recipes

Meal Ideas 03 February 2021

Family Meals Cooked with Convenience in Mind

(Family Features) Part of the fun of family meals is finding inspiration in the variety of dinner ideas you can create together. From a tangy twist on traditional tacos to a favorite to-go flavor in the comfort of your own kitchen, the options are nearly endless when you use versatile, ready-to-use ingredients.

When you include protein that’s prepared, seasoned and precooked, you can cut down on time in the kitchen, while adding precious seconds to spend with loved ones. For example, Chef’s Craft® Gourmet Chicken offers a line of gluten-free, preservative-free, all-natural chicken skillfully crafted by experts and perfectly suited for culinary creations. The varieties are always fresh and perfect for preparing in 30 minutes or less. They can be enjoyed on their own or in an array of family dishes.

Consider these Barbecue Ranch Breaded Chicken Tacos to call loved ones to the table with chunks of tender chicken piled high with homemade spicy vinegar slaw, fried onions and avocado drizzled with barbecue sauce and ranch dressing.

Or, for a taste of takeout you can make in your own home, turn to Honey Soy Chicken Stir-Fry. If you don’t own a wok, don’t fret – this dish can easily be made in a skillet. Just be sure to give the veggies enough room as a crowded skillet is likely to result in steamed veggies.

Find more quick, convenient family meal ideas, as well as a store locator, at chefscraftgourmet.com.

Barbecue Ranch Breaded Chicken Tacos

Servings: 4

Spicy Vinegar Slaw:

  • 2 1/2    cups shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/2       cup shredded carrot
  • 2          jalapenos, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 2          tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon sugar
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Fried Onions:

  • canola or vegetable oil, for frying
  • 1/2       cup all-purpose flour
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          yellow or Vidalia onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 8          taco-sized flour tortillas, warmed
  • 1          package Chef’s Craft® Breaded Chicken Chunks, cooked according to package directions
  • spicy vinegar slaw
  • 1          avocado, chopped
  • fried onions
  • 1/2       cup barbecue sauce
  • 1/2       cup ranch dressing
  • chopped cilantro (optional)
  1. To make spicy vinegar slaw: In medium mixing bowl, combine cabbage, carrot and jalapenos.
  2. In separate small bowl, whisk oil, vinegar and sugar; season generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Drizzle over coleslaw mix and stir to combine. Let sit at least 10 minutes before serving.
  4. To make fried onions: In small skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1/2 inch oil.
  5. In small bowl, season flour well with salt and pepper. Coat onion slices in flour mixture and shake to remove excess flour.
  6. Fry in batches until golden brown and crisp, about 30-45 seconds per batch. Remove to paper towel-lined plate and immediately sprinkle with salt.
  7. Top each tortilla with cooked breaded chicken chunks, spicy vinegar slaw, chopped avocado, fried onions, barbecue sauce and ranch dressing. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

 

Honey Soy Chicken Stir-Fry

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4

Honey Soy Glaze:

  • 1/2       cup chicken broth
  • 1/2       cup soy sauce
  • 6          tablespoons honey
  • 1/2       teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • 4          teaspoons cornstarch
  • 3          teaspoons water
  • 2          tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 1          large yellow onion, sliced
  • 3          bell peppers, sliced
  • 1          large zucchini, sliced
  • 4          ounces snow peas
  • 10        ounces sliced mushrooms
  • 2-3       cups broccoli florets, steamed to tender crisp
  • 1          package Chef’s Craft® Chicken Breast Fillets, cooked according to package directions, sliced
  • sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. To make honey soy glaze: In small saucepan over medium heat, combine chicken broth, soy sauce, honey, garlic and ginger. Bring to simmer.  In small bowl, combine cornstarch and water; stir into honey soy sauce and let cook approximately 1 minute, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens.
  2. In large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion, pepper and zucchini; cook 2-3 minutes. Add snow peas and mushrooms; cook 2 minutes until vegetables are crisp tender but maintain texture. 
  3. Add broccoli and chicken to pan; stir all but 3 tablespoons sauce; cook 1 minute, stirring frequently. Drizzle with remaining sauce and garnish with sesame seeds.

Source: Wayne Farms

Videos 19 January 2021

Cuban Chicken with Salsa Fresca

(Culinary.net) If your family ever gets stuck in a dinner routine rut, it can feel like you’re eating the same recipes over and over again.

However, this fresh and unique recipe for Cuban Chicken with Salsa Fresca might inspire you to think outside the culinary box and give your family members the satisfactory flavor they desire at dinnertime. With fresh ingredients and a wholesome flavor, this meal is perfect to add to your dinner menu rotation.

