recipes

Meal Ideas 09 December 2021

Warm Up Winter with Comforting Classics

(Family Features) Whipping up family favorites all winter long is a perfect activity to keep loved ones warm in the kitchen while avoiding the bitter chill outdoors. Delicious, heartwarming snacks offer a simple and savory way to bring everyone in from the cold while enjoying comforting flavors together.

Lean on beloved ingredients like go-to RAGÚ sauces when it’s time to come together for quick bites. The possibilities are nearly endless with delicious recipes using classics like the RAGÚ Old World Style Traditional or RAGÚ Simply Traditional options.

Hearty flavors can take away the chill of winter in recipes like Snowman Pizza Bombs, Polenta Bites and Baked Tomato Goat Cheese Dip. Easy to make and fun to create together, these simple snacks are perfect for a cold afternoon spent together in the kitchen or watching a family-movie marathon.

Originally started by an Italian mother more than 80 years ago, RAGÚ sauce, known for its distinctive yellow cap, is the perfect have-on-hand pantry staple to help you create easy and delicious home cooking. As an invaluable resource and family favorite since 1937, RAGÚ sauces easily allow anyone, regardless of gender or culinary skillset, to “cook like a mother” and serve up delicious, homemade favorites. The brand’s rich heritage and array of sauce choices ensures that your next cold-weather day spent inside will be elevated with family-favorite snacks and easy and taste-tempting meals made with RAGÚ.

Find more recipes perfect for warming up this winter at Ragu.com.

Baked Tomato Goat Cheese Dip

Recipe courtesy of Marzia Aziz of "Little Spice Jar"
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups RAGÚ Simply Traditional Sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, divided
  • 1/ 4 cup fresh basil, chopped, divided
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 log (10-10 1/2 ounces) goat cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus additional for brushing, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • kosher salt, divided
  • pepper
  • 1 large baguette, sliced on bias
  • blistered tomatoes, for serving (optional)
  1. Position one rack in upper third of oven and one in lower third. Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray small, round baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Add sauce to small bowl. Grate in two garlic cloves then add 1/8 cup basil and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine then pour sauce into baking dish.
  3. Smash goat cheese log into ball. Place ball between two sheets plastic wrap. Using hands, flatten cheese into thick, round disc about 1 inch smaller in diameter than baking dish. Remove goat cheese from plastic wrap and place in center of sauce. Drizzle cheese with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Sprinkle with fresh thyme, kosher salt and pepper. Bake on lower rack, uncovered, 20-25 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is warmed through.
  4. Place baguette slices on baking sheet. Drizzle or brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake crostini on upper rack 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through. When bread is done, remove from oven, cut last garlic clove in half and rub cut side on bread.
  5. Top dip with remaining basil and blistered tomatoes, if desired, and serve with crostini.

Note: To make blistered tomatoes: Heat skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add 1 pint cherry tomatoes to dry skillet and let sit 1 minute. Lower heat to low, toss tomatoes with 2 teaspoons olive oil and cook 2-3 minutes, or until tomatoes are about to burst. Remove from heat; sprinkle with pinch of salt and pepper.

Polenta Bites

  • 1 tube (18 ounces) polenta
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) RAGÚ Chunky Tomato, Garlic and Onion Sauce
  • 1 package (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella
  • 2 sprigs, rosemary, destemmed and chopped
  • 3 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 block (8 ounces) hard Parmesan cheese
  1. Cut polenta into slices. In skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat; fry polenta slices 10-12 minutes on each side until crispy and golden brown.
  2. In saucepan over medium heat, warm sauce.
  3. Place polenta slices on tray and sprinkle with mozzarella. Place 1/2 teaspoon warm sauce on each slice then sprinkle with chopped rosemary and basil. Grate hard Parmesan onto each slice for topping.

