Kids 01 August 2018

Make the Grade with Back-to-School Lunches

(Family Features) Back-to-school time means it’s back to being busy before, during and after school, so it’s time for parents and kids to create new routines. From early wakeup calls to shuttling kids to school and activities, ease the morning mayhem by incorporating a simple meal-planning strategy.

As a parent, look for fresh, make-ahead options your kids will enjoy. Serve up lunchbox love by mixing up the classic sandwich with a spin on sushi in this Bento Box Lunch recipe. It’s a creative way to deliver nutritious, wholesome ingredients that will make the whole lunchroom drool. Plus, it’s something you can take for lunch too.

No matter what meals you’re prepping, a store like ALDI can be your solution for packing tasty and better-for-you choices for lunches and on-the-go snacks. With high-quality ingredients at affordable prices, ALDI offers what you need to get ready for the days ahead.

For more recipes and meal prepping ideas, visit aldi.us.

Bento Box Lunch

Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Sushi Roll”:

  • 4          slices SimplyNature Knock Your Sprouts Off Sprouted Low Sodium 7 Grain Bread
  • 4          slices Lunch Mate Never Any! Turkey
  • 1          teaspoon Burman's Yellow Mustard
  • 1/2       avocado, sliced
  • 1          mini cucumber, cut into 3-inch-by-1/4-inch sticks

Quinoa Salad:

  • 1 cup SimplyNature Organic Quinoa, cooked
  • 1/4       cup Southern Grove Sliced Almonds
  • 2 mandarin oranges, peeled and separated
  • 1/4       cup Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
  • 1 bunches green onions, sliced
  • 1          teaspoon Carlini Pure Olive Oil
  • Stonemill Iodized Salt, to taste
  • Stonemill Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Broccoli Salad:

  • 1          large head broccoli, chopped
  • 1/4       cup Southern Grove Sliced Almonds
  • 1/4       cup Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
  • 1          teaspoon Fusia Soy Sauce
  • 1/2       cup Friendly Farms Vanilla Nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • Stonemill Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Cinnamon Apples:

  • 1          Granny Smith apple, sliced
  • 1          tablespoon Nature's Nectar Lemon Juice
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Ground Cinnamon

 

  1. To make “Sushi Roll”: Trim crust from bread. Using rolling pin, roll out bread slices to 1/8-inch thickness. Top with turkey, mustard, avocado and cucumber. Roll into cylinder, wrap with plastic wrap and cut in half.
  2. To make Quinoa Salad: In medium bowl, combine quinoa, almonds, oranges, cranberries, green onions and olive oil; season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. To make Broccoli Salad: In medium bowl, combine broccoli, almonds, cranberries, soy sauce and yogurt; season to taste with pepper.
  4. To make Cinnamon Apples: Toss apples with lemon juice and cinnamon. Place in sandwich bags and wrap tightly.
  5. Organize equal amounts of “Sushi Rolls,” Quinoa Salad, Broccoli Salad and Cinnamon Apples in separate bento box compartments.

Source: ALDI

Meal Ideas 03 September 2018

Crowd-Pleasing Summer Entertaining

(Family Features) If you’re hosting a backyard barbecue, game night or TV show marathon with friends this summer, it’s helpful to have a plan in mind before diving in.

Consider these tips and recipes featuring Mrs. T’s Pierogies that can help make planning a breeze and allow you to kick back and enjoy the fun alongside your guests.

  • Master the Music. Set the mood as soon as your guests walk in with an upbeat playlist.
  • Add a Creative Twist to Your Menu. When you’re craving something real and satisfying – but want to keep things simple – reach for an option like Mrs. T’s Pierogies. Available in 16 varieties, including mini-size, these pasta shells, filled with creamy whipped potatoes, are loaded with flavor and perfect served alone or as part of creative recipes like a Farmers Market Mini Pierogy Salad. You can also grill them up like in this Mini Pierogy Slider Kebab recipe.
  • Create Self-Serve Stations. Arrange a buffet-style table to allow your guests to help themselves to food. It’s a simple way to ensure you get to enjoy yourself. Just remember to provide the necessary fixings at each station.
  • Bust Out Some Games. Whether it’s a game night or just a get-together with friends, keep games like cornhole or bocce ball on-hand to keep your soiree lively.

For more recipes perfect for entertaining, visit MrsTsPierogies.com.

