(Family Features) There’s something about summertime that ushers in an easygoing spirit. The long, hot summer months are often celebrated with backyard barbecues, beach days and spending time with friends and family. It’s a time to fire up the grill, slow down and roll with the punches.
So, when you’re thinking about what to feed your family off the grill, it should be a breeze, and you shouldn’t have to choose between good and good for you. Next time you turn on your grill, consider these tips for creating healthier, flavorful meals you can feel confident serving.
Keep it simple. Skip the complicated recipes that call for a wide variety of ingredients, a multitude of steps and long cook times. Instead, seek out products and dishes that are made with ingredients you recognize and have just a handful of instructions. This will ensure less time in the kitchen and more time with loved ones.
Focus on seasonal, clean ingredients. Get inspired by your local farmer’s market. One of the best parts about summer is the abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables that can add flavor and nutrients to your plate. Plant-based meat, like the burgers, ground and sausages from Lightlife, are also a healthier swap for traditional animal meat products. The pea protein-based product line features only simple ingredients, like pea protein, beet powder and red bell pepper, and are non-GMO, gluten-free and soy-free, perfect for use in recipes like this Burger with Grilled Pineapple and Honey Garlic Barbecue Sauce.
“I know how hard it can be to create fast and flavorful meals that the entire family will love,” said Dan Curtin, president of Greenleaf Foods. “That’s why we’re focused on making delicious food with the cleanest ingredients possible. The fact that they’re all plant-based is just a bonus.”
Don’t forget the sides. Food should be a source of confidence, with everything enjoyed in moderation. To balance your spread of burgers and hot dogs, consider serving fresh asparagus or sweet corn in place of other salty, processed options. Fruits like peaches and pineapple work well on the grill, too, but remember to group produce by similar cooking times.
Aim for a quick and fun cleanup. Perhaps one of the most overlooked secrets to a stress-free meal is to cut down on cleanup. A backyard barbecue can be one of the easiest messes to maintain as most of the prep is done outside on the grill. Try setting up a buffet line on your deck or patio where your family can build their burgers with customized toppings, like cheese, veggies and sauces. Then add a little bit of fun by putting on your favorite music playlist to help make a simple, everyday meal feel even more special.
Visit lightlife.com to discover more plant-based recipes and solutions.
Burger with Grilled Pineapple and Honey Garlic Barbecue Sauce
Total time: 30 minutes
- 2 rings freshly cored pineapple
- 2 Lightlife Plant-Based Burger patties, thawed
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup baby arugula
- 2 sesame seed burger buns, lightly toasted
- 1/4 cup crispy fried onions
- 2 tablespoons honey garlic barbecue sauce
- Heat grill to medium heat. Grill pineapple slices 4-5 minutes per side until grill-marked and slightly caramelized. Cut slices in half and set aside. Wipe down grill to cook burger patties.
- Season burger patties with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill 4-5 minutes per side until burgers are evenly browned with internal temperature of 165 F.
- To assemble, layer handful of baby arugula leaves on toasted bottom buns, top each with burger and two cut slices each of grilled pineapple. Sprinkle on crispy fried onions, drizzle with honey garlic barbecue sauce and place toasted sesame seed bun on top.
Source: Greenleaf Foods
(Family Features) As summer grilling season sets in, Americans grab their tongs to take advantage of backyard barbecue opportunities.
In addition to classic cookout fare like ribs, steak, chicken, burgers and hot dogs, the experts at Dole recommend giving fruits and vegetables a shot on the grill to bring out new tastes and ways to enjoy everyday favorites. For example, many barbecue enthusiasts know about grilling corn, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, onions, zucchini and artichokes, but consider trying cauliflower, portobello mushrooms, yellow-black plantains and even pineapple on the grill this summer.
In fact, this recipe for Smoked Hasselback Pineapple with Spiced Turkey Chorizo and Onion provides an easy way to make grilled fruit a fun addition to your backyard barbecue.
For other flavorful ideas, try grilled Romaine lettuce for a delightfully smoky salad or side dish, or skewer peeled and sliced bananas, chicken, shrimp and veggies for a tropical kebab. You can even throw an unpeeled banana on the grill for a uniquely caramelized dessert.
