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

Meal Ideas 20 May 2020

A Simply Sensational Summer Meal

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

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

Find more summer meal ideas at Culinary.net.

Cook Up Kebabs

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

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

Summer Sliders with a Spicy Kick

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

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

Find more tasty summer recipes at beefandlambnz.com.

Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream

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

Patties:

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

Jalapeno Salsa:

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

Avocado Cream:

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

A Sweet Summer Treat

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

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

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

Strawberry Cream Cheese Tartlets

Makes: 24 tartlets (4 ounces each)

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

Roasted and Ready to Serve

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

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

Find more health resources at usda.gov.

Roasted Potatoes

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

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

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Kebabs and Roasted Potatoes)

Source:  New Zealand Wagyu Beef
Well•Pict Berries

 

Snacks 19 May 2020

Snack Hacks That Really Pop

(Family Features) If spending more time at home than usual has you reaching for snacks more often, keep some quick, flavorful options on-hand to help fuel you and your family throughout the day when hunger pangs strike.

One versatile pantry staple that can fit a variety of snack cravings: popcorn. With no artificial additives or preservatives, light and airy popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO and gluten free, making it a sensible option to enjoy one handful at a time or sprinkled with seasonings that satisfy your taste buds. A whole-grain food, popcorn has energy-producing carbohydrates and fiber, which can help keep you satisfied longer. Plus, it’s simple enough to make that kids can help in the kitchen by popping it themselves or adding toppings.

Whether you’re craving something sweet, salty, spicy – or nearly anything else – freshly popped popcorn can serve as the perfect base ingredient to simply mix in your favorite toppings or create more unique tastes by combining a variety of herbs and spices. For example, consider these hacks to add easy flavor:

  • Pop it on the stove. Stovetop popping allows you to choose your toppings. Cover the bottom of a pot with a thin layer of oil and popcorn kernels, shake to coat, cover with a lid then turn on the heat. Once popping has slowed to 2-second intervals, remove from heat and add toppings.
  • Add some sweetness. When you’re in the mood for something sweet, add a dash of salt and a pinch of sugar (or more to meet your taste) to a bowl of popcorn. Or add sugar to the pan before it’s popped, like this recipe for Sugar Corn.
  • Melt some butter. For a classic taste treat, melt a little butter and pour over your bowl of popped corn.
  • Satisfy multiple cravings. Pop a large pot of popcorn and divide it in half; top one half with sweeter toppings like honey, which is a key ingredient in Honey Matcha Popcorn, and the other with something savory, like nutritional yeast or dill. When hunger strikes, you’re ready, regardless of the flavor craving.
  • Spice it up. Cayenne pepper and a blend of other spices can be sprinkled on popcorn to create a spicier snack like Cajun Corn.
  • Add mix-ins. Add dried fruits, nuts or candies to a bowl of popcorn to make your own trail mix.
  • Cheese, please. A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese can make your snack a bit more substantial. Mix in some dried herbs like basil and parsley to create this Popcorn Con Pesto.

For more snack ideas that deliver on both flavor and nutrition, visit popcorn.org.

Sugar Corn

Yield: 8 cups

  • 1/4       cup vegetable oil, for popping
  • 1/2       cup popcorn kernels
  • 1          pinch white sugar, plus additional, to taste
  1. In medium pan, heat oil until hot.
  2. Add popcorn to pan and sprinkle sugar over it. Add more sugar, if desired, to taste.
  3. Cover and shake pan continuously until popcorn is popped.

Honey Matcha Popcorn

Yield: 12 cups

  • 12        cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
  • 1/4       cup butter
  • 1/4       cup honey
  • 1          teaspoon matcha green tea powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          tablespoon black sesame seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. Line large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place popped popcorn in large mixing bowl.
  3. In small saucepan over medium heat, melt together butter, honey, matcha powder and salt, stirring until dissolved. Pour over popcorn; toss to combine. Spread onto baking sheet. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  4. Bake, stirring occasionally, 25-30 minutes, or until popcorn is dry. Let cool completely before serving.

Tip: Matcha powder can be found in the tea and coffee aisle at supermarkets.