Mini Pierogy Slider Kebabs

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • 1          box Mrs. T’s Mini Classic Cheddar Pierogies
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          pound ground beef
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1          tablespoon minced red onion
  • 4          deli slices Colby Jack cheese, quartered
  • 4-6       skewers
  • 14        pieces curly leaf lettuce
  • 7          cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 14        cornichon pickles
  1. Heat grill or indoor grill pan to medium heat. Toss pierogies with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill 8-10 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove.
  2. In medium bowl, combine ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, onion, salt and pepper. Form into 14 equal sized patties.
  3. Add patties to grill and cook 3-4 minutes per side. Add one slice of cheese to each during last minute of cooking to melt. Remove and cool slightly to handle.
  4. To assemble: skewer one pierogy, flat-side down, then one piece of lettuce, tomato, pickle, burger and another pierogy, flat-side down, to sandwich it all together. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

Farmers Market Mini Pierogy Salad

Prep time: 12 minutes
Total time: 18 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          box Mrs. T’s Mini Classic Cheddar Pierogies
  • 1/2       cup white balsamic or cider vinegar
  • 1          small garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/3       cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          large tomato, coarsely chopped
  • 1          medium cucumber, seeded, if necessary, and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4       cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 4          ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  1. Saute pierogies according to box directions; place in large bowl.
  2. In small bowl, combine vinegar, garlic, salt and oregano; whisk in olive oil until well-blended.
  3. Add tomato, cucumber, red onion, feta and vinaigrette to bowl with pierogies; toss to mix well.

Source: Mrs. T’s Pierogies

Meal Ideas 01 July 2018

Must-Have Recipes for Your Summer Soirees

(Family Features) Summer is all about enjoying the warm weather with family and friends, but even with the longer summer days, the season can feel short for many. That’s why it’s important to make the most of summer by maximizing your fun in the sun with some of the best memories being made while entertaining al fresco.

For a fun-filled, yet relaxing summer, it’s important to keep the essentials on-hand for easy entertaining. From bright decor to refreshing drinks and fresh ingredients, party prep ensures you save time and money, and are always ready to wine and dine your guests.

No matter the occasion, a store like ALDI can be your guide to summer entertaining with everything you need to celebrate the season, including high-quality and affordable ingredients for this summer’s must-have recipes.

A fresh and easy recipe to try this summer is Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Skewers with Lemon-Cucumber Salsa. This entree pairs perfectly with a crisp, fruit-forward wine like Exquisite Collection Sauvignon Blanc or Trestoria Rosé from ALDI. When there’s a crowd to serve, consider mixing up a pitcher of Citrus Ginger Rosé Punch.

Find more seasonal recipe ideas to celebrate summer at ALDI.us.
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Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Skewers with Lemon-Cucumber Salsa

Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 

  • 8          skewers
  • 1          pineapple
  • 2          tablespoons Carlini Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 3/4    pounds Never Any! Fresh Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, diced into 1-inch pieces

Lemon-Cucumber Salsa:

  • 1          lemon, supremed
  • 1          cucumber, diced
  • 1/2       red onion, diced
  • 1          tablespoon SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
  1. Soak wooden skewers for 15 minutes prior to grilling.
  2. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  3. Remove rind from pineapple and dice into 1-inch pieces.
  4. In small bowl, combine oil, salt and pepper. Add chicken and pineapple; toss to coat.
  5. Alternating chicken and pineapple, pierce onto skewers.
  6. Grill skewers 8 minutes each side, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly.
  7. To make Lemon-Cucumber Salsa: In medium bowl, combine lemon, cucumber, onion, honey and pepper.
  8. Serve lemon-cucumber salsa over cooked chicken skewers.

Tip: Supreme citrus fruit by cutting off top and bottom of fruit then cut away peel and pith, leaving no white on outside of fruit. Slice each segment into wedges by cutting toward center of fruit along membrane.
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Citrus Ginger Rosé Punch

Recipe courtesy of Chef Leigh An, ALDI Test Kitchen

  • 1/2       cup minced ginger
  • 1          cup Baker’s Corner Granulated Sugar
  • 1          cup water
  • 2          bottles (750 milliliters each) Trestoria Rosé, chilled
  • 5          cans (12 ounces each) PurAqua Belle Vie Grapefruit Sparkling Water, chilled
  • 2          cans (12 ounces each) PurAqua Belle Vie Lemon Sparkling Water, chilled
  1. In small pot, combine ginger, sugar and water to make simple syrup. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely in refrigerator.
  2. Strain simple syrup and discard ginger.
  3. In large punch bowl or pitcher, combine rosé, grapefruit sparkling water and lemon sparkling water. Add simple syrup.
  4. Serve in chilled glasses.

