(Family Features) Summertime entertaining should be easy and fun. And it can be - with some simple solutions and fresh recipes.
Start with Simple Recipes
- For this tropical dessert pizza, make the cookie crust the day before. Mix the filling and store it in an airtight plastic container, then cut up fruit and store in individual resealable plastic bags. Be creative and substitute your family's favorite fruits. Kids will have fun arranging the sliced fruit on this yummy dessert pizza!
- Three ingredients plus three minutes equals one tasty marinade. Let the kids help pour the ingredients into a resealable plastic bag to flavor juicy pork tenderloins with a subtly sweet, spicy marinade.
- The combination of crisp watermelon, juicy tomatoes and fresh basil with balsamic vinegar creates a fantastic and refreshing light salad. Just cut up ingredients and store in separate plastic containers, then toss together right before the party to keep the flavors fresh.
- For picnics on damp ground, placing an inexpensive plastic tablecloth under a blanket helps keep dampness from reaching picnickers - and keeps your blanket cleaner, too.
- Wash, chop, measure and prepare your ingredients 1 to 2 days before an event or party. They can be stored in resealable plastic bags or airtight containers in the refrigerator to make putting together recipes much easier the day of the party.
- Save plastic grocery bags to send guests home with leftovers. Placing an empty plastic grocery bag in a picnic basket is also a great solution for collecting trash after a picnic in the park - it doesn't take up much room and will act as a waterproof barrier to prevent spills.
- Create a dipping station for barbeque and grill sauces using reusable plastic storage containers with lids. Guests can spoon sauces onto their plates; when the party is over, simply place the lids back on the sauces and store in the refrigerator. They come in all different shapes and sizes and even fun colors.
- Use resealable plastic bags for marinades. Put meat in the bags with marinade and refrigerate overnight. It helps save space in the refrigerator and clean up is easy. This also works for coating and breading.
For more tips on ways to make summer entertaining a breeze, visit www.PlasticsMakeitPossible.com.
Tropical Fruit Dessert Pizza
Makes 12 servings
- 1 18-ounce roll refrigerated ready-to-slice sugar cookie dough
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 8-ounce package fat-free cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange rind
- 1 cup fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1 26-ounce jar mango slices, drained, or 2 fresh mangoes, sliced
- 1 16-ounce can pineapple slices, drained, or 1 fresh pineapple, sliced
- 1 11-ounce can mandarin orange segments, drained
- 1/2 cup apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoons orange liqueur or orange juice
- 2 tablespoons coconut, toasted, optional
- Preheat oven 350°F.
- Press cookie dough into a 12 to 14-inch pizza pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 12 minutes, cool completely.
- In medium mixing bowl, blend together sugar, cream cheese, coconut extract until well mixed. Stir in orange rind and whipped topping, mixing until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture on top of cooled crust.
- Arrange mango slices around edge of iced pizza. Then, arrange pineapple slices around edge. Next, arrange mandarin orange slices in another ring to fill center of pizza.
- In small saucepan or in microwave, heat apricot preserves and orange liqueur just until melted. Spoon glaze over fruit. Sprinkle with toasted coconut, if desired. Refrigerate until serving.
Terrific Tidbit: Go ahead and grate more orange rind than you'll need for the recipe - you can grate a whole orange or lemon and freeze the rind in a plastic freezer bag until needed.
Watermelon and Tomato Salad
Makes 10 (1/2-cup) servings
- 4 cups scooped out watermelon balls or chunks
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt to taste
- 1/3 cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese, optional
- In bowl, combine watermelon, onion, tomatoes and basil. Whisk together oil and vinegar and toss with salad. Season to taste. Refrigerate until serving.
3-Ingredient Marinade for Pork Tenderloin
Makes 6 to 8 servings
- 2 1-pound pork tenderloins, trimmed of excess fat
- 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup roasted garlic seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Preheat oven 350°F.
