recipes

Meal Ideas 29 May 2020

Simple, Plant-Powered Summer Meals

(Family Features) With more than half of Americans willing to eat more plants and less meat in 2020 (and beyond), according to a study conducted by Yale and Earth Day Network, one thing holds true: Even when food is better for you and the planet, families crave quality taste.

Walnuts are one of the original plant-based superfoods that can carry sweet or savory flavors to satisfy snackers, add hearty crunch to salads or breakfast dishes and serve as a simple, whole-food meat alternative. In addition to being a delicious plant-based staple, 1 ounce of walnuts contains important nutrients including 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and good fats with 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat and 13 grams of polyunsaturated fat, including 2.5 grams of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).

Try walnuts as an alternative to meat in recipes like Walnut “Chorizo” Tacos or Sweet Potato Walnut Falafel Bowls, and find more plant-based recipes at walnuts.org/plant-based.

Sweet Potato Walnut Falafel Bowls

Falafel:

  • 1          raw sweet potato (12 ounces), peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1          cup cooked quinoa
  • 1/2       cup California walnuts
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2       teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2       cup flour
  • 1          egg
  • vegetable oil

Tahini Dressing:

  • 1/4       cup tahini
  • 3          tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2          tablespoons water
  • 1          tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4       teaspoon garlic powder
  • sea salt, to taste

Bowls:

  • 4          cups loosely packed curly kale, coarsely chopped
  • 2          cups cooked quinoa
  • 1          cup julienned carrots
  • 1          avocado, sliced
  • toasted, chopped California walnuts, for garnish (optional)
  • minced red onion, for garnish (optional)
  1. To make falafel: In food processor, pulse sweet potato until finely minced. Add quinoa, walnuts, ground cumin, onion powder and garlic powder; pulse until all pieces are uniform in size. Add flour and egg; pulse until well mixed, scraping down sides as needed.
  2. Using wet hands, shape mixture into 16 equal balls.
  3. In deep skillet or pot, heat oil. Cooking in batches, fry falafel balls 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Let drain on paper towel-lined tray.
  4. To make tahini dressing: In small bowl, whisk tahini, lemon juice, water, maple syrup, ground cumin, garlic powder and salt.
  5. To prepare bowls: Place equal amounts kale, quinoa, carrots and avocado in four large salad bowls. Place four falafel balls in each bowl and drizzle with dressing. Garnish with toasted walnuts and minced red onion, if desired.

Walnut “Chorizo” Tacos

Pickled Vegetables:

  • 1/2       cup fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons sugar
  • 3/4       teaspoon sea salt
  • 8          radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2          medium jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced
  • 1          large clove garlic, thinly sliced

Walnut Chorizo Crumble:

  • 1 1/2    cups black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2          cups California walnuts
  • 3          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1          tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1          tablespoon ancho chili powder
  • 1          teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1          teaspoon kosher or sea salt
  • 1          teaspoon ground chipotle
  • 1          teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1          teaspoon ground coriander

Tacos:

  • 16        whole wheat tortillas
  • olive oil
  • thinly sliced romaine lettuce
  • fresh cilantro leaves
  • lime wedges
  1. To make pickled vegetables: In small bowl, stir lime juice, sugar and sea salt. Stir in radishes, jalapenos and garlic slices; let stand 30 minutes to pickle.
  2. To make walnut “chorizo” crumble: In food processor, pulse beans and walnuts until coarsely chopped. Add 2 tablespoons oil, white vinegar, paprika, chili powder, oregano, salt, chipotle, cumin and coriander; pulse until mixture is finely chopped and resembles ground meat, stirring several times and moving mixture from bottom of food processor bowl to top to evenly mix.
  3. In large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat remaining oil. Add “chorizo” mixture and cook 10 minutes, or until mixture is browned and resembles ground meat, stirring frequently.
  4. To prepare tacos: Brush each tortilla lightly with oil. On skillet over medium-high heat, cook briefly to brown on both sides, keeping warm in foil until all tortillas are cooked.
  5. Remove pickled vegetables from liquid and discard garlic slices. Fill each tortilla with equal amounts “chorizo” and pickled vegetables. Garnish with lettuce and cilantro; serve with lime wedges.

