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

Kids 12 April 2019

Encourage Healthy Eating Habits in Kids

(Family Features) As a parent, instilling healthy eating habits in your children at an early age can aid in proper growth and development. Eating well goes a long way toward maintaining a healthy weight, increasing energy levels and improving moods while also reducing risk of obesity and other chronic issues such as heart disease and diabetes later in life.

Set your children on a path to making lifelong nutritious choices with these tips:

Foster independence. Allowing your children to help with shopping and meal prep can aid in them taking ownership of what they’re eating. Start by divvying up easier tasks such as setting the table then work toward creating snacks and meals on their own. These Rainbow Fruit Parfaits are simple for kids to assemble – just set the ingredients out and let them layer – and can serve as a healthful on-the-go breakfast or after-school snack.

Offer balanced options. Children require balanced diets made up of all three major food groups, including fruits and vegetables, for proper development. Looking for the Produce for Kids logo next to nutritional, family-friendly items at the grocery store is an easy way to identify healthy food choices while also supporting local organizations that help children and families in need.

Be a role model. Typically, your children will follow your behaviors, which includes the types of foods they select at mealtimes. Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables can help ensure your family is getting a complete range of nutrients. For example, a recipe like this Rainbow Buddha Bowl provides a combination of fresh and roasted vegetables that can be customized to meet your family’s tastes. Thinking about how many colors you eat in a day may inspire your kids to do the same, which can foster a lifetime of healthy eating habits.

To find more healthy meal inspiration, including more than 500 registered dietitian- and family-tested recipes, visit produceforkids.com.

Rainbow Fruit Parfaits

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 3

  • 1/2       cup sliced strawberries
  • 2          mandarins, peeled and segmented
  • 1/2       cup chopped pineapple
  • 2          kiwis, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2       cup blueberries
  • 1/2       cup red seedless grapes
  • 1          cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  1. In parfait glasses, layer strawberries, mandarins, pineapple, kiwis, blueberries and grapes.
  2. Top each fruit parfait with yogurt.

Rainbow Buddha Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Jodi of Create Kids Club on behalf of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1          cup broccoli florets
  • 1/2       small purple cabbage, sliced
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2          cups quinoa, cooked according to package directions
  • 1          cup red cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2       cup yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1          avocado, sliced
  • 4          tablespoons yogurt ranch dressing
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. Place sweet potatoes, broccoli and cabbage on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss with oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.
  3. Divide cooked quinoa into four bowls. Top with roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes and avocado.
  4. Drizzle with dressing.

Source: Produce for Kids

Holiday 10 April 2019

Wonderful Ways to Celebrate Mom

(Family Features) Mothers are incredible people. This year, make sure you properly thank her for all she has done for you by celebrating her with a day she'll cherish forever.

Here are a few ideas to make this Mother's Day her most memorable yet:

  • Plant a Garden Together
    Before you shell out big bucks on chocolates and jewelry, consider a greener gift that mom can treasure from her window. Visit your local garden center or nursery and pick some vibrant beauties you know she'll swoon over. Supply the gloves, mom's favorite cocktails and snacks and make an event out of gardening with your favorite lady.
     
  • Create Your Own Card
    No matter how old you are, nothing says it better than construction paper, glitter and a little creativity. If she's a grandmother, involve the kids and make it a family craft project. Take a trip to your local hobby store to make sure you have all the goods for this tried-and-true ticket to mom's heart.
     
  • Plan a Beautiful Brunch
    Create a colorful, bountiful brunch for mom. Make a checklist of all the necessary ingredients, ensuring you serve all of her favorites! For a fresh twist on brunch, incorporate the sweet summertime goodness of watermelon and other fresh fruit. Impress her with Breakfast Six Layer Trifle, or make her smile with Watermelon Pancake Sandwiches. Design a homemade menu card, and throw in an arrangement of her favorite blooms for a finishing touch.

For additional recipes and brunch ideas, visit www.watermelon.org.

