recipes

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

Meal Ideas 01 May 2017

Delicious, Nutritious Outdoor Dining

(Family Features) Some of the first foods that come to mind when considering dining outdoors are greasy, messy meals. Instead, opt for a nutritious outdoor experience with a turkey wrap, grain bowl or chicken salad for a backyard bite that doesn’t go overboard.

Find more nutritious recipes for outdoor dining at culinary.net.

Lunch On the Go

A healthy combination of plant-based foods and turkey easily turns into a quick lunch. This wrap brings together a variety of textures with crunchiness from the apples and spinach, substance from the turkey and creamy, simple dressing. Find more quick, healthy recipes at aicr.org.

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Turkey, Spinach and Apple Wrap

Recipe reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research

  • 1 tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons honey mustard
  • 2 whole-wheat lavash wraps or flour tortillas (8 inches each)
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, loosely packed, washed and dried
  • 4 thin slices turkey breast
  • 1/4 Granny Smith apple, sliced paper-thin
  1. Combine mayonnaise and mustard. Lay out both wraps. Spread edges of each with mayonnaise mixture.
  2. Leaving space on one side of wraps, arrange layer of greens on top of wraps. Top each layer with two slices of turkey. Evenly divide apple slices and lay lengthwise across turkey. Fold over one end of wrap then both sides. Roll wrap as tightly as possible toward opposite side.
  3. Cover each wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate seam-side down, up to 4 hours, before serving. To serve, remove plastic wrap and cut each wrap in half at an angle.

Substitution: Two large leaves of soft, leafy green lettuce can be used in place of baby spinach leaves.

Greens and Grains

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.”

To start living healthier and greener lives, Forberg recommends starting a 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.

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.

Learn more about starting a community garden and living a greener, healthier life at seedsofchangegrant.com.

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Warm Grain Bowl with Wild Salmon, Almonds and Salsa Verde

Total time: 20-25 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 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
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In oven-proof pan, season salmon with salt and pepper, and drizzle each fillet with olive oil. Bake 12-15 minutes, until cooked through.
  3. In blender or food processor, combine all Salsa Verde ingredients and pulse until fully incorporated but still rustic and chunky. Set aside.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Savory Salad

Even when you plan to take dining outdoors, a tasty salad still makes for an ideally nutritious meal. This salad brings together an assortment of veggies for a Tomato-Cucumber Salsa to top succulent baked chicken and greens. Find more recipes perfect for dining al fresco at chickenroost.com.

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Baked Greek Chicken Salad

Recipe courtesy of the National Chicken Council
Servings: 4

Tomato-Cucumber Salsa:

  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 green pepper, julienned
  • 1/4 purple onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon Greek seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard

Salad:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Greek seasoning
  • 1 package mixed Italian salad greens
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • black olives
  • pepperoncini peppers
  1. To make Tomato-Cucumber Salsa: In medium bowl, mix together tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, purple onion, red wine vinegar, olive oil, vegetable oil, pepper, salt, basil, oregano, Greek seasoning, sugar and dry mustard. Chill until ready to serve.
  2. Heat oven to 350° F.
  3. Place chicken in baking dish. In medium bowl, mix together butter, lemon juice, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and Greek seasoning; pour over chicken. Bake about 50 minutes, uncovered, basting occasionally.
  4. Place salad greens in large serving bowl. Top with Tomato-Cucumber Salsa. Slice chicken in thin strips and arrange on top of salad. Sprinkle with feta cheese and garnish with olives and pepper.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Culinary.net

Main Dishes 11 April 2017

Unleash the Power of Dairy

(Family Features) If you’re trying to boost the nutrition of your meals and snacks, look no further than your refrigerator. Dairy products provide a powerful nutrition package that can help you meet your nutrient needs and achieve better health.

The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans affirm dairy’s important place in the diet with a recommendation that people ages 9 and older consume three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy foods every day. With nine essential nutrients, milk, cheese and yogurt deliver a unique nutrition package superior to milk alternatives, such as almond or rice beverages, which are often fortified or fall short on these important nutrients.

