recipes

Videos 14 May 2019

Sensational Salads

Add fruits, veggies to meals for plant-forward nutrition

(Family Features) Adding more fruits and vegetables is one of the simplest ways to make at-home meals healthier for your family.

Focusing your plate on more of the good stuff – vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, plant-based proteins, lean animal proteins and fish – can help you cut back on the not-so-good stuff, including refined carbohydrates, added sugars, processed meats, sodium and saturated and trans fats, according to the American Heart Association.

While some may think meat makes the meal and it can be part of an overall healthy eating pattern, a survey from Aramark, the largest U.S. based food service company, found many people want to ease up on meat consumption, and 2 out of 3 want to eat more fruits and vegetables. The company made sweeping changes to incorporate more plants into its menus, resulting in meals with fewer calories, less saturated fat and reduced sodium.

Punching up the plants on your plate can lead to better nutrition in your house, too. Try putting vegetables and fruits center-stage with these heart-healthy salads.

To help encourage healthier communities, the American Heart Association and Aramark have made it simple for you to learn better nutrition and lifestyle habits and to share that information. For more recipes, tips and resources, visit heart.org/healthyforlife.

Make the Most of Seasonal Fruits and Veggies
For many people, warmer weather means more time outdoors and food cooked on the grill. To help make your meals more nutritious, consider these ideas to choose, store and enjoy warm-weather fruits and veggies:

Corn
Straight from the cob, sweet corn is packed with fiber and antioxidants and can be grilled, boiled or even microwaved. Try tossing it with a small amount of light mayonnaise, lime juice, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper for a simple version of Mexican Street Corn.

Cucumbers
Prep is a breeze with cucumbers, which can be eaten raw with or without the peel. For a no-fuss salad, toss together cucumbers, onion and fresh dill then add a dash of sugar, salt and pepper plus a splash of cider vinegar.

Tomatoes
Full of nutrients, including vitamins A and C and the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes are a popular option for seasonal dishes. Store them stem-up on the counter, rather than in the fridge, to prevent bruising and enhance the flavor.

For more ways to introduce fruits and veggies to fresh, seasonal meals, visit Aramark’s wellness blog at fyp365.com.

Tangy Kale Slaw with Cilantro and Honey

Recipe courtesy of Aramark
Servings: 6

  • 2          tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon light mayonnaise
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons cilantro leaves, washed and chopped
  • 1          teaspoon lime juice
  • 1/4       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2          cups kale leaves, washed, shredded and stems removed
  • 1/2       cup red cabbage leaves, washed and shredded
  • 1/2       cup carrot, trimmed and shredded
  • 1/4       cup green onion, trimmed and thinly sliced
  1. In bowl, combine vinegar, mayonnaise, honey, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Whisk until well blended.
  2. Add kale, red cabbage, carrot and onion. Toss to coat.
  3. Cover and keep chilled prior to serving.

Nutritional information per serving: 40 calories; 1 g protein; 1 g fiber.

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!

Black-Eyed Pea, Corn and Rice Salad

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association
Servings: 6

  • 2          cans (15 1/2 ounces each) no-salt-added or low-sodium black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1          can (15 1/4 ounces) low-sodium or no-salt-added whole-kernel corn
  • 1          package (8 1/2 ounces) brown rice, microwaved according to package directions and broken into small pieces
  • 2          medium ribs celery, chopped
  • 1          medium bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          tablespoon water
  • 1/8       teaspoon black pepper
  1. In large bowl, stir peas, corn, rice, celery, pepper, parsley, olive oil, water and black pepper until combined.

Nutritional information per serving: 231 calories; 10 g protein; 7 g fiber.

Simple Persian Salad

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association
Servings: 4

  • 2          medium cucumbers, seeded and diced
  • 4          medium tomatoes, diced
  • 1          medium red onion, diced
  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh mint or parsley
  • 2          tablespoons fat-free feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2          medium limes, juice only
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  1. In bowl, stir cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, mint and feta. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes.
  2. In small bowl, whisk lime juice, oil and pepper until well blended.
  3. Pour dressing over salad, tossing gently to coat.

Nutritional information per serving: 88 calories; 3 g protein; 3 g fiber.

Source: American Heart Association/Aramark

Holiday 09 April 2019

A Fiesta of Flavor!

