Grilling-Tailgating 22 June 2020

Cookout Cravings: Appease summer appetites with grilled fare

(Family Features) The first thought that comes to mind when picturing grilling in the summer sun might be a perfectly cooked steak or a juicy burger, but no backyard barbecue is complete without the all-important sides and beverages that complete the meal.

Whether you're pairing a main protein with separate side dishes or going all-in-one by combining tender chicken with veggies on skewers, the opportunities are endless for a crave-worthy cookout.

Find more summer grilling recipes at Culinary.net.

5 Steps for Sizzling Steak

A sizzling steak is a surefire sound of summer, and the flavors achieved from one that's perfectly grilled are hard to match.

Before you fire up your grill, consider these five basics for cooking a chef-worthy steak:

Prepare Your Cut
Taste preferences (and prices) may differ among sirloins, ribeyes, T-bones and more, but the way you prepare steaks likely won't change much from cut to cut. You'll want to trim the thickness down to 1/2-1 inch for proper cooking, and setting the meat out ahead of time allows it to warm to room temperature before hitting the grill.

Add Some Salt
Feel free to add any spices you prefer, but remember a good steak typically doesn't require fancy seasoning - a pinch of salt works just fine. Add your salt anywhere between 30 minutes to a few hours before grilling time to help retain moisture and improve flavor.

Aim for High Heat
A two-zone fire is usually the way to go - one side of the grill should be hot (using direct heat) with the other side not quite as warm (indirect heat). This allows you to create a sear over direct heat before finishing cooking through - without burning - over indirect heat.

Sear and Slide
Cooking your steak over direct heat 1-2 minutes on each side is normally about right for creating a proper sear. At this point, depending on the thickness of your steak, you'll want to check for doneness. If it's not quite to the temperature you're looking to achieve, simply slide it over to the indirect heat for a finishing touch. Keep in mind these general guidelines for doneness: 120-125 F is rare, 130-135 F is medium-rare, 140-145 F is medium, 150-155 F is medium-well and 160-175 F is well done.

Let Rest
Finally, as hungry as you may be at this point, resting steaks is an important last step before diving in. Giving your steaks 5-10 minutes (foil or no foil) allows flavors to redistribute and moisture to be retained in the meat.

Less Prep, More Summer with a Skewered Solution

Make summer grilling easy and delicious by cooking your side dish and main dish together so you can spend more time outdoors and less time meal planning. These Grilled Greek Kebabs pair cubed chicken thighs with little potatoes on skewers, making for a classic cookout combo.

With no washing or peeling required, Creamer potatoes from The Little Potato Company require little prep, which helps make this recipe a breeze, and they cook quickly on the grill. Just marinate your chicken and potatoes with this zesty dressing and prepare for a taste bud-tingling backyard barbecue.

Visit littlepotatoes.com/summertime for more summer grilling recipes.

Grilled Greek Kebabs

Dressing/Marinade:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice only
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 3 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • Skewers:
  • 2 cups The Little Potato Company Dynamic Duo bagged Creamer Potatoes, cut in half
  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 wooden skewers dipped in water
  • pita bread (optional)

Salad:

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 sliced Lebanese cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives

To make dressing/marinade: In measuring cup, mix olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano, Dijon mustard, garlic and sugar. Season generously with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour 1/3 cup marinade into large bowl. Refrigerate remaining.

To prepare skewers: Add potatoes and chicken pieces to bowl with marinade. Mix well to coat and marinate 30 minutes, or as long as overnight in refrigerator.

Preheat grill to medium heat.

Skewer potatoes and chicken cubes alternately on wooden skewers. Grill 6-8 minutes on both sides. Grill pita bread, if desired.

Finish dressing by adding mayonnaise.

To make salad: In large serving dish, mix tomatoes, cucumber, onions, feta cheese and olives. Place kebabs on top and drizzle with dressing.

Serve with grilled pita bread, if desired.

Sipping on Sweetness

When it's summertime, many people crave something cold and fruity. Simply combine frozen strawberries with frozen pink lemonade concentrate to create a cool concoction perfect for a sizzling day. This fizzy summertime treat can delight your taste buds and keep you quenched while enjoying the sun's rays.

Find more summer drink recipes at Culinary.net.

