Meal Ideas 28 July 2020

School-Night Meals that Deliver Taste at a Low Cost

(Family Features) Regardless of what back to school looks like this year, preparing family meals throughout the week does not have to be a challenge. Shopping at a store like ALDI can stretch your budget and help you make five different meals over five days for about $5 a meal pretax for a family of four.

Using a mix of kitchen staples you already may have, along with fresh ingredients, you can make delicious, affordable recipes for the whole family. Simply select a protein or main ingredient and explore versatile ways to build other meals around it during the week. 

Grilled chicken breasts are ideal for on-the-go lunches or weekday dinners. Busy parents can get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes with an easy Chicken Cacciatore in the pressure cooker or simple prep-ahead Chicken Enchiladas. These convenient dishes make it a snap to add variety by substituting chicken with shrimp, beans or vegetables.

Serving organic produce, fresh and frozen meats, seafood and on-the-go snacks can be easy when you shop at a store like ALDI for the back-to-school season. Plus, you can find foods to fit any dietary style without breaking the bank.

Find more family meal solutions at aldi.us.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Recipe courtesy of “Pinch of Yum” on behalf of ALDI
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1-1 1/2             pounds chicken breasts or chicken thighs
  • flour
  • 1          pinch salt, plus 2 teaspoons, divided
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          onion, diced
  • 16        ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 3          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2       cup chicken broth
  • 1          bell pepper, diced
  • 1          can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 4          tablespoons butter
  • capers (optional)
  • parsley, plus additional for topping (optional)
  • lemon
  • preferred pasta
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Dredge chicken in flour and pinch of salt. Turn on saute function on pressure cooker. Add oil; saute chicken 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside (chicken will finish cooking later).
  2. Add onion, mushrooms and garlic. Saute until softened. Add broth and let sizzle out.
  3. Add chicken, bell pepper, tomatoes and remaining salt to pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure 15 minutes. Release pressure.
  4. Shred chicken. Stir in butter, capers, parsley and lemon. Serve with preferred pasta and top with additional parsley and Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Black Beans

Recipe courtesy of “Wellness for the Win” on behalf of ALDI
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 10

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          medium onion, chopped

Chicken:

  • 1          pound chicken breasts
  • 1/4       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon cumin
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Enchiladas:

  • 15        ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10        ounces diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
  • 2          cups shredded Mexican cheese, divided
  • 16        ounces restaurant-style salsa, divided
  • 10        whole-wheat tortillas

Optional Toppings:

  • diced avocado
  • plain Greek yogurt
  • cilantro
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook onion until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and set aside.
  3. To make chicken: Season chicken breasts with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to same skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 5-7 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Use fork and knife to shred chicken.
  4. To make enchiladas: In large bowl with cooked onion, add shredded chicken, black beans, diced tomatoes, green chilies and 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese. Use spoon to mix well.
  5. Pour 1 cup salsa on bottom of greased pan and use spatula to spread evenly. Scoop about 1/2 cup chicken and veggie mixture into each tortilla. Roll tightly and place seam side down in pan.
  6. Top enchiladas with 3/4 cup salsa and remaining shredded cheese; use spatula to spread evenly.
  7. Cover pan tightly with foil and bake 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven; serve hot. Add avocado, yogurt and cilantro, if desired.

Source:  ALDI

Healthy 01 June 2020

Family Foods with a Weight Loss Focus

(Family Features) Losing weight and focusing on a healthful diet may lead you back to the same tried-and-true tricks, however, conventional wisdom doesn’t always pay dividends. Some eating plans may offer up new twists to help you and your family eat meals you enjoy without forgoing your health goals.

For example, “Always Eat After 7 PM,” written by Joel Marion, CISSN, NSCA-CPT, five-time best-selling e-book author and co-founder of the e-commerce supplement company BioTrust Nutrition, debunks popular diet myths and offers an easy-to-follow diet that accelerates fat-burning and allows you to indulge in your most intense cravings by eating the majority of your calories at night. The outlined plan features a 14-day “acceleration phase” designed for rapid results, a “main phase” when you’ll learn which fat-burning foods to eat to achieve your weight loss goals and a “lifestyle phase” to keep the weight off for good.

