recipes

Meal Ideas 21 February 2019

Fresh, Filling Family Dinners

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

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

Savory and Scrumptious

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

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

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

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

Quick, Flavorful Meal Idea

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

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

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

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

Easy Thai Chicken Satay and Rice Salad

Servings: 4-6

Dressing:

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

Salad:

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

Fish with a Twist

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

Catfish Quesadilla with Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream

Recipe courtesy of The Catfish Institute
Servings: 4

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

Cilantro-Lime Sour Cream:

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

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

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

Source: Culinary.net

Healthy 17 January 2019

Eat Your Way to Better Health

(Family Features) It seems like every week there is a new product claiming to promise nutrition and improve your health. However, there are some foods you likely already have on hand that can improve your diet quality and support clean-eating efforts.

Skip the total diet overhaul or the latest fad, and keep it simple by focusing on small but powerful changes to help you clean up your diet. Dairy products have always been cost-effective and nutrient-packed. These three tips can help you make the most of dairy’s health benefits.

Inspect the ingredient label. With just three ingredients, milk is the original clean and clear food, unlike trendy milk alternatives, which may contain up to 10 ingredients.

Examine the benefits beyond bone health. It’s widely known that dairy products provide calcium to build strong bones, but milk, cheese and yogurt actually provide a unique package of nine nutrients, including high-quality protein to support muscle health.

Explore its versatility. Dairy can be easily incorporated into meals and snacks to help make healthy and clean eating simple. Getting the recommended three servings of dairy every day is a cinch once you discover the possibilities.

Resolve to get three servings of milk, cheese and yogurt every day by pledging Dairy 3 for Me. You may be surprised how easy it is to create a healthier menu all day long. Try these ideas to get started:

  • Make milk your mealtime beverage. White, chocolate, strawberry; no matter the flavor, all milk provides the same nine nutrients.
  • Build a breakfast parfait with your favorite yogurt, fruit and whole grain cereal, or mix things up with milk or yogurt by blending a smoothie.
  • Sneak in healthier eating by pairing cheese with fresh fruit or vegetables. Research shows when cheese is coupled with these foods, it helps kids eat more of all of them.
  • After a workout, recover with a tall glass of chocolate milk, which studies have proven to be effective in aiding tired muscles.
  • Boost nutrition and flavor by adding shredded cheese to casseroles, soups and pasta dishes, or sprinkle on top of tacos and chili.

To find more delicious recipes to support your nutrition goals and to pledge Dairy 3 for Me, visit MidwestDairy.com.

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Raspberry-Strawberry Yogurt Smoothie

Recipe courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup unsweetened frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup unsweetened frozen strawberries
  • 3/4 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 cup ice (about 12 cubes)
  1. Blend all ingredients in blender until smooth. Serve immediately.

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Pulled Pork Soft Tacos

Recipe courtesy of Midwest Dairy Association
Prep time: 8 hours, 35 minutes
Servings: 6

For pork:

  • 2 pounds boneless pork loin roast
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 small white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 limes, cut in half

For tacos:

  • 1/2 cup nonfat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and chopped
  • 12 soft corn tortillas (6 inches each)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded reduced-fat Colby Jack
  • 1  bag (8 ounces) shredded red cabbage
  • 3/4 cup fresh salsa
  1. Trim excess fat off roast. In small bowl, combine brown sugar and ginger; rub generously over roast. Place in slow cooker with garlic, onion and orange juice; cook on low heat 8 hours (or high 4-6 hours.)
  2. Transfer pork to large bowl and shred with forks. Strain pork liquid from slow cooker and pour over pulled pork to moisten. Squeeze lime juice on top and mix well. Divide into 12 servings.
  3. In small bowl, mix together sour cream, cumin and scallions.
  4. Cover each corn tortilla with 2 tablespoons cheese; microwave 20 seconds. Top with pulled pork, 2 teaspoons sour cream mix, 1 1/2 tablespoons shredded cabbage and 1 tablespoon salsa. Fold and serve immediately.

Source: Midwest Dairy Association

Grilling-Tailgating 16 January 2019

Throw the Ultimate Tailgate

(Family Features) Football season is back, and that means it’s time to stock up on all the tailgating essentials. Nailing the food lineup is key because few things can ruin a good game like getting “hangry” before kickoff. This year, kick your game up a notch with simple tailgating recipes that bring the perfect blend of flavor and heat. These easy recipes will get you enjoying the festivities in no time, whether you’re tailgating at the stadium or homegating on your couch.

