Nearly everyone wishes for an extra hour or two in the day. When juggling evenings filled with homework, practices, games and last-minute art projects, even just 60 extra minutes could make the difference in finding time to whip up a dinner you can be proud of. While there’s no changing the fact that there are 24 hours each day, there are some time-saving options for creating family dinners that feel like they’ve come together “on-demand.”
Easy, On-Demand Dinners
(Family Features) Nearly everyone wishes for an extra hour or two in the day. When juggling evenings filled with homework, practices, games and last-minute art projects, even just 60 extra minutes could make the difference in finding time to whip up a dinner you can be proud of. While there’s no changing the fact that there are 24 hours each day, there are some time-saving options for creating family dinners that feel like they’ve come together “on-demand.”
Cube, spiralize or pound. No matter what shape you choose, decreasing the thickness of your ingredients is key to helping them cook through quickly. Think chicken breast cut into hunks for kabobs, thinly sliced Korean-style beef or zucchini turned into “zoodles.” With increased surface area and high heat, you may be surprised at just how quick you can have food on your plate.
Homemade tasting, on-demand sides. Rounding out your menu with easy-to-make sides can be a huge time-saver, and you sacrifice nothing if you rely on choices that deliver the same taste as if you had prepared them from scratch. For example, Idahoan Mashed Potatoes are real potatoes, real easy, delivering homemade taste on-demand. Made from 100 percent real Idaho potatoes, they can be served in just minutes and offer high-quality taste and texture, just like homemade. The variety of flavors are perfectly blended with real cheese and authentic seasonings, and options include Buttery Homestyle, Roasted Garlic, Cheddar & Sour Cream, Loaded Baked and more, so you can find a match for just about any meal.
Marinate meat before freezing. A rich marinade can add delightful flavor to a wide range of proteins, but marinating a dish takes time. Speed up the clock by marinating meat ahead of time before freezing it. Then, on a busy weeknight, all you have to do is thaw and cook for a well-seasoned meal in minutes.
Rethink leftovers. The remains from a delicious dinner shouldn’t go to waste, and they don’t have to if you repurpose them into another meal. For example, you could reimagine grilled or roasted chicken into soft tacos or a protein-rich salad. Or you can add protein and seasonings to leftover pasta for a whole new meal. If you find the fridge full of odds and ends, make it a reheat-and-eat, quick smorgasbord meal. After all, what often matters most is that everyone eats a nourishing meal together, whether the same exact foods are on their plate or not. It can be even better when this nourishing meal comes together in the blink of an eye.
Find more tips and ideas for creating delectable family dinners at Idahoan.com.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (family eating together)SOURCE:
Heart-healthy foods can play a role in healthy aging. Whether you enjoy them by the handful as a refreshing snack or use them to add color, crunch and a touch of sweetness to a meal like Zahtar Shrimp and Grape Kabobs or Savory Yogurt with Grape and Cucumber Salad or beverage like Sparkling Hibiscus Tea with Grapes and Mint, grapes are a heart-healthy option that make eating better easy.
Good Eats with Grapes
(Family Features) Heart-healthy foods can play a role in healthy aging. Whether you enjoy them by the handful as a refreshing snack or use them to add color, crunch and a touch of sweetness to a meal, grapes are a heart-healthy option that make eating better easy.
Grapes of all colors - red, green and black - are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols. At just 90 calories per serving, they also contain no fat, no cholesterol and virtually no sodium.
With a juicy burst of flavor, grapes show how simple it can be to make good-for-you-dishes that also taste great. Even though California grapes are a snacking staple in most kitchens, you may not realize how versatile they can be for cooking. For example, grapes add a sweet touch to a crunchy yogurt salad and complement the bold spice on a skewer of grilled shrimp. Fresh, flavorful grapes even put a tangy, fresh twist on a soothing glass of iced tea.
Find more delicious recipes to make healthy eating easy at GrapesfromCalifornia.com.
Grapes and Brain Health
A grape-enriched diet helped protect against metabolic brain decline in Alzheimer's-related areas of the brain, according to research from the University of California-Los Angeles. The pilot study, funded by the California Table Grape Commission, was conducted among people with early memory decline and showed that subjects who didn't consume grapes exhibited significant metabolic decline in these critical regions. Additionally, those consuming the grape-enriched diet showed beneficial changes in regional brain metabolism that correlated to improvements in cognition and working memory performance, according to a report published by Experimental Gerontology.
