(Family Features) As many people start getting back into normal routines, they’re returning to familiar on-the-go lifestyles by heading back to work, traveling to new destinations and enjoying time with loved ones.
While you get out to explore and gather with family and friends again, remember you’ll need fuel for your adventures. According to a National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, most Americans fail to get enough whole grains each day, opting instead for mostly refined grains.
Foods like tasty whole-grain popcorn offer an easy health hack so you can make every bite count. Try getting in the habit of popping 9 cups of popcorn in the morning and dividing it into two containers. Season one container with salt and herbs, the other with a pinch of sugar and cinnamon so you can alternate between sweet and salty throughout the day. Bringing delicious options like these while on the go can help satisfy hunger pangs while adding the fiber your body needs.
Because mouthwatering whole-grain popcorn is versatile and 3 cups is equal to one serving of whole grains, it’s a simple yet flavorful option for meeting dietary recommendations. It can be a breeze to add it to snacks like Blueberry and Pomegranate Power Bars, Crunchy Popcorn Trail Mix or Sweet and Savory Curried Popcorn. You can even satisfy kids’ cravings with Grab and Go Pizza Popcorn, a six-ingredient recipe made in a matter of minutes.
Visit popcorn.org to find more nutritious snack ideas.
Sweet and Savory Curried Popcorn
Yield: 8 cups
- 8 cups unsalted, unbuttered popped popcorn
- 1/3 cup ghee (clarified butter) or coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons flaked sea salt
- Place popcorn in large mixing bowl.
- In saucepan over medium heat, melt ghee, brown sugar, honey, curry powder and cumin; stir until dissolved. Bring to light boil; remove from heat.
- Toss ghee mixture and salt with popcorn; transfer to serving bowl.
Crunchy Popcorn Trail Mix
Yield: 9 cups
- 5 cups popped popcorn
- 3 cups whole-grain oat cereal
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/3 cup peanuts or other nuts
- 1/3 cup sunflower seeds
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
- 6 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- In large, microwavable bowl, stir popcorn, cereal, raisins, nuts and seeds; set aside.
- In small saucepan, heat butter, brown sugar and corn syrup until boiling; cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour over popcorn mixture, stirring to coat evenly.
- Microwave 3-4 minutes, stirring and scraping bowl after each minute.
- Spread onto greased cookie sheet; cool. Break into pieces and store in airtight container.
Blueberry and Pomegranate Power Bars
Yield: 12 bars
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 8 cups popped popcorn
- 1 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 1 cup dried blueberries
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/2 cup whole natural almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 2/3 cup honey
- 2/3 cup light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
- Line 13-by-9-inch pan with foil; spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- In large bowl, combine popcorn, oats, blueberries, pomegranate seeds and almonds.
- In small saucepan over low heat, boil honey, brown sugar and butter 2 minutes. Pour over popcorn mixture and mix thoroughly.
- Using damp hands, press mixture firmly into prepared pan. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours. Cut into 12 bars.
- Dip bottoms of bars into melted chocolate. Place on wax paper-lined pan; refrigerate until ready to serve. Store in tight covered container in refrigerator.
Grab and Go Pizza Popcorn
Yield: 6 quarts
- 6 quarts popped popcorn
- olive oil cooking spray
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 teaspoons garlic salt
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Place popcorn in large, sealable plastic container or 2 1/2-gallon plastic sealable bag.
- Spray popcorn lightly with olive oil cooking spray.
- Sprinkle cheese, garlic salt, paprika and Italian seasoning over popcorn and shake to distribute evenly.
- To serve, scoop popcorn into reusable plastic cups.
Source: Popcorn Board
(Culinary.net) Easter is about coming together with loved ones, enjoying beautiful spring weather and eating your family’s favorite foods. The kids will be playing, adults will be chatting and all will be patiently waiting for the table to be set.
If you’re visiting and making memories with family and friends you haven’t seen in a while, there are few things better than diving into a marvelous Easter spread.
While eyeing the table, you notice all the colors popping off the dishes. Fruits and veggies make the feast come to life, but a warm Easter dip paired with rolls for dipping is a perfect way to start the festivities.
These Easter Bunny Rolls with Spinach Dip are as eye-catching as they are delicious. Not only will the kids love its shape, but the layers of taste will wow your Easter crowd.
To make this recipe, start by combining a 16-ounce package of frozen spinach, cream cheese and garlic in a skillet. Once heated, add mayonnaise, salt, onion powder, chili powder and Italian seasoning.
