(Family Features) Picnics, patio dining and al fresco foods all come to mind when warmer weather allows families and friends to enjoy the flavors of homemade meals in the great outdoors. As you seek out recipes for outdoor entertaining and more, try keeping the options light and simple with dishes that can be created at a moment's notice.
Ruby Beet Chicken Salad Skewers, uniquely flavored with Aunt Nellie's Baby Whole Pickled Beets, can be ready in less than an hour for those last-minute get-togethers. Try this Middle Eastern-Inspired Bean Salad with a touch of za'atar seasoning and READ Bean Salad for a flavorful accompaniment to the main course.
Ruby Beet Chicken Salad Skewers
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie's Baby Whole Pickled Beets
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus additional, to taste, divided
- 4 1/2 tablespoons stone ground mustard, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoons, plus 1/3 cup, orange marmalade, divided
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 1 large lemon, zest and juice (1/3 cup juice)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 bag (9 ounces) leafy romaine lettuce pieces
- 1/3 cup chopped almonds, toasted
- 1/3 cup crumbled blue, feta or goat cheese
- Heat oven to 375 F. Drain beets; set aside.
- Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. In small bowl, combine 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard and 1 1/2 tablespoons marmalade. Brush mixture over chicken until completely coated. Bake chicken on rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil about 20-25 minutes, or until juices run clear; set aside.
- To make vinaigrette: In medium bowl, combine remaining mustard, remaining marmalade, chives, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Slowly pour in oil while whisking vigorously until completely combined.
- Slice cooled chicken into 1-inch pieces. Onto each skewer, thread one beet, one piece of chicken and 4-5 pieces of lettuce; repeat two times for each skewer, adding one beet at ends. Repeat to make eight skewers. Place skewers on large serving platter.
- Stir vinaigrette; drizzle lightly over skewers. Sprinkle with almonds and cheese. Serve with remaining vinaigrette.
Middle Eastern-Inspired Bean Salad
Prep time: 20 minutes
- 1 can (15 ounces) READ 3 or 4 Bean Salad
- 1/2 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 small cucumber (4-5 inches long) cut in half lengthwise then thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- 1 small clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons prepared hummus
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/4-1/2 teaspoon za'atar seasoning blend
- Drain bean salad. Discard liquid. Place bean salad in large bowl.
- Add tomatoes, cucumber, onions, parsley, mint, garlic and red pepper flakes to bean salad. Toss to combine.
- To make dressing: In bowl, combine hummus, lemon juice and za'atar seasoning.
- Add dressing to salad just before serving; toss to combine well. Serve immediately or chilled.
(Family Features) Make Father's Day special by combining two of Dad's favorite things - sweet treats and the grill. Hot dogs have gone gourmet and a big, juicy hamburger or steak is a tried-and-true classic. But, this year, show Dad how much you love him with a healthy twist on two American favorites - the chicken wing and watermelon.
If Dad is usually the one manning the grill, review these simple tips for cooking chicken outdoors before you begin:
- Preheat the grill on high.
- Make sure the grate is well oiled to prevent sticking.
- Transport the chicken to the grill on one plate and use a clean plate to take the prepared food back to the kitchen.
- Use tongs to turn the chicken instead of a fork, which may tear the meat.
- Keep the grill covered as much as possible for quicker, more even cooking.
- Have a spray bottle filled with water handy in case of a flare up.
- Once you remove the chicken from the grill, allow it to "rest" for five minutes so it will retain its juices when cut.
Get the kids involved in the meal preparation by creating a fun dessert. They can use a small ice cream scoop or melon baller to scoop out watermelon, cantaloupe or honeydew. Serve the cool, refreshing treat in a pretty bowl or thread the melon balls onto skewers. Slices of watermelon can also be cut into fun shapes with cookie cutters. Add the shapes to the plate for a fun garnish or place one or two on the rim of a glass to add a festive flair.
Grilling out is a time-honored tradition so fire up the charcoal and let the celebration begin.
Look for more fun ways to enjoy watermelon and sign up for a free newsletter, at www.watermelon.org.
