(Family Features) During the warm summer months, salad makes for a refreshing lunch or convenient dinner option that can be delicious and nutritious. With a variety of salad options available, they don’t have to be boring or monotonous.
For example, greens can instantly transform into a unique meal when you add creative options like duck breast to help elevate the dish. Because it’s a red meat, duck breast provides a hearty taste, similar to steak, while being leaner and lower in saturated fat than other red meats.
In this Cherry-Glazed Duck Breast Salad, homemade cherry vinaigrette glazes duck breast and dresses baby spinach while blue cheese and slivered almonds add texture and flavor. As a bonus, you can save the duck breast skin to make cracklins for a quick snack or crunchy salad topping.
Find more salad recipes and tips for cooking with duck at mapleleaffarms.com.
Cherry-Glazed Duck Breast Salad
Recipe courtesy of Chef Ted Cizma on behalf of Maple Leaf Farms
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 2 cups dried cherries, divided
- 3 cups hot water
- 1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 Maple Leaf Farms Boneless Duck Breasts
- 6 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves, washed and trimmed
- 2 cups blue cheese
- 2 cups slivered almonds
- To make Cherry Vinaigrette: In small saucepan over low heat, cover 1 cup cherries with water. Bring to simmer, cover pan and remove from heat. Let cherries soak in hot water 15-20 minutes. Strain cherries and reserve liquid.
- In food processor or blender, puree cherries until smooth, adding reserved liquid as necessary. Add raspberry vinegar to cherry mixture. With blender or food processor on low, slowly add olive oil, reserving about 2 tablespoons. Season mixture, to taste, with salt and pepper. Set aside Cherry Vinaigrette.
- Heat grill to medium heat. Remove skin from duck breasts. Rub with remaining olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Pour some Cherry Vinaigrette into separate container to use as glaze; reserve remaining for dressing. Using pastry brush, coat duck breasts with Cherry Vinaigrette.
- Cook duck until crisp and dark brown (about 5-6 minutes), turn over and recoat with Cherry Vinaigrette. Continue cooking until second side is crisp and brown, brushing with vinaigrette as needed, about 4 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 155 F. Remove to cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes.
- Place spinach in mixing bowl. Toss spinach with enough dressing to coat leaves. Add blue cheese, almonds and most of remaining dried cherries, reserving some of each for garnish. Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide spinach mixture among four bowls.
- Slice duck breast thinly on bias, starting at one end of each breast with knife at 45-degree angle.
- Fan slices of duck on top of each salad. Sprinkle each salad with crumbled blue cheese, almonds and dried cherries.
Source: Maple Leaf Farms
Eye-popping recipes worth sharing
(Family Features) It seems that taking pictures of mouthwatering food to share online is all the rage for social media users. Food is art, and toast and its trimmings can be the perfect canvas. Creating a social media-worthy slice requires a bit of creativity, some patience, quality and, of course, aesthetically pleasing ingredients.
The versatility and distinct flavor profile of California Ripe Olives make them an ideal ingredient to fuel your imagination and add an extra bit of finesse to your edible creation.
California farmers are responsible for producing more than 95 percent of the ripe olives consumed in the United States. From planting, pruning, harvesting and processing, they make sure the highest quality olives come from their farm to your table – one can at a time. Adding olives to any dish helps bring California sunshine into each bite.
Put your creativity to the test with these delicious designs. For more delightful and artistic recipes with California Ripe Olives, visit calolive.org.
Toast Like a Butterfly
- 2 slices wheat bread
- large butterfly cookie cutter
- 1/2 avocado, mashed
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 cheese stick
- 2 slices orange bell pepper
- 2 thin slices red bell pepper
- 6 black California Ripe Olives
- 3 green California Ripe Olives
- 1 sugar snap pea
- Lightly toast wheat bread and use cookie cutter to cut one wing from each slice.
- Mash avocado and mix with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread on both wings.
- Slice cheese stick to fit between wings and act as body of butterfly.
- Slice orange bell pepper into antenna and red bell pepper into thin slices to line body of butterfly.