Add in Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses then stir until combined.
Next, roll out crescent rolls. Stretch the dough then cut into 24 rolls.
Form the bunny shape and scoop your spinach dip mixture into the center of the bunny and its ears. Sprinkle the spinach dip with mozzarella cheese before baking at 375 F for 18 minutes.
This dish is made for a crowd, served warm and full of cheesy goodness. You can watch as your family dips into the spinach and one-by-one, before you know it, the rolls will have disappeared and the dip will be devoured.
Find more Easter recipes at Culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Easter Bunny Rolls with Spinach Dip
- 16 ounces frozen spinach, thawed
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- 2 crescent roll tubes (8 ounces each)
- Heat oven to 375 F.
- In skillet, over medium heat, cook spinach, cream cheese and garlic 3-4 minutes until cream cheese is melted. Stir in mayonnaise, salt, onion powder, chili powder, pepper and Italian seasoning. Stir in Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese. Cook until cheese is melted. Keep skillet on burner over low heat.
- Remove dough from tubes. Leaving dough intact, roll and stretch into 18-inch ropes. Cut each rope into 12 pieces for 24 total.
- On baking sheet with parchment paper, form bunny head by placing one piece of dough in middle then surrounding it with six more pieces. Use 13 pieces to form round body. Use remaining pieces to form ears on top of head.
- Scoop hot spinach dip into center. Spoon small portions on each ear. Sprinkle ears and belly with remaining mozzarella cheese.
- Bake 18 minutes, or until crescent dough is golden brown and thoroughly cooked.
(Family Features) From big things like juggling a career and family priorities to little things like writing lunchtime love notes, there are so many ways moms lift up their families and the people they love every day. In today’s world, where multi-tasking has taken on a whole new meaning, it’s clear moms deserve to be celebrated.
One of the easiest ways to do something special for the all-star mom in your life is to make her a homemade meal and enjoy some quality time together around the dinner table. For those in need of inspiration, consider a delicious option like this Tuscan Chicken Pierogy Skillet for an easy, elevated, sure-to-impress dish that comes together in 45 minutes.
The key ingredient: Mrs. T’s Pierogies, which are pasta pockets stuffed with creamy mashed potatoes, cheesy goodness and other big, bold flavors. Found in the frozen food aisle and available in 13 flavors, in full and mini size varieties, they can be boiled, baked, sauteed, fried or grilled. They are easy to prepare, which means less time in the kitchen and more time together.
Visit mrstspierogies.com to find more recipe inspiration to celebrate mom.
Tuscan Chicken Pierogy Skillet
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
- 1 box Mrs. T’s Pierogies 4 Cheese Medley
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
- kosher salt, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bag (5 ounces) fresh baby spinach
- 2 cups diced tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
- fresh basil, for garnish
- crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish
- Boil pierogies according to package directions. Drain then toss pierogies with 1 tablespoon olive oil to keep from sticking.
- In 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook 8-10 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to plate, cover and allow to rest 5-8 minutes. Slice thin.
- While chicken rests, lower heat to medium-low and add remaining oil to same skillet. Add garlic, spinach and tomatoes; saute 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Season with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper, to taste.
- Stir in chicken broth, heavy cream and 3/4 cup Parmesan. In small bowl, whisk cold water and cornstarch then stir into pan. Simmer 4-5 minutes until thickened and creamy.
- Return chicken and pierogies to skillet and toss to combine. If desired, top with additional seasonings, to taste. Garnish with fresh basil, Parmesan and red pepper flakes, if desired.
Source: Mrs. T’s Pierogies
(Family Features) Creating family meals with nutrition in mind adds another consideration to a daily task that is often stressful enough. However, making health-conscious decisions each evening at the dinner table doesn’t have to mean turning away from your loved ones’ favorite dishes.
Simple swaps to more nutritious ingredients paired with healthier preparation methods, such as baking chicken rather than frying it, can help you make more nutrition-based choices. This Baked Chicken Parmesan offers the best of both worlds, providing a 30-minute meal that allows you to spend less time in the kitchen without forgoing healthy habits.
Made with Parmesan cheese, this recipe provides an excellent source of calcium. Dairy foods, such as cheese, are an irreplaceable part of a balanced diet that offers a valuable source of essential nutrients. Plus, because it’s made using just a handful of ingredients, it’s a budget-friendly option that doesn’t break the bank and doesn’t call for seldom-used spices or seasonings you may never use again.
