recipes

Meal Ideas 12 March 2021

Maximize Family Meal Flavors with Cheese

(Family Features) While there are many ways to enhance the taste and texture of your family’s favorite dishes, perhaps one of the simplest and most impactful is the addition of cheese. From fish and seafood to veggie-inspired recipes, the dairy delight provides a versatile, flavorful ingredient.

One wholesome option is cheese made with 100% sustainably sourced Real California Milk from dairy farm families, which helps bring out the full flavor of dishes like California Queso Fresco Fish Tacos. Quality, authentic dairy can be part of flavor-driven experiences with your loved ones whether you enjoy the tacos during a “fish Friday” event or simply as an opportunity to share a meal as a family. You can also use queso fresco to elevate the flavor of dishes like chilaquiles, or turn to other varieties like Oaxaca for a capirotada or asadero for quiche.

If a vegetarian-friendly meal suits your style, cheese can also enhance plant-forward dishes like Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers. These red bell peppers are cooked and seeded before being stuffed with onions, mushrooms, cheese and seasonings. Once they’re baked to an ooey-gooey doneness, they’re served with white rice for a filling yet healthful meal.

Visit realcaliforniamilk.com/hispanic-dairy to find more cheesy, delicious recipes.

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: about 1 hour
Servings: 4

  • 4          red bell peppers
  • 1/2       cup, plus 1 tablespoon, vegetable oil, divided
  • 1          cup white onion (about 1 medium), 1/4-inch diced
  • 4          cups cremini or brown mushrooms (about 1 pound), 1/4-inch diced
  • 1          teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1          teaspoon black pepper
  • 1          cup Real California Oaxaca cheese, shredded
  • cooked white rice, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Rub bell peppers with 1 tablespoon oil then use grill, broiler or gas stovetop burner to cook peppers, turning occasionally, until well charred, 12-15 minutes. Transfer to bowl, cover and set aside until cool enough to handle, about 10 minutes.
  3. In large skillet over medium heat, warm remaining oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until starting to brown, 3-5 minutes. Add mushrooms, garlic salt and black pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are browned and liquid is almost entirely evaporated, 7-10 minutes.
  4. Rub charred skin from bell peppers. Slice off tops and remove seeds. Fill bell peppers with mushroom mixture, top with cheese and arrange in baking dish. Replace bell pepper tops and bake until cheese melts, 8-10 minutes. Serve with cooked rice.

 

California Queso Fresco Fish Tacos

Servings: 6 (12 tacos)

Avocado Radish Salsa:

  • 2          medium avocados, chopped
  • 1/3       cup finely chopped onion
  • 3/4       cup diced radish
  • 5          serrano chile peppers, seeded and finely chopped
  • 3          tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1          clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1          lime, juice only
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Tacos:

  • 1 1/2    pounds swordfish, or other whitefish, steaks or fillets
  • vegetable oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cumin
  • 12        corn tortillas
  • 6          ounces Real California Queso Fresco cheese, crumbled
  • 2          medium ripe tomatoes, diced
  • 1          cup shredded cabbage
  1. To make avocado radish salsa: In small bowl, combine avocados, onion, radish, chile peppers, cilantro, garlic and lime juice. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  2. Heat grill to medium heat.
  3. Rinse fish and pat dry with paper towels. Rub oil on both sides to coat; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Grill fish 6-9 minutes until cooked through; cool slightly. Remove skin and bones; cut fish into 1 1/2-inch strips.
  4. In medium bowl, toss fish with lime juice and cumin. Warm tortillas in microwave or at 275 F in oven.
  5. Place equal amounts of fish, cheese, tomatoes, cabbage and salsa in center of each tortilla. Roll up tacos to serve.

Substitution: Use Real California Asadero or Monterey Jack cheese for Queso Fresco.  

Source: Real California Milk

Videos 09 March 2021

Easy Brunch Quiche

(Culinary.net) The same old brunch menu week after week can become tiresome and dull. It’s bland, boring and your tastebuds get used to the same flavors repeatedly.

It’s time to add something new to the table with fresh ingredients and simple instructions to enhance your weekend spread.

