Meal Ideas 28 July 2020

School-Night Meals that Deliver Taste at a Low Cost

(Family Features) Regardless of what back to school looks like this year, preparing family meals throughout the week does not have to be a challenge. Shopping at a store like ALDI can stretch your budget and help you make five different meals over five days for about $5 a meal pretax for a family of four.

Using a mix of kitchen staples you already may have, along with fresh ingredients, you can make delicious, affordable recipes for the whole family. Simply select a protein or main ingredient and explore versatile ways to build other meals around it during the week. 

Grilled chicken breasts are ideal for on-the-go lunches or weekday dinners. Busy parents can get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes with an easy Chicken Cacciatore in the pressure cooker or simple prep-ahead Chicken Enchiladas. These convenient dishes make it a snap to add variety by substituting chicken with shrimp, beans or vegetables.

Serving organic produce, fresh and frozen meats, seafood and on-the-go snacks can be easy when you shop at a store like ALDI for the back-to-school season. Plus, you can find foods to fit any dietary style without breaking the bank.

Find more family meal solutions at aldi.us.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Recipe courtesy of “Pinch of Yum” on behalf of ALDI
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1-1 1/2             pounds chicken breasts or chicken thighs
  • flour
  • 1          pinch salt, plus 2 teaspoons, divided
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          onion, diced
  • 16        ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 3          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2       cup chicken broth
  • 1          bell pepper, diced
  • 1          can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 4          tablespoons butter
  • capers (optional)
  • parsley, plus additional for topping (optional)
  • lemon
  • preferred pasta
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Dredge chicken in flour and pinch of salt. Turn on saute function on pressure cooker. Add oil; saute chicken 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside (chicken will finish cooking later).
  2. Add onion, mushrooms and garlic. Saute until softened. Add broth and let sizzle out.
  3. Add chicken, bell pepper, tomatoes and remaining salt to pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure 15 minutes. Release pressure.
  4. Shred chicken. Stir in butter, capers, parsley and lemon. Serve with preferred pasta and top with additional parsley and Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Black Beans

Recipe courtesy of “Wellness for the Win” on behalf of ALDI
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 10

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          medium onion, chopped

Chicken:

  • 1          pound chicken breasts
  • 1/4       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon cumin
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Enchiladas:

  • 15        ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10        ounces diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
  • 2          cups shredded Mexican cheese, divided
  • 16        ounces restaurant-style salsa, divided
  • 10        whole-wheat tortillas

Optional Toppings:

  • diced avocado
  • plain Greek yogurt
  • cilantro
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook onion until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and set aside.
  3. To make chicken: Season chicken breasts with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to same skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 5-7 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Use fork and knife to shred chicken.
  4. To make enchiladas: In large bowl with cooked onion, add shredded chicken, black beans, diced tomatoes, green chilies and 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese. Use spoon to mix well.
  5. Pour 1 cup salsa on bottom of greased pan and use spatula to spread evenly. Scoop about 1/2 cup chicken and veggie mixture into each tortilla. Roll tightly and place seam side down in pan.
  6. Top enchiladas with 3/4 cup salsa and remaining shredded cheese; use spatula to spread evenly.
  7. Cover pan tightly with foil and bake 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven; serve hot. Add avocado, yogurt and cilantro, if desired.

Source:  ALDI

Seafood 28 July 2020

New Food Trends Can Save Time and Money

(Family Features) As families continue to adjust their meal routines amidst a worldwide pandemic, there are trends you and your loved ones can follow to improve your general health, maintain a budget and spend more time together.

Home cooking: According to a study conducted by Hunter Public Relations on how COVID-19 has changed home cooking, 54% of Americans are cooking more and 50% have more confidence in the kitchen. Many, perhaps for the first time, found that cooking at home and learning cooking techniques could be a fun family activity.

Trusting frozen: Frozen foods have seen a renaissance in 2020. Many families discovered that new technologies allow frozen foods to deliver innovations in flavors, recipes, authenticity and affordability without compromising taste. For example, Aqua Star’s frozen Cutting Board Meal Kits are available at grocers nationwide and feature full chef-inspired meals like Chipotle Shrimp Street Tacos and Southwest Chili-Lime Tilapia.

