recipes

Meal Ideas 30 July 2021

Plan a Perfect Reunion for Family and Friends

(Family Features) After an extended period of social distancing, this year will be a time for reuniting with family and friends. Picnic get-togethers filled with delicious food are one of the best ways to reunite with loved ones when you’re ready for those long-overdue laughs.

While planning the perfect outdoor gathering can feel overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. With these simple tips, it can be easy to organize a memorable picnic reunion.

Make it fun. Whether it’s a water balloon toss or a three-legged race, organizing a few games for your guests can be a simple way to reconnect and have fun together. Outdoor games like ring toss and potato sack races or arts and crafts are activities all ages can enjoy.

Reach for pantry staples. No picnic is complete without good food. When planning your menu and packing your cooler, don’t stress. Before you make an extra trip to your local farmers market or grocery store, be sure to check your pantry. You probably already have the makings for simple yet delicious meals and snacks. For example, canned fruits, vegetables and proteins – like wild-caught tuna, salmon and sardines – can help you create and elevate your picnic recipes.

Host an eco-friendly picnic. Good food and good weather help make a successful picnic, but ensuring you leave your space as you found it is equally important. To minimize waste, invest in reusable picnicware, like utensils and plates. Also consider swapping your paper napkins for cloth versions. Not only are they more environmentally friendly, but they’ll also elevate the overall look of your picnic.

No grill, no problem. As more people seek out substitutes for red meat, change up your menu and serve seafood as a delicious alternative. For example, an Albacore Bliss Bowl made with Chicken of the Sea Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water is a versatile choice that can be topped with veggies like cabbage, cucumber and carrot then drizzled with a homemade dressing. Since there’s no cooking required, you can easily prep ahead of time or even on-site. For those taking part in the day’s games and activities, try these Salmon Rollups which make perfect handheld snacks.

For more recipe inspiration while planning your next picnic reunion, visit chickenofthesea.com .

Albacore Bliss Bowl

Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2          cans (5 ounces each) Chicken of the Sea Solid White Albacore Tuna in Water, drained and flaked
  • 2          cups cooked quinoa 
  • 1/2       cup chopped purple cabbage
  • 1/3       cup diced cucumber
  • 1/3       cup shredded carrot
  • 1/3       cup diced red pepper
  • 1/3       cup diced mango
  • 1/3       cup chopped green onions
  • 4          tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons honey
  • 1          tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1          teaspoon sesame seeds or black sesame seeds
  1. Divide cooked quinoa between four bowls. Top each with evenly divided tuna, cabbage, cucumber, carrots, red peppers, mango and green onions.
  2. In small bowl, whisk apple cider vinegar, olive oil, honey, sesame oil, salt and pepper. Drizzle over each bowl. Garnish with sesame seeds.

Salmon Rollups

Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          can (5 ounce) Chicken of the Sea Pink Salmon
  • 1          package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2       cup thick and chunky salsa, plus additional for dipping (optional)
  • 1          cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1          cup corn chips, crushed
  • 4          flour tortillas (8 inches)
  • 4          large leafy green lettuce leaves, washed and patted dry
  1. In bowl, combine cream cheese and 1/2 cup salsa until light and fluffy. Stir in salmon, cheese and corn chips.
  2. Spread 1/4 filling to within 1/2 inch of each tortilla edge. Arrange one lettuce leaf over filling. Roll up tortillas and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate 1-3 hours.
  3. To serve, remove plastic wrap, trim ends from rolls and cut each into 3-4 slices. Serve with additional salsa, if desired.

Source: Chicken of the Sea

Meal Ideas 11 May 2021

A Truly Memorable Summer Menu

(Family Features) Summer days are often spent with family and friends, soaking in the sun’s rays and enjoying outdoor living with warm-weather activities. Complement this year’s summertime excitement with food that matches your enthusiasm for the season.

Your menu can start with a fruity dip and a salad before diving into steak for the main course and a kid-friendly treat to top it all off. These recipes make the most of what summer has to offer with fresh fruits and veggies, bright and refreshing greens, tender cuts of meat and frozen treats that celebrate those memorable moments together.

Find more summer recipe inspiration at Culinary.net.

Dip Up a Good Time

Whether your summer days include planning extravagant meals or your on-the-go lifestyle calls for quick and easy recipes, simple snacks can fit a wide variety of menus. Dips are a perfect solution for afternoon pick-me-ups or evening appetizers when the whole family comes together.

