recipes

Meal Ideas 30 October 2017

Bolder, Healthier and Easier Meals

(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:

  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

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Seared Polenta Rounds with Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions

Recipe courtesy of Tiffany from the blog ParsnipsandPastries.com
Servings: 5

  • 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
  1. Caramelize onions.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Spoon mushroom mixture over polenta rounds and top with 2 teaspoons Parmigiano cheese per serving and fresh parsley.
Meal Ideas 10 October 2017

Family-Focused Foods

Hearty meals to bring the family together

(Family Features) Gathering the family around the table with delicious, traditional meals is the ultimate combination for many home chefs like Catherine Lowe, winner of the 17th season of ABC’s “The Bachelor.”

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Lowe, who partnered as a celebrity spokesperson with Bertolli to create this Roasted Garlic Marinara Braised Chicken with Linguine recipe, enjoys adding authenticity to the table with recipes that provide homemade taste and layers of flavor.

“I pride myself on my strong Italian roots,” Lowe said. “My dad taught me how to cook at a young age, and growing up, it was an event to make and enjoy dinner with his side of the family. It’s important for me to remember and celebrate that heritage.”

Full of hearty vegetables you can see and taste, and inspired by the simple goodness of Tuscan cooking, Bertolli Rustic Cut Pasta sauces help bring homemade flavor to your table. Offered in four varieties – Marinara with Traditional Vegetables, Spicy Marinara with Traditional Vegetables, Roasted Garlic Marinara with Garden Vegetables and Sweet Peppers with Portobello Mushrooms – it’s Lowe’s secret ingredient to helping make family meals more enjoyable.

Find more family-friendly recipes to bring everyone together at bertolli.com.

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Roasted Garlic Marinara Braised Chicken with Linguine

Recipe courtesy of Sean and Catherine Lowe
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • 23        ounces Bertolli Rustic Cut Roasted Garlic Marinara Sauce
  • 6-8       bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs
  • 2          teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          pound whole-wheat linguine
  • 8          ounces sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2       cup small diced onion
  • 1/4       cup white wine (optional)
  • 3          ounces baby kale
  • Parmesan cheese
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In 3-quart Dutch oven over medium heat, heat sauce. Season chicken on both sides with salt and pepper.
  3. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add chicken, skin-side down, and cook 3-5 minutes, or until skin is crisp and deep golden-brown. Turn chicken over and cook 3-5 minutes until golden-brown on second side.
  4. Remove chicken from skillet, leaving fat in pan. Set aside skillet to be used later.
  5. Add chicken to sauce in Dutch oven in single layer, skin-side up, with skin just above surface of sauce. Cover and bake 40 minutes. Begin to boil water for pasta.
  6. Remove cover from Dutch oven and cook in oven 10 minutes.
  7. Cook pasta al dente according to package instructions. Drain.
  8. Heat reserved skillet and fat over medium-high heat; add cremini mushrooms and onions; saute until lightly browned. Deglaze with white wine, if desired, and cook until dry. Add kale to mushrooms and toss gently to wilt.
  9. Remove Dutch oven from oven and gently transfer chicken to large plate. Add pasta to sauce in Dutch oven and stir gently to coat.
  10. Place portion of pasta in pasta bowl and make well in middle. Spoon mushroom-kale mixture into center of well and top with one piece of chicken.
  11. Shave Parmesan cheese over dish to finish.
  12. Spoon polenta into serving dish and make a well in middle. Place mushroom-kale mixture in well. Top with marinara sauce and one piece of chicken.

Substitution: Portobello, shiitake or button mushrooms may be used in place of cremini mushrooms.

Tip: Serve with creamy polenta instead of pasta. In saucepan, combine 2 cups chicken stock, 2 cups milk, 2 tablespoons butter and 1 teaspoon kosher salt. Bring to boil and whisk in 1 cup instant polenta and cook, while stirring, 5 minutes. Add 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese and whisk to combine.