Find more family meal inspiration at milkmeansmore.org.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Baked Chicken Parmesan
Recipe by Kirsten Kubert of “Comfortably Domestic” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 2/3 cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning medley with garlic
- 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 3 cups prepared tomato and basil sauce, warmed, divided
- 1 pound thick spaghetti, prepared according to package directions
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Line rimmed half sheet pan with parchment paper; set aside.
- In shallow dish or pie plate, combine breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning and 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, stirring with fork until blended. Pour melted butter in separate shallow dish or pie plate.
- Working with one chicken thigh at a time, dip each side in melted butter to coat. Press butter-soaked chicken into breadcrumbs, turning to coat well on both sides. Place breaded chicken on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining chicken thighs.
- Drizzle remaining melted butter over breaded chicken. Bake 8 minutes. Turn chicken over and bake 7 minutes to crisp other side.
- Briefly remove chicken from oven. Spoon two tablespoons pasta sauce over each chicken thigh. Sprinkle remaining Parmesan cheese evenly over chicken. Return chicken to oven and continue baking 5 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Serve Baked Parmesan Chicken over cooked spaghetti topped with additional pasta sauce.
Source: Milk Means More
(Family Features) Plant-forward eating should be easy and delicious – and it can be. Rather than follow strict rules, simply add plant foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and grains to more meals throughout the day.
Walnuts, for example, are a kitchen multi-tasker with uses well beyond baked goods. In fact, walnuts can be used as a simple, whole-food meat alternative. One ounce of walnuts contains important nutrients including 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat, 13 grams of polyunsaturated fat and 2.5 grams of essential omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid.
Try walnuts as an alternative to meat in recipes like Walnut Meatless Meatballs or Pizza with Plant-Based Walnut Crumble, and find more plant-forward recipes at walnuts.org/plantrecipes.
Walnut Meatless Meatballs
Total time: 42 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup minced onion
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1/2 cup California Walnuts, chopped
- 1/4 cup cooked brown rice
- 1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
- 1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- 1 egg, beaten
- Preheat oven to 375 F and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
- In small skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and garlic; saute 1 minute. Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute. Transfer to food processor with walnuts, rice, roasted red peppers, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, Italian seasoning, parsley and egg. Pulse until combined but not mushy.
- Form into eight equal balls and place on prepared baking sheet. Cook 12 minutes, or until firm to touch. Serve with sauce of choice.
Pizza with Plant-Based Walnut Crumble
Total time: 38 minutes
Walnut Sausage Crumble:
- 1 cup California Walnuts
- 1/2 cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
Walnut Sausage Pizza:
- 1 pound pizza dough
- 6 tablespoons pizza sauce
- 2/3 cup mozzarella cheese, divided
- Walnut Sausage Crumble, divided
- 6 tablespoons pesto
- 1/4 cup sliced small tomatoes
- fresh basil leaves
- shaved Parmesan cheese
- To make Walnut Sausage Crumble: In food processor, pulse walnuts, cannellini beans, coconut aminos, olive oil, fennel seeds, seasoning, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika and salt to sausage like consistency.
- To make Walnut Sausage Pizza: Preheat oven to 500 F and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper. Divide dough into four pieces and roll out into thin ovals; place on baking sheets.
- Spread two dough pieces with equal amounts pizza sauce, 1/3 cup mozzarella cheese and half of Walnut Sausage Crumble.
- Spread remaining dough pieces with pesto, remaining cheese, remaining Walnut Sausage Crumble and tomatoes.
- Bake 8 minutes, or until pizza edges are golden brown. Garnish with basil leaves and shaved Parmesan.
Source: California Walnuts
(Family Features) Keep warm with hearty dishes that satisfy appetites and comfort food cravings. From russets to reds, fingerlings to purples, the hearty potato comes in many beautiful varieties that add color and texture to beloved comfort dishes. Bring out the flavors of your down-home creation by pairing it with a perfectly suited wine.
A spicy red with raspberry and peppery flavors, Zinfandel pairs particularly well with the flavors of winter — the season where comfort food is king. When searching for the perfect complement to your hearty, comfort fare, go for wines that deliver on quality at a fair price.
Discover Amador County, an up-and-coming wine region nestled in the rolling Sierra Foothills of California, through the wines of Renwood Winery. The winery runs under the direction of Joe Shebl, a talented winemaker whose artistic vision and passion for both Zinfandel and Amador County shows in every bottle.
