(Family Features) - In the fall, family life becomes busier than ever. While families are more likely to dine at home than eat out, finding time for meal preparation is a challenge. No wonder busy parents often want to make over their menus to spend less time in the kitchen. Research shows quick, healthy one-dish recipes are popular with today's time-starved working or stay-at-home parents. According to a study from Food Technology Magazine, Americans are now demanding - and redefining - one-dish dining.
So what's cooking this fall? Homemade meals made simple using convenience products.
Making over dinner classics is a cinch with versatile, easy-to-prepare ingredients that, when combined, bring out a wonderful world of flavors. For these reasons, turkey is growing in popularity. In fact, according to the USDA Economic Research Service, Americans are increasing their consumption of turkey more rapidly than any other meat. Plus, turkey is naturally lean and high in protein. Turkey sausage adds new flavor, without the fat, to favorites such as pizza or lentil soup. Ground turkey enhances ho-hum spaghetti sauce.
And what would these dinnertime favorites be without onions, another makeover ingredient for one-dish recipes. For a healthy focus on your fall meals, onions not only provide flavor - they have health-promoting phytochemicals and nutrients. Sodium-, fat- and cholesterol-free, onions are available year-round in yellow, red and white varieties. Caramelized or sautéed, onions are mild and sweet; fresh onions are bold and crisp.
For additional one-dish recipes and cooking tips, visit www.honeysucklewhite.com and www.onions-usa.org.
NPD Group, Food Consulting Services
Food Technology Magazine's Sloan State-of-the-Industry Report:
What, When, and Where Americans Eat: 2003 Nutri-facts update, USDA Handbook 8-5 and research conducted in cooperation with USDA
A likely pair
According to the National Turkey Federation and the National Onion Association, Americans are consuming more turkey and onions. Each American, on average, eats nearly 18 to 19 pounds of both per year! They enhance flavors in a wide range of recipes, from casseroles to salads and from sandwiches to soups. And, they can be prepared any way you like to cook. Turkey is great on the grill or stovetop, or in the microwave, while onions can be peeled, sliced, diced or chunked to liven up any dish.
Know your onions
Store onions in a cool, dry ventilated place - not in the refrigerator. Do not store whole onions in plastic bags. Lack of air movement reduces storage life. Chopped or sliced onions can be stored in a sealed container in your refrigerator for up to 7 days. One medium onion equals about 1 cup chopped.