recipes

Breakfast & Brunch 08 February 2019

A Tasty Take on Trendy Toast

(Family Features) While many food trends come and go, some desired food traits seemingly never go out of style. For example, dishes that provide nutritional benefits will pretty much always be popular, along with types of foods that can be customized to match personalized preferences and tastes.

Toast is a versatile option for nearly anyone seeking a bite for breakfast, especially those eaters looking for both nutrition and flavor. Because you can add a variety of toppings to your toast, it can be a simple way to add a healthy element to your morning routine.

These recipes, for example, include Sabra Hummus as a base spread, which adds protein and fiber perfect for breakfast, brunch or a mid-morning snack. Hummus Toast with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Parmesan brings with it the extra nutritional value of veggies, while Hummus Toast with Soft-Boiled Egg and Spinach packs ample protein for an ideal way to start the day.

Plus, because these quick-to-make recipes involve short amounts of time spent on preparation, you’re able to enjoy a nutritious treat even on the busiest of days.

Find more ways to take trendy toast to the next level at Sabra.com.
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Hummus Toast with Sun-dried Tomatoes and Parmesan

Servings: 1

  • 1          slice whole-grain bread
  • 1/4       cup fresh arugula
  • 2-3       sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2          tablespoons Sabra Classic Hummus
  • olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons pine nuts
  • fresh Parmesan curls
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  1. Toast bread; set aside. Wash and pat dry arugula; set aside.
  2. Remove sun-dried tomatoes from jar and lightly pat with paper towel to remove excess oil.
  3. Spread toast with hummus.
  4. Lightly toss arugula with drizzle of olive oil; layer on top of hummus. Top with sun-dried tomatoes. Sprinkle with pine nuts and add Parmesan curls. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

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Hummus Toast with Soft-Boiled Egg and Spinach

Servings: 1

  • 1          slice artisan country white bread
  • 1/4       cup fresh spinach, wilted
  • water
  • 1          soft-boiled egg
  • ice
  • 1          garlic clove, chopped
  • 1          teaspoon olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons Sabra Classic Hummus
  • red pepper flakes, for garnish
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  1. Toast bread; set aside. Wash spinach; set aside.
  2. Fill small saucepan with enough water to barely cover egg; bring to boil, cover and reduce heat. Cook egg 6 minutes, remove from heat and plunge into ice bath to stop cooking. Peel egg; set aside.
  3. In medium skillet, saute chopped garlic in olive oil approximately 3 minutes; add spinach and stir 2 minutes, or until spinach begins to wilt. Remove from heat.
  4. Spread toast with hummus. Add wilted garlic-spinach. Cut egg in half and place on top of spinach. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.

Source: Sabra

Healthy 24 January 2019

Simple Ways to be Heart Smart

Discover recipes chock-full of heart-healthy pecans

(Family Features) Sometimes making small changes can have a positive impact on your health – including heart health – like drinking more water, taking the stairs instead of the escalator and adding nutritious ingredients to your snacks and meals.

Incorporating nutritious ingredients is an easy way to step up your mealtime – for example, American Pecans can super-fy nearly any recipe by adding flavor and nutrition.

It’s always a good time to include heart-healthy ingredients on your shopping list. Certified by the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check*, American Pecans and their unique mix of unsaturated fats, plant sterols, fiber and flavonoids add up to help promote a healthy heart. In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration, research suggests but does not prove that eating 1 1/2 ounces of most nuts, such as pecans, each day as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may help reduce your risk of heart disease. One serving of pecans (28 grams) contains 18 grams unsaturated fat and only 2 grams saturated fat.

Boosting the heart-smart punch of your favorite recipes can be easy with pecans. Whether topping a salad, sprinkling into bread batter or using them as the foundation of a portable snack, there are few things America’s native nut can’t do.

Start the day right with a bowl of Banana Pecan Cherry Oatmeal – a comforting and hearty combination that can keep you full for hours. For a wholesome, on-the-go option perfect for school snacks, desk drawers or an afternoon pick-me-up, try Cherry Pecan Energy Bites. Dried cherries, dates and crunchy pecans combine for an all-natural burst of heart-smart nutrition to help you power through the day.