Saving money: It’s common knowledge for many consumers that eating at or ordering takeout from a restaurant is more expensive than cooking at home. Eating at home showed families just how much they could save, and this trend is likely to continue. According to a Simon-Kucher Restaurants Survey, 26% of consumers who ate meals from casual restaurants before the pandemic anticipate eating meals primarily at home for up to a year after lockdown.

More seafood: According to a national survey by Aqua Star, one of the country’s largest seafood companies, 75% of Americans want to eat more seafood. Seafood provides nutritional benefits for a multitude of recipes, but many people don’t know how to prepare it. One of the easiest ways to introduce your family to seafood is through familiar comfort food recipes and convenient one-pan meals.

Online grocery shopping: Nearly daily trips to the grocery store can be an expensive habit since impulse buying is a bane to healthy eating and saving money. As online grocery shopping grows in popularity, it provides families with a convenient, time-saving way to keep must-haves on hand without overspending at the store.

Dinners with family: After years of families grabbing meals on the run, sheltering in place has brought many back to the dining room table. For a simple family meal that focuses on frozen seafood and pantry staples, try this recipe for Shrimp Scampi that involves just a few steps of preparation that can even allow kids to help in the process. If you don’t have time to cook, Aqua Star’s Shrimp Scampi MicroSteam Bowl is a simple way to enjoy the same flavors in minutes, from the microwave, with no clean-up required.

Find more at-home seafood solutions at aquastar.com.

Shrimp Scampi

Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 8          ounces pasta linguine
  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4          garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2       cup dry white wine or seafood broth
  • 3/4       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1          dash crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2    pounds large or extra-large Aqua Star shrimp, shelled
  • 1/3       cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/2       lemon, juice only
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. In large skillet, melt butter and oil. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add wine or broth, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Bring to simmer and reduce by half.
  3. Add shrimp and saute until shrimp turn pink and opaque, approximately 2-4 minutes depending on size. Stir in parsley, lemon juice and cooked pasta. 

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (family dinner)

Source: Aqua Star

Seafood 22 July 2020

Take the Fear Out of Fish

(Family Features)With more time spent in the kitchen, people are increasingly looking to different ingredients for inspiration. That includes seafood – sales of canned and frozen seafood are 37% higher than last year, according to IRI Worldwide.

If you’re not familiar with buying and cooking seafood, there’s nothing to fear. Frozen seafood is an affordable, nutritious and sustainable protein that can earn a spot in your kitchen. Good food pioneers chef Nora Pouillon, a James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and her daughter, Blue Circle Foods product director Nina Damato, offer these recommendations for sustainable frozen seafood, from defrosting techniques to cooking tips and seasonal pairings.

Why buy frozen?
Frozen seafood is just as high quality as fresh since modern techniques like flash-freezing preserve fish moments after it is caught. Stores generally carry a larger selection of frozen fish and it’s typically less expensive than fresh seafood. Because frozen fish keeps longer, you can find greater variety and more sustainable options. Plus, it’s convenient – use exactly the portion you need and save the rest for later – making it perfect for meal planning. 

What about taste?
When done right, freezing locks in flavor and nutrients, so you can enjoy frozen fish that’s every bit as delicious as when it was caught.

How long will it last?
Frozen fish is safe indefinitely, but for best quality, the USDA recommends using frozen fish within 3-8 months after purchase.

How can you thaw frozen fish safely?
If you know you’ll be serving fish, pop frozen fillets in the fridge the night before or the morning you plan to cook them.

How can you cook directly from frozen?

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 F.
  2. Remove frozen fillets from packaging and rinse under cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Arrange fillets on a baking sheet. Brush lightly with oil on all sides and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until fish is tender and flakes easily.

How should you season frozen fish?
Salt and pepper can enhance seafood’s flavor. If you’re feeling bold, a simple glaze or a crust of seasonings can elevate your fish to the next level.

What pairs well with frozen fish?
Frozen fish is a versatile protein that plays well with many recipes. Fatty fish like salmon brings out the flavors in seasonal veggies including zucchini and summer squash, while leaner fillets like cod can be breaded or used in tacos.