No matter which team you and your friends are rooting for, there’s one thing that all football fans can agree on: wings are the MVPs of game day. Wings have been holding the line ever since 1964, when Frank’s RedHot was the key ingredient in the first-ever Buffalo wings.

After all these years, there’s a reason wings keep their defending champ status: they’re easy to make and a surefire way to deliver that classic Buffalo flavor. Just bake the wings for half an hour to get that crispy coating, toss with your two-ingredient buffalo sauce and you’re all set. Serve them up with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks and you’ll be on your way to the ultimate tailgate.  

In order to make sure you’ve got the win locked in, have more than one play in your back pocket. Turn to another tried-and-true, one-pot classic: chili.

Don’t overthink it – all you need to do is brown some ground beef, add some onion then crushed tomatoes, beans, hot sauce and seasoning. All you need is 15 minutes to build flavor and you’re good to go. Even easier, let your slow cooker do the work. Finish it off with shredded cheese, scallions, sour cream and more hot sauce, and you’ll have the hearty chili you need to keep the tailgate going strong. Enjoy your chili on its own or spoon it on top of hot dogs, nachos and whatever else you have on your plate.

For more tailgate tips and great-tasting game day recipes, visit franksredhot.com/recipes.
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Buffalo Chicken Wings

  • 2 1/2    pounds chicken wing pieces 
  • 1/2       cup Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • 1/3       cup butter, melted 
  • blue cheese dressing
  • celery sticks
  1. Heat oven to 450° F.
  2. In foil-lined pan, bake wings 30 minutes until crispy, turning once.
  3. In bowl, combine sauce and butter.
  4. Toss wings in sauce to coat completely.
  5. Serve with blue cheese dressing and celery sticks.

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Chili

  • 2          pounds ground beef
  • 1          large onion, chopped
  • 1          can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in puree
  • 1          can (15-19 ounces) kidney beans, undrained
  • 1/4       cup Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • 2          packages (1 1/4 ounces) chili seasoning mix
  • shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • scallions (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  1. In large, nonstick pot, cook beef until browned.
  2. Add onion; cook 3 minutes. Drain.
  3. Stir in tomatoes, beans, sauce and seasoning mix. Heat to boiling. Stir often.
  4. Simmer, partially covered, 15 minutes, or until flavors are blended. Stir often.
  5. Garnish, as desired, with shredded cheddar cheese, scallions and sour cream.

Source: Frank’s RedHot

Holiday 30 October 2018

Take Holiday Hosting to the Next Level

(Family Features) It can be easy to impress your holiday guests without overdoing it in the kitchen by putting to use recipes that require little time to prep. After all, those precious moments with loved ones are meant for reflection and conversation, but that doesn’t mean you have to settle for lesser dishes.

Appetizers like Beet Carpaccio Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts and Caprese Avocado Toast provide aesthetic appeal and taste to tide appetites. As one of the key ingredients, Filippo Berio Classic Balsamic Glaze adds tanginess and artistic flair for flavorful small bites.

Go above and beyond with a main course that’s prepped in 10 minutes and ready in less than two hours like this Rosemary and Raspberry Balsamic Roasted Leg of Lamb, which can be the center of attention as guests dig in for a delightful meal.

Finally, for a nightcap worth celebrating, this Dark Chocolate and Cherry Cheesecake can serve a crowd thanks to ingredients like Filippo Berio Raspberry Balsamic glaze, providing tangy, fruity flavor with its rich, smooth blend of raspberry juice and balsamic vinegar of Modena.

Find more holiday recipes that can take your gathering to the next level at filippoberio.com.
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Rosemary and Raspberry Balsamic Roasted Leg of Lamb

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Servings: 8

Roasted Leg of Lamb:

  • 3          tablespoons Filippo Berio Olive Oil
  • 2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Raspberry Balsamic Glaze
  • 1          tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 4          teaspoons grainy mustard
  • 1          bone-in leg of lamb (about 6 pounds)
  • 2          cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1          teaspoon pepper
  • 3          onions, quartered
  • 1          cup water

Gravy:

