recipes

Meal Ideas 05 January 2022

Better-for-You Family Favorites for a Healthier Routine

(Family Features) Taking time to nurture your health and well-being starts with building healthier habits. As the seasons change, challenge yourself to make small yet consistent choices that help you and your family through transitions at school, the office or wherever your days take you.

To help you establish (or re-establish) healthy habits during mealtime and beyond, consider these tips.

Eat Meals Together

“Making time for meals together as a family provides a chance to connect and decompress,” said Bridget Wojciak, director of nutrition at Kroger Health, a national sponsor of the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good initiative. “In fact, regular meals at home can help reduce stress, boost self-esteem and improve feelings of connection.”

Bring everyone together with a better-for-you seasonal favorite like Turkey and Bean Tostadas.

Make Time for Yourself

Chronic stress can have a negative impact on mental and physical health, but turning lost moments – like a meal by yourself spent mindlessly scrolling through social media – into mindful moments can help. Try practicing gratitude at the table by thinking of three things you’re grateful for or putting your fork down between each bite to savor the flavor and consider the nourishment you’re receiving.

Enjoy the Cooler Temperatures

Cooler temperatures can make it more enjoyable to take advantage of outdoor exercise, which is a good way to soak in vitamin D to improve your mood and boost immunity. Going for a brisk walk after mealtime (solo or with your pet), jogging and even raking leaves are examples of activities that count toward the American Heart Association’s recommended 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week.

Visit heart.org/healthyforgood to download more heart-healthy recipes and find more tips for a healthier you in mind, body and heart.

Tuna Pasta Casserole

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association's Healthy for Good initiative
Servings: 4

  • 4 ounces dried whole-wheat rotini pasta (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 16 ounces frozen mixed vegetables, thawed
  • 1 pouch (11 ounces) low-sodium chunk light tuna
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) low-fat, low-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
  • 1 teaspoon all-purpose, salt-free seasoning blend
  • 3/4 cup crushed low-sodium, whole-grain crackers
  • 1/4 cup shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Prepare pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Using colander, drain well. Transfer to large bowl.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly spray 2-quart glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
    Stir mixed vegetables, tuna, soup, roasted peppers, half-and-half and seasoning blend into pasta until combined. Transfer to baking dish. Top with crackers and Parmesan cheese.
  3. Bake, uncovered, 25-30 minutes, or until casserole is warmed through and topping is golden brown.

Nutritional information per serving: 400 calories; 7 g total fat; 2.5 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 2 g polyunsaturated fat; 2 g monounsaturated fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 537 mg sodium; 52 g carbohydrates; 8 g dietary fiber; 7 g sugars; 32 g protein.

Turkey and Bean Tostadas

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association's Healthy for Good initiative
Servings: 5

Salsa:

  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (about 2 medium tomatoes)
  • 1 medium avocado, halved, pitted and diced
  • 1 large ear of corn, husks and silk discarded, kernels removed
  • 1-2 medium fresh jalapenos, seeds and ribs discarded, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

Tostadas:

  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 5 corn tortillas (6 inches each)
  • 8 ounces ground skinless turkey breast
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 can (15 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 tablespoons water
  1. To make salsa: In small bowl, stir tomatoes, avocado, corn, jalapenos, onions and lime juice. Set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  3. To make tostadas: Line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Lightly spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. Place tortillas on baking sheet. Lightly spray tortillas with nonstick cooking spray. Using fork, pierce tortillas several times to prevent from filling with air.
  4. Bake tortillas 5-6 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.
  5. In medium nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat, cook turkey, chili powder, cumin and coriander 5-6 minutes, or until turkey is no longer pink, stirring occasionally to turn and break up turkey.
  6. Add beans and water. Cook 5 minutes, or until beans are heated through. Using potato masher, coarsely mash beans. Remove from heat.
  7. To assemble tostadas, spread turkey mixture over each tortilla. Top with salsa.

Nutritional information per serving: 260 calories; 7.5 g total fat; 1 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 1 g polyunsaturated fat; 4.5 g monounsaturated fat; 18 mg cholesterol; 60 mg sodium; 33 g carbohydrates; 8 g dietary fiber; 7 g sugars; 19 g protein.

