Holiday 09 April 2019

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

(Family Features) Cinco de Mayo is a fun and festive holiday that's celebrated with music, dancing, family and delicious food. To bring great Mexican flavors to your fiesta, take a lesson from Maria Conception Jacinta Dominguez Ortega - also known as Mama Ortega.

In the 1800s, Mama Ortega created a loving home for her 13 children, and it centered around a tiny kitchen. From her small charcoal-burning stove, Mama created memorable meals her family loved. Everything for each meal was homegrown, handpicked and homemade.

You may not be able to grow your own ingredients, but you can take advantage of the way Mama did things - through authentic ingredients such as the line of Ortega Mexican Foods products. Fire-roasted chiles, authentic taco seasonings, crisp taco shells made with whole kernel corn and America's number one taco sauce are just a few of the ways that Ortega brings authentic Mexican flavor and fun to your family's dinner table.

For more delicious Mexican recipes to enjoy on Cinco de Mayo - or any day - visit www.ortega.com.

Slow-Cooked Shredded Beef Tacos

Prep Time: 12 minutes
Start to Finish: 6 hours
Makes: 6 to 8 servings

  • 1 1/2 pounds beef chuck roast
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Ortega Grande Taco Dinner Kit
  • 1 can (4 ounces) Ortega Diced Green Chiles
  • Optional toppings: shredded lettuce, chopped tomato, shredded mild cheddar cheese, sour cream
  1. Place beef and onion in 4-quart slow cooker. Combine water and seasoning mix from kit in small bowl. Pour over beef and onion. Cover and cook on LOW 6 to 8 hours or until fork tender.
  2. Transfer beef to cutting board; shred beef with two forks. Place in large bowl. Stir in taco sauce from kit and chilies.
  3. Fill warmed taco shells and tortillas from kit with beef mixture. Top with cheese sauce from kit. Garnish with desired toppings.

Smothered Beef and Bean Burritos

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish: 40 minutes
Makes: 10 burritos

  • 1 can (10.75 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can (10 ounces) condensed cheddar cheese soup
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 Ortega Soft Taco Kit
  • 1 cup Ortega Refried Beans
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup diced tomato
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat 13 x 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Combine soups and sour cream in small bowl; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and onion. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Drain and discard fat. Add water and seasoning mix from kit. Cook and stir 3 minutes. Stir in refried beans.
  3. Wrap tortillas from kit with clean, lightly moistened cloth or paper towels. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) 1 minute, until hot and pliable.
  4. Divide beef mixture evenly among tortillas. Fold ends of tortilla to middle, then roll tightly around mixture. Place in baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
  5. Spread soup mixture evenly over tortillas. Bake 22 to 25 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with taco sauce from kit, cilantro and tomatoes.

Easy Empanadas

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish: 25 minutes
Makes: 12 empanadas

  • 1 cup prepared refrigerated barbecue shredded pork
  • 2 tablespoons Ortega Taco Sauce, any variety
  • 1 tablespoon Ortega Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chilies
  • 1 can (12-count) refrigerated biscuits
  • 1 egg, well beaten
  • 1 cup black bean and corn salsa
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Mix pork, taco sauce and chilies in small bowl.
  2. Separate biscuits into 12 pieces. Flatten each biscuit into 6-inch round, using rolling pin. Divide filling evenly among biscuits, spreading over half of each round to within 1/4 inch of edge. Fold dough over filling; press edges with fork to seal well. Place on ungreased cookie sheet. Brush tops with beaten egg.
  3. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Immediately remove from cookie sheet. Serve warm with salsa for dipping.