Popcorn Con Pesto

Yield: 5 quarts

  • 5          quarts popped popcorn
  • 1/2       cup butter
  • 1          tablespoon dried basil leaves, crushed
  • 1          teaspoon dried parsley, crushed
  • 1          teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3       cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2       cup pine nuts (optional)
  1. Place popped popcorn in large bowl and keep warm.
  2. In small saucepan, melt butter; add basil, parsley, garlic, Parmesan cheese and nuts, if using.
  3. Stir to blend.
  4. Pour over popped popcorn, stirring well.

Note: Dried thyme or oregano, or combination of ingredients, may be used in place of basil.

Cajun Corn

Yield: 2 1/2 quarts

  • 1/4       cup butter, melted
  • 2 1/2    quarts popped popcorn, warm
  • 1          teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2       teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1          teaspoon lemon pepper
  1. Heat oven to 300° F.
  2. In bowl, pour butter over warm popcorn.
  3. In separate bowl, combine paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and lemon pepper; sprinkle over popcorn. Toss to mix.
  4. Bake 5-10 minutes for crispy popcorn.

Source: Popcorn Board

Meal Ideas 18 May 2020

Breaking Bread

(Family Features) As families spend more time at home, Americans are finding comfort in a surprising source: bread. In fact, a 20-year trend of declining grain food consumption has been reversed.

A national study by the Grain Food Foundation suggests that the turnaround is more than a one-time sales blip due to pantry loading. In reality, consumers count bread among their top comfort foods. The study revealed one-third of Americans named pasta and bread as foods that are comforting during a stressful time.

In addition to the comforting flavor, this trend provides valuable nutritional benefits. As a part of many healthy eating plans, bread and pasta are nutritionist approved and provide nutrients needed for healthy aging such as B vitamins, magnesium, selenium, iron, folate and fiber.

“For years, we’ve been telling consumers that grain foods are the foods we love that love us back,” said Christine Cochran, executive director of the Grain Foods Foundation. “The stress has given us permission to enjoy bread and pasta again, but unlike most comfort foods, consumers recognize that grains have nutritional value.”

The highest-ranking comfort foods were ice cream; baked goods like cakes, cookies and pastries; salty snacks; candy; and fast food. However, when asked to identify comfort foods with nutritional advantages, consumers identified bread and pasta as the top two.

Beyond identifying comfort foods and their nutritional value, consumers also expressed worry that bread is in short supply right now.

“We can all rest assured that there is enough supply of grain food products in this country,” Cochran said. “Shoppers may be experiencing some sporadic unavailability of certain high-demand items. However, manufacturers are working closely with retailers to make sure that out-of-stocks are short lived. Consumers will be able to buy their favorite grain-food products and eat them, too.”

To learn more about the role of grain foods in a healthful diet, visit GrainFoodsFoundation.org.

Avocado Veggie Sandwich

Recipe courtesy of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1/2       ripe avocado, peeled
  • 1          tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt
  • 4          slices bread
  • 4          slices tomato
  • 8          slices cucumber
  • 12        slices sweet bell pepper
  • 2          tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2          lettuce leaves
  1. In small bowl, combine avocado, lemon juice and salt. Spread mixture evenly over two bread slices.
  2. Place tomatoes, cucumber and peppers on covered surface. Drizzle with vinegar.
  3. Layer lettuce, tomato, cucumbers and peppers evenly between slices of bread, creating two sandwiches.

Panzanella Bagel Salad

Recipe courtesy of Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, MS, RD, on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 2          medium Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/4    cups canned diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4       cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4       cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2          tablespoons red onion, diced
  • 2          tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated, plus additional (optional)
  • 1          tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2          bagels (4 ounces each) cut into 2-inch pieces, toasted
  • assorted greens (optional)

In medium bowl, mix tomatoes, canned tomatoes with juice, green pepper, cucumber, onion, cheese, vinegar and basil.

Add toasted bagel pieces; toss gently. Marinate, covered, in refrigerator 1 hour. Serve within 1 hour after marinating. Sprinkle with additional cheese and serve on bed of assorted greens, if desired.

Rotini with Sausage and Mushrooms

Recipe courtesy of Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, MS, RD, on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 18 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1          box (13 1/4 ounces) whole-grain rotini
  • 1          tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1          pound chicken sausage, sliced
  • 1          cup leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1          cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2          cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1          cup chicken stock
  • 1/4       cup parsley chopped
  • 6          leaves from tarragon sprigs, chopped
  • 1          cup Romano cheese grated
  • Parmesan-Romano cheese (optional)
  1. Prepare rotini according to package directions. Drain and transfer to large bowl.
  2. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook sausage 2-3 minutes, or until well browned. Add leeks, onions and mushrooms; cook until tender. Add chicken stock and simmer 3-5 minutes, or until hot. Fold sausage mixture into warm pasta. Add parsley, tarragon and Romano cheese; toss again. Top with Parmesan-Romano cheese, if desired.