Tip: Freeze lemon slices in ice cube trays or silicone muffin trays and add them to punch for pop of color.

Source: ALDI

Meal Ideas 05 February 2019

6 Ways to Build a Better Lunchbox

(Family Features) Coming up with fresh ideas every day to keep kids’ lunches exciting is no small task. When the goal is an empty lunchbox and a full, happy tummy, the winning combination is a blend of nutrition and flavor.

Step up your game this school year with these ideas for a better lunchbox:

Get creative. Foods that look can good taste good, too. Transform sandwiches into fun shapes using cookie cutters or make tiny heart- or star-shaped, bite-size pieces of cheese for a fun finger food. Another fun idea: thread sliced and bite-sized vegetables on a wooden stick for a no-cook kabob. For a sweet variation, use fruit instead and sprinkle with coconut for extra flavor.

Skip the packaging. Little fingers can struggle to open pre-packaged foods, so instead opt for fresh ingredients that fit into a bento-style box. Not only can kids see what tasty treats await and dig straight into their meals, less packaging means less processing, which is good for their health and the environment.

Keep it simple. Opt for delicious, flavorful foods that deliver nutrients kids need and the taste they want without any extras. An option like Hidden Valley Simply Ranch makes for a rich and creamy complement to carrot sticks, cucumber and other lunchbox staples. With no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors this ranch is perfect for encouraging kids to eat the veggies you pack. Look for Classic Ranch or for a special twist, try flavors such as Cucumber Basil or Chili Lime.

Rely on the familiar. Refueling during the day is important to keep kids focused and able to mentally and physically tackle the rest of the school day. Avoid trying out new foods at lunchtime and save experimenting with new flavors for meals at home.

Go for variety. Representing multiple foods groups isn’t only a good way to deliver good nutrition, the variety in colors and textures can make the meal more interesting and encourage kids to eat more. Include savory meats, crunchy crackers, veggies and sweet fruits.

Add a treat. Whether it’s a favorite fruit or yogurt, a single piece of candy or even a simple note that says “I love you and I’m proud of you,” find a way to add something sweet to every lunch and bring a smile to your child’s daily routine.

Look for more kid-friendly meals at hiddenvalley.com
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Portable Veggie Kabobs with Tangy Veggie Dip

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6-8

  • 1          cucumber, sliced
  • 1          cup broccoli florets
  • 2          carrots, sliced
  • 8          cherry tomatoes
  • 6-8       wooden skewers
  • Hidden Valley Simply Ranch
  1. Gently thread cucumber slices, broccoli, carrot slices and cherry tomatoes on skewers, placing 2-3 pieces of each veggie on each skewer to make a rainbow of colors.
  2. Serve ranch dressing with veggies for dipping.

Tip: Add cheese cubes for protein on kabobs, if desired.

Photo courtesy of Mick Jones

Source: Hidden Valley

Healthy 30 January 2019

6 Drinks to Sip Your Way to Wellness

(Family Features) Stir up sippable, flavorful drinks and snacking soups for easy ways to add more wellness to your day. Start with robust flavors like turmeric, cayenne and ginger then pair with wholesome ingredients like pineapple, dandelion greens and cucumber to create delicious sips to help you awaken, stay energized or replenish.

Fill your glass (or mug) with a breakfast boost to jumpstart your morning, a smoky sipping broth for an afternoon pick-me-up or an evening elixir to help rebalance after a busy day.

Find more easy ways to add wellness to your day at McCormick.com or check out McCormick on Facebook and Pinterest.

Morning Jumpstart

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  • Spiced Cucumber and Apple Morning Boost – Start the day right with this fresh, homemade drink. This invigorating wake-me-up blends clementine, cucumber and Granny Smith apple with ice, while a pinch of red pepper brings the zing.

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  • Fizz ’n’ Fruit Energizer – Your morning can get a boost with this citrusy refresher, mixing sparkling clementine juice with muddled apple and cucumber, and a splash of cayenne-spiked simple syrup.