Fish also pairs excellently with a variety of wines. The trick is to serve delicate fish with light wines and heartier fish with richer, more substantial wines. If you’re in the mood for salmon, try Pouillon’s Pumpkin Seed Crusted Salmon. This recipe also works well with cod and can be served with a rosé for a tasty seasonal pairing.

To learn more about frozen seafood and purchase sustainable fish, visit bluecirclefoods.com.

Pumpkin Seed Crusted Salmon

Recipe courtesy of chef Nora Pouillon

  • 2          cups frozen sweet corn
  • 1          can (4 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1          red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4       cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2       teaspoon smoked chili (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          cup pumpkin seeds
  • 4          teaspoons pumpkin seed oil or olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons sliced scallions
  • 2          Blue Circle Frozen Atlantic Salmon Fillets
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Mix corn, black beans, bell pepper, cilantro, ground cumin and smoked chili, if desired. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread onto baking dish.
  3. In blender, pulse pumpkin seeds, oil, sliced scallions and salt and pepper, to taste, until paste forms.
  4. Coat frozen salmon fillets with pumpkin seed paste.
  5. Place fillets in baking dish on top of black bean and corn salad. Bake 25-30 minutes.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (salmon on ice)

Source:  Blue Circle Foods

Snacks 21 July 2020

Scary Good

(Family Features) Introducing kids to unfamiliar flavors doesn’t have to be a frightful experience. Getting creative and taking cues from some beloved characters may be all it takes for families to explore produce in a new way and discover how delicious, satisfying and enjoyable fresh fruits and vegetables can be.

A passion for produce may begin with America’s favorites, like bananas, apples, citrus, celery, carrots and broccoli, but that’s just the beginning.

Whether it’s their angry names and tough exteriors, or simply a fear of the unknown about taste and preparation, dozens more diverse and exotic fruits and vegetables like dragon fruit, horned melon and Brussels sprouts are often the sources of produce paranoia.

An initiative from Dole, in collaboration with Disney and Pixar’s Monsters, Inc., is helping to take the scare out of specialty fruits and vegetables and widen America’s produce horizons. That’s because, like a good book or the characters in a beloved film, you can’t judge a fruit or vegetable by its appearance; nature’s true beauty often lies within.

The campaign offers character-inspired recipes, serving suggestions, digital and social activations, family-friendly activities, fun trivia and influencer partnerships that celebrate the not-so-scary world of the planet’s more unusual fresh bounty.

One easy way to introduce new flavors is by trying a variation of a familiar fruit or veggie. For example, there are more than 500 edible banana varieties in the world. You might sample a red banana or a Manzano, or even an ice cream banana, with a taste resembling vanilla custard.

These fun and kid-friendly Green Slime Nacho Cups feature plantains, for example, a member of the banana family with a different taste and texture than everyday yellow bananas – more firm and starchy like a potato. Increase your family’s produce intake even further with a Slippery Slimy Smoothie and Chicken Stuffed Roz Heads, which call for green grapes, celery, avocados, strawberries and blueberries.

Find more recipes and other not-so-scary fun at dole.com/Disney, and follow #Dole and #DoleRecipes.

Chicken Stuffed Roz Heads

Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 3

  • 1          cup cubed, cooked chicken breast
  • 1/2       cup DOLE® Green Grapes, halved
  • 1/4       cup chopped Dole Celery
  • 1/3       cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2    Dole Avocados, halved, pitted and peeled
  • 6          whole-wheat pretzel twists
  • 18        whole-wheat pretzel sticks
  • 1          Dole Strawberry, sliced
  • 3          dried, sweetened blueberries
  1. In bowl, stir together chicken, grapes, celery, yogurt, salt and pepper.
  2. Scoop three equal portions onto serving plate. Shape each into oval.
  3. Top each with upside down avocado half.
  4. Decorate each avocado half to resemble Roz’s face. Using sharp paring knife, trim each pretzel twist to create horn-rimmed glasses lens by cutting off double loop section of each pretzel twist and discarding or enjoying as snack, keeping single loop portion, which will become one lens. Two lenses are needed per Roz Head.
  5. Place two pretzel lenses on each avocado to form glasses. Add pretzel stick to each side of avocado to form arms of glasses. Push four pretzel sticks into top of each avocado to form hair. Add strawberry slice, trimmed to look like lips for her mouth, and place blueberry on lower left side of face to form mole.

