Grilling-Tailgating 22 June 2020

Cookout Cravings: Appease summer appetites with grilled fare

(Family Features) The first thought that comes to mind when picturing grilling in the summer sun might be a perfectly cooked steak or a juicy burger, but no backyard barbecue is complete without the all-important sides and beverages that complete the meal.

Whether you're pairing a main protein with separate side dishes or going all-in-one by combining tender chicken with veggies on skewers, the opportunities are endless for a crave-worthy cookout.

Find more summer grilling recipes at Culinary.net.

5 Steps for Sizzling Steak

A sizzling steak is a surefire sound of summer, and the flavors achieved from one that's perfectly grilled are hard to match.

Before you fire up your grill, consider these five basics for cooking a chef-worthy steak:

Prepare Your Cut
Taste preferences (and prices) may differ among sirloins, ribeyes, T-bones and more, but the way you prepare steaks likely won't change much from cut to cut. You'll want to trim the thickness down to 1/2-1 inch for proper cooking, and setting the meat out ahead of time allows it to warm to room temperature before hitting the grill.

Add Some Salt
Feel free to add any spices you prefer, but remember a good steak typically doesn't require fancy seasoning - a pinch of salt works just fine. Add your salt anywhere between 30 minutes to a few hours before grilling time to help retain moisture and improve flavor.

Aim for High Heat
A two-zone fire is usually the way to go - one side of the grill should be hot (using direct heat) with the other side not quite as warm (indirect heat). This allows you to create a sear over direct heat before finishing cooking through - without burning - over indirect heat.

Sear and Slide
Cooking your steak over direct heat 1-2 minutes on each side is normally about right for creating a proper sear. At this point, depending on the thickness of your steak, you'll want to check for doneness. If it's not quite to the temperature you're looking to achieve, simply slide it over to the indirect heat for a finishing touch. Keep in mind these general guidelines for doneness: 120-125 F is rare, 130-135 F is medium-rare, 140-145 F is medium, 150-155 F is medium-well and 160-175 F is well done.

Let Rest
Finally, as hungry as you may be at this point, resting steaks is an important last step before diving in. Giving your steaks 5-10 minutes (foil or no foil) allows flavors to redistribute and moisture to be retained in the meat.

Less Prep, More Summer with a Skewered Solution

Make summer grilling easy and delicious by cooking your side dish and main dish together so you can spend more time outdoors and less time meal planning. These Grilled Greek Kebabs pair cubed chicken thighs with little potatoes on skewers, making for a classic cookout combo.

With no washing or peeling required, Creamer potatoes from The Little Potato Company require little prep, which helps make this recipe a breeze, and they cook quickly on the grill. Just marinate your chicken and potatoes with this zesty dressing and prepare for a taste bud-tingling backyard barbecue.

Visit littlepotatoes.com/summertime for more summer grilling recipes.

Grilled Greek Kebabs

Dressing/Marinade:

  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 lemons, zest and juice only
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 3 teaspoons mayonnaise
  • Skewers:
  • 2 cups The Little Potato Company Dynamic Duo bagged Creamer Potatoes, cut in half
  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 8 wooden skewers dipped in water
  • pita bread (optional)

Salad:

  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 sliced Lebanese cucumbers
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely sliced
  • 1 cup feta cheese
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives

To make dressing/marinade: In measuring cup, mix olive oil, lemon juice, lemon zest, oregano, Dijon mustard, garlic and sugar. Season generously with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour 1/3 cup marinade into large bowl. Refrigerate remaining.

To prepare skewers: Add potatoes and chicken pieces to bowl with marinade. Mix well to coat and marinate 30 minutes, or as long as overnight in refrigerator.

Preheat grill to medium heat.

Skewer potatoes and chicken cubes alternately on wooden skewers. Grill 6-8 minutes on both sides. Grill pita bread, if desired.

Finish dressing by adding mayonnaise.

To make salad: In large serving dish, mix tomatoes, cucumber, onions, feta cheese and olives. Place kebabs on top and drizzle with dressing.

Serve with grilled pita bread, if desired.

Sipping on Sweetness

When it's summertime, many people crave something cold and fruity. Simply combine frozen strawberries with frozen pink lemonade concentrate to create a cool concoction perfect for a sizzling day. This fizzy summertime treat can delight your taste buds and keep you quenched while enjoying the sun's rays.