Chipotle Maple Citrus Watermelon Wings
- 2 cups watermelon puree
- Juice from 3 fresh lemons
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 1/2 cup maple syrup (can use light version)
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper, or to taste
- Chicken wings or drumettes
- 2 cups pineapple juice
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
- 3 cloves minced fresh garlic
- To prepare the watermelon glaze, simmer ingredients together in a heavy saucepan for 20 minutes or until sauce is thick. Makes 2 cups. Keep warm.
- To prepare the chicken, place the chicken in a large zipper lock bag with rest of the ingredients and seal tightly. Allow to marinate at least 2 hours or up to 12. Grill until cooked and arrange on a warm platter. Pour the glaze over the chicken and serve immediately.
(Family Features) Savor each bite of light and flaky crust filled with a creamy mixture of jalapeños and bacon in these Jalapeño Popper Cups.
For more appetizer recipes, visit culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!
Jalapeño Popper Cups
- 8 strips bacon, chopped
- 4 medium jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 package frozen phyllo dough sheets
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- Heat oven 375°F.
- In medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crisp. Drain bacon; reserve 1 tablespoon grease.
- Add jalapeño peppers and minced garlic to bacon grease. Cook until peppers are tender.
- In large bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Stir in bacon, jalapeño mix and 2/3 cup shredded cheese.
- Gently fold one pastry sheet in half. Fold in top corners to middle, forming point. Fold bottom corners to middle, forming point. Place phyllo dough in muffin pan cavity, forming cup.
- Fill phyllo cups with cream cheese mixture. Sprinkle remaining cheddar cheese over cups.
- Bake 7-8 minutes or until heated through. Remove from pan and sprinkle with cilantro.
Recipe adapted from Wilton.
(Family Features) When it comes to eating, it can be difficult to find foods that kids can enjoy while also introducing them to valuable nourishment and health principles.
Instead of giving in to ice cream for every meal or forcing children to eat something their taste buds don’t agree with, there are tasty recipes like Chicken Noodle Soup, Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast and Flower Salad that can quench their appetites without giving up nutritional value. These fun recipes can give kids a chance to help in the kitchen, learning important life skills while spending quality time with family.
To find more fun, kid-friendly recipes that include both taste and nourishment, visit culinary.net.
The Classic Kid-Favorite
When mealtime hits and bellies start growling, turn to a classic to keep your kids full and satisfied. Chicken Noodle Soup has always been a favorite among children, so keep tradition alive in your family with this scrumptious recipe. For more delicious chicken recipes, visit eatchicken.com.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Recipe courtesy of National Chicken Council
- 1 chicken (3 pounds), liver discarded
- 2 1/2 quarts cold water
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 onions, peeled
- 2 celery stalks with leaves, cut into 4 pieces
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 cup small pasta, cooked
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- To prepare broth: In large pot over high heat, bring chicken and all remaining broth ingredients to boil. Reduce heat to low; skim surface of broth to remove foam. Let simmer 1 1/2 hours, skimming occasionally, and turning chicken. Add more water if necessary to keep chicken submerged.
- Remove chicken with tongs and cool. Strain broth through fine sieve. Discard celery, herbs and spices. Reserve onions and carrots. Remove any excess fat from top of broth with spoon.
- Pull chicken meat from bones and discard skin and bones. Dice chicken and reserve. Quarter cooked onions, if desired.
- To prepare soup: In large pot over high heat, return strained chicken broth and bring to rolling boil. Add reserved onions and carrots. Reduce heat to low; stir in reserved chicken meat, pasta and frozen peas, cooking until warm. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with dill and parsley.
Connect Kids with Food for Healthy Habits
More than nine in 10 millennial moms think it's important for their kids to learn about where their food comes from, and more than three-quarters of those moms actively do things with their kids to help learn just that, according to recent findings.
Building healthy habits is the top reason moms cite for encouraging more learning when it comes to food, according to research conducted by IPSOS on behalf of Cuties – the sweet little clementines. Even when the weather is colder outside, recipes like this Flower Salad can help encourage kids to eat healthy for a lifetime.
For more kid-friendly recipe ideas and content exploring where food comes from, visit cutiescitrus.com/our-story.
Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger
- 1 Cuties clementine
- 9-10 thinly sliced strips red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 grape tomato
- 1 celery stick, cut to 3 inches
- 2 small leaves romaine lettuce
- 1 piece English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and cut to 1 1/2 inches then thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Peel clementine and separate sections almost all the way, leaving attached at the base. Place on plate with base down. Place piece of red bell pepper between each citrus section, and half tomato in center to form flower.
- Place celery and lettuce leaves underneath as stem and leaves. Arrange cucumber slices below to represent grass.
- In small bowl, stir together yogurt, honey and lemon juice.
- Serve dip in dish alongside flower, or in a mound underneath cucumber slices.
Nutritional information per serving: 76 calories; 0.5 g total fat; (0.3 g saturated fat, 0.2 g poly fat); 4 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 2 mg cholesterol; 21 mg sodium.
A Memorable Morning Meal
Whether it’s before school or after sleeping in on a Saturday morning, breakfast is a popular meal for children of all ages. Next time you and your family rise and shine, go with this recipe for Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast to keep the whole gang happy. Find more kid-friendly recipes for every meal at nutrition.gov.
Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast
Recipe courtesy of the USDA
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 slices whole-wheat bread
- 1 teaspoon soft margarine
- 4 teaspoons light pancake syrup
- In flat-bottomed bowl, crack eggs. Thoroughly whisk in milk and cinnamon. Dip bread slices, one at a time, into egg mixture, wetting both sides. Re-dip, if necessary, until all egg mixture is absorbed into bread.
- Meanwhile, heat large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add butter. Place dipped bread slices in skillet. Cook 2 1/2-3 minutes per side, or until both sides are golden brown.
- Drizzle with syrup. Serve when warm.
Nutritional information per serving: 190 calories; 8 g total fat; (3 g saturated fat); 10 g protein; 19 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 215 mg cholesterol; 250 mg sodium.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Chicken soup photo and French toast photo)
(Family Features) For flavor fans, there is nearly no better combo than the complementary tastes in a Cubano sandwich. Complete with layers of roast pork, ham, soft swiss cheese, mustard and topped with tangy pickles, all the flavors and textures play in concert.
For an upgrade on the classic sandwich, try this version from Sammy Hagar, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who’s known for his riff on the iconic recipe. He takes his favorite sandwich to the next level by adding a smoky kick.
“The Cubano has everything I love in a sandwich: gooey melted cheese and a crispy, crunchy crust on the bread,” Hagar said. “It's great to be able to get all the flavors in each bite. It has pickles and mustard that cut through the rich cheese and pork. When you splash a little Tabasco on it, you get the last perfect ingredients – flavor and heat.”
Find his signature sandwich at Sammy’s Beach Bar & Grill locations throughout the country, or try creating Sammy’s Cubano Sandwich at home with this recipe.
For more recipes, visit Tabasco.com/recipe.
Sammy’s Cubano Sandwich
Cook time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup cilantro, minced
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin, ground
- kosher salt, to taste
- coarse black pepper, to taste
- 3 1/2 pounds pork shoulder or boneless pork butt
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco Chipotle Sauce
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 6 pieces Cuban bread or baguette (6 inches each), cut lengthwise
- 8 ounces deli ham, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound swiss cheese, thinly sliced
- 24 dill pickle chips
- 4 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons reserved Mojo Marinade
- To make Mojo Marinade: In bowl, whisk olive oil, cilantro, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper until incorporated. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste. Reserve 4 tablespoons marinade in separate bowl, cover and set aside in refrigerator.
- Place pork in large zip-top bag. Cover with Mojo Marinade and close bag. Place in roasting pan and refrigerate overnight.
- Heat oven to 450° F.
- Remove pork and marinade from bag and place in roasting pan. Cover with foil and cook in oven 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, reduce heat to 375° F, remove foil and cook 2 hours until internal temperature reaches 175° F and pork is fork tender at thickest part.
- Remove from oven and let rest 20 minutes before slicing.
- In small bowl, mix chipotle sauce and mayonnaise until fully incorporated.
- Spread mixture on bottom bread slice.
- On top bread slice, place two slices deli ham, 3-4 ounces roasted pork, two slices swiss cheese, 4-6 pickles and yellow mustard.
- Over medium-high heat, butter flat surface of griddle and add reserved Mojo Marinade while butter is melting.
