recipes

Meal Ideas 12 March 2021

Maximize Family Meal Flavors with Cheese

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

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

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

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

Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers

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

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

 

California Queso Fresco Fish Tacos

Servings: 6 (12 tacos)

Avocado Radish Salsa:

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

Tacos:

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

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

Source: Real California Milk

Meal Ideas 27 January 2021

Family-Friendly Foods Fit for Lent

(Family Features) As families ponder Lenten recipes fit for the season with flavorful seafood as a filling protein, one important aspect to take into account is the kid-friendliness of the dish. Offer up a dinnertime delight the whole family can enjoy with shrimp-based options that provide familiar flavors in appetizing ways.

For example, you can take your taste buds on an international trip with tasty Cuban Shrimp and Rice Tacos for an easy-to-prepare meal bursting with the flavors of citrus and herbs for a winning weeknight dinner. You can even increase the fun by serving with toppings like salsa, guacamole, sour cream, shredded cheese and shredded lettuce to allow kids to garnish their tacos however they’d like.

Lime-Ginger Shrimp Fried Rice is an Asian-inspired option with additions of bok choy, lime juice, fresh ginger root and mango for zesty flavor. Both dishes require half an hour or less in the kitchen, leaving more time for family fun in the evenings.

Plus, you can add to the convenience of these meals by incorporating an option like Success Rice with its taste, texture and quality that help make mealtime a cinch. With its “Boil-in-Bag” cooking process that provides a satisfying shortcut, 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 measure, no mess timesaver that pairs perfectly with sauteed shrimp for Lent-inspired dinners.

Find more family-friendly Lenten meal ideas at SuccessRice.com.

Lime-Ginger Shrimp Fried Rice

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

  • 2          bags Success Jasmine Rice
  • 2          tablespoons canola oil
  • 1          pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
  • 8          baby bok choy, trimmed and quartered
  • 1/2       cup diced fresh mango
  • 1          tablespoon minced fresh ginger root
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 3          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice
  1. Prepare rice according to package directions. Let cool completely.
  2. In wok or large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Cook shrimp, bok choy, mango, ginger and salt, stirring, 3-5 minutes, or until shrimp start to curl and bok choy starts to wilt.
  3. Stir in rice. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until well coated. Stir in soy sauce and lime juice. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until rice is heated through.

 

Cuban Shrimp and Rice Tacos

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

  • 1          bag Success Jasmine Rice
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined, tails removed
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          teaspoon chili powder
  • 1          teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1          can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2       cup orange juice
  • 3          tablespoons lime juice
  • 8          corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1          ripe avocado, halved, pitted, peeled and sliced
  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  1. Prepare rice according to package directions.
  2. In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add shrimp, garlic, chili powder, cumin, oregano, salt and pepper; saute 2-3 minutes, or until shrimp start to curl.
  3. Stir in rice, black beans, orange juice and lime juice. Cook 5-8 minutes, or until shrimp are cooked through and liquid is mostly absorbed.
  4. Serve shrimp and rice in warm tortillas garnished with avocado and cilantro.

Source: Success Rice

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.
Ethnic 09 November 2020

Uncovering the Top Mexican Food Trends for 2021

(Family Features) Many families constantly search for meal inspiration, and one of the best ways is to look toward trendy tastes for new options to add to the menu.

One of the country’s top Hispanic food brands, Cacique, tapped culinary experts and chefs Aarón Sánchez, Bricia Lopez and Santiago Gomez to curate the third annual “What’s Next in Mexican Cuisine” trends forecast uncovering popular flavors, techniques and dishes to expect in the coming year.

“One way we can all honor the impact of Latin culture in America is through food,” Sánchez said. “One easy step you can take to connect with a culture is by using authentic ingredients, like in this Chorizo Ragu with Cheesy Toast, which uses three staple Mexican ingredients – queso fresco, crema Mexicana and chorizo. It’s inspired by my prediction that Mexican comfort foods and deep, rich sauces made from scratch will rise in popularity.”