Cheesy Black Bean Toast with Pico de Gallo

Recipe courtesy of Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, MS, RD, on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 6          Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1⁄2       medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1          clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2          serrano or jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
  • 3          tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1          lime, juice only
  • 1⁄8       teaspoon oregano, finely crushed
  • 1⁄8       teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1⁄8       teaspoon pepper
  • 1⁄2       Hass avocado, diced
  • 4          bolillos (6 inches) or large Kaiser rolls, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1          can (16 ounces) seasoned low-fat refried black beans
  • 2          cups shredded Chihuahua or mozzarella cheese
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, combine tomatoes; onion; garlic; peppers; cilantro; lime juice; oregano; salt, if desired; pepper; and avocado; set aside.
  3. On medium platter, split rolls. With medium spatula, spread refried beans onto each bread half; sprinkle cheese among bread.
  4. Bake 5-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted and hot.

Source:  Grain Foods Foundation

Breakfast & Brunch 28 April 2020

Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Easier Mornings

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

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

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

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

Savory Walnut Egg Cups

Total time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: 12

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

No-Bake Walnut, Cocoa and Cherry Bars

Total time:15 minutes
Servings: 9

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

Source:  California Walnuts

Breakfast & Brunch 23 April 2020

Build Simple Breakfasts to Fuel Your Family

(Family Features) During a period when many families are spending more time at home than normal, eating healthier is likely a popular goal. One of the many aspects to focusing on better nutrition starts with a better breakfast.

To help boost you and your family’s immunity, try focusing on protein- and fiber-packed morning meals that are low in sugar. That doesn’t have to mean hours of prep in the kitchen or stocking up on uncommon ingredients.

Instead, you can start with simple recipes that call for just a handful of inclusions. Additionally, when your menu is centered around less complicated dishes, it allows an opportunity to get kids involved in the kitchen with tasks like measuring yogurt for a parfait, pouring milk in a pudding recipe or simply pulling ingredients out of the pantry and refrigerator.

To help start your healthy breakfast plan on the right foot, consider these tips from Dr. Jonathan Clinthorne and the experts at SimplyProtein:

Factor in fiber. When it comes to supporting immunity with nutrition, one of the underappreciated nutrients is dietary fiber. Fiber feeds gut bacteria, which helps produce numerous compounds that accelerate the development of immune cells and boost their function. The immune system performs better when people replace highly refined, low-fiber carbohydrates with fiber-rich carbohydrates.

Pick ingredients packed with protein. It’s important to consume adequate protein when looking to boost immune function as protein energy malnutrition is linked to poor immune function and can impair the ability of the immune system to fight viruses and bacteria. Add foods to your diet like SimplyProtein’s line of non-GMO, gluten-free bars and bites. The snacks include 11 or more grams of protein and just 0-3 grams of sugar without artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives for nutritious treats to help make busy lives simpler.

Build a balanced breakfast. People burn more energy through a process known as “diet-induced thermogenesis” when they consume high-calorie breakfasts rather than high-calorie dinners. This can ultimately help with weight loss and suggests that eating more food early in the day is better for you than eating a large amount before bedtime. For example, these recipes for Yogurt Parfait, Chia Seed Pudding and Avocado Toast provide protein and energy with simple at-home prep.
Skip the sugar. Avoid the post-lunch sleepy feeling by ditching sugar. Instead, focus on low-glycemic snacks that won’t spike blood sugar, helping to control your appetite.

Feel fuller longer. Eating immune supportive foods like vegetables, berries, nuts, seeds and protein-rich snack bars can help keep you full and satisfied while avoiding less nutritious alternatives.