Source:  California Walnuts

Meal Ideas 20 May 2020

A Simply Sensational Summer Meal

(Family Features) Whipping up a fresh cooked meal is one of the true joys of summer, especially when grilled grub is paired with tantalizing sides and tempting desserts.

Spice things up with Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream coupled with a side like Roasted Potatoes then cap off a filling meal with these sweet and decadent Strawberry Cream Cheese Tartlets. If you’re looking for ways to mix meat and veggies all at once, these ideas for kebabs are a surefire way to please a variety of palates.

Find more summer meal ideas at Culinary.net.

Cook Up Kebabs

As one of the most versatile main courses that can be grilled, kebabs offer nearly endless opportunities for customization. From protein to veggies, soaked wooden skewers can be loaded with just about any favorite flavors before hitting the grates. Consider these options for kicking your kebabs up a notch:

  • Steak, cut into chunks
  • Chicken, cut into chunks
  • Bratwurst or sausage, cut into slices
  • Ground beef, shaped into balls
  • Lamb
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon, cut into chunks
  • Bacon, cut into small pieces
  • Sliced onions
  • Sliced bell peppers
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes

Summer Sliders with a Spicy Kick

Summer calls for firing up the grill for a fresh-cooked meal, and sliders are an ideal way to enjoy a downsized version of a warm weather favorite.

These Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream are perfect for summer with their spicy kick of salsa and bright, cooling cream. Made with grass-fed beef from New Zealand, where the animals are allowed to roam and graze freely over lush green hills and pastures year-round, the mini burgers boast a lean, finely textured meat that tastes just as nature intended.

Find more tasty summer recipes at beefandlambnz.com.

Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream

Recipe courtesy of Beef + Lamb New Zealand
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Patties:

  • 1 1/3    pounds lean New Zealand grass-fed ground beef
  • 1          clove garlic, crushed
  • 1          medium onion, grated or finely chopped
  • 1          egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4       cup red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2          tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3          teaspoons dried oregano, chopped
  • 2          teaspoons mild smoked paprika
  • 2          teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1          teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2       cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • olive oil

Jalapeno Salsa:

  • 1          cup cucumber, thinly sliced into long ribbons
  • 3/4       cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1          red onion, finely sliced
  • 1/2       cup pickled jalapenos, finely chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • olive oil
  • lime juice

Avocado Cream:

  • 1          avocado, mashed
  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • 1          lime, juice and zest only
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 8-12     slider buns, halved
  • 2-3       cobs sweet corn, cooked and sliced into shards
  • 8-12     small bamboo skewers
  1. To make patties: In bowl, combine beef, garlic, onion, egg, kidney beans, tomato paste, oregano, paprika, cumin, coriander, Parmesan cheese, salt, to taste, and pepper, to taste. Shape into 8-12 small patties. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes.
  2. Heat grill or frying pan to medium heat.
  3. Brush patties with oil on both sides. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, turning once to brown both sides evenly, until cooked through.
  4. To make Jalapeno Salsa: In bowl, combine cucumber, cilantro, onion and jalapenos; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice.
  5. To make Avocado Cream: In bowl, combine avocado, sour cream, lime juice and lime zest; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Spread Avocado Cream on bottom buns and place patties on top. Top patties with Jalapeno Salsa, corn and top buns. Press down gently and poke in skewers to secure sliders.

A Sweet Summer Treat

Sweet flavors and warm weather go hand-in-hand, and many summer occasions and get-togethers call for dessert. Take advantage of warm weather favorites like strawberries and raspberries with these Strawberry Cream Cheese Tartlets.

Made using the best berries nature can provide, these bite-size tartlets feature a graham cracker crust base and an indulgent cream cheese filling flavored with sliced strawberries, honey and lemon topped with Well•Pict’s sweet, juicy strawberries and raspberries, which come fresh in clamshell packaging made from 70% recycled water bottles.

