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The Healthy Family Meals Newsletter, Issue #32 -- Family Meals & Junior Asparagus!
May 15, 2006
Welcome! Learn How to Combine Healthy Recipes with Family Adventure!
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Hope all of you had a blessed Mother's Day celebration yesterday!
And guess what I just happened to serve my own mom for lunch -- you guessed it -- asparagus!
Hopefully many of us probably did have a family meal together with our moms...which is relevant to our topic this week on the research that continues to show how family meals may encourage better eating habits.
If you are looking for easy ways to reduce stress, stay healthy and feel better, the answer may be as close as your dinner table.
Research shows that family meals lead to better nutrition, better language skills, better school performances and better overall adjustment in children and teens.
How can you do dinner quickly and easily?
• Plan a weekly menu: Make it simple or make it detailed. The key is to have a plan for shopping and cooking. (check out the 10-day menu quick-start menu plan at www.healthy-kid-recipes.com that I have created for you!) Involve the whole family – less stress for any one person.
• Cook once, eat twice: Cut down dramatically on your prep time. Cook and freeze larger batches of key ingredients, like ground beef for tacos and spaghetti sauce.
• Keep the cupboard stocked: Pack your pantry (and freezer) with staples like canned beans, tuna and fruit, pasta and rice, baking mixes, and frozen vegetables.
• Use the sandwich advantage: Nothing is quicker than a sandwich – breakfast (toaster waffles), lunch (whole grain bread) or dinner (pita pockets or tortilla wraps).
Try the easy recipe below:
RECIPE OF THE WEEK
Chilled Asparagus in Dilled Mustard Sauce
Prep time: 15 minutes to prepare, 1 hour to chill
Yield: 4 servings
1 lb fresh asparagus (pencil-thin, if possible)
1 cup firm yogurt
¼ cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
2 heaping tablespoons each: freshly-minced dill & freshly-minced chives
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Snap the very bottom-most tiplets from you asparagus spears. Leaving the spears whole and long, steam them until they are just tender. As soon as they are done, run them under cold water and drain.
2. Combine all remaining ingredients and mix well.
Place the asparagus in a long, shallow dish, pour the dressing over, and chill.
Serve on a platter lined with greens; garnish with cherry tomatoes.
Source: The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen
Asparagus is actually a young edible shoot, commonly called a “spear”; the spear rises from an underground stem called a “crown”, which is capable of producing spears for 15-20 years.
Most asparagus is harvested in the spring. Asparagus is available in abundance only from March to late June.
There are over 300 varieties of asparagus, only 20 of which is edible.
Choose asparagus with firm, crisp stalks and compact, brightly colored heads with no traces of rust. Before cooking asparagus, cut off the base of the stalk. Avoid overcooking asparagus, as this causes it to lose flavor, color, and nutrients.
Steaming is the best cooking method.
Asparagus is ready when the stalks are tender but still firm.
Asparagus is very perishable. Wrapped in a damp cloth and placed in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator, it will keep for a maximum of 3 days.
Blanched asparagus will keep for up to 9 months in the freezer.
Asparagus is an excellent source of folic acid and contains vitamin C, potassium, thiamine, riboflavine, vitamin B6, copper, vitamin A, iron, phosphorus, and zinc.
Asparagus is said to be a laxative, diuretic, and a tonic.
What will your family do for healthier MEALTIMES?
Celebrating Healthy Families 2006
I want to continue to offer an excellent resource in 2006 that will help you save thousands of dollars on GROCERY SHOPPING!
Meet Lana Dorazio whom I consider an "expert" grocery shopper. She has developed a grocery shopping system that you can learn too.
Thanks for reading and have a great week!
Kindy --Your Family Dietitian
Copyright (c) 2006, http://www.healthy-kid-recipes.com
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