- Slice black olives in half, lengthwise, and place on upper and lower portions of each wing. Slice green olives into rounds and place on middle of each wing.
- Decorate plate with quartered olives and place sugar snap pea in center.
Pro Tips for Creating Shareable Slices:
These pro tips can take you from toast trainee to skillful slice creator.
- Have a vision. Don’t be afraid to sketch it out.
- The base of your toast is everything. Pick a sturdy variety.
- Consider your ingredients and play with flavors, textures and colors. For example, try to incorporate both green and black California Ripe Olives for greater versatility.
- Shapes, colors and textures can add excitement.
- Toast is a small canvas, so consider the tools you’re working with and get creative.
A Toast to Summer
- 2 slices white bread, toasted
- 4 tablespoons cream cheese
- 3 crackers, crushed
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- handful leafy greens of choice (green onions, parsley, cilantro or chives)
- 2 black California Ripe Olives
- 1 green California Ripe Olive
- Slice each piece of toast into a square and place one above other on plate.
- Spread layer of cream cheese on bottom third of lower piece of toast and cover spread with crushed crackers.
- Spread layer of cream cheese from lower-right corner to upper-left corner and, starting at bottom, layer sliced almonds on top of each other to create trunk spreading across both pieces of bread.
- Arrange greens into palm fronds at top of trunk. Use cream cheese as glue if they begin to slip.
- Arrange black olives and green olive as coconuts between top of trunk and base of leaves, covering bottom of leaves.
Singing in the Grain
- 1/4 avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 slice sourdough bread, toasted
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- handful of green California Ripe Olives, sliced into rounds
- 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- handful of black California Ripe Olives, sliced into raindrop shapes
- 1 large sugar snap pea
- Arrange sliced avocado on toasted sourdough bread and top with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Slice green olive rounds in half and arrange in line beneath toast.
- Place one slice orange bell pepper below bread as handle and one small piece orange bell pepper above bread.
- Place one straight slice of red bell pepper on bottom edge of toast.
- Arrange black olive slices and sugar snap peas around toast as raindrops.
Walking in a Toasty Wonderland
- 2 slices white bread, toasted
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese, divided
- 5 slices red bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper, sliced small
- 2 black California Ripe Olives, 1 jumbo and 1 medium
- 5 small sugar snap peas, divided
- 1 pretzel stick, cut in half
- 3 green California Ripe Olive rounds
- small snowflake cookie cutter
- large snowflake cookie cutter
- 4 slices gouda or white cheddar cheese
- 8 cilantro or parsley leaves
- Slice one piece of toast into circle with 4-inch diameter.
- Slice second piece of toast into half-circle with 4-inch diameter, which will act as base of snow globe.
- Spread 1 tablespoon cream cheese onto bottom fifth of circular toast.
- Cover base of snow globe with slices of bell pepper, cut to correct width.
- Stack medium black olive on top of jumbo black olive and affix to toast with cream cheese.
- Add decorations to olive snowman by affixing two small sugar snap peas to body of snowman, pretzel stick arms to sides, small piece orange bell pepper for nose and two small dots cream cheese for eyes.
- Decorate base with green olive rounds and three sugar snap peas in center.
- Use cookie cutters to cut four small snowflakes and four large snowflakes out of slices of cheese. Arrange snowflakes around outside of plate and place cilantro leaves between each snowflake.
- Place remaining cream cheese in small plastic bag and cut small hole in corner. Pipe small dots on circular toast around snowman.
Source: California Ripe Olive Committee
(Family Features) When it comes to fresh fruit, watermelon is a top pick in many households.
It’s available year-round and makes for a nutritious snack, but its great taste is the reason most people buy watermelon, according to research from the National Watermelon Promotion Board.
Not only is watermelon a tasty snack by itself, it’s a great complement to other flavors, making it easy to create flavorful pairings. This sweet take on pizza combines watermelon with a host of other good-for-you ingredients for a delicious treat. Healthy enough for breakfast and sweet enough for dessert, this pizza can make its way into your weekly meal rotation.