Find more sweet recipes that can bring a smile to your loved ones’ faces at wellpict.com/recipe.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Tartlets

Makes: 24 tartlets (4 ounces each)

  • 1/2       cup water
  • 2          tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3          tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2          tablespoons gelatin
  • 4          cups Well•Pict Strawberries, sliced, divided
  • 1/3       cup honey
  • 2          packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • 1          cup ice cubes
  • 2          cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2       cup melted butter
  • 1          cup Well•Pict Strawberries, rinsed, for garnish
  • 1          cup Well•Pict Raspberries, rinsed, for garnish
  1. In blender, mix water, lemon juice, lemon zest and gelatin until frothy.
  2. Add 2 cups strawberries and honey; blend until smooth. Pour into bowl and chill mix 15 minutes.
  3. In blender, mix cream cheese, sour cream and ice cubes while incorporating strawberry mixture. Mix in remaining strawberries.
  4. In blender or food processor, mix graham crackers and melted butter to crumb consistency. Lightly grease two medium muffin pans and pack graham cracker mixture at bottom of each opening. Pour strawberry mixture over graham cracker mixture and chill until set. Gently pull tartlets from muffin tins and place on serving tray. Garnish with strawberries and raspberries.

Roasted and Ready to Serve

Summer meals centered around grilled fare call for a complementary pairing that completes the classic profile of warm weather food. Using a versatile vegetable like potatoes allows you to think up different methods of cooking for a new flavor each time.

While you’re focused on the main dish being grilled, these Roasted Potatoes can bake away indoors for a simple side that requires little attention.

Find more health resources at usda.gov.

Roasted Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of “A Harvest of Recipes with USDA Foods
Servings: 6

  • 1          pound potatoes, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2       cup onion, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2       cup green pepper, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1          teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 1          teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1          tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2       teaspoon paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In medium bowl, mix potatoes, onions, green peppers and garlic.
  3. Add vegetable oil, salt, pepper, parsley and paprika. Mix well.
  4. Cover bowl and refrigerate 15 minutes.
  5. Spread potato mixture evenly on cookie sheet. Bake about 35 minutes.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Kebabs and Roasted Potatoes)

Source:  New Zealand Wagyu Beef
Well•Pict Berries

 

Meal Ideas 18 May 2020

Breaking Bread

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Avocado Veggie Sandwich

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

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

Panzanella Bagel Salad

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

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

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

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

Rotini with Sausage and Mushrooms

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

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

Cheesy Black Bean Toast with Pico de Gallo

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

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

Source:  Grain Foods Foundation

Breakfast & Brunch 23 April 2020

Build Simple Breakfasts to Fuel Your Family

(Family Features) During a period when many families are spending more time at home than normal, eating healthier is likely a popular goal. One of the many aspects to focusing on better nutrition starts with a better breakfast.

To help boost you and your family’s immunity, try focusing on protein- and fiber-packed morning meals that are low in sugar. That doesn’t have to mean hours of prep in the kitchen or stocking up on uncommon ingredients.

Instead, you can start with simple recipes that call for just a handful of inclusions. Additionally, when your menu is centered around less complicated dishes, it allows an opportunity to get kids involved in the kitchen with tasks like measuring yogurt for a parfait, pouring milk in a pudding recipe or simply pulling ingredients out of the pantry and refrigerator.

To help start your healthy breakfast plan on the right foot, consider these tips from Dr. Jonathan Clinthorne and the experts at SimplyProtein:

Factor in fiber. When it comes to supporting immunity with nutrition, one of the underappreciated nutrients is dietary fiber. Fiber feeds gut bacteria, which helps produce numerous compounds that accelerate the development of immune cells and boost their function. The immune system performs better when people replace highly refined, low-fiber carbohydrates with fiber-rich carbohydrates.

Pick ingredients packed with protein. It’s important to consume adequate protein when looking to boost immune function as protein energy malnutrition is linked to poor immune function and can impair the ability of the immune system to fight viruses and bacteria. Add foods to your diet like SimplyProtein’s line of non-GMO, gluten-free bars and bites. The snacks include 11 or more grams of protein and just 0-3 grams of sugar without artificial sweeteners, artificial flavors or artificial preservatives for nutritious treats to help make busy lives simpler.

Build a balanced breakfast. People burn more energy through a process known as “diet-induced thermogenesis” when they consume high-calorie breakfasts rather than high-calorie dinners. This can ultimately help with weight loss and suggests that eating more food early in the day is better for you than eating a large amount before bedtime. For example, these recipes for Yogurt Parfait, Chia Seed Pudding and Avocado Toast provide protein and energy with simple at-home prep.
Skip the sugar. Avoid the post-lunch sleepy feeling by ditching sugar. Instead, focus on low-glycemic snacks that won’t spike blood sugar, helping to control your appetite.

