Snacks 21 March 2019

Making Munchies Matter

Better-for-you snacks kids will love

(Family Features) Kids love to snack. But left to their own devices, most kids don't always make the healthiest snack choices. A new study of long-term eating patterns in children, from researchers at the University of North Carolina, shows that kids today are getting nearly one-third of their daily calories from unhealthy snacks such as chips, crackers and candy.

Nutritious and delicious snacks are as close as your produce aisle. Watermelon is practically a multivitamin unto itself - and its natural sweetness is something kids love.

Did You Know?

  • A 2-cup serving of watermelon is an excellent source of Vitamins A, B6 and C.
  • Vitamin A found in watermelon is important for optimal eye health.
  • Vitamin B6 found in watermelon is used by the body to manufacture brain chemicals (neurotransmitters), such as serotonin, melatonin and dopamine, which preliminary research shows may help the body cope with anxiety and panic.
  • Vitamin C in watermelons can help to bolster your immune system's defenses against infections and viruses, and is known to stimulate the immune system and protect against free radical damage.
  • A 2-cup serving of watermelon is also a source of potassium, a mineral necessary for water balance and found inside of every cell. People with low potassium levels can experience muscle cramps. A 2-cup serving has less than 10 percent of the daily reference value for potassium.

Try these fun recipes as after-school and post-activity snacks. For more kid-friendly recipes and healthy eating tips, visit www.watermelon.org.

Send some healthy lunch munchies to school - watermelon chunks are an easy way to brighten up a sack lunch and give kids a tasty nutritional boost in the middle of the day.

Healthy Eating Tips

Healthy eating habits start at home. One of the best things you can do for your kids is to be a role model for smart food choices. Here are some simple things you can do to help your kids develop healthy lifelong habits.

  • Shop for food together and take time to examine, discuss and select fruit and vegetables that catch your child's eye. Allow your child to help you to prepare these healthful foods. For example, let your child use a melon-baller to create melon balls from watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew to create a festive, nutritious and visually appealing dessert.
  • Make healthy snacks available at all times for your children by keeping the fridge filled with flavorful, nutrient-rich treats such as grapes, cherries, carrots and watermelon cubes.
  • Simple changes are easier for your child to get used to. Try switching from full fat milk to non-fat milk, serving sherbet, sorbet, ice milk or fruit juice bars, or adding fresh fruit to his or her cereal in the morning.
  • Serve your children colorful, deeply pigmented plant food. These foods tend to offer tremendous nutritional value. For example, red peppers, carrots, broccoli, oranges and watermelon are all packed with minerals, vitamins and antioxidants.
  • Start each day with breakfast, preferably fruit with low-fat yogurt or granola. Make a fruit smoothie by blending watermelon cubes and a banana with crushed ice.

Watermelon Kebabs

Makes 6 servings

  • 1-inch cubes of seedless watermelon
  • Smoked turkey breast
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Coffee stirrers or beverage straws
  1. Cut watermelon, turkey and cheese in cubes and skewer on stirrers or straws.

Watermelon Nachos

Serves 6 to 8

  • 12 to 16 1/2-inch thick watermelon triangles with 3-inch sides
  • 2 cups Greek vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A few drops almond extract
  • 1 cup Craisins
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  1. Arrange the watermelon triangles on a serving platter or glass cake stand. Mix yogurt with extracts and spoon yogurt over the watermelon in the fashion of nacho cheese sauce. Sprinkle craisins, white chocolate chips, and almonds over the yogurt and dust with cinnamon.

Watermelon Dippers

  • 8 ounces sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Watermelon sticks or small wedges
  1. Blend together the sour cream, sugar and vanilla in a small serving bowl. Use as a dip for the watermelon.

Watermelon Cut Outs

  • Seedless watermelon, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch-thick slices
  • Yogurt
  • Granola or similar cereal
  1. Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut shapes out of watermelon slices. Frost with vanilla or other flavored yogurt. Sprinkle with granola.

Watermelon Berry Slush

Makes 6 servings

  • 4 cups cubed, seeded watermelon
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen raspberries
  • 1 12-ounce bottle sparkling mineral water
  1. Place watermelon in a single layer in shallow pan; freeze until firm. Remove from freezer and let stand 5 minutes. Drop watermelon through food chute of a food processor or blender with the motor running. Add frozen raspberries alternately with mineral water, processing until smooth.

