(Family Features) Quick and easy meals can be hard to come by, especially ones that don’t sacrifice flavor. You don’t have to eat bland foods to provide your family a healthy and hearty, nutrient-filled diet. During National Nutrition Month, it’s the perfect time to refresh your routine with some creative and convenient options that can serve as the starting point for an on-the-go snack or a full-blown meal.
Sandwiches, like this recipe for a BALCMT Sandwich, can be one of the easiest ways to incorporate grains, which deliver shortfall nutrients like dietary fiber, iron and folate into your diet. Research from the Grain Foods Foundation shows about 95 percent of Americans do not meet dietary fiber intake recommendations. Whole grain foods, like bread, buns, rolls, pita and tortillas, can help supply your dietary fiber needs and aid in maintaining a healthy weight and lower cholesterol.
Additionally, enriched grains can play a key role in metabolism by helping the body release energy from protein, fat and carbohydrates, and are also essential for a healthy nervous system, productivity and cognitive development. The vitamins and minerals in enriched grains like folic acid are also critical for reducing the incidence of some birth defects while also promoting cell function and tissue growth.
Some healthier ways to build a snack include using leaner meats and lower sodium cheeses for a sandwich or adding more vegetables to your overall snacking habits. Another nutritious option, Baked Pita Crisps accompanied by Southwest Bean Dip, can help you curb hunger without blowing past your daily calorie count.
Find more recipes and tips for quick and flavorful meals at grainfoodsfoundation.org.
Recipe courtesy of Franz Bakery on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 tablespoon adobo sauce
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- salt, to taste
- fresh ground pepper, to taste
- 2 slices bread, toasted
- 1-2 leaves lettuce
- 4 slices tomato
- 1/2 avocado, thickly sliced
- 4 slices maple bacon, fried
- To make Chipotle-Mayonnaise Sauce: In small bowl, mix mayonnaise, adobo sauce and lime juice. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- Add layer of sauce to slice of bread and top with lettuce, tomato, avocado, bacon and second slice of bread.
Baked Pita Crisps
Recipe courtesy of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 30 minutes
Yields: 24 crisps
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 3 pita breads (6 inches each) with pockets
- kosher salt, to taste
Southwest Bean Dip:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1/8-1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 2-3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup packed fresh coriander sprigs, washed and spun dry
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons water, plus additional (optional)
- To make Crisps: Heat oven to 400° F. In small bowl, mix olive oil with cumin and paprika. Split each pita bread horizontally into two rounds and brush rough sides with equal amounts of oil mixture. Cut rounds into small triangles and arrange in flat layer on large baking sheet. Bake until golden and crisp, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with salt just out of oven.
- To make Southwest Bean Dip: In large skillet over high heat, heat vegetable oil until hot. Add garlic, bell pepper and onion; turn heat to low and cook until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add cumin and cayenne; cook, stirring, 1 minute.
- In food processor, blend beans, lime juice, coriander, salt and water until smooth, adding more water, if necessary, to achieve desired consistency. Add vegetable mixture and pulse until just combined. Serve with Baked Pita Crisps.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Source: Grain Foods Foundation
(Family Features) Text your friends, dust off your apron and fire up the grill. It’s time to throw a barbecue party that won’t sink your summer budget.
You can find everything you’ll need at a one-stop shop like ALDI. With savings up to 50 percent over traditional grocers, you can fill your cart with summer essentials like fresh seasonal produce, premium meats and award-winning wines.
Once shopping is out of the way, you’ll have plenty of time and money to experiment with new recipes. These quick and affordable tips can up your grill game and impress guests:
Boost your burgers. Take burgers to the next level this summer with your favorite ground meats such as turkey, chicken and beef. Then layer on the toppings like avocado, kale, gourmet cheeses and more.
Change up your take on cheesy. Top your burger with a blue cheese mousse by simply blending blue cheese crumbles and cream cheese then season it with your favorite spices.
Spice up your condiments. Combine mayonnaise with fresh orange juice and fresh orange zest to make a citrus aioli or whip up a special sauce by mixing peanut butter with oil and hot water. Sprinkle with bacon for some extra flavor. Toppings such as a pickled red onion can also add a bit of crunch and zest.
