Four simple tips to create delicious, quality meals at home

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Posted: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 8:00 pm

(ARA) - As families become more concerned about the quality of food they are putting on the table, many are realizing that getting back to the basics is one of the best ways to eat better and not compromise on taste. If you're looking for ways to improve your family meals it doesn't require a major overhaul of your approach to shopping or cooking. Often, just a few simple adjustments can go a long way.

One of the easiest ways to upgrade a home-cooked meal is to select the freshest form of the recipe's main ingredients, and focus on the quality of groceries on your shopping list.

If you need some inspiration, here are four ways to focus on keeping meals simple and delicious:

* Using quality ingredients doesn't mean everything needs to be made from scratch. Pack fresh vegetables into family favorites like classic salads and sandwiches. Complement these dishes with ready-made products that also focus on quality ingredients. For example, a staple ingredient that makes classic dishes such as BLTs and homemade potato salads taste even better is Hellmann's Real Mayonnaise. It's made with high quality, simple ingredients such as oil, vinegar, and now cage-free eggs. Dedicated to real, quality ingredients for nearly 100 years, Hellmann's recently announced its commitment to transition all of its recipes to 100 percent cage-free eggs by 2020.

* Pick out the main ingredient in your recipe and aim for quality. Whether you're making steaks, chicken or eggs, try using farm-fresh products from a local producer.

* Build meals around vegetables that are in season, such as midsummer BLTs when tomatoes are ripe for the picking. Plan a meal on the same day that you visit a local farmers market so you can use vegetables that may have been picked that morning, or better yet, cultivate your green thumb with a home garden for unlimited access to fresh - and inexpensive - vegetables.

* Use fresh herbs as seasoning to add a burst of flavor to your meals. Fresh garlic is a great flavor booster, as it has a long shelf live and can be used in a wide variety of cooking styles.

The following Turkey & Avocado BLT recipe demonstrates how a few simple, quality ingredients can make for a delicious meal:

Turkey & Avocado BLT

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon Hellmann's or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise

1 ciabatta or soft roll, split and toasted

2 green leaf lettuce leaves

3 ounces sliced deli turkey breast

2 slices tomato

3 slices avocado (optional)

2 slices bacon, crisp-cooked

Directions:

Evenly spread Hellmann's or Best Foods Real Mayonnaise on roll, then layer with remaining ingredients.

Visit www.hellmanns.com for additional ideas on how to incorporate real, simple ingredients into more of your classic dishes. There you can find recipes, as well as behind-the-scenes coverage of the FOOD & WINE Classic from Aspen, Colo., where Hellmann's partnered with celebrity chef Tim Love to share everything from chef secrets, to the essential ingredients that you'll need to create your favorite dish.

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