Feel fuller longer. Eating immune supportive foods like vegetables, berries, nuts, seeds and protein-rich snack bars can help keep you full and satisfied while avoiding less nutritious alternatives.

Easy Additions for a Balanced Breakfast

Whether your morning meal is a lavish spread for the whole family or a simple snack before logging on for a workday, these simple add-ons can add flavor without sacrificing nutrition:

  • Dairy, such as milk or yogurt
  • Fruit, such as bananas, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries and more
  • Quick solutions, such as SimplyProtein Cookie Bars, Crispy Bars or Crunchy Bites
  • Eggs (for a time-saving solution, try using a muffin tin to create egg cups for ready-to-go breakfasts throughout the week)
  • Seeds or nuts

Find more protein-packed solutions at simplyprotein.com


Avocado Toast

  • 2          slices whole-wheat bread
  • 1          avocado, halved and sliced
  • 2          poached eggs
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/2       cup crushed SimplyProtein Barbecue Crunchy Bites
  1. Toast bread slices.
  2. Divide avocado slices among toast. Place one egg on each piece of toast then sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Top toast with crushed crunchy bites.

Yogurt Parfait

  • 1          cup Greek vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2       cup assorted fruit, such as strawberries, blueberries and kiwi
  • 1          tablespoon shaved almonds
  • 1          SimplyProtein Chocolate Chip Cookie Bar, crumbled
  • shaved coconut (optional)
  1. In bowl, layer yogurt, fruit and shaved almonds. Top with crumbled cookie bar and shaved coconut, if desired.

Chia Seed Pudding

  • 3          teaspoons chia seeds
  • 1          cup almond milk
  • 1          SimplyProtein Lemon Crispy Bar
  1. In glass jar or bowl, stir chia seeds and almond milk. Let rest 5 minutes then stir again.
  2. Cover pudding in refrigerator; allow to set 1-2 hours or overnight.
  3. Crumble lemon crispy bar and mix into pudding or cut into sticks for dipping.

Source:  SimplyProtein

Meal Ideas 07 April 2020

Cook Comfort Food Once, Enjoy it Twice

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more simple and delicious recipes, visit MushroomCouncil.com


Blended Tacos

Makes: 8 tacos

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

Mexican Mushroom-Beef Blend

Makes: 8 cups

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

Mexican Lasagna

Servings: 6-8

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

Source: Mushroom Council

Healthy 27 February 2020

Fresh Salads Perfect for Spring

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

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

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

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

Salmon and Grains Salad Bowl

Servings: 2

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

Breakfast Salad Bowl

Servings: 2

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

Source: Litehouse

Meal Ideas 31 January 2020

All-Day Nutrition

Dairy-inspired, plant-based dishes to serve from morning to night

(Family Features) From cereal and milk to yogurt and fruit to broccoli and cheese, combining dairy with plant-based foods creates a superfood power couple that can help ensure you and your family are getting the nutrients you need any time of day.

With the rise in popularity of plant-based diets, dairy can help optimize nutrient absorption from plant foods and provide additional nutrients like high-quality protein, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. You can create delicious meals with the nutrition you need while enjoying the best of plants and dairy.

Combining dairy and plant-based foods can be easier with these dairy-powered recipes from Milk Means More. They are ideal for creating a nutritious and delicious plan for every meal throughout the day. Start with a Blueberry Apple Crisp Smoothie Bowl in the morning then build out your lunch or dinner plans around an appetizer like this traditional Middle Eastern Labneh Spread with grilled pita bread and assorted veggies. For the main course, try Lentil Tacos with Tangy Guacamole and a classic Moroccan staple, Creamy Couscous with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Cheese, on the side.

Find more recipes that combine the goodness of dairy and plant-based foods at milkmeansmore.org.

