(Family Features) The holidays are filled with temptations and opportunities to over-indulge, and if you’re managing your health and weight, the season can feel anything but merry.
Depriving yourself of your favorite holiday treats isn’t only unpleasant, it’s also unnecessary. Many experts recommend that instead, you focus on building a healthier lifestyle through a well-balanced, long-term eating plan. For example, Atkins offers a balanced approach with foods containing fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates, as well as good fats and proteins, while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates and added sugars. When preparing your holiday menu, look for recipes that contain adequate protein, healthy fats and high-fiber carbohydrates, and you’ll be able to enjoy the flavors of the season without guilt.
Less is not more
If you’re looking for more inspiration, tips and recipes, try finding additional resources such as “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less: Your Guidebook For Living a Low-Carb and Low-Sugar Lifestyle.” Filled with 100 whole-food, low-carb recipes and simple solutions, the new book contains a variety of meal plans, low-carb takes on classic foods and tips for creating a low-carb kitchen. Readers can also learn about Atkins 100, a flexible and personalized low-carb lifestyle program.
Learn more about the benefits of a balanced, low-carb approach to eating at Atkins.com.
Garlic Rosemary Pork Loin
Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
- 1 pound boneless pork loin
- olive oil cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, thinly sliced
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In small skillet over medium heat, cook pork loin, fatty-side down, 4-5 minutes to brown top and render some fat.
- Coat 7-by-11-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Place pork loin in dish.
- In small bowl, combine mustard, garlic and rosemary; stir well. Spoon mixture over pork. Transfer to oven and bake 45 minutes-1 hour, until loin is cooked through but still slightly pink in center.
- When pork is cooked, let rest 5 minutes before slicing. Slice and serve immediately.
Sweet Potato-Pumpkin Puree
Recipe courtesy of Atkins.com
Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
- 3 large egg whites
- 5 tablespoons sugar substitute, divided
- 1/2 cup half pecans
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter stick
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 15 ounces pumpkin (without salt, drained, cooked and boiled)
- Heat oven to 250° F. Lightly butter baking sheet.
- In medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites with electric mixer at high speed until foamy. Gradually add 3 tablespoons sugar substitute and continue mixing until soft peaks form. Spoon onto prepared baking sheet and spread with spatula to 1/4-inch thickness. Bake 35 minutes. Turn oven off; let meringue stand in oven 45 minutes. Crush meringue and place in bowl. Add pecans and toss gently to combine. Set aside.
- While meringue is resting, place sweet potatoes in medium saucepan. Cover with water to 2 inches above potatoes and bring to boil. Cook until tender, about 20 minutes, and drain. Return saucepan to medium-high heat. Add potatoes, butter, cream, remaining sugar substitute, salt, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice and pumpkin puree. Stir to combine. Mash with potato masher until smooth. Heat through, about 1 minute.
- Transfer potato mixture to serving dish and cover with meringue topping.
Salted Caramel Cheesecake Bites
Recipe courtesy of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less”
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/3 cup plain protein powder
- 2 tablespoons stevia
- 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup chopped almonds or macadamia nuts
- 1 tablespoon sugar-free caramel syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt or sea salt flakes
- In large mixing bowl, combine heavy cream with protein powder and stevia. Whisk until smooth. Add cream cheese, almonds or macadamia nuts, caramel syrup and vanilla extract; blend until smooth. If cream cheese clumps slightly, mix with rubber spatula, breaking up bits of cream cheese against side of bowl.
- Sprinkle mixture with xanthan gum, if desired, and mix about 30 seconds. Mixture will thicken slightly.
- Cover tray that will fit into freezer with sheet of wax paper. Using soup spoon, scoop mixture onto tray, making 18 mounds. Alternatively, use two silicone candy molds or empty ice cube tray coated with olive oil spray and press cheesecake mixture into 18 molds. Sprinkle with sea salt.
- Freeze at least one hour before serving.
Note: Can be stored in freezer up to 1 month.
