recipes

Healthy 25 January 2021

Hearty, Wholesome Dishes to Support Immune Systems

(Family Features) If feeding your family wholesome meals is a daily goal, keep in mind you can serve up tasty foods that also feed your immune system by including ingredients like mushrooms. With their earthy flavor, mushrooms – like many other fruits and vegetables – can also play a positive role in supporting a healthy immune system.

Studies at Oregon State University concluded there are a variety of micronutrients important for supporting a healthy immune system. Consider that three of these nutrients (vitamin D, selenium and B vitamins) can be found in mushrooms, meaning these family-friendly recipes for Roasted Chicken Thighs and Veggies with Mushroom Orzo Risotto; Grilled Portobello Gyros with Yogurt Dill Sauce; Creamy Spinach, Mushroom and Lasagna Soup; and Asian Barbecue Sesame Salmon with Noodles and Veggies can help you add all-important nutrients to your family’s menu.

Find more ways to add mushrooms to family meals at mushroomcouncil.com.

Grilled Portobello Gyros with Yogurt Dill Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Emily Weeks of “Zen and Spice”
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 4          portobello mushrooms
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4       teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2          yellow bell peppers, sliced

Yogurt Dill Sauce:

  • 1          English cucumber, grated
  • 1          cup whole-milk

Greek yogurt

  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2       small lemon, juice only
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1          tablespoon minced fresh dill
  • 4          pita breads or naan
  • 2          tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2       red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2       head green lettuce
  • crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  1. Remove stems from mushrooms and brush caps with wet towel. Using spoon, carefully scrape out gills. Slice mushrooms into 1/4-inch pieces and place in medium bowl with olive oil, oregano and smoked paprika.
  2. Preheat indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and peppers; grill, tossing occasionally, until tender, 5-7 minutes.
  3. To make yogurt dill sauce: Squeeze grated cucumber in clean towel to remove excess liquid. Add to large bowl with yogurt, sour cream, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and dill. Stir to combine.
  4. To serve, place mushrooms and peppers in middle of pita bread. Top with tomatoes, onion, lettuce, feta, if desired, and big dollop of yogurt dill sauce.

Creamy Spinach, Mushroom and Lasagna Soup

Recipe courtesy of Emily Weeks of “Zen and Spice”
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          medium onion, small diced
  • 8          ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1          jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
  • 1          can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2          tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2          teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1          tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1          bay leaf
  • 3          cups vegetable broth
  • 6          lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
  • 1/2       cup heavy cream
  • 5          ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1          cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2       cup shredded mozzarella cheese, for topping
  1. Heat large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add olive oil, garlic, onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions and mushrooms soften, 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add marinara, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, basil, salt, oregano, pepper, bay leaf and broth. Bring to boil over high heat then reduce heat to low and simmer.
  4. Add lasagna noodles and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and remove bay leaf.
  5. Stir in heavy cream and spinach until wilted, 2-3 minutes.
  6. Divide between bowls and top with dollop of ricotta and sprinkle of mozzarella.

Roasted Chicken Thighs and Veggies with Mushroom Orzo Risotto

Recipe courtesy of Emily Weeks of “Zen and Spice”
Cook time: 50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Chicken:

  • 8          boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 6          tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 16        ounces crimini mushrooms, quartered
  • 3          zucchini, sliced in half moons
  • 3          large carrots, thinly sliced
  • 4          sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and roughly chopped
  • 4          cloves garlic, minced

Orzo:

  • 4          cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1          tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          small yellow onion, diced
  • 2          garlic cloves, minced
  • 16        ounces crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1          cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/8       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3       cup white wine
  • 1/3       cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. To make chicken: Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Pat chicken dry. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Sear chicken until browned, 4-5 minutes on each side.
  3. In large bowl, toss mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, garlic and rosemary. On large baking sheet, spread vegetables. Nestle chicken into vegetables. Drizzle with butter and juices from pan.
  4. Bake 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
  5. To make orzo: In small pot over medium-low heat, warm broth.
  6. Using skillet from chicken, add butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions soften, 3-4 minutes.
  7. Add orzo and black pepper. Stir and cook 2 minutes. Add white wine and cook until evaporated, about 1 minute.
  8. Add warm broth to orzo 2/3 cup at a time, stirring until liquid is absorbed. Repeat with remaining broth, waiting until last batch is absorbed before adding more. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan.
  9. Serve in individual bowls with chicken and roasted vegetables atop mushroom orzo risotto.