Bite better buns. Forgo traditional burger buns and bookend your masterpiece with brioche buns or pretzel rolls.
Find more great grilling tips and recipes for dishes to enjoy all summer at aldi.us.
Six-Mile High Burger
Recipe courtesy of ALDI Test Kitchen
- 1 tablespoon Carlini Vegetable Oil
- 10 Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
- 8 pieces Specially Selected Center Cut Bacon
- 8 Season's Choice Whole Onion Rings
- 4 All Natural 80 percent Lean Ground Beef Patties
- 8 slices Happy Farms Pepper Jack Cheese
- 1 cup Burman's Mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup Burman's Hot Sauce
- 1/2 cup Burman's Mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
- 4 L'oven Fresh Hamburger Buns
- 1 tomato, sliced
- 2 romaine lettuce leaves, cut in half width-wise
- Heat grill to medium-high.
- In saute pan, heat vegetable oil and saute mushrooms 2-3 minutes. Set aside. Fry bacon to desired doneness, about 5 minutes on each side. Set aside. Bake onion rings according to packaging instructions. Set aside.
- Grill burgers 5-7 minutes on each side until they reach desired doneness. Place two slices cheese on each burger and continue to grill until melted. Remove from heat.
- Mix together mayonnaise, hot sauce, mustard, salt and pepper, and spread on both sides of buns, to taste.
- To assemble burger: layer bottom bun with patty with cheese, tomato, lettuce, mushrooms, two onion rings, two pieces of bacon and top half of bun.
Tex-Mex Layered Bean Salad
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: up to 8 hours
Makes 8 to 10 servings (about 12 cups)
- 1 large red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/3 cup chopped red onion
- 1 bag (16 ounces) iceberg lettuce, carrot and cabbage salad mix
- 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) READ 3-bean salad, drained
- 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise
- 1/2 cup low-fat sour cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
- 1/2 cup crumbled tortilla chips (optional)
- 1 small avocado, sliced (optional)
- In a 3-1/2 quart salad bowl or soufflé dish (preferably straight-sided) layer salad as follows: bell pepper, onion, lettuce, cheese and 3-bean salad.
- Mix together the mayonnaise, sour cream and chipotle pepper. Spread over top of salad. Cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours.
- Just before serving, sprinkle top with chips and sliced avocado, if desired. Toss to serve.
Nutrition information (1/8 servings): 195 calories; 5 g protein; 18 g carbohydrate; 11 g fat; 476 mg sodium; 26 mg cholesterol; 3 g dietary fiber; 1 mg iron; 149 mg potassium;3584 IU Vitamin A; 149 mg calcium.
Note: READ 4-Bean Salad can be substituted for 3-Bean Salad.
Photo and recipe courtesy of READ Bean Salads (Seneca Foods Corporation).
(Family Features) 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, these tips make it fun for families to learn about where their food comes from and help encourage kids to eat healthy for a lifetime.
- Grocery shop together or go to a farmers market. Many cities now have year-round indoor markets, where together you can select fruits and veggies to try. Often the farmers are there, so you can learn about produce and get ideas for how to prepare unfamiliar items at home.
- Cook with your kids. Find fun recipes that let them explore fresh foods where they can be creative. Find age-appropriate ways to involve them, like stirring or measuring, and encourage them to get hands-on with recipes, such as this fun Flower Salad recipe from registered dietitian Ellie Krieger.
- Explore the story of where some of their favorite foods come from. Kids learn and remember information when it comes in the form of a story. Cuties is giving families the chance to uncover those stories by encouraging them to submit questions using #AskAGrower on Facebook. Actual growers will answer with stories about how this sweet, seedless and easy-to-peel fruit is grown with care by their family of growers. A video series at cutiescitrus.com/our-story also helps bring the stories to life.
“Making learning about food fun is good for the whole family,” Krieger said. “It encourages kids – and parents – to explore new foods and be more connected to where their food comes from. It’s truly a ‘healthy’ conversation to have together.”
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.