recipes

Meal Ideas 01 August 2018

Elevate Your Summer Grilling

(Family Features) Weekend barbecues, birthday celebrations and family reunions are in full swing, so up your grill game from basic to bold with a few ideas to leave your guests wanting more.

Step outside your comfort zone and create some “wow-worthy” dishes with big flavors with these recipes from McCormick and chef Roger Mooking from Cooking Channel’s “Man, Fire, Food.”

Get started with these ideas:

  • Once ribs are grilled until tender, use a sharp knife to carefully slit skin on the back of each rib for easier bone removal.
  • Make a giant cheese-stuffed burger by lining a 9-inch round cake pan with foil. Add in half of the ground beef followed by a cheese layer. Top with remaining ground beef and shake on seasoning for maximum flavor.
  • Brine pork chops in the refrigerator for 8-10 hours before grilling to infuse with flavor and help make tender and juicy. Top with caramelized apples cooked in a cast-iron skillet.

Find more summer recipes and tips at GrillYourBest.com.
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Smokehouse Maple-Brined Pork Chops

Servings: 4

  • 1/3       cup sea salt
  • 1/4       cup, plus 2 tablespoons and pinch, McCormick Grill Mates Smokehouse Maple Seasoning
  • 1/2       cup packed light brown sugar, divided
  • 8          cups water, divided
  • 4          bone-in center-cut pork chops (3/4-inch thick, about 2 1/2-2 3/4 pounds total)
  • vegetable oil
  • 1          lemon, cut in half
  • 3          tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2          Granny Smith apples, each peeled, cored and cut into six wedges
  • 1          tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives (optional)
  1. In medium saucepan, whisk salt, 1/4 cup seasoning, 1/4 cup sugar and 4 cups water. Bring to simmer, whisking constantly, until salt and sugar dissolve. Pour in remaining water and mix thoroughly. Transfer brine to large container with lid and cool to room temperature. Add pork chops to brine. Cover and refrigerate 8-10 hours.
  2. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  3. Remove pork chops from brine and pat dry with paper towels. Brush lightly with oil. Season both sides of pork with 2 tablespoons seasoning.
  4. Grill until bottom side of pork chops are well marked and charred, 7-9 minutes. Flip and grill 4-6 minutes, or until cooked through and internal temperature registers 145° F. Let rest under tented foil.
  5. Place large cast-iron skillet on grill. Juice one lemon half into small bowl. Add 1 teaspoon lemon juice and remaining sugar to skillet and stir with heatproof spatula until mixture resembles wet sand. Cook with grill open, stirring frequently, until sugar melts and deepens to amber, about 8 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted. Once foam subsides, add apples. Close grill and cook, stirring gently to coat apples in caramel, until apples are tender-crisp, about 8 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and add remaining lemon juice and pinch of seasoning; stir gently.
  6. Arrange pork chops on platter and top with apples. Zest remaining lemon half over dish. Sprinkle with chives, if desired.

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Best-Ever Buffalo Rack O’ Ribs Sandwich

Servings: 4

Slaw:

  • 1/4       cup mayonnaise
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 1/8       teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
  • 2          cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1/2       cup shredded carrot
  • 1/4       cup diced celery, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons fresh celery leaves
  • 2          tablespoons fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Ribs:

  • 1          rack (about 2 pounds) baby back ribs
  • 3          tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1          tablespoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 4          tablespoons hot sauce, divided, plus additional for spreading and serving (optional)

Sandwich:

  • 1          soft French loaf (12-14 inches), split
  • olive oil
  • Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • McCormick coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4       small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4       cup crumbled blue cheese
  1. To make slaw: In medium bowl, whisk mayonnaise, lemon juice, seasoned salt and pepper. Add cabbage, carrot, celery, celery leaves and parsley; toss to combine. Sprinkle with additional seasoned salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. To make ribs: Prepare grill for indirect medium heat at about 350° F.
  3. Insert butter knife between membrane and bone on backside of ribs. Grab membrane with paper towel then pull to remove membrane; discard. Rub ribs on both sides with brown sugar and seasoned salt. Wrap ribs tightly in aluminum foil and place on indirect-heat side of grill. Grill ribs, turning once until meat is tender and pulling away from bone but not totally falling apart, about 1 hour, 15 minutes-1 hour, 30 minutes. Remove ribs from grill.
  4. Unwrap ribs and let cool until cool enough to handle. Using sharp knife, carefully slit skin on back of ribs and remove bones, keeping slab in one piece.
  5. Place boneless rib slab on direct-heat side of grill, rounded-side up, and brush top with 2 tablespoons hot sauce. Grill until underside begins to crisp, about 2 minutes. Carefully flip ribs and brush top with the remaining hot sauce. Continue to grill ribs until glossy and caramelized, about 2-3 minutes.
  6. To assemble sandwich: Scoop out most of soft insides of top of French bread to make room for toppings. Brush cut sides with oil and sprinkle with seasoned salt and pepper. Grill on direct-heat side of grill until bread is toasted and grill marks appear, about 3 minutes.
  7. Place ribs on bottom of loaf. Brush with additional hot sauce, if desired, and top with slaw, onions and blue cheese. Cover with top of loaf. Cut into four pieces.

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Giant Bacon-Cheddar Juicy Lucy Burger

Servings: 8

  • 2          tablespoons McCormick Grill Mates Montreal Steak Seasoning, divided
  • 2          pounds 80 percent lean ground beef
  • 8          ounces sliced medium or sharp white cheddar cheese
  • 1/4       cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4       cup yellow mustard
  • 8          long pickle slices, plus 2 tablespoons brine
  • 1          round loaf soft bread (10 inches), cut in half horizontally
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          large heirloom tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1          small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 8          slices bacon, cooked
  • 2          cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  1. Line 9-inch round cake pan with aluminum foil, leaving extra foil over edges of pan. Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons steak seasoning. Press half of ground beef into cake pan. Layer cheese in middle, leaving 1/2-1-inch border around sides. Sprinkle with additional 2 teaspoons seasoning. Top with remaining ground beef in even layer and press to seal in cheese. Sprinkle with remaining seasoning.
  2. Lift burger from cake pan using foil. Press to flatten to about 11 inches in diameter. Refrigerate until ready to cook. (Patty can be assembled up to 2 hours in advance.)
  3. In small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, mustard and pickle brine until smooth. Cover and refrigerate.
  4. Remove most of soft insides from top of bread to make hollow. Reserve insides.
  5. Prepare grill for indirect medium heat at about 350° F.
  6. Brush grill grates with oil. Hold burger on foil bottom and flip onto indirect-heat side of grill; peel off foil. Cook until sides of burger are cooked and it feels firm when lifted with spatula, about 8-10 minutes. Using two spatulas, carefully flip burger. Close grill and cook until burger is cooked through and cheese is melted, about 5-8 minutes longer. Move to direct-heat side of grill for 1-2 minutes per side for more char.
  7. Brush cut sides of bread with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill on direct-heat side of grill until bread is toasted and grill marks appear, about 3 minutes.
  8. Place bottom half of bread on large cutting board. Spread with half of mustard sauce. Place burger on top and top with tomatoes, onions, pickles and bacon. Spread top of bread with remaining mustard sauce and fill with lettuce. Place top of bun on burger and cut into eight wedges.

Source:  McCormick

Meal Ideas 20 July 2018

Tips for Hosting a Healthy Summer Cookout

(Family Features) When people think of barbecues, many think of foods loaded with fat, salt and sugar, which can seem challenging if you are trying to eat healthy. However, it is possible - and easier than you think - to host a balanced cookout with nutritious options, without sacrificing flavor or quality.

Smithfield nutritionist Erin Thacker, MA, RDN, recommends these tips for hosting a backyard barbecue that will leave your guests healthy and happy:

  • Stick to lean protein: fresh pork cuts such as sirloins, tenderloins, boneless loins and chops are packed with protein and contain key nutrients like vitamin B6, thiamin, phosphorus, niacin, potassium, riboflavin and zinc. Smithfield fresh pork tenderloins and boneless sirloin roasts are even certified by the American Heart Association* as heart-healthy foods.
     
  • Layer on fruits and veggies: grilled vegetables make for a quick and delicious side dish, and grilled fruits are a health-conscious way to end the meal on a lighter note.
     
  • Lighten up: swap mayonnaise and heavy creams for Greek yogurt and vinegars, and opt for homemade dressings or sauces instead of store-bought condiments, which often have high sugar contents.