(Family Features) This Cinco de Mayo, gather the whole family together and enjoy a true Mexican fiesta like Mama Ortega would have thrown over 100 years ago. With mariachi music, dancing, piñatas and traditional homemade Mexican meals, Mama's fiestas were always a favorite with family, friends and especially her 13 children!

The flavors and smells of Mama's homemade meals still taste great today, but are easier to create - and more fun to eat! Her legendary meals inspired today's convenient and great tasting Ortega Mexican products. Achieve authentic fiesta flavors by using crisp and crunchy Ortega taco shells made with whole kernel corn, topped with slow simmered Ortega Taco Sauce and authentic fire-roasted green chiles. Ortega's zesty Mexican seasonings and fresh-tasting salsas are perfect for adding flavor to your favorite snack, casserole, dip or soup!

So, gather the family together and enjoy a fiesta of flavors with Ortega. For other great recipe ideas or to learn more about Ortega's line of products, visit www.ortega.com.

Taco Rice and Beans

Prep time: 5 minutes
Start to finish: 15 minutes
Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 package (1.25 ounces) Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup Ortega Thick & Chunky Salsa
  1. In skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes. Add taco seasoning mix and water. Stir until combined and slightly thickened. Add beans, rice and salsa; stir. Cook 5 minutes more or until contents are heated through.

Grilled Margarita Shrimp

Prep time: 40 minutes
Start to finish: 50 minutes
Serves 6

  • 1 cup margarita mix
  • 1 cup Ortega Taco Sauce, divided
  • 2 pounds raw shrimp (21 to 30), peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons Ortega Diced Green Chiles
  1. In large bowl, pour margarita mix and 1/2 cup taco sauce over shrimp and toss well. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  2. Preheat grill until sizzling hot, about 15 minutes. Grill shrimp 4 minutes on each side or until pink.
  3. Combine remaining 1/2 cup taco sauce with green chiles to use as dipping sauce.

Ham and Cheese Quesadillas

Prep time: 10 minutes
Start to finish: 20 minutes
Serves 5

  • 1/2 pound cooked ham, diced
  • 3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • Zest of one lime
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, diced
  • 1 Ortega Soft Taco Kit - includes 10 soft tortillas, 1 package (1.25 ounces) taco seasoning mix and 1 package (3 ounces) taco sauce
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. In mixing bowl, combine diced ham, cream cheese, lime zest, green onions and half of taco seasoning packet contained in soft taco kit. Heat large skillet on medium and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Spread about 1 teaspoon taco sauce onto a flour tortilla and then spread about 1/4 cup ham/cream cheese mixture on top.
  3. Place tortilla-side down onto hot skillet and top with another flour tortilla. Heat about 4 minutes, until bottom of tortilla is browned; spray top of the other tortilla and flip. Cook another 4 minutes and repeat with remaining quesadillas. Cook two at a time if skillet is large enough.
  4. Cut into wedges and top with tomato, cilantro and sour cream and serve.

Mexican Meatballs

Prep time: 15 minutes
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Makes about 30 meatballs

  • 3 Ortega Yellow Corn Taco Shells
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon Ortega Chili Seasoning Mix
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons Ortega Diced Green Chiles
  • 1 bottle (8 ounces) Ortega Taco Sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
  1. Break taco shells into food processor and pulse several times to create about 1/2 cup taco shell crumbs. Place into large mixing bowl and add ground beef, seasoning mix, egg and green chiles. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Form mixture into 30 (1-inch) meatballs and drop into hot skillet. Cook until they begin to brown. Carefully turn over and continue browning. Add taco sauce. Coat meatballs with sauce and simmer over low heat, uncovered, 10 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle meatballs with cheese and garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve with toothpicks.

Photos copyright (c) 2008 Publications International, Ltd. Used by permission.

Source: Ortega

Meal Ideas 21 February 2019

Fresh, Filling Family Dinners

(Family Features) When busy mornings give way to a hectic workday followed by homework and after-school activities, a fresh, simple meal is often the only option. Before you hit the drive-thru or settle for an equally unhealthy alternative, check out these delicious dishes you can prepare and serve without the hassle.

Find more ideas to make your busy weeknights easy at Culinary.net.

