(Family Features) Family traditions and in-person connections are important parts of gatherings of loved ones, and many of those get-togethers are centered on food. The entire family coming together around a table covered with warm, delicious food to share stories and create new memories is what makes mealtime special.
Forty chefs from around the nation came together to create “Come to the Table,” which offers a delicious mix of cuisines from a variety of cultures, including this sampling of classic family favorites, sweet indulgences and family-style creations all inspired by what family means to each chef.
“Sales from this book will directly benefit the families we serve, so we are so grateful for each and every chef that has offered their time and talent to this cookbook,” said Jill Cumnock, CEO of Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. “The way ‘Come to the Table’ has been created reminds me of a recipe that culminates in a feast for the senses. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate our 40th anniversary, particularly at a time when families are starting to reunite after the pandemic forced so many apart.”
Visit rmhdallas.org for more information and to order the cookbook.
Baked Stuffed Pasta Shells
Recipe courtesy of chef Kevin Curry
- 6 ounces jumbo pasta shells
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 5 portobello mushroom caps, gills removed then diced
- 1 pinch sea salt, plus additional, to taste
- 1 pinch pepper, plus additional, to taste
- 2 cups shredded kale
- 3 tablespoons water
- 15 ounces skim milk ricotta cheese
- 4 tablespoons pesto
- 1 tablespoon The Fit Cook Land spice blend
- 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat marinara, divided
- 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat mozzarella
- fresh herbs, for garnish
Preheat oven to 420 F.
Bring pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta shells according to package instructions. Drain then set aside.
Heat pot or cast-iron casserole dish over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, garlic, onion and mushrooms. Add pinch of sea salt and pepper as it cooks. Cook until onions turn brown and mushrooms shrink in size, about 3-5 minutes. Empty contents and set aside.
Place pot back over heat. Add shredded kale and water to create steam. Toss kale in pot until it turns vibrant green; set aside to cool.
In large bowl, mix ricotta cheese with mushroom mixture, kale, pesto and spice blend.
In casserole dish, spread about 1/2 cup marinara on bottom. Then one-by-one, stuff each pasta shell with approximately 2 tablespoons ricotta mixture and add to casserole dish. Repeat with remaining shells.
Cover shells with remaining marinara and mozzarella cheese. Cover casserole dish with foil and bake 20 minutes. During final 5 minutes, remove foil so mozzarella can brown.
Garnish with fresh herbs and salt and pepper, to taste.
Recipe courtesy of chef Nikky Phinyawatana
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons green curry paste
- 8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken, beef or pork, sliced thin
- 1 small Japanese purple eggplant
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup bamboo shoots, sliced
- 1/4 medium red bell pepper, sliced thin
- 8-10 Thai basil leaves, plus additional, for garnish, divided
- 2 cups cooked jasmine rice
In blender, blend spinach and water until mixture turns green and no leaves are visible.
In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add green curry paste and stir to release fragrance, about 10 seconds.
Add protein and cook 3-5 minutes.
Add blended spinach water, purple eggplant, coconut milk, sugar and salt. Bring to boil. Add bamboo shoots and red bell pepper. Simmer 10 minutes.
Stir in basil leaves and turn off heat.
Serve with jasmine rice and garnish with additional basil leaves.
Daddy’s Birthday Flan
Recipe courtesy of chef Ninamarie Bojekian Mendoza
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles (optional)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ground cinnamon, to taste
- In saucepan, heat granulated sugar and water over medium-low heat until melted.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Grease and flour 9-inch Bundt pan. Set aside.
- When sugar liquifies and turns golden brown, remove from heat and use silicone spatula or whisk to stir. While stirring, quickly pour into prepared Bundt pan.
- To make cake: In large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, use hand mixer on medium speed to beat butter and sugar, about 3 minutes, until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat well.
- On low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture and buttermilk until combined.
- Fold in rainbow sprinkles, if desired.
- Pour batter into pans over caramel sauce.
- To make flan: In blender on high speed, blend eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla until well combined.
- Gently pour through strainer and onto prepared cake batter.
- Sprinkle cinnamon on top.
- Place pan in water bath by putting it in larger baking dish, roasting pan, hotel pan or similar. Pour hot water halfway up sides to create water bath.
- Bake approximately 1 hour. Cake should be golden brown and jiggle when shaken when done.
- Remove cake from water bath and cool on rack 10 minutes.
- Run knife or spatula carefully around edges to separate. Place plate on top of cake and, while holding it, flip over carefully and quickly.
- Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight before serving.
Photo courtesy of Ink Phinyawatana (Green Curry)
Source: Ronald McDonald House of Dallas
(Family Features) Quality meals don't have to drain hours from your day; satisfying taste is possible in just minutes when you have a few strategies that can help make meal prep easier and the results more enjoyable.
