(Family Features) Even if you’ve mastered the art of a smart workday lunch and can pick the most nutritious items on a restaurant menu like a pro, eating healthy at home is an unexpected downfall many people face.
When you find the chance to take a break from the busy pace of life and spend some time at home, it can be easy to slip into an all-indulgence mindset. Just remember that doesn’t have to mean going all-out on junk food.
Enjoy the comforts of home and keep your eating on track with these helpful tips.
When you’re spending time with family
It’s easy to catch a carefree spirit while you’re running the bases in an impromptu game of backyard baseball or being tempted by yet another imaginary dessert from the kiddie kitchen. When playtime winds down for dinner, there’s no reason for the fun to stop. Have kids get hands-on to help assemble a healthy meal everyone can enjoy. Skip the cutting, peeling and mess by using Dole Jarred Fruit to prepare salads, desserts and even main dishes that satisfy the whole family’s sweet tooth.
When you’re tackling chores
From seasonal landscaping to the myriad projects you’ve been putting off, the list of chores around the house may seem never-ending. Remember to stay hydrated, especially if you’re working outdoors, and be sure you make time to eat, even if it’s just a quick bite to keep you fueled. Air-popped crackers and hummus is a smart alternative to chips and dip, or get your pick-me-up from a handful of nuts and a serving of sweet, juicy fruit.
When you want to be a couch potato
When a new TV season begins this fall, keep your guilty pleasure in check with quick, healthy dishes to enjoy as you binge watch your favorite shows. 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.
Tickle your taste buds with these tricks that transform a kitchen staple like jarred fruit into a tasty treat:
- Brighten up bland yogurt or frozen waffles with a serving of jarred fruit, such as sliced peaches or mandarin oranges.
- Dip jarred pineapple chunks in melted chocolate and pop them in the freezer until hardened.
- Top a serving of jarred tropical fruit with coconut flakes for an island escape.
For more recipes you can enjoy at home, visit dolesunshine.com.
Total time: 10 minutes
- 1 jar (23.5 ounces) Dole Pineapple Chunks
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 2 vanilla wafers, crushed
- Measure 1/2 cup drained fruit.
- Spoon pineapple chunks into dessert glass. Spoon yogurt over pineapple. Sprinkle crushed wafers on top.
Tropical Rum Raisin Dessert
Total time: 30 minutes
- 1 jar (23.5 ounces) Dole Tropical Fruit, drained, juice reserved
- 1/2 cup Dole Seedless Raisins
- 1/4 cup spiced or coconut rum
- 2 cups vanilla ice cream or frozen yogurt, divided
- 4 teaspoons toasted shredded coconut, divided
- Place fruit in medium bowl and set aside. In small bowl, combine raisins, rum and 1/4 cup reserved juice. Allow raisins to soak at least 20 minutes until plump. Drain off liquid.
- Combine fruit and rum raisins; spoon into serving bowls. Top each bowl with 1/2 cup scoop of ice cream and top each with 1 teaspoon toasted coconut.
Tip: 1/2 teaspoon rum extract and 1/2 cup reserved juice may be used instead of rum.
Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Total time: 15 minutes
- 1/2 cup refrigerated cooked chicken breast strips
- 2 Bibb or Boston lettuce leaves
- 1/2 cup Dole Mandarin Oranges, drained
- 2 teaspoons slivered almonds
- 1 tablespoon light Asian salad dressing
- Divide chicken equally inside two lettuce leaves, making two wraps.
- Add 1/4 cup of Dole Mandarin Oranges and 1 teaspoon slivered almonds into each wrap.
- Serve lettuce wraps with light Asian salad dressing for dipping.
Orange Chipotle Avocado Toast
Total time: 10 minutes
- 1 slice whole wheat bread
- 1/2 avocado, diced or smashed
- 1/3 cup Dole Mandarin Oranges, drained
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
- 1/4 lime
- Lightly toast whole-wheat bread and top with diced avocado. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- In medium bowl, toss oranges with chipotle peppers.
- Spoon oranges over avocado toast and finish with a squeeze of lime.
Tip: For spicier toast, include pepper seeds. For more mild heat, remove seeds. A sprinkle of chili pepper can also be used to add spice.
