Meal Ideas 19 February 2019

A Winning Strategy

Sensible tips for healthy eating

(Family Features) With so many social events that revolve around food, it’s not easy to get a fresh start on making healthy food choices. However, with a little thought and planning, you can prevent taking your body on a roller coaster ride – without having to choose between food deprivation and satisfaction.

“Whether you are hosting an event or attending someone else’s celebration, planning ahead can help you stay on track,” said Mitzi Dulan, a registered dietitian and nationally recognized nutrition and wellness expert. “Having quick and simple strategies and recipes on hand makes it easy to eat well and keep you feeling great.”

Put a winning plan in place to take a new look at your approach to eating smart with these tips from Dulan, who is the team nutritionist for the World Series champion Kansas City Royals.

Don’t skip meals.
Although skipping breakfast may seem like a good way to cut calories, it’s a plan that can actually backfire, making you hungrier as the day wears on, and more likely to overeat or sneak unhealthy snacks. Start each day with a well-rounded breakfast to fuel your body. Apply a similar approach to events later in the day, as well. You may be tempted to skip a meal so you can enjoy the treats at a party, but chances are you’ll end up overdoing it with high-calorie indulgences, so make sure you fuel up ahead of time.

Love what you eat.
Be mindful of the food you eat and make every bite count. Enjoying each delicious taste will make it easier to stick to a sensible eating plan. For the foods you do love, look for ways to make them better – better for you, that is. For example, if pizza is your weak spot, substitute a lower-calorie crust, such as Flatout Flatbread. Then choose toppings wisely to amp up the flavor while managing added fat and calories.

Eat smaller portions.
When you simply must indulge, you may be surprised to hear “go ahead,” but to do so in moderation. One clever way to keep your portions small: use a tablespoon, not a serving spoon to dish out portions. Then eat slowly so your body has time to tell your brain you’re full.

Get your fill in healthy ways.
Overeating often comes down to a very basic cause: hunger. Becoming more conscious of how you answer your hunger will help you stay on track. Drinking water before and during events will help to fill you up so you are less likely to consume excess calories. Snacking throughout the day can also help keep hunger at bay; several small, healthy snacks, such as a handful of nuts or trail mix, can help keep you feeling full. Also, remember to stop eating when you feel satisfied, but before you feel full.

To find a Flatout Flatbread retailer near you, visit FlatoutFinder.com.

Barbecue Chicken Flatbread Pizza

Recipe created by Mitzi Dulan, RD

  • non-stick baking spray
  • 2 Flatout Flatbreads
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 6 ounces grilled chicken breast, torn into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Spray large baking sheet with non-stick baking spray. Place flatbreads on baking sheet. On each flatbread, evenly spread 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce.
  3. Sprinkle both cheeses over flatbreads. Mix remaining barbecue sauce with grilled chicken and place on pizzas. Top with diced onion. Bake 5 minutes. Sprinkle cilantro on top and serve.

Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza

  • 1 Flatout Flatbread Artisan Thin Pizza Crust
  • 1/4 cup chunky red sauce
  • 3 slices provolone cheese
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 30 pepperoni mini slices
  1. Heat oven or grill to 375°F.
  2. Place flatbread on cookie sheet. Bake 2 minutes. Remove from oven. Spread sauce on flatbread. Lay provolone on top of sauce. Top with mozzarella and pepperoni. Return to oven and bake 4 more minutes, or until cheese melts.
  3. Grilling method: Heat grill to 375°F. Pre-bake flatbread on grill for 2 minutes. Remove from grill. Spread sauce on flatbread. Lay provolone on top of sauce. Top with mozzarella and pepperoni. Return flatbread to grill. Close lid. Grill for 4 minutes, or until cheese melts.

Arugula Mushroom Flatbread Pizza

  • 1 Flatout Flatbread
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, cooked
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • 6 grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fat-free balsamic vinegar
  1. Heat grill or oven to 375°F.
  2. Pre-bake flatbread for 2 minutes. Remove.
  3. Warm mushrooms in microwave or pan. Top flatbread with arugula, tomatoes and mushrooms. Sprinkle with cheese and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Cut into slices.

Thin Crust Egg, Sausage and Pepper Breakfast Pizza

  • 1 Flatout Flatbread Artisan Thin Pizza Crust
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs, lightly scrambled
  • 3 ounces sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 ounces yellow peppers, diced
  • 2 ounces red peppers, diced
  1. Heat oven to 375 F.
  2. Place flatbread on cookie sheet. Bake for 2 minutes. Remove from oven. Top flatbread with cheese, scrambled egg, sausage and peppers. Return to oven and bake 4 more minutes, or until cheese melts.
  3. Grilling method: Heat grill to 375 F. Pre-bake flatbread on grill for 1-2 minutes. Remove from grill. Top flatbread with cheese, scrambled egg, sausage and peppers. Return to grill. Close lid. Grill 4 more minutes, or until cheese melts.

