Meal Ideas 19 March 2018

Refreshing Recipes for a Healthier Spring

Add healthy avocado for fresh, creamy flavor

(Family Features) For many, spring is an opportunity to hit refresh on many aspects of life, including what you eat. Rather than instituting a restrictive diet that forces you to cut back on your favorite snacks and dishes, consider making simple changes that can go a long way so you can enjoy the flavors of the season without sacrificing taste or eating less.
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For example, Atkins offers a long-term, healthy lifestyle featuring a balanced approach of high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats, while focusing on reducing levels of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and “hidden sugars,” which are the carbohydrates that convert to sugar in the body – you can’t see them but your body does.

Fresh flavors abound during spring, and you can enjoy nature’s bounty while avoiding hidden sugars by selecting high-fiber, low-glycemic fruits and vegetables. For example, a single avocado contains 10 grams of dietary fiber in addition to healthy fat. Consider a menu comprised of recipes like Egg-Filled Avocado with Prosciutto, Avocado Kale Berry Smoothie Bowl and Thai Peanut Buddha Bowl.

Live Low-Carb

Find more inspiration, tips and recipes by seeking out additional resources like “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less: Your Guidebook for Living a Low-Carb and Low-Sugar Lifestyle.” The book, filled with 100 whole-food recipes and simple solutions for living a low-carb lifestyle, contains a variety of meal plans, low-carb takes on classic comfort foods and tips for creating a low-carb kitchen. Readers can also learn about Atkins 100, a flexible and personalized low-carb lifestyle program.

Learn more about the benefits of a balanced, flexible, low-carb approach to eating at
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Thai Peanut Buddha Bowl

Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Active time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

  • Olive oil spray
  • 2          skinless, boneless  chicken breasts  (12 ounces total)
  • 4          cups baby spinach
  • 1          ripe Hass avocado,  thinly sliced
  • 1          medium zucchini,  cut into noodle  shapes
  • 2          carrots, cut into  noodle shapes
  • 2          radishes, thinly  sliced
  • 8          sprigs cilantro


  • 1/2       cup peanut butter
  • 3          tablespoons coconut  milk
  • 1          tablespoon fish sauce
  • 2          teaspoons hot chili  sauce
  • 2          garlic cloves, minced
  • 1          tablespoon minced  fresh ginger
  • 1          tablespoon sesame  oil
  • 3          tablespoons hot  water
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Coat small skillet with olive oil spray. Add chicken to skillet and cook 3-4 minutes, turning once or twice to brown chicken. Slide into oven and bake 6- 8 minutes, until chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in center when sliced with a knife. Set aside to rest 5 minutes then shred.
  3. To make dressing: In large bowl, mix peanut butter, coconut milk, fish sauce, chili sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and hot water. Whisk well until smooth.
  4. Divide spinach and avocado among four bowls. Top with chicken, zucchini, carrots, radishes and cilantro. Drizzle with dressing and serve immediately.

Tip: If you don’t have a spiralizer, you can achieve the same effect by using a vegetable peeler to shave thin ribbons. You can also use a mandoline vegetable slicer then use a knife to cut the strips into thinner noodle-like strips.

Nutritional information per serving: 10.8 g net carbs; 427 calories; 18.1 g total carbs; 7.3 g fiber; 21.8 z protein; 30.7 g fat.
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Egg-Filled Avocado with Prosciutto

Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 6          ounces watercress or baby spinach
  • 2          tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 8          large eggs
  • 4          ripe Hass avocados, halved lengthwise and pitted
  • olive oil spray
  • 8          slices (about 4 ounces) prosciutto
  1. Place the watercress or baby spinach in large bowl. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and toss well. Divide among four small plates.
  2. In large skillet, heat 2 inches water over medium heat until bubbles cover bottom and sides of pan. Crack eggs into small bowl (do not use eggs with broken yolks). When a few bubbles have broken surface of water, gently pour each egg into pan, leaving room between them.
  3. Cook eggs, without stirring, until whites are just set and yolks are still runny, 2-3 minutes. Use rubber spatula to gently release eggs from bottom of pan, if necessary. Using slotted spoon, remove eggs from water and drain on paper towels.
  4. Place poached egg in each avocado half. Coat medium skillet with olive oil spray. Heat skillet over medium heat and add prosciutto. Cook until crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer two avocado-filled egg halves to each plate and serve immediately with two slices prosciutto.