Chili Con Queso Dip

Prep Time: 3 minutes
Start to Finish: 15 minutes
Makes about 3 cups

  • 1 package (16 ounces) pasteurized processed cheese spread, cut into chunks
  • 1 cup Ortega Thick and Chunky Mild Salsa
  • 1 can (4 ounces) Ortega Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chiles
  • 1 package (10 count) Ortega Tostada Shells or 1 package (12-count)
  • Ortega Taco Shells, broken into pieces
  • Additional Ortega Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chiles (optional)
  • Chopped tomatoes (optional)
  1. Combine cheese, salsa and chilies in small saucepan. Cook and stir over low heat until fully melted and blended.
  2. Serve warm with tostada or taco shells. Garnish with additional chilies and tomatoes, if desired.

Chocolate Chile Brownies With Spiced Frosting

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish: 1 hour
Makes: 9 servings

Brownies

  • 1 package (18 to 19 ounces) brownie mix, plus ingredients to prepare mix
  • 1 can (4 ounces) Ortega Diced Green Chiles, undrained

Frosting

  • 1 cup powered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Ortega Chili Seasoning Mix
  • 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, extending foil over sides of pan; lightly coat with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Prepare brownies according to package directions. Stir in chilies; mix until well blended. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or use time recommended on package. Cool on wire rack. Using foil "handles," remove from pan.
  3. Blend powdered sugar and seasoning mix in small bowl. Stir in milk, adding more if necessary, until desired consistency. Spread on brownies. Slice and serve.

Source: Ortega

Meal Ideas 21 March 2019

Bite Into A Better Burger

(Family Features) Summertime officially ushers in grilling season. There's no better way to celebrate the warm weather than at a backyard barbeque. Whether you're entertaining friends or cooking for your family, it's easy to make healthful choices at your next summer soirée.

When planning for an outdoor get-together, try better-for-you alternatives to traditional grilling fare. For example, serve fresh, seasonal grilled vegetables instead of potato chips. Once you've fired up the grill, try veggie burgers as an alternative to meat.
MorningStar Farms Grillers Original Veggie Burgers contain 57 percent less fat than regular ground beef.* So, it's not a burger - it's better!

Get your meatless barbeque started with an Alpine Burger. Or, if you're looking for a burger with a bit of a twist, consider making these Garden Veggie Deluxe Burgers or Spicy Tex-Mex Pita Burgers.

Once you're finished with the main course, grill pineapple and serve it over sherbet for dessert.

These simple substitutions are so delicious, your family and friends are sure to leave your next backyard party satisfied. For more recipes and fun food ideas, visit www.morningstarfarms.com.

*Regular ground beef contains 14g total fat per 64g serving. Grillers Original contain 6g fat per 64g serving.

Alpine Burger

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Time to Table: 25 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 3/4 cup sweet onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1 MorningStar Farms Grillers Original Burger
  • 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard or Dijon Mustard
  • 1 slice multigrain or whole wheat bread, toasted
  • 1/3 cup baby arugula
  • 1 tablespoon Gruyere cheese or Swiss cheese, shredded
  1. In large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook onions, covered, over medium-low heat for 16 to 20 minutes or until onions are very tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in mushrooms and garlic. Cook over medium heat, covered, for 4 to 6 minutes or until onions begin to brown and mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  2. Meanwhile, cook veggie burgers according to package directions.
  3. Spread mustard on one side of bread slice. Top with arugula (if desired). Place burger on arugula. Spoon onion mixture over burger.
    Sprinkle with cheese. Let stand for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Spicy Tex-Mex Pita Burgers

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Time to Table: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 2 MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Veggie Burgers
  • 1 cup baby romaine lettuce or torn romaine lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 medium avocado, pitted, peeled, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons tomato salsa
  • 1 whole-wheat pita bread round
  • 4 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese with jalapeño peppers or Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers
  • 10 baked tortilla chips (optional)
  1. Cook burgers according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, toss together lettuce, mayonnaise, and cilantro until lettuce is evenly coated. In another bowl, stir together avocado and salsa.
  3. Cut pita bread across middle in half. Fill each half with lettuce mixture. Insert burgers. Add cheese and avocado mixture. Serve with tortilla chips, if desired.