Tip: Switch up flavors by using sugar-free hazelnut syrup in place of caramel and hazelnuts or walnuts instead of almonds.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Garlic Rosemary Pork Loin, Sweet Potato-Pumpkin Puree)
(Family Features) One of the challenges of cooking at home is creating bold and unique flavors with healthy, organic and wholesome ingredients without spending hours in the kitchen. With the right tools, you don't have to go to extremes or make drastic changes to eat healthy.
Try these tips to prepare tasty, healthy meals in less time:
- Double or triple up on ingredients: If you’re making a recipe you love, double or triple the recipe so you have plenty of leftovers throughout the week. Prepare extra servings of staple ingredients and protein so you have healthy basics ready then just add a base like rice for a quick meal.
- Don’t sacrifice nutrition for flavor: Purchase products made with certified organic ingredients that have no artificial colors or flavors and are grown by trusted farmers who share the same passion. Consider including items like Organic Simmer Sauces from SEEDS OF CHANGE, which donates 1 percent of sales to support and develop sustainable community-based farming and growing programs. Add some zest to your favorite meals by sauteing your favorite protein, veggies or tofu with one of an array of flavors: Sesame Ginger Teriyaki, Taco Roasted Chipotle, Sweet and Sour, Mushroom and Tikka Masala. Just add and simmer for 10 minutes.
- Know your sources: Buy fresh and organic foods from trusted sources. When you’re at the grocery store, keep in mind the farmers who are behind the labels on your family’s favorite foods, and try to make an effort to understand where those foods come from.
Start your journey toward bolder, healthier meal options with this easy and nutritious Seared Polenta Rounds with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions recipe. Find more organic ways to add nutrition to your meals at seedsofchange.com.
Seared Polenta Rounds with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions
Recipe courtesy of Tiffany from the blog ParsnipsandPastries.com
- 1 large yellow onion, sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional for searing
- 1/4 cup vegetable stock
- 10 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- pepper, to taste
- 1 pouch SEEDS OF CHANGE Organic Mushroom Simmer Sauce
- 1 tube (18 ounces) prepared organic polenta
- 10 teaspoons shaved Parmigiano cheese
- fresh parsley
- Caramelize onions.
- Heat butter and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat until hot. Add sliced onions to butter mixture and stir gently to coat. Spread onions in one layer, and cook until golden brown and caramelized, stirring every 5 minutes for about 40 minutes, or until caramelized.
- Once caramelized, add vegetable stock to deglaze pan and scrape browned bits. Add mushrooms and garlic, and season, to taste, with pepper. Cook until mushrooms are browned and tender. Stir in mushroom sauce, lower heat and bring to slow simmer.
- Cut polenta tube into eight even rounds. Sear polenta rounds in bit of olive oil and season each side with pepper. Cook until polenta is golden brown on each side, about 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer to plates.
- Spoon mushroom mixture over polenta rounds and top with 2 teaspoons Parmigiano cheese per serving and fresh parsley.
(Family Features) Eating the same thing every day can make lunch seem so “blah.” Now’s the perfect time to break out of the lunch rut and add some excitement to your meals.
Thinking outside the traditional lunchbox is easy with the right ingredients. Perk up your noontime noshing with fresh, seasonal ingredients coupled with kitchen pantry classics, like California Ripe Olives, which add a unique flavor and bold, distinctive color to any dish.
California farmers grow more than 95 percent of the ripe olives consumed in the United States. From planting, pruning, harvesting and processing, they make sure that the highest quality olives come from their farms to your table – one can at a time.
Adding olives to any lunch can help bring California sunshine to each and every bite. Try some of these portable and packable recipes to add excitement to lunch on-the-go and find more at calolive.org.
Greek Salad in Jars
Courtesy of Simply Recipes
Makes: 4 salads
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste (optional)
- pinch of black pepper, plus additional, to taste (optional)
- 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 pint-size canning jars with lids
- 1/4 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 large English cucumber, sliced
- 1 yellow or orange bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup California black ripe olives
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
- 4 small handfuls fresh baby spinach or other dark, leafy greens
- 4 pita bread rounds, halved (optional)
- To prepare dressing: In small bowl, whisk together vinegar, salt, pepper, oregano and honey.
