recipes

Meal Ideas 24 September 2020

A Flavorful Family Meal for Fall

(Family Features) Warm, delectable dishes go hand-in-hand with cool fall evenings when the crisp air sends you to the kitchen for a filling meal. Look no further than easy recipes like meatballs that pack fulfilling flavor to feed your family when the autumn temperatures dip.

These Grass-fed Beef Meatballs with Garlic and Herbs can be the perfect solution anytime you’re craving a warm, comforting meal. They’re made with New Zealand grass-fed ground beef, which provides an unrivaled taste. Grass-fed year-round, the animals roam and graze freely over lush green hills and pastures, resulting in lean, flavorful meat that tastes just as nature intended.

Paired with a tomato-based sauce, the meatballs are baked before being topped with Parmesan cheese and parsley then served hot for a dish that warms you from the inside-out. While preparing the meatballs, be sure to wet your hands prior to shaping them as it helps prevent the meat from sticking to your hands.

Find more comforting fall recipes at beefandlambnz.com.

Grass-fed Beef Meatballs with Garlic and Herbs

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Beef Meatballs:

  • Oil
  • 1          pound New Zealand grass-fed ground beef
  • 1          cup fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 3          cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1          egg, lightly beaten
  • 3          tablespoons milk
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1          teaspoon dried mixed herbs, such as parsley, thyme and oregano
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Tomato Sauce:

  • Oil
  • 1          onion, finely chopped
  • 2          cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1          can (14 ounces) chopped tomatoes, in juice
  • 1 1/2-2             cups vegetable stock
  • 1          tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1          teaspoon sugar
  • 1          bay leaf
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

To Serve:

  • 1/3       cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2       cup roughly chopped parsley leaves
  1. To make beef meatballs: Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Lightly oil deep baking dish or skillet. Mix beef, breadcrumbs, garlic, egg, milk, Worcestershire sauce, mixed herbs and salt and pepper, to taste, then shape into eight meatballs and place in prepared baking dish.
  3. To make tomato sauce: In heavy saucepan over low heat, heat dash of oil and add onion and garlic. Cook until onion is soft, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes, stock, tomato paste, sugar, bay leaf and salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Simmer 10 minutes to allow flavors to mingle and liquid to reduce. Remove from heat, cool about 5 minutes and remove bay leaf. In food processor, process until sauce is smooth.
  5. Pour sauce over meatballs and bake 25 minutes, turning meatballs after 15 minutes.
  6. Serve hot sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

Source: Beef + Lamb New Zealand

Meal Ideas 21 September 2020

Comforting Dairy Dishes that Deliver Taste and Nutrition

(Family Features) Cooler weather calls for comfort foods, and it’s hard to top soups, risottos and strata for heartwarming dishes to share with the family on chilly days.

To achieve delicious taste without ditching your healthy eating plan, consider nutritionally balanced one-pot recipes like those from “Whole in One” by Ellie Krieger, several of which call for dairy to help fuel your loved ones’ meals. Milk is commonly viewed as a versatile staple to have on-hand for cooking and a nutritious beverage for families with essential nutrients such as calcium that promote bone health in children and teens.

“I’m always trying to create recipes that make it easier for people to cook and eat well,” Krieger said. “As a food lover and dietitian, I’m always looking for that amazing balance between health and taste. Dairy really can help get you there because it provides you not only great nutrition, but also great taste, texture and satisfaction.”

Turn to dairy-fueled comfort foods with recipes from Krieger like vegetarian-friendly Broccoli Cheddar Skillet Strata, nutrient-dense Cauliflower Risotto with Shrimp and Peas or easy-to-make Mushroom Stroganoff Soup. These dishes offer balanced, health-conscious ways to enjoy flavorful meals while delivering essential nutrients found in dairy.

“Milk, cheese and yogurt all contain protein, and I think most people don’t realize that a cup of milk has 8 grams of high-quality protein, which is more than an egg,” Krieger said. “When I tell people that, it’s really news to them. Protein really is key in many ways because people are often looking to get more protein into their diets.”

Find more family meal solutions at milkmeansmore.org.

Cauliflower “Risotto” with Shrimp and Peas

Recipe courtesy of “Whole in One” by Ellie Krieger on behalf of Milk Means More
Servings: 4

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2       cup chopped shallot
  • 3          cups cauliflower rice
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2          tablespoons, plus 1 teaspoon, all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4    cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 3/4       cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1          pound medium shrimp (26-30 count per pound), cleaned and tails removed
  • 1 1/2    cups fresh or frozen peas
  • 2          tablespoons fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
  1. In large, nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add shallot and cook until softened, 2 minutes. Stir in cauliflower rice, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle flour over cauliflower and stir to incorporate then add milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until it comes to gentle boil. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese until incorporated then add shrimp and peas.
  3. Return to simmer. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until shrimp are pink and no longer translucent and sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Season with additional salt, to taste, then garnish with basil and remaining Parmesan cheese.

