recipes

Meal Ideas 04 October 2022

Warm Up Winter with Watermelon Fun

(Family Features) The cold chill of winter may have you feeling trapped indoors with nothing to do and nowhere to go, but fun activities fit for the whole family can add excitement and chase away those wintertime blues. Paired with an appetizing snack, at-home crafting provides a relaxing way to keep your mind and body moving.

Warming up with family-friendly activities starts with a versatile (and delicious) option like watermelon, which can be your sweet superstar all year long. As a centerpiece for evenings at home or gatherings and get-togethers, its versatility creates zero food waste with endless creative uses in the kitchen, from rind-smile snowmen to handheld snacks.

When this year’s first snowfall offers a canvas for creativity and entertainment, gather your loved ones to make this Watermelon Snowman. Fresh-cut and personal-sized watermelons are the predominant options in wintertime, and they’re perfect for putting together this festive work of art. All you’ll need is a collection of kitchen knives, an ice cream scoop, melon ballers, skewers, some decorative “clothing” and blueberries for a fruit salad served right out of the snowman.

While you’re hard at work, ease your appetite with a quick and easy snack like Watermelon Glazed Meatballs. Start with a homemade watermelon puree mixed with barbecue sauce then saute frozen meatballs and top with the sweet glaze for a perfect wintertime treat. Along with delicious taste, watermelon is also a nutritious hydration source, which is just as important in winter as during warmer months, and provides an excellent source of vitamin C with 25% of the daily recommended value in each 2-cup serving to support immunity.

These tasty morsels also make for a simple, shareable appetizer while hosting throughout the season. Just lay them out on a serving tray and pop toothpicks into each meatball so guests can grab and go while mingling.

To find more family-friendly crafts and sweet snack ideas, visit Watermelon.org.

Watermelon Snowman

  • Kitchen knives
  • 1 round seedless watermelon
  • 2 personal-sized watermelons, one larger than other
  • ice cream scoop or large spoon
  • melon baller
  • mini melon baller or paring knife
  • blueberries
  • large wooden skewers
  • y-shaped sticks
  • scarf
  • hat
  1. Using knife, cut 1/4-inch slice off bottom of round seedless watermelon and both personal watermelons to provide stable bases. Use smallest melon for head, second largest for torso and largest for lower body. Set aside smallest watermelon.
  2. Cut tops off large and medium watermelons to create bowls. Using ice cream scoop or large spoon, scoop out flesh.
  3. Using melon baller, scoop eyes out of smallest watermelon. Invert melon balls and reinsert.
  4. Using mini melon baller or paring knife, scoop out holes for nose and mouth. Carve one piece of watermelon into triangle for nose and fill mouth holes with blueberries.
  5. On platter, using large wooden skewers, connect all three watermelons.
  6. Insert y-shaped sticks in middle watermelon for arms.
  7. Fill bottom sections with fruit salad of melon balls and blueberries. Decorate with scarf and hat.

Watermelon Glazed Meatballs

Servings: 8

Watermelon Puree:

  • 1 fresh watermelon
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 24-36 frozen prepared mini meatballs
  • 1 cup prepared barbecue sauce
  • 1 cup watermelon puree
  1. To make watermelon puree: Remove seeds from watermelon and cut into large chunks. In blender, process until smooth.
  2. In large, heavy saute pan over medium-high heat or electric skillet set to 325 F, heat oil.
  3. Saute mini meatballs until browned and hot. Reduce heat to low.
  4. Mix barbecue sauce and watermelon puree. Pour over meatballs and simmer 2-3 minutes. Serve hot.

Source:

National Watermelon Promotion Board

Meal Ideas 24 August 2022

Cook Like a Pitmaster from the Comforts of Home

(Family Features) For home chefs looking to take their cooking skills to the next level, it all starts with a little inspiration and a few new skills. Turn family meals into extravagant adventures, take backyard barbecues to new heights and impress friends and neighbors with pitmaster-worthy recipes.

In fact, it can be as easy as turning on the TV. From beef ribs and barbacoa to curried brisket rice and pho rub beef belly spring rolls, viewers are in for a treat by tuning into season 3 of “BBQuest: Beyond the Pit,” a video series that dives into the long-held traditions, new flavors and everyday inspiration that make Texas barbecue legendary.

