(Family Features) Family traditions and in-person connections are important parts of gatherings of loved ones, and many of those get-togethers are centered on food. The entire family coming together around a table covered with warm, delicious food to share stories and create new memories is what makes mealtime special.
Forty chefs from around the nation came together to create “Come to the Table,” which offers a delicious mix of cuisines from a variety of cultures, including this sampling of classic family favorites, sweet indulgences and family-style creations all inspired by what family means to each chef.
“Sales from this book will directly benefit the families we serve, so we are so grateful for each and every chef that has offered their time and talent to this cookbook,” said Jill Cumnock, CEO of Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. “The way ‘Come to the Table’ has been created reminds me of a recipe that culminates in a feast for the senses. We can’t think of a better way to celebrate our 40th anniversary, particularly at a time when families are starting to reunite after the pandemic forced so many apart.”
Visit rmhdallas.org for more information and to order the cookbook.
Baked Stuffed Pasta Shells
Recipe courtesy of chef Kevin Curry
- 6 ounces jumbo pasta shells
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 5 portobello mushroom caps, gills removed then diced
- 1 pinch sea salt, plus additional, to taste
- 1 pinch pepper, plus additional, to taste
- 2 cups shredded kale
- 3 tablespoons water
- 15 ounces skim milk ricotta cheese
- 4 tablespoons pesto
- 1 tablespoon The Fit Cook Land spice blend
- 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat marinara, divided
- 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat mozzarella
- fresh herbs, for garnish
Preheat oven to 420 F.
Bring pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta shells according to package instructions. Drain then set aside.
Heat pot or cast-iron casserole dish over medium heat. Once hot, add oil, garlic, onion and mushrooms. Add pinch of sea salt and pepper as it cooks. Cook until onions turn brown and mushrooms shrink in size, about 3-5 minutes. Empty contents and set aside.
Place pot back over heat. Add shredded kale and water to create steam. Toss kale in pot until it turns vibrant green; set aside to cool.
In large bowl, mix ricotta cheese with mushroom mixture, kale, pesto and spice blend.
In casserole dish, spread about 1/2 cup marinara on bottom. Then one-by-one, stuff each pasta shell with approximately 2 tablespoons ricotta mixture and add to casserole dish. Repeat with remaining shells.
Cover shells with remaining marinara and mozzarella cheese. Cover casserole dish with foil and bake 20 minutes. During final 5 minutes, remove foil so mozzarella can brown.
Garnish with fresh herbs and salt and pepper, to taste.
Recipe courtesy of chef Nikky Phinyawatana
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons green curry paste
- 8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken, beef or pork, sliced thin
- 1 small Japanese purple eggplant
- 2 cups coconut milk
- 4 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup bamboo shoots, sliced
- 1/4 medium red bell pepper, sliced thin
- 8-10 Thai basil leaves, plus additional, for garnish, divided
- 2 cups cooked jasmine rice
In blender, blend spinach and water until mixture turns green and no leaves are visible.
In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add green curry paste and stir to release fragrance, about 10 seconds.
Add protein and cook 3-5 minutes.
Add blended spinach water, purple eggplant, coconut milk, sugar and salt. Bring to boil. Add bamboo shoots and red bell pepper. Simmer 10 minutes.
Stir in basil leaves and turn off heat.
Serve with jasmine rice and garnish with additional basil leaves.
Daddy’s Birthday Flan
Recipe courtesy of chef Ninamarie Bojekian Mendoza
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 cup buttermilk
- 3 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles (optional)
- 4 large eggs
- 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
- 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ground cinnamon, to taste
- In saucepan, heat granulated sugar and water over medium-low heat until melted.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Grease and flour 9-inch Bundt pan. Set aside.
- When sugar liquifies and turns golden brown, remove from heat and use silicone spatula or whisk to stir. While stirring, quickly pour into prepared Bundt pan.
- To make cake: In large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In another bowl, use hand mixer on medium speed to beat butter and sugar, about 3 minutes, until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Beat well.
- On low speed, gradually beat in flour mixture and buttermilk until combined.
- Fold in rainbow sprinkles, if desired.
- Pour batter into pans over caramel sauce.
- To make flan: In blender on high speed, blend eggs, sweetened condensed milk, evaporated milk and vanilla until well combined.