Try this recipe for an Easy Brunch Quiche that is sure to have your senses swirling with every bite. This quiche is layered with many tastes and a variety of ingredients to give it crave-worthy flavor.

To create this dish, start with one package of broccoli and cheese then microwave it for 5 minutes until heated through.

Add 12 slices of chopped bacon to a skillet. While cooking, add 1/2 cup of green onions. Cook for 2 minutes then add 1 cup of mushrooms to the skillet. Cook for 4 minutes and drain the grease.

In a small mixing bowl, combine four eggs and 1 cup of milk. Whisk together. Add egg mixture to the broccoli and cheese. Also add 1 cup of shredded cheese and stir the ingredients together.

In two separate pie shells, spoon in the bacon mixture then pour the egg and broccoli mixtures over the top. Sprinkle with a little more cheese then bake for 35-45 minutes at 350 F.

With a range of ingredients from broccoli to bacon, this quiche is a brunch hero. While baking, the cheese gets all melty, and with every bite the mushrooms add texture and earthy flavor. The ingredients combine together to make something warm, hearty and fresh.

Find more brunch recipes and cooking ideas at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

 

Easy Brunch Quiche

Serves: 12

  • 1          package (10 ounces) frozen broccoli with cheese
  • 12        slices bacon, chopped
  • 1/2       cup green onions, sliced
  • 1          cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 4          eggs
  • 1          cup milk
  • 1 1/2    cups shredded cheese, divided
  • 2          frozen deep dish pie shells (9 inches each)
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. In medium bowl, add broccoli and cheese contents from package. Microwave 5 minutes, or until cheese is saucy. Set aside.
  3. In skillet, cook chopped bacon 4 minutes. Add green onions; cook 2 minutes. Add mushrooms; cook 4 minutes, or until bacon is completely cooked and mushrooms are tender. Drain onto paper towel over plate. Set aside.
  4. In medium bowl, whisk eggs and milk until combined. Add broccoli and cheese mixture. Add 1 cup cheese. Stir to combine. Set aside.
  5. In pie shells, divide drained bacon mixture evenly. Divide broccoli mixture evenly and pour over bacon mixture. Sprinkle remaining cheese over both pies.
  6. Bake 40 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool at least 12 minutes before serving.

Note: To keep edges of crust from burning, place aluminum foil over pies for first 20 minutes of cook time. Remove after 20 minutes and allow to cook uncovered until completed.

Meal Ideas 03 March 2021

Fast, Flavorful Meals When You're Short on Time

(Family Features) Quality meals don't have to drain hours from your day; satisfying taste is possible in just minutes when you have a few strategies that can help make meal prep easier and the results more enjoyable.

Eat better with veggies. If eating better is your goal, explore veggie-based recipes that are hearty and filled with nutrients and vitamins. This Brown and Wild Rice Bowl with Veggie Burger is perfect for a meatless Monday or any other day when you need a fast, filling and flavorful meal in short order. If you don't have veggie burgers at home, or simply prefer a meat-based option, a cooked frozen beef patty is a good time-saving alternative.

Make simple swaps for variety. When you find a dish that's easy and tasty, you may find yourself falling back on the same thing again and again. Prevent taste bud boredom by mixing up your ingredients. You can transform a rice-based recipe by changing up the veggies, cheese, dressing and other toppings. Try pickled jalapenos for spice. Add corn if you like things sweet. Swap a creamy dressing with a zesty vinaigrette for fewer calories and a whole new taste.

Shop for convenience. Takeout may let you skip prep time completely, but you can easily make versions of many favorite to-go meals at home in just a few minutes. This Beef and Broccoli Garlic Rice uses perfectly portioned Minute Ready to Serve microwavable rice cups that help you put together a delicious lunch or dinner without measuring or overeating. Choosing products like portion-controlled rice and other ready-to-serve ingredients can help shave time off your prep work.

Tempt your taste buds with more convenient meal ideas at minuterice.com.

Brown and Wild Rice Bowl with Veggie Burger

Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1 cup Minute Ready to Serve Brown and Wild Rice
  • 1 precooked veggie burger patty
  • 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
  • 1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
  1. Prepare rice according to package directions.
  2. Break veggie burger into large chunks and place in small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high 60-90 seconds, or until veggie burger is heated through.
  3. Toss together rice and veggie burger. Top with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. Drizzle with ranch dressing.

