recipes

Meal Ideas 01 September 2017

Power Up with Plant Protein

(Family Features) When it comes to getting energy from the food you eat, it's no secret that protein packs a powerful punch. However, research shows certain plant-based proteins, like peanuts, may carry additional benefits.

According to a Harvard School of Public Health study published in the American Journal of Epidemiology, substituting plant-based proteins like peanuts for animal proteins and low-quality carbohydrates can result in lowering diabetes risk by 7-21 percent. Because peanuts are known as a low glycemic index food due to their slow digestion that causes sugar to gradually be released into the bloodstream, they can have positive effects on blood sugar control.

Find more nutritional information and ways to include peanuts in your diet at gapeanuts.com.

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Chicken Pad Thai

Servings: 4

  • 1 pound chicken breast
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 medium zucchini, spiralized (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots, spiralized (about 1 cup)
  • 1 cup cooked pad thai stir-fry noodles
  • 1 cup bean sprouts
  • 1 cup thinly sliced cabbage
  • 1 lime, quartered
  • 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Season chicken with pepper, to taste. In large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat olive oil and cook chicken until fully cooked and juices are clear. Remove chicken from pan and allow to rest 5 minutes before slicing.
  2. To make sauce: In small bowl, whisk together honey, chili garlic sauce, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, peanut butter and water.
  3. Add zucchini, carrots, rice noodles and chicken to pan; pour sauce over and toss to coat. Toss in bean sprouts and cabbage. Serve with lime wedge, crushed peanuts and cilantro.

Nutritional information per serving: 295 calories, 12 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 60 mg cholesterol, 792 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 27 g protein, 109% vitamin A, 46% vitamin C, 7% calcium, 10% iron.

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Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oats

Servings: 2

  • 1/4 cup powdered peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 teaspoons ground chia seeds
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup small banana, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon peanuts, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  1. In medium bowl, stir together powdered peanut butter, oats, chia seeds, coconut milk and vanilla extract.
  2. Divide evenly into mason jars or storage containers and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Before serving, add banana slices, chopped peanuts and peanut butter to each.

Nutritional information per serving: 280 calories, 12 g total fat, 4 g saturated fat, 135 mg sodium, 36 g carbohydrates, 7 g dietary fiber, 8 g sugar, 10 g protein, 8% vitamin A, 4% vitamin C, 35% calcium, 13% iron.

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Baked Salmon with Peanut Butter Glaze

Servings: 4

  • 1 pound salmon
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
  • 1/4 cup 100 percent orange juice
  1. Heat oven to 400° F and line baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place salmon on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with pepper, to taste. Bake salmon 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
  2. In small saucepot over medium-low heat, whisk together peanut butter, chili garlic sauce and orange juice, and cook until warm.
  3. To serve, pour peanut butter glaze over salmon.

Nutritional information per serving: 334 calories, 23 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 50 mg cholesterol, 173 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 27 g protein, 8% vitamin C, 4% calcium, 3% iron.

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Vegetarian Nourish Bowl

Servings: 4

  • 1 cup large, diced butternut squash
  • 16 ounces Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1 medium red onion, large diced
  • 1/2 can (8 ounces) reduced-sodium garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 head garlic (about 10 cloves), peeled
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped peanuts
  1. Heat oven to 400° F and line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. On prepared baking sheet, arrange butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, onion, garbanzo beans and garlic; toss vegetables in olive oil and season with pepper, to taste.
  2. Roast 30-40 minutes until slightly golden in color. Halfway through baking, shake vegetables or turn over to ensure even browning.
  3. To make dressing: Mix together lemon juice, water, Sriracha sauce and peanut butter.
  4. To serve, top quinoa with roasted veggies, crushed peanuts and drizzle of lemon-peanut butter sauce.

Nutritional information per serving: 323 calories, 14 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 308 mg sodium, 42 g carbohydrates, 11 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 13 g protein, 92% vitamin A, 197% vitamin C, 11% calcium, 28% iron.