Broccoli Cheddar Skillet Strata

Recipe courtesy of “Whole in One” by Ellie Krieger on behalf of Milk Means More
Servings: 4

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3          cups whole-wheat baguette or other crusty bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1          small onion, diced
  • 3          cups chopped broccoli (about 1/2 head), chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 6          large eggs
  • 3/4       cup low-fat or whole milk
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2       cup packed, shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F. In 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add bread to skillet and cook, tossing frequently, until golden brown, about 6 minutes. Transfer bread to plate and carefully wipe crumbs out of pan.
  2. Add remaining oil to skillet then add onion and cook until softened slightly, 2 minutes. Add broccoli and cook, stirring frequently, until it begins to soften, 3 minutes.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk, mustard, salt and pepper. Add cheese and bread; toss to combine then pour bread mixture over vegetables in skillet.
  4. Cover with foil and bake 10 minutes then uncover and continue baking until strata is set in center, 5-8 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit 5 minutes.
  5. To serve, scoop out portions with large spoon or cut into wedges.

Mushroom Stroganoff Soup

Recipe courtesy of “Whole in One” by Ellie Krieger on behalf of Milk Means More
Servings: 4

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 2          medium shallots (about 2/3 cup), chopped
  • 1          package (10 ounces) white button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 1          package (10 ounces) cremini mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 2          garlic cloves, minced
  • 4          cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1          tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1          teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 3/4       teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          cup whole-wheat egg noodles
  • 1          cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 2/3       cup sour cream, divided
  • 2          tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  1. In soup pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add shallots and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 minutes. Add button mushrooms and cremini mushrooms, increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms release liquid and begin to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add broth, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; bring to boil. Add egg noodles and boil gently, uncovered, until noodles are nearly tender, 5 minutes.
  2. In pitcher or medium bowl, whisk milk, 1/3 cup sour cream and flour until flour dissolves. Ladle 1/2 cup broth from pot into milk mixture and whisk well then pour milk mixture into pot. While stirring, bring to gentle boil then lower heat and simmer until thickened, 2 minutes. Season with additional salt, to taste.
  3. Serve garnished with dollop of remaining sour cream and parsley.

Source: United Dairy Industry of Michigan

Meal Ideas 28 July 2020

School-Night Meals that Deliver Taste at a Low Cost

(Family Features) Regardless of what back to school looks like this year, preparing family meals throughout the week does not have to be a challenge. Shopping at a store like ALDI can stretch your budget and help you make five different meals over five days for about $5 a meal pretax for a family of four.

Using a mix of kitchen staples you already may have, along with fresh ingredients, you can make delicious, affordable recipes for the whole family. Simply select a protein or main ingredient and explore versatile ways to build other meals around it during the week. 

Grilled chicken breasts are ideal for on-the-go lunches or weekday dinners. Busy parents can get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes with an easy Chicken Cacciatore in the pressure cooker or simple prep-ahead Chicken Enchiladas. These convenient dishes make it a snap to add variety by substituting chicken with shrimp, beans or vegetables.

Serving organic produce, fresh and frozen meats, seafood and on-the-go snacks can be easy when you shop at a store like ALDI for the back-to-school season. Plus, you can find foods to fit any dietary style without breaking the bank.

Find more family meal solutions at aldi.us.

Pressure Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Recipe courtesy of “Pinch of Yum” on behalf of ALDI
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1-1 1/2             pounds chicken breasts or chicken thighs
  • flour
  • 1          pinch salt, plus 2 teaspoons, divided
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          onion, diced
  • 16        ounces mushrooms, sliced
  • 3          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2       cup chicken broth
  • 1          bell pepper, diced
  • 1          can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 4          tablespoons butter
  • capers (optional)
  • parsley, plus additional for topping (optional)
  • lemon
  • preferred pasta
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Dredge chicken in flour and pinch of salt. Turn on saute function on pressure cooker. Add oil; saute chicken 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside (chicken will finish cooking later).
  2. Add onion, mushrooms and garlic. Saute until softened. Add broth and let sizzle out.
  3. Add chicken, bell pepper, tomatoes and remaining salt to pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure 15 minutes. Release pressure.
  4. Shred chicken. Stir in butter, capers, parsley and lemon. Serve with preferred pasta and top with additional parsley and Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Easy Chicken Enchiladas with Black Beans

Recipe courtesy of “Wellness for the Win” on behalf of ALDI
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 10

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          medium onion, chopped

Chicken:

  • 1          pound chicken breasts
  • 1/4       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon cumin
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Enchiladas:

  • 15        ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 10        ounces diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
  • 2          cups shredded Mexican cheese, divided
  • 16        ounces restaurant-style salsa, divided
  • 10        whole-wheat tortillas

Optional Toppings:

  • diced avocado
  • plain Greek yogurt
  • cilantro
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook onion until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and set aside.
  3. To make chicken: Season chicken breasts with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to same skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 5-7 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Use fork and knife to shred chicken.
  4. To make enchiladas: In large bowl with cooked onion, add shredded chicken, black beans, diced tomatoes, green chilies and 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese. Use spoon to mix well.
  5. Pour 1 cup salsa on bottom of greased pan and use spatula to spread evenly. Scoop about 1/2 cup chicken and veggie mixture into each tortilla. Roll tightly and place seam side down in pan.
  6. Top enchiladas with 3/4 cup salsa and remaining shredded cheese; use spatula to spread evenly.
  7. Cover pan tightly with foil and bake 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven; serve hot. Add avocado, yogurt and cilantro, if desired.