Creamy Couscous with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Cheese

Recipe courtesy of culinary dietitian Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1/2       cup chopped onion
  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 3          cups broccoli florets
  • 1          teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  • 3          cups fat-free, 2% or whole milk
  • 1 1/2    cups plain couscous (wheat pasta)
  • 1          cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1          cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2    cups seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • 2          tablespoons slivered fresh basil leaves
  1. In large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook onion in butter 2 minutes. Add broccoli, garlic and pepper. Cook and stir 2 minutes.
  2. Stir milk into broccoli mixture. Bring to boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Gently stir Parmesan cheese into couscous mixture. Spread on serving platter. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Top with tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.

Lentil Tacos with Tangy Guacamole

Recipe courtesy of culinary dietitian Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN
Prep time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

Tangy Guacamole:

  • 1          medium ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
  • 1          tablespoon orange, lime or lemon juice
  • 1/4       teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2       cup plain, fat-free Greek yogurt

Lentil Tacos:

  • 2 1/3    cups water
  • 1          cup dry brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2       cup finely chopped onion
  • 2          teaspoons chili powder
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2    cups seeded and chopped tomatoes, divided
  • 1 1/4    cups (5 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 12        yellow corn taco shells
  1. To make Tangy Guacamole: In small bowl, mash avocado, juice, hot pepper sauce and garlic.  Stir in yogurt. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
  2. To make Lentil Tacos: Heat oven to 400 F.
  3. In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine water, lentils, onion, chili powder, garlic and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover and gently boil 12-15 minutes, or until lentils are just tender. Uncover and boil 5-15 minutes, or until most liquid evaporates.
  4. Remove lentils from heat. Stir in 1 cup tomatoes and 3/4 cup cheese. Spoon into taco shells. Stand filled tacos in 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle tacos with remaining tomatoes and cheese. Loosely cover dish with foil. Bake 3-5 minutes, or until cheese melts.
  5. Stir guacamole. Serve with warm tacos.

Labneh Spread

Recipe courtesy of Jenn Fillenworth, MS, RDN of Jenny with the Good Eats
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 12        ounces whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          pinch sea salt, for garnish
  • fresh herbs, for garnish
  • pita bread, grilled
  • assorted seasonal vegetables
  1. In bowl, mix Greek yogurt, salt and lemon juice.
  2. Transfer mixture to fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.
  3. Wrap mixture in cheesecloth and strain over bowl in refrigerator 24-48 hours. Strain longer to make thicker.
  4. Once thickened as desired, remove from cheesecloth and top spread with olive oil, sea salt and fresh herbs.
  5. Serve with grilled pita bread and assorted seasonal vegetables.

Blueberry Apple Crisp Smoothie Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Rachel Gurk of Rachel Cooks
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1          cup frozen blueberries
  • 2          cups apples, roughly chopped, reserving 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 1          teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2       cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1          cup spinach
  • pure maple syrup, to taste
  • ice cubes (optional)

Toppings:

  • 2          tablespoons oats
  • 1          teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1          tablespoon pecans, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons reserved chopped apple
  • fresh blueberries
  1. In blender, blend blueberries, apples, cinnamon, yogurt and spinach until smooth. Taste and add maple syrup, to taste. If thicker mixture is desired, add ice cubes.
  2. Pour into bowl. Mix oats with maple syrup. Top smoothie mixture with oats, pecans, apples and blueberries.

Source: United Dairy Industry of Michigan

Videos 27 January 2020

Beefy Cali Roll

(Family Features) An innovative sushi-style concept, “beefshi” features convenient beef products like pastrami, roast beef, summer sausage, hot dogs, corned beef or bologna prepared in rolls with rice and vegetables. You can beef up your menu with a trendy twist with a recipe like this Beefy Cali Roll that includes corned beef, avocado and cucumber.

Find more information and recipes at beefshi.com.