Source: Flatout Flatbread

Breakfast & Brunch 05 February 2019

3 Savvy Ways to Simplify Breakfast

(Family Features) While it is widely known that starting your day with a balanced, nutritious breakfast can have a positive impact on overall health, it may be difficult for some people to make it a priority. Whether you generally run low on time in the mornings or have little ones to keep on track before heading out the door, it simply isn’t always an option to piece together a grandiose morning meal.

Rather than overhauling your lifestyle, consider some simpler ways to incorporate breakfast into your daily routine. These tips can help you start the day strong – and on time – without sacrificing the day’s first meal.

Prep the Night Before
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have ample time in the morning to prepare what some studies consider to be the most important meal of the day. If you’re typically short on time before heading out the door, prepare breakfast the night before so you can ensure you’re starting each day with proper fuel and nutrition. Even if it’s as simple as setting out a bowl, spoon and your favorite cereal before you go to bed, you can set yourself up to shave a few minutes off your morning routine.

Take It To-Go
If your kids are a handful or that snooze button is just too easy to reach each morning, sitting down at the table – even for a quick breakfast – might be out of the question. Preparing in advance by packing a to-go container with your favorite morning foods can be a simple solution to keep everyone happy without adding more strain to the day.

Keep It Simple
Breakfast doesn’t have to be elaborate to get your day going in the right direction. Simple options like avocado toast take little time to create yet can go a long way toward adding nutrients in the morning. For a different spin on traditional avocado toast, combine it with a unique taste like Sabra Classic Hummus, which can help you add fiber and protein before the day truly begins. Even if you aren’t an avocado person, just by swapping out the jelly you might put on your morning toast for hummus instead can help you reduce sugar intake without compromising on taste.

Find more solutions to busy days and recipes for any occasion at sabra.com.
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Hummus Toast

  • 2          tablespoons Sabra Hummus (any flavor)
  • 1          slice whole-wheat or hearty bread, toasted
  • 1/2       cup avocado, sliced
  • 1          sliced radish
  • 1/4       cup tender arugula
  • 1          tablespoon chopped pistachios
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  1. Spread hummus on toast. 
  2. Top with avocado, radish, arugula and pistachios. 
  3. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.

Source: Sabra

Meal Ideas 18 January 2019

Game Day Eats and Treats

Score major points with delicious dishes

(Family Features) If the crew is coming over to root for your favorite team, it may be time to spice up the menu. Whether you’re hosting the weekend get-together or watching the game after work, switch up your typical spread and serve something new to leave your guests cheering for more.

When it comes to choosing an ingredient that can lend a winning assist to nearly any dish and score you some major points, look no further than California Ripe Olives.

Variety is key when mapping out food for a crowd, regardless of the event. Plan on serving one main course and two sides, and consider no-fuss options like chips and dips. If there are kids in attendance, make sure there is something neutral for even the pickiest eaters to snack on. However, try your best to avoid anything that needs a knife and fork to eat – finger foods typically work best when the game is on and conversation is flowing.

The mild and unique taste of California Ripe Olives lends itself well to many different flavor pairings, such as these recipes for Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peach-Olive Jam, Easy Olive Bread and Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade. Whether your guests are fans of spicy, mild, sweet or savory, the only limit is your imagination when you pull a can of olives from the pantry.

Family farms across California grow 95 percent of the ripe olives consumed in the United States. Each can is a labor of love. Multi-generational family farms work with family-owned canneries in California to produce each can and ensure only the highest quality olives make it from the farm to your game-day table. For more creative ways to use olives, including family recipes from growers across California, visit CalOlive.org .

Simple Entertaining Tips to Take Your Table to the Next Level

  1. A colorful platter is an easy way to spice up a spread.
  2. Pair something salty with something sweet for a juxtaposition of flavors.
  3. If you’re serving food on neutral plates, add some colorful linens.
  4. Plan the menu around a central theme or ingredient.
  5. Guests love choices – making more options available can make for better spreads.
  6. Use versatile ingredients, like California Ripe Olives, to keep picky eaters happy.

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Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peach-Olive Jam

  • 1          teaspoon olive oil
  • 3          pounds pork shoulder roast
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4          cloves garlic, quartered
  • 4          cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8          ounces dried peaches
  • 1          tablespoon chili powder
  • 1          cup California Black Ripe Olives, wedged
  • 2          teaspoons country mustard
  • 1          ounce arugula
  • 8          onion rolls, split and toasted
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. In large, high-sided saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Season pork with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook in pan 3-4 minutes on each side until browned.
  4. Stir in garlic and continue cooking 3-5 minutes.
  5. Pour in chicken broth, peaches and chili powder; bring to boil.
  6. Cover loosely with foil and bake in oven 2 hours.
  7. With slotted spoon, carefully remove peaches and transfer to small mixing bowl. Mix olives and mustard with peaches; set aside.
  8. Continue to cook pork in oven 30-60 minutes until fork tender.
  9. Allow to cool slightly then shred by pulling apart with fork.
  10. Assemble sandwiches by spooning pork onto toasted rolls.
  11. Top with arugula and peach-olive mixture.