Easy Additions for a Balanced Breakfast

Whether your morning meal is a lavish spread for the whole family or a simple snack before logging on for a workday, these simple add-ons can add flavor without sacrificing nutrition:

  • Dairy, such as milk or yogurt
  • Fruit, such as bananas, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and more
  • Quick solutions, such as SimplyProtein Cookie Bars, Crispy Bars or Crunchy Bites
  • Eggs (for a time-saving solution, try using a muffin tin to create egg cups for ready-to-go breakfasts throughout the week)
  • Seeds or nuts

Find more protein-packed solutions at simplyprotein.com


Avocado Toast

  • 2          slices whole-wheat bread
  • 1          avocado, halved and sliced
  • 2          poached eggs
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/2       cup crushed SimplyProtein Barbecue Crunchy Bites
  1. Toast bread slices.
  2. Divide avocado slices among toast. Place one egg on each piece of toast then sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Top toast with crushed crunchy bites.

Yogurt Parfait

  • 1          cup Greek vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2       cup assorted fruit, such as strawberries, blueberries and kiwi
  • 1          tablespoon shaved almonds
  • 1          SimplyProtein Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar, crumbled
  • shaved coconut (optional)
  1. In bowl, layer yogurt, fruit and shaved almonds. Top with crumbled cookie bar and shaved coconut, if desired.

Chia Seed Pudding

  • 3          teaspoons chia seeds
  • 1          cup almond milk
  • 1          SimplyProtein Lemon Crispy Bar
  1. In glass jar or bowl, stir chia seeds and almond milk. Let rest 5 minutes then stir again.
  2. Cover pudding in refrigerator; allow to set 1-2 hours or overnight.
  3. Crumble lemon crispy bar and mix into pudding or cut into sticks for dipping.

Source:  SimplyProtein

Meal Ideas 15 April 2020

Fresh and Flavorful at Home

(Family Features) Whether you live on your own or are a busy parent, cooking at home can help ensure you're eating fresh, wholesome meals. Regardless of your abilities in the kitchen, creating simple dishes featuring fresh produce and good-for-you sources of protein can not only benefit your health, but also increase the amount of quality time spent with loved ones around the family table.

The thought of cooking lamb at home can be intimidating for some, however, New Zealand grass-fed lamb steaks like those from Silver Fern Farms can be prepared the same way you would grass-fed beef. With no added growth hormones or antibiotics, the natural, minimally processed cuts of lamb are a nutrient-dense source of protein, iron and zinc, and packed with vitamins and minerals. Plus, grass-fed lamb from New Zealand is a lean, finely textured and flavorful meat, well-suited for a variety of dishes.

For example, these New Zealand Grass-Fed Lamb Steaks with Yogurt and Cilantro Marinade are served over a bed of couscous and marinated in a mixture of lemon, garlic, cumin, cilantro and yogurt. Because the natural cuts of meat are hand-selected to deliver a quality eating experience, they are easy to prepare and can be put on the table in less than 30 minutes.

Find more information, cooking tips and recipes at beefandlambnz.com.

New Zealand Grass-Fed Lamb Steaks with Yogurt and Cilantro Marinade

Recipe courtesy of Silver Fern Farms on behalf of Beef + Lamb New Zealand
Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1-2

Lamb:

  • 2 Silver Fern Farms 100% New Zealand Grass-Fed Lamb Steaks (4 ounces each)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste

Marinade:

  • 1          lemon, zest and juice only
  • 2          cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4       cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4       cup natural yogurt
  • 1          prepared vegetable couscous
  • crumbled feta cheese
  1. To prepare lamb: Season lamb steaks with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. To make marinade: In resealable bag or mixing bowl, combine lemon zest and juice, garlic, cumin, cilantro and yogurt.
  3. Using pastry brush or spoon, coat lamb steaks with marinade and let rest 15 minutes.
  4. Wipe excess marinade from lamb steaks. Reserve remaining marinade in bag.
  5. On grill warmed to high heat or skillet over medium-high heat, cook lamb steaks approximately 3-4 minutes on the first sides for medium-rare steaks then flip to cook other sides for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Once lamb steaks are cooked to desired doneness, transfer to cutting board or plate, cover with tinfoil and let rest 5 minutes. 
  7. Slice lamb steaks across grain and serve over vegetable couscous.
  8. Drizzle with remaining marinade, if desired, and garnish with crumbled feta cheese.

Source: Beef + Lamb New Zealand

Pasta 14 April 2020

Perfect Pantry Pastas

(Family Features) Constantly seeking out recipe-specific ingredients that may only be used once or twice can be a burden. Instead, keep your home stocked with necessities to simplify dinner prep with dishes made using common household staples.