This Apple Guacamole can be made in mere minutes, making it an ideal shareable among loved ones, by combining mashed avocados and seasonings with chopped Granny Smith apple pieces.

Visit Culinary.net for more snack ideas.

Apple Guacamole

Recipe adapted from the Meredith Corporation
Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8-10

  • 3          ripe avocados, halved and pitted
  • 1/2       cup finely chopped Vidalia onion
  • 1/2       cup snipped fresh cilantro
  • 1          lime, juice only
  • bottled hot pepper sauce, to taste
  • 1          Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • tortilla chips
  1. In bowl, use fork to mash avocados, onion, cilantro, lime juice and hot pepper sauce to desired consistency. Stir in apple and season with salt, to taste.
  2. Serve with tortilla chips.

Savor a Bite of Steak

A hearty flavor profile and perfectly prepared, high-quality meat can make a summer meal truly spectacular, especially when paired with fresh veggies in a protein-packed sandwich.

Inspired by Vietnamese tradition, this Steak Banh Mi recipe – which features tender grass-fed flat iron steak, pickled carrots, bright lettuce and crunchy cucumbers – is sure to be a crowd-pleaser at your next summer gathering. Take your taste buds to new heights with Silver Fern Farms natural cuts of 100% grass-fed beef from New Zealand, which is minimally processed with no added growth hormones or antibiotics. There, the animals roam and graze freely over lush green hills and pastures, resulting in lean, flavorful, nutritious meat that tastes just as nature intended.

Visit silverfernfarms.com for more inspiration.

Steak Banh Mi

Prep time: 2 hours
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 10        ounces Silver Fern Farms New Zealand grass-fed beef flat iron steak
  • 2          teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 2          teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2          teaspoons honey
  • 1          teaspoon fish sauce
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1          teaspoon, plus 1/2 cup, rice vinegar, divided
  • 1/8       teaspoon five-spice powder
  • 2          tablespoons sugar
  • 1          pinch salt
  • 1          small carrot, cut into matchsticks
  • 1          tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 2          Vietnamese baguettes or dinner rolls
  • 1/4       cup mayonnaise
  • 4          Batavia lettuce leaves
  • 1/4       cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1          Persian cucumber, sliced
  1. Remove steak from packaging and set aside 10 minutes. Once steak reaches room temperature, place steak in deep plate or storage container. In small bowl, combine hoisin sauce, soy sauce, honey, fish sauce, garlic, 1 teaspoon rice vinegar and five-spice powder; pour over steak. Cover and marinate in fridge at least 2 hours, or overnight.
  2. In small pot over medium heat, heat remaining rice vinegar, sugar and salt. Cook and stir until sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from heat and let cool.
  3. Place carrots in deep plate or storage container. Pour cooled pickling liquid over carrots. Set aside to marinate.
  4. Remove steak from marinade and pat dry. Reserve marinade.
  5. Heat oven to 325 F.
  6. Heat heavy-bottomed pan over high heat and add oil. Once oil begins to smoke, add steak. Sear both sides, about 1 minute per side. Lower heat to medium.
  7. Add reserved marinade and water to pan. Cook, covered, 3 minutes, removing lid to flip meat occasionally. Remove lid and let sauce reduce 1 minute, or until slightly thickened.
  8. Transfer steak and sauce to large plate and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.
  9. Toast baguettes in oven 5 minutes. Let cool 5-10 minutes.
  10. Slice baguettes along middle without cutting through.
  11. Slice steak into thin pieces.
  12. Spread mayonnaise on baguettes and add 1-2 lettuce leaves to each. Layer steak on lettuce leaves followed by cilantro, cucumbers and pickled carrots. Slice baguette into two sandwiches.

Go for Satisfying Summer Greens

Many summer meals start with a simple yet satisfying appetizer: salad. This year, make sure you set the table with a bright, delightful bowl of greens that sets the tone for an enjoyable and festive meal with loved ones.

This Apple, Strawberry, Blueberry Salad calls for an array of fruits, including a homemade blueberry dressing, paired with Fresh Express 5-Lettuce Mix for a fresh and flavorful base with pecan halves to add crunch. The salads are thoroughly washed, rinsed and gently dried then sealed in Keep-Crisp bags to maintain freshness.

