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

Meal Ideas 12 December 2019

Winter Warm-Up

Recipes and Tips Rooted in Goodness

(Family Features) When cold weather hits, it’s natural to seek comfort in a variety of forms: warm blankets, layers of sweaters and delicious, hearty meals. Winter is the perfect season for spending time indoors honing cooking skills to take your culinary creations to the next level.

Opt for Seasonal Produce

While the days of peaches and watermelons may be over, dropping temperatures bring a slew of seasonal produce made for cool-weather cooking. Think winter squash, apples, root vegetables and cauliflower. Try using a seasonal food guide to learn what produce is in season in any state at any time of the year. Cooking with seasonal produce helps ensure your food is in peak form at its most nutritional and flavorful state.

Find more winter recipes at farmtoforksauce.com

Simple Recipes for Shorter Days

With less daylight hours during the winter, many people tend to get sleepy earlier. Quick weeknight dinner recipes are usually ideal, especially when they take only 30 minutes or so to prepare. Easy dishes are perfect for those nights when you want something savory and delicious, but you also want to get into pajamas and onto the nearest couch as soon as possible. Few things are better than a warm bowl full of flavor like this taste-tempting curry recipe bursting with caramelized onion and roasted garlic notes.

Chickpea, Spinach and Coconut Curry

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          tablespoon ginger, freshly grated
  • 3          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          large yellow onion, chopped
  • 1          tablespoon turmeric
  • 2          teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon crushed red pepper, plus additional, to taste
  • 1          can (29 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1          jar (24 ounces) FarmToFork Caramelized Onion & Roasted Garlic Sauce
  • 1          can (15 ounces) light coconut milk
  • 4          cups baby spinach
  • 1/2       cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt, stirred
  • 1/2       cup cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 2          naan flatbreads, toasted and sliced
  1. In large skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil, ginger, garlic, onions, turmeric, salt and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Cook 6-8 minutes, or until onions begin to brown, stirring frequently. Add chickpeas, sauce and coconut milk; cook 3-4 minutes, or until heated through. Add spinach; cover with lid. Simmer 3-4 minutes, or until spinach is wilted. Mix well.
  2. Spoon mixture into six serving bowls and top each with spoonful of yogurt, pinch of cilantro and additional crushed red pepper, to taste. Serve with flatbread slices.

The Perks of Passive Cooking

Wintry weekends call for warming meals that bring an extra sensation of coziness through the wafting aroma of slow-cooked dishes. Wintertime is the perfect season to break out your slow cooker or put your stove on low heat and let fragrant dishes such as Savory Harissa-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables simmer slowly and fill your home with enticing smells.

Savory Harissa-Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1/3       cup harissa paste, divided
  • 1/3       cup olive oil, divided
  • 1          large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick slivers
  • 1          small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1          jar (24 ounces) FarmToFork Marinara Sauce, divided
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3/4       teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3/4       teaspoon ground black pepper, divided
  • 6          bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 2 pounds)
  • 1          pound rainbow carrots, trimmed and peeled
  • 1          lemon, juice only, divided
  • 1/4       cup finely chopped fresh herbs such as dill, mint or cilantro, divided
  • 1 1/2    cups plain Greek yogurt
  1. Heat oven to 425° F. In large bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons harissa and 2 tablespoons oil. Add onions and cauliflower; toss to combine. Spread vegetable mixture in single layer on 17-by-12-inch foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  2. In same bowl, whisk remaining harissa, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 cup marinara sauce, cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken; toss with tongs until well coated. Arrange chicken atop vegetables on baking sheet. Bake 50-55 minutes, or until chicken is deep golden brown and internal temperature reaches 165° F.
  3. Use vegetable peeler to create long ribbons of carrots. In bowl, toss carrots with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons chopped herbs and remaining oil, salt and pepper. In separate bowl, mix yogurt, remaining lemon juice and remaining herbs.
  4. Serve each chicken thigh with roasted vegetables, dollop of herbed yogurt, carrot mixture and 1/4 cup warmed marinara sauce.