One perfect example: pastas. These recipes for Minestrone Pasta Saute with Ricotta, Creamy One-Pot Spaghetti and Pasta in a Pinch include easily recognizable seasonings and canned goods for simple dinner solutions. Plus, they all include dairy, an irreplaceable part of a balanced diet as a source of essential nutrients.

Another way to scale back on unnecessary grocery purchases is to give yourself permission to modify. Many recipes can be tweaked for personal preferences, such as using black beans rather than kidney beans or adjusting the amount of a spice used based on your family’s tastes.

Stock your pantry and refrigerator with versatile ingredients like these:

  • Canned tomatoes
  • Canned beans
  • Quick-cook rice
  • Small whole-grain pasta
  • Stock, like vegetable, chicken or beef
  • Fluid milk
  • Shredded cheese
  • Plain Greek yogurt

For more ideas to simplify family meals, visit milkmeansmore.org.

Minestrone Pasta Saute with Ricotta

Recipe courtesy of Lori Yates of “Foxes Love Lemons” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 8          ounces ditalini pasta
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3          carrots, finely diced
  • 3          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2       medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2       bunch kale, thinly sliced
  • 1/2       pound green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 1/4       cup dry white wine
  • 1/2       pound lean ground beef (optional)
  • 1          can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1          jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
  • 1/2       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1          cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1/4       cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water then drain pasta.
  2. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add carrots, garlic and onion; cook 3 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften, stirring occasionally. Add kale and green beans; cook 3 minutes, or until green beans are tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add wine to skillet; cook 2 minutes, or until most liquid has evaporated. Transfer vegetables to medium bowl. If including meat, return skillet to medium-high heat. Add ground beef; cook 6-8 minutes, or until meat is cooked through, breaking up with side of spoon. Spoon off excess fat.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add kidney beans, marinara sauce, salt, pepper, pasta, reserved pasta cooking water and cooked vegetable mixture to skillet with beef, if using. Cook 2 minutes, or until warmed through, stirring occasionally. Divide pasta between four pasta bowls or plates and top with Ricotta and Parmesan cheeses.

Pasta in a Pinch

Recipe courtesy of Jenn Fillenworth, MS, RDN, of “Jenny With the Good Eats” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 8          ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 1/2    cups water
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2       cup milk
  • 2          cups mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1          can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4       cup Parmesan cheese
  • freshly chopped herbs, for garnish (optional)
  1. In large microwavable bowl, place uncooked penne pasta and pour water over top to cover. With food-safe plastic wrap, cover bowl, leaving small section to vent as it cooks. Cook 3 minutes longer than package directs, approximately 13 minutes.
  2. Once pasta has cooked, drain into colander then place back in bowl. Add salt, pepper, basil, garlic powder and milk; stir to combine. Begin to stir in cheese a little at a time. Microwave 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir again.
  3. Add cannellini beans and diced tomatoes; stir. Microwave 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir. Assess if ingredients are hot and cheese is melted. If not, microwave 1-2 minutes.
  4. Top with Parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh herbs, if desired.

Creamy One-Pot Spaghetti

Recipe courtesy of Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN, on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1          tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1          pound lean ground turkey or lean ground beef
  • 1/2       cup chopped onion
  • 2 1/2    cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2          cups marinara sauce
  • 1/2       teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 8          ounces spaghetti noodles, broken into 3-4-inch pieces
  • 1          package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 1/3    cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • chopped fresh basil or parsley (optional)
  1. Using saute function of pressure cooker, heat oil until hot. Add meat and onion. Cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes, or until meat is browned, stirring to break up. Press cancel.
  2. Stir broth, marinara sauce, fennel seeds and cayenne pepper into meat. Stir in spaghetti, making sure noodle pieces are covered by liquid. Secure lid and set pressure release to sealing function. Select high pressure and cook 5 minutes. Press cancel.
  3. Allow pressure to release naturally 2 minutes. Move pressure release to venting function to release remaining steam. Remove lid.
  4. Stir spaghetti mixture. Stir in cream cheese and 1 cup cheddar cheese until melted. Ladle into bowls to serve. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Garnish with chopped fresh basil or parsley, if desired.

