(Family Features) Putting healthy meals on the table continues to be a year-round goal for many families, one that can become more difficult with the satisfying and savory flavors of comfort-food season. From breakfast to dinner and every meal in-between, it can feel daunting to prepare simple and nutritious recipes without sacrificing taste.
While seeking healthier options for day-to-day meal planning and preparation, it’s important to start your decision-making at the grocery store. Look for items like all-natural Pure Farmland Bacon, made from pork raised without antibiotics. In addition, it contains no artificial ingredients, preservatives, MSG or added hormones, so you can feel good about incorporating a family favorite like bacon into any meal of the day.
Start the day with Baked Eggs in Avocado with Bacon, combining superfoods with a protein boost for an ideal, health-conscious breakfast. When it’s time to gather for a family dinner, try something new such as Bacon and Spaghetti Squash Fritter with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce for a filling and flavorful meal that can please nearly any palate.
Find more recipes that keep nutrition top of mind without forgoing flavor at farmlandfoods.com.
Baked Eggs in Avocado with Bacon
Prep time: 30 minutes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 avocado, halved and pitted
- 2 eggs
- kosher salt, to taste
- freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- 2 slices Pure Farmland All-Natural Uncured Bacon, cooked, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives
- smoked paprika, for garnish
- hot sauce, for garnish (optional)
- Heat oven to 425° F. Spray baking sheet or glass baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Scoop additional 1-2 tablespoons out of avocado halves to create wells for eggs.
- Place avocados flesh-side up on prepared baking sheet or glass pan. Gently crack one egg in each avocado well, keeping yolks intact. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until eggs reach desired temperature.
- Add salt and pepper, to taste. Top with crumbled bacon, Parmesan cheese and chopped chives. Garnish with paprika and hot sauce, if desired.
Bacon and Spaghetti Squash Fritter with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Prep time: 45 minutes
Bacon-Spaghetti Squash Fritter:
- 4 cups cooked spaghetti squash
- 6 slices Pure Farmland All-Natural Uncured Bacon, cooked, chopped, fat reserved
- 4 green onions, white parts only, sliced thin
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 roasted red peppers, fresh or jarred
- 4 plum tomatoes, roasted, skins removed
- 3/4 cup almonds, toasted
- 4 cloves garlic, roasted
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- To make Bacon–Spaghetti Squash Fritter: Place spaghetti squash in large bowl. Add bacon, green onions, eggs and cheese. Stir to combine. Add flour and mix until combined. Form into patties.
- Heat large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat. Add fritters in batches and cook until well browned on both sides, approximately 2-3 minutes per side.
- To make Romesco Sauce: In food processor, pulse roasted red peppers, plum tomatoes, almonds, garlic, sherry vinegar, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper to combine. Slowly add in olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Pour Romesco Sauce over Bacon-Spaghetti Squash Fritter before serving.
Score major points with delicious dishes
(Family Features) If the crew is coming over to root for your favorite team, it may be time to spice up the menu. Whether you’re hosting the weekend get-together or watching the game after work, switch up your typical spread and serve something new to leave your guests cheering for more.
When it comes to choosing an ingredient that can lend a winning assist to nearly any dish and score you some major points, look no further than California Ripe Olives.
Variety is key when mapping out food for a crowd, regardless of the event. Plan on serving one main course and two sides, and consider no-fuss options like chips and dips. If there are kids in attendance, make sure there is something neutral for even the pickiest eaters to snack on. However, try your best to avoid anything that needs a knife and fork to eat – finger foods typically work best when the game is on and conversation is flowing.
The mild and unique taste of California Ripe Olives lends itself well to many different flavor pairings, such as these recipes for Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peach-Olive Jam, Easy Olive Bread and Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade. Whether your guests are fans of spicy, mild, sweet or savory, the only limit is your imagination when you pull a can of olives from the pantry.
Family farms across California grow 95 percent of the ripe olives consumed in the United States. Each can is a labor of love. Multi-generational family farms work with family-owned canneries in California to produce each can and ensure only the highest quality olives make it from the farm to your game-day table. For more creative ways to use olives, including family recipes from growers across California, visit CalOlive.org .