Conventional wisdom dictates that it’s best to avoid carbs, eat an early dinner and never eat immediately before bed. However, Marion debunks the myths underlying traditional dieting with a simple, highly effective weight loss program allowing readers to enjoy social dinners without restriction, satisfy nighttime hunger with fat-burning sweet and salty pre-bedtime snacks and indulge cravings with strategically timed cheat meals.

With straightforward food lists, easy-to-follow meal plans and recipes for each phase, this can be a simpler, more enjoyable way to lose weight without feeling restricted. Taken directly from the book, these recipes for Pot Roast Tacos with Chimichurri, Cheesy Ground Beef Skillet and Chili Loaded Baked Potato can help you take part in the program while enjoying time with loved ones at the family table.

Learn more about the diet and book at joelmarion.com.

Pot Roast Tacos with Chimichurri

Recipe courtesy of “Always Eat After 7 PM”
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8

Chimichurri:

  • 1 1/2    cups fresh Italian parsley
  • 1          cup fresh cilantro
  • 2          tablespoons green onion, chopped
  • 1          tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/4       cup olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1          tablespoon water
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • 1          teaspoon crushed red pepper

Tacos:

  • 3          cups chuck roast, slow cooked and chopped
  • 8          yellow corn tortillas (6 inches)
  • 1          ripe avocado, pitted and sliced
  • 4          radishes, sliced
  • 1/4       cup queso fresco, crumbled
  1. To make chimichurri: In food processor, combine parsley, cilantro, onion and garlic until chopped. Add olive oil, lemon juice, water, salt and red pepper; process until fully combined.
  2. To assemble tacos: In medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook chopped chuck roast 5 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in 1/2 cup chimichurri. In grill pan, char tortillas then fill evenly with meat, avocado, radishes and queso fresco. Serve with remaining chimichurri.

Nutritional information per serving: 410 calories; 24 g fat; 12 g carbohydrates; 366 mg sodium; 2 g fiber; 41 g protein; 1 g sugar.

Chili Loaded Baked Potato

Recipe courtesy of “Always Eat After 7 PM”
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 6          sweet potatoes (8 ounces each)
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 2          pounds ground chuck
  • 2          yellow onions, diced
  • 2          tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 3          tablespoons chili powder
  • 2          tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1          tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2          teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4       teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3          cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1          can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1          tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1          can (15 ounces) butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2       cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1          Anaheim chile, minced
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2       cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4       cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4       cup red onion, minced
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Line baking sheet or pan with parchment paper. Rinse and scrub sweet potatoes; pat dry with paper towel and pierce several times with fork or knife. Place in prepared pan. Lightly spray sweet potatoes with nonstick cooking spray and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake 45 minutes- 1 hour until tender when poked.
  2. In pot, heat olive oil. Saute chuck until fully cooked. Drain fat and return to pot; add onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika and cayenne pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and saute until onions are soft, about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add broth, crushed tomatoes and vinegar to pot. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. Add butter beans, cilantro and chile; cook 5 minutes. Season with sea salt.
  4. Split potatoes lengthwise; fluff flesh with fork. Top evenly with chili, yogurt, cilantro leaves and red onion.

Nutritional information per serving: 573 calories; 10 g fat; 58 g carbohydrates; 588 mg sodium; 11 g fiber; 25 g protein; 12 g sugar.

Cheesy Ground Beef Skillet

Recipe courtesy of “Always Eat After 7 PM”
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 38 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1 3/4    cups water
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • 1          cup white rice
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 1          pound extra-lean ground beef
  • 1          yellow onion, chopped
  • 1          tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1          red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1          teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1          teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2       teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2       cup tomato sauce
  • 1          can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1          cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3       cup fresh parsley, minced
  1. In saucepan over high heat, bring water to boil. Add salt and rice; stir once then cover pot and reduce to low heat 18 minutes.
  2. In large skillet, heat olive oil. Stir in ground beef. Cook and stir until beef is crumbly and no longer pink. Drain and discard excess grease. Mix in onion and garlic; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, oregano, basil, red pepper, sea salt and black pepper; cook and stir until bell pepper is tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in cooked rice, tomato sauce and kidney beans. Reduce heat and cover until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat, sprinkle cheese over top and garnish with parsley.

