Add fruits, veggies to meals for plant-forward nutrition
(Family Features) Adding more fruits and vegetables is one of the simplest ways to make at-home meals healthier for your family.
Focusing your plate on more of the good stuff – vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, plant-based proteins, lean animal proteins and fish – can help you cut back on the not-so-good stuff, including refined carbohydrates, added sugars, processed meats, sodium and saturated and trans fats, according to the American Heart Association.
While some may think meat makes the meal and it can be part of an overall healthy eating pattern, a survey from Aramark, the largest U.S. based food service company, found many people want to ease up on meat consumption, and 2 out of 3 want to eat more fruits and vegetables. The company made sweeping changes to incorporate more plants into its menus, resulting in meals with fewer calories, less saturated fat and reduced sodium.
Punching up the plants on your plate can lead to better nutrition in your house, too. Try putting vegetables and fruits center-stage with these heart-healthy salads.
To help encourage healthier communities, the American Heart Association and Aramark have made it simple for you to learn better nutrition and lifestyle habits and to share that information. For more recipes, tips and resources, visit heart.org/healthyforlife.
Make the Most of Seasonal Fruits and Veggies
For many people, warmer weather means more time outdoors and food cooked on the grill. To help make your meals more nutritious, consider these ideas to choose, store and enjoy warm-weather fruits and veggies:
Straight from the cob, sweet corn is packed with fiber and antioxidants and can be grilled, boiled or even microwaved. Try tossing it with a small amount of light mayonnaise, lime juice, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper for a simple version of Mexican Street Corn.
Prep is a breeze with cucumbers, which can be eaten raw with or without the peel. For a no-fuss salad, toss together cucumbers, onion and fresh dill then add a dash of sugar, salt and pepper plus a splash of cider vinegar.
Full of nutrients, including vitamins A and C and the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes are a popular option for seasonal dishes. Store them stem-up on the counter, rather than in the fridge, to prevent bruising and enhance the flavor.
For more ways to introduce fruits and veggies to fresh, seasonal meals, visit Aramark’s wellness blog at fyp365.com.
Tangy Kale Slaw with Cilantro and Honey
Recipe courtesy of Aramark
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro leaves, washed and chopped
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups kale leaves, washed, shredded and stems removed
- 1/2 cup red cabbage leaves, washed and shredded
- 1/2 cup carrot, trimmed and shredded
- 1/4 cup green onion, trimmed and thinly sliced
- In bowl, combine vinegar, mayonnaise, honey, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Whisk until well blended.
- Add kale, red cabbage, carrot and onion. Toss to coat.
- Cover and keep chilled prior to serving.
Nutritional information per serving: 40 calories; 1 g protein; 1 g fiber.
Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!
Black-Eyed Pea, Corn and Rice Salad
Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association
- 2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) no-salt-added or low-sodium black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15 1/4 ounces) low-sodium or no-salt-added whole-kernel corn
- 1 package (8 1/2 ounces) brown rice, microwaved according to package directions and broken into small pieces
- 2 medium ribs celery, chopped
- 1 medium bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- In large bowl, stir peas, corn, rice, celery, pepper, parsley, olive oil, water and black pepper until combined.
Nutritional information per serving: 231 calories; 10 g protein; 7 g fiber.
Simple Persian Salad
Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association
- 2 medium cucumbers, seeded and diced
- 4 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint or parsley
- 2 tablespoons fat-free feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 medium limes, juice only
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- In bowl, stir cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, mint and feta. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes.
- In small bowl, whisk lime juice, oil and pepper until well blended.
- Pour dressing over salad, tossing gently to coat.
Nutritional information per serving: 88 calories; 3 g protein; 3 g fiber.
Use on-hand ingredients for a quick-fix meal
(Family Features) Between juggling the ever-shifting to-do list and busy weeknights, there’s not always time left in the day to comb through cookbooks to find the perfect recipe. Even with a potential meal plan in mind, life can get in the way, and running to the grocery store might not be a top priority.
For a quick meal without a lot of hassle, an option such as Eckrich Smoked Sausage can be paired with whatever you have in the refrigerator or pantry for a fast, foolproof meal the whole family can enjoy. Since it is pre-cooked, all you have to do is heat and eat, taking the guesswork out of cook time while offering a rich and savory protein option for a balanced and delicious meal.