Afternoon Sip

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  • Smoky Avocado and Mushroom Drinkable Soup – This satisfying, snackable soup combines fragrant smoky chipotle pepper with creamy avocado and fresh cucumbers. Top it off with chopped oyster mushrooms sauteed with herbs and pistachios.

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Evening Elixir

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  • Ginger, Turmeric and Beet Sipping Elixir – Rebalance at the end of the day with a tangy, spiced sipping elixir over ice. With ingredients like ginger, turmeric and apple cider vinegar, it’s loaded with nutritional goodness. Transform it into a tasty Old Fashioned cocktail with the addition of bourbon, orange liqueur, sugar and a maraschino cherry garnish.

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Source: McCormick

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 03 July 2018

Add a Splash of Flavor to Your Summer

Asian-inspired small plates for the entire family

(Family Features) The season of warm summer nights and bright sunny days calls for equally vibrant meals. As the season of entertaining continues, many at-home chefs are searching for exciting and flavorful meals to feed their family and friends.

According to Mintel’s 2018 US Flavor Trends Report, consumers continually seek to be more adventurous with their palates by trying ethnic flavors, such as those found in Asian cooking. When the hotter summer weather calls for light, fresh snackable fare, give Asian small plates a try.

Have a go at a variety of flavorful appetizers like dippable Chinese Shrimp Potstickers, which pair perfectly with a savory Thai Chicken Satay and Light Cucumber Salad. Round out your meal with a satisfying Korean Beef Bulgogi and Kimchi over Sticky Rice, featuring irresistible and exotic flavors that can have your guests coming back for more.

To create impressive meals with a variety of ingredients, incorporate an option such as Nakano clean-labeled rice vinegars, which are available in seven varieties and feature easy-to-read labels showing no more than six real, recognizable ingredients to help enhance the flavors of summertime dishes.

For more fresh and flavorful summer dishes, visit NakanoOrganic.com.
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Thai Chicken Satay with Light Cucumber Salad

Prep time: 25 minutes, plus marinating
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 (about 4 skewers per serving)

Cucumber Salad:

  • 1/3       cup Nakano Roasted Garlic Rice Vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2       teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       thinly sliced English cucumber
  • 1          thinly sliced carrot
  • 1          thinly sliced scallion
  • 1/4       cup chopped peanuts,  for garnish

Chicken Satay:

  • 15        bamboo skewers
  • 2          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1          tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1          teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2          tablespoons Nakano Organic Original Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2          teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1          pound thinly sliced chicken breast
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish

Peanut Sauce:

  • 1/4       cup scallions, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1          teaspoon minced jalapeno
  • 1          teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2       teaspoon minced ginger
  • 3/4       cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1          tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3          tablespoons Nakano
  • Roasted Garlic                       
  • Rice Vinegar
  • 2          teaspoons lime juice
  • 3/4       cup coconut milk
  • 2          tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2          tablespoons honey
  • chopped peanuts, for garnish
  1. To make Cucumber Salad: In large bowl, combine roasted garlic rice vinegar, sugar, toasted sesame oil, red pepper flakes and salt. Add cucumbers, carrots and scallions. Cover bowl and marinate 15 minutes. Garnish with chopped peanuts.
  2. To make Chicken Satay: In dish, soak bamboo skewers. In large bowl, combine soy sauce, peanut oil, toasted sesame oil, seasoned rice vinegar, ginger, coriander, turmeric and thinly sliced chicken breast. Cover bowl and marinate 2 hours.
  3. To make Peanut Sauce: In food processor, process scallions, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, ginger, peanut butter, toasted sesame oil, roasted garlic rice vinegar, lime juice, coconut milk, hoisin sauce and honey until smooth. Garnish with chopped peanuts.
  4. After 2 hours of marinating, skewer chicken. Heat grill or grill pan to medium heat and cook 2 minutes on each side. Garnish with cilantro and serve with Peanut Sauce and Cucumber Salad.