Ginger Pumpkin Soup

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association's Healthy for Good initiative
Servings: 4

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons canola or corn oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely minced
  • 3/4 tablespoon minced peeled gingerroot or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced, or 1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crumbled
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups fat-free, low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 1 cup fat-free milk
  • 1/4 cup fat-free sour cream (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped chives (optional)
  1. In large heavy pot, heat oil over medium-high heat, swirling to coat bottom. Cook onion 6-8 minutes, or until soft, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir in gingerroot, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, pepper and salt. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in flour. Pour in broth and water. Using spatula, scrape bottom of pot to dislodge any browned bits. Stir in pumpkin. Bring mixture to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes.
  3. Stir in milk. Remove from heat. Ladle soup into bowls.
  4. Garnish with sour cream and chives, if desired.

Nutritional information per serving: 138 calories; 2.5 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 0.5 g polyunsaturated fat; 1 g monounsaturated fat; 1 mg cholesterol; 199 mg sodium; 27 g carbohydrates; 10 g dietary fiber; 14 g sugars; 6 g protein.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Tuna Pasta Casserole)

Source: American Heart Association

Videos 13 December 2021

A Cheesy Winter Warm-Up

(Family Features) One of the easiest ways to warm up at the end of a winter day – both inside and out – is by sharing a comforting meal with loved ones.

Getting your whole family to the table can be surprisingly easy when a savory dish like Cheesy Spinach Ravioli awaits. This recipe offers a kid-friendly way to get a serving of greens along with favorite flavors. Originally started by an Italian mother more than 80 years ago, having a delicious jar of RAGÙ sauce in hand, with its distinctive yellow cap, can help anyone create this mouthwatering recipe and quick real-world dishes at home.

Having a go-to jar of sauce in your pantry offers an invaluable resource for at-home cooks who want to “cook like a mother” and create delicious, homemade recipes regardless of culinary skill. With a wide array of flavor varieties, the rich heritage of these familiar sauces can quickly help you make cold days feel far away while elevating everyday meals at the family table.

Visit Ragu.com to find more winter recipe inspiration.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

 

Cheesy Spinach Ravioli

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: about 1 hour
Yield: 17-20 ravioli

Dough:

  • 3          cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1          pinch salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon olive oil
  • 4          whole eggs
  • 2          egg yolks
  • water

Filling:

  • 1/2       teaspoon olive oil
  • 2          cups chopped spinach, fresh or frozen
  • 1          pinch salt
  • 1          pinch pepper
  • 1          container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese

Toppings:

  • 1          jar (24 ounces) RAGÙ Old World Style Traditional Sauce
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2          chopped basil leaves
  • 2          chopped sprigs rosemary
  • grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. To make dough: Place 2 1/2 cups flour in bowl and make hole in center. Add salt, garlic powder, olive oil, eggs and egg yolks to hole. Slowly bring flour into middle and knead into ball. Cover with bowl and let rest 20 minutes.
  2. To make filling: In pan over medium heat, add olive oil; add spinach, salt and pepper then saute until spinach is wilted. Let cool then mix in ricotta cheese; set aside.
  3. Cut dough in half. Sprinkle remaining flour on large cutting board and roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into rectangle then cut into 2-3-inch squares. Set scraps aside. Brush water on squares then spoon 1 teaspoon spinach-ricotta filling in center of every other square. Top with remaining squares. Use fork to crimp edges. Repeat with remaining dough. Form scraps into ball and repeat.
  4. Put ravioli in boiling water, 8-10 minutes; they will rise to top when done.
  5. In saucepan over medium heat, heat sauce until simmering.
  6. Place ravioli on plate and top with warm sauce, mozzarella cheese, basil and rosemary. Grate Parmesan cheese on top, if desired.

Source: Ragu Foods

Meal Ideas 23 November 2021

Hearty, Wholesome Winter Meals

(Family Features) Seeking comfort from the cold in the form of a wholesome meal is a perfect way to cap off a day with loved ones. During the winter months when brisk temperatures chill you to the bone, warming up with hearty dishes at the family table can bring everyone together.