Eat better with veggies. If eating better is your goal, explore veggie-based recipes that are hearty and filled with nutrients and vitamins. This Brown and Wild Rice Bowl with Veggie Burger is perfect for a meatless Monday or any other day when you need a fast, filling and flavorful meal in short order. If you don't have veggie burgers at home, or simply prefer a meat-based option, a cooked frozen beef patty is a good time-saving alternative.
Make simple swaps for variety. When you find a dish that's easy and tasty, you may find yourself falling back on the same thing again and again. Prevent taste bud boredom by mixing up your ingredients. You can transform a rice-based recipe by changing up the veggies, cheese, dressing and other toppings. Try pickled jalapenos for spice. Add corn if you like things sweet. Swap a creamy dressing with a zesty vinaigrette for fewer calories and a whole new taste.
Shop for convenience. Takeout may let you skip prep time completely, but you can easily make versions of many favorite to-go meals at home in just a few minutes. This Beef and Broccoli Garlic Rice uses perfectly portioned Minute Ready to Serve microwavable rice cups that help you put together a delicious lunch or dinner without measuring or overeating. Choosing products like portion-controlled rice and other ready-to-serve ingredients can help shave time off your prep work.
Tempt your taste buds with more convenient meal ideas at minuterice.com.
Brown and Wild Rice Bowl with Veggie Burger
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 1 cup Minute Ready to Serve Brown and Wild Rice
- 1 precooked veggie burger patty
- 1/2 cup shredded lettuce
- 1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons shredded cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons ranch dressing
- Prepare rice according to package directions.
- Break veggie burger into large chunks and place in small, microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high 60-90 seconds, or until veggie burger is heated through.
- Toss together rice and veggie burger. Top with lettuce, tomatoes and cheese. Drizzle with ranch dressing.
Beef and Broccoli Garlic Rice
Prep time: 5 minutes
- 1 cup Minute Ready to Serve Garlic and Olive Oil Jasmine Rice
- 1/2 cup fresh broccoli florets
- 1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper
- 2 tablespoons diced water chestnuts
- 3 ounces cooked beef, sliced into strips
- 3 tablespoons teriyaki glaze
- soy sauce (optional)
- Heat rice according to package directions.
- In large, microwave-safe bowl, combine broccoli, bell pepper and water chestnuts. Microwave on high 1 minute. Add beef and microwave on high 1 minute.
- Stir in glaze and rice. Top with soy sauce, if desired.
Source: Minute Rice
(Family Features) The seemingly constant rush of hectic school days and nights often leaves busy families feeling like there’s no time for a homemade meal around the table. However, taking shortcuts that don’t skip out on quality can mean more time together enjoying flavorful dishes without spending hours in the kitchen.
For starters, an easy yet filling breakfast like these Sausage, Egg and Cheese Muffins can help you begin your day the right way while calling for a simple list of ingredients and just a few steps.
Perfect for grabbing on the way out the door to power you through the day or enjoying at home as you manage double duty as parent and best teacher on the block. They’re made with ground turkey sausage, eggs, melty cheddar cheese and Success Tri-Color Quinoa, which is simplified even more by the “boil-in-bag” cooking process. Just add water to a saucepan, drop the convenient BPA-free bag into the water, boil 10 minutes and remove with a fork for a no-measure, no-mess shortcut.
When the dinner bell dings at the end of a long day of learning, feed your family an effortless recipe that allows the oven to do most of the work. The array of flavors and textures in these Vegetable and Rice Power Bowls can bring warmth to your loved ones while requiring little effort.
Sweet and buttery flavors of maple-roasted sweet potatoes, butternut squash and beets pair with the convenience, taste, texture and quality of Success Jasmine Rice, lentils, pumpkin seeds, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette for an abundance of flavors that help recharge and refuel with loads of nutrients combined in one comforting dish.
Find more ways to add ease to school day meals at successrice.com.
Sausage, Egg and Cheese Muffins
Total time: 30 minutes
- 1 bag Success Tri-Color Quinoa
- nonstick cooking spray
- 1 package (9.6 ounces) cooked turkey sausage crumbles
- 2 cups prepared baking mix
- 1 cup cheddar cheese
- 1 cup milk
- 4 whole eggs, lightly beaten
- maple syrup (optional)
- Prepare quinoa according to package directions. Preheat oven to 400 F. Coat 16 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray.
- In large bowl, combine quinoa, sausage, baking mix and cheese. Stir in milk and eggs; blend well.
- Pour 3/4 cup mixture into each muffin cup.
- Bake 18-20 minutes.
- Serve warm with maple syrup, if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.
Substitution: In place of baking mix, substitute 2 cups all-purpose flour plus 1 tablespoon baking powder and 1 pinch of salt.