Simple Entertaining Tips to Take Your Table to the Next Level
- A colorful platter is an easy way to spice up a spread.
- Pair something salty with something sweet for a juxtaposition of flavors.
- If you’re serving food on neutral plates, add some colorful linens.
- Plan the menu around a central theme or ingredient.
- Guests love choices – making more options available can make for better spreads.
- Use versatile ingredients, like California Ripe Olives, to keep picky eaters happy.
Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peach-Olive Jam
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 3 pounds pork shoulder roast
- kosher salt, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cloves garlic, quartered
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 8 ounces dried peaches
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 cup California Black Ripe Olives, wedged
- 2 teaspoons country mustard
- 1 ounce arugula
- 8 onion rolls, split and toasted
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- In large, high-sided saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
- Season pork with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook in pan 3-4 minutes on each side until browned.
- Stir in garlic and continue cooking 3-5 minutes.
- Pour in chicken broth, peaches and chili powder; bring to boil.
- Cover loosely with foil and bake in oven 2 hours.
- With slotted spoon, carefully remove peaches and transfer to small mixing bowl. Mix olives and mustard with peaches; set aside.
- Continue to cook pork in oven 30-60 minutes until fork tender.
- Allow to cool slightly then shred by pulling apart with fork.
- Assemble sandwiches by spooning pork onto toasted rolls.
- Top with arugula and peach-olive mixture.
Easy Olive Bread
Recipe courtesy of The Wicked Noodle
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 10 ounces California Green Ripe Olives, chopped
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1 loaf French bread, sliced in half lengthwise
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In bowl, mix cream cheese, butter and mayonnaise until thoroughly combined. Add garlic; stir well to distribute. Add cheddar cheese, green olives and green onions; stir to combine.
- Spread mixture on cut sides of bread. Bake 20-30 minutes, until cheese is hot, bubbly and starting to brown.
Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade
- 1/2 cup shallots, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped smoked sun-dried tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (6 ounces) California Green Ripe Olives, drained
- 1 can (6 ounces) California Black Ripe Olives, drained
- 1/4 cup lightly packed fresh basil
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- crackers or toasted baguette slices
- In food processor, pulse shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar and garlic until finely chopped. Add olives, basil, salt and pepper; pulse again until chopped.
- Cover and chill 1 hour.
- Serve with crackers or toasted baguette slices.
Note: Recipe can be prepared one day in advance.
Photo courtesy of The Wicked Noodle (Easy Olive Bread)
Source: California Olive Committee
Wholesome ingredients can help up your intake during the dark days of winter
(Family Features) Staying indoors and wrapping up in a blanket is one way to avoid winter’s frigid weather, but less exposure to the sun can also put you at risk of a vitamin D deficiency. Milk is the primary source of vitamin D in the American diet, according to research published in the FASEB Journal, making it a great choice on dark winter days.
An 8-ounce glass of milk provides 30 percent of the daily value of vitamin D, so just three cups of milk each day will provide 90 percent of your body’s recommended daily requirements. Milk is also an easy way to get other essential nutrients like B vitamins for energy, high-quality protein for lean muscle and vitamin A for a healthy immune system.
When you need a quick way to warm up on a cold day, try this creamy chicken corn chowder recipe that can be made with a pressure cooker. Cooked with wholesome ingredients like milk, chicken and potatoes and topped with bacon and green onions, it’s an easy and delicious addition to your weekly meal rotation. For more recipes to warm up your winter, visit milklife.com.
Pressure Cooker Corn Chowder
- 6 slices (6 ounces each) thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast, diced
- 1 bag (16 ounces, about 3 1/3 cups) frozen corn kernels
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 pound unpeeled or peeled Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-1/2-inch chunks
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
- 2-3 green onions, sliced (optional)
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream or half-and-half (optional)
- Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped bacon and cook until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked bacon to paper towel-lined plate and pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat.
- Return skillet to stove. Add onion and garlic; saute 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add diced chicken and frozen corn; saute for an additional 3 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove skillet from heat and transfer contents to pressure cooker. Add chicken broth, potatoes, salt and pepper. Close and seal pressure cooker, making sure the vent is in the sealed position. Cook on high 8 minutes.
