Meal Ideas 23 August 2019

Friday Night is Pizza Night

Just look at that Cheese and Sausage Tomato Pie. Sizzling sausage, melting mellow cheeses, tangy tomato and crispy, crunchy crust. Homemade pizza: the perfect way to end the work and school week.

Making your own pizza dough is a snap. Flour, yeast, water and oil mix together quickly. The dough rests for 10 minutes then you’re ready to roll.

Make individual pizzas like My Own Pizza with similar savory toppings. Try hearty Sausage-Pepper Calzones, and instead of leftover pizza, go for easy-to-make Sausage Breakfast Pizza, hot from the oven.

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Sausage-Pepper Calzones

Yield: 6 calzones

Dough:

  • 2-2 1/4             cups Pillsbury Best All-Purpose Flour, divided
  • 1/4       cup cornmeal
  • 1          envelope Fleischmann’s RapidRise Yeast
  • 3/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1          cup hot water (120-130 F)
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil

Sausage-Pepper Filling:

  • 1          package Jimmy Dean Fresh Sausage
  • 1 1/2    cups sliced bell pepper
  • 1          medium onion, sliced
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2    cups shredded Wisconsin mozzarella cheese
  • 1          cup shredded Wisconsin provolone cheese
  • olive oil
  • 1          teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  1. To make dough: In large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, cornmeal, undissolved yeast and salt. Stir water and oil into flour mixture. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
  2. Heat oven to 400° F.
  3. To make Sausage-Pepper Filling: In skillet, cook sausage over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Add bell pepper, onion and garlic; cook until tender, about 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently. Let cool. Stir in cheeses.
  4.  Divide dough into six equal pieces; roll each into 8-inch circle. Place about 1 cup Sausage-Pepper Filling on one half of each circle; moisten edges.
  5. Fold dough over filling; press with tines of fork to seal. Place on greased baking sheet. With sharp knife, make three 1-inch slits across top of each calzone. Brush top with olive oil. If desired, sprinkle with crushed red pepper.
  6. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until done. Serve warm.

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My Own Pizza

Yield: 16 individual pizzas

Dough:

  • 5 1/2-6             cups Pillsbury Best All-Purpose Flour, divided
  • 2          envelopes Fleischmann’s RapidRise Yeast
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons salt
  • 2          cups hot water (120-130 F)
  • 1/4       cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2    cups prepared pizza sauce
  • 1          package Jimmy Dean Fresh Sausage, cooked, crumbled and drained
  • sliced olives
  • tomatoes
  • peppers
  • 1          cup shredded Wisconsin mozzarella cheese
  • 1          cup shredded Wisconsin cheddar cheese
  1. In large bowl, combine 2 cups flour, undissolved yeast and salt. Gradually stir water and olive oil into flour mixture. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
  2. Heat oven to 400° F.
  3. On lightly floured surface, divide dough into 16 pieces. Form into smooth balls; roll into 7-inch circles. Place on greased baking sheets. Top with pizza sauce, sausage and vegetables.
  4. Sprinkle with cheeses.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

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Cheese and Sausage Tomato Pie

Yield: 1 (12-inch) pizza

Dough:

  • 2 1/2-3             cups Pillsbury Best All-Purpose Flour, divided
  • 1          tablespoon sugar
  • 1          envelope Fleischmann’s RapidRise Yeast
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons salt
  • 1          cup hot water (120-130 F)
  • 3          tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • 1          package Jimmy Dean Fresh Sausage Regular Flavor, cooked, crumbled and drained
  • 1 1/2    cups shredded Wisconsin mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2       cup shredded Wisconsin cheddar cheese
  • 1/2       cup shredded Wisconsin parmesan cheese
  • tomatoes (optional)
  • peppers (optional)
  • mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 1/4    cups prepared pizza sauce
  1. In large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt. Gradually add water and 2 tablespoons peanut oil to flour mixture.
  2. Using electric mixer, beat 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
  3. Heat oven to 450° F.
  4. Roll dough into 12-inch circle; place on greased 12-inch pizza pan or baking sheet. Form standing rim by pinching edges of dough; prick dough randomly with fork. Let rest 10 minutes. Bake 5 minutes. Remove from pan; place on wire cooling rack.
  5. Brush crust surface with remaining peanut oil; spread pizza sauce evenly on crust. Sprinkle with sausage; top with cheeses; add toppings as desired. Bake 10 minutes, or until crust is golden. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

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Sausage Breakfast Pizza

Yield: 1 (12-inch) pizza

Dough:

