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 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

Videos 13 August 2020

Green Slimesicles

(Family Features) Taking the fear out of trying unfamiliar produce is a simple way for parents to introduce children to fruits and veggies.

For example, these Green Slimesicles are a perfect way for kids to try spinach without even knowing it as it’s pureed with bananas and pineapple before freezing for a cool, refreshing treat.

Find more recipes and other not-so-scary fun at dole.com/Disney.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Green Slimesicles

Total time: 15 minutes
Yield: 6 slimesicles

  • 2          cups (about 1/2 package) packed DOLE® Spinach
  • 1 1/2    Dole Bananas
  • 1          cup chopped Dole Pineapple
  • 1/2       cup water
  • 1/2       teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In blender, puree spinach, bananas, pineapple, water and vanilla until smooth.
  2. Pour into six ice pop molds 1/3 cup each. Freeze 4-6 hours, or until firm.

Tips: For refreshing twist, add a few mint leaves before pureeing. If you don’t have ice pop molds, pour into two standard ice cube trays and insert wooden sticks after freezing about 1 hour.

Source:Dole

Seafood 12 June 2020

Add Seafood to Summer Meals

(Family Features) Grilled meals provide a summer escape for many families by offering opportunities to spend moments together while enjoying flavorful dishes. As Americans face uncertainty in many aspects of life, one place they should be able to turn to for normalcy is food.

One option that checks boxes including comfort, fun, taste and variety: seafood. As a nutritious protein available across the country, it is versatile and can be paired with a variety of cuisines and flavors. Options range from salmon and shrimp to crab, tuna and more.

To encourage hungry Americans to enjoy the many benefits of eating seafood, the “Eat Seafood America” campaign offers these reasons to add fish, shrimp and more to your menu:

  • Whether you order online, head to a store or purchase fresh from a local fisherman, seafood is widely available.
  • Seafood works for a variety of dishes and cooking methods, such as these recipes for Easy Shrimp Skewers, a light and hassle-free family meal, or Seared Salmon with Mediterranean Salsa, a fun spin on cowboy caviar.
  • Seafood provides essential nutrients that support immune health, such as omega-3s that may even help reduce anxiety, according to research published by “The Journal of the American Medical Association.”
  • Purchasing seafood supports 2 million American jobs for men and women who follow high levels of food safety practices to provide sustainable seafood.
  • Seafood offers an escape as a way for families to enjoy a favorite meal that reminds loved ones of vacation memories from oceanside paradises.

Find more ways to add seafood to your summer menu at eatseafoodamerica.com.

Easy Shrimp Skewers

Recipe courtesy of Annessa Chumbley, RDN, on behalf of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 5

  • 10        wooden skewers
  • water
  • 2          medium zucchinis, cut into large chunks
  • 2          medium bell peppers (any color), cut into large chunks
  • 2          red onions, cut into large chunks
  • 1          cup cherry tomatoes
  • 10-12   ounces cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails on
  • olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1          lemon, juice only
  1. In bowl, soak skewer sticks in water at least 10 minutes to prevent burning on grill). Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Build skewers by alternating zucchinis, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and shrimp, pushing ingredients closely together on each skewer. Brush each with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, to taste.
  3. Cook skewers about 9 minutes, rotating every 3 minutes until veggies and shrimp are seared but not overcooked. Remove and place on large platter.
  4. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve.

Seared Salmon with Mediterranean Salsa

Recipe courtesy of Annessa Chumbley, RDN, on behalf of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-6       salmon filets (each about 1-inch thick)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1          can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1          can quartered or chopped artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1          cup diced cucumber
  • 1          cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3       cup diced red onion
  • 1/2       cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1          handful fresh spinach, chopped
  • balsamic glaze
  1. In skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Sear salmon filets 4 minutes. Sprinkle tops of each salmon filet with sea salt, to taste. Flip and cook 4 minutes until barely done. Remove to serving platter.
  2. In medium bowl, make salsa by gently folding together chickpeas, artichoke hearts, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, feta and spinach. Sprinkle with sea salt, to taste. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and spoon salsa over each salmon filet.
  3. Refrigerate leftover salsa.

Source: Seafood Nutrition Partnership

Videos 16 April 2020

Spinach-Ham Dip

(Culinary.net) Perfect for afternoon snacking or as an appetizer, this Spinach-Ham Dip is warmed inside a bread bowl and can be served with bread cubes, crackers or tortilla chips.