Find more salad inspiration at freshexpress.com.

Apple, Strawberry, Blueberry Salad

Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Blueberry Dressing:

  • 2          cups fresh blueberries
  • 1/4       cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons honey
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2       cup olive oil
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste

           

  • 2          large apples
  • 2          packages (6 ounces each) Fresh Express 5-Lettuce Mix
  • 1          pint strawberries, cut in half
  • 1          pint blueberries
  • 1/2       cup pecan halves, toasted
  • blueberry dressing
  1. To make blueberry dressing: In blender, process blueberries, balsamic vinegar, honey, lemon juice, olive oil and salt and pepper, to taste, until smooth. Set aside.
  2. To prepare salad: Cut apples into 1/4-inch thick slices. Using 1-1/2-inch diameter star-shaped cutter, cut apple slices into stars.
  3. Place lettuce mix in large bowl; add apples, strawberries and blueberries. Sprinkle with pecans. Before serving, drizzle each salad with blueberry dressing.

Sweet, Summery Treats

After some fun in the pool and time spent in the sun, a cooling treat is often the perfect way to cap off a summer day. Fresh fruits make those sweet eats even tastier and easier by making dessert in the morning and letting it freeze while you enjoy the warmth outdoors.

These Watermelon Berry Frozen Pops make dessert about as simple as possible by blending watermelon, blueberries, raspberries and honey before adding to ice pop molds and freezing throughout the day. With the addition of refreshing watermelon, you’re opting for a flavorful fruit that includes just 80 calories and no fat while providing an excellent source of vitamin C (25%) and higher levels of lycopene (12.7 milligrams per 2-cup serving) – an antioxidant being studied for its role in sun protection – than any other fresh fruit or vegetable.

To find more summertime snacks, meals and treats, visit watermelon.org.

Watermelon Berry Frozen Pops

Servings: 8

  • 6          cups watermelon
  • 1          cup blueberries, divided
  • 1          cup raspberries, divided
  • 3          tablespoons honey
  1. In blender, blend watermelon, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1/2 cup raspberries and honey until smooth. Press through fine mesh strainer to remove pulp and seeds.
  2. Fill ice pop molds 3/4 full with liquid. Add remaining whole blueberries and raspberries to molds. Insert sticks and freeze at least 4 hours, or until completely frozen.

 Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Apple Guacamole)

Source: Beef + Lamb New Zealand
Fresh Express
National Watermelon Promotion Board

Meal Ideas 06 January 2021

Power Family Meals with Protein-Packed Peanuts

(Family Features) Starting fresh with a new year is a chance to hit the reset button for many people, and your family can use this opportunity to rethink homemade meals while striving for nutritious (and still delicious) dishes. From snacks to the main course each evening, the options are nearly endless for planning a revamped menu with healthier ingredients.

Dinnertime can be a cinch with Peanut Butter Chicken, a simple dish that takes less than 20 minutes to make when busy evenings call for a quick solution. If a veggie-based option aligns better with your family's desires, try Veggie Sammies with Peanut Butter Satay Sauce or go full-on comfort food with Very Vegan Peanut Butter Jackfruit Chili. Snacking doesn't have to mean forgoing your dedication to nutritious choices either - these Peanut Granola Bars can be your made-at-home masterpiece for adults and children to enjoy.

These recipes from the Georgia Peanut Commission are powered by peanuts, a nutrient-rich superfood that delivers 19 vitamins and 7 grams of protein per serving for a health benefit punch in each bite.

Discover more nutritious recipe ideas at gapeanuts.com.

Veggie Sammies with Peanut Butter Satay Sauce

Prep time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 4 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 4 teaspoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sriracha
  • 2 French baguette rolls (6 inches each)
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, sliced
  • 1/2 cup white onion, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 cup purple cabbage
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
  1. In small bowl, combine peanut butter, lime juice, water, hoisin sauce, soy sauce and sriracha; mix well.
  2. Spread sauce on both sides of each roll then layer with cucumber, onion and bell pepper. Top with cabbage and cilantro.