  • 2 1/2-3             cups Pillsbury Best All-Purpose Flour, divided
  • 1          tablespoon sugar
  • 1          envelope Fleischmann’s RapidRise Yeast
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons salt
  • 1          cup hot water (120-130 F)
  • 3          tablespoons peanut oil, divided
  • 1          package Jimmy Dean Fresh Sausage Regular Flavor, cooked, crumbled and drained
  • 1          cup frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 1          small bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1          cup shredded Wisconsin sharp cheddar cheese
  • 2          eggs, beaten
  • 1          tablespoon milk
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 2          tablespoons shredded Wisconsin parmesan cheese
  1. In large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, undissolved yeast and salt. Gradually add water and 2 tablespoons peanut oil to flour mixture.
  2. Using electric mixer, beat 2 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough. Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes. Cover; let rest 10 minutes.
  3. Heat oven to 450° F.
  4. Roll dough to 12-inch circle; place on greased 12-inch pizza pan or baking sheet. Form standing rim by pinching edges of dough; prick dough randomly with fork. Let rest 10 minutes. Bake 5 minutes. Remove from pan; place on wire cooling rack.
  5. Reset oven to 375° F. Return cooled crust to 12-inch pizza pan or baking sheet. Sprinkle sausage, potatoes, bell pepper and cheese over crust.
  6. In bowl, combine eggs, milk and seasonings; pour evenly over top.
  7. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until eggs are set.
  8. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

 

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Meal Ideas 21 March 2019

Bite Into A Better Burger

(Family Features) Summertime officially ushers in grilling season. There's no better way to celebrate the warm weather than at a backyard barbeque. Whether you're entertaining friends or cooking for your family, it's easy to make healthful choices at your next summer soirée.

When planning for an outdoor get-together, try better-for-you alternatives to traditional grilling fare. For example, serve fresh, seasonal grilled vegetables instead of potato chips. Once you've fired up the grill, try veggie burgers as an alternative to meat.
MorningStar Farms Grillers Original Veggie Burgers contain 57 percent less fat than regular ground beef.* So, it's not a burger - it's better!

Get your meatless barbeque started with an Alpine Burger. Or, if you're looking for a burger with a bit of a twist, consider making these Garden Veggie Deluxe Burgers or Spicy Tex-Mex Pita Burgers.

Once you're finished with the main course, grill pineapple and serve it over sherbet for dessert.

These simple substitutions are so delicious, your family and friends are sure to leave your next backyard party satisfied. For more recipes and fun food ideas, visit www.morningstarfarms.com.

*Regular ground beef contains 14g total fat per 64g serving. Grillers Original contain 6g fat per 64g serving.

Alpine Burger

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Time to Table: 25 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 3/4 cup sweet onions, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1 MorningStar Farms Grillers Original Burger
  • 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard or Dijon Mustard
  • 1 slice multigrain or whole wheat bread, toasted
  • 1/3 cup baby arugula
  • 1 tablespoon Gruyere cheese or Swiss cheese, shredded
  1. In large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook onions, covered, over medium-low heat for 16 to 20 minutes or until onions are very tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in mushrooms and garlic. Cook over medium heat, covered, for 4 to 6 minutes or until onions begin to brown and mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  2. Meanwhile, cook veggie burgers according to package directions.
  3. Spread mustard on one side of bread slice. Top with arugula (if desired). Place burger on arugula. Spoon onion mixture over burger.
    Sprinkle with cheese. Let stand for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve immediately.

Spicy Tex-Mex Pita Burgers

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Time to Table: 20 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 2 MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Veggie Burgers
  • 1 cup baby romaine lettuce or torn romaine lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 medium avocado, pitted, peeled, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons tomato salsa
  • 1 whole-wheat pita bread round
  • 4 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese with jalapeño peppers or Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers
  • 10 baked tortilla chips (optional)
  1. Cook burgers according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, toss together lettuce, mayonnaise, and cilantro until lettuce is evenly coated. In another bowl, stir together avocado and salsa.
  3. Cut pita bread across middle in half. Fill each half with lettuce mixture. Insert burgers. Add cheese and avocado mixture. Serve with tortilla chips, if desired.

Garden Veggie Deluxe Burgers

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Time to Table: 25 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 2 MorningStar Farms Garden Veggie Patties Veggie Burgers
  • 2 slices (1 1/2 ounces total) Provolone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise or regular mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 2 whole-wheat hamburger buns, split
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 2 slices red onion
  • 4 rings green or red bell pepper
  • Fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish (optional)
  1. Cook burgers according to package directions. Top hot burgers with cheese slices. Let stand until cheese melts, about 1 minute.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise and curry powder. Spread on bun bottoms. Top with burgers, tomato, red onion and bell pepper. Top with parsley leaves, if you like, and bun tops.