Discover more ways to create heart-healthy meals with pecans at AmericanPecan.com.
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Banana Pecan Cherry Oatmeal

  • 1          cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2          cups water
  • 1/2       cup pecan milk
  • 1          banana, sliced
  • 1/4       cup pecan halves
  • 1/4       cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/4       cup honey
  1. In large, microwave-safe bowl, combine oats and water. Microwave on high 3-4 minutes, or until oats are cooked through. Watch carefully to avoid boiling over.
  2. Remove from microwave, stir and divide between two bowls. Pour 1/4 cup pecan milk over each bowl.
  3. Divide sliced banana, pecan halves and dried tart cherries between each bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons honey. Serve immediately.

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Cherry Pecan Energy Bites

Makes: 10-12 energy bites

  • 1          cup toasted pecan halves or pieces
  • 1          cup dried cherries
  • 4          medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4       cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1          tablespoon cacao powder, plus additional, for coating (optional)
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In bowl of food processor, combine toasted pecans, dried cherries, dates, oats, cacao powder and vanilla extract.
  2. Pulse until ingredients begin to bind and form loose, dough-like ball.
  3. Roll into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in additional cacao powder, if desired, and transfer to airtight container. Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to seven days.

Note: To make gluten-free, substitute 1/4 cup of certified gluten-free old-fashioned oats.

*Heart-Check certification does not apply to recipes.

Source: American Pecan Council

Breakfast & Brunch 17 January 2019

Ramp Up Breakfast with Morning Protein

(Family Features) Families across America want to make sure that they’re starting the day strong, and getting enough high-quality protein in the morning is a simple way to do so. A breakfast with protein is a great way to energize the morning, and adding it to your family’s routine doesn’t have to be complicated.

Simply add an 8-ounce glass of milk with 8 grams of natural protein plus other essential nutrients to your favorite breakfast foods for an easy, delicious way to help meet your morning protein goals.

Kids already love milk and it’s a naturally nutrient-rich, wholesome food that moms can feel good about pairing with breakfast. Plus, experts recommend 25-30 grams of protein for adults at every meal – so getting a high-protein breakfast, including milk, gives moms the energy they need to cross everything off their to-do lists. Parenting expert, pediatrician and mom of three, Dr. Tanya Altmann, recommends serving milk at breakfast for a source of high-quality protein in the morning.

“The morning is a great time to bring the family together and start the day off with a tasty breakfast. As a mom of three, I need breakfast options that are quick and easy but also nutritious,” Dr. Altmann said. “Serving my children whole-grain cereal and milk, healthy oatmeal with fruit or a smoothie made with milk guarantees that my family will get high-quality protein and other essential nutrients to start their day off strong.”

Bring a smile to your child’s face with this charming twist on a breakfast standard. Simply make instant oats with familiar flavors – cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar – and top the bowl with a friendly bunny face. For more recipes and ideas, visit MilkLife.com.

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Bunny-Faced Microwave Oatmeal

Recipe courtesy of Tiffany Edwards of Creme de la Crumb

  • 1/3       cup instant oats
  • 3/4       cup fat free milk
  • 1/4       teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4       teaspoon vanilla                                                           
  • 1          teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2/3       small banana
  • 2          fresh blueberries
  • 1/2       small strawberry
  • chocolate syrup (optional)
  1. In microwave-safe bowl, stir together oats, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar. Microwave on high 30 seconds-1 minute and stir.
  2. Cut banana in half crosswise. Cut 1 1/8-inch thick coin slices from flat end of each banana half. Place slices in upper-third of oatmeal bowl, side-by-side, to make eyes. Top with 1 blueberry on each banana slice.
  3. Place remaining banana halves at the top of the bowl, hanging off edge, to create ears.
  4. Place strawberry in the middle of the bowl to make the nose then drizzle chocolate, if desired, to make mouth and whiskers.
  5. Serve with 8-ounce glass of milk.

Nutritional information per serving: 320 calories; 2 g fat; 0 g saturated fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 18 g protein; 59 g carbohydrates; 5 g fiber; 190 mg sodium; 550 mg calcium (60% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.

Source: MilkPEP

Breakfast & Brunch 17 January 2019

New Year, New Organic You

(Family Features) The New Year is a great time to reflect on your life and think about what you can do to become happier and healthier. There are many resolutions you can make, but one that can benefit you, your family, your community and the planet is eating more organic food. It can also be easier than you think.

To be USDA-Certified Organic, food must be grown without toxic synthetic pesticides and herbicides, genetically engineered ingredients (also called GMOs), antibiotics or artificial growth hormones.