Very Vegan Peanut Butter Jackfruit Chili

Recipe courtesy of the National Peanut Board
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 2 teaspoons oil
  • 1/2 large white onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 can whole tomatoes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can green jackfruit, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • cornbread (optional)
  • tortilla chips (optional)
  • cinnamon rolls (optional)
  1. eat large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add oil, onion and peppers; cook 3 minutes, stirring often. Add garlic, salt, cumin, chili powder and tomato paste, stirring to coat. Cook 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly, then stir in crushed tomatoes, whole tomatoes, water, kidney beans and jackfruit; bring to boil then reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 25-30 minutes. Stir in peanut butter and simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Serve with cornbread, tortilla chips or cinnamon rolls, if desired.

Peanut Granola Bars

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 6 minutes, plus 30-45 minutes cooling time
Servings: 12-14

  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups rolled oats (quick or regular)
  • 1 cup bran flakes
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 cup dried fruit (raisins, blueberries or cranberries)
  • 1 cup roasted peanuts, chopped
  1. In large, shallow, microwavable dish, combine honey, butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, vanilla and salt. Microwave at 50% power 2 minutes then whisk to combine and microwave at 50% power 2 minutes.
  2. Add oats, bran flakes, coconut flakes, dried fruit and peanuts; stir to combine. Microwave on high 1 minute. Stir and microwave 30 seconds.
  3. Press mixture into 13-by-9-inch baking dish lined with parchment or wax paper with some extra hanging over edges to easily lift bars out. Use bottom of glass wrapped with plastic wrap to press granola mixture firmly into pan. Allow to cool completely 30-45 minutes. Cut into 12-14 bars.

Peanut Butter Chicken

Recipe courtesy of "Unsophisticook"
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
Yield: 6 cups

Peanut Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup creamy natural peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons sweet red chili sauce
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/8-1/4 cup hot water (optional)
  • chopped unsalted roasted peanuts (optional)
     
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or avocado oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3/4 cup peanut sauce
  • cooked brown rice
  • assorted bell peppers, sliced
  • chopped unsalted roasted peanuts (optional)
  1. To make peanut sauce: In small glass bowl, whisk peanut butter, sweet red chili sauce, apple cider vinegar, soy sauce and honey until blended smoothly.
  2. Thin sauce with hot water to desired consistency. Garnish with chopped unsalted roasted peanuts, if desired.
  3. To make chicken: In large skillet over medium-high heat, drizzle oil. Add diced chicken then pour soy sauce over top. Saute about 10-12 minutes until chicken is fully cooked.
  4. Serve with peanut sauce, brown rice and colorful sliced veggies. Garnish with chopped unsalted roasted peanuts, if desired.

Source: Georgia Peanut Commission

Meal Ideas 06 September 2019

Add Mexican Flair to Game Day Favorites

(Family Features) Football season, for many people, is just as much about the food as it is about the action. No matter who’s playing and whether you’re at a tailgate or living room watch party, one thing is for sure: football and flavor go hand-in-hand.

When you’re huddling up to figure out how to score a touchdown with your game day spread, consider taking your snacks to the next level by adding an authentic Mexican flair. Opt for traditional Mexican ingredients like chorizo, queso fresco or cotija in meals and snacks that are already football mainstays, including nachos, tacos and quesadillas, and consider all the possibilities that incorporating these flavorful ingredients can add to other classic dishes like sliders and potato skins.

Ideal for tailgate season, Cacique, one of the country’s top Mexican food brands, offers Mexican-Style Queso Dips – made with real queso fresco and available in Queso Blanco, Southwestern, Jalapeño and Chipotle flavors – and Fully Cooked Chorizos – made with authentically seasoned premium pork shoulder and available in classic, Chorizo with Bacon & Potato, Chorizo with Eggs and Chorizo with Queso varieties – to help fans easily add Mexican flavor to indulgent game day favorites. Both use high-quality ingredients and are microwavable, so they taste authentic and can be ready in minutes so no one misses any of the big plays or touchdowns.

Consider these twists you can add to your favorite game time snacks:

  • Loaded Avocados: Give avocados the potato skin treatment by loading them up with delicious toppings like chorizo, queso fresco and crema – just don’t eat the skin.  
  • Cheese Fries: Drizzle queso dip over French fries or top with crumbles of flavorful Cacique Chorizo and Cotija in a recipe like these Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Chorizo and Cotija.
  • Robust Sliders: Skip regular beef patties and spoon the rich seasoning and punch of flavor that chorizo brings to your favorite slider rolls then top with your favorite cheese and salsa.
  • Mac and Cheese: For a new take on mac and cheese, toss cooked macaroni noodles with your favorite Cacique Queso Dip and top with crushed tortilla chips in a recipe like this Southwestern Mac and Queso.