  • 3          tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2       cup dry red wine
  • 4          cups chicken stock
  • 2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Raspberry Balsamic Glaze
  • 1          sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  1. To make Roasted Leg of Lamb: Heat oven to 400° F. In bowl, whisk olive oil, raspberry balsamic glaze, rosemary and mustard; set aside.
  2. Make small incisions in lamb and insert garlic slices. Rub olive oil mixture over lamb. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Transfer to roasting pan fitted with rack. Add onions; pour water into bottom of pan.
  3. Roast 80-90 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 145° F for medium-rare, adding water to pan as needed to avoid scorching and onions drying out.
  4. Transfer lamb to carving board and tent with foil.
  5. To make Gravy: Place roasting pan on stovetop over medium-high heat; stir in flour. Whisk in wine; boil 1-2 minutes, or until reduced by half. Whisk in chicken stock and raspberry balsamic glaze. Add rosemary; bring to boil and simmer 8-10 minutes, or until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with lamb.

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Dark Chocolate and Cherry Cheesecake

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Servings: 12

Crust:

  • 1 1/2    cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/3       cup Filippo Berio Extra Light Olive Oil
  • 1/4       cup packed brown sugar

Filling:

  • 3/4       cup chopped bittersweet chocolate
  • 1          tablespoon Filippo Berio Classic Balsamic Glaze
  • 3          packages (8 ounces each) brick-style cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1          cup granulated sugar
  • 3          eggs
  • 1          cup sour cream
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla

Cherry Topping:

  • 3          cups frozen cherries
  • 3/4       cup packed brown sugar
  • 1          tablespoon Filippo Berio Olive Oil
  • 1/2       cup water, plus 2 tablespoons, divided
  • 2          tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Classic Balsamic Glaze
  1. To make Crust: Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Mix graham wafer crumbs, oil and sugar; press into bottom of 9-inch springform pan. Bake 8 minutes; let cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325° F.
  3. To make Filling: In heatproof bowl set over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in balsamic glaze. Let cool slightly.
  4. Using electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, sugar and melted chocolate mixture until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in sour cream and vanilla; pour over crust.
  5. Wrap outside of springform pan in heavy-duty foil. Set inside roasting pan and pour in boiling water until halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake 90-100 minutes, or until sides are set and center is still slightly jiggly; cool 5 minutes. Run knife between cheesecake and pan; cool completely. Refrigerate 24 hours.
  6. To make Cherry Topping: In small saucepan over medium heat, bring cherries, sugar, olive oil and 1/2 cup water to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5-6 minutes, or until sugar dissolves.
  7. Whisk cornstarch with remaining water; whisk into mixture. Cook about 3 minutes, or until thickened.
  8. Transfer to bowl; cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours or up to one day. Spoon over cheesecake; drizzle with balsamic glaze.

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Beet Carpaccio Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts

Prep time: 10 min
Servings: 4

  • 1 1/2    pounds roasted beets
  • 2          cups microgreens
  • 4          ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 1/4       cup chopped toasted hazelnuts
  • 2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Classic Balsamic Glaze
  • 1/4       teaspoon flaked sea salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon cracked pepper
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. Using chef’s knife or mandoline, thinly slice beets; arrange on platter.
  3. Arrange microgreens over beets; scatter with goat cheese. Sprinkle hazelnuts over top and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

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Caprese Avocado Toast with Balsamic Glaze

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Robusto Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 4          slices rustic Italian bread, about 3/4-inch thick
  • 1          large clove garlic, halved
  • 2          small ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4       cup torn fresh basil, divided
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 1          large ripe tomato, sliced
  • 8          ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1/4       teaspoon hot pepper flakes
  • 1/4       cup Filippo Berio Classic Balsamic Glaze
  1. Heat oven to broil; position rack at highest level. Brush olive oil over both sides of each slice of bread; broil, turning once, 3-5 minutes, or until golden brown. Rub cut side of garlic clove over bread while still hot.
  2. Mash together avocados, lemon juice, 1/8 cup basil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; spread over one side of each slice of bread. Top with tomato slices; season with remaining salt and pepper. Top with mozzarella slices; sprinkle with hot pepper flakes.
  3. Drizzle each slice of bread with balsamic glaze. Sprinkle with remaining basil; serve immediately.

Source:  Filippo Berio

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!

Meal Ideas 07 September 2018

Burrito Bake

This hearty casserole is full of meat, onion and cheeses, sitting on top of a crescent roll dough crust.  Add even more flavor and top your casserole with olives, green onions, lettuce, tomatoes and jalapenos with a side of sour cream, chips and salsa.

