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

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 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 28 May 2020

Support Your Immune System with Grapes

(Family Features) Boosting immune function through a healthy diet has become an important new focus for many people these days. One key dietary recommendation is to eat more fruits and vegetables each day to improve immune function and prevent heart disease and diabetes. When looking to guide your family to healthier snacks and meals or simply trying to mix up your at-home menu, success can be as simple as rethinking the ingredients you choose to use, including your favorite produce, such as grapes.

Fresh California grapes, for example, make for an ideal snack because they are tasty, healthy, hydrating and refreshing, but grapes can also be used to make good-for-you dishes that are also satisfying and delicious. 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 contain virtually no sodium.

Try recipes like Moroccan Grape and Grilled Chicken Bowls with Grape Vinaigrette, Spiced Chickpeas and Grapes with Yogurt, and Cauliflower Steaks with Grapes to pair heart-healthy grapes with other nutritious ingredients and add variety and fresh appeal in the kitchen.

Visit GrapesFromCalifornia.com for more nutritious family recipes

Moroccan Grape and Grilled Chicken Bowls with Grape Vinaigrette

Servings: 4

Couscous:

  • 1          cup Israeli couscous
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2       cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2       cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2       cup parsley, leaves only
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons ras el hanout (Moroccan spice blend)
  • 1          teaspoon salt

Chicken:

  • 2          chicken breasts (8 ounces each)
  • 1          tablespoon harissa paste
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          teaspoon salt

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4       cup green California grapes
  • 1          lemon, juice only
  • 1          preserved lemon, rind only
  • 1/4       cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1          cup red California grapes, halved
  • 1/2       cup sliced almonds, toasted
  1. To make couscous: Cook couscous in boiling salted water. Drain, rinse with cold water and combine with olive oil. Add carrots, tomatoes, parsley leaves, ras el hanout and salt. Mix well and set aside.
  2. To make chicken: Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  3. Rub chicken breasts with harissa paste, olive oil and salt. Grill on both sides until just done. Set aside to cool. Slice into 1/4-inch slices.
  4. To make vinaigrette: In blender, puree green grapes, lemon juice, lemon rind, olive oil and cilantro until smooth. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Toss couscous mixture with vinaigrette and portion into four bowls. Top with sliced chicken, red grapes and almonds.

Nutritional information per serving: 590 calories; 30 g protein; 44 g carbohydrates; 32 g fat (49% calories from fat); 4.5 g saturated fat (7% calories from saturated fat); 65 mg cholesterol; 720 mg sodium; 3 g fiber.

Spiced Chickpeas and Grapes with Yogurt

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry
  • 1          cup California grapes
  • 1          tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1          teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1          teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1          pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1          cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2       garlic clove, grated
  • 2          tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2          tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
  1. In large bowl, mix chickpeas and grapes.
  2. In small skillet, warm oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mustard seeds and cover. Cook until seeds stop popping then add cumin and fennel seeds; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper flakes; pour over chickpeas and grapes. Mix well.
  3. In separate bowl, stir yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic and remaining salt. Spread on serving platter and top with chickpea mixture, cilantro and scallions.

Nutritional information per serving: 220 calories; 11 g protein; 31 g carbohydrates; 6 g fat (25% calories from fat); 1.5 g saturated fat (6% calories from saturated fat); 5 mg cholesterol; 280 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.