Savory and Scrumptious

Take a nutritious dish to the family table that still brings a flavorful bite. This savory lasagna recipe boasts meaty eggplant, fresh zucchini and lycopene-rich tomatoes. Whole-wheat noodles pack fiber and natural plant compounds, called phytochemicals. Find more better-for-you recipe ideas at AICR.org.

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

Reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research.
Servings: 12

  • 2          eggplants (about 3 pounds), quartered lengthwise
  • 6          medium zucchini (about 3 pounds)
  • canola oil cooking spray
  • 1          pound whole-wheat lasagna noodles
  • 15        ounces low-fat ricotta or low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2          eggs
  • 1/2       cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3          cups low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 4          cups low-sodium tomato sauce, divided
  1. Heat oven to 450° F. Grease 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking pan; set aside.
  2. Slice eggplant and zucchini in 1/2-inch slices. Layer on two baking sheets and coat both sides of vegetables with cooking spray. Roast 20 minutes. Toss vegetables and continue roasting until well browned and soft, about 20 minutes more. Transfer vegetables to large bowl.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 375° F.
  4. Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions. Separate noodles and let cool slightly.
  5. In medium bowl, mix together cheese, eggs, Parmesan, nutmeg and garlic powder.
  6. To assemble: Spread thin layer of sauce over bottom of prepared pan. Cover with layer of pasta (noodle strips slightly overlapping). Spread with one-third of ricotta mixture.
  7. Sprinkle 1/4 of the mozzarella over ricotta. Spoon 1/3 of roasted vegetables on top. Top with 1/2 cup tomato sauce and continue assembly as directed until there are four layers of pasta and three layers of filling. Spread remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella.
  8. Cover pan with aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and continue baking until golden and bubbly, about 15 minutes more. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

Quick, Flavorful Meal Idea

It’s not always easy to make healthy food choices. When time is of the essence, look for delicious recipe ingredients that are convenient and easy to prepare while also offering great taste and health benefits.

In fact, 40 percent of American consumers said shorter cooking times are especially important when buying grocery items such as rice, grains and pasta, according to research from Statista, and 83 percent said taste is an important factor when purchasing food.

Ready in 10 minutes with flavor infused in every grain, Uncle Ben’s Flavor Infusions rice is ideal for those looking for quick and healthy meal options. With its one-step cooking process, it makes it easy for families to cook with their kids and quickly get dinner on the table. The resealable pouches ensure freshness for multiple uses, and any of the five flavors can be combined with fresh vegetables, proteins and herbs for a simple meal that’s ready in less than 20 minutes.

Simple recipe options using Flavor Infusions, such as Easy Thai Chicken Satay and Rice Salad, are quick meals the entire family can enjoy, even when short on time. Find more meal ideas at UncleBens.com.

Easy Thai Chicken Satay and Rice Salad

Servings: 4-6

Dressing:

  • 1/4       cup canned, unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4       cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1          tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2          teaspoons red curry paste
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1-2       tablespoons hot water

Salad:

  • 1          cup Uncle Ben’s Flavor Infusions Roasted Chicken
  • 1 1/2    cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1          cup shredded carrots
  • 1          cup sliced pea pods
  • 1          cup sliced red pepper
  • 1          avocado, pitted and sliced
  • 4-6       red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2          tablespoons chopped peanuts
  • 2          tablespoons chopped green onions
  1. To make dressing: In small glass bowl, stir together coconut milk, peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, red curry paste, cayenne pepper and hot water; set aside.
  2. Cook rice according to package instructions. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.
  3. In center of individual plates, place about 1 cup rice. Arrange chicken, carrots, pea pods, red pepper, avocado, radishes, peanuts and green onions around rice then drizzle with dressing.

Fish with a Twist

Add a little variety to your dinnertime protein with a smart, heart-healthy option like fish. Fillets cook quickly and a slightly sweet white fish like farm-raised catfish has a mild enough flavor to entice picky young eaters. White fish is also quite versatile; it can take on other flavors such as this citrusy topping with ease. Find more family-friendly fish recipes at USCatfish.com.

