(Family Features) School is back in session, and so are hectic weeknights with little time to cook dinner. Instead of reaching for ready-made meals or takeout, serve up tasty one-pot dinners made with wholesome ingredients like spaghetti squash and quinoa. These seven kid-friendly recipes bring everything together in a single baking dish or skillet, so there's less prep and clean up, and more time for reconnecting around the dinner table.
Source: McCormick Spice
(Family Features) As the weather cools down and routines ramp up, parents know it becomes increasingly challenging to keep the whole family on track. While most people know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, many don’t realize that protein in the morning is key to starting the day off right.
A protein-rich breakfast including milk can help energize your morning. Plus, protein at breakfast can help you feel full and satisfied, so you won’t feel hungry by mid-morning, which helps the whole family tackle work, errands, school, extracurricular activities or whatever else the day has in store.
One easy way to increase your family’s protein intake at breakfast is to simply add a glass of milk. Each 8-ounce serving has nine essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality, natural protein. If mornings in your household are chaotic, plan ahead by making protein-rich breakfasts the night before that are easy to pair with milk, ensuring that the whole family can get out the door on time and fed in the morning.
“As a mom and a pediatrician, I’m focused on what I feed my kids each day,” said Dr. Jennifer Shu, pediatrician and author. “Milk is a simple, nutritious way to make sure they get high-quality protein at each meal, plus other nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and more.”
When thinking about the week ahead, consider tasty, protein-rich recipes the whole family will love that can be prepared in advance and eaten on the go – like these PB and J Protein Power Muffins. For more recipe ideas and morning inspiration, visit milklife.com/morningprotein.
PB and J Protein Power Muffins
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 3/4 cups milk, divided
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed according to package directions
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons creamy reduced-fat peanut butter
- 1/4 cup strawberry preserves
- Heat oven to 350°F and grease 12-muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
- In medium saucepan, stir together quinoa and 1 cup milk. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook 10-15 minutes until quinoa is tender and milk is absorbed.
- In large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt; whisk to combine. In medium bowl, combine remaining milk, Greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla and peanut butter; mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in cooked quinoa. Divide batter among muffin cups.
- Drop 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry preserves into center of each muffin tin on top of batter. Bake 20-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool 5-10 minutes. Serve with 8-ounce glass of milk.
Nutritional information per serving: 540 calories; 8 g fat; 1.5 g saturated fat; 70 mg cholesterol; 25 g protein; 91 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 520 mg sodium; 517 mg calcium (50% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.
Leidy HJ, Lepping RJ, Savage CR, Harris CT, Neural responses to visual food stimuli after a normal vs. higher protein breakfast in breakfast-skipping teens: a pilot fMRI study. Obesity. 2011;19:2019-2025.
Leidy HJ,Bossingham MJ, Mattes RD, Campbell WW. Increased dietary protein consumed at breakfast leads to an initial and sustained feeling of fullness during energy restriction compared to other meal times. British Journal of Nutrition. 2009;101:798-803.
(Family Features) Back-to-school time means it’s back to being busy before, during and after school, so it’s time for parents and kids to create new routines. From early wakeup calls to shuttling kids to school and activities, ease the morning mayhem by incorporating a simple meal-planning strategy.
As a parent, look for fresh, make-ahead options your kids will enjoy. Serve up lunchbox love by mixing up the classic sandwich with a spin on sushi in this Bento Box Lunch recipe. It’s a creative way to deliver nutritious, wholesome ingredients that will make the whole lunchroom drool. Plus, it’s something you can take for lunch too.
No matter what meals you’re prepping, a store like ALDI can be your solution for packing tasty and better-for-you choices for lunches and on-the-go snacks. With high-quality ingredients at affordable prices, ALDI offers what you need to get ready for the days ahead.
For more recipes and meal prepping ideas, visit aldi.us.