Watermelon Jelly Logs

Makes 6 servings

  • 6 3-inch x 2-inch x 5-inch watermelon rectangles
    3 flavors all fruit or low sugar preserves
    6 ginger, molasses or peanut butter cookies
  1. Using a melon baller, cut 3 divots into a long side of each watermelon rectangle. Fill each divot with a different all-fruit or low-sugar preserve. Serve each rectangle with a cookie.

Source: National Watermelon Board

Meal Ideas 21 March 2019

Perk Up Your Picnic

(Family Features) Warm weather is here, and there is no better time for a picnic at your local park or beach. Quick and simple recipes are the way to go, but the typical bologna sandwich doesn't always stimulate the taste buds. This season, experiment with new recipes and flavors, and make your casual alfresco dining experience extra special.

By adding a few key ingredients to seasonal favorites, you have the power to transform everyday recipes into delicious dishes the whole family will enjoy. Here are some great examples on how to plus up an otherwise run of the mill picnic.

For a twist on the classic barbecue chicken, opt for a Grilled Herbed Chicken, seasoned with Grey Poupon Dijon mustard and Italian spices. But, don't let those leftovers go to waste. The chicken can be refrigerated for up to two days and made into a quick-and-easy Caesar salad with the addition of romaine lettuce, Caesar dressing and grated Parmesan cheese.

Instead of ordinary potato salad, try the Butter Bean Salad on for size. Chock full of ham, butter beans, sun-dried tomatoes and red onions, this recipe adds a touch of mustard and cilantro to really titillate your taste buds and give you a side dish full of flavor.

Finally, kick your lunch up a notch and enjoy a Cheddar, Bacon and Pear Sandwich, made with Harvest Coarse Ground Mustard. Whole mustard seeds paired with fresh ingredients create a crisp, robust flavor. Perfect for the family on the go, this gourmet goodie can be prepared in only five minutes.

For more ideas on how to spice up your picnic, visit www.greypoupon.com.

Picnic Food Safety

  • Cool It: Store perishable foods in plenty of coolers with ice or frozen gel packs. Keep the food at 40°F. A full cooler stays colder longer than a partially filled one. Carry the cooler inside the air-conditioned car, and keep it in the shade when you reach your destination. Use separate coolers for drinks so the food container won't be opened and closed.
  • Two Hour Rule: Don't leave perishable food out for more than two hours. (Cold foods should not sit out for more than one hour.) Any leftovers that have been sitting out longer than that should be discarded.
  • Proper Prepping: Wash hands before preparing food, and make sure storage containers are clean. Cooked foods need to be properly cooled - spread the food out in as many pans as needed so that it is no more than two inches deep. This allows it to cool faster, reducing the chances of bacteria growing.

Cheddar, Bacon & Pear Sandwich

Makes 1 serving

  • 2 slices fully cooked bacon
  • 2 slices French bread
  • 1 teaspoon Grey Poupon Harvest Coarse Ground Mustard
  • 1 slice (1 ounce) sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 of a medium pear, thinly sliced
  1. Heat bacon as directed on package.
  2. Spread bread slices with mustard. Top 1 of the bread slices with cheese, pears and bacon.
  3. Cover with remaining bread slice.

Grilled Herbed Chicken

Makes 6 servings

  • 2 tablespoons Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 envelope Good Seasons Italian Dressing Mix
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (2 pounds)
  1. Heat grill to medium heat.
  2. Combine mustard, water and dressing mix in shallow dish. Add chicken; turn over to evenly coat both sides.
  3. Grill chicken 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until done (165°F).

Butter Bean Salad

Makes 8 servings

  • 1/4 cup Grey Poupon Hearty Spicy Brown Mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 can (15 ounces) butter beans, drained
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onions
  • 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 6-ounce package boiled ham, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Mix mustard, oil and lemon juice until well blended; set aside.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients in large bowl. Add mustard mixture; toss to coat. Cover.
  3. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

Spiced Lemonade

Makes 1 serving

Wash down your meal with a twist on the classic summertime libation, Spiced Lemonade. This surprisingly refreshing treat, bursting with fruit flavors, is made with lemonade, gin and Dijon mustard. Top with mint, the perfect finishing touch for a warm-weather cocktail.