  • Full of seasonal flavors with top-notch taste, Pecan-Crusted Pork Tenderloin offers a delicious main course you don’t have to feel guilty about. This easy yet elegant entree puts a unique spin on a dinnertime staple thanks to a crunchy pecan crust.
  • With cheddar and ricotta cheeses, sour cream and cavatappi noodles, this Mac and Cheese with Pecan Breadcrumbs is an extra creamy, creative twist on the kid-friendly classic. Pair this family favorite with the pork tenderloin for an easy weeknight combination that little ones can help with in the kitchen by stirring together the cheesy goodness.

This family dinner is made possible with tasty pecans, which are among the lowest in carbs and highest in fiber compared to other tree nuts, helping you stay fuller longer. As a nutrient-dense powerhouse, they have 3 grams of plant-based protein and 3 grams of fiber per 1-ounce serving with 12 grams of “good” monounsaturated fat and only 2 grams of saturated fat. Essential nutrients like thiamin, zinc, copper and manganese – a mineral that’s essential for metabolism and bone health – mean you can feel good about serving pecan-infused dishes to your loved ones.  

Visit americanpecan.com to find more winter weeknight recipe inspiration.

 

Pecan-Crusted Pork Tenderloin

Total time: 35 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, divided
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce, divided
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F and lightly grease large baking dish. Season pork tenderloin with salt and pepper, to taste; set aside.
  2. In small bowl, stir 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and minced garlic. Spread mixture over pork.
  3. Press pecan pieces into brown sugar mixture on pork. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes.
  4. In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine remaining brown sugar, remaining soy sauce, pineapple juice and Dijon mustard. Bring mixture to boil; reduce to simmer 3-5 minutes then remove from heat.
  5. Slice pork, spoon sauce over top and serve.

Mac and Cheese with Pecan Breadcrumbs

Total time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 8 ounces cavatappi pasta
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 block (8 ounces) cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup raw pecan pieces
  • 15 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. In salted boiling water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta cooking water. Return pasta to pot and stir in butter.
  3. Using box grater, shred cheddar cheese.
  4. Using food processor, process 1/4 cup shredded cheese with pecans to coarse breadcrumb consistency.
  5. Add remaining cheddar cheese, ricotta, sour cream, salt and pepper to warm pasta. Stir until thoroughly combined. Add egg; stir. Add reserved pasta water to loosen mixture; stir until smooth.
  6. Pour into buttered 9-inch square or round casserole dish and top evenly with pecan topping.
  7. Bake 30 minutes.

Source: American Pecan Council

Meal Ideas 12 July 2021

Deliver Flavor and Nutrition Despite Busy Schedules

(Family Features) As kids and parents return to busy schedules full of sports, homework and weeknight activities, building a plan for nutritious and easy meals can be challenging. Piecing together a menu that fuels active minds without spending hours in the kitchen is a common goal for many families.

These recipes require minimal prep and call for on-hand ingredients like dairy food favorites that provide nutrients people of all ages need to grow and maintain strong bodies and minds.

Whether you enjoy it together in the morning before getting the day started or mix it up with breakfast for dinner, this Sustainable Frittata is called “sustainable” because you can use leftover cheeses, veggies, ham, sausage and more to recycle ingredients you already have on hand.

For a customizable kid-pleaser, turn to Chopped Chicken Taco Salad and garnish with your family’s favorite toppings. When it’s time to put a twist on a classic while changing up your dinner routine, Roasted Red Pepper and Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches are perfect for putting something new on the table. Make supper a cinch with Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese, which lets you put the work in the hands of your slow cooker for a versatile dish that can be served when homework is finished.

Visit milkmeansmore.org to find more recipes perfect for bringing loved ones together.

Chopped Chicken Taco Salad

Recipe courtesy of Megan Gundy of “What Megan’s Making” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

Dressing:

  • 1          cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3       cup buttermilk, plus additional (optional)
  • 1          tablespoon fresh-squeezed lime juice, plus additional (optional)
  • 3          tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 2          tablespoons taco seasoning

Salad:

  • 2          pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2          tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          head leaf lettuce, chopped
  • 1          avocado, chopped into bite- sized pieces
  • 1          cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1          cup corn
  • 1          pint grape or cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1          cup shredded cheese (Monterey Jack or Mexican)
  • tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips, for topping
  1. To make dressing: In small bowl, stir yogurt, buttermilk, lime juice, cilantro and taco seasoning until combined. Taste and adjust lime juice and cilantro as needed. If dressing is too thick, add buttermilk 1 teaspoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. To make salad: Season chicken on both sides with taco seasoning. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil. Add chicken to pan and cook on both sides until outside is golden brown and chicken is cooked through. Remove to cutting board and slice into strips.
  3. On large platter, heap chopped lettuce. Sprinkle chicken over top. Add avocado, beans, corn, tomatoes and shredded cheese. Drizzle dressing on top and sprinkle with tortilla strips or crushed tortilla chips.

