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

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 25 June 2018

Good-for-You Meals with Grape Taste

(Family Features) When it comes to balancing heart-healthy meals with appealing flavors, it’s important to lean on nutritious ingredients that pack mouthwatering taste. For example, grapes are a delicious yet subtle way to incorporate a little something extra into your diet while adding a juicy burst of flavor.

Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – can be enjoyed as a ready-to-eat, on-the-go food anytime and anywhere. Grapes are also a healthy choice, as they’re a natural source of antioxidants and other polyphenols, and contain no fat and virtually no sodium.

Because of their versatility, heart-healthy grapes can also be used as an ingredient to add fresh appeal, vibrant color and a light touch of sweetness to almost any dish, like Roasted Cod with Fennel and Grapes or Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Grapes. For something quick and nutritious featuring fresh fruits and vegetables, try this Vegetarian Poke Bowl with tofu, fresh grapes, avocado and crunchy, raw beets and carrots.

Grape Goodness for Healthy Aging

In addition to helping maintain heart health, grapes may also play a role in healthy aging. A review of the science linking the consumption of grapes to health highlights grapes’ potential to impact many areas of health, according to research published in “Grapes and Health: A Monograph.” The evidence that grapes support heart health is well-established, and emerging research in other areas of health suggests that grapes’ ability to promote antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities at the cellular level may also play a protective role in eye, brain and joint health, among others.

Find more recipes to make healthy eating easy at GrapesfromCalifornia.com.

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Vegetarian Poke Bowl

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 5          cups cooked brown or white jasmine rice
  • 2          packages (6 ounces each) extra-firm tofu, cubed
  • 2          cups red California grapes, halved
  • 1          avocado, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1          large golden beet, peeled and shredded
  • 1          large carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 2          scallions, thinly sliced
  • sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds
  • 6          ounces light Asian ginger-sesame salad dressing
  1. Divide rice between four bowls and arrange tofu, grapes, avocado, beets and carrots on top. Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds; serve with dressing.

Nutritional information per serving: 620 calories; 19 g protein; 101 g carbohydrates; 17 g fat (25% calories from fat); 2.5 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 450 mg sodium; 11 g fiber.

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Roasted Cod with Fennel and Grapes

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

  • 1          pound cod loin, cut into four equal pieces
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1          tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4       teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1          tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon orange juice
  • 1          tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1          teaspoon honey
  • 1          tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
  • 1          medium fennel bulb, fronds removed, chopped and reserved
  • 1          cup red California grapes, halved
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Arrange cod pieces in baking dish.
  2. In small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil with lemon juice, orange zest, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Spoon mixture onto cod in equal amounts. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached.
  3. While cod is baking, in small bowl, combine remaining olive oil, remaining salt, pepper, vinegar, orange juice, shallot, coriander, honey and oregano; set aside. Halve and core fennel bulb then thinly slice and place in separate bowl. Add grapes and dressing; toss to combine.
  4. Serve cod topped with fennel and grape salad. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds.

Nutritional information per serving: 200 calories; 19 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 8 g fat (36% calories from fat); 1 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 45 mg cholesterol; 240 mg sodium; 2 g fiber.

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Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Grapes

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          large spaghetti squash
  • 1/3       cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2       cup chopped walnuts, divided
  • 2          cloves garlic
  • 2          cups packed basil leaves
  • 1          cup packed arugula
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/3       cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1          cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2    cups red California grapes, halved
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Using fork, poke shallow holes in skin of squash then brush with 1 tablespoon oil and place it, cut-side down, in rimmed baking dish. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until tender.
  2. To make pesto: In food processor, process 1/4 cup walnuts, garlic, basil, arugula, lemon juice and lemon zest until well chopped. Add remaining olive oil, Parmesan, salt and pepper; process until well blended.
  3. Once squash is done baking, remove from oven. Cool squash 5-10 minutes then, using fork, scrape inside flesh of squash, removing “spaghetti,” and place it in large bowl. Add pesto and beans to cooked squash and toss gently with tongs to combine. Divide equally into six bowls and top each with 1/4 cup grapes and 2 teaspoons chopped walnuts.

Nutritional information per serving: 290 calories; 7 g protein; 24 g carbohydrates; 20 g fat (62% calories from fat); 3 g saturated fat (9% calories from saturated fat); 5 mg cholesterol; 160 mg sodium; 6 g fiber.