- Gradually whisk in oil. Taste. Add additional salt and pepper, if desired.
- Divide dressing between four pint jars.
- To assemble salads: Divide onion between four jars. Divide tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, olives and feta cheese between jars. Pack remaining space with spinach, compressing leaves slightly.
- Secure lids and refrigerate up to two days.
- To serve: Empty salads into bowls and toss with dressing. Serve with pita bread.
Note: Store and transport salads upright so dressing stays on bottom.
Smoked California Ripe Olives can produce a crave-worthy culinary surprise and become one of your favorite flavor discoveries. There are a few easy ways to make your own smoked olives, including preparing them on the grill with these quick steps:
- Soak wood chips in water for 30 minutes. Drain well.
- Pierce a foil pan several times with a small, sharp knife and spread wood chips in a single layer in the pan. Set directly on hot coals or metal bars on a gas grill. Close the lid and set heat to high only under the pan of chips.
- When chips are smoking, place drained California Ripe Olives in a grill basket on grill with the burners off. Close the lid and smoke for 30 minutes.
Maple Olive Cheesecake Bites
Makes: 16-20 mini cheesecakes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped California Ripe Olives
- Heat oven to 325° F and coat 16-20-cup mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
- In small bowl, stir together graham cracker crumbs, butter and 1 tablespoon sugar. Place equal amounts into each mini muffin cup then press firmly into bottom of each cup. Working with one cup at a time, press small piece of plastic wrap onto surface and press crust firmly into mini muffin cups.
- In large bowl of electric mixer, beat cream cheese, maple syrup and remaining sugar until smooth; beat in flour and vanilla on low speed. Add egg and beat until just combined; stir in olives.
- Spoon equal amounts into each cup. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until filling feels set.
- Let cool completely then run small, thin knife around edge of each to remove from pan.
Black and White Pizza
Makes: 1 pizza
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for pizza crust
- 1 cup onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons roasted garlic, minced
- 4 ounces small baby bella mushrooms, chopped flour
- 1 package prepared pizza dough
- 1 cup prepared Alfredo sauce
- 1 cup smoked mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, torn into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 small boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1 can (6 ounces) extra-large California Black Ripe Olives, drained and cut in wedges
- freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Heat oven to 450° F and line large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms, and cook, stirring frequently, 10 minutes, or until onions are soft. Reserve.
- Roll pizza dough into thin oval on lightly floured surface. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil then spread evenly with Alfredo sauce.
- Top with mushroom mixture, cheeses, chicken and rosemary. Sprinkle olives over pizza.
- Bake 10-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted and lightly browned around edges.
- Serve with Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Source: California Olive Committee
(Family Features) Nutritious, well-rounded meals are essential for growth and proper brain development. A complete midday meal also helps boost mental and physical power so kids can keep on learning until the afternoon bell rings.
It’s not always easy to find new and appealing ideas to fuel kids’ bodies and minds as they head back to school, but programs for families and educators such as the Power Your Lunchbox Pledge can help.
“Families are looking for ways to start the year on the right foot and the Power Your Lunchbox Pledge offers everything they need in one spot,” said Trish James, vice president of Produce for Kids. “Families want to know their kids are receiving the right brain food to get them through the day. Our registered dietitian-approved meal inspiration, tips and ideas provide the foundation families need for success.”
In addition to kid-tested, lunchbox-friendly recipe ideas, the program provides resources and lesson plans for educators who want to create activities to inspire healthy eating in the classroom. This year’s program also includes a partnership with The World of Eric Carle, allowing students to win copies of his popular collection of children’s books. Additionally, every online pledge results in a $1 donation to Feeding America programs that support families and children.
Look for recipes, tips and ideas on Instagram and Twitter using #PowerYourLunchbox, and learn more about the program at poweryourlunchbox.com.
