Festive flavors and seasonal sips
(Family Features) The holidays are the perfect time to gather with friends and family to celebrate the season.
Take the stress out of hosting by shopping at a store like ALDI for your holiday must-haves, including everything from food and wine to holiday decor and even gifts for nearly anyone on your list, helping you to save time and money.
Toast to the holidays with an impressive appetizer spread, paired with award-winning wines, with recipes like Cranberry Shrimp Ceviche Cups paired with the creamy and tropical taste of William Wright Chardonnay. Or whip up quick and easy Party Poppers made with dates, Brie cheese and bacon to mesh with the fruit, vanilla and spicy fall notes of Peaks & Tides Cabernet Sauvignon.
Blue Cheese and Walnut Mousse provides a savory finish when matched with La Rue Côtes de Provence Rosé and its hints of lavender, rosemary and thyme. Finally, add a little something sweet to your spread by pairing the refreshingly ripe Landshut Riesling with a festive Gingerbread Trifle.
Find more holiday recipes and shopping solutions at ALDI.us .
Blue Cheese and Walnut Mousse
Recipe courtesy of Chef Scott, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 10 servings
- 2 tablespoons Simply Nature 100% Pure Avocado Oil
- 3 large yellow onions, sliced
- 5 ounces Happy Farms Preferred Blue Cheese Crumbles
- 8 ounces Happy Farms Cream Cheese
- Stonemill Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- 1 cup Friendly Farms Heavy Whipping Cream
- 8 ounces Southern Grove Chopped Walnuts, divided
- 5 cucumbers, thinly sliced
- In large pan, heat oil and saute onions until brown and caramelized.
- In food processor, combine blue cheese crumbles and cream cheese. Process until smooth. Season with pepper, to taste.
- In medium bowl, using hand mixer, whisk cream until soft peaks form. Fold in cheese mixture and 4 ounces chopped walnuts.
- Top cucumber slices with mousse, caramelized onions and remaining chopped walnuts. Finish by grinding black pepper over top for garnish.
- Pair each serving with glass of La Rue Cotes de Provence Rosé.
Tip: Mousse can also be served as a dip with baguette slices.
Recipe courtesy of the ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 20 minutes
Yield: 12 servings
- 1 package (3.4 ounces) Baker’s Corner Vanilla Pudding
- 1 3/4 cups Specially Selected Premium Eggnog
- 1/2 teaspoon Stonemill Pumpkin Pie Spice
- 7 ounces Café Bistro Soft Gingerbread, crumbled, divided
- 1 1/4 cups Friendly Farms Whipped Topping, divided
- 1 cup Berryhill Apple Butter, divided
- 2 teaspoons Stonemill Ground Cinnamon
- Whisk vanilla pudding mix and eggnog. Add pumpkin pie spice and beat 2 minutes. Chill in refrigerator 10 minutes.
- In large glass bowl, layer one-third of gingerbread cookies, one-third of pudding, one-third of whipped topping and 1/2 cup apple butter; repeat two more times.
- The third layer will end with whipped topping. Garnish with cinnamon.
- Chill in refrigerator 2 hours.
- Pair each serving with glass of Landshut Riesling.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 36 poppers
- 8 ounces Southern Grove Pitted Dates
- 4 ounces Specially Selected Brie Cheese Round
- 6 ounces Southern Grove Slivered Almonds
- 1 1/2 pounds Specially Selected Thick Sliced Hickory Bacon
- 2 teaspoons Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- Cut dates in half, lengthwise.
- Cut brie into bite-size pieces, about the size of peanuts.
- Place one piece of Brie and four almond pieces on each open date half. Place other half on top.
- Quarter bacon slices, wrap tightly around stuffed dates and secure with toothpicks. Sprinkle with pepper.
- Line baking sheet with foil and place wrapped dates on top. Bake 15 minutes, or until bacon is crispy. Serve warm.
- Pair each serving with glass of Peaks & Tides Cabernet Sauvignon.
Cranberry Shrimp Ceviche Cups
Recipe courtesy of Chef Kates, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour chill time
Cook time: 3 minutes
Yield: 16 ceviche cups
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Stonemill Iodized Salt, divided
- 16 ounces Specially Selected Black Tiger Shrimp, thawed
- 1 cup Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
- 1/2 red onion, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley
- 1/2 jalapeno, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill Crushed Red Pepper or Ground Black Pepper
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Oregano
- 13 ounces Simply Nature Organic Tortilla Chips, for garnish
- 2 limes, cut into wedges, for garnish
- fresh cranberries, for garnish (optional)
- Bring medium pot of water to boil. Season with 1 teaspoon salt. Add shrimp and cook 3 minutes. Immediately plunge cooked shrimp into ice water bath. Peel shrimp and place in flat dish.