Bento Box Lunch
Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- 4 slices SimplyNature Knock Your Sprouts Off Sprouted Low Sodium 7 Grain Bread
- 4 slices Lunch Mate Never Any! Turkey
- 1 teaspoon Burman's Yellow Mustard
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 1 mini cucumber, cut into 3-inch-by-1/4-inch sticks
- 1 cup SimplyNature Organic Quinoa, cooked
- 1/4 cup Southern Grove Sliced Almonds
- 2 mandarin oranges, peeled and separated
- 1/4 cup Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
- 1 bunches green onions, sliced
- 1 teaspoon Carlini Pure Olive Oil
- Stonemill Iodized Salt, to taste
- Stonemill Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- 1 large head broccoli, chopped
- 1/4 cup Southern Grove Sliced Almonds
- 1/4 cup Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
- 1 teaspoon Fusia Soy Sauce
- 1/2 cup Friendly Farms Vanilla Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- Stonemill Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- 1 Granny Smith apple, sliced
- 1 tablespoon Nature's Nectar Lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Ground Cinnamon
- To make “Sushi Roll”: Trim crust from bread. Using rolling pin, roll out bread slices to 1/8-inch thickness. Top with turkey, mustard, avocado and cucumber. Roll into cylinder, wrap with plastic wrap and cut in half.
- To make Quinoa Salad: In medium bowl, combine quinoa, almonds, oranges, cranberries, green onions and olive oil; season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To make Broccoli Salad: In medium bowl, combine broccoli, almonds, cranberries, soy sauce and yogurt; season to taste with pepper.
- To make Cinnamon Apples: Toss apples with lemon juice and cinnamon. Place in sandwich bags and wrap tightly.
- Organize equal amounts of “Sushi Rolls,” Quinoa Salad, Broccoli Salad and Cinnamon Apples in separate bento box compartments.
(Family Features) Eating a high-protein breakfast can help provide energy and focus to keep your day on track. While many experts now recommend 25-30 grams of protein at each meal, the average breakfast plate only contains 13 grams. One way to help close the gap is to add an 8-ounce glass of milk to your meal. Whether organic, flavored or white, each variety provides nine essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein per 8 ounces to help start the day on the right foot.
Get ahead of the game and prep breakfast the night before so you have something delicious and satisfying to look forward to each morning. Now is the perfect time to update your routine with these powerhouse breakfast ideas. These recipes are all made and paired with milk, helping you get protein and nutrients you need to fuel your day.
Once you try these delicious recipes, you’ll never go back to your old, lackluster options again. For additional breakfast inspiration, visit milklife.com.
(Family Features) When it comes to cooking up creative meals for the family, finding inspiration for new flavors while maintaining nutrition is typically a primary goal.
One solution is incorporating more seafood into weekly meal planning, which offers nutritional benefits like protein, vitamins and minerals such as vitamin D, iron and selenium. In celebration of National Seafood Month, consider these tips from Bumble Bee to add more seafood to your family’s diet:
- Change the Protein. Try substituting seafood for the meat or poultry in meals like shrimp tacos, salmon burgers or tuna nachos.
- Boost Nutrients. If you enjoy classic tuna salad, consider swapping mayo with mashed avocado or Greek yogurt, and try flavorful options like this Chipotle Tuna and Avocado Salad Sandwich.
- Make it a Bowl. Personalize mealtime with creative bowls, like Quinoa Bowls with Tuna, using a whole-grain base layered with seafood, veggies and toppings like guacamole or teriyaki sauce.
Find more recipes to add seafood to the table at BumbleBee.com.
Chipotle Tuna and Avocado Salad Sandwich
Prep time: 15 minutes
- 1 can (5 ounces) Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water, drained and broken into chunks
- 1/2 avocado, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup sweet corn, cooked or thawed from frozen
- 1 tablespoon roughly chopped parsley
- 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon red or white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 slices whole-grain bread
- In medium bowl, gently toss tuna and avocado until combined.
- Add tomatoes, corn and parsley, tossing gently to combine.
- In small bowl, whisk lemon juice, vinegar, honey, garlic, chili powder and salt. Drizzle over tuna mixture and toss to coat.
- Divide tuna evenly among bread slices to make two sandwiches.
Quinoa Bowl with Tuna
Recipe courtesy of Cookie Named Desire on behalf of Bumble Bee
Prep time: 45 minutes
Thai Peanut Dressing:
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 1 teaspoon ginger paste
- 1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water, divided, plus additional (optional)
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1 can (14 ounces) chickpeas
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 carrot
- 1/2 cup red cabbage
- 1 can (5 ounces) Bumble Bee Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water
- 1-2 tablespoons onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- To make Thai Peanut Dressing: In mixing bowl, combine peanut butter, ginger paste, fish sauce, cayenne pepper, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and sugar.