The show follows four themes that capture the essence of Texas barbecue: legacy and tradition; creativity and innovation; Texas trailblazers; and family and community.

You can bring barbecue flavors home and cook like a pitmaster with dishes recreated from the series and developed by “Hardcore Carnivore” cookbook author Jess Pryles, including Smoked Chuck Beef Ribs, Grilled Jalapeno Cheddar Meatballs and Szechuan Skirt Steak with Crispy Rice.

“Since launching BBQuest four years ago, it’s truly remarkable to see how much has changed and yet stayed the same when it comes to Texas barbecue, and that’s exactly what you see in season 3,” said Rachel Chou, Texas Beef Council’s director of consumer marketing. “There has been so much exciting innovation around cooking methods and international flavors while there’s still a huge dedication to long-held recipes and smoking techniques.”

Learn more about the show and find inspiration to bring the taste of barbecue to your kitchen at BeefLovingTexans.com.

Smoked Chuck Beef Ribs

Recipe courtesy of Jess Pryles on behalf of Beef Loving Texans
Cook time: 10 hours, 30 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1 slab beef chuck short ribs (about 4 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons coarse black pepper
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  1. Preheat smoker or pellet grill to 275 F.
  2. Pat ribs dry with paper towel; remove moisture on surface.
  3. Combine salt and pepper. Rub beef ribs well on all sides and ends with seasoning, coating generously.
  4. Place ribs in smoker and close lid. Cook 5-6 hours.
  5. In spray bottle, combine cider vinegar and water. Lightly spritz ribs every 30 minutes for first 4 hours of cooking.
  6. Ribs are ready when completely probe tender. If parts still feel tough, continue cooking.
  7. Once completely tender, remove ribs from smoker then wrap tightly in butcher's paper and place in small cooler to rest 30 minutes.
  8. To serve, slice ribs between bones.

Grilled Jalapeno Cheddar Meatballs

Recipe courtesy of Jess Pryles on behalf of Beef Loving Texans
Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
Servings: 15

  • 1/2 cup tortilla chips, crushed
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 fresh jalapenos, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 block (8 ounces) cheddar cheese, finely diced
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  1. Place crushed tortilla chips in large bowl. Add milk and allow chips to soften about 10 minutes.
  2. After milk is absorbed, add beef, jalapenos, cheese, paprika, garlic and salt. Mix well to combine then scoop approximately 1/3-1/2 cup of mixture to form meatball; repeat with remaining mixture.
  3. Place meatballs on plate or tray and refrigerate 30 minutes to firm.
  4. Heat grill to medium for two zone cooking.
  5. Place meatballs on indirect heat side of grill away from coals or lit burner; close lid. Grill 25-35 minutes, or until meatballs reach 165 F internal temperature on meat thermometer.
  6. Remove meatballs from grill and cool slightly before serving.

Szechuan Skirt Steak with Crispy Rice

Recipe courtesy of Jess Pryles on behalf of Beef Loving Texans
Total time: 35 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 2 teaspoons Szechuan peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon five spice powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 skirt steak or bavette steak (about 1 pound)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons milk or cream
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • sesame seeds (optional)
  • scallions, thinly sliced (optional)
  • cucumber, sliced (optional)
  • cilantro leaves (optional)
  1. In skillet over low heat, toast peppercorns until fragrant, swirling in pan to keep from burning, about 2 minutes. Allow peppercorns to cool slightly then add to spice grinder or mortar and pestle with five spice and salt. Crush until fine powder forms.
  2. Pat skirt steak with paper towel to remove moisture then season well with Szechuan salt on both sides.
  3. Place skillet over high heat then add 1 tablespoon oil. When skillet is hot, add skirt steak and cook 5 minutes per side for medium-rare or medium doneness (135-150 F), turning occasionally. Remove steak from skillet then tent with foil to rest 3 minutes. Temperature will rise about 10-15 F to reach 145 F for medium-rare; 160 F for medium.
  4. Lower heat to medium-high then add remaining oil and milk or cream. Add rice, pressing down gently with large spoon to form large, flat disc covering entire base of pan. Season with Szechuan salt, if desired, then lower heat to medium and cook 10 minutes until grains begin to turn brown and become crisp on bottom. Break up rice in pan to mix soft and crispy grains.
  5. Slice skirt steak across grain.
  6. To serve, place rice in two bowls. Layer with sliced skirt steak. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and chopped scallions then place cucumber and cilantro on top, if desired.