Try these simple, dietitian-approved recipes for Grilled Fresh Pork and Veggies with Lemon or Sweet and Spicy Fresh Pork Mini Kebabs. For more healthy and great-tasting recipe ideas, visit Smithfield.com.

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Grilled Fresh Pork and Veggies with Lemon

Prep time: 8 minutes
Cook time: 22 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 Smithfield Fresh Pork Tenderloin, cut into four thick slices
  • 2 teaspoons garlic pepper
  • 1 zucchini squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 yellow summer squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 large portobello mushroom
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, cut in half lengthwise and flattened
  • 1/2 large red onion, cut into slices
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Heat charcoal or gas grill to medium-high. Season fresh pork slices with garlic pepper; grill about 5 minutes per side until internal temperature reaches 145-160° F.
  2. Brush both sides of zucchini squash, yellow squash, mushroom, pepper and onion, plus cut sides of lemon, with oil.
  3. Grill vegetables for 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Add lemon to grill, cut-side down, and cook additional 2 minutes.
  4. Place vegetables and lemon on cutting board; coarsely chop vegetables. Serve with fresh pork slices on top; squeeze lemon over meat.

Nutritional information per serving: 200 calories; 6 g total fat; 1 g saturated fat; 75 mg cholesterol; 75 mg sodium; 8 g total carbohydrates; 2 g dietary fiber; 4 g sugars; 30 g protein.

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Sweet and Spicy Fresh Pork Mini Kebabs

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 16 kebabs

  • 1 Smithfield Roasted Garlic and Cracked Black Pepper Marinated Fresh Pork Sirloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pineapple, cored and cut into 16 (1-inch) cubes
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into 16 (1-inch) pieces
  • 16 bamboo skewers (6 inches), soaked in water and drained
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Caribbean jerk seasoning
  1. Heat gas or charcoal grill to medium-high.
  2. Thread two pieces of fresh pork sirloin, one pineapple cube and one red pepper piece onto each skewer. Wrap exposed end of skewer with foil to discourage scorching.
  3. Mix honey, vinegar and jerk seasoning together for glaze.
  4. Grill kebabs approximately 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until fresh pork reaches internal temperature of 145° F and then rest for 3 minutes. Generously brush kebabs with glaze during last 2-3 minutes.

Nutritional information per serving: 80 calories; 1 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 20 mg cholesterol; 90 mg sodium; 12 g total carbohydrates; 1 g dietary fiber; 9 g sugars; 8 g protein.

*Information and recipes not provided by the American Heart Association unless expressly stated.

Source:  Smithfield

Beverages 29 June 2018

Make Summer Sweeter with Fresh Cherries

(Family Features) Summer and cherries seem to go hand-in-hand, and using fresh fruits can help boost seasonal food and drink recipes.

Whether you use them as a snack, as a special ingredient in recipes or to inspire new dishes, Northwest-grown sweet cherries are one delightful way to celebrate the summer season.

Many grocery store shelves are full of these sweet, seasonal treats. Ripened on the tree and generally harvested, packed and ready for sale within just one day, it can be difficult to find a fresher summer fruit.

Cherry recipes can be enjoyed outside the summer months, too – simply rinse, pack and freeze an extra bag or two of cherries to harness the sweet flavor and health benefits in your appetizers, desserts and sweet or savory sauces throughout the year.

Impress your guests this summer with this ice-cold Cherry Lavender Spritzer. Or try Roasted Cherry Sauce for an accompaniment to your favorite barbecued meat, as an ice cream topper or paired with a cheese plate; it’s one way to have everyone asking for more.

Find more recipes and cherry tips at nwcherries.com.
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Cherry Lavender Spritzer

Servings: 6

  • 4          cups pitted and halved Northwest sweet cherries
  • 2          cups water
  • 3          tablespoons lavender
  • 2          tablespoons sugar
  • 6          Northwest sweet cherries with stems
  • 6          sprigs lavender blossoms
  1. In small saucepan, combine cherries, water, lavender and sugar. Heat mixture until it begins to boil. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool completely. Strain and reserve liquid. 
  2. For each drink, combine 4 ounces cherry-lavender mixture and 4 ounces crushed ice in tall 12-ounce cocktail glass; top each with club soda. Garnish each drink with one cherry with stem and one sprig lavender blossoms.