- In bowl, combine all ingredients except tenderloins. Place meat in dish or large resealable plastic bag, pour marinade over meat. If time permits, refrigerate overnight, turning meat several times.
- Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the tenderloin registers 160°F. Slice tenderloin, serve.
Quick Tip: Tenderloins come two to a package. If one will be enough for you to serve, halve recipe, freeze other tenderloin in freezable plastic bag.
Source: American Chemistry Council
(Family Features) From burgers to barbecued chicken, many of the best grilled foods are served with creamy condiments – often packing on calories and fat. Next time you’re ready to grill, experiment with new ways to create simple but robust flavors using fewer ingredients through simple swaps.
Rice vinegars offer a healthy alternative to condiments like mayonnaise or a creamy dressing when grilling. Keeping meals simple is easy with naturally gluten-free Nakano Rice Vinegar, which includes six or less simple ingredients with no artificial preservatives, flavors or ingredients, and no high-fructose corn syrup or MSG. The brand recently announced a clean-labeling initiative for all of its products, which now have easy-to-read labels with recognizable ingredients.
Dawn Jackson Blatner, star of ABC’s “My Diet Is Better Than Yours,” author of “Superfood Swap” and a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant for the Chicago Cubs, has created healthy dishes to heat up the grill this season.
This fall, look for organic Nakano Rice Vinegars debuting at retailers nationwide, and find more recipes at Mizkan.com.
Grilled Meatballs and Zoodles
- 1 pound organic ground turkey or grass-fed ground beef
- 1 cup organic kale, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup crushed brown rice crackers
- 1 egg
- 1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- non-stick cooking spray
- 4 medium zucchini
- 2 cups organic cherry tomatoes, chopped
- 1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup Nakano Rice Vinegar – Natural or Nakano Organic Rice Vinegar – Natural
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- Heat grill to medium.
- In large mixing bowl, combine ground meat, kale, crackers, egg, chili pepper flakes and salt. Use hands to form mixture into 12 balls. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes to help meatballs set.
- Mist meatballs with non-stick cooking spray and place them on grill. Grill each side 3-4 minutes, using tongs to flip to sides that haven’t been browned yet. Meatballs should reach internal temperature of 165°F.
- Using vegetable spiralizer, create zucchini noodles.
- Toss zucchini with tomatoes, Parmesan, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Serve each zoodle plate with three meatballs.
Nutritional information per serving: 350 calories; 20 g total fat; 6 g saturated fat; 240 mg sodium; 14 g carbs; 3 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 32 g protein.
Grilled Veggie and Ranch Bowl
- 8 ounces skinless chicken breast
- 2 ears corn, shucked
- 6 asparagus spears, trimmed
- 1 organic bell pepper, seeded and cut into 4 large pieces
- 1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons Cashew Ranch Dressing (recipe below)
- Heat grill to medium.
- Season chicken breast, corn, asparagus, bell pepper and zucchini with olive oil, sea salt and pepper.
- Grill chicken 6-7 minutes per side, internal temperature reaches 165 F. Grill corn 10-15 minutes, rotating after every pop, until corn is golden. Grill asparagus, bell pepper and zucchini 3-5 minutes per side, until tender.
- Separate chicken, corn, asparagus, bell pepper and zucchini evenly into two bowls. Drizzle bowls with Cashew Ranch Dressing.
Note: Bowl leftovers can be refrigerated for up to four days.
Nutritional information per serving: 450 calories; 21 g total fat; 4.5 g saturated fat; 870 mg sodium; 31 g carbs; 6 g fiber; 10 g sugar; 38 g protein.
Cashew Ranch Dressing
Makes: 1 cup
- 1 cup raw, unsalted cashews
- 3/4 cup almost-boiling water
- 3 tablespoons Nakano Rice Vinegar – Natural or Nakano Organic Rice Vinegar – Natural
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon dried dill
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
- In food processor, puree cashews, water, rice vinegar, garlic, dill, oregano, salt and pepper 3-4 minutes, until creamy. For best results, drizzle water in gradually as food processor is running. Stir in chives.