- In food processor, combine dried cranberries, red onion, parsley and jalapeno. Pulse until finely chopped. Add cranberry mixture to shrimp.
- Add lemon juice, lime juice, remaining salt, pepper and oregano. Stir to combine thoroughly. Refrigerate 1 hour.
- To assemble: Spoon ceviche (about 4-5 shrimp each) into small clear cups or glasses. Garnish with tortilla chips, lime wedges and fresh cranberries, if desired.
- Pair each serving with glass of William Wright Chardonnay.
(Family Features) The holiday season is meant for spending quality time with friends and family, not stressing out over hosting. With some simple tips, you can cut down on hectic preparations while creating a memorable holiday full of food and fun guests can savor.
Consider these suggestions from the entertaining experts at Real California Milk:
Heading into your seasonal soiree with a plan in place can help avoid snafus. Make a shopping list of ingredients and decorations. Then put together a schedule a few days prior to the event to cover last-minute preparations.
Elevate Holiday Classics
Elevating classic appetizers is a simple way to savor the season. A trend on the rise, the Grazing Table starts with the table as the canvas, adds elements of the traditional cheese board then takes it to the next level with an arrangement of appetizers or brunch dishes and seasonal decor. Another way to lift your holiday spread is using high-quality, authentic ingredients like Real California Milk cheeses, made with milk from California dairy farm families, which are key ingredients in this Sweet Citrus and Spice Cheese Board.
Prepare Dishes and Decorations in Advance
Preparing for guests can be one of the most time-consuming aspects of hosting. Decorating at least a day ahead and setting the table the night before, for example, can help minimize stress. Welcome guests with holiday cheer and trendy decor like a virtual yule log made of melting cheese, complete with holiday music.
For more holiday inspiration and recipes like antipasto skewers and yogurt-pesto dip, queso fundido and cheese logs and bundts, visit realcaliforniamilk.com/recipes.
- Toma cheese, sliced
- natural almonds
- Real California aged cheddar, sliced
- Real California burrata cheese
- olive oil
- blue cheese
- Real California braided marinated string cheese
- dry salami, sliced
- premade antipasto skewers
- yogurt pesto dipping sauce
- Real California aged Gouda
- brie cheese
- Real California cheese log
- Real California cheese bundts
- dry jack cheese
- sweet red piquante peppers
- green California olives
- premade Real California queso fundido
- tortilla chips
- dark chocolate sea salt caramels
- dried citrus, such as oranges and lemons
- artisan bread, sliced
- On large board, plate or tray, arrange sliced toma cheese, almonds, prosciutto, salami and aged cheddar. In center, place burrata cheese and top with olive oil and herbs.
- On separate small plate, place blue cheese; crumble.
- On medium board, arrange braided string cheese and dry salami slices.
- On serving platter, arrange antipasto skewers around bowl of yogurt pesto dipping sauce.
- On separate small cheese board, place Gouda, brie cheese and cheese log.
- On slate, arrange cheese bundts. On separate plate, place dry jack cheese.
- In separate bowls, place piquante peppers and green olives.
- Arrange boards, plates, bowls and skillet of queso fundido on table, as desired.
- Fill blank spaces on table with breadsticks, tortilla chips, dark chocolate sea salt caramels, dried oranges, dried lemons and bread slices. Add floral arrangements and holiday decor for finishing touches. Complete table with cheese knives and spreaders.
Sweet Citrus and Spice Cheese Board
- Real California brie cheese
- black olives
- green olives
- dried oranges, sliced
- Real California pepper jack cheese sliced
- Real California burrata cheese
- honey, for garnish
- fresh herbs, for garnish
- To assemble cheese board: On large board, plate or tray, arrange brie cheese, olives, dried orange slices, sliced pepper jack cheese and almonds.
- On smaller board, arrange raspberries and blackberries around burrata cheese placed in center of board. Garnish cheese with honey and fresh herbs. Place smaller board into empty space on larger board.
(Family Features) When it comes to preparing a spread for a holiday gathering, some may look to traditional wine varieties such as Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon. However, as holiday traditions become less traditional, you can also branch out in your selection of wines.