Variation: To make alcoholic version, shake or stir strained cherry-lavender mixture and ice with 9 ounces vodka. Strain into 8-ounce martini glasses, top each with club soda and garnish each with one cherry with stem and one sprig lavender blossoms.
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Roasted Cherry Sauce

Makes: 1 cup

  • 2          cups pitted Northwest sweet cherries
  • 2/3       cup sugar
  • 2          teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon black pepper
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. On foil-lined baking sheet, combine cherries, sugar, cornstarch, salt and black pepper; toss to mix.
  2. Place in oven and roast until cherries start to release juices and become soft, about 10 minutes. Cool before serving.

Source: Northwest Cherry Growers

Beverages 23 May 2018

Strawberry Spritzer

When it's summertime, you crave for something cold and fruity.  Combine frozen strawberries with frozen pink lemonade concentrate and you have a recipe for deliciousness.  This fizzy summertime strawberry treat will delight your tastebuds and keep you quenched while basking in the sun.  

Find more drink recipes at culinary.net.

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Strawberry Spritzer

  • 1 package (10 oz) frozen sliced strawberries, sweetened and thawed
  • 2 liters lemon-lime soda, chilled (may substitute for ginger ale)
  • 1 can (12oz) frozen pink lemonade concentrate, thawed
  1. Pour strawberries in a blender and process until blended thoroughly. 
  2. Pour strawberries into a large pitcher; stir in soda and pink lemonade.
  3. Serve immediately.

Recipe adapted from Taste of Home.

Source: Culinary
Meal Ideas 13 July 2017

Summer Brunch Fare

(Family Features) When it comes to planning brunch, there really are no rules. It’s the perfect opportunity to combine your favorite flavors and foods in one delicious meal.

Warmer weather calls for putting a summer twist on brunch classics. Breakfast Tacos Al Pastor are a fresh, flavorful addition to a festive summer brunch, while this Brunch Bruschetta Bar is a gorgeous way to feed a crowd and highlight your favorite summertime ingredients. These recipes are made and served with not-from-concentrate Florida’s Natural Brand Orange Juice, made entirely from oranges grown, picked and squeezed in Florida, with no water or sugar added.

Both recipes are from the Florida’s Natural Brunch Club, a collection of brunch experts creating recipes to celebrate brunch throughout the year. Brighten up your brunch with more fresh takes on classic recipes at floridasnatural.com.

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Breakfast Tacos Al Pastor

Recipe courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          pound ground chicken or pork
  • 1/2       sweet onion, chopped
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2          teaspoons chili powder
  • 1          teaspoon paprika
  • 1          teaspoon, plus pinch, kosher salt, divided
  • 2          chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
  • 1/2       cup not-from-concentrate Florida's Natural Brand Orange Juice
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 2          cups fresh pineapple chunks, divided
  • 1/4       cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4       cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1          jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1          lime, juice only
  • 4-6       fried eggs
  • 6-8       corn or flour tortillas, warmed
  • sliced avocado
  • feta or cheddar cheese
  1. In large skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. When oil shimmers, add ground chicken and onion. Cook, stirring often and breaking up meat as it cooks, until chicken is browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, chili powder, paprika, salt, chipotle peppers, orange juice, water and 1 cup pineapple. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce has thickened slightly around chicken, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
  3. In bowl, combine remaining pineapple, basil, jalapeno, lime juice and pinch of salt.

To serve: Divide fried eggs among tortillas and top with chicken. Add pineapple-basil salsa, avocado and cheese.

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Brunch Bruschetta Bar

Recipe courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8-12

  • 1          cup basil pesto
  • 1          cup sun-dried tomato spread
  • 2          cups cherry tomatoes, marinated cherry tomatoes or diced tomatoes
  • 6-8       soft-boiled or poached eggs
  • 6-8       scrambled eggs
  • 12        slices grilled or toasted bread
  • olive oil, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2-3       varieties of soft cheeses
  • 2          cups fresh fruit
  • 1          sliced avocado
  • 2          cups sauteed veggies, such as spinach and mushrooms
  • 6-8       pieces fried bacon
  • 2-3       varieties of prosciutto, salami or smoked salmon
  • 1          cup fruit jam
  • 1          cup nut butter
  • 1/2       cup honey
  • 1          carton not-from-concentrate Florida's Natural Brand Orange Juice
  1. On large serving board, arrange sauces and spreads. Add poached eggs, scrambled eggs and bread. Drizzle poached eggs with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange cheese, fruits, veggies, meats, jams, nut butter and honey around eggs. 
  2. Pour orange juice into juice glasses for sipping.

