recipes

Videos 16 January 2019

Cooking Up Comfort

Hearty dishes for cold, dreary days

(Family Features) On crisp winter days when the wind blows cold, warming up from the inside-out with hearty comfort foods can feel like a worthy solution. From chili to cornbread to dumplings, flavorful and filling foods prepared without an overload of ingredients certainly can provide a feel-good boost on chilly evenings.

Chili, a classic wintertime favorite, can be taken to the next level with a few tasty additions. Make a spicy version by mixing in bacon, sweet potatoes and a chopped jalapeno pepper for a quick warm-up. A simple and somewhat sweet spin on a classic, comforting side, Honey-Pumpkin Cornbread pairs well with the slightly spicy chili. If you’re really looking to put the comfort in a comforting main course, this Skillet Chicken and Dumplings recipe takes less than an hour to create.

To make these heart-warming recipes stand out from a crowd, Circulon Symmetry Chocolate Cookware provides dishwasher-safe, premium nonstick cookware for easy cleanup and food release that slides right off.

Find more information and comforting family-favorite recipes at circulon.com.

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!

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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6

  • Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 5.5-Quart Casserole
  • 6          slices thick-cut smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1          pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2          medium onions, chopped
  • 1          jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 5          garlic cloves, minced
  • 2          tablespoons chili powder
  • 2          teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 2          cups chicken broth
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1          can (15 ounces) no-salt-added black beans
  • 1/2       cup quick-cooking barley
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  1. Heat casserole over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until browned and crisp, about 7-8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-covered plate.
  2. Reduce bacon fat in casserole to 2 tablespoons and return to stove over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes, onions and jalapeno pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano and ground chipotle; cook until fragrant, 15 seconds.
  4. Pour in broth, tomatoes, beans and barley; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender and barley is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in bacon and salt; let stand 15 minutes before serving.

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Honey-Pumpkin Cornbread

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12-16

  • Circulon Nonstick 9-Inch Square Baking Pan
  • 1 1/2    cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4    cups yellow cornmeal
  • 3          tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt
  • 1          cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2          large eggs, at room temperature
  • 5          tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4          tablespoons honey
  • 1/3       cup buttermilk
  • 1          tablespoon grated orange zest
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Lightly butter baking pan.
  2. In bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In separate bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, eggs, butter, honey, buttermilk and orange zest. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until moistened; transfer to prepared baking pan.
  4. Bake until cornbread pulls away from sides of pan and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20-22 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack at least 10 minutes before cutting.

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Skillet Chicken and Dumplings

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8

  • Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 3.5-Quart Saucepan
  • 3          containers (32 ounces each) low-sodium chicken stock
  • Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 12-Inch Essentials Pan
  • 2          medium onions, diced
  • 4          carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch rounds
  • 1          head broccoli, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3       cups chopped chicken
  • 2          bay leaves
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1          teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2       cup half-and-half
  • 2          tablespoons cornstarch

Dumplings:

  • 1 1/2    cups whole-wheat or all-purpose flour
  • 2          teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          cup half-and-half

Garnish:

  • fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh black pepper
  1. In saucepan, bring chicken stock to boil.
  2. In essentials pan, saute onions, carrots and broccoli with butter. Add olive oil as needed if pan looks dry. Cook until onions are translucent and carrots are beginning to soften.
  3. Add chopped chicken, bay leaves, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and hot chicken stock to skillet. Simmer 20-30 minutes until vegetables are softened. Adjust seasoning, as necessary.
  4. Whisk cornstarch into half-and-half until smooth. Whisk into soup and simmer 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.
  5. To make Dumplings: In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and half-and-half. Swirl soup with wooden spoon and add heaping tablespoons into center of soup at strong simmer. Continue adding until all dumpling batter is used. Cover with lid and cook on high 2-3 minutes.
  6. Serve topped with grated Parmesan and fresh cracked pepper.

Source: Circulon

Meal Ideas 26 October 2018

Try the Trendiest Flavors Tonight

New seasonings make it easy

(Family Features) Exotic flavors common in the Middle Eastern region of the world like harissa, za’atar and shawarma are having a moment, appearing on restaurant menus and in popular make-at-home recipes.
 
Now is the perfect time to give these flavors a try. Thanks to new global seasonings from McCormick Gourmet, the spice combinations are already blended for the ultimate taste and simplicity.

Made from high-quality herbs and spices, the seasonings are USDA-Organic certified and Non-GMO Project verified so you can feel good about the ingredients used in your cooking. The expertly blended spices help create distinctive global-inspired dishes that take your home dining experience to the next level so you can explore these flavors from around the world without leaving the comfort of home.

  • Za’atar: This traditional Middle Eastern blend of spices including thyme, oregano and sesame seeds is perfect for sprinkling on flatbreads, roasted vegetables, nuts
    or popcorn. It can also be mixed into hummus or oil
    for dipping.
  • Harissa: A spicy flavor found in North African cuisine, this seasoning is made from a combination of chilies, warm spices and mint. Add it to meat and veggies before roasting, stir it into cooked rice and grains, mix it into yogurt to make a dip or combine it with roasted bell peppers and oil to turn this spice into its namesake sauce.
  • Shawarma: Often associated with the slow roasting of meat, this Middle Eastern street food favorite is made with cinnamon, coriander, cardamom and more. Use this seasoning to flavor an easy marinade for chicken, pork or steak.