- While the chowder cooks, make a slurry by whisking cornstarch (or flour) into milk. Set aside.
- When done, remove pressure cooker from heat. Allow pressure to release on its own or carefully quick-release pressure after a few minutes. Stir in the cornstarch-milk slurry. Cover and allow chowder to thicken for 10-15 minutes before serving.
- Portion soup into bowls and generously top with bacon. Garnish with green onion and cream or half-and-half, if desired. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
Nutritional information per serving: 190 calories; 5 g fat; 1.5 g saturated fat; 35 mg cholesterol; 14 g protein; 20 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 530 mg sodium; 52 mg calcium (6% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat-free milk.
(Family Features) Throughout 2018, you can create easy, healthy and delicious family meals by using time-saving recipes.
For example, these “Cook Once, Eat Twice” recipes from CanolaInfo start with pork chops that double as the base for lunch or dinner the following day.
“The more you cook your own meals, the more you can control portion sizes and ingredients,” said Manuel Villacorta, registered dietitian. “Knowing the right oil to use is essential. I like using canola oil to keep the flavors of your dishes intact due to its neutral taste and light texture. Plus, it contains high levels of monounsaturated fat and plant-based omega 3 fat, and is low in saturated fat. I use it regularly in my home kitchen and recommend it to my clients.”
For more time-saving recipes, visit canolainfo.org.
Pork Loin Chops with Sweet Balsamic Mushrooms
- 8 boneless center-cut pork loin chops (4 ounces each), trimmed of fat
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 12 ounces sliced portobello mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
- Sprinkle both sides of pork with pepper.
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil. Cook pork chops 4 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature reaches 160 F.
- Reserve four pork chops in refrigerator to make Pressed Pepperoncini-Pork Sandwiches.
- In skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining canola oil; tilt skillet to coat bottom lightly. Cook mushrooms 4-5 minutes, or until tender and juices begin to release, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Place over pork chops; cover to keep warm.
- To pan residue, add vinegar, water, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and remaining salt. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and boil 1 1/2-2 minutes, or until reduced to 2 tablespoons, scraping bottom and sides of skillet. Drizzle sauce over pork and mushrooms. Sprinkle with onions.
Pressed Pepperoncini-Pork Sandwiches
- 12 ounces crusty French bread, unsliced
- 4 leftover pork chops from Pork Loin Chops with Sweet Balsamic Mushrooms recipe
- 2/3 cup pepperoncini slices
- 1 plum tomato, chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried pepper flakes
- 3 slices ultra-thin sliced Swiss cheese, cut in half
- Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving 1/2-inch thick shell.
- Place pork on bottom half of bread. In bowl, combine pepperoncini, tomato, onion, garlic, canola oil, vinegar, oregano and pepper flakes. Spoon pepperoncini mixture and any accumulated juices on top of pork and top with cheese.
- Cover with top half of loaf. Press down firmly to flatten sandwich and allow flavors and juices to absorb. Cut filled loaf crosswise into four equal pieces.
(Family Features) With the holidays quickly approaching, it is time to begin planning menus and shopping for groceries, which may leave you facing endless shelves of wine. Choosing wines to pair with your holiday meal is an important part of the menu planning process.
A smart rule is to select quality wines that pair with a variety of dishes, such as crisp, medium-bodied chardonnays and medium-to-full-bodied, flavorful merlots.
“I love having a bright, crisp chardonnay on hand for holiday entertaining,” said Katie Madigan, winemaker at St. Francis Winery. “Chardonnay complements so many holiday flavors. It’s a great choice to serve with appetizers and it also transitions nicely to dinner.”
A certified sustainable winery in Sonoma County, California, St. Francis Winery offers a full range of varietal wines ideal for holiday entertaining, such as the St. Francis Sonoma County Chardonnay 2015 (SRP $16.99), which is made from grapes picked in the cool of night to create delicate aromas, crisp acidity and a rich, lingering finish.