Asian Barbecue Sesame Salmon with Noodles and Veggies

Recipe courtesy of Emily Weeks of “Zen and Spice”
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Sauce:

  • 1/2       cup soy sauce
  • 2          tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1          tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1          teaspoon chili garlic sauce (optional)
  • 1          tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2          tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 2          tablespoons water
  • 2          teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2    pounds salmon (4 filets)
  • 12        ounces stir-fry (pad thai) rice noodles
  • 1          tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1          pound white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1          cup sugar snap peas
  • 1          large broccoli head, cut into bite-size florets
  • 2-3       green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In small saucepan, whisk soy sauce; brown sugar; rice vinegar; garlic; ginger; chili garlic sauce, if desired; sesame oil; and barbecue sauce. Bring to boil over high heat then reduce heat to simmer.
  3. In small bowl, whisk water and cornstarch. Pour into pan and cook on low, whisking often, until sauce thickens, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Pour 3 tablespoons sauce into small bowl. Brush salmon filets with reserved sauce and place on baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, or until salmon is flaky. Discard small bowl sauce if any remains.
  5. Cook stir-fry noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  6. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add sesame oil. Add mushrooms, snap peas and broccoli. Cook, stirring often, until veggies are tender-crisp, 7-8 minutes. Add noodles and remaining sauce from pan; toss to combine.
  7. To serve, divide noodles, veggies and salmon between plates.
  8. Top with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

Source: Mushroom Council

Healthy 04 November 2020

Easy Dishes to Boost Immunity

(Family Features) Staying healthy is important year-round, but especially in the cooler months when temperatures drop, people spend more time inside and germs can spread easily. What you eat and the lifestyle you embrace are critical components of staying healthy.

Nourishing meals full of fruits, vegetables, protein-rich foods and whole grains help provide the body's immune system with the nutrients it needs. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle by getting enough sleep, being physically active every day, having enough fluids and reducing stress also help keep the immune system in shape.

As a nutritious food to include on your grocery list, grapes of all colors - red, green and black - contain more than 1,600 natural plant compounds such as antioxidants and other polyphenols that help protect the health of cells throughout the body. They also contain about 82% water, so they provide important fluids for hydration, which is also critical to a healthy immune system.

Grapes can be enjoyed as a healthy snack or an immune-boosting ingredient in recipes like Chicken, Spinach and Grape Pita sandwiches and Grape and Salmon Power Salad. Each provides a mix of immune-supporting nutrients, including zinc in chicken, vitamins A and C in kale, polyphenols in grapes and other important nutrients in the salmon, walnuts and barley.

Find these recipes and more in "Eating for Immune Health" along with additional ways to eat healthy and stay well at grapesfromcalifornia.com.

Chicken, Spinach and Grape Pita

Servings: 4

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallot
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sumac
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 package (5-6 ounces) fresh baby spinach, washed and dried
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded, cooked chicken (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup red California grapes, sliced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 whole-wheat pita breads (6 1/2 inches each), warmed and halved
  1. In small skillet over medium-high heat, toast pine nuts, stirring constantly until toasted, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl and let cool. In large bowl, whisk lemon juice, shallot, olive oil, red pepper flakes, sumac, salt and pepper. Add spinach, chicken, grapes, feta and pine nuts; toss to mix. Stuff into pita breads and serve.

Nutritional information per serving: 445 calories; 24 g protein; 46 g carbohydrates; 20 g fat (39% calories from fat); 5 g saturated fat (10% calories from saturated fat); 57 mg cholesterol; 658 mg sodium; 6 g fiber.

Grape and Salmon Power Salad

Servings: 6

  • 3/4 cup pearled barley
  • 3 cups firmly packed kale leaves, torn and sliced into ribbons
  • 1 cup halved red or black seedless California grapes
  • 8 ounces cold, cooked salmon, skin and bones removed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted and coarsely chopped

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  1. Cook barley according to package directions. Drain and cool.
  2. Tenderize kale by blanching in boiling water 2-3 seconds or microwaving 1 minute. Rinse pieces in cold water to stop cooking; squeeze dry. Fluff and uncrimp dry kale pieces with fingers. In medium bowl, mix barley, kale, grapes, salmon and walnuts.
  3. To make dressing: In small bowl, whisk lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne. Gradually mix in olive oil. Pour onto salad and fold gently to combine.

Nutritional information per serving: 413 calories; 15 g protein; 30 g carbohydrates; 16 g fat (47% calories from fat); 3 g saturated fat (8% calories from saturated fat); 22 mg cholesterol; 232 mg sodium; 500 mg potassium; 4 g fiber.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

Meal Ideas 17 September 2020

Rethink Ingredients to Refresh Family Meals This Fall

(Family Features) If you’re looking to spice up your mealtime routines, especially during those busy school nights, you may find your solution in versatile ingredients that work for a multitude of dishes.