Find more summer drink recipes at Culinary.net.

Strawberry Spritzer

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

  • 1 package (10 ounces) frozen sliced strawberries, sweetened and thawed
  • 2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled
  • 1 can (12 ounces) frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
  1. In blender, process strawberries until blended thoroughly.
  2. Pour strawberries into large pitcher; stir in soda and pink lemonade.

A Simple Stuffed Side

Whether you need a quick appetizer or something to snack on, these Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes make for an appealing bite.

Find more snack recipes at Culinary.net.

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Recipe courtesy of Culinary.net

  • 24-48 cherry tomatoes
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 3 green onion stalks, diced
  • 2 teaspoons minced dill
  • fresh dill, for garnish
  1. Cut thin slice off top of each tomato. Scoop out pulp. Invert tomatoes on paper towel to drain.
    In medium bowl, combine cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in cucumber, green onion and dill. Spoon mixture into tomatoes. Top with fresh dill.
  2. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Steak)

Source:  The Little Potato Company

Healthy 01 June 2020

Family Foods with a Weight Loss Focus

(Family Features) Losing weight and focusing on a healthful diet may lead you back to the same tried-and-true tricks, however, conventional wisdom doesn’t always pay dividends. Some eating plans may offer up new twists to help you and your family eat meals you enjoy without forgoing your health goals.

For example, “Always Eat After 7 PM,” written by Joel Marion, CISSN, NSCA-CPT, five-time best-selling e-book author and co-founder of the e-commerce supplement company BioTrust Nutrition, debunks popular diet myths and offers an easy-to-follow diet that accelerates fat-burning and allows you to indulge in your most intense cravings by eating the majority of your calories at night. The outlined plan features a 14-day “acceleration phase” designed for rapid results, a “main phase” when you’ll learn which fat-burning foods to eat to achieve your weight loss goals and a “lifestyle phase” to keep the weight off for good.

Conventional wisdom dictates that it’s best to avoid carbs, eat an early dinner and never eat immediately before bed. However, Marion debunks the myths underlying traditional dieting with a simple, highly effective weight loss program allowing readers to enjoy social dinners without restriction, satisfy nighttime hunger with fat-burning sweet and salty pre-bedtime snacks and indulge cravings with strategically timed cheat meals.

With straightforward food lists, easy-to-follow meal plans and recipes for each phase, this can be a simpler, more enjoyable way to lose weight without feeling restricted. Taken directly from the book, these recipes for Pot Roast Tacos with Chimichurri, Cheesy Ground Beef Skillet and Chili Loaded Baked Potato can help you take part in the program while enjoying time with loved ones at the family table.

Learn more about the diet and book at joelmarion.com.

Pot Roast Tacos with Chimichurri

Recipe courtesy of “Always Eat After 7 PM”
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8

Chimichurri:

  • 1 1/2    cups fresh Italian parsley
  • 1          cup fresh cilantro
  • 2          tablespoons green onion, chopped
  • 1          tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1/4       cup olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1          tablespoon water
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • 1          teaspoon crushed red pepper

Tacos:

  • 3          cups chuck roast, slow cooked and chopped
  • 8          yellow corn tortillas (6 inches)
  • 1          ripe avocado, pitted and sliced
  • 4          radishes, sliced
  • 1/4       cup queso fresco, crumbled
  1. To make chimichurri: In food processor, combine parsley, cilantro, onion and garlic until chopped. Add olive oil, lemon juice, water, salt and red pepper; process until fully combined.
  2. To assemble tacos: In medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook chopped chuck roast 5 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in 1/2 cup chimichurri. In grill pan, char tortillas then fill evenly with meat, avocado, radishes and queso fresco. Serve with remaining chimichurri.

Nutritional information per serving: 410 calories; 24 g fat; 12 g carbohydrates; 366 mg sodium; 2 g fiber; 41 g protein; 1 g sugar.