For another nutritious option, consider this Buddha bowl featuring watermelon, which contains higher levels of lycopene, an antioxidant, than any other fresh fruit or vegetable. Watermelon is also an excellent source of vitamin C, and it provides vitamin B6 and potassium. It’s the perfect sweet addition to balance the savory flavors of this traditional plant-based Buddha bowl.
Each of these recipes leaves plenty of room for personalization; experiment with your favorite flavors to make each dish your own. Also remember that watermelon travels well, so these recipes make for ideal take-along snacks when you’re on the go.
Find more fresh, fruity recipes to enjoy any time of year at watermelon.org.
Watermelon Buddha Bowl
Citrusy Tahini Dressing:
- 3 tablespoons tahini (ground sesame seed paste)
- 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
- 4 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sweet cherries, pitted and halved
- 2 avocados, sliced
- 2 cups cooked black rice
- 1 cup sliced, toasted almonds
- Citrusy Tahini Dressing
- To make Citrusy Tahini Dressing: In bowl, whisk tahini, orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and salt. If dressing seems thick, add more orange juice or water to reach desired consistency.
- To arrange Buddha Bowls: Separate watermelon, cucumbers, cherries, avocados and rice in four bowls. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.
Sweet Watermelon Pizza
- Greek yogurt
- Watermelon, cut to 1-inch thick round slice
- Shredded coconut
- Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries or blackberries
- Slivered almonds
- Spread yogurt to cover fleshy part of watermelon, leaving room to hold rind. Sprinkle with coconut, mint, berries and almonds, or other toppings, as desired.
Hearty meals to bring the family together
(Family Features) Gathering the family around the table with delicious, traditional meals is the ultimate combination for many home chefs like Catherine Lowe, winner of the 17th season of ABC’s “The Bachelor.”
Lowe, who partnered as a celebrity spokesperson with Bertolli to create this Roasted Garlic Marinara Braised Chicken with Linguine recipe, enjoys adding authenticity to the table with recipes that provide homemade taste and layers of flavor.
“I pride myself on my strong Italian roots,” Lowe said. “My dad taught me how to cook at a young age, and growing up, it was an event to make and enjoy dinner with his side of the family. It’s important for me to remember and celebrate that heritage.”
Full of hearty vegetables you can see and taste, and inspired by the simple goodness of Tuscan cooking, Bertolli Rustic Cut Pasta sauces help bring homemade flavor to your table. Offered in four varieties – Marinara with Traditional Vegetables, Spicy Marinara with Traditional Vegetables, Roasted Garlic Marinara with Garden Vegetables and Sweet Peppers with Portobello Mushrooms – it’s Lowe’s secret ingredient to helping make family meals more enjoyable.
Find more family-friendly recipes to bring everyone together at bertolli.com.
Roasted Garlic Marinara Braised Chicken with Linguine
Recipe courtesy of Sean and Catherine Lowe
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
- 23 ounces Bertolli Rustic Cut Roasted Garlic Marinara Sauce
- 6-8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound whole-wheat linguine
- 8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
- 1/2 cup small diced onion
- 1/4 cup white wine (optional)
- 3 ounces baby kale
- Parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In 3-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, heat sauce. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add chicken, skin-side down, and cook 3-5 minutes, or until skin is crisp and deep golden-brown. Turn chicken over and cook 3-5 minutes until golden-brown on second side.
- Remove chicken from skillet, leaving fat in pan. Set aside skillet to be used later.
- Add chicken to sauce in Dutch oven in single layer, skin-side up, with skin just above surface of sauce. Cover and bake 40 minutes. Begin to boil water for pasta.
- Remove cover from Dutch oven and cook in oven 10 minutes.
- Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions. Drain.
- Heat reserved skillet and fat over medium-high heat; add cremini mushrooms and onions; saute until lightly browned. Deglaze with white wine, if desired, and cook until dry. Add kale to mushrooms and toss gently to wilt.
- Remove Dutch oven from oven and gently transfer chicken to large plate. Add pasta to sauce in Dutch oven and stir gently to coat.