For example, you can turn to plantains as a replacement for often-used recipe staples like potatoes. Plantains are a fruit grown around the world that cooks and eats more like a vegetable. Members of the banana family, they’re starchier and lower in sugar, meaning they’re still green when ripe.

While you’re most likely to find them baked, roasted or fried as a savory side dish at Latin, African or Caribbean restaurants, they’re growing in popularity in North America as stars of their own recipes or as nutritious, exotic swaps for starches. For example, these dishes from Dole for Plantain Crusted Salmon Fillets and Slow Cooker Sweet Potato, Plantain and Lentil Caribbean Curry offer quick ways to enjoy plantains while saving time in the kitchen.

As an additional benefit, plantains can be used at every stage of ripeness. They can be boiled like a potato when green; prepared in sauces and soups, air-fried or roasted as snacks when yellow; or baked in desserts and sweet recipes when black or spotted.

Find more ways to enjoy plantains and other fresh fruits and vegetables in family recipes at dole.com.

Plantain Crusted Salmon Fillets

Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

  •             Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/3       cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons lime juice
  • 1          tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1          teaspoon cumin
  • 4          salmon fillets (6 ounces each), skin on
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
  • 1          DOLE® Plantain, green or half ripe
  • 2          Dole Green Onions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2       tablespoon grated lime peel

Preheat oven to 425 F. Line baking sheet with foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Combine cilantro, olive oil, lime juice, garlic and cumin; set aside.

Arrange salmon fillets on prepared baking sheet. Season with salt, to taste. Spread about 1 tablespoon cilantro mixture on top of each salmon fillet to cover.

Using box grater, peel and grate plantain. Place grated plantain in bowl with green onions, lime peel and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss to combine. Sprinkle about 1/4 cup plantain mixture on top of each salmon fillet, gently pressing to adhere. Spray plantain crust with nonstick cooking spray.

Bake 15 minutes, or until salmon is opaque and plantain crust is lightly browned.

 

Slow Cooker Sweet Potato, Plantain and Lentil Caribbean Curry

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          tablespoon, plus 2 teaspoons, grapeseed oil, divided
  • 1          large DOLE® White Onion, chopped
  • 4          cloves garlic, minced
  • 2          teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1          can (15 ounces) reduced sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2          large Dole Sweet Potatoes, chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 2          medium Dole Plantains, chopped (about 3 cups)
  • 4          cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2       cup red lentils
  • 3          cups packed, chopped collard greens
  • 1/4       cup roasted salted pepitas
  1. In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 2 teaspoons oil; add onion and cook 3 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, curry powder, cayenne pepper and ginger; cook 2 minutes, or until fragrant and starting to brown, stirring occasionally.
  2. Transfer onion mixture to 3-4-quart slow cooker; add chickpeas, potatoes, plantains, broth and lentils. Cover and cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours, or until potatoes and lentils are tender.
  3. Stir in collard greens; cook 20 minutes, or until greens are tender. Serve garnished with pepitas.

Source: Dole

Meal Ideas 18 August 2020

Improve Heart Health with Daily Nutrition from a Refrigerator Staple

(Family Features) Taking care of your heart requires a commitment to the right routines and smart decisions, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Simple ingredients already in your kitchen may offer powerful protection to keep your heart healthy.

For example, more than a decade of research shows 100% orange juice and its vitamins and minerals may play a beneficial role in helping lower blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease.

A study published in the “European Journal of Nutrition” by researchers at Eurecat, Centre Tecnològic de Catalunya, in Reus, Spain provides further support for 100% orange juice’s role in heart health, and offers additional insight into a unique component in orange juice, called hesperidin, that may have antioxidant activity and contribute to orange juice’s cardiovascular benefits.

The study, which was funded by the Florida Department of Citrus, determined that adults with pre- or stage-1 hypertension who drank about 2 cups of 100% orange juice per day saw significant reductions in systolic blood pressure and other markers of heart health and inflammation.

“Nearly half of adults in the United States have high blood pressure,” said Dr. Rosa Walsh, scientific research director at the Florida Department of Citrus. “For those with mild hypertension, including something as simple and pure as 100% orange juice in your daily healthy routine may help make significant improvements in such a prevalent problem.”

Beyond its heart health benefits, many studies, including a National Health & Nutrition Survey published in “Nutrition Journal,” have found that 100% orange juice consumption is associated with higher diet quality and increased levels of key nutrients, including many that are under-consumed, like potassium.

“The vitamin C, antioxidants and potassium found in 100% orange juice can help maintain a healthy blood pressure, which is a big factor in heart health,” said Kaleigh McMordie, RDN and founder of the blog “Lively Table.”