Note: Leftover dressing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to seven days.
Nutritional information per tablespoon: 50 calories; 4 g total fat; 0.5 g saturated fat; 110 mg sodium; 3 g carbs; 1 g sugar; 2 g protein.
Tuna Stuffed Avocado
- 1 ripe avocado
- 1 can (5 ounces) tuna packed in water, drained
- 1/2 cup finely diced celery
- 1/2 cup grated carrot
- 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
- 2 tablespoons Nakano Rice Vinegar – Natural or Nakano Organic Rice Vinegar – Natural
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 16 brown rice crackers
- Cut avocado in half, remove pit and scoop out flesh leaving thin wall of avocado. Dice avocado flesh and set shell aside for serving.
- In small bowl, combine tuna, celery, carrot, onion, vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix well. Gently stir in diced avocado.
- Scoop mixture into avocado shells and serve with brown rice crackers.
Nutritional information per serving: 360 calories; 19 g total fat; 3 g saturated fat; 530 mg sodium; 26 g carbs; 9 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 22 g protein.
Source: Nakano Rice Vinegar
(Family Features) Summertime meals are all about the grill. This year, give your grill and your family a break from hamburgers and hot dogs, and heat things up with the flavor and versatility of fresh pork.
From tender Sweet Sriracha Pork Skewers to Memphis-Style Dry Baby Back Ribs, the possibilities are endless. Make your cookout the best on the block with these tips and recipes from world champion pitmasters Tuffy Stone and Darren Warth:
• Start with a fresh and high-quality meat like Smithfield Fresh Pork, which is available in a variety of cuts and seasonings perfect for any cookout occasion.
• Don’t lift the lid of your grill unless you are checking for doneness or turning the food to avoid letting the heat escape or interrupt the cooking process.
• Check for proper doneness with a meat thermometer and use tongs to turn the meat instead of a fork. Cutting into the meat can cause flavorful juices to escape.
• If you’re short on time, try a pre-seasoned option like Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork, so that the prep work is already done for you.
Find more great grilling tips, videos and recipes at SmithfieldGetGrilling.com.
Memphis-Style Dry Baby Back Ribs
Recipe courtesy of Pitmaster Tuffy Stone
Prep time: 10 minutes, plus 30 minutes stand time
Cook time: 4-6 hours
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon celery salt
- 2 slabs Smithfield Fresh Pork Back Ribs, membrane removed
- 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
- apple juice or water, in spray bottle
- barbecue sauce (optional)
- To make dry rub: In small bowl about 30 minutes before grilling, combine brown sugar, kosher salt, chili powder, dry mustard, black pepper and celery salt; mix well.
- Spread both sides of ribs with yellow mustard and sprinkle dry rub on top. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes. Heat charcoal or gas grill to 250 F for indirect cooking.
- Place ribs, meaty side up, over drip pan and cook 4-6 hours until tender. Spritz ribs occasionally with water or apple juice using spray bottle.
- If using charcoal grill, add about 12 coals approximately every 45 minutes to maintain heat. Let ribs stand 10-15 minutes before serving. If desired, serve with barbecue sauce.
Sweet Sriracha Pork Skewers
Recipe courtesy of Pitmaster Darren Warth
Prep time: 15 minutes, plus marinade time
Cook time: 15-20 minutes
- 1 Smithfield Fresh Pork Tenderloin
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- 2 tablespoons Sriracha sauce
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
- 1 pint fresh pineapple chunks
- wood skewers, soaked in water
- Trim skin off pork tenderloin and cut into 1-inch cubes.
- To make marinade: In bowl, combine agave, Sriracha sauce, garlic, soy sauce and rice vinegar, and whisk thoroughly.
- Pour marinade into re-sealable bag and add cubed pork tenderloin. Marinate for up to 24 hours in refrigerator. Place tenderloin and pineapple chunks on skewers, alternating so pineapple is tight against tenderloin.
