Flavorful Meals

Author Photo
By Family Features | Mar 19, 2012

Courtesy McCormick
Give ordinary pork chops a flavorful antioxidant boost with fruit and seasonings.

The weeknight rotation of go-to family favorites just got better – and better for you. The flavor experts in the McCormick Kitchens took up the challenge to find easy ways to add more flavor, and antioxidants, to the top internet-searched family dinner recipes with staple ingredients like spices, herbs, vegetables and fruits.

At the time of the search, these were the top 10 most-searched recipes.

1. Spaghetti
2. Tacos
3. Pork Chops
4. Pizza
5. Chicken Soup
6. Enchiladas
7. Meatloaf
8. Lasagna
9. Chili
10. Beef Stew

“This list of top recipes reveals that busy cooks are searching for new ideas to add some flavorful twists to the same weeknight standbys,” says Mary Beth Harrington of the McCormick Kitchens. “We wanted to create deliciously simple variations that can inspire healthy choices every night of the week.”

Making healthier dinners is easier than you think. Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, MA, RD, author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet, believes that the best place to start is with what the family already loves – and then boost the excitement, flavor and nutrition of dinnertime with healthy ingredients. 

“Using ‘Super Spices’ like red pepper, oregano, ginger and garlic provides an added bonus because they are a delicious source of natural antioxidants, which play an important role in keeping the body in good health,” says Dr. Bazilian.

The McCormick Kitchens have developed these easy tips to inspire healthy choices on even the busiest nights of the week.

Pork Chops: Rub 4 pork chops with a blend of 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, 1/2 teaspoon crushed rosemary leaves and 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper. Saute in skillet with 1 tablespoon vegetable oil, 1/2 cup apple juice, a sliced apple, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon. (Each serving adds antioxidants equal to 3 ounces pomegranate juice.)

Chicken Soup: Stir 2 teaspoons ground ginger and 1 teaspoon garlic powder into 4 cups soup. Add snow peas and shredded carrots. (Adds antioxidants equal to 1/2 cup chopped cantaloupe per serving.)

Meatloaf: Add 1 tablespoon paprika, 1 tablespoon oregano leaves, 1 tablespoon ground cumin and 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper to 2 pounds lean ground beef or ground turkey. After baking, top with salsa. (Each serving adds antioxidants equal to 1 1/2 cup green peppers.)

Chili: Blend 1 pound cooked ground turkey with 2 8-ounce cans of no-salt-added tomato sauce. Stir in 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon ground cumin and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper. (Antioxidants added are equal to 1/3 cup chopped asparagus per serving.)

Beef Stew: Add 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, 1 teaspoon oregano leaves, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper to plain beef stew. (Each serving adds antioxidants equal to 1 1/2 cups sliced kiwi per serving.) For an extra antioxidant boost, add sweet potatoes and chopped red pepper.

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