Snacks 05 June 2017

Smart Summer Snacks

(Family Features) A busy summer schedule requires plenty of energy, and while relaxation is sure to help, what you eat is your essential source of fuel. Just like filling up your gas tank, food is what makes your body go.

A well-balanced approach to eating is a smart way to ensure your body gets the nutrients it needs to power you through each fun-filled day and keep you operating in tip-top shape. An eating plan such as Atkins offers a balanced approach with delicious foods that contain fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates and good fats and proteins, while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates and added sugars.

Reach for snacks full of seasonal fruits and vegetables like peaches, cucumbers, zucchini and raspberries that will satisfy your appetite and fuel your summer days. Find more warm-weather recipes and tips to stay energized throughout the season at Atkins.com.

Avoid the Hidden Sugar Effect

The frenetic pace of summer activities makes on-the-go foods the norm. While many portable snacks tout healthy benefits and good-for-you nutrition, it’s easy to be confused about what truly makes up nutritious foods, as well as how the body responds to various foods.

According to the recent Sugar Gap Study conducted by Atkins Nutritionals, Inc., there is a significant gap in Americans’ knowledge about nutrition and the “hidden sugar effect,” where certain foods turn into sugar during the digestive process. While a person can’t see these sugars, his or her body can. The study revealed that only 1 in 10 Americans are aware that certain foods can cause the hidden sugar effect.

Make better choices and avoid hidden sugars this summer with these tips for finding foods that won’t create excessive sugar spikes:

  • Beware of sugary beverages, especially fruit juices. Keeping well hydrated is especially important when temperatures rise, but sweet drinks can pack an excessive amount of sugar.
  • Know that not all snack bars are created equal – with many packing a sugary punch. An option such as the Atkins Harvest Trail Coconut Almond Bar combines roasted coconut and almonds which can keep you feeling full and satisfied without the hidden sugars.
  • Understand which foods can cause blood sugar spikes – it’s more than cakes and candy. All carbohydrates elevate blood sugar; even ancient grains and brown rice convert into sugar when digested, making it important to enjoy these foods in smaller portions. Learn more at hiddensugar.com.

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Tropical Raspberry Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 1/2 cup coconut cream
  • 4 ounces firm silken tofu
  • 1/2 cup red raspberries, plus additional (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons sugar substitute (optional)
  • 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 3 ice cubes
  • whipped cream (optional)
  1. In blender, combine coconut cream, tofu, raspberries, sugar substitute, if desired, and coconut extract; blend until smooth. To remove seeds, strain mixture through sieve then return to blender.
  2. With machine running, add ice cubes, one at a time, and blend until smooth.
  3. Pour into tall glass and garnish with whipped cream and raspberries, if desired.

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Peachy Prosciutto Bites

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4 (3 bites per serving)

  • 1/2 cup whole almonds
  • 2 medium peaches (each 2 1/2 inches in diameter)
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • sugar substitute (optional)
  • 12 thin slices prosciutto
  • 12 basil leaves (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
    In single layer, toast almonds 10 minutes. Let cool then coarsely chop. Set aside.
    Slice each peach into six wedges and set aside.
  2. In small bowl, combine softened cream cheese with cinnamon and pinch of sugar substitute. Add almonds; blend to combine.
  3. Lay out single slice of prosciutto, place 1 tablespoon cheese mixture on top of peach wedge and top with basil leaf. Place wedge at one end of prosciutto and roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

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Smoked Salmon, Cucumber and Cream Cheese Roll-Ups

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 cucumbers (8 1/4 inches long each)
  • 8 tablespoons cream cheese
  • 12 ounces smoked chinook salmon (lox)
  1. Use mandolin or vegetable peeler to cut long, thin strips of cucumber.
  2. Spread cream cheese onto smoked salmon, place strip of cucumber at one edge and roll up with salmon and cream cheese. Pin in place with toothpick. Repeat with remaining ingredients.