Green Slime Nacho Cups

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          green starting to turn yellow DOLE® Plantain, peeled and thinly sliced on bias
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1          Dole Avocado, halved, pitted and peeled
  • 1          tablespoon lime juice
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2       cup thinly shredded Dole Purple Cabbage
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Toss plantain slices with canola oil and season with pinch of salt. On parchment paper-lined baking sheet, arrange slices in single layer with no overlapping.
  2. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until crispy and lightly golden. Cool completely and set aside.
  3. Using spoon, scoop flesh of avocado into small bowl and mash, reserving one half avocado shell. Stir mashed avocado with lime juice, garlic and remaining salt. Stir in slaw, reserving some for garnish. Scoop into reserved avocado shell and smooth top with back of spoon. Stick reserved cabbage shreds out of avocado mixture to look like hair.
  4. Serve slime nacho cups with plantain chips.

Slippery Slimy Smoothie

Prep time:10 minutes
Servings: 2 (8 ounces each)

  • 1/2       cup DOLE® Spinach
  • 1          Dole Banana, peeled and frozen
  • 1/2       cup Dole Green Grapes, frozen
  • 1/3       cup cucumber, diced
  • 1/2       cup Dole Pineapple
  • 1/2       cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2       cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 5          ice cubes
  1. In blender, blend spinach, banana, grapes, cucumber, pineapple, almond milk, Greek yogurt and ice cubes until smooth.
  2. Pour smoothie into two glasses and serve.

 

©2020 Disney/Pixar (Roz)

Source: Dole

Meal Ideas 14 July 2020

Simple Recipe Hacks for Time-Saving Meals

(Family Features) With many families spending more time than usual at home, scratch cooking trends are popular among home chefs. From homemade sourdough to elaborate multi-course dinners, the kitchen has become a place for creativity for many.

However, since summer brings all sorts of fun and outdoor activities, busy families may be looking for ways to spend less time in the kitchen without compromising on quality or flavor. Try to work smarter, not harder, and let your local grocery store do some of the heavy lifting.

Starting with pre-packaged salads, casseroles, fresh-baked breads or prepared items from the deli case, like a rotisserie chicken, opens an array of possibilities for quick family meals. For example, Signature Cafe and Signature Select, available exclusively at Albertsons and Safeway stores, can be your go-to for meal solutions, and you can find these products at a value compared to many leading national brands without giving up the quality you crave. With products available across the entire store, you can find easy-to-implement recipe hacks the whole family can enjoy.

Serving up a tasty and comforting dinner can be as easy as mixing together fresh ingredients like pre-made macaroni and cheese, rotisserie chicken, frozen broccoli and topping your dish with cracker crumbs in this Chicken and Broccoli Mac and Cheese. You’ll have food on the table in less than 30 minutes and more time to spend with family and friends.

With the resources available at your neighborhood store, you can build restaurant-quality Spicy Chicken Sandwiches with Nashville-Style Dressing at home by visiting the deli department for fried chicken and swinging by the bakery for a loaf of European-style bread. Crunchy fried chicken, cool lettuce, crisp pickles and spicy dressing including a handful of pantry staples make for the perfect flavor and texture combination.

End the day with a Neapolitan-Style Milkshake as classic flavors come together with vanilla bean ice cream, fudge striped shortbread cookies, strawberry preserves and whole milk. This ice cream treat is an indulgence that blends in a flash.

Visit Albertsons.com/exclusivebrands to shop for grocery delivery or pickup at your local store such as Albertsons, Safeway, ACME Markets, Jewel-Osco, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Shaw’s, Star Market, United Supermarkets and Carrs/Safeway.

Chicken and Broccoli Mac and Cheese

Servings: 4

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2          packages (12 ounces each) Signature Cafe Classic Macaroni and Cheese
  • 1          cup frozen broccoli
  • 2          Signature Cafe Whole Roasted Chicken Breasts (about 1 cup), skin removed and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2       cup cracker crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Coat 6-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Add macaroni and cheese, broccoli and chicken, stirring to combine until well incorporated. Top with cracker crumbs.
  3. Bake 20 minutes, or until heated through.