Strawberry Spritzer

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen sliced strawberries, sweetened and thawed
  • 2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled
  • 1 can (12 ounces) frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
  1. In blender, process strawberries until blended thoroughly.
  2. Pour strawberries into large pitcher; stir in soda and pink lemonade.

A Simple Stuffed Side

Whether you need a quick appetizer or something to snack on, these Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes make for an appealing bite.

Find more snack recipes at Culinary.net.

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Recipe courtesy of Culinary.net

  • 24-48 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 3 green onion stalks, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced dill
  • fresh dill, for garnish
  1. Cut thin slice off top of each tomato. Scoop out pulp. Invert tomatoes on paper towel to drain.
    In medium bowl, combine cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in cucumber, green onion and dill. Spoon mixture into tomatoes. Top with fresh dill.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Steak)

Source:  The Little Potato Company

Healthy 01 June 2020

Family Foods with a Weight Loss Focus

(Family Features) Losing weight and focusing on a healthful diet may lead you back to the same tried-and-true tricks, however, conventional wisdom doesn’t always pay dividends. Some eating plans may offer up new twists to help you and your family eat meals you enjoy without forgoing your health goals.

For example, “Always Eat After 7 PM,” written by Joel Marion, CISSN, NSCA-CPT, five-time best-selling e-book author and co-founder of the e-commerce supplement company BioTrust Nutrition, debunks popular diet myths and offers an easy-to-follow diet that accelerates fat-burning and allows you to indulge in your most intense cravings by eating the majority of your calories at night. The outlined plan features a 14-day “acceleration phase” designed for rapid results, a “main phase” when you’ll learn which fat-burning foods to eat to achieve your weight loss goals and a “lifestyle phase” to keep the weight off for good.

Conventional wisdom dictates that it’s best to avoid carbs, eat an early dinner and never eat immediately before bed. However, Marion debunks the myths underlying traditional dieting with a simple, highly effective weight loss program allowing readers to enjoy social dinners without restriction, satisfy nighttime hunger with fat-burning sweet and salty pre-bedtime snacks and indulge cravings with strategically timed cheat meals.

With straightforward food lists, easy-to-follow meal plans and recipes for each phase, this can be a simpler, more enjoyable way to lose weight without feeling restricted. Taken directly from the book, these recipes for Pot Roast Tacos with Chimichurri, Cheesy Ground Beef Skillet and Chili Loaded Baked Potato can help you take part in the program while enjoying time with loved ones at the family table.

Learn more about the diet and book at joelmarion.com.

Pot Roast Tacos with Chimichurri

Recipe courtesy of “Always Eat After 7 PM”
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8

Chimichurri:

  • 1 1/2    cups fresh Italian parsley
  • 1          cup fresh cilantro
  • 2          tablespoons green onion, chopped
  • 1          tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/4       cup olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1          tablespoon water
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • 1          teaspoon crushed red pepper

Tacos:

  • 3          cups chuck roast, slow cooked and chopped
  • 8          yellow corn tortillas (6 inches)
  • 1          ripe avocado, pitted and sliced
  • 4          radishes, sliced
  • 1/4       cup queso fresco, crumbled
  1. To make chimichurri: In food processor, combine parsley, cilantro, onion and garlic until chopped. Add olive oil, lemon juice, water, salt and red pepper; process until fully combined.
  2. To assemble tacos: In medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook chopped chuck roast 5 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in 1/2 cup chimichurri. In grill pan, char tortillas then fill evenly with meat, avocado, radishes and queso fresco. Serve with remaining chimichurri.

Nutritional information per serving: 410 calories; 24 g fat; 12 g carbohydrates; 366 mg sodium; 2 g fiber; 41 g protein; 1 g sugar.

Chili Loaded Baked Potato

Recipe courtesy of “Always Eat After 7 PM”
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 6          sweet potatoes (8 ounces each)
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 2          pounds ground chuck
  • 2          yellow onions, diced
  • 2          tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 3          tablespoons chili powder
  • 2          tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1          tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2          teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4       teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3          cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1          can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1          tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1          can (15 ounces) butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2       cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1          Anaheim chile, minced
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2       cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4       cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4       cup red onion, minced
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Line baking sheet or pan with parchment paper. Rinse and scrub sweet potatoes; pat dry with paper towel and pierce several times with fork or knife. Place in prepared pan. Lightly spray sweet potatoes with nonstick cooking spray and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake 45 minutes- 1 hour until tender when poked.
  2. In pot, heat olive oil. Saute chuck until fully cooked. Drain fat and return to pot; add onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika and cayenne pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and saute until onions are soft, about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add broth, crushed tomatoes and vinegar to pot. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. Add butter beans, cilantro and chile; cook 5 minutes. Season with sea salt.
  4. Split potatoes lengthwise; fluff flesh with fork. Top evenly with chili, yogurt, cilantro leaves and red onion.