Produced from the indigenous grapes of Sicily, wines from Sicilia DOC offer fresh taste, quality and variety. The wines come to life when paired with a variation of holiday dishes.
These three tips can help you pair Sicilian wines with the dishes you may serve as part of your holiday spread:
For the Light White Wine Fan
With a low alcohol percentage and fruity notes, an option such as Grillo can be a fan favorite at any holiday gathering and makes for a perfect hostess gift. This white wine features notes of white peaches and grapefruit and can pair well with seafood appetizers, baked casseroles, vegetarian sides or a well-known Sicilian dish like this Green Bean and Blood Orange Salad.
For Guests Looking for a Graceful Red Wine
A modern take on Pinot Noir, Frappato is a light-to-medium-bodied wine with a lingering freshness that’s persistent and balanced with notes of cherry and strawberry. This wine pairs well with both white and dark meat of flavorful holiday turkeys as well as pastas, pizza, roasted meats, potatoes and cheeses.
For Friends Who Favor a Complex Red
For guests who favor Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot, an option such as Nero d’Avola is a nice alternative, with aromas of ripe cherry, rose, sweet spices, licorice and cocoa. As a go-to red wine, it pairs well with a hearty charcuterie platter, roasted meats, lamb, pizza and pastas.
For more holiday wine pairings and recipes, visit winesofsicily.com.
Green Bean and Blood Orange Salad
Recipe courtesy of Wines of Sicilia DOC Servings: 8
- 2 pounds thin green beans
- 6 blood oranges
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- maple syrup
- Add salt to large pot of boiling water. Add green beans and cook until tender and bright green. Drain beans in colander and transfer to bowl of ice water to cool. Once cool, drain and pat dry with towel.
- Peel four oranges and remove white pith. Working over bowl, cut between membranes to release sections into bowl. Zest one remaining orange and juice both uncut oranges; reserve zest. Transfer juice to saucepan and add vinegar, honey and pepper flakes. Bring to boil then simmer over moderate heat until reduced to syrup, 10 minutes. Season with salt.
- In large bowl, toss beans, orange sections and 3 tablespoons vinegar syrup. Transfer to serving platter; drizzle with maple syrup, almonds and orange zest.
Pair each serving with a glass of Grillo.
Source: Wines of Sicilia DOC
(Family Features) During the warm summer months, salad makes for a refreshing lunch or convenient dinner option that can be delicious and nutritious. With a variety of salad options available, they don’t have to be boring or monotonous.
For example, greens can instantly transform into a unique meal when you add creative options like duck breast to help elevate the dish. Because it’s a red meat, duck breast provides a hearty taste, similar to steak, while being leaner and lower in saturated fat than other red meats.
In this Cherry-Glazed Duck Breast Salad, homemade cherry vinaigrette glazes duck breast and dresses baby spinach while blue cheese and slivered almonds add texture and flavor. As a bonus, you can save the duck breast skin to make cracklins for a quick snack or crunchy salad topping.
Find more salad recipes and tips for cooking with duck at mapleleaffarms.com.
Cherry-Glazed Duck Breast Salad
Recipe courtesy of Chef Ted Cizma on behalf of Maple Leaf Farms
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 2 cups dried cherries, divided
- 3 cups hot water
- 1/3 cup raspberry vinegar
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 Maple Leaf Farms Boneless Duck Breasts
- 6 cups loosely packed baby spinach leaves, washed and trimmed
- 2 cups blue cheese
- 2 cups slivered almonds
- To make Cherry Vinaigrette: In small saucepan over low heat, cover 1 cup cherries with water. Bring to simmer, cover pan and remove from heat. Let cherries soak in hot water 15-20 minutes. Strain cherries and reserve liquid.
- In food processor or blender, puree cherries until smooth, adding reserved liquid as necessary. Add raspberry vinegar to cherry mixture. With blender or food processor on low, slowly add olive oil, reserving about 2 tablespoons. Season mixture, to taste, with salt and pepper. Set aside Cherry Vinaigrette.
- Heat grill to medium heat. Remove skin from duck breasts. Rub with remaining olive oil and season liberally with salt and pepper. Pour some Cherry Vinaigrette into separate container to use as glaze; reserve remaining for dressing. Using pastry brush, coat duck breasts with Cherry Vinaigrette.