- Heat charcoal or gas grill to medium heat. Grill skewers, turning every 5 minutes, until all sides are grilled. Cook until tenderloin chunks have reached internal temperature of 145° F.
Learn why foil-packet cooking is hot, hot, hot
(Family Features) As the saying goes, big things come in small packages and that may explain the burgeoning popularity of foil-packet recipes. Minimal preparation and cleanup are easy trade-offs for the immense flavors you can create in these tiny containers, whether you prepare them in the oven, on the grill or over an open flame.
The secret to successful foil cooking is locking in the layers of flavor from each ingredient. It’s surprisingly simple to create delicious, healthy dishes when cooking with foil. An ingredient like seasoned rice vinegar offers a wholesome alternative to many condiments and flavorings while giving your packet a big flavor boost.
With no artificial preservatives, flavors or ingredients and no high-fructose corn syrup, Nakano® Rice Vinegars are the perfect solution for building better-for-you foil-packet meals. With organic varieties and easy-to-read labels featuring real, recognizable ingredients, you can feel great about layering delicious flavor into your next foil-packet meal with rice vinegar.
Garlic seasoned rice vinegar delivers a boost of flavor to this Asian-inspired chicken, creating a sensational main dish. Add crisp fresh veggies tossed with organic rice vinegar and garlic as a side then finish the meal with a sweet take on a juicy fruit crisp.
Find more inspired ideas for healthy meals at Mizkan.com/Recipes.
7 Steps to the Perfect Foil Pouch
- A 12-inch square piece of foil is a good starting point, but you may need to adjust depending on the recipe. Remember you’ll need plenty of extra room around the ingredients for the heat to build up and cook the contents to perfection.
- Use heavy-duty foil to avoid tears or poor seals that can spill ingredients and precious seasonings and juices.
- Spread foil on a flat surface and add a light nonstick spray, if needed.
- Place ingredients and seasonings in the center of the foil.
- Bring long sides of the foil together over the food. Pinch together and make 1/2-inch folds straight across at least twice for a strong seal. Remember to leave plenty of open space between the foil and food.
- Make 1/2-inch folds on each short end, folding toward food but leaving at least 1 1/2-2 inches between the seam and food.
- Handle pouch with care to avoid piercing or tearing, and always use tongs to remove pouches from heat.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
- 4 tablespoons Nakano Seasoned Rice Vinegar – Roasted Garlic
- 2 teaspoons gochujang (chile bean paste)
- 6 tablespoons maple syrup
- 4 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons, olive oil
- 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 8 chicken thighs
- 4 cups fresh cauliflower, riced (use grater or food processer so cauliflower resembles rice)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh scallions, sliced
- 2 cups fresh sugar snap peas
- 3 sprigs fresh cilantro, for garnish
- Heat oven or grill to 375° F.
- In large bowl, mix together vinegar, gochujang, maple syrup, soy sauce, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper to form marinade. Dip chicken in marinade and toss lightly until coated.
- Lightly oil foil pouch and layer base of pouch with cauliflower. Add scallions and sugar snap peas then place chicken on top. Carefully pour remaining marinade over pouch contents (ensuring that liquid stays inside foil).
- Seal foil packet and bake or grill 30 minutes. Open foil to create 2-inch long vent then bake or grill another 15 minutes, or until completely cooked. Garnish with cilantro before serving.
Chef’s tip: For best results and added flavor, marinate chicken 30 minutes before preparing pouches.
Substitutions: In place of gochujang, red pepper flake paste can be made by mixing 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes with a few dashes soy sauce and 1 dash sugar. Alternatively, substitute 2 teaspoons sriracha for gochujang.
Bartlett Pear and Oat Crisp
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 4 cups fresh pears, medium diced
- 4 tablespoons Nakano Seasoned Rice Vinegar – Mango
- 3/4 cup quick oats
- 2/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup, plus 2 teaspoons, all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 6 tablespoons butter, diced into 1/4-inch squares
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- Toss pears in rice vinegar and set into lightly greased foil pouch.