Chili Loaded Baked Potato

Recipe courtesy of “Always Eat After 7 PM”
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 35 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 6          sweet potatoes (8 ounces each)
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 2          pounds ground chuck
  • 2          yellow onions, diced
  • 2          tablespoons garlic, minced
  • 3          tablespoons chili powder
  • 2          tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1          tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2          teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/4       teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3          cups low-sodium beef broth
  • 1          can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1          tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1          can (15 ounces) butter beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2       cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1          Anaheim chile, minced
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2       cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4       cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1/4       cup red onion, minced
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Line baking sheet or pan with parchment paper. Rinse and scrub sweet potatoes; pat dry with paper towel and pierce several times with fork or knife. Place in prepared pan. Lightly spray sweet potatoes with nonstick cooking spray and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake 45 minutes- 1 hour until tender when poked.
  2. In pot, heat olive oil. Saute chuck until fully cooked. Drain fat and return to pot; add onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, paprika and cayenne pepper. Reduce heat to medium-low and saute until onions are soft, about 10 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add broth, crushed tomatoes and vinegar to pot. Increase heat to high and bring to boil. Reduce to medium-low and simmer 10 minutes. Add butter beans, cilantro and chile; cook 5 minutes. Season with sea salt.
  4. Split potatoes lengthwise; fluff flesh with fork. Top evenly with chili, yogurt, cilantro leaves and red onion.

Nutritional information per serving: 573 calories; 10 g fat; 58 g carbohydrates; 588 mg sodium; 11 g fiber; 25 g protein; 12 g sugar.

Cheesy Ground Beef Skillet

Recipe courtesy of “Always Eat After 7 PM”
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 38 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1 3/4    cups water
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • 1          cup white rice
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 1          pound extra-lean ground beef
  • 1          yellow onion, chopped
  • 1          tablespoon garlic, chopped
  • 1          red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1          teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1          teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2       teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2       cup tomato sauce
  • 1          can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1          cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/3       cup fresh parsley, minced
  1. In saucepan over high heat, bring water to boil. Add salt and rice; stir once then cover pot and reduce to low heat 18 minutes.
  2. In large skillet, heat olive oil. Stir in ground beef. Cook and stir until beef is crumbly and no longer pink. Drain and discard excess grease. Mix in onion and garlic; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add bell pepper, oregano, basil, red pepper, sea salt and black pepper; cook and stir until bell pepper is tender, about 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in cooked rice, tomato sauce and kidney beans. Reduce heat and cover until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes. Remove pan from heat, sprinkle cheese over top and garnish with parsley.

Nutritional information per serving: 399 calories: 14 g fat; 36 g carbohydrates; 816 mg sodium; 4 g fiber; 30 g protein; 3 g sugar.

Source: Promote A Book

Meal Ideas 18 May 2020

Breaking Bread

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Avocado Veggie Sandwich

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

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

Panzanella Bagel Salad

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

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

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

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

Rotini with Sausage and Mushrooms

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

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

Cheesy Black Bean Toast with Pico de Gallo

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

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

Source:  Grain Foods Foundation

Meal Ideas 29 April 2020

Ways to Make Hearty Meals at Home with Pantry Staples

(Family Features) Stocking up on pantry essentials is a productive practice, especially as people across the country spend more time at home. However, having all those ingredients on-hand doesn't do as much good if you aren't sure how to use them or feel as if you're constantly whipping up the same dishes.

For example, canned protein is a popular pantry item as it cuts down on prep time and holds a long shelf life while adding important nutrients to family meals. Canned seafood, in particular, is a versatile choice that can be used in a variety of easy recipes or simply eaten on its own.

An option like Chicken of the Sea Chunk Light Tuna in Water, which is 99% fat free and a good source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3s, makes for an easy and versatile addition to dishes like pasta. A 5-ounce can contains 24 grams of high-quality protein, making it a nourishing source of energy while helping to easily satisfy hunger.

Try adding some modern flair to the table with this Mediterranean Tuna Pasta, perfect for a family of four and ready in just 20 minutes. Virtually any canned seafood can be used from salmon to tuna in place of more traditional proteins used in this pasta and many other dishes.

If your family prefers to stick to tradition, Mom's Favorite Tuna Noodle Casserole provides a warm, hearty meal with a hint of nostalgia while gathering loved ones around the dinner table.

Ingredients in these recipes can be easily substituted for similar options you may already have on hand, such as another dried pasta in place of penne or carrots in lieu of peas.