Catfish Quesadilla with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream

Recipe courtesy of The Catfish Institute
Servings: 4

  • 4          U.S. Farm-Raised Catfish Fillets, grilled or baked
  • 2 1/2    tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • smoked paprika or chili powder
  • 1          small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2       red onion, diced
  • 3/4       cup whole corn kernels
  • 1          teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1          teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2       cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 4          flour or wheat tortillas (10 inches each)
  • 1          can (16 ounces) refried black beans
  • 2          cups grated pepper jack cheese

Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream:

  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • 1/4       cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1/2       lime, juiced
  • lime zest
  • salt, to taste
  1. Lightly brush fish with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt, pepper and smoked paprika or chili powder. Prepare fish on grill or bake until done. Place in refrigerator to cool. When cool, cut into bite-size pieces.
  2. In large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Saute red pepper and onion until soft, about 5 minutes. Add corn, red pepper flakes, cumin and salt and pepper, to taste. Toss to incorporate and saute 3 minutes. Transfer to bowl and add cilantro.
  3. Heat pan large enough to hold flat tortilla to medium heat. Lightly brush pan with remaining olive oil.
  4. Spread tortilla on work surface. On half of each tortilla, spread refried beans and vegetables; top with fish.
  5. Place in heated pan and sprinkle 1/2 cup cheese on other half of tortilla. Heat until cheese is melted and tortilla is lightly crispy. Fold cheese side over vegetable side and remove to plate.
  6. Using serrated knife, cut each tortilla into four pieces. Serve with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream.
  7. To make Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream: In small bowl, mix all ingredients until combined.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Roasted Vegetable Lasagna and Catfish Quesadilla with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream)

Photo courtesy of Uncle Ben’s (Easy Thai Chicken Satay and Rice Salad)

Source: Culinary.net

Meal Ideas 03 July 2018

Add a Splash of Flavor to Your Summer

Asian-inspired small plates for the entire family

(Family Features) The season of warm summer nights and bright sunny days calls for equally vibrant meals. As the season of entertaining continues, many at-home chefs are searching for exciting and flavorful meals to feed their family and friends.

According to Mintel’s 2018 US Flavor Trends Report, consumers continually seek to be more adventurous with their palates by trying ethnic flavors, such as those found in Asian cooking. When the hotter summer weather calls for light, fresh snackable fare, give Asian small plates a try.

Have a go at a variety of flavorful appetizers like dippable Chinese Shrimp Potstickers, which pair perfectly with a savory Thai Chicken Satay and Light Cucumber Salad. Round out your meal with a satisfying Korean Beef Bulgogi and Kimchi over Sticky Rice, featuring irresistible and exotic flavors that can have your guests coming back for more.

To create impressive meals with a variety of ingredients, incorporate an option such as Nakano clean-labeled rice vinegars, which are available in seven varieties and feature easy-to-read labels showing no more than six real, recognizable ingredients to help enhance the flavors of summertime dishes.

For more fresh and flavorful summer dishes, visit NakanoOrganic.com.
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Thai Chicken Satay with Light Cucumber Salad

Prep time: 25 minutes, plus marinating
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4 (about 4 skewers per serving)

Cucumber Salad:

  • 1/3       cup Nakano Roasted Garlic Rice Vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons sugar
  • 1/2       teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       thinly sliced English cucumber
  • 1          thinly sliced carrot
  • 1          thinly sliced scallion
  • 1/4       cup chopped peanuts,  for garnish

Chicken Satay:

  • 15        bamboo skewers
  • 2          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1          tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1          teaspoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2          tablespoons Nakano Organic Original Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2          teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1          pound thinly sliced chicken breast
  • fresh cilantro, for garnish

Peanut Sauce:

  • 1/4       cup scallions, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1          teaspoon minced jalapeno
  • 1          teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2       teaspoon minced ginger
  • 3/4       cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1          tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3          tablespoons Nakano
  • Roasted Garlic                       
  • Rice Vinegar
  • 2          teaspoons lime juice
  • 3/4       cup coconut milk
  • 2          tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2          tablespoons honey
  • chopped peanuts, for garnish
  1. To make Cucumber Salad: In large bowl, combine roasted garlic rice vinegar, sugar, toasted sesame oil, red pepper flakes and salt. Add cucumbers, carrots and scallions. Cover bowl and marinate 15 minutes. Garnish with chopped peanuts.
  2. To make Chicken Satay: In dish, soak bamboo skewers. In large bowl, combine soy sauce, peanut oil, toasted sesame oil, seasoned rice vinegar, ginger, coriander, turmeric and thinly sliced chicken breast. Cover bowl and marinate 2 hours.
  3. To make Peanut Sauce: In food processor, process scallions, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, ginger, peanut butter, toasted sesame oil, roasted garlic rice vinegar, lime juice, coconut milk, hoisin sauce and honey until smooth. Garnish with chopped peanuts.
  4. After 2 hours of marinating, skewer chicken. Heat grill or grill pan to medium heat and cook 2 minutes on each side. Garnish with cilantro and serve with Peanut Sauce and Cucumber Salad.