Visit dole.com for more summer grilling recipes featuring fresh fruits and vegetables.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Smoked Hasselback Pineapple with Spiced Turkey Chorizo and Onion
Total time: 2 hours
- 4 cups favorite wood chips
- 1 pound 93% lean ground turkey breast
- 1 small DOLE® Red Onion, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 large Dole Pineapple, top on, peeled and halved lengthwise
- chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)
- In large bowl, cover wood chips with water; soak as label directs. Prepare outdoor grill for indirect grilling over medium heat.
- In medium bowl, stir turkey, onion, oil, thyme, paprika, chile powder, cumin and salt.
- Drain wood chips; place 2 cups in foil boat or pie tin and place on hot grill rack over lit side of grill (place chips directly on coals for charcoal grill). Place pineapple halves, flat side down, on cutting board; cut crosswise slices into pineapple halves, about 1/2 inch apart, cutting only 3/4 of the way through. Place medium bowl upside down; one at a time, place pineapple halves, flat side down, over bowl to separate slits. Fill slits with turkey mixture.
- Place pineapple halves, flat side down, on hot grill rack over unlit side of grill; cover and cook 1 hour, 45 minutes, or until turkey mixture is golden brown and internal temperature reaches 170 F, rotating once and adding remaining chips halfway through cooking.
- Transfer pineapple halves to cutting board; cut crosswise in half. Serve pineapple garnished with cilantro, if desired.
(Family Features) Spending moments together with loved ones carries obvious benefits like time to catch up and opportunities to bond, but sharing meals actually provides definitive value for families. With restricted social interactions and confinement at home due to COVID-19, many families are facing meal challenges that have shifted from juggling busy schedules to seeking new ways to mix up the traditional menu or using digital solutions to reconnect at a virtual table.
A study published in the "Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior" funded by the FMI Foundation shows that more frequent family meals are associated with better dietary and family functioning outcomes. The results build on years of previous research studies to punctuate the creation of the Family Meals Movement, which encourages Americans to pledge to share one more family breakfast, lunch or dinner at home per week.
Consider these notable findings from the study:
- Family meals improve fruit and vegetable consumption. Studies show a positive relationship between family meal frequency and fruit and vegetable intake when examined separately, but also when fruit and vegetable intake are combined.
- Family meals improve family dynamics. Nearly all the studies included in the systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrated a positive relationship between family meal frequency and measures of family functioning. Family functioning is defined as family connectedness, communication, expressiveness and problem-solving.
"There are thousands of individual studies that examine the impact of family meals on nutrition and family behavior, but this meta-analysis looks at the relationship between family meal frequency and family functioning outcomes," said David Fikes, executive director of the FMI Foundation. "We can confirm that family meals are a valuable contributor of improved nutrition and family dynamics."
Find tips, recipes and ways to increase your family meal frequency despite COVID-19 circumstances at familymealsmovement.org.
German Fruit Tart
Recipe courtesy of Deanna Segrave-Daly on behalf of the FMI Foundation
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon half-and-half or cream
- 1/8 teaspoon almond extract or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced
- sliced strawberries
- sliced kiwi
- sliced banana
- 2 teaspoons turbinado or powdered sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- To make crust, beat together flours, sugar, egg, half-and-half and almond extract. Add butter slices and mix together until sticky ball of dough forms. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes.
- On heavily floured surface, knead dough a few times and roll out to fit greased 10-inch tart pan.
- Carefully spread dough into tart pan and bake 15-20 minutes, or until tart starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
- Dust crust with cornstarch to help fruit stick to crust. Arrange strawberries, kiwi, banana and blueberries on top of crust; sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
Hawaiian Chicken Pizza
Recipe courtesy of Toby Amidor on behalf of the FMI Foundation
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
- 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
- 1ready-made pizza crust or whole wheat pizza crust (10 ounces)
- 1 cup canned or jarred tomato sauce
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese or part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple or canned pineapple tidbits packed in 100% juice
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Coat pizza pan or baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
- In medium bowl, combine rotisserie chicken and barbecue sauce.