- Gently pour through strainer and onto prepared cake batter.
- Sprinkle cinnamon on top.
- Place pan in water bath by putting it in larger baking dish, roasting pan, hotel pan or similar. Pour hot water halfway up sides to create water bath.
- Bake approximately 1 hour. Cake should be golden brown and jiggle when shaken when done.
- Remove cake from water bath and cool on rack 10 minutes.
- Run knife or spatula carefully around edges to separate. Place plate on top of cake and, while holding it, flip over carefully and quickly.
- Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight before serving.
Photo courtesy of Ink Phinyawatana (Green Curry)
Source: Ronald McDonald House of Dallas
(Family Features) Next time hunger calls in your home, turn to a filling family favorite: pasta. With a nearly endless variety of pasta types, sauce pairings and recipe ideas, the options are aplenty, and cooking is often a breeze.
Consider these pasta cooking tips from Rouxbe, an online culinary school training people of all abilities to become better, more confident cooks.
- Use a large, straight-sided pot with 6 quarts of water for every 1 pound of pasta. Bring to a boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt for each quart of water and stir to dissolve.
- Wait for rapidly boiling water before adding pre-made pasta then cook according to package instructions for al dente, which means the pasta offers a slight resistance. For stuffed or fresh pasta, aim for a gentle boil and cook 1-5 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water for use in sauces then drain (never rinse) your pasta.
- Add pasta to your sauce; never the other way around. Pair thin pastas like angel hair with lighter sauces, seafoods, basil and light oils. Fettucine, penne and rigatoni complement spicy sausage, heavy creams and chunky ragu. When in doubt, spaghetti offers a versatile option.
Pasta is a natural fit for fresh veggies, and you can put your skills to the test with Pappardelle with Garden Vegetables or create Homemade Potato Gnocchi to freeze and enjoy later.
For more information, visit rouxbe.com.
Pappardelle with Garden Vegetables
Total time: 1 hour
- Salted water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 tablespoons shallots or white onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cups pappardelle noodles
- 3/4 cup vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoons capers (optional)
- 2 vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced in wedges
- 1 handful baby kale
- 1 fresh lemon, juice only
- 2 tablespoons butter (optional)
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 handful fresh basil, torn
- Bring large pot of salted water to boil.
- In fry pan on medium-high heat, add olive oil and onions; saute 2 minutes. Lower heat slightly and add garlic and chile flakes. Saute on medium heat 2-3 minutes. Add white wine and deglaze pan. Cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm until ready to add freshly cooked pasta.
- In pot of boiling water, add pappardelle. Cook according to package instructions then drain.
- Place fry pan back on medium heat. Add drained pasta; vegetable stock; capers, if desired; tomatoes; baby kale; and lemon juice. Add butter, if desired, and toss well. Cook 2-3 minutes, tossing occasionally, and season with salt and pepper, to taste, and fresh basil.
- Toss again, remove from heat and serve.
Homemade Potato Gnocchi
Total time: 2 hours
- 2 medium Yukon Gold or russet potatoes
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, divided, plus additional, for surface
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
- 2 large egg yolks
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Place potatoes on sheet of foil, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and water; wrap. Bake 40 minutes, or until cooked through.
- Peel potatoes while hot. Cut and rice potatoes. Let potatoes cool completely.
- To make dough, sprinkle potatoes with flour. Aerate with bench scraper then add remaining salt, nutmeg and white pepper.
- Break up egg yolks and pour over potatoes. Cover surface with flour. Continue cutting and gently lifting dough.
- Test dough by squeezing gently; it shouldn’t stick. Add flour, if needed.
- Shape dough into rectangle and fold several times, using fingertips to bring together. Flatten dough out until it reaches finger thickness. Sprinkle with flour and let rest 5-10 minutes.
- Cut finger-width strips of dough and sprinkle strips with flour. Roll out each strip and cut ropes into 3/4-inch pieces. Separate slightly and flour well.
- Fresh gnocchi can sit at room temperature 30 minutes before cooking.
- To freeze: Place gnocchi on tray, making sure they aren’t touching. Once frozen, transfer to plastic freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months. Cook gnocchi from frozen and serve with desired sauce.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images
(Family Features) With spring and warmer weather comes salad season, offering a perfect canvas for creating refreshing meals and appetizers centered around tasty greens, juicy tomatoes and crave-worthy dressings. Give your salads an update by avoiding the same tired mixes and instead create tasty meals fit for the season.