Cauliflower Steaks with Grapes

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

  • 1          large head cauliflower, leaves trimmed off
  • 3          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2          teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/2       teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1          cup halved California grapes
  • 1/4       cup chopped Castelvetrano olives
  • 2          tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 2          tablespoons chopped, toasted pistachios
  1. Heat oven to 450 F.
  2. Cut stem off cauliflower and cut remaining head crosswise into four 1-inch-thick slices, keeping as intact as possible. Place on sheet pan and brush sides with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast until browned and tender, about 25 minutes.
  3. Combine remaining olive oil, remaining pepper, grapes, olives, parsley and pistachios. When cauliflower is roasted, transfer to serving plates and top with grape mixture.
  4. Nutritional information per serving: 210 calories; 5 g protein; 20 g carbohydrates; 14 g fat (60% calories from fat); 2 g saturated fat (9% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 480 mg sodium; 5 g fiber.
  5. Healthy Eating is Easy with Grapes
  6. Grapes are prized for their taste and crisp, juicy texture, but fresh grapes are also a heart-healthy, hydrating snack choice. Grapes contain more than 1,600 natural plant compounds, including antioxidants and other polyphenols, which help protect the health and function of the body’s cells. Grapes can be paired with other healthy foods to enhance flavor and nutrition, including dark leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli, whole grains, legumes and lean proteins.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

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 15 April 2020

Fresh and Flavorful at Home

(Family Features) Whether you live on your own or are a busy parent, cooking at home can help ensure you're eating fresh, wholesome meals. Regardless of your abilities in the kitchen, creating simple dishes featuring fresh produce and good-for-you sources of protein can not only benefit your health, but also increase the amount of quality time spent with loved ones around the family table.

The thought of cooking lamb at home can be intimidating for some, however, New Zealand grass-fed lamb steaks like those from Silver Fern Farms can be prepared the same way you would grass-fed beef. With no added growth hormones or antibiotics, the natural, minimally processed cuts of lamb are a nutrient-dense source of protein, iron and zinc, and packed with vitamins and minerals. Plus, grass-fed lamb from New Zealand is a lean, finely textured and flavorful meat, well-suited for a variety of dishes.

For example, these New Zealand Grass-Fed Lamb Steaks with Yogurt and Cilantro Marinade are served over a bed of couscous and marinated in a mixture of lemon, garlic, cumin, cilantro and yogurt. Because the natural cuts of meat are hand-selected to deliver a quality eating experience, they are easy to prepare and can be put on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Find more information, cooking tips and recipes at beefandlambnz.com.

New Zealand Grass-Fed Lamb Steaks with Yogurt and Cilantro Marinade

Recipe courtesy of Silver Fern Farms on behalf of Beef + Lamb New Zealand
Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1-2

Lamb:

  • 2 Silver Fern Farms 100% New Zealand Grass-Fed Lamb Steaks (4 ounces each)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste

Marinade:

  • 1          lemon, zest and juice only
  • 2          cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4       cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4       cup natural yogurt
  • 1          prepared vegetable couscous
  • crumbled feta cheese
  1. To prepare lamb: Season lamb steaks with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. To make marinade: In resealable bag or mixing bowl, combine lemon zest and juice, garlic, cumin, cilantro and yogurt.
  3. Using pastry brush or spoon, coat lamb steaks with marinade and let rest 15 minutes.
  4. Wipe excess marinade from lamb steaks. Reserve remaining marinade in bag.
  5. On grill warmed to high heat or skillet over medium-high heat, cook lamb steaks approximately 3-4 minutes on the first sides for medium-rare steaks then flip to cook other sides for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Once lamb steaks are cooked to desired doneness, transfer to cutting board or plate, cover with tinfoil and let rest 5 minutes. 
  7. Slice lamb steaks across grain and serve over vegetable couscous.
  8. Drizzle with remaining marinade, if desired, and garnish with crumbled feta cheese.

Source: Beef + Lamb New Zealand

Pasta 14 April 2020

Perfect Pantry Pastas

(Family Features) Constantly seeking out recipe-specific ingredients that may only be used once or twice can be a burden. Instead, keep your home stocked with necessities to simplify dinner prep with dishes made using common household staples.

One perfect example: pastas. These recipes for Minestrone Pasta Saute with Ricotta, Creamy One-Pot Spaghetti and Pasta in a Pinch include easily recognizable seasonings and canned goods for simple dinner solutions. Plus, they all include dairy, an irreplaceable part of a balanced diet as a source of essential nutrients.

Another way to scale back on unnecessary grocery purchases is to give yourself permission to modify. Many recipes can be tweaked for personal preferences, such as using black beans rather than kidney beans or adjusting the amount of a spice used based on your family’s tastes.