Source: United Dairy Industry of Michigan

Meal Ideas 10 April 2020

Nutritious Eating at Home

(Family Features) If spending additional time in the comfort of your home has you rethinking the family menu and looking for new ways to enjoy nutritional meals, rest assured you can make better-for-you food choices without losing mouthwatering taste.

Easy, efficient at-home recipes like Thai Coconut Lime Freezer Chicken, Burrito Beef and Cauli Mac and Cheese can all be made in less than an hour while reducing the intake of carbs and unnecessary sugars. All are part of a balanced Atkins low-carb lifestyle, a long-term, healthy eating approach focused on high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats.

The eating approach, which is a more flexible version of the popular ketogenic diet, offers a balanced mix of foods containing fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and the “hidden sugar effect” – when carbohydrates convert to sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugar, but your body does.

Introducing your family to smarter food choices can also support your immunity. According to research published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” simply substituting whole grains for refined grains has a modest effect on gut microbiota and immunity. Refined grains have had most of the fiber milled out of them, leaving a refined carbohydrate that impacts your body the way sugar would. Opt for whole grains to get the fiber you need, along with protein and healthy fats.

Visit atkins.com for more nutritious recipes


Thai Coconut Lime Freezer Chicken

Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 22 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 3/4    cups coconut milk
  • 2          tablespoons basil
  • 1          tablespoon xylitol (sugar substitute)
  • 1          ounce cilantro
  • 1          ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic
  • 1          teaspoon lime zest (optional)
  • 20        ounces boneless, cooked chicken breast
  • 20        ounces broccoli flower clusters
  1. In bowl, mix coconut milk, basil, xylitol, cilantro, lime juice, salt and garlic. For more citrus flavor, add lime zest, if desired.
  2. Add chicken, broccoli and sauce to 1-gallon zip-top freezer bag. Squeeze out any air and seal bag. Freeze bag flat up to 1 month.
  3. To cook: Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat oven to 350° F.
  4. Place in glass 8-by-8-inch pan and bake 20-25 minutes.

Burrito Beef

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 8 hours
Servings: 6

  • 2          pounds beef arm chuck roast
  • 4          tablespoons green taco sauce
  • 1          teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2          large scallions or spring onions, chopped
  • 1          jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 2          teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  1. Trim fat from beef. In slow cooker on low heat, cook beef, taco sauce, garlic, onions, jalapeno, chili powder, cumin and salt 8 hours, or until beef is tender.
  2. Using two forks, remove beef and shred. Mix beef with 1/2 cup cooking juices before serving.
  3. A Low-Sugar Swap to Satisfy Cravings
  4. While spending more time at home than normal, those snack cravings can be hard to shake. Rather than relying on easy-to-grab eats from the pantry or freezer, focus on more nutritious choices that don’t sacrifice flavor.
  5. Turn to a creamy solution to satisfy your hunger such as the Atkins Milk Chocolate Delight Shake, a filling option for chocolate lovers. The drinks are packed with 15 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, 20% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin D and 1 gram of sugar to keep you going throughout the day.

Cauli Mac and Cheese

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1          head large (6-7-inch diameter) cauliflower
  • 1          cup heavy cream
  • 2          ounces cream cheese
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons ground mustard
  • 1 1/2    cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4       teaspoon white pepper
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper sauce
  1. Heat oven to 375° F and prepare 9-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Heat large pot of water to boiling and add 1/2 teaspoon salt.
  2. Remove stem and leaves from cauliflower. Cut into small pieces and place in boiling water; cook until crisp-tender; about 5 minutes. Drain well then pat between paper towels to remove moisture.
  3. In medium saucepan over medium heat, bring cream to simmer. Whisk cream cheese and powdered mustard into simmering cream until smooth. Add 1 cup cheddar cheese, garlic, remaining salt, white pepper and pepper sauce, whisking until cheese melts; about 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cauliflower.
  4. Pour into baking dish and top with remaining cheese. Bake 15 minutes until browned and bubbly.

 

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Thai Coconut Lime Freezer Chicken, Burrito Beef and Cauli Mac and Cheese)

Source: Atkins

Meal Ideas 30 March 2020

Family-Friendly Ways to Rethink Favorite Recipes

(Family Features) Freshen up family dinners by adding new ingredients like pecans, with natural richness and subtle sweetness coupled with irresistible crunch.