One easy way to up your salad game is by starting with quality ingredients like Fresh Express salad blends, NatureSweet Cherubs Tomatoes and Litehouse refrigerated salad dressings. These fresh, flavorful ingredients can be combined in a dish like this Chimichurri Chickpea Salad, a perfect way to go green this spring for nearly any occasion.
Part of the appeal of dishing up a homemade salad is the unlimited options you have at your fingertips to make the bowl of greens uniquely “yours.” For many, this means one thing: the more toppings, the better. With grilled chicken, crispy bacon, tomatoes, ripe avocado, hard-boiled eggs, blue cheese and a bed of fresh lettuce, this classic Cobb Salad offers an ideal lunch or even a quick family meal.
Because both these recipes can be made in 20 minutes or less, they provide simple solutions when short on time. Plus, the fresh ingredients sum up everything spring meals are made of.
Find more ways to create easy yet delicious salads at litehousefoods.com/iheartsalad.
Chimichurri Chickpea Salad
Total time: 15 minutes
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 2/3 cup fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chickpeas, drained
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 bag Fresh Express Baby Kale Mix
- 1 cup NatureSweet Cherubs Tomatoes, diced
- 1 medium avocado, diced
- 4 tablespoons Litehouse Avocado Ranch Dressing
- In food processor, combine cilantro, parsley, oregano, garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pulse until sauce is smooth.
- Place chimichurri sauce in small bowl with chickpeas and crushed red pepper flakes; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight, if possible.
- Divide kale, tomatoes and avocado between four bowls. Top each bowl evenly with marinated chickpeas. Drizzle with avocado ranch dressing and serve.
Total time: 20 minutes
- 3-4 eggs
- 1/4 pound bacon
- 1 bag Fresh Express Sweet Butter Lettuce
- 1 pound grilled chicken
- 1 cup NatureSweet Cherubs Tomatoes, halved
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- 1/4 cup blue cheese
- 1/4 cup Litehouse Homestyle Ranch Dressing
- Bring pot of water to boil. Use slotted spoon to place eggs in water. Boil 10 minutes then transfer to ice bath to stop cooking process. Peel eggs and slice.
- Heat skillet over medium heat. Dice bacon and add to pan. Saute until bacon is crispy and fat is rendered, about 7 minutes. Remove from pan with slotted spoon.
- To assemble salad, start with bed of lettuce. Top with hard-boiled eggs, grilled chicken, tomatoes, avocado, bacon and blue cheese; toss in ranch dressing.
(Family Features) As a key part of a nutritious eating plan, protein intake can be a healthy step to take in the new year. One increasingly popular way to add protein to your at-home menu is with protein-packed, plant-based foods like tempeh.
Tempeh’s roots date back thousands of years and originate in Indonesia. It’s an all-natural protein source made with simple, whole-food ingredients – most often fermented soybeans, water and rice – and is high in protein, packed with fiber and low in fat, sodium and calories. Tempeh is also loaded with vitamins and minerals like calcium, manganese, phosphorus and iron, and has all nine essential amino acids. Because it’s fermented, the nutrients in tempeh are easy for the body to digest.
The health benefits of tempeh, including 18 grams of protein per serving, are one reason to give it a try, but another is it’s easy and versatile to cook. It has a firm texture, nutty taste and can be baked, fried, steamed or grilled. Tempeh also easily absorbs marinades, spices and sauces. To prepare tempeh, cut it into cubes, strips or crumble it then toss into a stir-fry, layer it onto a BLT sandwich or simply warm a skillet and sear it until golden brown.
The possibilities for tempeh are nearly endless, and it’s also increasingly easy to find. For example, Lightlife, founded in 1979 as “Tempeh Works,” was among the first commercial producers of tempeh in the United States. Today, it offers its Original Tempeh at more than 18,500 retail stores nationwide.
Find protein-packed meal ideas, like Sesame Ginger Tempeh Power Bowls with Quinoa and Sweet Potatoes, at lightlife.com.