(Family Features) - We all seem to thrive on competition these days. Any channel surfer can find reality shows in which folks are trying to be the next survivor on a deserted island, rock star, celebrity chef or TV design guru. But nothing can beat the real life drama in your own backyard when brats vie for "top brat" awards.
First of all, choose the brat that consumers found to be the tastiest of all grillable meats in a recent taste test. Served hot and plump off the grill, alone on a bun or tortilla, this brat's robust flavor is more than delicious all by itself. But when you're in the mood to play with your food, top your brat with a favorite condiment, relish, salsa or slaw.
Top that juicy grilled brat with pickles and onions, mustard or ketchup. Go German with sauerkraut, Southern with a tangy barbecue topping, or even Hawaiian with pineapple and papaya. As long as you grill your brat so that it's plump and juicy, the topping you choose is only going to add style points. So, top that!
Check out johnsonville.com for great recipes and more!
Are You a Grillin' Guru?
You can be, by following Johnsonville's Tips for Grilling Success.
- Use a clean grill. Repeated grilling causes excessive residue buildup on the grill rack and hull. An occasional cleaning will help to reduce flare-ups. Besides, your grill is a special gathering place for friends and family. Got to keep up appearances.
- It's OK to pre-cook. Know that it's OK to pre-cook brats. One may simmer the links in a pan of broth, or a beer and onion blend, for 8 to10 minutes prior to placing them on the grill (it's okay to dump the beer when you're done ... really, it is).
- Cook slow, on low heat, keeping grill covered. If you're using a charcoal grill, spread out the gray/white, hot coals in a single layer. Your charcoal grill is perfect for brats if you can hold your palm near the grill for 5 to 6 seconds before it gets uncomfortable. On a gas grill, start the flame at a medium setting, and when the sausage juices start to flow, reduce heat to low. A lid on the grill helps to minimize the flame, too.
- Avoid high flames! First, move the brats to safety. Raging blazes cause injury to sausage and your neighbors probably won't enjoy the sirens. Keep a spray-bottle filled with water handy to douse small flames while grilling. A garden hose would be overkill.
- Turn the brats every five minutes or so. Use tongs, never a fork ... EVER! A fork can puncture a link and release that great taste and savory flavor. Tongs keep the links intact, and make 'em easier to turn.
Know when your brats are done cooking, which is:
- about 25 to 30 minutes using the above guidelines.
- when they're golden-brown and look appetizing, not charred to a crisp. "Burning" is not "grilling"!
- when a meat thermometer probe inserted into the link reads 160°F. (Of course, a Master Griller would never be seen doing this.)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 tablespoon coarsely cracked black pepper
- 1 bottle (12 ounces) dark beer
- 4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup stone ground mustard
- In skillet, melt butter.
- Add garlic and sauté over low heat until tender. Add pepper and beer; bring to boil.
- Reduce heat and gradually add cheese; stirring until melted. Continue to cook and stir until mixture is reduced by 1/3.
- Remove from heat. Add mustard; stir until blended. Pour into storage container. Refrigerate until ready to serve as a condiment to grilled brats.
Yield: 2 cups.
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
Grilling suggestion: Blend 1 cup Gorgonzola mustard with 1/3 cup dark beer. Use as brushing or basting sauce for brat kabobs, whole brats or vegetables when grilling.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- 1 cup prepared coleslaw dressing
- 1 package (16 ounces) cabbage slaw
- In skillet, heat oil. Sauté onion and garlic until translucent and slightly brown. Remove from heat, cool slightly.
- In small bowl, combine onion mixture with barbecue sauce and coleslaw dressing. Pour over cabbage slaw and toss lightly to coat.
- Refrigerate until ready to serve as topping with grilled brats.
Yield about 5 cups
- 1/2 cup cider or rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced or pressed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
- 3/4 cup diced papaya
- 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
- 1/2 cup diced mango
- 1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple tidbits, drained
- 1/2 cup diced sweet red roasted peppers, drained
- 2 green onions, finely sliced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
- 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
- 1/8 teaspoon Chinese 5 spices
- In small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar and salt; bring to boil.
- Reduce heat, add garlic and pepper flakes; continue to simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature.
- In bowl, combine remaining ingredients. Pour vinegar mixture over fruit; toss lightly. Refrigerate until ready to serve as condiment to grilled brats.
Yield 3 cups