Beef and Broccoli Garlic Rice

Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1 cup Minute Ready to Serve Garlic and Olive Oil Jasmine Rice
  • 1/2 cup fresh broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 2 tablespoons diced water chestnuts
  • 3 ounces cooked beef, sliced into strips
  • 3 tablespoons teriyaki glaze
  • soy sauce (optional)
  1. Heat rice according to package directions.
  2. In large, microwave-safe bowl, combine broccoli, bell pepper and water chestnuts. Microwave on high 1 minute. Add beef and microwave on high 1 minute.
  3. Stir in glaze and rice. Top with soy sauce, if desired.

Source: Minute Rice

Meal Ideas 18 November 2020

Put a Zesty Spin on Weeknight Meals

(Family Features) Dinner in many households means foolproof recipes that families can count on, but those can become bland and boring. Finding new ways to put a twist on meals throughout the week adds fun to time spent in the kitchen while bringing new flavor to the table.

To help reinvigorate traditional weeknight dinners, chef Bobby Flay and Hidden Valley Ranch created the three-part Hidden Valley Ranch Night! series to debut dishes that bring bold flavor to traditional meals, such as these recipes for Ranch Crusted Burgers with Avocado Ranch Sauce and Ranch Seasoned Chicken and Mushroom Quesadillas with Tomato Salsa and Sour Cream. The series will provide a spin on weeknight staples to showcase the simplicity, versatility and zesty flavor of ranch seasoning when used to create family-friendly dinners any night of the week.

Find more information, including series episodes and additional recipes, at hiddenvalley.com/ranch-night.

Ranch Crusted Burgers with Avocado Ranch Sauce

Servings: 4

Avocado Ranch Sauce:

  • 1/4       cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4       cup sour cream
  • 1          tablespoon well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1/2       teaspoon Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3          green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2          avocados, peeled, pitted and diced

Ranch Spice Crusted Burger:

  • 1 1/2    teaspoons Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning
  • 1          teaspoon paprika
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2    pounds ground chuck (80% lean)
  • 2          tablespoons canola oil
  • 8          slices American cheese
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 4          brioche buns, split in half
  • Avocado Ranch Sauce
  1. To make avocado ranch sauce: In bowl, whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, ranch seasoning, salt and pepper until smooth. Fold in green onions and diced avocados; set aside.
  2. To make burgers: In small bowl, whisk ranch seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper.
  3. Heat large cast-iron pan or griddle over high heat. Divide meat into four 6-ounce patties and make deep depression in centers with thumb. Season each with spice rub on one side.
  4. Add canola oil to pan and heat until shimmering. Place on burgers in pan, spice side down, and cook until golden brown and lightly charred, 4 minutes. Turn burgers over and cook 4 minutes, or until they reach desired doneness.
  5. Top each burger with two slices cheese. Add water to pan and cover tightly with lid 10 seconds, or until the cheese is melted.
  6. Place burgers on bottom buns and top each with avocado ranch sauce and top buns.

Ranch Seasoned Chicken and Mushroom Quesadillas with Tomato Salsa and Sour Cream

Servings: 4

Tomato Salsa:

  • 4          plum tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2       small red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2       jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1          lime, juice only
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 3          tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped into ribbons
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Quesadillas:

  • 2          tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2    pounds cremini or button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2          teaspoons Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning, divided
  • 12        flour tortillas (6 inches)
  • 2          cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 16        ounces roasted or rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • canola oil
  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • tomato salsa
  • 2          tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  1. To make tomato salsa: In medium bowl, combine tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno, lime juice, olive oil and basil; season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. To make quesadillas: Preheat oven to 450 F.
  3. In large saute pan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add mushrooms and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons ranch seasoning. Cook until mushrooms are golden brown and liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool.
  4. Place tortillas next to each other on baking sheet. Sprinkle thin layer of cheese on eight tortillas. Add cooled mushrooms to four tortillas and shredded chicken to other four tortillas. Season each layer with salt and pepper. Stack tortillas to create four, two-layer quesadillas. Cover each with remaining tortillas; brush top tortillas lightly with canola oil and sprinkle with remaining ranch seasoning.
  5. Bake 6-8 minutes until cheese is melted and tortillas turn lightly golden brown with crispy edges.
  6. Cut each quesadilla into four pieces. Garnish each slice with dollop of sour cream. Add dollop of tomato salsa on top of sour cream and garnish with basil.