Banana Sushi Rolls
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
- 1 large (8-inch) whole-wheat tortilla
- 3 tablespoons peanut butter, divided
- 1 banana, peeled
- 1 strawberry, sliced
- 1/2 kiwi, sliced
- 1 tablespoon shredded coconut
- Lay tortilla on flat surface. Spread with half of peanut butter. Place banana on one end of tortilla and roll up. Cut into even slices and place strawberries and kiwi slices on top.
- Microwave remaining peanut butter on high 30 seconds, or until melted, and drizzle over banana sushi. Top with shredded coconut.
Brown Bear Bento Box
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
- 1 tablespoon soy butter
- 3 graham cracker squares
- 3 banana slices
- 9 blueberries
- variety of colorful fruit, chopped
- Spread soy butter on graham crackers. Arrange banana slices and blueberries to create eyes and noses to resemble bear faces. In another container, add colorful fruit, such as raspberries, cantaloupe, pineapple, honeydew, blueberries and blackberries, to create a rainbow fruit salad.
Suggested Side: 1 tablespoon ranch dressing and three mini sweet peppers, sliced into strips.
Source: Produce for Kids
(Family Features) The busy pace of back-to-school schedules can make it feel like nearly every aspect of life has you under a time crunch. Fortunately, when it comes to feeding the family, there are some simple foods you likely already have on hand that can provide easy solutions for snacks and mealtime alike.
A go-to fruit like California grapes is a fresh staple you can depend on because they are always ripe and ready to eat when you buy them. While grapes are indeed ideal for snacking because they hold, store and travel well, this healthy and delicious fruit is also a simple addition to meals throughout the day. Grapes require minimal preparation, so they’re equally easy as a side dish or as a fun way to deliver the fresh produce factor in a wide range of family-friendly recipes, such as these Grape and Ricotta Pita Pizzas.
Tips like these show how you can easily incorporate grapes into every meal:
Breakfast: A cup of creamy yogurt and crunchy granola takes on a sweet note when topped with a handful of grapes. Slice or quarter grapes then mix well for a medley of textures and flavors in every bite.
Morning snack: Pair grapes with cheese and crackers for a sweet and savory snack to keep your energy strong and your hunger in check until lunchtime.
Lunch: A handful of grapes can balance out a sandwich and add some sweet indulgence to the midday meal.
After school: Grapes offer hydration and quick energy so they’re the perfect way to fuel up for after school sports or to lend some extra brain power for study time.
Dinnertime rush: Use grapes for an easy side dish that goes with anything. A quick meal like grilled cheese and grapes brings out the kid in everyone.
Evening snack: Toward the end of the day, cravings can creep up but keeping a bowl of fresh grapes on hand for after dinner snacking helps avoid alternative salty, highly processed choices.
Find more great ideas for enjoying grapes throughout the day at grapesfromcalifornia.com.
Grape and Ricotta Pita Pizzas
- 2 whole-wheat pita pocket breads (about 6 inches in diameter)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese, divided
- 1 cup seedless red or black California grapes, thinly sliced or halved
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 6 large or 12 small fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
- Heat oven to 450° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Slice pita pockets in half so each forms two rounds, creating four rounds total. Place pita rounds on baking sheets cut-side up and brush top of each with oil.
- Spread 2 tablespoons ricotta cheese on each pita, leaving about 1/2-inch border around edges then arrange sliced grapes in single layer on top of cheese. Bake until edges are crisped and cheese is warmed, 5-7 minutes.
- In small bowl, stir together honey and lemon juice until honey is dissolved.
- When pizzas are done, drizzle each with about 1/2 teaspoon honey-lemon mixture. Sprinkle basil on top of pizzas. Serve immediately.
(Family Features) Warmer weather has arrived and that means it’s salad season.
There are many seasonal salads to enjoy and everyone has a favorite. Change your warm-weather dining habits up a bit with this recipe for Ruby Beet Chicken Salad Skewers. Easy to prepare, this deliciously unique salad on a skewer is perfect for entertaining family and friends.
The sweet-tangy, nutty, piquant and savory combination of ingredients provides layers of flavors in every forkful. One-bite Aunt Nellie’s Baby Whole Pickled Beets are just right for skewering with the mustard-marmalade glazed chicken and crisp romaine.
