Grilling-Tailgating 22 June 2020

Cookout Cravings: Appease summer appetites with grilled fare

(Family Features) The first thought that comes to mind when picturing grilling in the summer sun might be a perfectly cooked steak or a juicy burger, but no backyard barbecue is complete without the all-important sides and beverages that complete the meal.

Whether you're pairing a main protein with separate side dishes or going all-in-one by combining tender chicken with veggies on skewers, the opportunities are endless for a crave-worthy cookout.

Find more summer grilling recipes at Culinary.net.

5 Steps for Sizzling Steak

A sizzling steak is a surefire sound of summer, and the flavors achieved from one that's perfectly grilled are hard to match.

Before you fire up your grill, consider these five basics for cooking a chef-worthy steak:

Prepare Your Cut
Taste preferences (and prices) may differ among sirloins, ribeyes, T-bones and more, but the way you prepare steaks likely won't change much from cut to cut. You'll want to trim the thickness down to 1/2-1 inch for proper cooking, and setting the meat out ahead of time allows it to warm to room temperature before hitting the grill.

Add Some Salt
Feel free to add any spices you prefer, but remember a good steak typically doesn't require fancy seasoning - a pinch of salt works just fine. Add your salt anywhere between 30 minutes to a few hours before grilling time to help retain moisture and improve flavor.

Aim for High Heat
A two-zone fire is usually the way to go - one side of the grill should be hot (using direct heat) with the other side not quite as warm (indirect heat). This allows you to create a sear over direct heat before finishing cooking through - without burning - over indirect heat.

Sear and Slide
Cooking your steak over direct heat 1-2 minutes on each side is normally about right for creating a proper sear. At this point, depending on the thickness of your steak, you'll want to check for doneness. If it's not quite to the temperature you're looking to achieve, simply slide it over to the indirect heat for a finishing touch. Keep in mind these general guidelines for doneness: 120-125 F is rare, 130-135 F is medium-rare, 140-145 F is medium, 150-155 F is medium-well and 160-175 F is well done.

Let Rest
Finally, as hungry as you may be at this point, resting steaks is an important last step before diving in. Giving your steaks 5-10 minutes (foil or no foil) allows flavors to redistribute and moisture to be retained in the meat.

Less Prep, More Summer with a Skewered Solution

Make summer grilling easy and delicious by cooking your side dish and main dish together so you can spend more time outdoors and less time meal planning. These Grilled Greek Kebabs pair cubed chicken thighs with little potatoes on skewers, making for a classic cookout combo.

With no washing or peeling required, Creamer potatoes from The Little Potato Company require little prep, which helps make this recipe a breeze, and they cook quickly on the grill. Just marinate your chicken and potatoes with this zesty dressing and prepare for a taste bud-tingling backyard barbecue.

Visit littlepotatoes.com/summertime for more summer grilling recipes.

Grilled Greek Kebabs

Dressing/Marinade:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice only
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 3 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • Skewers:
  • 2 cups The Little Potato Company Dynamic Duo bagged Creamer Potatoes, cut in half
  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 wooden skewers dipped in water
  • pita bread (optional)

Salad:

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 sliced Lebanese cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives

To make dressing/marinade: In measuring cup, mix olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano, Dijon mustard, garlic and sugar. Season generously with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour 1/3 cup marinade into large bowl. Refrigerate remaining.

To prepare skewers: Add potatoes and chicken pieces to bowl with marinade. Mix well to coat and marinate 30 minutes, or as long as overnight in refrigerator.

Preheat grill to medium heat.

Skewer potatoes and chicken cubes alternately on wooden skewers. Grill 6-8 minutes on both sides. Grill pita bread, if desired.

Finish dressing by adding mayonnaise.

To make salad: In large serving dish, mix tomatoes, cucumber, onions, feta cheese and olives. Place kebabs on top and drizzle with dressing.

Serve with grilled pita bread, if desired.

Sipping on Sweetness

When it's summertime, many people crave something cold and fruity. Simply combine frozen strawberries with frozen pink lemonade concentrate to create a cool concoction perfect for a sizzling day. This fizzy summertime treat can delight your taste buds and keep you quenched while enjoying the sun's rays.

Find more summer drink recipes at Culinary.net.

Strawberry Spritzer

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen sliced strawberries, sweetened and thawed
  • 2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled
  • 1 can (12 ounces) frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
  1. In blender, process strawberries until blended thoroughly.
  2. Pour strawberries into large pitcher; stir in soda and pink lemonade.

A Simple Stuffed Side

Whether you need a quick appetizer or something to snack on, these Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes make for an appealing bite.