Sustainable Frittata

Recipe courtesy of Jenn Fillenworth of “Jenny With the Good Eats” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 12        eggs, beaten
  • 1/4       cup whole milk, half and half or heavy cream
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 2          cups shredded cheese, any variety
  • 3          cups assorted cooked vegetables and pre-cooked meats
  • fresh herbs, for garnish (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Preheat cast-iron pan or oven-safe skillet over medium heat.
  3. In large bowl, mix eggs, milk and salt then add shredded cheese.
  4. Add cooked vegetables and meats to pan to reheat. Once vegetables have softened, add egg mixture to pan and scramble. Let sit over medium heat 1 minute.
  5. Carefully transfer to oven and bake 10-15 minutes. Frittata is done when eggs have set. Remove from oven and top with fresh herbs.

Slow Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

Recipe courtesy of Rachel Gurk of “Rachel Cooks” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours
Servings: 8

  • 16        ounces elbow pasta
  • 4          tablespoons butter
  • 3          ounces reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 2          cups whole milk
  • 12        ounces evaporated milk
  • 1/2       cup light sour cream
  • 2          large eggs, beaten
  • 3/4       teaspoon ground mustard
  • pepper, to taste
  • 8          ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8          ounces grated provolone cheese
  1. Cook pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain and pour into large slow cooker.
  2. In small saucepan over medium heat, whisk butter and cream cheese until melted. Stir in milk, evaporated milk and sour cream; whisk until combined. Remove from heat; whisk in eggs, ground mustard and pepper, to taste. Stir in cheeses. Pour mixture over cooked macaroni and stir to combine cheese and pasta.
  3. Cover and cook 2 hours on low. Switch to warm until ready to serve.

Roasted Red Pepper and Pesto Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Recipe courtesy of Katie Serbinski of “Mom to Mom Nutrition” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 4          slices French or Italian bread
  • 3          tablespoons prepared pesto
  • 2          large roasted red peppers
  • 4          slices mozzarella cheese
  • 2          tablespoons butter, softened
  1. Preheat skillet or grill pan over medium-low heat.
  2. Spread insides of bread slices evenly with pesto. Stack red peppers and mozzarella cheese.
  3. Spread outer sides of bread with softened butter and grill until toasted and cheese is melted, about 5 minutes per side.
  4. Rest 1 minute before cutting.

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

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 23 October 2019

Welcome the World to Your Kitchen

(Family Features) As a physical representation of cultures and regions from around the world, food can be more than just sustenance – it can connect you and your kitchen to faraway places. Whether you have opportunities to travel the globe or prefer to stick closer to home, foods can bring the heritage of other countries right to your own plate.

To take your own taste tour of the globe, consider these plant-based recipes including Sabra Hummus. More than just a dip, hummus can serve as a canvas for a variety of flavors. Working as a transformative ingredient to elevate nearly any dish, hummus is an ideal base for exploring a world of flavor in your kitchen. 

For example, these Vegetarian Spicy Noodles combine angel hair pasta and a soy-hummus sauce that’s creamy and rich with distinct Thai flavors. Chipotle Hummus and Mushroom Tacos provide a meatless version of a south-of-the-border favorite with a rich umami base topped with fresh cabbage and lime. 

Visit Sabra.com to discover the many ways that hummus can be more than a dip.