Find Comfort in Your Favorite Foods

Almost nothing beats pasta and sauce on a chilly night. When craving warm and filling meals during winter, a quality, jarred pasta sauce like FarmToFork can add simple goodness to hearty dishes like Gnocchi with Hearty Mushroom Bolognese. Made with sustainably grown, vine-ripened tomatoes and fresh garlic, basil and onions, the sauce brings rich, distinctive flavor to a variety of cool-weather favorites from traditional pasta recipes to soups and oven bakes. During the season of giving, comfort and warmth can also be found in doing good for others, which is why FarmToFork supports Big Green, a national nonprofit organization that partners with low-income schools around the country to bring garden-based learning and food literacy curriculums to children.

Gnocchi with Hearty Mushroom Bolognese

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          yellow onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1          carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 2          ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 2          cloves garlic
  • 3          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2          pounds button, cremini or portobello mushrooms
  • 1          jar (24 ounces) FarmToFork Marinara Sauce
  • 3          tablespoons butter
  • 1          pound refrigerated or frozen gnocchi
  • 1/2       cup pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • 1/4       cup Italian parsley, coarsely chopped
  1. In food processor, pulse onions, carrots, celery and garlic until finely chopped. In large pot over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add chopped vegetables, salt and pepper. Cook 10 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.
  2. In food processor, pulse mushrooms until coarsely chopped. Add to large pot with vegetables. Cook 10-12 minutes, or until most liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally. Stir in marinara sauce and butter.
  3. Cook gnocchi according to package directions; drain. Add to sauce mixture; mix gently. Sprinkle with cheese and parsley.

Source:  FarmToFork

Meal Ideas 22 November 2019

A Chef’s Advice for Stress-Free Holiday Cooking

(Family Features) How many times have you heard someone say they’ve slaved away in the kitchen all day? Stress in the kitchen can easily arise for a variety of reasons, especially when you’re strapped for time and have a never-ending to-do list.

As a survivor of Gordon Ramsay’s MasterChef competition, Caitlin Meade – a top 4 finalist on season 8 – understands the pressure all too well. To decrease the stress and make your hosting experience more enjoyable, consider putting these tips from Chef Meade into practice.

Prep Before You Begin
Practice the “mise en place” method – a French term alluding to having everything in place before cooking. Measure ingredients, chop vegetables and prepare utensils to create a steady workflow.

Plan in Advance – Like a Chef
Prep the main dish the night before, have easy appetizers assembled ahead of guests’ arrival and outsource sides to family and friends.

Save Money by Getting Spicy
Before it’s time to cook, pre-make spices. Since many store-bought blends can be overpriced, this is a way to save both time and money while personalizing your own flavors.

Save Table Wine for Drinking & Use Cooking Wine
A secret ingredient and important pantry staple for Chef Meade, cooking wine is perfect for when she needs to make a pan sauce or add flavor. It’s even saved her from having to open a nice bottle of table wine, as most recipes call for less than a cup. An option like Holland House Cooking Wines delivers consistent, bold flavor while standing up to high temperatures. Available in Sherry, Marsala, Red and White, there are plenty of flavor-boosting options that will have your friends and family wondering what your secret ingredient is.

Create Your Own Stock
Many recipes call for chicken stock. One way to save money and time at the store is to create your own. Save any leftover poultry carcasses, wing tips, neck and bones. Add onion peels, celery tips, carrot tops and other vegetable scraps in the freezer. When you’re ready to make a batch, fill a large pot with the leftovers, cover with water, bring to a boil and simmer 1-2 hours for stock that can last up to one year.

For more stress-free holiday recipes, visit hollandhouseflavors.com.