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Burrito Bake

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 can (16oz) refried beans
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning
  • 1 tube (8oz) refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 bag (8oz) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 bag (8oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • Optional toppings: chopped green pepper, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and sliced ripe olives
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. In a large skillet, cook and crumble beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Add beans, onion and taco seasoning.
  2. Unroll crescent roll dough. Press onto bottom and up the sides of a greased 13x9-in. baking dish; seal seams and perforations.
  3. Spread beef mixture over crust; sprinkle with cheeses. Bake, uncovered, until golden brown, about 30 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with toppings.

Watch video to see how easy this recipe is!

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

Meal Ideas 23 July 2018

Put Taste on the Table

When busy weeknights leave little opportunity for extravagant meals, bring the family together with a simpler recipe that provides just as much tasty flavor, such as these Turkey Potato Dinner Wraps. Requiring just 15 minutes of prep and 15 minutes of cook time, a half-hour is all you need to create an enjoyable meal for all. Find more quick dinner recipes at eatwisconsinpotatoes.com.
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Turkey-Potato Dinner Wrap

  • 3/4 pound Russet potatoes* cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tbsp canola oil
  • 3/4 pound ground lean turkey
  • 1 large carrot shredded
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions with tops
  • 1 can Tomato sauce 8 ounce can
  • 2/3 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp dried Italian herb seasoning or basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 large whole wheat or high fiber tortillas
  • 1 light sour cream
  1. Place potatoes in microwave-safe bowl; sprinkle with water.  Cover, venting one corner.  Microwave on HIGH 5 to 8 minutes just until potatoes are tender. (Time will depend on wattage of your oven.)
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add and break up turkey; cook 5 minutes, tossing occasionally. Mix in carrot; cook 2 minutes. Add potatoes and onions; cook and toss 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; mix in tomato sauce, cheese, and herbs.
  3. Cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 5 minutes until mixture is hot and most of sauce is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper. On work surface, lay out tortillas. Place 3/4 cup hot turkey mixture on each; fold and roll up as for burritos.
  4. Cut in halves and place on serving plates. Accompany with sour cream, if desired.

Source:  Wisconsin Potato and Vegetable Growers Association

Meal Ideas 19 January 2018

Big Flavor for the Big Game

(Family Features) When hosting a game-day party, you’d think the focus would be on the score or the award-winning commercials, but it’s actually a great reason to indulge in flavor-filled bites. When the big day rolls around, let your guests obsess over the game while you serve up ooey-gooey dips, saucy wings and football-themed desserts that can keep them happily glued to their seats.

Dip into delicious. No watch-party menu is complete without a cheesy dip. This over the top dip brings big flavor and is perfect for kicking the party up a notch as your team works to post that next big win.

Slow cook your cornbread. Not only does this recipe for cornbread amp up the flavor with paprika, garlic powder and cheese, you can set it, forget it then enjoy it with your favorite chili or ribs.

Go ahead and wing it. Wings and football go together like quarterbacks and touchdowns. This year, try a south-of-the-border version and rub wings in cheesy taco seasoning. For extra flair, serve them on a platter with taco fixings.

Fan-favorite desserts. Win or lose, there’s always room for dessert. It can be surprisingly simple to create fun and tasty football-themed treats. These bite-size truffles require just five ingredients and are the perfect finishing touch(down) for your game-day spread.

Find more flavorful game-day recipes and ideas for your party at McCormick.com.
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Chocolate Raspberry Football Cookie Truffles

  • 4         cups crumbled chewy chocolate cookies
  • 1 1/2   cups marshmallow creme
  • 2         teaspoons McCormick Raspberry Extract
  • 12       ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1         ounce white chocolate, melted
  1. In large bowl, mix crumbled cookies, marshmallow creme and raspberry flavor until well blended. Shape mixture into 1-inch ovals. Set aside.
  2. Melt chocolate as directed on package. Using fork, dip one cookie truffle at a time into chocolate. Tap back of fork 2-3 times against edge of dish to allow excess chocolate to drip off. Place on wax paper-lined tray. Refrigerate 30 minutes, or until chocolate is set.
  3. Spoon melted white chocolate into small, re-sealable plastic bag. Cut small piece from one bottom corner of bag. Close bag tightly then pipe lines on truffles to resemble football stitching. Let stand until chocolate is set.