Nutritional information per serving: 573 calories; 10 g fat; 58 g carbohydrates; 588 mg sodium; 11 g fiber; 25 g protein; 12 g sugar.

Cheesy Ground Beef Skillet

Recipe courtesy of “Always Eat After 7 PM”
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 38 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1 3/4    cups water
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • 1          cup white rice
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 1          pound extra-lean ground beef
  • 1          yellow onion, chopped
  • 1          tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1          red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1          teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1          teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2       teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2       cup tomato sauce
  • 1          can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1          cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3       cup fresh parsley, minced
  1. In saucepan over high heat, bring water to boil. Add salt and rice; stir once then cover pot and reduce to low heat 18 minutes.
  2. In large skillet, heat olive oil. Stir in ground beef. Cook and stir until beef is crumbly and no longer pink. Drain and discard excess grease. Mix in onion and garlic; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, oregano, basil, red pepper, sea salt and black pepper; cook and stir until bell pepper is tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in cooked rice, tomato sauce and kidney beans. Reduce heat and cover until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat, sprinkle cheese over top and garnish with parsley.

Nutritional information per serving: 399 calories: 14 g fat; 36 g carbohydrates; 816 mg sodium; 4 g fiber; 30 g protein; 3 g sugar.

Source: Promote A Book

Meal Ideas 20 May 2020

A Simply Sensational Summer Meal

(Family Features) Whipping up a fresh cooked meal is one of the true joys of summer, especially when grilled grub is paired with tantalizing sides and tempting desserts.

Spice things up with Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream coupled with a side like Roasted Potatoes then cap off a filling meal with these sweet and decadent Strawberry Cream Cheese Tartlets. If you’re looking for ways to mix meat and veggies all at once, these ideas for kebabs are a surefire way to please a variety of palates.

Find more summer meal ideas at Culinary.net.

Cook Up Kebabs

As one of the most versatile main courses that can be grilled, kebabs offer nearly endless opportunities for customization. From protein to veggies, soaked wooden skewers can be loaded with just about any favorite flavors before hitting the grates. Consider these options for kicking your kebabs up a notch:

  • Steak, cut into chunks
  • Chicken, cut into chunks
  • Bratwurst or sausage, cut into slices
  • Ground beef, shaped into balls
  • Lamb
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon, cut into chunks
  • Bacon, cut into small pieces
  • Sliced onions
  • Sliced bell peppers
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes

Summer Sliders with a Spicy Kick

Summer calls for firing up the grill for a fresh-cooked meal, and sliders are an ideal way to enjoy a downsized version of a warm weather favorite.

These Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream are perfect for summer with their spicy kick of salsa and bright, cooling cream. Made with grass-fed beef from New Zealand, where the animals are allowed to roam and graze freely over lush green hills and pastures year-round, the mini burgers boast a lean, finely textured meat that tastes just as nature intended.

Find more tasty summer recipes at beefandlambnz.com.

Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream

Recipe courtesy of Beef + Lamb New Zealand
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Patties:

  • 1 1/3    pounds lean New Zealand grass-fed ground beef
  • 1          clove garlic, crushed
  • 1          medium onion, grated or finely chopped
  • 1          egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4       cup red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2          tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3          teaspoons dried oregano, chopped
  • 2          teaspoons mild smoked paprika
  • 2          teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1          teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2       cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • olive oil

Jalapeno Salsa:

  • 1          cup cucumber, thinly sliced into long ribbons
  • 3/4       cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1          red onion, finely sliced
  • 1/2       cup pickled jalapenos, finely chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • olive oil
  • lime juice

Avocado Cream:

  • 1          avocado, mashed
  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • 1          lime, juice and zest only
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 8-12     slider buns, halved
  • 2-3       cobs sweet corn, cooked and sliced into shards
  • 8-12     small bamboo skewers
  1. To make patties: In bowl, combine beef, garlic, onion, egg, kidney beans, tomato paste, oregano, paprika, cumin, coriander, Parmesan cheese, salt, to taste, and pepper, to taste. Shape into 8-12 small patties. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes.
  2. Heat grill or frying pan to medium heat.
  3. Brush patties with oil on both sides. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, turning once to brown both sides evenly, until cooked through.
  4. To make Jalapeno Salsa: In bowl, combine cucumber, cilantro, onion and jalapenos; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice.
  5. To make Avocado Cream: In bowl, combine avocado, sour cream, lime juice and lime zest; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Spread Avocado Cream on bottom buns and place patties on top. Top patties with Jalapeno Salsa, corn and top buns. Press down gently and poke in skewers to secure sliders.

