(Family Features) With many families spending more time than usual at home, scratch cooking trends are popular among home chefs. From homemade sourdough to elaborate multi-course dinners, the kitchen has become a place for creativity for many.
However, since summer brings all sorts of fun and outdoor activities, busy families may be looking for ways to spend less time in the kitchen without compromising on quality or flavor. Try to work smarter, not harder, and let your local grocery store do some of the heavy lifting.
Starting with pre-packaged salads, casseroles, fresh-baked breads or prepared items from the deli case, like a rotisserie chicken, opens an array of possibilities for quick family meals. For example, Signature Cafe and Signature Select, available exclusively at Albertsons and Safeway stores, can be your go-to for meal solutions, and you can find these products at a value compared to many leading national brands without giving up the quality you crave. With products available across the entire store, you can find easy-to-implement recipe hacks the whole family can enjoy.
Serving up a tasty and comforting dinner can be as easy as mixing together fresh ingredients like pre-made macaroni and cheese, rotisserie chicken, frozen broccoli and topping your dish with cracker crumbs in this Chicken and Broccoli Mac and Cheese. You’ll have food on the table in less than 30 minutes and more time to spend with family and friends.
With the resources available at your neighborhood store, you can build restaurant-quality Spicy Chicken Sandwiches with Nashville-Style Dressing at home by visiting the deli department for fried chicken and swinging by the bakery for a loaf of European-style bread. Crunchy fried chicken, cool lettuce, crisp pickles and spicy dressing including a handful of pantry staples make for the perfect flavor and texture combination.
End the day with a Neapolitan-Style Milkshake as classic flavors come together with vanilla bean ice cream, fudge striped shortbread cookies, strawberry preserves and whole milk. This ice cream treat is an indulgence that blends in a flash.
Visit Albertsons.com/exclusivebrands to shop for grocery delivery or pickup at your local store such as Albertsons, Safeway, ACME Markets, Jewel-Osco, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Shaw’s, Star Market, United Supermarkets and Carrs/Safeway.
Chicken and Broccoli Mac and Cheese
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 2 packages (12 ounces each) Signature Cafe Classic Macaroni and Cheese
- 1 cup frozen broccoli
- 2 Signature Cafe Whole Roasted Chicken Breasts (about 1 cup), skin removed and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1/2 cup cracker crumbs
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Coat 6-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Add macaroni and cheese, broccoli and chicken, stirring to combine until well incorporated. Top with cracker crumbs.
- Bake 20 minutes, or until heated through.
- 4 scoops (1/2 cup each) Signature Select Vanilla or Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
- 6 Signature Select Fudge Striped Shortbread Cookies
- 4 tablespoons Signature Select Strawberry Preserves
- 1 1/2 cups whole milk, plus additional (optional)
- In blender, process ice cream, cookies, strawberry preserves and whole milk.
- If desired, add milk to achieve desired thickness.
- Serve in chilled glasses.
Spicy Chicken Sandwiches with Nashville-Style Dressing
Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise:
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Spicy Chicken Sandwich:
- 1/2 cup Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise, plus additional (optional)
- 4 slices Signature Select Artisan French or Italian Bread
- 2 pieces hand-breaded Signature Cafe Fried Chicken Breast, cut into slices
- 1 cup lettuce mix
- 8 sweet or dill pickle chips
- To make Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise: In bowl, combine mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.
- To make Spicy Chicken Sandwiches: Spread Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise onto bread slices. Arrange sliced chicken on half the bread slices and place lettuce and pickle chips on other half.
- Dress with additional Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise, if desired. Fold sandwiches together, spear with toothpick and slice diagonally.
(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.