With no added sugar and no fat, cholesterol or sodium, Florida Orange Juice can help you take advantage of these nutritious benefits from breakfast to dinner with dishes like Poached Salmon with Collard Green Salad, an easy way to add potassium and vitamin C at the family table, especially when paired with an 8-ounce glass of 100% orange juice. For those busy mornings on the go, an Orange Kale Smoothie can be the fuel you need as a filling option with less than five ingredients that’s an excellent source of vitamin C, folate and vitamin K and a good source of potassium and thiamin.

For more information on the heart health benefits of 100% orange juice, visit FloridaJuice.com.

Poached Salmon with Collard Green Salad

  • 1 1/4    cups Florida Orange Juice, divided   
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          pound salmon filets
  • 1          cup white wine
  • 2          cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2          teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger, divided
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon finely minced shallot
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          small bunch collard greens (about 8 ounces), stems and center ribs removed
  • 1/2       cup toasted, slivered almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray small glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set salmon in dish.
  2. In small saucepan over high heat, combine 1 cup 100% orange juice, white wine, garlic and 1 teaspoon grated ginger; bring to simmer.
  3. Pour poaching liquid over salmon and cover with aluminum foil.
  4. Poach in oven 15-20 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through.
  5. In lidded jar, combine remaining 100% orange juice, remaining grated ginger, olive oil, vinegar and shallot; shake to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Cut collard greens into thin ribbons and transfer to large mixing bowl. Pour dressing over collard greens; toss well to combine and fully coat.
  7. Remove salmon from liquid and serve on top of collard greens. Sprinkle with almonds.
  8. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

Orange Kale Smoothie

Servings: 2

  • 2          cups Florida Orange Juice
  • 1/4       cup frozen pineapple
  • 1          cup kale, tough stems removed
  • 4          mint leaves
  1. In large blender, blend 100% orange juice, frozen pineapple, kale and mint leaves until smooth.
  2. Pour into tall glass.

Source: Florida Department of Citrus

Seafood 22 July 2020

Take the Fear Out of Fish

(Family Features)With more time spent in the kitchen, people are increasingly looking to different ingredients for inspiration. That includes seafood – sales of canned and frozen seafood are 37% higher than last year, according to IRI Worldwide.

If you’re not familiar with buying and cooking seafood, there’s nothing to fear. Frozen seafood is an affordable, nutritious and sustainable protein that can earn a spot in your kitchen. Good food pioneers chef Nora Pouillon, a James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and her daughter, Blue Circle Foods product director Nina Damato, offer these recommendations for sustainable frozen seafood, from defrosting techniques to cooking tips and seasonal pairings.

Why buy frozen?
Frozen seafood is just as high quality as fresh since modern techniques like flash-freezing preserve fish moments after it is caught. Stores generally carry a larger selection of frozen fish and it’s typically less expensive than fresh seafood. Because frozen fish keeps longer, you can find greater variety and more sustainable options. Plus, it’s convenient – use exactly the portion you need and save the rest for later – making it perfect for meal planning. 

What about taste?
When done right, freezing locks in flavor and nutrients, so you can enjoy frozen fish that’s every bit as delicious as when it was caught.

How long will it last?
Frozen fish is safe indefinitely, but for best quality, the USDA recommends using frozen fish within 3-8 months after purchase.

How can you thaw frozen fish safely?
If you know you’ll be serving fish, pop frozen fillets in the fridge the night before or the morning you plan to cook them.

How can you cook directly from frozen?

  1. Preheat your oven to 375 F.
  2. Remove frozen fillets from packaging and rinse under cold water. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Arrange fillets on a baking sheet. Brush lightly with oil on all sides and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until fish is tender and flakes easily.

How should you season frozen fish?
Salt and pepper can enhance seafood’s flavor. If you’re feeling bold, a simple glaze or a crust of seasonings can elevate your fish to the next level.

What pairs well with frozen fish?
Frozen fish is a versatile protein that plays well with many recipes. Fatty fish like salmon brings out the flavors in seasonal veggies including zucchini and summer squash, while leaner fillets like cod can be breaded or used in tacos.

Fish also pairs excellently with a variety of wines. The trick is to serve delicate fish with light wines and heartier fish with richer, more substantial wines. If you’re in the mood for salmon, try Pouillon’s Pumpkin Seed Crusted Salmon. This recipe also works well with cod and can be served with a rosé for a tasty seasonal pairing.

To learn more about frozen seafood and purchase sustainable fish, visit bluecirclefoods.com.