- Place pizza crust on pan and evenly spread tomato sauce over crust. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Top evenly with rotisserie chicken mixture and pineapple.
- Bake until crust is crisp and browned around edges, about 10 minutes. Let pizza cool 10 minutes before cutting into eight slices.
Peanut Butter Banana Protein Baked Oatmeal
Recipe courtesy of Lauren Harris-Pincus on behalf of the FMI Foundation
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 2 cups old-fashioned oats
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 packets stevia (sugar substitute) or preferred sweetener
- 1/2 cup powdered peanut butter
- 1 scoop (1/4 cup) vanilla plant-based protein powder
- 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
- 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 3 tablespoons liquid egg whites
- 1 ripe banana (4 ounces), mashed
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ripe banana (4 ounces), sliced into 24 slices
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- In large bowl, combine oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, stevia, powdered peanut butter and vanilla protein powder.
- In separate bowl, combine almond milk, yogurt, egg whites, mashed banana and vanilla extract.
- Add oat mixture to wet ingredients and gently stir until fully combined.
- Line 9-inch brownie pan with parchment paper. Pour mixture into pan and spread evenly.
- Top with banana slices in four rows of six slices each.
- Bake 27-35 minutes, or until golden brown and set.
- Let cool and cut into six rectangles. Wrap and refrigerate extras until ready to eat.
Source: FMI Foundation
(Culinary.net) Hardly anything beats a cold, refreshing drink on a hot day. This Fizzy Orange Pineapple Punch provides a chilling moment of relaxation with the sweetness of orange and pineapple combined with the cool flavor of orange sherbet.
Find more drink recipes at Culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Fizzy Orange Pineapple Punch
- 1 can (46 ounces) pineapple juice, chilled
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can (6 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
- 1 bottle (2 liters) ginger ale
- 6-8 scoops orange sherbet
- orange slices, for garnish
- mint leaves, for garnish
- In large punch bowl, combine pineapple juice, condensed milk and orange juice concentrate. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- Before serving, add ginger ale and top with scoops of sherbet, orange slices and mint.
(Culinary.net) Surprise your family with a dessert fit for the season. This Carrot Cake recipe is a traditional take on the timeless treat and created using everyday ingredients.
Find more dessert inspiration at Culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
- 2 1/4 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups carrots, shredded
- 1 cup crushed pineapple with juice
- 2/3 cup walnuts
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
- 3/4 cup butter, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In large bowl, sift flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and baking powder.
- In mixing bowl, cream together oil and sugar. Add eggs one at a time. Gradually add in carrots and crushed pineapple.
- Add dry mixture to wet ingredients and beat until smooth. Fold in walnuts.
- Pour batter into two lightly greased 8-inch round cake pans and bake 25-30 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool completely. Remove cakes from pans and slice off tops to level cakes.
- To make frosting: In mixing bowl, cream together cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Gradually add in powdered sugar and mix until smooth.
- Spread two large spoonfuls frosting over top of one cake and stack second cake on top. Frost entire cake with remaining frosting.
(Family Features) With a lot of parents facing the challenge of keeping housebound kids happy and healthy, this is the perfect time to teach kids the basics of nutrition and eating right.
Consider these simple suggestions from Melanie Marcus, MA, RD, health and nutrition communications manager for Dole Food Company.
- Healthy Snack Time Taste Tests – Sometimes it feels like kids can snack all day long on easy-to-grab crackers, chips or cookies. Next time they reach into the snack pantry, try incorporating a taste test or food critic activity to encourage something different and more nutritious.
- Purposeful Playtime – Many households have a play kitchen or some kind of play food. Use this as an opportunity to act out how to create a healthy kitchen with activities like making salad, setting the table, peeling bananas and washing dishes. This can help young children become more independent, learn what to expect and grow into little helpers at family mealtime.
- Sensory Activity – One idea that can work for school and at home is making a sensory box. Simply place a fruit or two inside a tissue box and have children put their hands inside then try to guess which fruit it is by feeling it.
