Meal Ideas 17 May 2019

Picnic-Perfect Plates for Outdoor Dining

(Family Features) Picnics, patio dining and al fresco foods all come to mind when warmer weather allows families and friends to enjoy the flavors of homemade meals in the great outdoors. As you seek out recipes for outdoor entertaining and more, try keeping the options light and simple with dishes that can be created at a moment's notice.

Ruby Beet Chicken Salad Skewers, uniquely flavored with Aunt Nellie's Baby Whole Pickled Beets, can be ready in less than an hour for those last-minute get-togethers. Try this Middle Eastern-Inspired Bean Salad with a touch of za'atar seasoning and READ Bean Salad for a flavorful accompaniment to the main course.

Find more outdoor dining ideas and recipes at auntnellies.com and READsalads.com.

Ruby Beet Chicken Salad Skewers

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 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
  1. Heat oven to 375 F. Drain beets; set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Stir vinaigrette; drizzle lightly over skewers. Sprinkle with almonds and cheese. Serve with remaining vinaigrette.

Middle Eastern-Inspired Bean Salad

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1 can (15 ounces) READ 3 or 4 Bean Salad
  • 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 small cucumber (4-5 inches long) cut in half lengthwise then thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons prepared hummus
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4-1/2 teaspoon za'atar seasoning blend
  1. Drain bean salad. Discard liquid. Place bean salad in large bowl.
  2. Add tomatoes, cucumber, onions, parsley, mint, garlic and red pepper flakes to bean salad. Toss to combine.
  3. To make dressing: In bowl, combine hummus, lemon juice and za'atar seasoning.
  4. Add dressing to salad just before serving; toss to combine well. Serve immediately or chilled.

Source:

Seneca Foods http://www.readsalads.com/

 

Meal Ideas 01 August 2018

Fast, Family-Friendly Recipes Make Dinner Doable

(Family Features) As the fall season begins, kids go back to school and schedules once again book up with activities.

Between work, the carpool line and shuttling kids to extracurriculars, the increase in family commitments often leaves little time in the kitchen or at the dining table. Although the drive-thru is an easy solution, healthier options can be scarce and the cost of takeout piles up. Instead, add some quick family meals to your arsenal.

Southwestern Bean Mexican Pizza made with READ Southwestern Bean Salad is a fun twist on the Italian favorite that pairs perfectly with fruit, carrot sticks or a salad for a complete, family-friendly meal.

For an easy make-ahead option, grab a jar of Aunt Nellie's Beets and make Beef, Beet and Horseradish Wraps. Both recipes can help you have dinner on the table in 30 minutes or less.

For more quick and easy dinner ideas, visit READSalads.com and AuntNellies.com.


Southwestern Bean Mexican Pizza

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

  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) READ Southwestern Bean Salad
  • 1 pre-baked pizza crust (10-12-inch diameter)
  • 4 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (about 1/4 cup crumbled)
  • 1/2-3/4 cup thin bell pepper strips (1/4-inch thick), any color or combination
  • 3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • chopped avocado (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  1. Drain bean salads. Place half of beans in bowl of food processor; process until pureed but chunky.
  2. Spread puree evenly over pizza crust. Spoon remaining drained beans over puree. Sprinkle with bacon, bell pepper and cheese.
  3. Bake as directed on pizza crust package until heated through and cheese is melted, about 10-12 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro. Serve with avocado and sour cream, if desired.

Nutritional information per serving: 276 calories; 11 g protein; 35 g carbohydrates; 10 g fat; 648 mg sodium; 14 mg cholesterol; 5 g dietary fiber; 11 mg iron; .02 mg thiamin; 575 IU vitamin A; 7 mg vitamin C.

Beef, Beet and Horseradish Wraps

Prep time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie's Sliced Pickled Beets
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 cup spreadable cheese (such as goat cheese or herb soft cheese)
  • 2 large soft flour tortillas (about 10-12-inch diameter)
  • 10 green onions (green parts only)
  • 10 thin slices deli roast beef
  1. Drain beets; chop. Discard beet liquid. In medium bowl, combine beets, carrots and horseradish.
  2. Spread 1/4 cup cheese evenly over each tortilla, leaving 1-inch border. Arrange five green onions (do not chop) on each; press lightly into cheese. Place five slices roast beef on each tortilla to cover green onions then sprinkle beet mixture evenly over beef.
  3. Roll up tortillas in parallel direction of green onions. Wrap each roll tightly in plastic wrap. Refrigerate up to 4 hours.
  4. To serve, remove plastic wrap; cut each tortilla into two pieces.

Substitution: If horseradish is too pungent, omit or replace with diced jarred roasted red peppers or Dijon mustard.

