(Family Features) During the past year, many people have missed the opportunity to travel and experience the sights, sounds and tastes of the world, but it’s easy to explore other cultures and cuisines by experimenting in the kitchen.
If you’re looking to transport your taste buds to the shores of Spain or the beaches of Greece, one of the best places to start is with the Mediterranean Diet. Renowned chef Geoffrey Zakarian recommends these tips to help home cooks elevate their dishes and easily incorporate the popular diet into everyday cooking.
Reach for Pantry Staples. There’s no single definition of the Mediterranean Diet, but it’s high in vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds, olive oil and seafood. By keeping your pantry stocked with canned versions of ingredients like beans and fish you can easily add them to your favorite dishes. Yellowfin Tuna Pasta Salad with Arugula Pesto and Dates, and Tuna Aioli Dip with Balsamic Drizzle are flavorful ways to bring Mediterranean flair to your dinner table.
Add Seafood. Eating more seafood is one of the leading principles of the Mediterranean Diet. Tuna salad is one tried-and-true dish that can help incorporate fish into your menu. To make it more nutritious, opt for tuna that’s packed in extra-virgin olive oil, so you don’t have to add much mayo to the base. For example, Genova Premium Tuna provides a tasteful addition to recipes and is high in protein, a great source of omega-3s and has a uniquely rich and savory flavor that offers a taste of the Mediterranean in every bite.
Visit GenovaSeafood.com for more recipe inspiration.
Tuna Aioli Dip with Balsamic Drizzle
Prep time: 15-20 minutes
Cook time: 10-15 minutes
- 6 ounces Genova Albacore Tuna in Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 dried bay leaf
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1⁄3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons capers, drained
- 2 anchovies
- 1/2 lemon, juice only (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
- raw vegetables, such as carrots, celery, cucumber spears, endive leaves, sliced fennel and bell pepper strips, for dipping
- Drain tuna, reserving 2 tablespoons oil.
- In small saucepan, combine balsamic vinegar, bay leaf and rosemary sprig. Bring to boil and reduce until syrupy, about 1 tablespoon. Let cool slightly; discard bay leaf and rosemary sprig.
- In blender or food processor, process tuna and reserved oil, mayonnaise, capers, anchovies and lemon juice to make smooth dip. Transfer to flat serving bowl. Drizzle with balsamic syrup. Serve with raw vegetables.
Yellowfin Tuna Pasta Salad with Arugula Pesto and Dates
Prep time: 20-30 minutes
Cook time: 20-25 minutes
- 2 cans (5 ounces each) Genova Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil, drained
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 4 cups arugula
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus additional for garnish (optional)
- 2 lemons, zest only (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 8 ounces whole-wheat orecchiette
- 1/2 cup jarred sun-dried tomatoes in oil, chopped
- 1/2 cup dates, pitted and quartered
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- 1/4 cup dill, chopped (optional)
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325 F.
- On a sheet tray, toast pine nuts 8-12 minutes, or until golden. Set aside to cool.
- Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Prepare ice water bath by filling large bowl with cold water and ice. Stir arugula into boiling water and cook until bright green and tender, about 30 seconds. Drain arugula, immediately shock in ice water and set aside to fully drain; cover with towel.
- In blender or food processor, add arugula; garlic; pine nuts; butter, if desired; Parmigiano-Reggiano; lemon zest, if desired; salt; and pepper. Puree on high, incorporating olive oil to desired thickness.
- Place pesto in bowl and cover tightly to avoid discoloring.
- Bring large pot of salted water to boil.
- Add pasta and return to boil, stirring occasionally. Taste pasta for doneness 2 minutes earlier than package instructions. Once cooked, drain and transfer to large bowl. Do not rinse.
- Add pesto gently until evenly distributed. Fold in tuna, sun-dried tomatoes, dates and olives.
- Divide between shallow bowls and finish with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano, dill and parsley, if desired.
Source: Genova Tuna
(Family Features) Delicious, colorful and versatile, smoked salmon can make it easy to elevate your holiday festivities, which might look shockingly different this year.
Whether it's your family or a small group of friends, you can feel good about serving sustainable smoked salmon to your guests. Highlight smoked salmon at socially distanced gatherings with these recipes and tips from chef Nora Pouillon, a James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award winner, and her daughter, Blue Circle Foods product director Nina Damato.
Ready, Set, Serve
There's no need to prep or cook smoked salmon - it's sliced and ready to eat so you can impress your guests in no time with a colorful smoked salmon platter.
1. Arrange smoked salmon layers on a decorative platter.
2. Garnish with your favorite charcuterie sides like olives, capers, pickles and sliced lemon, tomato, cucumber or radish.
3. Season with dill sprigs, sea salt and fresh cracked pepper.
4. Serve with an assortment of crackers or buttered triangles of crustless brown bread.
A Seafood Superfood
Smoked salmon is a nutritional powerhouse full of antioxidants, omega-3s and protein. A 2-ounce serving of Blue Circle smoked salmon contains 1,000 mg of health-boosting omega-3s, which meets the daily requirements recommended by the FDA's 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. To make the most of a healthy choice, look for smoked salmon that does not contain sugar or added preservatives.