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Korean Beef Bulgogi and Kimchi over Sticky Rice

Prep time: 15 minutes, plus marinating
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 (about 1 cup per serving)

  • 3          tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2          tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2          tablespoons Nakano Natural Rice Vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2          minced cloves garlic
  • 1/4       cup grated red apple
  • 1          teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • black pepper
  • 16        ounces thinly sliced rib-eye steak
  • 1          tablespoon canola oil
  • 3          cups sticky rice
  • 3          tablespoons Nakano Original Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2       cup kimchi, prepared
  • 1          tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1          scallion, sliced
  • 1          red jalapeno, sliced
  • 1/4       cup carrots, julienned
  1. In large bowl, combine light soy sauce, dark brown sugar, natural rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, garlic, apple, ginger and black pepper. Add in steak slices and cover bowl. Marinate 1 hour.
  2. After marinating, in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat canola oil. Add steak slices and sear, reserving marinade. Once browned, add marinade and cook 1 minute, or until slightly thickened.
  3. Cook sticky rice according to package instructions and sprinkle on seasoned rice vinegar. Serve beef bulgogi over sticky rice and garnish with kimchi, sesame seeds, scallions, red jalapeno and carrots.

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Chinese Shrimp Potstickers

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 (4 potstickers per serving)

  • 24        wonton wrappers
  • 8          ounces large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
  • 3          tablespoons minced scallions
  • 4          canned water chestnuts, minced (approximately 1/8 cup)
  • 1          tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 3          tablespoons Nakano Original Seasoned Rice Vinegar, divided
  • 2          tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2          tablespoons water, plus additional for wonton wrappers
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 2          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2          teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  1. To make potstickers: Set aside wonton wrappers. In large bowl, combine shrimp, scallions, water chestnuts, oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar, peanut oil, water, salt and pepper. Fill one wonton wrapper with 1 teaspoon filling.
  2. Lightly wet edges of wonton wrapper with water, fold into triangle and pinch edges closed. Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers and filling.
  3. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat peanut oil. Place potstickers in skillet and cook until golden on bottoms. Once browned, add 2 tablespoons water to skillet, cover and cook 4 minutes until steamed. Remove lid and cook until water has evaporated.
  4. To make dipping sauce: In medium bowl, combine soy sauce, remaining seasoned rice vinegar and sesame oil.

Source:  Nakano

Meal Ideas 19 June 2017

Good Eats with Grapes

Make a heart-healthy menu with flavorful fruit

(Family Features) Heart-healthy foods can play a role in healthy aging. Whether you enjoy them by the handful as a refreshing snack or use them to add color, crunch and a touch of sweetness to a meal, grapes are a heart-healthy option that make eating better easy.

Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols. At just 90 calories per serving, they also contain no fat, no cholesterol and virtually no sodium.

With a juicy burst of flavor, grapes show how simple it can be to make good-for-you-dishes that also taste great. Even though California grapes are a snacking staple in most kitchens, you may not realize how versatile they can be for cooking. For example, grapes add a sweet touch to a crunchy yogurt salad and complement the bold spice on a skewer of grilled shrimp. Fresh, flavorful grapes even put a tangy, fresh twist on a soothing glass of iced tea.

Grapes and Brain Health

A grape-enriched diet helped protect against metabolic brain decline in Alzheimer’s-related areas of the brain, according to research from the University of California-Los Angeles. The pilot study, funded by the California Table Grape Commission, was conducted among people with early memory decline and showed that subjects who didn’t consume grapes exhibited significant metabolic decline in these critical regions. Additionally, those consuming the grape-enriched diet showed beneficial changes in regional brain metabolism that correlated to improvements in cognition and working memory performance, according to a report published by Experimental Gerontology.

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

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Zahtar Shrimp and Grape Kabobs

Servings: 6

  • 2 tablespoons zahtar
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 36-40 large shrimp (about 2 pounds), shelled and deveined
  • 1 cup whole green California grapes
  • 1 cup whole red California grapes
  1. In medium bowl, combine zahtar, garlic, thyme, vinegar, honey, salt, pepper and olive oil. Whisk to combine. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to 4 hours.
  2. Thread shrimp and grapes onto skewers. Heat grill or grill pan to medium-high.
  3. Grill skewers, turning once, until shrimp are lightly charred and cooked through and grapes are caramelized but firm, about 2-3 minutes per side.

Nutritional information per serving: 190 calories; 20 g protein; 12 g carbohydrate; 6 g fat (28% calories from fat); 1 g saturated fat (5% calories from saturated fat); 180 mg cholesterol; 870 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.