With flavors and forms ranging from the Original Skinless Smoked Sausage Rope to spicy Jalapeno & Cheddar Smoked Sausage Links, a home-cooked breakfast, lunch or dinner is just moments away – no instructions or plans needed. You can be a rebel without a cookbook and deliver diverse and delightful meals for your loved ones, such as this Veggie Smoked Sausage Stir-Fry.
For more mealtime inspiration, visit Eckrich.com.
Veggie Smoked Sausage Stir-Fry
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 package Eckrich smoked sausage, sliced into 1/2-inch pieces
- 4 servings premade white or brown rice
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 bag (16 ounces) frozen stir-fry vegetable mix
- 1 package stir-fry dry seasoning mix
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- toasted sesame seeds (optional)
- sliced green onions (optional)
- In pan over medium-high heat, brown sausage; set aside.
- Heat white or brown rice according to package instructions.
- In same pan over medium-high heat, heat peanut oil and stir-fry vegetable mix. Add stir-fry dry seasoning mix, honey, vinegar and sesame oil.
- Divide rice, sausage and stir-fry mixture among four bowls.
- Sprinkle each with toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions, if desired.
Family Features) Brunch isn't just for mom. This Father's Day, make eggs, toast and bacon on the grill for a breakfast that's sure to spoil the man of the house.
Not sure how to make eggs on the grill? It's easy! Crack an egg into a cut-out hole in toast set on a cedar plank, then sprinkle with a little cheddar and an Applewood rub for smoky grilled flavor.
For more grilling recipes and tips visit www.grillmates.com.
Cedar Plank Grilled Egg in Toast
Makes 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
- 2 cedar planks (about 12x6 inches each)
- 4 slices bread, such as brioche or challah (3/4-inch thick slices)
- 7 eggs, divided
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Grill Mates Applewood Rub, divided
- 1/2 cup grated smoked Cheddar cheese
- Soak cedar planks in water for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain and pat dry.
- Remove centers of each slice of bread with 3-inch round cookie cutter. Beat 3 eggs with milk and 2 tablespoons of the Applewood Rub in medium bowl until well blended.
- Lightly oil 1 side of each of planks. Place planks, oil side up, on preheated grill over medium heat. Dip bread in egg mixture. Place on planks. Break an egg into each of holes. Sprinkle eggs with remaining 1/2 teaspoon Applewood Rub. Cover grill.
- Grill 10 minutes. Sprinkle eggs with cheese and additional Applewood Rub, if desired. Grill, covered, 10 minutes longer.
Candied Grilled Bacon
Makes 6 servings
Prep Time: 5
Cook Time: 15
- 6 slices thick-cut applewood bacon
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Ground Cinnamon
- Arrange bacon slices in single layer on bacon grilling rack or shallow disposable foil pan. Grill over medium-high heat 10 to 12 minutes or until bacon edges begin to curl. Remove pan from grill. Drain drippings.
- Microwave honey and cinnamon in small microwavable bowl on high 30 seconds, stirring after 15 seconds. Brush bacon with honey mixture. Place bacon directly on grill over low heat. Grill 2 to 3 minutes per side or until crisp.
(Family Features) The Mother's Day brunch is arranged, the cards and flowers are picked out - now it's time to make a show-stopping dessert that will truly make her day. And it's easier than you might think.
When looking for the perfect way to treat mom on Mother's Day, try a simple search on Bing.com. Bing makes it easy to find recipes by meals, convenience, or even ingredients to find just the right recipe - like cheesecake, pie or blackberry cobbler - to truly delight the special mom in your life.
Show your mom just how much she means to you by making her something special and giving her a Mother's Day she won't forget. Here are three delicious ideas.
Frozen Raspberry Layer Cake
From Country Living
Prep Time: 20 minutes (not counting freezing times)
Total Freezing Time: 4 hours+
Servings: 8 to 10
- 2 10 3/4-ounce frozen pound cakes, crusts removed, sliced into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- 3 cups vanilla ice cream, slightly softened
- 4 cups raspberry sorbet, slightly softened
- 1 pint fresh raspberries, rinsed and picked over
- 3 tablespoons Chambord, or other raspberry-flavored liqueur
- Prepare the pan: Trace and cut out a 9-inch circle from parchment paper and fit it into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.