Vegetarian Spicy Noodles

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time 10-15 minutes
Servings: 2

Sauce:

  • 4          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2          tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2       cup water
  • 6          tablespoons Sabra Supremely Spicy Hummus, plus additional for garnish
  • 4          quarts water
  • 3          ounces dry angel hair pasta
  • 1          tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 2          cups thinly sliced bell pepper
  • 1          cup thinly sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1          tablespoon thinly sliced Thai basil, divided
  • 1          tablespoon sliced scallions, divided
  1. To make sauce: In large frying pan over medium heat, cook soy sauce, sugar, water and hummus 1-2 minutes until hot and mixed together.
  2. To make noodles: Bring water to boil.
  3. Add pasta to boiling water and cook 5 minutes, or until tender. Strain noodles.
  4. Add garlic, bell peppers and cherry tomatoes to sauce. Let simmer 2 minutes. Add noodles and mix to fully coat noodles, 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 tablespoon basil and 1/2 tablespoon scallions; reserve remainder for garnish.
  5. Place noodles in bowls and top with hummus and remaining basil and scallions.

Chipotle Hummus and Mushroom Tacos

Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2

Chipotle Hummus:

  • 6          tablespoons Sabra Classic Hummus
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground chipotle, dried

Slaw:

  • 1/4       cup finely shredded purple cabbage
  • 1/2       teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4       teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt

Mushrooms:

  • 1/2       tablespoon olive oil
  • 8          ounces sliced mushrooms (brown or white)
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon black pepper
  • 4          small tortillas (corn or flour)
  • 1/2       ounce feta cheese (optional)
  1. To make chipotle hummus: In small bowl, mix hummus and ground chipotle; set aside.
  2. To make slaw: Cut cabbage into quarters to easily remove core; thinly slice. In small mixing bowl, combine cabbage, cilantro, lime juice and salt. Using clean hands, crunch or squeeze together ingredients to bruise cabbage and incorporate.
  3. To make mushrooms: In large frying pan, heat olive oil over high heat. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook about 6 minutes until all sides of mushrooms are browned. Remove mushrooms from pan.
  4. Using hot pan, add tortillas one at a time to warm up, about 20 seconds on each side.
  5. Spread tortillas with chipotle hummus. Place hot mushrooms in centers of tortillas. Top with slaw and feta cheese, if desired.

Source: Sabra

Meal Ideas 16 August 2019

A Classic Staple for Family Meals

(Family Features) Every day seems to bring a new food trend, and while it can be tempting to go all-in on the latest craze to hit the shelves, there are lots of tried-and-true foods that still deserve a place at the table. One of those is real, wholesome dairy milk.

If you’re thinking about passing over real milk in favor of one of the non-dairy milk alternatives, like oat, almond or coconut milk, it’s important to know they’re not a one-to-one swap. In fact, while they might have similar packaging, real milk and non-dairy alternatives differ in several key areas including nutrition, ingredients, added sugars and taste.

Starting with nutrition, few non-dairy alternatives can match the full nutrient package found in real milk, which naturally contains high-quality protein, calcium, phosphorus and B vitamins. Real milk is also the top food source of calcium, vitamin D and potassium in the American diet – three of the nutrients the current Dietary Guidelines say people most often lack – and it’s hard to get enough important nutrients without it, according to research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association and The FASEB Journal.

Real milk is also simple, with a short ingredient list of just milk, vitamin A and vitamin D and no added sugar. Some non-dairy milk alternatives have 10 or more ingredients, including added sugar, salt, stabilizers and emulsifiers.

On top of being a fresh, nutritious beverage, milk plays a key role in wholesome, classic recipes to share with family and friends. From this Easy Creamy Macaroni and Cheese to a classic alfredo, real milk not only boosts nutrition, it also adds dimension, accentuates flavor and serves as a creamy base to many of your favorite dishes.

For more recipe inspiration, visit milklife.com.

Easy Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Servings: 4

  • 12        ounces small pasta noodles, like elbows or shells
  • 2          teaspoons olive oil
  • 3          tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3          tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2    cups low-fat milk, divided
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2          cups freshly grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • chopped parsley, for garnish (optional)
  • 1          glass milk (8 ounces) paired with each serving
  1. Add pasta to pot of boiling, salted water; boil until tender then drain and rinse with cold water. Toss pasta with olive oil and set aside.
  2. In large skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Stir in flour. Gradually whisk in 2 cups milk until smooth and creamy. Stir in garlic powder.
  3. Stir in cheese until completely melted and fully incorporated. Add remaining milk to thin. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Stir in cooked pasta, garnish with pepper and chopped parsley, if desired, and serve with glass of real milk.

