Videos 18 March 2019

Simple Kid-Friendly Sliders

(Family Features) For those busy nights plan, on this simple yet savory sliders recipe. Kids are almost certain to love the taste and you will enjoy how quick and easy they are to make.

For more recipes, visit culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!

Pepperoni Pizza Sliders

  • 1          package slider rolls
  • 1/2       cup pizza sauce
  • 1/2       cup mini pepperoni
  • 1 1/2    cups shredded, low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4       cup butter, melted
  • 1          teaspoon parsley flakes
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2       cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • nonstick cooking spray
  1. Heat oven 350º F.
  2. Keeping rolls connected, cut sheet of rolls horizontally, separating tops from bottoms. Place bottom halves of rolls in baking dish.
  3. Spread pizza sauce evenly over bottom halves. Sprinkle pepperoni over sauce. Sprinkle mozzarella over pepperoni and cover with top halves of rolls.
  4. Mix melted butter with parsley flakes, dried oregano, garlic powder, and shredded Parmesan cheese. Spoon evenly over sliders.
  5. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil sprayed with nonstick cooking spray to keep cheese from sticking.
  6. Bake 20 minutes.
  7. Remove foil and bake additional 5-10 minutes or until Parmesan is melted and golden brown.
  8. Cut sliders and serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from MilkMeansMore.org

Source: Culinary.net

Meal Ideas 14 March 2019

Make Mac & Cheese-Easy

(Family Features) Macaroni and cheese, the classic American comfort food staple beloved by kids and adults alike, just got easier to prepare. No, not packaged or frozen-from your own stovetop (no baking) in under 30 minutes.

Stovetop Mac & Cheese begins with Dreamfields pasta, a premium pasta made from durum wheat semolina - just like traditional pasta, but with a healthful twist. A one cup serving of Dreamfields not only tastes great, but also has only five grams of digestible carbohydrates and five grams of fiber - which is twice the amount in traditional pasta. The fiber comes from inulin, a 100 percent natural prebiotic fiber (which may help promote healthy digestion) found in common foods like asparagus, raisins and chicory root.

To prepare this one pot, four ingredient, stovetop mac and cheese, simply cook the pasta according to package directions, drain, then add the prepared light Alfredo sauce, shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese and nonfat milk. Stir for a couple of minutes and you'll be rewarded with a creamy, delicious dish.

Many people don't realize how versatile this iconic favorite is. Try different cheeses -Colby, Swiss, goat, Gouda, blue, or a combination. Don't stop there. Vegetables like broccoli florets, green peas and cherry tomatoes make great stir-ins, as do protein choices such as cooked turkey, chicken or ham, even meatballs. It's a deliciously doable winner...one pot, four ingredients, on the table in under 30 minutes.

For this and more amazing recipes, visit www.dreamfieldsfoods.com.

Stovetop Mac & Cheese

Makes 6 servings
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes

  • 1 box Dreamfields Elbows
  • 1 cup prepared light Alfredo sauce
  • 2 cups shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese or part-skim mozzarella cheese or a combination
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and return to pan; remove from heat.
  2. Immediately add Alfredo sauce, cheese and milk to pasta; stir constantly until cheese is melted. Add additional milk if necessary for desired consistency. Serve immediately.

Stir-ins: Cooked chicken, turkey, ham cubes, hot dog pieces, meatballs, cooked chicken or turkey sausage, cooked broccoli florets, green peas, chopped tomato or halved cherry tomatoes.

Nutrition information (1/6 of recipe): 385 calories; 20 g protein; 11 g digestible carbohydrates*; 13 g total fat; 7 g saturated fat; 35 mg cholesterol; 570 mg sodium; 6 g total dietary fiber.

NOTE: If traditional pasta is used in this recipe there is a total of 51 g carbohydrate. For more information go to www.dreamfieldsfoods.com.