Source:  ALDI

Meal Ideas 20 May 2020

A Simply Sensational Summer Meal

(Family Features) Whipping up a fresh cooked meal is one of the true joys of summer, especially when grilled grub is paired with tantalizing sides and tempting desserts.

Spice things up with Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream coupled with a side like Roasted Potatoes then cap off a filling meal with these sweet and decadent Strawberry Cream Cheese Tartlets. If you’re looking for ways to mix meat and veggies all at once, these ideas for kebabs are a surefire way to please a variety of palates.

Find more summer meal ideas at Culinary.net.

Cook Up Kebabs

As one of the most versatile main courses that can be grilled, kebabs offer nearly endless opportunities for customization. From protein to veggies, soaked wooden skewers can be loaded with just about any favorite flavors before hitting the grates. Consider these options for kicking your kebabs up a notch:

  • Steak, cut into chunks
  • Chicken, cut into chunks
  • Bratwurst or sausage, cut into slices
  • Ground beef, shaped into balls
  • Lamb
  • Shrimp
  • Salmon, cut into chunks
  • Bacon, cut into small pieces
  • Sliced onions
  • Sliced bell peppers
  • Sliced jalapenos
  • Sliced mushrooms
  • Sliced cucumbers
  • Cherry tomatoes

Summer Sliders with a Spicy Kick

Summer calls for firing up the grill for a fresh-cooked meal, and sliders are an ideal way to enjoy a downsized version of a warm weather favorite.

These Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream are perfect for summer with their spicy kick of salsa and bright, cooling cream. Made with grass-fed beef from New Zealand, where the animals are allowed to roam and graze freely over lush green hills and pastures year-round, the mini burgers boast a lean, finely textured meat that tastes just as nature intended.

Find more tasty summer recipes at beefandlambnz.com.

Mexican Beef Sliders with Jalapeno Salsa and Avocado Cream

Recipe courtesy of Beef + Lamb New Zealand
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Patties:

  • 1 1/3    pounds lean New Zealand grass-fed ground beef
  • 1          clove garlic, crushed
  • 1          medium onion, grated or finely chopped
  • 1          egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4       cup red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2          tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3          teaspoons dried oregano, chopped
  • 2          teaspoons mild smoked paprika
  • 2          teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1          teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2       cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • olive oil

Jalapeno Salsa:

  • 1          cup cucumber, thinly sliced into long ribbons
  • 3/4       cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1          red onion, finely sliced
  • 1/2       cup pickled jalapenos, finely chopped
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • olive oil
  • lime juice

Avocado Cream:

  • 1          avocado, mashed
  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • 1          lime, juice and zest only
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 8-12     slider buns, halved
  • 2-3       cobs sweet corn, cooked and sliced into shards
  • 8-12     small bamboo skewers
  1. To make patties: In bowl, combine beef, garlic, onion, egg, kidney beans, tomato paste, oregano, paprika, cumin, coriander, Parmesan cheese, salt, to taste, and pepper, to taste. Shape into 8-12 small patties. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes.
  2. Heat grill or frying pan to medium heat.
  3. Brush patties with oil on both sides. Cook 2-3 minutes on each side, turning once to brown both sides evenly, until cooked through.
  4. To make Jalapeno Salsa: In bowl, combine cucumber, cilantro, onion and jalapenos; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle with olive oil and lime juice.
  5. To make Avocado Cream: In bowl, combine avocado, sour cream, lime juice and lime zest; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Spread Avocado Cream on bottom buns and place patties on top. Top patties with Jalapeno Salsa, corn and top buns. Press down gently and poke in skewers to secure sliders.

A Sweet Summer Treat

Sweet flavors and warm weather go hand-in-hand, and many summer occasions and get-togethers call for dessert. Take advantage of warm weather favorites like strawberries and raspberries with these Strawberry Cream Cheese Tartlets.

Made using the best berries nature can provide, these bite-size tartlets feature a graham cracker crust base and an indulgent cream cheese filling flavored with sliced strawberries, honey and lemon topped with Well•Pict’s sweet, juicy strawberries and raspberries, which come fresh in clamshell packaging made from 70% recycled water bottles.