Look for these flavors as well as new Peruvian and Berbere seasonings in the spice section of retailers nationwide. Find more recipe ideas at McCormickGourmet.com.
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Grilled Chicken Shawarma

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 16 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1 1/4    cup plain Greek yogurt, divided
  • 5          teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Organic Shawarma Seasoning, divided
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 2          pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 4          pita pockets, halved
  • 1          medium seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 8          lettuce leaves
  1. In small bowl, mix 1 cup yogurt and 1 teaspoon shawarma seasoning. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. In small bowl, mix oil, lemon juice, remaining yogurt, remaining shawarma seasoning and sea salt. Reserve 2 tablespoons of mixture; set aside.
  3. Place chicken in large re-sealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 1 hour, or longer for extra flavor.
  4. Heat grill or skillet to medium heat.
  5. Remove chicken from marinade. Discard remaining marinade. Grill or saute 6-8 minutes per side, or until cooked through and internal temperature reaches 165 F, brushing with reserved marinade.
  6. Slice chicken into thin strips. Serve in pitas with cucumber, lettuce and yogurt dressing.

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Shaved Carrot Salad with Pomegranate Harissa Dressing

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 5

  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh mint
  • 3          tablespoons pomegranate juice
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Organic Harissa Seasoning
  • 1/2       teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Organic Black Pepper, coarse ground
  • 3          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2       pound multicolor carrots, washed and peeled
  • 1/2       cup shelled roasted pistachios
  • 1/2       cup dried cranberries
  • 3          cups baby arugula
  • 1/4       cup crumbled feta cheese
  1. In large bowl, mix mint, pomegranate juice, honey, harissa seasoning, sea salt and pepper. Gradually add oil while mixing with wire whisk until well mixed. Set aside.
  2. Trim carrot ends. Slice each carrot lengthwise into ribbons with vegetable peeler or mandoline. In medium bowl, toss carrots with 1/4 cup prepared dressing. Stir in pistachios and cranberries.
  3. Arrange arugula on serving platter. Drizzle with remaining dressing and top with carrot mixture. Sprinkle with feta before serving.


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Za’atar Labneh

Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 (2 tablespoons each)

  • 1          cup labneh (yogurt cheese)
  • 2          teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Organic Za’atar Seasoning, divided
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • pita bread, for serving (optional)
  • pita chips, for serving (optional)
  • sliced fresh vegetables, for serving (optional)
  1. In small bowl, mix labneh and 1 teaspoon seasoning until well blended.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining seasoning.
  3. Serve with fresh pita bread, pita chips or sliced fresh vegetables, as desired.

Source:  McCormick

Appetizers & Sides 14 September 2018

Exquisite Eating

Small plates to make for appealing dishes

(Family Features) Imagine treating yourself and your dinner guests to a delicious, restaurant-caliber meal without leaving your dining room or hiring a personal chef. Small plates, also known as tapas, are lighter, bite-sized indulgences that you can prepare and style seamlessly. By putting your own artful, unique spin on small plates, you can indulge in a meal that appeals to the senses and conveys sophistication.

It can be easy to create delicious small plates: all you need are wholesome, seasonal ingredients to pair with an artisan-crafted, quality olive oil such as Carapelli. The line, with three varieties to explore, brings a renaissance to the modern kitchen and is ideal for endeavoring chefs looking to try new flavors and experiment with tastes or recipes. It embodies a true passion for the art of creating extra-virgin olive oils and is designed to lift cooks out of the everyday cooking experience.

Keep in mind that when it comes to small plates, what’s important isn’t just the recipe, but the plate – and plating – of the cuisine itself. Foods that appeal to the eye are likely to tempt the taste buds as well. Invest in appropriate-sized dishware for small plates that allows the food to take center-stage.

For a true multi-sensory indulgence, also take time to garnish your dishes, big and small, with edible enhancements that lend a subtle complement to the main attraction. A selection of fresh greens, sprinkling of herbs and even a light drizzle of olive oil can do the trick.

Plan how you’ll adapt your favorite dishes for size – and season – with more tips and recipes at carapelliusa.com.
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Carrots and Fresh Herbs with Champagne-Dijon Vinaigrette

Prep time: 10 minutes
Servings: 6

Champagne-Dijon Vinaigrette:

  • 2          tablespoons champagne vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1          tablespoon clover honey
  • 1/2       cup Carapelli Organic Olive Oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1          teaspoon fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1          teaspoon basil, finely chopped

 

  • 1          pound carrots, peeled and finely shredded
  • 2          tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons chives, thinly sliced, plus more cut into 3/4-inch  pieces, for garnish
  • 1/3       cup Champagne Vinaigrette
  • fine sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper,  to taste
  • chive sticks, for garnish
  1. In medium mixing bowl, combine champagne vinegar, Dijon and honey. Whisk constantly until well combined. While whisking, slowly drizzle in olive oil to emulsify. Add garlic, salt, pepper, parsley and basil: whisk to combine.
  2. In mixing bowl, toss carrots, parsley and chives. Add dressing. Season, to taste, with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Garnish with chive sticks.

Notes: Vinaigrette can be stored in refrigerator up to five days. For zestier salad, add additional 2 tablespoons vinaigrette to carrots; serve with crusty bread.
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Whipped Ricotta and Goat Cheese Beet Skewers

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 3 hours, plus cooling time
Servings: 42 skewers

Beets:

  • 2          beets (about 1 pound), 3 inches in diameter, peeled and sliced into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 1          tablespoon Carapelli Oro Verde Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1/2       teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1          teaspoon sea salt
  • arugula, for garnish
  • flaked sea salt, for garnish

Whipped Ricotta and Goat Cheese:

  • 4          ounces goat cheese
  • 1/4       cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1          tablespoon Carapelli Oro Verde Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8       teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Heat sous vide water bath to 185° F.
  2. In mixing bowl, combine beets, olive oil, thyme and salt; toss to coat. Remove beets from liquid and divide, placing them in single layer into two quart-sized vacuum-seal bags, leaving any excess liquid behind.
  3. Use vacuum sealer to remove air and double-seal bag. To use zip-top bags instead, slowly dip slightly open bags into large container filled with water, allowing water to displace air. Seal bags when air is removed.
  4. Place vacuum-sealed bag into prepared water bath, placing heavy, heat-resistant bowl on top of beets to keep them submerged, if necessary. Cook 3 hours.
  5. If you do not have a sous vide machine, bring large stock pot filled with water to rolling boil. Place vacuum-sealed bags in water. Reduce to gentle simmer, cover and cook 1 hour.
  6. Carefully remove beets from water bath and cool in sealed bag until they reach room temperature, about 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes more before serving.
  7. In mini food processor, cream goat cheese, ricotta and olive oil until smooth. Add zest, salt and pepper: stir to combine.
  8. Transfer cheese mixture to piping bag fitted with star tip and refrigerate until ready to use.
  9. To serve, remove beets from bag and arrange on serving platter. Pipe dollop of Whipped Ricotta and Goat Cheese onto each beet. Drizzle with olive oil.
  10. Garnish with arugula and pinch of flaked sea salt; place skewer through each beet to serve.

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Olive Oil Drizzled Pecorino Popcorn

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/2       cup grated pecorino, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
  • 3          tablespoons Carapelli Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1/3       cup yellow popcorn kernels
  1. In bowl, combine pecorino and pepper; mix until well combined and there are no cheese clumps.
  2. In small saucepan over low flame, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil; keep warm.
  3. Add remaining olive oil and popcorn to large Dutch oven. Stir until all popcorn kernels are coated in oil.
  4. Cover Dutch oven with lid and cook over medium-high heat, shaking pot periodically. Once popcorn begins to pop, lower heat to medium and continue to shake pot approximately every 15 seconds. When popping slows considerably, remove Dutch oven from heat and allow to rest until popping ceases, about 30 seconds.
  5. Remove lid and transfer popcorn to large mixing bowl. Drizzle warm olive oil over popcorn; toss to coat. Sprinkle cheese mixture over popcorn; toss to coat.
  6. Divide popcorn into bowls. Sprinkle some freshly grated pecorino and dash of freshly ground black pepper over top; serve.

Source:  Carapelli Olive Oil

Meal Ideas 07 September 2018

Simple, Satisfying Weeknight Solutions

(Family Features) Hectic daytime schedules can often lead to even busier evenings, which makes putting dinner on the table in less than an hour a valuable time-saver for home chefs. Balancing a busy lifestyle with healthy food choices can certainly become a tall task, but making filling, nutritious meals a priority starts with planning and preparation.

One way to set the course toward more quality weeknight meals at home is planning in advance rather than making day-of decisions. Ensuring you have the correct ingredients on-hand can make meal prep a simpler process once it’s time to get started in the kitchen.

By focusing meals on recipes that incorporate easy-to-use, versatile ingredients like Filippo Berio vinegars, you can have flavorful main courses, sides and appetizers ready in under an hour. The vinegars are allergen free, cholesterol free, trans fat free and GMO free, making them an ideal addition to healthy menus.

For example, while waiting for a meal to bake, Green Bean, Asparagus and Goat Cheese Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette can keep appetites at bay and help incorporate nutritious vegetables.

Follow your salad with a main dish like this Honey-Balsamic Glazed Salmon, which involves just a handful of ingredients and seasonings, leading to just 5 minutes of prep time and 20 minutes in the oven. Greek-Style Roasted Sweet Potato Salad makes for an ideal complementary side dish, enhanced with a red wine dressing made with Filippo Berio Red Wine Vinegar for a pleasantly sharp taste that’s a welcome addition to an array of recipes.

When a light yet filling meal is attainable in less time, you can focus on nutritious choices even on the busiest of evenings. Find more quick, simple recipe ideas at FilippoBerio.com.
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Honey-Balsamic Glazed Salmon

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          salmon filet (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 3          tablespoons Filippo Berio Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons honey
  • 1          tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • pinch of chili pepper flakes
  • 1          tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Season salmon with salt and pepper; place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Whisk together vinegar, honey, mustard, garlic and chili pepper flakes; brush over salmon.
  2. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until fish just starts to flake easily with fork. Sprinkle with chopped tarragon, if desired.

Tips: Substitute maple syrup for honey, if desired. Omit chili flakes and season with freshly ground pepper.

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Greek-Style Roasted Sweet Potato Salad

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 8

Red Wine Dressing:

  • 1/4       cup Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Red Wine Vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1          teaspoon honey
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper

Roasted Sweet Potato Salad:

  • 3          tablespoons Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1          tablespoon Filippo Berio Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried mint
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 2          pounds sweet potatoes, sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1          cup shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1          tomato, chopped
  • 1/3       cup sliced pitted Kalamata olives
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. To make Red Wine Dressing: Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, parsley, honey, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. To assemble Roasted Sweet Potato Salad: Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, oregano, mint, garlic, salt and pepper; toss with potatoes until well-coated. Arrange in single layer on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Roast about 30 minutes, or until golden brown and tender.
  4. Arrange sweet potatoes on serving platter. Top with lettuce, tomato and olives; drizzle with dressing.

Tips: For traditional Greek flavor, sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese before serving. Alternatively, cut sweet potatoes into wedges.
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Green Bean, Asparagus and Goat Cheese Salad with Honey Dijon Vinaigrette

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3 minutes
Total time: 13 minutes
Servings: 4

Honey Dijon Vinaigrette:

  • 2          tablespoons Filippo Berio White Wine Vinegar
  • 1          shallot, minced
  • 1          tablespoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 2          teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2          teaspoons honey
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4       cup Filippo Berio Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Green Bean, Asparagus and Goat Cheese Salad:

  • 1/2       pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2       pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6          cups baby arugula
  • 1/2       cup crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4       cup diced sundried tomatoes in oil
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  1. To make Honey Dijon Vinaigrette: Whisk together white wine vinegar, shallot, tarragon, mustard, honey, salt and pepper; whisk in olive oil.
  2. To assemble Green Bean, Asparagus and Goat Cheese Salad: In steamer basket, steam green beans and asparagus 3-5 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Rinse under cold water and drain well. Transfer to large bowl; add arugula and goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Toss salad with vinaigrette. Garnish with sundried tomatoes and chives.