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Grilled Mediterranean Stuffed Peppers

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2    cups (10 ounces) uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) vegetable broth
  • 1          jar (23 ounces) Bertolli Rustic Cut Spicy Marinara with Traditional Vegetables Sauce, divided
  • 6          ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2       cup (2 ounces) coarsely chopped smoked almonds
  • 1/2       cup chopped fresh mint, divided
  • 6          large red, yellow or orange bell peppers, top 1/2 inch removed and seeded
  1. Heat grill to high.
  2. In medium skillet on medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add pasta; cook and stir 2-3 minutes, or until light golden brown. Stir in broth and 1 cup sauce; bring to boil.
  3. Reduce heat to low; cover. Cook 4 minutes, or until pasta is al dente, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool slightly.
  4. Stir in cheese, almonds and 1/4 cup mint. Brush outsides of peppers with remaining oil. Grill 4-6 minutes, or until crisp tender and lightly marked on all sides, turning frequently; cool slightly.
  5. Place peppers in center of 12-by-12-inch square of heavy duty foil. Bring sides of foil up and shape foil around each pepper, leaving tops open. Shape foil into stable base to secure peppers firmly. Keep upright while grilling.
  6. Fill each pepper with 1 tablespoon sauce and about 3/4 cup orzo mixture. Grill peppers 8-10 minutes, or until filling is heated through. Remove from foil. Warm remaining sauce. Sprinkle with remaining mint before serving with warmed sauce.
  7. To prepare peppers: Heat oven to 400° F. Prepare orzo mixture as directed but do not grill peppers. Fill raw peppers with orzo mixture and place on foil squares. Bring sides of foil up and seal tops to fully enclose each pepper.
  8. Arrange on rimmed baking sheet and bake 20-25 minutes, or until peppers are soft and filling is heated through.

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Three-Cheese Farmstand Cups

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 2          cups cooked mini penne pasta
  • 1          cup small broccoli florets, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/4       cup mascarpone cheese
  • 3          eggs, beaten
  • 1/2       cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1          jar (23 ounces) Bertolli Rustic Cut Sweet Peppers and Portobello Mushroom Sauce, divided
  • 1 1/2    cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh basil
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Divide penne pasta and broccoli evenly between 12 standard muffin cups sprayed with cooking spray. Whisk in mascarpone until smooth; gradually whisk in eggs.
  2. Stir in Parmesan, 2 cups sauce and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Spoon 1/4 cup egg mixture over pasta and broccoli in each cup; with spoon press filling down gently. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until set.
  3. Sprinkle tops with remaining mozzarella cheese halfway through bake time. Let stand 3 minutes before unmolding. Warm remaining sauce and serve over top of cups with basil.

Source: Bertolli

Meal Ideas 30 June 2017

Fun in the Sun

Cap off a day of play with dinner outdoors

(Family Features) Enjoying the great outdoors is a perfect way to create fun memories with family or friends. All that fresh air is sure to work up your appetite, so be sure to plan a delicious meal to top off all the merriment.

Get those taste buds fired up for a delicious meal with a flavorful starter like this zesty panzanella. Take family favorites outdoors with this savory take on a flatbread pizza. Then close down an evening of open-air entertainment on a sweet note with a scrumptious dessert.

Explore more family-friendly recipes to enjoy outdoors this summer at culinary.net.

Smart Starters and Sides

There’s plenty to learn from the Mediterranean diet, and this recipe is proof. A variety of colorful cancer-fighting veggies, flavorful herbs and spices, and a bit of healthy fat make for a perfect starter or accompaniment to a grilled protein for a well-rounded meal. Find more recipes to help you eat well at AICR.org.

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Grilled Panzanella

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research
Servings: 6

  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium cucumber, seeded, washed and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 3 large ripe tomatoes, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 tablespoons green olives, pitted and chopped (capers may be substituted)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
  • 1/2 large red onion, cut in half and then into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 small loaf crusty whole-grain French or Italian bread, cut into 1-inch slices and halved
  1. Heat grill.
  2. In mixing bowl, whisk together garlic, mustard, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper; set aside.
    In large bowl, gently combine basil, cucumber, tomatoes and olives.
  3. Brush bell peppers and onion slices on one side with oil mixture. Place oil-side down on hot grill and cook 3-4 minutes. Brush other side with oil mixture, turn over and cook additional 3-4 minutes.
  4. Remove from grill. On cutting board, cut peppers into 1/2-inch slices and separate onion rings. Add peppers and onions to vegetable mix. Add remaining oil mixture and toss to coat.
  5. Toast both sides of bread until browned. On serving platter, layer bread and top with vegetables and basil mixture.

Create Family Moments and Memories this Summer

Take advantage of slower summer schedules by rounding up the family and heading to the backyard for fun, food and family time.

The opportunities for family time during the warmer months are nearly endless, especially with a little creativity, like these fun summer ideas from Borden Cheese.

Let your inner kid run free
Whether it’s kick the can, ghost in the graveyard, capture the flag or hide and seek, backyard games are a great way to get the whole family to unplug and enjoy summer together.

