Simple ways to break out of dinner menu monotony


With mom's and dad's work schedules running up against after school activities and homework time, the opportunities to share delicious meals are fewer and further between than ever before. If your family is crunched for time, relying on the same old dinnertime standards can become a habit. However, it might be easier than you think to break out of your routine and incorporate something different into your evening meal.

Sissy Biggers, lifestyle expert and mother of two, says she's always been on the lookout for new recipes that help her move away from the tried and true. "Because busy schedules are the new norm and were for me when my kids were growing up, everyone is looking for ways to cut cooking time and prepare meals that don't require a laundry list of ingredients or preparation steps," notes Biggers. Following are her top tips for making mealtime easier and more interesting.

* Use staples in a new way. You've probably got a pantry and refrigerator door packed with products that you rely on but don't use too often. But don't let those staples sit unused - they can be the key to making dinner different and more delicious. For instance, adding Hellmann's(R) Real Mayonnaise to chicken recipes like Parmesan Crusted Chicken, which has just four steps and four ingredients, can produce a juicier, crispier meal that your family is sure to love.

* Incorporate a single new item. There's a whole grocery store full of options just waiting for you - why not look for an ingredient you haven't yet tried? Adding a single new ingredient is an easy way to break the monotony without going overboard and cooking an entirely new type of meal. The bonus is that you'll be exposing your family to what could become a new favorite - and if they like it, you can try new cooking methods in the future.

* Get everyone in the kitchen. The old adage about too many cooks spoiling the broth isn't necessarily true. By gathering the family in the kitchen to help with dinner prep, you'll not only be distributing the workload to make things go faster, you may inspire a new interest in cooking. That, in turn, could lead your kids to look for recipes that they want to debut on your evening menu.

Adding a new taste to your dinner can start as early as tonight. In just 30 minutes, you can have a delicious dinner of Parmesan Crusted Chicken ready to wow your family. Visit hellmanns.com for quick and easy meal ideas and vote for your favorite Hellmann's(R) recipes.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

1/2 cup Hellmann's(R) or Best Foods(R) Real Mayonnaise
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 lbs.)
4 teaspoons Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Combine Hellmann's(R) or Best Foods(R) Real Mayonnaise with cheese in medium bowl. Arrange chicken on baking sheet. Evenly top with mayonnaise mixture, then sprinkle with bread crumbs.

Bake 20 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Makes 4 servings.

 

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