(Family Features) Potatoes are the top food eaten alongside grilled main dishes, according to the NPD Group, so why not put potatoes on the grill too? Try grilling thick potato planks, skewered potato chunks, or colorful halved fingerlings in a zesty rub like these Flame-Licked Fingerlings, created by award-winning cookbook authors Karen Adler and Judith Fertig, also known as the “BBQ Queens.”
“A lot of people don’t know you can grill potatoes,” said the BBQ Queens. “They’re sturdy enough to hold up well on the grill, versatile enough to grill in many different ways and the nutritional boost is a welcome addition to any meal.”
In fact, one medium-size (5.3 ounce) potato has no fat, sodium or cholesterol, provides 45 percent of your daily value of vitamin C, and has more potassium than a banana. Plus, cooking potato side dishes on the grill helps to minimize clean-up, and doesn’t require the heat of an oven during the warmer months.
Visit www.potatogoodness.com to find more recipe ideas for putting potatoes on the grill, including a colorful Grilled Potato Bake which incorporates multiple potato types for a flavorful side dish. You can also sign-up to receive a new recipe in your email in-box each week.
Flame-Licked Fingerling Potatoes with Spud Rub
Created by The BBQ Queens for the U.S. Potato Board
Makes: 4 side dish servings
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons lemon pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 pound fingerling potato mix
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Spud Rub
- For the rub, combine all ingredients in a glass jar, close the lid and shake to blend. Store at room temperature.
- Prepare a medium-hot fire in your grill.
- Place the potatoes in a bowl, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with Spud Rub. Toss to coat.
- Place the potatoes on the grill rack or in grill basket directly over the heat and close the grill lid. After 3 to 4 minutes, open the lid and toss the potatoes or turn the basket. Close the lid again and repeat the process for 12 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
Serving tip: Serve the grilled fingerlings on a platter alongside a bowl of Spud Rub Dip. To make Spud Rub Dip, combine 1/2 cup prepared buttermilk or ranch-style dressing and 1 teaspoon Spud Rub in small bowl. Stir to blend. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Nutritional information per serving: Calories: 110, Fat: 2.5g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 125mg, Carbohydrates: 20g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 0g, Protein: 3g, Vitamin A: 2%, Vitamin C: 40%, Calcium: 0%, Iron: 6%, Potassium: 6mg.
Cottage cheese gets hip with today’s recipes
(Family Features) Classics never go out of style — whether presented simply or dressed up with trendy new touches. Cottage cheese has been a favorite for generations, but innovative serving ideas give new appeal to this trusty favorite.
Cool and refreshing cottage cheese is an easy “right now” quick meal or snack for on-the-go people. It’s naturally high in protein, low in fat and carbohydrates and is a favorite among active, nutrition-conscious adults, providing women with the calcium they need. And, parents can feel good about it as an easy, healthy snack for kids. The creamy satisfying flavor of cottage cheese is great paired with pineapple or apple wedges, or mixed with applesauce and a shake of cinnamon.
The introduction of cottage cheese from Daisy Brand, the nation’s best selling sour cream brand, is an exciting new addition to the dairy case. Fresh and wholesome, this new cottage cheese contains only natural ingredients with no preservatives or additives.
Versatile cottage cheese is perfect for a quick snack, healthy meal or satisfying dessert:
—Break into breakfast: Serve cottage cheese alongside fresh fruit, mixed with yogurt or topped with cereal. Its creamy consistency is perfect stirred into eggs, pancakes, omelets or quiche.
—Satisfy snack attacks: Enjoy cottage cheese with fresh fruit, raw veggies or crackers.
—Mute the munchies with a thin spread of peanut butter on crackers topped with creamy cottage cheese.
—Savor smart lunch choices: Combine cottage cheese with fresh vegetables or fruit for a healthful, satisfying lunch.
—Make mid-day hearty and delicious by mixing cottage cheese into flaked tuna.
—Feature family-pleasing dinners: Count on cottage cheese to round out a salad or as a side dish, or use as a central ingredient in quiches or pasta dishes such as lasagna and ravioli.
—Dig into sweet endings: Scene-stealing desserts with cottage cheese include cheesecake, blintzes, turnovers and more.