A Sweet Summer Treat

Sweet flavors and warm weather go hand-in-hand, and many summer occasions and get-togethers call for dessert. Take advantage of warm weather favorites like strawberries and raspberries with these Strawberry Cream Cheese Tartlets.

Made using the best berries nature can provide, these bite-size tartlets feature a graham cracker crust base and an indulgent cream cheese filling flavored with sliced strawberries, honey and lemon topped with Well•Pict’s sweet, juicy strawberries and raspberries, which come fresh in clamshell packaging made from 70% recycled water bottles.

Find more sweet recipes that can bring a smile to your loved ones’ faces at wellpict.com/recipe.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Tartlets

Makes: 24 tartlets (4 ounces each)

  • 1/2       cup water
  • 2          tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3          tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2          tablespoons gelatin
  • 4          cups Well•Pict Strawberries, sliced, divided
  • 1/3       cup honey
  • 2          packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • 1          cup ice cubes
  • 2          cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2       cup melted butter
  • 1          cup Well•Pict Strawberries, rinsed, for garnish
  • 1          cup Well•Pict Raspberries, rinsed, for garnish
  1. In blender, mix water, lemon juice, lemon zest and gelatin until frothy.
  2. Add 2 cups strawberries and honey; blend until smooth. Pour into bowl and chill mix 15 minutes.
  3. In blender, mix cream cheese, sour cream and ice cubes while incorporating strawberry mixture. Mix in remaining strawberries.
  4. In blender or food processor, mix graham crackers and melted butter to crumb consistency. Lightly grease two medium muffin pans and pack graham cracker mixture at bottom of each opening. Pour strawberry mixture over graham cracker mixture and chill until set. Gently pull tartlets from muffin tins and place on serving tray. Garnish with strawberries and raspberries.

Roasted and Ready to Serve

Summer meals centered around grilled fare call for a complementary pairing that completes the classic profile of warm weather food. Using a versatile vegetable like potatoes allows you to think up different methods of cooking for a new flavor each time.

While you’re focused on the main dish being grilled, these Roasted Potatoes can bake away indoors for a simple side that requires little attention.

Find more health resources at usda.gov.

Roasted Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of “A Harvest of Recipes with USDA Foods
Servings: 6

  • 1          pound potatoes, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2       cup onion, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2       cup green pepper, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1          teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 1          teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1          tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2       teaspoon paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In medium bowl, mix potatoes, onions, green peppers and garlic.
  3. Add vegetable oil, salt, pepper, parsley and paprika. Mix well.
  4. Cover bowl and refrigerate 15 minutes.
  5. Spread potato mixture evenly on cookie sheet. Bake about 35 minutes.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Kebabs and Roasted Potatoes)

Source:  New Zealand Wagyu Beef
Well•Pict Berries

 

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

Breakfast & Brunch 28 April 2020

Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Easier Mornings

(Family Features) If you’re juggling a new set of responsibilities right now, you’re not alone. Those busy mornings may still pose challenges even if your commute no longer exists.

Making breakfast in advance can give you a few extra minutes to move your body, center your mind or simply hit the snooze button one more time and still put a delicious, nutritious breakfast on the table. Aim to use ingredients with a mix of protein, fiber and good fats to keep you full and energized for whatever the day has in store. 

Take morning meal prep off your plate for days at a time by making a batch of No-Bake Walnut, Cocoa and Cherry Bars or Savory Walnut Egg Cups, which can be made with mostly pantry staples or frozen ingredients to help limit trips to the grocery store.

Find more make-ahead recipes for any meal of the day at walnuts.org/meal-prep. 