Source: Florida's Natural

Breakfast & Brunch 13 June 2017

What Moms Need to Know About Summer Nutrition for Kids

Hit a home run with essential nutrients for active kids

(Family Features) With summer in full force, kids are busy with physical activities and whether it’s little league baseball games, swim team or summer camp, they’re more active than ever. Moms, nutritionists and pediatricians alike know active kids and developing bones and muscles need essential nutrients to grow strong, but The Dietary Guidelines for Americans say most Americans, including children, actually aren’t getting enough fiber, calcium, vitamin D and potassium in their diets.

Moms can keep up by making sure kids fuel their bodies with proper nutrition and stay hydrated at the same time. As a drink kids already love the taste of, milk is a great choice when moms want to serve delicious and natural, high-quality protein for kids before sending them off on summer adventures. Many are also surprised to learn that milk can help hydrate after exercise due to its natural electrolytes and fluids.

Milk plays an important role for kids’ meals and snacks, providing three of the four nutrients most Americans, including kids, aren’t getting enough of (calcium, vitamin D and potassium), and it’s the top food source of these nutrients, to boot.¹ Plus, with 8 grams of protein per every 8-ounce glass, the farm-fresh beverage is a great way to help the whole family kick start the day.

One way to hit a home run for your kids is by stepping up to the breakfast plate with delicious baseball pancakes. Served with an 8-ounce glass of milk, this breakfast is the perfect combo to help kids fuel up with protein in the morning.

Find more nutritious recipes to pair with milk at milklife.com.

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Home Run Pancakes

Servings: 4

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 8 strips low-sodium turkey bacon (optional)
  • 2-3 tablespoons raspberry or strawberry syrup (optional)
  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Mix egg, milk and vanilla separately. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk gently until just combined.
  2. Heat griddle or skillet to medium heat and grease lightly with cooking spray.
  3. Using 1/3-cup measuring cup for each pancake, pour batter onto pan. Cook until bubbles form and edges start to look dry then flip and cook another 30-45 seconds.
  4. Cook bacon on griddle 3-4 minutes on each side, if desired, until desired crispiness is achieved.
  5. Place cooked bacon next to pancakes for “baseball bats.” If desired, drizzle syrup onto pancakes to make baseball stitching.
  6. Pair each serving with 8-ounce glass of milk.

Nutritional information per serving: 240 calories; 1.5 g fat; 55 mg cholesterol; 15 g protein; 40 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 420 mg sodium; 454 mg calcium (45% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.

¹Fulgoni VL, Keast DR, Quann EE, Auestad N. Food sources of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin D, and potassium in the U.S. The FASEB Journal. 2010;24:325.1.

Source: MilkPEP

Dessert 12 June 2017

Cool Down with Patriotic Frozen Pops

The perfect treat to celebrate and escape the heat this summer

(Family Features) With backyard barbecues, pool parties and patriotic celebrations in full swing leading up to the Fourth of July, kids are constantly on the go with summertime activities. For long summer days in the sun, a cool treat is the perfect way to help keep kids energized for all of their summertime activities.

These homemade red, white and blueberry frozen pops are the perfect patriotic summer snack for active kids. Made with wholesome ingredients like fruit and milk, they’re a great way for moms to add quality nutrition to snack time with flavors their kids already love. Plus, with milk as an ingredient, this delicious recipe is a creative way to help the whole family get added nutrients they need, like calcium and protein.

Whether celebrating Independence Day or relaxing following an afternoon in the sun, this tasty and nutritious summertime snack is one the whole family can enjoy together. For more inspiration and recipes to serve up summer fun, visit milklife.com.

