Quick & Easy Family Dinner Recipes

Don’t think you have the time, money or energy to make family dinners work? Think again! Author of “The Family Cooks” Laurie David and her recipe creator, Chef Kirsten Uhrenholdt, share their quick & easy recipes for your family meals.

A Very Simple Kale Salad

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Makes: One Serving


  • 1 very large handful Kneaded Kale per person
  • A pinch of salt per person
  • 1 sliver of garlic, minced, per person
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh lemon juice per person
  • 2 teaspoons of olive or nut oil per person
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil per bunch


  1. Wash and dry the kale well (you can actually wring it dry in a towel). Remove the stems by grabbing the stem end with one hand and using your other hand to pull off the leafy part into bite-size pieces. Throw away the stems.
  2. Put the kale into a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil. Using both hands, knead the kale as you would dough until it is silky and tender, about 30 kneads. Use right away, or store covered for up to 4 days in the fridge.
  3. Put the kale in a salad bowl. In a small jar, combine the salt and garlic and smash with a spoon. Add the lemon juice and shake vigorously. Add the oil, shake again. Dip a kale leaf in to taste and adjust with salt and lemon juice. Toss with the kale.

A Quinoa Salad

Prep Time: 20 to 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 to 15 minutes

Makes: 6 servings


  • 1.5 cups of quinoa (rinsed if needed)
  • ½ cup unsalted raw sunflower seeds
  • ½ to 1 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • ½ cup dried berries, like raisins or blueberries
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped (unpeeled if organic)
  • 8 kale leaves, stems removed, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Note: Some dried fruit, especially berries, often have sugar added to them, so look at the label and get dried fruit with as little or no added sugar. Brands that are 100 percent organic are more reliable.


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the quinoa and return to a boil. Cook until al dente, as you would pasta, 10 to 11 minutes. Drain well and spread on a baking sheet to cool, about 15 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine all the remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss.
  3. Add the cooled quinoa and toss. Taste and add until the salad is tart and sweet, crunchy and very good.

Sunday Soup


  • Olive oil, for the pot
  • 3 cooked sausages (vegan), sliced (optional)
  • 3 leeks (white and green parts), chopped and rinsed thoroughly
  • 2 small carrots, chopped (unpeeled if organic)
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 big handful of sturdy greens (kale, cabbage, or chard), chopped or torn
  • 1.5 cups of chopped tomatoes, fresh or canned
  • 4 (or more) garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ cup green (French) or brown lentils, rinsed
  • 8 cups vegetable or chicken broth (organic if you can)
  • Salt
  • Vinegar, any type (optional)
  • Red Pepper flakes (optional)


  1. Get out your big Sunday soup pot and heat it over medium-high heat, then drizzle in enough olive oil to cover the bottom of the pot. Throw in the sausage and cook until nice and browned. Transfer to a plate with a slotted spoon.
  2. Add the leeks to the pot and cook, stirring, until they have softened a bit, 5 to 6 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, greens, tomatoes and garlic. Stir for a few minutes until all the vegetables have gotten acquainted and are starting to soften. Add the lentils, broth and sausages. Let your soup simmer for 30 minutes.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings – does it need salt, vinegar or hot red pepper flakes? Make it perfect for you.

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