Source: Filippo Berio

Appetizers & Sides 06 August 2018

Make it Mediterranean

3 dishes to highlight the next trend in internationally themed cuisine

(Family Features) Just like forward-thinking culinary artists, many at-home chefs seek out the next trendy flavor to provide friends and family gathered around the table. When pondering which trend you'll dive into in the future, consider incorporating tastes from an especially influential international location - the Mediterranean Sea region.

Considered by the experts at Les Dames d'Escoffier International (LDEI) in the organization's 2018 Trends Report to be one of the most influential parts of the world on the American food scene, flavors from the Mediterranean Sea focus on a diet heavy on fruits, vegetables, grains, beans, seeds and nuts. Take this Hummus recipe, for example, which involves processing a host of beans, seeds and seasonings to create a light, smooth dip to serve with anything from vegetables to crackers.

Because the fare is typically lighter, small bites and salads such as Fresh Figs with Honey or this Tomato, Feta and Basil Salad provide easy-to-prepare versions of Mediterranean cuisine. Incorporating vegetables (tomatoes and basil) along with the salty, milky flavors of feta cheese makes the salad a distinctly Mediterranean dish.

In addition to Mediterranean food, the trends report highlighted Middle Eastern cuisine and Latin American flavors as areas of the world that will influence American dining in the next year. Additionally, LDEI highlighted these regions as likely to be influential in the next three years:

  1. East Africa
  2. The Balkans
  3. The Caribbean Sea

To go along with specific regions and countries to influence American food culture, the report identified these international food concepts as the most likely to become prominent food trends:

  1. Puebla Hot Pot (Latin America, Mexico) - ancho chile, smoked paprika and spices in chicken stock, served with chicken or pork, corn, avocado crema and fresh garnishes.
  2. Manouri (Mediterranean, Greece) - a semi-soft, fresh white whey cheese made from goat or sheep milk.
  3. Millet (India) - ancient grains harvested from small-seeded grasses used for porridge.

Mediterranean food, because of its reliance on the inclusion of vegetables and exclusion of red meat in many of its dishes, also squarely fits into the top established and growing health trends, according to the report, which are:

  1. Vegetarian cuisine
  2. Organic
  3. Vegan cuisine

Find full results from the report and learn more about the organization at LDEI.org.

10 Ways to Find Culinary Inspiration

Consider these strategies for achieving inspiration in the kitchen from the LDEI 2018 Trends Report:

  • Traveling
  • Cookbooks
  • Farmers' markets
  • Internet and social media
  • Fresh produce
  • Food magazines
  • Chefs
  • Seasons
  • Beautiful imagery
  • People and culture

Tracking the Top Food Trends

As trends continue changing, growing and spreading, the experts at LDEI continue to provide updates from the food world. Find complete 2018 Trends Report survey results and expert panel insights by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

LDEI is a worldwide philanthropic organization of professional women leaders in the fields of food, fine beverage and hospitality. The invitation-only membership, composed of 2,300 women in 40 chapters across the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Mexico, is highly diversified and reflects the multifaceted fields of contemporary gastronomy and hospitality. For more information, visit LDEI.org or find LDEI on Facebook.


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Tomato, Feta and Basil Salad

Recipe courtesy of Beth Vlasich Pav of Cooking by Design, LLC, on behalf of Les Dames d'Escoffier International
Servings: 15-20

  • 8 medium size tomatoes, sliced into 1/8-inch slices
  • 1 block (8 ounces) feta cheese, sliced into 1/8-inch pieces
  • 2 small packages fresh basil, leaves picked off stems
  • 3 teaspoons sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  1. On large platter, arrange slices of tomato and feta so they overlap. Place basil leaf between each tomato and Feta slice. Repeat.
  2. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

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Hummus

Recipe courtesy of Beth Vlasich Pav of Cooking by Design, LLC, on behalf of Les Dames d'Escoffier International
Yield: 2 cups

  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) garbanzo beans
  • 1 medium garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  1. Drain garbanzo beans reserving 1/2 cup liquid.
  2. In food processor, process garbanzo beans, garlic, sesame oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper until incorporated. Stop and scrape down sides of bowl. Add garbanzo liquid and process until smooth.
  3. Scoop mixture into medium bowl, add black sesame seeds and mix gently. Serve with drizzle of olive oil. Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top.

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Fresh Figs with Honey

Recipe courtesy of Beth Vlasich Pav of Cooking by Design, LLC, on behalf of Les Dames d'Escoffier International
Servings: 6

  • 6 fresh figs
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  1. Slice figs in half lengthwise (stem to bottom). Distribute on small platter.
  2. Drizzle honey over each fig equally. Serve immediately.

Photos courtesy of Beth Vlasich Pav

Source:  Les Dames d’Escoffier International

Meal Ideas 25 June 2018

Good-for-You Meals with Grape Taste

(Family Features) When it comes to balancing heart-healthy meals with appealing flavors, it’s important to lean on nutritious ingredients that pack mouthwatering taste. For example, grapes are a delicious yet subtle way to incorporate a little something extra into your diet while adding a juicy burst of flavor.

Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – can be enjoyed as a ready-to-eat, on-the-go food anytime and anywhere. Grapes are also a healthy choice, as they’re a natural source of antioxidants and other polyphenols, and contain no fat and virtually no sodium.