Zahtar Shrimp and Grape Kabobs
Nutritional information per serving: 190 calories; 20 g protein; 12 g carbohydrate; 6 g fat (28% calories from fat); 1 g saturated fat (5% calories from saturated fat); 180 mg cholesterol; 870 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.
Savory Yogurt with Grape and Cucumber Salad
Nutritional information per serving: 220 calories; 19 g protein; 18 g carbohydrate; 8 g fat (33% calories from fat); 1.5 g saturated fat (6% calories from saturated fat); 10 mg cholesterol; 140 mg sodium; 2 g fiber.
Sparkling Hibiscus Tea with Grapes and Mint
Nutritional information per serving: 70 calories; 1 g protein; 16 g carbohydrate; 10 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.SOURCE:
California Table Grape Commission
There’s not much that tastes better during the summer than a meal hot off the grill. If you’re in the mood for a delicious backyard dish, try adding versatility to your grilling game with a few simple tips and these recipes for Smoked Sausage Links with Bacon and Onion Marmalade, and Grilled Kabobs with Smoked Sausage and Veggies.
Savory Summer Grilling
(Family Features) There’s not much that tastes better during the summer than a meal hot off the grill. If you’re in the mood for a delicious backyard dish, try adding versatility to your grilling game with a few simple tips.
Try a new cooking method. If your usual preparation involves a basic flame, you may be surprised by all the different flavors you can evoke just by changing the method. Whether you’re using gas or charcoal, switch from standard grilling to smoking over indirect heat. You can also use seasoned wood chips with most grilling methods to build a completely different flavor profile.
Look for non-traditional ways to use your favorite proteins. Instead of the traditional steak or chicken on a kabob, you can create a whole new flavor experience using smoked sausage. For example, Eckrich offers a variety of smoked sausage flavors in traditional ropes and bun-length links, all with just the right blend of seasonings for a rich, savory taste.
Explore new condiments and toppings. Ketchup, mustard and relish may be staples at the condiment station, but there’s no reason you can’t add a little something extra. Grilled onions, mushrooms and peppers are all simple and delicious ways to add flavor. Or try something entirely new, like this sweet, tangy marmalade made with bacon and onions.
Find more summer grilling ideas at Eckrich.com.
Smoked Sausage Links with Bacon and Onion Marmalade
Prep time: 10 minutes
Note: Marmalade can be made in advance for easier dinner preparation and can be kept up to 2 weeks in a refrigerator or 3 months in a freezer.
Grilled Kabobs with Smoked Sausage and Veggies
Prep time: 15 minutes
If you’re looking for a fresh way to pack more nutritious protein into this summer’s family cookouts, consider cooking with a plant-based protein such as peanuts or peanut butter. The whole family can enjoy cookout-friendly dishes, such as Asian Peanut Slaw, Beef Kabobs with Peanut Sauce, Peach Peanut Salsa and No Bake Peanut Butter Pie, which showcase how simple it is to create delicious meals using peanuts.
A Protein Punch
Add fun, flavorful variety to your summer cookout
(Family Features) If you’re looking for a fresh way to pack more nutritious protein into this summer’s family cookouts, consider cooking with a plant-based protein such as peanuts or peanut butter.
In fact, peanuts and peanut butter have more protein than any other nut and are rich in healthy oils, fiber, many important vitamins, minerals and phyto-nutrients. The latest Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggest eating at least two servings of peanuts a week as part of a healthy diet.
Getting your weekly servings is easy when you explore the variety of ways you can cook with peanuts and peanut butter. The unique flavor of peanuts and peanut butter adds depth and fulfillment, in addition to quality nutrients.
The whole family can enjoy these cookout-friendly dishes showcasing how simple it is to create delicious meals using peanuts in everything from sides to main dishes to desserts. Find more recipes featuring protein-rich peanuts and peanut butter at gapeanuts.com.
Asian Peanut Slaw
Peach Peanut Salsa
Beef Kabobs with Peanut Sauce
No Bake Peanut Butter Pie
Photo courtesy of The Peanut Institute (Peach Peanut Salsa)
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