Consider these top Mexican food trends for 2021 according to Sánchez, Lopez and Gomez along with findings from a survey conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Cacique:

  • The bread baking craze of 2020 will now include homemade corn and flour tortillas with 55% of Americans reaching for masa harina, flour and tortilla presses to make their own.
  • Americans have a thirst for dehydrated chiles with varieties ranging from pasillas to anchos set to become more popular in American kitchens. 
  • Dried chiles, beans and cheeses such as queso fresco will find their way into more American kitchens as people adopt a “from scratch” approach and back-to-basics techniques. 
  • Coziness, meet Cozumel as Mexican comfort foods reign supreme and people gravitate toward nostalgic “homemade” style favorites like enchiladas.
  • Get ready to dive into deep, rich sauces, including mole, which will continue to grow in popularity.
  • Salsa macha will share the spotlight thanks to exploration of the breadth of salsa varieties that exist within Mexican cuisine. 
  • Food exploration will satisfy Americans’ wanderlust as 55% plan to travel less in 2021, and the same percentage report they’re looking to learn the stories behind famous Mexican recipes. 

To find more trend-inspired recipes, visit caciqueinc.com.

Chorizo Ragu with Cheesy Toast

Recipe courtesy of chef Aarón Sánchez

  • 3          bolillo-style rolls or 1 long baguette
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1          yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2-3       carrots, chopped
  • 1⁄2       teaspoon salt
  • 6          cloves garlic, divided
  • 8          ounces white or cremini mushrooms, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1          tablespoon dried oregano 
  • 1          teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 1⁄4    pounds ground beef
  • 1          package (9 ounces) Cacique Pork Chorizo
  • 1          can (28 ounces) crushed or pureed tomatoes
  • 6          tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 9          tablespoons Cacique Crema Mexicana, plus additional for serving
  • 1 1⁄2    cups crumbled Cacique Ranchero Queso Fresco
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Halve bread lengthwise.
  2. In heavy-bottomed pot, warm olive oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and salt then cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables just start to soften, 3-4 minutes. Mince 2 garlic cloves and add to pot with mushrooms; cook about 3 minutes.
  3. Use spoon to push vegetables to edges of pan then add tomato paste, oregano and cumin to center of pan; saute until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  4. Increase heat to high and add beef and pork chorizo. Break meat up with spoon but don’t over-stir. When beef is no longer pink, pour in tomatoes and bring to simmer. Decrease heat to medium-high and let simmer, stirring occasionally.
  5. While ragu simmers, use fork to mash or whip butter with crema until smooth. Mince or finely grate remaining garlic cloves then stir into crema mixture.
  6. Spread crema mixture evenly over bread, trying to cover as much area as possible. Sprinkle crumbled queso fresco all over and place bread on rimmed baking sheet, cheese side up. Toast 4-5 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbling. Finish under broiler 30-60 seconds for deeper browning, if desired. Cut bread into individual portions.
  7. After about 20 minutes of simmering, ragu should thicken and flavors meld. Swirl in additional crema then serve ragu in bowls with cheesy toast or ladle over pieces of toast.

Source: Cacique

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

Grilling-Tailgating 29 September 2020

Great Game Day Grub

(Family Features) While you may not be able to enjoy game day with thousands of your closest friends at the stadium this year, that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy tailgate-worthy grub at home with a smaller group of friends and loved ones.

Step up your home-gate with an appetizing pre-game lineup featuring customized hot dogs and bratwursts as the main course with other plate-filling appetizers on the side to keep the noshing going right up to game time like bacon-wrapped potatoes, sweet cinnamon churros and a savory take on guacamole.

Find more game day recipes worth cheering about at Culinary.net.

Build-Your-Own Brat Bar


A simple and tasty main course, hot dogs and bratwursts are mainstays on game day and can be easily topped and customized to match each guests’ taste buds, regardless of age. Consider setting out a variety of garnishes and topping options such as these:

  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Relish
  • Onions
  • Chili
  • Nacho cheese
  • Shredded cheese
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Sauerkraut
  • Cole slaw
  • Pickle spears
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Sriracha

A Bacon-Wrapped Winner

Creating a mouthwatering game day spread is all about teamwork, and it’s hard to find a better set of teammates than crispy bacon and potatoes.

Take one to the house with these Pigskin Potatoes that cut down on prep time and cleanup as an easy-to-eat finger food that can be made in advance. Just prep the potatoes and wrap with bacon a day or two ahead of time then throw in the oven an hour or so before kickoff.

Your base ingredient in these tasty, touchdown-worthy snacks, Wisconsin Potatoes, are low in calories, high in fiber and a source of vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants.

Find more game day inspiration at eatwisconsinpotatoes.com .