  • 1 teaspoon Grey Poupon Dijon
  • 1/2 cup lemonade
  • 1/2 cup spiced gin
  • 1 slice each: lemon, lime and orange
  • 1 slice cucumber
  • 1 sprig fresh mint
  1. Mix mustard, lemonade and gin. Serve over ice cubes in tall glass.
  2. Add fruit and cucumber slices.
  3. Top with mint.

Source: Grey Poupon

Breakfast & Brunch 18 March 2019

Go Big on Brunch

(Family Features) Building out a full menu to please your brunch guests with simple, tasty recipes can help create a fun, flavorful atmosphere when it’s time for a morning bite.

By making a variety of dishes to accommodate an array of personal tastes, you can give friends and family the flavors they desire. With choices like Apple Strudel Pancakes and Mini Hash Brown Casseroles, you can fulfill a multitude of food groups from grains and fruits to dairy and meat. Allow the adults at your gathering to top off the meal with a spicy take on this Watermelon Bloody Mary, featuring simple preparation and a handful of garnish options.

Find more brunch recipes at Culinary.net.

Add Apples to Your Brunch Buffet

As part of a balanced brunch, these Apple Strudel Pancakes feature whole grains rich in fiber, minerals and vitamins to provide energy for you and your guests. With a rich, nutty flavor, buckwheat flour complements the sweet taste of apples and maple syrup for a twist on traditional pancakes. Find more nutritious recipes at aicr.org.

Apple Strudel Pancakes

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research

Servings: 8

Apple Strudel Mixture:

  • 1          cup water
  • 1/4       cup raisins
  • 1          tablespoon butter
  • 2          tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/3       cup thoroughly chopped walnuts
  • 1          large apple, peeled, cored and chopped

Batter:

  • 1          cup buckwheat flour
  • 1          cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2          tablespoons sugar
  • 1          teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1          teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 2          eggs
  • 2          cups 1 percent buttermilk
  • 1/4       cup safflower oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon vanilla extract
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • maple syrup
  1. To make apple strudel mixture: Boil water; add raisins. Remove from heat and let steep until raisins are plump and reconstituted, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. In shallow pan over medium heat, add butter. Once butter melts and is bubbling, stir in brown sugar and cinnamon. Cook about 3 minutes until sugar starts to dissolve. Add walnuts, apples and raisins. Cook apples until just tender when pierced with fork, about 4 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
  3. To make batter: In large bowl, mix flours, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, beat eggs lightly and mix with buttermilk, oil and vanilla extract.
  4. Pour wet ingredients into dry, mixing as little as possible. Add apple strudel mixture and fold all ingredients together. Set aside.
  5. Heat nonstick pan or griddle over medium heat. Grease pan lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Once pan is hot, ladle about 1/4 cup batter per pancake taking care not to overcrowd pan. After 2-3 minutes, flip pancakes once.
  6. Serve pancakes warm with syrup.

A Small Brunch Bite

A full brunch menu calls for small bites on the side to complement the multitude of flavors brought on by a variety of brunch dishes.

For a clever option that’s quick to make, these Mini Hash Brown Casseroles provide a morsel bursting with flavor to pair with just about any morning meal. Made with refrigerated Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns, which are pre-shredded for a faster fridge to fork kitchen experience, you can make a batch of the tasty cups in less than an hour.

Find more brunch solutions and recipes at simplypotatoes.com.

Mini Hash Brown Casseroles

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 24

  • 1          package refrigerated Simply Potatoes Shredded Hash Browns
  • 1          pound Bob Evans Farms Original Sausage Roll
  • 4          large eggs
  • 1/2       cup milk
  • 3          tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1          cup ham, cubed
  • 1          cup red pepper, diced
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1          cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Remove hash browns from refrigerator and let rest.
  3. In skillet, cook sausage according to package directions.
  4. Lightly grease two 12-cup muffin tins. In bowl, whisk eggs and milk. Add hash browns, butter, ham, red pepper, black pepper and cheese; mix.
  5. Fill muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake 27-30 minutes. Serve warm.