Garden Veggie Deluxe Burgers

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Time to Table: 25 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 2 MorningStar Farms Garden Veggie Patties Veggie Burgers
  • 2 slices (1 1/2 ounces total) Provolone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise or regular mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 whole-wheat hamburger buns, split
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 2 slices red onion
  • 4 rings green or red bell pepper
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish (optional)
  1. Cook burgers according to package directions. Top hot burgers with cheese slices. Let stand until cheese melts, about 1 minute.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise and curry powder. Spread on bun bottoms. Top with burgers, tomato, red onion and bell pepper. Top with parsley leaves, if you like, and bun tops.

Source: Morningstar Farms

Grilling-Tailgating 21 March 2019

Go Bananas

Easy ways to grill up something surprisingly good

(Family Features) Bananas aren't just for breakfast or lunch anymore. By grilling this popular fruit, you can add a whole new flavor dimension to a dinnertime recipe and turn a basic dessert into something wow.

Adding bananas to your summer grilling routine is a fun way to eat fruit. You can grill them in their peels while the BBQ coals are still hot or add peeled slices to a tasty kabob - it's that simple. From kid-friendly desserts to grown-up dishes with a tropical twist, make it easy on yourself and go bananas on the grill.

For more Dole Banana recipes and serving suggestions, go to www.dole.com/en/products/bananas. To share banana recipes anytime, go to www.facebook.com/DOLEbananas.

Did You Know?

  • With no fat, cholesterol or sodium, vitamin-packed bananas are a guilt-free summertime treat.
  • Banana peels are great for polishing shoes. Use (the inside of) an empty peel on your leather shoes as you would shoe polish and then buff off with a soft cloth. The banana's oils soak into the leather and, like most commercial shoe polishes, contains potassium.
  • As bananas ripen, the starch in the fruit turns to sugar. Therefore, the riper the banana, the sweeter it will taste.
  • Ten or more bananas growing together are called "hands" and a single banana is called a "finger." Four to six bananas sold in the store are called a "cluster."

How to Store Bananas

  • Remove bananas from plastic produce bag and store at room temperature. The warmer it is, the faster the bananas will ripen.
  • To slow ripening, refrigerate (peel will turn black but the fruit inside will be fresh and ripe). Bananas can be frozen once the banana is peeled and stored in a freezer bag until ready to use (use a bit of fresh lemon juice to reduce browning).
  • If bananas are too green, place them in a brown paper bag, in a warm dry area (but not in direct sunlight) for a day or two to encourage ripening. If there is still not enough yellow appearing on the peel, place a ripe apple in the bag with the bananas.

Island Kabobs with Tropical Fruit Salsa

Preparation : 10 minutes
Grill Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

  • 2 ripe, firm Dole® Bananas, peeled, each cut into 6 pieces, plus 1 ripe Dole Banana, peeled and diced
  • 12 chunks Dole Tropical Gold Pineapple
  • 16 extra large or jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • 1 green or red bell pepper, cut into 8 pieces
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 mango, peeled and diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1 Dole Green Onion, minced
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons minced jalapeño pepper
  1. Thread banana pieces, pineapple, shrimp and bell pepper pieces equally onto skewers.
  2. Whisk together lime juice, oil and allspice in small bowl. Brush 2 tablespoons over kabobs.
  3. Combine remaining marinade with diced banana, mango, mint, green onion and jalapeño pepper; place in a serving dish.
  4. Grill kabobs over medium high heat 8 to 10 minutes, turning once or until the shrimp are opaque. Arrange the kabobs on top of the salsa.

