Meal Ideas 14 September 2020

Kid-Friendly Recipes for At-Home Learning

(Family Features) During a school year that’s sure to be a new experience for students and parents alike, many of the everyday necessities, like eating breakfast and lunch, remain. However, this year, many little learners will be enjoying their lunches from the comfort and safety of home rather than at school, meaning moms and dads are back in charge of keeping the kitchen running throughout the day.

According to a survey conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Sabra, 74% of caregivers expect this school year to be more chaotic than ever and 64% of moms and dads complain they are dreading becoming the “lunch lady” at home.

You can improve those school day blues with quick, kid-friendly recipes that refuel children for their educational explorations. By providing a steady stream of balanced meals and snacks made with wholesome ingredients, you can feel good about boosting your at-home students’ learning capabilities even during these tricky times.

In the morning, try starting with this Chocolate Banana Cinnamon Toast recipe from Tabitha Brown, the actress and vegan foodie known as “America's Mom.” Sliced banana powers this breakfast with the rich, decadent taste of Sabra Dark Chocolate Dessert Dip & Spread to thrill chocolate lovers for a combination of flavors kids love.

For a lunchtime solution with easy prep and quick cleanup, a Hummus Flatbread Pizza takes just 10-15 minutes to make. Made with easy-to-find ingredients you can keep on-hand like pizza sauce and hummus, simply top with sweet favorites like pineapple for a fun boost for long days of learning.   

To find more at-home recipe inspiration, visit sabra.com.

 

Hummus Flatbread Pizza

Recipe courtesy of Tabitha Brown
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Yield: 1 flatbread

  • 4          teaspoons pizza sauce
  • 1          rectangular flatbread
  • 3          tablespoons Sabra Classic Hummus
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • 1/3       cup pineapple tidbits or fresh pineapple pieces
  • strawberries
  • chopped romaine lettuce
  • English cucumber slices
  1. Preheat oven to 500 F.
  2. Brush pizza sauce to edges of flatbread. Swirl to spread hummus to edges of flatbread. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder over flatbread. If using canned pineapple tidbits, drain and pat dry with paper towel. Add pineapple tidbits to flatbread and sprinkle with remaining garlic powder.
  3. Bake 5-10 minutes, or until flatbread is light golden brown.
  4. Cool and cut flatbread. Serve with strawberries and mix chopped romaine lettuce and English cucumber slices for simple salad.

 

Chocolate Banana Cinnamon Toast

Recipe courtesy of Tabitha Brown
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Yield: 2 pieces toast

  • 2          slices cinnamon raisin bread
  • 3          tablespoons Sabra Dark Chocolate Dessert Dip & Spread
  • 6          banana slices, plus additional for serving (optional)
  • 1/8       teaspoon cinnamon powder
  • 1          tablespoon maple syrup
  • fresh strawberries (optional)
  • powdered sugar
  1. Toast bread to desired doneness.
  2. Using spoon, swirl to spread 1 1/2 tablespoons chocolate spread on each slice of toast.
  3. Add banana slices to one slice of toast and sprinkle with cinnamon.
  4. Top with second slice of toast.
  5. Slice in half diagonally. Add to plate with extra sliced banana and fresh strawberries, if desired. Drizzle toast with maple syrup and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Source: Sabra

Meal Ideas 10 August 2020

Powerful Pairings

(Family Features) According to the “Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior,” studies have proven that eating meals together as a family can improve communication and relationships, which is especially important during times of uncertainty and life’s more difficult moments. Great-tasting foods like pork and pulses can be combined to bring families together with quality nutrition, which helps bodies survive and thrive.

Pulses are the nutritionally dense, edible seeds of legumes including dry peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas. Together with pork, this pairing provides critical nutrients to support weight management and immune function, along with plenty of protein – providing all nine essential amino acids – fiber, B vitamins, zinc, iron, potassium, selenium and folate.

As part of the Powerful Pairings initiative, launched by the National Pork Board and USA Pulses in an effort to promote pairing whole foods to bring taste, balance and nutrition to the center of the plate, these recipes for Green Chili Jack Smash Burgers, Cuban Black Beans and Pork Chops with Smashed Yellow Peas and Black-Eyed Pea Gravy encourage a nutritious way to enjoy fresh taste.