A Sustainable Protein
To ensure your smoked salmon is sourced with the environment and your health in mind, purchase products that are free from antibiotics, GMOs, added hormones and synthetic colorants.
A Dietary Chameleon
From traditional tastes to keto, gluten-free or dairy-free canapes, smoked salmon fits the bill. Its clean ingredient profile means it satisfies many common dietary restrictions.
For mouthwatering appetizers, try Pouillon's Smoked Salmon Cucumber Boats. If you enjoy pairing smoked salmon with traditional flavors like cream cheese and capers, consider her Smoked Salmon Rolls with Cream Cheese and Caper Filling.
To access more recipes and tips, visit bluecirclefoods.com.
Smoked Salmon Rolls with Cream Cheese and Caper Filling
Recipe courtesy of chef Nora Pouillon
- 4 ounces Blue Circle Smoked Salmon
- olive oil
- 6 ounces cream cheese
- 2 tablespoons small capers, drained, plus additional for serving, divided (optional)
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Layer smoked salmon slices on lightly oiled aluminum foil, overlapping slightly.
- Mix cream cheese with capers, onion and parsley. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Place thick line of cream cheese mixture along long side of salmon.
- Roll up salmon carefully with help of aluminum foil, similar to sushi roll.
- Chill in refrigerator 2-3 hours or overnight to firm up roll.
- To serve, use sharp knife to slice salmon roll into 1/2-inch long pieces.
- Place rolls on serving plate and garnish with additional capers, if desired.
Smoked Salmon Cucumber Boats
Recipe courtesy of chef Nora Pouillon
- 1 English cucumber (about 1 1/2 inches thick and 10 inches long)
- 1 medium tomato, seeded and cut into tiny pieces
- 1/4 cup scallions, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon dill sprigs, finely chopped, plus additional for serving (optional), divided
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 4 ounces Blue Circle Smoked Salmon, chopped or pulsed
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Slice cucumber in half lengthwise and use spoon to scoop out seeds. If cucumber skin is too thick, peel before slicing.
- Gently mix tomato, scallions, 1 tablespoon dill, lemon juice and smoked salmon until combined. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Fill cucumber halves with smoked salmon mixture.
- Slice cucumber boats into 1/2-3/4-inch pieces crosswise.
- To serve, place pieces on platter and garnish with additional dill, if desired.
Source: Blue Circle Foods
(Family Features) Regardless of what back to school looks like this year, preparing family meals throughout the week does not have to be a challenge. Shopping at a store like ALDI can stretch your budget and help you make five different meals over five days for about $5 a meal pretax for a family of four.
Using a mix of kitchen staples you already may have, along with fresh ingredients, you can make delicious, affordable recipes for the whole family. Simply select a protein or main ingredient and explore versatile ways to build other meals around it during the week.
Grilled chicken breasts are ideal for on-the-go lunches or weekday dinners. Busy parents can get dinner on the table in less than 30 minutes with an easy Chicken Cacciatore in the pressure cooker or simple prep-ahead Chicken Enchiladas. These convenient dishes make it a snap to add variety by substituting chicken with shrimp, beans or vegetables.
Serving organic produce, fresh and frozen meats, seafood and on-the-go snacks can be easy when you shop at a store like ALDI for the back-to-school season. Plus, you can find foods to fit any dietary style without breaking the bank.
Find more family meal solutions at aldi.us.
Recipe courtesy of “Pinch of Yum” on behalf of ALDI
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1-1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts or chicken thighs
- 1 pinch salt, plus 2 teaspoons, divided
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 16 ounces mushrooms, sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes
- 4 tablespoons butter
- capers (optional)
- parsley, plus additional for topping (optional)
- preferred pasta
- Parmesan cheese (optional)
- Dredge chicken in flour and pinch of salt. Turn on saute function on pressure cooker. Add oil; saute chicken 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside (chicken will finish cooking later).
- Add onion, mushrooms and garlic. Saute until softened. Add broth and let sizzle out.
- Add chicken, bell pepper, tomatoes and remaining salt to pressure cooker. Cook on high pressure 15 minutes. Release pressure.
- Shred chicken. Stir in butter, capers, parsley and lemon. Serve with preferred pasta and top with additional parsley and Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Recipe courtesy of “Wellness for the Win” on behalf of ALDI
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 pound chicken breasts
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
- 10 ounces diced tomatoes and green chilies, drained
- 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese, divided
- 16 ounces restaurant-style salsa, divided
- 10 whole-wheat tortillas
- diced avocado
- plain Greek yogurt
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In medium skillet over medium-high heat, cook onion until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and set aside.
- To make chicken: Season chicken breasts with garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper, to taste. Add chicken to same skillet over medium-high heat. Cook 5-7 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Use fork and knife to shred chicken.
- To make enchiladas: In large bowl with cooked onion, add shredded chicken, black beans, diced tomatoes, green chilies and 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese. Use spoon to mix well.
- Pour 1 cup salsa on bottom of greased pan and use spatula to spread evenly. Scoop about 1/2 cup chicken and veggie mixture into each tortilla. Roll tightly and place seam side down in pan.
- Top enchiladas with 3/4 cup salsa and remaining shredded cheese; use spatula to spread evenly.
- Cover pan tightly with foil and bake 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven; serve hot. Add avocado, yogurt and cilantro, if desired.