recipes

Healthy 06 June 2017

Go Ahead ... Eat the Whole Watermelon

(Family Features) Sliced or diced, grilled or blended, there are countless ways to prepare watermelon. With some fruits, half or more is wasted when you throw away the seeds and peel, but you may be surprised to learn that you can use an entire watermelon, including the rind, to make delicious and refreshing dishes.

Most people think of watermelon as a sweet, juicy snack perfect for hot summer days, but with its high water content (92 percent), the fruit is more than just tasty. It’s also an ideal way to keep your body hydrated. What’s more, the ability to use the entire fruit makes watermelon one of the most versatile and value-conscious options in the produce department.

An average watermelon consists of about 70 percent fruit and 30 percent rind. Hollowed out, the rind is an attractive way to serve any number of recipes, but the rind is actually edible, too, and can be stir-fried, stewed or pickled, or even enjoyed raw. This yummy slaw gets its distinctive crunch from the watermelon rind, which is packed with citrulline and arginine, two compounds that may aid in healthy blood flow.

Watermelon is also a flavorful substitute for tomatoes, as shown in this traditional Italian appetizer, and contains higher levels of lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable per serving, according to award-winning nutrition author and registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer.

Additionally, it lends some sweetness to a spicy salsa and a refreshing twist on a summery salad. You can also try blending watermelon with other fresh fruits for a super smoothie or mixing it up with some adult libations (and don’t forget, you can transform the rind into a mini-keg in minutes; just add a pour spout).

Find more ideas for using every bite of fruit, juice and rind at watermelon.org.

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Watermelon Caprese Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Makes: 6 servings

  • 12 slices watermelon cut into rounds or squares, approximately 3 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick, with seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 12 slices
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig basil, for garnish
  1. Place watermelon slices on paper towels and cover with additional paper towels to absorb excess fluid.
  2. In small saucepan over medium heat, add vinegar and honey. Stir to blend, bring to simmer and reduce heat. Stir occasionally until mixture is reduced by almost half. (Do not let reduce too far or allow to froth.) Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. On large platter, place watermelon slices and top each with slice of cheese. Add salt and pepper, to taste, then sprinkle basil leaves evenly over top. Drizzle with olive oil, followed by reduced balsamic vinegar. Garnish with sprig of basil.

Tip: Use red and yellow watermelon for an extra pretty presentation.

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Watermelon Rind Slaw

Makes: 4 one-cup servings

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Slaw:

  • 4 cups grated watermelon rind (fruit and green peel removed)
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  1. In small bowl, blend Greek yogurt, sour cream, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, poppy seeds, olive oil, salt and pepper thoroughly. Set aside.
  2. Place watermelon rind on several layers of paper towels to soak up excess fluid.
  3. In medium bowl, place dressing, rind, carrot and pineapple, and toss to thoroughly coat.

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Watermelon Slice Ice Pops

Makes: 5-15 servings

  • 5-15 watermelon slices, cut into triangular wedge shapes, about 1/2 to 1 inch thick, with seeds removed
  • 5-15 ice pop sticks
  1. Insert ice pop stick into rind of each slice.

Optional variation: After inserting sticks, freeze ice pops before serving.

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Superfood Smoothie

Makes: 3 cups

  • 2 cups cubed and seeded watermelon
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup raspberry kefir
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons hemp
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • ice (optional)
  1. Place watermelon, raspberries, raspberry kefir, orange juice concentrate, hemp, agave syrup and ice, if desired, in blender and blend until smooth.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

Meal Ideas 25 May 2017

Reach New Heights with a Reinvented Burger

(Family Features) Text your friends, dust off your apron and fire up the grill. It’s time to throw a barbecue party that won’t sink your summer budget.

You can find everything you’ll need at a one-stop shop like ALDI. With savings up to 50 percent over traditional grocers, you can fill your cart with summer essentials like fresh seasonal produce, premium meats and award-winning wines.

Once shopping is out of the way, you’ll have plenty of time and money to experiment with new recipes. These quick and affordable tips can up your grill game and impress guests:

Boost your burgers. Take burgers to the next level this summer with your favorite ground meats such as turkey, chicken and beef. Then layer on the toppings like avocado, kale, gourmet cheeses and more.

Change up your take on cheesy. Top your burger with a blue cheese mousse by simply blending blue cheese crumbles and cream cheese then season it with your favorite spices.

Spice up your condiments. Combine mayonnaise with fresh orange juice and fresh orange zest to make a citrus aioli or whip up a special sauce by mixing peanut butter with oil and hot water. Sprinkle with bacon for some extra flavor. Toppings such as a pickled red onion can also add a bit of crunch and zest.

Bite better buns. Forgo traditional burger buns and bookend your masterpiece with brioche buns or pretzel rolls.

Find more great grilling tips and recipes for dishes to enjoy all summer at aldi.us.