Stock your pantry and refrigerator with versatile ingredients like these:

  • Canned tomatoes
  • Canned beans
  • Quick-cook rice
  • Small whole-grain pasta
  • Stock, like vegetable, chicken or beef
  • Fluid milk
  • Shredded cheese
  • Plain Greek yogurt

For more ideas to simplify family meals, visit milkmeansmore.org.

Minestrone Pasta Saute with Ricotta

Recipe courtesy of Lori Yates of “Foxes Love Lemons” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 8          ounces ditalini pasta
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3          carrots, finely diced
  • 3          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2       medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2       bunch kale, thinly sliced
  • 1/2       pound green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 1/4       cup dry white wine
  • 1/2       pound lean ground beef (optional)
  • 1          can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1          jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
  • 1/2       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1          cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1/4       cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water then drain pasta.
  2. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add carrots, garlic and onion; cook 3 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften, stirring occasionally. Add kale and green beans; cook 3 minutes, or until green beans are tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add wine to skillet; cook 2 minutes, or until most liquid has evaporated. Transfer vegetables to medium bowl. If including meat, return skillet to medium-high heat. Add ground beef; cook 6-8 minutes, or until meat is cooked through, breaking up with side of spoon. Spoon off excess fat.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add kidney beans, marinara sauce, salt, pepper, pasta, reserved pasta cooking water and cooked vegetable mixture to skillet with beef, if using. Cook 2 minutes, or until warmed through, stirring occasionally. Divide pasta between four pasta bowls or plates and top with Ricotta and Parmesan cheeses.

Pasta in a Pinch

Recipe courtesy of Jenn Fillenworth, MS, RDN, of “Jenny With the Good Eats” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 8          ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 1/2    cups water
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2       cup milk
  • 2          cups mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1          can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4       cup Parmesan cheese
  • freshly chopped herbs, for garnish (optional)
  1. In large microwavable bowl, place uncooked penne pasta and pour water over top to cover. With food-safe plastic wrap, cover bowl, leaving small section to vent as it cooks. Cook 3 minutes longer than package directs, approximately 13 minutes.
  2. Once pasta has cooked, drain into colander then place back in bowl. Add salt, pepper, basil, garlic powder and milk; stir to combine. Begin to stir in cheese a little at a time. Microwave 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir again.
  3. Add cannellini beans and diced tomatoes; stir. Microwave 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir. Assess if ingredients are hot and cheese is melted. If not, microwave 1-2 minutes.
  4. Top with Parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh herbs, if desired.

Creamy One-Pot Spaghetti

Recipe courtesy of Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN, on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1          tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1          pound lean ground turkey or lean ground beef
  • 1/2       cup chopped onion
  • 2 1/2    cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2          cups marinara sauce
  • 1/2       teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 8          ounces spaghetti noodles, broken into 3-4-inch pieces
  • 1          package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 1/3    cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • chopped fresh basil or parsley (optional)
  1. Using saute function of pressure cooker, heat oil until hot. Add meat and onion. Cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes, or until meat is browned, stirring to break up. Press cancel.
  2. Stir broth, marinara sauce, fennel seeds and cayenne pepper into meat. Stir in spaghetti, making sure noodle pieces are covered by liquid. Secure lid and set pressure release to sealing function. Select high pressure and cook 5 minutes. Press cancel.
  3. Allow pressure to release naturally 2 minutes. Move pressure release to venting function to release remaining steam. Remove lid.
  4. Stir spaghetti mixture. Stir in cream cheese and 1 cup cheddar cheese until melted. Ladle into bowls to serve. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Garnish with chopped fresh basil or parsley, if desired.

Source: United Dairy Industry of Michigan

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

Meal Ideas 30 March 2020

Family-Friendly Ways to Rethink Favorite Recipes

(Family Features) Freshen up family dinners by adding new ingredients like pecans, with natural richness and subtle sweetness coupled with irresistible crunch.