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Easy Olive Bread

Recipe courtesy of The Wicked Noodle

  • 8          ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4       cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2       cup mayonnaise
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 2          cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 10        ounces California Green Ripe Olives, chopped
  • 2          green onions, chopped
  • 1          loaf French bread, sliced in half lengthwise
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In bowl, mix cream cheese, butter and mayonnaise until thoroughly combined. Add garlic; stir well to distribute. Add cheddar cheese, green olives and green onions; stir to combine.
  3. Spread mixture on cut sides of bread. Bake 20-30 minutes, until cheese is hot, bubbly and starting to brown.

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Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade

  • 1/2       cup shallots, chopped
  • 1/4       cup chopped smoked sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          can (6 ounces) California Green Ripe Olives, drained
  • 1          can (6 ounces) California Black Ripe Olives, drained
  • 1/4       cup lightly packed fresh basil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • crackers or toasted baguette slices
  1. In food processor, pulse shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar and garlic until finely chopped. Add olives, basil, salt and pepper; pulse again until chopped.
  2. Cover and chill 1 hour.
  3. Serve with crackers or toasted baguette slices.

Note: Recipe can be prepared one day in advance.

Photo courtesy of The Wicked Noodle (Easy Olive Bread)

Source:  California Olive Committee

Meal Ideas 26 October 2018

Try the Trendiest Flavors Tonight

New seasonings make it easy

(Family Features) Exotic flavors common in the Middle Eastern region of the world like harissa, za’atar and shawarma are having a moment, appearing on restaurant menus and in popular make-at-home recipes.
 
Now is the perfect time to give these flavors a try. Thanks to new global seasonings from McCormick Gourmet, the spice combinations are already blended for the ultimate taste and simplicity.

Made from high-quality herbs and spices, the seasonings are USDA-Organic certified and Non-GMO Project verified so you can feel good about the ingredients used in your cooking. The expertly blended spices help create distinctive global-inspired dishes that take your home dining experience to the next level so you can explore these flavors from around the world without leaving the comfort of home.

  • Za’atar: This traditional Middle Eastern blend of spices including thyme, oregano and sesame seeds is perfect for sprinkling on flatbreads, roasted vegetables, nuts
    or popcorn. It can also be mixed into hummus or oil
    for dipping.
  • Harissa: A spicy flavor found in North African cuisine, this seasoning is made from a combination of chilies, warm spices and mint. Add it to meat and veggies before roasting, stir it into cooked rice and grains, mix it into yogurt to make a dip or combine it with roasted bell peppers and oil to turn this spice into its namesake sauce.
  • Shawarma: Often associated with the slow roasting of meat, this Middle Eastern street food favorite is made with cinnamon, coriander, cardamom and more. Use this seasoning to flavor an easy marinade for chicken, pork or steak.

Look for these flavors as well as new Peruvian and Berbere seasonings in the spice section of retailers nationwide. Find more recipe ideas at McCormickGourmet.com.
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Grilled Chicken Shawarma

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 16 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1 1/4    cup plain Greek yogurt, divided
  • 5          teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Organic Shawarma Seasoning, divided
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 2          pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 4          pita pockets, halved
  • 1          medium seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 8          lettuce leaves
  1. In small bowl, mix 1 cup yogurt and 1 teaspoon shawarma seasoning. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. In small bowl, mix oil, lemon juice, remaining yogurt, remaining shawarma seasoning and sea salt. Reserve 2 tablespoons of mixture; set aside.
  3. Place chicken in large re-sealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 1 hour, or longer for extra flavor.
  4. Heat grill or skillet to medium heat.
  5. Remove chicken from marinade. Discard remaining marinade. Grill or saute 6-8 minutes per side, or until cooked through and internal temperature reaches 165 F, brushing with reserved marinade.
  6. Slice chicken into thin strips. Serve in pitas with cucumber, lettuce and yogurt dressing.

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Shaved Carrot Salad with Pomegranate Harissa Dressing

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 5

  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh mint
  • 3          tablespoons pomegranate juice
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Organic Harissa Seasoning
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Organic Black Pepper, coarse ground
  • 3          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2       pound multicolor carrots, washed and peeled
  • 1/2       cup shelled roasted pistachios
  • 1/2       cup dried cranberries
  • 3          cups baby arugula
  • 1/4       cup crumbled feta cheese
  1. In large bowl, mix mint, pomegranate juice, honey, harissa seasoning, sea salt and pepper. Gradually add oil while mixing with wire whisk until well mixed. Set aside.
  2. Trim carrot ends. Slice each carrot lengthwise into ribbons with vegetable peeler or mandoline. In medium bowl, toss carrots with 1/4 cup prepared dressing. Stir in pistachios and cranberries.
  3. Arrange arugula on serving platter. Drizzle with remaining dressing and top with carrot mixture. Sprinkle with feta before serving.