Snowman Pizza Bombs

  • 1 tube (11.8 ounces) pizza dough
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) RAGÚ Old World Style Traditional Sauce
  • 1 package (6 ounces) pepperoni slices
  • 1 package (6 ounces) Canadian bacon slices
  • 1 package (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 package (8 ounces) mozzarella cheese slices

Decorative vegetables (optional):

  • multicolored sweet peppers
  • olives
  • spinach
  • mushrooms
  • cherry tomatoes
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Cut pizza dough into 12 squares. On each square, place 1/2 teaspoon sauce and evenly top with pepperoni, Canadian bacon and cheddar cheese.
  3. Pinch corners of dough together to round into balls then place in muffin tins.
  4. In small bowl, mix melted butter, garlic powder and Italian seasoning; brush generously over dough balls.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Remove from muffin tin and carefully shape dough balls into circles; place on baking sheet. Cover with mozzarella slices and bake until melted.
  7. Create snowman faces by decorating each with peppers, olives, spinach, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, if desired. Use remaining sauce for dipping.

Source: RAGÚ

Holiday 18 November 2021

Holiday Entertaining is Back with Sweet, Savory and Oh So Cheesy Ideas

Real California Milk helps impress guests with the California Cheese Centerpiece and Cookie Exchange Board

(Family Features) This holiday season, entertaining is back on the table and that means endless opportunities to showcase Instagram-worthy ideas. For those looking to impress friends and family, Real California Milk has two unique culinary ideas to take holiday traditions to the next level: The Cheese Centerpiece and Cookie Exchange Board. From fresh food as bountiful décor to camera-ready cookie presentations, incorporating California dairy into your entertaining is a winning holiday strategy.

California Cheese Centerpiece
The mission? Create a holiday centerpiece but make it delicious. Real California Milk partner Jessica Lawrenz, Founder of Monger, Mold and Milk, took the challenge with the California Cheese Centerpiece, the ultimate in edible entertaining with a beautiful display of Real California Cheeses, salami, fruits and vegetables arranged with fragrant herbal garnishes in a display sure to impress family and friends. As a bonus, it creates less waste than a stand-alone floral bouquet (and you’ll have less to clean up!).   

Find additional cheese displays and holiday recipes at realcaliforniamilk.com.

INGREDIENTS:

Variety of firm to medium (semi-firm) Real California Cheeses (find them here: https://www.realcaliforniamilk.com/cheese-makers)

Shown in arrangement:

  • Real California Dry Jack cheese wedges
  • Real California Wine-soaked Cheddar wedges
  • Real California Triple Cream cheese wedges
  • Salumi or salami, made into roses

Fresh fruits and vegetables:

  • Mini clementines or kumquats
  • Grapes or currants (both shown)
  • Fresh figs
  • Gooseberries
  • Cucamelons or mini cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes (tiger stripe tomatoes shown but any small tomato works)

Garnishes:

  • Bay leaf stems
  • Olive leaf stems
  • Rosemary branches
  • Lavender stems
  • Sage bunches
  • Chive or garlic flowers or any edible flower with a stem

Tools and Materials:

  • Circular tray or plate
  • Craft or flora foam (half sphere shape that is at least 1-inch smaller in diameter than your tray)
  • Double-sided tape
  • Plastic wrap
  • Toothpicks, U-shape bamboo toothpicks (optional)
  • Cookie cutter shapes (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

  • Cover foam in plastic wrap to protect food from making contact with the foam.
  • Use double-sided tape to secure the foam to the tray.
  • Now you can start assembling the centerpiece. Start from the bottom and work your way up to the top of the sphere.
  • Use the bulk of your leafy garnishment (bay leaf stems, olive leaf stems, sage bunches) on the bottom layer to create a base and coverage by poking the stems into the foam. If needed you can trim the bottom of the stem in a diagonal direction to create a more pokey end OR use a toothpick to pierce a hole in the place where you want to insert stems.
  • For best visual appeal, fruits like grapes and currants should be arranged to kind of flow over the edge of the tray near the bottom as well. PRO TIP: Use “U” shaped bamboo toothpicks to secure the stems of the hanging fruits into the foam.
  • From here use toothpicks to secure cheese wedges, salumi roses, fruits and vegetables into the foam. Cut shorter, triangular pieces of cheese (as opposed to longer triangular pieces used for a long/rectangular centerpiece). Use any tall wedges near the bottom where they will be easy to grab but not sticking out too far if placed near the top. You can use cookie cutter shapes as well for the cheeses, if desired.
  • Finally, take any of the smaller garnish pieces you have (lavender, chive flowers, rosemary ends, loose leaves) to fill in the spaces between all the items.

