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 07 April 2020

Cook Comfort Food Once, Enjoy it Twice

(Family Features) Cook once, eat twice. It’s a kitchen practice as simple as it sounds. Cook a base dish that can be enjoyed today and used for an entirely different meal tomorrow. For example, bake some fish for tonight’s dinner, and enjoy fish tacos for tomorrow’s lunch.

With so many Americans preparing meals at home, the practice of cooking once and eating twice can extend your grocery budget while also making meal planning less stressful and more comforting.

Cooking meals that feed the entire family is essential and even better if they give you a jump on a second meal. Whether your love for cooking runs deep or is being newly discovered, keep the following in mind when planning to cook once and eat twice:

Stock up on staples. Before heading out to the store, develop a list of ingredients that can be used for multiple dishes. Canned goods, such as black beans and corn, are great items to store in the pantry and have on hand for a variety of favorite family recipes. Other basics like corn tortillas can be used in multiple ways, such as tacos, casseroles and even salads.

Don’t forget produce. To increase flavor and nutrition, adding produce is key in your planning. Mushrooms are a favorite among chefs and home cooks alike for many reasons. Traditionally known for their inherent umami flavor, mushrooms are filling, healthy and versatile. Crimini and portabella are excellent sources of selenium, an antioxidant that protects cells from damage that may lead to serious chronic diseases. For example, four crimini mushrooms provide 38% of your daily recommended value. Also, the variety of mushrooms contain essential vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamins B and D and riboflavin.

Make meat go further. A three-step cooking technique called “The Blend” combines finely chopped mushrooms with ground meat to create dishes that are more nutritious while still tasting delicious. You can use the process to create multiple dishes such as tacos, pasta sauce and burgers. Mushrooms’ ability to mimic the texture of meat makes them easy to incorporate, and the addition of finely chopped mushrooms to meat dishes stretches portions, allowing the family to enjoy a meat-mushroom base two days in a row in two different ways in dishes like Mexican Lasagna and Blended Tacos, both of which include a Mexican Mushroom-Beef Blend.

For more simple and delicious recipes, visit MushroomCouncil.com


Blended Tacos

Makes: 8 tacos

  • 1          cup sour cream
  • 6          tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice
  • 8          yellow corn tortillas
  • 2          cups Mexican Mushroom-Beef Blend
  • diced avocado (optional)
  • shredded lettuce (optional)
  • shredded cheese (optional)
  • salsa (optional)
  1. In small bowl, mix sour cream, cilantro and lime juice. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. Warm tortillas in microwave or on stovetop according to package directions. Spoon 1/4 cup Mexican Mushroom-Beef Blend into each tortilla. Top with sour cream mixture and avocado, lettuce and cheese as desired.

Mexican Mushroom-Beef Blend

Makes: 8 cups

  • 1          medium yellow onion
  • 8          ounces fresh button or crimini mushrooms
  • 1          pound lean ground beef
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 2          cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained
  • 1          package (1 ounce) reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix
  • 1          can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1          can (11 ounces) yellow kernel corn, drained
  1. In food processor, pulse onion and mushrooms to coarse texture. Set aside.
  2. In large frying pan, brown ground beef. Drain fat. Set aside.
  3. In same frying pan, heat oil. Add mushroom mixture and saute 3-4 minutes, or until most moisture has been released. Add black beans and mix.
  4. Add beef, taco seasoning, tomatoes and corn to black bean and mushroom blend. Mix and cook until heated through.

Mexican Lasagna

Servings: 6-8

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 16        yellow corn tortillas
  • 6          cups Mexican Mushroom-Beef Blend
  • 1          cup shredded, low-fat Mexican cheese blend
  • sour cream (optional)
  • chopped cilantro (optional)
  • salsa (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Spray bottom of 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place four corn tortillas on bottom of dish and layer 2 cups Mexican Mushroom-Beef Blend on top. Repeat layers, ending with tortillas as top layer. Top with cheese.
  2. Bake uncovered 25 minutes, or until cheese melts and lasagna is heated through. Top with dollops of sour cream, cilantro and salsa as desired.