Source: Beef Loving Texans

Holiday 20 October 2020

A Memorable Holiday Menu

(Family Features) Holiday gatherings, even in a time when smaller groups are encouraged, take on special meaning for many families. Part of the joy comes from the food that’s shared among loved ones from appetizers and sides to the main course.

This year, you can enjoy those meaningful moments with your closest family members and friends by putting together a menu that keeps smiles on faces from the first bite to the last. Start with your favorite among the nearly endless appetizer options that symbolize the season then enjoy a tender tri-tip alongside bacon-wrapped asparagus and a twist on classic, roasted potatoes.

Visit Culinary.net to find more holiday menu ideas.

Start Your Seasonal Celebration with Small Bites

While main courses, sides and desserts may be what holiday memories are made of, you can calm family members’ and guests’ appetites with an array of appetizers like these:

Meatballs
Stuffed mushrooms
Stuffed peppers
Sliced cheese
Sliced meats
Crackers
Spinach dip
Cheesy bread
Sliders
Little smokies
Fresh fruit and vegetables

A Simply Tasty Side

Many recipes commonly associated with the holidays are accompanied by lengthy ingredient lists or hours spent in the kitchen. However, all that time and effort doesn’t have to be used on this year’s side dish when you opt for a simple yet mouthwatering option.

You can feel good about what you’re feeding your family this holiday season while saving prep time by serving this Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus made with Coleman Natural bacon, which contains no artificial ingredients or preservatives and is sourced from American family farms that humanely raise their animals with no antibiotics or added hormones. Whether it’s served as a side dish or an appetizer, it calls for just a handful of everyday ingredients for a dish you can be proud of.

Visit ColemanNatural.com/Recipes for more seasonal recipe inspiration.

Bacon-Wrapped Asparagus

Servings: 10

  • 20        asparagus stalks
  • 10        slices Coleman Natural Hickory Smoked Bacon
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Wrap 2 asparagus stalks with 1 slice bacon. Repeat with remaining asparagus and bacon. Place bundles on baking sheet. Drizzle asparagus ends with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Bake until asparagus is cooked through and bacon is crisp, about 20 minutes.

A Tender Holiday Tri-Tip

Centering your holiday meal around a flavorful cut of meat can make the celebration truly memorable, especially when it’s cooked to perfection over the hot flame of a grill.

This year, take your family’s main course to the next level with a Garlic Herb Tri-Tip lightly seasoned with garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper to let the naturally flavorful New Zealand grass-fed beef speak for itself. Because the animals roam and graze freely over lush green hills and pastures year-round, New Zealand grass-fed beef is leaner, more finely textured and tastes just as nature intended.

Find more recipes and holiday meal ideas at beefandlambnz.com.

Garlic Herb Tri-Tip

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1          New Zealand grass-fed beef tri-tip (2 1/2-3 pounds)
  • 1/4       cup olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3          tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
  • 3          tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons black pepper
  1. Preheat grill to high heat.
  2. Rub tri-tip with olive oil. Add minced garlic and use hands to evenly distribute.
  3. Combine chopped thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper; cover oiled tri-tip on both sides with spice blend.
  4. Place tri-tip on hottest part of grill and sear 2-3 minutes.
  5. Flip tri-tip and transfer to indirect heat. Continue grilling until internal temperature reaches 135 F for medium-rare.
  6. Transfer meat to platter, cover with foil and let rest 10 minutes.
  7. Slice across the grain and serve.

An Easy but Impressive Side

Every holiday meal comes with plenty of traditional and family-favorite dishes, and one of the most common on tables is potatoes. Whether they’re roasted, mashed or anything in-between, they’re among the most versatile options for the holidays.

This year, you can save time on seasonal favorites with Creamer potatoes from The Little Potato Company. They are ready to use, with no washing or peeling required, and they’re small and consistent in size so they cook quickly.