Fire up your appetite
Ditch the kitchen and get the whole family engaged by recreating everyone’s favorite pizza on the grill. This deliciously easy Cheesy Flatbread Pizza recipe can be enjoyed by adults and kids alike. Keep it simple for kids with Borden Cheese’s Mild Cheddar Shreds or dress it up with some fresh veggies straight from your garden or local farmer’s market.

Rethink family movie night
Take your family movie outside. All you need is a sheet, a projector and some comfy pillows to turn your backyard into an open-air movie theater. Watch new releases, old favorites or even home movies right in your own backyard.

Find more family-friendly recipes for summer at BordenCheese.com.

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Cheesy Flatbread Pizza

Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 piece (12 inches) cracker bread or flatbread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional for brushing
  • 1 package (8 ounces) Borden Cheese Mild Cheddar Shreds, divided
  • 8 strips thick-sliced bacon, cooked crisp and broken into 1-inch pieces
  • 4 whole garlic cloves, sliced
  • 4 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, cut in strips
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • fresh basil leaves (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Brush bread with small amount of olive oil and place on cookie sheet. Spread 1 1/2 cups cheese evenly around bread. Top evenly with bacon pieces.
  3. In small skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil until hot. Add garlic and saute until lightly browned. Sprinkle onto pizza. Arrange sliced tomatoes and red onions on pizza.
  4. Add parsley to remaining cheese and spread over ingredients.
  5. Bake 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Cut into squares and serve immediately. Garnish with fresh basil leaves, if desired.

Tip: For a different flavor profile, try grilling pizza rather than baking. Brush raw side of dough with olive oil and grill until bottom of crust is golden brown.

Sweeten the Deal

For the perfect ending to a perfect day, look to some of nature’s best ingredients, like fresh apples and honey. This fruity crisp is packed with flavor from tart, juicy apples and a delicate sweetness from honey that coats the fruit and lends a unique character to the crumbly topping. Find more sweet dishes for summer at honey.com.

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Apple Honey Crisp

Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board
Servings: 6

  • 2 pounds (1 1/2 quarts) apples, quartered and sliced
  • 3/4 cup honey, divided
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • warm cream or ice cream
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In bowl, toss apples with 1/2 cup honey, cinnamon and nutmeg. Turn into 2-quart baking dish.
    To make topping, beat flour with butter and remaining honey until crumbly; sprinkle over apples.
  3. Bake 40-45 minutes, or until apples are tender and topping is golden. Serve with warm cream or ice cream.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Grilled Panzanella and Apple Honey Crisp)

Source: Culinary.net

Appetizers & Sides 08 June 2017

A Sweet Cherry Season

(Family Features) Whether fresh cherries are a favorite or a treat you’ve yet to try, the time to enjoy them is now.

Orchards in the Pacific Northwest, the nation’s largest growing region, experienced a long, cool spring, which often translates into more time and energy a tree can put into the fruit. When combined with the superior growing conditions characteristic to the area, this season’s fruit showcases what Northwest cherries are known for: their large size and sweet flavor profile.

Popular varieties grown in the Northwest include the mahogany-red Bings and super-sweet, yellow Rainiers. Rainier cherries, with their unique golden color and red blush, tend to ripen earlier in the year. Growers pick Rainier cherries over multiple weeks, selecting the ripest fruit each time.

Other varieties include the early-ripening Chelans and Tietons, followed by the often larger and darker Skeenas, Sweethearts and Lapins. Aside from the light-hued Rainier (which has juice that doesn’t stain) you can typically spot sweet cherries by their dark red skins – in general, the darker, the sweeter.

Great taste aside, sweet cherries are a healthful addition to summer picnics, parties and barbecues thanks to their fiber, antioxidants and anti-inflammatory power. They make for a snack that both grownups and little ones can enjoy straight out of the bowl thanks to their stem “handle” and can perk up appetizers, salads, desserts, sweet or savory sauces and more.

Outside of summer get-togethers, cherries make for a better-for-you late-night snack option as well. A cup of fresh, sweet cherries contains only 90 calories along with a low glycemic index of 22 making their cold, sweet crunch a tasty way to satisfy hunger cravings. Plus, they boast melatonin, which helps regulate circadian rhythm and promote healthy sleep patterns.

Fresh cherries should be kept in a sealed bag or container, and keep for approximately two weeks when refrigerated. To extend the cherry season and enjoy their health benefits after summer fades, buy an extra bag or two and preserve cherries by rinsing, packing and freezing them.