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Zucchini Crisps

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2 medium zucchinis
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • garlic powder (optional)
  • Italian seasoning (optional)
  • rosemary (optional)
  • dill (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Cut zucchini into 1/4-inch slices. If small, cut diagonally. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and Parmesan. Season as desired with garlic powder, Italian seasoning, rosemary or dill.
  3. Place in single layer on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes, turning once. Cool on wire rack.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Atkins

Meal Ideas 01 May 2017

Delicious, Nutritious Outdoor Dining

(Family Features) Some of the first foods that come to mind when considering dining outdoors are greasy, messy meals. Instead, opt for a nutritious outdoor experience with a turkey wrap, grain bowl or chicken salad for a backyard bite that doesn’t go overboard.

Find more nutritious recipes for outdoor dining at culinary.net.

Lunch On the Go

A healthy combination of plant-based foods and turkey easily turns into a quick lunch. This wrap brings together a variety of textures with crunchiness from the apples and spinach, substance from the turkey and creamy, simple dressing. Find more quick, healthy recipes at aicr.org.

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Turkey, Spinach and Apple Wrap

Recipe reprinted with permission from the American Institute for Cancer Research

  • 1 tablespoon reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons honey mustard
  • 2 whole-wheat lavash wraps or flour tortillas (8 inches each)
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, loosely packed, washed and dried
  • 4 thin slices turkey breast
  • 1/4 Granny Smith apple, sliced paper-thin
  1. Combine mayonnaise and mustard. Lay out both wraps. Spread edges of each with mayonnaise mixture.
  2. Leaving space on one side of wraps, arrange layer of greens on top of wraps. Top each layer with two slices of turkey. Evenly divide apple slices and lay lengthwise across turkey. Fold over one end of wrap then both sides. Roll wrap as tightly as possible toward opposite side.
  3. Cover each wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate seam-side down, up to 4 hours, before serving. To serve, remove plastic wrap and cut each wrap in half at an angle.

Substitution: Two large leaves of soft, leafy green lettuce can be used in place of baby spinach leaves.

Greens and Grains

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.”

To start living healthier and greener lives, Forberg recommends starting a 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.

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.

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.

Savory Salad

Even when you plan to take dining outdoors, a tasty salad still makes for an ideally nutritious meal. This salad brings together an assortment of veggies for a Tomato-Cucumber Salsa to top succulent baked chicken and greens. Find more recipes perfect for dining al fresco at chickenroost.com.

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Baked Greek Chicken Salad

Recipe courtesy of the National Chicken Council
Servings: 4

Tomato-Cucumber Salsa:

  • 2 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 green pepper, julienned
  • 1/4 purple onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon basil
  • 1/8 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon Greek seasoning
  • 1/8 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard

Salad:

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon Greek seasoning
  • 1 package mixed Italian salad greens
  • 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
  • black olives
  • pepperoncini peppers
  1. To make Tomato-Cucumber Salsa: In medium bowl, mix together tomatoes, cucumber, green pepper, purple onion, red wine vinegar, olive oil, vegetable oil, pepper, salt, basil, oregano, Greek seasoning, sugar and dry mustard. Chill until ready to serve.
  2. Heat oven to 350° F.
  3. Place chicken in baking dish. In medium bowl, mix together butter, lemon juice, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and Greek seasoning; pour over chicken. Bake about 50 minutes, uncovered, basting occasionally.
  4. Place salad greens in large serving bowl. Top with Tomato-Cucumber Salsa. Slice chicken in thin strips and arrange on top of salad. Sprinkle with feta cheese and garnish with olives and pepper.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Culinary.net

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

Meal Ideas 06 April 2017

Tempting Flavor Pairings Make Main Dishes Shine

(Family Features) Good things come in pairs, and flavor is no exception. Professional chefs know the secret to combining sweet, hot, tangy, salty, bitter and sour for crave-worthy dishes, and now everyday cooks are discovering this concept as well. The right combinations can turn basic main dish meals into tasty adventures. With a greater variety of ingredients and influences at our fingertips — in restaurants, grocery stores and on TV cooking shows — experimenting with flavor pairings has never been easier or more exciting.