Source: Dreamfields Foods

Meal Ideas 19 February 2019

Delightful Farm-Raised Foods

(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
Servings: 4

  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. In small bowl, combine remaining ingredients except pasta; mix well. Add to prawn mixture; stir-fry about 1 minute, or until sauce thickens.
  3. 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

Servings: 4

  • 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
  1. 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
  • frisee
  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. To make aged balsamic reduction: In small nonreactive saucepan, simmer aged balsamic vinegar until reduced to about 4 teaspoons.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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)

Source: Culinary.net

Meal Ideas 19 February 2019

A Winning Strategy

Sensible tips for healthy eating

(Family Features) With so many social events that revolve around food, it’s not easy to get a fresh start on making healthy food choices. However, with a little thought and planning, you can prevent taking your body on a roller coaster ride – without having to choose between food deprivation and satisfaction.

“Whether you are hosting an event or attending someone else’s celebration, planning ahead can help you stay on track,” said Mitzi Dulan, a registered dietitian and nationally recognized nutrition and wellness expert. “Having quick and simple strategies and recipes on hand makes it easy to eat well and keep you feeling great.”

Put a winning plan in place to take a new look at your approach to eating smart with these tips from Dulan, who is the team nutritionist for the World Series champion Kansas City Royals.

Don’t skip meals.
Although skipping breakfast may seem like a good way to cut calories, it’s a plan that can actually backfire, making you hungrier as the day wears on, and more likely to overeat or sneak unhealthy snacks. Start each day with a well-rounded breakfast to fuel your body. Apply a similar approach to events later in the day, as well. You may be tempted to skip a meal so you can enjoy the treats at a party, but chances are you’ll end up overdoing it with high-calorie indulgences, so make sure you fuel up ahead of time.

Love what you eat.
Be mindful of the food you eat and make every bite count. Enjoying each delicious taste will make it easier to stick to a sensible eating plan. For the foods you do love, look for ways to make them better – better for you, that is. For example, if pizza is your weak spot, substitute a lower-calorie crust, such as Flatout Flatbread. Then choose toppings wisely to amp up the flavor while managing added fat and calories.

Eat smaller portions.
When you simply must indulge, you may be surprised to hear “go ahead,” but to do so in moderation. One clever way to keep your portions small: use a tablespoon, not a serving spoon to dish out portions. Then eat slowly so your body has time to tell your brain you’re full.

Get your fill in healthy ways.
Overeating often comes down to a very basic cause: hunger. Becoming more conscious of how you answer your hunger will help you stay on track. Drinking water before and during events will help to fill you up so you are less likely to consume excess calories. Snacking throughout the day can also help keep hunger at bay; several small, healthy snacks, such as a handful of nuts or trail mix, can help keep you feeling full. Also, remember to stop eating when you feel satisfied, but before you feel full.

To find a Flatout Flatbread retailer near you, visit FlatoutFinder.com.

Barbecue Chicken Flatbread Pizza

Recipe created by Mitzi Dulan, RD

  • non-stick baking spray
  • 2 Flatout Flatbreads
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/3 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 6 ounces grilled chicken breast, torn into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon red onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Spray large baking sheet with non-stick baking spray. Place flatbreads on baking sheet. On each flatbread, evenly spread 2 tablespoons barbecue sauce.
  3. Sprinkle both cheeses over flatbreads. Mix remaining barbecue sauce with grilled chicken and place on pizzas. Top with diced onion. Bake 5 minutes. Sprinkle cilantro on top and serve.

Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza

  • 1 Flatout Flatbread Artisan Thin Pizza Crust
  • 1/4 cup chunky red sauce
  • 3 slices provolone cheese
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 30 pepperoni mini slices
  1. Heat oven or grill to 375°F.
  2. Place flatbread on cookie sheet. Bake 2 minutes. Remove from oven. Spread sauce on flatbread. Lay provolone on top of sauce. Top with mozzarella and pepperoni. Return to oven and bake 4 more minutes, or until cheese melts.
  3. Grilling method: Heat grill to 375°F. Pre-bake flatbread on grill for 2 minutes. Remove from grill. Spread sauce on flatbread. Lay provolone on top of sauce. Top with mozzarella and pepperoni. Return flatbread to grill. Close lid. Grill for 4 minutes, or until cheese melts.

Arugula Mushroom Flatbread Pizza

  • 1 Flatout Flatbread
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, cooked
  • 1/2 cup arugula
  • 6 grape tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fat-free balsamic vinegar
  1. Heat grill or oven to 375°F.
  2. Pre-bake flatbread for 2 minutes. Remove.
  3. Warm mushrooms in microwave or pan. Top flatbread with arugula, tomatoes and mushrooms. Sprinkle with cheese and drizzle with balsamic vinegar. Cut into slices.