Sipping on Sweet and Spicy

Take your brunch the extra mile with a twist on the traditional mid-morning beverage. By adding jalapeno and horseradish to this Watermelon Bloody Mary, you’ll have a spicy, tasty version of a traditional brunch drink ready for your guests.

With watermelon balancing out the jalapeno, it’s an ideal balance of spicy and sweet with just the right amount of kick. Find more brunch recipes at watermelon.org.

Watermelon Bloody Mary

Recipe courtesy of the National Watermelon Promotion Board

Yield: 4 cocktails

  • 2          cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1          medium jalapeno pepper, stem removed, chopped
  • 2          limes, juice only
  • 6          ounces low-sodium tomato juice
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1          teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1          teaspoon horseradish
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • 1/3       cup vodka
  • lime wedges
  • chili lime salt
  • ice
  • 4          bamboo skewers (6 inches long)
  • watermelon wedges (optional)
  • prosciutto (optional)
  • cucumber slices (optional)
  • jalapeno slices (optional)
  • green olives (optional)
  1. In blender, blend watermelon cubes and jalapeno pepper until completely smooth. Pour mixture through fine sieve set over pitcher.
  2. Add lime juice, salt, pepper, fish sauce, horseradish and hot sauce, to taste, to pitcher; stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add vodka and stir.
  3. Line rims of four glasses with lime juice from lime wedges; dip in chili lime salt poured on plate. Carefully put ice in each glass and divide Watermelon Bloody Mary mixture evenly.
  4. Add garnishes, as desired, by skewering watermelon wedges, prosciutto, cucumber, jalapeno and green olives. Place garnishes in glasses and serve.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Pancakes)

Source: American Institute for Cancer Research
Simply Potatoes
National Watermelon Promotion Board

Meal Ideas 15 March 2019

Simple, Savory Solutions for Busy Families

(Family Features) Quick, effortless recipes are the cornerstone of making hassle-free meals and snacks that work for active families. Adding simplicity to your kitchen repertoire can make it a little easier on everyone, creating more quality time spent around the table and less time in the kitchen.

Whether you’re meal prepping the kids’ school lunches for the week or whipping up a last minute snack, one kitchen staple to consider picking up on your next grocery run is Eckrich deli meats.

As a make-ahead meal that can be sent with your kids (or yourself) for lunch, these Ham and Turkey Roll-ups take just a few minutes of rolling together some family-favorite tastes. Using simple recipes with Oven Roasted Turkey Breast and Black Forest Ham as the main ingredients allows you to spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying life’s little moments with loved ones.

While creating make-ahead lunches can come in handy, arguably just as important is the meal that gets the day started: breakfast. Saving time in the morning, especially on busy weekdays, can be a lifesaver for families who value spending time together.

One solution can be these Deli Ham Breakfast All Day Tacos, featuring the consistent quality of perfectly seasoned Eckrich Deli Ham Off the Bone. A handful of ingredients and a pan are all you need to create a handheld breakfast for everyone in the family.

Find more fast, flavorful meals the entire family can enjoy at eckrich.com .

Ham and Turkey Roll-ups

Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 4          ounces Eckrich Deli Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
  • 4          ounces Eckrich Deli Black Forest Ham
  • lettuce leaves
  • 2          tablespoons chunky guacamole
  • 1/4       cup cucumbers, chopped
  • 1          tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2          slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  1. Layer turkey and ham slices. Layer lettuce, guacamole, cucumber, cheese and bacon crumbles. Roll meat and insert toothpick to hold. Include additional toppings, as desired.

Deli Ham Breakfast All Day Tacos

Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 8          soft corn tortillas
  • oil
  • 1          cup Eckrich Deli Ham Off the Bone, cubed
  • handful green bell peppers, chopped
  • handful red bell peppers, chopped
  • 8          eggs
  • 2          tablespoons milk
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • 1/2       cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream (optional)
  • cilantro (optional)
  • salsa (optional)
  1. In pan over low heat, warm tortillas, flipping after 15 seconds. Remove. Increase heat to medium; add oil and warm ham; set aside.
  2. In same pan, saute peppers. Add eggs, milk, salt and pepper until eggs are cooked. Add cheese and ham.
  3. Spoon mixture onto tortillas. Top with sour cream, cilantro and salsa, if desired.

