Yum: A Sunday-Dinner Recipe

When’s the last time you had Sunday dinner with Grandma?

“For seniors, it’s not what’s on their plate that matters most at mealtime; it’s who is at the table with them,” said John Posey, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Wake County. “When seniors share meals with a companion, they have a better mealtime experience, both nutritionally and emotionally.”

Almost 75 percent of people surveyed by Home Instead said they only sit down for a family meal with senior loved ones for special occasions, events or holidays. Lack of time and conflicting schedules are mostly to blame.

To encourage families to make time for these meals, from now through July 31 the Home Instead Senior Care Foundation is donating $1 to Meals on Wheels America for each person who commits to regularly scheduling family dinners at SundayDinnerPledge.com.

“We hope families will make the pledge to either revive or begin new mealtime traditions with their senior loved ones,” Posey said. “This small commitment can have a big impact on a senior’s well-being.”

Interested? Here’s an easy Sunday-dinner recipe to help get you started, from Home Instead’s partner in the project, celebrity chef Melissa d’Arabian:    

Penne with Turkey, Spinach and Walnuts

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

2 cups dry penne pasta

1 tablespoon canola oil

½ pound ground turkey breast, raw

2 tablespoons onion flakes

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 cups chopped fresh spinach

¼ cup reduced sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons chopped oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped toasted walnuts, optional

Cook pasta according to package instructions.

In a large skillet, heat oil, add ground turkey, onion and garlic and sauté until turkey is cooked, stirring to break up turkey.

Add spinach, broth, tomatoes, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook about 5 minutes, until spinach is wilted and sauce begins to thicken, stirring occasionally.

Combine cooked, drained pasta and turkey-spinach mixture. Toss gently to combine. Dish onto serving plates, top with Parmesan, divided, and toasted walnuts, if desired.

For more recipes or to take the pledge, visit SundayDinnerPledge.com.

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