Pumpkin Seed Crusted Salmon

Recipe courtesy of chef Nora Pouillon

  • 2          cups frozen sweet corn
  • 1          can (4 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1          red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4       cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2       teaspoon smoked chili (optional)
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          cup pumpkin seeds
  • 4          teaspoons pumpkin seed oil or olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons sliced scallions
  • 2          Blue Circle Frozen Atlantic Salmon Fillets
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Mix corn, black beans, bell pepper, cilantro, ground cumin and smoked chili, if desired. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Spread onto baking dish.
  3. In blender, pulse pumpkin seeds, oil, sliced scallions and salt and pepper, to taste, until paste forms.
  4. Coat frozen salmon fillets with pumpkin seed paste.
  5. Place fillets in baking dish on top of black bean and corn salad. Bake 25-30 minutes.

 

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (salmon on ice)

Source:  Blue Circle Foods

Meal Ideas 16 July 2020

Flavorful, Fun Japanese-Inspired Lunches to Cook with Your Kids

(Family Features) Cooking with your kids is a fun way to bond while teaching basic culinary skills. It provides practical lessons like counting ingredients and dividing portions. Plus, meals cooked together offer kids something to look forward to during lunchtime. They can enjoy the food they helped prepare, and you’ll be able to check at least one meal off your to-do list while teaching valuable life lessons.

One way to make cooking more exciting for the family is to prepare food for a bento box using pantry staples. Bento boxes are considered an act of love in Japan and are a fun way to get your family involved in the kitchen. Bento boxes are similar to single-portion lunchboxes except they feature small compartments for each element of your meal, making it easy to encourage kids to eat fresh fruits and veggies. They also offer a whimsy visual appeal that can make mealtime more entertaining.

Next time you plan a meal with loved ones, try incorporating authentic Japanese recipes like a Simple Teriyaki Bowl, a Miso-Glazed Salmon Bento or Garlic Shrimp with Jasmine Rice. These dishes call for simple preparations, short cook times and pantry basics, making it easy to involve your family in the process.

To create a taste-tempting family meal with genuine Japanese flavors, try Mizkan premium sauces and rice vinegars. For more than two centuries, the vinegars have helped chefs and families around the world delight in the flavors of Japan. Now the taste can be at your table, helping you create authentic meals your whole family can enjoy.

Find more tips and ideas for creating flavorful and authentic Japanese recipes at mizkanflavors.com.

Garlic Shrimp with Jasmine Rice

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6

Ponzu Rice:

  • 1          cup jasmine rice
  • 1/2       cup Mizkan Ponzu Citrus Seasoned Soy Sauce
  • 1 1/2    cups water

Stir Fry:

  • 2          tablespoons Mizkan Organic Rice Vinegar
  • 1/4       cup Mizkan Ponzu Citrus Seasoned Soy Sauce
  • 1/4       cup brown sugar
  • 1          teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/2       cup vegetable stock
  • 1          teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2          tablespoons oil
  • 1          pound (about 21-25) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/4       cup red onion, large chopped
  • 2          teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1          cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2       cup carrots, shredded
  • 1          cup sugar-snap peas
  • 1          cup broccoli florets
  • 2          scallions, sliced
  • 2          teaspoons sesame seeds
  1. To make ponzu rice: In small saucepan, combine jasmine rice, ponzu and water; cook according to rice directions.
  2. To make stir fry: In bowl, whisk rice vinegar, seasoned soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, vegetable stock and cornstarch to combine. Set aside.
  3. In large saute pan over high heat, heat oil; add shrimp and cook 2-3 minutes until pink.
  4. Add red onion and cook 1 minute. Add garlic, red bell peppers, carrots, snap peas and broccoli; cook 3 minutes until tender.
  5. Add reserved sauce and cook 2 minutes until thickened.
  6. Divide rice among six bowls and top with shrimp stir fry. Garnish with scallions and sesame seeds; serve.

Miso-Glazed Salmon Bento

Prep time: 20 minutes, plus marinating
Cook time: 6 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1/4       cup miso paste
  • 2          tablespoons Mizkan Mirin Sweet Cooking Seasoning
  • 1          tablespoon sake
  • 2          skinless center-cut salmon fillets (6 ounces each)
  • 1          cup thinly sliced seedless cucumbers
  • 1          teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2          tablespoons Mizkan Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 2          cups cooked short-grain sushi rice, cooled
  • 1          tablespoon thinly sliced green onions
  • 1          teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • 6          cherry tomatoes
  • 2          lemon wedges
  1. In medium bowl, whisk miso paste, mirin and sake. Add salmon, turning to coat evenly. Marinate 10-30 minutes. Discard remaining marinade.
  2. Heat large nonstick pan on medium-high heat. Cook fish 2-3 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature reaches 145 F. Cut each fillet into four small pieces.
  3. In strainer or colander, toss cucumbers with salt; let stand 5 minutes. Squeeze out excess liquid; toss with rice vinegar.
  4. Pack each bento box evenly with rice, pickled cucumbers and salmon. Sprinkle with green onions and sesame seeds. Garnish with tomatoes and lemons.

