(Family Features) Some of life’s most cherished moments are shared with loved ones around the table. As temperatures climb, cheerful sunshine and sparkling blue skies are the perfect ingredients to make family time even more enjoyable with a meal served al fresco.
One of the great joys of dining outdoors is the chance to appreciate the simplicity of a gentle breeze or the first glimpses of seasonal blooms. Keeping meal prep simple makes it even easier to embrace these special moments.
A unique approach to an entree salad is easy to prepare and adds a festive flair to your picnic plate. These Ruby Beet Chicken Salad Skewers owe their zesty flavor to the delicate balance of sweetness and vinegar infused by Aunt Nellie’s Baby Whole Pickled Beets.
A cool salad is another must for your outdoor dining menu. Classic Mediterranean flavors like feta cheese and olives combined with READ 3 Bean Salad make this Mediterranean 3-Bean Quinoa Salad the perfect side dish to accompany a light lunch or grilled main course.
Ruby Beet Chicken Salad Skewers
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Baby Whole Pickled Beets
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus additional, to taste, divided
- 4 1/2 tablespoons stone ground mustard, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoons, plus 1/3 cup, orange marmalade, divided
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 1 large lemon, zest and juice (1/3 cup juice)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 bag (9 ounces) leafy romaine lettuce pieces
- 1/3 cup chopped almonds, toasted
- 1/3 cup crumbled blue, feta or goat cheese
- Heat oven to 375° F. Drain beets; set aside.
- Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. In small bowl, combine 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard and 1 1/2 tablespoons marmalade. Brush mixture over chicken until completely coated. Bake chicken on rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil about 20-25 minutes, or until juices run clear; set aside.
- To make vinaigrette: In medium bowl, combine remaining mustard, remaining marmalade, chives, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Slowly pour in oil while whisking vigorously until completely combined.
- Slice cooled chicken into 1-inch pieces. Onto each skewer, thread one beet, one piece of chicken and 4-5 pieces of lettuce; repeat two times for each skewer, adding one beet at ends. Repeat to make eight skewers. Place skewers on large serving platter.
- Stir vinaigrette; drizzle lightly over skewers. Sprinkle with almonds and cheese. Serve with remaining vinaigrette.
Recipe courtesy of "A New Dawnn"
Prep time: 20 minutes
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) READ 3 Bean Salad
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup chopped olives
- 1/2 cup diced bell pepper, any color
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
- Drain bean salad; reserve 3 tablespoons liquid.
- In large bowl, combine bean salad, tomatoes, feta cheese, quinoa, olives and bell pepper. Add reserved bean liquid, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Stir gently to coat ingredients.
- Top with cilantro or parsley. Serve immediately.
Source: Seneca Foods
(Family Features) One of the great myths of healthy eating is that it’s expensive. Making healthier choices can actually save you money when you know how to shop smart.
To help encourage healthier communities, the American Heart Association and Aramark have simple tips to keep in mind as you seek out affordable, nutritious and tasty food options for your family:
- Shop with a plan in mind. Taking a list to the store helps limit impulse purchases, but it’s OK to make smart swaps while shopping if items you’d normally use are on sale.
- Consider your fruit and veggie options. Locally grown, seasonal fruits and vegetables are often reasonably priced for recipes like this Mediterranean Chicken and Grain Bowl. Canned and frozen options, meanwhile, can be just as nutritious as fresh options.
- Cook once, eat twice. Choose recipes that make enough food to enjoy fresh for one meal and as leftovers later, such as this four-serving Curry-Spiced Tofu with Asian Vegetables.
- Buy in bulk. Look for items with long shelf lives like whole grains and non-perishables such as canned beans and vegetables.
- Focus on dishes with limited, common ingredients. They are easy to prepare and allow you to avoid purchasing items like rarely used spices.
- Develop a budget. Assess your current food expenses each week. Multiply by the number of weeks that month to find your monthly food budget and determine if this fits with your other monthly expenses.