Delight your palate with a cool, satisfying classic. Discover surprising, innovative ways to enjoy fresh and delicious cottage cheese by visiting www.daisybrand.com. Recipe ideas for quick snacks, simple meals and flavorful entertaining will help you put this all-natural, low-carb source of protein and calcium on your table for healthy family meals.
Berry Breakfast Parfaits
- 2 cups (16 ounces) Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
- 2 cups mixed fresh berries such as sliced strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
- 1 cup granola
- 4 tablespoons sliced or chopped almonds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla*
- 3/4 teaspoon Splenda®*
- Refrigerate fruit mixture 2 hours before assembling. In four serving dishes layer 1/4 cup of cottage cheese, 1/8 cup of granola, and 1/4 cup of mixed berries. Repeat layers in each glass. Top each parfait with 1 tablespoon of almonds.
*For a sweeter taste, try adding 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3/4 teaspoon of Splenda to fruit and stir.
Pita Pesto Pizza Snackers
- 2 pieces pita bread
- 2 tablespoons basil pesto
- 1 cup (8 ounces) Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic bread seasoning (or garlic powder)
- 2 tablespoons chopped Roma tomatoes
- Chopped fresh basil, to taste
- 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Toast pita bread until crispy and firm, about 1 minute in a toaster oven.
- Spread pesto on each pita bread, lightly covering entire surface.
- Combine cottage cheese with garlic bread seasoning and spread evenly over each pita.
- Top with chopped tomato and fresh basil.
- If desired, sprinkle each pita with Parmesan.
- Slice each pita into 4 wedges and serve immediately.
Apple-Cinnamon Pancake Stackers
- 1 medium apple, Fuji or Gala, peeled, cored and cubed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons Splenda® or other low calorie sweetener
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons lite maple syrup
- 1 cup (8 ounces) Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
- 6 3 1/2-inch whole wheat pancakes, frozen
- 2 fresh mint sprigs
- Combine apple, cinnamon and sweetener. In small pan, heat oil and sauté apple mixture over medium heat 2 minutes. Add maple syrup and cook additional minute.
- Fold mixture into cottage cheese, being careful not to over mix.
- Heat pancakes per package instructions.
- To serve, place 1 hot pancake on plate and layer cottage cheese mixture between pancakes evenly, 3 pancakes per serving. Top with cottage cheese mixture, a drizzle of maple syrup and a fresh mint sprig.
Source: Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
(Family Features) It’s not always easy to create meals that are both nutritious and satisfying. Managing intake of added sugar and saturated fat takes effort and planning, but transforming your favorite recipes into more nutritious family meals can be simpler than you imagined.
The nutrient-dense mushroom masterfully bridges that divide, offering rich and meaty flavor while still being fat-free, low-calorie and low-sodium. All mushrooms contain vitamin D at various levels, which helps build strong bones. Additionally, mushrooms are a source of B vitamins, including riboflavin and niacin, which help provide energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
“Mushrooms are an incredibly versatile ingredient,” said Mary Jo Feeney, MS, RDN, nutrition research consultant for the Mushroom Council. “They can be the meaty star of a vegetarian dish or a nutritious complement to burgers and other hearty recipes.”
For a healthy weekday lunch, consider building a salad bowl around the earthy mushroom. Pair roasted or marinated mushrooms with crunchy vegetables and nutty grains, beans and pulses, and top with a simple vinaigrette or squeeze of citrus.
For lightened-up versions of classics such as burgers and meatballs, try adopting a culinary technique known as “The Blend.” Simply chop any mushroom variety to match the consistency of ground meat, blend the mushrooms into the meat and cook the mushroom-meat blend to complete the recipe. Substituting at least 25 percent of the meat for mushrooms can enhance the taste of your favorite meaty meals, deliver an extra serving of nutrient-rich vegetables and trim calorie and fat intake.
For additional mushroom recipes that incorporate the blending technique, visit mushroominfo.com.
Mighty Mushroom Blended Burger
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1/2 pound any variety mushroom
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 buns
- Finely dice mushrooms or gently pulse in food processor.
- In skillet, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium-high heat and add mushrooms, cooking 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.