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Korean Beef Bulgogi and Kimchi over Sticky Rice

Prep time: 15 minutes, plus marinating
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 (about 1 cup per serving)

  • 3          tablespoons light soy sauce
  • 2          tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 2          tablespoons Nakano Natural Rice Vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2          minced cloves garlic
  • 1/4       cup grated red apple
  • 1          teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • black pepper
  • 16        ounces thinly sliced rib-eye steak
  • 1          tablespoon canola oil
  • 3          cups sticky rice
  • 3          tablespoons Nakano Original Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2       cup kimchi, prepared
  • 1          tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 1          scallion, sliced
  • 1          red jalapeno, sliced
  • 1/4       cup carrots, julienned
  1. In large bowl, combine light soy sauce, dark brown sugar, natural rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, garlic, apple, ginger and black pepper. Add in steak slices and cover bowl. Marinate 1 hour.
  2. After marinating, in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat canola oil. Add steak slices and sear, reserving marinade. Once browned, add marinade and cook 1 minute, or until slightly thickened.
  3. Cook sticky rice according to package instructions and sprinkle on seasoned rice vinegar. Serve beef bulgogi over sticky rice and garnish with kimchi, sesame seeds, scallions, red jalapeno and carrots.

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Chinese Shrimp Potstickers

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6 (4 potstickers per serving)

  • 24        wonton wrappers
  • 8          ounces large raw shrimp, peeled, deveined and chopped
  • 3          tablespoons minced scallions
  • 4          canned water chestnuts, minced (approximately 1/8 cup)
  • 1          tablespoon oyster sauce
  • 3          tablespoons Nakano Original Seasoned Rice Vinegar, divided
  • 2          tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2          tablespoons water, plus additional for wonton wrappers
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper
  • 2          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2          teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  1. To make potstickers: Set aside wonton wrappers. In large bowl, combine shrimp, scallions, water chestnuts, oyster sauce, 1 tablespoon seasoned rice vinegar, peanut oil, water, salt and pepper. Fill one wonton wrapper with 1 teaspoon filling.
  2. Lightly wet edges of wonton wrapper with water, fold into triangle and pinch edges closed. Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers and filling.
  3. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat peanut oil. Place potstickers in skillet and cook until golden on bottoms. Once browned, add 2 tablespoons water to skillet, cover and cook 4 minutes until steamed. Remove lid and cook until water has evaporated.
  4. To make dipping sauce: In medium bowl, combine soy sauce, remaining seasoned rice vinegar and sesame oil.

Source:  Nakano

Appetizers & Sides 07 December 2017

Create Lifelong Memories This Holiday Season

(Family Features) The holiday season is here, giving families an opportunity to spend quality time together in the kitchen. Engage little ones by involving them in the process and teaching them some lifelong kitchen skills while having fun.

Taking part in something as important as holiday meal prep not only reinforces confidence, but also can help teach crucial skills like math, science and reading.

Encourage your family to cook together in the kitchen, turning cooking time into family time, with these tips from Uncle Ben’s “Ben’s Beginners” campaign.