Watermelon's Many Benefits

Just like mom, watermelon is a sweet and wonderful thing. Mom always told you to finish your fruits and vegetables, but did you know that watermelon boasts immunity benefits? Here are some of the perks for eating this juicy treat:

Vitamin A - This vitamin is known to promote eye health, while boosting immunity through the enhancement of white blood cells.
Vitamin B6 - Boosts the immune system by maintaining normal nerve function and forming red blood cells.
Vitamin C - Protects immune system against infections, viruses and harmful free radicals that accelerate aging and other conditions.
Potassium - A two-cup serving of watermelon also contains potassium, an essential mineral that maintains water balance in every cell.

Mother's Day brunch wouldn't be complete without a fabulous serving of fresh fruit. These recipes include the summertime goodness of watermelon for a sweet addition sure to make mom smile.

Breakfast Six Layer Trifle

Serves: 8 to 12

  • 3 cups organic fat free vanilla yogurt
  • 2 cups low fat natural granola
  • 4 cups watermelon, minced
  • 3 cups organic fat free peach yogurt
  • 2 cups organic crisp rice cereal
  • 2 cups shredded coconut
  1. Spread the vanilla yogurt over bottom of deep glass casserole or trifle dish. Layer remaining ingredients in order listed above in even layers over vanilla yogurt.

Chunky Watermelon Lemonade

Serves: 2 to 3

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 cup raw sugar (or to taste)
  • 2 cups seedless watermelon puree
  • 1 fresh lemon, sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups chopped seedless watermelon flesh
  1. In half-gallon pitcher with lid, mix 1 cup of water with sugar until completely dissolved. Stir in rest of water, watermelon puree, sliced lemon, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir to mix well and chill thoroughly. Stir in 2 cups of chopped watermelon before serving.

Watermelon Pancake Sandwiches

Serves: 4

  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 8 silver dollar size (3 to 4-inch) natural blueberry pancakes homemade or prepared, warm
  • 4 slices seedless watermelon, same size as pancakes
  1. Spread syrup over one side of each pancake. Place slice of watermelon on the syrup brushed side of 4 of the pancakes. Top the watermelon with other 4 pancakes, syrup side down. Serve immediately.

Watermelon Waldorf Salad

Serves: 4 to 6

  • 2 cups cubed watermelon (1/2-inch cubes)
  • 1/2 cup celery, sliced
  • 1/2 cup seedless red grape halves
  • Dash of salt
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted
  1. Stir together watermelon, celery, and grapes in bowl. Just before serving, stir salt into yogurt for dressing. (Add water to thin, if necessary.) Pour dressing over fruit; stir until coated. Sprinkle with almonds.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

Meal Ideas 26 March 2019

Simply Delicious

(Family Features) Most parents face the same mealtime dilemma - making affordable and convenient food that the whole family will like. Time is short, palates are picky and some fear it will cost too much to put real food on the table.

For recipes and how-to videos, visit the Real Food Project at www.Hellmanns.com or www.BestFoods.com.

Pimento (Red Pepper) Cheese-Bacon Burgers

A Bobby Flay Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes / Chill Time: 30 minutes
4 servings

  • 1/3 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/4 pound extra sharp white cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • 1/4 pound extra sharp yellow cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • 1/3 cup drained and finely chopped roasted red peppers or piquillo
  • 1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 8 thick slices double smoked bacon, crisp-cooked
  1. Combine mayonnaise, salt, pepper and cayenne in large bowl with fork. Stir in cheese and roasted peppers. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, shape ground beef into 4 patties. Season, if desired, with salt and black pepper; set aside.
  3. Grill or pan fry burgers, turning once, 8 minutes or until desired doneness. During last 30 seconds of cooking, evenly top each burger with cheese mixture, then cook covered until cheese melts slightly. Arrange burgers on buns, then evenly top with bacon.

Smoked Chile Cole Slaw

A Bobby Flay recipe
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 20 minutes
4 servings

  • 1/2 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium head green cabbage, finely shredded
  • 2 large carrots, finely shredded
  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Combine mayonnaise, chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, lime juice, honey and cumin in large bowl. Season, if desired, with salt and black pepper. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate at least 20 minutes before serving.