“Simply put, organic is better for you and the environment. When you’re eating organic foods, you’re keeping harmful chemicals and GMOs out of your body and some studies have shown that organic farming produces more nutrient-dense crops,” said Arjan Stephens, executive vice president, sales and marketing at Nature’s Path. “Organic farming supports a healthier planet by not adding chemicals to the air, water and soil, as well as keeping them away from you and future generations.”

Going organic is simple; you can start small and feel good knowing that every time you choose organic it benefits you and the environment. Here are three ways to go organic this year:

  • Look Inside Your Pantry: Fresh fruits and vegetables may be the first thing that come to mind when you think about organic, but don’t forget about your pantry. Staples such as flour, sugar, vegetable oil, peanut butter and more can be swapped out for organic options and make it easier to have organic food as part of every meal.
  • Start with What You Eat Everyday: A good place to start is with the foods you consume every day. If you and your family start each morning with a bowl of cereal, try eating organic cereal like Nature's Path, which has an extensive line of cereals (as well as waffles, granola, oatmeal and granola bars) that are all USDA-Certified Organic, or try this tasty, organic recipe for an Oatmeal Latte.
  • Think Outside the Cart: You may think that organic food costs more, but you can find less expensive options by shopping at your local farmer’s market, comparing prices online, buying in bulk (which is better for the environment) and even growing some of your own food.

Going organic can be easy, delicious and good for you and the planet. For more tips on going organic, visit blog.naturespath.com/.
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Oatmeal Latte

  • 2/3       cup water
  • 1/3       cup vanilla soy milk
  • 1/2       cup Nature’s Path Original Hot Oatmeal
  • pinch of salt
  • 2          tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1-2       shots espresso, for topping
  • 1/2       cup warm vanilla soy milk, for topping
  • Nature’s Path Flax Plus Vanilla Almond Granola, for topping
  • pinch of cinnamon, for topping
  1. In small saucepan, bring water and soy milk to simmer over medium-high heat.
  2. Add oats and salt. Turn heat to medium and cook until oatmeal reaches desired consistency. Stir in brown sugar and transfer to bowl or mug.
  3. Using steamer, milk frother or whisk, froth warm milk until foamy.
  4. Top oatmeal with espresso and frothed milk. Stir gently. Top with granola and cinnamon.

Source: Nature’s Path

Soups 16 January 2019

Fight the Cold with Better-for-You Comfort Foods

(Family Features) Few things go together quite like cold weather and comfort foods. However, those hearty dishes that are typically craved on blustery days are usually not classified as “healthy.”

With the right approach, though, you can put a better-for-you twist on some of your favorite dishes that can keep you cozy and satiated during the winter season. For example, you can put a grown-up twist on grilled cheese and tomato soup with this recipe for Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup with Cheddar Cracker Melts.

Pairing flavorful seasonal dishes like soups and stews with a wholesome snack cracker like gluten-free, non-GMO Crunchmaster Tuscan Peasant Crackers can help satisfy those comfort food cravings while also contributing to a healthy lifestyle. With 20 grams of whole grains per serving, these crunchy, robust baked crackers are also cholesterol-free, allowing you to take a back-to-basics approach to your diet using simple ingredients and no artificial flavors or colors.

For other seasonal recipes, coupons, tips and nutritional information, visit crunchmaster.com.
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Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup with Cheddar Cracker Melts

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup:

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          onion, chopped
  • 1          carrot, chopped
  • 3          cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1          teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon paprika
  • 1          pinch chili flakes
  • 4          cups organic no-salt-added vegetable broth
  • 1          can (28 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1          cup chopped prepared roasted red peppers
  • 2          bay leaves
  • 1/3       cup 35 percent heavy cream
  • 2          tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, divided
  • 1          teaspoon cider vinegar

Cheddar Cracker Melts:

  • 24        Crunchmaster Tuscan Peasant Fire Roasted Tomato Basil Crackers
  • 3/4       cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. In Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Cook onion, carrot, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, paprika and chili flakes about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are slightly softened.
  2. Stir in broth, tomatoes, roasted red peppers and bay leaves; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaves. Let cool slightly. Transfer to blender; puree in batches until smooth. Stir in cream, remaining salt, 1 tablespoon chives and vinegar.
  3. To make Cheddar Cracker Melts: Heat broiler to high and position rack in center of oven. Arrange crackers on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil 1-2 minutes, or until cheese is melted. 
  4. Divide soup among six bowls. Sprinkle with remaining chives and serve with Cheddar Cracker Melts.

