recipes

Meal Ideas 30 January 2019

Find Better Balance for Family Meals this Year

(Family Features) This New Year, set a realistic resolution to take time to sit down with your family and eat balanced meals together. A few simple solutions and a dash of inspiration are all you need to set the tone for a year of health and wellness.

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Last year, Americans were only meeting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate recommendations for vegetables, fruit, protein, dairy and grain consumption one week out of the entire year. While many families try to cook nutritious meals at home, a balanced plate can be hard to achieve. Educational programs, such as Nestlé’s Balance Your Plate, make it simple to create delicious and balanced meals by pairing frozen prepared meals and pizzas with made-from-scratch side dishes, which makes meeting the dietary guidelines a more attainable goal.

Frozen entrees are a convenient starting point for a well-rounded meal.

“It’s so important to me that we sit down as a family and have a nutritious meal,” said Kim Stoegbauer, creative director and founder of The TomKat Studio, who created a few easy ways to add some special touches to your next family dinner.

By pairing Stouffer’s Lasagna with Meat & Sauce, made with ingredients you would find in your own kitchen cupboard, with a homemade Panzanella Salad and Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Balsamic, Stoegbauer demonstrates how easy it is to create a family-friendly meal without the hassle.

“It’s a frozen entree that you can feel good about feeding your family, especially paired with some delicious and easy-to-prepare sides,” Stoegbauer said.

Find more simple, delicious and well-balanced meal ideas to share with your family at nestleusa.com/nutrition/balance.

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Panzanella Salad

Recipe courtesy of The TomKat Studio blog on behalf of Stouffer’s
Serves: 8-10

  • 1          whole wheat baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3          tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1          hothouse cucumber, diced
  • 3          assorted bell peppers, diced
  • 1/2       red onion, diced
  • 10        sprigs basil leaves, julienned
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. On baking sheet, spread bread in single layer and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
  3. In bowl, whisk together garlic, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper with remaining olive oil to make vinaigrette. 
  4. In large bowl, toss ingredients together, making sure to coat all ingredients with vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Balsamic

Recipe courtesy of The TomKat Studio blog on behalf of Stouffer’s
Serves: 6

  • 2          pounds asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1          pint cherry tomatoes 
  • 4          garlic cloves, minced
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • reduced balsamic vinegar
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. 
  2. On baking sheet, toss together all ingredients, except balsamic vinegar. Roast 15 minutes, or until asparagus is tender. Transfer asparagus and tomatoes to platter. Drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar to taste and serve.

Tip: Add some leftover fresh basil to the top of your lasagna for a pretty and flavorful garnish that complements your sides.

Source: Stouffer’s

Healthy 29 January 2019

Eat Healthy with Easy Meal-Planning Tricks

(Family Features) If you’re having trouble getting started, or even sticking to, a healthy eating regimen, you may be surprised that one highly effective practice doesn’t require counting calories or hours of exercise. You simply need to plan out your meals.

When hunger strikes, it’s tempting to grab the fastest, easiest-to-make food available, but that’s rarely the best choice for your health. Planning your meals encourages you to invest in better-for-you options ahead of time and reduces food waste, while saving significant time and money in the long-term. If you don’t know where to start, follow these easy tips to help make meal planning a breeze:

  1. Build meals around themes like taco night or seafood night. This can help narrow down your options but still allow you to experiment with new recipes or variations on favorites that can be added to your regular rotation. 
  1. Be sure to include breakfast, lunch and snacks. Whether these are meals on the go or foods you’ll eat at home, planning ahead can help ensure you have tasty, healthy options at your fingertips all day long.
  1. Make it a family affair. Invite meal feedback from everyone and keep kids involved in the prep process to create more family time together.
  1. Take inventory of your pantry and leftovers before heading to the store – yesterday’s grapefruit breakfast could be today’s citrus salad.
  1. Shop wisely. Maximize time and money savings by shopping at a store such as ALDI, where you can find all your weekly must-haves, like fresh produce and organics, dairy, USDA Choice beef and bakery items. ALDI also offers a variety of healthy eating resources, including weekly meal plans and recipes like these Quinoa Lentil Tacos, at aldi.us/hellohealthy.