The palate-pleasing combination of salty and sweet goes upscale with crystallized ginger and salted pistachio. While it is an ideal pairing for desserts, the dynamic duo is equally delicious in main dish recipes, such as Ginger-Pistachio Crusted Chicken With Tangerine Sauce.

Watch out when wasabi and maple — the ultimate in sweet heat — team up. Accented by ginger and garlic, Maple Wasabi Glazed Salmon features an exciting twist on teriyaki. This combination is also great for enhancing the flavor of stir-fries, ribs and chicken.

Though their appearance is tiny, when mustard and fennel seeds join forces, the result is a mighty punch of flavor and texture. For a light, delicious main dish salad, try Fennel and Mustard Seed Crusted Shrimp With Apricot Dressing. Toasting the seeds adds depth to their flavor.

For additional recipes, visit www.mccormick.com.

Toasting spices is fast and easy:

  1. Place dry skillet over medium heat.
  2. Once pan is hot, pour in desired amount of seeds.
  3. Using a spatula, stir seeds in pan until they become fragrant, approximately 1 to 2 minutes.

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Fennel and Mustard Crusted Shrimp With Apricot Dressing

Prep Time:15 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

  • 1 tablespoon McCormick Gourmet Collection Mustard Seed
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Collection Fennel Seed
  • 1 teaspoon hot water
  • 1/8 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Collection Ground Turmeric
  • 1 pound extra large shrimp (16 to 20 count), peeled and deveined
  • 1/4 cup apricot preserves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 4 cups field greens
  1. Heat a small skillet on medium heat. Add mustard and fennel seeds; cook and stir about 2 minutes or until fragrant. Immediately pour out of hot pan to avoid over-toasting. Finely crush seeds using a small food processor, a clean coffee grinder, a rolling pin or a mortar and pestle. Pour into small bowl. Stir in hot water and turmeric. Let stand 5 minutes. Coat shrimp evenly with seed mixture.
  2. Mix apricot preserves, lime juice, soy sauce and sea salt in small bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Set aside.
  3. Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Add shrimp; cook 3 to 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink, turning once. Divide greens among 4 serving plates. Top with shrimp. Serve with apricot dressing.

 

Maple Wasabi Glazed Salmon

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 8 servings

  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Collection Wasabi Powder
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Collection Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Collection Ground Ginger
  • 2 pounds salmon fillets
  1. Mix wasabi with water in small bowl until well blended. Add remaining ingredients, except salmon; stir until well mixed. Place salmon in 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Spoon wasabi mixture evenly over salmon.
  2. Bake in preheated 375°F oven 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork, basting occasionally with wasabi mixture.

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Ginger-Pistachio Crusted Chicken With Tangerine Sauce

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

  • 3/4 cup shelled salted pistachio nuts
  • 1/4 cup McCormick Gourmet Collection Crystallized Ginger
  • 1/3 cup tangerine or orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  1. Place pistachios and crystallized ginger in food processor; process until mixture is chopped. Stir tangerine juice, honey and soy sauce in small bowl with wire whisk until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Place chicken in foil-lined shallow baking pan; brush chicken with egg white. Coat evenly with ginger-pistachio mixture.
  3. Bake in preheated 350°F oven 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Slice chicken and serve with tangerine sauce.