With notes of fresh pear and pineapple, it pairs well with mild cheeses and rich seafood appetizers, such as Pan Fried Crab Cakes. If you are looking for inspiration to get your holiday menu planning started, consider this simple hors d’oeuvre, which can be made the night before and cooked just before guests arrive. Pair it with a chilled glass of crisp chardonnay to start the party off just right.
A complementary option for guests who prefer red wine is the Sonoma Valley Merlot (SRP $20.99). This wine has multiple layers of aromatics with flavors of red cherry, plum, dried cranberry, espresso bean and savory spices that match well with hard cheeses, roasted turkey, lamb or steaks with blue cheese butter. Find more tips for pairing wines and recipes ideal for holiday entertaining at StFrancisWinery.com.
Pan Fried Crab Cakes
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup minced green onions
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 pound Dungeness crab meat
- 2 cups panko, divided
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Remoulade sauce, for serving
- Line baking sheet with waxed paper.
- In large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, green onions, egg yolks, lemon juice, tarragon, cilantro, mustard, lemon peel and black pepper. Add crabmeat and 1 cup panko, breaking up crabmeat slightly. Let mix stand 10 minutes.
- Form crab mixture into 16 2-inch patties, using about 1/4 cup for each cake. Place patties on baking sheet. Cover and chill at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Using remaining panko, lightly coat each crab cake.
- Heat two heavy, large skillets over medium-high heat. In each skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add crab cakes to skillets and cook until golden on both sides (adding more butter and oil as needed), about 5 minutes total.
- Transfer cakes to napkins to drain excess oil. Plate crab cakes with dollop of remoulade on top.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: Kobrand Wine and Spirits
(Family Features) When your taste buds can’t settle on just one flavor, a fusion dish may be just the answer. Fusion dishes combine some of the best ethnic culinary traditions from around the world, and Asian influences are among the most popular building blocks for fusion cuisine.
One secret to achieving great fusion dishes is the use of cooking wines. For many chefs and home cooks alike, cooking wine is a go-to cooking essential because it can be used in everyday meals. With its versatile array of uses, an option like Holland House®, a line of flavor-enhancing, premium cooking wines, can boost any dish with one of five flavors including Marsala, Sherry, White, Red and White with Lemon.
In addition to these featured dishes, you can find more quick tips for boosting the flavor of your everyday meals on the label of each bottle and explore more recipes at HollandHouseFlavors.com.
Sweet and Spicy Korean-Chinese Fusion Cauliflower Bites
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4, about 1 1/2 cups per portion
- 6 cups fresh cauliflower florets
- 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 cup Holland House Sherry Cooking Wine
- 1/4 cup honey
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 small fresh yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1 tablespoon Korean-style chili flakes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh green onions
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- In large bowl, toss cauliflower, sesame oil and salt until well coated. Arrange on nonstick baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and tender.
- In small bowl, whisk cooking wine, honey, soy sauce, vinegar and cornstarch until well blended; set aside.
- In large, nonstick skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add yellow onions and garlic; cook 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in chili flakes and wine mixture.
- Return pan to stove and adjust to medium heat. Bring to simmer, stirring constantly. Continue cooking and stirring 1-2 minutes, or until thickened. Add cooked cauliflower; stir gently to coat.
- Transfer cauliflower to serving dish. Top with green onions and sesame seeds.
Tips: The sauce mixture can also be used on chicken wings or grilled pork chops. In place of Korean-style chili flakes, use 1 teaspoon regular crushed red pepper flakes or 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper.
Lettuce-Wrapped Korean Short Ribs
Prep time: 10 minutes, plus marinating
Cook time: 4 minutes
Servings: 4, about 6 ounces (pre-cooked) per portion
- 3 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar, divided
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 pounds thinly sliced, boneless beef short ribs
- 1 cup Holland House Marsala Cooking Wine
- 6 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 cup roasted garlic paste
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1/2 cup chopped green onions, divided
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 head fresh romaine lettuce, separated into large leaves
- 1/2 cup sliced fresh red radishes
- 1/2 cup shredded fresh carrots dipping sauce
- In small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons brown sugar, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle evenly over short rib slices, gently rubbing into both sides. Place in re-sealable plastic bag.