Substitutions: If ingredients are unavailable or difficult to find: Use 1/4 cup soy sauce to glaze salmon in place of miso paste; use low-carb rice such as cauliflower or broccoli rice in place of sushi rice.

Tip: To prevent sogginess, separate wet components like cucumber pickles by using aluminum foil or silicone muffin liners inside bento box.

Simple Teriyaki Bowl

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 1          large boneless chicken thigh
  • 2          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3          tablespoons Mizkan Mirin
  • 3          tablespoons Mizkan Natural Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2       scallion
  • 1          tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2          servings hot, cooked rice
  • 1          teaspoon dried seaweed sheet (nori), sliced (optional)
  1. Slice chicken thigh meat into bite-size pieces. In bowl, mix soy sauce, mirin and rice vinegar; marinate chicken pieces in seasoning mix 10 minutes.
  2. Cut scallion into 2-inch pieces. In frying pan, saute until soft, about 1 minute. Set aside.
  3. In frying pan, heat oil and cook chicken until browned.
  4. When meat is browned, pour marinade over chicken and continue cooking on low heat until sauce thickens.
  5. Place hot, cooked rice in individual bowls. Spread sliced dried seaweed pieces over rice, if desired, and top with chicken and scallions to serve.


Photo courtesy of NPDstock/Shutterstock (Simple Teriyaki Bowl)

Source:  Mizkan

Seafood 12 June 2020

Add Seafood to Summer Meals

(Family Features) Grilled meals provide a summer escape for many families by offering opportunities to spend moments together while enjoying flavorful dishes. As Americans face uncertainty in many aspects of life, one place they should be able to turn to for normalcy is food.

One option that checks boxes including comfort, fun, taste and variety: seafood. As a nutritious protein available across the country, it is versatile and can be paired with a variety of cuisines and flavors. Options range from salmon and shrimp to crab, tuna and more.

To encourage hungry Americans to enjoy the many benefits of eating seafood, the “Eat Seafood America” campaign offers these reasons to add fish, shrimp and more to your menu:

  • Whether you order online, head to a store or purchase fresh from a local fisherman, seafood is widely available.
  • Seafood works for a variety of dishes and cooking methods, such as these recipes for Easy Shrimp Skewers, a light and hassle-free family meal, or Seared Salmon with Mediterranean Salsa, a fun spin on cowboy caviar.
  • Seafood provides essential nutrients that support immune health, such as omega-3s that may even help reduce anxiety, according to research published by “The Journal of the American Medical Association.”
  • Purchasing seafood supports 2 million American jobs for men and women who follow high levels of food safety practices to provide sustainable seafood.
  • Seafood offers an escape as a way for families to enjoy a favorite meal that reminds loved ones of vacation memories from oceanside paradises.

Find more ways to add seafood to your summer menu at eatseafoodamerica.com.

Easy Shrimp Skewers

Recipe courtesy of Annessa Chumbley, RDN, on behalf of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 5

  • 10        wooden skewers
  • water
  • 2          medium zucchinis, cut into large chunks
  • 2          medium bell peppers (any color), cut into large chunks
  • 2          red onions, cut into large chunks
  • 1          cup cherry tomatoes
  • 10-12   ounces cooked shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails on
  • olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1          lemon, juice only
  1. In bowl, soak skewer sticks in water at least 10 minutes to prevent burning on grill). Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Build skewers by alternating zucchinis, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes and shrimp, pushing ingredients closely together on each skewer. Brush each with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt, to taste.
  3. Cook skewers about 9 minutes, rotating every 3 minutes until veggies and shrimp are seared but not overcooked. Remove and place on large platter.
  4. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve.

Seared Salmon with Mediterranean Salsa

Recipe courtesy of Annessa Chumbley, RDN, on behalf of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-6       salmon filets (each about 1-inch thick)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1          can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1          can quartered or chopped artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1          cup diced cucumber
  • 1          cup diced cherry tomatoes
  • 1/3       cup diced red onion
  • 1/2       cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1          handful fresh spinach, chopped
  • balsamic glaze
  1. In skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Sear salmon filets 4 minutes. Sprinkle tops of each salmon filet with sea salt, to taste. Flip and cook 4 minutes until barely done. Remove to serving platter.
  2. In medium bowl, make salsa by gently folding together chickpeas, artichoke hearts, cucumber, tomatoes, red onion, feta and spinach. Sprinkle with sea salt, to taste. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and spoon salsa over each salmon filet.
  3. Refrigerate leftover salsa.