Source: McCormick

Meal Ideas 06 April 2017

Discover Chile

Exciting Flavors for Every Day

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

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

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

Chilean products you may already have in your kitchen include:

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

Chilean Treasures

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

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

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

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

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

Chile’s food growing regions

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

Central Valley
avocados, olives, apples, grapes, wine

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

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

Extreme South and Patagonia
beef and sheep, Chilean king crab

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Seared Salmon & Avocado Tartar

By Chef Pilar Rodriguez
Serves 6

Crust:

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

Salmon:

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

Avocado Tartar:

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

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Ulmo Honey Panna Cotta, Grilled Citrus Carica Salad

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

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

Source: Trade Commission of Chile

Meal Ideas 06 April 2017

Treat Mom on Her Special Day

(Family Features) What can family members do special this year for Mom? Most Moms dream of a fine meal they don’t have to shop for, cook or clean up afterwards. Often going out for breakfast on Mother’s Day can mean dealing with long lines and slow service. But Dad and the kids can rise to the occasion and prepare a meal themselves at home that can be a real treat.

Even the dad who only makes breakfast on weekends can cater a fine restaurant meal at home, with kids as willing sous chefs. It’s easy when your family shops where the pros shop, such as Sam’s Club for frozen appe­tizers, readymade pastry, organic produce, fine wines, quality meats, great breads and fabulous cheesecake ready to thaw and serve. For a crowning touch, add an unexpected and affordable luxury gift and Mom just might decide to sign on for another year.

Check out www.samsclub.com — or the Sam’s Club nearest you — for more great Mother’s Day ideas.

Mother’s Day Game Plan

Here’s the game plan for catering a Mother’s Day meal at home.

  • Chill the champagne or make a deli­cious punch a few hours before the meal.
  • Read the instructions on the box, then pop those frozen appetizers in the oven.
  • Prepare and cook the salmon.
  • Slice up some fresh fruit or bread.
  • Finish with a deliciously moist cheese­cake - a Mom favorite. (Remember to thaw it beforehand.)
  • Serve Mom in bed - let her relax and enjoy the meal and her day.
  • Have the kids clean up the kitchen.
  • Watch Mom smile.

Mom’s Secret Wish List

Mom usually puts the needs of her family first. But if she were really honest, she would say she’d love to have something from this list. And, Dads, when you shop smart, these become affordable luxuries.

  1. Diamonds. They’re always a girl’s best friend. Diamond solitaire earrings go with everything — jeans on the soccer field, a suit at the office or workout clothes at the gym.
  2. Designer Fragrances. Perfume and cologne in her special scent makes Mom feel pampered and special.
  3. Furniture. Surprise her with something she’s been wanting, whether it’s the armoire for the great room, a new desk for the home office or even a new leather sofa.
  4. Chocolate. Always a treat, especially now that health experts have declared that dark chocolate is actually good for us. Now, will it be Godiva or Ghirardelli?
  5. Culinary Ware. If Mom has been trying to make culinary masterpieces from a mismatched set of cookware from her early married days, it’s time for an upgrade. Or, maybe she’d love a stand mixer or a great platter.

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Salmon Wellington

Puff pastry encloses flavorful salmon, spinach and herbs in a main dish fit for a special occasion. Wellington prepara­tions are thought to take a great deal of time and skill to make. However, with the time saver of purchased puff pastry, it’s a breeze. The bundles can be pre­pared up to a week in advance and then frozen. Just pop them in the oven when needed.

Note: Puff pastry must be cold (but not frozen) when placed into a hot oven in order for the pastry to become light and flaky.