Nutrition information per serving: 300 calories; 17 g protein; 34 g carbohydrates; 10 g fat; 520 mg sodium; 35 mg cholesterol; 2 g fiber; 3.18 mg iron; .26 mg thiamin; 2963.87 IU vitamin A; 8.79 mg vitamin C.

Source:</>

Healthy 30 January 2019

6 Drinks to Sip Your Way to Wellness

(Family Features) Stir up sippable, flavorful drinks and snacking soups for easy ways to add more wellness to your day. Start with robust flavors like turmeric, cayenne and ginger then pair with wholesome ingredients like pineapple, dandelion greens and cucumber to create delicious sips to help you awaken, stay energized or replenish.

Fill your glass (or mug) with a breakfast boost to jumpstart your morning, a smoky sipping broth for an afternoon pick-me-up or an evening elixir to help rebalance after a busy day.

Find more easy ways to add wellness to your day at McCormick.com or check out McCormick on Facebook and Pinterest.

Morning Jumpstart

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  • Spiced Cucumber and Apple Morning Boost – Start the day right with this fresh, homemade drink. This invigorating wake-me-up blends clementine, cucumber and Granny Smith apple with ice, while a pinch of red pepper brings the zing.

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  • Fizz ’n’ Fruit Energizer – Your morning can get a boost with this citrusy refresher, mixing sparkling clementine juice with muddled apple and cucumber, and a splash of cayenne-spiked simple syrup.

Afternoon Sip

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  • Smoky Avocado and Mushroom Drinkable Soup – This satisfying, snackable soup combines fragrant smoky chipotle pepper with creamy avocado and fresh cucumbers. Top it off with chopped oyster mushrooms sauteed with herbs and pistachios.

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Evening Elixir

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  • Ginger, Turmeric and Beet Sipping Elixir – Rebalance at the end of the day with a tangy, spiced sipping elixir over ice. With ingredients like ginger, turmeric and apple cider vinegar, it’s loaded with nutritional goodness. Transform it into a tasty Old Fashioned cocktail with the addition of bourbon, orange liqueur, sugar and a maraschino cherry garnish.

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Source: McCormick

Meal Ideas 16 November 2018

Savor the Season with Comfort Foods

(Family Features) Few things go together quite like the holidays and comforting seasonal recipes.

When time is short during the season’s hustle and bustle but you’re craving a savory meal, reach for an ingredient like READ German Potato Salad, which can be the shortcut you need to get Potato, Turkey and Veggie Casserole on the table quickly.

Dessert is a must during the holidays, and this Cranberry-Beet Bundt Cake with Orange-Walnut Glaze draws its unique flavor from Aunt Nellie’s Beets and a sweet blend of spices and seasonings.

Find more seasonal recipes at READSalads.com and AuntNellies.com.
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Cranberry-Beet Bundt Cake with Orange-Walnut Glaze

Prep time: 50 minutes  
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 16

  • 1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Sliced Pickled Beets, drained
  • 2 1/4    cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 1/4    cups dried sweetened cranberries
  • 2 1/2    cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons baking powder
  • 1          teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4          large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2    sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4       cup vegetable oil
  • 1          orange, zest only, finely grated
  • 2          teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2       cup buttermilk

Orange-Walnut Glaze:

  • 2 1/2    cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1          orange, zest only, finely grated
  • 1/4       cup orange juice, plus additional (optional)
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1          cup finely chopped walnuts
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.  Butter and lightly flour fluted 10-inch Bundt pan.
  2. In food processor, puree beets and 1 cup sugar until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl once.
  3. In small bowl, cover cranberries with hot water.
  4. In medium mixing bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  5. In large mixing bowl using electric mixer on medium-high, beat remaining sugar, eggs, butter and oil2-3 minutes until light and smooth. Blend in beet puree. Add orange zest and vanilla; mix until blended. Add half of flour mixture; beat on low until smooth. Add buttermilk; beat on low until smooth then add remaining flour mixture, beating until blended. Drain cranberries; fold into batter.
  6. Turn batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake on center rack 45-50 minutes. When done, cake will pull away from sides of pan and toothpick, inserted into center will come out clean.
  7. Cool 15 minutes then invert cake onto rack.
  8. To make Orange-Walnut Glaze: In large mixing bowl, combine sugar and orange zest. Add orange juice; whisk until smooth. Whisk in butter. Add additional juice, if necessary.
  9. Spoon glaze over cake while still warm. Sprinkle with walnuts.