The chicken is full of flavor and baked using multiple seasonings to create a Cuban-like taste. The salsa fresca, which is added on top of the chicken, is a tad sweet with grapefruit segments and juice, but also satisfying with jicama, onion, cilantro and jalapeno. It adds so much color to your plate, and all these flavors mash together for something unique and special.

To start, create the marinade for your chicken and let it rest to allow all those wonderful spices to do their jobs. Set it in the fridge for 30 minutes or more.

Next, it’s time to make the salsa fresca. Start by chopping red onion and jicama then add grapefruit and jalapeno to the mix. Add grapefruit juice, olive oil and, finally, cilantro. Stir well with a large spoon until everything is combined.

Once the chicken is baked, cut it and assemble. The final result is a juicy chicken breast with a sweet yet crisp salsa topping. The flavors in this dish harmonize together to bring you a bite you have likely never experienced before.  

This meal is also nutritious with fresh fruit and lean chicken, so it’s a meal almost anyone can enjoy, even if you’re on a healthy eating kick.

Find more recipes and family dinner ideas at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

 

Cuban Chicken with Salsa Fresca

Servings: 5

  • 1          cup grapefruit juice
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 2          teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2          teaspoons cumin
  • 2          teaspoons paprika
  • 1          teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/4    pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Salsa Fresca:

  • 1          cup grapefruit segments
  • 1/2       jicama, cubed
  • 1/2       red onion, chopped
  • 3/4       cup grapefruit juice
  • 4          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2       cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1          jalapeno pepper, chopped
  1. Heat oven to 400 F.
  2. In large bowl, mix grapefruit juice, oil, garlic powder, cumin, paprika and red pepper until combined. Add chicken to bowl and turn to coat. Refrigerate 30 minutes or longer.
  3. To make salsa fresca: In medium bowl, mix grapefruit segments, jicama, red onion, grapefruit juice, olive oil, cilantro and jalapeno pepper until combined. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Remove chicken from marinade. Place chicken in baking dish. Bake 25-30 minutes until chicken is cooked through.
  5. Serve chicken with salsa fresca.
Meal Ideas 06 January 2021

Power Family Meals with Protein-Packed Peanuts

(Family Features) Starting fresh with a new year is a chance to hit the reset button for many people, and your family can use this opportunity to rethink homemade meals while striving for nutritious (and still delicious) dishes. From snacks to the main course each evening, the options are nearly endless for planning a revamped menu with healthier ingredients.

Dinnertime can be a cinch with Peanut Butter Chicken, a simple dish that takes less than 20 minutes to make when busy evenings call for a quick solution. If a veggie-based option aligns better with your family's desires, try Veggie Sammies with Peanut Butter Satay Sauce or go full-on comfort food with Very Vegan Peanut Butter Jackfruit Chili. Snacking doesn't have to mean forgoing your dedication to nutritious choices either - these Peanut Granola Bars can be your made-at-home masterpiece for adults and children to enjoy.

These recipes from the Georgia Peanut Commission are powered by peanuts, a nutrient-rich superfood that delivers 19 vitamins and 7 grams of protein per serving for a health benefit punch in each bite.

Discover more nutritious recipe ideas at gapeanuts.com.

Veggie Sammies with Peanut Butter Satay Sauce

Prep time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 2 French baguette rolls (6 inches each)
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 cup white onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup purple cabbage
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  1. In small bowl, combine peanut butter, lime juice, water, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and sriracha; mix well.
  2. Spread sauce on both sides of each roll then layer with cucumber, onion and bell pepper. Top with cabbage and cilantro.

Very Vegan Peanut Butter Jackfruit Chili

Recipe courtesy of the National Peanut Board
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1/2 large white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can green jackfruit, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • cornbread (optional)
  • tortilla chips (optional)
  • cinnamon rolls (optional)
  1. eat large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add oil, onion and peppers; cook 3 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic, salt, cumin, chili powder and tomato paste, stirring to coat. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, then stir in crushed tomatoes, whole tomatoes, water, kidney beans and jackfruit; bring to boil then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 25-30 minutes. Stir in peanut butter and simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Serve with cornbread, tortilla chips or cinnamon rolls, if desired.