Makes: 4 servings

  • 1 tablespoon sweet butter
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons shallots or onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach, defrosted and well drained
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon thyme or dill
  • minced Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 4 thick, skinless fillets of salmon (about 6 ounces each)
  • 2 packages puff pastry (defrosted in refrigerator)
  • 1 lightly beaten egg
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  1. Heat sauté pan with butter over medium heat. Add shallots and sauté 3 to 4 minutes until softened. Reduce heat to medium-low and add spinach, nutmeg, lemon zest, thyme, salt and pepper. Sauté 2 to 3 minutes; remove from heat and stir in feta. Taste for seasoning and let cool.
  2. Lightly salt and pepper each piece of salmon and top with 2 tablespoons of spinach mixture.
  3. Roll out pastry sheets on lightly floured board. Cut 1 piece of pastry for bottom of each fillet — about 1 inch larger than the salmon. Cut a second piece large enough to drape over fillet and touch counter, plus 1 inch to spare all the way around.
  4. Brush edge of smaller sheet with lightly beaten egg mixed with milk. Place 1 piece of salmon in center of pastry. Drape larger piece over salmon and seal the two pieces of dough together by folding and pleat­ing like a pie crust. Repeat for each “package.” Chill at least 30 minutes or freeze up to 1 week before baking.
  5. Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush top of each package with a small amount of egg/milk mixture. Put on sheet pan lined with parchment paper and a dusting of corn meal. Bake in pre­heated oven for 18 to 23 minutes, until golden. Let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

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Cranberry Splash Punch

Makes: 8 servings

  • 4 cups cranberry juice
  • 3 cups pineapple juice
  • 1/2 cup cherry juice
  • 2 cups puréed strawberries or raspberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 6 cups ice cubes
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 2 limes, sliced
  • 3 cups orange soda or ginger ale
  1. Mix all juices and puréed berries and chill thoroughly.
  2. To serve, put punch in handsome container and add ice and fruit. Slowly stir in orange soda.

Source: Sam's Club

Beverages 13 June 2016

A New Twist for Lemon and Lime Lovers

(Family Features) It’s summer and there’s little that can compare to the refreshing sparkle that fresh lemon or lime gives a tall glass of iced tea or an ice-cold bottle of water. (And how about that great citrus taste on grilled fish?) But it’s not always easy — or convenient — to bring a whole lemon or lime with you when you’re on the go. Worse yet, it’s so frustrating to reach for a fresh lemon or lime at home only to realize either you’re out or they’ve gone bad sitting in your refrigerator.

Now, there’s good news for lemon and lime lovers. Fresh squeezed lemon and lime taste is now as simple as a tear of a packet or a shake of a bottle — and you don’t have to worry about it going bad before you’ve had a chance to use it. True Lemon and True Lime crystallized lemon and lime substitutes are made with 100 percent all-natural ingredients including real lemon and lime juice and oils. Available in packets and now rolling out nationwide in shaker containers, both can be used just like you would fresh lemon or lime juice.

True Lemon and True Lime can add true citrus flavor to:

  • Drinks and smoothies,
  • Marinades, rubs and flavoring pastes,
  • Sauces,
  • Main dishes,
  • Fruits, vegetables and side dishes,
  • Desserts and
  • Any dish or drink that needs flavor-enhancing lemon or lime.

Convenient packets of the all-natural crystallized lemon and lime are also great to take to the office, to the gym or on summer vacation — anytime you’re on the go. Each packet contains the equivalent of 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon or lime juice with no calories, carbohydrates, preservatives or sodium, but with a full 25 percent of an adult’s daily vitamin C requirement. True Lemon and True Lime shakers have the same health benefits and offer an easy way for home chefs to sprinkle on a zesty citrus taste. They are also a great salt substitute for those watching their sodium intake.

For more information and recipes, visit www.truelemon.com.

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Luscious Lime Summer Smoothie

Makes 1-1/2 cups

  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 packets True Lime
  • 1 ripe medium banana
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 kiwi fruit, peeled and halved
  • 2 cups crushed ice
  1. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth.

Lemon Herb Salmon

Serves 4

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 packets True Lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chives
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 medium salmon steaks, cut 1/4 inch thick
  1. In large bowl, combine all ingredients except salmon steaks; mix well. Add fish to bowl; spoon marinade over fish until well coated. Cover; refrigerate at least 2 hours, turning fish over after 1 hour.
  2. Place fish on broiler pan or on hot grill. Broil or grill 4 to 6 inches from heat, 10 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with fork.