Find more filling family recipes at chickenofthesea.com.

Mediterranean Tuna Pasta

Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          package (16 ounces) penne pasta
  • 1          can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
  • 1          medium zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2          tablespoons sliced ripe olives
  • 1          can (5 ounces) Chicken of the Sea Chunk Light Tuna in Water, drained
  • 1/2       cup Parmesan cheese
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. In large skillet, bring chickpeas, tomatoes, zucchini, olives and tuna to boil; stir constantly.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes.
  4. Spoon mixture over cooked pasta. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Substitution: Use any canned seafood such as salmon in place of canned tuna.

Mom's Favorite Tuna Noodle Casserole

Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6-7

  • 2          cans (10 3/4 ounces each) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1          cup milk
  • 2          cups frozen peas
  • 2          cans (12 ounces each) Chicken of the Sea Chunk Light Tuna in Water, drained
  • 4          cups medium egg noodles, cooked
  • 4          tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
  • 2          tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In bowl, stir soup and milk until smooth.
  3. In 3-quart casserole dish, combine peas, tuna and noodles with soup mixture.
  4. Bake 30 minutes, or until warm and bubbling; remove from oven and stir.
  5. In bowl, mix breadcrumbs with melted butter; sprinkle over tuna mixture.
  6. Bake 5 minutes, or until golden brown.

Substitution: Use any frozen vegetable in place of frozen peas.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Mediterranean Tuna Pasta)

Source:  Chicken of the Sea

Pasta 14 April 2020

Perfect Pantry Pastas

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

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

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

Stock your pantry and refrigerator with versatile ingredients like these:

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

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

Minestrone Pasta Saute with Ricotta

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

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

Pasta in a Pinch

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

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

Creamy One-Pot Spaghetti

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

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

Source: United Dairy Industry of Michigan

Meal Ideas 07 April 2020

Cook Comfort Food Once, Enjoy it Twice

(Family Features) Cook once, eat twice. It’s a kitchen practice as simple as it sounds. Cook a base dish that can be enjoyed today and used for an entirely different meal tomorrow. For example, bake some fish for tonight’s dinner, and enjoy fish tacos for tomorrow’s lunch.

With so many Americans preparing meals at home, the practice of cooking once and eating twice can extend your grocery budget while also making meal planning less stressful and more comforting.

Cooking meals that feed the entire family is essential and even better if they give you a jump on a second meal. Whether your love for cooking runs deep or is being newly discovered, keep the following in mind when planning to cook once and eat twice:

Stock up on staples. Before heading out to the store, develop a list of ingredients that can be used for multiple dishes. Canned goods, such as black beans and corn, are great items to store in the pantry and have on hand for a variety of favorite family recipes. Other basics like corn tortillas can be used in multiple ways, such as tacos, casseroles and even salads.

Don’t forget produce. To increase flavor and nutrition, adding produce is key in your planning. Mushrooms are a favorite among chefs and home cooks alike for many reasons. Traditionally known for their inherent umami flavor, mushrooms are filling, healthy and versatile. Crimini and portabella are excellent sources of selenium, an antioxidant that protects cells from damage that may lead to serious chronic diseases. For example, four crimini mushrooms provide 38% of your daily recommended value. Also, the variety of mushrooms contain essential vitamins and nutrients, such as vitamins B and D and riboflavin.

Make meat go further. A three-step cooking technique called “The Blend” combines finely chopped mushrooms with ground meat to create dishes that are more nutritious while still tasting delicious. You can use the process to create multiple dishes such as tacos, pasta sauce and burgers. Mushrooms’ ability to mimic the texture of meat makes them easy to incorporate, and the addition of finely chopped mushrooms to meat dishes stretches portions, allowing the family to enjoy a meat-mushroom base two days in a row in two different ways in dishes like Mexican Lasagna and Blended Tacos, both of which include a Mexican Mushroom-Beef Blend.