  1. Have Kids Set the Table. During the holidays, dinner becomes a much bigger event. With family members visiting, the dinner table can get quite crowded. Convince your kids to help set the table by putting out utensils, plates and napkins. It’s a simple task to get children of any age involved in family routines.
  2. Let Them Stir. Give those fidgety fingers something to do by letting kids stir room-temperature ingredients. Mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy all typically require mixing.
  3. Get Clean. Use this time to teach food safety as your children help you scrub produce. As a bonus, it also helps reinforce washing hands, too.
  4. Count on the Counter. Put your kids to the test to help count and measure ingredients as you add them to the recipe.
  5. Rock ’n’ Roll. Blast some fun holiday tunes. This can help hold kids’ attention while working.
  6. Share the Holiday Cheer. Make every moment sharable by staging the final product for a quick photo shoot. Encourage your little ones to show off what they helped make and capture their proud moments in the kitchen.
  7. Have Fun. Dress for the occasion with matching aprons and chefs’ hats. Tweak recipes to embrace your family’s interests and make dinner something to smile about.

The holidays are all about spending quality time with loved ones. Although it may feel as if too much time is spent in the kitchen, cooking time can become memorable family time when the whole gang is involved. For more tips and tricks on getting kids in the kitchen, and for recipes the entire family can cook together, visit beginners.unclebens.com.

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Holiday Rice

Prep time: 30-45 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          box Uncle Ben’s Long Grain & Wild Rice, Original Recipe
  • 2 1/4    cups water
  • 2          tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2          cups chopped leeks (white parts only)
  • 1/2       cup orange juice
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1          tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
  • 1          large clove garlic, passed through press
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground cinnamon 
  1. In 2-quart saucepan, add rice and spice packet, water and 1/2 tablespoon butter. Bring to boil, cover and reduce heat to simmer. Cook 25 minutes.
  2. In large skillet, melt remaining butter. Add leeks and cook over medium heat 15 minutes, stirring, until soft and golden. Add orange juice, lemon juice, sage and garlic. Cook over high heat 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add cooked rice to skillet and stir 1 minute until rice is hot. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and cinnamon.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Uncle Ben’s

Meal Ideas 18 September 2017

Flavor Infusion

(Family Features) When your taste buds can’t settle on just one flavor, a fusion dish may be just the answer. Fusion dishes combine some of the best ethnic culinary traditions from around the world, and Asian influences are among the most popular building blocks for fusion cuisine.

One secret to achieving great fusion dishes is the use of cooking wines. For many chefs and home cooks alike, cooking wine is a go-to cooking essential because it can be used in everyday meals. With its versatile array of uses, an option like Holland House®, a line of flavor-enhancing, premium cooking wines, can boost any dish with one of five flavors including Marsala, Sherry, White, Red and White with Lemon.

In addition to these featured dishes, you can find more quick tips for boosting the flavor of your everyday meals on the label of each bottle and explore more recipes at HollandHouseFlavors.com.

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Sweet and Spicy Korean-Chinese Fusion Cauliflower Bites

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4, about 1 1/2 cups per portion

  • 6          cups fresh cauliflower florets
  • 2          tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1          teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4       cup Holland House Sherry Cooking Wine
  • 1/4       cup honey
  • 2          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1          tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2          teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2          tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1          small fresh yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1          tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1          tablespoon Korean-style chili flakes
  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh green onions
  • 1          tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In large bowl, toss cauliflower, sesame oil and salt until well coated. Arrange on nonstick baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and tender.
  3. In small bowl, whisk cooking wine, honey, soy sauce, vinegar and cornstarch until well blended; set aside.
  4. In large, nonstick skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add yellow onions and garlic; cook 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in chili flakes and wine mixture.
  5. Return pan to stove and adjust to medium heat. Bring to simmer, stirring constantly. Continue cooking and stirring 1-2 minutes, or until thickened. Add cooked cauliflower; stir gently to coat.
  6. Transfer cauliflower to serving dish. Top with green onions and sesame seeds.

Tips: The sauce mixture can also be used on chicken wings or grilled pork chops. In place of Korean-style chili flakes, use 1 teaspoon regular crushed red pepper flakes or 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper.