- Transfer cooled mushrooms to medium bowl. Add ground beef and salt, mixing until combined. Make four patties.
- Add remaining olive oil to pan and cook burger patties on medium-high heat until internal temperature reaches at least 160° F. Plate and add desired toppings to bun.
- Recommended toppings include: pickled red peppers, crumbled blue cheese and watercress greens.
Marinated Mushroom Bowls with Lentils and Wild Rice
Prep time: 40 minutes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon chili oil
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 cups cooked French lentils
- 1 cup cooked wild rice
- 1 cup chopped cucumber
- To marinate mushrooms: In shallow bowl, whisk together olive oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and chili oil.
- Stir in green onion, cilantro and sesame seeds. Add mushrooms and gently toss in marinade. Cover and let rest 30 minutes.
- Place cabbage in bowl and toss with lime juice and pinch of salt. Set aside.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon of soy sauce to both lentils and wild rice.
- To serve, arrange equal amount of mushrooms, cabbage, lentils, wild rice and cucumbers in each bowl. Drizzle with remaining marinade and garnish with chopped cilantro, sliced green onions and black sesame seeds. Serve with lime wedges.
Note: Can be served at room temperature or cold.
Roasted Mushroom and Wheat Berry Salad with Orange Curry Vinaigrette
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 8 ounces white button mushrooms, halved
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups cooked wheat berries, warm
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- Place mushrooms on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Bake 10 minutes. Carefully stir mushrooms and bake 5 more minutes, until tender.
- Transfer mushrooms to medium bowl. Add wheat berries, green onions and cranberries.
In small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients.
- Pour dressing over salad. Toss to mix all ingredients. Serve warm.
Source: Mushroom Council
Breakfast recipes for a healthy New Year
(Family Features) A commitment to health and wellness means taking care of yourself and your family, exercising and eating right. The New Year is the perfect time to refocus your goals and make better health a priority.
A nutrient-rich breakfast can set you up for success each and every day. Dairy foods like milk, cheese and yogurt are good sources of high-quality protein, which is an essential part of a healthy diet. Protein serves as the building block for cells throughout the body and may aid in managing weight by helping you feel full.
By adding protein to your day, health and wellness goals can become easier to achieve. Daily protein needs should be met by spreading intake throughout the day in every meal and snack you eat. Not only does protein help satisfy hunger, which may aid in weight management, but it also helps preserve muscle.
No matter your breakfast style, dairy foods can enhance your dish. These recipes show how, from sweet to savory and cold to hot, your breakfast can be unique while providing high-quality nutrition in each bite. Learn more about the role of dairy in a healthy diet at MilkMeansMore.org.
White Pizza Frittata
Recipe created by Rachel Cooks on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, minced
- 12 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and water pressed out
- 12 large eggs
- 1/4 cup skim milk
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
- 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup minced fresh basil
- 1/2 cup shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese
- Heat oven to 325° F.
- In oven-safe skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Once garlic is fragrant, add spinach; break up to incorporate and heat.
- In medium bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, pepper, oregano, ricotta, Parmesan and basil.
- Add egg mixture to skillet, reduce heat to low and cook 1 minute, stirring gently. Move to oven and bake 25-30 minutes, or until eggs are almost completely set.
- Carefully remove from oven and add mozzarella. Return to oven and bake until mozzarella is melted, about 5 minutes.
- May be served hot, at room temperature or cold.
Blueberry Buckwheat Pancakes
Recipe created by The Chef Next Door on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs
- 1 3/4 cups lactose-free, 2 percent milk
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups fresh blueberries, plus additional for topping (optional)
- syrup (optional)
- In large bowl, whisk together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In small bowl, beat eggs then add milk, oil and vanilla; mix well. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients and mix to combine.
- Heat griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Using 1/4 measuring cup, pour batter onto griddle. Gently place several blueberries all over surface of pancakes.
- Flip pancakes when bubbles start to form around edges and bottoms are golden brown. Cook on other side until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Remove to plate and cover to keep warm.
- Top pancakes with additional blueberries and syrup before serving, if desired.