For more simple and delicious recipes, visit MushroomCouncil.com


Blended Tacos

Makes: 8 tacos

  • 1          cup sour cream
  • 6          tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice
  • 8          yellow corn tortillas
  • 2          cups Mexican Mushroom-Beef Blend
  • diced avocado (optional)
  • shredded lettuce (optional)
  • shredded cheese (optional)
  • salsa (optional)
  1. In small bowl, mix sour cream, cilantro and lime juice. Cover and refrigerate.
  2. Warm tortillas in microwave or on stovetop according to package directions. Spoon 1/4 cup Mexican Mushroom-Beef Blend into each tortilla. Top with sour cream mixture and avocado, lettuce and cheese as desired.

Mexican Mushroom-Beef Blend

Makes: 8 cups

  • 1          medium yellow onion
  • 8          ounces fresh button or crimini mushrooms
  • 1          pound lean ground beef
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 2          cans (15 ounces each) black beans, drained
  • 1          package (1 ounce) reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix
  • 1          can (15 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 1          can (11 ounces) yellow kernel corn, drained
  1. In food processor, pulse onion and mushrooms to coarse texture. Set aside.
  2. In large frying pan, brown ground beef. Drain fat. Set aside.
  3. In same frying pan, heat oil. Add mushroom mixture and saute 3-4 minutes, or until most moisture has been released. Add black beans and mix.
  4. Add beef, taco seasoning, tomatoes and corn to black bean and mushroom blend. Mix and cook until heated through.

Mexican Lasagna

Servings: 6-8

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 16        yellow corn tortillas
  • 6          cups Mexican Mushroom-Beef Blend
  • 1          cup shredded, low-fat Mexican cheese blend
  • sour cream (optional)
  • chopped cilantro (optional)
  • salsa (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Spray bottom of 9-by-13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place four corn tortillas on bottom of dish and layer 2 cups Mexican Mushroom-Beef Blend on top. Repeat layers, ending with tortillas as top layer. Top with cheese.
  2. Bake uncovered 25 minutes, or until cheese melts and lasagna is heated through. Top with dollops of sour cream, cilantro and salsa as desired.

Source: Mushroom Council

Meal Ideas 31 March 2020

Refreshing Dishes for Dining Al Fresco

(Family Features) Some of life’s most cherished moments are shared with loved ones around the table. As temperatures climb, cheerful sunshine and sparkling blue skies are the perfect ingredients to make family time even more enjoyable with a meal served al fresco.

One of the great joys of dining outdoors is the chance to appreciate the simplicity of a gentle breeze or the first glimpses of seasonal blooms. Keeping meal prep simple makes it even easier to embrace these special moments.

A unique approach to an entree salad is easy to prepare and adds a festive flair to your picnic plate. These Ruby Beet Chicken Salad Skewers owe their zesty flavor to the delicate balance of sweetness and vinegar infused by Aunt Nellie’s Baby Whole Pickled Beets.

A cool salad is another must for your outdoor dining menu. Classic Mediterranean flavors like feta cheese and olives combined with READ 3 Bean Salad make this Mediterranean 3-Bean Quinoa Salad the perfect side dish to accompany a light lunch or grilled main course.

Find more ideas and recipes for meals to enjoy outside at auntnellies.com and READsalads.com.

Ruby Beet Chicken Salad Skewers

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Baby Whole Pickled Beets
  • 2          large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper, plus additional, to taste, divided
  • 4 1/2    tablespoons stone ground mustard, divided
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons, plus 1/3 cup, orange marmalade, divided
  • 2          tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 1          large lemon, zest and juice (1/3 cup juice)
  • 1/4       cup olive oil
  • 1          bag (9 ounces) leafy romaine lettuce pieces
  • 1/3       cup chopped almonds, toasted
  • 1/3       cup crumbled blue, feta or goat cheese
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Drain beets; set aside.
  2. Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. In small bowl, combine 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard and 1 1/2 tablespoons marmalade. Brush mixture over chicken until completely coated. Bake chicken on rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil about 20-25 minutes, or until juices run clear; set aside.
  3. To make vinaigrette: In medium bowl, combine remaining mustard, remaining marmalade, chives, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Slowly pour in oil while whisking vigorously until completely combined.
  4. Slice cooled chicken into 1-inch pieces. Onto each skewer, thread one beet, one piece of chicken and 4-5 pieces of lettuce; repeat two times for each skewer, adding one beet at ends. Repeat to make eight skewers. Place skewers on large serving platter.
  5. Stir vinaigrette; drizzle lightly over skewers. Sprinkle with almonds and cheese. Serve with remaining vinaigrette.