Source: Mushroom Council

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

Meal Ideas 28 August 2019

Peanut-Powered Protein

Nutritious ideas for flavor-filled family meals

(Family Features) Sitting down for a homemade meal may feel harder to come by these days, but recipes that are both nutritious and flavorful can help bring your loved ones together at the family table.

From morning to night, these breakfast, dinner, side and dessert recipes from the Georgia Peanut Commission provide power-packed solutions loaded with protein to help your family take on a full schedule while coming together for memorable meals and moments.

Get more peanut recipes at http://www.gapeanuts.com/consumers.php

Peanut Power Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Parker Wallace of Parker’s Plate on behalf of the Georgia Peanut Commission
Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

Peanut Dressing:

  • 1          cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4       cup full-fat coconut milk, plus additional, if desired
  • lime juice

Bowl:

  • 1          cup cooked farro or quinoa
  • 1/2       cup chopped cabbage
  • 1          cup shredded carrots
  • 1          avocado, sliced
  • 1          cup spiralized zucchini or butternut squash
  • 1/2       cup pomegranate arils
  • 1          cup mandarin pieces
  • 1/2       cup roasted peanuts
  • chopped cilantro, for garnish
  • green onions, for garnish
  1. To make Peanut Dressing: In bowl, whisk peanut butter, coconut milk and lime juice until smooth. Add coconut milk, if necessary, to achieve desired consistency.
  2. To make bowl: Layer farro or quinoa then top with cabbage, carrots, avocado, zucchini or squash, pomegranate arils, mandarin pieces, peanuts and Peanut Dressing. Garnish with cilantro and green onions.

Thai Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Peanut Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Parker Wallace of Parker’s Plate on behalf of the Georgia Peanut Commission
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Peanut Sauce:

  • 1/2       cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2          tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1          tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons brown sugar
  • 3          teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1/2       lime, juice only
  • 2-3       garlic cloves, pressed or grated
  • 2          tablespoons fresh ginger
  • 1          teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1/2       cup full-fat coconut milk
  • 4          tablespoons warm water, plus additional, if necessary

Lettuce Wraps:

  • 2          heads Boston or butter lettuce
  • 1          pound cooked chicken
  • 1          red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 4          green onion, sliced
  • 3          carrots, shredded and grated
  • 1/2       cucumber, sliced into matchsticks
  • 1          bunch fresh basil
  • 1          bunch fresh mint
  • 1/4       cup crushed peanuts
  • sliced limes, for garnish
  1. To make Peanut Sauce: In small saucepan over low heat, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar, brown sugar, garlic sauce, lime juice, garlic, ginger, fish sauce, milk and water. Add more water for thinner sauce, if desired.
  2. To make Lettuce Wraps: Fill lettuce leaves with chicken and Peanut Sauce; top with bell pepper, onion, carrots, cucumber, basil and mint. Sprinkle crushed peanuts on top and garnish with lime slices.

Peanut Butter Breakfast Bread Pudding with Maple Peanut Sauce

Recipe courtesy of the Georgia Peanut Commission
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 35-40 minutes
Servings: 4

  • Butter
  • 2/3       cup creamy peanut butter, divided
  • 2          eggs
  • 1/2       cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3       cup milk
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 4          cups cubed brioche or challah bread, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 2/3       cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/3       cup crushed peanuts
  • powdered sugar, for garnish
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Butter four 4-ounce ramekins.
  2. In bowl, mix 1/3 cup peanut butter, eggs, sugar, milk, vanilla and salt. Toss bread cubes in mixture until thoroughly coated. Divide evenly among prepared dishes. Bake until custard is set in middle and tops are golden, about 35-40 minutes. If tops of bread brown too quickly, cover ramekins loosely with aluminum foil.
  3. In small saucepan over low heat, combine remaining peanut butter and maple syrup until thoroughly warmed.
  4. To serve, drizzle ramekins with maple-peanut sauce and garnish with chopped peanuts and powdered sugar.
  5. Substitution: Whole wheat rolls may be used in place of brioche or challah bread.