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Six-Mile High Burger

Recipe courtesy of ALDI Test Kitchen

  • 1 tablespoon Carlini Vegetable Oil
  • 10 Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 pieces Specially Selected Center Cut Bacon
  • 8 Season's Choice Whole Onion Rings
  • 4 All Natural 80 percent Lean Ground Beef Patties
  • 8 slices Happy Farms Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 1 cup Burman's Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Burman's Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Burman's Mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 L'oven Fresh Hamburger Buns
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 2 romaine lettuce leaves, cut in half width-wise
  1. Heat grill to medium-high.
  2. In saute pan, heat vegetable oil and saute mushrooms 2-3 minutes. Set aside. Fry bacon to desired doneness, about 5 minutes on each side. Set aside. Bake onion rings according to packaging instructions. Set aside.
  3. Grill burgers 5-7 minutes on each side until they reach desired doneness. Place two slices cheese on each burger and continue to grill until melted. Remove from heat.
  4. Mix together mayonnaise, hot sauce, mustard, salt and pepper, and spread on both sides of buns, to taste.
  5. To assemble burger: layer bottom bun with patty with cheese, tomato, lettuce, mushrooms, two onion rings, two pieces of bacon and top half of bun.

Source: ALDI

Holiday 01 July 2016

New Stars of the Barbecue

(Family Features) Nothing says summer quite like a barbecue. While the grill might be the main attraction, it’s deliciously simple to put a personal spin on classic summer dishes and desserts.

From Same-Old Salads to Inspired Surprises

There are a number of quick and easy ways to add your signature touch to the standard summer barbecue fare. First, trade in the predictable potato salad for a refreshing pasta sensation. Build a delicious, personalized creation your family will enjoy with easy mixes such as Suddenly Salad mixes by Betty Crocker. “Each pasta salad mix comes with pasta, special seasoning and vegetables — only oil or mayonnaise needs to be added,” said Karen Schiemo of the Betty Crocker Kitchens. “Throw in a little culinary creativity and your favorite ingredients, such as additional fresh vegetables or diced meat, and you can even create your own recipe that’s sure to be in high-demand for seconds.”

Sweet Summer Barbecue Endings

Deliver a sweet ending to the perfect barbecue. With a few ingredients, such as sprinkles, marshmallows and nuts, you can add your own twist to brownies and transform them into a customized confection. Not only are they easy to make ahead of time, but a pan of brownies is easy to carry to the festive affair, requiring only one dish from baking to the barbecue. With no utensils necessary, they score huge “brownie points” with adults and kids alike.

Between the perfect main course and delectable side dishes, barbecues will surely be a family favorite. For more ideas to make your barbecue sizzle, go to BettyCrocker.com.

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S’more Brownies

Makes 24 brownies
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Start to Finish: 1 hour 25 minutes

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Original Supreme brownie mix
  • Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 4 graham crackers, broken into small pieces
  • 2 bars (1.55 ounces each) milk chocolate candy, broken into 1-inch squares
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom only of 13 x 9-inch pan with cooking spray or shortening. Make and bake brownies as directed on box for 13 x 9-inch pan, using water, oil and eggs.
  2. Set oven to broil. Immediately sprinkle marshmallows and graham crackers over warm brownies. Broil about 4 to 5 inches from heat 30 to 60 seconds or until marshmallows are golden brown. (Watch carefully — marshmallows and graham crackers will brown quickly.) Sprinkle with chocolate candy. To serve warm, cool about 30 minutes. For brownies, cut into 6 rows by 4 rows.

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Stars and Stripes Brownies

Makes 24 brownies
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Start to Finish: 2 hours

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Original Supreme brownie mix (with chocolate syrup pouch)
  • Water, vegetable oil and eggs called for on brownie mix box
  • 1 container (12 ounces) whipped fluffy white frosting
  • 1 tube (0.68 ounce) red decorating gel
  • 1 tube (0.68 ounce) blue decorating gel
  • 1 tube (0.68 ounce) white decorator icing
  • Decorating Decors stars
  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Line 13 x 9-inch pan with foil so foil extends about 2 inches over sides of pan. Spray foil with cooking spray. Make and bake brownies as directed on box for 13 x 9-inch pan, using water, oil and eggs. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
  2. Remove brownies from pan by lifting foil; peel foil from sides of brownies. Continue as desired with options below.
  3. Flag Brownies: Frost brownies. Using red decorating gel, pipe stripes onto frosted brownie. Add decors in upper left corner of brownie.
  4. Fire Cracker Brownies: Using 1-inch round cookie cutter, cut out brownie rounds. Stack 2 brownie rounds together, spreading frosting between rounds and on top. Garnish with decors.
  5. Star Brownies: Using 2 1/2-inch, star-shaped cookie cutter, cut brownies. Place frosting in resealable food-storage bag; cut off one bottom corner of bag. Pipe frosting on star-shaped brownies. Sprinkle with decors.