Source: Seafood Nutrition Partnership

Healthy 27 February 2020

Fresh Salads Perfect for Spring

(Family Features) The spring season brings to mind flowers blooming and plants springing back to life, making it the ideal time to enjoy fresh produce in meals throughout the day. Salads are of course one of the easiest ways to combine the flavors of your favorite fruits and veggies, but you can take your greens to the next level with refreshing recipe ideas.

Creating a cool, satisfying salad can be easy when you start with quality ingredients like Fresh Express salad blends, NatureSweet Cherubs Tomatoes and Litehouse dressings for versatile bases in a nearly endless array of options. For example, salads aren’t limited to lunch or appetizers – this Breakfast Salad Bowl makes for an energizing start to the day by combining classic salad ingredients with quinoa, bacon and avocado.

Perfect for those busy weeknights, heartier salad recipes can also provide quick, simple dinner options. As a more traditional mix to enjoy at the family table, this Salmon and Grains Salad Bowl brings together salmon, tomatoes and chickpeas on a bed of lettuce topped with ranch dressing.

Find more ways to create hearty salads this spring at litehousefoods.com/iheartsalad.

Salmon and Grains Salad Bowl

Servings: 2

  • 4          ounces salmon
  • 2          tablespoons paprika, divided
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 15        ounces chickpeas
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 2          ounces Fresh Express Sweet Butter Lettuce
  • 1          cup red quinoa, cooked
  • 6          ounces NatureSweet Cherubs Tomatoes
  • 2          tablespoons Litehouse Homestyle Ranch Dressing
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Sprinkle salmon with 1 teaspoon paprika; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake on lined baking sheet 15 minutes, or until it reaches desired doneness.
  2. In bowl, toss chickpeas in olive oil and remaining paprika; add salt and pepper, to taste. Add chickpeas to lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 F 30-40 minutes.
  3. Add lettuce to plate or bowl. Top with quinoa, chickpeas, salmon and tomatoes. Drizzle with ranch dressing.

Breakfast Salad Bowl

Servings: 2

  • 10        ounces NatureSweet Cherubs Tomatoes
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2          ounces Fresh Express Baby Spinach
  • 1          egg
  • 2          bacon strips, halved
  • 1          cup quinoa, cooked
  • 1/2       avocado, sliced
  • 2          tablespoons Litehouse Jalapeno Ranch Dressing
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Toss tomatoes in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake tomatoes on lined baking sheet 40 minutes.
  2. In skillet, add remaining olive oil and cook baby spinach until wilted, stirring as necessary.
  3. Cook egg as desired. Remove egg from skillet and set aside. Add bacon to skillet and cook until crispy, turning halfway through.
  4. In bowl, layer quinoa, bacon, avocado, egg, spinach and tomatoes. Drizzle with jalapeno ranch dressing.

Source: Litehouse

Videos 11 February 2020

Southwest Salmon Patties

(Culinary.net) Make your next family meal quick and tasty with a recipe that calls for common ingredients and simple preparation. These Southwest Salmon Patties are ideal for putting on the table on those busy weeknights, bringing the family together despite hectic schedules.

Find more family meal inspiration at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Southwest Salmon Patties

Serves: 4

  • 1/2       cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4       cup sour cream
  • 1          teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 4          teaspoons lime juice
  • 3          tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1 1/2    cups panko breadcrumbs, divided
  • 1          pound skinless, boneless salmon filets, chopped
  • 4          ounces whole green chiles, drained and chopped
  • 2          scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/2       cup vegetable oil
  1. In medium bowl, whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, lime zest, lime juice and cilantro.
  2. In large bowl, combine salt, pepper, 3/4 cup breadcrumbs, salmon, chiles, scallions and 3 tablespoons mayonnaise mixture. Form salmon mixture into four patties. Cover patties with remaining breadcrumbs.
  3. In skillet, heat oil. Add breaded patties and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes on each side.
  4. Serve with remaining mayonnaise mixture.
Meal Ideas 18 December 2019

Better Balance for Every Day

Resolve to make nutritious eating a priority

(Family Features) Discovering a better version of yourself is all about striking balance. That’s especially true when it comes to making smarter food choices that you can maintain over time.

A sustainable, long-term healthy eating approach, such as the Atkins low-carb lifestyle, emphasizes variety and balance. Start planning a low-carb menu filled with high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats with these tips from Colette Heimowitz, vice president of nutrition and education for Atkins.