Peanut Butter Squares

Recipe courtesy of Southern Peanut Growers
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 24 squares

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          package (17 1/2 ounces) peanut butter cookie mix
  • 3          tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1          tablespoon water
  • 1          egg
  • 3          cups miniature marshmallows
  • 2/3       cup light corn syrup
  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 2          teaspoons vanilla
  • 1          bag (10 ounces) peanut butter chips
  • 2          cups crispy rice cereal
  • 2          cups salted roasted peanuts
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Spray 13-by-9-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, stir cookie mix, oil, water and egg until soft dough forms. Press dough into prepared pan.
  3. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until set.
  4. Sprinkle marshmallows over crust. Bake 1-2 minutes until marshmallows begin to puff. Remove from oven.
  5. In 4-quart saucepan over low heat, heat corn syrup, butter, vanilla and peanut butter chips, stirring constantly until chips are melted and smooth. Remove from heat.
  6. Stir in cereal and peanuts; spoon mixture evenly over marshmallow layer.
  7. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or until firm. Cut into bars and serve.

Source:  Georgia Peanut Commission

Meal Ideas 23 May 2019

Celebrating Salad

(Family Features) With a variety of fruits and veggies available in every color of the rainbow and ingredients packed with protein and fiber, it’s easy to create a unique salad. In fact, there are more than 15 million ways to create a one-of-a-kind salad at Souplantation and Sweet Tomatoes’ 50-foot salad bars. In honor of National Salad Month, consider these fun facts and learn more at souplantation.com.

Source: Sweet Tomatoes/Souplantation

Meal Ideas 26 March 2018

Simple, Healthy Snacks and Sandwiches

(Family Features) Quick and easy meals can be hard to come by, especially ones that don’t sacrifice flavor. You don’t have to eat bland foods to provide your family a healthy and hearty, nutrient-filled diet. During National Nutrition Month, it’s the perfect time to refresh your routine with some creative and convenient options that can serve as the starting point for an on-the-go snack or a full-blown meal.

Sandwiches, like this recipe for a BALCMT Sandwich, can be one of the easiest ways to incorporate grains, which deliver shortfall nutrients like dietary fiber, iron and folate into your diet. Research from the Grain Foods Foundation shows about 95 percent of Americans do not meet dietary fiber intake recommendations. Whole grain foods, like bread, buns, rolls, pita and tortillas, can help supply your dietary fiber needs and aid in maintaining a healthy weight and lower cholesterol.

Additionally, enriched grains can play a key role in metabolism by helping the body release energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates, and are also essential for a healthy nervous system, productivity and cognitive development. The vitamins and minerals in enriched grains like folic acid are also critical for reducing the incidence of some birth defects while also promoting cell function and tissue growth.

Some healthier ways to build a snack include using leaner meats and lower sodium cheeses for a sandwich or adding more vegetables to your overall snacking habits. Another nutritious option, Baked Pita Crisps accompanied by Southwest Bean Dip, can help you curb hunger without blowing past your daily calorie count.

Find more recipes and tips for quick and flavorful meals at grainfoodsfoundation.org.
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BALCMT Sandwich

Recipe courtesy of Franz Bakery on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

Chipotle-Mayonnaise Sauce:

  • 1/4       cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4       tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1          teaspoon lime juice
  • salt, to taste
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 2          slices bread, toasted
  • 1-2       leaves lettuce
  • 4          slices tomato
  • 1/2       avocado, thickly sliced
  • 4          slices maple bacon, fried
  1. To make Chipotle-Mayonnaise Sauce: In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, adobo sauce and lime juice. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  2. Add layer of sauce to slice of bread and top with lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacon and second slice of bread.

