Kids 01 August 2019

8 Kid-Friendly, Back-To-School Recipes

(Family Features) Save time and serve up better-for-you lunches, snacks, desserts and after-school energy boosts with these simple and affordable recipes.

By packing quick and easy lunches, you can have your kids set for each busy day without sacrificing time together. Shopping for your grade-A, back-to-school essentials at a store like ALDI means you’ll use quality ingredients to prepare fun, better-for-you lunchboxes and more.

Consider these eight recipe ideas to pack a better lunchbox. Get schooled in savings and check out aldi.us to find more back-to-school inspiration.

  1. Secret Veggie Turkey NuggetsSneak those all-important veggies into your child’s lunch with these baked nuggets that combine ground turkey, cauliflower, zucchini and onions. Add a favorite dipping sauce to the lunchbox for a tasty, nutritious midday meal.

  1. Bento Box LunchIf your child is adventurous when it comes to flavors, combine a turkey sandwich roll, quinoa salad, broccoli salad and cinnamon apples in this full-flavored bento box.

  1. Fruit Leather WrapsSnack time doesn’t have to mean candy and other unhealthy options. Instead, provide a sweet treat that’s all-natural with blueberries and raspberries in these fruity wraps that are both guilt- and gluten-free.

  1. Tropical Granola BarOne of the most versatile snacks to enjoy nearly any time of day: granola bars. This homemade version combines dried fruit with pumpkin flax and quick oats for a sweet, nutritious treat.

  1. Peanut Butter Granola BitesMake dessert a more nutritious venture with the classic combination of peanut butter, fruit and honey. These small bites of savory flavor can be ready in just 12 minutes for a nighttime snack the whole family can share.

  1. Strawberry Yogurt BarsThe nutritious combination of oats and strawberries makes for a tasty treat. This kid-friendly recipe is an easy option to make ahead and serve anytime.

  1. Tropical Superfruit SmoothieIt only takes six natural ingredients and five minutes to make a supercharged after-school snack.

  1. Carrot Pineapple SmoothieBefore diving into the evening’s homework assignments, help your little learner refuel with fruits and veggies in this creamy smoothie.

Source: ALDI

Meal Ideas 19 July 2019

3 Tips to Add Some Love to the Lunchbox

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Spinach Ham Rollups

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 12

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

Ham Sandwich and Veggie Bento Box

Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

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

Source: Farmer John

Meal Ideas 05 February 2019

5 Tips to Meal Prep Like a Pro

(Family Features) Dinner can be a daunting task for any family with multiple mouths to feed. Factor in complex schedules and individual tastes, and a family meal can become a stressful thought for home cooks.

However, with proper meal planning and preparation, those stressful evenings can become a thing of the past. Consider these steps to becoming a better meal prepper:

Start Slow
If you’re new to meal prepping, don’t bog yourself down trying to come up with ideas and ingredients multiple days in advance. Start by planning just one or two days ahead then consider lengthening your prep phases as you get more comfortable.

Shop Smart
Avoid overbuying by heading to the grocery store with a plan in mind or, even better, a specific list. While perusing the aisles, look for the Produce for Kids logo next to healthy, family-friendly items to help make nutritionally sound choices.

Go with What You Know
Rather than teaching yourself to meal prep while trying to learn new recipes at the same time, stick to the basics. Create dishes you’ve made in the past while you get into the habit of meal prepping.

Make It a Family Event
Recruit some help from your kids by enlisting them with some easier kitchen tasks. It can be a learning and bonding experience to make recipes like Easy One-Dish Chicken and Veggie Bake or Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadilla.

Plan for In-Season Produce
Certain fruits and veggies are stocked (and taste better) at certain times of year. Be sure to create shopping lists with these timeframes in mind.

To find family meal tips and more than 400 registered dietitian- and family-approved recipes, visit produceforkids.com.
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Easy One-Dish Chicken and Veggie Bake

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          pound chicken breast, cut in fourths
  • 12        small red potatoes, quartered
  • 12        ounces green beans
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 3          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          tablespoon herbs de Provence
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon pepper
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place chicken, potatoes and green beans in rows in 13-by-9-inch baking dish with chicken in middle. Drizzle with olive oil and season with garlic, herbs de Provence, salt and pepper.
  3. Bake 50 minutes, or until chicken reaches internal temperature of 165 F and potatoes are tender.