Peanut Granola Bars

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 6 minutes, plus 30-45 minutes cooling time
Servings: 12-14

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats (quick or regular)
  • 1 cup bran flakes
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup dried fruit (raisins, blueberries or cranberries)
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
  1. In large, shallow, microwavable dish, combine honey, butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Microwave at 50% power 2 minutes then whisk to combine and microwave at 50% power 2 minutes.
  2. Add oats, bran flakes, coconut flakes, dried fruit and peanuts; stir to combine. Microwave on high 1 minute. Stir and microwave 30 seconds.
  3. Press mixture into 13-by-9-inch baking dish lined with parchment or wax paper with some extra hanging over edges to easily lift bars out. Use bottom of glass wrapped with plastic wrap to press granola mixture firmly into pan. Allow to cool completely 30-45 minutes. Cut into 12-14 bars.

Peanut Butter Chicken

Recipe courtesy of "Unsophisticook"
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Yield: 6 cups

Peanut Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons sweet red chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/8-1/4 cup hot water (optional)
  • chopped unsalted roasted peanuts (optional)
     
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup peanut sauce
  • cooked brown rice
  • assorted bell peppers, sliced
  • chopped unsalted roasted peanuts (optional)
  1. To make peanut sauce: In small glass bowl, whisk peanut butter, sweet red chili sauce, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and honey until blended smoothly.
  2. Thin sauce with hot water to desired consistency. Garnish with chopped unsalted roasted peanuts, if desired.
  3. To make chicken: In large skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle oil. Add diced chicken then pour soy sauce over top. Saute about 10-12 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.
  4. Serve with peanut sauce, brown rice and colorful sliced veggies. Garnish with chopped unsalted roasted peanuts, if desired.

Source: Georgia Peanut Commission

Meal Ideas 24 November 2020

Filling Family Comfort Foods

Family Features) Just the thought of comfort foods is often enough to warm the soul, especially as cool winds blow and temperatures drop. When cooler weather calls for hearty meals to give your family a warming boost, you can turn to simple shortcuts for comforting flavor without skipping on quality.

It's hard to go wrong with a casserole on a chilly day. This Chicken and Rice Casserole with Spinach and Mushrooms is made with simple ingredients you probably already have on hand. Because it takes just 20 minutes to make, this recipe is easy to put on the table quickly and may become a new family favorite. Plus, you only use a couple of dishes to prepare, which makes for a simple cleanup after a filling meal.

Parmesan Stuffed Peppers with Rice is the perfect recipe if you are looking for a tasty dish that's a little outside the box. It's an Italian spin on a classic dish using a variety of cheeses packed into colorful bell peppers. You can preheat the oven while completing the minimal preparation then bake to a bubbling, golden perfection.

The convenience, taste, texture and quality of Success Brown Rice as one of the main ingredients in these recipes helps make mealtime a cinch. In fact, any variety can be used in this recipe, including white rice, quinoa and more. Its "Boil-in-Bag" cooking process provides a satisfying shortcut as you simply add water to a saucepan, drop the BPA-free bag into the water, boil for 10 minutes and remove with a fork for a no mess, no measure timesaver.

Visit SuccessRice.com for more comfort food recipes.

Chicken and Rice Casserole with Spinach and Mushrooms

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

  • 1 bag Success Brown Rice
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chopped onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 package (4 ounces) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken breast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Prepare rice according to package directions. In small bowl, combine ricotta, Parmesan and parsley; reserve.
  2. In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and garlic; saute 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and wine to skillet. Continue cooking 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add spinach and chicken. Stir until spinach is wilted and chicken is heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in rice, salt and pepper.
  3. Serve casserole topped with dollops of reserved cheese mixture.

Parmesan Stuffed Peppers with Rice

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 2 bags Success Brown Rice
  • 2 cups (or 1 can, 15 ounces) tomato sauce, divided
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup basil pesto
  • 3 large bell peppers in assorted colors, halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced
  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Prepare rice according to package directions.
  2. Add 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce to greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish. In bowl, toss rice with remaining tomato sauce, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese and pesto.
  3. Divide rice mixture evenly among peppers. Place stuffed peppers in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle mozzarella and remaining Parmesan cheese over peppers.
  4. Cover with foil; bake 18-20 minutes, or until peppers are tender, filling is heated through and cheese is melted. Remove foil. Broil 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown. Garnish with fresh basil.

Substitutions: Use fontina or provolone for mozzarella cheese and olive tapenade for basil pesto.

Source: Success 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

Videos 17 November 2020

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

(Culinary.net) Main dishes can sometimes be a challenge for the average home chef. Whether you’re looking for something healthy and filling for a family of five or just cooking up something mouthwatering for a couple to share, it can seem difficult to manage.