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Baked Pita Crisps

Recipe courtesy of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 30 minutes
Yields: 24 crisps

Crisps:

  • 1/4       cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons paprika
  • 3          pita breads (6 inches each) with pockets
  • kosher salt, to taste

Southwest Bean Dip:

  • 2          tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2       large red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2       medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2          cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2-3       tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4       cup packed fresh coriander sprigs, washed and spun dry
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 2          tablespoons water, plus additional (optional)
  1. To make Crisps: Heat oven to 400° F. In small bowl, mix olive oil with cumin and paprika. Split each pita bread horizontally into two rounds and brush rough sides with equal amounts of oil mixture. Cut rounds into small triangles and arrange in flat layer on large baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt just out of oven.
  2. To make Southwest Bean Dip: In large skillet over high heat, heat vegetable oil until hot. Add garlic, bell pepper and onion; turn heat to low and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add cumin and cayenne; cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  3. In food processor, blend beans, lime juice, coriander, salt and water until smooth, adding more water, if necessary, to achieve desired consistency. Add vegetable mixture and pulse until just combined. Serve with Baked Pita Crisps.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Grain Foods Foundation

Meal Ideas 25 May 2017

Reach New Heights with a Reinvented Burger

(Family Features) Text your friends, dust off your apron and fire up the grill. It’s time to throw a barbecue party that won’t sink your summer budget.

You can find everything you’ll need at a one-stop shop like ALDI. With savings up to 50 percent over traditional grocers, you can fill your cart with summer essentials like fresh seasonal produce, premium meats and award-winning wines.

Once shopping is out of the way, you’ll have plenty of time and money to experiment with new recipes. These quick and affordable tips can up your grill game and impress guests:

Boost your burgers. Take burgers to the next level this summer with your favorite ground meats such as turkey, chicken and beef. Then layer on the toppings like avocado, kale, gourmet cheeses and more.

Change up your take on cheesy. Top your burger with a blue cheese mousse by simply blending blue cheese crumbles and cream cheese then season it with your favorite spices.

Spice up your condiments. Combine mayonnaise with fresh orange juice and fresh orange zest to make a citrus aioli or whip up a special sauce by mixing peanut butter with oil and hot water. Sprinkle with bacon for some extra flavor. Toppings such as a pickled red onion can also add a bit of crunch and zest.

Bite better buns. Forgo traditional burger buns and bookend your masterpiece with brioche buns or pretzel rolls.

Find more great grilling tips and recipes for dishes to enjoy all summer at aldi.us.

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Six-Mile High Burger

Recipe courtesy of ALDI Test Kitchen

  • 1 tablespoon Carlini Vegetable Oil
  • 10 Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 pieces Specially Selected Center Cut Bacon
  • 8 Season's Choice Whole Onion Rings
  • 4 All Natural 80 percent Lean Ground Beef Patties
  • 8 slices Happy Farms Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 1 cup Burman's Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Burman's Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Burman's Mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 L'oven Fresh Hamburger Buns
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 2 romaine lettuce leaves, cut in half width-wise
  1. Heat grill to medium-high.
  2. In saute pan, heat vegetable oil and saute mushrooms 2-3 minutes. Set aside. Fry bacon to desired doneness, about 5 minutes on each side. Set aside. Bake onion rings according to packaging instructions. Set aside.
  3. Grill burgers 5-7 minutes on each side until they reach desired doneness. Place two slices cheese on each burger and continue to grill until melted. Remove from heat.
  4. Mix together mayonnaise, hot sauce, mustard, salt and pepper, and spread on both sides of buns, to taste.
  5. To assemble burger: layer bottom bun with patty with cheese, tomato, lettuce, mushrooms, two onion rings, two pieces of bacon and top half of bun.

