Today's Dinnertime Reality Is Fresh Food Fast

IN THE KITCHEN

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With today's more sophisticated palates, and the desire to savor more healthy and well-balanced meals, standard take-out fare just won't cut it anymore for speedy weeknight meals. There's a world of difference between "just okay" and "outstanding!" at-home menus.

From the deli to the frozen food case to the produce aisle, we're on the hunt for products that help us get stylish, contemporary meals on the table fast. Help is here. The category of high-quality prepped offerings from the supermarket is growing. And they taste better than ever.

The washed, ready-to-eat packaged salad mixes were the first produce products to make "fresh, fast!" a possibility. And the latest of these salads is chef-inspired creations that compete with entrées for centerpiece status.

New salads taking center stage on the menu include a variety of tempting offerings: Fresh mixtures of greens, a variety of vegetables, savory goodies, dried fruits, nuts, croutons, aged cheeses and professional-quality dressings give this new class of premium, ready-to-toss salads pizzazz.

With nutrition professionals recommending that we get up to nine to 15 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, it's a deliciously painless way to meet those dietary requirements by including fabulous salads in daily menus.

Baby Spinach, tender Spring Mix, crisp Hearts of Romaine, and crunchy Broccoli florets are some of the nutrient-dense foundations of these premium salads.

The amazing variety of salads available -- all nutrient-rich and delivered in the peak of freshness for great taste -- make it possible to serve a week's worth of dinners that showcase a world of flavors.

Originating this exciting new generation of salads is Fresh Express with its Premium Recipe Complete Salad line debuting in the produce aisle of grocery stores nationwide in May. These complete fresh salad mixes -- all the toppings and dressing are in the bag -- reflect contemporary flavor trends and offer a culinary artist's palette of colors, flavors and textures.

With center-stage combinations like B.L.T. Caesar Salad, Bleu Cheese Vinaigrette, Caesar Supreme and a one-of-a-kind fresh Broccoli Salad, the Premium Recipe Complete Salads can add style and spark to any meal.

Savvy cooks can tap into their own repertoires of snazzy, quick and tasty entrées to pair with these dressy salads. Or, try some of these streamlined, stylish pairings -- one for each day of the week.

For instance on-hand ingredients make a simple adornment, taking everyday chicken breasts to a new level.

Chicken With Parsley, Garlic and Romano Crust

2 slices whole wheat bread, torn

1/4 cup parsley, trimmed and washed

1 clove garlic, crushed

1/4 cup grated Romano

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In small bowl of food processor, process bread pieces, parsley and garlic, add Romano, salt, pepper and oil, pulse briefly; set aside. Coat chicken evenly with mustard, place in shallow roasting pan and pat crumb mixture on top. Bake until chicken is cooked through and crumbs nicely browned, about 20--25 minutes. Makes 4 servings

For more serving suggestions, recipes, promotions and the latest in fresh-cut salads, check out the Fresh Express web site at www.freshexpress.com.

From Family Features Editorial Syndicate

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