Find more snack recipes at Culinary.net.

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Recipe courtesy of Culinary.net

  • 24-48 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 3 green onion stalks, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced dill
  • fresh dill, for garnish
  1. Cut thin slice off top of each tomato. Scoop out pulp. Invert tomatoes on paper towel to drain.
    In medium bowl, combine cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in cucumber, green onion and dill. Spoon mixture into tomatoes. Top with fresh dill.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Steak)

Source:  The Little Potato Company

Seafood 12 June 2020

Add Seafood to Summer Meals

(Family Features) Grilled meals provide a summer escape for many families by offering opportunities to spend moments together while enjoying flavorful dishes. As Americans face uncertainty in many aspects of life, one place they should be able to turn to for normalcy is food.

One option that checks boxes including comfort, fun, taste and variety: seafood. As a nutritious protein available across the country, it is versatile and can be paired with a variety of cuisines and flavors. Options range from salmon and shrimp to crab, tuna and more.

To encourage hungry Americans to enjoy the many benefits of eating seafood, the “Eat Seafood America” campaign offers these reasons to add fish, shrimp and more to your menu:

  • Whether you order online, head to a store or purchase fresh from a local fisherman, seafood is widely available.
  • Seafood works for a variety of dishes and cooking methods, such as these recipes for Easy Shrimp Skewers, a light and hassle-free family meal, or Seared Salmon with Mediterranean Salsa, a fun spin on cowboy caviar.
  • Seafood provides essential nutrients that support immune health, such as omega-3s that may even help reduce anxiety, according to research published by “The Journal of the American Medical Association.”
  • Purchasing seafood supports 2 million American jobs for men and women who follow high levels of food safety practices to provide sustainable seafood.
  • Seafood offers an escape as a way for families to enjoy a favorite meal that reminds loved ones of vacation memories from oceanside paradises.

Find more ways to add seafood to your summer menu at eatseafoodamerica.com.

Easy Shrimp Skewers

Recipe courtesy of Annessa Chumbley, RDN, on behalf of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 5

  • 10        wooden skewers
  • water
  • 2          medium zucchinis, cut into large chunks
  • 2          medium bell peppers (any color), cut into large chunks
  • 2          red onions, cut into large chunks
  • 1          cup cherry tomatoes
  • 10-12   ounces cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails on
  • olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1          lemon, juice only
  1. In bowl, soak skewer sticks in water at least 10 minutes to prevent burning on grill). Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Build skewers by alternating zucchinis, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and shrimp, pushing ingredients closely together on each skewer. Brush each with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, to taste.
  3. Cook skewers about 9 minutes, rotating every 3 minutes until veggies and shrimp are seared but not overcooked. Remove and place on large platter.
  4. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve.

Seared Salmon with Mediterranean Salsa

Recipe courtesy of Annessa Chumbley, RDN, on behalf of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-6       salmon filets (each about 1-inch thick)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1          can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1          can quartered or chopped artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1          cup diced cucumber
  • 1          cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3       cup diced red onion
  • 1/2       cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1          handful fresh spinach, chopped
  • balsamic glaze
  1. In skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Sear salmon filets 4 minutes. Sprinkle tops of each salmon filet with sea salt, to taste. Flip and cook 4 minutes until barely done. Remove to serving platter.
  2. In medium bowl, make salsa by gently folding together chickpeas, artichoke hearts, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, feta and spinach. Sprinkle with sea salt, to taste. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and spoon salsa over each salmon filet.
  3. Refrigerate leftover salsa.

Source: Seafood Nutrition Partnership

Meal Ideas 01 June 2020

Taste of Summer

(Family Features) A summer weekend isn’t complete until you fire up the grill, but flame-kissed steaks are just the start to an unforgettable meal that celebrates all the best of the season.

To create the perfect main dish, start with high-quality protein, like Omaha Steaks’ Private Reserve Boneless New York Strips. Thick, juicy and full of flavorful marbling, these premier steaks are meticulously aged for optimal taste and tenderness with robust, beefy flavor brought out when cooked properly on the grill.

If you’re opting for burgers, elevate your menu with flavorful accompaniments like crisp candied bacon, sauteed shrimp and zesty homemade pickles for a menu you won’t soon forget.

Find more ideas for upgrading the grilling experience in your own backyard at OmahaSteaks.com.

Candied Bacon

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1          pound (1 package) Omaha Steaks Applewood Smoked Steak-Cut Bacon
  • 1          tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1          cup packed light brown sugar
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Place wire rack on foil-lined baking sheet. Place strips of bacon on wire rack and sprinkle with black pepper. Lightly pat brown sugar on top of bacon in thin layer.
  3. Place baking sheet on center rack in oven and bake 25 minutes, or until brown sugar melts and bacon is crisp.
  4. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Using tongs, transfer bacon to parchment-lined baking sheet and cool to room temperature.
  5. Store in airtight container up to 3 days at room temperature.