To finish, drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with toasted almonds and cheese. Add a whole grain baguette and your meal is ready. For more warm-weather recipe ideas, visit AuntNellies.com.
Ruby Beet Chicken Salad Skewers
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Baby Whole Pickled Beets, drained
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
- salt, to taste, plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided
- pepper, to taste, plus 1/2 teaspoon, divided
- 4 1/2 tablespoons stone ground mustard, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoons orange marmalade, plus 1/3 cup, divided
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 1 large lemon, zested and juiced (about 1/3 cup juice)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 bag (9 ounces) leafy romaine pieces
- 8 wooden skewers
- 1/3 cup chopped almonds, toasted
- 1/3 cup crumbled firm white cheese (such as blue cheese, feta or goat)
- Heat oven to 375° F. Drain beets; set aside.
- Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. In small bowl, combine 1 1/2 tablespoons each of mustard and marmalade. Brush mixture over chicken until completely coated. Bake chicken on aluminum foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet, 20-25 minutes, or until juices run clear; set aside.
- To make vinaigrette: In medium bowl, combine remaining mustard, remaining marmalade, chives, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Slowly pour in oil while whisking vigorously until completely combined.
- Slice cooled chicken into 1-inch pieces. On each skewer, thread a beet, a piece of chicken and 4- 5 pieces of lettuce; repeat twice; add one beet at end. Repeat to make eight skewers. Place skewers on large serving platter. Stir vinaigrette; drizzle lightly over skewers. Sprinkle with almonds and cheese. Serve with remaining vinaigrette.
Substitution: Whole pickled beets may be substituted. Cut beets in half.
Alternate preparation: To grill chicken, brush both sides with mustard-marmalade mixture. Grill over medium heat 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through and thermometer reads 165 F. If chicken cooks too quickly, reduce heat to medium-low.
Nutritional information per serving: 255 calories; 15 g protein; 20 g carbohydrates; 12 g total fat; 440 mg sodium; 40 mg cholesterol; 2 g dietary fiber; 1 mg iron; .07 mg thiamin; 2,871 IU vitamin A; 7 mg vitamin C.
Source: Aunt Nellie's
(Family Features) Sliced or diced, grilled or blended, there are countless ways to prepare watermelon. With some fruits, half or more is wasted when you throw away the seeds and peel, but you may be surprised to learn that you can use an entire watermelon, including the rind, to make delicious and refreshing dishes.
Most people think of watermelon as a sweet, juicy snack perfect for hot summer days, but with its high water content (92 percent), the fruit is more than just tasty. It’s also an ideal way to keep your body hydrated. What’s more, the ability to use the entire fruit makes watermelon one of the most versatile and value-conscious options in the produce department.
An average watermelon consists of about 70 percent fruit and 30 percent rind. Hollowed out, the rind is an attractive way to serve any number of recipes, but the rind is actually edible, too, and can be stir-fried, stewed or pickled, or even enjoyed raw. This yummy slaw gets its distinctive crunch from the watermelon rind, which is packed with citrulline and arginine, two compounds that may aid in healthy blood flow.
Watermelon is also a flavorful substitute for tomatoes, as shown in this traditional Italian appetizer, and contains higher levels of lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable per serving, according to award-winning nutrition author and registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer.
Additionally, it lends some sweetness to a spicy salsa and a refreshing twist on a summery salad. You can also try blending watermelon with other fresh fruits for a super smoothie or mixing it up with some adult libations (and don’t forget, you can transform the rind into a mini-keg in minutes; just add a pour spout).
Find more ideas for using every bite of fruit, juice and rind at watermelon.org.
Watermelon Caprese Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
Makes: 6 servings
- 12 slices watermelon cut into rounds or squares, approximately 3 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick, with seeds removed
- 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 12 slices
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 sprig basil, for garnish
- Place watermelon slices on paper towels and cover with additional paper towels to absorb excess fluid.
- In small saucepan over medium heat, add vinegar and honey. Stir to blend, bring to simmer and reduce heat. Stir occasionally until mixture is reduced by almost half. (Do not let reduce too far or allow to froth.) Set aside to cool slightly.