- In bowl, whisk cooking wine, sesame oil, garlic paste, soy sauce and remaining brown sugar. Pour half of mixture into bag with meat and add 1/4 cup green onions. To marinate, refrigerate at least 1 hour, or up to 12 hours.
- In small saucepan, whisk remaining wine mixture and cornstarch until smooth. Bring to simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook 1 minute, or until thickened, stirring constantly. Set aside until cool. Stir in 2 tablespoons green onions.
- Heat grill to medium-high.
- Remove ribs from marinade, allowing excess to drip off. Discard marinade. Grill 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
- Cut ribs into 1-inch pieces. Serve with remaining green onions, lettuce, radishes, carrots and warm dipping sauce.
Tips: For fusion tacos, substitute corn or flour tortillas for lettuce leaves. In place of garlic paste, 2 tablespoons minced garlic can be substituted.
Sizzling Asian Vegetable Fried Rice with Savory White Wine Glaze
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Servings: 4-6, about 1 cup per portion
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped yellow onions
- 1 cup fresh small white mushrooms, quartered
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh carrots
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh zucchini
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh red bell peppers
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh yellow bell peppers
- 3 cups cold, cooked, long-grain white rice
- 1/2 cup Holland House White Cooking Wine
- 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
- 1/2 cup fresh green onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Heat heavy-bottomed, nonstick skillet over high heat. Add vegetable oil, garlic and onions. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, red bell peppers and yellow bell peppers; stir-fry 3 minutes. Add rice; stir-fry 3 minutes.
- Add cooking wine; stir-fry 2 minutes, or until dry. Add oyster sauce; stir-fry 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in green onions, sesame oil and black pepper. Transfer to dish or bowl and serve.
Tip: To turn into a main course, add cooked beef, chicken or pork and serve topped with a fried egg.
Source: Holland House
(Family Features) Whether fresh cherries are a favorite or a treat you’ve yet to try, the time to enjoy them is now.
Orchards in the Pacific Northwest, the nation’s largest growing region, experienced a long, cool spring, which often translates into more time and energy a tree can put into the fruit. When combined with the superior growing conditions characteristic to the area, this season’s fruit showcases what Northwest cherries are known for: their large size and sweet flavor profile.
Popular varieties grown in the Northwest include the mahogany-red Bings and super-sweet, yellow Rainiers. Rainier cherries, with their unique golden color and red blush, tend to ripen earlier in the year. Growers pick Rainier cherries over multiple weeks, selecting the ripest fruit each time.
Other varieties include the early-ripening Chelans and Tietons, followed by the often larger and darker Skeenas, Sweethearts and Lapins. Aside from the light-hued Rainier (which has juice that doesn’t stain) you can typically spot sweet cherries by their dark red skins – in general, the darker, the sweeter.
Great taste aside, sweet cherries are a healthful addition to summer picnics, parties and barbecues thanks to their fiber, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory power. They make for a snack that both grownups and little ones can enjoy straight out of the bowl thanks to their stem “handle” and can perk up appetizers, salads, desserts, sweet or savory sauces and more.
Outside of summer get-togethers, cherries make for a better-for-you late-night snack option as well. A cup of fresh, sweet cherries contains only 90 calories along with a low glycemic index of 22 making their cold, sweet crunch a tasty way to satisfy hunger cravings. Plus, they boast melatonin, which helps regulate circadian rhythm and promote healthy sleep patterns.
Fresh cherries should be kept in a sealed bag or container, and keep for approximately two weeks when refrigerated. To extend the cherry season and enjoy their health benefits after summer fades, buy an extra bag or two and preserve cherries by rinsing, packing and freezing them.
Basic freezing instructions
- Select 3-5 pounds of firm, ripe, Northwest-grown sweet cherries.
- After rinsing and draining, spread whole cherries with stems in a layer on a baking sheet.
- Place in freezer until firm then pack into freezer-proof containers or plastic freezer bags. Remove excess air and cover tightly.
- Add frozen cherries to smoothies or juices, or defrost and put in hot cereal, pies, turnovers, cobblers and more. Or enjoy as a frozen, sweet late-night treat.
