recipes

Meal Ideas 21 February 2019

Simple Swaps for Serious Flavor

(Family Features) From burgers to barbecued chicken, many of the best grilled foods are served with creamy condiments – often packing on calories and fat. Next time you’re ready to grill, experiment with new ways to create simple but robust flavors using fewer ingredients through simple swaps.

Rice vinegars offer a healthy alternative to condiments like mayonnaise or a creamy dressing when grilling. Keeping meals simple is easy with naturally gluten-free Nakano Rice Vinegar, which includes six or less simple ingredients with no artificial preservatives, flavors or ingredients, and no high-fructose corn syrup or MSG. The brand recently announced a clean-labeling initiative for all of its products, which now have easy-to-read labels with recognizable ingredients.

Dawn Jackson Blatner, star of ABC’s “My Diet Is Better Than Yours,” author of “Superfood Swap” and a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant for the Chicago Cubs, has created healthy dishes to heat up the grill this season.

This fall, look for organic Nakano Rice Vinegars debuting at retailers nationwide, and find more recipes at Mizkan.com.

Grilled Meatballs and Zoodles

Servings: 4

Meatballs

  • 1      pound organic ground turkey or grass-fed ground beef
  • 1      cup organic kale, finely chopped
  • 1/2   cup crushed brown rice crackers
  • 1      egg
  • 1/4   teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4   teaspoon sea salt
  • non-stick cooking spray

Salad

  • 4      medium zucchini
  • 2      cups organic cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4   cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4   cup Nakano Rice Vinegar – Natural or Nakano Organic Rice Vinegar – Natural
  • 2      tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat grill to medium.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine ground meat, kale, crackers, egg, chili pepper flakes and salt. Use hands to form mixture into 12 balls. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes to help meatballs set.
  3. Mist meatballs with non-stick cooking spray and place them on grill. Grill each side 3-4 minutes, using tongs to flip to sides that haven’t been browned yet. Meatballs should reach internal temperature of 165°F.
  4. Using vegetable spiralizer, create zucchini noodles.
  5. Toss zucchini with tomatoes, Parmesan, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  6. Serve each zoodle plate with three meatballs.

Nutritional information per serving: 350 calories; 20 g total fat; 6 g saturated fat; 240 mg sodium; 14 g carbs; 3 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 32 g protein.

Grilled Veggie and Ranch Bowl

Servings: 2

  • 8      ounces skinless chicken breast
  • 2      ears corn, shucked
  • 6      asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1      organic bell pepper, seeded and cut into 4 large pieces
  • 1      zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1      tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 4      tablespoons Cashew Ranch Dressing (recipe below)
  1. Heat grill to medium.
  2. Season chicken breast, corn, asparagus, bell pepper and zucchini with olive oil, sea salt and pepper.
  3. Grill chicken 6-7 minutes per side, internal temperature reaches 165 F. Grill corn 10-15 minutes, rotating after every pop, until corn is golden. Grill asparagus, bell pepper and zucchini 3-5 minutes per side, until tender.
  4. Separate chicken, corn, asparagus, bell pepper and zucchini evenly into two bowls. Drizzle bowls with Cashew Ranch Dressing.

Note: Bowl leftovers can be refrigerated for up to four days.

Nutritional information per serving: 450 calories; 21 g total fat; 4.5 g saturated fat; 870 mg sodium; 31 g carbs; 6 g fiber; 10 g sugar; 38 g protein.

Cashew Ranch Dressing
Makes: 1 cup

  • 1      cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • 3/4   cup almost-boiling water
  • 3      tablespoons Nakano Rice Vinegar – Natural or Nakano Organic Rice Vinegar – Natural
  • 1      clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4   teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4   teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1      teaspoon sea salt
  • 1      teaspoon black pepper
  • 2      tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  1. In food processor, puree cashews, water, rice vinegar, garlic, dill, oregano, salt and pepper 3-4 minutes, until creamy. For best results, drizzle water in gradually as food processor is running. Stir in chives.

Note: Leftover dressing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to seven days.

Nutritional information per tablespoon: 50 calories; 4 g total fat; 0.5 g saturated fat; 110 mg sodium; 3 g carbs; 1 g sugar; 2 g protein.

