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Examiner
  • Tracey Shaffer: Do dinner 'in' tonight

  • What's for dinner tonight? Dinner at home. A growing trend for the evening meal is that more and more families are choosing to prepare and eat meals at home. Reasons for the return of home-cooked meals include family time, budget and wholesome meals.

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  • What's for dinner tonight? Dinner at home. A growing trend for the evening meal is that more and more families are choosing to prepare and eat meals at home. Reasons for the return of home-cooked meals include family time, budget and wholesome meals.
    Meal time is family time
    Preparing and eating meals together as a family has real value for family relationships and children's success. It provides quality time for conversations, passing on traditions and strengthening the family. Studies show teens who eat frequent meals at home are at decreased risk for substance abuse and do better in school.
    Cost-saving
    The current economy and rising costs have people re-thinking meals prepared at home as a way to save money. People are taking advantage of private-label store-brands, ad specials and buying in bulk as ways to keep on track with budgets.
    Wholesome meals
    When meals are prepared at home, you have more control over the personal preference of family members, along with the nutrient content of that meal. Home-cooked meals tend to have higher intakes of fruits, vegetables and dairy products. And portions are more easily controlled.
    Comfort foods are making a big comeback for meal times. Grandma's pot roast or moms mac and cheese bring back warm memories and are finding their way back to the table for meals.
    Try this tasty beef recipe for dinner tonight; it will become a family favorite.
    Peppered Steak Salad with Balsamic-Parmesan Dressing
    Serves 4
    All you need
    1 (10 oz) beef sirloin steak
    Coarsely ground black pepper
    1/3 cup balsamic vinaigrette
    3 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
    1 (12 ounces) package salad blend
    1 large eggs, hard-cooked, peeled and sliced
    1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
    Croutons, optional
    All you do
    1. Season steak with black pepper. Grill to desired doneness. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes before slicing into thin strips.
    2. Meanwhile, combine balsamic vinaigrette with Parmesan cheese. Set aside.
    3. Arrange one-fourth of the salad blend in each of four salad bowls. Top with strips of steak, egg slices and halved cherry tomatoes. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Sprinkle with croutons, if desired.
    Nutrition facts per serving: 200 calories, 10g fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 80mg cholesterol, 250mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 3g sugar, 19g protein.
    Daily values: 70% vitamin A, 20% vitamin C, 10% calcium, 10% iron
    Tracey Shaffer, RD, LD, is a Hy-Vee dietitian at the Blue Springs location The information provided should not be construed as professional medical advice. Email her at tshaffer@hy-vee.com.
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