- On large platter, place watermelon slices and top each with slice of cheese. Add salt and pepper, to taste, then sprinkle basil leaves evenly over top. Drizzle with olive oil, followed by reduced balsamic vinegar. Garnish with sprig of basil.
Tip: Use red and yellow watermelon for an extra pretty presentation.
Watermelon Rind Slaw
Makes: 4 one-cup servings
- 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
- 1 1/2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 4 cups grated watermelon rind (fruit and green peel removed)
- 1 cup grated carrot
- 1 1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple
- In small bowl, blend Greek yogurt, sour cream, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, poppy seeds, olive oil, salt and pepper thoroughly. Set aside.
- Place watermelon rind on several layers of paper towels to soak up excess fluid.
- In medium bowl, place dressing, rind, carrot and pineapple, and toss to thoroughly coat.
Watermelon Slice Ice Pops
Makes: 5-15 servings
- 5-15 watermelon slices, cut into triangular wedge shapes, about 1/2 to 1 inch thick, with seeds removed
- 5-15 ice pop sticks
- Insert ice pop stick into rind of each slice.
Optional variation: After inserting sticks, freeze ice pops before serving.
Makes: 3 cups
- 2 cups cubed and seeded watermelon
- 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
- 1 cup raspberry kefir
- 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
- 2 tablespoons hemp
- 2 tablespoons agave syrup
- ice (optional)
- Place watermelon, raspberries, raspberry kefir, orange juice concentrate, hemp, agave syrup and ice, if desired, in blender and blend until smooth.
(Family Features) Potatoes are the top food eaten alongside grilled main dishes, according to the NPD Group, so why not put potatoes on the grill too? Try grilling thick potato planks, skewered potato chunks, or colorful halved fingerlings in a zesty rub like these Flame-Licked Fingerlings, created by award-winning cookbook authors Karen Adler and Judith Fertig, also known as the “BBQ Queens.”
“A lot of people don’t know you can grill potatoes,” said the BBQ Queens. “They’re sturdy enough to hold up well on the grill, versatile enough to grill in many different ways and the nutritional boost is a welcome addition to any meal.”
In fact, one medium-size (5.3 ounce) potato has no fat, sodium or cholesterol, provides 45 percent of your daily value of vitamin C, and has more potassium than a banana. Plus, cooking potato side dishes on the grill helps to minimize clean-up, and doesn’t require the heat of an oven during the warmer months.
Visit www.potatogoodness.com to find more recipe ideas for putting potatoes on the grill, including a colorful Grilled Potato Bake which incorporates multiple potato types for a flavorful side dish. You can also sign-up to receive a new recipe in your email in-box each week.
Flame-Licked Fingerling Potatoes with Spud Rub
Created by The BBQ Queens for the U.S. Potato Board
Makes: 4 side dish servings
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 2 teaspoons lemon pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoons paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 pound fingerling potato mix
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Spud Rub
- For the rub, combine all ingredients in a glass jar, close the lid and shake to blend. Store at room temperature.
- Prepare a medium-hot fire in your grill.
- Place the potatoes in a bowl, drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with Spud Rub. Toss to coat.
- Place the potatoes on the grill rack or in grill basket directly over the heat and close the grill lid. After 3 to 4 minutes, open the lid and toss the potatoes or turn the basket. Close the lid again and repeat the process for 12 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
Serving tip: Serve the grilled fingerlings on a platter alongside a bowl of Spud Rub Dip. To make Spud Rub Dip, combine 1/2 cup prepared buttermilk or ranch-style dressing and 1 teaspoon Spud Rub in small bowl. Stir to blend. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Nutritional information per serving: Calories: 110, Fat: 2.5g, Saturated Fat: 0g, Trans Fat: 0g, Cholesterol: 0mg, Sodium: 125mg, Carbohydrates: 20g, Fiber: 1g, Sugars: 0g, Protein: 3g, Vitamin A: 2%, Vitamin C: 40%, Calcium: 0%, Iron: 6%, Potassium: 6mg.