Tuna Stuffed Avocado

Servings: 2

  • 1      ripe avocado
  • 1      can (5 ounces) tuna packed in water, drained
  • 1/2   cup finely diced celery
  • 1/2   cup grated carrot
  • 1/4   cup finely diced red onion
  • 2      tablespoons Nakano Rice Vinegar – Natural or Nakano Organic Rice Vinegar – Natural
  • 1/2   tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2   tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8   teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8   teaspoon black pepper
  • 16    brown rice crackers
  1. Cut avocado in half, remove pit and scoop out flesh leaving thin wall of avocado. Dice avocado flesh and set shell aside for serving.
  2. In small bowl, combine tuna, celery, carrot, onion, vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix well. Gently stir in diced avocado.
  3. Scoop mixture into avocado shells and serve with brown rice crackers.

Nutritional information per serving: 360 calories; 19 g total fat; 3 g saturated fat; 530 mg sodium; 26 g carbs; 9 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 22 g protein.

Source: Nakano Rice Vinegar

Kids 03 September 2018

Back-to-School Seafood Favorites

(Family Features) With a new school year beginning, it’s important for parents to be prepared and help their children start forming good habits. For example, most children function better on a routine. They wake up every day at a certain time, they practice the same sports and eat nutritious, fresh foods that fuel their bodies.

One healthy option for kids is seafood. When kids eat at least two servings of seafood each week, as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, they can receive big benefits. Fish and shellfish supply nutrients such as vitamins B and D, choline and essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are all needed for strong bones, brain development, healthy immune systems and cardiovascular systems.

In fact, research published in “Acta Paediatrica” shows an association between kids who eat fish at least once a week and better grades.

With a new routine in place, it can sometimes be hard for parents to keep up, but with fast-cooking seafood like thin fish fillets and shrimp, a healthy dinner can be ready in minutes. However, since some kids can be picky eaters, consider these tips from Joe Urban, director of food and nutrition services for Greenville County Schools, to add seafood to your family’s table.

  • Start creating meals featuring seafood early in their lives, as children who are exposed to seafood at an early age may develop a fondness for the cuisine.
  • Introduce them to mild varieties such as cod, pollock and haddock, then have them try other species as they become accustomed to the taste.
  • Seafood can be substituted in nearly any dish that normally calls for chicken, beef, pork or other proteins. Serving seafood in familiar dishes like tacos, enchiladas, soups, salads, burgers and baked dishes can be a beneficial way for kids to eat more seafood.
  • Canned seafoods like tuna and salmon make for quick, budget-friendly options when time is short, plus they can be mixed in with a variety of recipes.

For more seafood recipes and meal inspiration, visit seafoodnutrition.org or follow #Seafood2xWk on social media.

Hearty Salmon Skewers over Brown Rice

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          pound salmon, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • paprika, to taste
  • 8          skewers
  • 1/4       cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1          cup pineapple, cubed
  • 1/2       cup canola oil
  • 1          lemon
  • 2          cups cooked brown rice
  1. Coat salmon with kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and paprika, to taste. Slide piece of salmon onto skewer, followed by tomato and then pineapple. Repeat three times on each skewer, or until skewer is full.
  2. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1/2 cup canola oil 1 minute.
  3. Place skewers in pan and turn every 2 minutes per side. Squeeze lemon on skewers while cooking.
  4. To serve, place 1/2 cup rice on each plate and two skewers on top. Squeeze hint of lemon over each serving, if desired.

Source: Seafood Nutrition Partnership

Seafood 06 February 2019

Eat Healthy with Seafood

(Family Features) Eating healthy isn’t always easy, and when your family is rushing around in the evenings it can seem like a daunting task to put a well-balanced, nutritious meal on the table.

However, cooking at home with a lean protein you can feel good about serving, like seafood, is one way to serve up quick, good-for-you meals. In fact, one-third of people surveyed reported they increased their fish consumption at home last year, according to Datassential.

Research published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” showed eating seafood 2-3 times per week can improve brain, eye, heart and prenatal health. Seafood also provides unique health benefits as one of the best sources for omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats essential to human health and development.