- Place portion of pasta in pasta bowl and make well in middle. Spoon mushroom-kale mixture into center of well and top with one piece of chicken.
- Shave Parmesan cheese over dish to finish.
- Spoon polenta into serving dish and make a well in middle. Place mushroom-kale mixture in well. Top with marinara sauce and one piece of chicken.
Substitution: Portobello, shiitake or button mushrooms may be used in place of cremini mushrooms.
Tip: Serve with creamy polenta instead of pasta. In saucepan, combine 2 cups chicken stock, 2 cups milk, 2 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to boil and whisk in 1 cup instant polenta and cook, while stirring, 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and whisk to combine.
Grilled Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 cups (10 ounces) uncooked orzo pasta
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) vegetable broth
- 1 jar (23 ounces) Bertolli Rustic Cut Spicy Marinara with Traditional Vegetables Sauce, divided
- 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) coarsely chopped smoked almonds
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint, divided
- 6 large red, yellow or orange bell peppers, top 1/2 inch removed and seeded
- Heat grill to high.
- In medium skillet on medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add pasta; cook and stir 2-3 minutes, or until light golden brown. Stir in broth and 1 cup sauce; bring to boil.
- Reduce heat to low; cover. Cook 4 minutes, or until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
- Stir in cheese, almonds and 1/4 cup mint. Brush outsides of peppers with remaining oil. Grill 4-6 minutes, or until crisp tender and lightly marked on all sides, turning frequently; cool slightly.
- Place peppers in center of 12-by-12-inch square of heavy duty foil. Bring sides of foil up and shape foil around each pepper, leaving tops open. Shape foil into stable base to secure peppers firmly. Keep upright while grilling.
- Fill each pepper with 1 tablespoon sauce and about 3/4 cup orzo mixture. Grill peppers 8-10 minutes, or until filling is heated through. Remove from foil. Warm remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mint before serving with warmed sauce.
- To prepare peppers: Heat oven to 400° F. Prepare orzo mixture as directed but do not grill peppers. Fill raw peppers with orzo mixture and place on foil squares. Bring sides of foil up and seal tops to fully enclose each pepper.
- Arrange on rimmed baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes, or until peppers are soft and filling is heated through.
Three-Cheese Farmstand Cups
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 2 cups cooked mini penne pasta
- 1 cup small broccoli florets, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 jar (23 ounces) Bertolli Rustic Cut Sweet Peppers and Portobello Mushroom Sauce, divided
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- Heat oven to 375° F. Divide penne pasta and broccoli evenly between 12 standard muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray. Whisk in mascarpone until smooth; gradually whisk in eggs.
- Stir in Parmesan, 2 cups sauce and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Spoon 1/4 cup egg mixture over pasta and broccoli in each cup; with spoon press filling down gently. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until set.
- Sprinkle tops with remaining mozzarella cheese halfway through bake time. Let stand 3 minutes before unmolding. Warm remaining sauce and serve over top of cups with basil.
(Family Features) When the school year rolls around, switching from pool to school means finding simpler ways to kick off the day with healthy and nutritious options.
Preparing feel-good breakfasts can be as easy as picking and putting together the right ingredients, if you know where to buy them. At grocery stores like ALDI, parents can conveniently find choices they can feel good about feeding their families, including fresh produce and organic, non-GMO and gluten-free options. Parents can also shop easier knowing ALDI private label items – which make up 90 percent of its products – are free from certified synthetic colors, added trans fats and MSG.
After the shopping trip, try these make-ahead breakfast ideas to give the busy mornings a boost:
- Homemade energy bars are an easy breakfast option that can keep you fueled until lunch. For simple bars, heat coconut oil and vanilla in a saucepan until combined then transfer to a large bowl and mix with cashew butter, oats, dried fruits and granola. Press the mixture between two cookie sheets to flatten, refrigerate 2 hours and slice into bars.
- Portion out produce for daily breakfast smoothies. Seal each weekday’s smoothie ingredients in separate plastic bags and simply toss the ingredients in a blender each morning. Enjoy your smoothie in a tumbler or try something new, such as this Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl.
