(Family Features) Fall provides almost endless opportunities to gather friends and family around great food. From tailgates and family events to those precious last outdoor meals before winter sets in, the scenery of autumn is a perfect backdrop for sharing meals together.
Those favorite fall foods are often best when they’re delicious without complications. Taking the guesswork out of cool-weather classics can be as easy as these Sweetpotato Foil Packet Tacos, which are loaded with flavor and can be customized to fit everyone’s taste buds with personalized toppings.
As the key ingredient, sweetpotatoes show off their versatility as an ideal addition to simple or elevated, sweet or savory dishes. Because you can cook and prepare them multiple ways – such as baked, microwaved, grilled, slow cooked or on the stove – they’re easy to use in a wide array of recipes.
Plus, according to the American Diabetes Association, sweetpotatoes are a “diabetes superfood” because they’re rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, all of which are good for overall health and may help prevent disease. Their “sweet” flavor without the added sugar makes them a pantry staple throughout the fall.
Pro tip: Sweetpotatoes are abundant and have a long shelf-life – up to four weeks if stored properly in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area away from heat sources – but never store in the refrigerator as this can cause “chill damage,” leaving them with a hard center and unpleasant taste.
Make the most of your fall meals with family and friends by finding more recipes at ncsweetpotatoes.com.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Sweetpotato Foil Packet Tacos
Recipe courtesy of the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission
- 1/2 pound ground turkey
- 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
- nonstick cooking spray
- 2 pounds North Carolina sweetpotatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups fresh chopped spinach
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- sour cream (optional)
- guacamole (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- In skillet over medium-high heat, brown ground meat. Stir in taco seasoning, tomato sauce and beans; set aside.
- Lay out six 12-inch aluminum foil pieces; spray each with nonstick cooking spray.
- In center of each foil piece, place 1 cup sweetpotatoes, 1 teaspoon butter, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup spinach, 1/3 cup taco meat and 1/4 cup cheese.
- Fold foil sides in over mixture; fold top and bottom foil ends inward and seal.
- Place packets on rimmed cookie sheet; bake until sweetpotatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.
- Serve with sour cream or guacamole, if desired.
(Family Features) When your family is transitioning back into a regular routine in the new year, it’s the perfect time to recommit to healthy eating habits throughout the day. Getting the whole family on board may be easier than you think – just keep the focus on flavor and fun.
If you’re short on ideas to jumpstart better family eating, try these tips:
Keep it simple. Busy families often rely on the convenience of boxed meals, but you can get the same easy, delicious meal in a much healthier way. Everything cooks in one pot for easy clean-up, and this Cheeseburger Mac recipe swaps ground beef for leaner ground turkey. Not only is this an easy weeknight dinner, but leftovers can be packed in a thermos for lunch on chilly days.
Make a family promise. To keep the momentum going, rely on a resource like the Power Your Lunchbox Promise website, which offers everything from healthy lunchbox ideas to after-school snacks and dinners. All meal ideas have been approved by a registered dietitian, meet USDA guidelines and are kid-friendly. What’s more, for every Power Your Lunchbox Promise made on the website, health-conscious companies supporting the initiative will make a $1 donation to Feeding America's programs that support families and children. Learn more at poweryourlunchbox.com.
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup mini sweet peppers, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups whole-grain dry macaroni
- 1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
- In large skillet over medium high heat, heat oil. Add turkey, onion and peppers. Cook 7-10 minutes, or until turkey is cooked through.
- In small bowl, mix paprika, sugar, salt and chili powder. Add to turkey and stir. Add water, milk, tomato paste and pasta. Mix well. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, or until pasta is cooked and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and top with cheese.
Space Exploration Bento Box
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
- 1/2 cup red seedless grapes
- 1 whole-wheat sandwich round
- 2 slices low-sodium deli-sliced turkey
- 1 slice Swiss cheese
- 1/2 slice low-fat cheddar cheese
- 1 clementine, peeled and segmented
- 3 mini sweet peppers, sliced into rings
- 1 package freeze-dried fruit
- Add grapes to bottom of large section of bento box to create space background. Place bottom of sandwich round on top, add turkey and sandwich round top.
- Lay Swiss cheese on cutting board. Using small bowl or other round object, cut into circle. Place on top of sandwich to create moon.
- Lay cheddar cheese on cutting board. Using small star cookie cutter, cut out stars. Add to space around moon.
- Pair with clementine “crescent moons,” pepper “planet rings” and freeze-dried fruit.
Source: Produce for Kids
(Family Features) The big game is almost here: two teams, a room full of fans and a spread of fan-favorite foods to keep everybody going. Whether everyone's at your place or you're heading somewhere else to watch the game, you want to make sure the place is stocked with flavorful snacks that will wow the crowd.
This year, step up your game with clutch recipes loaded with bold flavor and plenty of heat.