Goat Cheese Crostini With Grape Salsa

A Bobby Flay Recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Stand Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
6 servings

  • 1 cup red grapes, diced
  • 1 cup blue and/or black grapes, diced
  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro or flat-leaf parsley, plus leaves for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 4 slices whole grain bread, quartered, OR 1 baguette, thinly sliced into 16 pieces
  • 6 ounces herbed goat cheese, slightly softened
  • 1/3 cup Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  1. Combine grapes, onion, jalapeño pepper, cilantro and vinegar in medium bowl. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper. Let stand at least 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 375°F. Arrange bread on large baking sheet in a single layer and bake, turning once, 8 minutes or until lightly golden brown and crisp on both sides. Remove and let cool.
  3. Combine goat cheese with mayonnaise in small bowl until smooth. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper. Evenly spread cheese mixture onto crostinis, then top with grape salsa.

Grilled Potato Wedges With Malt Vinegar-Tarragon Dip

A Bobby Flay Recipe
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Chill Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
6 servings

  • 2/3 cup PLUS 1 teaspoon malt vinegar
  • 1-1/2 cups Hellmann's® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
  • 5 Russet or all-purpose potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  1. Bring 2/3 cup vinegar to a boil over high heat in small saucepan and continue boiling until reduced by half. Remove saucepan from heat and let cool 5 minutes.
  2. Combine mayonnaise, cooled vinegar, remaining 1 teaspoon vinegar and tarragon in medium bowl. Season, if desired, with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  3. Cover potatoes with water in 4-quart saucepot; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender, but still firm. Drain and cool slightly. Cut each potato lengthwise into 8 slices.
  4. Brush potatoes with oil and season, if desired, with salt and pepper. Grill, turning once, 4 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Arrange potatoes on serving platter, then sprinkle with parsley. Serve with dip.

Mayonnaise mixture is also delicious with hot cooked chicken fingers or fish.

Source: Hellmann's

Meal Ideas 01 November 2018

8 Simple Small Plates for Holiday Entertaining

(Family Features) For holiday parties of any size, tasty appetizers and starters are menu must-haves. While the main course roasts and before dessert is served, guests may flock to the table for snacks and small plates to keep cravings at bay.

When pre-dinner hunger strikes at your holiday gathering, be the center of attention with quick, delicious and simple appetizers that deliver exactly what your guests crave. One way to be the star of your holiday soiree is with Litehouse’s rich and flavorful Simply Artisan Reserve blue cheese and gorgonzola center cuts. Whether the foundation of a delicious cheese plate or crumbled in a recipe – such as one of these eight apps – it’s a win-win solution.

Find more holiday solutions and appetizer recipes at litehousefoods.com.

  1. Pear Obatzda

    Traditionally served with fresh pretzels, this 15-minute Obatzda recipe is the perfect dip for the snack table. The savory taste of pear can keep the whole party satisfied. 

  1. Steak Crostini

    With appetizers, the name of the game is providing quick bites that make for easy eating. Look no further than bite-sized Steak Crostini served with blue cheese and crackers. 

  1. Grilled Raspberry, Basil and Blue Cheese Sandwich

    Handheld nibbles go a long way when entertaining a crowd, which is why sandwiches are an obvious solution. Go for sourdough bread and melty cheese like mozzarella and Litehouse Simply Artisan Reserve Blue Cheese to make this appetizer a snap. 

  1. Bacon Blue Cheese and Mac

    This mac and cheese recipe can help please guests of all ages, but there’s just one problem: it’ll be gone quicker than you think.

  

  1. Gorgonzola, Grape and Honey Crostini

    A quick and easy appetizer, this crostini recipe is perfect for entertaining guests because there is minimal prep involved. Gorgonzola, juicy grapes and sweet honey converge for a delightful snack. 

  1. Blue Cheese, Pomegranate and Quinoa Caviar

    If you’re going for classy without all the hassle, 5 minutes is all you need. This quinoa caviar recipe comes together in almost no time by incorporating blue cheese and pomegranate for a decadent starter.  