Neapolitan-Style Milkshake

Servings: 2-4

  • 4          scoops (1/2 cup each) Signature Select Vanilla or Vanilla Bean Ice Cream 
  • 6          Signature Select Fudge Striped Shortbread Cookies
  • 4          tablespoons Signature Select Strawberry Preserves
  • 1 1/2    cups whole milk, plus additional (optional)
  1. In blender, process ice cream, cookies, strawberry preserves and whole milk.
  2. If desired, add milk to achieve desired thickness.
  3. Serve in chilled glasses.

Spicy Chicken Sandwiches with Nashville-Style Dressing

Servings: 2

Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise:

  • 1/2       cup mayonnaise          
  • 1/2       teaspoon cayenne pepper       
  • 1/2       teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4       teaspoon garlic powder          
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt  
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper

Spicy Chicken Sandwich:

  • 1/2       cup Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise, plus additional (optional)
  • 4          slices Signature Select Artisan French or Italian Bread
  • 2          pieces hand-breaded Signature Cafe Fried Chicken Breast, cut into slices
  • 1          cup lettuce mix
  • 8          sweet or dill pickle chips
  1. To make Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise: In bowl, combine mayonnaise, cayenne pepper, paprika, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.
  2. To make Spicy Chicken Sandwiches: Spread Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise onto bread slices. Arrange sliced chicken on half the bread slices and place lettuce and pickle chips on other half.
  3. Dress with additional Nashville-Style Spicy Mayonnaise, if desired. Fold sandwiches together, spear with toothpick and slice diagonally.

Source: Albertsons

Meal Ideas 29 June 2020

Flavor Fusion

(Family Features) A distinctive and unexpected ingredient like rice vinegar is an easy way to bring faraway flavors to your favorite summer dishes. This pantry staple adds an Asian-inspired flavor to recipes of all kinds, from marinades to high-end meals.

Explore a new way to enjoy steak this summer with a recipe for zesty, marinated beef paired with crisp broccolini and peppers to give a familiar dish a fresh makeover using flavors from another origin. Give fajitas an Asian makeover with shrimp seared in a decadent hoisin-ginger sauce or try a fresh take on a crunchy salad with this Mexican-meets-Asian layered approach that’s perfect for lunch.

Include seasonal produce like cucumbers, bell peppers and tomatoes to enhance your summer flavor fusions. Pantry staples like black beans and canned corn also offer accessible ways to make elevated summer classics.

Capture Asian flavors with ingredients like NAKANO Rice Vinegar, which has perfected its rice vinegars over eight generations to offer unique and delicious flavors perfect for making mouthwatering Asian-inspired recipes at home.

Pro Flavor-Fusion Tips

  • The key to a successful stir-fry is to use high heat to quickly cook meats and vegetables in stages without overcrowding the pan. This ensures that veggies stay slightly crisp, and meats develop a delicious sear instead of steaming.
  • Avocado oil has one of the highest smoke points, making it a great choice for high-heat cooking like stir-frying.
  • Hoisin sauce, which you can find in the Asian section of most grocery stores, is used frequently in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. It’s a salty, fermented soybean paste often combined with garlic, chiles and five-spice powder, which adds a sweet, umami-rich, aromatic flavor to the dish.
  • Shishito peppers are slender, mild, green Japanese peppers available in the produce section of well-stocked grocery stores or Asian markets. If shishito peppers are unavailable, substitute with multicolored mini peppers.
  • To accommodate those who love a lot of spice and those who prefer less spice, serve mild-to-medium-spicy foods with additional chili sauce on the side.
  • Swap out heavy, high-calorie salad dressings for a splash of additional flavor with NAKANO rice vinegar.

Find more flavorful ways to put an Asian twist on your summer dishes at nakanoflavors.com.