Tip: Use mild, medium or aged cheddar cheese. Smoked mozzarella can be substituted, if desired.

Nutrition information per serving: 250 calories; 15 g fat; 7 g saturated fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 730 mg sodium; 22 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 6 g protein.

Source: Crunchmaster

Meal Ideas 10 January 2019

Put a Healthy Twist on Your Favorite Foods

(Family Features) Whether it’s a simple date night at home or a weeknight meal for the entire family, finding inter-culinary balance between everyone at the table can sometimes be difficult.

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However, when at least one party is willing to make dietary changes to benefit a loved one, serving up quality meals can become less of a hassle. Though men are often stereotyped as carnivorous cavemen, the majority are willing to change their eating habits – trading in those porterhouses for veggie burgers – to make their partners happy, according to a survey from Yves Veggie Cuisine. While 63 percent of men and 62 percent of women would eat less meat if their partner asked, 59 percent of men said they would also eat less of their favorite foods, at the request of their significant other.

In the same survey, dietary changes in the name of love were found at every level of the food pyramid, not just meat. Among the changes men have already made are eating less meat (22 percent), eating less dairy (18 percent) and eating less gluten (15 percent). However, it was found that women tend to hold their ground more when it comes to giving up certain foods with only 14 percent eating less dairy, 10 percent eating less meat and 6 percent eating less gluten for the sake of their relationship.

Making dietary compromises can be as simple as using high-quality ingredients like Yves Veggie Cuisine Appetizer Bites to complement, complete or even reinvent family-favorite meals like tacos. The gluten-free, non-GMO bites are low in fat and contain no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, making it easy to put a plant-positive twist on nearly any meal with one of the two varieties – Kale and Quinoa or Falafel.

Find more balanced, veggie-forward recipes that can inspire shared moments together at yvesveggie.com.
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Kale and Quinoa Bite Tacos

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Servings: 8-10

  • 1          package (8.2 ounces) Yves Veggie Cuisine Kale and Quinoa Bites
  • 1          package hard taco shells (8-10 shells)
  • 1          cup salsa
  • 1          cup guacamole
  • 1          red onion, sliced
  • 1          bunch cilantro
  • lime wedges
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. On nonstick baking pan, arrange kale and quinoa bites.
  3. Bake 10 minutes, or until outside is slightly crispy. In taco shells, layer guacamole, salsa and kale and quinoa bites.
  4. Top with sliced red onion and cilantro. For additional zest, serve with lime wedge.

Source:  Yves Veggie Cuisine

Holiday 02 November 2018

Light Bites for Healthier Holidays

(Family Features) For those who are always on the go leading up to the holidays, the season can feel more like madness than merrymaking. From planning get-togethers to building out a perfect menu for the events, there can be difficulties for hosts and guests alike to ensure proper nutrition is still top of mind.

Instead of sacrificing taste or eating less, aim for simple changes that give you the energy to power through the busy season. For example, instead of opting for a carb-loaded breakfast in the morning, try a low-carb Milk Chocolate Protein Muffin, which takes just a few minutes of prep and microwave time. The quick cook time leaves you with ample opportunities to run errands or divvy up precious seconds toward other activities, while the protein can fuel you for the day ahead.

Almost nothing beats warm soup on a chilly day, and this Butternut Squash and Pear Soup provides feel-good flavor without weighing you down. Finally, when snacks are on the mind – as it tends to happen when constantly on the go – Coconut Muesli Clusters are simple to make and won’t undo the nutritious efforts you’ve made throughout the day.

This full menu of tasty recipes is part of the Atkins low-carb lifestyle, a long-term, healthy eating approach focused on high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats. The plan also aims to reduce levels of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and the “hidden sugar effect,” – when carbohydrates convert to sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugar, but your body does.

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An On-the-Go Energy Boost

As a hectic holiday season unfolds, it can be difficult to maintain energy while making dishes for get-togethers and keeping up with the festivities.

To stay fueled and energized throughout the season, try incorporating Atkins Plus Protein and Fiber Shakes. Sweet and creamy, they make for ideal snacks, containing 30 grams of high-quality dairy protein and 7 grams of fiber. To help ensure steady blood sugar levels, the shakes also have a low glycemic impact and are made with 20 vitamins and minerals.