Source: Hidden Valley Ranch

Meal Ideas 20 October 2020

Busy Season Meal Solutions

(Family Features) As families across the country transition back into more normal routines this fall with work, school – whether virtual or in-person – and calendars jam-packed with commitments, it’s important to find ways to save precious time and squeeze in more moments with loved ones.

While getting nutritious, delicious and affordable meals on the table to help fuel those busy days is crucial, there are ways to cut down the amount of time spent in the kitchen each day. Setting aside a couple hours each week to meal prep can make it easier to serve lunch and dinner on a tight schedule and budget. For example, this California-Style Cheesy Enchilada Casserole can be made in batches ahead of time then frozen as individual portions and reheated when hunger strikes while working or learning from home.

Using prepared enchilada sauce, roasted chicken and a Hispanic-style cheese blend made with 100% Real California Milk from California dairy farm families, plus a traditional blend of vegetables and spices, you can feel good about serving your family members a flavorful, nutritional and budget-friendly meal each time they reach for another helping.

Find additional busy season recipe inspiration, nutritional information and more at RealCaliforniaMilk.com.

California-Style Cheesy Enchilada Casserole

Cooking Sauce:

  • 2          eggs
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       cup Real California half-and-half, milk or evaporated milk
  • 1/2       cup Real California sour cream
  • vegetable oil

Casserole:

  • 1 1/2-2 cups prepared enchilada sauce, divided
  • 12        corn tortillas, divided
  • 1          cup roasted skinless chicken, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2          teaspoons enchilada seasoning
  • 4          cups shredded Real California Mexican cheese blend, divided, or 1 cup each shredded Real California Oaxaca, Cheddar, Jalapeño Jack and crumbled Cotija cheeses
  • 1          cup canned pinto beans, drained well
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3       cup canned kernel corn, well drained
  • 1/3       cup sliced black olives, well drained
  • 1/3       cup mild green chiles, well drained
  • 2          tablespoons of cilantro, minced
  • 2          green onions, sliced
  • lime wedges, for serving
  • Real California sour cream, for serving
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. To make cooking sauce: In bowl, whisk eggs, salt, half-and-half and sour cream; set aside.
  3. Spray casserole dish with vegetable oil.
  4. To make casserole: Assemble first layer by spreading 6 tablespoons enchilada sauce on bottom of casserole dish. Top with four tortillas, overlapping them. Cover tortillas with 6 tablespoons enchilada sauce.
  5. Assemble second layer by tossing chicken with enchilada seasoning. Mix with 3 cups shredded cheese. Layer half chicken-cheese mixture over tortillas.
  6. Assemble third layer by seasoning pinto beans with cumin and garlic powder. Spread beans over cheese-chicken layer.
  7. Assemble fourth layer by overlapping four tortillas then cover with 6-8 tablespoons enchilada sauce. Cover with corn, olives and chiles. Top with remaining cheese-chicken mixture.
  8. Assemble final layer by covering filling with remaining tortillas, overlapped, then spread remaining enchilada sauce over them. Pour cooking sauce over casserole. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Let rest at least 30 minutes.
  9. Bake 50-60 minutes, or until bubbling. Remove and rest 10 minutes before cutting.
  10. Sprinkle with cilantro and green onions. Serve with lime wedges and sour cream.

Source: Real California Milk

Videos 21 September 2020

Savory Leek, California Raisins and Ricotta Tart

(Culinary.net) Versatile recipes that make mealtime a cinch for busy families are one easy way to free up time for moments with loved ones.

This Savory Leek, Raisin and Ricotta Tart is a perfect example of a dish that can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a snack or even if your family gets a craving for a breakfast-for-dinner swap. Prep time is minimal before simply baking in the oven 40 minutes, meaning you can have a meal ready in under an hour. Plus, because it makes 10 servings, you’ll have leftovers to help curb appetites later in the day.