Nutritional information per serving: 554 calories; 8 g fat; 65 mg cholesterol; 87 g carbohydrates; 11 g fiber; 37 g protein; 9 g sugar; 82 mg calcium; 5 mg iron; 282 mg sodium.
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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadilla

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          large sweet potato
  • 1          can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4       cup chopped cilantro
  • 1          tablespoon low-sodium taco seasoning
  • 8          whole-wheat tortillas
  • 1          cup low-fat shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  1. Use fork to prick sweet potato. Microwave 5 minutes on high. Let cool slightly.
  2. Cut potato in half lengthwise and scoop flesh into large bowl. Mash until smooth.
  3. Combine beans, cilantro and seasoning with sweet potato; mix well.
  4. Heat skillet over medium heat. Spread sweet potato mixture evenly on one side of tortilla, sprinkle with cheese and place second tortilla on top. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Flip and cook 2-3 minutes more.
  5. Repeat with remaining tortillas and mixture. Cut each into quarters.

Nutritional information per serving: 293 calories; 9.34 g total fat; 34.82 g carbohydrates; 10.39 g fiber; 17.04 g protein; 2.33 g total sugars; 237 mg calcium; 2.65 mg iron; 146 mg sodium.

Source: Produce for Kids

Meal Ideas 16 November 2018

Savor the Season with Comfort Foods

(Family Features) Few things go together quite like the holidays and comforting seasonal recipes.

When time is short during the season’s hustle and bustle but you’re craving a savory meal, reach for an ingredient like READ German Potato Salad, which can be the shortcut you need to get Potato, Turkey and Veggie Casserole on the table quickly.

Dessert is a must during the holidays, and this Cranberry-Beet Bundt Cake with Orange-Walnut Glaze draws its unique flavor from Aunt Nellie’s Beets and a sweet blend of spices and seasonings.

Find more seasonal recipes at READSalads.com and AuntNellies.com.
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Cranberry-Beet Bundt Cake with Orange-Walnut Glaze

Prep time: 50 minutes  
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 16

  • 1          jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Sliced Pickled Beets, drained
  • 2 1/4    cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1 1/4    cups dried sweetened cranberries
  • 2 1/2    cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons baking powder
  • 1          teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 4          large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2    sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4       cup vegetable oil
  • 1          orange, zest only, finely grated
  • 2          teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2       cup buttermilk

Orange-Walnut Glaze:

  • 2 1/2    cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 1          orange, zest only, finely grated
  • 1/4       cup orange juice, plus additional (optional)
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1          cup finely chopped walnuts
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.  Butter and lightly flour fluted 10-inch Bundt pan.
  2. In food processor, puree beets and 1 cup sugar until smooth, about 30 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl once.
  3. In small bowl, cover cranberries with hot water.
  4. In medium mixing bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  5. In large mixing bowl using electric mixer on medium-high, beat remaining sugar, eggs, butter and oil2-3 minutes until light and smooth. Blend in beet puree. Add orange zest and vanilla; mix until blended. Add half of flour mixture; beat on low until smooth. Add buttermilk; beat on low until smooth then add remaining flour mixture, beating until blended. Drain cranberries; fold into batter.
  6. Turn batter into prepared pan, spreading evenly. Bake on center rack 45-50 minutes. When done, cake will pull away from sides of pan and toothpick, inserted into center will come out clean.
  7. Cool 15 minutes then invert cake onto rack.
  8. To make Orange-Walnut Glaze: In large mixing bowl, combine sugar and orange zest. Add orange juice; whisk until smooth. Whisk in butter. Add additional juice, if necessary.
  9. Spoon glaze over cake while still warm. Sprinkle with walnuts.

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Potato, Turkey and Veggie Casserole

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon, olive oil
  • 3/4       pound extra-lean ground turkey breast
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1          can (15 ounces) READ German Potato Salad
  • 1/2       cup light sour cream
  • 2          cups frozen, thawed or canned mixed vegetables, drained
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/2       cup bread crumbs
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. In large, nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add turkey, thyme, garlic powder, pepper and salt, if desired. Cook 5-7 minutes, until cooked through, stirring occasionally and breaking turkey into large crumbles.
  2. Stir in potato salad and sour cream. Add vegetables; stir to combine. Spray 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spoon in casserole mixture.
  3. Toss together bread crumbs and remaining oil. Sprinkle over casserole. Bake 30 minutes, or until bubbly and heated through.

Substitution: Leftover chopped turkey (about 1 1/2 cups) can be cooked 2-3 minutes in skillet in place of ground turkey.

Source: Seneca Foods
AuntNellies

Appetizers & Sides 13 March 2017

Fix Up a Flavorful Spring Table

(Family Features) Finding the perfect recipe to share with loved ones can prove to be a year-round challenge. These tasty dishes that include a flatbread appetizer, shrimp main dish and a favorite seasonal dessert made with strawberries can help you serve up a meal perfect for any spring gathering.

Visit Culinary.net for more tips and recipes to make your springtime gatherings as nutritious as they are delicious.

