The Family Table

Educating Families About the Benefits of Family Meals

Archive for the tag “chicken”

Finding a Quick and Easy Dinner for Two


This Week’s Recipe

I was talking to my parents last night on the phone, both of whom are retired and live in Florida, and they were talking about what to have for dinner. Ever since I was a child my mom has not enjoyed cooking and did not look forward to making dinner each night. But every night when my dad would get home from work there was a hot home cooked meal prepared by her on the table to enjoy. Last night was pretty typical as they were trying to decide what they were going to have for dinner and they didn’t want chicken breasts again. Since they are living in a 55 and older community often they are busy with church, volunteer work, social events and activities, but last night they were staying in.

We may know a home cooked meal is a healthier option than eating out, but that doesn’t mean we all enjoy cooking. Sometimes it seems like it is hard to think of a meal that I haven’t cooked over and over (like my mom and chicken breasts!). The internet can be a life saver for finding quick and easy recipes. Put a shout out to Facebook friends for their favorite recipes or hop on Pinterest. I told my mom about some new recipes I had pinned on Pinterest and that she should check them out and try them with my dad. One of them was a shrimp stir fry that was really tasty and easy to make for just two people. I look forward to hearing if they enjoyed it and I hope you give it a try too. Let us know if you enjoyed the recipe!


Bethany Clapper, Director of Development & Marketing and Mother of Two

Grilling as Easy as 1, 2, 3!


Recipe of the Week

Labor Day is right around the corner and is the second largest grilling day in America. I will be joining that group and will be getting the grill out for what might be one of the last big grilling days before the start of fall.

In my home I like to use a charcoal grill. I find charcoal to be very easy to use and the flavor it adds to meats and vegetables is one of the advantages over propane gas grilling. To set up your grill using my method: add charcoal to the grill (stacked in the shape of a pyramid), add lighter fluid, wait approximately five minutes, add some additional lighter fluid, then light the charcoal. After most of the charcoal has turned white, spread the coals evenly across the bottom of the grill, and place your grill rack on. You are now ready to grill!

My family loves to grill vegetable like yellow potatoes, asparagus, scallions, onions, mushrooms, and zucchini. One of the easiest ways I have found to cook those vegetables is to take a sheet of aluminum foil, add your vegetables and butter, garlic, salt, and pepper to taste, then seal the foil closed and place on the grill. In 10 to 15 minutes your veggies will be soft and tender and ready to eat.

Our favorite meat to grill is Korean BBQ chicken – which is easy to make too! Take five pounds of chicken strips and place into a bowl. Add half a jar of Korean BBQ Sauce (my family’s favorite is CJ Korean BBQ Bulgogi marinade), place a lid on the bowl and shake the chicken around until it is evenly coated with the marinade. Refrigerate overnight. Grilling time the next day is 8-15 minutes.

Another benefit to grilling is the extra time spent with my family. My family likes to come out and help me grill or just hang out outside. On nice days we will enjoy our meal together in the backyard.

Have a great Labor Day and enjoy the long weekend with your family!

Damian Roach Technology & Facility Manager and father of one

Damian Roach
Technology & Facility Manager and Father of One

Tip of the Week: Fort4Fitness

Digging out sweaters for the kids has been a priority this week. We were just talking over dinner the other night how they seem to have grown out of everything.

After dinner, we’ve started the habit of looking for tomorrow night’s recipe together and as I was searching on Pinterest, I found this great recipe that uses chicken and veggies – and anything with cilantro gives it a kick that I just love!

Sweaters will probably be necessary if you are watching or running in this weekend’s big event – the 5th Annual Fort4Fitness Fall Festival. This event highlights local efforts to address healthy nutrition, physical activity, weight management, tobacco free lifestyles, and balancing stress.

The McMillen Center and Family Table will be among the other vendors that are participating in the 4YourHealth Festival.

Be sure to stop by our booth and pick up our newest Recipe Cards – with this cool weather, the Crockpot Salsa Chicken is a meal that offers variable dinner options.

Tip of the Week: National Family Day – Sept. 24

Tomorrow, September 20, is Family Table Day at Chick-Fil-A at Jefferson Pointe, Fort Wayne. From 5pm to 7pm have your family join mine, with proceeds benefiting the Family Table!  It all helps to spread the word that the more often kids eat dinner with their families, the less likely they are to smoke, drink, use drugs, have a teen pregnancy, or bully other children!

Make dinner plans now for September 24, Family Day – A Day to Eat Dinner with Your Children.  Let’s all eat dinner with our families and post pics and comments to the Family Table Online Facebook page.  This would be a great day to cook a traditional recipe from your family. I’ll be making meatloaf and mashed potatoes, my favorite when I was a child, and a fave with my kids too.

We could use your help! This survey will help us guide the direction of the Tip of the Week for the next year. Plus, once you’ve completed it, you will be entered to win a $200 gift card to Meijer! The winner will be drawn September 21st.