Basic freezing instructions

  1. Select 3-5 pounds of firm, ripe, Northwest-grown sweet cherries.
  2. After rinsing and draining, spread whole cherries with stems in a layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Place in freezer until firm then pack into freezer-proof containers or plastic freezer bags. Remove excess air and cover tightly.
  4. Add frozen cherries to smoothies or juices, or defrost and put in hot cereal, pies, turnovers, cobblers and more. Or enjoy as a frozen, sweet late-night treat.

To create a festive cherry dish for the summer season, try this Cherry Bruschetta as a snack or appetizer. Find more recipes and cherry tips at nwcherries.com.

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Cherry Bruschetta

Serves: 8

  • 18 slices (1/2-inch thick) small baguette-style bread
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups pitted Northwest fresh sweet cherries, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow sweet pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Arrange baguette slices on cookie sheet and toast one side 5 minutes. Turn slices, brush with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and bake 5 minutes longer.
  3. Combine cherries, cilantro, sweet pepper, green onions, lime juice, lime peel, garlic salt, pepper and remaining olive oil; mix well.
  4. Top each baguette with thin slice of cheese, 1 tablespoon cherry mixture and sprinkle of sliced basil. Serve warm or cold.

Source: Northwest Cherry Growers

Meal Ideas 25 May 2017

Are You Getting Enough Protein in Your Diet?

Fewer calories, more protein is a winning combo for weight loss and healthy aging

(Family Features) Do you pay attention to how much protein you eat at each meal? A new study suggests that when it comes to weight loss and healthy aging, getting enough protein at mealtimes is important.

Duke University researchers found obese women who ate adequate or high amounts of protein, including nutrient-rich lean pork, as part of a six month weight-loss diet not only lost weight, they improved their ability to get around, too.

“There’s no magic bullet when it comes to weight loss,” said Connie Bales, PhD, professor in medicine at Duke University. “But our research suggests a higher-protein, lower-calorie diet, including lean pork, could be a viable solution – especially for older women who are most at risk.”

While most Americans eat the majority of their protein at dinner, researchers suggest there could be benefits to spreading protein throughout the day. In this study, women ate 30 grams of protein at each meal with two of the meals including lean pork. Choices like tenderloin, low-sodium ham, chops and lean ground pork are among the seven cuts of pork that meet the USDA guidelines for “lean” by containing less than 10 grams of fat, 4.5 grams of saturated fat and 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 100 grams of meat. In fact, pork tenderloin has the same amount of fat as a skinless chicken breast.

The next time you fire up your grill, try these lemon-basil pork chops. Serve up 30 grams of tasty protein for dinner, while tapping into the flavors of summer.

Visit porkbeinspired.com and Smithfield.com for more pork-inspired recipes, intriguing flavors and nutritional information.

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Grilled Lemon-Basil Pork Chops with Lemon-Basil Orzo

Serves: 4

  • 4 bone-in ribeye (rib) pork chops, about 3/4-inch thick
  • 3 small lemons
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 8 ounces orzo
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  1. Zest and juice lemons. In small bowl, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, and basil. Set aside 3 tablespoons of mixture. Transfer remaining mixture to large resealable bag and add pork. Set aside for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.
  2. Meanwhile, prepare orzo according to package directions. Drain and return orzo to pot. Stir in reserved lemon-basil mixture and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
  3. Prepare a grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil grate. Remove pork from marinade; discard marinade. Season pork with salt and pepper and grill until internal temperature reaches 145 F, about 4 minutes per side. Remove chops from grill and let rest 3 minutes.
  4. Serve chops with orzo.

Nutritional information per serving: 440 calories; 30 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 70 mg cholesterol; 30 g protein; 47 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 60 mg sodium.

Source: National Pork Board

Meal Ideas 28 April 2017

Greens and Grains

Add fresh produce to your diet and community

(Family Features) Dedicating more of your plate to fresh-from-the-garden produce as well as rice and grains can lead to a healthier lifestyle, according to Cheryl Forberg, registered dietitian and award-winning chef and nutritionist for “The Biggest Loser.”

“Most of my adult clients who are not veggie lovers usually had little exposure to them growing up, or they just weren’t cooked properly,” Forberg said. “It’s important for parents to get their children involved in cooking, shopping and even gardening so kids can understand the journey from seed to plate.”