One of the most popular party favorites is buffalo chicken dip. It is a must-have because it's creamy, cheesy and loaded with great-tasting buffalo flavor. Serve it up with fresh-cut celery or bell peppers, baby carrots, crackers and pita bread, and you'll add some kick to your sporty celebration. Plus, this recipe provides a way to include those traditional football flavors without the mess of hot wings.
A kick can make or break a game, and the right sauce can make or break your recipe. Not only is Frank's RedHot a game-day staple, it was the key ingredient in the first-ever buffalo wings back in 1964. It's an essential ingredient for any big game food lineup, so make sure you've got plenty on-hand.
Once you've got the dip prepared for kickoff, it's time to turn to something a little more unexpected. Round out your game-day lineup with an amazing flavor combination they won't see coming - something sweet, tangy and savory that brings just the right amount of heat: Sweet Chili Meatballs.
Bite-sized meatballs made with ginger, fresh cilantro, green onions and sweet chili sauce are baked before getting doused in even more sweet chili sauce, making them an irresistibly tasty addition to any game day spread. If the game heads into overtime, no need to worry because these meatballs will stay warm in the slow cooker all game long.
If you're looking for more big game tips and recipes to dazzle the crowd, check out franksredhot.com/recipes.
Buffalo Chicken Dip
- 2 cups shredded cooked chicken
- 1 package cream cheese (8 ounces), softened
- 1/2 cup Frank's RedHot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce or Buffalo Wings Sauce
- 1/2 cup ranch dressing
- 1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese or other shredded cheese
- green onions, chopped (optional)
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- In shallow, 1-quart baking dish, combine all ingredients.
- Bake 20 minutes, or until mixture is heated through. Stir.
- Garnish with chopped green onions, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers and/or vegetables.
Sweet Chili Meatballs
- 1 pound lean ground turkey or ground beef
- 1/3 cup Japanese panko crumbs or bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
- 3 green onions, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, finely minced
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 12 ounces Frank's RedHot Sweet Chili Sauce, divided
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Mix ground meat, panko crumbs, cilantro, green onion, ginger, egg, salt and 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce. Form into one-inch meatballs.
- Place meatballs on lightly greased baking sheets.
- Bake 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. Put meatballs in slow cooker on warm.
- With slow cooker on low to keep meatballs warm, pour remaining sweet chili sauce over meatballs. Gently stir to coat.
Source: Frank’s RedHot
How a breakfast with milk can help lead the way to academic success
(Family Features) As kids get ready to start a new school year, moms are also getting back into the swing of a morning routine. One thing that can’t be missed? A complete breakfast! Research shows eating breakfast helps kids concentrate and focus at school, giving moms good reason to serve up balanced nutrition before that first morning bell.
This back-to-school season, start the day off strong and pair your little one’s breakfast with a glass of milk. An 8-ounce glass of milk gives kids 8 grams of high-quality protein plus other essential nutrients like calcium and vitamin D to the morning meal.
Most days, finding time for a balanced breakfast may be easier said than done. One way to help alleviate the morning rush is to make breakfast ahead of time, so it’s ready to go before sending kids off to school. These make-ahead Protein-Packed Eggs in a Nest are simple and fun to make. Served with an 8-ounce glass of milk, they make for a delicious breakfast to help start everyone’s school day off right.
Find more nutritious recipes to pair with milk at milklife.com.
Protein-Packed Eggs in a Nest
Servings: 6 (2 nests per serving)
- Nonstick olive oil spray
- 4 cups frozen shredded potatoes, defrosted
- 3 large eggs
- 3 large egg whites
- 1/4 cup fat free milk
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/3 cup cooked, lean ground turkey sausage, crumbled
- 1/3 cup green bell pepper, diced
- 1/3 cup tomatoes, chopped
- 1/3 cup part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
- Heat oven to 400° F and spray 12-well muffin tin with nonstick olive oil spray.
- Place a scoop of shredded potatoes into each muffin hole, pressing around edges to create “nest”. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove pan from oven and using spoon, gently press any fallen potatoes back up against sides of each muffin hole. Turn oven down to 350° F.
- In a bowl, add eggs, egg whites, 1/4 cup milk, salt and pepper. Whisk to combine and place in fridge while preparing green pepper, tomatoes or additional vegetables.
- Stir cooked meat and vegetables into the bowl with egg mixture and pour equally between all “nests.” Sprinkle a pinch of cheese over each nest. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until egg is set.
- Remove from oven and serve with remaining 8-ounce glass of milk.
Note: Nests can also be stored in airtight bags in fridge once cool for 3-4 days, and be reheated for an on the go breakfast.
Nutritional information per serving: 200 calories; 4.5 g fat; 1.5 g saturated fat; 105 mg cholesterol; 17 g protein; 23 g carbohydrates; 1 g fiber; 510 mg sodium; 381 mg calcium (40% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of fat free milk.