Sizzling Shrimp Fajita Stir-Fry

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1 1/2    pounds large, raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (21-25 shrimp total)
  • 2          tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 4          teaspoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1/4       cup NAKANO Roasted Garlic Rice Vinegar
  • 3          tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2          teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 3          tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1          red onion, cut into thin slivers
  • 1          red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2       pound shishito peppers, stemmed
  • 6          warmed corn or flour tortillas
  • 1/2       cup finely shredded red cabbage
  • 1/4       cup thinly sliced green onions
  1. In medium bowl, combine shrimp, 2 teaspoons soy sauce and 2 teaspoons cornstarch; let stand 5 minutes to marinate.
  2. In separate bowl, whisk remaining soy sauce, remaining cornstarch, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce and ginger until blended.
  3. In large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add half of shrimp; cook 1 minute on each side. Transfer to clean bowl; repeat with remaining shrimp. Wipe out skillet with paper towel.
  4. In same pan, heat remaining oil until shimmering. Add red onion, bell pepper and shishito peppers. Cook, stirring, 2-4 minutes until peppers begin to blister. Add vinegar mixture; cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened. Add shrimp to pan. Cook, tossing well until shrimp and vegetables are coated with sauce.
  5. Fill tortillas with shrimp mixture, cabbage and green onions.

Spicy Steak and Broccoli

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          beef tenderloin (1 1/2 pounds), cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1          tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1          tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3          tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • 2          cups multicolored, mini sweet peppers, cut into thin rings
  • 1/4       pound broccolini, cut into 3-inch sections
  • 2          large shallots, chopped
  • 1/4       cup NAKANO Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon sugar
  • 1          teaspoon sambal oelek (Asian-chili garlic sauce) or sriracha
  • 1/4       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2          teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  1. In medium bowl, combine beef, soy sauce, cornstarch, black pepper and garlic powder.
  2. In large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add peppers, broccolini and shallots; cook 3 minutes, or until tender crisp. Transfer to clean bowl.
  3. In same skillet over high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add half of beef in single layer. Cook undisturbed 2 minutes, or until bottoms are browned. Stir. Cook 1 minute, or until outer surfaces are no longer pink. Transfer to bowl with vegetables. Repeat with remaining oil and beef. Return beef and vegetables to skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. In small bowl, combine rice vinegar, sugar, sambal oelek, salt and ginger. Add mixture to pan. Cook 2 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened.

Glass Jar Layered Taco Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1/2       avocado
  • 1/4       teaspoon serrano pepper
  • 1          tablespoon cilantro
  • 2          tablespoons NAKANO Organic Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1          teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/3       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       cup corn
  • 1/2       cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2       cup jicama, diced
  • 1/2       cup black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2       cup shredded green cabbage
  • 1/2       cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2       cup extra-firm tofu, diced
  • 1/2       cup corn chips, crushed
  • 1/2       cup spinach
  • 1          tablespoon queso fresco
  1. In bowl, mash avocado and add serrano pepper, cilantro, rice vinegar, sesame oil, lime juice and salt. Stir to combine.
  2. Build salad in layers of corn, cabbage, jicama, black beans, cabbage, tomatoes, tofu, corn chips, spinach and queso fresco while adding drizzles of dressing between layers.

Source: NAKANO

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

Grilling-Tailgating 17 June 2020

How to Clean Up Your Summer Grilling Game

(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
Servings: 2 

  • 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  
  1. 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. 
  2. 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.  
  3. 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

Meal Ideas 01 June 2020

Taste of Summer

(Family Features) A summer weekend isn’t complete until you fire up the grill, but flame-kissed steaks are just the start to an unforgettable meal that celebrates all the best of the season.

To create the perfect main dish, start with high-quality protein, like Omaha Steaks’ Private Reserve Boneless New York Strips. Thick, juicy and full of flavorful marbling, these premier steaks are meticulously aged for optimal taste and tenderness with robust, beefy flavor brought out when cooked properly on the grill.

If you’re opting for burgers, elevate your menu with flavorful accompaniments like crisp candied bacon, sauteed shrimp and zesty homemade pickles for a menu you won’t soon forget.

Find more ideas for upgrading the grilling experience in your own backyard at OmahaSteaks.com.