Available in Creamy Milk Chocolate and Creamy Vanilla flavors, the ready-to-drink shakes provide hunger satisfaction for those who are on the go and seeking to maximize production with a busy schedule.

Find more ways to live healthier during the holidays and learn more about the benefits of a balanced, low-carb lifestyle at Atkins.com.
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Milk Chocolate Protein Muffin

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 1 minute
Servings: 1

  • 2          tablespoons full-fat cream cheese
  • 1          egg
  • 3          tablespoons Atkins Milk Chocolate Protein Powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1          dash salt
  1. In microwave-safe mug, heat cream cheese 10-15 seconds to soften. Add egg and blend briskly using fork. Add protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon and salt; blend until smooth.
  2. Microwave on high 1 minute; muffin will puff up then deflate slightly once done. Remove from mug and enjoy warm.

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Coconut Muesli Clusters

Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8

  • Olive oil spray
  • 1          cup plain protein powder
  • 1/2       cup unsalted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • 1          cup whole raw pecans
  • 1          cup unsweetened whole flake shredded coconut
  • 1/2       cup chia seeds or ground flaxseeds
  • 1          tablespoon stevia
  • 2          teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1          tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1          tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2          large eggs
  • 1/4       cup water
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper, coat with olive oil spray and set aside.
  2. In large bowl, mix together protein powder, sunflower or pumpkin seeds, pecans, coconut, chia seeds or flaxseeds, stevia, cinnamon and turmeric.
  3. In large skillet, combine coconut oil, peanut butter and vanilla extract; melt completely then stir in nut mixture. Turn heat off and add eggs and water, tossing well. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and spread mixture in layer about 1/2-inch thick.
  4. Bake 10-15 minutes until mixture starts to brown and clumps together to make clusters. Cool completely on baking sheet then store in airtight container, refrigerated, up to 1 week.

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Butternut Squash and Pear Soup

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1          medium (2 1/2-inch diameter) onion, chopped
  • 2          pounds butternut winter squash, cubed
  • 1          medium pear, sliced, plus additional, for garnish (optional)
  • 1          teaspoon curry powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground white pepper
  • 5          cups chicken broth
  • 1          teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2       cup heavy cream
  • nutmeg (optional)
  1. In large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and saute until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add squash, pear, curry powder, salt and white pepper; saute 3 minutes. 
  2. Increase heat to high and add chicken broth. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low; simmer 20-25 minutes, uncovered, until cubed squash is very tender. Allow to cool about 10-15 minutes.
  3. In blender or food processor, puree soup in batches until smooth. Return pureed soup to pot and add lemon juice and heavy cream. Stir soup over low heat until hot. Garnish with additional sliced pears and sprinkle of nutmeg, if desired.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Butternut Squash and Pear Soup, Milk Chocolate Protein Muffin)

Source:  Atkins

Meal Ideas 20 July 2018

Tips for Hosting a Healthy Summer Cookout

(Family Features) When people think of barbecues, many think of foods loaded with fat, salt and sugar, which can seem challenging if you are trying to eat healthy. However, it is possible - and easier than you think - to host a balanced cookout with nutritious options, without sacrificing flavor or quality.

Smithfield nutritionist Erin Thacker, MA, RDN, recommends these tips for hosting a backyard barbecue that will leave your guests healthy and happy:

  • Stick to lean protein: fresh pork cuts such as sirloins, tenderloins, boneless loins and chops are packed with protein and contain key nutrients like vitamin B6, thiamin, phosphorus, niacin, potassium, riboflavin and zinc. Smithfield fresh pork tenderloins and boneless sirloin roasts are even certified by the American Heart Association* as heart-healthy foods.
     
  • Layer on fruits and veggies: grilled vegetables make for a quick and delicious side dish, and grilled fruits are a health-conscious way to end the meal on a lighter note.
     
  • Lighten up: swap mayonnaise and heavy creams for Greek yogurt and vinegars, and opt for homemade dressings or sauces instead of store-bought condiments, which often have high sugar contents.

Try these simple, dietitian-approved recipes for Grilled Fresh Pork and Veggies with Lemon or Sweet and Spicy Fresh Pork Mini Kebabs. For more healthy and great-tasting recipe ideas, visit Smithfield.com.