Teriyaki Pork Chops with Grilled Bananas

Preparation : 20 minutes
Grill Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 3 to 4 servings

  • 1/4 cup dry sherry
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pound boneless pork chops (3 to 4)
  • 2 large firm Dole Bananas, peeled
  • 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 cups hot cooked rice
  • 2 tablespoons sliced Dole Green Onion
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed
  1. Combine sherry, soy sauce, brown sugar and oil in small bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons sherry mixture and brush on pork chops and bananas.
  2. Grill pork 8 to 10 minutes on each side until cooked through. Grill bananas 2 to 3 minutes on each side until heated through. Cut each into 1-inch pieces.
  3. Combine remaining sherry mixture and cornstarch in small saucepan; cook, stirring until thickened.
  4. Arrange pork and bananas over rice on serving plate; drizzle with sauce. Sprinkle with green onion and sesame seed.

Grilled Bananas

No prep needed.
Grill Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

  • 4 Dole Bananas, unpeeled
  • Assorted favorite dessert toppings
  1. Place unpeeled bananas on grill over medium high heat.
  2. Grill 4 to 5 minutes on each side until peels blacken and soften. Insides will be custard-like.
  3. Serve warm or chilled with your favorite toppings such as fresh fruit, chopped nuts, miniature marshmallows, chocolate bits, caramel or frozen yogurt.

Grilled Caribbean Fruit Salsa

Preparation: 10 minutes
Grill Time: 8 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

  • 1/2 fresh Dole Tropical Gold Pineapple, peeled and sliced vertically
  • 1 large, ripe firm Dole Banana, slice in half vertically
  • 1 mango, skinned, peeled and sliced in half vertically
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup red onion, minced
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 kiwi, diced
  1. Combine pineapple, banana and mango slices with the olive oil and lime juice.
  2. Brush to coat the fruit. Place fruit on grill.
  3. Grill fruit 4 to 5 minutes each side, remove and cool slightly.
  4. Roughly chop the grilled fruit, reserving juices.
  5. Combine fruit and reserved juices with the red onion, red pepper flakes and kiwi.
  6. Serve warm or room temperature. Great with grilled chicken or fish.

Source: Dole

Meal Ideas 01 July 2018

Must-Have Recipes for Your Summer Soirees

(Family Features) Summer is all about enjoying the warm weather with family and friends, but even with the longer summer days, the season can feel short for many. That’s why it’s important to make the most of summer by maximizing your fun in the sun with some of the best memories being made while entertaining al fresco.

For a fun-filled, yet relaxing summer, it’s important to keep the essentials on-hand for easy entertaining. From bright decor to refreshing drinks and fresh ingredients, party prep ensures you save time and money, and are always ready to wine and dine your guests.

No matter the occasion, a store like ALDI can be your guide to summer entertaining with everything you need to celebrate the season, including high-quality and affordable ingredients for this summer’s must-have recipes.

A fresh and easy recipe to try this summer is Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Skewers with Lemon-Cucumber Salsa. This entree pairs perfectly with a crisp, fruit-forward wine like Exquisite Collection Sauvignon Blanc or Trestoria Rosé from ALDI. When there’s a crowd to serve, consider mixing up a pitcher of Citrus Ginger Rosé Punch.

Find more seasonal recipe ideas to celebrate summer at ALDI.us.
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Grilled Chicken and Pineapple Skewers with Lemon-Cucumber Salsa

Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4 

  • 8          skewers
  • 1          pineapple
  • 2          tablespoons Carlini Vegetable Oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 3/4    pounds Never Any! Fresh Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, diced into 1-inch pieces

Lemon-Cucumber Salsa:

  • 1          lemon, supremed
  • 1          cucumber, diced
  • 1/2       red onion, diced
  • 1          tablespoon SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
  1. Soak wooden skewers for 15 minutes prior to grilling.
  2. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  3. Remove rind from pineapple and dice into 1-inch pieces.
  4. In small bowl, combine oil, salt and pepper. Add chicken and pineapple; toss to coat.
  5. Alternating chicken and pineapple, pierce onto skewers.
  6. Grill skewers 8 minutes each side, or until chicken is cooked thoroughly.
  7. To make Lemon-Cucumber Salsa: In medium bowl, combine lemon, cucumber, onion, honey and pepper.
  8. Serve lemon-cucumber salsa over cooked chicken skewers.