Quick Pickles

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

  • 1/2       cup white vinegar
  • 2          teaspoons sugar
  • 1          teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1          clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2       teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1          teaspoon dried dill, chopped, or 2 tablespoons fresh dill leaves
  • 1          bay leaf
  • 4          cucumbers, cut into angled 1-inch slices
  1. Heat small saucepan over medium high heat. Add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt, garlic and red pepper flakes, if desired; cook until mixture begins to simmer and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
  2. In heat-proof bowl, toss dill, bay leaf and sliced cucumbers. Pour simmering liquid over cucumbers and stir to evenly coat. Cool to room temperature or chill before serving. 

Note: Pickles may be made up to 3 days in advance. Refrigerate in covered non-reactive container.

Connecticut-Style Shrimp

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 4          tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2          tablespoons chives
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon black pepper
  • 12        large, cleaned, uncooked Omaha Steaks Wild Argentinian Red Shrimp
  1. Heat medium skillet to medium-high heat. Add butter; cook until melted.
  2. Add chives, salt, pepper and shrimp to pan. Cook 2 minutes, turn shrimp and cook 2 minutes, or until shrimp is opaque and cooked through. Remove from heat and serve.

Dry-Brined New York Strips with Grilled Brown Butter Balsamic Onions

Prep time: 1-12 hours
Cook time: 30-40 minutes
Servings: 4

Dry Brine:

  • 4          tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1          tablespoon coarse ground pepper
  • 4          (11-ounce) Omaha Steaks Private Reserve Boneless New York Strips, thawed

Butter and Balsamic:

  • 4          tablespoons salted butter
  • 2          tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2          teaspoons fresh thyme

Grilled Onions:

  • 2          large sweet onions
  • 4          wooden skewers, soaked
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  1. To make dry brine: Combine salt and pepper; season steaks generously on all sides. Place steaks on elevated rack on baking sheet and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. To make butter and balsamic: Heat small skillet to medium high heat. Add butter and cook until butter begins to brown and smell nutty. Remove from heat and add balsamic vinegar and thyme. Set aside.
  3. To make grilled onions: Peel off outer layers of onions. Slice into 1/2-inch slices. Lay onions on flat surface. Push skewers through centers of onions; two onion slices per skewer. Brush onions with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. To cook steaks and onions: Make two-zone fire on charcoal grill with coals on one side and no coals on the other.
  5. Place onions on cool side of grill; flip and rotate every 10 minutes until golden brown, approximately 25-30 minutes. Total time will depend on how hot coals are and how close onions are to fire. When onions are golden and tender, brush with brown butter balsamic mixture. 
  6. On hot side of grill, during last 15 minutes of cook time for onions, cook steaks to desired temperature. When steaks are 5 F from desired temperature, remove from grill and let rest 5-10 minutes.
  7. Remove onions from grill. Carefully remove onions from skewers and place in serving dish.  Top with remaining brown butter balsamic mixture and serve with steaks.

Source: Omaha Steaks

Meal Ideas 20 May 2020

A Simply Sensational Summer Meal

(Family Features) Whipping up a fresh cooked meal is one of the true joys of summer, especially when grilled grub is paired with tantalizing sides and tempting desserts.

Spice things up with Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream coupled with a side like Roasted Potatoes then cap off a filling meal with these sweet and decadent Strawberry Cream Cheese Tartlets. If you’re looking for ways to mix meat and veggies all at once, these ideas for kebabs are a surefire way to please a variety of palates.

Find more summer meal ideas at Culinary.net.

Cook Up Kebabs

As one of the most versatile main courses that can be grilled, kebabs offer nearly endless opportunities for customization. From protein to veggies, soaked wooden skewers can be loaded with just about any favorite flavors before hitting the grates. Consider these options for kicking your kebabs up a notch:

  • Steak, cut into chunks
  • Chicken, cut into chunks
  • Bratwurst or sausage, cut into slices
  • Ground beef, shaped into balls
  • Lamb
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon, cut into chunks
  • Bacon, cut into small pieces
  • Sliced onions
  • Sliced bell peppers
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes

Summer Sliders with a Spicy Kick

Summer calls for firing up the grill for a fresh-cooked meal, and sliders are an ideal way to enjoy a downsized version of a warm weather favorite.

These Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream are perfect for summer with their spicy kick of salsa and bright, cooling cream. Made with grass-fed beef from New Zealand, where the animals are allowed to roam and graze freely over lush green hills and pastures year-round, the mini burgers boast a lean, finely textured meat that tastes just as nature intended.

Find more tasty summer recipes at beefandlambnz.com.

Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream

Recipe courtesy of Beef + Lamb New Zealand
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Patties:

  • 1 1/3    pounds lean New Zealand grass-fed ground beef
  • 1          clove garlic, crushed
  • 1          medium onion, grated or finely chopped
  • 1          egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4       cup red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2          tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3          teaspoons dried oregano, chopped
  • 2          teaspoons mild smoked paprika
  • 2          teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1          teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2       cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • olive oil

Jalapeno Salsa:

  • 1          cup cucumber, thinly sliced into long ribbons
  • 3/4       cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1          red onion, finely sliced
  • 1/2       cup pickled jalapenos, finely chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • olive oil
  • lime juice

Avocado Cream:

  • 1          avocado, mashed
  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • 1          lime, juice and zest only
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 8-12     slider buns, halved
  • 2-3       cobs sweet corn, cooked and sliced into shards
  • 8-12     small bamboo skewers
  1. To make patties: In bowl, combine beef, garlic, onion, egg, kidney beans, tomato paste, oregano, paprika, cumin, coriander, Parmesan cheese, salt, to taste, and pepper, to taste. Shape into 8-12 small patties. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes.
  2. Heat grill or frying pan to medium heat.
  3. Brush patties with oil on both sides. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, turning once to brown both sides evenly, until cooked through.
  4. To make Jalapeno Salsa: In bowl, combine cucumber, cilantro, onion and jalapenos; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice.
  5. To make Avocado Cream: In bowl, combine avocado, sour cream, lime juice and lime zest; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Spread Avocado Cream on bottom buns and place patties on top. Top patties with Jalapeno Salsa, corn and top buns. Press down gently and poke in skewers to secure sliders.

A Sweet Summer Treat

Sweet flavors and warm weather go hand-in-hand, and many summer occasions and get-togethers call for dessert. Take advantage of warm weather favorites like strawberries and raspberries with these Strawberry Cream Cheese Tartlets.

Made using the best berries nature can provide, these bite-size tartlets feature a graham cracker crust base and an indulgent cream cheese filling flavored with sliced strawberries, honey and lemon topped with Well•Pict’s sweet, juicy strawberries and raspberries, which come fresh in clamshell packaging made from 70% recycled water bottles.

Find more sweet recipes that can bring a smile to your loved ones’ faces at wellpict.com/recipe.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Tartlets

Makes: 24 tartlets (4 ounces each)

  • 1/2       cup water
  • 2          tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3          tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2          tablespoons gelatin
  • 4          cups Well•Pict Strawberries, sliced, divided
  • 1/3       cup honey
  • 2          packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • 1          cup ice cubes
  • 2          cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2       cup melted butter
  • 1          cup Well•Pict Strawberries, rinsed, for garnish
  • 1          cup Well•Pict Raspberries, rinsed, for garnish
  1. In blender, mix water, lemon juice, lemon zest and gelatin until frothy.
  2. Add 2 cups strawberries and honey; blend until smooth. Pour into bowl and chill mix 15 minutes.
  3. In blender, mix cream cheese, sour cream and ice cubes while incorporating strawberry mixture. Mix in remaining strawberries.
  4. In blender or food processor, mix graham crackers and melted butter to crumb consistency. Lightly grease two medium muffin pans and pack graham cracker mixture at bottom of each opening. Pour strawberry mixture over graham cracker mixture and chill until set. Gently pull tartlets from muffin tins and place on serving tray. Garnish with strawberries and raspberries.

Roasted and Ready to Serve

Summer meals centered around grilled fare call for a complementary pairing that completes the classic profile of warm weather food. Using a versatile vegetable like potatoes allows you to think up different methods of cooking for a new flavor each time.

While you’re focused on the main dish being grilled, these Roasted Potatoes can bake away indoors for a simple side that requires little attention.

Find more health resources at usda.gov.

Roasted Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of “A Harvest of Recipes with USDA Foods
Servings: 6

  • 1          pound potatoes, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2       cup onion, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2       cup green pepper, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1          teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 1          teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1          tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2       teaspoon paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In medium bowl, mix potatoes, onions, green peppers and garlic.
  3. Add vegetable oil, salt, pepper, parsley and paprika. Mix well.
  4. Cover bowl and refrigerate 15 minutes.
  5. Spread potato mixture evenly on cookie sheet. Bake about 35 minutes.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Kebabs and Roasted Potatoes)

Source:  New Zealand Wagyu Beef
Well•Pict Berries

 

Meal Ideas 18 May 2020

Breaking Bread

(Family Features) As families spend more time at home, Americans are finding comfort in a surprising source: bread. In fact, a 20-year trend of declining grain food consumption has been reversed.