Mediterranean Chicken and Grain Bowl
Recipe courtesy of Aramark
- 8 ounces farro or brown rice
- 6 cups spinach, stems removed
- 1 1/2 cups diced seedless cucumbers
- 1 1/2 diced tomatoes
- 6 thin slices red onion
- 3 cups cauliflower florets
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette
- 3 cups cooked skinless chicken breast, visible fat discarded
- 6 tablespoons fat-free or low-fat crumbled feta cheese
- 3 tablespoons kalamata olives
- Cook farro according to package instructions.
- On serving plate, place 1/2 cup farro. Around farro, arrange 1 cup spinach; 1/4 cup cucumber; 1/4 cup tomatoes; 1 slice red onion, separated into rings; and 1/2 cup cauliflower.
- Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over salad. Top with 1/2 cup chicken and garnish with 1 tablespoon feta cheese and 1 1/2 teaspoons olives. Repeat with additional servings.
Nutritional information per serving: 342 calories; 12 g total fat; 52 mg cholesterol; 551 mg sodium; 35 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 8 g sugars; 25 g protein.
Curry-Spiced Tofu with Asian Vegetables
Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association
- 12 ounces light, extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry, cut into four slices
- 1 tablespoon, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons, curry powder, divided
- 12 ounces packaged fresh stir-fry vegetables
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
- 1 large onion, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup light coconut milk
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- Put tofu on large plate. Sprinkle tofu on both sides with 1 tablespoon curry powder.
- In large microwaveable bowl, microwave vegetables and water on high 2-3 minutes, or until vegetables are almost tender-crisp. Pour off remaining water.
- In large nonstick skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat bottom. Cook tofu in single layer 3-4 minutes on each side, or until browned. Transfer to separate large plate. Cover loosely to keep warm.
- In same skillet, heat sesame oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat bottom. Cook onion 1 minute, stirring frequently.
- Stir in vegetables and garlic. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until vegetables are tender-crisp, stirring constantly.
- Stir in coconut milk, chili garlic sauce and remaining curry powder. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Spoon vegetable mixture over tofu.
Nutritional information per serving: 151 calories; 6.5 g total fat; 86 mg sodium; 14 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 4 g sugars; 10 g protein.
Family Features) If you're looking for tasty ways to improve your diet, you're in luck. You can get big taste and big benefits from a little fruit - Wild Blueberries.
The Color Connection
A diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes, heart disease and some cancers. Eating across the color spectrum is important so you get a variety of nutritional benefits.
Wild Blueberries get their color from naturally occurring phytochemicals, which are primarily responsible for antioxidant activity. Wild Blueberries are antioxidant rich, making them a great choice for their nutritional benefits and disease fighting potential. In fact,
- USDA studies rank Wild Blueberries highest in antioxidant capacity per serving, compared with more than 20 other fruits including cranberries, strawberries, apples and even cultivated blueberries.
- Health magazine has named Wild Blueberries high on its list of "America's Healthiest Superfoods for Women," singling out their variety of potential health benefits, including preventing memory loss, improving motor skills, lowering blood pressure, and fighting wrinkles.
Wild Blueberries are available year-round in supermarkets nationwide. Frozen at the peak of ripeness, all the farm-fresh taste and nutritional benefits are locked-in. Most studies show that frozen fruits and vegetables are higher in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients because they are frozen near the time of harvest.
Great taste, good nutrition and really convenient - no wonder so many people are wild about blueberries. Learn more about this superfruit and get more great recipes at www.wildblueberries.com.
Did You Know?
Wild Blueberries are a different berry from cultivated blueberries. They grow naturally in the fields and barrens of Maine and Canada. They are smaller in size, have a unique sweet-tart taste, and are only available frozen.
Here are some of the reasons frozen produce is a perfect option for people looking to fill the pantry with healthy foods all year round.
- Frozen offers great value when compared to in-season pricing.
- No aging or spoiling means no waste, saving you money.
- Frozen produce is ideal for smoothies, entrees, desserts, breakfast, and most recipes that call for blueberries.
- Frozen Wild Blueberries are thoroughly washed and have no caloric syrups or additives.