Source:  California Table Grape Commission

Meal Ideas 31 May 2017

Big Flavor Recipes for Summer Get-Togethers

(Family Features) From patio potlucks to backyard barbecues, summer is the ultimate time to kick back and enjoy delicious food with your favorite people. If you’re looking to add big flavor to your warm-weather menu, get inspired by these recipes from celebrity chef Jose Garces.

For a taste of Southern cooking, pair Classic Cheddar Pierogies with a buttermilk ranch sauce in Garces’s Chicken-Fried Pierogies. Also enjoy a delicious twist on an Asian favorite by serving up Garces’s Szechuan-Style Pierogies featuring savory Garlic & Parmesan Pierogies, one of 16 different varieties from Mrs. T’s Pierogies, which are the perfect canvas for your favorite ingredients and spices.

For more recipe inspiration, visit MrsTsPierogies.com.

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Chicken-Fried Pierogies

Recipe courtesy of Chef Jose Garces

Flour Dredge:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground white peppercorn
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground dried sage
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Pierogies:

  • 1 box (16 ounces) Mrs. T’s Classic Cheddar Pierogies
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 cups flour dredge (recipe below)
  • canola oil
  • large kosher pickles, cut into round slices
  • ranch dressing
  1. To make flour dredge: In large mixing bowl, mix all flour dredge ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  2. To make pierogies: Bring large pot of water to boil. Place pierogies in boiling water until no longer frozen in center, about 2 minutes. Remove pierogies from water and cool in refrigerator 10 minutes.
  3. Place buttermilk, eggs and flour dredge in three separate bowls. One at a time, dip pierogies in buttermilk then in eggs and finally in flour dredge. Once all pierogies are dredged, fry in deep fryer at 350 F in canola oil, approximately 3 minutes until golden brown. Repeat flour dredge process with pickle slices and fry 3 minutes.
  4. To serve, place fried pierogies and pickles on serving plate. Serve with ranch.

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Szechuan-Style Pierogies

Recipe courtesy of Chef Jose Garces

  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons, vegetable oil, divided
  • 3 Arbol chilies
  • 1/4 cup Szechuan chili sauce
  • 4 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons, fresh minced ginger, divided
  • 2 tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon, garlic, minced (about 5 cloves), divided
  • 1/2 tablespoon Szechuan peppercorns, toasted and ground
  • 1/2 cup black bean garlic sauce
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced scallion (white parts only)
  • 1 cup ground pork
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 box (16 ounces) Mrs. T’s Garlic & Parmesan Pierogies
  • 1 tablespoon peeled edamame
  • 2 tablespoons firm tofu, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups bean sprouts
  1. Place 1/2 cup oil and chilies in saucepan. Cook over low heat 2 minutes, or until chilies turn brown. Remove chilies from oil and discard oil.
  2. Add Szechuan sauce to saucepan; cook 3 minutes. Add 4 tablespoons ginger, 2 tablespoons minced garlic and ground peppercorns; cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add black bean sauce and cook another 2 minutes. Add chicken stock and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 20 minutes. Reserve.
  3. In saute pan, heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add remaining ginger, remaining garlic and scallions; cook 1 minute. Add pork and cook 5 minutes, breaking up with wooden spoon. Add soy sauce and combine. Reserve.
  4. In saute pan, melt butter and remaining vegetable oil. Add pierogies and sear lightly, about 7 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Reserve.
  5. In large saute pan, combine Szechuan sauce, ground pork mixture, seared pierogies, edamame and tofu. Cook over medium-high heat until combined, about 2 minutes. Garnish with bean sprouts.

Source: Mrs. T's Pierogies

One Dish Meals 13 March 2017

Tofu Tikka Masala

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Tofu Tikka Masala

  • 5 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 gram jalapeno chile, chopped
  • 3 tablespoon cilantro, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 pound Wildwood Vacuum Pack Tofu
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped in 1-inch long thin slices
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 3-4 tablespoons plain or unsweetened yogurt
  • 1 cup Wildwood Plain Soymilk
  • Chopped cilantro (for garnish)
  1. In bowl, mix lemon juice, ginger, garlic, green chili, half of cilantro, chili powder, salt and tofu together; mix well and cover. Let marinate for an hour.
  2. In pan, heat oil and slowly add onions. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes on medium heat until translucent.
  3. Slowly add turmeric powder, yogurt, soy milk and remaining cilantro to the pain. Mix well for a few minutes until sauce thickens.
  4. Add tofu mixture into sauce and cook for 5 minutes on medium heat. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  5. Garnish with fresh cilantro and serve immediately with Indian Naan bread or heated rice.

Source: Wildwood Foods

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