Source: Morningstar Farms

Meal Ideas 01 July 2018

Simple Summer Solutions

(Family Features) Summertime entertaining should be easy and fun. And it can be - with some simple solutions and fresh recipes.

Start with Simple Recipes

  • For this tropical dessert pizza, make the cookie crust the day before. Mix the filling and store it in an airtight plastic container, then cut up fruit and store in individual resealable plastic bags. Be creative and substitute your family's favorite fruits. Kids will have fun arranging the sliced fruit on this yummy dessert pizza!
  • Three ingredients plus three minutes equals one tasty marinade. Let the kids help pour the ingredients into a resealable plastic bag to flavor juicy pork tenderloins with a subtly sweet, spicy marinade.
  • The combination of crisp watermelon, juicy tomatoes and fresh basil with balsamic vinegar creates a fantastic and refreshing light salad. Just cut up ingredients and store in separate plastic containers, then toss together right before the party to keep the flavors fresh.

Simply Entertaining

  • For picnics on damp ground, placing an inexpensive plastic tablecloth under a blanket helps keep dampness from reaching picnickers - and keeps your blanket cleaner, too.
  • Wash, chop, measure and prepare your ingredients 1 to 2 days before an event or party. They can be stored in resealable plastic bags or airtight containers in the refrigerator to make putting together recipes much easier the day of the party.
  • Save plastic grocery bags to send guests home with leftovers. Placing an empty plastic grocery bag in a picnic basket is also a great solution for collecting trash after a picnic in the park - it doesn't take up much room and will act as a waterproof barrier to prevent spills.
  • Create a dipping station for barbeque and grill sauces using reusable plastic storage containers with lids. Guests can spoon sauces onto their plates; when the party is over, simply place the lids back on the sauces and store in the refrigerator. They come in all different shapes and sizes and even fun colors.
  • Use resealable plastic bags for marinades. Put meat in the bags with marinade and refrigerate overnight. It helps save space in the refrigerator and clean up is easy. This also works for coating and breading.

For more tips on ways to make summer entertaining a breeze, visit www.PlasticsMakeitPossible.com.

Tropical Fruit Dessert Pizza

Makes 12 servings

  • 1 18-ounce roll refrigerated ready-to-slice sugar cookie dough
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 8-ounce package fat-free cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange rind
  • 1 cup fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 26-ounce jar mango slices, drained, or 2 fresh mangoes, sliced
  • 1 16-ounce can pineapple slices, drained, or 1 fresh pineapple, sliced
  • 1 11-ounce can mandarin orange segments, drained
  • 1/2 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons orange liqueur or orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons coconut, toasted, optional
  1. Preheat oven 350°F.
  2. Press cookie dough into a 12 to 14-inch pizza pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 12 minutes, cool completely.
  3. In medium mixing bowl, blend together sugar, cream cheese, coconut extract until well mixed. Stir in orange rind and whipped topping, mixing until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture on top of cooled crust.
  4. Arrange mango slices around edge of iced pizza. Then, arrange pineapple slices around edge. Next, arrange mandarin orange slices in another ring to fill center of pizza.
  5. In small saucepan or in microwave, heat apricot preserves and orange liqueur just until melted. Spoon glaze over fruit. Sprinkle with toasted coconut, if desired. Refrigerate until serving.

Terrific Tidbit: Go ahead and grate more orange rind than you'll need for the recipe - you can grate a whole orange or lemon and freeze the rind in a plastic freezer bag until needed.

Watermelon and Tomato Salad

Makes 10 (1/2-cup) servings

  • 4 cups scooped out watermelon balls or chunks
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/3 cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese, optional
  1. In bowl, combine watermelon, onion, tomatoes and basil. Whisk together oil and vinegar and toss with salad. Season to taste. Refrigerate until serving.

3-Ingredient Marinade for Pork Tenderloin

Makes 6 to 8 servings

  • 2 1-pound pork tenderloins, trimmed of excess fat
  • 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup roasted garlic seasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  1. Preheat oven 350°F.
  2. In bowl, combine all ingredients except tenderloins. Place meat in dish or large resealable plastic bag, pour marinade over meat. If time permits, refrigerate overnight, turning meat several times.
  3. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the tenderloin registers 160°F. Slice tenderloin, serve.