Holiday Cookie Exchange Board
If a cookie exchange is on the docket for this year’s holiday or you’re simply looking to upgrade your dessert table, take some tips from this stunning cookie exchange presentation. Mix and match Real California Milk cookie recipes to create a mouthwatering arrangement and decorate with mini candy canes, holiday lollipops, various holiday décor and lights. Add napkins, cookie bags for take-away, and recipe cards for sharing, and let your guests go to town.

Dipped in melted dark chocolate and rolled in crushed peppermint candies or Holiday sprinkles

Leave out ice cream, exchange holiday sprinkles for rainbow sprinkles, and dip in melted white chocolate with color for extra festivity

California is the nation’s leading milk producer and is responsible for producing more butter, ice cream and nonfat dry milk than any other state. The state is the second-largest producer of cheese and yogurt. California milk and dairy foods can be identified by the Real California Milk seal, which certifies they are made exclusively with milk from the state’s dairy farm families.

About Real California Milk/California Milk Advisory Board

The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB), an instrumentality of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, is funded by the state’s dairy farm families who lead the nation in sustainable dairy farming practices. With a vision to nourish the world with the wholesome goodness of Real California Milk, the CMAB’s programs focus on increasing demand for California’s sustainable dairy products in the state, across the U.S. and around the world through advertising, public relations, research, and retail and foodservice promotional programs. For more information and to connect with the CMAB, visit RealCaliforniaMilk.comFacebookYouTubeTwitterInstagram and Pinterest.

Source: Real California Milk

Meal Ideas 13 July 2021

Add Powerful Pairings to Your Plate

(Family Features) Joining loved ones at the family table is an important moment for many, both as a filling way to enjoy a meal and an emotionally satisfying way to catch up on all the day’s events. Make those moments count by combining nutritious ingredients and creating recipes that can quickly become favorites.

As part of the Powerful Pairings initiative – launched by the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, National Pork Board and USA Pulses – these recipes call for pulses, which include lentils, chickpeas dry peas, and beans; sorghum, similar to rice or quinoa filled with nutrients, texture and taste; and pork, rich in flavor, versatile and sustainable with nutritious qualities.

Combined, these three ingredients can work together in sweet and savory dishes alike, and they shine with a multitude of herbs, spices and sauces from around the world. A powerhouse nutritional trio, they include foods from the protein, vegetable and grain groups outlined in MyPlate, a template for balance, variety and moderation.

Plus, the taste and versatility of these ingredients make it easier to achieve more family meals, which promotes cohesion, communication and relationships, helping loved ones celebrate simple joys together and be more prepared for uncertainty and difficult life moments.

Find more information, resources and recipes at powerfulpairings.com.

Mediterranean Grain Bowl with Pork Skewers

Recipe courtesy of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, National Pork Board and USA Pulses
Prep time: 45 minutes, plus 2 hours marinate time
Cook time: 75 minutes
Servings: 6 (1 pork skewer, 2/3 cup sorghum, 2 tablespoons hummus)

Red Lentil Hummus:

  • 1 1/3    cups water
  • 1/3       cup dried red lentils
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 1          tablespoon tahini
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2       teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon black pepper
  • 12        ounces pork loin roast, trimmed of fat
  • 4          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2          teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1          teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1          teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1          sweet onion, chopped
  • 3          cups no-salt-added chicken stock
  • 3/4       cup whole-grain sorghum, rinsed and drained
  • 1          cup canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed, drained and dried with paper towels
  • 1 1/2    cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1          cup arugula
  • 1          cup chopped cucumber
  • 2/3       cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2       cup kalamata olives
  1. To make Red Lentil Hummus: In small saucepan, combine water and dried red lentils; bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes, or until lentils split and become soft. Cool and transfer to food processor. Add olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, minced garlic, cumin, salt and black pepper; process 30-60 seconds, or until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Transfer to airtight container and store in refrigerator up to 5 days until serving time.
  2. Cut pork loin into 1-inch cubes. Place in re-sealable plastic bag set in shallow dish. In small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons olive oil, garlic, lemon zest, cumin, salt and black pepper. Pour half olive oil mixture over meat, reserving remaining half. Seal bag; turn to coat meat. Marinate in refrigerator 2 hours, turning bag occasionally.
  3. In medium saucepan, heat remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, cook and stir 6-8 minutes, or until tender. Add stock and bring to boil. Add sorghum. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 45-60 minutes, or until sorghum is tender, stirring occasionally.
  4. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  5. Arrange chickpeas on foil-lined 15-by-10-by-1-inch baking pan. Drizzle with reserved olive oil mixture; toss to coat. Roast 20-30 minutes, or until chickpeas are toasted and crispy, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and increase oven to 500 F.
  6. Drain meat, discarding marinade. Divide among six wooden or metal skewers. Arrange skewers on wire rack on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, or until meat is slightly pink in center, turning once halfway through.
  7. To serve, divide cooked sorghum between six shallow bowls. Top with tomatoes, arugula, cucumber, feta cheese, olives, chickpeas and Red Lentil Hummus. Serve with pork skewers.

Nutritional information per serving: 505 calories; 28 g total fat (8 g saturated fat); 14 mg cholesterol; 528 mg sodium; 43 g total carbohydrates (8 g dietary fiber, 6 g sugars); 23 g protein; 1% vitamin D; 15% calcium; 19% iron; 16% potassium; 361 mg phosphorus (29%).

Sorghum Split Pea Soup

Recipe courtesy of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, National Pork Board and USA Pulses
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6 (1 1/4 cup each)

  • 1 1/2    tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          onion, chopped
  • 3/4       cup sliced carrots
  • 3/4       cup sliced celery
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons minced garlic
  • 6          cups no-salt-added chicken stock
  • 1 1/4    cups green split peas
  • 1          small ham bone
  • 2/3       cup chopped ham
  • 2/3       cup pearled sorghum
  • 4          sprigs thyme
  • 2          bay leaves
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • chopped fresh thyme (optional)
  • cracked black pepper (optional)
  1. In 4-quart stock pot or large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic; season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook, stirring occasionally, 10-12 minutes, or until onion is tender. Add chicken stock, split peas, ham bone, ham, sorghum, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 45-60 minutes, or until split peas are soft and sorghum is tender.
  2. Remove ham bone, thyme sprigs and bay leaves from soup. Remove ham from bone, chop ham and return to pot. Discard bone, thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Add Worcestershire sauce and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Garnish with chopped fresh thyme and cracked black pepper, if desired.

Nutritional information per serving: 336 calories; 8 g total fat (2 g saturated fat); 22 mg cholesterol; 573 mg sodium; 48 g total carbohydrates (12 g dietary fiber, 7 g sugars); 20 g protein; 3% vitamin D; 5% calcium; 17% iron; 19% potassium; 227 mg phosphorus (18%).