- Recipes for Fun – If you’re preparing a meal, it could be a good time to teach children of reading age how to review a recipe. Evaluating ingredients to learn how food transforms from raw to cooked or how a dish is created can help kids learn kitchen skills. For example, try this fun, fruity recipe for Kids with Almond Toast.
- Food Groups Focus – Get kids involved in making dinner by setting a rule that each food group must be represented. Give them a warmup activity by asking which food groups are found in family favorites like chicken soup, lasagna or meatloaf. Asking kids to guess which ingredients are used in these dishes and identifying which food group each ingredient belongs to can help them understand dietary balance. Find more at-home tips in the free, downloadable Healthy Eating Toolkit from the nonprofit organization Action for Healthy Kids.
- Reading Time – From food labels to children’s books to cookbooks, there are plenty of reading materials to choose from that reinforce healthy eating habits. Exposing children to fruits and vegetables outside the kitchen is a subtle way to show that nutritious ingredients are part of everyday life.
- Explain the Bathroom Routine – Make sure to wash hands and explain that this is a way of washing away germs to stay healthy. Also explain why brushing teeth is important by reminding children that food can get stuck in teeth and cause cavities.
“Kids” with Almond Toast
Total time: 10 minutes
- 4 slices whole-grain bread
- 6 tablespoons unsalted almond butter
- 2 teaspoons honey (optional)
- 1 DOLE® Banana, peeled
- 2 Dole Strawberries, trimmed and halved
- 4 chunks (1 1/2 inches) fresh Dole Tropical Gold Pineapple
- 2 Dole Blackberries
- 2 teaspoons toasted flaxseed (optional)
- Toast bread slices. Spread with almond butter and drizzle with honey, if desired.
- To make “kids”: Cut eight slices and 32 matchsticks from banana. Arrange one strawberry half and one pineapple chunk on two slices toast; arrange remaining strawberry halves and blackberries on remaining slices. Place one banana slice “head” at top of each piece of fruit and arrange four banana matchsticks around each “kid” for arms and legs. Sprinkle flaxseed along bottom edges of toast under kids’ feet, if desired.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (mother and daughter)
Keeping fresh fruit around the house provides a healthier alternative when your sweet tooth comes calling. Understanding how and when to buy at the peak of ripeness (or just before, in some cases) can help you avoid food waste while keeping your doctor happy.
Consider these simple tips for recognizing ripe fruits:
- Strawberries: Check the area at the top of the berry near the stem and leaves. A ripe strawberry is fully red; green or white near the top means the fruit is underripe.
- Watermelon: The “field spot,” or the area where the melon sat on the ground, should be yellow, and a tap on the rind should produce a hollow sound.
- Cherries: Flesh should appear dark with a crimson color and feel firm.
- Blueberries: Similar to cherries, color should deepen to dark blue. A reddish or pink color may be visible in unripe berries.
- Blackberries: Look for a smooth texture without any red appearance. Because blackberries don’t ripen after being picked, they tend to spoil quickly.
- Cantaloupe: You should detect a sweet smell, and the melon should feel heavy upon lifting.
- Peaches: A sweet, fragrant odor should be apparent. Skin should feel tender but not soft.
- Pineapple: Smell is again an important factor for pineapple – a sweet scent shows it’s ready, but a vinegary one likely means it’s overripe.
- Raspberries: Generally follow the same rules as blackberries. Best eaten within a couple days of purchase, a bright red color represents ripe berries.
- Bananas: A ripe banana features a peel lightly spotted without significant bruising. Your best bet may be to purchase bananas still slightly green and allow them to ripen at home.
Find more food tips, tricks, recipes and videos at Culinary.net.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
(Family Features) Save time and serve up better-for-you lunches, snacks, desserts and after-school energy boosts with these simple and affordable recipes.
By packing quick and easy lunches, you can have your kids set for each busy day without sacrificing time together. Shopping for your grade-A, back-to-school essentials at a store like ALDI means you’ll use quality ingredients to prepare fun, better-for-you lunchboxes and more.