Quick Tip: Tenderloins come two to a package. If one will be enough for you to serve, halve recipe, freeze other tenderloin in freezable plastic bag.

Source: American Chemistry Council

Appetizers & Sides 15 March 2019

6 Deviled Eggs Recipes Perfect for Easter and Beyond

(Family Features) Deviled eggs, also known as stuffed eggs, first appeared in American cookbooks in the mid-19th century, but the origin can be traced back to ancient Rome where eggs were boiled and seasoned with spicy sauces, according to the History Channel. Today, deviled eggs are a staple during Easter, and according to the American Egg Board, more than 100 million dozen eggs were sold last year during the week of Easter alone.

The “classic” deviled egg includes a mixture of mustard and mayonnaise, sprinkled with paprika. However, chefs and home cooks alike are experimenting with various flavor twists, including ingredients like seeds, bacon, hot sauce, avocado, pickles, dill, crab meat and more.

Celebrate this classic Easter recipe along with five new flavor variations from the experts at McCormick and French’s. For more deviled egg recipes and Easter inspiration, visit McCormick.com and Frenchs.com.

  1. Easy Deviled Eggs – Crush this traditional recipe using French’s Classic Yellow Mustard and garlic powder for a tangy-sweet flavor and silky-smooth texture. Top with paprika and enjoy.

  1. Smoky Deviled EggsWhat could be better than deviled eggs with crumbled bacon? How about adding in smoked paprika for another layer of smokiness and a little color.  Now that’s the perfect appetizer for Easter brunch.

  1. Fiery Deviled Eggs – Kick it up a notch by adding Frank’s RedHot to these deviled eggs. It’ll add a tangy kick to the classic that can please any crowd. 

  1. Avocado Deviled EggsSwitch up the norm and add chopped avocado, Greek yogurt, yellow mustard and crispy fried onions to create this flavorful deviled egg. Top with some cilantro for a pop of color.

  1. Mediterranean Deviled Eggs – Getting their inspiration from the flavors of the Mediterranean, this deviled egg features Parmesan cheese, herbs like oregano and basil and a bright garnish of diced tomatoes.

  1. French’s Party Deviled Eggs– This egg is made for a party. Swap out the mayo with sour cream and add Dijon mustard for richness. Then top with a crispy onion crunch to leave guests wanting more. Don’t forget to sprinkle with paprika.

Source: McCormick

Meal Ideas 29 January 2019

Healthy Mealtime Inspiration in Your Pantry

(Family Features) One of the secrets to ordering less takeout and serving more nutritious homemade meals may be as simple as keeping a well-stocked pantry of canned foods. By cooking with canned foods, you can cut down prep time, meaning less time in the kitchen and more time with family.

Canned fruits, vegetables, proteins and soups can help you get through the week with creative meals you can feel good about serving your family like Panzanella Salad and Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chili. In addition, according to a study published in “Nutrients,” kids and adults who use six or more canned foods per week are more likely to have diets higher in 17 essential nutrients, including potassium, calcium and fiber.

Canned foods can also help reduce the amount of perishable fruits and vegetables purchased then thrown away. how many times you’ve opened the fridge only to find the fresh produce you purchased only days ago has already spoiled. Because fresh fruits and vegetables are harvested at the peak of ripeness and canned within four hours, sealing in their nutrition and flavor, your family can have access to seasonal, ready-to-use fruits and vegetables year-round. Simply reach in your pantry – or your “cantry” – and get cooking.

For more information about the benefits of cooking with canned foods and to find more flavorful recipes, visit CansGetYouCooking.com.
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Panzanella Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Dressing:

  • 1/2       cup olive oil
  • 1/4       cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon fresh black pepper

Salad:

  • 1          pound day-old Italian bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 8          ounces romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2          cans (10 ounces each) tomato wedges
  • 1          can (15 1/2 ounces) garbanzo beans
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) artichoke hearts
  • 1          can (3.8 ounces) olives
  • 1          can (1 1/2 ounces) sliced radishes
  1. To make dressing: In small bowl, stir together olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. To assemble salad: In large bowl, toss bread cubes, lettuce, tomato wedges, beans, artichoke hearts, olives and radishes; drizzle with dressing.

