Meal Ideas 11 February 2019

Pair Pecans with Seasonal Produce for Nutritious Dishes

(Family Features) With summer comes the opening of farmers markets bursting with fresh produce ripe for the taking. Pair your fresh-picked bounty with wholesome pecans for power-packed seasonal recipes from salads and snacks to side dishes and main courses.

American Pecans are The Original Supernut; a naturally sweet superfood that’s nutritious, versatile and local as it’s the only major tree nut native to America. Pecans are also among the highest in “good” monounsaturated fats and contain plant protein, fiber, flavonoids and essential minerals, including copper, manganese and zinc, so you can feel good when adding them to your next meal or snack.

After a morning at the farmers market, cook up a nourishing spread for breakfast or lunch. For a quick, mess-free brunch, try Sheet Pan Eggs with Pecan Breakfast “Sausage.” Substitute flavored ground pecans for your sausage and add fresh greens for a quick, good-for-you option with plant-based protein.

For a simple yet sweet take on dessert, try Mini Pecan Lemon Berry Tarts with a three-ingredient, pecan-based crumb as the base, topped with a light filling and fresh berries. 

To find additional seasonal recipes, nutrition information and cooking tips, and to learn more about America’s native nut, visit AmericanPecan.com.

Mini Pecan Lemon Berry Tarts

Mini Pecan Crusts:

  • 2          cups pecan pieces or halves
  • 1/4       cup butter, melted
  • 2          tablespoons sugar
  • 24        Mini Pecan Crusts
  • 1/2       cup lemon curd
  • 1/2       cup blueberries or raspberries
  • powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
  1. To make Mini Pecan Crusts: Heat oven to 350° F. Line mini muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In food processor, blend pecans, butter and sugar until mixture forms coarse dough.
  3. Scoop about 2 teaspoons pecan mixture into each muffin tin. Use back of wooden spoon or fingers to press mixture evenly along bottom and up sides of each muffin cup.
  4. Bake 12 minutes, or until crusts are golden brown. Allow crusts to cool completely before removing from pan.
  5. Spoon 1 teaspoon lemon curd into each Mini Pecan Crust. Top each with one raspberry or three small blueberries. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Sheet Pan Eggs with Pecan Breakfast “Sausage”

Pecan Breakfast Sausage:

  • 1          teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2       medium onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1          tablespoon coconut aminos
  • 1          teaspoon sage
  • 1          teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4       teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/8       teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1          cup raw pecan halves

Sheet Pan Eggs:

  • 12        eggs, beaten
  • 3/4       cup fat-free or low-fat milk
  • 1 1/4    teaspoons salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  • 1          cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • nonstick cooking spray
  1. Heat oven to 325° F.
  2. To make Pecan Breakfast “Sausage”: In pan over medium heat, add olive oil, onion, coconut aminos, sage, thyme, nutmeg, garlic powder, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Cook about 4 minutes until onion is translucent.
  3. In food processor, pulse onion mixture and pecans until consistency of ground beef is reached, about 8-10 pulses.
  4. To make Sheet Pan Eggs: In large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper until combined.
  5. Add pecan “sausage” and spinach to eggs and stir. Lightly spray nonstick 12-by-17-inch sheet pan with cooking spray. Pour egg mixture onto prepared pan. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until eggs are fully cooked.

Source: American Pecan Council

Healthy 17 January 2019

Eat Your Way to Better Health

(Family Features) It seems like every week there is a new product claiming to promise nutrition and improve your health. However, there are some foods you likely already have on hand that can improve your diet quality and support clean-eating efforts.

Skip the total diet overhaul or the latest fad, and keep it simple by focusing on small but powerful changes to help you clean up your diet. Dairy products have always been cost-effective and nutrient-packed. These three tips can help you make the most of dairy’s health benefits.

Inspect the ingredient label. With just three ingredients, milk is the original clean and clear food, unlike trendy milk alternatives, which may contain up to 10 ingredients.

Examine the benefits beyond bone health. It’s widely known that dairy products provide calcium to build strong bones, but milk, cheese and yogurt actually provide a unique package of nine nutrients, including high-quality protein to support muscle health.

Explore its versatility. Dairy can be easily incorporated into meals and snacks to help make healthy and clean eating simple. Getting the recommended three servings of dairy every day is a cinch once you discover the possibilities.

Resolve to get three servings of milk, cheese and yogurt every day by pledging Dairy 3 for Me. You may be surprised how easy it is to create a healthier menu all day long. Try these ideas to get started:

  • Make milk your mealtime beverage. White, chocolate, strawberry; no matter the flavor, all milk provides the same nine nutrients.
  • Build a breakfast parfait with your favorite yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal, or mix things up with milk or yogurt by blending a smoothie.
  • Sneak in healthier eating by pairing cheese with fresh fruit or vegetables. Research shows when cheese is coupled with these foods, it helps kids eat more of all of them.
  • After a workout, recover with a tall glass of chocolate milk, which studies have proven to be effective in aiding tired muscles.
  • Boost nutrition and flavor by adding shredded cheese to casseroles, soups and pasta dishes, or sprinkle on top of tacos and chili.

To find more delicious recipes to support your nutrition goals and to pledge Dairy 3 for Me, visit MidwestDairy.com.

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Raspberry-Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened frozen strawberries
  • 3/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup ice (about 12 cubes)
  1. Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Serve immediately.