Forberg furthers her personal dedication to the seed-to-plate journey through her involvement with Seeds of Change, which invests in healthier and greener communities by offering both organic seeds and foods, and delivers an annual grant program that benefits school and community gardening as well as farming programs. This year, the grant program will award $310,000 to participants who plan to help their communities and teach people about sustainability and where fresh food comes from.

To start living healthier and greener lives, Forberg offers four simple tips:

Start in the garden. This hands-on approach is a fun way to learn about nutrition and where food comes from. Following produce from seed to plate can compel you to eat more healthfully. Plant a garden at home or become involved in a local project nearby.

Opt for veggies with big impact. Richly colored veggies contain the richest supplies of nutrients. Opt for spinach or romaine instead of iceberg lettuce in your salads. Skip the celery or carrots and go for red bell pepper slices to deliver a healthy serving of antioxidants and vitamin C.

Make smart swaps. Replace the dense calories of pasta noodles with a flavorful cup of cooked spaghetti squash. The squash is a satisfying and tasty alternative with a mere 40 calories, 2 grams of fiber and loads of vitamins.

Pair with whole grains. Mashed potatoes may be a favorite dinner side, but there are more nutritious options to complement your garden produce, such as this grain bowl with wild salmon from Chef Seamus Mullen.

Learn more about starting a community garden and living a greener, healthier life at seedsofchangegrant.com.

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Warm Grain Bowl with Wild Salmon, Almonds and Salsa Verde

Total time: 20-25 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 8 wild salmon fillets (3 ounces each)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • fresh pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup shitake mushroom caps, sliced
  • 1 package Seeds of Change Quinoa, Brown & Red Rice with Flaxseeds
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds

Salsa Verde (optional):

  • 1 bunch scallions
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 cup packed cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In oven-proof pan, season salmon with salt and pepper, and drizzle each fillet with olive oil. Bake 12-15 minutes, until cooked through.
  3. In blender or food processor, combine all Salsa Verde ingredients and pulse until fully incorporated but still rustic and chunky. Set aside.
  4. In medium saute pan over medium-high heat, heat remaining olive oil. Add mushrooms and asparagus and saute vigorously 3-5 minutes. Add grains and slivered almonds, and continue to saute until heated through, about 5 minutes. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Divide grains among eight plates, place a piece of salmon on each plate then finish with dollop of Salsa Verde, if desired, and serve.

Substitution: Shitake mushroom caps may be substituted with button mushrooms or other wild mushrooms.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Seeds of Change

Healthy 12 April 2017

Get Foiled

Learn why foil-packet cooking is hot, hot, hot

(Family Features) As the saying goes, big things come in small packages and that may explain the burgeoning popularity of foil-packet recipes. Minimal preparation and cleanup are easy trade-offs for the immense flavors you can create in these tiny containers, whether you prepare them in the oven, on the grill or over an open flame.

The secret to successful foil cooking is locking in the layers of flavor from each ingredient. It’s surprisingly simple to create delicious, healthy dishes when cooking with foil. An ingredient like seasoned rice vinegar offers a wholesome alternative to many condiments and flavorings while giving your packet a big flavor boost.

With no artificial preservatives, flavors or ingredients and no high-fructose corn syrup, Nakano® Rice Vinegars are the perfect solution for building better-for-you foil-packet meals. With organic varieties and easy-to-read labels featuring real, recognizable ingredients, you can feel great about layering delicious flavor into your next foil-packet meal with rice vinegar.

Garlic seasoned rice vinegar delivers a boost of flavor to this Asian-inspired chicken, creating a sensational main dish. Add crisp fresh veggies tossed with organic rice vinegar and garlic as a side then finish the meal with a sweet take on a juicy fruit crisp.

Find more inspired ideas for healthy meals at Mizkan.com/Recipes.

7 Steps to the Perfect Foil Pouch

  1. A 12-inch square piece of foil is a good starting point, but you may need to adjust depending on the recipe. Remember you’ll need plenty of extra room around the ingredients for the heat to build up and cook the contents to perfection.
  2. Use heavy-duty foil to avoid tears or poor seals that can spill ingredients and precious seasonings and juices.
  3. Spread foil on a flat surface and add a light nonstick spray, if needed.
  4. Place ingredients and seasonings in the center of the foil.
  5. Bring long sides of the foil together over the food. Pinch together and make 1/2-inch folds straight across at least twice for a strong seal. Remember to leave plenty of open space between the foil and food.
  6. Make 1/2-inch folds on each short end, folding toward food but leaving at least 1 1/2-2 inches between the seam and food.
  7. Handle pouch with care to avoid piercing or tearing, and always use tongs to remove pouches from heat.