Thin Crust Egg, Sausage and Pepper Breakfast Pizza

  • 1 Flatout Flatbread Artisan Thin Pizza Crust
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
  • 2 eggs, lightly scrambled
  • 3 ounces sausage, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 ounces yellow peppers, diced
  • 2 ounces red peppers, diced
  1. Heat oven to 375 F.
  2. Place flatbread on cookie sheet. Bake for 2 minutes. Remove from oven. Top flatbread with cheese, scrambled egg, sausage and peppers. Return to oven and bake 4 more minutes, or until cheese melts.
  3. Grilling method: Heat grill to 375 F. Pre-bake flatbread on grill for 1-2 minutes. Remove from grill. Top flatbread with cheese, scrambled egg, sausage and peppers. Return to grill. Close lid. Grill 4 more minutes, or until cheese melts.

Source: Flatout Flatbread

Breakfast & Brunch 01 April 2018

Welcome the Return of Warm Weather with Farm-to-Table Foods

(Family Features) More daylight in the evening, birds chirping in the morning and plants sprouting up from the ground are signs that Spring has sprung. With the return of outdoor activities and sunshine, it's the perfect time to build on your family's healthy habits with farm fresh foods you can trust for quality nutrition.

Start by looking for fresh and wholesome foods at the grocery store. Milk is one of the original farm-to-table foods that contains nine essential nutrients, including high-quality protein, potassium and calcium. Milk is also remarkably simple, with just three ingredients: milk and vitamins A and D. Compare that to plant based alternatives, which often have more than 10 ingredients, including added salt, sugar, stabilizers and emulsifiers like locust bean gum, sunflower lecithin and gellan gum.

Many people don't realize that the real dairy milk at the local grocery store often originates from dairy farms about 300 miles away and arrives on shelves in just 48 hours, on average, after leaving the farm.

Try a twist on farm-fresh ingredients with an egg-infused breakfast twist on a classic Italian salad. When paired with an 8-ounce glass of milk, this delicious omelet fulfills 80 percent of your daily calcium value for a calcium-rich breakfast.

For more information and kid-friendly seasonal recipe ideas, visit milklife.com.

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Caprese Omelet

Recipe courtesy of MilkPEP
(1 serving)

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons fat free milk
  • 1/2 beefsteak tomato, sliced
  • 1/4 cup lowfat shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 8-ounce glass of milk
  1. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Beat eggs and 3 tablespoons milk together in a small bowl until well mixed.
  2. Pour egg mixture into heated pan, swirling the pan until eggs cover the bottom. Allow the eggs to set and no visible liquid remains, about 2 -3 minutes.
  3. After the eggs have set, arrange the tomatoes, cheese and basil on one side of the eggs. Using a spatula, carefully fold omelet in half, bringing the egg portion over the filling. Remove omelet from pan and serve with remaining 8-ounce glass of milk and enjoy.

Nutritional information per serving: 360 calories; 18 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 210 mg cholesterol; 32 g protein; 19 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 510 mg sodium; 800 mg calcium (80% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.

Source: MilkPEP

Meal Ideas 01 July 2018

Fresh, Family-Friendly Flavors

(Family Features) One of the best parts of warmer weather for many families is the availability of fresh ingredients for meals at home. The unique tastes provide a variety of recipes that can be prepared with everyone in mind, including crisp flavors to help satisfy adults and kids alike.

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For example, Michigan asparagus is hand-harvested at more than 120 family farms, meaning each spear is snapped at its optimal point to produce an all-edible product with no woody ends.

To help keep that fresh-picked flavor, the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board recommends storing asparagus upright in about an inch of water after trimming the ends. Loosely cover the container with plastic and keep it refrigerated.

Whether you’re enjoying it blanched, roasted or on the grill, it’s a perfect complement for warmer weather. This Asparagus Crust White Chicken Pizza from author Gina Ferwerda is a creative take on the seasonal vegetable. Find more inspiration in Ferwerda’s cookbook, “Meals from the Mitten.”