With a million ingredients and a laundry list of directions, making a weeknight dinner can feel like a daunting task. However, this meal can reassure you that sometimes cooking is easy, fun and totally and completely worth it. This is a recipe you can make at a moment’s notice with a handful of ingredients, which you may already have in your pantry.

This Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu is perfect for families, couples and even individuals looking for a scrumptious main course. It’s wholesome, appetizing and covered in cheese and cracker crumbs for a gooey yet crunchy finish. The best part is it’s easy to make.

It features a simple seasoning, lightly seared chicken breast and three toppings. It bakes for just 20-25 minutes and it’s done. It doesn’t get much easier than that. Fresh out of the oven, the first bite is steaming with hearty chicken cooked to perfection and melty cheese dripping onto the pan. This recipe may quickly become a family favorite as kids can fall in love with the mixture of different textures and a main ingredient almost every child likes: chicken.  It’s also fun to make together. Kids can even help sprinkle the cheese and cracker crumbs. Or, if you’re in a rush, an adult can make it in just a few moments. On busy nights, it’s a perfect meal to bring the family together around the table between soccer practice and getting homework done.

For more easy recipes and main dishes that make cooking fun, visit Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

Servings: 4

  • 1          tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 4          boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1          teaspoon pepper
  • 2          tablespoons Dijon Mustard
  • 4          slices deli ham, folded in half
  • 6          ounces Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 20        butter crackers, fine crumbs
  1. Heat oven to 475 degrees.
  2. Brush baking sheet with oil.
  3. Place chicken on baking sheet. Pat dry with paper towel and season with pepper.
  4. Brush mustard over chicken. Top with ham and cheese. Sprinkle cracker crumbs over cheese.
  5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes.
  6. Serve.
Healthy 04 November 2020

Easy Dishes to Boost Immunity

(Family Features) Staying healthy is important year-round, but especially in the cooler months when temperatures drop, people spend more time inside and germs can spread easily. What you eat and the lifestyle you embrace are critical components of staying healthy.

Nourishing meals full of fruits, vegetables, protein-rich foods and whole grains help provide the body's immune system with the nutrients it needs. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by getting enough sleep, being physically active every day, having enough fluids and reducing stress also help keep the immune system in shape.

As a nutritious food to include on your grocery list, grapes of all colors - red, green and black - contain more than 1,600 natural plant compounds such as antioxidants and other polyphenols that help protect the health of cells throughout the body. They also contain about 82% water, so they provide important fluids for hydration, which is also critical to a healthy immune system.

Grapes can be enjoyed as a healthy snack or an immune-boosting ingredient in recipes like Chicken, Spinach and Grape Pita sandwiches and Grape and Salmon Power Salad. Each provides a mix of immune-supporting nutrients, including zinc in chicken, vitamins A and C in kale, polyphenols in grapes and other important nutrients in the salmon, walnuts and barley.

Find these recipes and more in "Eating for Immune Health" along with additional ways to eat healthy and stay well at grapesfromcalifornia.com.

Chicken, Spinach and Grape Pita

Servings: 4

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sumac
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package (5-6 ounces) fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup red California grapes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 whole-wheat pita breads (6 1/2 inches each), warmed and halved
  1. In small skillet over medium-high heat, toast pine nuts, stirring constantly until toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and let cool. In large bowl, whisk lemon juice, shallot, olive oil, red pepper flakes, sumac, salt and pepper. Add spinach, chicken, grapes, feta and pine nuts; toss to mix. Stuff into pita breads and serve.

Nutritional information per serving: 445 calories; 24 g protein; 46 g carbohydrates; 20 g fat (39% calories from fat); 5 g saturated fat (10% calories from saturated fat); 57 mg cholesterol; 658 mg sodium; 6 g fiber.

Grape and Salmon Power Salad

Servings: 6

  • 3/4 cup pearled barley
  • 3 cups firmly packed kale leaves, torn and sliced into ribbons
  • 1 cup halved red or black seedless California grapes
  • 8 ounces cold, cooked salmon, skin and bones removed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Cook barley according to package directions. Drain and cool.
  2. Tenderize kale by blanching in boiling water 2-3 seconds or microwaving 1 minute. Rinse pieces in cold water to stop cooking; squeeze dry. Fluff and uncrimp dry kale pieces with fingers. In medium bowl, mix barley, kale, grapes, salmon and walnuts.
  3. To make dressing: In small bowl, whisk lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne. Gradually mix in olive oil. Pour onto salad and fold gently to combine.