Nutritional information per serving: 660 calories; 36 g fat; 21 g saturated fat; 105 mg cholesterol; 33 g protein; 51 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 540 mg sodium; 905 mg calcium. Nutrition figures include 8-ounce glass of low-fat milk.  

Source: MilkPEP

Holiday 09 April 2019

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

(Family Features) This Cinco de Mayo, make sure you're prepared to celebrate the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Gather your family on this festive day to enjoy music, dancing and, of course, great Mexican food.

As you're getting ready for this year's fiesta, keep Mama Ortega in mind. Maria Conception Jacinta Dominguez Ortega, otherwise known as Mama Ortega, raised a family of 13 children with homemade Mexican meals every night. One hundred fifty years later her traditions still live on with great Mexican foods from Ortega.

Make some of your own family traditions with great recipes such as Pasta and Grilled Vegetable Salad with Cilantro Dressing, Taco Casserole or, perhaps, a Frozen Margarita Pie. From tasty whole kernel corn taco shells and delicious salsas to authentic taco sauces and diced green chiles, Ortega offers a wide variety of Mexican food products to meet all of your family's needs.

To get some new ideas on Cinco de Mayo recipes and valuable coupons, visit www.ortega.com.

Taco Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish: 30 minutes
Makes: 8 servings

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 bottle (8 ounces) Ortega Taco Sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 can (4 ounces) Ortega Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chiles
  • 1 packet (1.25 ounces) Ortega 40% Less Sodium Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 1 package (12-count) Ortega Whole Grain Corn Taco Shells, broken, divided
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • Chopped tomatoes, chopped green bell pepper, sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 11 x 7-inch baking dish.
  2. Cook beef and onion in large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned. Drain and discard excess fat.
  3. Stir in taco sauce, water, chiles and seasoning mix; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Layer half of broken taco shells on bottom of prepared baking dish. Cover with half of meat mixture; sprinkle with 1 cup cheese.
    Repeat layers with remaining ingredients.
  5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Serve with desired toppings.

Pasta and Grilled Vegetable Salad with Cilantro Dressing

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Start to Finish: 30 minutes
Makes: 6 to 8 servings

Dressing

  • 1 can (4 ounces) Ortega Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chiles
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Regina red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Polaner minced garlic
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Salad

  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut in half
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut in half
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into thin slices
  • 1 medium yellow squash, cut lengthwise into thin slices
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 1 pound pasta shells or penne, cooked
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) salsa
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed fresh basil, cut into thin strips
  • Lettuce leaves (optional)
  1. Combine chiles, cilantro, oil, vinegar and garlic in small bowl. Whisk until well blended. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat, about 15 minutes. Lightly brush grill grid with vegetable oil.
  3. Grill bell peppers, zucchini, squash and onion 3 to 5 minutes per side or until fork-tender. Remove vegetables from grill: cut into bite-size pieces.
  4. Toss cooked pasta, salsa, sliced vegetables and basil in large bowl or serving platter. Serve with dressing on lettuce leaves, if desired.

Frozen Margarita Pie

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Start to Finish: 4 hours
Makes: 8 servings

Crust

  • 10 Ortega Yellow Corn Taco Shells
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Filling

  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup frozen limeade, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 drop green food coloring
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • Lime curls (optional)
  1. Place taco shells in food processor and pulse until evenly ground.
  2. Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in taco crumbs and sugar until well blended. Press firmly over bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate.
  3. Place in freezer until firm.
  4. Combine sweetened condensed milk, limeade, orange juice and food coloring in large mixing bowl.
  5. Whip cream until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream gently into condensed milk mixture until blended. Pour onto prepared crust.
  6. Freeze uncovered, 4 hours or until firm. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with lime curls, if desired.

Tip: To crush taco shells without a food processor, place them in a resealable plastic food storage bag and run a rolling pin over the shells until they're evenly crushed.

Source: Ortega

Healthy 27 March 2019

Creating Healthy Eating Habits

(Family Features) When it comes to eating, it can be difficult to find foods that kids can enjoy while also introducing them to valuable nourishment and health principles.

Instead of giving in to ice cream for every meal or forcing children to eat something their taste buds don’t agree with, there are tasty recipes like Chicken Noodle Soup, Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast and Flower Salad that can quench their appetites without giving up nutritional value. These fun recipes can give kids a chance to help in the kitchen, learning important life skills while spending quality time with family.