- Cook duck until crisp and dark brown (about 5-6 minutes), turn over and recoat with Cherry Vinaigrette. Continue cooking until second side is crisp and brown, brushing with vinaigrette as needed, about 4 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 155 F. Remove to cutting board and let rest at least 5 minutes.
- Place spinach in mixing bowl. Toss spinach with enough dressing to coat leaves. Add blue cheese, almonds and most of remaining dried cherries, reserving some of each for garnish. Season with salt and pepper.
- Divide spinach mixture among four bowls.
- Slice duck breast thinly on bias, starting at one end of each breast with knife at 45-degree angle.
- Fan slices of duck on top of each salad. Sprinkle each salad with crumbled blue cheese, almonds and dried cherries.
Source: Maple Leaf Farms
Eye-popping recipes worth sharing
(Family Features) It seems that taking pictures of mouthwatering food to share online is all the rage for social media users. Food is art, and toast and its trimmings can be the perfect canvas. Creating a social media-worthy slice requires a bit of creativity, some patience, quality and, of course, aesthetically pleasing ingredients.
The versatility and distinct flavor profile of California Ripe Olives make them an ideal ingredient to fuel your imagination and add an extra bit of finesse to your edible creation.
California farmers are responsible for producing more than 95 percent of the ripe olives consumed in the United States. From planting, pruning, harvesting and processing, they make sure the highest quality olives come from their farm to your table – one can at a time. Adding olives to any dish helps bring California sunshine into each bite.
Put your creativity to the test with these delicious designs. For more delightful and artistic recipes with California Ripe Olives, visit calolive.org.
Toast Like a Butterfly
- 2 slices wheat bread
- large butterfly cookie cutter
- 1/2 avocado, mashed
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 cheese stick
- 2 slices orange bell pepper
- 2 thin slices red bell pepper
- 6 black California Ripe Olives
- 3 green California Ripe Olives
- 1 sugar snap pea
- Lightly toast wheat bread and use cookie cutter to cut one wing from each slice.
- Mash avocado and mix with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread on both wings.
- Slice cheese stick to fit between wings and act as body of butterfly.
- Slice orange bell pepper into antenna and red bell pepper into thin slices to line body of butterfly.
- Slice black olives in half, lengthwise, and place on upper and lower portions of each wing. Slice green olives into rounds and place on middle of each wing.
- Decorate plate with quartered olives and place sugar snap pea in center.
Pro Tips for Creating Shareable Slices:
These pro tips can take you from toast trainee to skillful slice creator.
- Have a vision. Don’t be afraid to sketch it out.
- The base of your toast is everything. Pick a sturdy variety.
- Consider your ingredients and play with flavors, textures and colors. For example, try to incorporate both green and black California Ripe Olives for greater versatility.
- Shapes, colors and textures can add excitement.
- Toast is a small canvas, so consider the tools you’re working with and get creative.
A Toast to Summer
- 2 slices white bread, toasted
- 4 tablespoons cream cheese
- 3 crackers, crushed
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- handful leafy greens of choice (green onions, parsley, cilantro or chives)
- 2 black California Ripe Olives
- 1 green California Ripe Olive
- Slice each piece of toast into a square and place one above other on plate.
- Spread layer of cream cheese on bottom third of lower piece of toast and cover spread with crushed crackers.
- Spread layer of cream cheese from lower-right corner to upper-left corner and, starting at bottom, layer sliced almonds on top of each other to create trunk spreading across both pieces of bread.
- Arrange greens into palm fronds at top of trunk. Use cream cheese as glue if they begin to slip.
- Arrange black olives and green olive as coconuts between top of trunk and base of leaves, covering bottom of leaves.
Singing in the Grain
- 1/4 avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 slice sourdough bread, toasted
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- handful of green California Ripe Olives, sliced into rounds
- 1 orange bell pepper, sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- handful of black California Ripe Olives, sliced into raindrop shapes
- 1 large sugar snap pea
- Arrange sliced avocado on toasted sourdough bread and top with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Slice green olive rounds in half and arrange in line beneath toast.
- Place one slice orange bell pepper below bread as handle and one small piece orange bell pepper above bread.
- Place one straight slice of red bell pepper on bottom edge of toast.
- Arrange black olive slices and sugar snap peas around toast as raindrops.