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Potato, Turkey and Veggie Casserole

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon, olive oil
  • 3/4       pound extra-lean ground turkey breast
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1          can (15 ounces) READ German Potato Salad
  • 1/2       cup light sour cream
  • 2          cups frozen, thawed or canned mixed vegetables, drained
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/2       cup bread crumbs
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. In large, nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add turkey, thyme, garlic powder, pepper and salt, if desired. Cook 5-7 minutes, until cooked through, stirring occasionally and breaking turkey into large crumbles.
  2. Stir in potato salad and sour cream. Add vegetables; stir to combine. Spray 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon in casserole mixture.
  3. Toss together bread crumbs and remaining oil. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake 30 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through.

Substitution: Leftover chopped turkey (about 1 1/2 cups) can be cooked 2-3 minutes in skillet in place of ground turkey.

Source: Seneca Foods
AuntNellies

Meal Ideas 28 September 2018

Simple Yet Stunning: Set the menu for easy entertaining

(Family Features) One of the best-kept chef secrets to hosting the most memorable at-home parties is keeping the food simple and adding small details to make it special. After all, a host who isn’t hard at work in the kitchen is a host who can spend more time with guests.

One way to make every minute in the kitchen count and provide crowd-pleasing food is by using wholesome, quality core ingredients like olive oil, fresh bread, cheese and artisan chocolate to create flavorful dishes that are easy to prepare, and leave you with more time to enjoy what matters most: moments with the ones you love.

When it comes to cooking, focus on the essentials and the highlights of each dish. Building recipes around quality ingredients, such as Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, makes it easy to create show-stopping dishes time and time again. Planning ahead is key to entertaining, but when it comes to cooking, make things quick and easy with a little help from powerhouse ingredients that lend themselves well to a variety of flavors and preparations.

In keeping things simple, use olive oil to add a little extra zest and create dishes that pop off the plate, like this recipe for Beet Hummus. Or if you’re looking for something comforting and wholesome, indulge in this creamy Tomato Soup with Olive Oil Croutons. For a larger event, try Mushroom Carpaccio and Creamed Spinach Au Gratin, which can leave a lasting impression on your guests. To top it all off, go for this Bitter Chocolate and Pistachio Cream Dessert for a perfect way to end a meal.

Make every moment count and find more simple recipes at Bertolli.com.
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Tomato Soup with Homemade Olive Oil Croutons

Prep time: 10 minutes

  • 4          tomatoes
  • 3          grilled red bell peppers in oil
  • 1          shallot
  • 1/2       cup Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus additional for brushing on bread
  • 3          tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1          clove garlic
  • 10        basil leaves
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 4          slices crusty bread
  1. Cut small cross in bottom of tomatoes and submerge in boiling water 30 seconds. Let tomatoes cool in ice water 30 seconds then remove skins.
  2. In blender, blend tomatoes, red bell peppers, shallot, extra-virgin olive oil, vinegar, garlic, basil, salt and pepper, to taste, until mixture is smooth. Add mixture to large pot and heat, stirring frequently.
  3. Cut bread slices, brush with olive oil and grill 2 minutes per side over medium-high heat until visible grill marks have formed.

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Healthy Beet Hummus

Prep time: 15 minutes

  • 3          beets
  • salt, to taste
  • Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2          cups canned chickpeas
  • 2          tablespoons sesame seed paste or tahini
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Peel beets and boil until soft; season with salt and olive oil.
  3. Puree beets with chickpeas and sesame seed paste until a uniform paste forms. Transfer to oven-safe serving dish. Bake 10 minutes and serve.

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Mushroom Carpaccio and Creamed Spinach Au Gratin

Prep time: 15 minutes

Mushroom Carpaccio:

  • 2 1/4    cups cremini mushrooms
  • Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • salt, to taste

Creamed Spinach:

  • 2 1/4    cups spinach
  • 1/2       cup heavy cream
  • salt
  • pepper
  • Parmesan cheese
  1. To make Mushroom Carpaccio: Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Clean mushrooms and cut into thin slivers.
  3. Season with olive oil and salt. Set aside.
  4. To make Creamed Spinach: Boil spinach 2 minutes, strain and place it into saucepan, over cream. Cook 5 minutes.
  5. In blender, puree mixture and pour over Mushroom Carpaccio.
  6. Grate Parmesan cheese over entire dish; bake 5 minutes.

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Bitter Chocolate and Pistachio Cream Dessert

Prep time: 15 minutes

  • 1/2       cup, plus 1 tablespoon, sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/2       cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons Bertolli Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus additional for pistachio cream
  • 4          ounces dark chocolate
  • 1 1/4    cups shelled pistachios
  1. In saucepan, combine condensed milk and sugar; cook over low heat, stirring until mixture takes on toasted color.
  2. Add olive oil and dark chocolate; continue to stir until fully combined.
  3. Line 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper and spread mixture into pan. Refrigerate until fully set.
  4. To make pistachio cream: Blend pistachios and olive oil until smooth paste forms.
  5. Remove dessert from pan and cut into slices. Serve with pistachio cream on top.