- Use your slow cooker to make oatmeal. Before heading to bed, simply add milk, vanilla and your favorite sweetener to rolled oats and cook on low 7-8 hours. Include dried fruit to soak up moisture and provide a sweet, juicy addition. Or try these Morning Oasis Overnight Oats for a no-cook variation on traditional oatmeal for a quick, crunchy start to the day.
Make school mornings a breeze with more quick recipes at aldi.us.
Morning Oasis Overnight Oats
Recipe courtesy of Chef Michelle, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes (plus overnight to set)
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups Millville Quick Oats
- 1 teaspoon Southern Grove Chia Seeds
- 2 cups Friendly Farms Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1/8 teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
- 3 tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey, divided
- 1/4 cup SimplyNature Organic Quinoa, toasted
- 1/4 cup Southern Grove Whole Almonds, toasted
- 1 mango, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped coconut
- .45 ounces Moser Roth Premium Dark Chocolate 70 percent Cocoa, shaved
- .45 ounces Moser Roth Premium Dark Chocolate 70 percent Cocoa, melted
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- In large mason jar, combine oats, chia seeds, almond milk, salt and 2 tablespoons honey. Refrigerate overnight.
- In medium bowl, combine quinoa, almonds and remaining honey. Spread onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Remove, cooling completely and crumbling. Store in re-sealable bag overnight.
- The next day, stir oats and pour desired amount into serving bowl. Top with mango, coconut, shaved chocolate and candied quinoa. Drizzle with melted chocolate.
Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl
Recipe courtesy of Chef Audrey, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 3/4 cup blackberries
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup Friendly Farms Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- 3/4 cup Friendly Farms Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Pure Vanilla
- 1 teaspoon SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- SimplyNature Flax Seed
- Southern Grove Chia Seeds
- Southern Grove Sliced Almonds, toasted
- Lime zest
- Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl and add garnishes as desired.
(Family Features) Warmer weather has arrived and that means it’s salad season.
There are many seasonal salads to enjoy and everyone has a favorite. Change your warm-weather dining habits up a bit with this recipe for Ruby Beet Chicken Salad Skewers. Easy to prepare, this deliciously unique salad on a skewer is perfect for entertaining family and friends.
The sweet-tangy, nutty, piquant and savory combination of ingredients provides layers of flavors in every forkful. One-bite Aunt Nellie’s Baby Whole Pickled Beets are just right for skewering with the mustard-marmalade glazed chicken and crisp romaine.
To finish, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with toasted almonds and cheese. Add a whole grain baguette and your meal is ready. For more warm-weather recipe ideas, visit AuntNellies.com.
Ruby Beet Chicken Salad Skewers
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Baby Whole Pickled Beets, drained
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
- salt, to taste, plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided
- pepper, to taste, plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided
- 4 1/2 tablespoons stone ground mustard, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoons orange marmalade, plus 1/3 cup, divided
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 1 large lemon, zested and juiced (about 1/3 cup juice)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 bag (9 ounces) leafy romaine pieces
- 8 wooden skewers
- 1/3 cup chopped almonds, toasted
- 1/3 cup crumbled firm white cheese (such as blue cheese, feta or goat)
- Heat oven to 375° F. Drain beets; set aside.
- Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. In small bowl, combine 1 1/2 tablespoons each of mustard and marmalade. Brush mixture over chicken until completely coated. Bake chicken on aluminum foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet, 20-25 minutes, or until juices run clear; set aside.
- To make vinaigrette: In medium bowl, combine remaining mustard, remaining marmalade, chives, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Slowly pour in oil while whisking vigorously until completely combined.
- Slice cooled chicken into 1-inch pieces. On each skewer, thread a beet, a piece of chicken and 4- 5 pieces of lettuce; repeat twice; add one beet at end. Repeat to make eight skewers. Place skewers on large serving platter. Stir vinaigrette; drizzle lightly over skewers. Sprinkle with almonds and cheese. Serve with remaining vinaigrette.
Substitution: Whole pickled beets may be substituted. Cut beets in half.