Chicken Breast with Sweet and Sour Wild Blueberry Sauce
Prep Time: Approximately 20 minutes
- 1 6-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breast
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon oil
- 1 small red pepper
- 1 small green pepper
- 2 tablespoons fig jam (or apricot jam)
- 4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons sweet and sour chili sauce
- 2/3 cup frozen Wild Blueberries, thawed and drained
- Season chicken breast with salt and pepper. Heat oil in small, non-stick frying pan. Fry chicken breast for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
- Wash, seed and cut peppers into bite-sized pieces. Cut cooked chicken breast into bite-sized pieces; combine with peppers. Mix jam with balsamic vinegar, sugar and chili sauce. Gently stir in Wild Blueberries.
Wild Blueberry Gingered Lemon Muffins
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Yield: approximately 36 muffins
- 6 cups cake flour
- 2 tablespoons baking powder
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups low-fat buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) egg substitute
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup canola oil
- 4 cups frozen Wild Blueberries
- 1/3 cup (3 ounces) crystallized ginger, chopped
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar, for topping
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- In bowl combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; reserve.
- In another bowl beat together buttermilk, egg substitute, 1 1/2 cups sugar and oil; stir into flour mixture just to blend. Fold in Wild Blueberries, ginger and lemon zest.
- Scoop 1/4 cup batter into each greased 1/3-cup muffin tin. Sprinkle each muffin with sugar. Bake in 400°F conventional oven or 375°F convection oven 18 to 22 minutes or until firm to the touch. Serve warm.
Wild Blueberry Lemon Jam
Prep Time: 25 to 30 minutes
Yield: about 8 half-pints
- 5 cups frozen Wild Blueberries
- 1 package dry pectin
- 5 cups sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- Crush thawed Wild Blueberries one layer at a time, or chop frozen in food processor.
- Combine thawed, crushed Wild Blueberries and pectin in a large saucepot. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Add sugar, stirring until dissolved. Stir in grated lemon zest and lemon juice. Return to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat. Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Adjust two-piece caps. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water canner.
Wild Blueberry Ice Cream Pops
Prep Time: Approximately 15 minutes, plus thaw and freezing time
Yield: 6 Pops
- 1 cup frozen Wild Blueberries
- 1 ounce milk chocolate chips
- 2 cups fat-free vanilla frozen
- yogurt, softened slightly
- Materials: small wooden or plastic sticks
- Thaw Wild Blueberries and purée. In a bowl, combine puréed Wild Blueberries, chocolate and frozen yogurt. Mix thoroughly.
- Rinse 6 standard muffin cups with cold water and spoon in Wild Blueberry mixture, dividing it evenly between the cups (silicone muffin cups need not be rinsed first). Place a stick in the center of each "muffin" and freeze until firm, at least 2 hours.
Tip: Mixture can also be frozen with plastic sticks in small glasses or espresso cups.
Source:Wild Blueberry Association
(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 office potlucks and cocktail parties to family dinners and beyond, the mealtime celebrations during the holidays are endless. Whether you're serving as a host or bringing your signature dish to a get-together, these tips can help you own the holiday season without breaking a sweat:
- Stick with fewer, easy-to-find, high-quality ingredients.
- Look for products that help you cut down on time but don't skimp on flavor, like Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork, which is pre-seasoned and comes in a variety of cuts and flavors.
- Sprinkle and decorate finished dishes with fresh, seasonal herbs for a festive touch.
To help get you inspired in the kitchen, try this recipe for Fresh Pork and Kalamata Flatbreads for a savory appetizer made with less than 10 ingredients, or Fresh Pork with Sweet Balsamic-Red Wine Reduction for a decadent main course you can have ready in just 30 minutes.
For more quick and easy holiday recipe ideas, visit SmithfieldRealFlavorRealFast.com.
Fresh Pork with Sweet Balsamic-Red Wine Reduction
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 1 Smithfield Applewood Smoked Bacon Marinated Fresh Pork Loin Filet
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1/3 cup dry red wine
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
- Cut pork loin filet into 3/4-to-1-inch thick chops.
- In large, nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1/2 tablespoon olive oil.
- Cook half the pork chops 4-5 minutes on each side until internal temperature reaches 150° F. Remove pork chops from skillet and place on rimmed serving platter; cover to keep warm. Repeat with remaining olive oil and pork chops.
- In same skillet, combine wine, vinegar and sugar. Bring to boil over medium-high heat; cook 3-5 minutes until slightly thickened, or until liquid is reduced to 1/4 cup.