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Grilled Fresh Pork and Veggies with Lemon

Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 22 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 Smithfield Fresh Pork Tenderloin, cut into four thick slices
  • 2 teaspoons garlic pepper
  • 1 zucchini squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 yellow summer squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 large portobello mushroom
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, cut in half lengthwise and flattened
  • 1/2 large red onion, cut into slices
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Heat charcoal or gas grill to medium-high. Season fresh pork slices with garlic pepper; grill about 5 minutes per side until internal temperature reaches 145-160° F.
  2. Brush both sides of zucchini squash, yellow squash, mushroom, pepper and onion, plus cut sides of lemon, with oil.
  3. Grill vegetables for 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Add lemon to grill, cut-side down, and cook additional 2 minutes.
  4. Place vegetables and lemon on cutting board; coarsely chop vegetables. Serve with fresh pork slices on top; squeeze lemon over meat.

Nutritional information per serving: 200 calories; 6 g total fat; 1 g saturated fat; 75 mg cholesterol; 75 mg sodium; 8 g total carbohydrates; 2 g dietary fiber; 4 g sugars; 30 g protein.

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Sweet and Spicy Fresh Pork Mini Kebabs

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 16 kebabs

  • 1 Smithfield Roasted Garlic and Cracked Black Pepper Marinated Fresh Pork Sirloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pineapple, cored and cut into 16 (1-inch) cubes
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into 16 (1-inch) pieces
  • 16 bamboo skewers (6 inches), soaked in water and drained
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Caribbean jerk seasoning
  1. Heat gas or charcoal grill to medium-high.
  2. Thread two pieces of fresh pork sirloin, one pineapple cube and one red pepper piece onto each skewer. Wrap exposed end of skewer with foil to discourage scorching.
  3. Mix honey, vinegar and jerk seasoning together for glaze.
  4. Grill kebabs approximately 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until fresh pork reaches internal temperature of 145° F and then rest for 3 minutes. Generously brush kebabs with glaze during last 2-3 minutes.

Nutritional information per serving: 80 calories; 1 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 20 mg cholesterol; 90 mg sodium; 12 g total carbohydrates; 1 g dietary fiber; 9 g sugars; 8 g protein.

*Information and recipes not provided by the American Heart Association unless expressly stated.

Source:  Smithfield

Kids 06 June 2018

Raise a Toast

Eye-popping recipes worth sharing

(Family Features) It seems that taking pictures of mouthwatering food to share online is all the rage for social media users. Food is art, and toast and its trimmings can be the perfect canvas. Creating a social media-worthy slice requires a bit of creativity, some patience, quality and, of course, aesthetically pleasing ingredients.

The versatility and distinct flavor profile of California Ripe Olives make them an ideal ingredient to fuel your imagination and add an extra bit of finesse to your edible creation.

California farmers are responsible for producing more than 95 percent of the ripe olives consumed in the United States. From planting, pruning, harvesting and processing, they make sure the highest quality olives come from their farm to your table – one can at a time. Adding olives to any dish helps bring California sunshine into each bite.

Put your creativity to the test with these delicious designs. For more delightful and artistic recipes with California Ripe Olives, visit calolive.org.
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Toast Like a Butterfly

  • 2          slices wheat bread
  • large butterfly cookie cutter
  • 1/2       avocado, mashed
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          cheese stick
  • 2          slices orange bell pepper
  • 2          thin slices red bell pepper
  • 6          black California Ripe Olives
  • 3          green California Ripe Olives
  • 1          sugar snap pea
  1. Lightly toast wheat bread and use cookie cutter to cut one wing from each slice.
  2. Mash avocado and mix with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread on both wings.
  3. Slice cheese stick to fit between wings and act as body of butterfly.
  4. Slice orange bell pepper into antenna and red bell pepper into thin slices to line body of butterfly.
  5. Slice black olives in half, lengthwise, and place on upper and lower portions of each wing. Slice green olives into rounds and place on middle of each wing.
  6. Decorate plate with quartered olives and place sugar snap pea in center.

Pro Tips for Creating Shareable Slices:

These pro tips can take you from toast trainee to skillful slice creator.

  1. Have a vision. Don’t be afraid to sketch it out.
  2. The base of your toast is everything. Pick a sturdy variety.
  3. Consider your ingredients and play with flavors, textures and colors. For example, try to incorporate both green and black California Ripe Olives for greater versatility.
  4. Shapes, colors and textures can add excitement.
  5. Toast is a small canvas, so consider the tools you’re working with and get creative.