Spinach Feta and Artichoke Dip

Recipe courtesy of Cate Meade
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Servings: 10-12

  •             Nonstick cooking spray
  • 3          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          package (12 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and excess liquid drained
  • 2          cans (14 ounces each) whole artichokes, drained and chopped
  • 1          can (8 ounces) sliced water chestnuts, drained and chopped
  • 1 1/4    cups low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4       cup feta cheese, crumbled, plus additional for garnish
  • 1 1/4    cups low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4       teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2       cup Holland House White Cooking Wine
  • 1          package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Garnishes (optional): feta cheese, roasted red peppers
  1. Grease 6-8-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In slow cooker, mix garlic, spinach, artichokes, water chestnuts, mozzarella, feta, yogurt and red pepper flakes.
  3. In a small saucepan over medium heat, simmer cooking wine 3 minutes. Stir in cream cheese and turn off heat.
  4. Transfer cream cheese and wine mixture to slow cooker; add salt and pepper, to taste, and stir to combine ingredients.
  5. Cook on low for two hours.
  6. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with feta and roasted red peppers, if desired.

 

White Hominy Chicken Chili

Recipe courtesy of Cate Meade
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 4 hours
Servings: 8

  • 2          tablespoons olive or avocado oil
  • 2          medium yellow onions, diced
  • 1 1/4    pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1          packet of white chili seasoning
  • 1          cup Holland House White Cooking Wine
  • 1          jar (16 ounces) chunky salsa verde
  • 4          cups unsalted vegetable stock
  • 1          can (16 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1          large poblano or green pepper, diced
  • 1          bag (10 ounces) frozen fire-roasted corn
  • 1          can (29 ounces) white hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 3          tablespoons cornmeal (optional)

Toppings recommendations: Lime wedges, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips, jalapenos

  1. Turn slow cooker on low; add oil, onions and chicken. Distribute chili seasoning evenly over chicken and onions.
  2. Add cooking wine, salsa verde and chicken stock.
  3. Cover and cook 3 hours.
  4. Remove chicken and allow to rest, covered, for 15 minutes before shredding.
  5. Add beans, peppers, corn and hominy to slow cooker. For thicker consistency, add cornmeal, if desired. Cook on high 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add shredded chicken back to slow cooker and serve with lime wedges, avocado, cilantro, sour cream, cheese, tortilla chips and jalapenos, if desired.

Source: Holland House

Meal Ideas 31 October 2019

A Grape Sensation

Delicious seasonal dishes for a happy holiday

(Family Features) By incorporating versatile ingredients into your holiday cooking, you can make a vast array of tasty seasonal goodies.

For example, California grapes are abundant throughout the holiday season and add taste and visual appeal to dishes of all kinds, such as Seared Salmon with Spinach and Grapes, Grape Caprese Salad Hors d’ Oeuvres, Grapes in Rosé Wine Sauce and Wild Rice Stuffing with Grapes and Hazelnuts. Plus, they’re an easy, fresh, healthy snack to keep on-hand for hungry guests waiting for the meal. With their natural beauty, grapes can also be used to create tablescapes and centerpieces for festive holiday settings.

5 Tips for Healthier Holidays

With filling meals and tempting desserts at every corner, it can be difficult to keep nutrition in mind during the holidays. However, these simple tricks can help keep you stay on track, while still enjoying the best that the season has to offer.

  • Eat a healthy snack, like grapes with hummus and crackers, before parties to avoid arriving hungry.
  • Bring fresh fruit to potlucks and holiday parties for a crowd-pleasing, healthy offering.
  • Alternate high-calorie beverages with water.
  • Create a party platter that assembles an array of healthy nibbles, such as fresh grapes, nuts, sliced veggies with a healthy dip, seasoned popcorn and olives.
  • Practice portion control to avoid overindulging despite the bounty of homemade dishes from loved ones.