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Lettuce-Wrapped Korean Short Ribs

Prep time: 10 minutes, plus marinating
Cook time: 4 minutes
Servings: 4, about 6 ounces (pre-cooked) per portion

  • 3          tablespoons packed dark brown sugar, divided
  • 2          teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1          teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2    pounds thinly sliced, boneless beef short ribs
  • 1          cup Holland House Marsala Cooking Wine
  • 6          tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4       cup roasted garlic paste
  • 2          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2       cup chopped green onions, divided
  • 1          teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1          head fresh romaine lettuce, separated into large leaves         
  • 1/2       cup sliced fresh red radishes
  • 1/2       cup shredded fresh carrots dipping sauce
  1. In small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons brown sugar, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle evenly over short rib slices, gently rubbing into both sides. Place in re-sealable plastic bag.
  2. In bowl, whisk cooking wine, sesame oil, garlic paste, soy sauce and remaining brown sugar. Pour half of mixture into bag with meat and add 1/4 cup green onions. To marinate, refrigerate at least 1 hour, or up to 12 hours.
  3. In small saucepan, whisk remaining wine mixture and cornstarch until smooth. Bring to simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook 1 minute, or until thickened, stirring constantly. Set aside until cool. Stir in 2 tablespoons green onions.
  4. Heat grill to medium-high.
  5. Remove ribs from marinade, allowing excess to drip off. Discard marinade. Grill 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  6. Cut ribs into 1-inch pieces. Serve with remaining green onions, lettuce, radishes, carrots and warm dipping sauce.

Tips: For fusion tacos, substitute corn or flour tortillas for lettuce leaves. In place of garlic paste, 2 tablespoons minced garlic can be substituted.

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Sizzling Asian Vegetable Fried Rice with Savory White Wine Glaze

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Servings: 4-6, about 1 cup per portion

  • 2          tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1          tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2       cup fresh chopped yellow onions
  • 1          cup fresh small white mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2       cup chopped fresh carrots
  • 1/2       cup chopped fresh zucchini
  • 1/2       cup chopped fresh red bell peppers
  • 1/2       cup chopped fresh yellow bell peppers
  • 3          cups cold, cooked, long-grain white rice
  • 1/2       cup Holland House White Cooking Wine
  • 2          tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1/2       cup fresh green onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2          teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Heat heavy-bottomed, nonstick skillet over high heat. Add vegetable oil, garlic and onions. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, red bell peppers and yellow bell peppers; stir-fry 3 minutes. Add rice; stir-fry 3 minutes.
  2. Add cooking wine; stir-fry 2 minutes, or until dry. Add oyster sauce; stir-fry 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in green onions, sesame oil and black pepper. Transfer to dish or bowl and serve.

Tip: To turn into a main course, add cooked beef, chicken or pork and serve topped with a fried egg.

Source: Holland House

Meal Ideas 07 July 2017

Quick, Flavorful Meal Ideas

(Family Features) It’s not always easy to make healthy food choices. When time is of the essence, look for delicious recipe ingredients that are convenient and easy to prepare while also offering great taste and health benefits.

In fact, 40 percent of American consumers said shorter cooking times are especially important when buying grocery items such as rice, grains and pasta, according to research from Statista, and 83 percent said taste is an important factor when purchasing food.

Ready in 10 minutes with flavor infused in every grain, Uncle Ben’s Flavor Infusions rice is ideal for those looking for quick and healthy meal options. With its one-step cooking process, it makes it easy for families to cook with their kids and quickly get dinner on the table. The re-sealable pouches ensure freshness for multiple uses, and any of the five flavors can be combined with fresh vegetables, proteins and herbs for a simple meal that’s ready in less than 20 minutes.

Simple recipe options using Flavor Infusions, such as Coconut Shrimp on Garlic-Butter Rice and Easy Thai Chicken Satay and Rice Salad, are quick meals the entire family can enjoy, even when short on time. Find more meal ideas at UncleBens.com.

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Coconut Shrimp on Garlic-Butter Rice

Servings: 4-6

  • 1 can (13.6 ounces) unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1-2 tablespoons red chili paste, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 cup Uncle Ben’s Flavor Infusions Garlic & Butter Flavored Rice
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  1. In 10-inch skillet, stir together coconut milk, chicken broth, chili paste, coriander and paprika.
  2. Add rice and bring to boil; cover, reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes. Stir in shrimp and cook 2-3 minutes, or until shrimp just turn pink.

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Easy Thai Chicken Satay and Rice Salad

Servings: 4-6

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup canned, unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons red curry paste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons hot water

Salad:

  • 1 cup Uncle Ben’s Flavor Infusions Roasted Chicken
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup sliced pea pods
  • 1 cup sliced red pepper
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced
  • 4-6 red radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
  1. To make dressing: In small glass bowl, stir together coconut milk, peanut butter, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, red curry paste, cayenne pepper and hot water; set aside.
  2. Cook rice according to package instructions. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.
  3. In center of individual plates, place about 1 cup rice. Arrange chicken, carrots, pea pods, red pepper, avocado, radishes, peanuts and green onions around rice then drizzle with dressing.