Savory Walnut Egg Cups

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: 12

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2    cups old-fashioned oats
  • 3/4       cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4       cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 2          tablespoons cold water
  • 9          large eggs
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1          teaspoon dried oregano leaves
  • 1          tablespoon stone ground Dijon mustard
  • 1          cup baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • 1          small red bell pepper, diced
  • 3/4       cup extra sharp shredded cheddar cheese
  1. Heat oven to 350° F and generously spray 12-cup muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In bowl of food processor, pulse oats until fine and flour-like. Add walnuts and pulse until blended with oat flour. Pulse in olive oil, salt and water until mixture comes together.
  3. Spoon walnut-oat crust mixture evenly (about 1 1/4 tablespoons each) into each muffin cup and press into bottom and partially up sides. Bake 25 minutes until crust begins to brown. Cool on wire rack 10 minutes.
  4. In large bowl, whisk eggs, garlic powder, oregano and mustard until well combined. Stir in spinach, bell pepper and cheese.
  5. Fill each muffin cup evenly with egg-veggie mixture and bake 20 minutes, or until eggs are set. Cool slightly on wire rack before removing egg cups by carefully inserting sharp knife between crust and muffin pan.

No-Bake Walnut, Cocoa and Cherry Bars

Total time:15 minutes
Servings: 9

  • 1/2       cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1          cup (about 12) pitted medjool dates
  • 1/2       cup shelled walnuts
  • 1/2       cup unsweetened dried cherries
  • 2          tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  1. In large food processor bowl, combine oats, dates, walnuts, cherries, cocoa powder and salt. Process 1-2 minutes, or until mixture resembles crumbly dough.
  2. Turn mixture onto wax paper and shape evenly into 1/2-inch thick rectangle.
  3. Chill at least 1 hour and cut into nine bars.

Source:  California Walnuts

Meal Ideas 16 August 2019

Family Meals Matter

(Family Features) For busy families, finding time to eat together isn't always easy, but coming together around the dinner table regularly isn't just about keeping hungry bellies full. Family meals nourish the spirit, brain and overall health.

Children who grow up sharing family meals are also more likely to exhibit prosocial behavior as adults, such as sharing, fairness and respect. Research has also shown that with each additional family meal shared during the week, adolescents are less likely to show symptoms of violence, depression and suicide; less likely to use or abuse drugs or run away; and less likely to engage in risky behavior or delinquent acts.

In addition, adults and children who eat at home more regularly are less likely to suffer from obesity, and increased family meals are associated with greater intake of fruits and vegetables.

If you struggle to make family meal time happen, try these tips from the experts at the Food Marketing Institute Foundation, creators of the National Family Meals Movement, which aims to help families reap the benefits of enjoying more meals together at home. Or you can find inspiration to make one extra family meal happen each week with recipes like Barbecue St. Louis Ribs, Meatballs or Turkey Pot Pie from the family-focused cookbook "Family Table by Robert Irvine."

Plan ahead. Prepare staples or extras of your favorite recipes that you can refrigerate or freeze to use when you're rushed for time.

Mix and match. Challenge yourself to see how many different ways you can use a grocery item until it's gone.

Embrace convenience. Grocery stores have many time-saving solutions, and frozen and canned produce can be quick additions to many recipes.

Incorporate the kids. Involve your children in shopping, meal planning and meal preparation whenever possible.

Make nutritional balance easy. Plan your family's plates by making sure you are getting all the food groups over the course of the day.

"By quieting the noise and being truly present with the people around us, simple tasks you might normally take for granted - like putting a good meal on the table - take on a deeper meaning," Irvine writes in his book. "The meal ceases to be a time for physical nourishment and becomes something that feeds your family's soul. It's not possible to forge that kind of a connection if you've got one eye fixed on your smartphone at the dinner table."

Look for more tips and meal planning resources at your favorite grocery store.

Meatballs

Recipe courtesy of "Family Table by Robert Irvine" on behalf of the Food Marketing Institute Foundation
Serves: 6

  • 1 Spanish white onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups diced bread (such as baguette)
  • water
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
  • 3 cups basic tomato sauce
  1. In small saucepan over medium heat, sweat onion and garlic.
  2. In large bowl, soak bread in water 1-2 minutes. Strain excess liquid.
  3. In separate large bowl, add eggs, ricotta cheese, Parmesan cheese and onion-garlic mixture. Combine then add ground meat, soaked bread, extra-virgin olive oil, parsley and oregano. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Divide mixture evenly to form 10-12 meatballs and use hands to roll into shape.
  5. In large saute pan over high heat, brown meatballs in grapeseed oil on all sides.
  6. Place browned meatballs in separate saucepot with basic tomato sauce. Bring to simmer and finish cooking, about 1 hour.