- Add 1 tablespoon water and whisk well. Continue adding water 1 tablespoon at a time until sauce is consistency of heavy cream.
- Note: You may not use full 1/4 cup water and could use more depending on preference of thickness.
- To make Quinoa Bowls: Heat oven to 400° F.
- In medium pot, heat water and quinoa. When it boils, turn heat to low and cover. Cook until water is absorbed and remove from heat.
- Drain and dry chickpeas. In bowl, combine chickpeas with olive oil, garlic powder and salt and pepper, to taste.
- Spread chickpeas on baking sheet; bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
- Spiralize zucchini at medium thickness. Using potato peeler, slice carrot in thin strips. Chop red cabbage. Drain and chunk tuna.
- In two bowls, split cooked quinoa evenly. Top with carrots, zucchini, cabbage, roasted chickpeas onions and tuna.
- Season with lime juice, cilantro and Thai Peanut Dressing.
Source: Bumble Bee
(Family Features) When it comes to nutritious eating, finding and creating tasty yet healthy recipes is key for many people.
One delicious and nutritious ingredient to add to a variety of dishes: U.S.-grown Montmorency tart cherries, which are abundant in anthocyanins – a natural compound that contributes to the ruby-red color, distinctive sweet-tart taste and is also behind the potential health benefits.
Consider these five ways to incorporate Montmorency tart cherries into your daily routine to help with sleep, inflammation, exercise recovery, heart health and gut health. Find more information and recipes at ChooseCherries.com.
Have that good gut-feeling:Gut health has been the focus of multiple studies in recent years to maintain digestive health. In a first-of-its-kind study published in the “Journal of Biochemistry,” Montmorency tart cherries helped positively impact the gut microbiome – a collection of trillions of bacteria and other microbes that live in the intestinal tract. To help shape and maintain your gut health, add an 8-ounce serving of Montmorency tart cherry juice to your daily diet or try blending this Montmorency Tart Cherry Matcha Smoothie.
Catch more zzz’s:With more than 50 million adults in the U.S. suffering from sleep or wakefulness disorders, a natural and flavorful remedy may help. One study, published in the “American Journal of Therapeutics,” extended sleep time by 84 minutes after study participants consumed Montmorency tart cherry juice for two weeks. This Tart Cherry Moon Milk is one way to add tart cherry juice before bed.
Make workout gains, not pains:Muscle soreness and pain associated after a tough workout is no longer something to dread. A study from “Medicine in Science and Sports Exercise” showed a reduction in muscle damage after intensive strength training from participants who consumed Montmorency tart cherry juice in comparison to a placebo. Whip up some Tart Cherry Power Gummies for a snack to power up before or after workouts.
Help ease arthritis and gout:Many Americans seek natural ways to help manage pain that don’t evoke potential side effects. Research indicates that U.S.-grown Montmorency tart cherries, like those found in this Tart Cherry Granola Smoothie Bowl, may help naturally reduce inflammation related to arthritis and gout.
Keep your heart on beat:Adding more fruits packed with heart-healthy compounds is a great way to help your heart keep beating at its best. Montmorency tart cherries are a natural heart-healthy fruit that may lower blood pressure, reduce risk of stroke and decrease cholesterol levels. Incorporate them in a lunch like this Kale Quinoa Montmorency Tart Cherry Salad.
Source: Cherry Marketing Institute
Start the year off right with wholesome, nutritious morning recipes
(Family Features) With each New Year comes new goals and resolutions for the entire family. It’s the perfect time to start fresh and get everyone back on track with healthy nutrition. Starting each day with a nutritious breakfast is one way to do just that, not to mention a healthy habit to maintain throughout the year.
By incorporating simple, wholesome ingredients like milk into a balanced breakfast each morning, you can feel good knowing your family is starting the day on the right foot. With nine essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, calcium and vitamin D, pairing milk with breakfast can help everyone be their best.
Try these seven breakfast recipes paired with milk, one for each day of the week, to fuel all kinds of mornings throughout the New Year. Visit MilkLife.com for additional recipe inspiration.