Huevos Rancheros Oats
Recipe created by Comfortably Domestic on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 cup 2 percent milk
- 3/4 cup water
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup old-fashioned oats
- 1/2 cup sweet onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons light olive oil
- 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 2 eggs
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
- In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, bring milk, water and salt to boil. Stir in oats. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer oats, stirring occasionally, 4 minutes. Remove oats from heat and place lid on saucepan. Set aside.
- In nonstick skillet over medium heat, saute onion in olive oil until soft, about 4 minutes. Stir canned tomatoes with green chilies and chipotle chili powder into onions to combine. Continue to heat salsa to boil, about 1 minute. Make two wells in middle of tomato salsa. Crack eggs into wells. Season eggs with salt and pepper, to taste. Cover skillet and poach eggs in salsa to desired doneness; about 3-4 minutes.
- Divide oats evenly between two bowls. Spoon eggs and salsa over oats. Serve immediately with cheddar cheese.
Ricotta and Fig Oatmeal
Recipe created by Foxes Love Lemons on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 3 minutes
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese
- 2 dried figs, halved
- 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon honey
- In microwave-safe bowl, stir together milk, oats and salt. Microwave on high 2 1/2 minutes, or until oats are tender and most liquid is absorbed.
- Remove bowl from microwave; stir in ricotta. To serve, top with figs and almonds, and drizzle with honey.
Simply add watermelon to see resolution results
(Family Features) The start of a new year is the perfect time for new beginnings, including a fresh start on eating healthy. The trick to making this year’s resolution stick is introducing smart eating habits so tasty and easy that your eating plan becomes more a way of life than a short-lived commitment. One easy way to achieve that habit is by adding watermelon to your daily diet, giving your body a low-calorie option to curb an appetite for unhealthy snacks.
Set reasonable goals. A deprivation diet is destined to fail because eventually your body will rebel. Instead, aim for well-rounded meals with moderate portions. If weight loss is your ultimate goal, know that losing two pounds a week is generally considered the maximum.
Satisfy your sweet tooth. Everyone, even the most dedicated health food fans, experience cravings from time to time. Most experts agree that it’s OK to answer your sweet tooth – in moderation of course. Before you take the plunge, think ab
out whether there are other options that could be a good substitute. For example, instead of a sugary candy bar, consider a naturally sweet slice of watermelon for a cholesterol-free, fat-free way to satisfy cravings at only 80 calories per 2-cup serving. Watermelon contains fiber and water, and packs a wealth of health benefits, in
cluding strong levels of vitamins A, C and B6.
Stay well hydrated. During the cooler winter months, it’s easy to let water consumption slide because you’re not feeling the heat and thirst you do in warmer weather. However, the dry winter air can also be hard on your body, so it’s important to keep that water flowing year-around. Most adults should aim for eight glasses of water each day, but you can also boost your water intake with foods that have a high water content, such as watermelon, which is 92 percent water and contains protein and fiber so you are satisfied on fewer calories while boosting your overall hydration.
Make Water Mouthwatering
A simple infusion of flavor gives water an instant upgrade, whether you’re looking to add some variety to your daily water consumption or you’re hosting an event and want to offer guests a unique and nutritious beverage. Use your favorite herbs and fruits to create one-of-a-kind combinations that provide refreshing rehydration. Try these pairings:
- Watermelon with basil, mint or lime
- Strawberry with lime and basil
- Cucumber and rosemary
- Mixed berries and mint
- Pineapple with coconut
Find more inspiration for health-conscious habits in the new year at watermelon.org.
Island Fruit Salad
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons coconut sugar
- 1/2 lime (1 tablespoon), juiced
- 1 1/2 teaspoons rum extract
- 2 kiwis, peeled and diced
- 1 orange, sectioned and halved
- 2 cups seedless watermelon, chopped
- 2 teaspoons flaked, sweetened coconut
- In small bowl, combine water and coconut sugar; microwave 20 seconds. Stir to completely dissolve sugar. Let cool. Once cool, add lime juice and rum extract.
- In medium bowl, add kiwi, orange and watermelon. Pour rum juice over top and thoroughly toss. Let sit 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.
- Divide fruit salad into two bowls and sprinkle with coconut.