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Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chili

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 4-8 hours
Servings: 6-8

  •             Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          small yellow onion, diced
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 2          cans (12 1/2 ounces each) white premium chunk chicken breast, drained
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
  • 3          tablespoons red curry paste, plus additional, to taste
  • 1/4       cup all-natural peanut butter
  • 1          tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1          can (13 1/2 ounces) coconut milk
  • 1          tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1          can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas, drained
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) whole potatoes, drained and cubed
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) sliced carrots, drained
  • 3          tablespoons lime juice, plus additional, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • brown rice, cooked according to package instructions (optional)
  • cilantro, for garnish
  • salted peanuts, for garnish
  1. Grease slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add onion, garlic, chicken, tomatoes, red curry paste, peanut butter, brown sugar, ginger, coconut milk, fish sauce and soy sauce to slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours.
  2. Uncover and stir in chickpeas, potatoes, carrots and lime juice. Taste and add lime juice and salt, to taste, if necessary.
  3. Serve on top of brown rice, if desired, and garnish with cilantro and peanuts.

Source:  Can Manufacturers Institute

Appetizers & Sides 06 August 2018

Make it Mediterranean

3 dishes to highlight the next trend in internationally themed cuisine

(Family Features) Just like forward-thinking culinary artists, many at-home chefs seek out the next trendy flavor to provide friends and family gathered around the table. When pondering which trend you'll dive into in the future, consider incorporating tastes from an especially influential international location - the Mediterranean Sea region.

Considered by the experts at Les Dames d'Escoffier International (LDEI) in the organization's 2018 Trends Report to be one of the most influential parts of the world on the American food scene, flavors from the Mediterranean Sea focus on a diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, seeds and nuts. Take this Hummus recipe, for example, which involves processing a host of beans, seeds and seasonings to create a light, smooth dip to serve with anything from vegetables to crackers.

Because the fare is typically lighter, small bites and salads such as Fresh Figs with Honey or this Tomato, Feta and Basil Salad provide easy-to-prepare versions of Mediterranean cuisine. Incorporating vegetables (tomatoes and basil) along with the salty, milky flavors of feta cheese makes the salad a distinctly Mediterranean dish.

In addition to Mediterranean food, the trends report highlighted Middle Eastern cuisine and Latin American flavors as areas of the world that will influence American dining in the next year. Additionally, LDEI highlighted these regions as likely to be influential in the next three years:

  1. East Africa
  2. The Balkans
  3. The Caribbean Sea

To go along with specific regions and countries to influence American food culture, the report identified these international food concepts as the most likely to become prominent food trends:

  1. Puebla Hot Pot (Latin America, Mexico) - ancho chile, smoked paprika and spices in chicken stock, served with chicken or pork, corn, avocado crema and fresh garnishes.
  2. Manouri (Mediterranean, Greece) - a semi-soft, fresh white whey cheese made from goat or sheep milk.
  3. Millet (India) - ancient grains harvested from small-seeded grasses used for porridge.

Mediterranean food, because of its reliance on the inclusion of vegetables and exclusion of red meat in many of its dishes, also squarely fits into the top established and growing health trends, according to the report, which are:

  1. Vegetarian cuisine
  2. Organic
  3. Vegan cuisine

Find full results from the report and learn more about the organization at LDEI.org.

10 Ways to Find Culinary Inspiration

Consider these strategies for achieving inspiration in the kitchen from the LDEI 2018 Trends Report:

  • Traveling
  • Cookbooks
  • Farmers' markets
  • Internet and social media
  • Fresh produce
  • Food magazines
  • Chefs
  • Seasons
  • Beautiful imagery
  • People and culture

Tracking the Top Food Trends

As trends continue changing, growing and spreading, the experts at LDEI continue to provide updates from the food world. Find complete 2018 Trends Report survey results and expert panel insights by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

LDEI is a worldwide philanthropic organization of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. The invitation-only membership, composed of 2,300 women in 40 chapters across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico, is highly diversified and reflects the multifaceted fields of contemporary gastronomy and hospitality. For more information, visit LDEI.org or find LDEI on Facebook.


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Tomato, Feta and Basil Salad

Recipe courtesy of Beth Vlasich Pav of Cooking by Design, LLC, on behalf of Les Dames d'Escoffier International
Servings: 15-20

  • 8 medium size tomatoes, sliced into 1/8-inch slices
  • 1 block (8 ounces) feta cheese, sliced into 1/8-inch pieces
  • 2 small packages fresh basil, leaves picked off stems
  • 3 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  1. On large platter, arrange slices of tomato and feta so they overlap. Place basil leaf between each tomato and Feta slice. Repeat.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

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Hummus

Recipe courtesy of Beth Vlasich Pav of Cooking by Design, LLC, on behalf of Les Dames d'Escoffier International
Yield: 2 cups

  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) garbanzo beans
  • 1 medium garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  1. Drain garbanzo beans reserving 1/2 cup liquid.
  2. In food processor, process garbanzo beans, garlic, sesame oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper until incorporated. Stop and scrape down sides of bowl. Add garbanzo liquid and process until smooth.
  3. Scoop mixture into medium bowl, add black sesame seeds and mix gently. Serve with drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top.