Candied Bacon

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1          pound (1 package) Omaha Steaks Applewood Smoked Steak-Cut Bacon
  • 1          tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1          cup packed light brown sugar
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Place wire rack on foil-lined baking sheet. Place strips of bacon on wire rack and sprinkle with black pepper. Lightly pat brown sugar on top of bacon in thin layer.
  3. Place baking sheet on center rack in oven and bake 25 minutes, or until brown sugar melts and bacon is crisp.
  4. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes. Using tongs, transfer bacon to parchment-lined baking sheet and cool to room temperature.
  5. Store in airtight container up to 3 days at room temperature.

Quick Pickles

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

  • 1/2       cup white vinegar
  • 2          teaspoons sugar
  • 1          teaspoon mustard seed
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1          clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2       teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1          teaspoon dried dill, chopped, or 2 tablespoons fresh dill leaves
  • 1          bay leaf
  • 4          cucumbers, cut into angled 1-inch slices
  1. Heat small saucepan over medium high heat. Add vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, salt, garlic and red pepper flakes, if desired; cook until mixture begins to simmer and sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
  2. In heat-proof bowl, toss dill, bay leaf and sliced cucumbers. Pour simmering liquid over cucumbers and stir to evenly coat. Cool to room temperature or chill before serving. 

Note: Pickles may be made up to 3 days in advance. Refrigerate in covered non-reactive container.

Connecticut-Style Shrimp

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 4          tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2          tablespoons chives
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon black pepper
  • 12        large, cleaned, uncooked Omaha Steaks Wild Argentinian Red Shrimp
  1. Heat medium skillet to medium-high heat. Add butter; cook until melted.
  2. Add chives, salt, pepper and shrimp to pan. Cook 2 minutes, turn shrimp and cook 2 minutes, or until shrimp is opaque and cooked through. Remove from heat and serve.

Dry-Brined New York Strips with Grilled Brown Butter Balsamic Onions

Prep time: 1-12 hours
Cook time: 30-40 minutes
Servings: 4

Dry Brine:

  • 4          tablespoons Kosher salt
  • 1          tablespoon coarse ground pepper
  • 4          (11-ounce) Omaha Steaks Private Reserve Boneless New York Strips, thawed

Butter and Balsamic:

  • 4          tablespoons salted butter
  • 2          tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2          teaspoons fresh thyme

Grilled Onions:

  • 2          large sweet onions
  • 4          wooden skewers, soaked
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  1. To make dry brine: Combine salt and pepper; season steaks generously on all sides. Place steaks on elevated rack on baking sheet and refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. To make butter and balsamic: Heat small skillet to medium high heat. Add butter and cook until butter begins to brown and smell nutty. Remove from heat and add balsamic vinegar and thyme. Set aside.
  3. To make grilled onions: Peel off outer layers of onions. Slice into 1/2-inch slices. Lay onions on flat surface. Push skewers through centers of onions; two onion slices per skewer. Brush onions with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. To cook steaks and onions: Make two-zone fire on charcoal grill with coals on one side and no coals on the other.
  5. Place onions on cool side of grill; flip and rotate every 10 minutes until golden brown, approximately 25-30 minutes. Total time will depend on how hot coals are and how close onions are to fire. When onions are golden and tender, brush with brown butter balsamic mixture. 
  6. On hot side of grill, during last 15 minutes of cook time for onions, cook steaks to desired temperature. When steaks are 5 F from desired temperature, remove from grill and let rest 5-10 minutes.
  7. Remove onions from grill. Carefully remove onions from skewers and place in serving dish.  Top with remaining brown butter balsamic mixture and serve with steaks.

Source: Omaha Steaks

Meal Ideas 28 May 2020

Support Your Immune System with Grapes

(Family Features) Boosting immune function through a healthy diet has become an important new focus for many people these days. One key dietary recommendation is to eat more fruits and vegetables each day to improve immune function and prevent heart disease and diabetes. When looking to guide your family to healthier snacks and meals or simply trying to mix up your at-home menu, success can be as simple as rethinking the ingredients you choose to use, including your favorite produce, such as grapes.

Fresh California grapes, for example, make for an ideal snack because they are tasty, healthy, hydrating and refreshing, but grapes can also be used to make good-for-you dishes that are also satisfying and delicious. Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols. Plus, they are naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free and contain virtually no sodium.