Sesame Ginger Tempeh Power Bowls with Quinoa and Sweet Potatoes
Pickled Pink Onions:
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons white sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
Sesame Ginger Vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons sesame oil
- 2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 package (8 ounces) Lightlife Original Tempeh
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cups baby spinach or kale
- 2 cups cooked tri-color quinoa, at room temperature
- 1/2 ripe avocado, cubed
- 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 6 red grape cherry tomatoes, halved
- 6 yellow grape cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 cup pea shoots
- To make pickled pink onions: In small pot, bring white wine vinegar, sugar and salt to boil. Add onions and toss to coat 15 seconds. Turn off heat and let sit 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and bright pink. Set aside.
- To make sesame ginger vinaigrette: In small bowl, stir vegetable and sesame oils with ginger, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce and sesame seeds. Pour into two small ramekins. Set aside.
- To make sweet potatoes: In large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add sweet potato slices and cook, turning occasionally, 15-17 minutes, adjusting heat as necessary until tender when pierced with knife. Remove to cutting board and cut each slice into quarters. Wipe out skillet.
- To make tempeh: Cut tempeh crosswise into eight triangles. In nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, heat vegetable oil. Cook tempeh with soy sauce until golden brown and warm, 2-3 minutes per side. Remove tempeh from pan and add baby spinach or kale; stir 1-2 minutes just until wilted.
- To assemble bowls: On bottoms of two shallow bowls or plates, spread cooked quinoa. Top with piles of warm sweet potatoes, pickled pink onions, sauteed spinach or kale, avocado, chickpeas, grape tomatoes and pea shoots. Top with tempeh and serve with sesame ginger vinaigrette.
(Family Features) Taking care of your heart requires a commitment to the right routines and smart decisions, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. Simple ingredients already in your kitchen may offer powerful protection to keep your heart healthy.
For example, more than a decade of research shows 100% orange juice and its vitamins and minerals may play a beneficial role in helping lower blood pressure and other risk factors for heart disease.
A study published in the “European Journal of Nutrition” by researchers at Eurecat, Centre Tecnològic de Catalunya, in Reus, Spain provides further support for 100% orange juice’s role in heart health, and offers additional insight into a unique component in orange juice, called hesperidin, that may have antioxidant activity and contribute to orange juice’s cardiovascular benefits.
The study, which was funded by the Florida Department of Citrus, determined that adults with pre- or stage-1 hypertension who drank about 2 cups of 100% orange juice per day saw significant reductions in systolic blood pressure and other markers of heart health and inflammation.
“Nearly half of adults in the United States have high blood pressure,” said Dr. Rosa Walsh, scientific research director at the Florida Department of Citrus. “For those with mild hypertension, including something as simple and pure as 100% orange juice in your daily healthy routine may help make significant improvements in such a prevalent problem.”
Beyond its heart health benefits, many studies, including a National Health & Nutrition Survey published in “Nutrition Journal,” have found that 100% orange juice consumption is associated with higher diet quality and increased levels of key nutrients, including many that are under-consumed, like potassium.
“The vitamin C, antioxidants and potassium found in 100% orange juice can help maintain a healthy blood pressure, which is a big factor in heart health,” said Kaleigh McMordie, RDN and founder of the blog “Lively Table.”
With no added sugar and no fat, cholesterol or sodium, Florida Orange Juice can help you take advantage of these nutritious benefits from breakfast to dinner with dishes like Poached Salmon with Collard Green Salad, an easy way to add potassium and vitamin C at the family table, especially when paired with an 8-ounce glass of 100% orange juice. For those busy mornings on the go, an Orange Kale Smoothie can be the fuel you need as a filling option with less than five ingredients that’s an excellent source of vitamin C, folate and vitamin K and a good source of potassium and thiamin.
For more information on the heart health benefits of 100% orange juice, visit FloridaJuice.com.
Poached Salmon with Collard Green Salad
- 1 1/4 cups Florida Orange Juice, divided
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 pound salmon filets
- 1 cup white wine
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed
- 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon finely minced shallot
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 1 small bunch collard greens (about 8 ounces), stems and center ribs removed
- 1/2 cup toasted, slivered almonds
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray small glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Set salmon in dish.
- In small saucepan over high heat, combine 1 cup 100% orange juice, white wine, garlic and 1 teaspoon grated ginger; bring to simmer.
- Pour poaching liquid over salmon and cover with aluminum foil.
- Poach in oven 15-20 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through.