Mediterranean 3-Bean Quinoa Salad

Recipe courtesy of "A New Dawnn"
Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 2          cans (15 ounces each) READ 3 Bean Salad
  • 1          cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1          cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1          cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2       cup chopped olives
  • 1/2       cup diced bell pepper, any color
  • 2          tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2          teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  1. Drain bean salad; reserve 3 tablespoons liquid.
  2. In large bowl, combine bean salad, tomatoes, feta cheese, quinoa, olives and bell pepper. Add reserved bean liquid, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Stir gently to coat ingredients.
  3. Top with cilantro or parsley. Serve immediately.

Source:  Seneca Foods

Healthy 27 February 2020

Fresh Salads Perfect for Spring

(Family Features) The spring season brings to mind flowers blooming and plants springing back to life, making it the ideal time to enjoy fresh produce in meals throughout the day. Salads are of course one of the easiest ways to combine the flavors of your favorite fruits and veggies, but you can take your greens to the next level with refreshing recipe ideas.

Creating a cool, satisfying salad can be easy when you start with quality ingredients like Fresh Express salad blends, NatureSweet Cherubs Tomatoes and Litehouse dressings for versatile bases in a nearly endless array of options. For example, salads aren’t limited to lunch or appetizers – this Breakfast Salad Bowl makes for an energizing start to the day by combining classic salad ingredients with quinoa, bacon and avocado.

Perfect for those busy weeknights, heartier salad recipes can also provide quick, simple dinner options. As a more traditional mix to enjoy at the family table, this Salmon and Grains Salad Bowl brings together salmon, tomatoes and chickpeas on a bed of lettuce topped with ranch dressing.

Find more ways to create hearty salads this spring at litehousefoods.com/iheartsalad.

Salmon and Grains Salad Bowl

Servings: 2

  • 4          ounces salmon
  • 2          tablespoons paprika, divided
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 15        ounces chickpeas
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 2          ounces Fresh Express Sweet Butter Lettuce
  • 1          cup red quinoa, cooked
  • 6          ounces NatureSweet Cherubs Tomatoes
  • 2          tablespoons Litehouse Homestyle Ranch Dressing
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Sprinkle salmon with 1 teaspoon paprika; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake on lined baking sheet 15 minutes, or until it reaches desired doneness.
  2. In bowl, toss chickpeas in olive oil and remaining paprika; add salt and pepper, to taste. Add chickpeas to lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 F 30-40 minutes.
  3. Add lettuce to plate or bowl. Top with quinoa, chickpeas, salmon and tomatoes. Drizzle with ranch dressing.

Breakfast Salad Bowl

Servings: 2

  • 10        ounces NatureSweet Cherubs Tomatoes
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2          ounces Fresh Express Baby Spinach
  • 1          egg
  • 2          bacon strips, halved
  • 1          cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2       avocado, sliced
  • 2          tablespoons Litehouse Jalapeno Ranch Dressing
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Toss tomatoes in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake tomatoes on lined baking sheet 40 minutes.
  2. In skillet, add remaining olive oil and cook baby spinach until wilted, stirring as necessary.
  3. Cook egg as desired. Remove egg from skillet and set aside. Add bacon to skillet and cook until crispy, turning halfway through.
  4. In bowl, layer quinoa, bacon, avocado, egg, spinach and tomatoes. Drizzle with jalapeno ranch dressing.

Source: Litehouse

Meal Ideas 08 November 2019

Elevate Holiday Cooking with Seasonal Skillet Dishes

(Family Features) The rush of the holiday season – shopping for gifts, decorating the house, hosting loved ones and other added obligations – can be challenging. Restore balance and holiday cheer by treating yourself and others who are home for the holidays to a no-fuss, relaxing dinner that feels celebratory.

Supported by a menu that can be prepared entirely using a skillet, you can easily add to the joyful holiday spirit while also lowering stress levels typically associated with this time of year. Start with a main course like Seared Salmon with Pine Nut, Caper and Fennel Topping, which can go a long way toward building a tasty holiday meal. Paired with Long-Cooked Green Beans with Tomatoes and Garlic, the savory salmon and complementary side can be on the family table in less than an hour then capped off by a seasonal Stovetop Apple Pie.