Find more snack ideas at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Spinach-Ham Dip

  • 2          cups ricotta cheese
  • 1          cup sour cream
  • 1          package (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/4       pound ham, cubed
  • 3/4       cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2          green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1          round bread loaf (16 ounces), unsliced
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In medium bowl, blend ricotta cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add spinach, ham, Parmesan cheese and green onions; mix until blended.
  3. Cut 1-2-inch diameter circle out of top of bread loaf. Reserve top. Remove bread inside loaf, leaving about 1 inch along sides. Pour cheese mixture into bread bowl. Replace top. Cover bread loaf in aluminum foil and bake 60 minutes, or until warmed through.
  4. Take bread removed from inside bread bowl and cut into dipping sized chunks.
  5. Remove bread from aluminum foil and place on platter. Scatter bread chunks around bread bowl to use for dunking in cheese sauce.
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

Breakfast & Brunch 02 March 2020

Seasonal Brunch Ideas with an Original Farm-to-Table Ingredient

(Family Features) Brunch with family and friends can be a treat any time of the year, but spring’s fresh, seasonal ingredients and warmer days practically beg loved ones to gather for the morning meal.

These cute, kid-friendly Bunny Oatmeal and Easy Egg Casserole recipes are simple and made with real foods like milk, bringing richness and flavor, and ingredients you can feel good serving to kids.

Whether it’s skim milk for lighter lattes with friends, 2% milk to wash down birthday cake or strawberry milk for a sweet celebration surrounding the game-winning goal, milk’s already a part of the foods – and meaningful moments – that matter.

For more kid-friendly, seasonal recipe ideas, visit milklife.com.

Bunny Oatmeal

Recipe courtesy of Tiffany Edwards of Creme de la Crumb on behalf of Milk Life
Servings: 1

  • 1/3       cup instant oats
  • 3/4       cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4       teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4       teaspoon vanilla
  • 1          teaspoon brown sugar
  • 2/3       small banana
  • 2          fresh blueberries
  • 1/2       small strawberry
  • chocolate syrup (optional)
  • 1          glass milk (8 ounces)
  1. In microwave-safe bowl, stir oats, milk, cinnamon, vanilla and brown sugar. Microwave on high 30-60 seconds and stir.
  2. Cut banana in half crosswise. Cut 1 1/8-inch thick coin slice from flat ends of each banana half. Place two banana slices in upper third of oatmeal bowl, side by side, to make eyes. Top each banana slice with one blueberry.
  3. Place remaining banana halves at top of bowl, hanging out, to create ears.
  4. Place strawberry in middle of bowl to make nose then drizzle chocolate, if desired, to make mouth and whiskers.
  5. Serve with 8-ounce glass of real milk for added nutrition.

Nutritional information per serving: 320 calories; 2 g fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 18 g protein; 59 g carbohydrates; 5 g fiber; 190 mg sodium; 550 mg calcium. Nutrition figures based on using fat-free milk and include 8-ounce glass of milk.  

Easy Egg Casserole

Recipe courtesy of Milk Life
Servings: 1

  •             Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          cup lean ham, cubed
  • 1          cup frozen seasoned potatoes with fresh onions and peppers
  • 3/4       cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1/2       cup low-fat cheddar or Swiss cheese, shredded
  • 6          eggs
  • 3/4       cup fat-free milk
  • 1          glass milk (8 ounces)
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Lightly coat 8-by-8-inch casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. In bottom of casserole dish, arrange ham, potatoes, spinach and cheese.
  2. In large bowl, beat eggs and milk. Pour mixture over ingredients in casserole dish. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffed.
  3. Serve with 8-ounce glass of real milk for added nutrition.

Nutritional information per serving: 350 calories; 9 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 350 mg cholesterol; 32 g protein; 34 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 630 mg sodium; 500 mg calcium. Nutrition figures based on using fat-free milk and include 8-ounce glass of milk.

Source:  MilkPEP

Meal Ideas 24 February 2020

Make Cents of a Healthy Diet

(Family Features) One of the great myths of healthy eating is that it’s expensive. Making healthier choices can actually save you money when you know how to shop smart.