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Za’atar Labneh

Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 (2 tablespoons each)

  • 1          cup labneh (yogurt cheese)
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Organic Za’atar Seasoning, divided
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • pita bread, for serving (optional)
  • pita chips, for serving (optional)
  • sliced fresh vegetables, for serving (optional)
  1. In small bowl, mix labneh and 1 teaspoon seasoning until well blended.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining seasoning.
  3. Serve with fresh pita bread, pita chips or sliced fresh vegetables, as desired.

Source:  McCormick

Meal Ideas 14 September 2018

Bring Tuscany to the Table

Simple, flavorful recipes for fall entertaining

(Family Features) Take time this fall to slow down and experience the pure delight of great-tasting food with family and friends.

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Savoring the moment is at the heart of Tuscan-inspired entertaining, where everyone has a seat at the table to enjoy simple and delicious dishes that boast authentic flavor and incorporate quality ingredients.

With a passion for the simplicity of Italian food and homemade Tuscan cooking, Italian-American chef Laura Vitale, host of “Laura in the Kitchen,” traveled to the small town of Lucca, Italy, where she reconnected with a region rooted in heritage, experienced rich traditions and embraced “The Tuscan Way” in crafting her own unique takes on classic dishes.

“I’m incredibly inspired by the spirit of Tuscan cooking,” Vitale said. “It encourages you to get into the kitchen, embrace simple ingredients and cook something delicious for the ones you love.”

For your next fall entertaining occasion, consider bringing Tuscany to your table with an ingredient such as Bertolli Rustic Cut pasta sauce as the centerpiece. Try Vitale’s classic Eggs in Purgatory or other recipes like Prosciutto and Arugula Rustica Pizza and traditional Ricotta Bruschetta.

Keep these tips from Bertolli in mind as you bring your lively Tuscan-themed table to life:

  • Rustic tableware fits well with the tone of the season. Try achieving this look with quality table accents that appear slightly distressed, faded or weathered. Thrift stores can be a surprising place to scout out your latest Tuscan-inspired table finds.
  • Mix and match different textures of woods that complement the look and feel of the rustic tableware. Accompany them with softer linens for a variety of pleasing table textures.
  • Use bright, floral colors, if you wish, to give your table vibrant pops of color to stand out among the darker, more rustic tones.

Remember, homemade Tuscan cooking is about great company, a simple menu and making memories. Find more fall flavors and entertaining tips at Bertolli.com.
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Ricotta Bruschetta

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 20

  • 1          loaf Italian bread, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • 2          tablespoons Bertolli Organic Mild Olive Oil
  • 1          clove garlic
  • 1⁄3       cup Bertolli Tomato & Basil Sauce
  • 1        container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. Arrange bread on baking sheet. Evenly brush with oil. Bake 10 minutes, or until golden brown.
  3. Rub toast evenly with garlic then top with sauce and cheese. Bake 5 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown. Serve hot.

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Prosciutto and Arugula Rustica Pizza

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          cup Bertolli Rustic Cut Three Cheese with Aged Asiago, Romano & Parmesan Sauce
  • 1          prebaked pizza crust (12 inches)
  • 1/2       cup shredded fontina cheese
  • 1          ounce prosciutto, thinly sliced
  • 2          cups arugula
  • 1          tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1          tablespoon toasted pine nuts
  • 1          tablespoon Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1          tablespoon Bertolli Balsamic Vinegar of Modena
  1. Heat oven to 450° F.
  2. Evenly spread sauce on crust then top with fontina cheese. Bake 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted, and remove from oven.
  3. Top with prosciutto. Arrange arugula in center of pizza then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Drizzle olive oil and vinegar over arugula and serve.

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Eggs in Purgatory

Recipe courtesy of Laura Vitale
Servings: 4

Eggs:

  • 1          jar (23 ounces) Bertolli Rustic Cut Roasted Garlic Marinara Sauce
  • 1/2       cup water
  • 4          eggs
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2          tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1          tablespoon chopped parsley

Bread:

  • 4          slices ciabatta, sliced about 1/2-inch thick
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1          large clove garlic, peeled but not chopped
  1. To make eggs: In large skillet with high sides over medium-high heat, add marinara sauce. Pour water into empty jar, swish it around to lift any sauce left in jar and pour it over sauce in skillet. Bring to low boil.
  2. Using back of wooden spoon, make four small wells in sauce. Carefully crack eggs, one at a time, and drop each egg into a separate well in bubbling sauce. Sprinkle salt and pepper on each one, to taste; cover skillet with lid and cook 7-8 minutes, or until egg whites set.
  3. When eggs are cooked to desired doneness, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
  4. To make bread: Char bread on bruschetta pan or indoor grill pan about 1 minute on each side until toasted. Once toasted, rub with clove of garlic on both sides then drizzle with olive oil.
  5. Serve eggs with hunks of charred garlic bread.