Kitchen staples are being used to add twists to traditional dishes, so finding an item you can use to mix up classic family recipes is key. Pecans pack flavor, texture and nutrition all in one bite, and they have a long shelf life. Shelled pecans can be kept in airtight containers in the refrigerator for about nine months and for up to two years in sealed plastic bags in the freezer.

While pecans are beloved in classic desserts, like pecan pie, they also offer a variety of nutrition benefits that can be added to nearly any meal. They are among the highest in “good” monounsaturated fats, contain 3 grams of plant protein per serving and are a source of fiber, flavonoids and minerals like manganese, which is essential for metabolism and bone health.

Nearly two decades of research document the heart-health benefits of pecans. In fact, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1 1/2 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pecans, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving of pecans (28 grams) has 18 grams of unsaturated fat and only 2 grams of saturated fat.

Add crunch to this Chinese Chicken Salad with Pecans by swapping out croutons, use chopped pecans as a flavorful and nutrient-dense coating for Pecan Chicken Meatballs and bake this Pecan Banana Bread as a nutritious and kid-friendly breakfast or snack to fill your home with a delicious scent.

Discover more nutritious recipes at AmericanPecan.com

Pecan Chicken Meatballs

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 9 meatballs

  • 1          pound ground chicken
  • 1/4       cup spinach, chopped
  • 1          tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1          egg
  • 1          teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4       teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4       teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1          cup finely chopped fresh pecan pieces, divided
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, mix ground chicken, spinach, lemon juice, egg, garlic, onion powder, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne (if desired) and 1/2 cup pecans until well combined.
  3. Roll chicken mixture into 1 tablespoon- sized meatballs.
  4. Place reserved pecans in bowl. Roll meatballs in pecans to coat then place on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake 20-30 minutes until meatballs are cooked through.
  6. Serve warm with sauces for dipping or over pasta.

Chinese Chicken Salad with Pecans

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Dressing:

  • 1/4       cup pecan butter
  • 1          tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  • 1          teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2          tablespoons warm water, plus additional as needed (optional)

Salad:

  • 4          ounces dried thin rice noodles
  • cold water
  • 4          cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 4          cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 1/4       cup toasted and chopped pecans
  • 2          scallions, finely chopped
  • 1          cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2       cup crispy wontons
  • 1          cup mandarin oranges
  • 2          tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2          cups rotisserie chicken breast, chopped
  1. To make dressing: In medium bowl, whisk pecan butter, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil and soy sauce until smooth.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons warm water and whisk until incorporated. Add additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if desired, until dressing reaches pourable consistency.
  3. To make salad: Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain and transfer to bowl with cold water to keep from sticking.
  4. In large bowl, toss romaine and iceberg lettuces, pecans, scallions, bean sprouts, crispy wontons, mandarin oranges and sesame seeds.
  5. Divide salad among four plates; top each with 1/2 cup chicken and serve with dressing.

Pecan Banana Bread

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 10        ounces gluten-free baking flour mix
  • 1          teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt
  • 2          flax eggs
  • 1          cup organic brown or coconut sugar
  • 1/2       cup coconut oil
  • 1/2       vanilla bean
  • 1/2       cup vegan yogurt
  • 3/4       cup mashed bananas, ripe
  • 1          cup raw pecan pieces, chopped, plus additional for topping
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Prepare 9-by-5-inch banana bread pan.
  2. In medium bowl, sift flour mix, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt; whisk to combine.
  3. In mixer bowl, mix eggs, sugar and coconut oil 2 minutes on medium-low speed.
  4. Scrape vanilla bean and add to mixture. Add vegan yogurt and mashed bananas; mix 2 minutes on medium-low speed.
  5. Remove bowl from mixer and fold 1 cup raw pecan pieces into batter until evenly distributed.
  6. Add batter to banana bread pan and use spatula to smooth down top. Sprinkle additional pecan pieces on top.
  7. Bake banana bread on top rack 60 minutes until toothpick comes out with few crumbs but not completely clean.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes in pan. Hold sides of pan and flip onto wire rack.
  9. Allow bread to cool completely. Slice as desired.

Source:  American Pecan Council

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