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Hy-Vee at Midday: Doing Dinner "In"

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.

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.

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 mom's mac and cheese bring back warm memories and are finding their way back to the table for meals.

Easy Pasta Dinner
All you need:
• One14.5-ounce package Hy-Vee Omega-3 pasta
• 2 teaspoons olive oil
• One 1-pound package Al Fresco Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Sausage
• Two 14-ounce cans Hunt's fire-roasted diced tomatoes
• Couple handfuls of fresh spinach
All you do:
1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, slice chicken sausage into ½" thick slices.
3. Place olive oil in skillet. Add chicken sausage and cook until sausage is golden brown.
4. Add fire-roasted tomatoes and spinach. Stir until spinach is wilted and simmer until heated through.
5. Pour sauce over warm pasta.
Serves 4.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 340 calories, 7.5 gm fat, 55mg cholesterol, 24gm protein, 50gm carb, 6gm fiber, 450mg sodium

"Berry Tasty" Chicken Salad
All you need:
• 12 ounce cooked chicken breast, sliced
• 6 ounce fresh baby spinach
• ½ small red onion, sliced paper-thin
• 1 cup fresh raspberries
• 1 cup fresh strawberries, halved
• 2/3 cup feta cheese
• 3 tablespoon chopped walnuts, toasted
• ¼ cup prepared light raspberry vinaigrette (suggestion: Newman's Own)
All you do:
1. In a large bowl, combine spinach, raspberries, strawberries, onion, cheese, and walnuts. Divide among 4 serving plates.
2. Arrange chicken over spinach mixture; drizzle with vinaigrette.
Source: Kimberly Proctor, Hy-Vee dietitian

Chicken Alfredo Pizza
All you need:
• 1 (10 oz) Boboli thin 100%-whole wheat pizza crust
• 3/4 cup Ragu light Parmesan Alfredo sauce
• 1 cup diced Tyson boxed grilled chicken slices
• 1/3 cup spinach, fresh or frozen, thawed and drained
• 1 cup Hy-Vee finely shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
• 1 Roma tomato, thinly sliced
All you do:
1. Remove pizza crust from package and place on 10-inch round pizza pan.
2. Spread Alfredo sauce on crust, to within 1 inch of edge of crust.
3. Over Alfredo sauce, layer chicken, spinach, cheese and tomato.
4. Bake at 425° for 10 to 12 minutes.
Source: Hy-Vee Dietitians
Serves: 4.
Nutrition Per Serving: 200 calories, 20 g carbohydrates, 13g protein, 7g fat, 1g fiber, 80mg sodium

Nicole Johnson represents Hy-Vee as a nutrition expert promoting healthy eating throughout the community. Nicole is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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