Kitchen staples are being used to add twists to traditional dishes, so finding an item you can use to mix up classic family recipes is key. Pecans pack flavor, texture and nutrition all in one bite, and they have a long shelf life. Shelled pecans can be kept in airtight containers in the refrigerator for about nine months and for up to two years in sealed plastic bags in the freezer.

While pecans are beloved in classic desserts, like pecan pie, they also offer a variety of nutrition benefits that can be added to nearly any meal. They are among the highest in “good” monounsaturated fats, contain 3 grams of plant protein per serving and are a source of fiber, flavonoids and minerals like manganese, which is essential for metabolism and bone health.

Nearly two decades of research document the heart-health benefits of pecans. In fact, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, scientific evidence suggests but does not prove that eating 1 1/2 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pecans, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. One serving of pecans (28 grams) has 18 grams of unsaturated fat and only 2 grams of saturated fat.

Add crunch to this Chinese Chicken Salad with Pecans by swapping out croutons, use chopped pecans as a flavorful and nutrient-dense coating for Pecan Chicken Meatballs and bake this Pecan Banana Bread as a nutritious and kid-friendly breakfast or snack to fill your home with a delicious scent.

Discover more nutritious recipes at AmericanPecan.com

Pecan Chicken Meatballs

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Yield: 9 meatballs

  • 1          pound ground chicken
  • 1/4       cup spinach, chopped
  • 1          tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1          egg
  • 1          teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4       teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4       teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1          cup finely chopped fresh pecan pieces, divided
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, mix ground chicken, spinach, lemon juice, egg, garlic, onion powder, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne (if desired) and 1/2 cup pecans until well combined.
  3. Roll chicken mixture into 1 tablespoon- sized meatballs.
  4. Place reserved pecans in bowl. Roll meatballs in pecans to coat then place on prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake 20-30 minutes until meatballs are cooked through.
  6. Serve warm with sauces for dipping or over pasta.

Chinese Chicken Salad with Pecans

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Dressing:

  • 1/4       cup pecan butter
  • 1          tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  • 1          teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2          tablespoons warm water, plus additional as needed (optional)

Salad:

  • 4          ounces dried thin rice noodles
  • cold water
  • 4          cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 4          cups chopped iceberg lettuce
  • 1/4       cup toasted and chopped pecans
  • 2          scallions, finely chopped
  • 1          cup bean sprouts
  • 1/2       cup crispy wontons
  • 1          cup mandarin oranges
  • 2          tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2          cups rotisserie chicken breast, chopped
  1. To make dressing: In medium bowl, whisk pecan butter, rice vinegar, honey, sesame oil and soy sauce until smooth.
  2. Add 2 tablespoons warm water and whisk until incorporated. Add additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time, if desired, until dressing reaches pourable consistency.
  3. To make salad: Cook rice noodles according to package instructions. Once cooked, drain and transfer to bowl with cold water to keep from sticking.
  4. In large bowl, toss romaine and iceberg lettuces, pecans, scallions, bean sprouts, crispy wontons, mandarin oranges and sesame seeds.
  5. Divide salad among four plates; top each with 1/2 cup chicken and serve with dressing.

Pecan Banana Bread

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 10        ounces gluten-free baking flour mix
  • 1          teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt
  • 2          flax eggs
  • 1          cup organic brown or coconut sugar
  • 1/2       cup coconut oil
  • 1/2       vanilla bean
  • 1/2       cup vegan yogurt
  • 3/4       cup mashed bananas, ripe
  • 1          cup raw pecan pieces, chopped, plus additional for topping
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Prepare 9-by-5-inch banana bread pan.
  2. In medium bowl, sift flour mix, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt; whisk to combine.
  3. In mixer bowl, mix eggs, sugar and coconut oil 2 minutes on medium-low speed.
  4. Scrape vanilla bean and add to mixture. Add vegan yogurt and mashed bananas; mix 2 minutes on medium-low speed.
  5. Remove bowl from mixer and fold 1 cup raw pecan pieces into batter until evenly distributed.
  6. Add batter to banana bread pan and use spatula to smooth down top. Sprinkle additional pecan pieces on top.
  7. Bake banana bread on top rack 60 minutes until toothpick comes out with few crumbs but not completely clean.
  8. Remove from oven and allow to cool 10 minutes in pan. Hold sides of pan and flip onto wire rack.
  9. Allow bread to cool completely. Slice as desired.

Source:  American Pecan Council

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