- In lidded jar, combine remaining 100% orange juice, remaining grated ginger, olive oil, vinegar and shallot; shake to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Cut collard greens into thin ribbons and transfer to large mixing bowl. Pour dressing over collard greens; toss well to combine and fully coat.
- Remove salmon from liquid and serve on top of collard greens. Sprinkle with almonds.
- Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.
Orange Kale Smoothie
- 2 cups Florida Orange Juice
- 1/4 cup frozen pineapple
- 1 cup kale, tough stems removed
- 4 mint leaves
- In large blender, blend 100% orange juice, frozen pineapple, kale and mint leaves until smooth.
- Pour into tall glass.
Source: Florida Department of Citrus
(Family Features) With more than half of Americans willing to eat more plants and less meat in 2020 (and beyond), according to a study conducted by Yale and Earth Day Network, one thing holds true: Even when food is better for you and the planet, families crave quality taste.
Walnuts are one of the original plant-based superfoods that can carry sweet or savory flavors to satisfy snackers, add hearty crunch to salads or breakfast dishes and serve as a simple, whole-food meat alternative. In addition to being a delicious plant-based staple, 1 ounce of walnuts contains important nutrients including 4 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber and good fats with 2.5 grams of monounsaturated fat and 13 grams of polyunsaturated fat, including 2.5 grams of omega-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA).
Try walnuts as an alternative to meat in recipes like Walnut “Chorizo” Tacos or Sweet Potato Walnut Falafel Bowls, and find more plant-based recipes at walnuts.org/plant-based.
Sweet Potato Walnut Falafel Bowls
- 1 raw sweet potato (12 ounces), peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup California walnuts
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 egg
- vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup tahini
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- sea salt, to taste
- 4 cups loosely packed curly kale, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups cooked quinoa
- 1 cup julienned carrots
- 1 avocado, sliced
- toasted, chopped California walnuts, for garnish (optional)
- minced red onion, for garnish (optional)
- To make falafel: In food processor, pulse sweet potato until finely minced. Add quinoa, walnuts, ground cumin, onion powder and garlic powder; pulse until all pieces are uniform in size. Add flour and egg; pulse until well mixed, scraping down sides as needed.
- Using wet hands, shape mixture into 16 equal balls.
- In deep skillet or pot, heat oil. Cooking in batches, fry falafel balls 2-3 minutes on each side, or until golden brown and cooked through. Let drain on paper towel-lined tray.
- To make tahini dressing: In small bowl, whisk tahini, lemon juice, water, maple syrup, ground cumin, garlic powder and salt.
- To prepare bowls: Place equal amounts kale, quinoa, carrots and avocado in four large salad bowls. Place four falafel balls in each bowl and drizzle with dressing. Garnish with toasted walnuts and minced red onion, if desired.
Walnut “Chorizo” Tacos
- 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 8 radishes, thinly sliced
- 2 medium jalapeno peppers, thinly sliced
- 1 large clove garlic, thinly sliced
Walnut Chorizo Crumble:
- 1 1/2 cups black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups California walnuts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon ancho chili powder
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 16 whole wheat tortillas
- olive oil
- thinly sliced romaine lettuce
- fresh cilantro leaves
- lime wedges
- To make pickled vegetables: In small bowl, stir lime juice, sugar and sea salt. Stir in radishes, jalapenos and garlic slices; let stand 30 minutes to pickle.
- To make walnut “chorizo” crumble: In food processor, pulse beans and walnuts until coarsely chopped. Add 2 tablespoons oil, white vinegar, paprika, chili powder, oregano, salt, chipotle, cumin and coriander; pulse until mixture is finely chopped and resembles ground meat, stirring several times and moving mixture from bottom of food processor bowl to top to evenly mix.
- In large nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat remaining oil. Add “chorizo” mixture and cook 10 minutes, or until mixture is browned and resembles ground meat, stirring frequently.
- To prepare tacos: Brush each tortilla lightly with oil. On skillet over medium-high heat, cook briefly to brown on both sides, keeping warm in foil until all tortillas are cooked.
- Remove pickled vegetables from liquid and discard garlic slices. Fill each tortilla with equal amounts “chorizo” and pickled vegetables. Garnish with lettuce and cilantro; serve with lime wedges.