Nutritional information per serving: 4.1g net carbs; 422 calories; 16 g total carbs; 11.9 g fiber; 18.5 g protein; 34 g fat.
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Avocado Kale Berry Smoothie Bowl

Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Active time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1/3       cup plain protein powder
  • 1          cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 1/2       ripe Hass avocado
  • 1          cup kale leaves
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1          teaspoon stevia (sugar substitute)
  • 1/2       cup fresh or frozen berries such as blackberries, strawberries or raspberries
  • 2          tablespoons almond or walnut halves
  • 2          tablespoons chia seeds
  1. In blender, blend protein powder, yogurt, water, avocado, kale, mint and stevia until smooth then divide between two bowls.
  2. Sprinkle berries, nuts and chia seeds over smoothies. Serve immediately.

Nutritional information per serving: 12.5 g net carbs; 356 calories; 24.2 g total carbs; 11.8 g fiber; 32.2 g protein; 15.6 g fat.

Source: Atkins

Meal Ideas 30 January 2018

Comfort Food Made Quick and Easy

(Family Features) A steaming bowl of savory soup is the perfect comfort food when the wind is howling, rain is falling or the temperature is dropping. It’s a time to cozy up and enjoy the warmth of being inside while indulging in some of your favorite flavors.

The rich, hearty tastes and textures of a soup result from the seasonings, spices and melding of different ingredients while it slowly simmers to perfection. However, when there’s no time for lots of prep and cooking, there are shortcuts that don’t sacrifice taste.

For example, when time is short, a can of READ Southwestern Bean Salad gives you a head start. The robust mixture of black beans, corn, hominy and kidney beans in a slightly spicy, chili-lime accented tomato sauce is just right in recipes that boast Tex-Mex flavors like this Chicken Enchilada Soup. Just add a few pantry staples and some sauteed chicken for a warming pot of soup in about half an hour.

For more quick and easy recipes for the season, visit
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Chicken Enchilada Soup

Recipe courtesy of Dinner, Dishes and Desserts on behalf of READ Salads
Servings: 6

  • 2          teaspoons olive oil
  • 1          pound chicken breast cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1          small onion, finely chopped
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          can (10 ounces) enchilada sauce
  • 2          cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
  • 1          can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilis
  • 2          cans (15 ounces each) READ Southwestern Bean Salad
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • crispy tortilla strips (optional)
  • shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • diced avocado (optional)
  1. In large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and onion. Cook 5-6 minutes, or until chicken is browned and onions are soft, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, until fragrant.
  2. Stir in enchilada sauce, chicken stock, tomatoes and bean salad. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Serve with tortilla strips, cheese and avocado, if desired.

Source: Seneca Foods

Meal Ideas 25 January 2018

Throw a Hot-Pot Dinner Party

(Family Features) Heat up your next get-together by inviting family and friends over to try a DIY trend, the hot-pot party. It can be easy to prep and your guests can enjoy cooking and customizing their own meals.

First, prepare a rich, flavored broth and serve steaming-hot in a slow cooker or multi-cooker. Next, offer a selection of meat, seafood and veggies for dunking. Cook for a few minutes then garnish with sauces and various toppings to match individual tastes.

A traditional East Asian hot-pot broth is flavored with beef stock, soy sauce, chilies, ginger and garlic. Try a Mexican-inspired version by serving a spiced chicken broth with ancho chile pepper, cumin and oregano, or offer a taste of the Caribbean with a coconut milk broth and fresh papaya pica sauce.