Cut out a 3- by 27-inch strip of parchment and fit around inside of pan. Tape to secure parchment paper and set aside.
- Assemble the cake: Cover bottom of pan with a single layer of pound cake slices and spread ice cream evenly over cake. Freeze until ice cream hardens - about 25 minutes.
- Spread 2 cups sorbet over ice cream, followed by another layer of pound cake slices. Return cake to freezer for 10 minutes.
- Combine raspberries and Chambord together in small bowl. Remove cake pan from freezer and place berries evenly over cake.
- Top with a final layer of pound cake and remaining sorbet. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and freeze until firm - at least 4 hours.
Upside-Down Honey Cheesecakes
From Bon Appétit
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Chilling Time: 1 hour+
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
- 1/3 cup water
- 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 2/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
- Assorted fresh berries (for garnish)
- Preheat oven to 300°F. Butter twelve 3/4-cup ramekins or custard cups.
- Place 1 cup sugar, honey, and butter in heavy medium saucepan. Stir over medium heat until butter melts and mixture is blended.
Increase heat to medium-high and bring to boil. Whisk until mixture darkens slightly and candy thermometer registers 300°F, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat; add 1/3 cup water (mixture will bubble vigorously); whisk to blend. Divide topping among ramekins (about 2 tablespoonfuls for each). Divide ramekins between 2 roasting pans and chill while preparing filling.
- Using on/off turns, blend cream cheese and brown sugar in processor, scraping bowl occasionally. Add sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla; process until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, processing just to blend between additions. Divide filling among ramekins.
Add enough hot water to pans to come halfway up sides of ramekins.
- Bake cheesecakes until set, about 35 minutes. Remove from roasting pans and chill until firm, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and keep chilled.
- Run thin knife around sides of ramekins. Invert onto plates, scooping any remaining topping from ramekins over cheesecakes. Garnish with berries.
Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2/3 cup sour cream
- 1 quart strawberries, hulled, thickly sliced
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Heat oven to 350° F. Line 12 standard muffin cups with paper liners.
- In medium bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In large bowl with mixer on medium, beat butter and sugar until light and creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then vanilla. With mixer on low, alternately beat in flour mixture and sour cream until combined. Continue to beat on medium until batter is thick and smooth.
- Spoon batter into a zip-top bag. Snip a 1/2-inch corner from bag and fill liners slightly less than two-thirds full. Bake 24 to 26 minutes, or until lightly golden and a pick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 5 minutes; remove cupcakes from pan and cool completely.
- Toss strawberries several times in a bowl with sugar and lemon juice until very syrupy. In large bowl, beat cream, confectioners' sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form.
- Use a skewer to poke several holes into top of each cupcake. Spoon some syrup from bowl over top, allowing it to absorb into cupcakes. Top with sliced berries and a dollop of cream. Arrange a few sliced berries in cream and drizzle with remaining strawberry syrup.
(Family Features) When it comes to eating, it can be difficult to find foods that kids can enjoy while also introducing them to valuable nourishment and health principles.
Instead of giving in to ice cream for every meal or forcing children to eat something their taste buds don’t agree with, there are tasty recipes like Chicken Noodle Soup, Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast and Flower Salad that can quench their appetites without giving up nutritional value. These fun recipes can give kids a chance to help in the kitchen, learning important life skills while spending quality time with family.
To find more fun, kid-friendly recipes that include both taste and nourishment, visit culinary.net.
The Classic Kid-Favorite
When mealtime hits and bellies start growling, turn to a classic to keep your kids full and satisfied. Chicken Noodle Soup has always been a favorite among children, so keep tradition alive in your family with this scrumptious recipe. For more delicious chicken recipes, visit eatchicken.com.
Chicken Noodle Soup
Recipe courtesy of National Chicken Council
- 1 chicken (3 pounds), liver discarded
- 2 1/2 quarts cold water
- 4 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
- 2 onions, peeled
- 2 celery stalks with leaves, cut into 4 pieces
- 6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
- 1 cup small pasta, cooked
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- To prepare broth: In large pot over high heat, bring chicken and all remaining broth ingredients to boil. Reduce heat to low; skim surface of broth to remove foam. Let simmer 1 1/2 hours, skimming occasionally, and turning chicken. Add more water if necessary to keep chicken submerged.