Source: Eckrich

Meal Ideas 14 March 2019

Easy Weeknight Dinners

(Family Features) If you're looking for new ways to entice the family to the table for dinner, then I've got the perfect recipes for you.

Whether you call them bakes or casseroles, your family will simply call them delicious. And as a time-saving extra, you can make these creamy dishes ahead of time, then just pop them in the oven when you need them. Toss a fresh green salad and add some warm bread, and you have a meal they'll love to sit down to.

For more easy weeknight dinner recipes, visit www.verybestbaking.com/carnation.

Cheesy Oven Burrito Bake

Makes 12 servings, (1/2 burrito each)

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 large sliced red and/or green bell peppers, cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk, divided
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced fat 2% cheddar cheese
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies, undrained
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked long or medium grain brown rice, heated
  • 1 can (16 ounces) fat-free refried black beans
  • 6 8-inch multi-grain or whole-wheat tortillas
  • Salsa and guacamole (optional)
  1. PREHEAT the oven to 350° F. Spray 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. SPRAY large, nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Add peppers, onions and cumin; cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  3. MEANWHILE, COMBINE 1 1/4 cups evaporated milk, cheese and chilies in small saucepan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until cheese has melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat. Stir 3/4 cup of cheese sauce into heated brown rice; reserve remaining cheese sauce.
  4. COMBINE refried beans and remaining 1/4 cup evaporated milk in medium, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered, on HIGH (100% power) for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring after each minute or until slightly thickened.
  5. FILL tortillas with hot beans, rice and vegetables, dividing equally. Fold sides over filling. Place filled burritos, seam-side down, in prepared baking dish. Top with remaining cheese sauce. Cover with foil.
  6. BAKE for 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through. Serve with salsa and guacamole, if desired.

TIPS: Cooked chicken or ground beef may be added to filling. Look for precooked ready-to-use brown rice to save prep time.

Nutrition Information per serving: 210 calories; 45 calories from fat; 5g total fat; 2.5g saturated fat; 10mg cholesterol; 540mg sodium; 30g carbohydrate; 6g fiber; 6g sugars; 11g protein; 10% Vitamin A; 50% Vitamin C; 25% Calcium; 20% Iron

Turkey & Hash Brown Bake

Makes 10 servings

  • 1 bag (16 ounces) or 4 1/2 cups frozen, shredded hash brown potatoes
  • 2 cups chopped frozen or fresh broccoli
  • 8 ounces sliced turkey, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 can (12 fluid ounces) Nestlé Carnation Evaporated Lowfat 2% Milk
  • 1 can (10 ounces) condensed fat-free cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking dish.
  2. COMBINE all ingredients in large bowl until well blended. Pour into prepared baking dish.
  3. BAKE for 50 minutes or until heated through. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

TIPS: When you visit the deli counter, ask for the amount of turkey you'll need and it can be cut into one thick piece.

Nutrition Information per serving: 130 calories; 30 calories from fat; 3g total fat; 2g saturated fat; 20mg cholesterol; 500mg sodium; 16g carbohydrate; 1g fiber; 4g sugars; 9g protein; 15% Vitamin C; 15% Calcium When you visit the deli counter, ask for the amount of turkey you'll need and it can be cut into one thick piece.

Nutrition Information per serving: 130 calories; 30 calories from fat; 3g total fat; 2g saturated fat; 20mg cholesterol; 500mg sodium; 16g carbohydrate; 1g fiber; 4g sugars; 9g protein; 15% Vitamin C; 15% Calcium

Source: Nestlé

Meal Ideas 14 March 2019

Make Mac & Cheese-Easy

(Family Features) Macaroni and cheese, the classic American comfort food staple beloved by kids and adults alike, just got easier to prepare. No, not packaged or frozen-from your own stovetop (no baking) in under 30 minutes.