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Fresh Figs with Honey

Recipe courtesy of Beth Vlasich Pav of Cooking by Design, LLC, on behalf of Les Dames d'Escoffier International
Servings: 6

  • 6 fresh figs
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  1. Slice figs in half lengthwise (stem to bottom). Distribute on small platter.
  2. Drizzle honey over each fig equally. Serve immediately.

Photos courtesy of Beth Vlasich Pav

Source:  Les Dames d’Escoffier International

Meal Ideas 31 May 2018

Authentic Italian Cuisine

Savory dishes featuring pesto

(Family Features) One of the best times of each day is gathering with family members to enjoy home-cooked meals. Using fresh and versatile ingredients, adults can be at ease that everyone is eating right with a nutritious dinner and kids are eating something delicious and relaxing each evening.

Pesto can be used as an ingredient in many recipes and brings a punch of flavor to each dish on the table. For example, it can be served mixed in potatoes, as a spread on sandwiches, dolloped on soups or dips and as a sauce on pasta.

With authentic Italian taste capturing the recipes of the region, Filippo Berio Pestos are made to suit any taste. The versatile flavors include Classic Basil, Sun Dried Tomato, Tomato & Ricotta and Hot Chili and Olive. Each variety is vegetarian, gluten-free and GMO-free, making it the perfect addition to any dinner.

Pesto can be served hot or cold, so it is easy to cook with or add to dishes featuring fresh vegetables, like this recipe for Chicken Caprese Stuffed Spaghetti Squash. Add Savory Zucchini and Fontina Muffins to the meal for a fun twist on muffins.

For a more traditional meal the whole family can enjoy, try this Tomato and Tortellini Soup made with Tomato & Ricotta Pesto. This pesto is based on an age-old Sicilian recipe, combining the sweetness of tomatoes with the smoothness of ricotta cheese and the rich taste of Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

For more flavorful recipes and ways to cook with pesto, visit FilippoBerio.com.
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Savory Zucchini and Fontina Muffins

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Serves: 12

  • 2          cups all-purpose flour
  • 1          tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2       cup Filippo Berio Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, divided
  • 1/3       cup Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4       cup milk
  • 1/4       cup granulated sugar
  • 1          egg
  • 1          cup shredded zucchini
  • 2          green onions, finely chopped
  • 12        cubes (1/2 inch each) fontina cheese
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with large paper liners.
  2.  
  3. In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. In separate bowl, whisk 1/4 cup pesto, olive oil, milk, sugar and egg; stir into flour mixture until moistened. Fold in zucchini and green onions.
  4. Divide half the batter evenly among muffin cups; place cube of fontina on top of batter. Top each with 1 teaspoon remaining pesto; top with remaining batter.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and top of muffin springs back when pressed lightly. Let cool slightly; serve warm.

Tip: To make extra savory, add 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon.

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Chicken Caprese Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
Serves: 4

  • 2          small spaghetti squash
  • 2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Robusto Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 3/4       teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3/4       teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 12        ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1          small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3       cup Filippo Berio Classic Pesto
  • 1 1/2    cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 8          ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Halve spaghetti squash lengthwise and scrape out seeds; drizzle cut sides with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bake, cut sides down, on parchment paper-lined baking sheet 45-50 minutes, or until tender. Let cool slightly. Using fork, scrape strands of squash into bowl; reserve squash shells.
  2. In skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat; cook chicken, onion and remaining salt and pepper about 5 minutes, or until chicken is browned. Stir in pesto; bring to simmer. Cook about 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in cherry tomatoes; cook about 1 minute, or until slightly softened.
  3. Toss spaghetti squash with chicken mixture; divide among reserved squash shells. Top with mozzarella cheese; broil 1-2 minutes, or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with chopped basil.

Tip: For a more savory dish, add chopped black olives or jarred artichokes, if desired.
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Tomato and Tortellini Soup

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

  • 2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Olive Oil
  • 1          onion, finely chopped
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          carrot, diced
  • 1          stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2       cup Filippo Berio Tomato & Ricotta Pesto
  • 1          teaspoon dried basil
  • 1          teaspoon oregano
  • pinch of chili pepper flakes
  • 1          can (28 ounces) whole Italian-style tomatoes
  • 4          cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  • 1          package (12 ounces) fresh cheese tortellini
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  1. In large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil; cook onion, garlic, carrot and celery about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add pesto, basil, oregano and chili flakes; cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  2. In blender or using immersion blender, puree tomato mixture; return to pan and bring to simmer. Add tortellini; cook 8-10 minutes, or until tender. Sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan.