Barbecue St. Louis Ribs

Recipe courtesy of "Family Table by Robert Irvine" on behalf of the Food Marketing Institute Foundation
Serves: 12

Barbecue Sauce:

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper

Spice Rub:

  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup ground mustard
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 cup ground white pepper
  • 1/4 cup seafood seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 4 full racks St. Louis-style ribs
  1. To make Barbecue Sauce: In bowl, mix ketchup, vinegar, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, cayenne pepper, salt and black pepper. Transfer to thick-bottomed saucepot over medium-low heat. Allow sauce to warm and mix over heat 10-15 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove and cool.
  2. To make Spice Rub: In bowl, mix salt, ground mustard, paprika, black pepper, cayenne pepper, white pepper, seafood seasoning and cumin. Keep dry and covered until ready to use.
  3. Remove silver skin from bottom side of ribs. Evenly rub each rack with 1/4 cup Spice Rub on top and bottom. Wrap each in plastic wrap and keep overnight in refrigerator or cooler.
  4. Heat smoker with pecan or other fruit wood to 165 F and maintain temperature. Remove plastic and place ribs in smoker 4 hours then check doneness. Ribs should be cooked but not falling off bone.
  5. Remove ribs from smoker and glaze each rack with 1/2 cup Barbecue Sauce. Return to smoker 30-40 minutes. Remove and glaze again with 1/2 cup sauce for each rack and cook 20 minutes.
  6. Remove ribs from smoker. Allow to rest 5 minutes then cut into single or double bone sections and serve.

Turkey Pot Pie

Recipe courtesy of "Family Table by Robert Irvine" on behalf of the Food Marketing Institute Foundation
Serves: 4

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 Spanish white onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, medium diced
  • 3 carrots, small diced
  • 3 cups cooked, shredded turkey (dark meat preferred)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups turkey stock (or leftover gravy)
  • 2 potatoes, peeled and medium diced
  • 1 square prepared puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  1. Heat oven to 375 F.
  2. In medium saucepot, melt butter; add onion and sweat 4 minutes. Add celery and carrots; cook 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add turkey and cook 4 minutes. Add tarragon, parsley and all-purpose flour; cook 4 minutes. Add stock and bring to simmer. Add potatoes and simmer until fork tender.
  4. Pour filling into pie pan and top with pastry. Brush pastry with egg.
  5. Bake pie 20-30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

Photos courtesy of "Family Table by Robert Irvine"

Source: Food Marketing Institute Foundation

Appetizers & Sides 15 March 2019

6 Deviled Eggs Recipes Perfect for Easter and Beyond

(Family Features) Deviled eggs, also known as stuffed eggs, first appeared in American cookbooks in the mid-19th century, but the origin can be traced back to ancient Rome where eggs were boiled and seasoned with spicy sauces, according to the History Channel. Today, deviled eggs are a staple during Easter, and according to the American Egg Board, more than 100 million dozen eggs were sold last year during the week of Easter alone.

The “classic” deviled egg includes a mixture of mustard and mayonnaise, sprinkled with paprika. However, chefs and home cooks alike are experimenting with various flavor twists, including ingredients like seeds, bacon, hot sauce, avocado, pickles, dill, crab meat and more.

Celebrate this classic Easter recipe along with five new flavor variations from the experts at McCormick and French’s. For more deviled egg recipes and Easter inspiration, visit McCormick.com and Frenchs.com.

  1. Easy Deviled Eggs – Crush this traditional recipe using French’s Classic Yellow Mustard and garlic powder for a tangy-sweet flavor and silky-smooth texture. Top with paprika and enjoy.

  1. Smoky Deviled EggsWhat could be better than deviled eggs with crumbled bacon? How about adding in smoked paprika for another layer of smokiness and a little color.  Now that’s the perfect appetizer for Easter brunch.

  1. Fiery Deviled Eggs – Kick it up a notch by adding Frank’s RedHot to these deviled eggs. It’ll add a tangy kick to the classic that can please any crowd. 

  1. Avocado Deviled EggsSwitch up the norm and add chopped avocado, Greek yogurt, yellow mustard and crispy fried onions to create this flavorful deviled egg. Top with some cilantro for a pop of color.