Note: If using skillet larger than 12 inches, you can add eight eggs instead of four for additional servings.

Source: Bertolli

Meal Ideas 17 August 2018

Simplify and Savor Dinner with Bold Flavors

(Family Features) A busy day doesn’t have to come between you and your favorite people at mealtime. With a little creativity and a simple ingredient like olive oil, you can set the table with flavorful meals and surround yourself with the company of friends and family, enjoying the experience together.

There’s no need to get complicated when you have quality ingredients like olive oil to add some extra zest. You can have flavor at the ready with Olive Oil Ice Cubes, for example. Add fresh herbs from your garden to an ice cube tray then fill with smooth, light and flavorful olive oil and freeze. Whenever you need to get the flavor sizzling, simply toss a cube into the pan.

Create a nearly effortless dressing with olive oil for a recipe like Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese, Berries and Pecans. White fish fillets like cod also pair well with an olive oil-based pesto, which can help ensure you’re prepared for any stressful day that dares to challenge your time around the table, allowing you to enjoy life’s pure moments. Olive oil even adds flavor to sweet and succulent desserts, such as Chocolate-Pumpkin Cake.

When the minutes start to slip away, capture them back with recipes that use olive oil to create meals you can feel good about while savoring the company of those around you.

Make every moment count and find more simple, enjoyable recipes at Bertolli.com.
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Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese, Berries and Pecans

Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1-2

  • 7 cups arugula
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup pecans, toasted
  • 1 cup mixed berries (such as blackberries or strawberries)

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. In bowl, toss arugula, goat cheese, pecans and mixed berries.
  2. To make dressing: In bowl, mix lemon juice, shallots, honey, salt and olive oil.
  3. Add dressing to salad for serving.

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White Fish Fillets with Pesto

Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

Fish:

  • 2 cod fillets (about 7 ounces each)
  • salt, to taste
  • Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to taste

Red Pesto:

  • 1 bunch basil
  • 1 ounce cashews
  • 3/4 ounce Parmesan cheese
  • Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • water
  1. To prepare fish: Rub both sides of fillets with salt and olive oil while heating saucepan.
  2. Sear fillets meat-side first followed by skin-side.
  3. Heat oven to 350° F.
  4. To make Red Pesto: Puree basil, cashews, Parmesan cheese and olive oil while adding small amount of water.
  5. Add additional olive oil as necessary, ensuring sauce is thick enough to cover fish.
  6. Place fish in oven tray, cover with Red Pesto and bake 5 minutes.

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Chocolate-Pumpkin Cake

Total time: 20 minutes

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 1/2 ounces sugar
  • 4 1/2 ounces Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4 1/2 ounces flour
  • 1/3 ounce cocoa powder
  • 1/8 ounce salt
  • 5 1/4 ounces pumpkin
  • 1/10 ounce baking powder
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Mix eggs with sugar thoroughly and beat until bubbles form. Slowly add in olive oil while continuing to stir mixture.
  3. Add flour, cocoa powder, salt, pumpkin and baking powder; using whisk, mix well.
  4. Pour into cake mold lined with baking paper and bake 15 minutes.
  5. Let cool and remove cake from mold.

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Olive Oil Cubes

  • Assorted herbs
  • ice cube trays
  • Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. Break up herbs by hand. Add herbs to trays. Fill trays with olive oil and gently set in freezer; allow to solidify.
  2. When cooking, use cubes for added flavor.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Arugula Salad with Goat Cheese, Berries and Pecans, Olive Oil Cubes)

Source:  Bertolli

Meal Ideas 10 August 2018

Fresh, Fast, Flavorful Meals for Back-to-School Season

(Family Features) The start of each school year brings new routines for families to adjust to, which can leave little to no time to think about dinner. With the right ingredients, however, it’s still possible to create a healthy, home-cooked meal in a matter of minutes, allowing you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time at the dinner table catching up on the day’s events.

Cookbook author, actress, designer and mom of two Haylie Duff knows a thing or two about juggling her family’s busy schedule on top of her own. When it comes to getting a fresh, fast meal on the table, she looks for easy meal helpers that help cut down on time, but not on flavor, that she can feel good about feeding to her family, like Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork. It’s conveniently pre-seasoned, packed with protein and can be grilled, roasted, sauteed or slow-cooked – making it a versatile dinner solution for any night of the week.

For your next weeknight meal, try Haylie Duff’s recipes for Tomatillo, Pineapple and Bacon Pork Tacos or Pork Gyros with Fresh Tzatziki, which feature a few simple ingredients and can help you make dinner in a matter of minutes.