Tip: Dried basil can be substituted for 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, if desired.

Source: Filippo Berio

Meal Ideas 26 March 2018

Simple, Healthy Snacks and Sandwiches

(Family Features) Quick and easy meals can be hard to come by, especially ones that don’t sacrifice flavor. You don’t have to eat bland foods to provide your family a healthy and hearty, nutrient-filled diet. During National Nutrition Month, it’s the perfect time to refresh your routine with some creative and convenient options that can serve as the starting point for an on-the-go snack or a full-blown meal.

Sandwiches, like this recipe for a BALCMT Sandwich, can be one of the easiest ways to incorporate grains, which deliver shortfall nutrients like dietary fiber, iron and folate into your diet. Research from the Grain Foods Foundation shows about 95 percent of Americans do not meet dietary fiber intake recommendations. Whole grain foods, like bread, buns, rolls, pita and tortillas, can help supply your dietary fiber needs and aid in maintaining a healthy weight and lower cholesterol.

Additionally, enriched grains can play a key role in metabolism by helping the body release energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates, and are also essential for a healthy nervous system, productivity and cognitive development. The vitamins and minerals in enriched grains like folic acid are also critical for reducing the incidence of some birth defects while also promoting cell function and tissue growth.

Some healthier ways to build a snack include using leaner meats and lower sodium cheeses for a sandwich or adding more vegetables to your overall snacking habits. Another nutritious option, Baked Pita Crisps accompanied by Southwest Bean Dip, can help you curb hunger without blowing past your daily calorie count.

Find more recipes and tips for quick and flavorful meals at grainfoodsfoundation.org.
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BALCMT Sandwich

Recipe courtesy of Franz Bakery on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

Chipotle-Mayonnaise Sauce:

  • 1/4       cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4       tablespoon adobo sauce
  • 1          teaspoon lime juice
  • salt, to taste
  • fresh ground pepper, to taste
  • 2          slices bread, toasted
  • 1-2       leaves lettuce
  • 4          slices tomato
  • 1/2       avocado, thickly sliced
  • 4          slices maple bacon, fried
  1. To make Chipotle-Mayonnaise Sauce: In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, adobo sauce and lime juice. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
  2. Add layer of sauce to slice of bread and top with lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacon and second slice of bread.

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Baked Pita Crisps

Recipe courtesy of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 30 minutes
Yields: 24 crisps

Crisps:

  • 1/4       cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons paprika
  • 3          pita breads (6 inches each) with pockets
  • kosher salt, to taste

Southwest Bean Dip:

  • 2          tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2       large red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2       medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2          cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2-3       tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4       cup packed fresh coriander sprigs, washed and spun dry
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 2          tablespoons water, plus additional (optional)
  1. To make Crisps: Heat oven to 400° F. In small bowl, mix olive oil with cumin and paprika. Split each pita bread horizontally into two rounds and brush rough sides with equal amounts of oil mixture. Cut rounds into small triangles and arrange in flat layer on large baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt just out of oven.
  2. To make Southwest Bean Dip: In large skillet over high heat, heat vegetable oil until hot. Add garlic, bell pepper and onion; turn heat to low and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add cumin and cayenne; cook, stirring, 1 minute.
  3. In food processor, blend beans, lime juice, coriander, salt and water until smooth, adding more water, if necessary, to achieve desired consistency. Add vegetable mixture and pulse until just combined. Serve with Baked Pita Crisps.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Grain Foods Foundation

Meal Ideas 25 May 2017

Reach New Heights with a Reinvented Burger

(Family Features) Text your friends, dust off your apron and fire up the grill. It’s time to throw a barbecue party that won’t sink your summer budget.

You can find everything you’ll need at a one-stop shop like ALDI. With savings up to 50 percent over traditional grocers, you can fill your cart with summer essentials like fresh seasonal produce, premium meats and award-winning wines.

Once shopping is out of the way, you’ll have plenty of time and money to experiment with new recipes. These quick and affordable tips can up your grill game and impress guests:

Boost your burgers. Take burgers to the next level this summer with your favorite ground meats such as turkey, chicken and beef. Then layer on the toppings like avocado, kale, gourmet cheeses and more.