Tip: Supreme citrus fruit by cutting off top and bottom of fruit then cut away peel and pith, leaving no white on outside of fruit. Slice each segment into wedges by cutting toward center of fruit along membrane.
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Citrus Ginger Rosé Punch

Recipe courtesy of Chef Leigh An, ALDI Test Kitchen

  • 1/2       cup minced ginger
  • 1          cup Baker’s Corner Granulated Sugar
  • 1          cup water
  • 2          bottles (750 milliliters each) Trestoria Rosé, chilled
  • 5          cans (12 ounces each) PurAqua Belle Vie Grapefruit Sparkling Water, chilled
  • 2          cans (12 ounces each) PurAqua Belle Vie Lemon Sparkling Water, chilled
  1. In small pot, combine ginger, sugar and water to make simple syrup. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool completely in refrigerator.
  2. Strain simple syrup and discard ginger.
  3. In large punch bowl or pitcher, combine rosé, grapefruit sparkling water and lemon sparkling water. Add simple syrup.
  4. Serve in chilled glasses.

Tip: Freeze lemon slices in ice cube trays or silicone muffin trays and add them to punch for pop of color.

Source: ALDI

Healthy 17 January 2019

Eat Your Way to Better Health

(Family Features) It seems like every week there is a new product claiming to promise nutrition and improve your health. However, there are some foods you likely already have on hand that can improve your diet quality and support clean-eating efforts.

Skip the total diet overhaul or the latest fad, and keep it simple by focusing on small but powerful changes to help you clean up your diet. Dairy products have always been cost-effective and nutrient-packed. These three tips can help you make the most of dairy’s health benefits.

Inspect the ingredient label. With just three ingredients, milk is the original clean and clear food, unlike trendy milk alternatives, which may contain up to 10 ingredients.

Examine the benefits beyond bone health. It’s widely known that dairy products provide calcium to build strong bones, but milk, cheese and yogurt actually provide a unique package of nine nutrients, including high-quality protein to support muscle health.

Explore its versatility. Dairy can be easily incorporated into meals and snacks to help make healthy and clean eating simple. Getting the recommended three servings of dairy every day is a cinch once you discover the possibilities.

Resolve to get three servings of milk, cheese and yogurt every day by pledging Dairy 3 for Me. You may be surprised how easy it is to create a healthier menu all day long. Try these ideas to get started:

  • Make milk your mealtime beverage. White, chocolate, strawberry; no matter the flavor, all milk provides the same nine nutrients.
  • Build a breakfast parfait with your favorite yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal, or mix things up with milk or yogurt by blending a smoothie.
  • Sneak in healthier eating by pairing cheese with fresh fruit or vegetables. Research shows when cheese is coupled with these foods, it helps kids eat more of all of them.
  • After a workout, recover with a tall glass of chocolate milk, which studies have proven to be effective in aiding tired muscles.
  • Boost nutrition and flavor by adding shredded cheese to casseroles, soups and pasta dishes, or sprinkle on top of tacos and chili.

To find more delicious recipes to support your nutrition goals and to pledge Dairy 3 for Me, visit MidwestDairy.com.

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Raspberry-Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened frozen strawberries
  • 3/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup ice (about 12 cubes)
  1. Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Serve immediately.

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Pulled Pork Soft Tacos

Recipe courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association
Prep time: 8 hours, 35 minutes
Servings: 6

For pork:

  • 2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 small white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 limes, cut in half

For tacos:

  • 1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 12 soft corn tortillas (6 inches each)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Colby Jack
  • 1  bag (8 ounces) shredded red cabbage
  • 3/4 cup fresh salsa
  1. Trim excess fat off roast. In small bowl, combine brown sugar and ginger; rub generously over roast. Place in slow cooker with garlic, onion and orange juice; cook on low heat 8 hours (or high 4-6 hours.)
  2. Transfer pork to large bowl and shred with forks. Strain pork liquid from slow cooker and pour over pulled pork to moisten. Squeeze lime juice on top and mix well. Divide into 12 servings.
  3. In small bowl, mix together sour cream, cumin and scallions.
  4. Cover each corn tortilla with 2 tablespoons cheese; microwave 20 seconds. Top with pulled pork, 2 teaspoons sour cream mix, 1 1/2 tablespoons shredded cabbage and 1 tablespoon salsa. Fold and serve immediately.