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Gochujang-Glazed Chicken

Servings: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

  • 4 tablespoons Nakano Seasoned Rice Vinegar – Roasted Garlic
  • 2 teaspoons gochujang (chile bean paste)
  • 6 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 4 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons, olive oil
  • 4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 8 chicken thighs
  • 4 cups fresh cauliflower, riced (use grater or food processer so cauliflower resembles rice)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh scallions, sliced
  • 2 cups fresh sugar snap peas
  • 3 sprigs fresh cilantro, for garnish
  1. Heat oven or grill to 375° F.
  2. In large bowl, mix together vinegar, gochujang, maple syrup, soy sauce, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper to form marinade. Dip chicken in marinade and toss lightly until coated.
  3. Lightly oil foil pouch and layer base of pouch with cauliflower. Add scallions and sugar snap peas then place chicken on top. Carefully pour remaining marinade over pouch contents (ensuring that liquid stays inside foil).
  4. Seal foil packet and bake or grill 30 minutes. Open foil to create 2-inch long vent then bake or grill another 15 minutes, or until completely cooked. Garnish with cilantro before serving.

Chef’s tip: For best results and added flavor, marinate chicken 30 minutes before preparing pouches.

Substitutions: In place of gochujang, red pepper flake paste can be made by mixing 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes with a few dashes soy sauce and 1 dash sugar. Alternatively, substitute 2 teaspoons sriracha for gochujang.

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Bartlett Pear and Oat Crisp

Servings: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes

  • 4 cups fresh pears, medium diced
  • 4 tablespoons Nakano Seasoned Rice Vinegar – Mango
  • 3/4 cup quick oats
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 teaspoons, all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 tablespoons butter, diced into 1/4-inch squares
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Toss pears in rice vinegar and set into lightly greased foil pouch.
  3. Combine remaining ingredients in bowl and use two forks to combine ingredients until mixture becomes crumbly.
  4. Pour mixture evenly over pears, seal pouch and bake 20 minutes.
  5. Open top of foil and bake another 10 minutes, or until crisp and golden.

Chef’s tips: For crispier crust, refrigerate crumbly mixture 30 minutes before baking. Serve with scoop of vanilla bean ice cream.

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Mediterranean Vegetables

Servings: 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes

  • 3 tablespoons Nakano Organic Rice Vinegar – Seasoned
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus extra, to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus extra, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon, plus 1 1/2 teaspoons, fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup fresh zucchini, sliced into 1 3/4-inch long, 1/4-inch thick planks
  • 1 cup fresh green pepper strips
  • 1 cup fresh red pepper strips
  • 8 fresh stalks asparagus, slicing off 1/4 inch from bottom of stalk
  • 1 fresh portobello mushroom, sliced into 1/2-inch squares
  • 1 cup fresh eggplant, diced into 1/2-inch squares
  1. Heat oven or grill to 375° F.
  2. In large bowl, mix together rice vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper, parsley and garlic to create marinade.
  3. Clean vegetables then place them in marinade in small batches. Toss to coat then place in foil pouch. Pour remaining marinade over vegetables and seal pouch.
  4. Bake in oven or over indirect heat on grill 25 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste, after removing pouch from heat.

Chef’s tip: Open pouch after 20 minutes of cooking and allow vegetables to crisp slightly under direct heat for remaining 5 minutes.

Source: Nakano

Healthy 11 April 2017

Simple Ways to Produce Healthy Habits

(Family Features) If getting your kids to embrace healthy eating habits feels like a constant uphill battle, take heart in knowing you’re not alone. However, modeling smart choices in the kitchen and at the grocery store may be just the nudge your kids need.

One of the biggest hurdles many families face when it comes to healthier eating is getting started. These tips show how subtle changes can make it simple to introduce healthier choices the whole family can enjoy.

  • Mornings are a busy time for families, and it can be difficult to make a nutritious breakfast and get out the door. Even so, skip the packaged breakfast foods that are loaded with sodium and calories. Instead, make and freeze your own healthy breakfast foods ahead of time. These breakfast burritos are easy for reheating and eating on the go.
  • A common misperception is that eating healthfully takes too long. Set a good example for kids to follow by preparing healthy dinners at home. This one-pot turkey skillet is ready in less than 25 minutes to make dinner and cleanup a breeze.
  • When kids are empowered to choose what they eat, they’re more likely to enjoy it. One easy way for kids to identify smart choices in the produce department is by looking for foods with the Produce for Kids logo. Not only are these items an important part of a balanced meal, shoppers who support the products are giving back to local organizations that help children and families.