Find more sweet recipes that can bring a smile to your loved ones’ faces at wellpict.com/recipe.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Tartlets

Makes: 24 tartlets (4 ounces each)

  • 1/2       cup water
  • 2          tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3          tablespoons lemon zest
  • 2          tablespoons gelatin
  • 4          cups Well•Pict Strawberries, sliced, divided
  • 1/3       cup honey
  • 2          packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese
  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • 1          cup ice cubes
  • 2          cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2       cup melted butter
  • 1          cup Well•Pict Strawberries, rinsed, for garnish
  • 1          cup Well•Pict Raspberries, rinsed, for garnish
  1. In blender, mix water, lemon juice, lemon zest and gelatin until frothy.
  2. Add 2 cups strawberries and honey; blend until smooth. Pour into bowl and chill mix 15 minutes.
  3. In blender, mix cream cheese, sour cream and ice cubes while incorporating strawberry mixture. Mix in remaining strawberries.
  4. In blender or food processor, mix graham crackers and melted butter to crumb consistency. Lightly grease two medium muffin pans and pack graham cracker mixture at bottom of each opening. Pour strawberry mixture over graham cracker mixture and chill until set. Gently pull tartlets from muffin tins and place on serving tray. Garnish with strawberries and raspberries.

Roasted and Ready to Serve

Summer meals centered around grilled fare call for a complementary pairing that completes the classic profile of warm weather food. Using a versatile vegetable like potatoes allows you to think up different methods of cooking for a new flavor each time.

While you’re focused on the main dish being grilled, these Roasted Potatoes can bake away indoors for a simple side that requires little attention.

Find more health resources at usda.gov.

Roasted Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of “A Harvest of Recipes with USDA Foods
Servings: 6

  • 1          pound potatoes, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2       cup onion, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2       cup green pepper, chopped into 1-inch cubes
  • 1          teaspoon garlic, finely chopped
  • 1          teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1          tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2       teaspoon paprika
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. In medium bowl, mix potatoes, onions, green peppers and garlic.
  3. Add vegetable oil, salt, pepper, parsley and paprika. Mix well.
  4. Cover bowl and refrigerate 15 minutes.
  5. Spread potato mixture evenly on cookie sheet. Bake about 35 minutes.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Kebabs and Roasted Potatoes)

Source:  New Zealand Wagyu Beef
Well•Pict Berries

 

Snacks 19 May 2020

Snack Hacks That Really Pop

(Family Features) If spending more time at home than usual has you reaching for snacks more often, keep some quick, flavorful options on-hand to help fuel you and your family throughout the day when hunger pangs strike.

One versatile pantry staple that can fit a variety of snack cravings: popcorn. With no artificial additives or preservatives, light and airy popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO and gluten free, making it a sensible option to enjoy one handful at a time or sprinkled with seasonings that satisfy your taste buds. A whole-grain food, popcorn has energy-producing carbohydrates and fiber, which can help keep you satisfied longer. Plus, it’s simple enough to make that kids can help in the kitchen by popping it themselves or adding toppings.

Whether you’re craving something sweet, salty, spicy – or nearly anything else – freshly popped popcorn can serve as the perfect base ingredient to simply mix in your favorite toppings or create more unique tastes by combining a variety of herbs and spices. For example, consider these hacks to add easy flavor:

  • Pop it on the stove. Stovetop popping allows you to choose your toppings. Cover the bottom of a pot with a thin layer of oil and popcorn kernels, shake to coat, cover with a lid then turn on the heat. Once popping has slowed to 2-second intervals, remove from heat and add toppings.
  • Add some sweetness. When you’re in the mood for something sweet, add a dash of salt and a pinch of sugar (or more to meet your taste) to a bowl of popcorn. Or add sugar to the pan before it’s popped, like this recipe for Sugar Corn.
  • Melt some butter. For a classic taste treat, melt a little butter and pour over your bowl of popped corn.
  • Satisfy multiple cravings. Pop a large pot of popcorn and divide it in half; top one half with sweeter toppings like honey, which is a key ingredient in Honey Matcha Popcorn, and the other with something savory, like nutritional yeast or dill. When hunger strikes, you’re ready, regardless of the flavor craving.
  • Spice it up. Cayenne pepper and a blend of other spices can be sprinkled on popcorn to create a spicier snack like Cajun Corn.
  • Add mix-ins. Add dried fruits, nuts or candies to a bowl of popcorn to make your own trail mix.
  • Cheese, please. A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese can make your snack a bit more substantial. Mix in some dried herbs like basil and parsley to create this Popcorn Con Pesto.

For more snack ideas that deliver on both flavor and nutrition, visit popcorn.org.

Sugar Corn

Yield: 8 cups

  • 1/4       cup vegetable oil, for popping
  • 1/2       cup popcorn kernels
  • 1          pinch white sugar, plus additional, to taste
  1. In medium pan, heat oil until hot.
  2. Add popcorn to pan and sprinkle sugar over it. Add more sugar, if desired, to taste.
  3. Cover and shake pan continuously until popcorn is popped.