Find more time-saving tips and fresh, flavorful weeknight dinner ideas for the whole family at SmithfieldRealFlavorRealFast.com.
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Tomatillo, Pineapple and Bacon Pork Tacos

Recipe courtesy of Haylie Duff
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          Smithfield Applewood Smoked Bacon Marinated Fresh Pork Loin Filet
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1          fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into 1-inch thick slices
  • 1          teaspoon taco seasoning blend
  • 12        white corn tortillas
  • 1-2       radishes, chopped
  • 1          jalapeno, seeds removed and thinly sliced
  • 1          bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1          cup (4 ounces) crumbled queso fresco
  • 1          jar (16 ounces) tomatillo salsa (salsa verde)
  1. Cut pork loin filet into 1-inch cubes. Bacon will fall off, but make sure to keep it.
  2. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Saute half the pork cubes and bacon bits 7-8 minutes until browned. Repeat with remaining oil, pork cubes and bacon.
  3. Heat grill to medium at about 400° F. Sprinkle pineapple slices with taco seasoning; grill until char marks appear, turning once. Cut into 1-inch pieces.
  4. Place tortillas on grill until warm. Top tortillas with pork loin filet cubes, pineapple, radishes, jalapeno, cilantro and queso fresco. Serve with tomatillo salsa.

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Pork Gyros with Fresh Tzatziki

Recipe courtesy of Haylie Duff
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 16 minutes
Serves: 8

  • 1          Smithfield Slow Smoked Mesquite Marinated Fresh Pork Loin Filet
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 8-12     Greek pita breads, warm
  • shredded romaine lettuce or arugula
  • chopped tomatoes
  • crumbled feta cheese
  • 1          cup tzatziki sauce
  1. Cut pork loin filet in half lengthwise and thinly slice. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Stir-fry half the fresh pork loin filet 7-8 minutes until browned; set aside. Repeat with remaining oil and pork slices.
  2. Layer warm pitas with shredded lettuce, pork slices, tomatoes and feta. Top with tzatziki sauce.

Source:  Smithfield

Meal Ideas 25 June 2018

Good-for-You Meals with Grape Taste

(Family Features) When it comes to balancing heart-healthy meals with appealing flavors, it’s important to lean on nutritious ingredients that pack mouthwatering taste. For example, grapes are a delicious yet subtle way to incorporate a little something extra into your diet while adding a juicy burst of flavor.

Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – can be enjoyed as a ready-to-eat, on-the-go food anytime and anywhere. Grapes are also a healthy choice, as they’re a natural source of antioxidants and other polyphenols, and contain no fat and virtually no sodium.

Because of their versatility, heart-healthy grapes can also be used as an ingredient to add fresh appeal, vibrant color and a light touch of sweetness to almost any dish, like Roasted Cod with Fennel and Grapes or Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Grapes. For something quick and nutritious featuring fresh fruits and vegetables, try this Vegetarian Poke Bowl with tofu, fresh grapes, avocado and crunchy, raw beets and carrots.

Grape Goodness for Healthy Aging

In addition to helping maintain heart health, grapes may also play a role in healthy aging. A review of the science linking the consumption of grapes to health highlights grapes’ potential to impact many areas of health, according to research published in “Grapes and Health: A Monograph.” The evidence that grapes support heart health is well-established, and emerging research in other areas of health suggests that grapes’ ability to promote antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities at the cellular level may also play a protective role in eye, brain and joint health, among others.

Find more recipes to make healthy eating easy at GrapesfromCalifornia.com.

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Vegetarian Poke Bowl

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 5          cups cooked brown or white jasmine rice
  • 2          packages (6 ounces each) extra-firm tofu, cubed
  • 2          cups red California grapes, halved
  • 1          avocado, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1          large golden beet, peeled and shredded
  • 1          large carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 2          scallions, thinly sliced
  • sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds
  • 6          ounces light Asian ginger-sesame salad dressing
  1. Divide rice between four bowls and arrange tofu, grapes, avocado, beets and carrots on top. Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds; serve with dressing.

Nutritional information per serving: 620 calories; 19 g protein; 101 g carbohydrates; 17 g fat (25% calories from fat); 2.5 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 450 mg sodium; 11 g fiber.

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Roasted Cod with Fennel and Grapes

Prep time: 10 minutes            
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          pound cod loin, cut into four equal pieces
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1          tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4       teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1          tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon orange juice
  • 1          tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1          teaspoon honey
  • 1          tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
  • 1          medium fennel bulb, fronds removed, chopped and reserved
  • 1          cup red California grapes, halved
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Arrange cod pieces in baking dish.
  2. In small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil with lemon juice, orange zest, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Spoon mixture onto cod in equal amounts. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached.
  3. While cod is baking, in small bowl, combine remaining olive oil, remaining salt, pepper, vinegar, orange juice, shallot, coriander, honey and oregano; set aside. Halve and core fennel bulb then thinly slice and place in separate bowl. Add grapes and dressing; toss to combine.
  4. Serve cod topped with fennel and grape salad. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds.

Nutritional information per serving: 200 calories; 19 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 8 g fat (36% calories from fat); 1 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 45 mg cholesterol; 240 mg sodium; 2 g fiber.