Alternate preparation: To grill chicken, brush both sides with mustard-marmalade mixture. Grill over medium heat 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through and thermometer reads 165 F. If chicken cooks too quickly, reduce heat to medium-low.
Nutritional information per serving: 255 calories; 15 g protein; 20 g carbohydrates; 12 g total fat; 440 mg sodium; 40 mg cholesterol; 2 g dietary fiber; 1 mg iron; .07 mg thiamin; 2,871 IU vitamin A; 7 mg vitamin C.
Source: Aunt Nellie's
Add fresh produce to your diet and community
(Family Features) Dedicating more of your plate to fresh-from-the-garden produce as well as rice and grains can lead to a healthier lifestyle, according to Cheryl Forberg, registered dietitian and award-winning chef and nutritionist for “The Biggest Loser.”
“Most of my adult clients who are not veggie lovers usually had little exposure to them growing up, or they just weren’t cooked properly,” Forberg said. “It’s important for parents to get their children involved in cooking, shopping and even gardening so kids can understand the journey from seed to plate.”
Forberg furthers her personal dedication to the seed-to-plate journey through her involvement with Seeds of Change, which invests in healthier and greener communities by offering both organic seeds and foods, and delivers an annual grant program that benefits school and community gardening as well as farming programs. This year, the grant program will award $310,000 to participants who plan to help their communities and teach people about sustainability and where fresh food comes from.
To start living healthier and greener lives, Forberg offers four simple tips:
Start in the garden. This hands-on approach is a fun way to learn about nutrition and where food comes from. Following produce from seed to plate can compel you to eat more healthfully. Plant a garden at home or become involved in a local project nearby.
Opt for veggies with big impact. Richly colored veggies contain the richest supplies of nutrients. Opt for spinach or romaine instead of iceberg lettuce in your salads. Skip the celery or carrots and go for red bell pepper slices to deliver a healthy serving of antioxidants and vitamin C.
Make smart swaps. Replace the dense calories of pasta noodles with a flavorful cup of cooked spaghetti squash. The squash is a satisfying and tasty alternative with a mere 40 calories, 2 grams of fiber and loads of vitamins.
Pair with whole grains. Mashed potatoes may be a favorite dinner side, but there are more nutritious options to complement your garden produce, such as this grain bowl with wild salmon from Chef Seamus Mullen.
Learn more about starting a community garden and living a greener, healthier life at seedsofchangegrant.com.
Warm Grain Bowl with Wild Salmon, Almonds and Salsa Verde
Total time: 20-25 minutes
- 8 wild salmon fillets (3 ounces each)
- sea salt, to taste
- fresh pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup shitake mushroom caps, sliced
- 1 package Seeds of Change Quinoa, Brown & Red Rice with Flaxseeds
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
Salsa Verde (optional):
- 1 bunch scallions
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup packed mint leaves
- 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- In oven-proof pan, season salmon with salt and pepper, and drizzle each fillet with olive oil. Bake 12-15 minutes, until cooked through.
- In blender or food processor, combine all Salsa Verde ingredients and pulse until fully incorporated but still rustic and chunky. Set aside.
- In medium saute pan over medium-high heat, heat remaining olive oil. Add mushrooms and asparagus and saute vigorously 3-5 minutes. Add grains and slivered almonds, and continue to saute until heated through, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Divide grains among eight plates, place a piece of salmon on each plate then finish with dollop of Salsa Verde, if desired, and serve.
Substitution: Shitake mushroom caps may be substituted with button mushrooms or other wild mushrooms.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: Seeds of Change
- 1 (13-ounce) bag Snickers Miniatures for Easter, chopped
- 24 cupcake paper liners
- 1 (18-ounce) box favorite cake mix
- 2 (16-ounce) cans classic vanilla frosting
- Yellow food coloring
- 1 (14-ounce) bag Starburst Jellybeans Original Fruits
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- 1 tube chocolate decorating frosting, with plain tip
- 2 resealable plastic bags
- Unwrap and chop all miniatures, set aside.
- Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. Prepare cake mix, fold in chopped miniatures and bake according to package directions.
- Let cupcakes come to room temperature.
- In the meantime, tint frosting with yellow food coloring to desired shade. Frost top of each cupcake to cover.
- Spoon remaining frosting into resealable plastic bag. Cut off 1/4-inch from tip. To create a “hive” on each cupcake, pipe on frosting in spiral fashion, starting with bottom of hive and working up to top.
- Separate orange jellybeans from package. Arrange 3 to 4 jellybeans on each frosting hive. Gently squeeze chocolate frosting through tip in zigzag pattern over jellybeans.
- Angle an almond slice on each side of jellybeans as bee wings.
Makes 24 servings
Mini Three-Cheese Balls
Yields 24 to 30 balls
- 1 4-ounce log fresh goat cheese
- 6 ounces crumbled blue cheese
- 2 cups coarsely grated Jarlsberg cheese
- 2 tablespoons grated onion
- 1/4 cup non fat plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup finely diced fresh chives, plus extra for garnish
- Dash hot sauce (optional)
- 1 cup slivered almonds or chopped pecans
- In a food processor, process cheeses with onion, yogurt and chives until well blended. If you'd like, add a dash of hot sauce.
- Shape into mini balls and roll in slivered almonds or chopped pecans and chives, or spread in serving dish and top with nuts/chives.
- Chill several hours or until ready to serve. Serve with flat breads, fresh vegetables, etc.
Tip: You can also mix nuts into cheese mixture and use to stuff cherry tomatoes and peppadews, sweet peppers or top cucumber rounds, mini party breads, etc. Chill several hours or until ready to serve.
(Family Features) A wealth of research shows that starting each morning with a nutritious breakfast delivers benefits throughout the day. If you’re pressed for time or simply need to mix up your morning routine, put a fresh spin on a time-saving favorite by making a smoothie bowl.
Smoothie bowls typically have a thicker consistency than traditional smoothies, and according to a recent study in the “American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” the thicker the smoothie, the more full you will feel.
“I love smoothie bowls because they are a satisfying and satiating way to get a ton of nutrition in first thing in the morning,” said Carolyn Brown, a registered dietitian and nutritionist at Foodtrainers in New York City. “You can add in healthy ingredients that you might not be able to eat on a daily basis like spinach, basil, mint, cinnamon, nut butters or avocado.”
Brown points out that in her experience with clients, people love to eat with a spoon and find it more mentally and physically satisfying. The same goes for adding texture, such as a crunchy topping like goodnessknows snack squares. These satisfying, gluten-free snacks are crafted with the goodness of whole nuts, real fruits and toasted oats, with no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. Divided into four snackable squares per serving and nestled in a layer made with dark chocolate, one individual, two-bite square contains only about 40 calories.
Find out more about how doing a little good for yourself can go a long way at goodnessknows.com.
Apple Pie Smoothie Bowl
Recipe courtesy of Anna Luther of My Life and Kids
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 frozen banana
- 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1/4 cup raw oats
- 1/2 cup milk (or unsweetened almond or coconut milk)
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- honey, to taste (optional)
- Diced apples
- Shaved almonds
- goodnessknows apple almond & peanut dark chocolate snack squares
- In blender, mix all smoothie ingredients until smooth. Add honey to increase sweetness, if desired. Add toppings before serving.
Oatmeal Banana Smoothie Bowl
Recipe courtesy of Alison Ray of So Chic Life
- 2/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- sea salt
- 1/2 cup almond milk, 2 percent milk or soy milk
- 1 small banana (or 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce)
- goodnessknows snack squares (any flavor)
- grated coconut, to taste
- In small bowl, mix together oats, coconut milk, chia seeds, vanilla and pinch of salt. Cover and place in refrigerator at least 30 minutes, or overnight to help flavors soak in.
- In blender or food processor, combine oat mixture with remaining milk and half of the banana (or applesauce). Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Pour creamy oats into bowl, and top with snack squares, coconut and slices of remaining banana half.
Tip: To thin consistency, use additional milk.