For more information, visit www.renwood.com.
One Healthy Spud
Beyond their appearance in some of the most beloved dishes, potatoes also boast many benefits to your diet. Here are few reasons to add this versatile vegetable into meals:
Potassium — Potatoes are a great source of potassium, which may help lower high blood pressure, making them a heart-healthy choice. In fact, potatoes contain more potassium than a banana or spinach.
Vitamins — A spud a day may keep the cold germs away. One medium-sized spud has nearly half the recommended daily value of vitamin C and is also a good source of vitamin B6.
Dietary fiber — Potatoes are also a source of dietary fiber, a complex carbohydrate, which is known to increase satiety and help with weight loss.
Gluten free — Potatoes are a naturally gluten-free food, so those with gluten sensitivity can enjoy this flavorful vegetable.
For more on potatoes and healthy recipe ideas, visit www.eatwisconsinpotatoes.com.
Pair with Renwood Zinfandel, California
Yield: 6 servings
- 5 pounds bone-in short ribs, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
- 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 cups water
- 1 1/3 cups Renwood Zinfandel
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 beef bouillon cubes
- 6 large Wisconsin potatoes, washed, peeled and quartered
- 1/2 pound small fresh mushrooms, cleaned and trimmed
- 1 package (10 ounces) frozen whole green beans
- 1 can (16 ounces) peeled whole tomatoes, undrained
- Dredge ribs in flour to coat; reserve leftover flour.
- Heat oil in 8-quart Dutch oven on moderate heat.
- Add half of ribs and brown on all sides. Once browned, remove ribs. Repeat instructions for remaining ribs.
- Stir in the reserved flour. While stirring, add 1 cup water and wine and stir until thickened.
- Return ribs to the pan.
- Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper and bouillon and bring to a boil.
- Cover and lower heat to simmer for about 1 hour, or until ribs are tender.
- Remove ribs with slotted spoon and cover with foil to keep warm.
- Add potatoes, mushrooms and beans. Simmer 20 to 30 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.
- Add ribs and tomatoes with liquid, and heat through.
- Use slotted spoon to remove meat and vegetables to large serving platter.
- Remove gravy to serving container and serve with ribs.
Healthy Potato Lasagna
Pair with Renwood Premier Old Vine Zinfandel, Amador County
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 links Italian turkey sausage (3 1/2 ounces each)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried basil or Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 egg white
- 2 cups marinara sauce, divided
- 1 1/4 pounds Wisconsin Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced, divided
- 1 cup part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
- Remove sausage from casing and crumble into medium skillet with onion.
- Cook for 10 minutes or until both are browned, breaking up sausage with back of spoon.
- Stir together ricotta, basil, garlic powder and egg white in small bowl.
- Spread 1/2 cup marinara sauce in bottom of 9-inch square baking dish.
- Place 1/3 of the potatoes in the bottom of the dish, forming solid layer with no gaps.
- Drop 1/2 ricotta mixture in spoonfuls over top and spread out just a little.
- Sprinkle with 1/3 of mozzarella and 1/2 sausage mixture.
- Add 1/2 cup more sauce then repeat potato, cheese and meat layers.
- Top with last layer of potatoes, remaining sauce and mozzarella.
- Cover with plastic wrap and make small slit to vent.
- Microwave on high for 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Quick & Healthy Slow Cooker Chicken & Potatoes
Pair with Renwood Zinfandel, Fiddletown
- 2 teaspoons Herbs de Provence (or combination of dried thyme, fennel, basil and savory)
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 4 small (2 pounds) bone-in-chicken breasts, skin removed
- 1 1/4 pounds small Wisconsin red potatoes
- 3/4 cup frozen, thawed pearl onions
- 1 cup small baby carrots
- 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 8 ounces small baby bella or white mushrooms
- Chopped fresh thyme (optional)
- Combine Herbs de Provence, garlic salt, and pepper on a dinner plate.
- Spoon flour onto a second dinner plate.
- Coat each chicken breast with herb mixture; then dredge in flour.
- Heat oil in a large skillet.
- Add chicken and cook over medium-high heat until chicken is golden brown on both sides (approximately 3 to 4 minutes per side). If necessary, cook chicken in two batches so as not to crowd the pan.
- Once browned, place chicken in large slow cooker and add all remaining ingredients, except fresh thyme.
- Cover slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or on low for 8 hours.
- Sprinkle with fresh thyme before serving, if desired.