Source: True Lemon

Healthy 07 March 2017

Simplify Fish Fridays with Sheet Pan Dinners

(Family Features) If you’re observing Lent, Friday fish dinners could be in your future, but that’s no reason to feel limited by what you can cook. Seafood pairs well with all sorts of flavors – from chili seasoning to lime extract – and bakes quickly on a sheet pan with minimal cleanup.

Follow these simple tips from Dr. Wendy Bazilian, McCormick Health Advisor and Registered Dietitian, to get your family asking for good-for-you proteins like salmon and shrimp all year long:

  • While lemon is a great complement to seafood, think about pairing with other citrus flavors like orange and lime. Try marinating shrimp in a mixture of lite coconut milk, lime extract, ginger and red pepper.
  • Add colorful vegetables like zoodles or asparagus to your sheet pan to boost both seafood and vegetable servings. You don’t need a spiralizer to make zoodles because many grocery stores offer pre-made zoodles in the produce section.
  • Keep shrimp in your freezer to pull out for stir fries, pastas or this Coconut Lime Shrimp with Zoodles recipe.

Explore more recipes to enjoy during Lent, spring and beyond at McCormick.com, or look for McCormick Spice on Facebook and Pinterest.

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Coconut Lime Shrimp with Zoodles

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

  • 1/4 cup Thai Kitchen Coconut Milk (regular or lite)
  • 1 teaspoon McCormick Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Pure Lime Extract
  • 1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 small zucchini, cut into thin noodles with spiralizer
  • 1 medium yellow squash, cut into thin noodles with spiralizer
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into thin noodles with spiralizer
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Ground Black Pepper
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. In large, re-sealable plastic bag, mix together coconut milk, ginger, garlic powder, crushed red pepper and lime extract. Add shrimp; turn to coat well.
  3. Refrigerate 15-30 minutes. Remove shrimp from marinade. Discard any remaining marinade. In center of large, shallow, foil-lined baking pan, arrange shrimp in single layer.
  4. In large bowl, toss vegetable noodles and oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss to coat well. Spread noodles around shrimp in pan.
  5. Bake 10-15 minutes, or until shrimp turn pink and are cooked through and noodles are tender. Serve shrimp over vegetable noodles.

Test kitchen tip: For faster prep, use 4 cups store-bought spiralized vegetable noodles instead of spiralizing them yourself.

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Orange Chili Sheet Pan Salmon

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons McCormick Pure Orange Extract
  • 2 pounds salmon fillets, skin removed
  • 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 1 package McCormick Original Chili Seasoning Mix
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. Spray foil-lined, 13-by-9-inch baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In small bowl, mix together oil and orange extract. Place salmon and vegetables on separate sides of baking sheet. Brush vegetables with 1 teaspoon extract mixture. Brush both sides of salmon with remaining mixture.
  3. In small bowl, mix together seasoning mix and brown sugar. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons seasoning mixture over vegetables. Sprinkle both sides of salmon evenly with remaining seasoning mixture.
  4. Bake 20 minutes, or until fish flakes easily with a fork and vegetables are tender.

Source: McCormick

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Appetizers & Sides 23 January 2017

The Goodness of Grapes

(Family Features) Grapes have been enjoyed for their taste and beauty for thousands of years. And today’s scientific research keeps on showing that grapes are more than just a pretty fruit — they’re also very, very good for us.

In fact, over a decade of research suggests that grapes help maintain a healthy heart and may also help defend against a variety of age-related and other illnesses. Studies are ongoing to uncover the links between grapes and heart health, eye health, brain health, joint health, cell health and preventing certain cancers.

Of course, grapes aren’t just healthy, they also taste great: crisp, juicy and sweet. Kids love them. And, they’re convenient, making them truly a Super Snack. Eat them by the bunch, or toss them into recipes like these.