Discover more ways to incorporate Mexican flair into your game day spread at caciqueinc.com .

Baked Sweet Potato Fries with Chorizo and Cotija

  • 4          large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch wide sticks
  • 3          tablespoons olive oil
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          package Cacique Fully Cooked Chorizo
  • 1          cup Cacique Cotija, crumbled
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Heat oven to 400° F and lightly grease large, rimmed baking sheet.
  2. In large bowl, toss sweet potato sticks with olive oil.
  3. Lay fries in single layer on prepared baking sheet and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Bake 15-18 minutes, shaking pan several times, until tender and lightly browned.
  4. When fries are almost done baking, microwave chorizo 3-4 minutes.
  5. To serve, place golden brown fries on serving platter and spoon chorizo over top. Sprinkle with cotija and fresh cilantro.

Southwestern Mac and Queso

  • 1          package Cacique Queso Dip
  • 1          box macaroni, cooked according to package instructions
  • 1/4       cup Cacique Queso Fresco, crumbled  
  • 1/2       cup tortilla chips, crushed
  1. Microwave queso dip 2-3 minutes; stir. Pour over cooked macaroni and toss until thoroughly coated.
  2. Sprinkle crumbled queso fresco and crushed tortilla chips over macaroni before serving.

Source: Cacique

Meal Ideas 13 March 2019

Feeding the Game Day Frenzy

(Family Features) What better way to serve a hungry gang than with two crowd-pleasers: meatballs and BBQ? Anyone hosting a big game gathering needs to have recipes on-hand that are hearty and tasty, while still being easy to prepare.

The easiest and fastest way to find what you need to feed the fans is by utilizing local club stores like Sam's, where shoppers can huddle and find great game-day foods and entertaining items at affordable prices. These crowd-pleasing recipes start off with Byron's Hand Pulled Pork BBQ and Casa Di Bertacchi Meatballs, both sold at Sam's Clubs nationwide.

The Mini Meatball Hamburgers are made from fully-cooked meatballs crafted from an outstanding, authentic family recipe. The seasoned and lightly steamed meatballs can be warmed up quickly and paired with a tasty sauce for some super-star sliders.

BBQ Nachos take game-day appetizers to a whole new level. Made with hickory-smoked pulled pork that's finished with a sweet and spicy sauce, this BBQ is ready to be warmed up and loaded up with fan-favorite nacho toppings for an appetizer that will have your guests calling for a replay.

For more information about Byron's Hand Pulled Pork BBQ, Casa Di Bertacchi Meatballs, or for additional recipes, visit www.ClubEntertaining.com.

Mini Meatball Hamburgers

Makes 26 appetizers

  • 26 frozen Casa Di Bertacchi fully cooked meatballs (1 pound)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon honey mustard
  • 26 2-inch rolls, sliced in half horizontally
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet pickle relish
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place meatballs in 8 x 8 or 9 x 9-inch pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.
  3. In a small bowl, combine ketchup and mustard. Place a heaping teaspoon of ketchup mixture on the bottom of roll. Place a meatball on top. Follow with a rounded teaspoon of pickle relish. Place top half of roll over top. Repeat for remaining meatballs and rolls. Serve immediately on a large platter.

Cheeseburger Variation: Place a small slice of cheddar cheese over each meatball.

BBQ Nachos

Serves 4

  • Byron's BBQ
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Tortilla chips
  • Whole kernel corn
  • Sliced jalapeño
  • Fresh guacamole
  • Sour cream
  1. On a large oven safe serving plate, arrange a layer of tortilla chips; top with BBQ. Sprinkle with cheese, onions, bell peppers, diced tomato and black beans. Heat in microwave (or in oven) until cheese is melted. Garnish with whole kernel corn, sliced jalapeño, fresh guacamole, and sour cream.

Source: Byron's BBQ / Casa Di Bertacchi Meatballs

Holiday 01 November 2018

Holiday Pairing Perfection

Festive flavors and seasonal sips

(Family Features) The holidays are the perfect time to gather with friends and family to celebrate the season.

Take the stress out of hosting by shopping at a store like ALDI for your holiday must-haves, including everything from food and wine to holiday decor and even gifts for nearly anyone on your list, helping you to save time and money.