Source: California Walnuts
(Family Features) Constantly seeking out recipe-specific ingredients that may only be used once or twice can be a burden. Instead, keep your home stocked with necessities to simplify dinner prep with dishes made using common household staples.
One perfect example: pastas. These recipes for Minestrone Pasta Saute with Ricotta, Creamy One-Pot Spaghetti and Pasta in a Pinch include easily recognizable seasonings and canned goods for simple dinner solutions. Plus, they all include dairy, an irreplaceable part of a balanced diet as a source of essential nutrients.
Another way to scale back on unnecessary grocery purchases is to give yourself permission to modify. Many recipes can be tweaked for personal preferences, such as using black beans rather than kidney beans or adjusting the amount of a spice used based on your family’s tastes.
Stock your pantry and refrigerator with versatile ingredients like these:
- Canned tomatoes
- Canned beans
- Quick-cook rice
- Small whole-grain pasta
- Stock, like vegetable, chicken or beef
- Fluid milk
- Shredded cheese
- Plain Greek yogurt
For more ideas to simplify family meals, visit milkmeansmore.org.
Minestrone Pasta Saute with Ricotta
Recipe courtesy of Lori Yates of “Foxes Love Lemons” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 8 ounces ditalini pasta
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 carrots, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1/2 bunch kale, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and halved
- 1/4 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 pound lean ground beef (optional)
- 1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup Ricotta cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- In large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water then drain pasta.
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add carrots, garlic and onion; cook 3 minutes, or until vegetables start to soften, stirring occasionally. Add kale and green beans; cook 3 minutes, or until green beans are tender-crisp, stirring occasionally.
- Add wine to skillet; cook 2 minutes, or until most liquid has evaporated. Transfer vegetables to medium bowl. If including meat, return skillet to medium-high heat. Add ground beef; cook 6-8 minutes, or until meat is cooked through, breaking up with side of spoon. Spoon off excess fat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low. Add kidney beans, marinara sauce, salt, pepper, pasta, reserved pasta cooking water and cooked vegetable mixture to skillet with beef, if using. Cook 2 minutes, or until warmed through, stirring occasionally. Divide pasta between four pasta bowls or plates and top with Ricotta and Parmesan cheeses.
Pasta in a Pinch
Recipe courtesy of Jenn Fillenworth, MS, RDN, of “Jenny With the Good Eats” on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 8 ounces uncooked penne pasta
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup milk
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
- 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
- freshly chopped herbs, for garnish (optional)
- In large microwavable bowl, place uncooked penne pasta and pour water over top to cover. With food-safe plastic wrap, cover bowl, leaving small section to vent as it cooks. Cook 3 minutes longer than package directs, approximately 13 minutes.
- Once pasta has cooked, drain into colander then place back in bowl. Add salt, pepper, basil, garlic powder and milk; stir to combine. Begin to stir in cheese a little at a time. Microwave 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir again.
- Add cannellini beans and diced tomatoes; stir. Microwave 1 minute. Remove from microwave and stir. Assess if ingredients are hot and cheese is melted. If not, microwave 1-2 minutes.
- Top with Parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh herbs, if desired.
Creamy One-Pot Spaghetti
Recipe courtesy of Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN, on behalf of Milk Means More
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 pound lean ground turkey or lean ground beef
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or reduced-sodium beef broth
- 2 cups marinara sauce
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 8 ounces spaghetti noodles, broken into 3-4-inch pieces
- 1 package (8 ounces) reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed
- 1 1/3 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
- chopped fresh basil or parsley (optional)
- Using saute function of pressure cooker, heat oil until hot. Add meat and onion. Cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes, or until meat is browned, stirring to break up. Press cancel.
- Stir broth, marinara sauce, fennel seeds and cayenne pepper into meat. Stir in spaghetti, making sure noodle pieces are covered by liquid. Secure lid and set pressure release to sealing function. Select high pressure and cook 5 minutes. Press cancel.
- Allow pressure to release naturally 2 minutes. Move pressure release to venting function to release remaining steam. Remove lid.
- Stir spaghetti mixture. Stir in cream cheese and 1 cup cheddar cheese until melted. Ladle into bowls to serve. Sprinkle with remaining cheddar cheese. Garnish with chopped fresh basil or parsley, if desired.