Try them roasted, boiled, smashed or mashed whether you’re making a quick weeknight dinner or getting a festive meal on the table. This holiday season, try these Little Hasselback Potatoes for a twist on the classic roasted variety. For an easy cooking hack, slice the potatoes on a wooden spoon to prevent cutting all the way through.

Visit littlepotatoes.com for more holiday recipe inspiration.

Little Hasselback Potatoes

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 8-12

  • 1          bag (3 pounds) The Little Potato Company Holiday Blend
  • 10        sprigs thyme, removed from stem
  • 6          sprigs parsley, chopped
  • 4          cloves garlic, minced
  • 6          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  • sour cream (optional)
  • cooked bacon pieces (optional)
  • green onion slices (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Lay wooden spoon flat on solid surface and place one potato in spoon. Using paring knife, slice 1/8-inch thick slices along length of each potato one at a time.
  3. In bowl, toss potatoes, thyme, parsley, garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper. Place potatoes on parchment-lined baking sheet, cut sides down. Bake 10 minutes, flip and bake 10 minutes, or until soft.
  4. Serve with sour cream, bacon and green onion, if desired.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (Holiday small bites)

Source: Coleman Natural Foods
Beef + Lamb New Zealand
The Little Potato Company

Holiday 09 April 2019

A Fiesta of Flavor!

(Family Features) This Cinco de Mayo, gather the whole family together and enjoy a true Mexican fiesta like Mama Ortega would have thrown over 100 years ago. With mariachi music, dancing, piñatas and traditional homemade Mexican meals, Mama's fiestas were always a favorite with family, friends and especially her 13 children!

The flavors and smells of Mama's homemade meals still taste great today, but are easier to create - and more fun to eat! Her legendary meals inspired today's convenient and great tasting Ortega Mexican products. Achieve authentic fiesta flavors by using crisp and crunchy Ortega taco shells made with whole kernel corn, topped with slow simmered Ortega Taco Sauce and authentic fire-roasted green chiles. Ortega's zesty Mexican seasonings and fresh-tasting salsas are perfect for adding flavor to your favorite snack, casserole, dip or soup!

So, gather the family together and enjoy a fiesta of flavors with Ortega. For other great recipe ideas or to learn more about Ortega's line of products, visit www.ortega.com.

Taco Rice and Beans

Prep time: 5 minutes
Start to finish: 15 minutes
Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 package (1.25 ounces) Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup Ortega Thick & Chunky Salsa
  1. In skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes. Add taco seasoning mix and water. Stir until combined and slightly thickened. Add beans, rice and salsa; stir. Cook 5 minutes more or until contents are heated through.

Grilled Margarita Shrimp

Prep time: 40 minutes
Start to finish: 50 minutes
Serves 6

  • 1 cup margarita mix
  • 1 cup Ortega Taco Sauce, divided
  • 2 pounds raw shrimp (21 to 30), peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons Ortega Diced Green Chiles
  1. In large bowl, pour margarita mix and 1/2 cup taco sauce over shrimp and toss well. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  2. Preheat grill until sizzling hot, about 15 minutes. Grill shrimp 4 minutes on each side or until pink.
  3. Combine remaining 1/2 cup taco sauce with green chiles to use as dipping sauce.

Ham and Cheese Quesadillas

Prep time: 10 minutes
Start to finish: 20 minutes
Serves 5

  • 1/2 pound cooked ham, diced
  • 3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • Zest of one lime
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, diced
  • 1 Ortega Soft Taco Kit - includes 10 soft tortillas, 1 package (1.25 ounces) taco seasoning mix and 1 package (3 ounces) taco sauce
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. In mixing bowl, combine diced ham, cream cheese, lime zest, green onions and half of taco seasoning packet contained in soft taco kit. Heat large skillet on medium and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Spread about 1 teaspoon taco sauce onto a flour tortilla and then spread about 1/4 cup ham/cream cheese mixture on top.
  3. Place tortilla-side down onto hot skillet and top with another flour tortilla. Heat about 4 minutes, until bottom of tortilla is browned; spray top of the other tortilla and flip. Cook another 4 minutes and repeat with remaining quesadillas. Cook two at a time if skillet is large enough.
  4. Cut into wedges and top with tomato, cilantro and sour cream and serve.