- Place assembled sandwiches on griddle, pressing grill weight or heavy skillet on top of sandwiches.
Bring new holiday traditions to life with a warm, wholesome morning meal
(Family Features) As the busy holiday season approaches, take time to relax and make family memories with a delicious breakfast at home. Bringing loved ones together doesn’t always need to involve an elaborate gathering. Sometimes, a warm, cozy morning meal is all you need.
With wholesome nutrition top of mind for many moms, incorporating milk into your family’s routine can be a simple way to get important nutrients like protein, calcium and vitamin D. When you use real, farm fresh, dairy milk in your favorite holiday recipes, you can feel good knowing that it provides a natural nutrient package that is hard to match in any other single food or beverage.
During this holiday season, bring the family together to enjoy savory comfort foods, like this homemade twist on classic hash browns. Made with ingredients you can feel good about, like nutritious milk, crisp vegetables and fresh herbs, this potato hash is sure to become a new favorite. It’s served with an 8-ounce glass of milk for an extra nutrient boost that helps everyone power through the busy holiday season.
For more recipes to bring the family together during the holiday season, visit milklife.com.
Garlic Herb Potato Hash
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 small red potatoes, skin-on and diced (about 3 cups)
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 3 teaspoons minced garlic
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped, plus additional for topping
- 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped, plus additional for topping
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2/3 cup milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 slices low-sodium turkey bacon, cooked near crispy
- 1/4 cup finely grated reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
- In large skillet over medium heat, melt butter then add potatoes, bell peppers, garlic, thyme and oregano, stirring occasionally until potatoes are fork-tender.
- Sprinkle flour over potato mixture and stir to coat. Gradually stir in milk until sauce forms. Season with salt and pepper and stir in slices of turkey bacon. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and cover, allowing to melt 1-2 minutes. Uncover and top with additional herbs, if desired, before serving.
- Pair each serving with 8-ounce glass of milk.
Nutritional information per serving: 320 calories; 11 g fat; 6 g saturated fat; 45 mg cholesterol; 17 g protein; 38 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 440 mg sodium; 434 mg calcium (45% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.
(Family Features) Big-game watch parties call for big-game snacks, but that doesn’t have to mean complicated recipes or hours spent in the kitchen. Small bites and hearty dips made with real ingredients can be easy to prepare, and make an impressive spread that guests can enjoy from opening kickoff to the final whistle.
To avoid the classic snacking fumble of having your guests’ chips crumbling in your dips, choose an option like Garden of Eatin’ Blue Tortilla Chips, the mother of all chips, made with organic whole blue corn kernels that are stone ground to perfection for thick, tasty and hearty chips that stand up to any dip.
To prepare for fellow viewers with other lifestyle or dietary needs, plan to offer snacks and dips that satisfy even the most finicky of fans. Prepare a double serving of guacamole and split it in two. Keep one as-is for an easy and healthy vegan option, and make BLT Guacamole with the rest.
Serve with Garden of Eatin’ Grain Free Cassava Chips, which are made with organic cassava, sunflower and chia seeds. Crafted to perfection, these gluten-free, grain-free, vegan, paleo-approved chips provide a tasty touchdown for the whole team.
If you’re looking to bring the heat with bold taste and just enough spice in each bite, go for a warm option like Tex-Mex Enchilada Queso. To save time, you can assemble it a few hours before kickoff or even a day ahead of the game then bake just prior to guests arriving. An easy way to make this recipe stretch is to make a portion without meat so you have a vegetarian option as well.
Find more recipes to bring victory to your game-day spread at gardenofeatin.com.
Recipe courtesy of Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking
- 3 strips bacon
- 3 avocados, seeds removed
- 2 baby romaine lettuce leaves, halved and shredded
- 1 small red onion, finely chopped
- 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons chives, chopped
- kosher salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Garden of Eatin’ Grain-Free Cassava Chips
- Cook bacon according to package instructions. Drain on paper towel and break into small pieces.
- In medium bowl, roughly mash avocado. Add lettuce, onion, tomato and bacon. Stir lime juice, lemon juice, cilantro and chives into avocado. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Serve with tortilla chips.