To find additional tips to encourage your family’s healthy eating and more than 300 registered dietitian-approved recipes, visit produceforkids.com.

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Make-Ahead Freezable Breakfast Burritos

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 14

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 16 ounces lean turkey breakfast sausage
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 small Vidalia onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, finely chopped
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup low-fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 14 whole-wheat tortillas (8 inches each)
  1. In nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 teaspoon oil. Add sausage and cook 5-8 minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to plate and set aside.
  2. In same skillet, add remaining oil, bell peppers, onions and tomatoes, and cook 3-5 minutes, or until softened. Add tomatoes and cook 2 minutes.
  3. In large bowl, scramble eggs and pepper. Add to pan and cook, stirring regularly, 3-4 minutes, or until eggs are set. Remove from heat and mix in sausage and cheese. Let cool.
  4. Fill tortillas with 1/2 cup egg mixture, roll into burrito and lay seam-side down on parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze 1 hour. Transfer to freezer-safe re-sealable bag and return to freezer.
  5. To reheat burritos, remove from freezer, wrap in paper towel and microwave on high 1-2 minutes.

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One-Pot Healthy Turkey Skillet

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 medium green bell pepper
  • 1 medium sweet onion
  • 3 Roma tomatoes
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat elbow macaroni, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. In nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add turkey and cook 10 minutes, or until no longer pink.
  2. In food processor, pulse bell pepper, onion and tomatoes until chunky.
  3. Add vegetable mixture, noodles, beans, cumin, chili powder and salt to skillet and let simmer 15 minutes.

Source: Produce for Kids

Healthy 07 April 2017

A Colorful, Crunchy Salad

(Family Features) As days get longer and the weather gets warmer, take your meal outdoors for some tasty al fresco dining featuring a fresh and easy-to-prepare salad.

With minimal ingredients and maximum flavor, this combination of radicchio, California green ripe olives, chickpeas and Parmesan is sure to find its way into your seasonal meal occasions, from at-home dinners to garden parties.

Boasting vibrant purple hues, radicchio not only looks beautiful on the plate but packs a unique and pleasing, bitter flavor that is complemented by the texture added to each bite by toasted sunflower seeds and chickpeas.

Completing the salad are California Ripe Olives, which are grown by farming families across California. The California green ripe olive is similar to the black ripe olive but features a more mild and buttery flavor profile.

Find more tasty recipes at calolive.org.

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Radicchio Salad with Olives, Chickpeas and Parmesan

Recipe courtesy of the Simply Recipes blog
Prep time: 15 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4-6

  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 large head radicchio (10-12 ounces)
  • 1 can (16 ounces) California green ripe olives, drained, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1 can (16 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
  1. Add sunflowers seeds to small, dry skillet. Toast over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until seeds are toasted around edges and smell fragrant.
  2. Transfer seeds to bowl to cool.
  3. Peel away and discard a layer or two of outer radicchio leaves if they look wilted or battered. Cut head of radicchio into quarters through root. Trim away root.
  4. Cut each quarter crosswise into strips, 1- to 1 1/2-inches thick. Transfer to large mixing bowl.
  5. Add olives, chickpeas and 3/4 cup cheese to bowl with radicchio.
  6. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss gently until ingredients are evenly coated. If cheese clumps together, break apart with spatula and stir in.
  7. Let salad stand at least 10 minutes, or up to an hour.
  8. Add additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve salad on individual plates or one shared platter. Top with remaining cheese and toasted sunflower seeds.

Substitution: If radicchio is unavailable, try frisee, endive or another bitter green.

Note: Salad is best served within one hour of preparation, but can be stored in airtight container in fridge for several days.

Source: California Olive Committee

Meal Ideas 06 April 2017

Discover Chile

Exciting Flavors for Every Day

(Family Features) In restaurant kitchens nationwide — and at home — Latin American flavors continue to be a hot trend — and it’s not because of spiciness. The unique culture and geography of countries such as Chile offer exciting possibilities for everyday cooking, adding flavor and excitement to American dishes and dinner tables.

Chilean cuisine is full of flavor and color and owes its delicious variety to a combination of cultural influences: native Indian, Spanish (including Arab and Jewish), French, German, English and Italian.

Chile is about twice the size of California and stretches along the Pacific coastline of South America. This narrow country — only 265 miles at its widest point — boasts a variety of climates, allowing for richly varied agriculture. Also, the seasons in the southern hemisphere are opposite those in the northern hemisphere, so fresh fruits and vegetables associated with summer in the U.S. are available from Chile during the winter.