Because of their versatility, heart-healthy grapes can also be used as an ingredient to add fresh appeal, vibrant color and a light touch of sweetness to almost any dish, like Roasted Cod with Fennel and Grapes or Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Grapes. For something quick and nutritious featuring fresh fruits and vegetables, try this Vegetarian Poke Bowl with tofu, fresh grapes, avocado and crunchy, raw beets and carrots.

Grape Goodness for Healthy Aging

In addition to helping maintain heart health, grapes may also play a role in healthy aging. A review of the science linking the consumption of grapes to health highlights grapes’ potential to impact many areas of health, according to research published in “Grapes and Health: A Monograph.” The evidence that grapes support heart health is well-established, and emerging research in other areas of health suggests that grapes’ ability to promote antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities at the cellular level may also play a protective role in eye, brain and joint health, among others.

Find more recipes to make healthy eating easy at GrapesfromCalifornia.com.

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Vegetarian Poke Bowl

Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 5          cups cooked brown or white jasmine rice
  • 2          packages (6 ounces each) extra-firm tofu, cubed
  • 2          cups red California grapes, halved
  • 1          avocado, pitted, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1          large golden beet, peeled and shredded
  • 1          large carrot, peeled and shredded
  • 2          scallions, thinly sliced
  • sprinkle of toasted sesame seeds
  • 6          ounces light Asian ginger-sesame salad dressing
  1. Divide rice between four bowls and arrange tofu, grapes, avocado, beets and carrots on top. Sprinkle with scallions and sesame seeds; serve with dressing.

Nutritional information per serving: 620 calories; 19 g protein; 101 g carbohydrates; 17 g fat (25% calories from fat); 2.5 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 450 mg sodium; 11 g fiber.

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Roasted Cod with Fennel and Grapes

Prep time: 10 minutes            
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          pound cod loin, cut into four equal pieces
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1          tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2       teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/4       teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1          tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1          tablespoon orange juice
  • 1          tablespoon minced shallot
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1          teaspoon honey
  • 1          tablespoon fresh chopped oregano
  • 1          medium fennel bulb, fronds removed, chopped and reserved
  • 1          cup red California grapes, halved
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Arrange cod pieces in baking dish.
  2. In small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil with lemon juice, orange zest, 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper. Spoon mixture onto cod in equal amounts. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until desired doneness is reached.
  3. While cod is baking, in small bowl, combine remaining olive oil, remaining salt, pepper, vinegar, orange juice, shallot, coriander, honey and oregano; set aside. Halve and core fennel bulb then thinly slice and place in separate bowl. Add grapes and dressing; toss to combine.
  4. Serve cod topped with fennel and grape salad. Garnish each serving with 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds.

Nutritional information per serving: 200 calories; 19 g protein; 15 g carbohydrates; 8 g fat (36% calories from fat); 1 g saturated fat (4% calories from saturated fat); 45 mg cholesterol; 240 mg sodium; 2 g fiber.

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Spaghetti Squash with Pesto and Grapes

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          large spaghetti squash
  • 1/3       cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2       cup chopped walnuts, divided
  • 2          cloves garlic
  • 2          cups packed basil leaves
  • 1          cup packed arugula
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1          teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/3       cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1          cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2    cups red California grapes, halved
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Cut squash in half lengthwise and remove seeds. Using fork, poke shallow holes in skin of squash then brush with 1 tablespoon oil and place it, cut-side down, in rimmed baking dish. Bake 30-40 minutes, or until tender.
  2. To make pesto: In food processor, process 1/4 cup walnuts, garlic, basil, arugula, lemon juice and lemon zest until well chopped. Add remaining olive oil, Parmesan, salt and pepper; process until well blended.
  3. Once squash is done baking, remove from oven. Cool squash 5-10 minutes then, using fork, scrape inside flesh of squash, removing “spaghetti,” and place it in large bowl. Add pesto and beans to cooked squash and toss gently with tongs to combine. Divide equally into six bowls and top each with 1/4 cup grapes and 2 teaspoons chopped walnuts.

Nutritional information per serving: 290 calories; 7 g protein; 24 g carbohydrates; 20 g fat (62% calories from fat); 3 g saturated fat (9% calories from saturated fat); 5 mg cholesterol; 160 mg sodium; 6 g fiber.

Source:  California Table Grape Commission

Meal Ideas 16 March 2018

An Easy, Excellent Easter

(Family Features) Amazing food is the centerpiece of most holiday gatherings. This Easter, impress guests with your culinary talent by making simple dishes simply amazing. With a little special attention, even the most basic foods can evolve into dishes worth sharing with loved ones.

Most chefs agree that spices and seasonings are essential elements of your kitchen arsenal. This Easter, give your spread a boost with spices and herbs of the highest quality, such as those from Spice Islands, which crafts and packages spices and herbs from around the world to deliver the most authentic and intense flavor possible.

Sensational Cinnamon

With its rich hue and warm aroma, cinnamon can bring spicy sweetness to all kinds of baked goods. However, all cinnamon is not the same. There are two main varieties of cinnamon, Indonesian and Vietnamese.

Vietnamese, which is used in the Spice Islands Saigon Cinnamon featured in these recipes, tends to have a brighter, spicy taste. The forests of Vietnam are known for their premium cinnamon. High in volatile oils, the Vietnamese cinnamon trees produce a deep, reddish-brown cinnamon with an intense fragrance and sweet, red-hot-candy-like flavor.

Update your traditional ham with a spicy, honeyed glaze; give a side serving of carrots a tasty twist and end the affair on a sweet note with a rustic, utterly delicious dessert. Find more flavorful ideas to elevate your Easter menu at spiceislands.com.