Find more information, resources and recipes at powerfulpairings.com.

Green Chili Jack Smash Burgers

Recipe courtesy of the National Pork Board and USA Pulses
Servings: 4

Burger Patties:

  • 1          pound ground pork
  • 4          tablespoons red onion, scrubbed with vegetable brush under running water and finely minced
  • 1          teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1          teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 2          teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 1          cup cooked black-eyed peas, drained
  • 1          teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 4          slices Jack cheese

Caramelized Onions:

  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 1          large onion, scrubbed with vegetable brush under running water and sliced thin
  • 1/2       cup water
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt

Charred Green Chili Mayo:

  • 1          can (3 ounces) diced green chilies
  • 2/3       cup mayonnaise
  • 1          clove garlic, crushed
  • 1          tablespoon lime juice
  • 2          green onions, gently rubbed under cold running water and finely sliced
  • 1/4       cup cilantro, gently rubbed under cold running water and chopped
  • 4          hamburger buns
  • 1          avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2       head lettuce, gently rubbed under cold running water
  1. In large bowl, mix ground pork, onion, garlic and chili powders. Add black-eyed peas and salt; mix well. Form into four loosely packed balls and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  2. To make Caramelized Onions: In large skillet over medium-high heat, warm butter. Add onions, water and salt; cook, stirring, until onions soften and turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. To make Charred Green Chili Mayo: Place green chilies in hot cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, turning, until chilies begin to soften and turn black. Remove from heat and place in small bowl. Add mayonnaise, garlic and lime juice; whisk to blend. Add green onions and cilantro; stir well and refrigerate.
  4. To make burgers: Warm cast iron or nonstick griddle pan over medium-high heat. Place pork balls on hot skillet; flatten with heavy metal spatula. Season with salt, to taste. Cook approximately 3 minutes; flip and cook 2-3 minutes until internal temperature reaches 145 F.
  5. Lightly toast buns. Place each burger on toasted bun with slice of cheese, Caramelized Onions, Charred Green Chili Mayo, avocado and lettuce.

Pork Chops with Smashed Yellow Peas and Black-Eyed Pea Gravy

Recipe courtesy of the National Pork Board and USA Pulses
Servings: 4

  • 2          cups yellow split peas, cooked and drained
  • 1/4       cup, plus 2 tablespoons, softened butter, divided
  • 1/4       cup cream
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 4          pork chops
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          onion, gently rubbed under cold running water and diced
  • 1          can black-eyed peas with juice
  • 1/8       cup flour
  • 1          cup milk
  1. In medium bowl, use fork or potato masher to mash peas. Stir in 1/4 cup butter, cream and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  2. Season pork chops with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. In large skillet, warm oil over medium heat. Add pork chops to pan and cook approximately 4 minutes per side, or until they reach internal temperature of 145 F. Remove pork chops from pan; keep warm.
  4. In same pan, add remaining butter, onion and black-eyed peas. Cook 2-3 minutes until warm throughout, scraping pan. Add flour and season with salt and pepper, to taste. While stirring, slowly add milk.
  5. Serve mashed peas topped with pork chops and black-eyed pea gravy.

Cuban Black Beans

Recipe courtesy of Carolina Molea on behalf of the National Pork Board and USA Pulses
Serving: 6

  • 1          quart water
  • 1          green bell pepper, scrubbed with vegetable brush under running water and diced, divided
  • 4          cloves garlic, peeled, divided
  • 1          cup dried black beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
  • 1          bay leaf
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 2          slices bacon, diced
  • 1/2       Spanish onion, scrubbed with vegetable brush under running water and diced
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  • 2          tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon light brown sugar
  1. Fill large pot with water. Add 1/2 diced green pepper, two garlic cloves, beans and bay leaf. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 hour.
  2. In skillet over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add bacon; cook, turning, until bacon starts to brown, about 2 minutes. Add remaining green pepper and onion; cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Chop remaining garlic cloves. Add to skillet with oregano, cumin and black pepper. Stir 1 minute. Pour in vinegar, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan with wooden spoon.
  4. When beans are cooked, discard bay leaf. Transfer 1 cup beans to blender; blend to make paste. Return blended beans to large pot. Add bacon mixture and sugar. Stir well; bring to boil over medium heat. Lower heat, simmer and cook, uncovered, 20 minutes, skimming foam from top.