Nutritional information per serving: 399 calories: 14 g fat; 36 g carbohydrates; 816 mg sodium; 4 g fiber; 30 g protein; 3 g sugar.

Source: Promote A Book

Meal Ideas 10 April 2020

Nutritious Eating at Home

(Family Features) If spending additional time in the comfort of your home has you rethinking the family menu and looking for new ways to enjoy nutritional meals, rest assured you can make better-for-you food choices without losing mouthwatering taste.

Easy, efficient at-home recipes like Thai Coconut Lime Freezer Chicken, Burrito Beef and Cauli Mac and Cheese can all be made in less than an hour while reducing the intake of carbs and unnecessary sugars. All are part of a balanced Atkins low-carb lifestyle, a long-term, healthy eating approach focused on high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats.

The eating approach, which is a more flexible version of the popular ketogenic diet, offers a balanced mix of foods containing fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and the “hidden sugar effect” – when carbohydrates convert to sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugar, but your body does.

Introducing your family to smarter food choices can also support your immunity. According to research published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” simply substituting whole grains for refined grains has a modest effect on gut microbiota and immunity. Refined grains have had most of the fiber milled out of them, leaving a refined carbohydrate that impacts your body the way sugar would. Opt for whole grains to get the fiber you need, along with protein and healthy fats.

Visit atkins.com for more nutritious recipes


Thai Coconut Lime Freezer Chicken

Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 22 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 3/4    cups coconut milk
  • 2          tablespoons basil
  • 1          tablespoon xylitol (sugar substitute)
  • 1          ounce cilantro
  • 1          ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic
  • 1          teaspoon lime zest (optional)
  • 20        ounces boneless, cooked chicken breast
  • 20        ounces broccoli flower clusters
  1. In bowl, mix coconut milk, basil, xylitol, cilantro, lime juice, salt and garlic. For more citrus flavor, add lime zest, if desired.
  2. Add chicken, broccoli and sauce to 1-gallon zip-top freezer bag. Squeeze out any air and seal bag. Freeze bag flat up to 1 month.
  3. To cook: Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat oven to 350° F.
  4. Place in glass 8-by-8-inch pan and bake 20-25 minutes.

Burrito Beef

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 8 hours
Servings: 6

  • 2          pounds beef arm chuck roast
  • 4          tablespoons green taco sauce
  • 1          teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2          large scallions or spring onions, chopped
  • 1          jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 2          teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  1. Trim fat from beef. In slow cooker on low heat, cook beef, taco sauce, garlic, onions, jalapeno, chili powder, cumin and salt 8 hours, or until beef is tender.
  2. Using two forks, remove beef and shred. Mix beef with 1/2 cup cooking juices before serving.
  3. A Low-Sugar Swap to Satisfy Cravings
  4. While spending more time at home than normal, those snack cravings can be hard to shake. Rather than relying on easy-to-grab eats from the pantry or freezer, focus on more nutritious choices that don’t sacrifice flavor.
  5. Turn to a creamy solution to satisfy your hunger such as the Atkins Milk Chocolate Delight Shake, a filling option for chocolate lovers. The drinks are packed with 15 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 20% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin D and 1 gram of sugar to keep you going throughout the day.

Cauli Mac and Cheese

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1          head large (6-7-inch diameter) cauliflower
  • 1          cup heavy cream
  • 2          ounces cream cheese
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 1/2    cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4       teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper sauce
  1. Heat oven to 375° F and prepare 9-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Heat large pot of water to boiling and add 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  2. Remove stem and leaves from cauliflower. Cut into small pieces and place in boiling water; cook until crisp-tender; about 5 minutes. Drain well then pat between paper towels to remove moisture.
  3. In medium saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to simmer. Whisk cream cheese and powdered mustard into simmering cream until smooth. Add 1 cup cheddar cheese, garlic, remaining salt, white pepper and pepper sauce, whisking until cheese melts; about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cauliflower.
  4. Pour into baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes until browned and bubbly.