To find more fun, kid-friendly recipes that include both taste and nourishment, visit culinary.net.

The Classic Kid-Favorite

When mealtime hits and bellies start growling, turn to a classic to keep your kids full and satisfied. Chicken Noodle Soup has always been a favorite among children, so keep tradition alive in your family with this scrumptious recipe. For more delicious chicken recipes, visit eatchicken.com.

Chicken Noodle Soup

Recipe courtesy of National Chicken Council

  • 1 chicken (3 pounds), liver discarded
  • 2 1/2 quarts cold water
  • 4 carrots, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 2 onions, peeled
  • 2 celery stalks with leaves, cut into 4 pieces
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

Soup:

  • 1 cup small pasta, cooked
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  1. To prepare broth: In large pot over high heat, bring chicken and all remaining broth ingredients to boil. Reduce heat to low; skim surface of broth to remove foam. Let simmer 1 1/2 hours, skimming occasionally, and turning chicken. Add more water if necessary to keep chicken submerged.
  2. Remove chicken with tongs and cool. Strain broth through fine sieve. Discard celery, herbs and spices. Reserve onions and carrots. Remove any excess fat from top of broth with spoon.
  3. Pull chicken meat from bones and discard skin and bones. Dice chicken and reserve. Quarter cooked onions, if desired.
  4. To prepare soup: In large pot over high heat, return strained chicken broth and bring to rolling boil. Add reserved onions and carrots. Reduce heat to low; stir in reserved chicken meat, pasta and frozen peas, cooking until warm. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle soup into bowls and top with dill and parsley.

Connect Kids with Food for Healthy Habits

More than nine in 10 millennial moms think it's important for their kids to learn about where their food comes from, and more than three-quarters of those moms actively do things with their kids to help learn just that, according to recent findings.

Building healthy habits is the top reason moms cite for encouraging more learning when it comes to food, according to research conducted by IPSOS on behalf of Cuties – the sweet little clementines. Even when the weather is colder outside, recipes like this Flower Salad can help encourage kids to eat healthy for a lifetime.

For more kid-friendly recipe ideas and content exploring where food comes from, visit cutiescitrus.com/our-story.

Flower Salad

Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger
Servings: 1

Flower:

  • 1 Cuties clementine
  • 9-10 thinly sliced strips red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 grape tomato
  • 1 celery stick, cut to 3 inches
  • 2 small leaves romaine lettuce
  • 1 piece English cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and cut to 1 1/2 inches then thinly sliced

Dip:

  • 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  1. Peel clementine and separate sections almost all the way, leaving attached at the base. Place on plate with base down. Place piece of red bell pepper between each citrus section, and half tomato in center to form flower.
  2. Place celery and lettuce leaves underneath as stem and leaves. Arrange cucumber slices below to represent grass.
  3. In small bowl, stir together yogurt, honey and lemon juice.
  4. Serve dip in dish alongside flower, or in a mound underneath cucumber slices.

Nutritional information per serving: 76 calories; 0.5 g total fat; (0.3 g saturated fat, 0.2 g poly fat); 4 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 2 mg cholesterol; 21 mg sodium.

A Memorable Morning Meal

Whether it’s before school or after sleeping in on a Saturday morning, breakfast is a popular meal for children of all ages. Next time you and your family rise and shine, go with this recipe for Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast to keep the whole gang happy. Find more kid-friendly recipes for every meal at nutrition.gov.

Cinnamon-Sprinkled French Toast

Recipe courtesy of the USDA

  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 1 teaspoon soft margarine
  • 4 teaspoons light pancake syrup
  1. In flat-bottomed bowl, crack eggs. Thoroughly whisk in milk and cinnamon. Dip bread slices, one at a time, into egg mixture, wetting both sides. Re-dip, if necessary, until all egg mixture is absorbed into bread.
  2. Meanwhile, heat large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add butter. Place dipped bread slices in skillet. Cook 2 1/2-3 minutes per side, or until both sides are golden brown.
  3. Drizzle with syrup. Serve when warm.

Nutritional information per serving: 190 calories; 8 g total fat; (3 g saturated fat); 10 g protein; 19 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 215 mg cholesterol; 250 mg sodium.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Chicken soup photo and French toast photo)

Source: Culinary.net

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