Beefy Cali Roll

Recipe courtesy of the North American Meat Institute on behalf of the Beef Checkoff
Yield: 2 rolls (16 pieces)

Hand Vinegar:

  • 1          cup water
  • 1/4       cup rice vinegar

Piquant Sauce:

  • 1/2       cup plain yogurt
  • 1          tablespoon mustard
  • 1          tablespoon horseradish
  • 1/2       avocado, mashed until smooth

Maki:

  • 2          sheets nori
  • 2          cups prepared sushi rice
  • 6          thin slices corned beef
  • 1/2       avocado, cut into slivers
  • 1/4       cucumber, cut lengthwise into thin strips
  • rice seasoning
  • wasabi peas
  1. To make hand vinegar: In small bowl, stir water and rice vinegar.
  2. To make piquant sauce: In small bowl, blend yogurt, mustard, horseradish and avocado.
  3. To make maki: Lay sushi mat on clean surface. Moisten hands with hand vinegar and shake off excess. Place one nori sheet on mat, shiny-side down. Spread 1 cup rice across nori, leaving 1 inch empty at farthest end.
  4. Lay half of corned beef, avocado and cucumber crosswise along rice, covering half the surface closest to you.
  5. Securing corned beef, avocado and cucumber with fingers, use thumbs to push end of mat up and over filling until edge of the nori meets rice on opposite side. Press firmly on roll.
  6. Lift top of mat and roll firmly until tight and round. Squeeze gently to shape roll. Press ends in carefully to secure loose rice. Remove mat and set roll aside.
  7. Repeat to make second roll.
  8. Use thin, sharp knife to cut each roll into eight slices. Arrange on sushi platter and sprinkle with rice seasoning and wasabi peas. Serve with piquant sauce.

Sponsor: North American Meat Institute

Meal Ideas 19 December 2019

8 Time-Saving Recipes for Healthier Living

(Family Features) Kickstart the new year by making meaningful changes for yourself and your family. Finding nutritious recipes can help you stay on track when it comes to living a healthier lifestyle.

As you look to start 2020 off right, opt for fresh ingredients. No matter what your goal for the year is, start at a store like ALDI. From making Mondays meatless to cutting out refined carbs, you can find a healthy haul – for less – complete with high-quality products for these delicious, nutritious and affordable recipes from ALDI.

Find more recipe ideas at aldi.us.

Breakfast

Morning Oasis Overnight Oats – If busy mornings prevent you from starting the day with a nutritious breakfast, try overnight oats. They are easy to prepare a day in advance, then top with fruit, coconut, shaved chocolate and quinoa when it’s time for breakfast.

Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl – Add more fruit to the “most important meal of the day” with this smoothie bowl bursting with flavor. Blended blackberries, blueberries and banana provide a nutritious start to your day, and it can be topped with additional fruits, almonds, chia seeds and more for added texture.

Salad

Citrus Popping Kale Salad – Whether it’s for lunch or served as the first course for dinner, a salad is a way to combine a healthy serving of veggies with toppings you crave. The flavors of this tasty recipe create a perfect marriage of quinoa, baby kale, onion, mango and cranberries.

Fruit and Avocado Salad – This crisp and refreshing salad combines oranges, grapefruit, onion, avocado, blueberries and pecans for an option that’s both nutritious and delicious.

Main Dish

Grilled Herb Chicken Skewers – Put a spin on grilled fare and place seasoned chicken skewers on a bed of arugula. Save time and marinate the night before to infuse the chicken with the savory taste of herbs.

Cauliflower-Quinoa Pizza– When the family wants a classic, serve this better-for-you pizza, complete with a crust made from cauliflower and quinoa. Top with tomatoes, mushrooms, red onion, peppers and other veggies for a nutritious twist on the traditional slice.

Dessert

Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal Bar – You don’t have to completely remove dessert from your menu to live a healthier lifestyle. This baked dish features peanut butter as the base, so you can enjoy a protein-packed treat without the guilt.

Dairy-Free Vanilla Pudding – It only takes five ingredients and 15 minutes in the kitchen to please your sweet tooth when cravings strike.

Source: ALDI

Meal Ideas 18 September 2019

Busy Season Solutions

Quick and tasty meals and snacks

(Family Features) For those who are always on the go, it can be difficult to find time to whip up meals and snacks that are both nutritious and tasty. However, with some simple changes – and timesaving recipes – you can create delicious dishes and meals that will keep you feeling energized to fuel your busy lifestyle.

For example, these quick and easy recipes for a main course, snacks and even desserts are all part of the Atkins low-carb lifestyle, a long-term, healthy eating approach focused on high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats. The eating approach, which is a more flexible version of the popular ketogenic diet, offers a balanced mix of foods containing fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and the “hidden sugar effect” – when carbohydrates convert to sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugar, but your body does.