Change up your take on cheesy. Top your burger with a blue cheese mousse by simply blending blue cheese crumbles and cream cheese then season it with your favorite spices.

Spice up your condiments. Combine mayonnaise with fresh orange juice and fresh orange zest to make a citrus aioli or whip up a special sauce by mixing peanut butter with oil and hot water. Sprinkle with bacon for some extra flavor. Toppings such as a pickled red onion can also add a bit of crunch and zest.

Bite better buns. Forgo traditional burger buns and bookend your masterpiece with brioche buns or pretzel rolls.

Find more great grilling tips and recipes for dishes to enjoy all summer at aldi.us.

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Six-Mile High Burger

Recipe courtesy of ALDI Test Kitchen

  • 1 tablespoon Carlini Vegetable Oil
  • 10 Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 8 pieces Specially Selected Center Cut Bacon
  • 8 Season's Choice Whole Onion Rings
  • 4 All Natural 80 percent Lean Ground Beef Patties
  • 8 slices Happy Farms Pepper Jack Cheese
  • 1 cup Burman's Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup Burman's Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Burman's Mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
  • 4 L'oven Fresh Hamburger Buns
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 2 romaine lettuce leaves, cut in half width-wise
  1. Heat grill to medium-high.
  2. In saute pan, heat vegetable oil and saute mushrooms 2-3 minutes. Set aside. Fry bacon to desired doneness, about 5 minutes on each side. Set aside. Bake onion rings according to packaging instructions. Set aside.
  3. Grill burgers 5-7 minutes on each side until they reach desired doneness. Place two slices cheese on each burger and continue to grill until melted. Remove from heat.
  4. Mix together mayonnaise, hot sauce, mustard, salt and pepper, and spread on both sides of buns, to taste.
  5. To assemble burger: layer bottom bun with patty with cheese, tomato, lettuce, mushrooms, two onion rings, two pieces of bacon and top half of bun.

Source: ALDI

Healthy 11 April 2017

Simple Ways to Produce Healthy Habits

(Family Features) If getting your kids to embrace healthy eating habits feels like a constant uphill battle, take heart in knowing you’re not alone. However, modeling smart choices in the kitchen and at the grocery store may be just the nudge your kids need.

One of the biggest hurdles many families face when it comes to healthier eating is getting started. These tips show how subtle changes can make it simple to introduce healthier choices the whole family can enjoy.

  • Mornings are a busy time for families, and it can be difficult to make a nutritious breakfast and get out the door. Even so, skip the packaged breakfast foods that are loaded with sodium and calories. Instead, make and freeze your own healthy breakfast foods ahead of time. These breakfast burritos are easy for reheating and eating on the go.
  • A common misperception is that eating healthfully takes too long. Set a good example for kids to follow by preparing healthy dinners at home. This one-pot turkey skillet is ready in less than 25 minutes to make dinner and cleanup a breeze.
  • When kids are empowered to choose what they eat, they’re more likely to enjoy it. One easy way for kids to identify smart choices in the produce department is by looking for foods with the Produce for Kids logo. Not only are these items an important part of a balanced meal, shoppers who support the products are giving back to local organizations that help children and families.

To find additional tips to encourage your family’s healthy eating and more than 300 registered dietitian-approved recipes, visit produceforkids.com.

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Make-Ahead Freezable Breakfast Burritos

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 14

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 16 ounces lean turkey breakfast sausage
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small Vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 14 whole-wheat tortillas (8 inches each)
  1. In nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add sausage and cook 5-8 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to plate and set aside.
  2. In same skillet, add remaining oil, bell peppers, onions and tomatoes, and cook 3-5 minutes, or until softened. Add tomatoes and cook 2 minutes.
  3. In large bowl, scramble eggs and pepper. Add to pan and cook, stirring regularly, 3-4 minutes, or until eggs are set. Remove from heat and mix in sausage and cheese. Let cool.
  4. Fill tortillas with 1/2 cup egg mixture, roll into burrito and lay seam-side down on parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze 1 hour. Transfer to freezer-safe re-sealable bag and return to freezer.
  5. To reheat burritos, remove from freezer, wrap in paper towel and microwave on high 1-2 minutes.

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One-Pot Healthy Turkey Skillet

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 3 Roma tomatoes
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. In nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add turkey and cook 10 minutes, or until no longer pink.
  2. In food processor, pulse bell pepper, onion and tomatoes until chunky.
  3. Add vegetable mixture, noodles, beans, cumin, chili powder and salt to skillet and let simmer 15 minutes.

Source: Produce for Kids

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