Stovetop Mac & Cheese begins with Dreamfields pasta, a premium pasta made from durum wheat semolina - just like traditional pasta, but with a healthful twist. A one cup serving of Dreamfields not only tastes great, but also has only five grams of digestible carbohydrates and five grams of fiber - which is twice the amount in traditional pasta. The fiber comes from inulin, a 100 percent natural prebiotic fiber (which may help promote healthy digestion) found in common foods like asparagus, raisins and chicory root.

To prepare this one pot, four ingredient, stovetop mac and cheese, simply cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, then add the prepared light Alfredo sauce, shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese and nonfat milk. Stir for a couple of minutes and you'll be rewarded with a creamy, delicious dish.

Many people don't realize how versatile this iconic favorite is. Try different cheeses -Colby, Swiss, goat, Gouda, blue, or a combination. Don't stop there. Vegetables like broccoli florets, green peas and cherry tomatoes make great stir-ins, as do protein choices such as cooked turkey, chicken or ham, even meatballs. It's a deliciously doable winner...one pot, four ingredients, on the table in under 30 minutes.

For this and more amazing recipes, visit www.dreamfieldsfoods.com.

Stovetop Mac & Cheese

Makes 6 servings
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes

  • 1 box Dreamfields Elbows
  • 1 cup prepared light Alfredo sauce
  • 2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese or part-skim mozzarella cheese or a combination
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pan; remove from heat.
  2. Immediately add Alfredo sauce, cheese and milk to pasta; stir constantly until cheese is melted. Add additional milk if necessary for desired consistency. Serve immediately.

Stir-ins: Cooked chicken, turkey, ham cubes, hot dog pieces, meatballs, cooked chicken or turkey sausage, cooked broccoli florets, green peas, chopped tomato or halved cherry tomatoes.

Nutrition information (1/6 of recipe): 385 calories; 20 g protein; 11 g digestible carbohydrates*; 13 g total fat; 7 g saturated fat; 35 mg cholesterol; 570 mg sodium; 6 g total dietary fiber.

NOTE: If traditional pasta is used in this recipe there is a total of 51 g carbohydrate. For more information go to www.dreamfieldsfoods.com.

Source: Dreamfields Foods

Meal Ideas 13 March 2019

Feeding the Game Day Frenzy

(Family Features) What better way to serve a hungry gang than with two crowd-pleasers: meatballs and BBQ? Anyone hosting a big game gathering needs to have recipes on-hand that are hearty and tasty, while still being easy to prepare.

The easiest and fastest way to find what you need to feed the fans is by utilizing local club stores like Sam's, where shoppers can huddle and find great game-day foods and entertaining items at affordable prices. These crowd-pleasing recipes start off with Byron's Hand Pulled Pork BBQ and Casa Di Bertacchi Meatballs, both sold at Sam's Clubs nationwide.

The Mini Meatball Hamburgers are made from fully-cooked meatballs crafted from an outstanding, authentic family recipe. The seasoned and lightly steamed meatballs can be warmed up quickly and paired with a tasty sauce for some super-star sliders.

BBQ Nachos take game-day appetizers to a whole new level. Made with hickory-smoked pulled pork that's finished with a sweet and spicy sauce, this BBQ is ready to be warmed up and loaded up with fan-favorite nacho toppings for an appetizer that will have your guests calling for a replay.

For more information about Byron's Hand Pulled Pork BBQ, Casa Di Bertacchi Meatballs, or for additional recipes, visit www.ClubEntertaining.com.

Mini Meatball Hamburgers

Makes 26 appetizers

  • 26 frozen Casa Di Bertacchi fully cooked meatballs (1 pound)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon honey mustard
  • 26 2-inch rolls, sliced in half horizontally
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet pickle relish
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place meatballs in 8 x 8 or 9 x 9-inch pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.
  3. In a small bowl, combine ketchup and mustard. Place a heaping teaspoon of ketchup mixture on the bottom of roll. Place a meatball on top. Follow with a rounded teaspoon of pickle relish. Place top half of roll over top. Repeat for remaining meatballs and rolls. Serve immediately on a large platter.

Cheeseburger Variation: Place a small slice of cheddar cheese over each meatball.