As only one out of 10 Americans meets the Dietary Guidelines recommendation of two servings of seafood per week, National Seafood Month is a great time to incorporate more seafood into you and your family’s meals. Check out these tips from the Seafood Nutrition Partnership:

  • Make a game plan or meal plan for the week to figure out when you can incorporate seafood into your meals.
  • Stock up on canned and frozen seafood at the grocery store and keep an eye out for sales or coupons.
  • Make easy swaps, like using white fish or shrimp in tacos instead of beef or a salmon patty instead of a burger patty.
  • Try doubling recipes so you only have to cook it once but can reap the benefits of eating seafood twice in one week.
  • Use kitchen gadgets like slow cookers and pressure cookers to prepare seafood-based meals in a pinch.

For recipes, ideas and inspiration for eating seafood at least two times per week, visit seafoodnutrition.org or follow #Seafood2xWk on social media.
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One Pan Fish Dish

Recipe courtesy of Michael-Ann Rowe on behalf of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/8       cup canola oil
  • 1/4       cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1          medium onion, quartered
  • 2          cups broccoli florets
  • 1          lemon, half sliced and half juiced, divided
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1          pound white fish (such as snapper, grouper, flounder or barramundi)
  • 4          tablespoons olive oil
  • fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)
  1. In pan over medium heat, heat canola oil about 1 minute.
  2. Add tomatoes, onions and broccoli to pan; cook 5 minutes, uncovered.
  3. Drizzle lemon juice over vegetables and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Place fish on top of vegetables in center of pan and place two lemon slices on top of fish.
  5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Cover pan and cook on medium heat 10-12 minutes depending on thickness of fish.
  7. Drizzle olive oil over fish and top with rosemary, if desired, before serving.

Source: Seafood Nutrition Partnership

Meal Ideas 05 February 2019

6 Ways to Build a Better Lunchbox

(Family Features) Coming up with fresh ideas every day to keep kids’ lunches exciting is no small task. When the goal is an empty lunchbox and a full, happy tummy, the winning combination is a blend of nutrition and flavor.

Step up your game this school year with these ideas for a better lunchbox:

Get creative. Foods that look can good taste good, too. Transform sandwiches into fun shapes using cookie cutters or make tiny heart- or star-shaped, bite-size pieces of cheese for a fun finger food. Another fun idea: thread sliced and bite-sized vegetables on a wooden stick for a no-cook kabob. For a sweet variation, use fruit instead and sprinkle with coconut for extra flavor.

Skip the packaging. Little fingers can struggle to open pre-packaged foods, so instead opt for fresh ingredients that fit into a bento-style box. Not only can kids see what tasty treats await and dig straight into their meals, less packaging means less processing, which is good for their health and the environment.

Keep it simple. Opt for delicious, flavorful foods that deliver nutrients kids need and the taste they want without any extras. An option like Hidden Valley Simply Ranch makes for a rich and creamy complement to carrot sticks, cucumber and other lunchbox staples. With no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors this ranch is perfect for encouraging kids to eat the veggies you pack. Look for Classic Ranch or for a special twist, try flavors such as Cucumber Basil or Chili Lime.

Rely on the familiar. Refueling during the day is important to keep kids focused and able to mentally and physically tackle the rest of the school day. Avoid trying out new foods at lunchtime and save experimenting with new flavors for meals at home.

Go for variety. Representing multiple foods groups isn’t only a good way to deliver good nutrition, the variety in colors and textures can make the meal more interesting and encourage kids to eat more. Include savory meats, crunchy crackers, veggies and sweet fruits.

Add a treat. Whether it’s a favorite fruit or yogurt, a single piece of candy or even a simple note that says “I love you and I’m proud of you,” find a way to add something sweet to every lunch and bring a smile to your child’s daily routine.

Look for more kid-friendly meals at hiddenvalley.com
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Portable Veggie Kabobs with Tangy Veggie Dip

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6-8

  • 1          cucumber, sliced
  • 1          cup broccoli florets
  • 2          carrots, sliced
  • 8          cherry tomatoes
  • 6-8       wooden skewers
  • Hidden Valley Simply Ranch
  1. Gently thread cucumber slices, broccoli, carrot slices and cherry tomatoes on skewers, placing 2-3 pieces of each veggie on each skewer to make a rainbow of colors.
  2. Serve ranch dressing with veggies for dipping.

Tip: Add cheese cubes for protein on kabobs, if desired.

Photo courtesy of Mick Jones

Source: Hidden Valley

Videos 04 January 2019

Family-Favorite Comfort Foods

3 dairy-inspired dishes for weeknight dinners

(Family Features) Warm meals that come together quickly are a necessity for busy families, especially on weeknights filled with homework, practices, meetings and more. Serving up comfort foods that require less time in the kitchen make for more moments spent together at the table.