Note: Cookies can be stored in covered container at room temperature up to 5 days.
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Texas Trash Dip

  • 1          package (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 1          cup sour cream
  • 2          cans (16 ounces each) refried beans
  • 1          can (4 1/2 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
  • 1          package McCormick Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 4          cups shredded Mexican cheese blend, divided
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • chopped cilantro (optional)
  • tomatoes (optional)
  • sliced olives (optional)
  • avocado (optional)
  • tortilla chips
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In large, microwavable bowl, heat cream cheese and sour cream on high 1 minute, or until cheese is softened. Remove from microwave. Mix with wire whisk until smooth. Add refried beans, green chilies, seasoning mix and 2 cups cheese; mix well.
  3. Spread bean mixture into 13-by-9-inch baking dish sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
  4. Bake 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Top with cilantro, tomatoes, sliced olives and avocado, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips.

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Cheesy Taco Wings

  • 2 1/2    pounds chicken wing pieces
  • 1          package McCormick Cheesy Taco Mix
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 3          cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/4       cup finely chopped tomato
  • 2          tablespoons sliced green onion
  • 1       tablespoons crumbled queso fresco
  1. Heat oven to 450° F.
  2. In large bowl, toss chicken wings with seasoning mix. On large, shallow foil-lined baking pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, arrange wings in single layer.
  3. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through and skin is crisp.
  4. On large serving platter, arrange lettuce. Top with wings, tomato, green onion and queso fresco.

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Slow Cooker Cheesy Cornbread

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          cup milk
  • 3          eggs, beaten
  • 2          packages (8 1/2 ounces each) corn muffin mix
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Paprika
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Garlic Powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          cup frozen corn
  • 2          cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  1. Spray inside of 6-quart slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. In slow cooker, mix milk, eggs, corn muffin mix, paprika, garlic powder and salt until well blended.
  2. Stir in corn and 1 cup cheese. Place clean kitchen towel over slow cooker and cover with lid.
  3. Cook 2 hours on high, or until toothpick in center of cornbread comes out clean. Uncover.
  4. Sprinkle cornbread with remaining cheese. Let stand, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Source: McCormick

Meal Ideas 14 April 2017

Add a Tex-Mex Favorite to Your Menu

(Family Features) A tortilla plus a tasty filling makes a household favorite – a taco. This simple, casual, versatile, fun food knows no boundaries. Tacos can be right for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks and dessert, depending on the filling.

For tacos with a unique, delicious twist on tradition, try these Chicken Soft Tacos with Pickled Beet Salsa that are ready in 30 minutes. The antioxidant-rich Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets lend color, as well as a refreshing sweet-tangy flavor that’s complementary to the lime juice, cilantro and red onion in the salsa. This sassy salsa is a perfect partner for rotisserie, roasted or grilled chicken, arugula and a dollop of jalapeno mustard-sour cream sauce nestled inside a soft flour tortilla.

For your taco fiesta, just set out the tortillas, salsa and other toppings and let everyone help themselves to a fun and delicious dinner.

For other versatile recipes, visit AuntNellies.com.

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Chicken Soft Tacos with Pickled Beet Salsa

Prep time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

Salsa:

  • 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Baby Whole Pickled Beets
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Tacos:

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno mustard
  • 4 soft flour tortillas (6-inch diameter)
  • 2 cups fresh arugula
  • 2 cups chopped cooked rotisserie chicken (hot or cold)
  • 1/4 cup crumbled queso fresco
  1. To make salsa: drain beets and chop. In medium bowl, combine beets, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper.
  2. To make tacos: In small bowl, stir together sour cream and mustard; set aside.
  3. On one half of each tortilla, place equal amounts of salsa, arugula, chicken and cheese. Top with dollops of mustard-sour cream. Fold over.

Substitution: Sliced pickled beets or three single-serve cups of Aunt Nellie’s Diced Pickled Beets may be substituted for baby whole pickled beets.

Nutritional information per serving: 380 calories; 20 g protein; 28 g carbohydrates; 20 g total fat; 650 mg sodium; 80 mg cholesterol; 1 g dietary fiber; 2 mg iron; 0.15 mg thiamin;
460 IU vitamin A; 4 mg vitamin C.