Honey Matcha Popcorn

Yield: 12 cups

  • 12        cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
  • 1/4       cup butter
  • 1/4       cup honey
  • 1          teaspoon matcha green tea powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          tablespoon black sesame seeds
  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. Line large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place popped popcorn in large mixing bowl.
  3. In small saucepan over medium heat, melt together butter, honey, matcha powder and salt, stirring until dissolved. Pour over popcorn; toss to combine. Spread onto baking sheet. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  4. Bake, stirring occasionally, 25-30 minutes, or until popcorn is dry. Let cool completely before serving.

Tip: Matcha powder can be found in the tea and coffee aisle at supermarkets.

Popcorn Con Pesto

Yield: 5 quarts

  • 5          quarts popped popcorn
  • 1/2       cup butter
  • 1          tablespoon dried basil leaves, crushed
  • 1          teaspoon dried parsley, crushed
  • 1          teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/3       cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2       cup pine nuts (optional)
  1. Place popped popcorn in large bowl and keep warm.
  2. In small saucepan, melt butter; add basil, parsley, garlic, Parmesan cheese and nuts, if using.
  3. Stir to blend.
  4. Pour over popped popcorn, stirring well.

Note: Dried thyme or oregano, or combination of ingredients, may be used in place of basil.

Cajun Corn

Yield: 2 1/2 quarts

  • 1/4       cup butter, melted
  • 2 1/2    quarts popped popcorn, warm
  • 1          teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2       teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1          teaspoon lemon pepper
  1. Heat oven to 300° F.
  2. In bowl, pour butter over warm popcorn.
  3. In separate bowl, combine paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper and lemon pepper; sprinkle over popcorn. Toss to mix.
  4. Bake 5-10 minutes for crispy popcorn.

Source: Popcorn Board

Meal Ideas 18 May 2020

Breaking Bread

(Family Features) As families spend more time at home, Americans are finding comfort in a surprising source: bread. In fact, a 20-year trend of declining grain food consumption has been reversed.

A national study by the Grain Food Foundation suggests that the turnaround is more than a one-time sales blip due to pantry loading. In reality, consumers count bread among their top comfort foods. The study revealed one-third of Americans named pasta and bread as foods that are comforting during a stressful time.

In addition to the comforting flavor, this trend provides valuable nutritional benefits. As a part of many healthy eating plans, bread and pasta are nutritionist approved and provide nutrients needed for healthy aging such as B vitamins, magnesium, selenium, iron, folate and fiber.

“For years, we’ve been telling consumers that grain foods are the foods we love that love us back,” said Christine Cochran, executive director of the Grain Foods Foundation. “The stress has given us permission to enjoy bread and pasta again, but unlike most comfort foods, consumers recognize that grains have nutritional value.”

The highest-ranking comfort foods were ice cream; baked goods like cakes, cookies and pastries; salty snacks; candy; and fast food. However, when asked to identify comfort foods with nutritional advantages, consumers identified bread and pasta as the top two.

Beyond identifying comfort foods and their nutritional value, consumers also expressed worry that bread is in short supply right now.

“We can all rest assured that there is enough supply of grain food products in this country,” Cochran said. “Shoppers may be experiencing some sporadic unavailability of certain high-demand items. However, manufacturers are working closely with retailers to make sure that out-of-stocks are short lived. Consumers will be able to buy their favorite grain-food products and eat them, too.”

To learn more about the role of grain foods in a healthful diet, visit GrainFoodsFoundation.org.

Avocado Veggie Sandwich

Recipe courtesy of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1/2       ripe avocado, peeled
  • 1          tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt
  • 4          slices bread
  • 4          slices tomato
  • 8          slices cucumber
  • 12        slices sweet bell pepper
  • 2          tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2          lettuce leaves
  1. In small bowl, combine avocado, lemon juice and salt. Spread mixture evenly over two bread slices.
  2. Place tomatoes, cucumber and peppers on covered surface. Drizzle with vinegar.
  3. Layer lettuce, tomato, cucumbers and peppers evenly between slices of bread, creating two sandwiches.

Panzanella Bagel Salad

Recipe courtesy of Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, MS, RD, on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 2          medium Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/4    cups canned diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/4       cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4       cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced
  • 2          tablespoons red onion, diced
  • 2          tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated, plus additional (optional)
  • 1          tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2          bagels (4 ounces each) cut into 2-inch pieces, toasted
  • assorted greens (optional)

In medium bowl, mix tomatoes, canned tomatoes with juice, green pepper, cucumber, onion, cheese, vinegar and basil.

Add toasted bagel pieces; toss gently. Marinate, covered, in refrigerator 1 hour. Serve within 1 hour after marinating. Sprinkle with additional cheese and serve on bed of assorted greens, if desired.