Mexican Meatballs

Prep time: 15 minutes
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Makes about 30 meatballs

  • 3 Ortega Yellow Corn Taco Shells
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon Ortega Chili Seasoning Mix
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons Ortega Diced Green Chiles
  • 1 bottle (8 ounces) Ortega Taco Sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
  1. Break taco shells into food processor and pulse several times to create about 1/2 cup taco shell crumbs. Place into large mixing bowl and add ground beef, seasoning mix, egg and green chiles. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Form mixture into 30 (1-inch) meatballs and drop into hot skillet. Cook until they begin to brown. Carefully turn over and continue browning. Add taco sauce. Coat meatballs with sauce and simmer over low heat, uncovered, 10 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle meatballs with cheese and garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve with toothpicks.

Photos copyright (c) 2008 Publications International, Ltd. Used by permission.

Source: Ortega

Meal Ideas 13 March 2019

Feeding the Game Day Frenzy

(Family Features) What better way to serve a hungry gang than with two crowd-pleasers: meatballs and BBQ? Anyone hosting a big game gathering needs to have recipes on-hand that are hearty and tasty, while still being easy to prepare.

The easiest and fastest way to find what you need to feed the fans is by utilizing local club stores like Sam's, where shoppers can huddle and find great game-day foods and entertaining items at affordable prices. These crowd-pleasing recipes start off with Byron's Hand Pulled Pork BBQ and Casa Di Bertacchi Meatballs, both sold at Sam's Clubs nationwide.

The Mini Meatball Hamburgers are made from fully-cooked meatballs crafted from an outstanding, authentic family recipe. The seasoned and lightly steamed meatballs can be warmed up quickly and paired with a tasty sauce for some super-star sliders.

BBQ Nachos take game-day appetizers to a whole new level. Made with hickory-smoked pulled pork that's finished with a sweet and spicy sauce, this BBQ is ready to be warmed up and loaded up with fan-favorite nacho toppings for an appetizer that will have your guests calling for a replay.

For more information about Byron's Hand Pulled Pork BBQ, Casa Di Bertacchi Meatballs, or for additional recipes, visit www.ClubEntertaining.com.

Mini Meatball Hamburgers

Makes 26 appetizers

  • 26 frozen Casa Di Bertacchi fully cooked meatballs (1 pound)
  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon honey mustard
  • 26 2-inch rolls, sliced in half horizontally
  • 1 1/2 cups sweet pickle relish
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place meatballs in 8 x 8 or 9 x 9-inch pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until thoroughly heated.
  3. In a small bowl, combine ketchup and mustard. Place a heaping teaspoon of ketchup mixture on the bottom of roll. Place a meatball on top. Follow with a rounded teaspoon of pickle relish. Place top half of roll over top. Repeat for remaining meatballs and rolls. Serve immediately on a large platter.

Cheeseburger Variation: Place a small slice of cheddar cheese over each meatball.

BBQ Nachos

Serves 4

  • Byron's BBQ
  • 1 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Tortilla chips
  • Whole kernel corn
  • Sliced jalapeño
  • Fresh guacamole
  • Sour cream
  1. On a large oven safe serving plate, arrange a layer of tortilla chips; top with BBQ. Sprinkle with cheese, onions, bell peppers, diced tomato and black beans. Heat in microwave (or in oven) until cheese is melted. Garnish with whole kernel corn, sliced jalapeño, fresh guacamole, and sour cream.

Source: Byron's BBQ / Casa Di Bertacchi Meatballs

Meal Ideas 21 February 2019

Simple Swaps for Serious Flavor

(Family Features) From burgers to barbecued chicken, many of the best grilled foods are served with creamy condiments – often packing on calories and fat. Next time you’re ready to grill, experiment with new ways to create simple but robust flavors using fewer ingredients through simple swaps.

Rice vinegars offer a healthy alternative to condiments like mayonnaise or a creamy dressing when grilling. Keeping meals simple is easy with naturally gluten-free Nakano Rice Vinegar, which includes six or less simple ingredients with no artificial preservatives, flavors or ingredients, and no high-fructose corn syrup or MSG. The brand recently announced a clean-labeling initiative for all of its products, which now have easy-to-read labels with recognizable ingredients.