Hearty and Flavorful
Make your meal a hearty, tasty one by starting it off with this recipe for Herbed Veggie Focaccia Bread, a pizza-esque flatbread that’s a delicious alternative to all-too-common unhealthy appetizers. Topped with mushrooms, tomatoes, peppers, olives and onion, this delightful small plate packs a nutritious load of veggies. Find more nutritious recipes at AICR.org.

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Herbed Veggie Focaccia Bread

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research
Servings: 12

Dough:

  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) quick-rise yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup warm water, 125-130° F
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

Topping:

  • 7 medium fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 small green bell pepper, slivered
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 teaspoons cornmeal
  1. Heat oven to 475° F.
  2. To make dough: In mixing bowl, combine whole-wheat flour, 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, yeast and salt. Add water and oil. Beat until smooth. Stir in remaining all-purpose flour to form soft dough. Place onto floured surface and knead by hand until consistent and elastic, about 4 minutes. Cover and let stand 15 minutes.
  3. To make topping: In bowl, combine mushrooms, tomatoes, green bell pepper, olives, onion, oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano, thyme, basil and garlic powder.
  4. Coat 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with cornmeal. Gently press dough into pan. With fork, generously prick dough.
  5. Bake 10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cover dough with topping mixture. Bake additional 10 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.

Fast, Flavorful Fish Dinner
If warm spring weather has you in the mood for a simple fish dinner, look to your humble sheet pan. Follow these simple tips from Dr. Wendy Bazilian, McCormick Health Advisor and Registered Dietitian, to enjoy tasty seafood recipes you’ll want to make all year long.

  • Sheet pans are perfect for simple fish dinners because they require minimal cleanup and everything is baked on one pan.
  • While lemon is a great complement to seafood, think about pairing with other citrus flavors like orange and lime. Try marinating shrimp in a mixture of lite coconut milk, lime extract, ginger and red pepper.
  • Add colorful vegetables like zoodles or asparagus to your sheet pan to boost both seafood and vegetable servings. You don’t need a spiralizer to make zoodles because many grocery stores offer pre-made zoodles in the produce section.

Explore more recipes to enjoy during spring and beyond at McCormick.com, or look for McCormick Spice on Facebook and Pinterest.

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Coconut Lime Shrimp with Zoodles

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

  • 1/4 cup Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk (regular or lite)
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Pure Lime Extract
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into thin noodles with spiralizer
  • 1 medium yellow squash, cut into thin noodles with spiralizer
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into thin noodles with spiralizer
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Ground Black Pepper
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. In large, re-sealable plastic bag, mix together coconut milk, ginger, garlic powder, crushed red pepper and lime extract. Add shrimp; turn to coat well.
  3. Refrigerate 15-30 minutes. Remove shrimp from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. In center of large, shallow, foil-lined baking pan, arrange shrimp in single layer.
  4. In large bowl, toss vegetable noodles and oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat well. Spread noodles around shrimp in pan.
  5. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until shrimp turn pink and are cooked through and noodles are tender. Serve shrimp over vegetable noodles.

Test kitchen tip: For faster prep, use 4 cups store-bought spiralized vegetable noodles instead of spiralizing them yourself.

Dessert Makeover
Strawberries are a seasonal favorite. Indulge by skipping the shortcake and whipping up this lower-calorie dessert for more flavor and less guilt. A whole-wheat crust layered with simple, low-fat ingredients and topped with fresh strawberries provides a tasty springtime treat. Find more good-for-you recipes at AICR.org.

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Strawberry and Cheese Refrigerator Pie

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research
Servings: 8

  • 1 prepared whole-wheat graham cracker pie crust (9 inches)
  • 4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons extra-fine sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 pound strawberries
  • 1/2 cup strawberry fruit spread
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Place crust on baking sheet and bake 8 minutes, or until golden and fragrant. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
  3. Place cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, lemon zest and vanilla in small bowl. Using hand mixer on medium speed or wooden spoon, blend until combined and smooth. Spread cheese mixture evenly over bottom of pie crust. Refrigerate until set, 1-2 hours.
  4. Before serving, cut off tops of strawberries. Halve largest ones and place in bowl. Cut remaining berries lengthwise in quarters and place in another bowl. Melt fruit spread in bowl in microwave or in small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Mix in lemon juice, if using, and divide hot fruit spread between two bowls of berries. Using fork, toss until fruit is coated.
  5. Spoon quartered fruit into center of pie, turning most pieces cut-side down. Arrange larger halves in circle around edge of pie with flat side facing rim of crust and pointing toward center of pie. Fill open spaces with any remaining fruit spread.
  6. Serve pie within 1 hour.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Herbed Veggie Focaccia Bread)
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Strawberry and Cheese Refrigerator Pie)

Source: Culinary.net

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