“If I could wave a magic wand to make a dent in our nation’s substance abuse problem, I would make sure that every child in America had dinner with his or her parents at least five times a week.” Joseph A. Califano, Jr., CASAColumbia Founder and Chairman Emeritus

Tip of the Week: My Family Table Changes

Guest Columnist: Laura Ramsey shares…

Our family table came into my husband’s family when his grandfather purchased a furnished fishing cottage on Lake James back in the ‘40s for some $5,000. It was given to us when we married, since the rest of his family trended towards a more modern look. It was refinished and soon enough our four children were eating every lunch and dinner of their lives sitting around this table.

Our Family Table, where we heard about the first day of school, the victories on the kick ball and Wildcat field, Scouting activities, reports due, try outs, band, dance, homework, mean lunch ladies, boring teachers, great teachers, interesting things learned, friends, SAT scores and college choices. Oh, and we ate too! Basic home cooked meals that satisfied both the body and spirit.

It is Back to School week and we will celebrate with our youngest children at three different colleges and the oldest out of college and gainfully employed in New Jersey. I looked at the table this morning with bittersweet nostalgia and a certain amount of triumph. We did it!
Four healthy children who continue to eat healthy, even in college. The oldest has discovered great delis in New Jersey; the second found the farmer’s market in Baltimore on her third day; the third is known to have supper parties where he cooks salmon! The fourth scoped out the dining hall that served the best vegetarian entrees on campus. Morristown, Baltimore, West Lafayette, and Bloomington; they all have their own tables now.

So we send our children as young adults out into the world and my pressing concerns are—where to store the table leaf and how to make chicken noodles for two!

Tip of the Week: Father’s Day Reflection

In Honor of Father’s Day, Guest Writer Steve Hathaway Shares His Views on the Family Table
“Supper’s on the table.” Sound familiar? At our house that meant someone had taken the time to think about what sounded good to eat. They then rummaged through the refrigerator, freezer or cupboard to find just the right fixings, and took the time to prepare a meal for the family.
Every night the same person does not prepare the meal. With six kids in the house, everyone learned to cook from a young age.
From grilled cheese to barbequed chicken on the grill, or even egg sandwiches, food is a very important part of our family social dynamic. We always have more soup in the pot than what is needed, just in case one of the kids brings someone home at meal time.  Food is important but at our house, no matter how extravagant or meager the meal may be, it is the time spent around the table that is important. We are able to catch up with each other; to take time away from hectic work, school and sports schedules to sit, relax and visit. Now, keep in mind, with eight of us around that table, the quiet one didn’t have a chance, so the volume just slowly increased in order that each of the kids had their say. I remember one of the girls had a friend who only had one brother. She wanted to be at our house especially at meal time just to observe the interaction and cacophony that took place among the kids.
This weekend, as we celebrate Father’s Day, our family table has grown. One of our six is married, two are out of the house on their own, one is studying in Indy, another just graduated high school, and the youngest will be a high school junior. We enjoy having all of them home about once a month with their spouses, fiancés, and significant others and the pandemonium and chaos continue with everyone participating.
Is the volume loud? You bet! Does everyone try to talk at the same time? Sure thing. Do the “newcomers” to the family just sit by and watch? No way! They join right in. I wouldn’t want it any other way. We’ve made many great memories around our kitchen table, and in September, we get to start training the next generation around our family table.

– Steve, husband to Linda and father of 6

Tip of the Week: Accessorizing an Entree

One of the ways I get dinner on the table is to, shall we say, accessorize a previous night’s meal—that sounds way better than “leftovers”, doesn’t it? One of my favorites is Crockpot Chicken Salsa; only 3 ingredients, and unbelievably delicious!  I cook a double batch of the chicken on Sunday, and serve it over rice.  Later in the week, I will serve the chicken in hard tacos, with cheese and lettuce.  

For another meal, I will add a can of black beans and some corn to the chicken, roll it all in soft tacos, and put it in the oven to melt some cheese on top.  I’ve also served it in sandwiches and on top of salad greens as a main course salad.   As long as I throw one or two other meals in during the week, my family doesn’t seem to notice that I’m using Sunday’s chicken again.   I can get two or three meals from my Sunday batch and usually still have enough left over to freeze for an emergency meal.  Putting a family meal on the table doesn’t mean we all have to be nightly gourmet chefs – cooking a big batch of a main course on the weekend and “accessorizing” it during the week can work too!

Crockpot Salsa Chicken

One package (about 1.5 lbs) of boneless, skinless chicken thighs or breasts (thighs are cheaper), one large (24 oz) jar of salsa, one envelope of taco seasoning. 

Put all ingredients in the crockpot, cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8+ hours.  Shred the chicken with a fork before serving. 

– Holli, CEO and mom of 7

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