Get Cooking: Quick-to-Fix Family Dinner

Hi, Tulsa kids, moms and dads. I hope you enjoyed my first column in the July issue and tried some of the recipes. We had a big barbeque with my family – there are 10 of us so we are big enough to have our own party. This month is National Peach Month, the 3rd is National Watermelon Day, and the 4th is National Lasagna Day. Also, you might want to know the second week of August is “Smile Week.” Let’s Get Cooking!


Easy Lasagna
Lettuce and Peach Salad with Creamy Vinaigrette
French Bread with Lemon and Parsley
Watermelon Pops


• 1 lb bow tie pasta (cooked)
• 2 T olive oil
• 1 medium onion (small dice)
• 2 garlic cloves (diced)
• 1 lb turkey sausage (or ground round)
• 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
• 1 jar of marinara sauce (1 lb 10 oz, low sodium)
• 1 can diced tomatoes in juice (14.5 oz)
• 3/4 c fresh basil (sliced)
• 3 egg whites (or egg substitute)
• 16 oz ricotta (low/non fat)
• 16 oz cottage cheese (nonfat or low fat)
• 2 c mozzarella (shredded and low fat)
• 1/4 c Parmesan (grated)
• 2 T fresh parsley
• Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Prepare all ingredients as directed. In medium saucepan sauté onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Add sausage with casings removed and brown. Add the red pepper, marinara sauce, diced tomatoes (with juice), fresh basil and simmer for 10 minutes. In a bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients. Spray casserole dish with cooking spray. Place the prepared pasta in the dish. Spread marinara sauce on the pasta. Evenly spread the cheese sauce on the marinara sauce. Place in preheated 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.


• 4 c baby spinach
• 4 c baby lettuces
• 2 large peaches (sliced)
• 2 T lemon juice
• 1 1/2 T whipping cream
• 1/3 c fresh chives (finely chopped)
• 1 T fresh parsley
• Salt and pepper to taste
• 1 large avocado (sliced, and tossed with 1 tsp of the lemon juice)

Directions: Prepare ingredients as directed. Put lettuce and peaches in medium bowl. In small bowl combine the lemon juice, whipping cream, chives, parsley and salt and pepper. Toss the lettuce and peaches with the dressing. Place avocado slices on top as garnish.


• 1 loaf French bread (sliced diagonally; keep in loaf form)
• 3 T extra virgin olive oil
• 1 1/2 T lemon juice
• 2 T fresh parsley

Directions: Mix oil, lemon juice and parsley. Apply mixture to the sides of the bread with a pastry brush. Place loaf on baking pan and bake in 350 oven for 15 minutes.
Note: For a crunchier crust, wet the outside crust with water using a pastry brush before placing in the oven.


• 4 c watermelon cubes (seeds removed)
• 1/2 c sliced berries
• 4 (7 oz) paper cups
• 4 Popsicle sticks

Directions: Puree watermelon in blender. Divide berries into the 4 cups. Pour watermelon into paper cups and insert sticks. Freeze until firm. Tear off the paper cups when ready to serve.

Did you know?

• The first cookbook published in America in 1796 had a recipe for “watermelon rind pickles.”
• The peach originated in China and it is considered the “tree of life” and symbolizes “unity.” Chinese brides carry peach blossoms in their wedding bouquets.
• In Italy, the average person consumes 51 pounds of pasta per year while here we consume 15 ½ pounds of pasta per year.
• Peaches are a good source of vitamins A, B and C.
• In 1990, Bill Carson from Tennessee grew the largest watermelon — 262 pounds!
• Lasagna is the favorite food of the cartoon character Garfield.
• Early explorers used watermelons as canteens.
• On April, 17, 2007 the Oklahoma State Senate passed a bill declaring the watermelon as the official state “vegetable.” There was disagreement as many consider watermelon to be a “fruit.”
• Watermelons contain lycopene which is an antioxidant.

I hope you enjoy my recipes. Remember the second week of August is National Smile Week, so smile! Thanks for reading. I love being part of TulsaKids!

Categories: Food