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Spiced Honey and Black Pepper-Glazed Ham

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 8-10     pounds cooked shank-end ham
  • water (optional)
  • 1          tablespoon Spice Islands Cracked Black Pepper
  • 1          tablespoon Spice Islands Ground Mustard
  • 1          tablespoon Spice Islands Garlic Powder
  • 1/2       cup honey
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons Spice Islands Ground Saigon Cinnamon
  • 1/2       teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Cloves
  1. Heat oven to 325° F.
  2. With sharp knife, score ham at 1-inch intervals; place in baking dish. If ham appears dry, moisten surface with water. In small bowl, combine black pepper, mustard and garlic powder. Rub pepper mixture over surface of ham. Roast according to package directions.
  3. Combine honey, cinnamon and cloves. Drizzle over ham during last 30 minutes of roasting. Remove ham from oven and let rest 20 minutes before slicing.

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Spiced Maple Carrots

Prep time: 5 minutes
Total time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          pound (4 cups) baby carrots
  • 1/2       cup water
  • 1          teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Saigon Cinnamon
  • 3/4       teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Ginger
  • 2          tablespoons Maple Grove Farms 100% Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1          tablespoon butter
  • sea salt, to taste
  1. In large skillet, combine carrots, water, cinnamon and ginger. Mix well. Cover and cook on high 6 minutes until almost tender.
  2. Add maple syrup and butter. Mix well and continue to cook, uncovered, 2-3 minutes, until carrots are well-glazed. Season, to taste, with sea salt.

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Anise, Pear and Almond Crostata

Prep time: 45 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Servings: 6

Crostata Crust:

  • 1 1/4    cups all-purpose flour
  • 1          stick butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and frozen
  • 1/2       teaspoon Spice Islands Fine Mediterranean Sea Salt
  • 1/4       cup ice water

Anise Almond Filling:

  • 1          cup blanched, slivered almonds
  • 3/4       teaspoon Spice Islands Anise Seeds
  • 1/3       cup sugar
  • 1          large egg
  • 1          teaspoon Spice Islands Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4       teaspoon Spice Islands Fine Mediterranean Sea Salt
  • 2          tablespoons butter, at room temperature
  • 3          Fiorelle or small pears, sliced into thin wedges
  • 2          tablespoons sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1          tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1          large egg, beaten
  • 2          tablespoons Polaner Apricot Preserves, heated
  • cream or ice cream (optional)
  1. To make crust: In food processor, combine flour, frozen butter and salt. Pulse until dough is size of large peas. Add 3 tablespoons ice water and pulse several times. Pinch dough to see if it is holding together; if not, add water a couple of teaspoons at a time, pulsing once or twice after each addition, until dough holds together. Form dough into disk, wrap in plastic wrap and chill 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oven to 400° F.
  3. To make filling: In food processor, blend almonds, anise seeds, sugar, egg, vanilla and salt until paste forms. Add room temperature butter and blend again. Set aside.
  4. Toss sliced pears with 2 tablespoons sugar and lemon juice. Set aside.
  5. On sheet of floured parchment paper, roll out dough into 13-inch circle; transfer on parchment to rimless cookie sheet.
  6. Spread almond paste onto circle, leaving 2-inch border. Scatter pears on top, covering almond paste. Fold dough up and over pears, overlapping dough as needed. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle crust generously with extra sugar.
  7. Bake until pears are tender, 40-45 minutes. If crust starts to get too brown, lightly cover with foil. Remove tart from oven and brush pears with heated apricot preserves. Serve with cream or ice cream, if desired.

Source: Spice Islands

Meal Ideas 18 September 2017

Flavor Infusion

(Family Features) When your taste buds can’t settle on just one flavor, a fusion dish may be just the answer. Fusion dishes combine some of the best ethnic culinary traditions from around the world, and Asian influences are among the most popular building blocks for fusion cuisine.

One secret to achieving great fusion dishes is the use of cooking wines. For many chefs and home cooks alike, cooking wine is a go-to cooking essential because it can be used in everyday meals. With its versatile array of uses, an option like Holland House®, a line of flavor-enhancing, premium cooking wines, can boost any dish with one of five flavors including Marsala, Sherry, White, Red and White with Lemon.

In addition to these featured dishes, you can find more quick tips for boosting the flavor of your everyday meals on the label of each bottle and explore more recipes at HollandHouseFlavors.com.

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Sweet and Spicy Korean-Chinese Fusion Cauliflower Bites

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4, about 1 1/2 cups per portion

  • 6          cups fresh cauliflower florets
  • 2          tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1          teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4       cup Holland House Sherry Cooking Wine
  • 1/4       cup honey
  • 2          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1          tablespoon white vinegar
  • 2          teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2          tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1          small fresh yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1          tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1          tablespoon Korean-style chili flakes
  • 1/4       cup chopped fresh green onions
  • 1          tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In large bowl, toss cauliflower, sesame oil and salt until well coated. Arrange on nonstick baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and tender.
  3. In small bowl, whisk cooking wine, honey, soy sauce, vinegar and cornstarch until well blended; set aside.
  4. In large, nonstick skillet, heat vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add yellow onions and garlic; cook 2-3 minutes, or until golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in chili flakes and wine mixture.
  5. Return pan to stove and adjust to medium heat. Bring to simmer, stirring constantly. Continue cooking and stirring 1-2 minutes, or until thickened. Add cooked cauliflower; stir gently to coat.
  6. Transfer cauliflower to serving dish. Top with green onions and sesame seeds.

Tips: The sauce mixture can also be used on chicken wings or grilled pork chops. In place of Korean-style chili flakes, use 1 teaspoon regular crushed red pepper flakes or 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper.