- Remove chicken with tongs and cool. Strain broth through fine sieve. Discard celery, herbs and spices. Reserve onions and carrots. Remove any excess fat from top of broth with spoon.
- Pull chicken meat from bones and discard skin and bones. Dice chicken and reserve. Quarter cooked onions, if desired.
- To prepare soup: In large pot over high heat, return strained chicken broth and bring to rolling boil. Add reserved onions and carrots. Reduce heat to low; stir in reserved chicken meat, pasta and frozen peas, cooking until warm. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with dill and parsley.
Connect Kids with Food for Healthy Habits
More than nine in 10 millennial moms think it's important for their kids to learn about where their food comes from, and more than three-quarters of those moms actively do things with their kids to help learn just that, according to recent findings.
Building healthy habits is the top reason moms cite for encouraging more learning when it comes to food, according to research conducted by IPSOS on behalf of Cuties – the sweet little clementines. Even when the weather is colder outside, recipes like this Flower Salad can help encourage kids to eat healthy for a lifetime.
For more kid-friendly recipe ideas and content exploring where food comes from, visit cutiescitrus.com/our-story.
Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger
- 1 Cuties clementine
- 9-10 thinly sliced strips red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 grape tomato
- 1 celery stick, cut to 3 inches
- 2 small leaves romaine lettuce
- 1 piece English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and cut to 1 1/2 inches then thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- Peel clementine and separate sections almost all the way, leaving attached at the base. Place on plate with base down. Place piece of red bell pepper between each citrus section, and half tomato in center to form flower.
- Place celery and lettuce leaves underneath as stem and leaves. Arrange cucumber slices below to represent grass.
- In small bowl, stir together yogurt, honey and lemon juice.
- Serve dip in dish alongside flower, or in a mound underneath cucumber slices.
Nutritional information per serving: 76 calories; 0.5 g total fat; (0.3 g saturated fat, 0.2 g poly fat); 4 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 2 mg cholesterol; 21 mg sodium.
A Memorable Morning Meal
Whether it’s before school or after sleeping in on a Saturday morning, breakfast is a popular meal for children of all ages. Next time you and your family rise and shine, go with this recipe for Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast to keep the whole gang happy. Find more kid-friendly recipes for every meal at nutrition.gov.
Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast
Recipe courtesy of the USDA
- 2 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 slices whole-wheat bread
- 1 teaspoon soft margarine
- 4 teaspoons light pancake syrup
- In flat-bottomed bowl, crack eggs. Thoroughly whisk in milk and cinnamon. Dip bread slices, one at a time, into egg mixture, wetting both sides. Re-dip, if necessary, until all egg mixture is absorbed into bread.
- Meanwhile, heat large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add butter. Place dipped bread slices in skillet. Cook 2 1/2-3 minutes per side, or until both sides are golden brown.
- Drizzle with syrup. Serve when warm.
Nutritional information per serving: 190 calories; 8 g total fat; (3 g saturated fat); 10 g protein; 19 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 215 mg cholesterol; 250 mg sodium.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Chicken soup photo and French toast photo)
(Family Features) With summer in full swing, outdoor chefs are fine-tuning their grilling game and looking for creative twists on backyard food favorites. But most cooks often overlook a classic pantry staple that's a great secret ingredient and unlikely ally when entertaining outdoors: 100% pure honey.
It's an all-natural sweetener that keeps things simple with only one, pure ingredient: honey. And it's not only limited to desserts and drinks. Savory dishes that call for time on the grill can benefit just as much from incorporating 100% pure honey. It's perfect for homemade, natural-ingredient marinades and in addition to its one-of-a-kind flavor, it aids in caramelization, a key process in grilling.
Also working in 100% pure honey's favor is its sheer versatility. You can impress guests by using it in all kinds of cuisine. For a sweet summer lineup from appetizers to dessert, try these distinctive recipes.
For even more recipes to make your summer sweeter, visit www.honey.com.
Grilled Honey Glazed Shrimp
Makes 6 servings
- 1 cup orange juice
- 3/4 cup 100% pure honey
- 1/3 cup lime juice
- 1/3 cup Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons paprika
- 2 teaspoons black and red pepper blend
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon California-style coarse onion powder
- 30 jumbo shrimp
- 12 bamboo skewers, soaked in water for at least 30 minutes
- Place orange juice, honey, lime juice, mustard and dry seasonings in a blender and blend on high for 1 minute until smooth. Pour into a saucepan and simmer over medium heat for 12 minutes or until thickened and reduced by half. Divide the glaze into 2 plastic containers, seal tightly and refrigerate until ready to use. Thread shrimp onto skewers. Cook shrimp over hot coals for about 3 minutes on each side or until completely pink, basting with one container of the glaze during grilling. Remove from grill and baste with remaining glaze.