 

Fresh Vegetable Pasta Salad

15 servings (1/2 cup each)
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Start to Finish: 1 hour 25 minutes

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad classic pasta salad mix
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon vinegar
  • 2 cups small fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 small red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 small yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red onion cut into thin wedges
  1. Cook and drain pasta as directed on box. Meanwhile, in large bowl, stir together seasoning mix, cold water, oil and vinegar.
  2. Stir drained pasta and remaining ingredients into seasoning mixture. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

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Greek Tossed Pasta Salad

Makes 12 servings (1 cup each)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Start to Finish: 30 minutes

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad Caesar pasta salad mix
  • 1/3 cup cold water
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 cups torn romaine lettuce
  • 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 small cucumber, coarsely chopped (1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion, slices cut in half
  • 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese (1 cup)
  • 1 can (2 1/4 ounces) sliced ripe olives, drained
  1. Cook and drain pasta as directed on box. Meanwhile, in large bowl, stir together seasoning mix, cold water and oil.
  2. Add drained pasta and remaining ingredients to seasoning mixture. Toss with croutons and Parmesan topping (from salad mix). Serve immediately or refrigerate.

Source: Betty Crocker

Healthy 04 April 2017

Picnics With Panache

Swing into summer with a basketful of delicious picnic fare ready to share in minutes

(Family Features) Good friends, great food, and the best season for outdoor entertaining add up to one thing — a glorious picnic season. If you’re just warming up to the idea of planning a picnic at the park or a backyard potluck, it’s the prime time to prepare and make your plans.

First set the date with your best mates. Then grab the gingham tablecloth and break out the picnic basket. What to serve? Start simple with a menu that’s casual, delicious, and easy to make and take, especially if you’re off to the perfect picnic destination.

Choose light, flavorful pasta salads that combine summertime flavors, such as creamy ranch and Dijon mustard, or chicken with marinated artichoke hearts. Be prepared to pass the deviled eggs more than once. Bring along fresh fruit for a refreshing dessert. And, try a cool lemonade that combines two favorite summertime flavors — watermelon and kiwi.  All that’s left is to savor every moment and every bite!

Picnic Season’s Top Tips

Consider these hints for summer gatherings:

  • An “eggs-cellent” way to tote deviled eggs: sandwich two halves with filling sides together, wrap well with plastic wrap, and place in a chilled, insulated box.
  • When the ants begin their march, reach for a natural deterrent — vinegar. Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar to have at the ready.
  • Cooking for a crowd? Streamline your menu by choosing convenience products, such as boxed salad mixes that only require a few on-hand ingredients. Reach for prewashed, precut veggies. And, sprinkle a bit of flavor onto grilled potatoes and salads by adding a tasty topper, such as Bac~Os (an easy option that is less messy than frying bacon).
  • Got sunscreen? Make sure it’s in your pack.

For more great summertime recipes and tips, visit www.bettycrocker.com.

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Creamy Ranch Pasta Salad

Makes: 6 servings

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad ranch and bacon pasta salad mix
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 medium green onions, chopped
  • 1 medium stalk celery, thinly sliced
  • 3 hard-cooked eggs, coarsely chopped
  • 1 hard-cooked egg, sliced
  • Paprika
  1. Empty pasta into 3-quart (or larger) saucepan 2/3 full of boiling water. Gently boil uncovered 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; rinse with cold water. Shake to drain well.
  2. In large bowl, stir together seasoning mix, mayonnaise, mustard, onions and celery. Add pasta and chopped eggs and stir until evenly coated. Garnish with egg slices and paprika.
  3. Store in refrigerator.

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Chicken and Artichoke Pasta Salad

Makes: 6 servings

  • 1 box Betty Crocker Suddenly Salad classic pasta salad mix
  • 3 tablespoons cold water
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup cubed, cooked chicken
  • 1 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1/4 cup sliced ripe olives
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Empty pasta into 3-quart (or larger) saucepan 2/3 full of boiling water. Gently boil uncovered 12 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain pasta; rinse with cold water. Shake to drain well.
  2. In large bowl, stir together seasoning mix, cold water, and oil. Stir in pasta, chicken, artichokes, olives, and cheese. Store in refrigerator.

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Watermelon Lemonade With Kiwifruit Splash

Makes: 6 1-cup servings

  • 2 kiwifruit, peeled and cut into fourths
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 4 cups cubed, seedless watermelon
  • 1 12-ounce can frozen lemonade concentrate
  • 2 cups water
  1. Place kiwifruit and sugar in blender; cover and blend on medium just until smooth. Pour into another container; freeze 1 to 2 hours or until firm.
  2. Place watermelon in blender; cover and blend on medium until smooth. Place frozen lemonade concentrate and water in large pitcher. Add watermelon mixture; mix well.
  3. Pour watermelon lemonade into glasses. Spoon a dollop of frozen kiwifruit mixture on top. Serve immediately.

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Poppy Seed Salad

Makes: 6 servings

  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 1 cup strawberries, halved
  • 1 cup cubed pineapple
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup cubed watermelon
  1. In large bowl, mix honey, limeade concentrate, and poppy seeds.
  2. Carefully toss in fruits.

 

Devilishly Good Eggs

Makes: 6 servings

  • 6 hard-cooked eggs
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 2 tablespoons Betty Crocker Bac~Os bacon-flavored bits or chips
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon or yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  1. Cut eggs lengthwise in half. In small bowl, slip out yolks and mash with fork.
  2. Stir in remaining ingredients except egg white halves.
  3. Fill egg white halves with egg yolk mixture, heaping it lightly.

 

Source: Suddenly Salad

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