For more information and recipes, visit michiganasparagus.org .
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Asparagus Crust White Chicken Pizza

Recipe courtesy of Gina Ferwerda on behalf of the Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board
Servings: 4

Asparagus Crust:

  • 2          cups cut-up fresh or frozen Michigan asparagus, blanched
  • 1          egg
  • 2/3       cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2/3       cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1          tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning


White Sauce:

  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 1/4       cup chopped leeks
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1          tablespoon flour
  • 3/4       cup milk
  • 1/4       cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1          cup cubed rotisserie chicken
  • 1          cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2       cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1/2       cup cut-up fresh or frozen Michigan asparagus, blanched and seasoned with avocado oil and lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/4       cup chopped prosciutto
  • fresh chives, for garnish
  • fresh basil, for garnish
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. To make Asparagus Crust: In food processor, puree blanched asparagus until smooth. In large bowl, mix asparagus puree, egg, Parmesan, mozzarella and lemon pepper seasoning until thoroughly combined.
  3. Press asparagus mixture into circular shape on parchment paper-lined pizza stone or baking sheet. Place layer of paper towel over crust and gently press down to remove excess moisture. Repeat until paper towel is no longer absorbing moisture. Discard wet paper towels.
  4. Bake 12-13 minutes.
  5. To make White Sauce: In saucepan over medium heat, cook butter, leeks and garlic 3-4 minutes. Slowly whisk in flour and cook 1-2 minutes. Slowly add in milk, continue whisking and cook until thickened. Add Parmesan then remove from heat and set aside.
  6. Pour white sauce over partially baked asparagus crust and top with chicken and mozzarella. Add peas, asparagus and prosciutto. Bake 5-8 minutes, or until cheese is thoroughly melted. Garnish with fresh chives or basil.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Asparagus on the grill)

Source: Michigan Asparagus Advisory Board

Grilling-Tailgating 17 January 2019

Switch Up Your Game Day Menu

(Family Features) Burgers and dogs may be typical game day grub, but a lineup that never changes can get tiresome a few weeks into the season. Infuse new energy and homemade favorites into your game day menu so you can enjoy great games and good eats for a winning combination.

Explore new flavors. Add variety by building your meal around a different main dish, like ribs or pulled pork instead of burgers. Or invite guests to get in on the action and offer a DIY pizza or taco bar with a wide range of toppings for the ultimate custom plate. Then adapt your side dishes to fit the theme, like adding a barbecue spice seasoning to your party mix, for example, or offering a chipotle-style dip for veggies and chips.

Add an unexpected twist. If you prefer a more traditional menu, there’s no reason to abandon all your favorite game day fare. Instead, reimagine a popular dish with a special or unexpected ingredient. For example, this recipe features a homemade pizza topped with creamy ranch dressing. An option like Litehouse Homestyle Ranch has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives, no high fructose corn syrup and is gluten free. The dressing is a versatile addition to your game day spread since you can use it to top off everything from pizza and fries to tacos, burgers and more. For easy serving, look for the 20-ounce squeeze bottle, or opt for a glass jar or dip tub, whichever your recipe requires.

Don’t forget dessert. A good game requires lots of savory, hearty foods, but by the fourth quarter, you’re likely to start craving sweet victory and a sweet treat to go along with the win. Easy individual desserts are a great bet, that way you can grab a quick bite and get back to the screen before you miss any action. Think along the lines of finger foods like marshmallow cereal bars, brownies and cookies to offer a little something for everyone.

Find more ideas for your game day gathering at LitehouseFoods.com.
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Homemade Pizza Recipe

Total time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4

  • 1          ball pizza dough (store-bought or homemade)
  • 1          jar pizza sauce
  • pepperoni (optional)
  • sausage (optional)
  • ham or Canadian bacon (optional)
  • black olives (optional)
  • mushrooms (optional)
  • peppers (optional)
  • 1          package (8 ounces) fresh mozzarella, shredded
  • 1          squeeze bottle (20 ounces) Litehouse Homestyle Ranch dressing
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. Prepare dough by pressing it onto a pizza pan or pizza stone. Spread pizza sauce over crust and top with pepperoni, sausage, ham or Canadian bacon, black olives, mushrooms and peppers, if desired. Sprinkle cheese evenly over top of pizza. Bake 20-30 minutes.
  3. Top with ranch dressing before serving.

