(Family Features) Light bites and summer just seem to go hand-in-hand, especially when the temperature outside means turning on the oven is out of the question. Whether you’re trying to put a meal on the table quickly or serving a crowd at your next summer get-together, putting a few small twists on seasonal favorites, such as Caesar salad kits, can be a perfect solution when you want to kick back and relax instead of spending extra time in the kitchen.
With more than 100 varieties of fresh, healthy and convenient ready-to-eat salads – including nine Caesar salad varieties – Fresh Express offers tasty and versatile salad kits that feature premium ingredients and can be eaten as a standalone salad or dressed up in next to no time to make mealtime a true celebration of the season.
For example, this Muffuletta Caesar Sandwich gets its flavor from the Caesar Chopped Salad Kit, which includes chopped romaine, Parmesan Caesar dressing and savory croutons topped with cracked pepper and grated Parmesan cheese. Simply fill two bread bowls with giardiniera, red peppers, green olives, celery, parsley, salami, cheese and salad then combine to meld the flavors for a tasty take on an Italian specialty sandwich.
Or add breaded calamari to the classic, restaurant-style Caesar Salad Kit featuring crisp romaine lettuce, rich and flavorful Caesar dressing, crunchy garlic croutons and Parmesan cheese for a perfect first-course salad, no trip to a restaurant needed.
Visit freshexpress.com for more mealtime inspiration and to find salad kits at a store near you.
Muffuletta Caesar Sandwich
Prep time: 20 minutes
- 1 jar (16 ounces) mild or hot giardiniera, drained, liquid reserved
- 1 jar (12 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
- 1 can (6 ounces) chopped green olives, drained and diced
- 1/2 cup celery, diced
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
- 1 round loaf Italian bread (2 pounds)
- 8 ounces sliced provolone cheese
- 8 ounces sliced Genoa salami
- 8 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
- 3 packages (9.4 ounces each) Fresh Express Caesar Chopped Salad Kits
- 8 ounces sliced mortadella
- In bowl, combine giardiniera, red peppers, olives, celery, parsley and 2 tablespoons reserved giardiniera liquid; mix well.
- Cut bread in half horizontally; tear out some bread, leaving about 1/2-inch to create bowl. Fill bottom bread bowl with olive salad. Layer with provolone cheese, salami and mozzarella cheese.
- Place greens from one salad kit into bowl; toss with salad dressing. Add toppings; toss to combine. Place in top bread bowl; layer with mortadella.
- Carefully flip top half of bread over and place on top of fillings in bottom half. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap; press down to compress. Let sit 15 minutes to blend flavors.
- Cut sandwich into eight wedges.
- Make remaining two salad kits to serve as side dish.
Calamari Caesar Salad
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1 package (10 ounces) breaded calamari
- 1 package (9.8 ounces) Fresh Express Caesar Salad Kit
- 8 Campari tomatoes, sliced
- 4 lemon wedges
- Bake calamari according to package directions.
- In large bowl, toss greens from salad kit with salad dressing. Add toppings; toss to combine.
- Divide salad evenly among four plates. Top each with calamari, tomatoes and lemon wedge. Serve with sauce from calamari package.
Source: Fresh Express
(Family Features) Summertime officially ushers in grilling season. There's no better way to celebrate the warm weather than at a backyard barbeque. Whether you're entertaining friends or cooking for your family, it's easy to make healthful choices at your next summer soirée.
When planning for an outdoor get-together, try better-for-you alternatives to traditional grilling fare. For example, serve fresh, seasonal grilled vegetables instead of potato chips. Once you've fired up the grill, try veggie burgers as an alternative to meat.
MorningStar Farms Grillers Original Veggie Burgers contain 57 percent less fat than regular ground beef.* So, it's not a burger - it's better!
Get your meatless barbeque started with an Alpine Burger. Or, if you're looking for a burger with a bit of a twist, consider making these Garden Veggie Deluxe Burgers or Spicy Tex-Mex Pita Burgers.
Once you're finished with the main course, grill pineapple and serve it over sherbet for dessert.
These simple substitutions are so delicious, your family and friends are sure to leave your next backyard party satisfied. For more recipes and fun food ideas, visit www.morningstarfarms.com.
*Regular ground beef contains 14g total fat per 64g serving. Grillers Original contain 6g fat per 64g serving.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Time to Table: 25 minutes
- 3/4 cup sweet onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
- 1 MorningStar Farms Grillers Original Burger
- 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard or Dijon Mustard
- 1 slice multigrain or whole wheat bread, toasted
- 1/3 cup baby arugula
- 1 tablespoon Gruyere cheese or Swiss cheese, shredded
- In large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook onions, covered, over medium-low heat for 16 to 20 minutes or until onions are very tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in mushrooms and garlic. Cook over medium heat, covered, for 4 to 6 minutes or until onions begin to brown and mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, cook veggie burgers according to package directions.
- Spread mustard on one side of bread slice. Top with arugula (if desired). Place burger on arugula. Spoon onion mixture over burger.
Sprinkle with cheese. Let stand for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve immediately.
Spicy Tex-Mex Pita Burgers
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Time to Table: 20 minutes
- 2 MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Veggie Burgers
- 1 cup baby romaine lettuce or torn romaine lettuce
- 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 medium avocado, pitted, peeled, chopped
- 4 tablespoons tomato salsa
- 1 whole-wheat pita bread round
- 4 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese with jalapeño peppers or Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers
- 10 baked tortilla chips (optional)
- Cook burgers according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, toss together lettuce, mayonnaise, and cilantro until lettuce is evenly coated. In another bowl, stir together avocado and salsa.
