(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.
Vegetarian Poke Bowl
Prep time: 20 minutes
- 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
- 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.
Roasted Cod with Fennel and Grapes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 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
- Heat oven to 400° F. Arrange cod pieces in baking dish.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Grapes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
(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.
Chicken Soft Tacos with Pickled Beet Salsa
Prep time: 25 minutes
- 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
- 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
- To make salsa: drain beets and chop. In medium bowl, combine beets, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.
- To make tacos: In small bowl, stir together sour cream and mustard; set aside.
- 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
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.
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
- 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
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
- Preheat oven: 375°F.
- 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.
- Clean and dry parsley, then chop with large chef knife. Slice goat cheese 1/2-inch thick.
- 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
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)
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup California pistachio kernels
- 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
Put a fresh take on post-holiday sandwiches
(Family Features) For most people, the day after a big holiday gathering means two things: a refrigerator filled with opportunity and a marked lack of energy. Fortunately, there are easy ways to make the most of the remnants of your holiday meal so you can take it easy and enjoy a day filled with good food and good rest.
Sandwiches are a natural solution for post-holiday noshing, but all those exceptional entrees practically beg for one last chance to shine. Put a fresh, wholesome twist on this year’s sandwiches by ditching the traditional condiments and dressing up your bread with a new kind of spread. New hummus-based Sabra Spreads – available in Garlic Herb, Honey Mustard and Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper – have 75 percent less fat than the leading spread, mayonnaise, and pair perfectly with sandwiches and wraps of all kinds.
Make an upgrade with these stepped-up takes on the traditional turkey sandwich and more, and find additional mouthwatering inspiration at Sabra.com.
Turkey Sandwich with Cranberry and Hummus
- 2 slices sourdough bread
- Sabra Spreads Sea Salt & Cracked Pepper
- Bibb or Boston lettuce
- purple onion, thinly sliced
- leftover turkey, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
- cranberry sauce
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Cover one slice of bread with spread then layer lettuce, purple onion, turkey, cranberry sauce, another layer of lettuce, salt and pepper. Add another squeeze of spread and second piece of bread.
Garlic Tarragon Roasted Beet Sandwiches
Recipe courtesy of Stephanie McKercher of The Grateful Grazer
- 3 beets (about 1 1/2 cups), peeled and sliced in thin rounds
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
Garlic Tarragon Spread:
- 1/4 cup Sabra Spreads Garlic Herb
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon leaves
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 2 whole grain rolls
- 1/2 apple, sliced in thin rounds
- 1/2 cup micro greens
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
- Heat oven to 425° F and prepare baking sheet. In mixing bowl, combine beets, sesame oil and tarragon then spread on baking sheet. Roast until beets are tender and browned in areas, about 25-30 minutes.
- While beets are roasting, use same mixing bowl to prepare spread. Stir together spread, tarragon, salt and pepper. Cover bowl and store in refrigerator until beets are ready.
- Remove beets from oven and allow to cool slightly before assembling sandwiches. Slice rolls in half and spread garlic tarragon spread on inside of each roll. Top bottom half of roll with beets, apple slices, micro greens and red onion, then top with remaining half of bun.
Chicken and Waffles Sandwich
Recipe courtesy of Chelsea LeBlanc of Chelsea’s Choices
- 1 tablespoon egg whites
- 2 teaspoons Sabra Spreads Garlic & Herb
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary, plus additional for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken tenders
- 4 frozen waffles
- 1/2 cup fresh spinach
- 4 tablespoons Sabra Spreads Honey Mustard
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- Heat oven to 425° F and line baking sheet with aluminum foil.
- In medium bowl, whisk together egg whites and garlic and herb spread.
- On plate, gently mix together panko bread crumbs, 1 teaspoon rosemary, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper.
- Dip chicken into egg white mixture then into bread crumb mixture.
- Place on baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes, or until internal temperature is 165 F, flipping chicken at halfway mark.
- In toaster oven, toast waffles until warm and crisp. Cut into fourths and top with spinach and 1/2 tablespoon honey mustard spread.
- Cut chicken tenders in half and place atop waffles. Top with another waffle quarter. Garnish with rosemary and serve with maple syrup.
Grilled Portobello Mushroom and Arugula Sandwich
Recipe courtesy of Chelsey of C it Nutritionally
- 4 portobello mushroom caps, stems removed
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 baguette (12 inches), cut into two pieces and halved lengthwise
- 2 tablespoons Sabra Spreads Garlic & Herb
- 1 roasted bell pepper
- 1 cup arugula
- Gently clean portobello mushroom caps with cloth just prior to preparation.
- In medium to large bowl, combine balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and whisk together with fork. Add mushroom caps to bowl and soak until mushrooms are saturated with marinade.
- Remove mushroom caps from bowl and place on plate. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper and smoked paprika.
- Gently coat grill, grill pan or large skillet with olive oil or nonstick spray and heat over medium heat.
- Sear mushrooms for about 2 minutes on each side, until cooked through and mushroom caps darken in color. Set cooked mushrooms aside.
- To assemble sandwich: coat bottom piece of baguette with spread. Add roasted bell pepper, arugula and cooked mushrooms.
- In clean skillet over medium heat, sear assembled sandwich about 3 minutes on each side until bread is heated through.
Turkey, Prosciutto and Hummus Sandwich
- 2 slices whole-wheat bread, toasted
- Sabra Spreads Garlic Herb
- tender arugula
- leftover turkey, sliced about 1/4-inch thick
- 1 ounce thinly sliced prosciutto
- Cover bottom slice of bread with spread then layer arugula, turkey and prosciutto to build club-style sandwich. Add another squeeze of spread and top piece of bread.