Watermelon Protein Bites
Recipe courtesy of Anya Shinall of Anya’s Eats
- 1 cup pitted dates, soaked
- purified water
- 1 1/2 cups sprouted watermelon seeds, divided, plus additional for garnish
- 1 tablespoon coconut butter
- 1 cup fresh watermelon, chopped
- 1/8-1/4 cup roughly chopped beets (optional)
- Chop dates in half.
- Place dates in bowl of purified water and soak 1-2 hours.
- Remove dates from water bowl and place them into food processor.
- Pulse a few times then add 1 cup watermelon seeds, coconut butter and watermelon.
- Add chopped beets, if using.
- Blend until well combined, scraping sides of food processor as you go.
- Add remaining watermelon seeds and pulse, leaving some seeds chunky.
- For smoother texture, continue to blend.
- Remove mixture from food processor, place in small bowl and cover, allowing to cool in refrigerator 30 minutes.
- Remove mixture from fridge. With fingertips slightly wet, roll mixture into balls and place on a plate.
- Once done rolling, add watermelon seeds to top.
- Place watermelon bites in freezer 1-2 hours, or until frozen.
Steel-Cut Oats with Watermelon
- 1 cup 1 percent milk, plus additional (optional)
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup steel-cut oats
- 3/4 cup diced seedless watermelon
- 2 tablespoons dried tart cherries or cranberries
- 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- In medium saucepan over high heat, bring 1 cup milk and water to gentle boil. Pour in oats. Stir; return to gentle boil then reduce heat to simmer, stirring occasionally, 20-30 minutes.
- While oats are cooking, in small bowl, combine watermelon, dried fruit, nuts and maple syrup.
- Portion out oats and top with watermelon mixture. Add additional milk, if desired.
(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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.”
Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger
- 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
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 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.
- Place celery and lettuce leaves underneath as stem and leaves. Arrange cucumber slices below to represent grass.
- In small bowl, stir together yogurt, honey and lemon juice.
- 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.
(Family Features) Adopting healthier eating habits doesn’t have to mean resorting to tasteless food. In fact, you may surprise yourself by enjoying your new lineup of healthy, wholesome meals even more than the calorie-laden dishes you covet.
These recipes are just as big on flavor as they are good for you, so you can savor every last bite all day long. Take time to start off the day with a unique twist on a nutritious smoothie by enjoying it in a bowl. Then at lunch, rely on unexpected ingredients like ripe, juicy berries and beans to transform a ho-hum salad into a true culinary delight. Round out the day with a sensible dinner that gives you a healthy serving of protein and veggies seasoned to simple perfection.
Find more nutritious recipes that make it easy to enjoy eating right at culinary.net.
Manageable Main Course
Once the dinner bell rings and it’s time to focus on the night’s main course without overshooting a calorie count, aim for a tasty yet healthy main dish like this recipe for Chicken and Vegetables. Combining skinless chicken thighs with frozen vegetables is a simple way to keep nutrition at the forefront while still enjoying a comforting dinner. Find more health-conscious recipes at health.gov.
Chicken and Vegetables
Recipe courtesy of the USDA
- 1 1/2 tablespoons margarine
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup onions, chopped
- 1 pound chicken thighs (4 ounces each), boneless and skinless
- 1 package (10 ounces) cut green beans, frozen
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- In heavy skillet, melt margarine. Add garlic and onions; stir until blended. Cook over medium heat, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from skillet.
- Place chicken in skillet. Cook over medium heat until chicken is thoroughly done and no longer pink in color, about 12 minutes. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm.
- Place green beans, pepper and cooked onions in same skillet. Cover and cook over medium-low heat until beans are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add chicken to vegetable mixture. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 3 minutes.
Note: To remove bone from bone-in chicken thighs: Place chicken on cutting board. Remove skin from thighs. Turn chicken thighs over. Cut around bone and remove.
A Smooth Way to Start Your Day
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.
According to registered dietitian and nutritionist Carolyn Brown, 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.
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.
The sharpness of pecorino cheese, combined with peppery arugula, complements the velvety texture of fava beans in this salad. With nutrition on your mind, a salad is always a go-to choice for a lunch that will please your taste buds without forcing you to sacrifice health goals. Find more nutritional recipes including tasty strawberries at californiastrawberries.com.