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Quinoa Lentil Tacos

Recipe courtesy of Chef Michelle, ALDI Test Kitchen

  • 32        ounces SimplyNature Vegetable Broth
  • 3/4       teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Iodized Salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Ground Black Pepper
  • 1          tablespoon Stonemill Essentials Paprika
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Ground Cumin
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Garlic Powder
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Chili Powder
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Onion Powder
  • 1          cup SimplyNature Organic Tri-Color Quinoa, rinsed
  • 1          cup dry lentils, rinsed
  • 1          tablespoon Baker’s Corner Corn Starch
  • 10        Pueblo Lindo White Corn Tortillas
  • 1/2       cup thinly sliced red onion
  • 1          avocado, diced
  • 1/2       cup crumbled Pueblo Lindo Fresco Cheese
  • 2          limes, cut into wedges
  1. In medium saucepan, bring broth, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, quinoa and lentils to boil; reduce heat. Simmer 20 minutes, partially covered.
  2. Remove lid and add corn starch. Stir 5-8 minutes until lentils are cooked through.
  3. Heat medium pan over high heat. Heat tortillas 1 minute on each side.
  4. Divide lentil mixture evenly among tortillas. Top with red onion, avocado and fresco cheese. Serve each with lime wedge.

Source: ALDI

Meal Ideas 29 January 2019

Easy Cold-Weather Cooking

(Family Features) As the chill settles in, comforting, warming, seasonal favorites like stews and soups become top of mind. However, with busy work schedules, there’s often not enough time to prepare them during the week.

When Carrot-Lentil Stew is on the menu, time isn’t an issue. It’s ready in under an hour, plus it’s packed with healthy ingredients and robust flavor. Start with quick-cooking lentils, add nutrient-rich vegetables, vegetable broth and the secret ingredient: a jar of Aunt Nellie’s Glazed Sliced Carrots. The perfectly cooked carrot slices and their flavorful sauce add texture, flavor and vibrant color to the stew, which needs only 10 minutes to cook.

Serve topped with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese for another splash of color and an extra layer of flavor. This vegetarian stew can easily be adjusted to include chicken sausage for even more protein.  

For additional cold-weather cooking ideas, visit AuntNellies.com.

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Carrot-Lentil Vegetable Stew

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          cup dry lentils
  • 3          cups fat-free, reduced-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 1          cup water
  • 3/4       cup chopped onion
  • 3/4       cup sliced celery
  • 3/4       cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1          jar (15 1/2 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Glazed Small Sliced Carrots
  • 1          large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2       cup chopped fresh parsley
  • shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Rinse lentils and drain. Place in Dutch oven or other large saucepan. Add 2 cups broth and water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes (lentils should be slightly undercooked).
  2. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, remaining broth, tomatoes with liquid, carrots with liquid and garlic. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes, until liquid is reduced as desired and vegetables are just tender. Stir in parsley. Serve topped with Parmesan, if desired.

Note: If desired, 1/2 pound chicken sausage links, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces, can be added to stew during last 5 minutes of cooking.

Nutritional information per serving: 280 calories; 14 g protein; 54 g carbohydrate; <1 g fat; 390 mg sodium; 10 g dietary fiber; 5 mg iron; 0.46 mg thiamin; 5499 IU vitamin A; 36 mg vitamin C.

Source: Aunt Nellie’s

Healthy 17 January 2019

Eat Your Way to Better Health

(Family Features) It seems like every week there is a new product claiming to promise nutrition and improve your health. However, there are some foods you likely already have on hand that can improve your diet quality and support clean-eating efforts.

Skip the total diet overhaul or the latest fad, and keep it simple by focusing on small but powerful changes to help you clean up your diet. Dairy products have always been cost-effective and nutrient-packed. These three tips can help you make the most of dairy’s health benefits.

Inspect the ingredient label. With just three ingredients, milk is the original clean and clear food, unlike trendy milk alternatives, which may contain up to 10 ingredients.

