Planning a meal for the family, or just for yourself at the end of the day can be time consuming and very stressful. If you’re a busy guy or gal on the go looking to make the challenges of planning and cooking up a nice home cooked meal easier on yourself and your family, you’ve come to the right place. Award winning cook and television host, Kristina Vanni joined me this week to dish on how to create a perfect meal your family will love in no time flat, and even get the kids involved too!
Candace Rose: How can we spice up our meals and snacks yet still keep it simple?
Kristina Vanni: “There are so many challenges at mealtime and so I have come up with four different tips to make those week night meals a little less stressful.
My first tip is when it comes to finding recipes or doing your grocery shopping- even cooking…I like to do as much as possible on the weekend. So I might make some soup or a big batch of chili or maybe even a pan of lasagne…and then just put it in the freezer. That way, any day of the week I can just pop it out, thaw it, cook it and get it ready to serve…and it’s completely stress-free.
My second tip is trying to find a way to still enjoy some of our favorite flavors, but avoid that rut of takeout. So instead of turning to take out and getting restaurant reservations, I really love these InnovAsian Cuisine Asian Dishes. They have everything from appetizers to Asian entrees like General Tso’s or even Chicken Fried Rice. What I love about these is there’s no MSG and no trans fats, so that’s something really important when you’re thinking about meals as well.
Now my third tip has to do with having some go to delicious snacks and treats you can enjoy throughout the week. I am a huge fan of chocolate milk, and I really love the TruMoo chocolate milk which of course is available year round. But right now, just in the month of February there is a limited edition TruMoo Chocolate Marshmallow milk. This is nutritious and delicious, there is no high fructose corn syrup and there is no artificial growth hormones. You can enjoy this cold in a glass, or you can actually warm this up and enjoy it hot. You can put it in a mug and top the rim with some crushed graham cracker crumbs, and then with that chocolate marshmallow milk it tastes like a sippable s’more.
My final tip to cut down on that stress at mealtime is to get the whole family involved in the cooking and meal making process. You can get kids involved and give age appropriate tasks like setting the table. I know growing up I was always assigned snipping green beans for dinner. Getting kids involved makes them invested in the meal, and then plus for you it cuts down on some of the work because you have a free sous chef. It’s a good deal all the way around.”
Candace Rose: Where can we go for more information?
Kristina Vanni: “If you ever need a recipe you can always check out my website: BetterRecipes.com. We have tons of resources there, and I write a blog five days a week so you can click on the daily dish and see what we’re talking about today.