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A Toast to Summer

  • 2          slices white bread, toasted
  • 4          tablespoons cream cheese
  • 3          crackers, crushed
  • 1/4       cup sliced almonds
  • handful leafy greens of choice (green onions, parsley, cilantro or chives)
  • 2          black California Ripe Olives
  • 1          green California Ripe Olive
  1. Slice each piece of toast into a square and place one above other on plate.
  2. Spread layer of cream cheese on bottom third of lower piece of toast and cover spread with crushed crackers.
  3. Spread layer of cream cheese from lower-right corner to upper-left corner and, starting at bottom, layer sliced almonds on top of each other to create trunk spreading across both pieces of bread.
  4. Arrange greens into palm fronds at top of trunk. Use cream cheese as glue if they begin to slip.
  5. Arrange black olives and green olive as coconuts between top of trunk and base of leaves, covering bottom of leaves.

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Singing in the Grain

  • 1/4       avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1          slice sourdough bread, toasted
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • handful of green California Ripe Olives, sliced into rounds
  • 1          orange bell pepper, sliced
  • 1          red bell pepper, sliced
  • handful of black California Ripe Olives, sliced into raindrop shapes
  • 1          large sugar snap pea
  1. Arrange sliced avocado on toasted sourdough bread and top with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. Slice green olive rounds in half and arrange in line beneath toast.
  3. Place one slice orange bell pepper below bread as handle and one small piece orange bell pepper above bread.
  4. Place one straight slice of red bell pepper on bottom edge of toast.
  5. Arrange black olive slices and sugar snap peas around toast as raindrops.

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Walking in a Toasty Wonderland

  • 2          slices white bread, toasted
  • 2          tablespoons cream cheese, divided
  • 5          slices red bell pepper
  • 1          orange bell pepper, sliced small
  • 2          black California Ripe Olives, 1 jumbo and 1 medium
  • 5          small sugar snap peas, divided
  • 1          pretzel stick, cut in half
  • 3          green California Ripe Olive rounds
  • small snowflake cookie cutter
  • large snowflake cookie cutter
  • 4          slices gouda or white cheddar cheese
  • 8          cilantro or parsley leaves
  1. Slice one piece of toast into circle with 4-inch diameter.
  2. Slice second piece of toast into half-circle with 4-inch diameter, which will act as base of snow globe.
  3. Spread 1 tablespoon cream cheese onto bottom fifth of circular toast.
  4. Cover base of snow globe with slices of bell pepper, cut to correct width.
  5. Stack medium black olive on top of jumbo black olive and affix to toast with cream cheese.
  6. Add decorations to olive snowman by affixing two small sugar snap peas to body of snowman, pretzel stick arms to sides, small piece orange bell pepper for nose and two small dots cream cheese for eyes.
  7. Decorate base with green olive rounds and three sugar snap peas in center.
  8. Use cookie cutters to cut four small snowflakes and four large snowflakes out of slices of cheese. Arrange snowflakes around outside of plate and place cilantro leaves between each snowflake.
  9. Place remaining cream cheese in small plastic bag and cut small hole in corner. Pipe small dots on circular toast around snowman.

Source: California Ripe Olive Committee

Meal Ideas 31 May 2018

Encourage Healthy Eating Habits

(Family Features) Of the many challenges parents face daily, encouraging healthy eating habits for their children can be one of the most vexing. While the consumption of nutritious foods like vegetables is good for kids while they’re young, it can also serve an important role in encouraging lifelong healthy habits.

One strategy for achieving that goal is to pair familiar foods with vegetables and prepare them in interesting ways. This tactic – pairing foods kids already enjoy with the foods you want them to start eating willingly – is called “associative conditioning,” and can help encourage children to try the new food, according to research conducted by Elizabeth Capaldi-Phillips and Devina Wadhera and published in the “Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.”

For example, prepared beef products like hot dogs, deli roast beef, salami and summer sausage provide sources of nutrients like protein, zinc and vitamin B12. In addition to the direct benefits, these meats can also be used in recipes like Green Bean Twists and Salami-Babs to help encourage the consumption of vegetables.

Easy-to-make recipes such as Jerky Trail Mix, Fried Bologna Cups and Beefy Lettuce Cups also provide simple snacking solutions for kids that include the nutritional benefits of both beef and veggies.