Strawberry and Fava Bean Salad with Pecorino
Recipe courtesy of California Strawberry Commission
- 2 quarts water
- kosher or sea salt
- 2 cups shelled fresh fava beans (about 2 pounds in pods)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 cups fresh California strawberries, stemmed and quartered
- coarsely ground black pepper
- 3 cups rucola (wild arugula)
- pecorino cheese
- In large pot over high heat, bring water to boil.
- Add pinch of salt and fava beans. Boil 1 minute; drain and cool fava beans in ice water.
- Drain fava beans; pinch one end and slip off tough skins of larger beans (Note: skin on small beans is not usually tough). Discard skins.
- Whisk together olive oil, vinegar and lemon juice.
- In large bowl, season fava beans and strawberries with salt and pepper. Add rucola and enough dressing mixture to coat salad lightly. Mix gently and spoon onto platter or six salad plates.
- With vegetable peeler, shave cheese generously over salad. Grind more pepper on top.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (family eating dinner photo)
(Family Features) It’s a common scenario: no time for breakfast, so you’re snacking on something sweet in the break room at 9 a.m. Two hours later you hit the vending machine for something salty.
The good news is there is an easy, healthy alternative to taking control of your appetite: protein. In fact, a growing body of research shows that spreading protein intake over the course of a day may be the solution to mindless snacking.
Protein helps you avoid feeling hungry, giving you more control over the foods you choose. Eating the right amount of protein at each meal also helps achieve weight loss goals by keeping you fuller longer, building muscles after a workout and protecting the lean muscle you already have.
The 30 Day Protein Challenge, created by the Beef Checkoff, is a fun, step-by-step plan to help you get a balanced amount of protein at each meal. The challenge helps you keep track of your food, hunger and moods to see how simple diet changes can make a difference in your overall health and wellness for 30 days and beyond.
Recipes that take less than 30 minutes, such as Szechuan Beef Stir-Fry and Tenderloin, Cranberry and Pear Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing, can make balancing protein simple.
Visit BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com to find everything you need to get started with the Protein Challenge, including tools and daily tips. Share your progress and engage with other participants online using #ProteinChallenge.
Szechuan Beef Stir-Fry
Total time: 15 minutes
- 1 package (10 ounces) fresh vegetable stir-fry blend
- 3 tablespoons water
- 2 beef ranch steaks (about 8 ounces each), cut 3/4-inch thick
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup prepared sesame-ginger stir-fry sauce
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 2 cups hot cooked rice or brown rice, prepared without butter or salt
- 1/4 cup dry-roasted peanuts
- In large, nonstick skillet, combine vegetables and water; cover and cook over medium-high heat 4 minutes, or until crisp-tender. Remove and drain vegetables. Set aside.
- Meanwhile, cut beef steaks into 1/4-inch thick strips.
- Heat same skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add half of beef and half of garlic; stir-fry 1-2 minutes, or until outside surface of beef is no longer pink. Remove from skillet; keep warm.
- Repeat with remaining beef and garlic.
- Return all beef and vegetables to skillet. Add stir-fry sauce and red pepper; cook and stir 1-2 minutes, or until heated through. Spoon over rice. Sprinkle with peanuts.
Nutrition information per serving: 393 calories; 12 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 5 g monounsaturated fat); 65 mg cholesterol; 969 mg sodium; 41 g carbohydrate; 3.9 g fiber; 28 g protein; 7.3 mg niacin; 0.7 mg vitamin B6; 4.2 mcg vitamin B12; 3.0 mg iron; 45.8 mcg selenium; 6.9 mg zinc; 99.3 mg choline.
Tenderloin, Cranberry and Pear Salad with Honey Mustard Dressing
Total time: 25 minutes
- 4 beef tenderloin steaks (4 ounces each), cut 3/4-inch thick
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1 package (5 ounces) mixed baby salad greens
- 1 medium red or green pear, cored, cut into 16 wedges
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- salt, to taste
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
- 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese (optional)
Honey Mustard Dressing
- 1/2 cup prepared honey mustard
- 2-3 tablespoons water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Season beef steaks with pepper. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot. Place steaks in skillet; cook 7-10 minutes for medium rare (145° F) to medium (160° F) doneness, turning occasionally.