 

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Thai Coconut Lime Freezer Chicken, Burrito Beef and Cauli Mac and Cheese)

Source: Atkins

Videos 31 January 2020

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

(Family Features) With the rise in popularity of plant-based diets and dishes, combining them with dairy products can create a superfood power couple. For example, the cheddar cheese found in these Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers helps optimize nutrient absorption from the rice, black beans, corn and tomatoes to create a nutritious and delicious appetizer or meal.

Find more recipes that combine the goodness of dairy and plant-based foods at milkmeansmore.org.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

  • 6             large sweet bell peppers
  • 1/2         cup diced sweet onion
  • 1             cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1             cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1 1/2     cups cooked black beans plain (drained and rinsed if using canned beans)
  • 2             cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2         teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2         teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2         teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4         teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2         teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2     cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided
  1. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a rimmed half sheet pan with non-stick aluminum foil.
  2. Slice the tops off of the sweet bell peppers. Use a spoon to scoop the seeds and white membranes from the insides of the peppers. Discard the pepper tops and seeds. Place the peppers onto the prepared half sheet pan; briefly set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the diced onion, cherry tomatoes, corn, black beans, and brown rice until combined. Sprinkle the chili powder, oregano, salt, and pepper over top before stirring to distribute the seasonings throughout. Fold 1 cup of the Cheddar cheese into the filling, reserving the remaining cheese for later.
  4. Stuff the open cavities of the sweet bell peppers tightly with filling, mounding a bit of the filling over the top edge of the peppers. Sprinkle the remaining Cheddar cheese over top of the filling. Bake the stuffed peppers for 30 to 35 minutes or until filling is heated through, the peppers soften, and the exteriors begin to wrinkle. Serve immediately.

Source: United Dairy Industry of Michigan

Videos 29 April 2019

Blended Tacos

(Family Features) Creating a nutritious family dinner doesn’t have to mean sacrificing favorite dishes. For a healthier take on a traditional ethnic meal, these Blended Tacos involve blending ground beef with mushrooms before adding your desired toppings. Find more recipes at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Blended Tacos

Recipe courtesy of the Mushroom Council
Yield: 12 tacos

  • 1          teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon onion powder
  • 1          teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       cup water
  • 1          teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1          pound button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1          pound 80 percent lean ground beef
  • 12        crunchy taco shells, warmed
  • 2          cups grated cheddar cheese (optional)
  • 1          large tomatoes, diced (optional)
  • 1          head iceberg lettuce, shredded (optional)
  1. In small bowl, mix chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin and salt. Stir in water and set aside.
  2. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add chopped mushrooms and ground beef and cook thoroughly, about 7-10 minutes. Carefully drain excess grease, if necessary.
  3. Add seasoning mixture to mushroom-meat mixture and stir to combine. Bring to simmer and cook 3-5 minutes.
  4. To assemble, add about 1/4 cup mushroom-meat mixture to bottom of each taco shell. Layer shells with cheese, tomatoes and lettuce, if desired.

Source: Culinary.net

Videos 19 April 2019

Pace Slow Cooked Shredded Chicken Tacos

(Family Features) Make dinner a cinch with these Slow Cooker Tacos. Seasoned with chili powder and ground cumin then slow-cooked for four hours with picante sauce, the meat can be shredded and served alongside your family’s favorite toppings for a stress-free meal.

Find more meal ideas at http://www.culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!

