After a summer of beaching, boating and pool-side chatting, is it really time for the school routine?  Early to bed and early to rise and getting back to packing lunches and regular sit-down meals (I know we should always be doing that, but in the summer it slides a little bit!) When was the last time the table was set and you and your family sat down to eat together?  Do it tonight, if you can.  It changes the mood and allows you to enjoy a festive meal together. . .


This month’s Recipe Redux theme: Back to the Dinner Table allows us to do just that.  After the hustle and bustle of the holiday/vacation season, August is the time many families get ‘back to routine.’ Show us your favorite recipe to help families get ‘back to the dinner table.’

My kids love roasted potatoes and I do, too.  As a child my grandmother made the best roasted potatoes!  When I think of a family meal that I loved growing up it was Sunday dinners.  We would visit my grandparents in Astoria, Queens — as we were walking up the stairs to their apartment you could smell the heavenly sent of roasted chicken, red potatoes and carrots.  All of the flavors would meld together in the roasting pan. The potatoes would get brown and crispy – my two older sisters and I would vie for the crispiest ones . . . yum.


Let’s talk potatoes for a second.  They get a bad rap in our carb-phobic society.  However, they offer a lot of health benefits.  Jam-packed with vitamin C for keeping colds at bay and potassium for health blood pressure, potatoes offer your body a lot of good.  Yes, they are starchy, so to manage the blood sugar ups and downs, measure out a serving.  In case you are wondering, a medium-sized potato has about 110 calories and almost 30 grams of carbohydrates, which is fine in a meal mixed with protein and a bit of fat.

I am putting a twist on my favorite childhood meal with a roasted veggie and chicken salad-style.  I am all about pulled chicken breast.  It super simple to do – just roast chicken breast in the oven with a hint of extra-virgin olive oil and salt and pepper.  Once baked through use two forks to gently pull the chicken breast apart while it’s still hot.  You can use this tender pulled chicken in tacos, quesadillas, soups, chili and wraps.


Roasted Potatoes, Green Beans and Shredded Chicken Salad 



Serves 6


2 – 6 ounce chicken breasts, thawed and rinsed off

1 pound red potatoes, washed and quartered

1 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, sliced

1 teaspoon salt

A dash of pepper

2 sprigs rosemary, coarsely chopped

2 cups green beans, rinsed and trimmed

For dressing:

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon smoked paprika


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Roast chicken breast for about 30 minutes (depends in thickness).  Check with a meat thermometer – should get to 165 degrees. Remove for oven and let cool a bit before shredding.

Toss potatoes with garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and rosemary in an oven-safe baking dish or roasting pan.  (I roast the potatoes separately as they take longer than the green beans).  All the potatoes to cook for 20 minutes and then put the green beans in the oven in an oven-safe baking dish.  Toss potatoes at that time and allow potatoes and beans to cook for another 20 minutes.  Check for doneness — potatoes will soften and brown; green beans will begin to wilt a bit and soften, too.  Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

Wisk together all the dressing ingredients.  Place a couple of spoonfuls of potatoes and green beans on each plate and top with about 3 ounces of shredded chicken.  Drizzle with dressing and serve.  Bon appetit!

Nutrition Information (per serving): Calories: 270, Total Fat: 8 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 34 mg, Sodium: 84 mg, Carbohydrates: 36 mg, Dietary Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 3 g, Protein: 16 g

Enjoy eating simply (at the dinner table!),