  1. Mediterranean Deviled Eggs – Getting their inspiration from the flavors of the Mediterranean, this deviled egg features Parmesan cheese, herbs like oregano and basil and a bright garnish of diced tomatoes.

  1. French’s Party Deviled Eggs– This egg is made for a party. Swap out the mayo with sour cream and add Dijon mustard for richness. Then top with a crispy onion crunch to leave guests wanting more. Don’t forget to sprinkle with paprika.

Source: McCormick

Meal Ideas 07 March 2019

How to Create a Smoky Cubano Sandwich

(Family Features) For flavor fans, there is nearly no better combo than the complementary tastes in a Cubano sandwich. Complete with layers of roast pork, ham, soft swiss cheese, mustard and topped with tangy pickles, all the flavors and textures play in concert.

For an upgrade on the classic sandwich, try this version from Sammy Hagar, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who’s known for his riff on the iconic recipe. He takes his favorite sandwich to the next level by adding a smoky kick.

“The Cubano has everything I love in a sandwich: gooey melted cheese and a crispy, crunchy crust on the bread,” Hagar said. “It's great to be able to get all the flavors in each bite. It has pickles and mustard that cut through the rich cheese and pork. When you splash a little Tabasco on it, you get the last perfect ingredients – flavor and heat.”

Find his signature sandwich at Sammy’s Beach Bar & Grill locations throughout the country, or try creating Sammy’s Cubano Sandwich at home with this recipe.

For more recipes, visit Tabasco.com/recipe.

Sammy’s Cubano Sandwich

Cook time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Mojo Marinade:

  • 3/4       cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          cup cilantro, minced
  • 3/4       cup orange juice
  • 1/2       cup fresh squeezed lime juice
  • 3          tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
  • 1          tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
  • 2          teaspoons cumin, ground
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • coarse black pepper, to taste

Sandwich:

  • 3 1/2    pounds pork shoulder or boneless pork butt
  • 2          teaspoons Tabasco Chipotle Sauce
  • 3          tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 6          pieces Cuban bread or baguette (6 inches each), cut lengthwise
  • 8          ounces deli ham, thinly sliced
  • 1/2       pound swiss cheese, thinly sliced
  • 24        dill pickle chips
  • 4          tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1          cup unsalted butter
  • 4          tablespoons reserved Mojo Marinade
  1. To make Mojo Marinade: In bowl, whisk olive oil, cilantro, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper until incorporated. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste. Reserve 4 tablespoons marinade in separate bowl, cover and set aside in refrigerator.
  2. Place pork in large zip-top bag. Cover with Mojo Marinade and close bag. Place in roasting pan and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Heat oven to 450° F.
  4. Remove pork and marinade from bag and place in roasting pan. Cover with foil and cook in oven 45 minutes.
  5. After 45 minutes, reduce heat to 375° F, remove foil and cook 2 hours until internal temperature reaches 175° F and pork is fork tender at thickest part.
  6. Remove from oven and let rest 20 minutes before slicing.
  7. In small bowl, mix chipotle sauce and mayonnaise until fully incorporated.
  8. Spread mixture on bottom bread slice.
  9. On top bread slice, place two slices deli ham, 3-4 ounces roasted pork, two slices swiss cheese, 4-6 pickles and yellow mustard.
  10. Over medium-high heat, butter flat surface of griddle and add reserved Mojo Marinade while butter is melting.
  11. Place assembled sandwiches on griddle, pressing grill weight or heavy skillet on top of sandwiches.

Source: Tabasco

Soups 19 February 2019

Change Up Your Chili

(Family Features) Chilly nights are the perfect time to pull out your favorite soup or stew recipe. Settle down with a blanket while a big pot of chili simmers on the stove. Warm, hearty and flavorful, chili is a classic comfort food, and it’s easy to customize with your favorite flavor combinations. Whether you prefer it spicy or mild, with or without beans, you can develop your own signature style.

For chili connoisseurs, ground beef is usually the go-to meat, but try a new take on an old favorite by adding ground duck to your chili for something creative. Duck has the robust, red-meat texture of beef but with the lean nutritional benefits of other poultry. Farm-raised white Pekin duck has less saturated fat than beef and a mild flavor that's not considered gamey. Plus, it’s versatile and complements a variety of dishes.