- Combine remaining ingredients in bowl and use two forks to combine ingredients until mixture becomes crumbly.
- Pour mixture evenly over pears, seal pouch and bake 20 minutes.
- Open top of foil and bake another 10 minutes, or until crisp and golden.
Chef’s tips: For crispier crust, refrigerate crumbly mixture 30 minutes before baking. Serve with scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 3 tablespoons Nakano Organic Rice Vinegar – Seasoned
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt, plus extra, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus extra, to taste
- 1 tablespoon, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons, fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
- 1 cup fresh zucchini, sliced into 1 3/4-inch long, 1/4-inch thick planks
- 1 cup fresh green pepper strips
- 1 cup fresh red pepper strips
- 8 fresh stalks asparagus, slicing off 1/4 inch from bottom of stalk
- 1 fresh portobello mushroom, sliced into 1/2-inch squares
- 1 cup fresh eggplant, diced into 1/2-inch squares
- Heat oven or grill to 375° F.
- In large bowl, mix together rice vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley and garlic to create marinade.
- Clean vegetables then place them in marinade in small batches. Toss to coat then place in foil pouch. Pour remaining marinade over vegetables and seal pouch.
- Bake in oven or over indirect heat on grill 25 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste, after removing pouch from heat.
Chef’s tip: Open pouch after 20 minutes of cooking and allow vegetables to crisp slightly under direct heat for remaining 5 minutes.
(Family Features) - There's nothing better than a sizzling steak hot off the grill. If you're the grill master, you may be looking to brush up on the right techniques to make sure you have a great beef meal every time.
The Featured Cut
"Boneless top sirloin steak is perfect for the grill. It's versatile, tender and flavorful," says Chef Dave Zino, executive director of the Culinary Center for the National Cattlemen's Beef Association. "Top sirloin partners well with rubs, marinades and sauces that add complimentary accents - and it's perfect for cutting into pieces for kabobs, a great way to stretch your grilling budget. Although it seems so decadently delicious, top sirloin is one of the 29 cuts of beef that meet the government guidelines for lean, providing 156 calories and 4.6 grams of fat - as well as 10 essential nutrients - per 3-ounce cooked serving."
Three Easy Steps
Prepare gas or charcoal grill according to manufacturer's directions for medium heat.
Remove beef from refrigerator and season with a spice blend or marinade as desired. Place on preheated cooking grid.
Cook boneless top sirloin steak (1 inch thick) 17 to 21 minutes uncovered (charcoal grill) or 13 to 16 minutes covered (gas grill), turning occasionally. To determine doneness, insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally from the side, penetrating the thickest part or center of the steak. Allow 10 to 15 seconds for the thermometer to register the internal temperature. Steaks should be cooked to 145°F (medium rare) or 160°F (medium). After cooking, season with salt, as desired.
BeefItsWhatsForDinner.com is the one-stop resource for tips and recipes that will help you make the most of your time at the grill.
Hoisin Beef Kabobs with Pineapple Salsa
- 1-1/4 pounds boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1 inch thick
- 1/3 cup ketchup
- 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cup diced fresh pineapple
- 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
- 1/2 cup diced cucumber
- 2 teaspoons rice vinegar
- Combine Pineapple Salsa ingredients in small bowl; set aside. Combine ketchup and hoisin sauce in another small bowl; set aside.
- Cut beef steak into 1 inch pieces. Thread beef pieces evenly onto four 10 to 12 inch metal skewers. Season kabobs evenly with pepper.
- Place kabobs on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Brush beef generously with some of reserved sauce mixture. Grill kabobs, covered, 6 to 8 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 7 to 9 minutes) for medium rare (145°F) to medium (160°F) doneness, turning occasionally and brushing with remaining sauce mixture. Season beef with salt, as desired. Serve kabobs topped with Pineapple Salsa.
25 to 30 minutes
SOURCE: The Beef Checkoff