Cottage cheese gets hip with today’s recipes
(Family Features) Classics never go out of style — whether presented simply or dressed up with trendy new touches. Cottage cheese has been a favorite for generations, but innovative serving ideas give new appeal to this trusty favorite.
Cool and refreshing cottage cheese is an easy “right now” quick meal or snack for on-the-go people. It’s naturally high in protein, low in fat and carbohydrates and is a favorite among active, nutrition-conscious adults, providing women with the calcium they need. And, parents can feel good about it as an easy, healthy snack for kids. The creamy satisfying flavor of cottage cheese is great paired with pineapple or apple wedges, or mixed with applesauce and a shake of cinnamon.
The introduction of cottage cheese from Daisy Brand, the nation’s best selling sour cream brand, is an exciting new addition to the dairy case. Fresh and wholesome, this new cottage cheese contains only natural ingredients with no preservatives or additives.
Versatile cottage cheese is perfect for a quick snack, healthy meal or satisfying dessert:
—Break into breakfast: Serve cottage cheese alongside fresh fruit, mixed with yogurt or topped with cereal. Its creamy consistency is perfect stirred into eggs, pancakes, omelets or quiche.
—Satisfy snack attacks: Enjoy cottage cheese with fresh fruit, raw veggies or crackers.
—Mute the munchies with a thin spread of peanut butter on crackers topped with creamy cottage cheese.
—Savor smart lunch choices: Combine cottage cheese with fresh vegetables or fruit for a healthful, satisfying lunch.
—Make mid-day hearty and delicious by mixing cottage cheese into flaked tuna.
—Feature family-pleasing dinners: Count on cottage cheese to round out a salad or as a side dish, or use as a central ingredient in quiches or pasta dishes such as lasagna and ravioli.
—Dig into sweet endings: Scene-stealing desserts with cottage cheese include cheesecake, blintzes, turnovers and more.
Delight your palate with a cool, satisfying classic. Discover surprising, innovative ways to enjoy fresh and delicious cottage cheese by visiting www.daisybrand.com. Recipe ideas for quick snacks, simple meals and flavorful entertaining will help you put this all-natural, low-carb source of protein and calcium on your table for healthy family meals.
Berry Breakfast Parfaits
- 2 cups (16 ounces) Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
- 2 cups mixed fresh berries such as sliced strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries
- 1 cup granola
- 4 tablespoons sliced or chopped almonds
- 1 teaspoon vanilla*
- 3/4 teaspoon Splenda®*
- Refrigerate fruit mixture 2 hours before assembling. In four serving dishes layer 1/4 cup of cottage cheese, 1/8 cup of granola, and 1/4 cup of mixed berries. Repeat layers in each glass. Top each parfait with 1 tablespoon of almonds.
*For a sweeter taste, try adding 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3/4 teaspoon of Splenda to fruit and stir.
Pita Pesto Pizza Snackers
- 2 pieces pita bread
- 2 tablespoons basil pesto
- 1 cup (8 ounces) Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic bread seasoning (or garlic powder)
- 2 tablespoons chopped Roma tomatoes
- Chopped fresh basil, to taste
- 2 teaspoons grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Toast pita bread until crispy and firm, about 1 minute in a toaster oven.
- Spread pesto on each pita bread, lightly covering entire surface.
- Combine cottage cheese with garlic bread seasoning and spread evenly over each pita.
- Top with chopped tomato and fresh basil.
- If desired, sprinkle each pita with Parmesan.
- Slice each pita into 4 wedges and serve immediately.
Apple-Cinnamon Pancake Stackers
- 1 medium apple, Fuji or Gala, peeled, cored and cubed
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons Splenda® or other low calorie sweetener
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons lite maple syrup
- 1 cup (8 ounces) Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
- 6 3 1/2-inch whole wheat pancakes, frozen
- 2 fresh mint sprigs
- Combine apple, cinnamon and sweetener. In small pan, heat oil and sauté apple mixture over medium heat 2 minutes. Add maple syrup and cook additional minute.