Note: Toppings can be substituted as desired.

Source: Litehouse Foods

Meal Ideas 07 September 2018

Burrito Bake

This hearty casserole is full of meat, onion and cheeses, sitting on top of a crescent roll dough crust.  Add even more flavor and top your casserole with olives, green onions, lettuce, tomatoes and jalapenos with a side of sour cream, chips and salsa.

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Burrito Bake

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 can (16oz) refried beans
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 tube (8oz) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 bag (8oz) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 bag (8oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Optional toppings: chopped green pepper, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and sliced ripe olives
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, cook and crumble beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add beans, onion and taco seasoning.
  2. Unroll crescent roll dough. Press onto bottom and up the sides of a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; seal seams and perforations.
  3. Spread beef mixture over crust; sprinkle with cheeses. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown, about 30 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with toppings.

Watch video to see how easy this recipe is!

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

Appetizers & Sides 08 June 2017

A Sweet Cherry Season

(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

  1. Select 3-5 pounds of firm, ripe, Northwest-grown sweet cherries.
  2. After rinsing and draining, spread whole cherries with stems in a layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Place in freezer until firm then pack into freezer-proof containers or plastic freezer bags. Remove excess air and cover tightly.
  4. 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.

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Cherry Bruschetta

Serves: 8

  • 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
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. 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.
  3. Combine cherries, cilantro, sweet pepper, green onions, lime juice, lime peel, garlic salt, pepper and remaining olive oil; mix well.
  4. 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

Main Dishes 11 April 2017

Unleash the Power of Dairy

(Family Features) If you’re trying to boost the nutrition of your meals and snacks, look no further than your refrigerator. Dairy products provide a powerful nutrition package that can help you meet your nutrient needs and achieve better health.

The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans affirm dairy’s important place in the diet with a recommendation that people ages 9 and older consume three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy foods every day. With nine essential nutrients, milk, cheese and yogurt deliver a unique nutrition package superior to milk alternatives, such as almond or rice beverages, which are often fortified or fall short on these important nutrients.

During the hot summer months, when you don’t feel like spending much time in the kitchen, dairy products offer ease and convenience, as many are ready to use in recipes or round out a meal or snack. For a quick, easy and healthy snack this summer, put a fresh take on traditional pizza with this recipe that uses crescent rolls topped with cheeses and fresh seasonal veggies. Or turn up the heat on a classic beef burrito by adding warm pepper jack cheese and black beans.

Visit MidwestDairy.com to pledge Dairy 3 for Me, find additional recipes and learn more about how to unleash the power of dairy nutrition.

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Summer Pizza Snack

Recipe courtesy of Cindy Heins, Heins Family Farms
Total time: 22 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1 tube (8 ounces) crescent rolls
  • 1 tub (8 ounces) low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. In 9-by-13-inch baking pan, spread out crescent roll dough. Seal seams together to form one large rectangle across bottom of pan. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on rack.
  2. In small bowl, mix together cream cheese, mayonnaise and garlic powder. Spread evenly over entire cooled crust. Top with mozzarella, tomatoes, olives, broccoli and cucumber. Cut into 12 squares and serve.

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Beef Burrito with Pepper Jack Cheese and Black Beans

Total time: 9 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1/2 pound ground beef sirloin
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup chunky salsa, divided
  • 2 cups cooked brown or white rice
  • 6 whole-wheat tortillas (9 inches each)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (11 ounces) corn kernels, drained
  • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • sliced green onion, including green tops
  1. In medium, nonstick skillet, brown ground beef and garlic over medium heat (break beef mixture up into smaller chunks with spatula). Drain fat and stir in 1/2 cup salsa; set aside.
  2. Spread 1/3 cup rice on center of tortilla, leaving 1/2-inch border. Scatter about 2 tablespoons beans and 1 1/2 tablespoons corn over rice. Spread 1/3 cup beef mixture and 1/4 cup cheese over corn. Top with 2 teaspoons salsa and a few slices green onion. Fold in two opposite edges of tortilla 1 inch each and roll up. Place seam-side down on microwave-safe dish.
  3. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Place burritos in microwave oven and heat 1 minute, or until heated through. Serve with remaining salsa.

Source: Midwest Dairy Association

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