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

Healthy 05 December 2016

Eat Like a Farmer

(Family Features) Farmers are the experts when it comes to enjoying the fruits of the land in the best way possible. Learn to eat like a farmer, and your taste buds will be sure to thank you later.

Across the United States, farmers are working hard to bring high-quality foods from their fields and groves to grocery store shelves and, ultimately, to your pantry. Sometimes foods you may not even think about coming from a farm have been grown with the most tender, loving care.

One example is olives, which are typically bought in cans, far removed from the produce section people more typically associate with farms. In California, hard-working, multi-generational farming families produce more than 95 percent of the olives grown and consumed in the United States. The farms – groves, to be exact – are home to thousands of trees that bear olive fruit for harvest each fall.

It should come as no surprise that these families have fine-tuned some of the most appetizing olive recipes by passing them on from one generation to the next. These farmers don’t just grow olives, they cook with them too, and are sharing some of their favorite recipes – from snacks to salads and pasta – using California Ripe Olives.

Find more California olive farmer-approved recipes at CalOlive.org.

13355 olive salad

Cowboy Caviar

Recipe courtesy of olive grower Natalie Jameson
Servings: 8-10

  • 2 cups chopped tomato
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into small cubes
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (6 ounces) large California Ripe Olives, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup prepared vinaigrette dressing
  • corn chips
  1. In medium bowl, stir together tomato, green onions, avocado, black beans and olives.
  2. Toss with dressing and serve with corn chips.

13355 pasta shrimp

Rotini with Shrimp and Olives

Recipe courtesy of olive grower Pablo Nerey
Servings: 6-8

  • 1 pound rotini pasta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons prepared pesto
  • 1 can (2.25 ounces) sliced California Ripe Olives
  1. Bring large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook 8-10 minutes, or until al dente; drain well and set aside.
  2. In large skillet, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add garlic and stir until golden, being careful not to burn.
  4. Add shrimp to skillet and season with garlic salt and pepper. Cook about 5 minutes, or until shrimp are pink, stirring frequently.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and add cream to skillet; simmer until thick.
  6. Add cooked pasta to sauce and stir in Parmesan cheese, pesto and olives.
  7. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

13355 potato salad

Red Potato and Olive Salad

Recipe courtesy of olive grower Carolina Burreson
Servings: 4-6

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar

Salad

  • 1/2 cup sliced California Ripe Olives, drained
  • 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered and boiled until tender
  • 1 jar (6 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  1. In sealable jar, mix together dressing ingredients and refrigerate at least 4 hours.
  2. When ready to serve, place all salad ingredients in large bowl. Drizzle with dressing and toss lightly to coat.

Source: California Olive Committee

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