To help encourage healthier communities, the American Heart Association and Aramark have simple tips to keep in mind as you seek out affordable, nutritious and tasty food options for your family:

  • Shop with a plan in mind. Taking a list to the store helps limit impulse purchases, but it’s OK to make smart swaps while shopping if items you’d normally use are on sale.
  • Consider your fruit and veggie options. Locally grown, seasonal fruits and vegetables are often reasonably priced for recipes like this Mediterranean Chicken and Grain Bowl. Canned and frozen options, meanwhile, can be just as nutritious as fresh options.
  • Cook once, eat twice. Choose recipes that make enough food to enjoy fresh for one meal and as leftovers later, such as this four-serving Curry-Spiced Tofu with Asian Vegetables.
  • Buy in bulk. Look for items with long shelf lives like whole grains and non-perishables such as canned beans and vegetables.
  • Focus on dishes with limited, common ingredients. They are easy to prepare and allow you to avoid purchasing items like rarely used spices.
  • Develop a budget. Assess your current food expenses each week. Multiply by the number of weeks that month to find your monthly food budget and determine if this fits with your other monthly expenses.

Find more recipes and tips to make healthy meals more affordable at fyp365.com or heart.org/healthyforlife.

Mediterranean Chicken and Grain Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Aramark
Servings: 6

  • 8          ounces farro or brown rice
  • 6          cups spinach, stems removed
  • 1 1/2    cups diced seedless cucumbers
  • 1 1/2    diced tomatoes
  • 6          thin slices red onion   
  • 3          cups cauliflower florets
  • 3/4       cup balsamic vinaigrette
  • 3          cups cooked skinless chicken breast, visible fat discarded
  • 6          tablespoons fat-free or low-fat crumbled feta cheese
  • 3          tablespoons kalamata olives
  1. Cook farro according to package instructions.
  2. On serving plate, place 1/2 cup farro. Around farro, arrange 1 cup spinach; 1/4 cup cucumber; 1/4 cup tomatoes; 1 slice red onion, separated into rings; and 1/2 cup cauliflower.
  3. Drizzle balsamic vinaigrette over salad. Top with 1/2 cup chicken and garnish with 1 tablespoon feta cheese and 1 1/2 teaspoons olives. Repeat with additional servings. 

Nutritional information per serving: 342 calories; 12 g total fat; 52 mg cholesterol; 551 mg sodium; 35 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 8 g sugars; 25 g protein.

Curry-Spiced Tofu with Asian Vegetables

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association
Servings: 4

  • 12        ounces light, extra-firm tofu, drained and patted dry, cut into four slices
  • 1          tablespoon, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons, curry powder, divided
  • 12        ounces packaged fresh stir-fry vegetables
  • 1          tablespoon water
  • 2          teaspoons canola oil
  • 1          teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1          large onion, cut into 3/4-inch wedges
  • 4          large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4       cup light coconut milk
  • 1/4-1/2             teaspoon chili garlic sauce
  1. Put tofu on large plate. Sprinkle tofu on both sides with 1 tablespoon curry powder.
  2. In large microwaveable bowl, microwave vegetables and water on high 2-3 minutes, or until vegetables are almost tender-crisp. Pour off remaining water.
  3. In large nonstick skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat bottom. Cook tofu in single layer 3-4 minutes on each side, or until browned. Transfer to separate large plate. Cover loosely to keep warm.
  4. In same skillet, heat sesame oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat bottom. Cook onion 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  5. Stir in vegetables and garlic. Cook 1-2 minutes, or until vegetables are tender-crisp, stirring constantly.
  6. Stir in coconut milk, chili garlic sauce and remaining curry powder. Bring to boil over medium-high heat. Spoon vegetable mixture over tofu.

Nutritional information per serving: 151 calories; 6.5 g total fat; 86 mg sodium; 14 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 4 g sugars; 10 g protein.

Source: American Heart Association/Aramark

Meal Ideas 17 February 2020

Raspberry Goodness from Morning to Night

(Family Features) From breakfasts to salads, desserts and beyond, fruit is unique in its ability to add both flavor and nutrition to family-favorite dishes. As you look for ways to incorporate produce in your family’s recipes, consider an option with a sweet-tart flavor and eye-catching color: red raspberries.

In the cool, marine climate of the Pacific Northwest, Washington state produces approximately 90% of the nation’s frozen red raspberry crop. Picked at the peak of ripeness and frozen within hours of being harvested, flavor and nutrition are locked in to offer convenience and consistent quality out of the freezer section at most grocery stores, perfect for better-for-you desserts like Pecan-Topped Raspberry Cake and Red Raspberry Whole-Fruit Sorbet.

With a distinct flavor that works well in dishes from sweet to savory, red raspberries can add bright flavor and balance to recipes ranging from salads like Spinach and Frisee Salad with Raspberry Pickled Onions and Raspberry Vinaigrette to a morning meal such as this Raspberry Coconut Smoothie Bowl. Plus, 1 cup of the flavorful red fruit includes just 80 calories and contains 6 grams of fiber while providing 28% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant.