Source: Midwest Dairy Association

Meal Ideas 10 January 2019

Put a Healthy Twist on Your Favorite Foods

(Family Features) Whether it’s a simple date night at home or a weeknight meal for the entire family, finding inter-culinary balance between everyone at the table can sometimes be difficult.

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However, when at least one party is willing to make dietary changes to benefit a loved one, serving up quality meals can become less of a hassle. Though men are often stereotyped as carnivorous cavemen, the majority are willing to change their eating habits – trading in those porterhouses for veggie burgers – to make their partners happy, according to a survey from Yves Veggie Cuisine. While 63 percent of men and 62 percent of women would eat less meat if their partner asked, 59 percent of men said they would also eat less of their favorite foods, at the request of their significant other.

In the same survey, dietary changes in the name of love were found at every level of the food pyramid, not just meat. Among the changes men have already made are eating less meat (22 percent), eating less dairy (18 percent) and eating less gluten (15 percent). However, it was found that women tend to hold their ground more when it comes to giving up certain foods with only 14 percent eating less dairy, 10 percent eating less meat and 6 percent eating less gluten for the sake of their relationship.

Making dietary compromises can be as simple as using high-quality ingredients like Yves Veggie Cuisine Appetizer Bites to complement, complete or even reinvent family-favorite meals like tacos. The gluten-free, non-GMO bites are low in fat and contain no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, making it easy to put a plant-positive twist on nearly any meal with one of the two varieties – Kale and Quinoa or Falafel.

Find more balanced, veggie-forward recipes that can inspire shared moments together at yvesveggie.com.
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Kale and Quinoa Bite Tacos

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Servings: 8-10

  • 1          package (8.2 ounces) Yves Veggie Cuisine Kale and Quinoa Bites
  • 1          package hard taco shells (8-10 shells)
  • 1          cup salsa
  • 1          cup guacamole
  • 1          red onion, sliced
  • 1          bunch cilantro
  • lime wedges
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. On nonstick baking pan, arrange kale and quinoa bites.
  3. Bake 10 minutes, or until outside is slightly crispy. In taco shells, layer guacamole, salsa and kale and quinoa bites.
  4. Top with sliced red onion and cilantro. For additional zest, serve with lime wedge.

Source:  Yves Veggie Cuisine

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.

Meal Ideas 01 May 2017

Delicious, Nutritious Outdoor Dining

(Family Features) Some of the first foods that come to mind when considering dining outdoors are greasy, messy meals. Instead, opt for a nutritious outdoor experience with a turkey wrap, grain bowl or chicken salad for a backyard bite that doesn’t go overboard.

Find more nutritious recipes for outdoor dining at culinary.net.

Lunch On the Go

A healthy combination of plant-based foods and turkey easily turns into a quick lunch. This wrap brings together a variety of textures with crunchiness from the apples and spinach, substance from the turkey and creamy, simple dressing. Find more quick, healthy recipes at aicr.org.

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Turkey, Spinach and Apple Wrap

Recipe reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research

  • 1 tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons honey mustard
  • 2 whole-wheat lavash wraps or flour tortillas (8 inches each)
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, loosely packed, washed and dried
  • 4 thin slices turkey breast
  • 1/4 Granny Smith apple, sliced paper-thin
  1. Combine mayonnaise and mustard. Lay out both wraps. Spread edges of each with mayonnaise mixture.
  2. Leaving space on one side of wraps, arrange layer of greens on top of wraps. Top each layer with two slices of turkey. Evenly divide apple slices and lay lengthwise across turkey. Fold over one end of wrap then both sides. Roll wrap as tightly as possible toward opposite side.
  3. Cover each wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate seam-side down, up to 4 hours, before serving. To serve, remove plastic wrap and cut each wrap in half at an angle.