Pace Slow Cooked Shredded Chicken Tacos

  • 1 1/2      pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1            teaspoon   chili powder
  • 2            teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1            16-ounce jar Pace® Chunky Salsa or Pace® Picante Sauce-Medium
  • 12          6-inch flour tortillas, warmed
  1. Season chicken with chili powder and cumin.  Place chicken into 6-quart slow cooker.  Pour salsa over chicken.
  2. Cover and cook on HIGH for 4 hours or until chicken is fork-tender. Remove chicken to work surface.  Using 2 forks, shred chicken. Serve chicken in tortillas. Top with favorite toppings.

Recipe courtesy of Campbell's Kitchen.

Source: Culinary.net

Snacks 27 March 2019

Summer Snacks that Pop

(Family Features) Whether you're gathering the neighborhood kids for a backyard celebration or going on a weekend hike with family, you can make fueling up for the fun easy with snacks the whole family can enjoy.

Everyone loves popcorn, and this tasty treat is easy to incorporate into a wide range of nibbles perfect for summer. Popcorn's wholesome taste makes it an excellent partner to ingredients that tease your taste buds with flavors that are sweet, salty or even zesty.

Creating a delicious trail mix to carry on an adventurous hike is a cinch when you combine fresh popcorn with your favorite sweet dried fruits and lightly salted nuts. Or, if you're staying closer to home, use popcorn treats as a more nutritious alternative to traditional party desserts.

Each of these recipes features freshly popped popcorn paired with common ingredients that appeal to both kids and adults for summery snacks that are big on both flavor and fun.

For more creative recipes that give some pop to your summer, visit www.popcorn.org.

Sweet N Salty Popcorn Pretzel Sticks

Yield: 6 sticks

  • 6 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 6 large pretzel rods
  • 3 cups popped popcorn
  • Sugar sprinkles
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips (optional)
  1. Spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter over each pretzel, leaving a two-inch "handle" without peanut butter.
  2. Press and roll popcorn onto peanut butter to coat. Sprinkle with sugar sprinkles.
  3. For optional chocolate drizzle, place chocolate chips in small sealable plastic bag and seal. Microwave 30 seconds or until chocolate is melted. Clip small corner from bag and squeeze to drizzle chocolate over popcorn.
  4. Sprinkle with additional sugar sprinkles. Allow chocolate to harden before serving.

Chili Lime Popcorn Snack Mix

Yield: 1 quart

  • 1 quart popped popcorn
  • 1 teaspoon brewer's yeast powder
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat oven to 300°F.
  2. Spread popcorn on baking sheet. Sprinkle yeast powder, lime juice, chili powder and salt over popcorn.
  3. Heat about seven minutes and toss just before serving. Serve warm.

Blueberry & Pomegranate Power Bars

Yield: 12 bars

  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried blueberries
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup toasted and coarsely chopped whole natural almonds
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 6 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate
  1. Line 13-by-9-inch pan with foil; spray with cooking spray.
  2. Combine popcorn, oats, blueberries, pomegranate seeds and almonds in large bowl.
  3. Combine honey, brown sugar and butter in small saucepan. Cook over low heat to boiling; boil two minutes. Pour over popcorn mixture and mix thoroughly.
  4. Using damp hands, press mixture firmly into prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm, about two hours. Cut into 12 bars.
  5. Dip bottoms of bars into melted chocolate. Place on wax paper-lined pan. Store in tight covered container in refrigerator until ready to serve.

Popcorn Trail Mix

Yield: 5 cups

  • 1 quart popped popcorn (air popped)
  • 6 ounces diced, dried fruit (apricots, apples, etc.)
  • 8 ounces raisins
  1. Place freshly popped popcorn in large bowl. Add diced fruit and raisins. Toss popcorn and fruit until combined thoroughly.

Note: Add whatever fixings your family enjoys: dried fruits, seeds, nuts, etc.

Popcorn S'mores

Yield: 20 pieces

  • 1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
  • 1/2 cup corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 cups freshly popped popcorn
  • 1 package (10 1/2 ounces) miniature marshmallows
  • 2 cups mini graham cookies (teddy bears)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in medium saucepan. Cook over high heat for five minutes; remove from heat and stir in baking soda.
  2. Combine popcorn and marshmallows in large bowl. Pour sugar mixture over popcorn to coat.
  3. Gently stir in graham cookies and chocolate chips.
  4. Spread mixture evenly into greased 15-by-10-inch pan. Let cool completely, then break into pieces. Store in airtight container.