BBQ Nachos

Serves 4

  • Byron's BBQ
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Tortilla chips
  • Whole kernel corn
  • Sliced jalapeño
  • Fresh guacamole
  • Sour cream
  1. On a large oven safe serving plate, arrange a layer of tortilla chips; top with BBQ. Sprinkle with cheese, onions, bell peppers, diced tomato and black beans. Heat in microwave (or in oven) until cheese is melted. Garnish with whole kernel corn, sliced jalapeño, fresh guacamole, and sour cream.

Source: Byron's BBQ / Casa Di Bertacchi Meatballs

One Dish Meals 21 February 2019

Bring the Family Together with a One-Pot Fiesta

(Family Features) School is back in session and so are hectic weeknights with little time to cook dinner. Instead of reaching for ready-made meals or takeout, make a kid-friendly, south-of-the-border casserole. All of the ingredients – from the whole grain elbow macaroni to the ground beef – are cooked in one skillet, meaning minimal cleanup and maximum quality time spent reconnecting around the dinner table.

“This simple three-step recipe is perfect for busy weeknights because it’s quick, family-friendly and just as good re-heated for leftovers,” said McCormick Executive Chef Kevan Vetter. “You don’t need a second pot to cook the pasta; it’s cooked in the skillet along with the ground beef, fresh tomatoes and corn. Season with organic taco seasoning and sprinkle with cheddar cheese and you’re sure to have a meal the kids will beg to add to the dinner rotation.” 

For more one-dish meals for the back-to-school season, visit McCormick.com, and check out McCormick Spice on Facebook and Pinterest.

Tex-Mex Macaroni Casserole

Ingredients
Makes 8 (1-cup) servings

  • 1          pound lean ground beef
  • 1          medium onion, chopped
  • 1          package McCormick Organics Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 2          cups water
  • 2          cups fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1          cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • 2          cups uncooked whole grain elbow macaroni
  • 1          cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Brown beef and onion in large skillet on medium-high heat. Drain fat.
  2. Stir in seasoning mix, water, chopped tomatoes and corn. Bring to boil. Add pasta. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Sprinkle with cheese, cover. Let stand 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Source: McCormick

Kids 03 September 2018

Pack a Healthier Lunchbox this School Year

(Family Features) When school is in session, it's the perfect time to renew your family's healthy eating habits by getting in a groove of lunchbox packing.

While packing a healthy school lunch day after day can seem daunting, it doesn't have to be. By taking the free Power Your Lunchbox Promise, you can gain access to customizable, make-ahead lunchbox inspiration like Black Bean Empanadas and Rainbow Bento Boxes, which creatively include servings of fruits and veggies to keep kids' brains charged all day.

Making the promise not only signals a commitment to making healthier meal choices this year, it also helps those in need. For every promise made, health-focused partner brands will collectively donate $1 to Feeding America programs that support families and children. In addition to kid- and registered dietitian-approved breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner recipes, the promise website features coupons, health tips to help your family during the school year, lunchbox ideas and giveaways.

Additionally, teachers have a special section of the site where they can make the promise as a classroom and download free fruit and veggie themed classroom decor and lesson plans.

To find your lunchbox inspiration and make the promise, visit poweryourlunchbox.com.

Rainbow Bento Box

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 2 red mini sweet peppers, sliced
  • 1 mandarin, peeled and segmented
  • 1 kiwi, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup red seedless grapes
  • 1 large spinach wrap
  • 1 tablespoon hummus
  • 2 slices provolone cheese
  • 2 ounces low-sodium deli-sliced turkey
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach, chopped
  1. Assemble two lunchboxes each with half of the peppers, mandarin, kiwi, snap peas, blueberries and grapes.
  2. Lay wrap on flat surface. Spread with hummus and top with cheese, turkey and spinach. Roll up tightly and slice into 1-inch thick rounds. Add half to each lunchbox.