- Fold mixture into cottage cheese, being careful not to over mix.
- Heat pancakes per package instructions.
- To serve, place 1 hot pancake on plate and layer cottage cheese mixture between pancakes evenly, 3 pancakes per serving. Top with cottage cheese mixture, a drizzle of maple syrup and a fresh mint sprig.
Source: Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese
(Family Features) It’s not always easy to create meals that are both nutritious and satisfying. Managing intake of added sugar and saturated fat takes effort and planning, but transforming your favorite recipes into more nutritious family meals can be simpler than you imagined.
The nutrient-dense mushroom masterfully bridges that divide, offering rich and meaty flavor while still being fat-free, low-calorie and low-sodium. All mushrooms contain vitamin D at various levels, which helps build strong bones. Additionally, mushrooms are a source of B vitamins, including riboflavin and niacin, which help provide energy by breaking down proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
“Mushrooms are an incredibly versatile ingredient,” said Mary Jo Feeney, MS, RDN, nutrition research consultant for the Mushroom Council. “They can be the meaty star of a vegetarian dish or a nutritious complement to burgers and other hearty recipes.”
For a healthy weekday lunch, consider building a salad bowl around the earthy mushroom. Pair roasted or marinated mushrooms with crunchy vegetables and nutty grains, beans and pulses, and top with a simple vinaigrette or squeeze of citrus.
For lightened-up versions of classics such as burgers and meatballs, try adopting a culinary technique known as “The Blend.” Simply chop any mushroom variety to match the consistency of ground meat, blend the mushrooms into the meat and cook the mushroom-meat blend to complete the recipe. Substituting at least 25 percent of the meat for mushrooms can enhance the taste of your favorite meaty meals, deliver an extra serving of nutrient-rich vegetables and trim calorie and fat intake.
For additional mushroom recipes that incorporate the blending technique, visit mushroominfo.com.
Mighty Mushroom Blended Burger
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1/2 pound any variety mushroom
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 4 buns
- Finely dice mushrooms or gently pulse in food processor.
- In skillet, warm 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium-high heat and add mushrooms, cooking 5-7 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from heat and cool 5 minutes.
- Transfer cooled mushrooms to medium bowl. Add ground beef and salt, mixing until combined. Make four patties.
- Add remaining olive oil to pan and cook burger patties on medium-high heat until internal temperature reaches at least 160° F. Plate and add desired toppings to bun.
- Recommended toppings include: pickled red peppers, crumbled blue cheese and watercress greens.
Marinated Mushroom Bowls with Lentils and Wild Rice
Prep time: 40 minutes
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons dark sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon chili oil
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
- 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 2 cups thinly sliced purple cabbage
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- pinch of salt
- 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 cups cooked French lentils
- 1 cup cooked wild rice
- 1 cup chopped cucumber
- To marinate mushrooms: In shallow bowl, whisk together olive oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and chili oil.
- Stir in green onion, cilantro and sesame seeds. Add mushrooms and gently toss in marinade. Cover and let rest 30 minutes.
- Place cabbage in bowl and toss with lime juice and pinch of salt. Set aside.
- Stir in 1 teaspoon of soy sauce to both lentils and wild rice.
- To serve, arrange equal amount of mushrooms, cabbage, lentils, wild rice and cucumbers in each bowl. Drizzle with remaining marinade and garnish with chopped cilantro, sliced green onions and black sesame seeds. Serve with lime wedges.
Note: Can be served at room temperature or cold.
Roasted Mushroom and Wheat Berry Salad with Orange Curry Vinaigrette
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 8 ounces white button mushrooms, halved
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups cooked wheat berries, warm
- 2 green onions, sliced
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/4 teaspoon finely ground sea salt
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- Place mushrooms on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.
- Bake 10 minutes. Carefully stir mushrooms and bake 5 more minutes, until tender.
- Transfer mushrooms to medium bowl. Add wheat berries, green onions and cranberries.
In small bowl, whisk together all dressing ingredients.
- Pour dressing over salad. Toss to mix all ingredients. Serve warm.
Source: Mushroom Council