Toast to the holidays with an impressive appetizer spread, paired with award-winning wines, with recipes like Cranberry Shrimp Ceviche Cups paired with the creamy and tropical taste of William Wright Chardonnay. Or whip up quick and easy Party Poppers made with dates, Brie cheese and bacon to mesh with the fruit, vanilla and spicy fall notes of Peaks & Tides Cabernet Sauvignon.

Blue Cheese and Walnut Mousse provides a savory finish when matched with La Rue Côtes de Provence Rosé and its hints of lavender, rosemary and thyme. Finally, add a little something sweet to your spread by pairing the refreshingly ripe Landshut Riesling with a festive Gingerbread Trifle.

Find more holiday recipes and shopping solutions at ALDI.us .

Blue Cheese and Walnut Mousse

Recipe courtesy of Chef Scott, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 10 servings

  • 2          tablespoons Simply Nature 100% Pure Avocado Oil
  • 3          large yellow onions, sliced
  • 5          ounces Happy Farms Preferred Blue Cheese Crumbles
  • 8          ounces Happy Farms Cream Cheese
  • Stonemill Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1          cup Friendly Farms Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 8          ounces Southern Grove Chopped Walnuts, divided
  • 5          cucumbers, thinly sliced
  1. In large pan, heat oil and saute onions until brown and caramelized.
  2. In food processor, combine blue cheese crumbles and cream cheese. Process until smooth. Season with pepper, to taste.
  3. In medium bowl, using hand mixer, whisk cream until soft peaks form. Fold in cheese mixture and 4 ounces chopped walnuts.
  4. Top cucumber slices with mousse, caramelized onions and remaining chopped walnuts. Finish by grinding black pepper over top for garnish.
  5. Pair each serving with glass of La Rue Cotes de Provence Rosé.

Tip: Mousse can also be served as a dip with baguette slices.

Gingerbread Trifle

Recipe courtesy of the ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 20 minutes
Yield: 12 servings

  • 1          package (3.4 ounces) Baker’s Corner Vanilla Pudding
  • 1 3/4    cups Specially Selected Premium Eggnog
  • 1/2       teaspoon Stonemill Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 7          ounces Café Bistro Soft Gingerbread, crumbled, divided
  • 1 1/4    cups Friendly Farms Whipped Topping, divided
  • 1          cup Berryhill Apple Butter, divided
  • 2          teaspoons Stonemill Ground Cinnamon
  1. Whisk vanilla pudding mix and eggnog. Add pumpkin pie spice and beat 2 min­utes. Chill in refrigerator 10 minutes.
  2. In large glass bowl, layer one-third of gingerbread cookies, one-third of pudding, one-third of whipped topping and 1/2 cup apple butter; repeat two more times.
  3. The third layer will end with whipped topping. Garnish with cinnamon.
  4. Chill in refrigerator 2 hours.
  5. Pair each serving with glass of Landshut Riesling.

Party Poppers

Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Yield: 36 poppers

  • 8          ounces Southern Grove Pitted Dates
  • 4          ounces Specially Selected Brie Cheese Round
  • 6          ounces Southern Grove Slivered Almonds
  • 1 1/2    pounds Specially Selected Thick Sliced Hickory Bacon
  • 2          teaspoons Stonemill Ground Black Pepper
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Cut dates in half, lengthwise.
  3. Cut brie into bite-size pieces, about the size of peanuts.
  4. Place one piece of Brie and four almond pieces on each open date half. Place other half on top.
  5. Quarter bacon slices, wrap tightly around stuffed dates and secure with toothpicks. Sprinkle with pepper.
  6. Line baking sheet with foil and place wrapped dates on top. Bake 15 minutes, or until bacon is crispy. Serve warm.
  7. Pair each serving with glass of Peaks & Tides Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Cranberry Shrimp Ceviche Cups

Recipe courtesy of Chef Kates, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 20 minutes, plus 1 hour chill time
Cook time: 3 minutes
Yield: 16 ceviche cups