To create a festive cherry dish for the summer season, try this Cherry Bruschetta as a snack or appetizer. Find more recipes and cherry tips at nwcherries.com.
- 18 slices (1/2-inch thick) small baguette-style bread
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 cups pitted Northwest fresh sweet cherries, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1/4 cup diced yellow sweet pepper
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Arrange baguette slices on cookie sheet and toast one side 5 minutes. Turn slices, brush with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and bake 5 minutes longer.
- Combine cherries, cilantro, sweet pepper, green onions, lime juice, lime peel, garlic salt, pepper and remaining olive oil; mix well.
- Top each baguette with thin slice of cheese, 1 tablespoon cherry mixture and sprinkle of sliced basil. Serve warm or cold.
Source: Northwest Cherry Growers
(Family Features) As temperatures climb and summer sets in, a slight change in diet can help maintain energy without overfilling on hot days.
Vegan and vegetarian diets are becoming a popular trend, but many people are also opting to be semi-vegetarians, also known as the flexitarian diet. A flexitarian diet means you don’t have to eliminate meat from your diet but can still reap the health benefits associated with plant-based diets.
Plant-based proteins like beans, peas, nuts, seeds, soy and lentils are chock-full of nutritional benefits from disease-fighting phytonutrients to cholesterol-lowering fiber. They’re also an excellent way to add low-sodium and low-cholesterol protein to your diet that can leave you feeling satisfied but not stuffed.
Light finger foods and dips are ideal summer snacks. Hummus, made from chickpeas and tahini (ground sesame seeds), makes for a quick and easy treat by itself or paired with health-conscious options like air-popped chips, whole-grain crackers or veggie sticks. You can also create simple summer snacks using hummus as an ingredient.
These vegan Cucumber Cups are the perfect refreshing pick-me-up on a hot afternoon, and they’re stylish enough to serve to guests at an upscale cookout. For a cool and creamy summer appetizer, try these vegetarian Southwestern Snack Bites made with hummus, guacamole and Greek yogurt.
Find more healthy ideas to help you snack your way through summer at sabra.com.
Southwestern Hummus Bites
Yield: 30 pieces
- 1 package (7 ounces) whole-grain bagel chips
- 1 container (10 ounces) Sabra Hummus
- 2 cups pico de gallo
- 1 cup guacamole
- 1 cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
- 4 green onions, sliced (optional)
- Top each bagel chip with 1 tablespoon hummus, small spoonful of pico de gallo, guacamole and small dollop of yogurt.
- Garnish with slices of green onion, if desired.
Yield: 16 pieces
- 2 English cucumbers
- 1 container (10 ounces) Sabra Hummus
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
- Peel cucumbers and slice lengthwise into 1 1/4-inch pieces. Using melon baller, carve out seeds to create vessel, making sure to leave bottom intact.
- Using piping bag or small spoon, fill each cucumber with hummus (about 1 teaspoon each). Sprinkle with paprika and finely chopped parsley.
Makes 4 servings
- 1 pound boneless beef top sirloin
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1-1/2 tablespoons Kikkoman Soy Sauce
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry
- 2 teaspoons Kikkoman Hoisin Sauce
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
- 2 bunches green onions, cut into 1-1/2-inch lengths, separating whites from tops, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Mongolian Sauce*
- 1 teaspoon sesame seed, toasted
- Cut beef across grain into thin strips. Combine next 4 ingredients; stir in beef. Let stand 15 minutes. Stir-fry half of beef in 1 table-spoon hot oil in wok or large skillet over high heat 1 minute; remove.
- Repeat cooking procedure with remaining beef and 1 tablespoon oil; remove. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in same pan. Add whites of green onions, garlic, ginger and red pepper; stir-fry 1 minute.
- Stir in green onion tops. Add beef and Mongolian Sauce.
- Cook, stirring, until sauce boils and thickens. Sprinkle with sesame seed before serving.
*Mongolian Sauce: Combine 1/3 cup water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch, 2-1/2 tablespoons Kikkoman Soy Sauce, 1 tablespoon dry sherry and 1 teaspoon Kikkoman Hoisin Sauce.