Rotini with Sausage and Mushrooms

Recipe courtesy of Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, MS, RD, on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 18 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1          box (13 1/4 ounces) whole-grain rotini
  • 1          tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
  • 1          pound chicken sausage, sliced
  • 1          cup leeks, thinly sliced
  • 1          cup green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2          cups mushrooms, sliced
  • 1          cup chicken stock
  • 1/4       cup parsley chopped
  • 6          leaves from tarragon sprigs, chopped
  • 1          cup Romano cheese grated
  • Parmesan-Romano cheese (optional)
  1. Prepare rotini according to package directions. Drain and transfer to large bowl.
  2. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Cook sausage 2-3 minutes, or until well browned. Add leeks, onions and mushrooms; cook until tender. Add chicken stock and simmer 3-5 minutes, or until hot. Fold sausage mixture into warm pasta. Add parsley, tarragon and Romano cheese; toss again. Top with Parmesan-Romano cheese, if desired.

Cheesy Black Bean Toast with Pico de Gallo

Recipe courtesy of Sylvia Melendez-Klinger, MS, RD, on behalf of the Grain Foods Foundation
Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 6          Roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1⁄2       medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1          clove garlic, finely minced
  • 2          serrano or jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
  • 3          tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1          lime, juice only
  • 1⁄8       teaspoon oregano, finely crushed
  • 1⁄8       teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1⁄8       teaspoon pepper
  • 1⁄2       Hass avocado, diced
  • 4          bolillos (6 inches) or large Kaiser rolls, sliced in half lengthwise
  • 1          can (16 ounces) seasoned low-fat refried black beans
  • 2          cups shredded Chihuahua or mozzarella cheese
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. In medium mixing bowl, combine tomatoes; onion; garlic; peppers; cilantro; lime juice; oregano; salt, if desired; pepper; and avocado; set aside.
  3. On medium platter, split rolls. With medium spatula, spread refried beans onto each bread half; sprinkle cheese among bread.
  4. Bake 5-8 minutes, or until cheese is melted and hot.

Source:  Grain Foods Foundation

Meal Ideas 29 April 2020

Ways to Make Hearty Meals at Home with Pantry Staples

(Family Features) Stocking up on pantry essentials is a productive practice, especially as people across the country spend more time at home. However, having all those ingredients on-hand doesn't do as much good if you aren't sure how to use them or feel as if you're constantly whipping up the same dishes.

For example, canned protein is a popular pantry item as it cuts down on prep time and holds a long shelf life while adding important nutrients to family meals. Canned seafood, in particular, is a versatile choice that can be used in a variety of easy recipes or simply eaten on its own.

An option like Chicken of the Sea Chunk Light Tuna in Water, which is 99% fat free and a good source of protein and heart-healthy omega-3s, makes for an easy and versatile addition to dishes like pasta. A 5-ounce can contains 24 grams of high-quality protein, making it a nourishing source of energy while helping to easily satisfy hunger.

Try adding some modern flair to the table with this Mediterranean Tuna Pasta, perfect for a family of four and ready in just 20 minutes. Virtually any canned seafood can be used from salmon to tuna in place of more traditional proteins used in this pasta and many other dishes.

If your family prefers to stick to tradition, Mom's Favorite Tuna Noodle Casserole provides a warm, hearty meal with a hint of nostalgia while gathering loved ones around the dinner table.

Ingredients in these recipes can be easily substituted for similar options you may already have on hand, such as another dried pasta in place of penne or carrots in lieu of peas.

Find more filling family recipes at chickenofthesea.com.

Mediterranean Tuna Pasta

Total time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          package (16 ounces) penne pasta
  • 1          can (15 ounces) chickpeas, drained
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano
  • 1          medium zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2          tablespoons sliced ripe olives
  • 1          can (5 ounces) Chicken of the Sea Chunk Light Tuna in Water, drained
  • 1/2       cup Parmesan cheese
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions.
  2. In large skillet, bring chickpeas, tomatoes, zucchini, olives and tuna to boil; stir constantly.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes.
  4. Spoon mixture over cooked pasta. Top with Parmesan cheese.

Substitution: Use any canned seafood such as salmon in place of canned tuna.

Mom's Favorite Tuna Noodle Casserole

Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6-7

  • 2          cans (10 3/4 ounces each) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1          cup milk
  • 2          cups frozen peas
  • 2          cans (12 ounces each) Chicken of the Sea Chunk Light Tuna in Water, drained
  • 4          cups medium egg noodles, cooked
  • 4          tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
  • 2          tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In bowl, stir soup and milk until smooth.
  3. In 3-quart casserole dish, combine peas, tuna and noodles with soup mixture.
  4. Bake 30 minutes, or until warm and bubbling; remove from oven and stir.
  5. In bowl, mix breadcrumbs with melted butter; sprinkle over tuna mixture.
  6. Bake 5 minutes, or until golden brown.

Substitution: Use any frozen vegetable in place of frozen peas.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Mediterranean Tuna Pasta)

Source:  Chicken of the Sea

Videos 16 April 2020

Spinach-Ham Dip

(Culinary.net) Perfect for afternoon snacking or as an appetizer, this Spinach-Ham Dip is warmed inside a bread bowl and can be served with bread cubes, crackers or tortilla chips.

