After a chaotic day of shuttling kids around from school to appointments to sports practices, finding time to prepare a delicious meal that the whole family will enjoy can be challenging. Getting everyone around the dinner table for a meal provides the perfect opportunity to encourage children to explore new foods and build healthy eating habits for life, but with busy schedules it's often easier said than done.
Food Network star and father of two, Jamie Deen, has partnered with the makers of Hidden Valley® products to offer some tips that help his family cut through the kitchen chaos and join together to enjoy nutritious and hearty family meals.
* Don't give up: This is important to remember as your children grow. Don't think that you've hit a wall when they say they don't like something and that your recipe catalog is now reduced to only things they like. Give the "rejected" ingredients another try later on. Both you and your kids may be surprised at the results! For a new take on a veggie side that the whole family will love, try this recipe for Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Ranch Sauce.
* Peruse the prepared: Most grocery stores offer prepared veggies. Chopping, slicing and julienning can be very time consuming. If you don't have the luxury of time, veggies in bags are just as nutritious and can be huge time savers.
* Celebrate seasonings: Cooking with spices makes all the difference, but finding that perfect combination takes additional time. Don't be afraid to explore ready-made seasonings and rubs, they'll save you time and create flavors your family will love.
* Plan ahead: Menu-planning can also be a huge time saver. It requires more thinking at the start of the week, but will help you see what dishes can be remixed for later on in the week. Turkey and baked potatoes on Monday can be turned into turkey sliders and ranch mashed potatoes on Thursday!
Roasted Cauliflower with Creamy Ranch Sauce
Prep: 10 minutes, Cook: 30 minutes, Serves: 4
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Vidalia onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup Hidden Valley® Original Ranch® Light dressing
2 tablespoons chicken broth
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Spray a small rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
Combine the cauliflower, 1 tablespoon of oil, and salt in a large bowl; toss to coat well. Spread the cauliflower in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast, stirring once or twice, until the cauliflower is just tender, about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in the Ranch dressing and broth; bring to a simmer. Add the cauliflower, tossing gently to coat well. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with parsley.
For more recipes and cooking tips, visit HiddenValley.com.