Honey Marinated Chicken
Makes 4 servings
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons 100% pure honey
- 2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
- 1/3 cup 100% pure honey
- Blend all marinade ingredients (exclude the 1/3 cup honey); pour over chicken breasts. Marinate in refrigerator overnight in plastic bag. Remove chicken from marinade; discard marinade. Grill six to 10 minutes, turning once and basting occasionally with 1/3 cup honey during last five minutes of grilling.
Strawberry Chiffon Pie
Makes 8 servings
- 2 cups (12 ounces) coarsely chopped strawberries, fresh or frozen
- 3/4 cup 100% pure honey, divided
- 1 envelope unflavored gelatin
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 1 cup light sour cream
- Prepared 9-inch crumb crust
- In small bowl, mash strawberries and 1/4 cup honey; set aside.
- In small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over cold water; let stand five minutes. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup honey. Warm over low heat until gelatin dissolves. Transfer to large bowl; stir in sour cream. Cover and refrigerate 20 to 30 minutes or until mixture mounds on a spoon when tested.
- Using electric mixer, beat mixture at medium speed until light. Fold in strawberries; mix until well combined. Pour into prepared crust. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours.
Citrus Salad with Avocado
Makes 6 servings
- 3 6-inch corn tortillas
- 4 oranges
- 4 grapefruits
- 1/3 cup 100% pure honey
- 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 avocado, sliced
- Preheat oven to 255°F. Slice tortillas into very thin strips. Dry strips by placing on a cookie sheet and baking for approximately 15 minutes. Set aside
- Peel oranges and grapefruits, then section, seed and place in large bowl; set aside. In small bowl, whisk together honey, raspberry vinegar, oil and salt.
- Pour over citrus sections and toss gently.
- Top with avocado slices and tortilla strips.
Honey Raspberry Iced Tea
Makes 4 servings
- 2 cups freshly brewed tea
- 2 cups cranberry-raspberry juice
- 1/4 cup 100% pure honey
- In large, heat-proof pitcher, whisk together all ingredients until thoroughly combined and honey is dissolved. Chill until ready to serve. To serve, pour over ice.
Source: National Honey Board
(Family Features) Summertime entertaining should be easy and fun. And it can be - with some simple solutions and fresh recipes.
Start with Simple Recipes
- For this tropical dessert pizza, make the cookie crust the day before. Mix the filling and store it in an airtight plastic container, then cut up fruit and store in individual resealable plastic bags. Be creative and substitute your family's favorite fruits. Kids will have fun arranging the sliced fruit on this yummy dessert pizza!
- Three ingredients plus three minutes equals one tasty marinade. Let the kids help pour the ingredients into a resealable plastic bag to flavor juicy pork tenderloins with a subtly sweet, spicy marinade.
- The combination of crisp watermelon, juicy tomatoes and fresh basil with balsamic vinegar creates a fantastic and refreshing light salad. Just cut up ingredients and store in separate plastic containers, then toss together right before the party to keep the flavors fresh.
- For picnics on damp ground, placing an inexpensive plastic tablecloth under a blanket helps keep dampness from reaching picnickers - and keeps your blanket cleaner, too.
- Wash, chop, measure and prepare your ingredients 1 to 2 days before an event or party. They can be stored in resealable plastic bags or airtight containers in the refrigerator to make putting together recipes much easier the day of the party.
- Save plastic grocery bags to send guests home with leftovers. Placing an empty plastic grocery bag in a picnic basket is also a great solution for collecting trash after a picnic in the park - it doesn't take up much room and will act as a waterproof barrier to prevent spills.
- Create a dipping station for barbeque and grill sauces using reusable plastic storage containers with lids. Guests can spoon sauces onto their plates; when the party is over, simply place the lids back on the sauces and store in the refrigerator. They come in all different shapes and sizes and even fun colors.
- Use resealable plastic bags for marinades. Put meat in the bags with marinade and refrigerate overnight. It helps save space in the refrigerator and clean up is easy. This also works for coating and breading.