Substitution: Two large leaves of soft, leafy green lettuce can be used in place of baby spinach leaves.

Greens and Grains

Dedicating more of your plate to fresh-from-the-garden produce as well as rice and grains can lead to a healthier lifestyle, according to Cheryl Forberg, registered dietitian and award-winning chef and nutritionist for “The Biggest Loser.”

To start living healthier and greener lives, Forberg recommends starting a garden. This hands-on approach is a fun way to learn about nutrition and where food comes from. Following produce from seed to plate can compel you to eat more healthfully.

Forberg furthers her personal dedication to the seed- to-plate journey through her involvement with Seeds of Change, which invests in healthier and greener communities by offering both organic seeds and foods, and delivers an annual grant program that benefits school and community gardening as well as farming programs. This year, the grant program will award $310,000 to participants who plan to help their communities and teach people about sustainability and where fresh food comes from.

Learn more about starting a community garden and living a greener, healthier life at seedsofchangegrant.com.

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Warm Grain Bowl with Wild Salmon, Almonds and Salsa Verde

Total time: 20-25 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 8 wild salmon fillets (3 ounces each)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • fresh pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup shitake mushroom caps, sliced
  • 1 package Seeds of Change Quinoa, Brown & Red Rice with Flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Salsa Verde (optional):

  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In oven-proof pan, season salmon with salt and pepper, and drizzle each fillet with olive oil. Bake 12-15 minutes, until cooked through.
  3. In blender or food processor, combine all Salsa Verde ingredients and pulse until fully incorporated but still rustic and chunky. Set aside.
  4. In medium saute pan over medium-high heat, heat remaining olive oil. Add mushrooms and asparagus and saute vigorously 3-5 minutes. Add grains and slivered almonds, and continue to saute until heated through, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Divide grains among eight plates, place a piece of salmon on each plate then finish with dollop of Salsa Verde, if desired, and serve.

Substitution: Shitake mushroom caps may be substituted with button mushrooms or other wild mushrooms.

Savory Salad

Even when you plan to take dining outdoors, a tasty salad still makes for an ideally nutritious meal. This salad brings together an assortment of veggies for a Tomato-Cucumber Salsa to top succulent baked chicken and greens. Find more recipes perfect for dining al fresco at chickenroost.com.

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Baked Greek Chicken Salad

Recipe courtesy of the National Chicken Council
Servings: 4

Tomato-Cucumber Salsa:

  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 green pepper, julienned
  • 1/4 purple onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon Greek seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard

Salad:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Greek seasoning
  • 1 package mixed Italian salad greens
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • black olives
  • pepperoncini peppers
  1. To make Tomato-Cucumber Salsa: In medium bowl, mix together tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, purple onion, red wine vinegar, olive oil, vegetable oil, pepper, salt, basil, oregano, Greek seasoning, sugar and dry mustard. Chill until ready to serve.
  2. Heat oven to 350° F.
  3. Place chicken in baking dish. In medium bowl, mix together butter, lemon juice, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and Greek seasoning; pour over chicken. Bake about 50 minutes, uncovered, basting occasionally.
  4. Place salad greens in large serving bowl. Top with Tomato-Cucumber Salsa. Slice chicken in thin strips and arrange on top of salad. Sprinkle with feta cheese and garnish with olives and pepper.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Culinary.net

Beverages 14 April 2017

Sweet Meets Spicy

Fresh ideas for a fun fiesta menu

(Family Features) There’s no better way to spice up a party than by using unexpected ingredients in fun, flavorful dishes and drinks. For your next fiesta, celebrate a star of the party with sweet and juicy watermelon.