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Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Grapes

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          large spaghetti squash
  • 1/3       cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2       cup chopped walnuts, divided
  • 2          cloves garlic
  • 2          cups packed basil leaves
  • 1          cup packed arugula
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/3       cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1          cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2    cups red California grapes, halved
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Using fork, poke shallow holes in skin of squash then brush with 1 tablespoon oil and place it, cut-side down, in rimmed baking dish. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until tender.
  2. To make pesto: In food processor, process 1/4 cup walnuts, garlic, basil, arugula, lemon juice and lemon zest until well chopped. Add remaining olive oil, Parmesan, salt and pepper; process until well blended.
  3. Once squash is done baking, remove from oven. Cool squash 5-10 minutes then, using fork, scrape inside flesh of squash, removing “spaghetti,” and place it in large bowl. Add pesto and beans to cooked squash and toss gently with tongs to combine. Divide equally into six bowls and top each with 1/4 cup grapes and 2 teaspoons chopped walnuts.

Nutritional information per serving: 290 calories; 7 g protein; 24 g carbohydrates; 20 g fat (62% calories from fat); 3 g saturated fat (9% calories from saturated fat); 5 mg cholesterol; 160 mg sodium; 6 g fiber.

Source:  California Table Grape Commission

Meal Ideas 14 April 2017

Add a Tex-Mex Favorite to Your Menu

(Family Features) A tortilla plus a tasty filling makes a household favorite – a taco. This simple, casual, versatile, fun food knows no boundaries. Tacos can be right for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks and dessert, depending on the filling.

For tacos with a unique, delicious twist on tradition, try these Chicken Soft Tacos with Pickled Beet Salsa that are ready in 30 minutes. The antioxidant-rich Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets lend color, as well as a refreshing sweet-tangy flavor that’s complementary to the lime juice, cilantro and red onion in the salsa. This sassy salsa is a perfect partner for rotisserie, roasted or grilled chicken, arugula and a dollop of jalapeno mustard-sour cream sauce nestled inside a soft flour tortilla.

For your taco fiesta, just set out the tortillas, salsa and other toppings and let everyone help themselves to a fun and delicious dinner.

For other versatile recipes, visit AuntNellies.com.

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Chicken Soft Tacos with Pickled Beet Salsa

Prep time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Salsa:

  • 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Baby Whole Pickled Beets
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Tacos:

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno mustard
  • 4 soft flour tortillas (6-inch diameter)
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 2 cups chopped cooked rotisserie chicken (hot or cold)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
  1. To make salsa: drain beets and chop. In medium bowl, combine beets, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  2. To make tacos: In small bowl, stir together sour cream and mustard; set aside.
  3. On one half of each tortilla, place equal amounts of salsa, arugula, chicken and cheese. Top with dollops of mustard-sour cream. Fold over.

Substitution: Sliced pickled beets or three single-serve cups of Aunt Nellie’s Diced Pickled Beets may be substituted for baby whole pickled beets.

Nutritional information per serving: 380 calories; 20 g protein; 28 g carbohydrates; 20 g total fat; 650 mg sodium; 80 mg cholesterol; 1 g dietary fiber; 2 mg iron; 0.15 mg thiamin;
460 IU vitamin A; 4 mg vitamin C.

Source: Aunt Nellie's

Healthy 04 April 2017

Celebrating Salads With Pistachios

America’s Top Chefs Share Their Favorite Recipes

(Family Features) Want to add taste, color and crunch to salads any time of the year? Then sprinkle on pistachios. Chefs are going nutty over them, and for good reason. California grown, these pale green nuts have a subtle, delicate flavor that is wonderful in sweet as well as savory dishes or for eating out of hand. Traditionally used in rice dishes, stuffing, ice cream and pastries, pistachios are now a key ingredient in signature salads.

Pistachio Facts & Helpful Tips

The key to including nuts in the diet without adding extra calories is portion control. Use pistachios on salads, or in main dishes, to replace meat or poultry. California pistachios have versatility, texture and great taste. They also pack a powerful nutritional punch. A 1-ounce serving — 49 pistachios — contains more than 10 percent of the Daily Value for dietary fiber, vitamin B-6, thiamin, phosphorus and copper. One serving of pistachios has as much potassium as half a large banana. Pistachios contain mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat (11 of 13 fat grams), the types of fat recommended by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines For Americans. Pistachios also are naturally cholesterol free and trans fat free.

Other Pistachio Facts:

  • A serving of pistachios has more fiber (2.9g) than 1 small tomato (1.1g) or 1 cup of raw spinach (.8g).
  • A serving of pistachios provides almost 1 1/2 times the amount of thiamin as 1/2 cup serving of cooked, long grain, enriched white rice and 2 1/2 times the amount of thiamin in long grain, brown rice.
  • The amount of vitamin B-6 in a 1-ounce serving of pistachios is comparable to that in a standard 3-ounce serving of roasted pork loin, 2 times that in a serving of peanut butter and 5 times that in a serving of black beans.
  • Pistachios contain more phytosterols such as beta-sitosterol than any other commonly eaten nut, 61mg per serving or 279mg per 100g. Phytosterols may help lower cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. Preliminary research suggests phytosterols also may offer protection from certain types of cancer.
  • The largest USDA study of food antioxidants reveals pistachios are one of the best sources of beta-carotene of all tree nuts and peanuts. Pistachios also provide the most lutein and zeaxanthin of all tree nuts. Antioxidants are compounds in foods that may help fight cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, and help maintain healthy arteries.

