How to deliver at dinner

Our month-long recognition of National Nutrition Month continues with some supper tips from Elle Hall, registered dietitian. Here, she dishes on getting organized and setting yourself up for success in the evenings with practical, delicious options to please the whole family.

With daily schedules becoming busier and busier, dinner time is incredibly vulnerable to disruptions. But having a nutritious meal doesn’t mean you have to spend hours slaving away in the kitchen. By using meal planning and our practical plate method, you can establish an easy, delicious routine.

Meal planning can be beneficial in several ways. Not only does it save time since you don’t have to decide what to make for dinner each day, but it can also help save time and money at the grocery. By planning ahead and sticking to your list, you know exactly what you need. This also means you’re less likely to let impulse items jump into your cart during your shopping trip.

When planning and dishing up meals, consider using the plate method. Divide your plate in half, and then into quarters on one side. Half of your plate should consist of fruit and vegetables, while a quarter of your plate should consist of lean protein, and the final quarter should consist of whole grains. Using this simple method can help insure you are eating a nutritious meal, and can help you be mindful about portion sizes. A tasty example of fruits and vegetables would be a spinach salad with onion, walnuts, strawberries and a light vinaigrette. Lean proteins include baked/grilled fish, chicken without the skin, pork loin, etc. Whole grain options would be brown rice, whole wheat couscous, whole wheat pasta or a whole wheat tortilla.

Want to try a simple alternative to the common noodle? Look in the produce section! This simple recipe for spaghetti squash pasta is versatile and a true crowd-pleaser.

Spaghetti Squash Pasta

1 spaghetti squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2, Cut the spaghetti squash in half, lengthwise, and use a large spoon to scrape out the seeds. Brush the inside of the squash with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Place the squash on the pan, cut side facing up, and roast for 45-50 minutes.
4. Remove squash from the oven and use a fork to scrape out the “noodles”.
5. Season and sauce with desired condiments and enjoy.

Time for toppings.
Consider dressing your spaghetti squash pasta in olive oil and basil, garlic and parmesan, pesto, spinach and goat cheese, tomato and basil, or a lovely avocado sauce, made by blending basil, garlic, avocado and lemon juice. 

Watch the demonstration.

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