Examine the benefits beyond bone health. It’s widely known that dairy products provide calcium to build strong bones, but milk, cheese and yogurt actually provide a unique package of nine nutrients, including high-quality protein to support muscle health.

Explore its versatility. Dairy can be easily incorporated into meals and snacks to help make healthy and clean eating simple. Getting the recommended three servings of dairy every day is a cinch once you discover the possibilities.

Resolve to get three servings of milk, cheese and yogurt every day by pledging Dairy 3 for Me. You may be surprised how easy it is to create a healthier menu all day long. Try these ideas to get started:

  • Make milk your mealtime beverage. White, chocolate, strawberry; no matter the flavor, all milk provides the same nine nutrients.
  • Build a breakfast parfait with your favorite yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal, or mix things up with milk or yogurt by blending a smoothie.
  • Sneak in healthier eating by pairing cheese with fresh fruit or vegetables. Research shows when cheese is coupled with these foods, it helps kids eat more of all of them.
  • After a workout, recover with a tall glass of chocolate milk, which studies have proven to be effective in aiding tired muscles.
  • Boost nutrition and flavor by adding shredded cheese to casseroles, soups and pasta dishes, or sprinkle on top of tacos and chili.

To find more delicious recipes to support your nutrition goals and to pledge Dairy 3 for Me, visit MidwestDairy.com.

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Raspberry-Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened frozen strawberries
  • 3/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup ice (about 12 cubes)
  1. Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Serve immediately.

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Pulled Pork Soft Tacos

Recipe courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association
Prep time: 8 hours, 35 minutes
Servings: 6

For pork:

  • 2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 small white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 limes, cut in half

For tacos:

  • 1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 12 soft corn tortillas (6 inches each)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Colby Jack
  • 1  bag (8 ounces) shredded red cabbage
  • 3/4 cup fresh salsa
  1. Trim excess fat off roast. In small bowl, combine brown sugar and ginger; rub generously over roast. Place in slow cooker with garlic, onion and orange juice; cook on low heat 8 hours (or high 4-6 hours.)
  2. Transfer pork to large bowl and shred with forks. Strain pork liquid from slow cooker and pour over pulled pork to moisten. Squeeze lime juice on top and mix well. Divide into 12 servings.
  3. In small bowl, mix together sour cream, cumin and scallions.
  4. Cover each corn tortilla with 2 tablespoons cheese; microwave 20 seconds. Top with pulled pork, 2 teaspoons sour cream mix, 1 1/2 tablespoons shredded cabbage and 1 tablespoon salsa. Fold and serve immediately.

Source: Midwest Dairy Association

Snacks 17 January 2019

Smarter Snacking with Nutrition in Mind

(Family Features) Planning health-conscious New Year’s resolutions typically includes cutting back on unhealthy foods during meals from breakfast to dinner. However, it’s also important to cut out sugary, calorie-laden snacks that can counteract all your hard work throughout the rest of the day.

Rather than skipping snacks entirely, it’s possible to instead incorporate nutritious options that pack protein to help you recharge without going overboard on calories, sodium and sugars. Opt for quick bites like Baked White Bean and Artichoke Dip paired with light, crunchy, low-sugar crackers to get the fuel you need between meals.

This snack idea can be especially filling yet nutritious when you dip with an option like gluten-free, non-GMO Crunchmaster Protein Snack Crackers, made with wholesome ingredients crafted to fit healthy, active lifestyles. With five grams of plant-based protein per serving, the cholesterol-free crackers can aid in providing energy without unnecessary sugars.

As you take steps to incorporate a healthier lifestyle in the New Year, be sure to take into account healthy activities along with nutritious eating habits from the first meal of the day to the last, and each snack in-between.

For more nutritious snacking ideas and recipes, visit crunchmaster.com.

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Baked White Bean and Artichoke Dip with Crackers

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1          can (15 ounces) organic white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1          can (14 fluid ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/3       cup olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, divided
  • 1          teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1          tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 2          cloves garlic
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1          package (3.54 ounces) Crunchmaster Protein Snack Crackers in Roasted Garlic flavor
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In food processor, puree beans, artichokes, olive oil, 1 tablespoon chives, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne until smooth. Scrape into 4-cup baking dish and smooth over top.
  3. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining chives and serve with crackers.