Lemon-Garlic Tenderloin with Warm Sorghum Salad

Recipe courtesy of the United Sorghum Checkoff Program, National Pork Board and USA Pulses
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 70 minutes
Servings: 6 (2 ounces pork, 3/4 cup sorghum salad)

  • 2          cups vegetable broth
  • 2          cups water
  • 1          cup whole-grain sorghum
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1          tablespoon minced fresh parsley
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  • 1          pork tenderloin (16 ounces), trimmed of fat
  • 1          medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1          cup kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2       cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2       cup pecan halves
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. In medium saucepan, combine vegetable broth and water. Bring to boil. Add sorghum. Reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, 45-60 minutes, or until tender.
  2. In medium bowl, combine olive oil, garlic, parsley, lemon zest, salt and pepper. Drizzle half oil mixture on pork; rub in with fingers. Place pork in shallow roasting pan. Add sweet potatoes to bowl with remaining oil mixture. Toss to coat and set aside.
  3. Roast pork, uncovered, 10 minutes. Arrange sweet potatoes around pork and roast 15-20 minutes, or until pork reaches 145 F internal temperature and potatoes are tender. Remove pork from pan. Cover; let stand 10 minutes.
  4. Stir roasted sweet potatoes, beans, cranberries and pecan halves into cooked sorghum and heat through.
  5. Slice pork tenderloin and serve with warm sorghum salad.

Nutritional information per serving: 436 calories; 15 g total fat (2 g saturated fat); 55 mg cholesterol; 369 mg sodium; 55 g total carbohydrates (8 g dietary fiber, 16 g sugars); 25 g protein; 2% vitamin D; 6% calcium; 20% iron; 20% potassium; 377 mg phosphorus (30%).

Source: Powerful Pairings

Videos 29 June 2021

Croissant Chicken Salad Sandwich with Sprouts

(Culinary.net) They might not be the fanciest of foods, but when you eat a filling, protein-packed sandwich, you are usually left satisfied and full of energy. From ham and turkey to mayo and mustard, the possibilities are nearly endless when sandwiches are on the menu.

With so many customizable options for bread, meats, toppings and more, it’s easy to create the perfect sandwich. For example, this Croissant Chicken Salad Sandwich is served on a fluffy, light, mouthwatering croissant and features a hearty mixture of chicken, bacon and veggies to give you that boost you have been craving.

To make the sandwich, line six slices of bacon in a skillet. Cook until slightly crispy. Drain over a paper towel and crush into pieces.

On a cutting board, cut cherry tomatoes in half and chop green onions.

In a mixing bowl, combine chicken, mayonnaise, chopped green onions, pepper, bacon crumbles and halved cherry tomatoes.

Cut croissants in half and scoop a generous amount of chicken salad onto the bottom of the croissant. Top with spouts and replace top croissant.

The chicken is creamy, the bacon crumbles are crispy and the green onions give it crunch, making this sandwich perfect for nearly any occasion. Whether it’s a bridal shower, picnic at the park with family or just lunch on a weekend afternoon, it can give you the energy to go forward and finish your day strong.

Find more recipes at Culinary.net.

If you made this recipe at home, use #MyCulinaryConnection on your favorite social network to share your work.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

 

Croissant Chicken Salad Sandwich with Sprouts

Servings: 6

  • 6          strips bacon
  • 1          rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • 1/2       cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4       cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2       cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • sprouts
  1. In skillet, arrange bacon and cook until slightly crispy. Drain bacon over paper towel; allow to dry. Crush into pieces.
  2. In large bowl, stir chicken, mayonnaise, green onions and pepper until combined. Add bacon and tomatoes; stir until combined.
  3. Cut croissants in half. Spoon generous portion of chicken salad over bottom croissant. Top with sprouts. Replace top croissant.
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

Meal Ideas 29 June 2020

Flavor Fusion

(Family Features) A distinctive and unexpected ingredient like rice vinegar is an easy way to bring faraway flavors to your favorite summer dishes. This pantry staple adds an Asian-inspired flavor to recipes of all kinds, from marinades to high-end meals.