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Red, White and Blueberry Frozen Pops

Servings: 10

  • 1/2 cup granola
  • 2 teaspoons brown rice syrup
  • 3/4 cup reduced fat milk
  • 6 ounces fat free vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup whole strawberries, tops removed
  • water
  • 1 1/4 cup blueberries, divided
  1. In small bowl, stir granola and brown rice syrup until combined. Using end of wooden spoon, press approximately 3/4 tablespoon granola into each frozen pop mold. Granola should be packed tightly into bottom of molds.
  2. In another small bowl, stir together milk and yogurt; set aside.
  3. Using small food processor or high-powered blender, puree strawberries until smooth. Stir water into each puree so they are pourable, about 2 tablespoons each, more if necessary.
  4. Set aside 30 blueberries and puree remainder. Add water, as needed, to make pourable.
  5. To layer pops, start by pouring, piping or syringing 1 tablespoon milk and yogurt mixture into each mold, covering granola layer. Put each mold in freezer until firm, at least 1 hour.
  6. Layer 1 tablespoon strawberry puree on top of frozen yogurt layer in each mold. Cover top of molds with foil, insert sticks and freeze again until solid. Remove foil, add another layer of yogurt and freeze again.
  7. For final layer, add 1 tablespoon blueberry puree and 3 blueberries to each mold. Freeze until solid. Keep frozen pops in molds until ready to eat. Run each mold under lukewarm water for approximately 10 seconds to loosen and remove frozen pops. Pops can be made 1 day in advance.

Tip: For clean lines between frozen yogurt layers, use small syringe.

Nutritional information per serving: 70 calories; 2 g fat; 0.5 g saturated fat; 3 g protein; 11 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 20 mg sodium; 48 mg calcium (4% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using reduced fat milk.

Source: MilkPEP

Healthy 06 June 2017

Go Ahead ... Eat the Whole Watermelon

(Family Features) Sliced or diced, grilled or blended, there are countless ways to prepare watermelon. With some fruits, half or more is wasted when you throw away the seeds and peel, but you may be surprised to learn that you can use an entire watermelon, including the rind, to make delicious and refreshing dishes.

Most people think of watermelon as a sweet, juicy snack perfect for hot summer days, but with its high water content (92 percent), the fruit is more than just tasty. It’s also an ideal way to keep your body hydrated. What’s more, the ability to use the entire fruit makes watermelon one of the most versatile and value-conscious options in the produce department.

An average watermelon consists of about 70 percent fruit and 30 percent rind. Hollowed out, the rind is an attractive way to serve any number of recipes, but the rind is actually edible, too, and can be stir-fried, stewed or pickled, or even enjoyed raw. This yummy slaw gets its distinctive crunch from the watermelon rind, which is packed with citrulline and arginine, two compounds that may aid in healthy blood flow.

Watermelon is also a flavorful substitute for tomatoes, as shown in this traditional Italian appetizer, and contains higher levels of lycopene than any other fresh fruit or vegetable per serving, according to award-winning nutrition author and registered dietitian Elizabeth Somer.

Additionally, it lends some sweetness to a spicy salsa and a refreshing twist on a summery salad. You can also try blending watermelon with other fresh fruits for a super smoothie or mixing it up with some adult libations (and don’t forget, you can transform the rind into a mini-keg in minutes; just add a pour spout).

Find more ideas for using every bite of fruit, juice and rind at watermelon.org.

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Watermelon Caprese Salad with Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Makes: 6 servings

  • 12 slices watermelon cut into rounds or squares, approximately 3 inches wide and 1/2 inch thick, with seeds removed
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 pound fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into 12 slices
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, loosely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 sprig basil, for garnish
  1. Place watermelon slices on paper towels and cover with additional paper towels to absorb excess fluid.
  2. In small saucepan over medium heat, add vinegar and honey. Stir to blend, bring to simmer and reduce heat. Stir occasionally until mixture is reduced by almost half. (Do not let reduce too far or allow to froth.) Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. On large platter, place watermelon slices and top each with slice of cheese. Add salt and pepper, to taste, then sprinkle basil leaves evenly over top. Drizzle with olive oil, followed by reduced balsamic vinegar. Garnish with sprig of basil.

Tip: Use red and yellow watermelon for an extra pretty presentation.