- Meanwhile, in small bowl, whisk Honey Mustard Dressing ingredients until well blended. Set aside.
- Divide greens evenly among four plates. Top evenly with pear wedges and dried cranberries.
- Carve steaks into thin slices; season with salt, as desired. Divide steak slices evenly over salads. Top each salad evenly with dressing, pecans and goat cheese, if desired.
Nutrition information per serving: 332 calories; 12 g fat (3 g saturated fat; 6 g monounsaturated fat); 79 mg cholesterol; 256 mg sodium; 22 g carbohydrate; 3.4 g fiber; 27 g protein; 5.5 mg niacin; 0.7 mg vitamin B6; 3.9 mcg vitamin B12; 3.7 mg iron; 24.2 mcg selenium; 4.4 mg zinc; 75.4 mg choline.
Boost every moment with versatile peanut butter
(Family Features) Whether you’re a fitness junkie, busy parent, sleep-deprived student or diehard sweet tooth, peanut butter is an ingredient that sticks for all of life’s moments. With a healthy boost of protein and energy, peanut butter is perfect as an on-the-go snack, fuel for a workout, a reliable family meal or a decadent dessert.
There’s no shortage of delicious ways to pack peanut butter into diverse dishes throughout the day:
- Add peanut butter to your favorite fruit smoothie for a nutty new flavor.
- Encourage children to experiment with the essential spread and go beyond PB and J by replacing fruit for the jelly or stirring peanut butter or peanut butter powder into their yogurt.
- A simple peanut butter and honey sandwich makes a great on-the-go snack you can throw in your gym bag or tuck away in a drawer at work.
- Add peanut butter to a sauce or salad dressing for an extra zip of flavor and protein.
Find more creative ways to enjoy peanut butter with these winning recipes from Southern Peanut Growers’ annual PB My Way recipe contest, and explore additional dishes that celebrate this versatile ingredient at peanutbutterlovers.com.
Veggie Sammies with Peanut Butter Satay Sauce
Recipe courtesy of Ben M., San Francisco, California
- 4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sriracha
- 2 French baguette rolls (6 inches each)
- 1/2 cup sliced cucumber
- 1/2 cup white onion
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup purple cabbage
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- In small bowl, combine peanut butter, lime juice, water, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and sriracha. Mix well.
- Spread sauce on both sides of bread then layer with cucumber, onion and bell pepper. Top with cabbage and cilantro leaves.
Graceland Mini Cupcakes
Recipe courtesy of Linda D., Coconut Creek, Florida
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup light sour cream
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 3/4 cups sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 large egg white, at room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Peanut Butter Filling:
- 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
- 4 slices bacon
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 8 ounces low-fat cream cheese
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Heat oven to 350°F. Line cupcake tins with paper liners and lightly spray with cooking spray.
- To make batter: In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine and set aside.
- In small bowl, mash bananas and add sour cream. Mix well and set aside.
- Using electric hand mixer, beat butter, oil and sugar until incorporated, about 3-5 minutes. Add eggs, egg white and vanilla. Mix until combined. Slowly add half the dry ingredients and mix until almost incorporated. Add sour cream and banana mixture and gently fold into batter. Add rest of dry ingredients until combined.
- Spoon batter into lined cupcake pans. Bake 18-20 minutes and let cool.
- After cooling about 30-45 minutes, use paring knife to cut small circle in middle of top of cupcakes and remove plug, creating a well about halfway down cupcake. Add peanut butter to piping bag and fill each hole. Set aside.
- In medium bowl, dredge both sides of bacon slices in brown sugar. Place on foil-lined baking sheet; bake 10 minutes. Flip and bake another 6-8 minutes. Remove bacon from oven and place on plate to cool. Once cool, chop bacon and set aside.
- To make frosting: In large bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, peanut butter and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Add confectioners’ sugar and mix until well-combined.
- Add frosting to piping bag. Pipe a dollop of frosting onto each cupcake and sprinkle with candied bacon pieces.
