(Family Features) This New Year, set a realistic resolution to take time to sit down with your family and eat balanced meals together. A few simple solutions and a dash of inspiration are all you need to set the tone for a year of health and wellness.

Last year, Americans were only meeting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate recommendations for vegetables, fruit, protein, dairy and grain consumption one week out of the entire year. While many families try to cook nutritious meals at home, a balanced plate can be hard to achieve. Educational programs, such as Nestlé’s Balance Your Plate, make it simple to create delicious and balanced meals by pairing frozen prepared meals and pizzas with made-from-scratch side dishes, which makes meeting the dietary guidelines a more attainable goal.

Frozen entrees are a convenient starting point for a well-rounded meal.

“It’s so important to me that we sit down as a family and have a nutritious meal,” said Kim Stoegbauer, creative director and founder of The TomKat Studio, who created a few easy ways to add some special touches to your next family dinner.

By pairing Stouffer’s Lasagna with Meat & Sauce, made with ingredients you would find in your own kitchen cupboard, with a homemade Panzanella Salad and Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Balsamic, Stoegbauer demonstrates how easy it is to create a family-friendly meal without the hassle.

“It’s a frozen entree that you can feel good about feeding your family, especially paired with some delicious and easy-to-prepare sides,” Stoegbauer said.

Find more simple, delicious and well-balanced meal ideas to share with your family at nestleusa.com/nutrition/balance.

Panzanella Salad
Recipe courtesy of The TomKat Studio blog on behalf of Stouffer’s
Serves: 8-10

  • 1          whole wheat baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3          tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1          hothouse cucumber, diced
  • 3          assorted bell peppers, diced
  • 1/2       red onion, diced
  • 10        sprigs basil leaves, julienned
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. On baking sheet, spread bread in single layer and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
  3. In bowl, whisk together garlic, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper with remaining olive oil to make vinaigrette. 
  4. In large bowl, toss ingredients together, making sure to coat all ingredients with vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Balsamic
Recipe courtesy of The TomKat Studio blog on behalf of Stouffer’s
Serves: 6

  • 2          pounds asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1          pint cherry tomatoes 
  • 4          garlic cloves, minced
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • reduced balsamic vinegar
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. 
  2. On baking sheet, toss together all ingredients, except balsamic vinegar. Roast 15 minutes, or until asparagus is tender. Transfer asparagus and tomatoes to platter. Drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar to taste and serve.

Tip: Add some leftover fresh basil to the top of your lasagna for a pretty and flavorful garnish that complements your sides.

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