Hearty and satisfying, this Chicken and Wild Rice Soup can bring everyone together for a warm, soothing meal, while Cheesy Turkey Chili Mac makes for familiar fare enjoyed by adults and kids alike. For a rich, creamy, one-dish dinner solution, Pasta and Chicken in Garlic Cream Sauce requires less than 45 minutes of kitchen duty, making it an ideal weeknight family-favorite.

These dairy-fueled recipes from Milk Means More of Michigan can be part of a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy and a variety of protein foods.

Find more weeknight meal solutions at milkmeansmore.org.

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!

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Pasta and Chicken in Garlic Cream Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Milk Means More
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 4          slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
  • 3/4       pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 10        ounces (about 4 cups) farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  • 2 1/2    cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 4          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2       teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1          cup heavy cream
  • 1          cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3          cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1          cup halved cherry tomatoes, for garnish
  1. Place removable pan inside programmable pressure cooker. Using saute function, cook bacon, uncovered, until crisp. Use slotted spoon to remove bacon from pan. Drain bacon on paper towels. Leave 1 tablespoon drippings in pan; discard remaining.
  2. Add chicken to bacon drippings in pan in two batches. Using saute function, stir-fry chicken 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through. Use slotted spoon to remove chicken from pan. Repeat until all chicken is cooked. Press cancel.
  3. Stir pasta, broth, garlic, Italian seasoning and pepper into drippings in pan. Secure lid and set pressure release to sealing function. Select high pressure setting and cook 5 minutes. Press cancel.
  4. Allow pressure to release naturally 5 minutes. Move pressure release to venting function to release any remaining steam. Remove lid.
  5. Stir cream into pasta mixture. Using saute function, cook and stir, uncovered, until boiling. Boil, uncovered, about 4 minutes, or until sauce generously coats pasta, stirring frequently. Press cancel. Stir in chicken and Parmesan cheese.
  6. Place spinach and bacon in large bowl. Pour pasta mixture over top. Toss until combined. Ladle into serving bowls. Top each serving with tomatoes.

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Cheesy Turkey Chili Mac

Recipe courtesy of Milk Means More
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1          tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1          pound lean ground turkey
  • 1          cup chopped onion
  • 1          can (15 1/2 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1          can (15 ounces) no-salt- added tomato sauce
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chili peppers
  • 1 2/3    cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1          tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 8          ounces (about 1 3/4 cups) elbow macaroni
  • 1/2       cup 2 percent or whole milk
  • 2          tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2          cups (8 ounces) shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 3/4       cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt or sour cream
  1. Place oil in removable pan of programmable pressure cooker. Place pan in pressure cooker. Using saute function, heat oil until hot. Add turkey and onion. Cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes, or until turkey is no longer pink, stirring to break up. Press cancel.
  2. Stir in beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, broth, chili powder, garlic salt and pepper. Stir in macaroni. Secure lid and set pressure release to sealing function. Select high pressure setting and cook 5 minutes.
  3. Allow pressure to release naturally 2 minutes. Move pressure release to venting function to release any remaining steam. Remove lid.
  4. Stir macaroni mixture. Whisk together milk and flour. Stir into macaroni mixture. Using saute function, cook and stir, uncovered, 1-2 minutes, or until boiling. Press cancel.
  5. Stir cheese into macaroni mixture until melted. Ladle into serving bowls. Spoon dollops of yogurt or sour cream on top.

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Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Recipe courtesy of Milk Means More
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

  • 1          cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2       cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2       cup sliced celery
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 2          tablespoons butter or clarified butter
  • 4          cups chicken broth
  • 4          ounces (about 2/3 cup) wild rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1          teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 12        ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1          cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2          tablespoons flour
  • 1/2       cup whipping cream
  1. In Dutch oven, cook carrots, onion, celery and garlic in hot butter about 2 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir broth, wild rice, thyme, salt and pepper into vegetable mixture. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 40 minutes. Stir in chicken pieces. Return to simmer, covered, 10-15 minutes, or until rice is tender and chicken is done.
  3. In small bowl, whisk together yogurt and flour. Gradually whisk in cream. Stir into chicken mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until boiling. Boil 1 minute. Ladle into bowls.

Source:  United Dairy Industry of Michigan

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