Find holiday recipe inspiration at grapesfromcalifornia.com


Seared Salmon with Spinach and Grapes

Servings: 4

  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1          teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1          teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  • 4          salmon steaks or fillets (6 ounces each)
  • 2          teaspoons honey
  • 3          teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 1          large bunch spinach, washed and stemmed
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 2          cups red California seedless grapes, halved
  • 1/2       cup dry red wine
  1. Heat oven to 325° F.
  2. In small bowl, combine salt, mustard, thyme and pepper. Drizzle salmon fillets with honey and sprinkle with seasoning. Reserve any remaining seasoning.
  3.  
  4. In nonstick skillet or saute pan, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil. Brown both sides of salmon fillets over medium-high heat, about 4 minutes per side.
  5. In baking dish, toss spinach and garlic with remaining olive oil. Place browned salmon on bed of spinach, cover loosely with aluminum foil and bake 8-10 minutes, or until salmon is just cooked through.
  6. In skillet used to brown salmon, over medium-high heat saute grapes 1 minute. Add wine, bring to boil and reduce quantity by half. Season sauce to taste with remaining herb mixture.
  7. Serve salmon on wilted spinach topped with grape and wine sauce.

Nutritional information per serving: 449 calories; 36 g protein; 20 g carbohydrates; 23 g fat; 45% calories from fat; 4.3 g saturated fat; 9% calories from saturated fat; 100 mg cholesterol; 730 mg sodium; 1,120 mg potassium; 1.6 g fiber.

Grape Caprese Salad Hors d’ Oeuvres

Servings: 24

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • high-quality, aged balsamic vinegar
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 24        decorative bamboo skewers
  • 24        red seedless California grapes
  • 24        fresh basil leaves
  • 24        small, fresh mozzarella balls
  • sea salt
  1. On serving plate or platter, drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar, as desired. Sprinkle with pepper.
  2. To assemble skewers: On each skewer, add one red grape, one small basil leaf and one ball fresh mozzarella.
  3. Lay skewers on serving platter and sprinkle with dash of sea salt.

Nutritional information per serving: 44 calories; 2.5 g protein; 1 g carbohydrates; 3 g fat; 64% calories from fat; 11 mg cholesterol; 20 mg sodium; .07 g fiber.

Grapes in Rosé Wine Sauce

Servings: 4

  • 1 1/2    cups rosé wine
  • 1/2       cup sugar
  • 1/2       vanilla bean, split
  • 1          pinch salt
  • 3          cups halved red, green or black California grapes
  1. In large skillet, bring wine, sugar, vanilla bean and salt to boil, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Stir in grapes and let cool.
  2. Serving suggestion: Pour warm grapes over creme fraiche or vanilla ice cream.

Nutritional information per serving: 250 calories; 0 g protein; 49 g carbohydrates; 0 g fat (0% calories from fat); 0 g saturated fat (0% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 55 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.

Wild Rice Stuffing with Grapes and Hazelnuts

Servings: 12

  • 2          cans (28 fluid ounces total) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1          cup wild rice
  • 4          slices bacon, diced
  • 1          tablespoon butter, unsalted
  • 1          large onion, diced
  • 2          stalks celery, diced
  • 1 1/2    cups button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2          cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1          teaspoon fresh thyme, minced
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 1/4       cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1          cup hazelnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 2          cups California seedless grapes, picked from stem and rinsed
  1. In heavy saucepan, bring chicken broth to boil. Add wild rice and stir. Cover pan and reduce heat to low. Let simmer 1 hour until rice is tender and has popped open.
  2. In frying pan over medium heat, cook bacon until almost crisp, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Add butter to bacon pan then add onions, celery, mushrooms, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat 5-7 minutes until onions are translucent.
  4. Remove from heat and fold in parsley, hazelnuts and grapes.
  5. Add rice with any remaining liquid to frying pan and toss well to combine.

Nutritional information per serving: 166 calories; 5.4 g protein; 21 g carbohydrates; 8 g fat; 40% calories from fat; 1.4 g saturated fat; 8% calories from saturated fat; 5 mg cholesterol; 126 mg sodium; 2.6 g fiber.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

Beverages 22 July 2019

5 Easy Summer Recipes for Kids to Enjoy

Save time by creating quick recipes made with nutritious, fresh milk 

(Family Features) Summer is busy, so a helping of no-cook options, especially those you can make in advance, are welcomed by many home chefs. When you shop online for groceries and include fresh, cold milk in your basket, you can make every second of summer count.