- Cut pita bread across middle in half. Fill each half with lettuce mixture. Insert burgers. Add cheese and avocado mixture. Serve with tortilla chips, if desired.
Garden Veggie Deluxe Burgers
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Time to Table: 25 minutes
- 2 MorningStar Farms Garden Veggie Patties Veggie Burgers
- 2 slices (1 1/2 ounces total) Provolone cheese
- 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise or regular mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 whole-wheat hamburger buns, split
- 2 slices tomato
- 2 slices red onion
- 4 rings green or red bell pepper
- Fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish (optional)
- Cook burgers according to package directions. Top hot burgers with cheese slices. Let stand until cheese melts, about 1 minute.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise and curry powder. Spread on bun bottoms. Top with burgers, tomato, red onion and bell pepper. Top with parsley leaves, if you like, and bun tops.
Source: Morningstar Farms
Easy ways to grill up something surprisingly good
(Family Features) Bananas aren't just for breakfast or lunch anymore. By grilling this popular fruit, you can add a whole new flavor dimension to a dinnertime recipe and turn a basic dessert into something wow.
Adding bananas to your summer grilling routine is a fun way to eat fruit. You can grill them in their peels while the BBQ coals are still hot or add peeled slices to a tasty kabob - it's that simple. From kid-friendly desserts to grown-up dishes with a tropical twist, make it easy on yourself and go bananas on the grill.
Did You Know?
- With no fat, cholesterol or sodium, vitamin-packed bananas are a guilt-free summertime treat.
- Banana peels are great for polishing shoes. Use (the inside of) an empty peel on your leather shoes as you would shoe polish and then buff off with a soft cloth. The banana's oils soak into the leather and, like most commercial shoe polishes, contains potassium.
- As bananas ripen, the starch in the fruit turns to sugar. Therefore, the riper the banana, the sweeter it will taste.
- Ten or more bananas growing together are called "hands" and a single banana is called a "finger." Four to six bananas sold in the store are called a "cluster."
How to Store Bananas
- Remove bananas from plastic produce bag and store at room temperature. The warmer it is, the faster the bananas will ripen.
- To slow ripening, refrigerate (peel will turn black but the fruit inside will be fresh and ripe). Bananas can be frozen once the banana is peeled and stored in a freezer bag until ready to use (use a bit of fresh lemon juice to reduce browning).
- If bananas are too green, place them in a brown paper bag, in a warm dry area (but not in direct sunlight) for a day or two to encourage ripening. If there is still not enough yellow appearing on the peel, place a ripe apple in the bag with the bananas.
Island Kabobs with Tropical Fruit Salsa
Preparation : 10 minutes
Grill Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
- 2 ripe, firm Dole® Bananas, peeled, each cut into 6 pieces, plus 1 ripe Dole Banana, peeled and diced
- 12 chunks Dole Tropical Gold Pineapple
- 16 extra large or jumbo shrimp, shelled and deveined
- 1 green or red bell pepper, cut into 8 pieces
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 mango, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped mint
- 1 Dole Green Onion, minced
- 2 to 3 teaspoons minced jalapeño pepper
- Thread banana pieces, pineapple, shrimp and bell pepper pieces equally onto skewers.
- Whisk together lime juice, oil and allspice in small bowl. Brush 2 tablespoons over kabobs.
- Combine remaining marinade with diced banana, mango, mint, green onion and jalapeño pepper; place in a serving dish.
- Grill kabobs over medium high heat 8 to 10 minutes, turning once or until the shrimp are opaque. Arrange the kabobs on top of the salsa.
Teriyaki Pork Chops with Grilled Bananas
Preparation : 20 minutes
Grill Time: 20 minutes
Makes: 3 to 4 servings
- 1/4 cup dry sherry
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound boneless pork chops (3 to 4)
- 2 large firm Dole Bananas, peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 cups hot cooked rice
- 2 tablespoons sliced Dole Green Onion
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seed
- Combine sherry, soy sauce, brown sugar and oil in small bowl. Remove 2 tablespoons sherry mixture and brush on pork chops and bananas.
- Grill pork 8 to 10 minutes on each side until cooked through. Grill bananas 2 to 3 minutes on each side until heated through. Cut each into 1-inch pieces.
- Combine remaining sherry mixture and cornstarch in small saucepan; cook, stirring until thickened.
- Arrange pork and bananas over rice on serving plate; drizzle with sauce. Sprinkle with green onion and sesame seed.
No prep needed.
Grill Time: 10 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
- 4 Dole Bananas, unpeeled
- Assorted favorite dessert toppings
- Place unpeeled bananas on grill over medium high heat.
- Grill 4 to 5 minutes on each side until peels blacken and soften. Insides will be custard-like.
- Serve warm or chilled with your favorite toppings such as fresh fruit, chopped nuts, miniature marshmallows, chocolate bits, caramel or frozen yogurt.
Grilled Caribbean Fruit Salsa
Preparation: 10 minutes
Grill Time: 8 minutes
Makes: 4 servings
- 1/2 fresh Dole Tropical Gold Pineapple, peeled and sliced vertically
- 1 large, ripe firm Dole Banana, slice in half vertically
- 1 mango, skinned, peeled and sliced in half vertically
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 1/4 cup red onion, minced
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 kiwi, diced
- Combine pineapple, banana and mango slices with the olive oil and lime juice.
- Brush to coat the fruit. Place fruit on grill.
- Grill fruit 4 to 5 minutes each side, remove and cool slightly.
- Roughly chop the grilled fruit, reserving juices.
- Combine fruit and reserved juices with the red onion, red pepper flakes and kiwi.
- Serve warm or room temperature. Great with grilled chicken or fish.