Pigskin Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of The Little Potato Company on behalf of Wisconsin Potatoes
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 44 minutes
Serves: 8

  • 1 1/2    pounds Boomer Gold Little Potatoes
  • 6          ounces plain cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3       cup orange cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  • 3          tablespoons fresh chives, finely chopped
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon pepper
  • jalapenos, to taste (optional)
  • 1       pound bacon, thinly sliced, rashers cut in half
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Boil potatoes until fork tender, approximately 15-20 minutes. Cut in half and allow to cool.
  3. In bowl, use spatula to combine cream cheese, cheddar, chives, salt, pepper and jalapenos, if desired.
  4. Once potatoes cool, spread cream cheese on one half of each cut potato and sandwich using other half. Wrap each potato using half rasher of bacon around cut middle to secure cheese filling.
  5.  
  6. Bake on middle rack 10 minutes to allow bacon to set. Flip and bake 10 minutes.
  7. Turn oven to broil. Broil 2 minutes, turn and broil 2 minutes until bacon reaches desired crispiness.

Tip: Bacon-wrapped potatoes can be made ahead of time and kept in refrigerator until ready to bake.

A Sweet Cinnamon Snack

Sweet, handheld snacks make for perfect teammates while watching a game at home, and these Churros are an ideal example of a quick, fun bite that’s made with ease.

Requiring less than an hour in the kitchen, they can be made in short order without missing your favorite team’s first play. Lightly coated with fresh cinnamon and flavored with C&H Golden Brown Sugar, these deep-fried delights are as simple to make as they are delicious.

Find more home-gating recipe ideas at chsugar.com .

Churros

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Yield: 45 churros

  • 1 1/4    cups water
  • 1/2       cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2          teaspoons C&H Golden Brown Sugar
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1          cup all-purpose flour
  • 3          large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3          cups canola oil, for frying
  • 1          cup C&H Granulated Sugar
  • 2          tablespoons ground cinnamon
  1. In medium saucepan over high heat, combine water, butter, sugar and salt; bring to boil.
  2. Reduce heat and add flour. Using wooden spoon, mix vigorously until mixture forms into dough. Remove from heat.
  3. While stirring, gradually add eggs into dough. Mix well. Place dough in pastry bag fitted with large star tip.
  4. In heavy pot over medium-high heat, heat oil until it reaches 365 F.
  5. On plate, mix granulated sugar and cinnamon; set aside.
  6. Squeeze churro dough in 4-inch strips into hot oil. Fry 5-6 churros in batches until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. When ready, transfer to plate lined with paper towels.
  7. Roll churros in sugar-cinnamon mix.

A Tasty Take on a Tailgate Favorite

Even at home, game day means good times with friends and family while enjoying moments together watching your favorite teams. A menu full of flavorful favorites takes the experience to another level, and tackling your spread by starting with a tasty dip is a sure way to fire up the crowd.

No tailgate or home-gate is complete without fresh guacamole made with the Avocados From Mexico brand. Because they’re always in season, you can enjoy guac during your favorite sporting events and beyond.

Take it to the house with a twist on a game day classic by testing out this Bacon Chipotle Guacamole, a tailgate-worthy snack loaded with crowd-pleasing flavor. Because it’s such a fan-favorite, you might find yourself making another round at halftime.

To find this recipe and more ways to take your tailgate to new heights, including more than 200 guacamole recipes to choose from, visit avocadosfrommexico.com .

Bacon Chipotle Guacamole

  • 3          Avocados From Mexico, halved, pitted and peeled
  • 3          tablespoons shallot, minced
  • 2          garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2       cup cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1          lime, juice only
  • 8          ounces applewood smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1/2       cup tomatoes, small diced
  • 2          canned chipotle chiles, finely chopped
  • ground cumin. to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  1. In large bowl, mash avocados with shallots, garlic, cilantro and lime juice to desired consistency. Fold in bacon, tomatoes and chipotle chiles until well combined. Season with cumin, salt and pepper, to taste.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (hot dogs)

Photo courtesy of The Little Potato Company (Pigskin Potatoes)
Photo courtesy of C&H Sugar (Churros)
Photo courtesy of Avocados From Mexico (Bacon Chipotle Guacamole)

Sources: Wisconsin Potatoes
C&H Sugar
Avocados From Mexico

Meal Ideas 17 September 2020

Rethink Ingredients to Refresh Family Meals This Fall

(Family Features) If you’re looking to spice up your mealtime routines, especially during those busy school nights, you may find your solution in versatile ingredients that work for a multitude of dishes.

For example, you can turn to plantains as a replacement for often-used recipe staples like potatoes. Plantains are a fruit grown around the world that cooks and eats more like a vegetable. Members of the banana family, they’re starchier and lower in sugar, meaning they’re still green when ripe.