Find more snack ideas at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Spinach-Ham Dip

  • 2          cups ricotta cheese
  • 1          cup sour cream
  • 1          package (10 ounces) frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/4       pound ham, cubed
  • 3/4       cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 2          green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1          round bread loaf (16 ounces), unsliced
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In medium bowl, blend ricotta cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add spinach, ham, Parmesan cheese and green onions; mix until blended.
  3. Cut 1-2-inch diameter circle out of top of bread loaf. Reserve top. Remove bread inside loaf, leaving about 1 inch along sides. Pour cheese mixture into bread bowl. Replace top. Cover bread loaf in aluminum foil and bake 60 minutes, or until warmed through.
  4. Take bread removed from inside bread bowl and cut into dipping sized chunks.
  5. Remove bread from aluminum foil and place on platter. Scatter bread chunks around bread bowl to use for dunking in cheese sauce.
Pasta 14 April 2020

Perfect Pantry Pastas

(Family Features) Constantly seeking out recipe-specific ingredients that may only be used once or twice can be a burden. Instead, keep your home stocked with necessities to simplify dinner prep with dishes made using common household staples.

One perfect example: pastas. These recipes for Minestrone Pasta Saute with Ricotta, Creamy One-Pot Spaghetti and Pasta in a Pinch include easily recognizable seasonings and canned goods for simple dinner solutions. Plus, they all include dairy, an irreplaceable part of a balanced diet as a source of essential nutrients.

Another way to scale back on unnecessary grocery purchases is to give yourself permission to modify. Many recipes can be tweaked for personal preferences, such as using black beans rather than kidney beans or adjusting the amount of a spice used based on your family’s tastes.

Stock your pantry and refrigerator with versatile ingredients like these:

  • Canned tomatoes
  • Canned beans
  • Quick-cook rice
  • Small whole-grain pasta
  • Stock, like vegetable, chicken or beef
  • Fluid milk
  • Shredded cheese
  • Plain Greek yogurt

For more ideas to simplify family meals, visit milkmeansmore.org.

Minestrone Pasta Saute with Ricotta

Recipe courtesy of Lori Yates of “Foxes Love Lemons” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 8          ounces ditalini pasta
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3          carrots, finely diced
  • 3          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2       medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2       bunch kale, thinly sliced
  • 1/2       pound green beans, trimmed and halved
  • 1/4       cup dry white wine
  • 1/2       pound lean ground beef (optional)
  • 1          can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1          jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
  • 1/2       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1          cup Ricotta cheese
  • 1/4       cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water then drain pasta.
  2. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add carrots, garlic and onion; cook 3 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften, stirring occasionally. Add kale and green beans; cook 3 minutes, or until green beans are tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add wine to skillet; cook 2 minutes, or until most liquid has evaporated. Transfer vegetables to medium bowl. If including meat, return skillet to medium-high heat. Add ground beef; cook 6-8 minutes, or until meat is cooked through, breaking up with side of spoon. Spoon off excess fat.
  4. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add kidney beans, marinara sauce, salt, pepper, pasta, reserved pasta cooking water and cooked vegetable mixture to skillet with beef, if using. Cook 2 minutes, or until warmed through, stirring occasionally. Divide pasta between four pasta bowls or plates and top with Ricotta and Parmesan cheeses.

Pasta in a Pinch

Recipe courtesy of Jenn Fillenworth, MS, RDN, of “Jenny With the Good Eats” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 8          ounces uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 1/2    cups water
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2       cup milk
  • 2          cups mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1          can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1/4       cup Parmesan cheese
  • freshly chopped herbs, for garnish (optional)
  1. In large microwavable bowl, place uncooked penne pasta and pour water over top to cover. With food-safe plastic wrap, cover bowl, leaving small section to vent as it cooks. Cook 3 minutes longer than package directs, approximately 13 minutes.
  2. Once pasta has cooked, drain into colander then place back in bowl. Add salt, pepper, basil, garlic powder and milk; stir to combine. Begin to stir in cheese a little at a time. Microwave 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir again.
  3. Add cannellini beans and diced tomatoes; stir. Microwave 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir. Assess if ingredients are hot and cheese is melted. If not, microwave 1-2 minutes.
  4. Top with Parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh herbs, if desired.

Creamy One-Pot Spaghetti

Recipe courtesy of Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN, on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1          tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1          pound lean ground turkey or lean ground beef
  • 1/2       cup chopped onion
  • 2 1/2    cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or reduced-sodium beef broth
  • 2          cups marinara sauce
  • 1/2       teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 8          ounces spaghetti noodles, broken into 3-4-inch pieces
  • 1          package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed
  • 1 1/3    cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • chopped fresh basil or parsley (optional)
  1. Using saute function of pressure cooker, heat oil until hot. Add meat and onion. Cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes, or until meat is browned, stirring to break up. Press cancel.
  2. Stir broth, marinara sauce, fennel seeds and cayenne pepper into meat. Stir in spaghetti, making sure noodle pieces are covered by liquid. Secure lid and set pressure release to sealing function. Select high pressure and cook 5 minutes. Press cancel.
  3. Allow pressure to release naturally 2 minutes. Move pressure release to venting function to release remaining steam. Remove lid.
  4. Stir spaghetti mixture. Stir in cream cheese and 1 cup cheddar cheese until melted. Ladle into bowls to serve. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Garnish with chopped fresh basil or parsley, if desired.