When you mix summer favorites with real dairy milk, you serve nutrients your kids need with the flavors they love. Try these five flavorful recipes that feature fresh milk so you can “breakfast and chill” with your kids this summer.

For more summer recipe inspiration, visit milklife.com. Next time you shop on Amazon Fresh or Instacart, be sure to add fresh, cold milk to your cart.

Creamy Green Goddess Smoothie Drink your vegetables with this take on your favorite salad that kids love, too. The goodness of this Green Goddess Smoothie starts with fresh milk mixed with avocado, spinach, banana and pineapple.

Acai Bowl You’ll say “ahh” to acai when you blend a batch of this antioxidant-rich Brazilian berry with ice-cold, fresh milk and top your bowl with coconut, granola and fresh fruit.

Creamy Vanilla Berry Ice Pops   These Creamy Vanilla Berry Ice Pops are perfect for breakfast or as a snack. This recipe includes farm-fresh milk and in-season berries, so this homemade option is a more nutritious option than store-bought ice pops. 

Berry Berry Smoothie There’s a reason not to mess with the classics – almost everyone loves them. For an easy and delicious summertime smoothie, simply mix ice-cold milk with fresh berries, honey and vanilla. This chilled combination can satisfy even the pickiest palates.

Super Food Smoothie Fresh ingredients, including cold milk, make this smoothie super tasty, super fast and super easy. Blend blueberries and bananas with your pantry staples, including honey and vanilla extract, for a tall, frosty glass of delicious.

Source: MilkPEP

Meal Ideas 19 July 2019

3 Tips to Add Some Love to the Lunchbox

(Family Features) The school year can be an exciting time for parents and children alike. However, between getting ready and rushing to get out the door, making a nutritious and delicious lunch can sometimes fall by the wayside.

Whether preparing meals the night before or using quick and easy ingredients to help cut back on prep time, make the most of your kids' lunches and add a little personalized touch to give them comfort as they transition back to school.

Try these tips, tricks and ideas to help you put a smile on your children's faces and give you some peace of mind during the busy back-to-school season.

Prepare the Night Before
School mornings can get hectic. Recipes like these Spinach Ham Rollups or Ham Sandwich and Veggie Bento Box are perfect, nutritious meals to prepare the evening before, allowing you to spend more time with your little ones before they leave for school.

Incorporate Easy-to-Use Ingredients
When you're crunched for time, hardly anything can beat an easy-to-make lunch. Keeping high-quality, flavorful and versatile ingredients on-hand like Farmer John Sliced Ham or Turkey can help you make something different each day and pack your way to a better lunchbox in a matter of minutes.

Add a Handwritten Note
With everyone in the family juggling activities and busy schedules during the school year, a heartfelt message can be a nice surprise. A short message wishing your children a good day, or a simple note of love and appreciation can give them a piece of home while they're away.

For more quick, easy recipes for back-to-school season and beyond, visit farmerjohn.com.

Spinach Ham Rollups

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1 container (8 ounces) chive and onion cream cheese spread
  • 6 spinach tortillas
  • 1 package Farmer John Black Forest Ham
  • 12 leaves lettuce
  • 12 thin tomato slices
  1. Spread cream cheese on each tortilla.
  2. Layer two lettuce leaves, two tomato slices and two ham slices on each tortilla.
  3. Roll tortillas; wrap in plastic. Refrigerate until serving time.
  4. When ready to serve, remove plastic wrap. Cut each rollup into four servings.

Ham Sandwich and Veggie Bento Box

Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 3 slices Farmer John Classic Cooked Ham
  • 1 slice cheese
  • 2 slices bread
  • 1/4 cup carrots
  • 1/2 cup grapes
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 3 strawberries
  1. Layer ham and cheese on bottom bread slice to assemble sandwich.
  2. Use cookie cutter or knife to cut sandwich into desired shape. Place sandwich in larger section of bento box.
  3. Add carrots, grapes, blueberries and strawberries to remaining spaces in bento box.

Source: Farmer John

About Us

We love cooking, eating, and connecting with people from around the world.

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.