A national study by the Grain Food Foundation suggests that the turnaround is more than a one-time sales blip due to pantry loading. In reality, consumers count bread among their top comfort foods. The study revealed one-third of Americans named pasta and bread as foods that are comforting during a stressful time.

In addition to the comforting flavor, this trend provides valuable nutritional benefits. As a part of many healthy eating plans, bread and pasta are nutritionist approved and provide nutrients needed for healthy aging such as B vitamins, magnesium, selenium, iron, folate and fiber.

“For years, we’ve been telling consumers that grain foods are the foods we love that love us back,” said Christine Cochran, executive director of the Grain Foods Foundation. “The stress has given us permission to enjoy bread and pasta again, but unlike most comfort foods, consumers recognize that grains have nutritional value.”

The highest-ranking comfort foods were ice cream; baked goods like cakes, cookies and pastries; salty snacks; candy; and fast food. However, when asked to identify comfort foods with nutritional advantages, consumers identified bread and pasta as the top two.

Beyond identifying comfort foods and their nutritional value, consumers also expressed worry that bread is in short supply right now.

“We can all rest assured that there is enough supply of grain food products in this country,” Cochran said. “Shoppers may be experiencing some sporadic unavailability of certain high-demand items. However, manufacturers are working closely with retailers to make sure that out-of-stocks are short lived. Consumers will be able to buy their favorite grain-food products and eat them, too.”

To learn more about the role of grain foods in a healthful diet, visit GrainFoodsFoundation.org.

Avocado Veggie Sandwich

Recipe courtesy of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1/2       ripe avocado, peeled
  • 1          tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt
  • 4          slices bread
  • 4          slices tomato
  • 8          slices cucumber
  • 12        slices sweet bell pepper
  • 2          tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2          lettuce leaves
  1. In small bowl, combine avocado, lemon juice and salt. Spread mixture evenly over two bread slices.
  2. Place tomatoes, cucumber and peppers on covered surface. Drizzle with vinegar.
  3. Layer lettuce, tomato, cucumbers and peppers evenly between slices of bread, creating two sandwiches.

Panzanella Bagel Salad

Recipe courtesy of Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, MS, RD, on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 2          medium Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/4    cups canned diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4       cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4       cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2          tablespoons red onion, diced
  • 2          tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated, plus additional (optional)
  • 1          tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2          bagels (4 ounces each) cut into 2-inch pieces, toasted
  • assorted greens (optional)

In medium bowl, mix tomatoes, canned tomatoes with juice, green pepper, cucumber, onion, cheese, vinegar and basil.

Add toasted bagel pieces; toss gently. Marinate, covered, in refrigerator 1 hour. Serve within 1 hour after marinating. Sprinkle with additional cheese and serve on bed of assorted greens, if desired.

Rotini with Sausage and Mushrooms

Recipe courtesy of Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, MS, RD, on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 18 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1          box (13 1/4 ounces) whole-grain rotini
  • 1          tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1          pound chicken sausage, sliced
  • 1          cup leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1          cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2          cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1          cup chicken stock
  • 1/4       cup parsley chopped
  • 6          leaves from tarragon sprigs, chopped
  • 1          cup Romano cheese grated
  • Parmesan-Romano cheese (optional)
  1. Prepare rotini according to package directions. Drain and transfer to large bowl.
  2. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook sausage 2-3 minutes, or until well browned. Add leeks, onions and mushrooms; cook until tender. Add chicken stock and simmer 3-5 minutes, or until hot. Fold sausage mixture into warm pasta. Add parsley, tarragon and Romano cheese; toss again. Top with Parmesan-Romano cheese, if desired.

Cheesy Black Bean Toast with Pico de Gallo

Recipe courtesy of Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, MS, RD, on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 6          Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1⁄2       medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1          clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2          serrano or jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
  • 3          tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1          lime, juice only
  • 1⁄8       teaspoon oregano, finely crushed
  • 1⁄8       teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1⁄8       teaspoon pepper
  • 1⁄2       Hass avocado, diced
  • 4          bolillos (6 inches) or large Kaiser rolls, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1          can (16 ounces) seasoned low-fat refried black beans
  • 2          cups shredded Chihuahua or mozzarella cheese
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, combine tomatoes; onion; garlic; peppers; cilantro; lime juice; oregano; salt, if desired; pepper; and avocado; set aside.
  3. On medium platter, split rolls. With medium spatula, spread refried beans onto each bread half; sprinkle cheese among bread.
  4. Bake 5-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted and hot.

