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Fast Family Meals as Easy as 1-2-3

/ -- MISSION, KS -- (Marketwired) -- 08/15/16 -- (Family Features) As summer comes to an end and the reality of back-to-school season sets in, it can be challenging to get organized and jump back into your day-to-day routine. But even as things get hectic, it's still possible to create delicious dishes that leave you plenty of time to savor meals together as a family using a few simple tips and tricks.

Whether the weeknight dinner rush puts you in a panic or you're simply looking to spice up the same old lunchbox staples, these three steps will make it easy to assemble quick, flavorful dishes ideal for the busy back-to-school season.

1. Plan a weekly menu and shop accordingly so you can avoid scrounging to piece together a meal from the odds and ends in the pantry on a night when you're already pressed for time. Meal planning eliminates all of the guesswork, so your family can enjoy healthy, home-cooked meals while also saving time, money and stress.

Photo courtesy of Smithfield

2. Rely on a versatile, easy meal-helper that lends itself to a variety of preparations, such as Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork. Packed with protein and already seasoned with juicy, delicious flavor, it's the perfect base for any weeknight meal. For a hassle-free dinner, try Pork with Balsamic Glaze and Rosemary, which is ready in just 30 minutes from start to finish -- less time than it takes the kids to finish their homework.

3. Opt for simple, flavorful dishes that don't require a ton of ingredients or multiple sides. A zesty take on a traditional favorite, this South of the Border Pizza is convenient, kid-friendly and a great way to banish lunchtime boredom. Use this recipe as a starting point then experiment with more toppings to create your own unique family recipe.

Find more family friendly and time-saving recipe ideas at

Pork with Balsamic Glaze and Rosemary
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

1    tablespoon olive oil
1    Smithfield Applewood Smoked Bacon Marinated Fresh Pork Loin Filet, cut
     into 3/4- to 1-inch thick chops
1/4  cup prepared balsamic vinegar glaze
1    teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary

In large, nonstick skillet, heat half the oil over medium heat.

Working in two batches, cook pork chops 4-5 minutes on each side until internal temperature reaches 150 F. Remove pork from skillet and place on rimmed serving platter; cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining oil and pork chops.

Serve pork chops drizzled with balsamic glaze and sprinkled with rosemary.

South of the Border Pizza
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

2    French bread sandwich rolls, halved
8    tablespoons refried black beans
8    tablespoons (2 ounces) Smithfield Anytime Favorites Hickory Smoked
     Diced Ham
8    slices pepper jack cheese
4    tablespoons picante sauce
4    tablespoons low-fat sour cream

Heat oven to 375 F.

Place four French bread halves on ungreased sheet pan. Spread 2 tablespoons beans evenly over each bread half.

Top each half with 2 tablespoons ham and two cheese slices.

Bake 8-10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Remove from oven; top each pizza with 1 tablespoon picante sauce and 1 tablespoon sour cream.

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Michael French