Consider these eight recipe ideas to pack a better lunchbox. Get schooled in savings and check out aldi.us to find more back-to-school inspiration.
- Secret Veggie Turkey Nuggets – Sneak those all-important veggies into your child’s lunch with these baked nuggets that combine ground turkey, cauliflower, zucchini and onions. Add a favorite dipping sauce to the lunchbox for a tasty, nutritious midday meal.
- Bento Box Lunch – If your child is adventurous when it comes to flavors, combine a turkey sandwich roll, quinoa salad, broccoli salad and cinnamon apples in this full-flavored bento box.
- Fruit Leather Wraps – Snack time doesn’t have to mean candy and other unhealthy options. Instead, provide a sweet treat that’s all-natural with blueberries and raspberries in these fruity wraps that are both guilt- and gluten-free.
- Tropical Granola Bar – One of the most versatile snacks to enjoy nearly any time of day: granola bars. This homemade version combines dried fruit with pumpkin flax and quick oats for a sweet, nutritious treat.
- Peanut Butter Granola Bites – Make dessert a more nutritious venture with the classic combination of peanut butter, fruit and honey. These small bites of savory flavor can be ready in just 12 minutes for a nighttime snack the whole family can share.
- Strawberry Yogurt Bars – The nutritious combination of oats and strawberries makes for a tasty treat. This kid-friendly recipe is an easy option to make ahead and serve anytime.
- Tropical Superfruit Smoothie – It only takes six natural ingredients and five minutes to make a supercharged after-school snack.
- Carrot Pineapple Smoothie – Before diving into the evening’s homework assignments, help your little learner refuel with fruits and veggies in this creamy smoothie.
Save time by creating quick recipes made with nutritious, fresh milk
(Family Features) Summer is busy, so a helping of no-cook options, especially those you can make in advance, are welcomed by many home chefs. When you shop online for groceries and include fresh, cold milk in your basket, you can make every second of summer count.
When you mix summer favorites with real dairy milk, you serve nutrients your kids need with the flavors they love. Try these five flavorful recipes that feature fresh milk so you can “breakfast and chill” with your kids this summer.
Creamy Green Goddess Smoothie – Drink your vegetables with this take on your favorite salad that kids love, too. The goodness of this Green Goddess Smoothie starts with fresh milk mixed with avocado, spinach, banana and pineapple.
Acai Bowl – You’ll say “ahh” to acai when you blend a batch of this antioxidant-rich Brazilian berry with ice-cold, fresh milk and top your bowl with coconut, granola and fresh fruit.
Creamy Vanilla Berry Ice Pops – These Creamy Vanilla Berry Ice Pops are perfect for breakfast or as a snack. This recipe includes farm-fresh milk and in-season berries, so this homemade option is a more nutritious option than store-bought ice pops.
Berry Berry Smoothie – There’s a reason not to mess with the classics – almost everyone loves them. For an easy and delicious summertime smoothie, simply mix ice-cold milk with fresh berries, honey and vanilla. This chilled combination can satisfy even the pickiest palates.
Super Food Smoothie – Fresh ingredients, including cold milk, make this smoothie super tasty, super fast and super easy. Blend blueberries and bananas with your pantry staples, including honey and vanilla extract, for a tall, frosty glass of delicious.
(Family Features) The grill isn’t just for hamburgers and hot dogs. Try a different way to eat pineapple this summer by grilling it and pairing with a lime dip for a tasty delight.
Find more recipes for summer at Culinary.net.
Watch video to learn how to make this recipe!
Grilled Pineapple with Lime Dip
- 1 pineapple
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 teaspoons lime zest
- Peel pineapple; cut into wedges.
- In resealable plastic bag, combine brown sugar, lime juice and honey. Add pineapple wedges, seal bag and turn to coat. Refrigerate 1 hour.
- To make Lime Dip: In small bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in yogurt, honey, brown sugar, lime juice and lime zest. Cover and refrigerate.
- Heat grill to medium heat.
- Remove pineapple wedges from plastic bag; discard marinade. Grill pineapple wedges, covered, 3-4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
- Serve with Lime Dip.