Source: ALDI

Appetizers & Sides 14 March 2017

Tex-Mex Layered Bean Salad

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Tex-Mex Layered Bean Salad

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: up to 8 hours
Makes 8 to 10 servings (about 12 cups)

  • 1 large red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/3 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 bag (16 ounces) iceberg lettuce, carrot and cabbage salad mix
  • 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) READ 3-bean salad, drained
  • 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 cup crumbled tortilla chips (optional)
  • 1 small avocado, sliced (optional)
  1. In a 3-1/2 quart salad bowl or soufflé dish (preferably straight-sided) layer salad as follows: bell pepper, onion, lettuce, cheese and 3-bean salad.
  2. Mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream and chipotle pepper. Spread over top of salad. Cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours.
  3. Just before serving, sprinkle top with chips and sliced avocado, if desired. Toss to serve.

Nutrition information (1/8 servings): 195 calories; 5 g protein; 18 g carbohydrate; 11 g fat; 476 mg sodium; 26 mg cholesterol; 3 g dietary fiber; 1 mg iron; 149 mg potassium;3584 IU Vitamin A; 149 mg calcium.

Note: READ 4-Bean Salad can be substituted for 3-Bean Salad.

Photo and recipe courtesy of READ Bean Salads (Seneca Foods Corporation).

Source: READ Bean Salads (Seneca Foods Corporation)

Kids 16 December 2016

Connect Kids with Food for Healthy Habits

(Family Features) More than nine in 10 millennial moms think it's important for their kids to learn about where their food comes from, and more than three-quarters of those moms actively do things with their kids to help learn just that, according to recent findings.

Building healthy habits is the top reason moms cite for encouraging more learning when it comes to food, according to research conducted by IPSOS on behalf of Cuties – the sweet little clementines. Even when the weather is colder outside, these tips make it fun for families to learn about where their food comes from and help encourage kids to eat healthy for a lifetime.

    1. Grocery shop together or go to a farmers market. Many cities now have year-round indoor markets, where together you can select fruits and veggies to try. Often the farmers are there, so you can learn about produce and get ideas for how to prepare unfamiliar items at home.

 

    1. Cook with your kids. Find fun recipes that let them explore fresh foods where they can be creative. Find age-appropriate ways to involve them, like stirring or measuring, and encourage them to get hands-on with recipes, such as this fun Flower Salad recipe from registered dietitian Ellie Krieger.

 

  1. Explore the story of where some of their favorite foods come from. Kids learn and remember information when it comes in the form of a story. Cuties is giving families the chance to uncover those stories by encouraging them to submit questions using #AskAGrower on Facebook. Actual growers will answer with stories about how this sweet, seedless and easy-to-peel fruit is grown with care by their family of growers. A video series at cutiescitrus.com/our-story also helps bring the stories to life.

“Making learning about food fun is good for the whole family,” Krieger said. “It encourages kids – and parents – to explore new foods and be more connected to where their food comes from. It’s truly a ‘healthy’ conversation to have together.”

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Flower Salad

Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger
Servings: 1

Flower:

  • 1 Cuties clementine
  • 9-10 thinly sliced strips red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 grape tomato
  • 1 celery stick, cut to 3 inches
  • 2 small leaves romaine lettuce
  • 1 piece English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and cut to 1 1/2 inches then thinly sliced

Dip:

  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Peel clementine and separate sections almost all the way, leaving attached at the base. Place on plate with base down. Place piece of red bell pepper between each citrus section, and half tomato in center to form flower.
  2. Place celery and lettuce leaves underneath as stem and leaves. Arrange cucumber slices below to represent grass.
  3. In small bowl, stir together yogurt, honey and lemon juice.
  4. Serve dip in dish alongside flower, or in a mound underneath cucumber slices.

Nutritional information per serving: 76 calories; 0.5 g total fat; (0.3 g saturated fat, 0.2 g poly fat); 4 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 2 mg cholesterol; 21 mg sodium.

Source: Cuties

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