  

  1. Figgy Blue Cheese Bacon Bites

    Guests at holiday parties typically crowd the kitchen anyway, but blue cheese and fig cookies wrapped in bacon can make it hard for even the most patient eaters to stay away. 

  1. Harvest Salad

    For those trying to save room for the main course, a light salad is a great option. Freshen up a standard salad with sliced apple and pear and tangy Simply Artisan Reserve Gorgonzola Cheese.

Source: Litehouse

Kids 03 September 2018

Pack a Healthier Lunchbox this School Year

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

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

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

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

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

Rainbow Bento Box

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

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

Black Bean Empanadas

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

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

Source: Produce for Kids

Healthy 05 February 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

14109 detail image embed1

Cheeseburger Mac

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids

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

14109 detail image embed2

Space Exploration Bento Box

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids

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

Source: Produce for Kids

Holiday 09 November 2018

Freshen Up Holiday Entertaining

Add tasty, crunchy grapes to seasonal dishes

(Family Features) The holiday season is typically marked by gatherings of friends and family. Whether you’re hosting overnight guests, drop-in visitors or an important seasonal meal, taking a fresh approach to the menu can make the get-together more special.

As you prepare for the festivities, consider recipes that feature healthy ingredients such as versatile California grapes, which come in three vibrant colors – red, green and black – and can add a palate-pleasing crunch and plenty of taste to everything from main dishes to sides and even desserts. Heart-healthy grapes are also perfect on their own as a snack and their natural beauty can help enhance any table as an edible garnish or fresh centerpiece.

Using grapes as a featured ingredient in your holiday dishes can provide a fresh twist on seasonal dishes, such as this Grape Dutch Baby or these Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Grapes and Balsamic Glaze. For dessert, use the natural sweetness of grapes to create a smooth Grape Caramel Sauce that can be served as a topping for ice cream or other seasonal desserts.

Seasonal Entertaining with Grapes

While the beautiful, vibrant colors of grapes can add visual interest to recipes, they can also serve a variety of purposes when hosting:

  • Grapes can make for easy decorations when placed in bowls, on platters or draped from a cake plate.
  • Grapes can be “frosted” with sugar, spices and chopped nuts then served as a finger food or used as a garnish to decorate cakes, cookies, puddings, mousses and other seasonal desserts. Simply dip grape clusters in liquid gelatin then roll in your desired mixture.
  • Grapes make for a quick and easy hostess gift. Wrap multi-colored grape clusters in tissue paper then place them in a basket or tin tied with ribbon.

Find more holiday recipes at GrapesfromCalifornia.com.
14403 detail image embed1

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Grapes and Balsamic Glaze

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1          cup red California grapes
  • 2          tablespoons ready-to-use balsamic glaze
  1. Heat oven to 450° F. 
  2. On baking sheet, toss sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste, until sprouts are well-coated. Roast until deep golden brown, about 17-20 minutes, turning sprouts halfway through roasting. Stir in grapes and roast 3-5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and drizzle with glaze or drizzle platter with glaze and pile sprouts on top.

Nutritional information per serving: 150 calories; 3 g protein; 20 g carbohydrates; 7 g fat (42% calories from fat); 1 g saturated fat (6% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 30 mg sodium; 4 g fiber.
14403 detail image embed2

Grape Caramel Sauce

Prep time: 5 minutes              
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          pound green or red California grapes, divided
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 3/4       cup sugar
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 1/3       cup heavy cream (optional)
  • large pinch of salt
  • ice cream
  1. In blender or food processor, combine 12 ounces grapes with lemon juice and puree. Set aside. Coarsely chop remaining grapes.
  2. In medium saucepan, combine sugar and water then bring to boil, stirring a few times. Simmer without stirring, brushing down sides of pot with brush dipped in water if crystals start forming. When mixture has turned deep, golden brown, remove from heat and whisk in pureed grapes until smooth sauce has formed. Turn on heat and simmer until mixture has reduced by one-third and forms smooth caramel sauce. Whisk in cream and salt; stir in chopped grapes and serve over ice cream.