Source:  Grain Foods Foundation

Meal Ideas 24 February 2020

Make Cents of a Healthy Diet

(Family Features) One of the great myths of healthy eating is that it’s expensive. Making healthier choices can actually save you money when you know how to shop smart.

To help encourage healthier communities, the American Heart Association and Aramark have simple tips to keep in mind as you seek out affordable, nutritious and tasty food options for your family:

  • Shop with a plan in mind. Taking a list to the store helps limit impulse purchases, but it’s OK to make smart swaps while shopping if items you’d normally use are on sale.
  • Consider your fruit and veggie options. Locally grown, seasonal fruits and vegetables are often reasonably priced for recipes like this Mediterranean Chicken and Grain Bowl. Canned and frozen options, meanwhile, can be just as nutritious as fresh options.
  • Cook once, eat twice. Choose recipes that make enough food to enjoy fresh for one meal and as leftovers later, such as this four-serving Curry-Spiced Tofu with Asian Vegetables.
  • Buy in bulk. Look for items with long shelf lives like whole grains and non-perishables such as canned beans and vegetables.
  • Focus on dishes with limited, common ingredients. They are easy to prepare and allow you to avoid purchasing items like rarely used spices.
  • Develop a budget. Assess your current food expenses each week. Multiply by the number of weeks that month to find your monthly food budget and determine if this fits with your other monthly expenses.

Find more recipes and tips to make healthy meals more affordable at fyp365.com or heart.org/healthyforlife.

Mediterranean Chicken and Grain Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Aramark
Servings: 6

  • 8          ounces farro or brown rice
  • 6          cups spinach, stems removed
  • 1 1/2    cups diced seedless cucumbers
  • 1 1/2    diced tomatoes
  • 6          thin slices red onion   
  • 3          cups cauliflower florets
  • 3/4       cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 3          cups cooked skinless chicken breast, visible fat discarded
  • 6          tablespoons fat-free or low-fat crumbled feta cheese
  • 3          tablespoons kalamata olives
  1. Cook farro according to package instructions.
  2. On serving plate, place 1/2 cup farro. Around farro, arrange 1 cup spinach; 1/4 cup cucumber; 1/4 cup tomatoes; 1 slice red onion, separated into rings; and 1/2 cup cauliflower.
  3. Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over salad. Top with 1/2 cup chicken and garnish with 1 tablespoon feta cheese and 1 1/2 teaspoons olives. Repeat with additional servings. 

Nutritional information per serving: 342 calories; 12 g total fat; 52 mg cholesterol; 551 mg sodium; 35 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 8 g sugars; 25 g protein.

Curry-Spiced Tofu with Asian Vegetables

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association
Servings: 4

  • 12        ounces light, extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry, cut into four slices
  • 1          tablespoon, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons, curry powder, divided
  • 12        ounces packaged fresh stir-fry vegetables
  • 1          tablespoon water
  • 2          teaspoons canola oil
  • 1          teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1          large onion, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
  • 4          large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4       cup light coconut milk
  • 1/4-1/2             teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  1. Put tofu on large plate. Sprinkle tofu on both sides with 1 tablespoon curry powder.
  2. In large microwaveable bowl, microwave vegetables and water on high 2-3 minutes, or until vegetables are almost tender-crisp. Pour off remaining water.
  3. In large nonstick skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat bottom. Cook tofu in single layer 3-4 minutes on each side, or until browned. Transfer to separate large plate. Cover loosely to keep warm.
  4. In same skillet, heat sesame oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat bottom. Cook onion 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  5. Stir in vegetables and garlic. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until vegetables are tender-crisp, stirring constantly.
  6. Stir in coconut milk, chili garlic sauce and remaining curry powder. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Spoon vegetable mixture over tofu.

Nutritional information per serving: 151 calories; 6.5 g total fat; 86 mg sodium; 14 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 4 g sugars; 10 g protein.

Source: American Heart Association/Aramark

Videos 27 January 2020

Beefy Cali Roll

(Family Features) An innovative sushi-style concept, “beefshi” features convenient beef products like pastrami, roast beef, summer sausage, hot dogs, corned beef or bologna prepared in rolls with rice and vegetables. You can beef up your menu with a trendy twist with a recipe like this Beefy Cali Roll that includes corned beef, avocado and cucumber.

Find more information and recipes at beefshi.com.