Tex-Mex Enchilada Queso
Recipe courtesy of Gaby Dalkin of What’s Gaby Cooking
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon ground chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 can (10 ounces) green enchilada sauce
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes in green chilies, drained
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 cup freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- 1 cup shredded rotisserie chicken
- chopped fresh cilantro
- chopped green onions
- Garden of Eatin’ Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, for serving
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- Lightly coat deep, 9-inch skillet with cooking spray.
- In large bowl, using hand mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese, sour cream, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and salt until smooth and well combined. Reduce speed to low then beat in enchilada sauce until incorporated. Stir in beans, tomatoes, corn, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese and shredded chicken.
- Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Top with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes until dip is hot and cheese is bubbly. Sprinkle with cilantro and green onions.
- Serve warm with tortilla chips.
Source: Garden of Eatin’
(Family Features) While it can be easy to fall into a routine of cooking the same recipes week in and week out, getting creative with mealtime can be as easy as making simple swaps and trying new flavor combinations with fresh, high-quality ingredients.
One of the easiest ways to shake things up in the kitchen any night of the week is to reimagine a classic dish by replacing one of the main ingredients. As an alternative to the typical chicken or beef, fresh pork is a versatile, convenient and flavorful protein that can easily transform a predictable meal into something new and delicious.
Instead of chicken Florentine, try this recipe for Pork Chops in Creamy Roasted Garlic Florentine Sauce, or rethink the typical weeknight stir-fry with this quick and easy Italian Stir-Fried Pork and Pasta.
For more creative yet easy ways to reimagine mealtime, visit Smithfield.com/ShakeItUp.
Pork Chops in Creamy Roasted Garlic Florentine Sauce
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 4 Smithfield Boneless Pork Chops
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 8 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup bacon pieces, half-cooked
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 1/2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh tomato
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- Season pork chops on both sides with salt and pepper, to taste.
- In large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Cook pork chops 4-5 minutes per side until internal temperature reaches 145° F. Remove pork chops from pan and keep warm.
- In same skillet, heat remaining oil over medium heat. Add minced garlic and partially cooked bacon to skillet; cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to simmer.
- Reduce heat to low and add heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add spinach and tomatoes to sauce; let spinach wilt. Stir in Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning; simmer about 3 minutes.
- Return pork chops to pan along with juices. Spoon Florentine sauce over chops; simmer 3-5 minutes.
Italian Stir-Fried Pork and Pasta
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 Smithfield Roasted Garlic & Herb Marinated Fresh Pork Loin Filet
- 1 package (8 ounces) spiral pasta
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 small zucchini squash, sliced lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 8 sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 cup julienne-sliced sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- Heat skillet or wok to 400° F.
- Slice pork loin filet into thin strips.
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Add pork strips and oil to heated skillet. Stir-fry until meat is browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add zucchini, onion, mushrooms, tomatoes, garlic and butter to skillet; stir-fry until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 5 minutes.
- Drain pasta and add to pork and vegetable mixture with cheese and basil; toss to coat.
Score major points with delicious dishes
(Family Features) If the crew is coming over to root for your favorite team, it may be time to spice up the menu. Whether you’re hosting the weekend get-together or watching the game after work, switch up your typical spread and serve something new to leave your guests cheering for more.
When it comes to choosing an ingredient that can lend a winning assist to nearly any dish and score you some major points, look no further than California Ripe Olives.
Variety is key when mapping out food for a crowd, regardless of the event. Plan on serving one main course and two sides, and consider no-fuss options like chips and dips. If there are kids in attendance, make sure there is something neutral for even the pickiest eaters to snack on. However, try your best to avoid anything that needs a knife and fork to eat – finger foods typically work best when the game is on and conversation is flowing.
The mild and unique taste of California Ripe Olives lends itself well to many different flavor pairings, such as these recipes for Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peach-Olive Jam, Easy Olive Bread and Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade. Whether your guests are fans of spicy, mild, sweet or savory, the only limit is your imagination when you pull a can of olives from the pantry.
Family farms across California grow 95 percent of the ripe olives consumed in the United States. Each can is a labor of love. Multi-generational family farms work with family-owned canneries in California to produce each can and ensure only the highest quality olives make it from the farm to your game-day table. For more creative ways to use olives, including family recipes from growers across California, visit CalOlive.org .