Learn more about this hot-pot trend and all the latest flavor trends in McCormick’s 2018 Flavor Forecast at
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Caribbean Hot-Pot Broth with Papaya Pica Sauce

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours
Servings: 10

Caribbean Hot-Pot Broth:

  • 2          pounds smoked ham hocks
  • 2          cups sliced yellow onions
  • 1          cup diagonally sliced carrots
  • 1/2       cup diagonally sliced celery
  • 8 1/4    cups water, divided
  • 1          container (32 ounces) Kitchen Basics Original Chicken Stock
  • 1          whole chile pepper, such as Scotch bonnet or habanero
  • 2          McCormick Bay Leaves
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Thyme Leaves
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Ground Turmeric
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt, to taste
  • 2          tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2          cans (13.66 ounces each) Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice

Papaya Pica Sauce:

  • 3          cups cubed fresh papaya
  • 1/2       cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4       cup chopped, seeded Scotch bonnet (chile pepper)
  • 1/4       cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1/4       cup yellow mustard
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Ground Cloves
  • 1          pound uncooked bay scallops
  • 1          pound uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • cooked rice
  • toasted shredded coconut (optional)
  • fresh red or green bell pepper slices (optional)
  1. To make broth: Place ham hocks, onion, carrots and celery in 6-quart stockpot. Cook on medium heat 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add 8 cups water, chicken stock, chile pepper, bay leaves, thyme leaves, turmeric, allspice and pepper. Add salt, to taste. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 1 hour, skimming fat occasionally.
  2. Remove cover and simmer 30 minutes, skimming fat occasionally. Remove ham hocks and skim fat. In small bowl, whisk cornstarch and remaining water. Add to pot with coconut milk. Cook on medium heat 30 minutes. Skim fat. Stir lime juice into broth.
  3. To make Papaya Pica Sauce: In food processor on high speed, process papaya, vinegar, chile pepper, onion, mustard, salt, allspice, garlic powder, ginger and cloves until smooth. Transfer to medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer, uncovered, 10-15 minutes. Pour into medium bowl.
  4. To serve, pour broth into heated 6-quart electric slow cooker or hot pot. Cook shrimp and scallops in broth about 5 minutes, or until cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  5. Place some rice in bowl then ladle broth and seafood over top. Stir in Papaya Pica Sauce and top with shredded coconut and pepper slices, if desired.

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Asian Hot-Pot Broth with Tangy Chili Sauce

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 10

Hot-Pot Broth:

  • 2          teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1          large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2          containers (32 ounces each) Kitchen Basics Original Beef Stock
  • 1/4       cup Thai Kitchen Red Curry Paste
  • 2          tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1          tablespoon packed light brown sugar
  • 1          tablespoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice

Tangy Chili Sauce:

  • 1/2       cup Thai Kitchen Sweet Red Chili Sauce
  • 3          tablespoons lime juice
  • 1          pound flank steak, thinly sliced
  • Simply Asia Lo Mein Noodles, cooked
  • assorted mushrooms, sliced (optional)
  • baby bok choy, coarsely chopped (optional)
  • crunchy Chinese noodles (optional)
  1. To make broth: In 6-quart stockpot over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion; cook and stir until tender, about 3 minutes. Stir in beef stock, curry paste, soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic powder and ginger. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Stir lime juice into broth before serving.
  2. To make Tangy Chili Sauce: In small bowl, mix red chili sauce and lime juice. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. To serve, pour broth into heated 6-quart electric slow cooker or hot pot. Cook steak in broth about 2-3 minutes, or until it reaches desired doneness.
  4. Place lo mein noodles in bowls then ladle broth and steak over top. Stir in Tangy Chili Sauce and top with mushrooms, baby bok choy and Chinese noodles, if desired.

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Puebla Hot-Pot Broth with Avocado Crema

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 10

Puebla Hot-Pot Broth:

  • 3          tablespoons McCormick Gourmet Ancho Chile Pepper
  • 2          teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2          teaspoons oregano leaves
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Smoked Paprika
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 1          cup finely chopped white onion
  • 6          cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2          containers (32 ounces each) Kitchen Basics Original Chicken Stock
  • 1          can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2          ears fresh corn, shucked and cut into 1-inch rounds
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice

Avocado Crema:

  • 1/2       medium avocado, peeled, pitted and coarsely chopped
  • 1          cup sour cream
  • 1          tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1          pound boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
  • 1          chayote, peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • avocado, chopped (optional)
  • fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • crunchy tortilla strips (optional)
  1. To make broth: In small bowl, mix chile pepper, ground cumin, oregano, paprika and salt. Set aside. In 6-quart stockpot on medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir until softened. Stir in chicken stock, crushed tomatoes and 1/2 of seasoning mixture. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 minutes, adding corn during last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove corn to plate. Stir lime juice into broth.
  2. To make Avocado Crema: In food processor on high speed, process avocado, sour cream, lime juice, salt and garlic powder until smooth. Transfer to bowl; cover. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Coat chicken strips with remaining seasoning mixture.
  4. To serve, pour broth into heated 6-quart electric slow cooker or hot pot. Cook chicken and chayote in broth 4-5 minutes, or until cooked through, stirring occasionally.
  5. Ladle broth with cooked chicken and vegetables into individual bowls. Top with Avocado Crema and avocado, fresh cilantro and tortilla strips, if desired.

Source: McCormick

Meal Ideas 19 January 2018

Big Flavor for the Big Game

(Family Features) When hosting a game-day party, you’d think the focus would be on the score or the award-winning commercials, but it’s actually a great reason to indulge in flavor-filled bites. When the big day rolls around, let your guests obsess over the game while you serve up ooey-gooey dips, saucy wings and football-themed desserts that can keep them happily glued to their seats.

Dip into delicious. No watch-party menu is complete without a cheesy dip. This over the top dip brings big flavor and is perfect for kicking the party up a notch as your team works to post that next big win.

Slow cook your cornbread. Not only does this recipe for cornbread amp up the flavor with paprika, garlic powder and cheese, you can set it, forget it then enjoy it with your favorite chili or ribs.

Go ahead and wing it. Wings and football go together like quarterbacks and touchdowns. This year, try a south-of-the-border version and rub wings in cheesy taco seasoning. For extra flair, serve them on a platter with taco fixings.

Fan-favorite desserts. Win or lose, there’s always room for dessert. It can be surprisingly simple to create fun and tasty football-themed treats. These bite-size truffles require just five ingredients and are the perfect finishing touch(down) for your game-day spread.

Find more flavorful game-day recipes and ideas for your party at
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Chocolate Raspberry Football Cookie Truffles

  • 4         cups crumbled chewy chocolate cookies
  • 1 1/2   cups marshmallow creme
  • 2         teaspoons McCormick Raspberry Extract
  • 12       ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1         ounce white chocolate, melted
  1. In large bowl, mix crumbled cookies, marshmallow creme and raspberry flavor until well blended. Shape mixture into 1-inch ovals. Set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate as directed on package. Using fork, dip one cookie truffle at a time into chocolate. Tap back of fork 2-3 times against edge of dish to allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place on wax paper-lined tray. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or until chocolate is set.
  3. Spoon melted white chocolate into small, re-sealable plastic bag. Cut small piece from one bottom corner of bag. Close bag tightly then pipe lines on truffles to resemble football stitching. Let stand until chocolate is set.

Note: Cookies can be stored in covered container at room temperature up to 5 days.
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Texas Trash Dip

  • 1          package (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 1          cup sour cream
  • 2          cans (16 ounces each) refried beans
  • 1          can (4 1/2 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
  • 1          package McCormick Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 4          cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • chopped cilantro (optional)
  • tomatoes (optional)
  • sliced olives (optional)
  • avocado (optional)
  • tortilla chips
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In large, microwavable bowl, heat cream cheese and sour cream on high 1 minute, or until cheese is softened. Remove from microwave. Mix with wire whisk until smooth. Add refried beans, green chilies, seasoning mix and 2 cups cheese; mix well.
  3. Spread bean mixture into 13-by-9-inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  4. Bake 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Top with cilantro, tomatoes, sliced olives and avocado, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips.

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Cheesy Taco Wings

  • 2 1/2    pounds chicken wing pieces
  • 1          package McCormick Cheesy Taco Mix
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 3          cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/4       cup finely chopped tomato
  • 2          tablespoons sliced green onion
  • 1       tablespoons crumbled queso fresco
  1. Heat oven to 450° F.
  2. In large bowl, toss chicken wings with seasoning mix. On large, shallow foil-lined baking pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, arrange wings in single layer.
  3. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and skin is crisp.
  4. On large serving platter, arrange lettuce. Top with wings, tomato, green onion and queso fresco.