Substitute duck in your favorite version of chili or try this Duck Chili. Like many chili recipes, this one tastes even better the next day, making it a great dish to make ahead of time and reheat when needed.

Find other duck recipes and more information about cooking with duck at mapleleaffarms.com.

Duck Chili

  • 2          tablespoons Maple Leaf Farms Rendered Duck Fat, divided
  • 2          pounds Maple Leaf Farms All Natural Ground Duck
  • 1          teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 3          tablespoons ground cumin, divided
  • 1          large red onion, chopped
  • 4          garlic cloves, minced
  • 2          jalapeno peppers, minced (remove seeds to reduce heat, if desired)
  • 2          red bell peppers, cored and chopped
  • 3          tablespoons chili powder
  • 1          tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1          teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 24        ounces dark beer
  • 2          cups chicken stock
  • 6          ounces tomato paste
  • 28        ounces canned tomatoes
  • 24        ounces canned great northern beans, drained
  • 8          ounces canned whole kernel corn, drained
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • sour cream (optional)
  • shredded cheese (optional)
  • chopped scallions (optional)
  • fresh cilantro, rough chopped (optional)
  1. In large pot over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon duck fat. Add ground duck; sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste, and 1 tablespoon cumin.
  2. Cook meat until just slightly browned, stirring occasionally to break into small pieces. Remove duck from pot and set aside.
  3. Return pot to medium-high burner and add remaining duck fat. Add onion, garlic, jalapenos and red peppers to pot and saute 3 minutes, stirring so garlic doesn't burn. Stir in chili powder, oregano, cayenne pepper, 1 teaspoon salt and remaining cumin. Saute 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  4. Add beer and stock to pot. Stir, scraping up bits from bottom of pot. Add tomato paste and mix well. Add tomatoes and duck then bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 1 hour.
  5. Stir in beans, corn and hot sauce. Cook uncovered 30 minutes, or until chili is thick.
  6. Serve in bowls with optional toppings: sour cream, cheese, scallions and cilantro.

Note: Vegetable oil can be substituted for duck fat.

Source: Maple Leaf Farms

Breakfast & Brunch 01 November 2018

A Comforting Breakfast to Savor this Season

Bring new holiday traditions to life with a warm, wholesome morning meal

(Family Features) As the busy holiday season approaches, take time to relax and make family memories with a delicious breakfast at home. Bringing loved ones together doesn’t always need to involve an elaborate gathering. Sometimes, a warm, cozy morning meal is all you need.

With wholesome nutrition top of mind for many moms, incorporating milk into your family’s routine can be a simple way to get important nutrients like protein, calcium and vitamin D. When you use real, farm fresh, dairy milk in your favorite holiday recipes, you can feel good knowing that it provides a natural nutrient package that is hard to match in any other single food or beverage.

During this holiday season, bring the family together to enjoy savory comfort foods, like this homemade twist on classic hash browns. Made with ingredients you can feel good about, like nutritious milk, crisp vegetables and fresh herbs, this potato hash is sure to become a new favorite. It’s served with an 8-ounce glass of milk for an extra nutrient boost that helps everyone power through the busy holiday season.

For more recipes to bring the family together during the holiday season, visit milklife.com.

Garlic Herb Potato Hash

  • 3          tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8          small red potatoes, skin-on and diced (about 3 cups)
  • 1          red bell pepper, diced
  • 3          teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1          teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped, plus additional for topping
  • 1          teaspoon fresh oregano, finely chopped, plus additional for topping
  • 2          tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2/3       cup milk
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 2          slices low-sodium turkey bacon, cooked near crispy
  • 1/4       cup finely grated reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
  1. In large skillet over medium heat, melt butter then add potatoes, bell peppers, garlic, thyme and oregano, stirring occasionally until potatoes are fork-tender.
  2. Sprinkle flour over potato mixture and stir to coat. Gradually stir in milk until sauce forms. Season with salt and pepper and stir in slices of turkey bacon. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese and cover, allowing to melt 1-2 minutes. Uncover and top with additional herbs, if desired, before serving.
  3. Pair each serving with 8-ounce glass of milk.

Nutritional information per serving: 320 calories; 11 g fat; 6 g saturated fat; 45 mg cholesterol; 17 g protein; 38 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 440 mg sodium; 434 mg calcium (45% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk. 

Source: MilkPEP

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