During the hot summer months, when you don’t feel like spending much time in the kitchen, dairy products offer ease and convenience, as many are ready to use in recipes or round out a meal or snack. For a quick, easy and healthy snack this summer, put a fresh take on traditional pizza with this recipe that uses crescent rolls topped with cheeses and fresh seasonal veggies. Or turn up the heat on a classic beef burrito by adding warm pepper jack cheese and black beans.

Visit MidwestDairy.com to pledge Dairy 3 for Me, find additional recipes and learn more about how to unleash the power of dairy nutrition.

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Summer Pizza Snack

Recipe courtesy of Cindy Heins, Heins Family Farms
Total time: 22 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1 tube (8 ounces) crescent rolls
  • 1 tub (8 ounces) low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. In 9-by-13-inch baking pan, spread out crescent roll dough. Seal seams together to form one large rectangle across bottom of pan. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on rack.
  2. In small bowl, mix together cream cheese, mayonnaise and garlic powder. Spread evenly over entire cooled crust. Top with mozzarella, tomatoes, olives, broccoli and cucumber. Cut into 12 squares and serve.

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Beef Burrito with Pepper Jack Cheese and Black Beans

Total time: 9 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1/2 pound ground beef sirloin
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup chunky salsa, divided
  • 2 cups cooked brown or white rice
  • 6 whole-wheat tortillas (9 inches each)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (11 ounces) corn kernels, drained
  • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • sliced green onion, including green tops
  1. In medium, nonstick skillet, brown ground beef and garlic over medium heat (break beef mixture up into smaller chunks with spatula). Drain fat and stir in 1/2 cup salsa; set aside.
  2. Spread 1/3 cup rice on center of tortilla, leaving 1/2-inch border. Scatter about 2 tablespoons beans and 1 1/2 tablespoons corn over rice. Spread 1/3 cup beef mixture and 1/4 cup cheese over corn. Top with 2 teaspoons salsa and a few slices green onion. Fold in two opposite edges of tortilla 1 inch each and roll up. Place seam-side down on microwave-safe dish.
  3. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Place burritos in microwave oven and heat 1 minute, or until heated through. Serve with remaining salsa.

Source: Midwest Dairy Association

Kids 16 December 2016

Connect Kids with Food for Healthy Habits

(Family Features) More than nine in 10 millennial moms think it's important for their kids to learn about where their food comes from, and more than three-quarters of those moms actively do things with their kids to help learn just that, according to recent findings.

Building healthy habits is the top reason moms cite for encouraging more learning when it comes to food, according to research conducted by IPSOS on behalf of Cuties – the sweet little clementines. Even when the weather is colder outside, these tips make it fun for families to learn about where their food comes from and help encourage kids to eat healthy for a lifetime.

    1. Grocery shop together or go to a farmers market. Many cities now have year-round indoor markets, where together you can select fruits and veggies to try. Often the farmers are there, so you can learn about produce and get ideas for how to prepare unfamiliar items at home.

 

    1. Cook with your kids. Find fun recipes that let them explore fresh foods where they can be creative. Find age-appropriate ways to involve them, like stirring or measuring, and encourage them to get hands-on with recipes, such as this fun Flower Salad recipe from registered dietitian Ellie Krieger.

 

  1. Explore the story of where some of their favorite foods come from. Kids learn and remember information when it comes in the form of a story. Cuties is giving families the chance to uncover those stories by encouraging them to submit questions using #AskAGrower on Facebook. Actual growers will answer with stories about how this sweet, seedless and easy-to-peel fruit is grown with care by their family of growers. A video series at cutiescitrus.com/our-story also helps bring the stories to life.

“Making learning about food fun is good for the whole family,” Krieger said. “It encourages kids – and parents – to explore new foods and be more connected to where their food comes from. It’s truly a ‘healthy’ conversation to have together.”