While you’re most likely to find them baked, roasted or fried as a savory side dish at Latin, African or Caribbean restaurants, they’re growing in popularity in North America as stars of their own recipes or as nutritious, exotic swaps for starches. For example, these dishes from Dole for Plantain Crusted Salmon Fillets and Slow Cooker Sweet Potato, Plantain and Lentil Caribbean Curry offer quick ways to enjoy plantains while saving time in the kitchen.

As an additional benefit, plantains can be used at every stage of ripeness. They can be boiled like a potato when green; prepared in sauces and soups, air-fried or roasted as snacks when yellow; or baked in desserts and sweet recipes when black or spotted.

Find more ways to enjoy plantains and other fresh fruits and vegetables in family recipes at dole.com.

Plantain Crusted Salmon Fillets

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

  •             Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/3       cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons lime juice
  • 1          tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1          teaspoon cumin
  • 4          salmon fillets (6 ounces each), skin on
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
  • 1          DOLE® Plantain, green or half ripe
  • 2          Dole Green Onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2       tablespoon grated lime peel

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line baking sheet with foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Combine cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, garlic and cumin; set aside.

Arrange salmon fillets on prepared baking sheet. Season with salt, to taste. Spread about 1 tablespoon cilantro mixture on top of each salmon fillet to cover.

Using box grater, peel and grate plantain. Place grated plantain in bowl with green onions, lime peel and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss to combine. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup plantain mixture on top of each salmon fillet, gently pressing to adhere. Spray plantain crust with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake 15 minutes, or until salmon is opaque and plantain crust is lightly browned.

 

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato, Plantain and Lentil Caribbean Curry

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons, grapeseed oil, divided
  • 1          large DOLE® White Onion, chopped
  • 4          cloves garlic, minced
  • 2          teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1          can (15 ounces) reduced sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2          large Dole Sweet Potatoes, chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 2          medium Dole Plantains, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 4          cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2       cup red lentils
  • 3          cups packed, chopped collard greens
  • 1/4       cup roasted salted pepitas
  1. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 teaspoons oil; add onion and cook 3 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, curry powder, cayenne pepper and ginger; cook 2 minutes, or until fragrant and starting to brown, stirring occasionally.
  2. Transfer onion mixture to 3-4-quart slow cooker; add chickpeas, potatoes, plantains, broth and lentils. Cover and cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours, or until potatoes and lentils are tender.
  3. Stir in collard greens; cook 20 minutes, or until greens are tender. Serve garnished with pepitas.

Source: Dole

Videos 02 September 2020

Meatless Cheesy Burrito Bake

(Culinary.net) Enjoying a meal with loved ones at the end of the day is a timeless tradition, but many families feel as though they’re constantly searching for ways to mix up the menu.

One trend gaining traction among home chefs is “meatless Mondays” in which classic dishes are made using substitutions for meat like veggies or grains. It’s a simple way to maintain nutritional value at the dinner table while putting a tasty twist on worn-out meals.

This Meatless Cheesy Burrito Bake can provide your family a flavorful way to skip the meat and make way for protein in the form of brown rice paired with bell peppers, onion and refried beans wrapped in wheat tortillas and topped with cheese, salsa and guacamole.

Find more creative family dinner inspiration at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Meatless Cheesy Burrito Bake

  • 2          tablespoons canola oil
  • 2          bell peppers, sliced
  • 1          medium onion, sliced
  • 1          teaspoon cumin
  • 2          cups water
  • 1          cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 1          can (12 ounces) evaporated milk, divided
  • 1          cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1          can (4 ounces) diced green chiles, undrained
  • 1          can (16 ounces) refried beans
  • 6          wheat tortillas (8 inches)
  • salsa (optional)
  • guacamole (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. In large skillet, heat canola oil. Cook peppers, onion and cumin until tender.
  3. In saucepan, add water and brown rice. Cook 45 minutes.
  4. In saucepan, add 1 1/4 cups evaporated milk, shredded cheese and green chilies. Cook over medium heat until cheese is melted and smooth. Stir 3/4 cheese mixture in with rice; set remaining cheese sauce aside.
  5. In medium bowl, add refried beans and remaining evaporated milk. Microwave 3-4 minutes.
  6. Lay out tortillas and layer: refried bean mixture, rice mixture and pepper-onion mixture. Roll into burritos and place in baking pan. Top burritos with remaining cheese sauce. Bake 20-25 minutes.
  7. Garnish with salsa and guacamole, if desired.
Meal Ideas 10 August 2020

Powerful Pairings

(Family Features) According to the “Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior,” studies have proven that eating meals together as a family can improve communication and relationships, which is especially important during times of uncertainty and life’s more difficult moments. Great-tasting foods like pork and pulses can be combined to bring families together with quality nutrition, which helps bodies survive and thrive.