These dishes and more can be created for holiday festivities with the help of kitchen equipment like Anolon Advanced Home skillets, part of a collection designed for everyday cooking with heavy-gauge hard anodized aluminum construction for durability and even heating. With a triple-layer, sapphire-reinforced interior that resists chipping, the cookware offers durability and easy cleaning along with features like nonstick exteriors, convenient volume markings for saucepans and stockpots, and comfortable SureGrip handles.

Find more inspiration and the right kitchen equipment to make the holiday season special at Anolon.com.

Seared Salmon with Pine Nut, Caper and Fennel Topping

Recipe courtesy of Anolon Gourmet Cookware
Yield: 4 servings

  • Anolon Advanced Home 12-inch nonstick skillet
  • 1/2       cup pine nuts
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1          shallot, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
  • 1/2       medium fennel bulb, cored and finely chopped
  • 3          tablespoons drained capers
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons fresh orange zest
  • 2          tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1/2       teaspoon, plus 1/8 teaspoon, salt, divided
  • 4          skin-on salmon fillets (6-7 ounces each)
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Heat nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pine nuts and cook, shaking pan often, about 4-5 minutes until lightly browned. Transfer pine nuts to medium bowl.
  2. In same skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add shallot and fennel; cook, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes until slightly softened. Add capers and cook 1 minute. Transfer to bowl with pine nuts. Stir in remaining oil and orange zest. Let cool 5 minutes before adding basil and 1/8 teaspoon salt; reserve.
  3. Season salmon with remaining salt and pepper. Heat skillet over medium heat until hot. Add salmon, flesh-side down, and cook 5 minutes until nicely browned. Flip salmon and continue cooking 4-5 minutes until skin is crisp and salmon is cooked through but still slightly translucent in center. Place one salmon fillet on each of four serving plates; top each with pine nut mixture.

Long-Cooked Green Beans with Tomatoes and Garlic

Recipe courtesy of Anolon Gourmet Cookware
Yield: 4 servings

  • Anolon Advanced Home 12-inch nonstick skillet
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4       cup yellow onions, minced
  • 3          cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2    pounds green beans, ends trimmed
  • 3          large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. In nonstick skillet over medium heat, warm olive oil.
  2. Add onions and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, 7-10 minutes. Add garlic and continue stirring 1 minute. Add green beans and tomatoes; cover and cook over low heat until green beans are soft, 25 minutes.
  3. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Cook, uncovered, until liquid is almost gone, 2-3 minutes.

Stovetop Apple Pie

Recipe courtesy of Anolon Gourmet Cookware
Yield: 1 10-inch pie

  • Anolon Advanced Home 10-inch nonstick skillet
  • 6          tablespoons butter
  • 1/2       cup, plus 2 teaspoons, sugar, divided
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cinnamon or apple pie spice
  • 6          medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into eight wedges each
  • 1          refrigerated pie crust
  • 2          teaspoons cream
  1. In nonstick skillet over low heat, melt butter; remove from heat. Stir in 1/2 cup sugar and cinnamon. Arrange apple wedges evenly in skillet, overlapping as needed.
  2. Heat oven to 350° F.
  3. In skillet over medium heat, cook sugar mixture until it is light amber in color and bubbly, 8-10 minutes.
  4. Carefully place pie crust on top of apples; cut few slits in pastry to allow air to escape. Brush pastry with cream and remaining sugar. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until crust is golden brown and apples are tender. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Source: Anolon

Videos 23 September 2019

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Whether you need a quick appetizer or something to snack on, these Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes make for an appealing bite.

Find more snack recipes at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

  • 24-48   cherry tomatoes
  • 1          package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2          tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1          medium cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 3          green onion stalks, diced
  • 2          teaspoons minced dill
  • fresh dill, for garnish
  1. Cut thin slice off top of each tomato. Scoop out pulp. Invert tomatoes on paper towel to drain.
  2. In medium bowl, combine cream cheese and mayonnaise until smooth. Stir in cucumber, green onion and dill. Spoon mixture into tomatoes. Top with fresh dill.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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