It’s been a busy day filled with kids’ activities so our family’s dinner tonight needs to be easy. One quick stop at Heinen’s Grocery inspired a simple, healthy menu filled with the colors of summer.


To help you during those times when hungry kids head to the pantry before you’ve even thought about dinner, we’re teaming up with Heinen’s to bring you our new “4PM Panic” series.  Each week on Tuesday we’ll share recipes to help you put dinner on the table BEFORE the kids come calling!

I grew up always having a meat or protein, starch, vegetable and salad. I’ve abandoned the need to check all those boxes. There are times when the starch and vegetable are the same like in today’s trio of vegetables, sweet potatoes, corn and peas .


Actually I didn’t realize until after I put it all together that this meal has three vegetables, all rather starchy. There is no salad, but the fresh mint and parsley in the pea smash is fresh and bright.

I’m so glad I don’t have to follow rules when I’m trying to throw dinner together to feed my gang something remotely healthy. It just goes to show that dinner can be whatever you feel inspired to serve. I love the colors of the summer season, when ingredients are fresh the recipes are often very simple. Why mess with the great flavors of the food?

So this menu is going to be a bit unconventional. More explanation and less recipe.

The corn is simply boiled until tender then finished on a buttered grill pan to bring out the sweet sugars in the corn.

The sweet potatoes are washed and unpeeled then chopped into dice sized cubes. I toss them on a baking sheet. Drizzle them with about 2 TBS of extra virgin olive oil and kosher salt then roast them at 400° until tender and blackened on the edges. About 30 minutes.


Macho Pea Smash

This recipe could not be easier!  Give it a chance even if you are not a pea fan. I tasted it for the first time just recently at Nando’s Peri-Peri in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood, and decided to recreate it at home.

It can be made with fresh peas but today I used frozen (thawed) and it was delicious.


  • 2 cups peas
  • 2 Tbs rough chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbs rough chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1 Tsp olive oil (or melted butter)
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper


  • Combine all ingredients and roughly mash with a fork.
  • Put half the mix in a blender or food processor and blend by pulsing until incorporated but not smooth.
  • Add back to the other half that was mashed roughly with a fork.
  • Stir together.

This is delicious cold, but two minutes in the microwave makes it even better. Macho Pea Smash would also be fun to make with your kids.  Skip the red pepper flakes, put the peas in a bowl and let the kids smash them to bits!



Simple Grilled Salmon


  • 4-6oz salmon (skin on) per person
  • one bunch fresh dill
  • 2 cloves chopped or crushed garlic
  • 2-3Tbs olive oil
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • 1 tsp kosher salt


  • Combine garlic, dill, olive oil, salt and juice of one lemon.
  • Marinate the salmon in this mixture for about 30 minutes.
  • Save a bit aside to drizzle over the cooked salmon.

This can be grilled on an outdoor grill or as I did on a grill pan on a stove top. Flesh side down first until you get a nice sear from the grill then flip to cook the skin side until done. About 3-4 minutes per side.


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By the way, have you heard about Heinen’s Tasteful Rewards™ program?  Sign up for free to receive exclusive weekly specials via email and earn Heinen’s rewards.  As a Tasteful Rewards™ membership benefit, Heinen’s will donate up to 1% of your qualified purchases made between September and April to a local school of your choice through their Teaming Up for Education Program. CLICK HERE to sign up for Heinen’s Tasteful Rewards™ and, trust me, this is one email that will always please your palate!

Photographer Sally Roeckell specializes in contemporary lifestyle portraiture with an emphasis on food photography.  She regularly shops at Heinen’s for the family dishes she features via Table and Dish on Instagram and on her website at

Heinen’s Grocery is located at 500 N. Hough Street, between E. Main Street and Route 14 (next to Meathead’s) in Barrington, Illinois. They’re open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. For more information, visit

Heinen's Grocery Store in Barrington, Illinois
Heinen’s Grocery Store in Barrington, Illinois

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