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Slow Cooker Cheesy Cornbread

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          cup milk
  • 3          eggs, beaten
  • 2          packages (8 1/2 ounces each) corn muffin mix
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Paprika
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          cup frozen corn
  • 2          cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  1. Spray inside of 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. In slow cooker, mix milk, eggs, corn muffin mix, paprika, garlic powder and salt until well blended.
  2. Stir in corn and 1 cup cheese. Place clean kitchen towel over slow cooker and cover with lid.
  3. Cook 2 hours on high, or until toothpick in center of cornbread comes out clean. Uncover.
  4. Sprinkle cornbread with remaining cheese. Let stand, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Source: McCormick

Healthy 14 December 2017

Fresh Fruit Flavors

(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

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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

Buddha Bowls:

  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. To arrange Buddha Bowls: Separate watermelon, cucumbers, cherries, avocados and rice in four bowls. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and drizzle with dressing. Serve immediately.

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Sweet Watermelon Pizza

  • Greek yogurt
  • Watermelon, cut to 1-inch thick round slice
  • Shredded coconut
  • Mint
  • Berries, such as blueberries, strawberries or blackberries
  • Slivered almonds
  1. 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.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

Breakfast & Brunch 11 August 2017

Make-Ahead Breakfasts for Busy School Days

(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

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Morning Oasis Overnight Oats

Recipe courtesy of Chef Michelle, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes (plus overnight to set)
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 3

  • 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
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In large mason jar, combine oats, chia seeds, almond milk, salt and 2 tablespoons honey. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Chef Audrey, ALDI Test Kitchen   
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 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

Optional garnishes:

  • SimplyNature Flax Seed
  • Southern Grove Chia Seeds
  • Southern Grove Sliced Almonds, toasted
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Lime zest
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl and add garnishes as desired.

Source: ALDI

Breakfast & Brunch 18 July 2017

Make Breakfast Time Anytime

(Family Features) Give your meals a wake-up call because breakfast is no longer just for mornings. From weeknight family dinners to a quick lunch, you can make mealtime fun with breakfast recipes any time of day.

Delicious, wholesome ingredients are the centerpiece of breakfast dishes, and hand-crafted Smithfield bacon, ham and sausage lends mouthwatering flavor to breakfast dishes you can enjoy all day, any day. Put a hearty spin on avocado toast or get creative with a protein-packed breakfast bowl.

Find more recipes you can enjoy morning, noon and night at

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Breakfast Avocado Toast with Bacon and Ham

Cook time: 30 minutes Serves: 4

  • 12        slices Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
  • 16        ounces Smithfield Anytime Favorites Boneless Sliced Ham
  • 1 1/2-2 quarts water
  • 1          lime, juiced
  • 1          cup freshly made or refrigerated, prepared guacamole
  • 4          large eggs
  • 4          thick slices seeded whole-grain bread, toasted golden brown
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          tablespoon chopped parsley or cilantro leaves
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Lightly spray baking rack and place on top of foil-lined, rimmed baking pan. Separate strips of bacon and lay flat in single layer on rack. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until just crisp, rotating pan halfway through cooking. Using spatula, remove bacon from pan while warm; drain on paper towels.
  2. While bacon is baking, lay sliced ham on lightly sprayed, rimmed baking pan. Bake 5-7 minutes, or until warmed through. Keep bacon and ham warm.
  3. In saucepot over medium-high heat, heat water and lime juice until simmering. Crack eggs into small cups. Slowly add eggs one at a time to pot and simmer 4-5 minutes, or until whites are just set for runny yolk or a little longer for firmer yolk. Remove eggs from water with slotted spoon and drain on paper towel.
  4. Spread guacamole onto toast, topping each with sliced ham, egg, pepper and bacon. Sprinkle with parsley or cilantro and serve warm.