(Family Features) Kickstart the new year by making meaningful changes for yourself and your family. Finding nutritious recipes can help you stay on track when it comes to living a healthier lifestyle.
As you look to start 2020 off right, opt for fresh ingredients. No matter what your goal for the year is, start at a store like ALDI. From making Mondays meatless to cutting out refined carbs, you can find a healthy haul – for less – complete with high-quality products for these delicious, nutritious and affordable recipes from ALDI.
Find more recipe ideas at aldi.us.
Morning Oasis Overnight Oats – If busy mornings prevent you from starting the day with a nutritious breakfast, try overnight oats. They are easy to prepare a day in advance, then top with fruit, coconut, shaved chocolate and quinoa when it’s time for breakfast.
Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl – Add more fruit to the “most important meal of the day” with this smoothie bowl bursting with flavor. Blended blackberries, blueberries and banana provide a nutritious start to your day, and it can be topped with additional fruits, almonds, chia seeds and more for added texture.
Citrus Popping Kale Salad – Whether it’s for lunch or served as the first course for dinner, a salad is a way to combine a healthy serving of veggies with toppings you crave. The flavors of this tasty recipe create a perfect marriage of quinoa, baby kale, onion, mango and cranberries.
Fruit and Avocado Salad – This crisp and refreshing salad combines oranges, grapefruit, onion, avocado, blueberries and pecans for an option that’s both nutritious and delicious.
Grilled Herb Chicken Skewers – Put a spin on grilled fare and place seasoned chicken skewers on a bed of arugula. Save time and marinate the night before to infuse the chicken with the savory taste of herbs.
Cauliflower-Quinoa Pizza– When the family wants a classic, serve this better-for-you pizza, complete with a crust made from cauliflower and quinoa. Top with tomatoes, mushrooms, red onion, peppers and other veggies for a nutritious twist on the traditional slice.
Peanut Butter and Jelly Oatmeal Bar – You don’t have to completely remove dessert from your menu to live a healthier lifestyle. This baked dish features peanut butter as the base, so you can enjoy a protein-packed treat without the guilt.
Dairy-Free Vanilla Pudding – It only takes five ingredients and 15 minutes in the kitchen to please your sweet tooth when cravings strike.
(Family Features) The summer months offer seemingly endless opportunities to enjoy the warm weather with friends and family. Serving crowd-pleasing foods and drinks can go a long way toward a successful gathering, whether you’re hosting a brunch, relaxing by the pool or throwing a backyard bash.
Regardless of the occasion, a store like ALDI has everything you need to savor summer, including entertaining items and high-quality ingredients, without the premium price tag. When you make this one-stop shop your destination for summer essentials, you can get more of what you love for less.
Find more seasonal recipe ideas like these appetizers, main dishes, desserts and drinks at ALDI.us.
Grilled Avocados with Vegetable Relish – Boost a favorite summer flavor like avocado by using your grill. Start by slicing the avocados and removing the pits before grilling flesh-side down. Fill with a vegetable relish mixture of tomatoes, bell peppers and onions then sprinkle with feta cheese.
Citrus Popping Kale Salad – This light and refreshing salad is a perfect make-ahead meal-starter. Made with a quinoa base, the combination of kale, mangoes, cranberries, toasted almonds and crumbled goat cheese provides a unique mix of flavors.
Grilled Strip Steak Skewers with Pear Slaw – Skewers are a summertime favorite that can be easily customized to meet the tastes of your guests. This version features steak marinated in a soy sauce mixture, cooked on a grill pan and served over a bed of cabbage, carrots, radishes, onions and julienned pears.
Grilled Pear and Apple Pork Tenderloin – Combining a sweet yet savory glazed pork tenderloin with a side of fresh apple and pear (or peach) wedges, this simple dish is an ideal accompaniment to a day or night spent dining al fresco.
Frozen Greek Yogurt with Blueberries – Summer calls for frozen treats, and you can put a healthier spin on dessert by substituting frozen yogurt for ice cream. Just blend blueberries, lemon juice and vanilla with Greek yogurt and freeze for a perfect indulgence on a warm afternoon.
Freezie Fruit Pops – Mix and match assorted fruits like kiwi, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, pineapple, peaches and more with fruit juices. Once mixed, freeze to create healthy fruit pops. For a grown-up version, substitute wine for the juice.