Add Southwestern flavors to spice up this breakfast sandwich. Scrambled eggs seasoned with cumin, pepper and chili powder are topped with shredded cheese, ham and sliced avocados and placed inside a toasted English muffin for a twist on a classic breakfast favorite.
When you’re in a rush on weekday mornings but still want a wholesome breakfast while on the go, try these protein muffins with peanut butter and jelly. This simple recipe is a kid-friendly way to serve a childhood favorite and start the day with a smile.
While cottage cheese is not a traditional ingredient in pancakes, these pancakes definitely make it work. By combining blended cottage cheese with rolled oats, this dish adds protein and fiber at breakfast without skimping on taste.
How about a modern take on an ancient grain? This breakfast bowl with quinoa is a delicious and nutritious way to start your day. Chai spices combined with brown sugar, vanilla and milk add vibrant flavors sure to excite your taste buds.
This tasty twist on eggs brings a Southwestern flair to breakfast with avocados and turkey sausage piled high on a tortilla to spice up your morning.
This mini quiche recipe makes serving up protein at breakfast a snap. Use a muffin tin to create individual sausage quiches that are perfect for a make-ahead, grab-and-go breakfast.
Lock down your week’s breakfast plan with these savory crepes the entire family will enjoy. Cream cheese with chives mixed in topped with smoked salmon and wrapped inside a warm crepe winds up being a delicious morning jump-start.
(Family Features) With people across the country observing Lent, a religious tradition observed during the 40 days before Easter, it’s time to rethink the standard family meal menu.
This nearly eight-week period typically calls for a special diet. Specifically, red meat is cut out on Fridays for some and for the entirety of Lent for others. According to Datassential, 26 percent of consumers observe lent and of those, 41 percent said they eat fish on Fridays instead of meat.
Eating two servings of seafood per week – as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans – is one way to make a positive commitment to you and your family’s health during Lent and throughout the year. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, research shows eating seafood 2-3 times per week reduces the risk of death from any health-related cause. Seafood also provides unique health benefits as a lean protein and is a quality source for omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats essential to human health and development.
With so many seafood options available, including Alaskan cod, snapper, salmon and more, it can be easy to incorporate this nutritious lean protein into your diet.
This simple recipe for Blackened Catfish with Quinoa and Citrus Vinaigrette can help you on your way to a more nutritious meal plan that includes consuming seafood twice per week. If you can’t find catfish or prefer to substitute, any white fish such as cod, mahimahi or flounder will work.
For more seafood recipes and Lenten meal inspiration, visit seafoodnutrition.org or follow #Seafood2xWk on social media.
Blackened Catfish with Quinoa and Citrus Vinaigrette
Recipe courtesy of chef Tim Hughes on behalf of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 cup corn, canned and drained or frozen and thawed to room temperature
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup edamame, shelled and thawed to room temperature
- 3 cups quinoa, cooked
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 pound catfish, cut into four fillets
- 5 tablespoons Blackening Seasoning
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- To make Blackening Seasoning: Combine salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and thyme.
- To make Quinoa Salad: Heat and oil skillet. Add corn; salt and pepper, to taste, and saute until golden brown. Add edamame and sauteed corn to quinoa and set aside.
- To make Blackened Catfish: Heat cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon peanut oil added. Coat both sides of catfish fillets with Blackening Seasoning. Add catfish to skillet and cook 5-6 minutes per side, or until well done.
- To make Citrus Vinaigrette: Whisk together lemon juice, lemon zest, honey and thyme. Slowly add olive oil, whisking until dressing is formed.
- Serve Blackened Catfish on top of Quinoa Salad and drizzle with Citrus Vinaigrette.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: Seafood Nutrition Partnership
(Family Features) If you’re having trouble getting started, or even sticking to, a healthy eating regimen, you may be surprised that one highly effective practice doesn’t require counting calories or hours of exercise. You simply need to plan out your meals.
When hunger strikes, it’s tempting to grab the fastest, easiest-to-make food available, but that’s rarely the best choice for your health. Planning your meals encourages you to invest in better-for-you options ahead of time and reduces food waste, while saving significant time and money in the long-term. If you don’t know where to start, follow these easy tips to help make meal planning a breeze:
- Build meals around themes like taco night or seafood night. This can help narrow down your options but still allow you to experiment with new recipes or variations on favorites that can be added to your regular rotation.