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Flower Salad

Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger
Servings: 1

Flower:

  • 1 Cuties clementine
  • 9-10 thinly sliced strips red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 grape tomato
  • 1 celery stick, cut to 3 inches
  • 2 small leaves romaine lettuce
  • 1 piece English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and cut to 1 1/2 inches then thinly sliced

Dip:

  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Peel clementine and separate sections almost all the way, leaving attached at the base. Place on plate with base down. Place piece of red bell pepper between each citrus section, and half tomato in center to form flower.
  2. Place celery and lettuce leaves underneath as stem and leaves. Arrange cucumber slices below to represent grass.
  3. In small bowl, stir together yogurt, honey and lemon juice.
  4. Serve dip in dish alongside flower, or in a mound underneath cucumber slices.

Nutritional information per serving: 76 calories; 0.5 g total fat; (0.3 g saturated fat, 0.2 g poly fat); 4 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 2 mg cholesterol; 21 mg sodium.

Source: Cuties

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Grilling-Tailgating 11 August 2015

Grilling Steak: Beef 101

(Family Features) - There's nothing better than a sizzling steak hot off the grill. If you're the grill master, you may be looking to brush up on the right techniques to make sure you have a great beef meal every time.

The Featured Cut

"Boneless top sirloin steak is perfect for the grill. It's versatile, tender and flavorful," says Chef Dave Zino, executive director of the Culinary Center for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. "Top sirloin partners well with rubs, marinades and sauces that add complimentary accents - and it's perfect for cutting into pieces for kabobs, a great way to stretch your grilling budget. Although it seems so decadently delicious, top sirloin is one of the 29 cuts of beef that meet the government guidelines for lean, providing 156 calories and 4.6 grams of fat - as well as 10 essential nutrients - per 3-ounce cooked serving."

Three Easy Steps

Step 1:
Prepare gas or charcoal grill according to manufacturer's directions for medium heat.

Step 2:
Remove beef from refrigerator and season with a spice blend or marinade as desired. Place on preheated cooking grid.

Step 3:
Cook boneless top sirloin steak (1 inch thick) 17 to 21 minutes uncovered (charcoal grill) or 13 to 16 minutes covered (gas grill), turning occasionally. To determine doneness, insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally from the side, penetrating the thickest part or center of the steak. Allow 10 to 15 seconds for the thermometer to register the internal temperature. Steaks should be cooked to 145°F (medium rare) or 160°F (medium). After cooking, season with salt, as desired.

BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com is the one-stop resource for tips and recipes that will help you make the most of your time at the grill.

Hoisin Beef Kabobs with Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients
  • 1-1/4 pounds boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1 inch thick
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Pineapple Salsa
  • 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced cucumber
  • 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
Preparation
  1. Combine Pineapple Salsa ingredients in small bowl; set aside. Combine ketchup and hoisin sauce in another small bowl; set aside.
  2. Cut beef steak into 1 inch pieces. Thread beef pieces evenly onto four 10 to 12 inch metal skewers. Season kabobs evenly with pepper.
  3. Place kabobs on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Brush beef generously with some of reserved sauce mixture. Grill kabobs, covered, 6 to 8 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 7 to 9 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally and brushing with remaining sauce mixture. Season beef with salt, as desired. Serve kabobs topped with Pineapple Salsa.
Total Time

25 to 30 minutes

Serves

4 servings

SOURCE: The Beef Checkoff

Appetizers & Sides 10 August 2015

Greek Pasta Salad

Ingredients

Sun-Dried Tomato Salad Dressing

  • 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained or rehydrate if dry
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons Kikkoman Rice Vinegar

Salad

  • 1/4 cup Kikkoman Thai Style Chili Sauce
  • 4 cups rotini pasta, cooked
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup green bell pepper strips
  • 1 4-ounce package feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1 3.8-ounce can black olives, sliced and drained
  • 3/4 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped dill weed
Preparation
  1. For dressing, whisk together sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, basil, capers, garlic and rice vinegar. Set aside.
  2. For salad, whisk together 1 cup salad dressing and chili sauce, set aside. In large bowl, combine pasta and remaining ingredients, tossing to combine. Serve with salad dressing.
Serves

Servings 6

Source

Kikkoman

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