- Serve pork chops drizzled with wine reduction and sprinkled with rosemary.
Fresh Pork and Kalamata Flatbreads
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
- 1 Smithfield Roasted Garlic & Cracked Black Pepper Marinated Fresh Pork Tenderloin
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 can (13.8 ounces) refrigerated pizza crust dough
- 3/4 cup sliced sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil
- 1/2 cup sliced Kalamata olives, drained
- 1 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
- Cut pork tenderloin into 3/4-inch cubes.
- Heat oven to 400° F. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Stir-fry pork 8-10 minutes, or until well browned.
- Unroll pizza dough and press onto greased sheet pan, about 18-by-13 inches; cut into six rectangles.
- Drain tomatoes, reserving oil. Brush tops of flatbreads with sun-dried tomato oil, reserving about 1 tablespoon. Top with pork, drained tomatoes, olives and rosemary, pressing into dough lightly with fingertips.
- Bake 18-21 minutes until edges are golden brown.
- Remove from oven. Drizzle remaining sun-dried tomato olive oil evenly over flatbreads; let stand on baking sheet 2 minutes before serving.
(Family Features) When it comes to preparing a spread for a holiday gathering, some may look to traditional wine varieties such as Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon. However, as holiday traditions become less traditional, you can also branch out in your selection of wines.
Produced from the indigenous grapes of Sicily, wines from Sicilia DOC offer fresh taste, quality and variety. The wines come to life when paired with a variation of holiday dishes.
These three tips can help you pair Sicilian wines with the dishes you may serve as part of your holiday spread:
For the Light White Wine Fan
With a low alcohol percentage and fruity notes, an option such as Grillo can be a fan favorite at any holiday gathering and makes for a perfect hostess gift. This white wine features notes of white peaches and grapefruit and can pair well with seafood appetizers, baked casseroles, vegetarian sides or a well-known Sicilian dish like this Green Bean and Blood Orange Salad.
For Guests Looking for a Graceful Red Wine
A modern take on Pinot Noir, Frappato is a light-to-medium-bodied wine with a lingering freshness that’s persistent and balanced with notes of cherry and strawberry. This wine pairs well with both white and dark meat of flavorful holiday turkeys as well as pastas, pizza, roasted meats, potatoes and cheeses.
For Friends Who Favor a Complex Red
For guests who favor Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, an option such as Nero d’Avola is a nice alternative, with aromas of ripe cherry, rose, sweet spices, licorice and cocoa. As a go-to red wine, it pairs well with a hearty charcuterie platter, roasted meats, lamb, pizza and pastas.
For more holiday wine pairings and recipes, visit winesofsicily.com.
Green Bean and Blood Orange Salad
Recipe courtesy of Wines of Sicilia DOC Servings: 8
- 2 pounds thin green beans
- 6 blood oranges
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- maple syrup
- Add salt to large pot of boiling water. Add green beans and cook until tender and bright green. Drain beans in colander and transfer to bowl of ice water to cool. Once cool, drain and pat dry with towel.
- Peel four oranges and remove white pith. Working over bowl, cut between membranes to release sections into bowl. Zest one remaining orange and juice both uncut oranges; reserve zest. Transfer juice to saucepan and add vinegar, honey and pepper flakes. Bring to boil then simmer over moderate heat until reduced to syrup, 10 minutes. Season with salt.
- In large bowl, toss beans, orange sections and 3 tablespoons vinegar syrup. Transfer to serving platter; drizzle with maple syrup, almonds and orange zest.
Pair each serving with a glass of Grillo.
Source: Wines of Sicilia DOC
(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.
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.
Recipe courtesy of The TomKat Studio blog on behalf of Stouffer’s
- 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
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- 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.
- In bowl, whisk together garlic, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper with remaining olive oil to make vinaigrette.
- 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
- 2 pounds asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- salt, to taste
- black pepper, to taste
- reduced balsamic vinegar
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- 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.
(Family Features) If chocolate for dinner sounds too good to be true, it’s because chocolate is usually associated with decadent desserts. However, it can also take comfort food to a whole new level when paired with savory ingredients like red meat.
A bit of bittersweet cocoa powder helps balance out the richness of red meats like duck. Although it’s leaner and lower in saturated fat than other red meats, duck has a bold flavor and texture similar to steak.