Explore a new way to enjoy steak this summer with a recipe for zesty, marinated beef paired with crisp broccolini and peppers to give a familiar dish a fresh makeover using flavors from another origin. Give fajitas an Asian makeover with shrimp seared in a decadent hoisin-ginger sauce or try a fresh take on a crunchy salad with this Mexican-meets-Asian layered approach that’s perfect for lunch.

Include seasonal produce like cucumbers, bell peppers and tomatoes to enhance your summer flavor fusions. Pantry staples like black beans and canned corn also offer accessible ways to make elevated summer classics.

Capture Asian flavors with ingredients like NAKANO Rice Vinegar, which has perfected its rice vinegars over eight generations to offer unique and delicious flavors perfect for making mouthwatering Asian-inspired recipes at home.

Pro Flavor-Fusion Tips

  • The key to a successful stir-fry is to use high heat to quickly cook meats and vegetables in stages without overcrowding the pan. This ensures that veggies stay slightly crisp, and meats develop a delicious sear instead of steaming.
  • Avocado oil has one of the highest smoke points, making it a great choice for high-heat cooking like stir-frying.
  • Hoisin sauce, which you can find in the Asian section of most grocery stores, is used frequently in Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. It’s a salty, fermented soybean paste often combined with garlic, chiles and five-spice powder, which adds a sweet, umami-rich, aromatic flavor to the dish.
  • Shishito peppers are slender, mild, green Japanese peppers available in the produce section of well-stocked grocery stores or Asian markets. If shishito peppers are unavailable, substitute with multicolored mini peppers.
  • To accommodate those who love a lot of spice and those who prefer less spice, serve mild-to-medium-spicy foods with additional chili sauce on the side.
  • Swap out heavy, high-calorie salad dressings for a splash of additional flavor with NAKANO rice vinegar.

Find more flavorful ways to put an Asian twist on your summer dishes at nakanoflavors.com.

Sizzling Shrimp Fajita Stir-Fry

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1 1/2    pounds large, raw shrimp, peeled and deveined (21-25 shrimp total)
  • 2          tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 4          teaspoons cornstarch, divided
  • 1/4       cup NAKANO Roasted Garlic Rice Vinegar
  • 3          tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2          teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  • 3          tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1          red onion, cut into thin slivers
  • 1          red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1/2       pound shishito peppers, stemmed
  • 6          warmed corn or flour tortillas
  • 1/2       cup finely shredded red cabbage
  • 1/4       cup thinly sliced green onions
  1. In medium bowl, combine shrimp, 2 teaspoons soy sauce and 2 teaspoons cornstarch; let stand 5 minutes to marinate.
  2. In separate bowl, whisk remaining soy sauce, remaining cornstarch, rice vinegar, hoisin sauce and ginger until blended.
  3. In large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add half of shrimp; cook 1 minute on each side. Transfer to clean bowl; repeat with remaining shrimp. Wipe out skillet with paper towel.
  4. In same pan, heat remaining oil until shimmering. Add red onion, bell pepper and shishito peppers. Cook, stirring, 2-4 minutes until peppers begin to blister. Add vinegar mixture; cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened. Add shrimp to pan. Cook, tossing well until shrimp and vegetables are coated with sauce.
  5. Fill tortillas with shrimp mixture, cabbage and green onions.

Spicy Steak and Broccoli

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          beef tenderloin (1 1/2 pounds), cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 1          tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1          tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3          tablespoons avocado oil, divided
  • 2          cups multicolored, mini sweet peppers, cut into thin rings
  • 1/4       pound broccolini, cut into 3-inch sections
  • 2          large shallots, chopped
  • 1/4       cup NAKANO Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon sugar
  • 1          teaspoon sambal oelek (Asian-chili garlic sauce) or sriracha
  • 1/4       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2          teaspoons grated fresh ginger
  1. In medium bowl, combine beef, soy sauce, cornstarch, black pepper and garlic powder.
  2. In large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add peppers, broccolini and shallots; cook 3 minutes, or until tender crisp. Transfer to clean bowl.
  3. In same skillet over high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil until shimmering. Add half of beef in single layer. Cook undisturbed 2 minutes, or until bottoms are browned. Stir. Cook 1 minute, or until outer surfaces are no longer pink. Transfer to bowl with vegetables. Repeat with remaining oil and beef. Return beef and vegetables to skillet over medium-high heat.
  4. In small bowl, combine rice vinegar, sugar, sambal oelek, salt and ginger. Add mixture to pan. Cook 2 minutes, or until sauce is slightly thickened.