Source: Aunt Nellie's

Beverages 14 April 2017

Sweet Meets Spicy

Fresh ideas for a fun fiesta menu

(Family Features) There’s no better way to spice up a party than by using unexpected ingredients in fun, flavorful dishes and drinks. For your next fiesta, celebrate a star of the party with sweet and juicy watermelon.

Not only does versatile watermelon lend a unique taste to your menu, it’s a healthy ingredient that provides natural hydration with 92 percent water content, along with the antioxidant lycopene and the amino acid citrulline.

These recipes show how, with a little creative carving, you can use the whole melon, including flesh, juice and rind, for big value and zero waste.

Find more fiesta-ready recipes at watermelon.org.

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Cactus Carving

  • Medium-large oval or oblong watermelon (seeded or seedless)
  • Cutting board
  • Paring knife
  • Dry erase marker
  • Kitchen knife
  • Scoop
  • Cactus cookie cutter
  • Small flower cookie cutters
  • Toothpicks
  • Fire and Ice Salsa (recipe below)

Wash watermelon under cool, running water and pat dry.

On cutting board, place watermelon on its side and cut off 1/4 inch-1/2 inch from stem end; this will provide a sturdy base. Reserve end piece to make into small cactus.

Stand watermelon upright on base. Use dry erase marker to draw simple outline of cactus shape.

One-third up from bottom of watermelon, draw straight line around back, being careful not to go through cactus outline; this will create a serving bowl for watermelon salsa.

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Use kitchen knife to cut around outline, leaving just bowl with cactus attached. Scoop out base to form bowl.

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From pieces of watermelon that were cut away, use cookie cutters to make cactus pieces and flower pieces to decorate with, and chop remaining watermelon to make watermelon salsa and watermelon margaritas, or juice.

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Attach toothpicks randomly around cactus to make thorns and decorate with watermelon flowers. Decorate bottom rind scrap with toothpicks to resemble short, round cactus.

Fill bowl with Fire and Ice Salsa and serve with tortilla chips.

Fire and Ice Salsa

Makes: 3 cups

  • 3 cups seeded and finely chopped watermelon
  • 1/2 cup finely diced green peppers
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced green onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely diced jalapeno peppers
  1. Combine ingredients; mix well and cover. Refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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Nachos with Watermelon Avocado Salsa

Makes: 8 servings

  • 1 avocado, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 minced garlic clove
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chilies, drained
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups diced watermelon
  • 16 ounces fat-free refried beans
  • 11 ounces corn tortilla chips
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup fat-free sour cream
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. To make salsa: In medium bowl, combine avocado, lime juice, cilantro, garlic, chilies and red onion; toss to thoroughly mix. Add watermelon and toss gently. Set aside.
  3. Over medium heat, heat beans until hot. Mash if preferred.
  4. Place chips on flat, oven-proof plate or cookie sheet and top with beans and cheese. Repeat layers as desired. Heat in oven 10 minutes, or until cheese has melted and chips are hot.
  5. Top with salsa mixture and sour cream.

Tip: Reserve some salsa to place in bowl for dipping.

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Blended Watermelon Margarita

Makes: 2 margaritas

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed and frozen
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 ounces silver tequila
  • 1 1/2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 ounce elderflower liqueur
  • pinch of salt
  • lime slices, for garnish
  1. In blender, combine watermelon, water, tequila, lime juice, elderflower liqueur and salt. Blend until smooth.
  2. Pour into two chilled margarita glasses and garnish with lime slices.

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Watermelon Margarita on the Rocks

Makes: 2 margaritas

Watermelon Simple Syrup:

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1 cup sugar

Watermelon Juice:

  • 2 cups seedless watermelon, cubed
  • 1/2 cup water

Margarita:

  • lime wedges
  • coarse salt
  • ice
  • 4 ounces silver tequila
  • 4 ounces watermelon juice
  • 2 ounces lime juice
  • 1 ounce watermelon simple syrup
  1. To make watermelon simple syrup: In small saucepan over medium heat, combine watermelon and sugar. Use potato masher to mash watermelon and sugar together, pushing out liquid and dissolving sugar. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour mixture through fine mesh sieve set over bowl or jar, pressing watermelon to extract all liquid. Set aside to cool completely.
  2. To make watermelon juice: In blender, combine watermelon and water. Blend until smooth then pour through fine mesh sieve set over bowl or jar.
  3. To assemble margaritas: use lime wedge to line rims of two glasses with juice. Dip glasses in coarse salt and carefully fill glasses with ice.
  4. Combine tequila, watermelon juice, lime juice and simple syrup in cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until thoroughly chilled, about 30 seconds, and pour into prepared glasses. Garnish with lime wedges.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

Meal Ideas 02 January 2017

Comfort Foods With a Kick

(Family Features) When the temperature drops, it’s natural for thoughts — and cravings — to turn toward soothing and hearty comfort foods. There’s nothing like a good casserole or a bowl of hot chili to make you feel good all over.