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Savory Yogurt with Grape and Cucumber Salad

Servings: 4
Dukkah:

  • 1/3 cup raw cashews
  • 1/3 cup hazelnuts
  • 1/4 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons cumin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coriander seeds
  • 2 tablespoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Yogurt:

  • 3 cups plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup green California grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup red California grapes, halved
  • 1 cup English cucumber, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 4 tablespoons dukkah
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  1. To make dukkah: Heat oven to 350 F. Spread cashews and hazelnuts on baking sheet and toast 6-8 minutes. Transfer to food processor and set aside. In skillet over medium heat, toast sesame seeds, cumin seeds and coriander seeds until fragrant, 1-2 minutes, then transfer to food processor. Add dried thyme and salt. Pulse mixture until coarsely ground. Makes about 1 cup that can be stored in an airtight container.
  2. Divide yogurt into four 3/4-cup portions. In small bowl, combine grapes, cucumber, shallots, olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss to combine. Top each bowl of yogurt with 1/2 cup grape mixture, 1 tablespoon dukkah and sprinkle of lemon zest.

Nutritional information per serving: 220 calories; 19 g protein; 18 g carbohydrate; 8 g fat (33% calories from fat); 1.5 g saturated fat (6% calories from saturated fat); 10 mg cholesterol; 140 mg sodium; 2 g fiber.

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Sparkling Hibiscus Tea with Grapes and Mint

Servings: 8

  • 6 cups water, divided
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 6 hibiscus tea bags
  • 2 cups green California grapes, divided
  • 10 mint leaves
  • 1 navel orange, sliced
  • ice
  • 16 ounces sparkling water
  1. Using tea kettle or saucepan, bring 3 cups water and honey to boil. Add tea bags, turn off heat and steep 6-8 minutes. Remove tea bags and allow remaining liquid to cool 15 minutes.
  2. In martini shaker or bowl, muddle 1 cup grapes with mint leaves. Add muddled grape and mint mixture to 48-60 ounce pitcher along with remaining water and orange slices. Stir in hibiscus tea mixture. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes. Strain before serving.
  3. To serve, add ice to 8-ounce glass. Top with 3-4 grapes, 2 ounces sparkling water and hibiscus tea mixture.

Nutritional information per serving: 70 calories; 1 g protein; 16 g carbohydrate; 10 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

Snacks 05 June 2017

Smart Summer Snacks

(Family Features) A busy summer schedule requires plenty of energy, and while relaxation is sure to help, what you eat is your essential source of fuel. Just like filling up your gas tank, food is what makes your body go.

A well-balanced approach to eating is a smart way to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs to power you through each fun-filled day and keep you operating in tip-top shape. An eating plan such as Atkins offers a balanced approach with delicious foods that contain fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates and good fats and proteins, while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates and added sugars.

Reach for snacks full of seasonal fruits and vegetables like peaches, cucumbers, zucchini and raspberries that will satisfy your appetite and fuel your summer days. Find more warm-weather recipes and tips to stay energized throughout the season at Atkins.com.

Avoid the Hidden Sugar Effect

The frenetic pace of summer activities makes on-the-go foods the norm. While many portable snacks tout healthy benefits and good-for-you nutrition, it’s easy to be confused about what truly makes up nutritious foods, as well as how the body responds to various foods.

According to the recent Sugar Gap Study conducted by Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., there is a significant gap in Americans’ knowledge about nutrition and the “hidden sugar effect,” where certain foods turn into sugar during the digestive process. While a person can’t see these sugars, his or her body can. The study revealed that only 1 in 10 Americans are aware that certain foods can cause the hidden sugar effect.

Make better choices and avoid hidden sugars this summer with these tips for finding foods that won’t create excessive sugar spikes:

  • Beware of sugary beverages, especially fruit juices. Keeping well hydrated is especially important when temperatures rise, but sweet drinks can pack an excessive amount of sugar.
  • Know that not all snack bars are created equal – with many packing a sugary punch. An option such as the Atkins Harvest Trail Coconut Almond Bar combines roasted coconut and almonds which can keep you feeling full and satisfied without the hidden sugars.
  • Understand which foods can cause blood sugar spikes – it’s more than cakes and candy. All carbohydrates elevate blood sugar; even ancient grains and brown rice convert into sugar when digested, making it important to enjoy these foods in smaller portions. Learn more at hiddensugar.com.