Source:  Bertolli

Meal Ideas 03 November 2017

Spoon Up Tradition

(Family Features) When cooler temperatures call for something to warm you up, good, old-fashioned soups and stews may be just what you need.

You can create delicious, steaming pots that taste like they’re straight out of mom’s kitchen with flavorful, convenient ingredients such as Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets and READ Salads to help streamline preparation. With these contemporary recipes, you’re in and out of the kitchen in under an hour without any long simmering required.

Find more recipes to warm yourself from the inside out at AuntNellies.com and READsalads.com.

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German Potato Salad Soup

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          cup chopped onion
  • 1          cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 2          cans (15 ounces each) READ German Potato Salad, chopped
  • 1          bottle (12 ounces) light beer
  • 3/4       cup reduced-sodium, fat- free chicken broth
  • 6          ounces (1 cup) diced ham, smoked turkey or sliced smoked sausage (optional)
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1          tablespoon chopped parsley
  • rye croutons (optional)
  • crumbled bacon (optional)
  1. In Dutch oven or 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, cook onion and bell pepper in oil until onion starts to brown, 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add potato salad, beer, broth and meat, if desired, and stir to combine. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add salt, if desired, pepper and parsley.
  3. Serve topped with rye croutons and bacon, if desired.

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Rustic Vegetable Beet Soup

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Whole Pickled Beets, drained
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 2          medium onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2          medium carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1          medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 2          large cloves garlic, minced
  • 2          zucchinis (about 5 ounces each), coarsely chopped
  • 2          cans (about 14 ounces each) vegetable broth
  • 1          teaspoon seasoned salt (optional)
  • 1          can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2          tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2          tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • Gremolata (optional)

Gremolata:

  • 1          tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1          tablespoon minced fresh dill
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          teaspoon grated lemon peel
  1. Coarsely chop beets; set aside.
  2. In large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions; cook about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add carrots, sweet potato and garlic. Cook 3-5 minutes, or until vegetables begin to soften, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add zucchini, broth and seasoned salt, if desired. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, about 15 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add chickpeas; heat through. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  4. To prepare Gremolata: In small bowl, combine all ingredients.
  5. Stir in parsley and dill. Stir in beets. Serve immediately; top with Gremolata, if desired.

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Tex-Mex Bean and Butternut Squash Stew

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Stew:

  • 1          can (15 ounces) READ Southwestern Bean Salad, divided
  • 1          teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4-1/2  teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1          clove garlic, chopped
  • 2          cups cubed or chopped butternut squash, fresh or frozen (about 1/2- 3/4-inch pieces)
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1 1/2    cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1          teaspoon lime zest, plus additional for garnish (optional)
  • Chipotle-Lime Crema
  • chopped cilantro (optional)

Chipotle-Lime Crema:

  • 1/4       cup plain nonfat yogurt or sour cream
  • 1          teaspoon lime zest
  • 1/8       teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  1. To prepare stew: Place half of canned bean salad, cumin, chili powder and garlic into bowl of food processor. Puree until blended but still slightly chunky.
  2. Add remaining bean salad to large saucepan. Stir in butternut squash, tomatoes, broth, pureed bean salad mixture and lime zest. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, or until squash is tender and stew reaches desired thickness.
  3. To prepare crema: In small bowl, combine yogurt, lime zest and chili powder.
  4. Serve topped with Chipotle-Lime Crema, cilantro and lime zest, if desired.

Notes: If using frozen butternut squash, add to stew during last 2-3 minutes of cooking to prevent overcooking. Orange zest can be used instead of lime zest, if desired. Recipe can be doubled.

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Bacon-Apple Red Cabbage Soup

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2          slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1          medium red onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie's Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage, not drained
  • 2          cups low-sodium, fat-free chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1          medium apple, chopped (about 1 cup), plus additional for garnish (optional)
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground allspice (optional)
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground cloves (optional)
  • plain yogurt or sour cream (optional)
  • crumbled cooked bacon (optional)
  1. In large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook bacon 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through and crisp. Remove bacon from skillet; reserve. Drain drippings; return 1 tablespoon to pan; discard remaining drippings.
  2. Add onion to pan. Cook about 2 minutes, until tender, stirring frequently. Add garlic; cook and stir about 30 seconds. Add red cabbage and liquid from jar, broth and chopped apple. Stir in cinnamon, allspice and cloves. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 minutes. Add water, 1/2 cup at a time, if soup is too thick. Add bacon to pan. Continue simmering about 3-5 minutes, until apples are tender and soup reaches desired consistency.
  3. Spoon into bowl. Garnish with apples, yogurt and crumbled bacon, if desired.

Source: Aunt Nellie’s

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

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