Healthy Ways to Bring Back the Family Dinner

Sixty years ago the average dinnertime was 90 minutes.  Today it’s less than 12 minutes.  Even though we have less time for dinner we don’t need to compromise our family’s nutrition. Registered Dietitian with Cooper Clinic, Meridan Zerner, MS, RDN shared with us some meal ideas and recipes for the evening rush.

September is actually Family Meal Month, and because eating a dinner at home is arguably healthier than going out, Meridan encourages you to take it to the next level and go organic. She says, "If you ask any health professional, 'Hey should I be eating organic?' they'll say, 'Yeah, if you can afford it.'" Lucky for us there's an organic brand now that doesn't break the bank. O Organics are available at local grocery stores like ACME, Albertsons, Safeway, Tom Thumb, and Randalls, and have hundreds of products. She made a recipe for Corn Chip Coated Chicken with Cilantro Sauce and it only took about 20 minutes to make (recipe below). However, if you've really got to grab something and go, O Organics makes a to-go salad and also hummus.

September also happens to be Cholesterol Awareness Month and Meridan says it's important to know about the different kinds of cooking oils available. There heart healthy options out there like Mazola Oil. She points out that a study in the Journal of Clinical Lipidology found that corn oil like Mazola can help lower cholesterol more than extra virgin olive oil. She used some corn oil in a great bean salad that only took seven minutes to put together and is great by itself or in a taco or burrito. Here's to more dinners at home, and a healthier family overall.

O Organics Corn Chip Coated Chicken with Cilantro Sauce

Suggested Cooking Method: Mix, bake, roast

Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 35 minutes

Suggested Categorization: Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall, Dinner Servings Per Recipe: 8
Serving Size: 2 chicken tenders with 2 tablespoons cilantro sauce

Nutritional Information:

Calories 367, Total Fat 14.8 g, Saturated Fat 2.2 g, Polyunsaturated Fat 0.4 g, Monounsaturated Fat 2.1 g, Cholesterol 70.6 mg, Sodium 579.4 mg, Potassium 143.2 mg, Total Carbohydrate 26.4 g, Dietary Fiber 4.1 g, Sugars 4.7 g, Protein 30.2 g

Steps (Directions):

1. Preheat oven to 400o. Season both sides of chicken tenderloins with salt. Place them in a large plastic zip-top bag with Greek yogurt to marinate.
2. Crush corn chips by putting them in a food processor and pulsing several times until a semi- fine texture is reached. Or, put them in a zip-top bag and crush them with your hands.

3. Take each chicken tender and place it in the bag with the crushed chips, fully coating each side with the crumbled corn chips. Place each chicken piece onto a baking sheet lined with foil or a silicone baking mat. Repeat for the rest of the 2 lbs of chicken tenders.
4. To make cilantro sauce, in a food processor, add Greek yogurt, cilantro, green onions, and garlic. Process until smooth. Add olive oil (or avocado), salt and lime juice. Process again until smooth.


2 lb boneless skinless chicken breast tenderloins 1 (10 ounce) bag O Organics® yellow corn chips 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon salt

Cilantro Sauce
1/2 cup packed cilantro, stems removed 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
3 green onions, chopped
2 small cloves garlic, grated
1/4 cup olive oil (or 1 small avocado) 1/2 teaspoon salt
juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbsp lime juice)


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