To kick up the fun in your favorite meals, try some comfort foods with salsa added into the mix. Salsa and picante sauces are convenient ways to add different flavors and heat up the whole family with a satisfying meal.

These recipes are fast and easy, making them great weeknight dinners for the busy cook.
For more creative recipes and serving suggestions, visit pacefoods.com.

Turn Up the Heat!

Here are some more ideas from Pace Foods to help you put some zip into your favorite foods.

Zesty Grilled Cheese
Dip your grilled cheese sandwich into chunky salsa or picante sauce for a full-flavored, zingy kick.

Fiesta Meat Loaf
Use chunky salsa or picante sauce instead of tomato sauce or ketchup for a juicy, zesty meat loaf. Just before serving, top with more salsa.

Soup Toppers
Stir any delicious flavored salsa into your soup for a fresh new taste. Try it in black bean, tomato or vegetable soup.

Fiesta Rice
Tired of making the same old side dishes? To freshen up any meal, stir chunky salsa or picante sauce into your cooked rice for a lively side dish the whole family will love.

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Monterey Chicken Tortilla Casserole

Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 40 minutes
Makes: 4

  • 1 cup coarsely crumbled tortilla chips
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken OR cooked turkey
  • 1 can (about 15 ounces) cream-style whole kernel corn
  • 3/4 cup Pace Picante sauce
  • 1/2 cup sliced pitted ripe olives
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Chopped green pepper OR red pepper
  • Tortilla chips
  1. Layer crumbled chips, chicken, corn and picante sauce in 1-quart casserole. Top with olives and cheese.
  2. Bake at 350°F for 40 minutes or until hot. Top with peppers. Serve with chips.

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Chipotle Chili

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 8 hours
Makes: 8

  • 1 jar (16 ounces) Pace Chunky salsa
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 2 pounds beef for stew, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 can (about 19 ounces) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • Sour cream (optional)
  1. Stir salsa, water, chili powder, chipotle pepper, onion, beef and beans in a 3 1/2-quart slow cooker.
  2. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 to 9 hours* or until the beef is fork-tender. Serve with cheese and sour cream, if desired.
    *Or on HIGH for 4 to 5 hours.

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2-Step Beefy Taco Joes

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Makes: 8

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 can (10 3/4 ounces) Campbell’s Condensed
  • Tomato soup (Regular OR 25% Less Sodium)
  • 1 cup Pace Thick & Chunky salsa
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 8 Pepperidge Farm Sandwich rolls, any variety
  1. Brown ground beef in skillet. Pour off fat.
  2. Add soup and salsa. Heat through. Top with cheese. Serve on rolls.

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Mexican Four Cheese Potatoes au Gratin

Prep: 10 minutes
Bake: 50 minutes
Stand: 10 minutes
Makes: 6

  • 1 jar (16 ounces) Pace Mexican Four Cheese salsa con Queso
  • 3/4 cup Swanson Chicken broth (Regular, Natural Goodness™ OR Certified Organic)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream OR half-and-half
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced (about 3 cups)
  1. Stir queso, broth and cream together in medium bowl.
  2. Put HALF of potatoes in a 2-quart shallow baking dish. Pour HALF of queso mixture over potatoes. Repeat with remaining potatoes and queso mixture.
  3. Bake at 350°F for 50 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Mexi-Mac

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 20 minutes
Makes: 4

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup Pace Picante sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, cut up
  • 1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • 3 cups cooked elbow pasta
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Sliced avocado
  • Sour cream
  1. Cook beef in skillet until browned. Pour off fat.
  2. Add picante sauce, chili powder, tomatoes and corn. Heat to a boil. Cook over low heat 10 minutes. Add pasta. Sprinkle with cheese. Cover and heat until cheese melts. Garnish with avocado and sour cream.

Source: Pace Foods

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