Vegetable and Rice Power Bowls
Total time: 45 minutes
- 2 cups chopped butternut squash
- 2 cups chopped sweet potatoes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups peeled, chopped beets
- 2 bags Success Jasmine Rice
- 4 cups mixed greens
- 1 can (15 ounces) brown lentils, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup prepared balsamic dressing
- Preheat oven to 400 F. In large bowl, toss together butternut squash, sweet potatoes, 2 tablespoons oil, thyme, maple syrup, salt and pepper. Arrange in single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- In same bowl, toss beets with remaining oil until well coated; add to baking sheet with butternut squash and sweet potatoes. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until golden brown and tender.
- Prepare rice according to package directions; divide among six bowls. Top each with greens, roasted vegetables, lentils, goat cheese and pumpkin seeds. Drizzle with balsamic dressing.
Source: Success Rice
(Family Features) When it comes to balancing heart-healthy meals with appealing flavors, it’s important to lean on nutritious ingredients that pack mouthwatering taste. For example, grapes are a delicious yet subtle way to incorporate a little something extra into your diet while adding a juicy burst of flavor.
Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – can be enjoyed as a ready-to-eat, on-the-go food anytime and anywhere. Grapes are also a healthy choice, as they’re a natural source of antioxidants and other polyphenols, and contain no fat and virtually no sodium.
Because of their versatility, heart-healthy grapes can also be used as an ingredient to add fresh appeal, vibrant color and a light touch of sweetness to almost any dish, like Roasted Cod with Fennel and Grapes or Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Grapes. For something quick and nutritious featuring fresh fruits and vegetables, try this Vegetarian Poke Bowl with tofu, fresh grapes, avocado and crunchy, raw beets and carrots.
Grape Goodness for Healthy Aging
In addition to helping maintain heart health, grapes may also play a role in healthy aging. A review of the science linking the consumption of grapes to health highlights grapes’ potential to impact many areas of health, according to research published in “Grapes and Health: A Monograph.” The evidence that grapes support heart health is well-established, and emerging research in other areas of health suggests that grapes’ ability to promote antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities at the cellular level may also play a protective role in eye, brain and joint health, among others.
Find more recipes to make healthy eating easy at GrapesfromCalifornia.com.
Vegetarian Poke Bowl
Prep time: 20 minutes
- 5 cups cooked brown or white jasmine rice
- 2 packages (6 ounces each) extra-firm tofu, cubed
- 2 cups red California grapes, halved
- 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 large golden beet, peeled and shredded
- 1 large carrot, peeled and shredded
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds
- 6 ounces light Asian ginger-sesame salad dressing
- Divide rice between four bowls and arrange tofu, grapes, avocado, beets and carrots on top. Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds; serve with dressing.
Nutritional information per serving: 620 calories; 19 g protein; 101 g carbohydrates; 17 g fat (25% calories from fat); 2.5 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 450 mg sodium; 11 g fiber.
Roasted Cod with Fennel and Grapes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 pound cod loin, cut into four equal pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon orange zest
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
- 1 medium fennel bulb, fronds removed, chopped and reserved
- 1 cup red California grapes, halved
- Heat oven to 400° F. Arrange cod pieces in baking dish.
- In small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil with lemon juice, orange zest, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Spoon mixture onto cod in equal amounts. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached.
- While cod is baking, in small bowl, combine remaining olive oil, remaining salt, pepper, vinegar, orange juice, shallot, coriander, honey and oregano; set aside. Halve and core fennel bulb then thinly slice and place in separate bowl. Add grapes and dressing; toss to combine.
- Serve cod topped with fennel and grape salad. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds.
Nutritional information per serving: 200 calories; 19 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 8 g fat (36% calories from fat); 1 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 45 mg cholesterol; 240 mg sodium; 2 g fiber.
Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Grapes
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, divided
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 cups packed basil leaves
- 1 cup packed arugula
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 cups red California grapes, halved
- Heat oven to 400° F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Using fork, poke shallow holes in skin of squash then brush with 1 tablespoon oil and place it, cut-side down, in rimmed baking dish. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until tender.
- To make pesto: In food processor, process 1/4 cup walnuts, garlic, basil, arugula, lemon juice and lemon zest until well chopped. Add remaining olive oil, Parmesan, salt and pepper; process until well blended.
- Once squash is done baking, remove from oven. Cool squash 5-10 minutes then, using fork, scrape inside flesh of squash, removing “spaghetti,” and place it in large bowl. Add pesto and beans to cooked squash and toss gently with tongs to combine. Divide equally into six bowls and top each with 1/4 cup grapes and 2 teaspoons chopped walnuts.
Nutritional information per serving: 290 calories; 7 g protein; 24 g carbohydrates; 20 g fat (62% calories from fat); 3 g saturated fat (9% calories from saturated fat); 5 mg cholesterol; 160 mg sodium; 6 g fiber.