To go along with the convenience and ease, it’s made using California raisins as a key ingredient. Dried in the California sunshine, they come by their sweetness naturally as a fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-sodium ingredient that can also be enjoyed on their own as a snack that packs nutritional value with 6% of the daily value for potassium and 7% of the daily value for fiber in each serving.

Find more recipes for meals from morning to night at calraisins.org.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Savory Leek, Raisin and Ricotta Tart 

Servings: 10

  • 1          pastry (9 inches, not in pie shell)
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 3          large leeks, chopped
  • 1          cup California golden raisins
  • 3          ounces diced smoked ham
  • 15        ounces low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 3          eggs
  • 3          cups Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1          cup chopped fresh basil or arugula
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Roll out pastry dough and press into 9-inch springform or tart pan. Bake 10 minutes. 
  2. In large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil. Add leeks and saute until browned, about 10 minutes. Add raisins and ham; cook 5 minutes. 
  3. In bowl, combine ricotta cheese, eggs and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; whisk well. Add leek mixture and basil; stir well. 
  4. Spoon ricotta mixture into tart shell. Bake 40 minutes or until puffed, golden and set.

Source:  California Raisin

Breakfast & Brunch 17 September 2020

Create Quality School Day Meals with Simple Shortcuts

(Family Features) The seemingly constant rush of hectic school days and nights often leaves busy families feeling like there’s no time for a homemade meal around the table. However, taking shortcuts that don’t skip out on quality can mean more time together enjoying flavorful dishes without spending hours in the kitchen.

For starters, an easy yet filling breakfast like these Sausage, Egg and Cheese Muffins can help you begin your day the right way while calling for a simple list of ingredients and just a few steps.

Perfect for grabbing on the way out the door to power you through the day or enjoying at home as you manage double duty as parent and best teacher on the block. They’re made with ground turkey sausage, eggs, melty cheddar cheese and Success Tri-Color Quinoa, which is simplified even more by the “boil-in-bag” cooking process. Just add water to a saucepan, drop the convenient BPA-free bag into the water, boil 10 minutes and remove with a fork for a no-measure, no-mess shortcut.

When the dinner bell dings at the end of a long day of learning, feed your family an effortless recipe that allows the oven to do most of the work. The array of flavors and textures in these Vegetable and Rice Power Bowls can bring warmth to your loved ones while requiring little effort.

Sweet and buttery flavors of maple-roasted sweet potatoes, butternut squash and beets pair with the convenience, taste, texture and quality of Success Jasmine Rice, lentils, pumpkin seeds, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette for an abundance of flavors that help recharge and refuel with loads of nutrients combined in one comforting dish.

Find more ways to add ease to school day meals at successrice.com.

Sausage, Egg and Cheese Muffins

Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 16

  • 1          bag Success Tri-Color Quinoa
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          package (9.6 ounces) cooked turkey sausage crumbles
  • 2          cups prepared baking mix
  • 1          cup cheddar cheese
  • 1          cup milk
  • 4          whole eggs, lightly beaten
  • maple syrup (optional)
  1. Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400 F. Coat 16 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In large bowl, combine quinoa, sausage, baking mix and cheese. Stir in milk and eggs; blend well.
  3. Pour 3/4 cup mixture into each muffin cup.
  4. Bake 18-20 minutes.
  5. Serve warm with maple syrup, if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

Substitution: In place of baking mix, substitute 2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1 pinch of salt.

Vegetable and Rice Power Bowls

Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 2          cups chopped butternut squash
  • 2          cups chopped sweet potatoes
  • 3          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1          tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1          tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 2          cups peeled, chopped beets
  • 2          bags Success Jasmine Rice
  • 4          cups mixed greens
  • 1          can (15 ounces) brown lentils, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2       cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/3       cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1/2       cup prepared balsamic dressing
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. In large bowl, toss together butternut squash, sweet potatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, thyme, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Arrange in single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
  2. In same bowl, toss beets with remaining oil until well coated; add to baking sheet with butternut squash and sweet potatoes. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and tender.
  3. Prepare rice according to package directions; divide among six bowls. Top each with greens, roasted vegetables, lentils, goat cheese and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with balsamic dressing.