Glass Jar Layered Taco Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1/2       avocado
  • 1/4       teaspoon serrano pepper
  • 1          tablespoon cilantro
  • 2          tablespoons NAKANO Organic Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1          teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/3       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       cup corn
  • 1/2       cup red cabbage, shredded
  • 1/2       cup jicama, diced
  • 1/2       cup black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2       cup shredded green cabbage
  • 1/2       cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2       cup extra-firm tofu, diced
  • 1/2       cup corn chips, crushed
  • 1/2       cup spinach
  • 1          tablespoon queso fresco
  1. In bowl, mash avocado and add serrano pepper, cilantro, rice vinegar, sesame oil, lime juice and salt. Stir to combine.
  2. Build salad in layers of corn, cabbage, jicama, black beans, cabbage, tomatoes, tofu, corn chips, spinach and queso fresco while adding drizzles of dressing between layers.

Source: NAKANO

Appetizers & Sides 06 December 2019

Show Your Heart Some Love

(Family Features) While heart disease is a leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States, many of the risk factors associated with the condition can be controlled with dietary and lifestyle changes. By centering your meals around better-for-you ingredients and recipes, you can show your heart some extra love.

Consider walnuts, which are a heart-healthy food certified by the American Heart Association. More than 25 years of research shows walnuts may play a key role in heart health. In fact, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved one of the first qualified health claims for a whole food, finding that eating 1 1/2 ounces of walnuts per day as part of a low-saturated fat and low-cholesterol diet while not increasing caloric intake may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Additionally, walnuts are the only nut significantly high in omega-3s, with 2 1/2 grams of alpha-linolenic acid per ounce. Walnuts can add this essential nutrient to dishes like these American Heart Association Heart-Check Mark certified recipes for Greek Cucumber Walnut Bites and Banana Bread Overnight Oats.

Find more information and heart-healthy recipes at walnuts.org/heart-health.
 

Greek Cucumber Walnut Bites

Recipe courtesy of Beth Stark, RDN, LDN on behalf of the California Walnut Board
Prep time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1/2       cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1          English cucumber, ends trimmed (about 14 ounces)
  • 1/2       cup roasted red pepper hummus
  • 1/2       cup reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese
  • 5          cherry tomatoes, quartered
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. On small baking sheet, arrange walnuts evenly. Bake 8 minutes, checking frequently, until toasted.
  3. Slice cucumber crosswise into 3/4-inch thick slices. Using small spoon, gently scoop out and discard center of each cucumber slice, leaving bottom and sides intact.
  4. In small bowl, stir 6 tablespoons chopped walnuts and hummus. Spoon walnut-hummus mixture into each cucumber slice and top with reserved chopped walnuts, feta cheese and quartered tomatoes.

Banana Bread Overnight Oats

Recipe courtesy of Crowded Kitchen on behalf of the California Walnut Board
Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 3          ripe bananas, sliced
  • 2          cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1          tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla
  • 3/4       cup chopped California walnuts, divided
  • 1          tablespoon maple syrup
  • 3          cups skim milk
  1. In large container with lid, add sliced bananas. Use potato masher or fork to mash bananas until smooth.
  2. Add oats, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, half the chopped walnuts, maple syrup and milk. Combine thoroughly and refrigerate overnight.
  3. To serve, divide among four canning jars or glass containers with lids. Top each with remaining walnuts before serving.

Source: California Walnut Board

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

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