Source: National Family Meals Month

Meal Ideas 14 July 2020

Simple Recipe Hacks for Time-Saving Meals

(Family Features) With many families spending more time than usual at home, scratch cooking trends are popular among home chefs. From homemade sourdough to elaborate multi-course dinners, the kitchen has become a place for creativity for many.

However, since summer brings all sorts of fun and outdoor activities, busy families may be looking for ways to spend less time in the kitchen without compromising on quality or flavor. Try to work smarter, not harder, and let your local grocery store do some of the heavy lifting.

Starting with pre-packaged salads, casseroles, fresh-baked breads or prepared items from the deli case, like a rotisserie chicken, opens an array of possibilities for quick family meals. For example, Signature Cafe and Signature Select, available exclusively at Albertsons and Safeway stores, can be your go-to for meal solutions, and you can find these products at a value compared to many leading national brands without giving up the quality you crave. With products available across the entire store, you can find easy-to-implement recipe hacks the whole family can enjoy.

Serving up a tasty and comforting dinner can be as easy as mixing together fresh ingredients like pre-made macaroni and cheese, rotisserie chicken, frozen broccoli and topping your dish with cracker crumbs in this Chicken and Broccoli Mac and Cheese. You’ll have food on the table in less than 30 minutes and more time to spend with family and friends.

With the resources available at your neighborhood store, you can build restaurant-quality Spicy Chicken Sandwiches with Nashville-Style Dressing at home by visiting the deli department for fried chicken and swinging by the bakery for a loaf of European-style bread. Crunchy fried chicken, cool lettuce, crisp pickles and spicy dressing including a handful of pantry staples make for the perfect flavor and texture combination.

End the day with a Neapolitan-Style Milkshake as classic flavors come together with vanilla bean ice cream, fudge striped shortbread cookies, strawberry preserves and whole milk. This ice cream treat is an indulgence that blends in a flash.

Visit Albertsons.com/exclusivebrands to shop for grocery delivery or pickup at your local store such as Albertsons, Safeway, ACME Markets, Jewel-Osco, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Shaw’s, Star Market, United Supermarkets and Carrs/Safeway.

Chicken and Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Servings: 4

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2          packages (12 ounces each) Signature Cafe Classic Macaroni and Cheese
  • 1          cup frozen broccoli
  • 2          Signature Cafe Whole Roasted Chicken Breasts (about 1 cup), skin removed and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2       cup cracker crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Coat 6-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Add macaroni and cheese, broccoli and chicken, stirring to combine until well incorporated. Top with cracker crumbs.
  3. Bake 20 minutes, or until heated through.

Neapolitan-Style Milkshake

Servings: 2-4

  • 4          scoops (1/2 cup each) Signature Select Vanilla or Vanilla Bean Ice Cream 
  • 6          Signature Select Fudge Striped Shortbread Cookies
  • 4          tablespoons Signature Select Strawberry Preserves
  • 1 1/2    cups whole milk, plus additional (optional)
  1. In blender, process ice cream, cookies, strawberry preserves and whole milk.
  2. If desired, add milk to achieve desired thickness.
  3. Serve in chilled glasses.

Spicy Chicken Sandwiches with Nashville-Style Dressing

Servings: 2

Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise:

  • 1/2       cup mayonnaise          
  • 1/2       teaspoon cayenne pepper       
  • 1/2       teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4       teaspoon garlic powder          
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt  
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper

Spicy Chicken Sandwich:

  • 1/2       cup Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise, plus additional (optional)
  • 4          slices Signature Select Artisan French or Italian Bread
  • 2          pieces hand-breaded Signature Cafe Fried Chicken Breast, cut into slices
  • 1          cup lettuce mix
  • 8          sweet or dill pickle chips
  1. To make Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise: In bowl, combine mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.
  2. To make Spicy Chicken Sandwiches: Spread Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise onto bread slices. Arrange sliced chicken on half the bread slices and place lettuce and pickle chips on other half.
  3. Dress with additional Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise, if desired. Fold sandwiches together, spear with toothpick and slice diagonally.

Source: Albertsons

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

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