Strike A Balance

19 Jan 2017
POSTED BY Y Magazine

Get all the family looking forward to meal times with some healthy and balanced alternatives that busy parents will love to prepare.

Any parent knows how hard it is, at the best of times, to get all the family round the table for dinner these days.

And when faced with having to prepare nutritious fare that your youngest won’t make faces at is always a challenge.

But don’t let this put you off. This year, a few simple solutions and a little inspiration are all you need to get started.

The key to this is to find the right balance of vitamins and nutrients in the meals you serve.

While many families try to cook nutritious meals at home, a balanced plate can often be hard to achieve.

Educational programmes, such as Nestlé’s Balance Your Plate, make it easy to create delicious and balanced meals.

You can do this by pairing prepared frozen meals and pizzas with made-from-scratch side dishes, which makes meeting dietary guidelines a more attainable goal.

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

The nutritionist Kim Stoegbauer has recognised this, along with the culinary challenges parents can face.

“It’s so important to me that we sit down as a family and have a nutritious meal,” says Kim, the creative director and founder of The TomKat Studio.

Kim has created a few easy ways to add some special touches to your next family dinner.

By pairing a frozen lasagne with meat and sauce (made with ingredients you can find in your own kitchen cupboard) with a homemade panzanella salad and garlic roasted asparagus (with tomatoes and balsamic vinegar), she shows 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 the family, especially when paired with some delicious and easy-to-prepare sides,” says Kim.

Find more simple, delicious and well-balanced meal ideas to share with your family at

– Family Features

Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Balsamic

Recipe courtesy of The TomKat Studio blog on behalf of Stouffer’s

Serves: 6


  • 900g asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 480g cherry tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • reduced balsamic vinegar

Heat oven to 190C


  • On a baking tray, toss together all the ingredients except the balsamic vinegar. Roast for 15 minutes or until the asparagus is tender. Transfer the asparagus and tomatoes to a serving plate. Drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar to taste, and serve.

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

Panzanella Salad

Recipe courtesy of The TomKat Studio blog, on behalf of Stouffer’s

Serves: 8-10


  • 1 whole wheat baguette, cut into 2.5cm cubes
  • 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 3 tbsp 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, cut into short, thin strips

Heat oven to 180C.


  • On a baking tray, spread the bread in a single layer and drizzle with one tablespoon full of olive oil. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the garlic, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper with the remaining olive oil to make the vinaigrette.
  • In a large bowl, toss all the ingredients together, making sure you coat all the ingredients with vinaigrette. Serve immediately.


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