- Be sure to include breakfast, lunch and snacks. Whether these are meals on the go or foods you’ll eat at home, planning ahead can help ensure you have tasty, healthy options at your fingertips all day long.
- Make it a family affair. Invite meal feedback from everyone and keep kids involved in the prep process to create more family time together.
- Take inventory of your pantry and leftovers before heading to the store – yesterday’s grapefruit breakfast could be today’s citrus salad.
- Shop wisely. Maximize time and money savings by shopping at a store such as ALDI, where you can find all your weekly must-haves, like fresh produce and organics, dairy, USDA Choice beef and bakery items. ALDI also offers a variety of healthy eating resources, including weekly meal plans and recipes like these Quinoa Lentil Tacos, at aldi.us/hellohealthy.
Quinoa Lentil Tacos
Recipe courtesy of Chef Michelle, ALDI Test Kitchen
- 32 ounces SimplyNature Vegetable Broth
- 3/4 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Iodized Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Stonemill Essentials Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Ground Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Onion Powder
- 1 cup SimplyNature Organic Tri-Color Quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon Baker’s Corner Corn Starch
- 10 Pueblo Lindo White Corn Tortillas
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/2 cup crumbled Pueblo Lindo Fresco Cheese
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- In medium saucepan, bring broth, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, quinoa and lentils to boil; reduce heat. Simmer 20 minutes, partially covered.
- Remove lid and add corn starch. Stir 5-8 minutes until lentils are cooked through.
- Heat medium pan over high heat. Heat tortillas 1 minute on each side.
- Divide lentil mixture evenly among tortillas. Top with red onion, avocado and fresco cheese. Serve each with lime wedge.
(Family Features) A commitment to eating better-for-you foods and living a healthier lifestyle in the new year doesn’t need to break the bank.
To help achieve a more nutritious routine without blowing your budget, consider a one-stop shop like ALDI for high-quality, affordable ingredients to incorporate into better-for-you recipes. Plus, it carries the foods and ingredients to fit nearly any dietary lifestyle and budget – including a wide variety of options for plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free diets.
Start the year with a clean slate and make practical, better-for-you eating goals with these recipes for main courses, sides, desserts and kid-friendly meals and snacks. Find more nutritious eating solutions and recipes at ALDI.us.
Harvest Breakfast Skillet – This hearty meal can be enjoyed any time of day. Combining fresh vegetables, eggs and sweet potatoes with diced quinoa crunch veggie burgers, this skillet puts a new spin on breakfast for dinner.
Crunchy Fish Bites – For a kid-friendly dish adults can enjoy as well, these crunchy fish bites feature breaded tilapia with a flavorful mustard-yogurt sauce that can win over nearly any crowd – including picky eaters.
Cauliflower-Quinoa Pizza – With the right ingredients, even pizza can help you attain your health goals in the new year. To create a healthier pizza option the whole family can enjoy, swap out the standard crust for a cauliflower-based version to cut down on carbs without sacrificing flavor.
Fresh Avocado Pasta – This pasta requires just four ingredients along with an easy-to-make, creamy sauce perfect for the entire family to enjoy. Avocado lends a colorful hue to this kid-friendly main course.
Oven-Baked Zucchini Fries – Skip the fried snacks and go for this better-for-you version of breaded veggies. A simple breading and just 15 minutes in the oven put a crunchy, guilt-free, crispy side dish on the table.
Soft-Baked Granola Cups – Topped with a dollop of strawberry yogurt and fresh berries, these granola cups are ideal for breakfast or as an after-school snack. They’re perfect to make ahead of time – just store the premade cups in an airtight container and add toppings before serving. Fun tip: Let your child decorate his or her own cups.
Cocoa Mocha Oatmeal Cookies – A mocha drizzle makes these oatmeal cookies stand out among healthier dessert options. After 15 minutes in the oven, you’re left with a delightful treat that doesn’t send your diet down the drain.
Chocolate Mug Cake – A better-for-you dessert, these miniature cakes made in mugs can be on the table in just 3 1/2 minutes. Simply combine a short list of ingredients, mix in your microwave-safe mug and pop it in the microwave for a quick, chocolaty snack.