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Hearty Breakfast Bowl

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes           
Serves: 4

  • 8          slices Smithfield Thick Cut Bacon
  • 16        ounces Smithfield Boneless Ham Steaks, cubed
  • 3          cups cooked steel-cut Irish or traditional oatmeal
  • 3 1/2-4 quarts water, divided
  • 1          pound fresh asparagus
  • 4          eggs
  • 2          cups fresh assorted berries
  • 1/2       cup walnuts
  • 1/3       cup pepitas (Spanish pumpkin seeds)
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. 
  2. Lightly spray baking rack and place on top of foil-lined, rimmed baking pan. Separate strips of bacon and lay flat in single layer on rack. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until just crisp, rotating pan halfway through cooking. Using spatula, remove bacon from pan while warm; drain on paper towels. Drain fat from pan. Place ham cubes on same rack and bake 5-7 minutes, or until heated through.
  3. Prepare oatmeal as directed on package and keep warm with ham and bacon.
  4. Over high heat, bring 2 quarts water to boil and blanch asparagus 1-2 minutes, or until tender-crisp when pierced with fork. With tongs or slotted spoon, remove asparagus; drain and reserve. In same saucepot over high heat, bring 1 1/2-2 quarts water to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and, using slotted spoon, carefully lower eggs into water individually. Cook 6 1/2 minutes for softer, jammy yolk or a little more for firmer yolk, keeping water simmering during cooking. Transfer eggs to bowl of ice water and chill 1 minute for easier peeling.

To assemble: divide oatmeal, asparagus, berries, ham and bacon among four bowls. Place peeled, halved egg in each bowl and top with walnuts and pepitas.

Source: Smithfield

Meal Ideas 13 July 2017

Summer Brunch Fare

(Family Features) When it comes to planning brunch, there really are no rules. It’s the perfect opportunity to combine your favorite flavors and foods in one delicious meal.

Warmer weather calls for putting a summer twist on brunch classics. Breakfast Tacos Al Pastor are a fresh, flavorful addition to a festive summer brunch, while this Brunch Bruschetta Bar is a gorgeous way to feed a crowd and highlight your favorite summertime ingredients. These recipes are made and served with not-from-concentrate Florida’s Natural Brand Orange Juice, made entirely from oranges grown, picked and squeezed in Florida, with no water or sugar added.

Both recipes are from the Florida’s Natural Brunch Club, a collection of brunch experts creating recipes to celebrate brunch throughout the year. Brighten up your brunch with more fresh takes on classic recipes at

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Breakfast Tacos Al Pastor

Recipe courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          pound ground chicken or pork
  • 1/2       sweet onion, chopped
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2          teaspoons chili powder
  • 1          teaspoon paprika
  • 1          teaspoon, plus pinch, kosher salt, divided
  • 2          chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
  • 1/2       cup not-from-concentrate Florida's Natural Brand Orange Juice
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 2          cups fresh pineapple chunks, divided
  • 1/4       cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4       cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1          jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1          lime, juice only
  • 4-6       fried eggs
  • 6-8       corn or flour tortillas, warmed
  • sliced avocado
  • feta or cheddar cheese
  1. In large skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. When oil shimmers, add ground chicken and onion. Cook, stirring often and breaking up meat as it cooks, until chicken is browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, chili powder, paprika, salt, chipotle peppers, orange juice, water and 1 cup pineapple. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce has thickened slightly around chicken, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
  3. In bowl, combine remaining pineapple, basil, jalapeno, lime juice and pinch of salt.

To serve: Divide fried eggs among tortillas and top with chicken. Add pineapple-basil salsa, avocado and cheese.

