Quick and Easy Dinners for Busy Summer Nights

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Batter up! It’s baseball season, and in my house that means we spend a lot of time at the ballpark. That leaves us with very little time to make dinner. So earlier today on Indy Style, I demonstrated a few quick and easy dinners for busy summer nights.


Clementine baseballs for Quick and Easy Dinners for Busy Summer Nights

Before we get to the easy summer dinners, let’s talk about team snacks. Fresh produce is always a good choice, but you need to make them exciting for the ball players! Decorate clementines, apples, or other round fruits with stitches to look like baseballs.


Ants on a Log for Quick and Easy Dinners for Busy Summer Nights

Or try these elevated ants on a log. Adding pretzels to traditional ants on a log will put butterflies on the logs! And don’t shy away from prepackaged fruit and veggie snacks. Some even include dips! I’m all about precut and prepackaged produce if it makes your life easier!


The Snack League Sweepstakes by Dandy Fresh

To help celebrate America’s favorite pastime, you can enter to win baseball-themed prize packs in The Snack League Sweepstakes sponsored by Duda. There will be six prizes awarded. Each prize winner will receive a prize package complete with one MBLshop.com gift card valued at $150 and one RTIC Soft Pak 20. Approximate retail value of each prize package is $250, which will vary depending upon team selection. Read the terms and conditions.

Duda also is sponsoring a Softball/Baseball Sponsorship. The Grand Prize winner will receive a $2,000 Dandy baseball/softball team sponsorship for the 2018 season, and four other baseball/softball teams will win $500 team sponsorships. Read the terms and conditions.

And if you want more team snack ideas, check in tomorrow when we’ll begin a new video and blog series. All summer, we’ll share videos and blog posts that showcase team snack ideas and six different quick and easy meal recipes. Plus we’ll have some fun Facebook Live features!


Roasted Citrus Salmon with Blistered Clementine Salsa for Quick and Easy Dinners for Busy Summer Nights

Here’s our first summer dinner – Roasted Citrus Salmon with Blistered Clementine Salsa from Dandy Fresh.

4 salmon fillets (each about 5 to 6 oz.)
3 T. olive oil, divided
1 tsp. salt, divided
1/2 tsp. pepper, divided
1 Dandy® Meyer Lemon, thinly sliced
2 Dandy® Clementines, peeled and segmented
1 c. halved cherry tomatoes
2 T. finely chopped red onion
1 T. finely chopped fresh basil
1 T. finely chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch chili pepper flakes

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place salmon on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Brush salmon with 1 T. oil; season with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Place a few Meyer lemon slices on top.
Step 2 – Toss together clementine segments, 1 T. oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and remaining pepper. Arrange in small baking dish.
Step 3 – Roast salmon for 10 to 12 minutes or until fish just starts to flake. Roast clementines for 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly charred.
Step 4 – Stir together clementines, cherry tomatoes, red onion, basil, parsley, garlic, chili pepper flakes, and remaining oil and salt. Spoon over salmon. Garnish with remaining Meyer
lemon slices if desired.

Even if you’re not a fan of fish, I think you’ll love this meal!

See all of these recipes in action:

In my second segment, I made Chipotle Chicken Tacos topped with my favorite Sunday Night Salad.


Shredded chicken for Crockpot Chipotle Chicken Tacos for Quick and Easy Dinners for Busy Summer Nights

The first step is cooking the chicken. If you have plenty of time, toss the chicken in a slow cooker to cook all day. But if you only have a few minutes, make the chicken in an Instant Pot, a programmable pressure cooker.

Chicken Ingredients
1 lb. frozen medium-sized chicken breasts, boneless
olive oil spray
1 onion, medium
1 T. minced garlic
2 T. chipotle chiles
1 tsp. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 lime, small
1 T. cilantro, fresh
1 c. chicken broth

Chicken Directions (Instant Pot)
Step 1 – With the Instant Pot lid off, set to SAUTE and spray the olive oil until Instant Pot says HOT. Add onion and garlic and cook until the onion is translucent and the garlic is fragrant.
Step 2 – Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper and place in the Instant Pot. Sauté until browned. Add remaining chicken ingredients to Instant Pot. Securely lock the Instant Pot lid and set to MEAT setting for 13 minutes at HIGH.
Step 3 – Perform a quick release to release pressure when finished cooking. Carefully open the lid and shred the chicken in Instant Pot. Mix chicken with liquids.


Sunday Night Salad for Quick and Easy Dinners for Busy Summer Nights

I make this Sunday Night Salad nearly every week during the summer. It’s a crunchy, fresh salad that is great as a side or as a topping to these Chipotle Chicken Tacos.

Salad Ingredients
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 c. thinly sliced Dandy® Snack Celery Sticks
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 package of grape tomatoes (whole)
2 bell peppers, diced

Salad Dressing Ingredients
6 T. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper

Salad Directions
Step 1 – Mix all salad ingredients and toss with dressing.
Step 2 – Make a bed of lettuce and top with salad mixture. Garnish with Parmigiano-Reggiano and parsley.

Besides adding this to the tacos, I also eat this salad on its own. It will last in the refrigerator for up to three days. And it makes a great meal to bring in a container to the ballpark!

Now let’s put all of this together to make the tacos!


Crockpot Chipotle Chicken Tacos for Quick and Easy Dinners for Busy Summer Nights

Spoon some of the chipotle chicken mixture onto a 6-inch tortilla. Top with kale, guacamole, radish mini-sticks from Dandy, cotija cheese, and the Sunday Night Salad. Or use your favorite taco toppings. And enjoy!

The next time you head to the ballpark, you can enjoy the game and not worry about dinner because you’ll have it covered with these easy summer meals!

xoxo Lori

About Lori

Lori Taylor is the Founder & CEO of The Produce Moms. For ten years she sold fresh produce to over 300 grocery stores throughout the United States, and today she is fully focused on working with the produce supply chain, media, and government to increase fresh produce access & consumption in the US and around the globe. Connect with Lori on LinkedIn.

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