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Pulled Pork Soft Tacos

Recipe courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association
Prep time: 8 hours, 35 minutes
Servings: 6

For pork:

  • 2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 small white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 limes, cut in half

For tacos:

  • 1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 12 soft corn tortillas (6 inches each)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Colby Jack
  • 1  bag (8 ounces) shredded red cabbage
  • 3/4 cup fresh salsa
  1. Trim excess fat off roast. In small bowl, combine brown sugar and ginger; rub generously over roast. Place in slow cooker with garlic, onion and orange juice; cook on low heat 8 hours (or high 4-6 hours.)
  2. Transfer pork to large bowl and shred with forks. Strain pork liquid from slow cooker and pour over pulled pork to moisten. Squeeze lime juice on top and mix well. Divide into 12 servings.
  3. In small bowl, mix together sour cream, cumin and scallions.
  4. Cover each corn tortilla with 2 tablespoons cheese; microwave 20 seconds. Top with pulled pork, 2 teaspoons sour cream mix, 1 1/2 tablespoons shredded cabbage and 1 tablespoon salsa. Fold and serve immediately.

Source: Midwest Dairy Association

Meal Ideas 31 May 2017

Fire Up the Fourth with Tasty Backyard Recipes

(Family Features) Fireworks, family and food are what the Fourth of July is all about. This year, add some spark to backyard staples like grilled chicken and potato salad with a little help from tangy condiments, smoky rubs and your cast-iron skillet.

For a main dish that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser, smother grilled chicken with a white barbecue sauce – the South’s tangy little secret. It’s made with simple pantry ingredients like mayonnaise, cider vinegar and mustard.

Make a one-pan side dish next to the cooking chicken by placing your cast-iron skillet directly on the grates. Smash whole potatoes in the pan then top with bacon, cheese and a chipotle seasoning. Let it all melt together and then top with sour cream for a smoking side.

Round out the meal with a festive cake that looks as impressive as it tastes. Dye white cake mix batter red and blue using food color then assemble in a flag shape with whipped cream and berries.

Find more recipes and ideas to fire up your Fourth of July at McCormick.com.

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White Barbecue Sauce with Smoky Chicken

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

White Barbecue Sauce:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Zatarain’s Creole Mustard
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Coarse Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Smoky Chicken:

  • 1 cup hickory wood chips
  • 2 pounds bone-in chicken parts
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick Grill Mates Applewood Rub
  1. To make sauce: In medium bowl, mix mayonnaise, vinegar, creole mustard, horseradish, black pepper, garlic and salt until well blended. Cover. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving to blend flavors.
  2. To make chicken: Cover wood chips in water and soak 30 minutes. Season chicken with rub. Drain wood chips. Fill smoker box with wet wood chips. Place smoker box under grill rack on one side of grill before lighting. Close grill.
  3. Prepare grill for indirect medium heat (350-375° F). Heat grill by turning all burners to medium. Once cooking temperature is reached, turn off burner(s) on one side. Place chicken on unlit side of grill. Close grill cover.
  4. Grill, turning occasionally, 30-40 minutes, or until internal temperature of thickest part of chicken is 165° F. Move chicken to lit side of grill with skin side down. Turn lit side of grill to high.
  5. Grill, uncovered, 3-5 minutes longer, or until chicken is charred. Serve chicken with White Barbecue Sauce.

Test Kitchen Tip: Refrigerate any leftover sauce and use as salad dressing, condiment for burgers or dipping sauce for pretzels and vegetables.

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Grilled and Loaded Smashed Potatoes

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1 1/2 pounds medium Yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 5 teaspoons McCormick Grill Mates Bacon Chipotle Seasoning, divided
  • 6 slices Applewood smoked bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  1. Heat grill to medium.
  2. Place potatoes on microwavable plate. Pierce potatoes with fork several times. Microwave on high 5-6 minutes, or until fork-tender but still firm. Let stand until cool enough to handle. In large bowl, toss potatoes, oil and 3 teaspoons seasoning until well coated.
  3. Place potatoes on grill and cook, turning frequently, 4-5 minutes or until skin is crispy. In large cast-iron skillet on grill, cook and stir bacon 8-10 minutes, or until crisp. Add yellow onion and bell pepper; cook and stir 2-3 minutes, or until tender-crisp.
  4. Push bacon mixture to one side of skillet. Add potatoes to other side of skillet. Smash each potato with heavy spatula, bottom of small sturdy bowl or meat pounder. Sprinkle potatoes with remaining seasoning. Spoon bacon mixture over potatoes. Sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Cover pan or close grill. Cook 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. To serve, sprinkle with green onions and dollops of sour cream.

Test Kitchen Tip: Cooking potatoes before grilling reduces overall grill time.

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Red, White and Blue Cake

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1 package (2-layer size) white cake mix
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Blue McCormick Assorted Neon Food Colors & Egg Dye
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Red Food Color
  • nonstick spray
  • 1 container (16 ounces) white frosting
  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Prepare cake mix as directed on package, adding vanilla. Transfer 1 1/2 cups batter to small bowl and tint with neon blue food color. Tint remaining batter red by adding cocoa powder and red food color. Pour each color batter into separate 9-by-5-inch loaf pans sprayed with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Bake blue-tinted cake 20-25 minutes; red-tinted cake 30-35 minutes. Cool cakes in pans 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely.
  4. Trim cakes to remove rounded tops and edges. Slice red cake in half horizontally to form two thin layers. Place one layer on platter. Slice remaining red cake layer in half lengthwise. Slice blue cake in half lengthwise. (Blue and red cakes should be same dimensions.)
  5. Frost red cake layer on platter with 1/3 frosting. Top with lengthwise slices of red and blue cake side-by-side. Frost with 1/3 frosting. Repeat cake layer and frosting. Garnish with raspberries and blueberries to resemble flag.

Source: McCormick Spice

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