Fill up with fiber-rich foods. Foods like vegetables, nuts, seeds, low-glycemic fruit (like berries) and whole unrefined grains are considered carbohydrates, but they don’t raise your blood sugar the way processed carbs do. Fiber slows the entry of glucose into your bloodstream so you don’t experience insulin spikes that encourage your body to produce and store body fat. Try to eat between 25-35 grams of fiber a day.

Reduce inflammation. A low-carb approach eliminates refined and processed foods and sugars that can cause inflammation. Focus on foods that decrease inflammation, such as colorful low-glycemic vegetables, low-sugar fruits, protein and healthy fats such as olive oil. The ground turmeric in this Golden Milk recipe offers an easy way to fight inflammation without sacrificing flavor.

Kickstart your morning. Start your day with a protein-packed choice such as these Chocolate Banana Protein Overnight Oats. You’ll get the omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants from the chia seeds along with protein and healthy fats to keep you energized while avoiding high-sugar breakfast alternatives.

Find more low-carb recipes at Atkins.com

Satisfying, Low-Sugar Swaps

Eating on the go can easily cause you to grab a high-sugar option, but there are simple swaps to keep your blood sugar levels steady throughout the day. Satisfy your hunger with an option like the Atkins Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar. Made with sweet chocolate and rich, creamy peanut butter, this bar offers 16 grams of protein, 12 grams of fiber and only 2 grams of sugar to satisfy your hunger without the guilt.

Find more recipes like these for Salmon and Asparagus Sheet Pan or Spicy Crispy Chickpeas and ideas for a balanced, low-carb approach to eating well at Atkins.com.

Salmon and Asparagus Sheet Pan

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2
Net carbs: 4.41

  • 1          bunch thin spear asparagus
  • 1          tablespoon, plus 1/4 teaspoon, extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2          salmon fillets (4 ounces each), no more than 3/4-inch thick
  • 1          pinch black pepper
  • 3          tablespoons olive oil-based mayonnaise
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4       teaspoon minced or pressed garlic
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. Wash asparagus and remove woody ends. Place on rimmed baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and pinch of salt. Arrange in single layer, leaving space for salmon. Place salmon skin-side down on sheet. Brush with remaining olive oil and season with remaining salt and pepper. Place in oven and bake 12 minutes.
  3. In small bowl, combine mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard and garlic.
  4. Remove sheet pan from oven, sprinkle asparagus spears with cheese and cook 3 minutes, or until fish reaches 145° F and asparagus spears are tender and beginning to brown on tips.
  5. Plate one fillet and half the asparagus, drizzle each plate with about 2 tablespoons mayonnaise sauce and serve.

Spicy Crispy Chickpeas

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 8
Net carbs: 8.3

  • 1          can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas
  • 1          tablespoon ghee (or clarified butter), melted
  • 3/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon chipotle chili powder
  1. Heat air fryer to 390° F 3 minutes.
  2. Using fine mesh sieve, drain and rinse chickpeas. Use towel to gently pat chickpeas dry, removing skins. In small bowl, toss chickpeas with ghee and salt.
  3. Cook in single layer in air fryer 6 minutes. Pause and shake bowl; cook 6 minutes. Pause and shake bowl; cook 3 minutes.
  4. In separate small bowl, sprinkle chickpeas with spices and toss to evenly coat. Chickpeas can be stored in open container at room temperature up to 3 days.

Golden Milk

Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes
Servings: 3
Net carbs: 3

  • 1          cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1          cup plain unsweetened almond milk
  • 1          cup water
  • 1          tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 10        drops liquid stevia extract
  1. In small pan, whisk coconut milk, almond milk, water, coconut oil, turmeric, cinnamon, ginger and pepper. Warm over medium heat until hot but not simmering, about 7 minutes. Remove from heat, whisk in sweetener and serve.

Chocolate Banana Protein Overnight Oats

Prep time: 5 minutes
Chill time: 3 hours
Servings: 2
Net carbs: 6.84

  • 1          Atkins Chocolate Banana Shake
  • 2          tablespoons rolled oats
  • 2          tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2          tablespoons hemp hearts
  • 2          tablespoons unsweetened coconut shreds
  • 2          tablespoons sliced almonds
  • fruit, such as sliced bananas or berries (optional)
  1. In jar with tight-fitting lid, combine shake, rolled oats, chia seeds, hemp hearts, coconut and almonds. Cover and refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight.
  2. Top with fruit, if desired.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Salmon and Asparagus Sheet Pan, Spicy Crispy Chickpeas, Golden Milk, Chocolate Banana Protein Overnight Oats)

Source: Atkins

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