Find more recipes at redrazz.org

Raspberry Coconut Smoothie Bowl

Servings: 2

  • 2          cups frozen raspberries
  • 1          large frozen banana
  • 2/3       cup light coconut milk
  • 1          tablespoon chia seeds

Toppings (optional):

  • shredded coconut
  • shaved dark chocolate
  • hazelnuts
  • chia seeds
  • edible flowers
  1. In blender, puree raspberries, banana, coconut milk and chia seeds until smooth. Mixture will be thick; ingredients may need pushed down to get blender going. If necessary, add more coconut milk.
  2. Pour into two bowls. Garnish each with shredded coconut, shaved dark chocolate, hazelnuts, chia seeds and edible flowers, if desired.

Red Raspberry Whole-Fruit Sorbet

Servings: 8 (1/2 cup each)

  • 4          tablespoons powdered sugar
  • 18        ounces frozen raspberries
  • 1 egg white, pasteurized
  1. In blender, blend sugar and frozen raspberries until smooth.
  2. Add egg white and blend 30 seconds.
  3. Serve immediately or place in container, cover and store in freezer.

Spinach and Frisee Salad with Raspberry Pickled Onions and Raspberry Vinaigrette

Servings: 4

Raspberry Vinegar:

  • 1          cup frozen raspberries
  • 2          cups vinegar

Raspberry Pickled Onions:

  • 1/2       cup Raspberry Vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons sugar
  • 2          teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1          pound sweet onions, peeled and julienned
  • 1          cup frozen raspberries, partially thawed

Raspberry Vinaigrette:

  • 1          cup Raspberry Vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon fresh shallot, peeled and minced
  • 2          teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2       tablespoon honey
  • 1/2       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4       cup olive oil

Spinach and Frisee Salad:

  • 8          ounces baby spinach, cleaned and dried
  • 8          ounces frisee lettuce, cleaned, dried and torn
  • 2          ounces Raspberry Vinaigrette
  • 6          ounces Raspberry Pickled Onions
  • 2          ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 ounces almonds, slivered and toasted
  1. To make Raspberry Vinegar: In clean glass container, combine frozen raspberries and vinegar; cover tightly. Refrigerate 3-7 days prior to use.
  2. Pour vinegar through fine strainer or cheesecloth-lined strainer into clean glass container. Cover container tightly and store in refrigerator. Discard raspberries.
  3. To make Raspberry Pickled Onions: In medium, non-reactive container, combine Raspberry Vinegar, oil, sugar and salt. Stir to dissolve sugar. Add onions and raspberries. Toss well to blend and coat onions.
  4. To make Raspberry Vinaigrette: In blender, combine Raspberry Vinegar, shallot, Dijon mustard, honey and salt. With motor running, slowly add oil in steady stream. Reserve remaining Raspberry Vinegar.
  5. Once blended, pour Raspberry Vinaigrette into clean, non-reactive container; cover and reserve in refrigerator until ready to use.
  6. To make Spinach and Frisee Salad: In medium mixing bowl, combine spinach and lettuce. Add Raspberry Vinaigrette and toss well to coat.
  7. Plate 4 ounces mixed greens.
  8. Top mixed greens with 1 1/2 ounces Raspberry Pickled Onions, 1/2 ounce feta cheese crumbles and 1/2 ounce toasted almonds. Repeat with remaining greens, Raspberry Pickled Onions, feta cheese crumbles and toasted almonds.

Pecan-Topped Raspberry Cake

Servings: 8

  • 3/4       cup granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon, divided
  • 1/2       cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2          eggs
  • 1          cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1          teaspoon baking powder
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla
  • 1          bag (12 ounces) frozen raspberries
  • 1/2       cup chopped pecans
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon cinnamon
  • whipped cream
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. In bowl, cream 3/4 cup sugar and butter. Add eggs one at a time and continue beating until well incorporated. Add flour, baking powder and vanilla; beat well.
  3. Pour batter evenly into 9- or 10-inch prepared pan.
  4. Place frozen raspberries on top of batter. Sprinkle with pecans, remaining sugar, lemon juice and cinnamon.
  5. Bake about 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool.
  6. Serve with whipped cream.

