(NAPS)—Here’s an idea many families may warm up to: You can cook up some togetherness and nourish your relationships when you create great, comforting and wholesome meals together as a family.
Why To Dine Together
According to researchers at Cornell University, when families eat dinner together, the children are 35 percent less likely to engage in disordered eating, 24 percent more likely to eat healthier food and 12 percent less likely to be overweight. Eating together may even lead to fewer behavior problems and more academic achievement.
How To Dine Together
The researchers suggest that families should plan to dine together at least three times a week, and while you’re eating, turn off the TV, phones and other outside distractions. Have a conversation. This is a good time to share important information, ideas and ideals with your children. Ask your kids questions about their day, school, friends, goals and so on. Tell them about yours
To help, the Family Resiliency Center at the University of Illinois, and Pampered Chef, the largest direct seller of kitchen tools, developed a few tips to make mealtimes easier:
• Make one night a week a special (stress-free) meal. It could be build your own pizza or taco night. Everyone will look forward to it and the cook is off the hook.
• Invite friends over for a cooking club. Cook several meals together that can go in the freezer for those nights you just don’t have the time or energy to cook.
• Prepare meals that are “double hitters.” Cook extra so there are leftovers that can be used in another meal the next night.
• Get everyone involved. Ask for favorite meal ideas for the week.
As for what to eat while you’re enjoying this together time, here’s a recipe to try:
1½ lbs (700 g) cauliflower (half of a large head or 1 small head)
8 oz (250 g) uncooked elbow macaroni (2 cups/500 mL)
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1½ cups (375 mL) chicken stock or chicken broth
½ cup (125 mL) milk
2 Tbsp (30 mL) flour
8 oz (250 g) reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (2 cups/500 mL grated)
1 cup (250 mL) 2% plain low-fat Greek yogurt
Salt and black pepper (optional)
1. Cut cauliflower into large chunks, keeping core intact. Using a Veggie Strip Maker, grate cauliflower florets into large Stainless Steel Mixing Bowl to measure 3 cups (750 mL).
2. Place cauliflower and macaroni in Rockcrok Dutch Oven or Deep Covered Baker. Using Garlic Slicer, slice garlic into Dutch Oven.
3. Whisk stock, milk and flour with Stainless Steel Whisk until blended. Pour into Dutch Oven; mix well.
4. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 17–20 minutes or until macaroni is tender, stirring once halfway through cooking.
5. Meanwhile, grate cheese with Microplane Adjustable Coarse Grater.
6. Using Silicone Oven Mitt Set, carefully remove Dutch Oven from microwave to Stackable Cooling Rack. Add yogurt and 1½ cups (375 mL) of the cheese; stir until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
7. Microwave, covered, on HIGH 1 minute or until cheese is melted.
The easiest way to grate the cauliflower so it stays in the bowl is to hold the Veggie Strip Maker at an angle into the large bowl while grating the florets. You can add color and flavor by adding two large peeled carrots, grated into short pieces with the Veggie Strip Maker.
At the company’s in-home cooking shows, you can see and try products, prepare and sample recipes, and learn quick and easy food preparation techniques as well as get tips on how to entertain with style and ease—transforming the simple to the spectacular. For more information, visit www.pamperedchef.com or www. facebook.com/PamperedChef. For other mealtime tips, recipes and cooking supplies, visit www.pam peredchef.com/mealtimeminutes.