  • 1 1/2    teaspoons Stonemill Iodized Salt, divided
  • 16        ounces Specially Selected Black Tiger Shrimp, thawed
  • 1          cup Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
  • 1/2       red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1/2       cup fresh parsley
  • 1/2       jalapeno, roughly chopped
  • 1/4       cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4       cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4       teaspoon Stonemill Crushed Red Pepper or Ground Black Pepper
  • 1          teaspoon Stonemill Oregano
  • 13        ounces Simply Nature Organic Tortilla Chips, for garnish
  • 2          limes, cut into wedges, for garnish
  • fresh cranberries, for garnish (optional)
  1. Bring medium pot of water to boil. Season with 1 teaspoon salt. Add shrimp and cook 3 minutes. Immediately plunge cooked shrimp into ice water bath. Peel shrimp and place in flat dish.
  2. In food processor, combine dried cranberries, red onion, parsley and jalapeno. Pulse until finely chopped. Add cranberry mixture to shrimp.
  3. Add lemon juice, lime juice, remaining salt, pepper and oregano. Stir to combine thoroughly. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  4. To assemble: Spoon ceviche (about 4-5 shrimp each) into small clear cups or glasses. Garnish with tortilla chips, lime wedges and fresh cranberries, if desired.
  5. Pair each serving with glass of William Wright Chardonnay.

Source: ALDI

Meal Ideas 01 June 2017

5 Tips to Avoid Binge-Watching Guilt

(Family Features) Dozens of streaming video providers are making it easier than ever to watch the TV programming you want when you want it, and exclusive programming released an entire season at a time is transforming the way Americans watch TV. The flip side of this convenience is a surge in binge-watching, which can have some negative side effects, including binge eating.

When your favorite show is available back-to-back, it’s easy to let substantial blocks of time get away as you watch “just one more” episode to follow the twists and turns of the plot. In fact, according to a recent survey by Dole, the average binge-watching session clocks in around 5 hours. The same survey found that more than two-thirds of people prefer healthy snacks to fuel their marathon viewing.

Treating yourself to an occasional binge session may give your brain a well-earned break, and it’s easy to do many forms of exercise in front of the screen. The trick to keeping your binge-watching session in check and getting rid of the guilt is to exercise good habits when you head to the kitchen.

  1. Opt for snacks that include valuable vitamins and minerals.
  2. Keep your kitchen stocked with ingredients such as high quality, ready-to-eat Dole Jarred Fruit so you can create quick and easy snacks with a serving of fruit in between episodes or during a commercial break.
  3. Look for quick solutions that help trim prep time and skip the cutting, peeling and mess.
  4. Avoid waste or spoilage with convenient, re-sealable lids that let you use what you need for a single serving and save the rest for later.
  5. Get creative to satisfy cravings. Instead of reaching for cookies or cake, dip fruit in melted chocolate and pop it in the freezer. Let it sit while you watch a few episodes of your favorite show and then enjoy.

Find more quick and easy snacks that can be made during a commercial break at dolesunshine.com.

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Fruity Flatbread

  • Pre-made flatbread crust
  • Broccoli rabe
  • Cooked and chopped turkey bacon
  • Dole Jarred Mandarin Oranges
  1. Cover flatbread with chopped broccoli rabe, turkey bacon and oranges.

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Peach Parfaits

  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Granola
  • Dole Jarred Sliced Peaches
  • Mint
  1. In cup or jar, alternate layering yogurt, granola and chopped peaches. Top with mint and serve immediately.

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Brightened Up Caprese Salad

  • Fresh mozzarella cheese
  • Dole Jarred Sliced Peaches
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • Balsamic glaze
  1. Arrange alternate slices of mozzarella and peaches. Sprinkle fresh basil, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and drizzle with balsamic glaze.

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Avocado Toast

  • Avocado
  • Whole-wheat bread
  • Dole Jarred Sliced Peaches
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  1. Slice avocado in half, remove pit and scoop out avocado into bowl. Smash until desired consistency.
  2. Toast bread, layer with avocado and top with peaches. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes.

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1-2-3 Chicken Wrap

  • Whole-wheat tortilla
  • Spinach
  • Dole Jarred Mandarin Oranges
  • Cooked chicken, chopped
  • Yogurt-based dressing of choice
  1. Lay tortilla flat and add spinach, oranges and chicken. Top with dressing. Fold, cut and serve.

Substitution: Preferred greens can be added in place of or in addition to spinach

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Tropical Fruit Salsa

  • Dole Jarred Tropical Fruit
  • 1 white onion
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Tortilla chips
  1. Chop 2 cups fruit, dice onion, chop cilantro and seed and mince jalapeno.
  2. Combine ingredients and stir in lime juice. Serve alongside tortilla chips.