To learn more about the health benefits of grapes from California, and to get more delicious ways to enjoy them every day, visit www.grapesfromcalifornia.com or www.facebook.com/GrapesFromCalifornia

Keeping Cells Healthy

Grapes of all colors — red, green and black — are natural sources of polyphenols, which appear to help protect the health and function of our cells. Grape polyphenols:

  • Have antioxidant properties, which can help protect against cell-damaging free radicals.
  • Can influence the communication between cells that support key biological processes.
My Heart Belongs to Grapes

Numerous studies suggest that consuming grapes and grape products may contribute to heart health in a number of ways. Eating a variety of grapes may help:

  • Improve blood flow
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce oxidative
  • Decrease inflammation
  • Improve blood lipids
Seeing Is Believing

Research from Fordham University, funded by the California Table Grape Commission, suggests that grapes may reduce the risk of blindness related to age-related macular degeneration (AMD). In laboratory studies, grapes offered significantly more retinal protection than the much-touted lutein, and prevented blindness.

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Mediterranean Grilled Chicken and Grape Skewers

These quick-to-fix skewers can also serve as appetizers.
Makes 4 entrée servings

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, fresh minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon oregano, fresh minced
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary, fresh minced
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1 pound chicken breast, boneless and skinless
  • 1 3/4 cups California green seedless grapes, picked from stem and rinsed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice, fresh
  1. In small bowl combine olive oil, garlic, chili flakes, oregano, rosemary and lemon zest. Whisk together marinade.
    Cut chicken into 3/4-inch cubes. Alternate chicken and grapes and thread onto 12 skewers.
  2. Place skewers into a baking dish or pan large enough to hold them. Pour marinade over skewers, coating each one. Marinate for 4 to 24 hours.
  3. Remove skewers from marinade and let excess oil drip off. Season with salt.
  4. Grill until chicken is cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes on each side.
  5. Arrange on serving platter and drizzle with additional olive oil and lemon juice.

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Breakfast-To-Go Grape Smoothie

Jump-start your day with this easy all-in-one drink.
Makes 2 1/3 cups

  • 1 1/2 cups frozen California grapes
  • 1 banana, sliced
  • 1/2 cup vanilla or honey lowfat Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup grape juice
  • 1/4 cup wheat flake cereal
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 minute. Serve immediately.

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Grape and Salmon Power Salad

Fresh grapes are just one of the “super” foods in this hearty and heart-healthy salad.
Makes 6 servings

  • 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, coarsely chopped
Dressing
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, mashed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Cook barley according to package directions, or in plenty of lightly salted boiling water for about 35 to 45 minutes until it is plump and tender, and still slightly chewy. Drain and cool.
  2. Tenderize kale by blanching it in boiling water for 2 to 3 seconds or cooking in the microwave for 1 minute. Rinse in cold water to stop cooking, and squeeze dry. Fluff and uncrimp dry kale pieces with your fingers.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together barley, kale, grapes, salmon and walnuts.
  4. To prepare dressing: In small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne. Gradually mix in olive oil.
  5. Pour onto salad and fold gently to combine. Serve immediately or refrigerate.

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Frozen Grape and Banana Skewers with Chocolate Drizzle

These delightful frozen treats are healthy, too.
Makes 4 servings

  • 2 firm ripe bananas
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1/2 cup red grapes (about 16)
  • 1/2 cup green grapes (about 16)
  • 8 10-inch wooden skewers
  • 1 1/2 ounces dark chocolate (60 to 70 percent cocoa solids), finely chopped
  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Cut the banana into 1/2-inch-thick rounds. Place in small bowl and toss gently with the orange juice.
  2. Skewer fruit, alternating two grapes for each piece of banana, and place fruit skewers onto lined tray.
  3. Place chocolate in small microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, then stir well, and microwave another 10 seconds if necessary to melt chocolate.
  4. Using a spoon, drizzle melted chocolate onto fruit skewers.
  5. Place the tray in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Once frozen, skewers may be transferred to a sealable plastic bag where they will keep in the freezer for up to a week. Allow to soften at room temperature for 5 minutes before eating.

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