Family Meals – Fresh and Fast
Ellie Wilson, MS, RDN Senior Nutritionist
September is a time the majority of us hit the reset button, pull out the calendar and get back to school and work routines. No doubt, many of us find we are already overcommitted before we even get started! Catching up around the dinner table is a great way to reconnect after these busy days, but getting that organized can be one more thing on that already long list. Don’t worry, we have your back with #TimeBetterSpent solutions to kick off National #FamilyMealsMonth, an annual celebration of all of the benefits every occasion you can eat together with family and friends can bring.
Sunday – Get ahead and power up Monday breakfast with a delicious, easy overnight oats and berries recipe (see below). September is also #WholeGrainsMonth! Give everyone the protein and #wholegrains they need for brain power, and know some morning time eating together will get the week off to a great start!
Tuesday – First night for sports, Scouts, homework – way too many things to think about cooking too! Rustle up a fresh Rotisserie Chicken, bagged Fresh Express salad, and the leftover corn bread. Fresh and fast!
Wednesday – Mac and Cheese please (see below)! Comfort food that connects the dots – time and kid-friendly, make it with #wholegrain PICS whole wheat rotini so they get what they want, and you get what you want – healthy, happy kids!
Thursday – Dinner is in the bag! Seal and Cook fresh seafood meals made daily in stores include cut fresh vegetables, 4 different seafood choices, and are made with or without garlic butter. They can be steamed in the store, microwaved or baked at home. Seafood is brain food, smart families are enjoying more with this no muss, no fuss solution!
#TimeBetterSpent on #FamilyMeals pays off with a lifetime of benefits for your whole family. Learn more about #FamilyMealsMonth at https://www.pricechopper.com/time-better-spent/. You bring the kids, and we’ll bring you the meal solutions!
Overnight Oatmeal and Berries by Jodie Fitz
2 1/2 cups PICS Greek plain or vanilla yogurt
2 cups PICS old-fashioned rolled oats
¼ cup PICS honey
1 teaspoon Full Circle cinnamon
1 cup PICS frozen blueberries or strawberries
In a large bowl, stir the yogurt, oats, honey and cinnamon together. Divide the mixture among 4 airtight containers*. Add the frozen berries on top. Seal the containers and let sit overnight in the refrigerator. Grab and go in the morning for a quick and easy breakfast!
*Small canning jars work great!
Macaroni and Cheese
8 oz. PICS whole wheat rotini
4 T. PICS unsalted butter (1/2 stick)
4 T. PICS all-purpose flour
2 cups PICS milk
Salt and pepper to season
Pinch Full Circle organic nutmeg
2 cups PICS shredded macaroni and cheese blend
1 cup crushed PICS snack crackers
2 T. PICS melted butter
2 tsp. smoked paprika
Cook pasta until tender, drain and rinse.
Meanwhile, melt 4 T. butter in a sauce pan and add the flour to make a roux. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the milk and whisk until smooth. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the shredded cheeses.
Toss the pasta and sauce together to coat well. Spoon into a lightly greased casserole dish or 4 individual ramekins.
Combine the crackers, 2 T. melted butter and paprika. Sprinkle over macaroni and cheese, and place in a preheated 375° oven and bake for 20 minutes until bubbly and golden brown. Serves 4.
- Green leafy vegetables
- Other vegetables
- Whole grains
- Olive oil
- Red meats
- Butter and stick margarine
- Pastries and sweets
- Fried or fast food
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices Recommends Universal Annual Influenza Vaccination [Internet]. 2010 [cited 2010 May 11]. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/media/pressrel/2010/r100224.htm
- About the Flu [Internet]. [cited 2010 May 11]. Available from: http://www.flu.gov/individualfamily/about/index.html
- Common Cold [Internet]. [cited 2012 June 18]. Available from: http://pricechopper.staywellsolutionsonline.com/Search/85,P00620
The Whole Story on Whole GrainsHealth experts say that everyone—men, women, young, old—needs grains as part of a healthy everyday diet. And at least half of our daily grains should be “whole grains.” Contrary to popular belief, whole grains don’t taste like cardboard! Whole grains include wheat, corn, rice, oats, barley, quinoa, sorghum, spelt, rye—even popcorn! Whole grains contain disease-fighting phytochemicals and antioxidants, plus are a good source of protein, B vitamins, vitamin E, magnesium, iron and fiber. Eating whole grains helps to lower cholesterol levels, plus reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and obesity. Few foods offer such diverse benefits. This is why the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend that all adults eat at least 3 to 5 servings of whole grains every day; children need 2 to 3 servings or more. Beyond buying whole grain breads, pastas and cereals, try these easy ways to enjoy whole grains: • Add a half-cup of cooked bulgur, wild rice or barley to bread stuffing • Enjoy whole grain salads like tabbouleh • Stir a handful of rolled oats into yogurt for a satisfying and healthy crunch
What IS a Whole Grain and How Do I Find It?