Beefy Cali Roll

Recipe courtesy of the North American Meat Institute on behalf of the Beef Checkoff
Yield: 2 rolls (16 pieces)

Hand Vinegar:

  • 1          cup water
  • 1/4       cup rice vinegar

Piquant Sauce:

  • 1/2       cup plain yogurt
  • 1          tablespoon mustard
  • 1          tablespoon horseradish
  • 1/2       avocado, mashed until smooth

Maki:

  • 2          sheets nori
  • 2          cups prepared sushi rice
  • 6          thin slices corned beef
  • 1/2       avocado, cut into slivers
  • 1/4       cucumber, cut lengthwise into thin strips
  • rice seasoning
  • wasabi peas
  1. To make hand vinegar: In small bowl, stir water and rice vinegar.
  2. To make piquant sauce: In small bowl, blend yogurt, mustard, horseradish and avocado.
  3. To make maki: Lay sushi mat on clean surface. Moisten hands with hand vinegar and shake off excess. Place one nori sheet on mat, shiny-side down. Spread 1 cup rice across nori, leaving 1 inch empty at farthest end.
  4. Lay half of corned beef, avocado and cucumber crosswise along rice, covering half the surface closest to you.
  5. Securing corned beef, avocado and cucumber with fingers, use thumbs to push end of mat up and over filling until edge of the nori meets rice on opposite side. Press firmly on roll.
  6. Lift top of mat and roll firmly until tight and round. Squeeze gently to shape roll. Press ends in carefully to secure loose rice. Remove mat and set roll aside.
  7. Repeat to make second roll.
  8. Use thin, sharp knife to cut each roll into eight slices. Arrange on sushi platter and sprinkle with rice seasoning and wasabi peas. Serve with piquant sauce.

Sponsor: North American Meat Institute

Appetizers & Sides 06 December 2019

Show Your Heart Some Love

(Family Features) While heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, many of the risk factors associated with the condition can be controlled with dietary and lifestyle changes. By centering your meals around better-for-you ingredients and recipes, you can show your heart some extra love.

Consider walnuts, which are a heart-healthy food certified by the American Heart Association. More than 25 years of research shows walnuts may play a key role in heart health. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved one of the first qualified health claims for a whole food, finding that eating 1 1/2 ounces of walnuts per day as part of a low-saturated fat and low-cholesterol diet while not increasing caloric intake may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Additionally, walnuts are the only nut significantly high in omega-3s, with 2 1/2 grams of alpha-linolenic acid per ounce. Walnuts can add this essential nutrient to dishes like these American Heart Association Heart-Check Mark certified recipes for Greek Cucumber Walnut Bites and Banana Bread Overnight Oats.

Find more information and heart-healthy recipes at walnuts.org/heart-health.
 

Greek Cucumber Walnut Bites

Recipe courtesy of Beth Stark, RDN, LDN on behalf of the California Walnut Board
Prep time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1/2       cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1          English cucumber, ends trimmed (about 14 ounces)
  • 1/2       cup roasted red pepper hummus
  • 1/2       cup reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese
  • 5          cherry tomatoes, quartered
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. On small baking sheet, arrange walnuts evenly. Bake 8 minutes, checking frequently, until toasted.
  3. Slice cucumber crosswise into 3/4-inch thick slices. Using small spoon, gently scoop out and discard center of each cucumber slice, leaving bottom and sides intact.
  4. In small bowl, stir 6 tablespoons chopped walnuts and hummus. Spoon walnut-hummus mixture into each cucumber slice and top with reserved chopped walnuts, feta cheese and quartered tomatoes.

Banana Bread Overnight Oats

Recipe courtesy of Crowded Kitchen on behalf of the California Walnut Board
Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 3          ripe bananas, sliced
  • 2          cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1          tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4       cup chopped California walnuts, divided
  • 1          tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3          cups skim milk
  1. In large container with lid, add sliced bananas. Use potato masher or fork to mash bananas until smooth.
  2. Add oats, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, half the chopped walnuts, maple syrup and milk. Combine thoroughly and refrigerate overnight.
  3. To serve, divide among four canning jars or glass containers with lids. Top each with remaining walnuts before serving.

Source: California Walnut Board

Videos 23 September 2019

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Whether you need a quick appetizer or something to snack on, these Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes make for an appealing bite.