Nutritional information per serving of sauce: 200 calories; 40 g carbohydrates; 5 g fat (22% calories from fat); 3 g saturated fat (14% calories from saturated fat); 15 mg cholesterol; 60 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.
14403 detail image embed3

Grape Dutch Baby

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 3          large eggs
  • 2/3       cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3       cup low-fat milk
  • 1/2       teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 5          tablespoons unsalted
  • butter, divided
  • 2          cups red California
  • grapes, halved
  • 2          tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/8       teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • confectioners’ sugar
  1. Heat oven to 450° F. Put large (10-inch) cast-iron or ovenproof skillet in oven.
  2. With electric mixer on high speed, beat eggs until frothy then beat in flour, milk, vanilla and salt, and beat until smooth, about 1 minute (batter will be thin). Remove skillet from oven and add 2 tablespoons butter, swirling to cover pan. Pour in batter and return to oven. Bake until puffed and golden brown, 14-19 minutes.
  3. While pancake is baking, in another skillet over high heat, melt remaining butter and add grapes, brown sugar and cinnamon, if desired. Cook until grapes are heated through and sugar has melted. Spoon grapes over pancake, sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar and serve. 

Nutritional information per serving: 280 calories; 6 g protein; 22 g carbohydrates; 18 g fat (58% calories from fat); 10 g saturated fat (32% calories from saturated fat); 180 mg cholesterol; 380 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

Snacks 14 August 2018

Sweet, Simple After-School Snacking

(Family Features) With school back in full swing, the days will be full, packed with classes, homework and after-school sports, music and other extracurricular activities. To make the most of all these endeavors, it’s important to eat well to sustain the critical energy and focus required throughout the day.

Smart fueling includes keeping nourishing snacks such as heart-healthy grapes on-hand – whether at home, in the car or coming off the field. Fresh California grapes – simple, convenient and nutritious – can make for a delicious snack on their own.

Available in three appealing colors – red, green and black – crisp, juicy grapes can add a tasty touch when hunger calls for an afternoon energy boost. Grapes also pair well with crackers, cheese and nuts for other snack combos.

Yet another way to enjoy fresh grapes is to blend them with other fruits and vegetables to create smoothie bowls, a nutritious option to help ensure that a variety of healthy ingredients are part of a balanced day.

Smoothie bowls work well as a snack or even a quick breakfast, and also provide a way for parents to introduce their kids to new, healthier bites.

This Grape Smoothie Bowl is fresh, flavorful and full of sweet grape taste for a quick fix that can leave bodies fueled and ready to take on the rest of the day.

Find more information and snack ideas at GrapesfromCalifornia.com.
14404 detail image embed1

Grape Smoothie Bowl

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1/2       avocado
  • 2          medium bananas, sliced and frozen
  • 1          cup packed baby spinach
  • 2          cups green California grapes, divided
  • 1          cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1          piece fresh ginger (1-inch length), peeled and sliced (optional)
  • pinch of salt
  • 1          tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons toasted coconut chips
  1. In blender, combine avocado, bananas, spinach, 1 cup grapes, almond milk, ginger and salt; blend until smooth. Pour into two bowls. Halve remaining grapes and place on top of smoothie bowls along with chia seeds and coconut chips.

Nutritional information per serving: 370 calories; 5 g protein; 66 g carbohydrates; 13 g fat (32% calories from fat); 3.5 g saturated fat (9% calories from saturated fat); 200 mg sodium; 10 g fiber.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

Meal Ideas 25 June 2018

Good-for-You Meals with Grape Taste

(Family Features) When it comes to balancing heart-healthy meals with appealing flavors, it’s important to lean on nutritious ingredients that pack mouthwatering taste. For example, grapes are a delicious yet subtle way to incorporate a little something extra into your diet while adding a juicy burst of flavor.

Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – can be enjoyed as a ready-to-eat, on-the-go food anytime and anywhere. Grapes are also a healthy choice, as they’re a natural source of antioxidants and other polyphenols, and contain no fat and virtually no sodium.