Tip: Substitute parsley or mint for chives, if desired.

Nutrition information per serving: 200 calories; 10 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 580 mg sodium; 21 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 7 g protein.

Source: Crunchmaster

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

Meal Ideas 11 June 2018

Brighten and Awaken Summer Flavors

(Family Features) Summer provides an abundance of delicious, fresh-picked flavors, giving home chefs plenty of opportunities to use them in both classic recipes and newfound favorites. From sides to salads to smoothies and everything in between, summer is all about creating dishes that taste tempting, bright and balanced.

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Using seasonal ingredients, like peaches and other sun-ripened fruits, can help play up the bounty of summer for all types of eating occasions. However, with a wide variety of available choices, it can be a dizzying task to select recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

This summer, Nature’s Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar and celebrity chef Candice Kumai – also known as the “Golden Girl of Wellness” – recommend these make-at-home recipes to help brighten and awaken the best flavors at your table.

“Apple cider vinegar is my favorite natural way to cook, look and feel my very best for all of summer,” Kumai said. “These recipes feature its powerful benefits and bright taste, which awaken summertime cooking.”

Kumai recommends her Carrot Beauty Noodles as a show-stopping side dish to accompany main courses throughout the summer, while a light and savory Miso Kale Caesar Salad can curb and satisfy appetites before dinner. Meanwhile, the fresh-and-fruity versatility of this Peach Smoothie means you can enjoy it at breakfast, as a nutritious midday snack or even for dessert.

All three recipes feature Nature’s Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, which is raw, unfiltered, made with the mother and can be a chef’s secret ingredient to brighten and awaken taste buds to the true flavors of food by enhancing your favorite recipes during the summer or any time of year. Because it’s crafted with care, the clean, crisp flavors provide a difference you can see and taste while helping add a perfect sweet-and-sour balance to traditional meals as well as new favorites.

With so many fresh, delicious choices, summer is the perfect opportunity to make the most of flavors in almost anything you’re making, but selecting the right recipes and ingredients can be the first step toward truly soaking up the brightness of the season.

Find more tips and recipes for enjoying summer flavors at NaturesIntentVinegars.com, and find Nature’s Intent on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest.

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Carrot Beauty Noodles

Recipe courtesy of Candice Kumai
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 2          cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
  • 3          tablespoons organic red miso paste
  • 3          tablespoons Nature’s Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4       cup rice vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons roasted sesame oil
  • 2          teaspoons honey
  • 2          teaspoons freshly grated ginger
  • 2          tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 9          cups spiralized carrots
  • 2          cups shelled organic edamame
  • 1          avocado, cubed
  • 2          tablespoons fresh mint (leaves removed from stems)
  • 2          tablespoons ground sesame seeds
  1. Cook rice or quinoa according to package directions.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, add red miso paste, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, roasted sesame oil, honey, ginger and tamari or soy sauce. Whisk well to combine. Add spiralized carrots, edamame and cooked rice or quinoa. Toss well to coat.
  3. Garnish with avocado cubes, fresh mint leaves and ground sesame seeds.

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Peach Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Candice Kumai
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 2 1/2    cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2       frozen banana
  • 3/4       cup sweet-potato puree
  • 3          cups frozen organic peaches
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground ginger
  • 1/4       teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1          scoop collagen powder
  • 1-2       tablespoons Nature’s Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
  1. In blender, combine almond milk, banana, sweet-potato puree, peaches, ginger, cinnamon, collagen powder and apple cider vinegar; blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

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Miso Kale Caesar Salad

Recipe courtesy of Candice Kumai
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

Dressing:

  • 1/4       cup tahini paste (ground sesame seed paste)
  • 1/4       cup organic red or white miso paste
  • 1/4       cup rice vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon honey or maple syrup
  • 3          tablespoons Nature’s Intent Organic Apple Cider Vinegar

Salad:

  • 1          large bunch finely chopped curly kale, destemmed
  • 1/2       cup (about 1 ear) raw white corn, shaved off cob
  • 2          cups daikon radish (about 1/2 radish), peeled, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons
  • 2          ripe avocados, halved, pitted, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2          tablespoons baked hemp seeds

Optional toppings:

  • 8          ounces wild salmon, grilled
  • 8          ounces organic tofu, grilled and cubed
  1. To make dressing: In medium mixing bowl, whisk tahini paste, organic miso paste, rice vinegar, honey and apple cider vinegar.
  2. Add kale, corn and daikon radish. Toss well to coat with dressing.
  3. Serve topped with cubed avocado, hemp seeds and salmon or tofu, if desired.

