation fun.

Whether you draw topics out of a hat or just catch up naturally, mealtimes are a good opportunity to make sure your children know that they are being heard and cared about. This is also a good way for parents to connect with each other away from work emails and social media notifications.

 

Of course, it can be difficult to plan and prepare meals every night. Thankfully, Market Table can help. Our meal kits, prepared meals and proteins and sides make the perfect setting for a family meal. 

Making mealtimes a positive experience will encourage connection amongst your family. This will not be an overnight change — some patterns are hard to break. Encourage one another to see the importance of making mealtimes about family and not about technology. Your family will not only be happier and more involved in each other’s lives, but they will also feel affirmed of their place in your home. Start working on this and, before long, your kids will be asking to help you cook! One can dream, right?

 

Text by Amy Haupt