Peanut Apple Chicken Curry
Recipe courtesy of Jess A., Berkeley, California
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- 1/4 cup scallions, chopped
- 1 cup creamy peanut butter
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 3/4 cups apple juice
- 1 3/4 cups coconut milk
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch strips
- 1 medium apple, peeled, cored and chopped
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- cooked rice (optional)
- To make sauce: In medium to large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic, curry powder and scallions. Saute 1 minute.
- Add peanut butter, vinegar, apple juice, coconut milk, brown sugar and cayenne. Bring to simmer, reduce heat and cook over low heat, stirring frequently, about 10-15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in large skillet, heat oil. Add onion and stir fry about 2-3 minutes until onions start to become opaque.
- Add chicken and apples, and stir until chicken is cooked completely. Add peanut sauce and cook until heated evenly, about 2-5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve warm over rice, if desired.
Source: Peanut Growers
(Family Features) Next time you reach for a snack, go for a great-tasting option that delivers on both flavor and nutrition. Sensible snacks can be surprisingly delicious when you choose ingredients wisely.
One pop-ular choice: popcorn. Ideal for between-meal snacking since it satisfies but doesn’t spoil the appetite, popcorn is also the perfect addition to treats such as snack bars and trail mix. The key to smart snacking is finding good-for-you ingredients that make your body healthy and your taste buds happy.
With no artificial additives or preservatives, popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories. The whole grain provides energy-producing complex carbohydrates and contains fiber, providing roughage the body needs in the daily diet.
Find more healthy snack solutions at popcorn.org.
There’s nothing like the taste of freshly popped popcorn and nothing like the disappointment of burnt popcorn. Follow these simple steps and you’ll have perfect popcorn every time.
- Whether on the stove or in the microwave, popcorn will begin popping in a few minutes.
- When the popping begins to slow, listen until you can count two seconds between pops. Remove the pan from heat or bag from microwave.
- Remember to lift the lid or open the bag away from your face to prevent steam burns.
Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Corn
Yield: 10 cups
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- 3 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup crunchy granola
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup walnut halves
- In bowl, toss popcorn with melted butter.
- Combine sugar with cinnamon; sprinkle over popcorn. Toss with granola, raisins and walnuts until combined.
Crispy Crunchy Apple Popcorn
Yield: 7 cups
- 6 cups popped popcorn
- 1 tablespoon butter, melted
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups dried apple chips
- Heat oven to 300° F.
- Line 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil; butter foil. Spread popcorn in pan and drizzle with melted butter; toss popcorn. Sprinkle popcorn with sugar and cinnamon, and toss again.
- Bake 7 minutes.
- Sprinkle apple chips over popcorn and heat an additional 3 minutes.
- Serve warm, or cool to room temperature. Store in airtight container.
Crunchy Popcorn Trail Mix
Yield: 9 cups
- 5 cups popped popcorn
- 3 cups whole-grain oat cereal
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup peanuts (or other nuts)
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- In large, microwavable bowl, stir together popcorn, cereal, raisins, nuts and seeds; set aside.
- In small saucepan, combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup. Heat until boiling; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Pour over popcorn mixture, stirring to coat evenly. Microwave 3-4 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl after each minute.
- Spread onto greased cookie sheet; cool.
- Break into pieces and store in airtight container.
Popcorn Granola Snack Bars
Yield: 16 bars
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2/3 cup peanut butter
- 1 cup granola cereal
- 1 cup roasted and salted peanuts
- 3 cups popped popcorn
- Line 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with foil. Spray foil lightly with cooking spray; set aside.
- In large saucepan, heat honey until boiling. Stir in peanut butter until well blended.
- Remove pan from heat and stir in granola, peanuts and popcorn until coated. Press mixture evenly into prepared pan.
- Refrigerate until cool; cut into bars to serve.
Yummy Yogurt Popcorn
Yield: 2 1/2 quarts
- 2 1/2 quarts popped popcorn
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup light corn syrup
- In large bowl, keep popped popcorn warm.
- In 2 1/2-quart saucepan, combine yogurt, brown sugar and corn syrup. Cook and stir over medium heat to hard ball stage (250° F on candy thermometer).
- Pour over popped popcorn, stirring to coat.
Source: The Popcorn Board