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Watermelon Rind Slaw

Makes: 4 one-cup servings

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

Slaw:

  • 4 cups grated watermelon rind (fruit and green peel removed)
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 1/2 cups diced fresh pineapple
  1. In small bowl, blend Greek yogurt, sour cream, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, sugar, poppy seeds, olive oil, salt and pepper thoroughly. Set aside.
  2. Place watermelon rind on several layers of paper towels to soak up excess fluid.
  3. In medium bowl, place dressing, rind, carrot and pineapple, and toss to thoroughly coat.

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Watermelon Slice Ice Pops

Makes: 5-15 servings

  • 5-15 watermelon slices, cut into triangular wedge shapes, about 1/2 to 1 inch thick, with seeds removed
  • 5-15 ice pop sticks
  1. Insert ice pop stick into rind of each slice.

Optional variation: After inserting sticks, freeze ice pops before serving.

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Superfood Smoothie

Makes: 3 cups

  • 2 cups cubed and seeded watermelon
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
  • 1 cup raspberry kefir
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons hemp
  • 2 tablespoons agave syrup
  • ice (optional)
  1. Place watermelon, raspberries, raspberry kefir, orange juice concentrate, hemp, agave syrup and ice, if desired, in blender and blend until smooth.

Source: National Watermelon Promotion Board

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

Grilling-Tailgating 17 May 2017

Upgrade Your Summer Grilling Game

(Family Features) The days are getting longer and hotter and you’re itching to head outside to kick off grilling season. After a few weeks of eating the same boring burgers and hot dogs, you’re looking for something a little more exciting (and so are your guests). These recipes can help take your grilling skills to the next level and make your next party something to brag about.

When people come over for Buffalo chicken, they expect authentic flavor, so give the people what they want by making Buffalo chicken sandwiches with Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce. Frank’s RedHot was the secret ingredient used in the original Buffalo wings recipe in 1964.

For maximum flavor, each Buffalo chicken sandwich gets a quarter of the bottle of sauce to bring in just the right blend of flavor and heat. Take it to the next level by marinating the chicken in the sauce for at least 30 minutes so it can absorb the unmistakable Buffalo flavor that will send any party into overdrive. Add the tangy blue cheese and cool, crisp lettuce and tomato and you’ve got the perfect bite for a hot summer day.

Now that you’ve proved your grilling chops to most of the party crew, it’s time to kick it up a notch. Every party’s got a few tough critics, so it’s key to make something impressive and delicious that appeals to a different palate. Enter: Sweet Chili Ribs.

Start with two full racks of pork spareribs then load them up with Frank’s RedHot Sweet Chili Sauce, garlic and ginger, making sure to spread that mixture all over the ribs. Grill them low and slow for 2 hours then pour another half-bottle of sauce over top for good measure and grill for another hour. After your guests have a chance to taste these sweet and tangy, fall-off-the-bone ribs, they’ll talk about them all summer long.

For more grilling tips and recipes, visit franksredhot.com/recipes.

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Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (if thick, cut horizontally into two even pieces)
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) Frank’s RedHot Buffalo Wings Sauce, divided
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese or ranch dressing
  • 4 hard rolls, split
  • 1/4 cup blue cheese crumbles
  • lettuce leaves (optional)
  • tomato slices (optional)
  • red onion rings (optional)
  1. Marinate chicken in 6 ounces Buffalo wings sauce for 30 minutes, or up to 3 hours.
  2. Mix remainder of Buffalo wings sauce and dressing together. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.
  3. Grill chicken 12 minutes, turning once, or until no longer pink in center.
  4. Place 2 tablespoons of mixed sauce on each roll half. Place chicken on top of roll half and top with 1 tablespoon blue cheese crumbles.
  5. Add lettuce, tomato and onion rings, if desired. Top with second roll half. Repeat for remaining sandwiches.

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Sweet Chili Ribs

  • 2 full racks pork spareribs, trimmed (about 6 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bottle (12 ounces) Frank’s RedHot Sweet Chili Sauce, divided
  1. Heat grill to 250° F and prepare for indirect cooking.
  2. Spread ribs with ginger and garlic. Place ribs on rib rack or in foil pan. Cook on covered grill 2 hours.
  3. Spread 6 ounces sweet chili sauce evenly over ribs then cook another hour, until tender.
  4. Baste ribs with remaining sweet chili sauce during last 15 minutes of cooking. If desired, at end of cooking time grill ribs over direct heat to char slightly.

Source: Frank's Red Hot

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