Chilean products you may already have in your kitchen include:

  • Grapes
  • Kiwis
  • Avocados
  • Olive oil
  • Stone fruits such as peaches, nectarines and plums

Chilean Treasures

Seafood. With nearly 3,000 miles of coastline, Chile offers an extraordinary bounty of seafood. The clean Pacific waters teem with oysters, prawns, salmon, abalone, sea bass and more.

Wine. Chile is the world’s fifth largest wine exporter, and culinary writers regularly sing praises for Chilean wines. Michael Green, the wine and spirits consultant for Gourmet Magazine, said, “Chile is a sleeping giant in terms of the quality, diversity and value of its wines. The region is home to some of the most thrilling and tasty wines in the world.”

Spices. One of the most unique flavors of Chilean cooking comes from a spice blend called merkén from the Mapuches, a native people of Chile. It’s an aromatic mixture of dried and smoked red chilis, toasted coriander seeds, cumin and salt. Merkén is an extremely versatile spice with an attractive copper color and smoky flavor. It can be sprinkled on fish, shrimp, poultry, beef and vegetables, or added to soups, sauces, cheese and pasta. Available in specialty grocery stores, it can also be ordered online.

Produce. Chilean chef Pilar Rodriguez has created recipes featuring unique Chilean flavors. One centers on the carica, also known as Chilean Golden Papaya, and ulmo honey. Carica is a unique fruit that has been described as a combination of a mango and a peach. It can be used as an appetizer or dessert, in salads and hot dishes. You’ll find it sold in jars in specialty stores and online. Ulmo honey comes from the ulmo tree, native to Chile. It has a creamy texture and a buttery sweetness that make an excellent accompaniment to mild cheeses. It is also available at specialty stores and online.

Chile offers a wide variety of fresh foods and rich flavors to discover.

Chile’s food growing regions

North
goats, llamas, subtropical fruits such as carica, scallops

Central Valley
avocados, olives, apples, grapes, wine

Central Valley South
dairy products, razor clams, kiwi, grains, cattle, wine

Lake Region
cattle, dairy, berries, salmon, Chilean abalones

Extreme South and Patagonia
beef and sheep, Chilean king crab

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Seared Salmon & Avocado Tartar

By Chef Pilar Rodriguez
Serves 6

Crust:

  • 1/2 cup fleur de sel (coarse sea salt)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro seeds
  • 1 tablespoon merkén
  • 1 tablespoon cochayuyo molido ahumado (smoked seaweed powder), optional

Salmon:

  • 6 3.5- to 4-ounce boneless, skinless salmon fillets
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

Avocado Tartar:

  • 2 cups avocado, cut in small cubes
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon finely diced yellow chili pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper
  • Pinch sugar
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 parsley leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  1. Coarsely grind and mix salt and all the spices. Reserve in shallow bowl.
  2. In a non-stick pan, sear salmon filets with olive oil on both sides, just getting a nice golden color (about 90 seconds per side). Do not over cook. The center of the fillet has to be raw.
  3. Press one side of each fillet into salt-spice mixture and set aside.
  4. Mix all ingredients for Avocado Tartar in a bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the salmon fillets over the tartar. Serve immediately.

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Ulmo Honey Panna Cotta, Grilled Citrus Carica Salad

By Chef Pilar Rodriguez
Makes 8 to 10 4-ounce portions

  • 1 quart cream
  • 1/4 cup ulmo honey OR honey of choice
  • 4 gelatin sheets OR 1 package powdered gelatin
  • 4 full caricas OR fresh papayas cut in half to grill
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Lemon zest
  • Fresh mint leaves
  1. Heat cream in small sauce pan and turn off the heat right before boiling point. Add honey and, using a wooden spoon, mix well with the cream. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate.
  2. Put the gelatin in cold water until you see the gelatin is soft — about three minutes. Discard excess water (gelatin will be softened) and dissolve gelatin in the cream mixture.
  3. Fill panna cotta containers (or 4-ounce ramekins) 3/4 full and chill until set (about three hours in the refrigerator).
  4. Brush the caricas with olive oil and grill them over medium heat until color browns a bit (one minute per side). Right before serving, sprinkle lemon juice, sugar to taste and lemon zest on top. Serve on the side of the Panna Cottas (in containers) with mint to garnish.

Source: Trade Commission of Chile

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