Walking in a Toasty Wonderland
- 2 slices white bread, toasted
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese, divided
- 5 slices red bell pepper
- 1 orange bell pepper, sliced small
- 2 black California Ripe Olives, 1 jumbo and 1 medium
- 5 small sugar snap peas, divided
- 1 pretzel stick, cut in half
- 3 green California Ripe Olive rounds
- small snowflake cookie cutter
- large snowflake cookie cutter
- 4 slices gouda or white cheddar cheese
- 8 cilantro or parsley leaves
- Slice one piece of toast into circle with 4-inch diameter.
- Slice second piece of toast into half-circle with 4-inch diameter, which will act as base of snow globe.
- Spread 1 tablespoon cream cheese onto bottom fifth of circular toast.
- Cover base of snow globe with slices of bell pepper, cut to correct width.
- Stack medium black olive on top of jumbo black olive and affix to toast with cream cheese.
- Add decorations to olive snowman by affixing two small sugar snap peas to body of snowman, pretzel stick arms to sides, small piece orange bell pepper for nose and two small dots cream cheese for eyes.
- Decorate base with green olive rounds and three sugar snap peas in center.
- Use cookie cutters to cut four small snowflakes and four large snowflakes out of slices of cheese. Arrange snowflakes around outside of plate and place cilantro leaves between each snowflake.
- Place remaining cream cheese in small plastic bag and cut small hole in corner. Pipe small dots on circular toast around snowman.
Source: California Ripe Olive Committee
(Family Features) When it comes to fresh fruit, watermelon is a top pick in many households.
It’s available year-round and makes for a nutritious snack, but its great taste is the reason most people buy watermelon, according to research from the National Watermelon Promotion Board.
Not only is watermelon a tasty snack by itself, it’s a great complement to other flavors, making it easy to create flavorful pairings. This sweet take on pizza combines watermelon with a host of other good-for-you ingredients for a delicious treat. Healthy enough for breakfast and sweet enough for dessert, this pizza can make its way into your weekly meal rotation.
For another nutritious option, consider this Buddha bowl featuring watermelon, which contains higher levels of lycopene, an antioxidant, than any other fresh fruit or vegetable. Watermelon is also an excellent source of vitamin C, and it provides vitamin B6 and potassium. It’s the perfect sweet addition to balance the savory flavors of this traditional plant-based Buddha bowl.
Each of these recipes leaves plenty of room for personalization; experiment with your favorite flavors to make each dish your own. Also remember that watermelon travels well, so these recipes make for ideal take-along snacks when you’re on the go.
Find more fresh, fruity recipes to enjoy any time of year at watermelon.org.
Watermelon Buddha Bowl
Citrusy Tahini Dressing:
- 3 tablespoons tahini (ground sesame seed paste)
- 1/3 cup fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 teaspoon soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
- 4 mini cucumbers, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sweet cherries, pitted and halved
- 2 avocados, sliced
- 2 cups cooked black rice
- 1 cup sliced, toasted almonds
- Citrusy Tahini Dressing
- To make Citrusy Tahini Dressing: In bowl, whisk tahini, orange juice, rice vinegar, soy sauce, ginger and salt. If dressing seems thick, add more orange juice or water to reach desired consistency.
- To arrange Buddha Bowls: Separate watermelon, cucumbers, cherries, avocados and rice in four bowls. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.
Sweet Watermelon Pizza
- Greek yogurt
- Watermelon, cut to 1-inch thick round slice
- Shredded coconut
- Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries or blackberries
- Slivered almonds
- Spread yogurt to cover fleshy part of watermelon, leaving room to hold rind. Sprinkle with coconut, mint, berries and almonds, or other toppings, as desired.
Hearty meals to bring the family together
(Family Features) Gathering the family around the table with delicious, traditional meals is the ultimate combination for many home chefs like Catherine Lowe, winner of the 17th season of ABC’s “The Bachelor.”
Lowe, who partnered as a celebrity spokesperson with Bertolli to create this Roasted Garlic Marinara Braised Chicken with Linguine recipe, enjoys adding authenticity to the table with recipes that provide homemade taste and layers of flavor.
“I pride myself on my strong Italian roots,” Lowe said. “My dad taught me how to cook at a young age, and growing up, it was an event to make and enjoy dinner with his side of the family. It’s important for me to remember and celebrate that heritage.”
Full of hearty vegetables you can see and taste, and inspired by the simple goodness of Tuscan cooking, Bertolli Rustic Cut Pasta sauces help bring homemade flavor to your table. Offered in four varieties – Marinara with Traditional Vegetables, Spicy Marinara with Traditional Vegetables, Roasted Garlic Marinara with Garden Vegetables and Sweet Peppers with Portobello Mushrooms – it’s Lowe’s secret ingredient to helping make family meals more enjoyable.