Try recipes like Moroccan Grape and Grilled Chicken Bowls with Grape Vinaigrette, Spiced Chickpeas and Grapes with Yogurt, and Cauliflower Steaks with Grapes to pair heart-healthy grapes with other nutritious ingredients and add variety and fresh appeal in the kitchen.

Visit GrapesFromCalifornia.com for more nutritious family recipes

Moroccan Grape and Grilled Chicken Bowls with Grape Vinaigrette

Servings: 4

Couscous:

  • 1          cup Israeli couscous
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2       cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/2       cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2       cup parsley, leaves only
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons ras el hanout (Moroccan spice blend)
  • 1          teaspoon salt

Chicken:

  • 2          chicken breasts (8 ounces each)
  • 1          tablespoon harissa paste
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          teaspoon salt

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4       cup green California grapes
  • 1          lemon, juice only
  • 1          preserved lemon, rind only
  • 1/4       cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1          cup red California grapes, halved
  • 1/2       cup sliced almonds, toasted
  1. To make couscous: Cook couscous in boiling salted water. Drain, rinse with cold water and combine with olive oil. Add carrots, tomatoes, parsley leaves, ras el hanout and salt. Mix well and set aside.
  2. To make chicken: Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  3. Rub chicken breasts with harissa paste, olive oil and salt. Grill on both sides until just done. Set aside to cool. Slice into 1/4-inch slices.
  4. To make vinaigrette: In blender, puree green grapes, lemon juice, lemon rind, olive oil and cilantro until smooth. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Toss couscous mixture with vinaigrette and portion into four bowls. Top with sliced chicken, red grapes and almonds.

Nutritional information per serving: 590 calories; 30 g protein; 44 g carbohydrates; 32 g fat (49% calories from fat); 4.5 g saturated fat (7% calories from saturated fat); 65 mg cholesterol; 720 mg sodium; 3 g fiber.

Spiced Chickpeas and Grapes with Yogurt

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry
  • 1          cup California grapes
  • 1          tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1          teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1          teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1          pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1          cup low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1/2       garlic clove, grated
  • 2          tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2          tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
  1. In large bowl, mix chickpeas and grapes.
  2. In small skillet, warm oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mustard seeds and cover. Cook until seeds stop popping then add cumin and fennel seeds; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper flakes; pour over chickpeas and grapes. Mix well.
  3. In separate bowl, stir yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic and remaining salt. Spread on serving platter and top with chickpea mixture, cilantro and scallions.

Nutritional information per serving: 220 calories; 11 g protein; 31 g carbohydrates; 6 g fat (25% calories from fat); 1.5 g saturated fat (6% calories from saturated fat); 5 mg cholesterol; 280 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.

Cauliflower Steaks with Grapes

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          large head cauliflower, leaves trimmed off
  • 3          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2          teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/2       teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1          cup halved California grapes
  • 1/4       cup chopped Castelvetrano olives
  • 2          tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
  • 2          tablespoons chopped, toasted pistachios
  1. Heat oven to 450 F.
  2. Cut stem off cauliflower and cut remaining head crosswise into four 1-inch-thick slices, keeping as intact as possible. Place on sheet pan and brush sides with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast until browned and tender, about 25 minutes.
  3. Combine remaining olive oil, remaining pepper, grapes, olives, parsley and pistachios. When cauliflower is roasted, transfer to serving plates and top with grape mixture.
  4. Nutritional information per serving: 210 calories; 5 g protein; 20 g carbohydrates; 14 g fat (60% calories from fat); 2 g saturated fat (9% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 480 mg sodium; 5 g fiber.
  5. Healthy Eating is Easy with Grapes
  6. Grapes are prized for their taste and crisp, juicy texture, but fresh grapes are also a heart-healthy, hydrating snack choice. Grapes contain more than 1,600 natural plant compounds, including antioxidants and other polyphenols, which help protect the health and function of the body’s cells. Grapes can be paired with other healthy foods to enhance flavor and nutrition, including dark leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli, whole grains, legumes and lean proteins.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

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