Source:  Nature’s Intent

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

Healthy 04 April 2017

Celebrating Salads With Pistachios

America’s Top Chefs Share Their Favorite Recipes

(Family Features) Want to add taste, color and crunch to salads any time of the year? Then sprinkle on pistachios. Chefs are going nutty over them, and for good reason. California grown, these pale green nuts have a subtle, delicate flavor that is wonderful in sweet as well as savory dishes or for eating out of hand. Traditionally used in rice dishes, stuffing, ice cream and pastries, pistachios are now a key ingredient in signature salads.

Pistachio Facts & Helpful Tips

The key to including nuts in the diet without adding extra calories is portion control. Use pistachios on salads, or in main dishes, to replace meat or poultry. California pistachios have versatility, texture and great taste. They also pack a powerful nutritional punch. A 1-ounce serving — 49 pistachios — contains more than 10 percent of the Daily Value for dietary fiber, vitamin B-6, thiamin, phosphorus and copper. One serving of pistachios has as much potassium as half a large banana. Pistachios contain mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat (11 of 13 fat grams), the types of fat recommended by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines For Americans. Pistachios also are naturally cholesterol free and trans fat free.

Other Pistachio Facts:

  • A serving of pistachios has more fiber (2.9g) than 1 small tomato (1.1g) or 1 cup of raw spinach (.8g).
  • A serving of pistachios provides almost 1 1/2 times the amount of thiamin as 1/2 cup serving of cooked, long grain, enriched white rice and 2 1/2 times the amount of thiamin in long grain, brown rice.
  • The amount of vitamin B-6 in a 1-ounce serving of pistachios is comparable to that in a standard 3-ounce serving of roasted pork loin, 2 times that in a serving of peanut butter and 5 times that in a serving of black beans.
  • Pistachios contain more phytosterols such as beta-sitosterol than any other commonly eaten nut, 61mg per serving or 279mg per 100g. Phytosterols may help lower cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. Preliminary research suggests phytosterols also may offer protection from certain types of cancer.
  • The largest USDA study of food antioxidants reveals pistachios are one of the best sources of beta-carotene of all tree nuts and peanuts. Pistachios also provide the most lutein and zeaxanthin of all tree nuts. Antioxidants are compounds in foods that may help fight cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, and help maintain healthy arteries.

To Make Pistachio Oil:
Toast 1 cup pistachio kernels. When cool, finely grind in food processor. In a saucepan, warm 1 1/2 cups olive oil and ground pistachios and stir until blended. Transfer to a jar and let stand overnight at room temperature. Strain. Substitute in place of olive oil to add flavor to any recipe.

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Harvest Salad with Caramelized California Pistachios and Green Apples

Chef Andrew Carmellini of A Voce Restaurant in New York celebrates the bounty of the harvest with this delicious — yet simple — salad featuring crisp green apples and caramelized California pistachios.

  • 4 cups arugula, picked and washed
  • 2 cups watercress, picked and washed
  • 1 bulb fennel, sliced in half lengthwise then thinly sliced
  • 1 cored green apple, thinly sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 4 leaves basil, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons white raisins, soaked in warm water and drained
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 whole lemons, zested then juiced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup California pistachios, caramelized
  1. Combine all ingredients except cheese and breadcrumbs in mixing bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Divide into 6 salad bowls; top with cheese, breadcrumbs and caramelized pistachios (see sidebar for caramelizing). Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Nutritional Analysis (Amount per Serving): Calories 250, Total Fat 16g, Saturated Fat 2.5g, Monounsaturated Fat 10g, Cholesterol less than 5mg, Sodium 610mg, Potassium 530mg, Carbohydrate 27g, Dietary Fiber 5g, Protein 6g

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Goat Cheese, Beet Roots and California Pistachio Salad

Executive Chef Pascal LeSeac’h of Pastis, one of New York City’s hottest restaurants, loves serving this simple beet salad featuring California pistachios.