Source: The Popcorn Board

Soups 19 February 2019

Change Up Your Chili

(Family Features) Chilly nights are the perfect time to pull out your favorite soup or stew recipe. Settle down with a blanket while a big pot of chili simmers on the stove. Warm, hearty and flavorful, chili is a classic comfort food, and it’s easy to customize with your favorite flavor combinations. Whether you prefer it spicy or mild, with or without beans, you can develop your own signature style.

For chili connoisseurs, ground beef is usually the go-to meat, but try a new take on an old favorite by adding ground duck to your chili for something creative. Duck has the robust, red-meat texture of beef but with the lean nutritional benefits of other poultry. Farm-raised white Pekin duck has less saturated fat than beef and a mild flavor that's not considered gamey. Plus, it’s versatile and complements a variety of dishes.

Substitute duck in your favorite version of chili or try this Duck Chili. Like many chili recipes, this one tastes even better the next day, making it a great dish to make ahead of time and reheat when needed.

Find other duck recipes and more information about cooking with duck at mapleleaffarms.com.

Duck Chili

  • 2          tablespoons Maple Leaf Farms Rendered Duck Fat, divided
  • 2          pounds Maple Leaf Farms All Natural Ground Duck
  • 1          teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 3          tablespoons ground cumin, divided
  • 1          large red onion, chopped
  • 4          garlic cloves, minced
  • 2          jalapeno peppers, minced (remove seeds to reduce heat, if desired)
  • 2          red bell peppers, cored and chopped
  • 3          tablespoons chili powder
  • 1          tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1          teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 24        ounces dark beer
  • 2          cups chicken stock
  • 6          ounces tomato paste
  • 28        ounces canned tomatoes
  • 24        ounces canned great northern beans, drained
  • 8          ounces canned whole kernel corn, drained
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • sour cream (optional)
  • shredded cheese (optional)
  • chopped scallions (optional)
  • fresh cilantro, rough chopped (optional)
  1. In large pot over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon duck fat. Add ground duck; sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste, and 1 tablespoon cumin.
  2. Cook meat until just slightly browned, stirring occasionally to break into small pieces. Remove duck from pot and set aside.
  3. Return pot to medium-high burner and add remaining duck fat. Add onion, garlic, jalapenos and red peppers to pot and saute 3 minutes, stirring so garlic doesn't burn. Stir in chili powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon salt and remaining cumin. Saute 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add beer and stock to pot. Stir, scraping up bits from bottom of pot. Add tomato paste and mix well. Add tomatoes and duck then bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 hour.
  5. Stir in beans, corn and hot sauce. Cook uncovered 30 minutes, or until chili is thick.
  6. Serve in bowls with optional toppings: sour cream, cheese, scallions and cilantro.

Note: Vegetable oil can be substituted for duck fat.

Source: Maple Leaf Farms

Healthy 05 February 2019

New Year, New Family Habits: Simple ideas to make healthy eating easier

(Family Features) When your family is transitioning back into a regular routine in the new year, it’s the perfect time to recommit to healthy eating habits throughout the day. Getting the whole family on board may be easier than you think – just keep the focus on flavor and fun.

If you’re short on ideas to jumpstart better family eating, try these tips:

Keep it simple. Busy families often rely on the convenience of boxed meals, but you can get the same easy, delicious meal in a much healthier way. Everything cooks in one pot for easy clean-up, and this Cheeseburger Mac recipe swaps ground beef for leaner ground turkey. Not only is this an easy weeknight dinner, but leftovers can be packed in a thermos for lunch on chilly days.

Have fun. Try using creative shapes, textures and colors to make mealtime and lunchboxes more fun. Use cookies cutters to easily create butterflies, flowers, dinosaurs and more. Allow your kids to get involved in packing their own lunchboxes or helping with a meal. If your kids have a love of space or are learning about it in school, this bento box is definitely out of this world. Grapes create the dark backdrop while Swiss cheese is the perfect place for a moon landing. Clementine crescent moons and mini sweet pepper planet rings round out the meal.