Nutritional information per serving: 413 calories; 15 g protein; 30 g carbohydrates; 16 g fat (47% calories from fat); 3 g saturated fat (8% calories from saturated fat); 22 mg cholesterol; 232 mg sodium; 500 mg potassium; 4 g fiber.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

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 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

Meal Ideas 28 May 2020

Make a Commitment to More Family Meals

(Family Features) Spending moments together with loved ones carries obvious benefits like time to catch up and opportunities to bond, but sharing meals actually provides definitive value for families. With restricted social interactions and confinement at home due to COVID-19, many families are facing meal challenges that have shifted from juggling busy schedules to seeking new ways to mix up the traditional menu or using digital solutions to reconnect at a virtual table.

A study published in the "Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior" funded by the FMI Foundation shows that more frequent family meals are associated with better dietary and family functioning outcomes. The results build on years of previous research studies to punctuate the creation of the Family Meals Movement, which encourages Americans to pledge to share one more family breakfast, lunch or dinner at home per week.

Consider these notable findings from the study:

  • Family meals improve fruit and vegetable consumption. Studies show a positive relationship between family meal frequency and fruit and vegetable intake when examined separately, but also when fruit and vegetable intake are combined.
     
  • Family meals improve family dynamics. Nearly all the studies included in the systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrated a positive relationship between family meal frequency and measures of family functioning. Family functioning is defined as family connectedness, communication, expressiveness and problem-solving.

"There are thousands of individual studies that examine the impact of family meals on nutrition and family behavior, but this meta-analysis looks at the relationship between family meal frequency and family functioning outcomes," said David Fikes, executive director of the FMI Foundation. "We can confirm that family meals are a valuable contributor of improved nutrition and family dynamics."

Find tips, recipes and ways to increase your family meal frequency despite COVID-19 circumstances at familymealsmovement.org.

German Fruit Tart

Recipe courtesy of Deanna Segrave-Daly on behalf of the FMI Foundation

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon half-and-half or cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon almond extract or 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, thinly sliced
  • cornstarch
  • sliced strawberries
  • sliced kiwi
  • sliced banana
  • blueberries
  • 2 teaspoons turbinado or powdered sugar (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. To make crust, beat together flours, sugar, egg, half-and-half and almond extract. Add butter slices and mix together until sticky ball of dough forms. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes.
  3. On heavily floured surface, knead dough a few times and roll out to fit greased 10-inch tart pan.
  4. Carefully spread dough into tart pan and bake 15-20 minutes, or until tart starts to turn golden brown. Remove from oven and cool.
  5. Dust crust with cornstarch to help fruit stick to crust. Arrange strawberries, kiwi, banana and blueberries on top of crust; sprinkle with sugar, if desired.

Hawaiian Chicken Pizza

Recipe courtesy of Toby Amidor on behalf of the FMI Foundation
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1ready-made pizza crust or whole wheat pizza crust (10 ounces)
  • 1 cup canned or jarred tomato sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese or part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh pineapple or canned pineapple tidbits packed in 100% juice
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Coat pizza pan or baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In medium bowl, combine rotisserie chicken and barbecue sauce.
  3. Place pizza crust on pan and evenly spread tomato sauce over crust. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Top evenly with rotisserie chicken mixture and pineapple.
  4. Bake until crust is crisp and browned around edges, about 10 minutes. Let pizza cool 10 minutes before cutting into eight slices.

Peanut Butter Banana Protein Baked Oatmeal

Recipe courtesy of Lauren Harris-Pincus on behalf of the FMI Foundation
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 2 cups old-fashioned oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 packets stevia (sugar substitute) or preferred sweetener
  • 1/2 cup powdered peanut butter
  • 1 scoop (1/4 cup) vanilla plant-based protein powder
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons liquid egg whites
  • 1 ripe banana (4 ounces), mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ripe banana (4 ounces), sliced into 24 slices
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. In large bowl, combine oats, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, stevia, powdered peanut butter and vanilla protein powder.
  3. In separate bowl, combine almond milk, yogurt, egg whites, mashed banana and vanilla extract.
  4. Add oat mixture to wet ingredients and gently stir until fully combined.
  5. Line 9-inch brownie pan with parchment paper. Pour mixture into pan and spread evenly.
  6. Top with banana slices in four rows of six slices each.
  7. Bake 27-35 minutes, or until golden brown and set.
  8. Let cool and cut into six rectangles. Wrap and refrigerate extras until ready to eat.

Source:  FMI Foundation

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