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6 Strategies to Encourage Nutritious Snacking

With an abundance of prepared-in-advance snacks available that likely come along with unnecessary salts and sugars, it can be difficult to encourage kids to eat snacks with healthier ingredients.

Quick recipes that include beef and veggies may not be the first snack idea that comes to mind for kids (or parents), but it’s not impossible to instill better decision-making in the kitchen. Skip the chips and improve your children’s snack habits with these simple ideas for influencing healthier decisions:

  • Enhance the visual appeal of foods by piercing them with decorative toothpicks.
  • Offer a variety of colorful foods on a plate.
  • Create color contrasts with foods on a plate or in a bowl.
  • Arrange foods in an orderly way using a bento box or divided plate that helps keep them separate.
  • Involve kids in preparing their meals.
  • Pair nutritious foods, like fruits and vegetables, with well-liked or familiar foods.

Find more family-friendly recipes and tips to encourage nutritious eating habits from the North American Meat Institute, a contractor of The Beef Checkoff, at meatpoultrynutrition.org.
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Fried Bologna Cups

Recipe courtesy of The Beef Checkoff
Yield: 8 bologna cups

  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 8          slices beef bologna

Potato-Vegetable Filling (enough for one bologna cup):

  • 1/4       cup mixed vegetables
  • 1/4       cup mashed potatoes
  • tablespoon grated cheddar cheese

Apple Salad Filling (enough for one bologna cup):

  • 3          tablespoons chopped apple
  • 2          teaspoons minced celery
  • 1          teaspoon golden raisins
  • 2          teaspoons light mayonnaise
  • teaspoon plain, low-fat yogurt
  1. Spray large, nonstick skillet with vegetable oil spray. Set skillet over medium heat and lay bologna slices in pan, as many as will fit in one layer. Let bologna fry until it cups. Transfer cups to serving plate and fry remaining bologna in same fashion.
  2. To make Potato-Vegetable Filling: In small, microwave-safe bowl, stir together vegetables and potatoes; microwave until hot.
  3. To make Apple Salad Filling: In small bowl, stir apple, celery, raisins, mayonnaise and yogurt.
  4. Spoon desired filling into each cup. For cups with Potato-Vegetable Filling, top with grated cheese.

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Jerky Trail Mix

Recipe courtesy of The Beef Checkoff
Yield: 4 cups

  • 1 1/2    cups kettle corn with no added sugars
  • 1          cup mini unsalted pretzels
  • 1/2       cup unsalted, dry-roasted peanuts
  • 1/2       cup beef jerky, broken or chopped into 1/4-inch bits
  • 1/2       cup golden raisins
  1. In large bowl, stir kettle corn, pretzels, peanuts, beef jerky and raisins together. Seal in sandwich bags or serve in bowl.

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Salami-Babs

Recipe courtesy of The Beef Checkoff
Yield: 8 kebabs

  • 6          ounces beef salami or summer sausage, cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 8          bamboo skewers (8 inches long)
  • 4          ounces cheese (cheddar or swiss), cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 16        small broccoli florets
  • 4          baby carrots, cut in half crosswise
  1. Thread pieces of meat onto skewers, alternating with cheese, broccoli and carrots. Arrange on plate and serve.

Note: To prevent choking, children should be seated while eating, especially when a recipe involves toothpicks; encouraged to take their time and thoroughly chew their food; and should be carefully supervised. When serving young children, cut any circular-shaped foods like grapes, carrots or hot dogs into thin, coin-shaped slices or long, thin strips.
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Green Bean Twists

Recipe courtesy of The Beef Checkoff
Yield: 16 twists

  • 8          ultra-thin slices roast beef, about 2 ounces, cut in half lengthwise
  • 16        green beans, trimmed, blanched and chilled
  1. Wrap one slice roast beef around each bean, creating spiral, arrange on plate and serve.

Beefy Lettuce Cups

Recipe courtesy of The Beef Checkoff
Yield: 8 lettuce cups

  • 8          ounces corned beef, chopped
  • 1/2       cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2       cup chopped water chestnuts
  • 2          tablespoons unsalted, dry-roasted cashew pieces
  • 2          tablespoons teriyaki sauce
  • 8          butter lettuce leaves
  1. In medium bowl, stir together corned beef, carrots, water chestnuts, cashew pieces and teriyaki sauce. Spoon onto lettuce leaves and serve.

Source: North American Meat Institute

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