Because of their versatility, heart-healthy grapes can also be used as an ingredient to add fresh appeal, vibrant color and a light touch of sweetness to almost any dish, like Roasted Cod with Fennel and Grapes or Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Grapes. For something quick and nutritious featuring fresh fruits and vegetables, try this Vegetarian Poke Bowl with tofu, fresh grapes, avocado and crunchy, raw beets and carrots.

Grape Goodness for Healthy Aging

In addition to helping maintain heart health, grapes may also play a role in healthy aging. A review of the science linking the consumption of grapes to health highlights grapes’ potential to impact many areas of health, according to research published in “Grapes and Health: A Monograph.” The evidence that grapes support heart health is well-established, and emerging research in other areas of health suggests that grapes’ ability to promote antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities at the cellular level may also play a protective role in eye, brain and joint health, among others.

Find more recipes to make healthy eating easy at GrapesfromCalifornia.com.

14233 detail image embed1

Vegetarian Poke Bowl

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 5          cups cooked brown or white jasmine rice
  • 2          packages (6 ounces each) extra-firm tofu, cubed
  • 2          cups red California grapes, halved
  • 1          avocado, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1          large golden beet, peeled and shredded
  • 1          large carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 2          scallions, thinly sliced
  • sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds
  • 6          ounces light Asian ginger-sesame salad dressing
  1. Divide rice between four bowls and arrange tofu, grapes, avocado, beets and carrots on top. Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds; serve with dressing.

Nutritional information per serving: 620 calories; 19 g protein; 101 g carbohydrates; 17 g fat (25% calories from fat); 2.5 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 450 mg sodium; 11 g fiber.

14233 detail image embed2

Roasted Cod with Fennel and Grapes

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

  • 1          pound cod loin, cut into four equal pieces
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1          tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4       teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1          tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon orange juice
  • 1          tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1          teaspoon honey
  • 1          tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
  • 1          medium fennel bulb, fronds removed, chopped and reserved
  • 1          cup red California grapes, halved
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Arrange cod pieces in baking dish.
  2. In small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil with lemon juice, orange zest, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Spoon mixture onto cod in equal amounts. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached.
  3. While cod is baking, in small bowl, combine remaining olive oil, remaining salt, pepper, vinegar, orange juice, shallot, coriander, honey and oregano; set aside. Halve and core fennel bulb then thinly slice and place in separate bowl. Add grapes and dressing; toss to combine.
  4. Serve cod topped with fennel and grape salad. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds.

Nutritional information per serving: 200 calories; 19 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 8 g fat (36% calories from fat); 1 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 45 mg cholesterol; 240 mg sodium; 2 g fiber.

14233 detail image embed3

Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Grapes

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          large spaghetti squash
  • 1/3       cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2       cup chopped walnuts, divided
  • 2          cloves garlic
  • 2          cups packed basil leaves
  • 1          cup packed arugula
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/3       cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1          cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2    cups red California grapes, halved
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Using fork, poke shallow holes in skin of squash then brush with 1 tablespoon oil and place it, cut-side down, in rimmed baking dish. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until tender.
  2. To make pesto: In food processor, process 1/4 cup walnuts, garlic, basil, arugula, lemon juice and lemon zest until well chopped. Add remaining olive oil, Parmesan, salt and pepper; process until well blended.
  3. Once squash is done baking, remove from oven. Cool squash 5-10 minutes then, using fork, scrape inside flesh of squash, removing “spaghetti,” and place it in large bowl. Add pesto and beans to cooked squash and toss gently with tongs to combine. Divide equally into six bowls and top each with 1/4 cup grapes and 2 teaspoons chopped walnuts.

Nutritional information per serving: 290 calories; 7 g protein; 24 g carbohydrates; 20 g fat (62% calories from fat); 3 g saturated fat (9% calories from saturated fat); 5 mg cholesterol; 160 mg sodium; 6 g fiber.

Source:  California Table Grape Commission

About Us

We love cooking, eating, and connecting with people from around the world.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.