turkey burger recipeNew Jersey’s kids went back to school last week. That was fun. They caught up with old friends, met their teachers, and did getting-to-know-you exercises in class. They came straight home from school because their extracurricular activities hadn’t started, and they hardly had any homework because they didn’t learn anything yet.

This week, the honeymoon’s over. Hello, homework, dance class, band practice, and Mommy-can-you-sign-me-up-for-karate-I’m-the-only-kid-who’s-not-in-it. Who has time to cook dinner on nights like these? Turns out you do, with these three easy, semi-healthy recipes—no dicing required, and a minimum of steps (you do enough multitasking)!

Turkey Burgers

I got this recipe from the back of a Lipton onion soup mix box almost 10 years ago. My kids inhale them. Bonus: they’re not crumbly, so cleaning up afterward is a cinch.


  • 1 lb. ground turkey (you can get the lean kind if you want to be really healthy, but they tend to come out drier)
  • 1 packet Lipton onion soup mix (hence the “semi” in “semi-healthy”)
  • 2 tablespoons water


  1. Mix together all the ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Spray frying pan with cooking spray.
  3. Shape mixture into patties and put them in the pan on medium heat, cooking each side 5-6 minutes, depending on thickness.

Serves 4.

That’s it! Serve with sweet potato fries (just buy them frozen and pop them in the oven).

Read on for Honey Mustard Chicken Cutlets—>


Honey Mustard Chicken Cutlets

Kids got a sweet tooth? Try these.


  • 1 package (1 lb. or more) boneless chicken breasts, thinly sliced if possible
  • ½ cup yellow or spicy brown mustard (whichever your family prefers)
  • ½ cup honey


  1. Mix together honey and mustard in bowl.
  2. Submerge chicken breasts in mixture and then put on a baking sheet lined with tin foil for easy cleanup.
  3. Bake in preheated 350⁰ oven for 15-20 minutes, depending on thickness.

Serves 4.

Kids really got a sweet tooth? Serve with glazed baby carrots. This is one easy recipe, or you can just follow the recipe that’s bound to be on the back of your bag of baby carrots.

And an easy Vegetarian Ziti—>


Vegetarian Ziti.

My mom got this recipe from a package of Polly-O cheese decades ago. It was a mainstay of my childhood diet—and now my kids love it.


  • 1 1-lb. box ziti, cooked according to package directions
  • I cup ricotta cheese
  • 16 oz. tomato sauce
  • 6 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese (just buy a bag of pre-shredded)
  • 4 oz. sliced mozzarella cheese (buy a block of Polly-O, or something similar, and cut into thin slices)
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper


  1. Combine ricotta and sauce.
  2. Pour over ziti and blend.
  3. Add shredded mozzarella, salt, and pepper, and toss to mix.
  4. Place in 2-quart casserole dish.
  5. Cover with the sliced mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan.
  6. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes in preheated 350⁰ oven.
  7. Serve with your favorite Steamfresh vegetable.

Serves 6.

Want to make life even easier? Instead of the ziti, toast 1 English muffin per kid (you can even get whole wheat ones), top with spaghetti sauce and sliced mozzarella cheese, then either broil in oven until cheese is melted and golden brown, or pop in the toaster oven on “top brown only.” Then, put the kids to bed super early (it’s a school night after all!) and order in for date night. Honestly, you deserve it!