For more tips on ways to make summer entertaining a breeze, visit www.PlasticsMakeitPossible.com.
Tropical Fruit Dessert Pizza
Makes 12 servings
- 1 18-ounce roll refrigerated ready-to-slice sugar cookie dough
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 8-ounce package fat-free cream cheese
- 1 teaspoon coconut extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons grated orange rind
- 1 cup fat-free frozen whipped topping, thawed
- 1 26-ounce jar mango slices, drained, or 2 fresh mangoes, sliced
- 1 16-ounce can pineapple slices, drained, or 1 fresh pineapple, sliced
- 1 11-ounce can mandarin orange segments, drained
- 1/2 cup apricot preserves
- 2 tablespoons orange liqueur or orange juice
- 2 tablespoons coconut, toasted, optional
- Preheat oven 350°F.
- Press cookie dough into a 12 to 14-inch pizza pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Bake 12 minutes, cool completely.
- In medium mixing bowl, blend together sugar, cream cheese, coconut extract until well mixed. Stir in orange rind and whipped topping, mixing until smooth. Spread cream cheese mixture on top of cooled crust.
- Arrange mango slices around edge of iced pizza. Then, arrange pineapple slices around edge. Next, arrange mandarin orange slices in another ring to fill center of pizza.
- In small saucepan or in microwave, heat apricot preserves and orange liqueur just until melted. Spoon glaze over fruit. Sprinkle with toasted coconut, if desired. Refrigerate until serving.
Terrific Tidbit: Go ahead and grate more orange rind than you'll need for the recipe - you can grate a whole orange or lemon and freeze the rind in a plastic freezer bag until needed.
Watermelon and Tomato Salad
Makes 10 (1/2-cup) servings
- 4 cups scooped out watermelon balls or chunks
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt to taste
- 1/3 cup crumbled reduced fat feta cheese, optional
- In bowl, combine watermelon, onion, tomatoes and basil. Whisk together oil and vinegar and toss with salad. Season to taste. Refrigerate until serving.
3-Ingredient Marinade for Pork Tenderloin
Makes 6 to 8 servings
- 2 1-pound pork tenderloins, trimmed of excess fat
- 1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1/4 cup roasted garlic seasoned rice vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Preheat oven 350°F.
- In bowl, combine all ingredients except tenderloins. Place meat in dish or large resealable plastic bag, pour marinade over meat. If time permits, refrigerate overnight, turning meat several times.
- Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted into the thickest portion of the tenderloin registers 160°F. Slice tenderloin, serve.
Quick Tip: Tenderloins come two to a package. If one will be enough for you to serve, halve recipe, freeze other tenderloin in freezable plastic bag.
Source: American Chemistry Council
(Family Features) The trend of farm-to-table foods is becoming increasingly popular, leading many to ask: Where is my food really coming from? With so many available options in the grocery store, it is important to serve your family nutritious, high-quality foods to ensure healthy eating habits.
Milk is one of the original local, farm-to-table foods. It's a product from farm families who care about their cows. In fact, 97 percent of dairy farms are still family owned and operated - passed down from generation to generation.
For dairy farmers, "farm to table" is more than just a buzzword - it's a part of their livelihood. They value the trust consumers have in them to produce a high-quality product that is farm fresh and locally sourced. In fact, most milk is produced from cows within 300 miles of where it's sold.
Not only is milk farm fresh, it's naturally nutrient-rich. The ingredient list is short: milk and vitamins A and D. These simple ingredients, plus minimal processing for safety, make milk and milk products a wholesome part of a nutritious, balanced diet. Add milk at mealtime to ensure your family is getting high-quality protein and other essential nutrients, including 8 grams of protein per every 8-ounce serving.
For a trendy twist on the original farm-to-table food, and a tasty way to start your morning right, try this Lavender Honey Flavored Milk recipe. It's a delicious way to serve wholesome and natural flavors with milk. For more recipe ideas and milk facts, visit milklife.com.
Lavender Honey Flavored Milk
Recipe courtesy of Emily Caruso of Jelly Toast
Lavender Honey Milk:
- 8 ounces fat free milk
- 1 ounce Lavender Honey Syrup (Recipe below)
Lavender Honey Syrup:
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons culinary lavender blossoms, dried
- To make syrup: In small sauce pan, combine honey, water and lavender. Set saucepan over medium-low heat and stir constantly until mixture is hot, but not boiling, and honey is melted.