Not only does versatile watermelon lend a unique taste to your menu, it’s a healthy ingredient that provides natural hydration with 92 percent water content, along with the antioxidant lycopene and the amino acid citrulline.

These recipes show how, with a little creative carving, you can use the whole melon, including flesh, juice and rind, for big value and zero waste.

Find more fiesta-ready recipes at watermelon.org.

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Cactus Carving

  • Medium-large oval or oblong watermelon (seeded or seedless)
  • Cutting board
  • Paring knife
  • Dry erase marker
  • Kitchen knife
  • Scoop
  • Cactus cookie cutter
  • Small flower cookie cutters
  • Toothpicks
  • Fire and Ice Salsa (recipe below)

Wash watermelon under cool, running water and pat dry.

On cutting board, place watermelon on its side and cut off 1/4 inch-1/2 inch from stem end; this will provide a sturdy base. Reserve end piece to make into small cactus.

Stand watermelon upright on base. Use dry erase marker to draw simple outline of cactus shape.

One-third up from bottom of watermelon, draw straight line around back, being careful not to go through cactus outline; this will create a serving bowl for watermelon salsa.

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Use kitchen knife to cut around outline, leaving just bowl with cactus attached. Scoop out base to form bowl.

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From pieces of watermelon that were cut away, use cookie cutters to make cactus pieces and flower pieces to decorate with, and chop remaining watermelon to make watermelon salsa and watermelon margaritas, or juice.

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Attach toothpicks randomly around cactus to make thorns and decorate with watermelon flowers. Decorate bottom rind scrap with toothpicks to resemble short, round cactus.

Fill bowl with Fire and Ice Salsa and serve with tortilla chips.

Fire and Ice Salsa

Makes: 3 cups

  • 3 cups seeded and finely chopped watermelon
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green peppers
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced green onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeno peppers
  1. Combine ingredients; mix well and cover. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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Nachos with Watermelon Avocado Salsa

Makes: 8 servings

  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies, drained
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced watermelon
  • 16 ounces fat-free refried beans
  • 11 ounces corn tortilla chips
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. To make salsa: In medium bowl, combine avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, chilies and red onion; toss to thoroughly mix. Add watermelon and toss gently. Set aside.
  3. Over medium heat, heat beans until hot. Mash if preferred.
  4. Place chips on flat, oven-proof plate or cookie sheet and top with beans and cheese. Repeat layers as desired. Heat in oven 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted and chips are hot.
  5. Top with salsa mixture and sour cream.

Tip: Reserve some salsa to place in bowl for dipping.

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Blended Watermelon Margarita

Makes: 2 margaritas

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed and frozen
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 1/2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 ounce elderflower liqueur
  • pinch of salt
  • lime slices, for garnish
  1. In blender, combine watermelon, water, tequila, lime juice, elderflower liqueur and salt. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into two chilled margarita glasses and garnish with lime slices.

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Watermelon Margarita on the Rocks

Makes: 2 margaritas

Watermelon Simple Syrup:

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1 cup sugar

Watermelon Juice:

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1/2 cup water

Margarita:

  • lime wedges
  • coarse salt
  • ice
  • 4 ounces silver tequila
  • 4 ounces watermelon juice
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 ounce watermelon simple syrup
  1. To make watermelon simple syrup: In small saucepan over medium heat, combine watermelon and sugar. Use potato masher to mash watermelon and sugar together, pushing out liquid and dissolving sugar. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour mixture through fine mesh sieve set over bowl or jar, pressing watermelon to extract all liquid. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. To make watermelon juice: In blender, combine watermelon and water. Blend until smooth then pour through fine mesh sieve set over bowl or jar.
  3. To assemble margaritas: use lime wedge to line rims of two glasses with juice. Dip glasses in coarse salt and carefully fill glasses with ice.
  4. Combine tequila, watermelon juice, lime juice and simple syrup in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until thoroughly chilled, about 30 seconds, and pour into prepared glasses. Garnish with lime wedges.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

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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