Pulses are the nutritionally dense, edible seeds of legumes including dry peas, beans, lentils and chickpeas. Together with pork, this pairing provides critical nutrients to support weight management and immune function, along with plenty of protein – providing all nine essential amino acids – fiber, B vitamins, zinc, iron, potassium, selenium and folate.

As part of the Powerful Pairings initiative, launched by the National Pork Board and USA Pulses in an effort to promote pairing whole foods to bring taste, balance and nutrition to the center of the plate, these recipes for Green Chili Jack Smash Burgers, Cuban Black Beans and Pork Chops with Smashed Yellow Peas and Black-Eyed Pea Gravy encourage a nutritious way to enjoy fresh taste.

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

Green Chili Jack Smash Burgers

Recipe courtesy of the National Pork Board and USA Pulses
Servings: 4

Burger Patties:

  • 1          pound ground pork
  • 4          tablespoons red onion, scrubbed with vegetable brush under running water and finely minced
  • 1          teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1          teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  • 2          teaspoons ancho chili powder
  • 1          cup cooked black-eyed peas, drained
  • 1          teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 4          slices Jack cheese

Caramelized Onions:

  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 1          large onion, scrubbed with vegetable brush under running water and sliced thin
  • 1/2       cup water
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt

Charred Green Chili Mayo:

  • 1          can (3 ounces) diced green chilies
  • 2/3       cup mayonnaise
  • 1          clove garlic, crushed
  • 1          tablespoon lime juice
  • 2          green onions, gently rubbed under cold running water and finely sliced
  • 1/4       cup cilantro, gently rubbed under cold running water and chopped
  • 4          hamburger buns
  • 1          avocado, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2       head lettuce, gently rubbed under cold running water
  1. In large bowl, mix ground pork, onion, garlic and chili powders. Add black-eyed peas and salt; mix well. Form into four loosely packed balls and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
  2. To make Caramelized Onions: In large skillet over medium-high heat, warm butter. Add onions, water and salt; cook, stirring, until onions soften and turn golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. To make Charred Green Chili Mayo: Place green chilies in hot cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, turning, until chilies begin to soften and turn black. Remove from heat and place in small bowl. Add mayonnaise, garlic and lime juice; whisk to blend. Add green onions and cilantro; stir well and refrigerate.
  4. To make burgers: Warm cast iron or nonstick griddle pan over medium-high heat. Place pork balls on hot skillet; flatten with heavy metal spatula. Season with salt, to taste. Cook approximately 3 minutes; flip and cook 2-3 minutes until internal temperature reaches 145 F.
  5. Lightly toast buns. Place each burger on toasted bun with slice of cheese, Caramelized Onions, Charred Green Chili Mayo, avocado and lettuce.

Pork Chops with Smashed Yellow Peas and Black-Eyed Pea Gravy

Recipe courtesy of the National Pork Board and USA Pulses
Servings: 4

  • 2          cups yellow split peas, cooked and drained
  • 1/4       cup, plus 2 tablespoons, softened butter, divided
  • 1/4       cup cream
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 4          pork chops
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          onion, gently rubbed under cold running water and diced
  • 1          can black-eyed peas with juice
  • 1/8       cup flour
  • 1          cup milk
  1. In medium bowl, use fork or potato masher to mash peas. Stir in 1/4 cup butter, cream and 1/4 teaspoon salt.
  2. Season pork chops with additional salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. In large skillet, warm oil over medium heat. Add pork chops to pan and cook approximately 4 minutes per side, or until they reach internal temperature of 145 F. Remove pork chops from pan; keep warm.
  4. In same pan, add remaining butter, onion and black-eyed peas. Cook 2-3 minutes until warm throughout, scraping pan. Add flour and season with salt and pepper, to taste. While stirring, slowly add milk.
  5. Serve mashed peas topped with pork chops and black-eyed pea gravy.