- Remove from heat and allow syrup to cool completely. Strain syrup through fine mesh sieve and discard lavender. Refrigerate syrup in lidded jar until ready to use. Note: Makes about 6 ounces of syrup.
- Pour 8 ounces milk into glass. Stir in 1 ounce Lavender Honey Syrup until well combined.
Variation: Stir in 1 teaspoon matcha green tea powder into Lavender Honey Milk for added flavor and color.
Nutritional information per serving: 170 calories; 5 mg cholesterol; 8 g protein; 35 g carbohydrates; 105 mg sodium; 302 mg calcium (30% of daily value).
(Family Features) Putting fresh, clean meals on the table is easy with fruits, vegetables and other farm-raised foods. For a full day of deliciously pleasing food, start with healthy strawberries to make Strawberry and Goat Cheese Pizza for lunch. Just before dinnertime, go for Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Salad and combine it with a crisp, white wine. Finally, round it out with a main course using honey and its natural sweetening qualities to put Linguini with Honey-Sauced Prawns on the table.
With the help of these tasty recipes, you’re set for a full day of fantastic, farm-fresh foods. Find additional farm-to-table options at culinary.net.
Please Your Palate with Pasta
Make pasta the centerpiece of your meal with this recipe for Linguini with Honey-Sauced Prawns, which combines sweet honey with classic linguini pasta for a flavorful bite at the dinner table. Outside of honey’s ability as a natural sweetener, it can also give you a boost of energy as a rich source of carbohydrates – and this recipe is no exception, with 61 grams of carbs in each serving. Find more of the benefits honey provides, plus delicious recipes, at honey.com.
Linguini with Honey-Sauced Prawns
Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board
- 1 pound prawns, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 cup julienne carrots
- 1/2 cup julienne celery
- 1/2 cup green onions, sliced diagonally
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup honey
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary leaves
- 1 pound cooked linguini pasta, kept warm
- In large skillet, stir-fry prawns, carrots, celery, green onions and garlic in oil over medium-high heat about 3 minutes, or until prawns start to turn pink.
- In small bowl, combine remaining ingredients except pasta; mix well. Add to prawn mixture; stir-fry about 1 minute, or until sauce thickens.
- Serve over pasta.
A Winning Combination
Put a fresh twist on farm-to-table goodness by pairing two vine-ripened garden treasures: heirloom tomatoes and crisp, refreshing white wine. Northern California’s Sonoma County is known for some of the nation’s finest vineyards. It’s also a culinary destination with a wide range of farms and artisan food purveyors. Inspired by the annual Kendall-Jackson Heirloom Tomato Festival, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, this salad recipe is a twist on classic favorite, delighting the palate by pairing farm-fresh tomatoes with the perfect wine. Find more pairing tips and recipes featuring seasonal ingredients at kj.com.
Heirloom Tomato and Mozzarella Salad
- 2 1/2 pounds heirloom tomatoes, mixed varieties
- 1/4 cup good quality extra-virgin olive oil
- kosher salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup micro basil (or 1 dozen basil leaves, sliced and torn), divided
- 2 large balls fresh mozzarella, cut into wedges
- flaked sea salt
- Slice tomatoes into 3/4- to 1-inch thick wedges. In large bowl, add tomatoes, olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and half the basil. Toss and allow to marinate 2 minutes. Arrange tomatoes and mozzarella on serving plate, alternating each. Pour marinating liquid over tomatoes and mozzarella. Garnish with remaining basil and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.
Serve with Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay. Chardonnay’s flavors of orchard fruit complement the sweetness of late summer tomatoes.
Pizza with a Sweet Twist
This non-traditional take on pizza will have your taste buds exploding with savory goat cheese and strawberries marinated in a white balsamic vinaigrette. California strawberries, which – despite their sweet taste – boast just 7 grams of sugar and provide 140 percent of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C per cup, are hand-picked to ensure only the highest quality berries are harvested. Research has also shown this farm-to-table superfruit to be an effective way to help prevent and manage Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes. For more information and strawberry recipes, visit californiastrawberries.com.