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Tropical Raspberry Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 4 ounces firm silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup red raspberries, plus additional (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar substitute (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 3 ice cubes
  • whipped cream (optional)
  1. In blender, combine coconut cream, tofu, raspberries, sugar substitute, if desired, and coconut extract; blend until smooth. To remove seeds, strain mixture through sieve then return to blender.
  2. With machine running, add ice cubes, one at a time, and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into tall glass and garnish with whipped cream and raspberries, if desired.

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Peachy Prosciutto Bites

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 (3 bites per serving)

  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 2 medium peaches (each 2 1/2 inches in diameter)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • sugar substitute (optional)
  • 12 thin slices prosciutto
  • 12 basil leaves (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
    In single layer, toast almonds 10 minutes. Let cool then coarsely chop. Set aside.
    Slice each peach into six wedges and set aside.
  2. In small bowl, combine softened cream cheese with cinnamon and pinch of sugar substitute. Add almonds; blend to combine.
  3. Lay out single slice of prosciutto, place 1 tablespoon cheese mixture on top of peach wedge and top with basil leaf. Place wedge at one end of prosciutto and roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

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Smoked Salmon, Cucumber and Cream Cheese Roll-Ups

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 cucumbers (8 1/4 inches long each)
  • 8 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 12 ounces smoked chinook salmon (lox)
  1. Use mandolin or vegetable peeler to cut long, thin strips of cucumber.
  2. Spread cream cheese onto smoked salmon, place strip of cucumber at one edge and roll up with salmon and cream cheese. Pin in place with toothpick. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

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Zucchini Crisps

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • garlic powder (optional)
  • Italian seasoning (optional)
  • rosemary (optional)
  • dill (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Cut zucchini into 1/4-inch slices. If small, cut diagonally. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and Parmesan. Season as desired with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, rosemary or dill.
  3. Place in single layer on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, turning once. Cool on wire rack.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Atkins

Snacks 02 May 2017

Simple, Healthy Summer Snacks

(Family Features) As temperatures climb and summer sets in, a slight change in diet can help maintain energy without overfilling on hot days.

Vegan and vegetarian diets are becoming a popular trend, but many people are also opting to be semi-vegetarians, also known as the flexitarian diet. A flexitarian diet means you don’t have to eliminate meat from your diet but can still reap the health benefits associated with plant-based diets.

Plant-based proteins like beans, peas, nuts, seeds, soy and lentils are chock-full of nutritional benefits from disease-fighting phytonutrients to cholesterol-lowering fiber. They’re also an excellent way to add low-sodium and low-cholesterol protein to your diet that can leave you feeling satisfied but not stuffed.

Light finger foods and dips are ideal summer snacks. Hummus, made from chickpeas and tahini (ground sesame seeds), makes for a quick and easy treat by itself or paired with health-conscious options like air-popped chips, whole-grain crackers or veggie sticks. You can also create simple summer snacks using hummus as an ingredient.

These vegan Cucumber Cups are the perfect refreshing pick-me-up on a hot afternoon, and they’re stylish enough to serve to guests at an upscale cookout. For a cool and creamy summer appetizer, try these vegetarian Southwestern Snack Bites made with hummus, guacamole and Greek yogurt.

Find more healthy ideas to help you snack your way through summer at sabra.com.

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Southwestern Hummus Bites

Yield: 30 pieces

  • 1 package (7 ounces) whole-grain bagel chips
  • 1 container (10 ounces) Sabra Hummus
  • 2 cups pico de gallo
  • 1 cup guacamole
  • 1 cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 4 green onions, sliced (optional)
  1. Top each bagel chip with 1 tablespoon hummus, small spoonful of pico de gallo, guacamole and small dollop of yogurt.
  2. Garnish with slices of green onion, if desired.

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Cucumber Cups

Yield: 16 pieces

  • 2 English cucumbers
  • 1 container (10 ounces) Sabra Hummus
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
  1. Peel cucumbers and slice lengthwise into 1 1/4-inch pieces. Using melon baller, carve out seeds to create vessel, making sure to leave bottom intact.
  2. Using piping bag or small spoon, fill each cucumber with hummus (about 1 teaspoon each). Sprinkle with paprika and finely chopped parsley.

Source: Sabra

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