Source: Uncle Ben's

Meal Ideas 28 April 2017

Greens and Grains

Add fresh produce to your diet and community

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Warm Grain Bowl with Wild Salmon, Almonds and Salsa Verde

Total time: 20-25 minutes
Servings: 8

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

Salsa Verde (optional):

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

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

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Seeds of Change

Main Dishes 11 April 2017

Unleash the Power of Dairy

(Family Features) If you’re trying to boost the nutrition of your meals and snacks, look no further than your refrigerator. Dairy products provide a powerful nutrition package that can help you meet your nutrient needs and achieve better health.

The most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans affirm dairy’s important place in the diet with a recommendation that people ages 9 and older consume three servings of low-fat or fat-free dairy foods every day. With nine essential nutrients, milk, cheese and yogurt deliver a unique nutrition package superior to milk alternatives, such as almond or rice beverages, which are often fortified or fall short on these important nutrients.

During the hot summer months, when you don’t feel like spending much time in the kitchen, dairy products offer ease and convenience, as many are ready to use in recipes or round out a meal or snack. For a quick, easy and healthy snack this summer, put a fresh take on traditional pizza with this recipe that uses crescent rolls topped with cheeses and fresh seasonal veggies. Or turn up the heat on a classic beef burrito by adding warm pepper jack cheese and black beans.

Visit MidwestDairy.com to pledge Dairy 3 for Me, find additional recipes and learn more about how to unleash the power of dairy nutrition.

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Summer Pizza Snack

Recipe courtesy of Cindy Heins, Heins Family Farms
Total time: 22 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1 tube (8 ounces) crescent rolls
  • 1 tub (8 ounces) low-fat cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 3/4 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives
  • 1/2 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup chopped cucumber
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. In 9-by-13-inch baking pan, spread out crescent roll dough. Seal seams together to form one large rectangle across bottom of pan. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool on rack.
  2. In small bowl, mix together cream cheese, mayonnaise and garlic powder. Spread evenly over entire cooled crust. Top with mozzarella, tomatoes, olives, broccoli and cucumber. Cut into 12 squares and serve.

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Beef Burrito with Pepper Jack Cheese and Black Beans

Total time: 9 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1/2 pound ground beef sirloin
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup chunky salsa, divided
  • 2 cups cooked brown or white rice
  • 6 whole-wheat tortillas (9 inches each)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (11 ounces) corn kernels, drained
  • 2 cups shredded pepper jack cheese
  • sliced green onion, including green tops
  1. In medium, nonstick skillet, brown ground beef and garlic over medium heat (break beef mixture up into smaller chunks with spatula). Drain fat and stir in 1/2 cup salsa; set aside.
  2. Spread 1/3 cup rice on center of tortilla, leaving 1/2-inch border. Scatter about 2 tablespoons beans and 1 1/2 tablespoons corn over rice. Spread 1/3 cup beef mixture and 1/4 cup cheese over corn. Top with 2 teaspoons salsa and a few slices green onion. Fold in two opposite edges of tortilla 1 inch each and roll up. Place seam-side down on microwave-safe dish.
  3. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Place burritos in microwave oven and heat 1 minute, or until heated through. Serve with remaining salsa.

Source: Midwest Dairy Association

Casseroles 13 March 2017

Cheesy Chicken & Rice Bake

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Cheesy Chicken & Rice Bake

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes

  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (regular or 98% fat free)
  • 1 1/3 cups water
  • 3/4 cup uncooked regular long-grain white rice
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (about 4)
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese (4 ounces)
  1. MIX soup, water, rice, onion powder and black pepper in 2-quart shallow baking dish. Top with chicken. Sprinkle chicken with additional pepper. Cover.
  2. BAKE at 375°F for 45 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and rice is done.
  3. UNCOVER. Sprinkle cheese over chicken. Remove chicken and stir rice before serving. Serves 4 to 6

Source: Campbell's Soup

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