In this Mocha-Rubbed Duck Breast recipe, cocoa powder, ground coffee and savory spices are rubbed onto the meat before it’s seared and smothered with a luscious sweet cherry and red wine sauce. The toasty, nutty flavor of coffee complements the cocoa while dark sweet cherries, red wine and toasted almonds complete the sweet and savory dish.
Find more comfort food recipes and tips for cooking with duck at mapleleaffarms.com.
Mocha-Rubbed Duck Breast with Cherry and Red Wine Pan Sauce
Prep time: 2 hours, 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coffee
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cocoa powder
- 4 Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breasts, thawed
Cherry and Red Wine Pan Sauce:
- 2 tablespoons reserved duck fat
- 1/2 cup minced shallots
- 3/4 cup dry red wine
- 1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 5 ounces frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed and halved
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme
- salt, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- toasted sliced almonds, for garnish
- To make Mocha Rub: In small bowl, mix brown sugar, paprika, coffee, salt, pepper and cocoa powder. Set aside.
- Pat duck breasts dry and score according to package directions. Use half of rub on meat side of breasts. Cover breasts and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
- In cold saute pan, place duck breasts skin-side down. Place pan over low-medium heat 8-12 minutes, or until fat is rendered and skin is crisp and brown.
- Turn breasts over and sprinkle remaining rub on skin side. Cook breasts 1-2 minutes skin-side up. Turn breasts back to skin-side down 1-2 minutes to caramelize rub. Reserve approximately 2 tablespoons duck fat for sauce.
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Place duck breasts skin-side up on rimmed baking sheet; bake 5-6 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 155° F. Let breasts rest 4-5 minutes before slicing. Temperature will rise during resting period to reach 165° F.
- To make Cherry and Red Wine Pan Sauce: Place saute pan with reserved duck fat over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened. Add wine to pan to deglaze. Stir in balsamic vinegar, sugar, cherries and thyme sprigs; simmer until reduced. Remove thyme sprigs. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve sauce over cooked duck breasts. Garnish with toasted almond slices.
Source: Maple Leaf Farms
(Family Features) As days get longer and the weather gets warmer, take your meal outdoors for some tasty al fresco dining featuring a fresh and easy-to-prepare salad.
With minimal ingredients and maximum flavor, this combination of radicchio, California green ripe olives, chickpeas and Parmesan is sure to find its way into your seasonal meal occasions, from at-home dinners to garden parties.
Boasting vibrant purple hues, radicchio not only looks beautiful on the plate but packs a unique and pleasing, bitter flavor that is complemented by the texture added to each bite by toasted sunflower seeds and chickpeas.
Completing the salad are California Ripe Olives, which are grown by farming families across California. The California green ripe olive is similar to the black ripe olive but features a more mild and buttery flavor profile.
Find more tasty recipes at calolive.org.
Radicchio Salad with Olives, Chickpeas and Parmesan
Recipe courtesy of the Simply Recipes blog
Prep time: 15 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
- 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- 1 large head radicchio (10-12 ounces)
- 1 can (16 ounces) California green ripe olives, drained, rinsed and roughly chopped
- 1 can (16 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
- 1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
- Add sunflowers seeds to small, dry skillet. Toast over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until seeds are toasted around edges and smell fragrant.
- Transfer seeds to bowl to cool.
- Peel away and discard a layer or two of outer radicchio leaves if they look wilted or battered. Cut head of radicchio into quarters through root. Trim away root.
- Cut each quarter crosswise into strips, 1- to 1 1/2-inches thick. Transfer to large mixing bowl.
- Add olives, chickpeas and 3/4 cup cheese to bowl with radicchio.
- Whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss gently until ingredients are evenly coated. If cheese clumps together, break apart with spatula and stir in.
- Let salad stand at least 10 minutes, or up to an hour.
- Add additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve salad on individual plates or one shared platter. Top with remaining cheese and toasted sunflower seeds.
Substitution: If radicchio is unavailable, try frisee, endive or another bitter green.
Note: Salad is best served within one hour of preparation, but can be stored in airtight container in fridge for several days.
Source: California Olive Committee