Make a family promise. To keep the momentum going, rely on a resource like the Power Your Lunchbox Promise website, which offers everything from healthy lunchbox ideas to after-school snacks and dinners. All meal ideas have been approved by a registered dietitian, meet USDA guidelines and are kid-friendly. What’s more, for every Power Your Lunchbox Promise made on the website, health-conscious companies supporting the initiative will make a $1 donation to Feeding America's programs that support families and children. Learn more at poweryourlunchbox.com.

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Cheeseburger Mac

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids

  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 1          pound lean ground turkey
  • 1          small onion, finely chopped
  • 1          cup mini sweet peppers, chopped
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons paprika
  • 1          teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2    cups water
  • 1          cup milk
  • 3          tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 1/2    cups whole-grain dry macaroni
  • 1          cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  1. In large skillet over medium high heat, heat oil. Add turkey, onion and peppers. Cook 7-10 minutes, or until turkey is cooked through.
  2. In small bowl, mix paprika, sugar, salt and chili powder. Add to turkey and stir. Add water, milk, tomato paste and pasta. Mix well. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, or until pasta is cooked and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and top with cheese.

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Space Exploration Bento Box

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids

  • 1/2       cup red seedless grapes
  • 1          whole-wheat sandwich round
  • 2          slices low-sodium deli-sliced turkey
  • 1          slice Swiss cheese
  • 1/2       slice low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1          clementine, peeled and segmented
  • 3          mini sweet peppers, sliced into rings
  • 1          package freeze-dried fruit
  1. Add grapes to bottom of large section of bento box to create space background. Place bottom of sandwich round on top, add turkey and sandwich round top.
  2. Lay Swiss cheese on cutting board. Using small bowl or other round object, cut into circle. Place on top of sandwich to create moon.
  3. Lay cheddar cheese on cutting board. Using small star cookie cutter, cut out stars. Add to space around moon.
  4. Pair with clementine “crescent moons,” pepper “planet rings” and freeze-dried fruit.

Source: Produce for Kids

Grilling-Tailgating 16 January 2019

Dig Into 7 Game-Winning Dips

(Family Features) Although you may share a passion for a favorite sports team, not everyone has the same taste when it comes to the tailgating menu. Enter these seven dips: from a yogurt turmeric dip to spicy buffalo chicken dip, you’re sure to please nearly every game-day guest.

Visit McCormick.com or find McCormick on Facebook and Pinterest for more recipes to make your tailgating menu a winner.

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Texas Trash Dip

There won’t be any trash talk when it comes to this dip. It’s the ultimate ooey, gooey, cheesy dish that’s sure to be all the rage at game-day parties and social gatherings.

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Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip

Games and wings go hand-in-hand, but you can keep hands mess-free with this alternative that combines all the flavors of savory Buffalo chicken wings in a warm, creamy dip. 

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Sweet Georgia Peach and Pecan Dip

Think outside the box this season with a dip that is the perfect blend of salty and sweet. Bacon, Georgia peaches, sweet onions and a brown sugar bourbon marinade are complemented by pecans for a nutty, crunchy finish.

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Creamy Turmeric and Cinnamon Dip

Low-fat yogurt and milk blend with golden turmeric and cinnamon for a tangy dip just waiting for crispy dippers like pita chips and veggies.

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Roasted Carrot Yogurt Dip

Move over cheesy, chili dips – the tangy sweetness of orange juice, carrots and honey make for a simple dip you can feel good about devouring.

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Spinach Artichoke and Dill Dip

Warm up with this crowd-pleasing dip made with fresh spinach, artichoke hearts, cream cheese and Parmesan.

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Spicy Black Bean Dip

Simply mix together a can of black beans, chopped tomatoes and spices like chili powder and cumin for an easy dip to throw together for last-minute guests.

Source: McCormick

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