Cuban Black Beans

Recipe courtesy of Carolina Molea on behalf of the National Pork Board and USA Pulses
Serving: 6

  • 1          quart water
  • 1          green bell pepper, scrubbed with vegetable brush under running water and diced, divided
  • 4          cloves garlic, peeled, divided
  • 1          cup dried black beans, rinsed and soaked overnight
  • 1          bay leaf
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 2          slices bacon, diced
  • 1/2       Spanish onion, scrubbed with vegetable brush under running water and diced
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  • 2          tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon light brown sugar
  1. Fill large pot with water. Add 1/2 diced green pepper, two garlic cloves, beans and bay leaf. Bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 1 hour.
  2. In skillet over medium-high heat, warm olive oil. Add bacon; cook, turning, until bacon starts to brown, about 2 minutes. Add remaining green pepper and onion; cook, stirring, until slightly softened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Chop remaining garlic cloves. Add to skillet with oregano, cumin and black pepper. Stir 1 minute. Pour in vinegar, scraping browned bits from bottom of pan with wooden spoon.
  4. When beans are cooked, discard bay leaf. Transfer 1 cup beans to blender; blend to make paste. Return blended beans to large pot. Add bacon mixture and sugar. Stir well; bring to boil over medium heat. Lower heat, simmer and cook, uncovered, 20 minutes, skimming foam from top.

Source: National Family Meals Month

Meal Ideas 28 July 2020

School-Night Meals that Deliver Taste at a Low Cost

(Family Features) Regardless of what back to school looks like this year, preparing family meals throughout the week does not have to be a challenge. Shopping at a store like ALDI can stretch your budget and help you make five different meals over five days for about $5 a meal pretax for a family of four.

Using a mix of kitchen staples you already may have, along with fresh ingredients, you can make delicious, affordable recipes for the whole family. Simply select a protein or main ingredient and explore versatile ways to build other meals around it during the week. 

Grilled chicken breasts are ideal for on-the-go lunches or weekday dinners. Busy parents can get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes with an easy Chicken Cacciatore in the pressure cooker or simple prep-ahead Chicken Enchiladas. These convenient dishes make it a snap to add variety by substituting chicken with shrimp, beans or vegetables.

Serving organic produce, fresh and frozen meats, seafood and on-the-go snacks can be easy when you shop at a store like ALDI for the back-to-school season. Plus, you can find foods to fit any dietary style without breaking the bank.

Find more family meal solutions at aldi.us.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Recipe courtesy of “Pinch of Yum” on behalf of ALDI
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1-1 1/2             pounds chicken breasts or chicken thighs
  • flour
  • 1          pinch salt, plus 2 teaspoons, divided
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          onion, diced
  • 16        ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 3          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2       cup chicken broth
  • 1          bell pepper, diced
  • 1          can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 4          tablespoons butter
  • capers (optional)
  • parsley, plus additional for topping (optional)
  • lemon
  • preferred pasta
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Dredge chicken in flour and pinch of salt. Turn on saute function on pressure cooker. Add oil; saute chicken 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside (chicken will finish cooking later).
  2. Add onion, mushrooms and garlic. Saute until softened. Add broth and let sizzle out.
  3. Add chicken, bell pepper, tomatoes and remaining salt to pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure 15 minutes. Release pressure.
  4. Shred chicken. Stir in butter, capers, parsley and lemon. Serve with preferred pasta and top with additional parsley and Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Black Beans

Recipe courtesy of “Wellness for the Win” on behalf of ALDI
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 10

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          medium onion, chopped

Chicken:

  • 1          pound chicken breasts
  • 1/4       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon cumin
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Enchiladas:

  • 15        ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10        ounces diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
  • 2          cups shredded Mexican cheese, divided
  • 16        ounces restaurant-style salsa, divided
  • 10        whole-wheat tortillas

Optional Toppings:

  • diced avocado
  • plain Greek yogurt
  • cilantro
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook onion until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and set aside.
  3. To make chicken: Season chicken breasts with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to same skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 5-7 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Use fork and knife to shred chicken.
  4. To make enchiladas: In large bowl with cooked onion, add shredded chicken, black beans, diced tomatoes, green chilies and 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese. Use spoon to mix well.
  5. Pour 1 cup salsa on bottom of greased pan and use spatula to spread evenly. Scoop about 1/2 cup chicken and veggie mixture into each tortilla. Roll tightly and place seam side down in pan.
  6. Top enchiladas with 3/4 cup salsa and remaining shredded cheese; use spatula to spread evenly.
  7. Cover pan tightly with foil and bake 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven; serve hot. Add avocado, yogurt and cilantro, if desired.

Source:  ALDI

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