Very Berry Chiller with Lemonade Ice Cubes – When looking for a way to cool off on a hot summer day, reach for a combination of classic summer flavors. Freeze lemonade overnight in an ice cube tray then drop the cubes in a pitcher of blended blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries for a sweet, refreshing beverage.
SanGrita – A refreshing twist on a traditional Spanish punch, this adults-only beverage calls for blending frozen lime bars with sangria and garnishing with strawberries and blueberries to your liking.
Add fruits, veggies to meals for plant-forward nutrition
(Family Features) Adding more fruits and vegetables is one of the simplest ways to make at-home meals healthier for your family.
Focusing your plate on more of the good stuff – vegetables, fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, plant-based proteins, lean animal proteins and fish – can help you cut back on the not-so-good stuff, including refined carbohydrates, added sugars, processed meats, sodium and saturated and trans fats, according to the American Heart Association.
While some may think meat makes the meal and it can be part of an overall healthy eating pattern, a survey from Aramark, the largest U.S. based food service company, found many people want to ease up on meat consumption, and 2 out of 3 want to eat more fruits and vegetables. The company made sweeping changes to incorporate more plants into its menus, resulting in meals with fewer calories, less saturated fat and reduced sodium.
Punching up the plants on your plate can lead to better nutrition in your house, too. Try putting vegetables and fruits center-stage with these heart-healthy salads.
To help encourage healthier communities, the American Heart Association and Aramark have made it simple for you to learn better nutrition and lifestyle habits and to share that information. For more recipes, tips and resources, visit heart.org/healthyforlife.
Make the Most of Seasonal Fruits and Veggies
For many people, warmer weather means more time outdoors and food cooked on the grill. To help make your meals more nutritious, consider these ideas to choose, store and enjoy warm-weather fruits and veggies:
Straight from the cob, sweet corn is packed with fiber and antioxidants and can be grilled, boiled or even microwaved. Try tossing it with a small amount of light mayonnaise, lime juice, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper for a simple version of Mexican Street Corn.
Prep is a breeze with cucumbers, which can be eaten raw with or without the peel. For a no-fuss salad, toss together cucumbers, onion and fresh dill then add a dash of sugar, salt and pepper plus a splash of cider vinegar.
Full of nutrients, including vitamins A and C and the antioxidant lycopene, tomatoes are a popular option for seasonal dishes. Store them stem-up on the counter, rather than in the fridge, to prevent bruising and enhance the flavor.
For more ways to introduce fruits and veggies to fresh, seasonal meals, visit Aramark’s wellness blog at fyp365.com.
Tangy Kale Slaw with Cilantro and Honey
Recipe courtesy of Aramark
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cilantro leaves, washed and chopped
- 1 teaspoon lime juice
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups kale leaves, washed, shredded and stems removed
- 1/2 cup red cabbage leaves, washed and shredded
- 1/2 cup carrot, trimmed and shredded
- 1/4 cup green onion, trimmed and thinly sliced
- In bowl, combine vinegar, mayonnaise, honey, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper. Whisk until well blended.
- Add kale, red cabbage, carrot and onion. Toss to coat.
- Cover and keep chilled prior to serving.
Nutritional information per serving: 40 calories; 1 g protein; 1 g fiber.
Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!
Black-Eyed Pea, Corn and Rice Salad
Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association
- 2 cans (15 1/2 ounces each) no-salt-added or low-sodium black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 1 can (15 1/4 ounces) low-sodium or no-salt-added whole-kernel corn
- 1 package (8 1/2 ounces) brown rice, microwaved according to package directions and broken into small pieces
- 2 medium ribs celery, chopped
- 1 medium bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- In large bowl, stir peas, corn, rice, celery, pepper, parsley, olive oil, water and black pepper until combined.
Nutritional information per serving: 231 calories; 10 g protein; 7 g fiber.
Simple Persian Salad
Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association
- 2 medium cucumbers, seeded and diced
- 4 medium tomatoes, diced
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint or parsley
- 2 tablespoons fat-free feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 medium limes, juice only
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- In bowl, stir cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, mint and feta. Cover and refrigerate 20 minutes.
- In small bowl, whisk lime juice, oil and pepper until well blended.
- Pour dressing over salad, tossing gently to coat.
Nutritional information per serving: 88 calories; 3 g protein; 3 g fiber.