Source: Washington Red Raspberry Commission

Meal Ideas 31 January 2020

All-Day Nutrition

Dairy-inspired, plant-based dishes to serve from morning to night

(Family Features) From cereal and milk to yogurt and fruit to broccoli and cheese, combining dairy with plant-based foods creates a superfood power couple that can help ensure you and your family are getting the nutrients you need any time of day.

With the rise in popularity of plant-based diets, dairy can help optimize nutrient absorption from plant foods and provide additional nutrients like high-quality protein, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. You can create delicious meals with the nutrition you need while enjoying the best of plants and dairy.

Combining dairy and plant-based foods can be easier with these dairy-powered recipes from Milk Means More. They are ideal for creating a nutritious and delicious plan for every meal throughout the day. Start with a Blueberry Apple Crisp Smoothie Bowl in the morning then build out your lunch or dinner plans around an appetizer like this traditional Middle Eastern Labneh Spread with grilled pita bread and assorted veggies. For the main course, try Lentil Tacos with Tangy Guacamole and a classic Moroccan staple, Creamy Couscous with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Cheese, on the side.

Find more recipes that combine the goodness of dairy and plant-based foods at milkmeansmore.org.

Creamy Couscous with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Cheese

Recipe courtesy of culinary dietitian Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1/2       cup chopped onion
  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 3          cups broccoli florets
  • 1          teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  • 3          cups fat-free, 2% or whole milk
  • 1 1/2    cups plain couscous (wheat pasta)
  • 1          cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1          cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2    cups seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • 2          tablespoons slivered fresh basil leaves
  1. In large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook onion in butter 2 minutes. Add broccoli, garlic and pepper. Cook and stir 2 minutes.
  2. Stir milk into broccoli mixture. Bring to boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Gently stir Parmesan cheese into couscous mixture. Spread on serving platter. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Top with tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.

Lentil Tacos with Tangy Guacamole

Recipe courtesy of culinary dietitian Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN
Prep time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

Tangy Guacamole:

  • 1          medium ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
  • 1          tablespoon orange, lime or lemon juice
  • 1/4       teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2       cup plain, fat-free Greek yogurt

Lentil Tacos:

  • 2 1/3    cups water
  • 1          cup dry brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2       cup finely chopped onion
  • 2          teaspoons chili powder
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2    cups seeded and chopped tomatoes, divided
  • 1 1/4    cups (5 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 12        yellow corn taco shells
  1. To make Tangy Guacamole: In small bowl, mash avocado, juice, hot pepper sauce and garlic.  Stir in yogurt. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
  2. To make Lentil Tacos: Heat oven to 400 F.
  3. In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine water, lentils, onion, chili powder, garlic and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover and gently boil 12-15 minutes, or until lentils are just tender. Uncover and boil 5-15 minutes, or until most liquid evaporates.
  4. Remove lentils from heat. Stir in 1 cup tomatoes and 3/4 cup cheese. Spoon into taco shells. Stand filled tacos in 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle tacos with remaining tomatoes and cheese. Loosely cover dish with foil. Bake 3-5 minutes, or until cheese melts.
  5. Stir guacamole. Serve with warm tacos.

Labneh Spread

Recipe courtesy of Jenn Fillenworth, MS, RDN of Jenny with the Good Eats
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 12        ounces whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          pinch sea salt, for garnish
  • fresh herbs, for garnish
  • pita bread, grilled
  • assorted seasonal vegetables
  1. In bowl, mix Greek yogurt, salt and lemon juice.
  2. Transfer mixture to fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.
  3. Wrap mixture in cheesecloth and strain over bowl in refrigerator 24-48 hours. Strain longer to make thicker.
  4. Once thickened as desired, remove from cheesecloth and top spread with olive oil, sea salt and fresh herbs.
  5. Serve with grilled pita bread and assorted seasonal vegetables.

Blueberry Apple Crisp Smoothie Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Rachel Gurk of Rachel Cooks
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1          cup frozen blueberries
  • 2          cups apples, roughly chopped, reserving 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 1          teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2       cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1          cup spinach
  • pure maple syrup, to taste
  • ice cubes (optional)

Toppings:

  • 2          tablespoons oats
  • 1          teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1          tablespoon pecans, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons reserved chopped apple
  • fresh blueberries
  1. In blender, blend blueberries, apples, cinnamon, yogurt and spinach until smooth. Taste and add maple syrup, to taste. If thicker mixture is desired, add ice cubes.
  2. Pour into bowl. Mix oats with maple syrup. Top smoothie mixture with oats, pecans, apples and blueberries.

Source: United Dairy Industry of Michigan

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