Black Bean Empanadas

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings 6

  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 mini sweet peppers, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium taco seasoning
  • 12 frozen empanada discs, thawed
  • 3/4 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg white, beaten
  • 6 guacamole minis
  • 6 packages crispy fruit
  1. In skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add peppers, onions and tomatoes. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until tender. Add black beans and taco seasoning. Cook 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat oven to 375 F.
  3. Lay empanada dough out on parchment-lined baking sheet. Fill with black bean filling and 1 tablespoon cheese. Fold dough over filling to create pocket. Use fork to press down sides to seal. Brush with egg whites. Repeat with remaining dough, filling, cheese and egg whites.
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
  5. Serve two empanadas with guacamole, for dipping, and crispy fruit on side.

Source: Produce for Kids

Grilling-Tailgating 06 August 2018

Shake Up Your Grilling Menu This Summer

(Family Features) Summer means it’s time to heat up the grill. If you’re looking to add some sizzle to your summer grilling menu, shake things up all summer long with the convenience and versatility of fresh pork. From tender ribs to juicy pork loins, chops, roasts and more, the possibilities are endless.

With mouthwatering flavor and no artificial ingredients, Farmer John California Natural Fresh Pork offers a wide variety of convenient, versatile fresh pork cuts that can take your cookout to the next level. Try out these recipes for Triple Threat Burgers or Chipotle Glazed Spare Ribs, which are sure to be crowd-pleasers at your next barbecue.

Find more grilling tips and recipe inspiration at farmerjohn.com.

Triple Threat Burger

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 8 1/2 hours
Servings: 6

Pulled Pork:

  • 1             Farmer John Boneless Fresh Pork Shoulder Roast
  • 1/4          cup barbecue seasoning blend
  • 3/4          cup pale lager beer
  • 1 1/2       teaspoons liquid hickory smoke

Triple Threat Sauce:

  • 1             jar (12 ounces) seedless raspberry jam
  • 1             cup barbecue sauce
  • 3/4          cup pale lager beer
  • 1             teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/4          teaspoon chipotle powder

Burgers:

  • 1             pound Farmer John Ground Pork
  • 1             pound 80 percent lean ground beef
  • 1/4          cup pale lager beer
  • 2             tablespoons barbecue seasoning blend
  • 6             slices cheddar cheese
  • 6             sandwich buns, toasted
  • 6             slices Farmer John Bacon, cooked crisp
  • 6             dill pickle planks
  1. To make pulled pork: Rub pork roast with seasoning and place in 4-5-quart slow cooker. Pour beer and liquid smoke around sides. Cover and cook 8-10 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high. 
  2. Remove roast from slow cooker with tongs and place in large container. Using tongs or two forks, shred pork and set aside 2 cups. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. To make sauce: In medium saucepan, combine raspberry jam, barbecue sauce, beer, mustard and chipotle powder; bring to boil over medium-high heat; boil 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Stir 1/2 cup sauce into reserved pulled pork.
  4. To make burgers: Heat charcoal or gas grill to medium. Combine ground pork, ground beef, beer and seasoning; form into six (1-inch thick) burger patties. Grill 5 minutes per side until internal temperature reaches 160° F. Top each burger with slice of cheese; let melt.
  5. Place burgers on bottom buns; spoon about 1/3 cup pulled pork with barbecue sauce onto each burger. Top each with one slice bacon and one pickle plank then close with top bun.

Chipotle Glazed Spare Ribs

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 2          racks Farmer John Pork Spareribs, membranes removed 
  • 4          tablespoons salt
  • 4          tablespoons pepper
  • 6          cloves chopped garlic
  • 1          cup honey
  • brown sugar
  • 1/2       can (7 ounces) chipotle chilies in adobo sauce
  • 1/2       cup barbecue sauce
  • 2          limes, zest and juice only, plus additional lime juice
  • 1/2       cup cilantro, chopped
  1. Heat oven to 325° F. Season ribs with salt and pepper. Place on rimmed baking sheet and cover tightly with foil. Bake 1 1/2 hours until ribs reach internal temperature of 195° F. Let cool.
  2. While ribs bake, blend garlic, honey, brown sugar, chipotle chilies, barbecue sauce and lime zest and juice. Blend until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Heat charcoal or gas grill to medium-high. Place ribs on grill and baste with sauce mixture, turning frequently until well-coated with sauce and charred, about 10 minutes. Transfer to cutting board and let rest. Serve with remaining sauce mixture, additional lime juice and chopped cilantro.

Source: Farmer John

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