Find more family-friendly recipes to bring everyone together at bertolli.com.
Roasted Garlic Marinara Braised Chicken with Linguine
Recipe courtesy of Sean and Catherine Lowe
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
- 23 ounces Bertolli Rustic Cut Roasted Garlic Marinara Sauce
- 6-8 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound whole-wheat linguine
- 8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
- 1/2 cup small diced onion
- 1/4 cup white wine (optional)
- 3 ounces baby kale
- Parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In 3-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, heat sauce. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add chicken, skin-side down, and cook 3-5 minutes, or until skin is crisp and deep golden-brown. Turn chicken over and cook 3-5 minutes until golden-brown on second side.
- Remove chicken from skillet, leaving fat in pan. Set aside skillet to be used later.
- Add chicken to sauce in Dutch oven in single layer, skin-side up, with skin just above surface of sauce. Cover and bake 40 minutes. Begin to boil water for pasta.
- Remove cover from Dutch oven and cook in oven 10 minutes.
- Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions. Drain.
- Heat reserved skillet and fat over medium-high heat; add cremini mushrooms and onions; saute until lightly browned. Deglaze with white wine, if desired, and cook until dry. Add kale to mushrooms and toss gently to wilt.
- Remove Dutch oven from oven and gently transfer chicken to large plate. Add pasta to sauce in Dutch oven and stir gently to coat.
- Place portion of pasta in pasta bowl and make well in middle. Spoon mushroom-kale mixture into center of well and top with one piece of chicken.
- Shave Parmesan cheese over dish to finish.
- Spoon polenta into serving dish and make a well in middle. Place mushroom-kale mixture in well. Top with marinara sauce and one piece of chicken.
Substitution: Portobello, shiitake or button mushrooms may be used in place of cremini mushrooms.
Tip: Serve with creamy polenta instead of pasta. In saucepan, combine 2 cups chicken stock, 2 cups milk, 2 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to boil and whisk in 1 cup instant polenta and cook, while stirring, 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and whisk to combine.
Grilled Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 1/2 cups (10 ounces) uncooked orzo pasta
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) vegetable broth
- 1 jar (23 ounces) Bertolli Rustic Cut Spicy Marinara with Traditional Vegetables Sauce, divided
- 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
- 1/2 cup (2 ounces) coarsely chopped smoked almonds
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint, divided
- 6 large red, yellow or orange bell peppers, top 1/2 inch removed and seeded
- Heat grill to high.
- In medium skillet on medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add pasta; cook and stir 2-3 minutes, or until light golden brown. Stir in broth and 1 cup sauce; bring to boil.
- Reduce heat to low; cover. Cook 4 minutes, or until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
- Stir in cheese, almonds and 1/4 cup mint. Brush outsides of peppers with remaining oil. Grill 4-6 minutes, or until crisp tender and lightly marked on all sides, turning frequently; cool slightly.
- Place peppers in center of 12-by-12-inch square of heavy duty foil. Bring sides of foil up and shape foil around each pepper, leaving tops open. Shape foil into stable base to secure peppers firmly. Keep upright while grilling.
- Fill each pepper with 1 tablespoon sauce and about 3/4 cup orzo mixture. Grill peppers 8-10 minutes, or until filling is heated through. Remove from foil. Warm remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mint before serving with warmed sauce.
- To prepare peppers: Heat oven to 400° F. Prepare orzo mixture as directed but do not grill peppers. Fill raw peppers with orzo mixture and place on foil squares. Bring sides of foil up and seal tops to fully enclose each pepper.
- Arrange on rimmed baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes, or until peppers are soft and filling is heated through.
Three-Cheese Farmstand Cups
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 2 cups cooked mini penne pasta
- 1 cup small broccoli florets, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 jar (23 ounces) Bertolli Rustic Cut Sweet Peppers and Portobello Mushroom Sauce, divided
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- Heat oven to 375° F. Divide penne pasta and broccoli evenly between 12 standard muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray. Whisk in mascarpone until smooth; gradually whisk in eggs.
- Stir in Parmesan, 2 cups sauce and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Spoon 1/4 cup egg mixture over pasta and broccoli in each cup; with spoon press filling down gently. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until set.