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Lettuce-Wrapped Korean Short Ribs

Prep time: 10 minutes, plus marinating
Cook time: 4 minutes
Servings: 4, about 6 ounces (pre-cooked) per portion

  • 3          tablespoons packed dark brown sugar, divided
  • 2          teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1          teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2    pounds thinly sliced, boneless beef short ribs
  • 1          cup Holland House Marsala Cooking Wine
  • 6          tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4       cup roasted garlic paste
  • 2          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2       cup chopped green onions, divided
  • 1          teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1          head fresh romaine lettuce, separated into large leaves         
  • 1/2       cup sliced fresh red radishes
  • 1/2       cup shredded fresh carrots dipping sauce
  1. In small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons brown sugar, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes. Sprinkle evenly over short rib slices, gently rubbing into both sides. Place in re-sealable plastic bag.
  2. In bowl, whisk cooking wine, sesame oil, garlic paste, soy sauce and remaining brown sugar. Pour half of mixture into bag with meat and add 1/4 cup green onions. To marinate, refrigerate at least 1 hour, or up to 12 hours.
  3. In small saucepan, whisk remaining wine mixture and cornstarch until smooth. Bring to simmer over medium heat, whisking constantly. Cook 1 minute, or until thickened, stirring constantly. Set aside until cool. Stir in 2 tablespoons green onions.
  4. Heat grill to medium-high.
  5. Remove ribs from marinade, allowing excess to drip off. Discard marinade. Grill 1-2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through.
  6. Cut ribs into 1-inch pieces. Serve with remaining green onions, lettuce, radishes, carrots and warm dipping sauce.

Tips: For fusion tacos, substitute corn or flour tortillas for lettuce leaves. In place of garlic paste, 2 tablespoons minced garlic can be substituted.

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Sizzling Asian Vegetable Fried Rice with Savory White Wine Glaze

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Servings: 4-6, about 1 cup per portion

  • 2          tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1          tablespoon minced fresh garlic
  • 1/2       cup fresh chopped yellow onions
  • 1          cup fresh small white mushrooms, quartered
  • 1/2       cup chopped fresh carrots
  • 1/2       cup chopped fresh zucchini
  • 1/2       cup chopped fresh red bell peppers
  • 1/2       cup chopped fresh yellow bell peppers
  • 3          cups cold, cooked, long-grain white rice
  • 1/2       cup Holland House White Cooking Wine
  • 2          tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1/2       cup fresh green onions, sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2          teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground black pepper
  1. Heat heavy-bottomed, nonstick skillet over high heat. Add vegetable oil, garlic and onions. Stir-fry 1-2 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, red bell peppers and yellow bell peppers; stir-fry 3 minutes. Add rice; stir-fry 3 minutes.
  2. Add cooking wine; stir-fry 2 minutes, or until dry. Add oyster sauce; stir-fry 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in green onions, sesame oil and black pepper. Transfer to dish or bowl and serve.

Tip: To turn into a main course, add cooked beef, chicken or pork and serve topped with a fried egg.

Source: Holland House

Healthy 24 July 2017

Focus on Nutrition

5 ways to add more nutrients to your lifestyle

(Family Features) A nutritious diet is crucial for overall health and well-being. While it’s OK to indulge from time to time, it’s important to make sure you’re providing your body with appropriate nourishment.

There are many ways to help you add more of the essential nutrients you need into everyday meals, including these nutritious ideas from CocoaVia.

Sneak in More Fruits and Vegetables.
You can bulk up the nutritional value of nearly any meal by incorporating fruits or vegetables directly into your recipes. Pureeing veggies is a good way to disguise textures or flavors you might typically avoid. For example, celery is a natural flavor enhancer for many types of broth soup. Adding finely pureed celery to the stock will add the flavor without the crunchy bits. You can also slip vegetables like spinach or carrots into smoothies, and depending on the base and fruit, you may never even taste them. Fresh, canned or frozen, fruit can give a boost of nutrition to dishes like oatmeal or pudding. You can also use purees (think applesauce) as a low-fat substitute for eggs and oil in baked goods like cake.

Go Frozen.
Fresh fruits and vegetables provide a wealth of essential vitamins and nutrients, but you may be surprised that their frozen counterparts do the same. Frozen foods are often perceived as less nutritious, but they can contain just as many nutrients as fresh produce. In fact, since freezing often involves picking the food at its peak and then quickly freezing it, freezing can actually help retain vitamins more efficiently than refrigeration or canning; frozen vegetables can actually hold on to nutrients longer than fresh produce and are a great alternative when seasonal fruits and vegetables are unavailable. In many cases, frozen veggies also make it easy to experiment with better-for-you meals because the cleaning and prep work is already done. You can try adding them to soups, stir-fries, casseroles and even pasta dishes.

Cook Quickly.
If you’ve historically shied away from cooked vegetables, you may find that proper preparation is the secret ingredient. Not only does overcooking veggies deplete their flavor, in most cases it also diminishes their nutritional value. Cook veggies lightly and quickly using methods like stir-frying or steaming to help retain water-soluble nutrients like vitamins B and C.

Get Saucy.
You may think of dishes covered in rich gravy or sauce as unhealthy, and in some cases, you would be right. However, it’s actually quite possible to create saucy dishes that taste terrific. Both tomato sauce and pesto add nutrients and can top pretty much anything, from pastas to grilled chicken. Tomato sauce contains lycopene, a bright plant pigment known as a carotenoid that has been linked to a range of health benefits. Pesto is traditionally made with healthy pine nuts and basil, but you can also get creative and prepare this light sauce alternative with options such as arugula, spinach and heart-healthy walnuts or pecans.

Consider Cocoa Flavanols.
Another option to consider adding to your diet is cocoa flavanols. These plant-based phytonutrients are found naturally in cocoa, and research supports that these flavanols work within your body to help maintain healthy blood flow. While chocolate, including dark chocolate and natural (non-alkalized) cocoa powder, can be sources of cocoa flavanols, they are often not a reliable source of cocoa flavanols. The way cocoa is handled matters in the retention of these phytonutrients. However, one easy way to add cocoa flavanols to your routine is by incorporating a daily cocoa extract supplement, such as CocoaVia, which contains the highest concentration available in a cocoa extract supplement today. The supplement can be added to the food or beverage of your choice, like a Chocolate-Chai Smoothie or coffee. Visit CocoaVia.com for more information about cocoa flavanols and ideas for adding them to your diet.