Source: United Dairy Industry of Michigan

Meal Ideas 31 January 2020

All-Day Nutrition

Dairy-inspired, plant-based dishes to serve from morning to night

(Family Features) From cereal and milk to yogurt and fruit to broccoli and cheese, combining dairy with plant-based foods creates a superfood power couple that can help ensure you and your family are getting the nutrients you need any time of day.

With the rise in popularity of plant-based diets, dairy can help optimize nutrient absorption from plant foods and provide additional nutrients like high-quality protein, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. You can create delicious meals with the nutrition you need while enjoying the best of plants and dairy.

Combining dairy and plant-based foods can be easier with these dairy-powered recipes from Milk Means More. They are ideal for creating a nutritious and delicious plan for every meal throughout the day. Start with a Blueberry Apple Crisp Smoothie Bowl in the morning then build out your lunch or dinner plans around an appetizer like this traditional Middle Eastern Labneh Spread with grilled pita bread and assorted veggies. For the main course, try Lentil Tacos with Tangy Guacamole and a classic Moroccan staple, Creamy Couscous with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Cheese, on the side.

Find more recipes that combine the goodness of dairy and plant-based foods at milkmeansmore.org.

Creamy Couscous with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Cheese

Recipe courtesy of culinary dietitian Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1/2       cup chopped onion
  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 3          cups broccoli florets
  • 1          teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  • 3          cups fat-free, 2% or whole milk
  • 1 1/2    cups plain couscous (wheat pasta)
  • 1          cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1          cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2    cups seeded and chopped tomatoes
  • 2          tablespoons slivered fresh basil leaves
  1. In large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook onion in butter 2 minutes. Add broccoli, garlic and pepper. Cook and stir 2 minutes.
  2. Stir milk into broccoli mixture. Bring to boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Gently stir Parmesan cheese into couscous mixture. Spread on serving platter. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Top with tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.

Lentil Tacos with Tangy Guacamole

Recipe courtesy of culinary dietitian Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN
Prep time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

Tangy Guacamole:

  • 1          medium ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
  • 1          tablespoon orange, lime or lemon juice
  • 1/4       teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2       cup plain, fat-free Greek yogurt

Lentil Tacos:

  • 2 1/3    cups water
  • 1          cup dry brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2       cup finely chopped onion
  • 2          teaspoons chili powder
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2    cups seeded and chopped tomatoes, divided
  • 1 1/4    cups (5 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 12        yellow corn taco shells
  1. To make Tangy Guacamole: In small bowl, mash avocado, juice, hot pepper sauce and garlic.  Stir in yogurt. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.
  2. To make Lentil Tacos: Heat oven to 400 F.
  3. In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine water, lentils, onion, chili powder, garlic and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover and gently boil 12-15 minutes, or until lentils are just tender. Uncover and boil 5-15 minutes, or until most liquid evaporates.
  4. Remove lentils from heat. Stir in 1 cup tomatoes and 3/4 cup cheese. Spoon into taco shells. Stand filled tacos in 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle tacos with remaining tomatoes and cheese. Loosely cover dish with foil. Bake 3-5 minutes, or until cheese melts.
  5. Stir guacamole. Serve with warm tacos.

Labneh Spread

Recipe courtesy of Jenn Fillenworth, MS, RDN of Jenny with the Good Eats
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 12        ounces whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          pinch sea salt, for garnish
  • fresh herbs, for garnish
  • pita bread, grilled
  • assorted seasonal vegetables
  1. In bowl, mix Greek yogurt, salt and lemon juice.
  2. Transfer mixture to fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.
  3. Wrap mixture in cheesecloth and strain over bowl in refrigerator 24-48 hours. Strain longer to make thicker.
  4. Once thickened as desired, remove from cheesecloth and top spread with olive oil, sea salt and fresh herbs.
  5. Serve with grilled pita bread and assorted seasonal vegetables.

Blueberry Apple Crisp Smoothie Bowl

Recipe courtesy of Rachel Gurk of Rachel Cooks
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1          cup frozen blueberries
  • 2          cups apples, roughly chopped, reserving 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 1          teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2       cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1          cup spinach
  • pure maple syrup, to taste
  • ice cubes (optional)

Toppings:

  • 2          tablespoons oats
  • 1          teaspoon pure maple syrup
  • 1          tablespoon pecans, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons reserved chopped apple
  • fresh blueberries
  1. In blender, blend blueberries, apples, cinnamon, yogurt and spinach until smooth. Taste and add maple syrup, to taste. If thicker mixture is desired, add ice cubes.
  2. Pour into bowl. Mix oats with maple syrup. Top smoothie mixture with oats, pecans, apples and blueberries.

Source: United Dairy Industry of Michigan

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