- Sprinkle tops with remaining mozzarella cheese halfway through bake time. Let stand 3 minutes before unmolding. Warm remaining sauce and serve over top of cups with basil.
(Family Features) When the school year rolls around, switching from pool to school means finding simpler ways to kick off the day with healthy and nutritious options.
Preparing feel-good breakfasts can be as easy as picking and putting together the right ingredients, if you know where to buy them. At grocery stores like ALDI, parents can conveniently find choices they can feel good about feeding their families, including fresh produce and organic, non-GMO and gluten-free options. Parents can also shop easier knowing ALDI private label items – which make up 90 percent of its products – are free from certified synthetic colors, added trans fats and MSG.
After the shopping trip, try these make-ahead breakfast ideas to give the busy mornings a boost:
- Homemade energy bars are an easy breakfast option that can keep you fueled until lunch. For simple bars, heat coconut oil and vanilla in a saucepan until combined then transfer to a large bowl and mix with cashew butter, oats, dried fruits and granola. Press the mixture between two cookie sheets to flatten, refrigerate 2 hours and slice into bars.
- Portion out produce for daily breakfast smoothies. Seal each weekday’s smoothie ingredients in separate plastic bags and simply toss the ingredients in a blender each morning. Enjoy your smoothie in a tumbler or try something new, such as this Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl.
- Use your slow cooker to make oatmeal. Before heading to bed, simply add milk, vanilla and your favorite sweetener to rolled oats and cook on low 7-8 hours. Include dried fruit to soak up moisture and provide a sweet, juicy addition. Or try these Morning Oasis Overnight Oats for a no-cook variation on traditional oatmeal for a quick, crunchy start to the day.
Make school mornings a breeze with more quick recipes at aldi.us.
Morning Oasis Overnight Oats
Recipe courtesy of Chef Michelle, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes (plus overnight to set)
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups Millville Quick Oats
- 1 teaspoon Southern Grove Chia Seeds
- 2 cups Friendly Farms Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1/8 teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
- 3 tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey, divided
- 1/4 cup SimplyNature Organic Quinoa, toasted
- 1/4 cup Southern Grove Whole Almonds, toasted
- 1 mango, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped coconut
- .45 ounces Moser Roth Premium Dark Chocolate 70 percent Cocoa, shaved
- .45 ounces Moser Roth Premium Dark Chocolate 70 percent Cocoa, melted
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- In large mason jar, combine oats, chia seeds, almond milk, salt and 2 tablespoons honey. Refrigerate overnight.
- In medium bowl, combine quinoa, almonds and remaining honey. Spread onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Remove, cooling completely and crumbling. Store in re-sealable bag overnight.
- The next day, stir oats and pour desired amount into serving bowl. Top with mango, coconut, shaved chocolate and candied quinoa. Drizzle with melted chocolate.
Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl
Recipe courtesy of Chef Audrey, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 3/4 cup blackberries
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup Friendly Farms Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- 3/4 cup Friendly Farms Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Pure Vanilla
- 1 teaspoon SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- SimplyNature Flax Seed
- Southern Grove Chia Seeds
- Southern Grove Sliced Almonds, toasted
- Lime zest
- Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl and add garnishes as desired.
(Family Features) Warmer weather has arrived and that means it’s salad season.
There are many seasonal salads to enjoy and everyone has a favorite. Change your warm-weather dining habits up a bit with this recipe for Ruby Beet Chicken Salad Skewers. Easy to prepare, this deliciously unique salad on a skewer is perfect for entertaining family and friends.
The sweet-tangy, nutty, piquant and savory combination of ingredients provides layers of flavors in every forkful. One-bite Aunt Nellie’s Baby Whole Pickled Beets are just right for skewering with the mustard-marmalade glazed chicken and crisp romaine.
To finish, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with toasted almonds and cheese. Add a whole grain baguette and your meal is ready. For more warm-weather recipe ideas, visit AuntNellies.com.
Ruby Beet Chicken Salad Skewers
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Baby Whole Pickled Beets, drained
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
- salt, to taste, plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided
- pepper, to taste, plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided
- 4 1/2 tablespoons stone ground mustard, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoons orange marmalade, plus 1/3 cup, divided
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 1 large lemon, zested and juiced (about 1/3 cup juice)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 bag (9 ounces) leafy romaine pieces
- 8 wooden skewers
- 1/3 cup chopped almonds, toasted
- 1/3 cup crumbled firm white cheese (such as blue cheese, feta or goat)
- Heat oven to 375° F. Drain beets; set aside.
- Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. In small bowl, combine 1 1/2 tablespoons each of mustard and marmalade. Brush mixture over chicken until completely coated. Bake chicken on aluminum foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet, 20-25 minutes, or until juices run clear; set aside.
- To make vinaigrette: In medium bowl, combine remaining mustard, remaining marmalade, chives, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Slowly pour in oil while whisking vigorously until completely combined.
- Slice cooled chicken into 1-inch pieces. On each skewer, thread a beet, a piece of chicken and 4- 5 pieces of lettuce; repeat twice; add one beet at end. Repeat to make eight skewers. Place skewers on large serving platter. Stir vinaigrette; drizzle lightly over skewers. Sprinkle with almonds and cheese. Serve with remaining vinaigrette.
Substitution: Whole pickled beets may be substituted. Cut beets in half.
Alternate preparation: To grill chicken, brush both sides with mustard-marmalade mixture. Grill over medium heat 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through and thermometer reads 165 F. If chicken cooks too quickly, reduce heat to medium-low.
Nutritional information per serving: 255 calories; 15 g protein; 20 g carbohydrates; 12 g total fat; 440 mg sodium; 40 mg cholesterol; 2 g dietary fiber; 1 mg iron; .07 mg thiamin; 2,871 IU vitamin A; 7 mg vitamin C.
Source: Aunt Nellie's
Add fresh produce to your diet and community
(Family Features) Dedicating more of your plate to fresh-from-the-garden produce as well as rice and grains can lead to a healthier lifestyle, according to Cheryl Forberg, registered dietitian and award-winning chef and nutritionist for “The Biggest Loser.”
“Most of my adult clients who are not veggie lovers usually had little exposure to them growing up, or they just weren’t cooked properly,” Forberg said. “It’s important for parents to get their children involved in cooking, shopping and even gardening so kids can understand the journey from seed to plate.”
Forberg furthers her personal dedication to the seed-to-plate journey through her involvement with Seeds of Change, which invests in healthier and greener communities by offering both organic seeds and foods, and delivers an annual grant program that benefits school and community gardening as well as farming programs. This year, the grant program will award $310,000 to participants who plan to help their communities and teach people about sustainability and where fresh food comes from.
To start living healthier and greener lives, Forberg offers four simple tips:
Start in the garden. This hands-on approach is a fun way to learn about nutrition and where food comes from. Following produce from seed to plate can compel you to eat more healthfully. Plant a garden at home or become involved in a local project nearby.
Opt for veggies with big impact. Richly colored veggies contain the richest supplies of nutrients. Opt for spinach or romaine instead of iceberg lettuce in your salads. Skip the celery or carrots and go for red bell pepper slices to deliver a healthy serving of antioxidants and vitamin C.
Make smart swaps. Replace the dense calories of pasta noodles with a flavorful cup of cooked spaghetti squash. The squash is a satisfying and tasty alternative with a mere 40 calories, 2 grams of fiber and loads of vitamins.
Pair with whole grains. Mashed potatoes may be a favorite dinner side, but there are more nutritious options to complement your garden produce, such as this grain bowl with wild salmon from Chef Seamus Mullen.
Learn more about starting a community garden and living a greener, healthier life at seedsofchangegrant.com.
Warm Grain Bowl with Wild Salmon, Almonds and Salsa Verde
Total time: 20-25 minutes
- 8 wild salmon fillets (3 ounces each)
- sea salt, to taste
- fresh pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup shitake mushroom caps, sliced
- 1 package Seeds of Change Quinoa, Brown & Red Rice with Flaxseeds
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
Salsa Verde (optional):
- 1 bunch scallions
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
- 1/2 cup packed mint leaves
- 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- In oven-proof pan, season salmon with salt and pepper, and drizzle each fillet with olive oil. Bake 12-15 minutes, until cooked through.
- In blender or food processor, combine all Salsa Verde ingredients and pulse until fully incorporated but still rustic and chunky. Set aside.
- In medium saute pan over medium-high heat, heat remaining olive oil. Add mushrooms and asparagus and saute vigorously 3-5 minutes. Add grains and slivered almonds, and continue to saute until heated through, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Divide grains among eight plates, place a piece of salmon on each plate then finish with dollop of Salsa Verde, if desired, and serve.
Substitution: Shitake mushroom caps may be substituted with button mushrooms or other wild mushrooms.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: Seeds of Change