An On-the-Go Morning Treat

Busy mornings can lead to breakfast being put on the backburner or skipped altogether. However, with an option like the Atkins Chocolate Banana Shake, which is made with real fruit, you can enjoy the most important meal of the day on-the-go or anytime you need a snack break.

A beneficial source of B vitamins, these protein-rich shakes can satisfy hunger with 5 grams of fiber and provide steady energy all day long. Made to easily fit into a busy lifestyle, they’re also gluten-free with no artificial colors or preservatives, and low-glycemic with 4 net carbs and 2 grams of sugar.

Kickstart a nutritious eating plan at Atkins.com

Egg Roll Bowl with Shrimp

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 5          cups frozen cauliflower rice
  • 3          tablespoons canola oil
  • 3          tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4          teaspoons minced or pressed garlic
  • 2          teaspoons ginger paste
  • 6          cups pre-cut coleslaw (cabbage and carrots)
  • 1          cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/2       cup thinly sliced scallions, root and tips trimmed
  • 1          teaspoon Chinese five-spice blend
  • 1/4       cup tamari soy sauce
  • 2          tablespoons mirin rice cooking wine
  • 1          pound cooked and peeled shrimp, thawed
  • 4          teaspoons sesame seeds
  1. In microwave, steam cauliflower according to package instructions.
  2.  
  3. While cauliflower is cooking, warm large, nonstick skillet with lid over medium heat. Add oils, swirl to coat pan and, when shimmering, add garlic and ginger. Sauté until sizzling and fragrant, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add coleslaw, bell pepper and scallions; continue sautéing, stirring frequently, until cabbage just begins to wilt, about 3 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle on five-spice blend and stir to incorporate. Add soy sauce and mirin rice cooking wine to pan and stir to evenly coat cabbage. Add shrimp to skillet; toss to evenly distribute. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with lid and allow shrimp to warm, about 3 minutes.
  6. Measure about 1 cup cooked cauliflower rice into bottom of four bowls. Top evenly with shrimp and cabbage mixture, about 1 cup vegetables and 9-11 large shrimp per serving, drizzling with pan sauce evenly. Sprinkle each bowl with 1 teaspoon sesame seeds and serve while hot.

Notes: To help meal come together quickly, use frozen cauliflower rice, pre-grated ginger paste, pre-minced jarred garlic and bagged coleslaw mix. Green onions and bell pepper can also be pre-sliced.

Parmesan Crisps

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 3/4       cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2       teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  1. Heat oven to 325° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Use large cup or mug to draw six roughly 4-inch circles on parchment paper. Fill each circle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, smoothing shreds out and creating slightly thicker outer edge. Sprinkle each with pinch of Italian seasoning and bake 7 1/2 minutes, or until outer edges and bottoms are golden but not burned.
  3. Remove from oven and let cool at least 1 minute before eating. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 1 day.

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Servings: 4

  • 3          avocados
  • 1/2       cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2       cup sugar-free chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2    tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2          tablespoons Erythritol (low-carb sweetener)
  • 3          teaspoons stevia-based sugar substitute
  • 2          teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt
  1. Mash avocado and place in blender with coconut milk. Blend until smooth.
  2. In microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips 20 seconds, stir well and heat in 10-second intervals until melted, stirring in-between. Once melted, add to avocado mixture and continue to blend while scraping down sides of bowl.
  3. Add cocoa powder, sweetener, sugar substitute, vanilla and salt. Blend and scrape down sides of bowl until all ingredients are well combined and mousse is smooth and creamy. Add additional sugar substitute 1/4 teaspoon at a time if sweeter mousse is desired.

Note: All ingredients should be at room temperature to make blending smooth and easy.

Yogurt Parfait

Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 13        pieces Atkins Honey Almond Vanilla Crunch Bites
  • 1/4       cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4       cup plain, unsweetened whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1          tablespoon almond butter
  • 1          pinch cinnamon
  • 1          pinch sugar substitute
  1. Roughly chop crunch bites.
  2. In small glass, layer blueberries, crunch bites and yogurt. Swirl almond butter on top and finish with sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar substitute.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Egg Roll Bowl with Shrimp, Parmesan Crisps and Avocado Chocolate Mousse)

Source: Atkins

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