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Balanced, Flavorful Meals for a Hectic Week

Apr 06, 2016 04:32AM ● Published by Family Features

Weeknights: the time of the day when the sun goes down and you are left with only a limited amount of time to finish answering emails, helping the kids with their homework and, of course, getting everyone fed. Busy families know that getting nutritious and flavorful dinners on the table can be challenging when there is little-to-no time to think about what to serve, let alone prepare. So when it comes to dishing up quick, wholesome meals, maximizing efficiency with preparation is key.

Rather than serve your family the same go-to dish day-in and day-out, up the ante with a frozen prepared meal. Frozen foods are not only a fantastic resource for getting a delicious meal on the table in a pinch, but can help you meet the U.S. dietary guidelines for balanced nutrition, just by simply pairing your meal with a nutritious side dish. Balance Your Plate, an educational campaign created by Nestlé, helps consumers create a nutritiously balanced meal by pairing frozen prepared dishes with a side of fresh fruit, vegetables, whole grains or low-fat dairy.

When choosing the right frozen prepared entree for you and your family, look for frozen items that offer high-quality ingredients and preparation techniques that highlight flavor and simplicity. For example, Stouffer’s Lasagna with Meat and Sauce is made with freshly prepared, hand-layered pasta, hand-seasoned sauce with vine-ripened tomatoes and topped with fresh mozzarella and aged parmesan. You can pair this with a refreshing Apple and Walnut Arugula Salad to achieve a nutritiously balanced, yet flavorful weeknight meal.

For more recipe inspiration and tips for building balanced meals while using frozen prepared meals, search “balance” at

Fresh Apple and Walnut Arugula Salad


  • 6 cups torn mixed salad greens
  • 2 medium apples, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion sliced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 4 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese (optional)


  1. In large bowl, combine greens, apples, onion, cranberries and walnuts.
  2. In separate small bowl, whisk together garlic, pinch of salt and pepper, balsamic vinegar, honey and lemon juice. Then slowly add olive oil, continuing to whisk.
  3. Pour dressing over greens and toss. Top with goat cheese, if desired. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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