(Family Features) As families continue to adjust their meal routines amidst a worldwide pandemic, there are trends you and your loved ones can follow to improve your general health, maintain a budget and spend more time together.
Home cooking: According to a study conducted by Hunter Public Relations on how COVID-19 has changed home cooking, 54% of Americans are cooking more and 50% have more confidence in the kitchen. Many, perhaps for the first time, found that cooking at home and learning cooking techniques could be a fun family activity.
Trusting frozen: Frozen foods have seen a renaissance in 2020. Many families discovered that new technologies allow frozen foods to deliver innovations in flavors, recipes, authenticity and affordability without compromising taste. For example, Aqua Star’s frozen Cutting Board Meal Kits are available at grocers nationwide and feature full chef-inspired meals like Chipotle Shrimp Street Tacos and Southwest Chili-Lime Tilapia.
Saving money: It’s common knowledge for many consumers that eating at or ordering takeout from a restaurant is more expensive than cooking at home. Eating at home showed families just how much they could save, and this trend is likely to continue. According to a Simon-Kucher Restaurants Survey, 26% of consumers who ate meals from casual restaurants before the pandemic anticipate eating meals primarily at home for up to a year after lockdown.
More seafood: According to a national survey by Aqua Star, one of the country’s largest seafood companies, 75% of Americans want to eat more seafood. Seafood provides nutritional benefits for a multitude of recipes, but many people don’t know how to prepare it. One of the easiest ways to introduce your family to seafood is through familiar comfort food recipes and convenient one-pan meals.
Online grocery shopping: Nearly daily trips to the grocery store can be an expensive habit since impulse buying is a bane to healthy eating and saving money. As online grocery shopping grows in popularity, it provides families with a convenient, time-saving way to keep must-haves on hand without overspending at the store.
Dinners with family: After years of families grabbing meals on the run, sheltering in place has brought many back to the dining room table. For a simple family meal that focuses on frozen seafood and pantry staples, try this recipe for Shrimp Scampi that involves just a few steps of preparation that can even allow kids to help in the process. If you don’t have time to cook, Aqua Star’s Shrimp Scampi MicroSteam Bowl is a simple way to enjoy the same flavors in minutes, from the microwave, with no clean-up required.
Find more at-home seafood solutions at aquastar.com.
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 8 ounces pasta linguine
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or seafood broth
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 dash crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds large or extra-large Aqua Star shrimp, shelled
- 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/2 lemon, juice only
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- In large skillet, melt butter and oil. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add wine or broth, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Bring to simmer and reduce by half.
- Add shrimp and saute until shrimp turn pink and opaque, approximately 2-4 minutes depending on size. Stir in parsley, lemon juice and cooked pasta.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (family dinner)
Source: Aqua Star
(Family Features) Putting fresh, clean meals on the table is easy with fruits, vegetables and other farm-raised foods. For a full day of deliciously pleasing food, start with healthy strawberries to make Strawberry and Goat Cheese Pizza for lunch. Just before dinnertime, go for Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Salad and combine it with a crisp, white wine. Finally, round it out with a main course using honey and its natural sweetening qualities to put Linguini with Honey-Sauced Prawns on the table.
With the help of these tasty recipes, you’re set for a full day of fantastic, farm-fresh foods. Find additional farm-to-table options at culinary.net.
Please Your Palate with Pasta
Make pasta the centerpiece of your meal with this recipe for Linguini with Honey-Sauced Prawns, which combines sweet honey with classic linguini pasta for a flavorful bite at the dinner table. Outside of honey’s ability as a natural sweetener, it can also give you a boost of energy as a rich source of carbohydrates – and this recipe is no exception, with 61 grams of carbs in each serving. Find more of the benefits honey provides, plus delicious recipes, at honey.com.
Linguini with Honey-Sauced Prawns
Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board
- 1 pound prawns, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup julienne carrots
- 1/2 cup julienne celery
- 1/2 cup green onions, sliced diagonally
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary leaves
- 1 pound cooked linguini pasta, kept warm
- In large skillet, stir-fry prawns, carrots, celery, green onions and garlic in oil over medium-high heat about 3 minutes, or until prawns start to turn pink.
- In small bowl, combine remaining ingredients except pasta; mix well. Add to prawn mixture; stir-fry about 1 minute, or until sauce thickens.
- Serve over pasta.
A Winning Combination
Put a fresh twist on farm-to-table goodness by pairing two vine-ripened garden treasures: heirloom tomatoes and crisp, refreshing white wine. Northern California’s Sonoma County is known for some of the nation’s finest vineyards. It’s also a culinary destination with a wide range of farms and artisan food purveyors. Inspired by the annual Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, this salad recipe is a twist on classic favorite, delighting the palate by pairing farm-fresh tomatoes with the perfect wine. Find more pairing tips and recipes featuring seasonal ingredients at kj.com.
Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Salad
- 2 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, mixed varieties
- 1/4 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup micro basil (or 1 dozen basil leaves, sliced and torn), divided
- 2 large balls fresh mozzarella, cut into wedges
- flaked sea salt
- Slice tomatoes into 3/4- to 1-inch thick wedges. In large bowl, add tomatoes, olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and half the basil. Toss and allow to marinate 2 minutes. Arrange tomatoes and mozzarella on serving plate, alternating each. Pour marinating liquid over tomatoes and mozzarella. Garnish with remaining basil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
Serve with Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay. Chardonnay’s flavors of orchard fruit complement the sweetness of late summer tomatoes.
Pizza with a Sweet Twist
This non-traditional take on pizza will have your taste buds exploding with savory goat cheese and strawberries marinated in a white balsamic vinaigrette. California strawberries, which – despite their sweet taste – boast just 7 grams of sugar and provide 140 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C per cup, are hand-picked to ensure only the highest quality berries are harvested. Research has also shown this farm-to-table superfruit to be an effective way to help prevent and manage Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. For more information and strawberry recipes, visit californiastrawberries.com.
Strawberry and Goat Cheese Pizza
Recipe courtesy of the California Strawberry Commission
Servings: 8 (1/2 pizza each)
- 1/2 ounce active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3-4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) softened goat cheese
- 4 cups fresh California strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
- coarsely ground black pepper
- baby arugula
- Heat oven to 400°F.
- To make pizza dough: In mixer bowl, sprinkle yeast and sugar over 1 cup warm water; let stand until foamy. Add 3 cups flour, salt and olive oil; mix with dough hook until stretchy and no longer sticky, adding more flour if necessary. Divide dough into four equal portions. Refrigerate, covered, until needed.
- To make white balsamic vinaigrette: In small nonreactive saucepan, simmer white balsamic vinegar until reduced to 1 1/2 tablespoons. Whisk in extra-virgin olive oil.
- To make aged balsamic reduction: In small nonreactive saucepan, simmer aged balsamic vinegar until reduced to about 4 teaspoons.
- On lightly floured surface, roll each piece of pizza dough into 8-inch circle. Place on baking sheet; bake 10 minutes, or until firm and slightly brown. Spread softened goat cheese on pizzas, leaving 1/2-inch border.
- Toss strawberries with white balsamic vinaigrette; arrange strawberries evenly on goat cheese. Bake 10 minutes more. Remove from oven; scatter crumbled goat cheese on top.
- Drizzle with aged balsamic reduction; sprinkle with black pepper. Garnish pizzas with leaves of arugula and frisee.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Linguini with Honey-Sauced Prawns)