Source: Success Rice

Videos 12 August 2020

Skillet Macaroni and Cheese

(Family Features) Turning to easy recipes that require minimal cooking time can help your loved ones take the stress out of busy back-to-school evenings while increasing the opportunities for sharing family moments together.

Skip the long cook times of complicated dishes and instead turn to an option like this Skillet Macaroni and Cheese, a kid-friendly and parent-approved meal to turn hectic school nights into happy time with family.

With a slight twist on the childhood classic, this version calls for chicken to add protein along with spinach and cherry tomatoes for increased veggie intake. Plus, it’s made with milk and cheese as part of an important daily intake of dairy, an irreplaceable part of a balanced diet as a source of essential nutrients.

Visit milkmeansmore.org to find more kid-friendly meals.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Skillet Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe courtesy of Katie Serbinski of “Mom to Mom Nutrition” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • 1          cup dried elbow macaroni
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2       cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1          package (5 ounces) semisoft cheese with garlic and fine herbs
  • 1 1/2    cups fat-free milk
  • 1          tablespoon flour
  • 1          teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1/2       cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2          cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1          cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  1. Cook macaroni according to package directions; drain.
  2. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, chicken and onion. Cook 6-8 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink.
  3. Reduce heat to medium. Stir in semisoft cheese. Gradually add milk and flour. Continue stirring and cooking until mixture is thickened and bubbly.
  4. Reduce heat to low. Add hot sauce, cheddar cheese and cooked macaroni. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted. Stir in spinach.
  5. Top with cherry tomatoes and serve.

Source:  United Dairy of Michigan

Videos 18 August 2020

Sweet and Spicy Nachos

(Family Features) When looking to guide your family toward healthier snacks, success can be as simple as rethinking the ingredients you choose to use, including your favorite produce, such as grapes.

Fresh California grapes, for example, make for an ideal snack because they are tasty, healthy, hydrating and refreshing, but grapes can also be used to make dishes that are satisfying and delicious like these Sweet and Spicy Nachos. Grapes of all colors - red, green and black - are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols. Plus, they are naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free and contain virtually no sodium.

Find more better-for-you snack ideas at GrapesFromCalifornia.com.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Sweet and Spicy Nachos

Recipe courtesy of the California Table Grape Commission
Servings: 2

Chipotle Barbecue Sauce:

  • 1          tablespoon canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 2          tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 2          tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1          teaspoon honey
  • 3          ounces baked tortilla chips (about 28 chips)
  • 1/2       jalapeno, seeded, stemmed and finely minced (optional)
  • 2          tablespoons finely diced red onion
  • 4          ounces grilled chicken, diced (about 3/4 cup)
  • 1/4       cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/4       cup queso Cotija Mexican cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2       avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and diced
  • 1          cup halved California grapes
  • 3          tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Heat oven to broil.
  2. In food processor or blender, puree chipotle pepper, barbecue sauce, lime juice and honey until smooth.
  3. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and arrange tortilla chips in single layer.
  4. Sprinkle chips with jalapeno, if desired; onion; chicken; and Monterey Jack cheese. Drizzle with Chipotle Barbecue Sauce.
  5. Place tray in oven about 6 inches below element; broil 1-2 minutes until cheese is melted. Remove from oven, sprinkle with Cotija Mexican cheese, avocado, grapes and cilantro.

Source: California Grapes

Grilling-Tailgating 22 June 2020

Cookout Cravings: Appease summer appetites with grilled fare

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

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

Find more summer grilling recipes at Culinary.net.

5 Steps for Sizzling Steak

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Less Prep, More Summer with a Skewered Solution

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

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

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

Grilled Greek Kebabs

Dressing/Marinade:

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

Salad:

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

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

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

Preheat grill to medium heat.

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

Finish dressing by adding mayonnaise.

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

Serve with grilled pita bread, if desired.

Sipping on Sweetness

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

Find more summer drink recipes at Culinary.net.

Strawberry Spritzer

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home

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

A Simple Stuffed Side

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

Find more snack recipes at Culinary.net.

Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

Recipe courtesy of Culinary.net

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

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Steak)

Source:  The Little Potato Company

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