Source: Dole Jarred Fruit

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

Ethnic 03 April 2017

The Taste of Mexico

(Family Features) What’s a fiesta without the authentic taste of Mexico? From chili enchilada sauce to crushed tomatillos, authentic Mexican foods are an important part of Mexican culture and celebrations. And, why not? They’re fun, flavorful and nutritious.

With the convenience of today’s authentic Mexican foods such as Las Palmas, you can serve up fast and flavorful meals for your entire family in just minutes. Try an old favorite like Mexican Pozole and add Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce for an extra rich and flavorful taste. Or offer your family zesty Chicken Enchiladas stuffed with shredded boneless chicken and smothered in Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce. And for something fun, offer Chilaquiles with layers of tortillas, Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce and cheese topped with jalapeños, sour cream and avocado .

Today, Las Palmas is one of the largest selling Mexican cooking sauces in the United States. While it has grown from its humble beginnings, it still remains authentic to its roots, using only the highest quality chiles and other fresh ingredients. Las Palmas offers a wide variety of Mexican cooking sauces including Red and Green Chili Enchilada Sauce, Red Chile Sauce and Hot Enchilada Sauce plus other Mexican cooking staples such as Green Chiles and Crushed Tomatillos.

For any celebration, from Mexican Independence Day to Las Posadas, celebrate Mexican culture, food, family and friends with Las Palmas. For more information, visit bgfoods.com.

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Chicken Enchiladas

Zesty enchilada sauce and diced green chiles give these chicken enchiladas their kick. Serve them with Mexican rice and spicy black beans.

Serves 4
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes

  • 2 cans (10 ounces each) Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce, divided
  • 2 cups cooked, shredded boneless, skinless chicken breast meat
  • 1 cup Mexican blend or Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles, drained
  • 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
  1. PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Grease 11- by 7-inch baking dish.
  2. SPREAD 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on bottom of prepared baking dish. Combine chicken, 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, 1/2 cup cheese and chiles in medium bowl. Spoon chicken mixture evenly down center of each tortilla; roll up. Place seam-side down in baking dish. Top with remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
  3. BAKE 15 to 20 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.
    Top with sour cream and chives, if desired.

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Mexican Pozole

Pozole is a staple of Mexican cuisine. It’s a pork and hominy dish rich in spiciness and flavor and a favorite at any Mexican fiesta.\

Serves 6
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 75 minutes

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 pounds pork shoulder, trimmed of fat and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 8 cloves large garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 can (29 ounces) Mexican-style hominy, drained
  • 2 cans (10 ounces each) Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 can (7 ounces) diced green chiles
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, crushed
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • Tortilla pieces
  1. HEAT oil in stockpot; add pork, onions and garlic. Cook, stirring frequently, for 12 to 14 minutes or until pork is cooked through. Stir in water, hominy, enchilada sauce, chiles and oregano; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, stirring occasionally, 40 to 45 minutes or until pork is tender and stew thickens slightly. Top with cilantro and tortilla pieces before serving.

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Chilaquiles

Layer upon layer of tortilla chips, salsa and grated cheese go into this mouthwatering chilaquiles. Jalapeños, sour cream and avocado finish this dish with zest and cooling creaminess.

Serves 8

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes

  • Vegetable oil
  • 12 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) salsa — thick & chunky
  • 1 can (10 ounces) Las Palmas Enchilada Sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack or mild cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup sliced pickled jalapeños
  • 1 cup sour cream (optional)
  • 2 avocados, pitted and sliced
  1. PREHEAT oven to 350ºF.
  2. POUR vegetable oil to 1-inch depth in medium skillet; heat over high heat 3 to 4 minutes. Place tortilla strips in oil; fry, turning frequently with tongs, until light golden brown. Remove from skillet; place on paper towels to drain.
  3. REMOVE all but 1 tablespoon oil from skillet. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes or until tender. Stir in salsa and enchilada sauce. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes.
  4. LAYER half of tortilla strips in ungreased 13- by 9-inch baking dish. Top with half of salsa mixture and half of cheese; repeat layers. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is melted. Top with jalapeños, sour cream and avocado just before serving.

NOTE: Frying step may be eliminated by using tortilla chips or breaking taco or tostada shells into small pieces and using them in place of tortilla strips for a quick and easy alternative.

Source: Las Palmas

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