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Brunch Bruschetta Bar

Recipe courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8-12

  • 1          cup basil pesto
  • 1          cup sun-dried tomato spread
  • 2          cups cherry tomatoes, marinated cherry tomatoes or diced tomatoes
  • 6-8       soft-boiled or poached eggs
  • 6-8       scrambled eggs
  • 12        slices grilled or toasted bread
  • olive oil, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2-3       varieties of soft cheeses
  • 2          cups fresh fruit
  • 1          sliced avocado
  • 2          cups sauteed veggies, such as spinach and mushrooms
  • 6-8       pieces fried bacon
  • 2-3       varieties of prosciutto, salami or smoked salmon
  • 1          cup fruit jam
  • 1          cup nut butter
  • 1/2       cup honey
  • 1          carton not-from-concentrate Florida's Natural Brand Orange Juice
  1. On large serving board, arrange sauces and spreads. Add poached eggs, scrambled eggs and bread. Drizzle poached eggs with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange cheese, fruits, veggies, meats, jams, nut butter and honey around eggs. 
  2. Pour orange juice into juice glasses for sipping.

Source: Florida's Natural

Meal Ideas 01 June 2017

5 Tips to Avoid Binge-Watching Guilt

(Family Features) Dozens of streaming video providers are making it easier than ever to watch the TV programming you want when you want it, and exclusive programming released an entire season at a time is transforming the way Americans watch TV. The flip side of this convenience is a surge in binge-watching, which can have some negative side effects, including binge eating.

When your favorite show is available back-to-back, it’s easy to let substantial blocks of time get away as you watch “just one more” episode to follow the twists and turns of the plot. In fact, according to a recent survey by Dole, the average binge-watching session clocks in around 5 hours. The same survey found that more than two-thirds of people prefer healthy snacks to fuel their marathon viewing.

Treating yourself to an occasional binge session may give your brain a well-earned break, and it’s easy to do many forms of exercise in front of the screen. The trick to keeping your binge-watching session in check and getting rid of the guilt is to exercise good habits when you head to the kitchen.

  1. Opt for snacks that include valuable vitamins and minerals.
  2. Keep your kitchen stocked with ingredients such as high quality, ready-to-eat Dole Jarred Fruit so you can create quick and easy snacks with a serving of fruit in between episodes or during a commercial break.
  3. Look for quick solutions that help trim prep time and skip the cutting, peeling and mess.
  4. Avoid waste or spoilage with convenient, re-sealable lids that let you use what you need for a single serving and save the rest for later.
  5. Get creative to satisfy cravings. Instead of reaching for cookies or cake, dip fruit in melted chocolate and pop it in the freezer. Let it sit while you watch a few episodes of your favorite show and then enjoy.

Find more quick and easy snacks that can be made during a commercial break at

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Fruity Flatbread

  • Pre-made flatbread crust
  • Broccoli rabe
  • Cooked and chopped turkey bacon
  • Dole Jarred Mandarin Oranges
  1. Cover flatbread with chopped broccoli rabe, turkey bacon and oranges.

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Peach Parfaits

  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Granola
  • Dole Jarred Sliced Peaches
  • Mint
  1. In cup or jar, alternate layering yogurt, granola and chopped peaches. Top with mint and serve immediately.

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Brightened Up Caprese Salad

  • Fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Dole Jarred Sliced Peaches
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Balsamic glaze
  1. Arrange alternate slices of mozzarella and peaches. Sprinkle fresh basil, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

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Avocado Toast

  • Avocado
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Dole Jarred Sliced Peaches
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Slice avocado in half, remove pit and scoop out avocado into bowl. Smash until desired consistency.
  2. Toast bread, layer with avocado and top with peaches. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.

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1-2-3 Chicken Wrap

  • Whole-wheat tortilla
  • Spinach
  • Dole Jarred Mandarin Oranges
  • Cooked chicken, chopped
  • Yogurt-based dressing of choice
  1. Lay tortilla flat and add spinach, oranges and chicken. Top with dressing. Fold, cut and serve.

Substitution: Preferred greens can be added in place of or in addition to spinach

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Tropical Fruit Salsa

  • Dole Jarred Tropical Fruit
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Tortilla chips
  1. Chop 2 cups fruit, dice onion, chop cilantro and seed and mince jalapeno.
  2. Combine ingredients and stir in lime juice. Serve alongside tortilla chips.

Source: Dole Jarred Fruit

Meal Ideas 25 May 2017

Reach New Heights with a Reinvented Burger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Six-Mile High Burger

Recipe courtesy of ALDI Test Kitchen

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

Source: ALDI

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