  • 5 medium size beet roots
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup California pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch flat parsley (1⁄4 cup chopped)
  • 1 log (6 ounces) Montrachet goat cheese
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste
  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  1. Preheat oven: 375°F.
  2. Clean beet roots with cold water, dry with paper towel, coat with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt. Wrap beets in aluminum foil and place in oven 1 1/2 hours. Check doneness by poking with small knife. Remove and peel beets and slice 1/2-inch thick. Reserve and cool in refrigerator. While beets are cooling, toast pistachios, let cool, then chop.
  3. Clean and dry parsley, then chop with large chef knife. Slice goat cheese 1/2-inch thick.
  4. To Serve: Alternate slices of beets and goat cheese on salad plate. Season with salt and white pepper. Add vinegar and remaining olive oil. Garnish with pistachios and chopped parsley. Serves 2.

Nutritional Analysis (Amount per Serving): Calories 380, Total Fat 33g, Saturated Fat 9g, Monounsaturated Fat 19g, Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 310mg, Potassium 450mg, Carbohydrate 13g, Dietary Fiber 4g, Protein 11g

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Spicy Pear and Endive Salad with California Pistachios

Nationally-renowned celebrity chefs and “Too Hot Tamales” Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger offer this scrumptious salad featuring California pistachios from their award-winning Border Grill and Ciudad restaurants.

  • 1/2 cup California pistachios, raw and shelled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Comice or D’anjou pears, quartered, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 4 heads Belgian endive, cored and sliced lengthwise into strips
  • 1/2 to 3⁄4 cup Cabrales blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  1. In small frying pan, combine pistachios, salt, pepper and sugar. Sauté over low to medium heat, stirring and shaking frequently until pistachios are toasted and sugar caramelizes and coats pistachios. Transfer pistachios to non-stick or parchment-lined cookie sheet and allow to cool. In large bowl, combine pears, endive, blue cheese, jalapeños and vinaigrette.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to 4 chilled salad plates and sprinkle with pistachios. Serves 4.

 

Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 dry chipotle, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey, warm
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Combine vinegar and chipotle in small saucepan and bring to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and oil is emulsified. Adjust seasonings to taste. Makes 1 cup.

Nutritional Analysis (Amount per Serving): Calories 310, Total Fat 20g, Saturated Fat 5g, Monounsaturated Fat 10g, Cholesterol 15mg, Sodium 640mg, Potassium 500mg, Carbohydrate 30g, Dietary Fiber 6g, Protein 8g

 

Caramelize Pistachios

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup California pistachio kernels
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat sugar with water, salt and cayenne pepper over a high flame. Cook until mixture is soft and bubbling. Add pistachios and stir 2 to 4 minutes, until caramelized (pistachios may clump together). Remove pistachios from pan and lay on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. When pistachios are completely cool, break apart and reserve.

 Source: California Pistachio Commission

Healthy 19 January 2017

Classic Makeover

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.

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Berry Breakfast Parfaits

Serves 4

  • 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®*
  1. 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.

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Pita Pesto Pizza Snackers

Serves 2

  • 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)
  1. Toast pita bread until crispy and firm, about 1 minute in a toaster oven.
  2. Spread pesto on each pita bread, lightly covering entire surface.
  3. Combine cottage cheese with garlic bread seasoning and spread evenly over each pita.
  4. Top with chopped tomato and fresh basil.
  5. If desired, sprinkle each pita with Parmesan.
  6. Slice each pita into 4 wedges and serve immediately.

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Apple-Cinnamon Pancake Stackers

Serves 2

  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. Fold mixture into cottage cheese, being careful not to over mix.
  3. Heat pancakes per package instructions.
  4. 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

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