To Make Pistachio Oil:
Toast 1 cup pistachio kernels. When cool, finely grind in food processor. In a saucepan, warm 1 1/2 cups olive oil and ground pistachios and stir until blended. Transfer to a jar and let stand overnight at room temperature. Strain. Substitute in place of olive oil to add flavor to any recipe.

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Harvest Salad with Caramelized California Pistachios and Green Apples

Chef Andrew Carmellini of A Voce Restaurant in New York celebrates the bounty of the harvest with this delicious — yet simple — salad featuring crisp green apples and caramelized California pistachios.

  • 4 cups arugula, picked and washed
  • 2 cups watercress, picked and washed
  • 1 bulb fennel, sliced in half lengthwise then thinly sliced
  • 1 cored green apple, thinly sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 4 leaves basil, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons white raisins, soaked in warm water and drained
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 whole lemons, zested then juiced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup California pistachios, caramelized
  1. Combine all ingredients except cheese and breadcrumbs in mixing bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Divide into 6 salad bowls; top with cheese, breadcrumbs and caramelized pistachios (see sidebar for caramelizing). Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Nutritional Analysis (Amount per Serving): Calories 250, Total Fat 16g, Saturated Fat 2.5g, Monounsaturated Fat 10g, Cholesterol less than 5mg, Sodium 610mg, Potassium 530mg, Carbohydrate 27g, Dietary Fiber 5g, Protein 6g

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Goat Cheese, Beet Roots and California Pistachio Salad

Executive Chef Pascal LeSeac’h of Pastis, one of New York City’s hottest restaurants, loves serving this simple beet salad featuring California pistachios.

  • 5 medium size beet roots
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup California pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch flat parsley (1⁄4 cup chopped)
  • 1 log (6 ounces) Montrachet goat cheese
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste
  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  1. Preheat oven: 375°F.
  2. Clean beet roots with cold water, dry with paper towel, coat with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt. Wrap beets in aluminum foil and place in oven 1 1/2 hours. Check doneness by poking with small knife. Remove and peel beets and slice 1/2-inch thick. Reserve and cool in refrigerator. While beets are cooling, toast pistachios, let cool, then chop.
  3. Clean and dry parsley, then chop with large chef knife. Slice goat cheese 1/2-inch thick.
  4. To Serve: Alternate slices of beets and goat cheese on salad plate. Season with salt and white pepper. Add vinegar and remaining olive oil. Garnish with pistachios and chopped parsley. Serves 2.

Nutritional Analysis (Amount per Serving): Calories 380, Total Fat 33g, Saturated Fat 9g, Monounsaturated Fat 19g, Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 310mg, Potassium 450mg, Carbohydrate 13g, Dietary Fiber 4g, Protein 11g

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Spicy Pear and Endive Salad with California Pistachios

Nationally-renowned celebrity chefs and “Too Hot Tamales” Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger offer this scrumptious salad featuring California pistachios from their award-winning Border Grill and Ciudad restaurants.

  • 1/2 cup California pistachios, raw and shelled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Comice or D’anjou pears, quartered, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 4 heads Belgian endive, cored and sliced lengthwise into strips
  • 1/2 to 3⁄4 cup Cabrales blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  1. In small frying pan, combine pistachios, salt, pepper and sugar. Sauté over low to medium heat, stirring and shaking frequently until pistachios are toasted and sugar caramelizes and coats pistachios. Transfer pistachios to non-stick or parchment-lined cookie sheet and allow to cool. In large bowl, combine pears, endive, blue cheese, jalapeños and vinaigrette.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to 4 chilled salad plates and sprinkle with pistachios. Serves 4.

 

Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 dry chipotle, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey, warm
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Combine vinegar and chipotle in small saucepan and bring to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and oil is emulsified. Adjust seasonings to taste. Makes 1 cup.

Nutritional Analysis (Amount per Serving): Calories 310, Total Fat 20g, Saturated Fat 5g, Monounsaturated Fat 10g, Cholesterol 15mg, Sodium 640mg, Potassium 500mg, Carbohydrate 30g, Dietary Fiber 6g, Protein 8g

 

Caramelize Pistachios

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup California pistachio kernels
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat sugar with water, salt and cayenne pepper over a high flame. Cook until mixture is soft and bubbling. Add pistachios and stir 2 to 4 minutes, until caramelized (pistachios may clump together). Remove pistachios from pan and lay on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. When pistachios are completely cool, break apart and reserve.

 Source: California Pistachio Commission

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