Simple Entertaining Tips to Take Your Table to the Next Level
- A colorful platter is an easy way to spice up a spread.
- Pair something salty with something sweet for a juxtaposition of flavors.
- If you’re serving food on neutral plates, add some colorful linens.
- Plan the menu around a central theme or ingredient.
- Guests love choices – making more options available can make for better spreads.
- Use versatile ingredients, like California Ripe Olives, to keep picky eaters happy.
Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peach-Olive Jam
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 pounds pork shoulder roast
- kosher salt, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cloves garlic, quartered
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 8 ounces dried peaches
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 cup California Black Ripe Olives, wedged
- 2 teaspoons country mustard
- 1 ounce arugula
- 8 onion rolls, split and toasted
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- In large, high-sided saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
- Season pork with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook in pan 3-4 minutes on each side until browned.
- Stir in garlic and continue cooking 3-5 minutes.
- Pour in chicken broth, peaches and chili powder; bring to boil.
- Cover loosely with foil and bake in oven 2 hours.
- With slotted spoon, carefully remove peaches and transfer to small mixing bowl. Mix olives and mustard with peaches; set aside.
- Continue to cook pork in oven 30-60 minutes until fork tender.
- Allow to cool slightly then shred by pulling apart with fork.
- Assemble sandwiches by spooning pork onto toasted rolls.
- Top with arugula and peach-olive mixture.
Easy Olive Bread
Recipe courtesy of The Wicked Noodle
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 10 ounces California Green Ripe Olives, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 loaf French bread, sliced in half lengthwise
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In bowl, mix cream cheese, butter and mayonnaise until thoroughly combined. Add garlic; stir well to distribute. Add cheddar cheese, green olives and green onions; stir to combine.
- Spread mixture on cut sides of bread. Bake 20-30 minutes, until cheese is hot, bubbly and starting to brown.
Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade
- 1/2 cup shallots, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped smoked sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (6 ounces) California Green Ripe Olives, drained
- 1 can (6 ounces) California Black Ripe Olives, drained
- 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- crackers or toasted baguette slices
- In food processor, pulse shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar and garlic until finely chopped. Add olives, basil, salt and pepper; pulse again until chopped.
- Cover and chill 1 hour.
- Serve with crackers or toasted baguette slices.
Note: Recipe can be prepared one day in advance.
Photo courtesy of The Wicked Noodle (Easy Olive Bread)
Source: California Olive Committee
(Family Features) Planning health-conscious New Year’s resolutions typically includes cutting back on unhealthy foods during meals from breakfast to dinner. However, it’s also important to cut out sugary, calorie-laden snacks that can counteract all your hard work throughout the rest of the day.
Rather than skipping snacks entirely, it’s possible to instead incorporate nutritious options that pack protein to help you recharge without going overboard on calories, sodium and sugars. Opt for quick bites like Baked White Bean and Artichoke Dip paired with light, crunchy, low-sugar crackers to get the fuel you need between meals.
This snack idea can be especially filling yet nutritious when you dip with an option like gluten-free, non-GMO Crunchmaster Protein Snack Crackers, made with wholesome ingredients crafted to fit healthy, active lifestyles. With five grams of plant-based protein per serving, the cholesterol-free crackers can aid in providing energy without unnecessary sugars.
As you take steps to incorporate a healthier lifestyle in the New Year, be sure to take into account healthy activities along with nutritious eating habits from the first meal of the day to the last, and each snack in-between.
For more nutritious snacking ideas and recipes, visit crunchmaster.com.
Baked White Bean and Artichoke Dip with Crackers
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 can (15 ounces) organic white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (14 fluid ounces) water-packed artichoke hearts, drained
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, divided
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 1 package (3.54 ounces) Crunchmaster Protein Snack Crackers in Roasted Garlic flavor
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- In food processor, puree beans, artichokes, olive oil, 1 tablespoon chives, lemon zest, lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne until smooth. Scrape into 4-cup baking dish and smooth over top.
- Bake 15-20 minutes, or until heated through. Sprinkle with remaining chives and serve with crackers.
Tip: Substitute parsley or mint for chives, if desired.
Nutrition information per serving: 200 calories; 10 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 580 mg sodium; 21 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 1 g sugar; 7 g protein.