The Truth About Chocolate

While there are many misconceptions about chocolate, especially when it comes to its health benefits, these facts from the experts at CocoaVia set the record straight on some of the most common chocolate myths.

  1. Chocolate contains powerful antioxidants.
    Chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, does contain cocoa flavanols, phytonutrients which numerous scientific studies have demonstrated have a positive impact on health. However, cocoa flavanols are not antioxidants. While not antioxidants, cocoa flavanols have been shown to have positive effects on health that are linked to their ability to support the health and function of your blood vessels.
  2. Chocolate is good for your heart.
    Chocolate can be part of a healthy diet, but it is not a health food. Even if chocolate is high in cocoa flavanols, the calories, fat and sugar leave it best-suited as an occasional indulgence.
  3. Chocolate containing 70 percent cacao or greater is good for you.
    The percentage of cacao is not a reliable indicator of a product's cocoa flavanol content. Unfortunately, there is also no way of knowing exactly how many cocoa flavanols are in a conventional chocolate product because traditional cocoa processing, which includes fermenting, drying and roasting of beans, destroys many of the flavanols naturally present in the cocoa bean.
  4. Chocolate is high in caffeine.
    Chocolate does contain caffeine, but an average 1-ounce serving of dark chocolate contains less than half the amount of caffeine found in an average cup of black tea. The amount of caffeine in chocolate is in proportion to the percentage of cacao in the product, meaning milk chocolate contains less caffeine than semi-sweet or dark chocolate.

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Chocolate-Chai Smoothie

Makes: 1 smoothie

  • 1/2       cup boiling water
  • 1          chai-flavored tea bag
  • 1/2       cup fat-free milk
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  • ice cubes
  • 1          packet CocoaVia Unsweetened Dark Chocolate (or Sweetened Dark Chocolate) supplement
  1. In measuring cup with pour spout, pour boiling water over tea bag. Let steep 5 minutes; remove tea bag.
  2. Pour milk and tea into blender; add honey, a handful of ice and cocoa extract supplement. Cover and blend until smooth.

Nutritional information per serving: 130 calories; 1 g total fat; 50 mg sodium; 27 g carbohydrates; 1 g dietary fiber; 24 g sugar; 5 g protein; 375 mg cocoa flavanols.

Content courtesy of CocoaVia

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (man and woman in kitchen)

Source: Cocoa Via

Meal Ideas 13 July 2017

Summer Brunch Fare

(Family Features) When it comes to planning brunch, there really are no rules. It’s the perfect opportunity to combine your favorite flavors and foods in one delicious meal.

Warmer weather calls for putting a summer twist on brunch classics. Breakfast Tacos Al Pastor are a fresh, flavorful addition to a festive summer brunch, while this Brunch Bruschetta Bar is a gorgeous way to feed a crowd and highlight your favorite summertime ingredients. These recipes are made and served with not-from-concentrate Florida’s Natural Brand Orange Juice, made entirely from oranges grown, picked and squeezed in Florida, with no water or sugar added.

Both recipes are from the Florida’s Natural Brunch Club, a collection of brunch experts creating recipes to celebrate brunch throughout the year. Brighten up your brunch with more fresh takes on classic recipes at floridasnatural.com.

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Breakfast Tacos Al Pastor

Recipe courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          pound ground chicken or pork
  • 1/2       sweet onion, chopped
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 2          teaspoons chili powder
  • 1          teaspoon paprika
  • 1          teaspoon, plus pinch, kosher salt, divided
  • 2          chipotle peppers in adobo, chopped
  • 1/2       cup not-from-concentrate Florida's Natural Brand Orange Juice
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 2          cups fresh pineapple chunks, divided
  • 1/4       cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4       cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1          jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1          lime, juice only
  • 4-6       fried eggs
  • 6-8       corn or flour tortillas, warmed
  • sliced avocado
  • feta or cheddar cheese
  1. In large skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. When oil shimmers, add ground chicken and onion. Cook, stirring often and breaking up meat as it cooks, until chicken is browned, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, chili powder, paprika, salt, chipotle peppers, orange juice, water and 1 cup pineapple. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until sauce has thickened slightly around chicken, about 10-15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
  3. In bowl, combine remaining pineapple, basil, jalapeno, lime juice and pinch of salt.

To serve: Divide fried eggs among tortillas and top with chicken. Add pineapple-basil salsa, avocado and cheese.

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Brunch Bruschetta Bar

Recipe courtesy of Half Baked Harvest
Prep time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8-12

  • 1          cup basil pesto
  • 1          cup sun-dried tomato spread
  • 2          cups cherry tomatoes, marinated cherry tomatoes or diced tomatoes
  • 6-8       soft-boiled or poached eggs
  • 6-8       scrambled eggs
  • 12        slices grilled or toasted bread
  • olive oil, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2-3       varieties of soft cheeses
  • 2          cups fresh fruit
  • 1          sliced avocado
  • 2          cups sauteed veggies, such as spinach and mushrooms
  • 6-8       pieces fried bacon
  • 2-3       varieties of prosciutto, salami or smoked salmon
  • 1          cup fruit jam
  • 1          cup nut butter
  • 1/2       cup honey
  • 1          carton not-from-concentrate Florida's Natural Brand Orange Juice
  1. On large serving board, arrange sauces and spreads. Add poached eggs, scrambled eggs and bread. Drizzle poached eggs with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange cheese, fruits, veggies, meats, jams, nut butter and honey around eggs. 
  2. Pour orange juice into juice glasses for sipping.

Source: Florida's Natural

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