Easy Tips for Family Dinners Deliver Big On Taste and Antioxidants

(Family Features) The weeknight rotation of go-to family dinnertime favorites just got better - and better for you. The flavor experts in the McCormick Kitchens took up the challenge to find easy ways to add more flavor, plus antioxidants, to the top internet-searched family dinner recipes of the season with on-hand ingredients like spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits.

Top Ten Most-Searched Family Dinner Recipes

 1. Spaghetti
 2. Tacos
 3. Pork Chops
 4. Pizza
 5. Chicken Soup
 6. Enchiladas
 7. Meatloaf
 8. Lasagna
 9. Chili
10. Beef Stew
Google Adwords; August-October 2010

"This list of top recipes reveals that busy cooks are searching for new ideas to add some flavorful twists to the same weeknight standbys," explains Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick Kitchens. "We wanted to create deliciously simple variations that can inspire healthy choices every night of the week."

Making healthier dinners is easier than you think.  Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RD, author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet, believes that the best place to start is with what the family already loves - and then boost the excitement, flavor and nutrition of dinnertime with healthy ingredients.

"Using 'Super Spices' like red pepper, oregano, ginger and garlic provides an added bonus because they are a delicious source of natural antioxidants, which play an important role in keeping the body in good health," says Dr. Bazilian.

The McCormick Kitchens have developed these easy tips to inspire healthy choices on even the busiest nights of the week:

Pork Chops:

Rub four pork chops with a blend of 1 tsp. each Garlic Powder and Thyme Leaves, 1/2 tsp. crushed Rosemary Leaves and 1/4 tsp. Ground Red Pepper. Sauté in skillet with 1 tbsp. vegetable oil, 1/2 cup apple juice, a sliced apple and 1/2 tsp. Ground Cinnamon.

Adds antioxidants = 3 oz. pomegranate juice per serving

Chicken Soup:

Give homemade chicken soup an Asian flair. Stir 2 tsp. Ground Ginger and 1 tsp. Garlic Powder into 4 cups soup and top with snow peas and shredded carrots.

Adds antioxidants = 1/2 cup chopped cantaloupe per serving


Turn everyday meatloaf into a Mexican fiesta by adding 1 tbsp. each Paprika, Oregano Leaves and Ground Cumin and 1/2 tsp. Ground Red Pepper to 2 pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey. Top with salsa.

Adds antioxidants = 1 1/2 cups green peppers per serving


Make a lower-sodium turkey chili with tons of flavor. Blend 1 pound cooked ground turkey with 2-(8 oz.) cans of no salt added tomato sauce spiced up with 2 tbsp. Chili Powder, 1 tsp. Ground Cumin and 1/4 tsp. Crushed Red Pepper.

Adds antioxidants = 1/3 cup chopped asparagus per serving

Beef Stew:

Spice up plain beef stew with 1 tsp. each Thyme Leaves and Oregano Leaves and 1/2 tsp. each Garlic Powder and Ground Black Pepper. Give it an extra antioxidant boost by adding sweet potatoes and chopped red peppers.

Adds antioxidants = 1 1/2 cups sliced kiwi per serving

For additional better-for-you dinner ideas, infused with a passion for flavor, visit www.spicesforhealth.com.

SOURCE: McCormick

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