Strawberry and Goat Cheese Pizza
Recipe courtesy of the California Strawberry Commission
Servings: 8 (1/2 pizza each)
- 1/2 ounce active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3-4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup aged balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup (4 ounces) softened goat cheese
- 4 cups fresh California strawberries, hulled and quartered
- 1/4 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese
- coarsely ground black pepper
- baby arugula
- Heat oven to 400°F.
- To make pizza dough: In mixer bowl, sprinkle yeast and sugar over 1 cup warm water; let stand until foamy. Add 3 cups flour, salt and olive oil; mix with dough hook until stretchy and no longer sticky, adding more flour if necessary. Divide dough into four equal portions. Refrigerate, covered, until needed.
- To make white balsamic vinaigrette: In small nonreactive saucepan, simmer white balsamic vinegar until reduced to 1 1/2 tablespoons. Whisk in extra-virgin olive oil.
- To make aged balsamic reduction: In small nonreactive saucepan, simmer aged balsamic vinegar until reduced to about 4 teaspoons.
- On lightly floured surface, roll each piece of pizza dough into 8-inch circle. Place on baking sheet; bake 10 minutes, or until firm and slightly brown. Spread softened goat cheese on pizzas, leaving 1/2-inch border.
- Toss strawberries with white balsamic vinaigrette; arrange strawberries evenly on goat cheese. Bake 10 minutes more. Remove from oven; scatter crumbled goat cheese on top.
- Drizzle with aged balsamic reduction; sprinkle with black pepper. Garnish pizzas with leaves of arugula and frisee.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Linguini with Honey-Sauced Prawns)
(Family Features) Watermelon rinds make for more than just attractive containers for serving cold dishes and beverages. The rind can also be used in creative, edible ways and is good for your heart.
Watermelon, both the flesh and the rind, is a good source of a compound called citrulline, an amino acid that raises levels of arginine in the blood, which in turn helps maintain blood flow, healthy blood vessels and heart health.
Whether you’re eating for good health or good taste (or both), you can use the rind to make pickles and relishes, grate into salads and slaws, toss into stir-fry and add to smoothies and juice. The key to chowing down on watermelon rind is knowing how to prepare it. These three preparation methods can help you put that rind to good use:
Pickled: Watermelon rind is similar to a cucumber, which is why it’s no surprise that pickled watermelon rind is a popular option.
Juiced: Most people know you can enjoy juice from red flesh of the melon, but you can juice the rind, too. Just like the watermelon flesh, the rind is loaded with water and nutrients.
Stir-Fried: When it’s cut up, watermelon rind is just like a vegetable, which means it can be tossed in a pan and stir-fried right alongside broccoli and carrots.
Look for more creative ways to use your watermelon rind at watermelon.org.
Watermelon Rind Pickles
- 4 cups water
- 1 tablespoon coarse salt
- 2 cups peeled watermelon rind, cut into 1-1/2-by-2-inch pieces (leave thin layer of pink)
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 allspice berry
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 4 peppercorns
- 4 whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon pickling spice
- 1 long slice of fresh gingerroot
- 1/4 teaspoon celery seeds
- In large pot over medium-high heat, bring water and salt to boil. Add rind pieces and boil until tender, about 5 minutes. Strain. Transfer rinds to large metal bowl.
- In saucepan, combine watermelon rind, sugar, berries, vinegar, peppercorns, cloves, pickling spice, gingerroot and celery seeds. Bring to boil over medium-high heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 15 minutes until slightly reduced. Pour over watermelon rinds in bowl. Place plate over top to keep rinds submerged in liquid.
- Cover and refrigerate 1 day. Transfer to glass jar and keep sealed in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
Watermelon Rind Stir-Fry
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 cups watermelon rind, julienned (white part only, from about 1/2 of seedless watermelon)
- 1 cup julienned carrots
- 1/2 cup chives, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 piece (about 1 inch) ginger, minced
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup mint leaves
- crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- In wok over high heat, heat sesame oil. Add watermelon rind and carrots and fry, stirring constantly, 1-2 minutes. Let sit over high heat 1 additional minute without stirring. Add chives and stir to combine.
- In small bowl, whisk together honey, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic and ginger. Pour sauce over watermelon rind and cook, stirring, 30 seconds-1 minute, until fragrant.
- Transfer to serving dish. Add basil, cilantro and mint, tossing to combine. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if desired, and serve.