Find more snack recipes at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

  • 24-48   cherry tomatoes
  • 1          package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2          tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1          medium cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 3          green onion stalks, diced
  • 2          teaspoons minced dill
  • fresh dill, for garnish
  1. Cut thin slice off top of each tomato. Scoop out pulp. Invert tomatoes on paper towel to drain.
  2. In medium bowl, combine cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in cucumber, green onion and dill. Spoon mixture into tomatoes. Top with fresh dill.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Meal Ideas 10 May 2019

Enjoy the Goodness of Grapes for Healthy Snacks and Meals

(Family Features) Establishing a regular pattern of healthy snacks and meals made from fresh, whole foods is essential to promoting good health. Fresh grapes always make a great snack because they are tasty, healthy and portable. Yet grapes can also be used as an ingredient to make good-for-you dishes that are just as satisfying as they are healthy.

According to an IFIC Food and Health survey, consumers are looking more and more to foods for health benefits, with cardiovascular health topping the list as the leading benefit sought. Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols. Plus, they are naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free and low in sodium. Pairing heart-healthy grapes with other healthy ingredients – including fish, legumes, whole grains and vegetables – offers a vast array of options for nutritious make-at-home dishes.

In these recipes for Chicken Larb with Grapes, Trout with Grape and Lentil Salad, and Smashed Cucumber and Grape Salad, grapes add a juicy burst of flavor, vibrant color and crunch to deliver wholesome meals with bold flavors and fresh textures.

Go for a Grape Snack

Snacking, for many people, is a significant part of daily food consumption, thus making smart snack choices a vital part of promoting good health. According to a study conducted by Mintel, 94 percent of adults snack daily, and 55 percent of people said they snack 2-3 times per day. Grapes are a healthy and hydrating choice without the added fat, salt and sugar found in many processed snacks.

For more meal inspiration for healthy eating, visit GrapesfromCalifornia.com.

Trout with Grape and Lentil Salad

Servings: 4

  • 3/4       cup green lentils, uncooked
  • 2 1/2    cups water
  • 2          tablespoons minced shallot
  • 1 1/2    cups halved red California grapes
  • 1/4       cup fresh chopped dill
  • 1/4       cup chopped walnuts
  • 2          tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1          tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons, olive oil, divided
  • 1          cup arugula
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper, plus additional, to taste, divided
  • 4          trout fillets (4-6 ounces each), skin on
  • 1/2       teaspoon lemon zest
  1. In medium saucepan, combine lentils with water. Bring to boil then reduce heat to simmer; cover and cook 15 minutes. Turn off heat and allow lentils to steam 5 minutes; drain and let cool.
  2. In medium bowl, combine lentils, shallot, grapes, dill, walnuts, lemon juice, lemon zest, vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, arugula, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper, to taste; set aside.
  3. Heat oven to broil. Move rack to highest position.
  4. Sprinkle trout fillets with lemon zest, remaining salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; brush with remaining olive oil. Broil trout 4-5 minutes. Serve with lentil salad.

Nutritional information per serving:  480 calories; 40 g protein; 36 g carbohydrates; 20 g fat (38% calories from fat); 3 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 80 mg cholesterol; 380 mg sodium; 10 g fiber.

Chicken Larb with Grapes

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/2       red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2          cups halved red California grapes
  • 2          tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1          pound ground chicken
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1-2       Thai chilies, thinly sliced
  • 2          teaspoons fish sauce
  • 3          tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4       cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 3          tablespoons coarsely chopped mint leaves
  • 4          cups steamed jasmine rice
  • 2          cups shredded green cabbage
  • 2          tablespoons chopped roasted and salted peanuts
  1. In medium bowl, combine onion, grapes and rice vinegar; set aside.
  2. In large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, stirring frequently until just cooked through, about 6-7 minutes. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Stir in chilies, fish sauce, lime juice, cilantro and mint.
  3. Divide rice between four serving dishes and top with chicken, cabbage, marinated onions and grapes; sprinkle with peanuts.

Nutritional information per serving: 540 calories; 26 g protein; 65 g carbohydrates; 19 g fat (32% calories from fat); 3.5 g saturated fat (6% calories from saturated fat); 100 mg cholesterol; 480 mg sodium; 3 g fiber.

Smashed Cucumber and Grape Salad

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1 1/4    pounds English or Persian cucumbers, ends trimmed
  • 1          teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2          tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2          teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 1-2       teaspoons chili oil
  • 1          teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1          cup halved California grapes
  • 2          scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2          teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
  1. Using rolling pin, smash whole cucumbers lightly, just enough to break open. Tear or cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces and season with salt. Transfer to sieve and let drain 10 minutes.
  2. In large bowl, whisk vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, chili oil and sesame oil; stir in grapes and scallions. When cucumbers finish draining, add to bowl with grape mixture and stir to combine.
  3. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Nutritional information per serving: 70 calories; 1 g protein; 11 g carbohydrates; 2.5 g fat (32% calories from fat); 0 g saturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 170 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

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