Dawn Jackson Blatner, star of ABC’s “My Diet Is Better Than Yours,” author of “Superfood Swap” and a registered dietitian and nutrition consultant for the Chicago Cubs, has created healthy dishes to heat up the grill this season.

This fall, look for organic Nakano Rice Vinegars debuting at retailers nationwide, and find more recipes at Mizkan.com.

Grilled Meatballs and Zoodles

Servings: 4

Meatballs

  • 1      pound organic ground turkey or grass-fed ground beef
  • 1      cup organic kale, finely chopped
  • 1/2   cup crushed brown rice crackers
  • 1      egg
  • 1/4   teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
  • 1/4   teaspoon sea salt
  • non-stick cooking spray

Salad

  • 4      medium zucchini
  • 2      cups organic cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4   cup shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4   cup Nakano Rice Vinegar – Natural or Nakano Organic Rice Vinegar – Natural
  • 2      tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat grill to medium.
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine ground meat, kale, crackers, egg, chili pepper flakes and salt. Use hands to form mixture into 12 balls. Refrigerate 30-60 minutes to help meatballs set.
  3. Mist meatballs with non-stick cooking spray and place them on grill. Grill each side 3-4 minutes, using tongs to flip to sides that haven’t been browned yet. Meatballs should reach internal temperature of 165°F.
  4. Using vegetable spiralizer, create zucchini noodles.
  5. Toss zucchini with tomatoes, Parmesan, vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  6. Serve each zoodle plate with three meatballs.

Nutritional information per serving: 350 calories; 20 g total fat; 6 g saturated fat; 240 mg sodium; 14 g carbs; 3 g fiber; 6 g sugar; 32 g protein.

Grilled Veggie and Ranch Bowl

Servings: 2

  • 8      ounces skinless chicken breast
  • 2      ears corn, shucked
  • 6      asparagus spears, trimmed
  • 1      organic bell pepper, seeded and cut into 4 large pieces
  • 1      zucchini, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1      tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 4      tablespoons Cashew Ranch Dressing (recipe below)
  1. Heat grill to medium.
  2. Season chicken breast, corn, asparagus, bell pepper and zucchini with olive oil, sea salt and pepper.
  3. Grill chicken 6-7 minutes per side, internal temperature reaches 165 F. Grill corn 10-15 minutes, rotating after every pop, until corn is golden. Grill asparagus, bell pepper and zucchini 3-5 minutes per side, until tender.
  4. Separate chicken, corn, asparagus, bell pepper and zucchini evenly into two bowls. Drizzle bowls with Cashew Ranch Dressing.

Note: Bowl leftovers can be refrigerated for up to four days.

Nutritional information per serving: 450 calories; 21 g total fat; 4.5 g saturated fat; 870 mg sodium; 31 g carbs; 6 g fiber; 10 g sugar; 38 g protein.

Cashew Ranch Dressing
Makes: 1 cup

  • 1      cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • 3/4   cup almost-boiling water
  • 3      tablespoons Nakano Rice Vinegar – Natural or Nakano Organic Rice Vinegar – Natural
  • 1      clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4   teaspoon dried dill
  • 1/4   teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1      teaspoon sea salt
  • 1      teaspoon black pepper
  • 2      tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  1. In food processor, puree cashews, water, rice vinegar, garlic, dill, oregano, salt and pepper 3-4 minutes, until creamy. For best results, drizzle water in gradually as food processor is running. Stir in chives.

Note: Leftover dressing can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to seven days.

Nutritional information per tablespoon: 50 calories; 4 g total fat; 0.5 g saturated fat; 110 mg sodium; 3 g carbs; 1 g sugar; 2 g protein.

Tuna Stuffed Avocado

Servings: 2

  • 1      ripe avocado
  • 1      can (5 ounces) tuna packed in water, drained
  • 1/2   cup finely diced celery
  • 1/2   cup grated carrot
  • 1/4   cup finely diced red onion
  • 2      tablespoons Nakano Rice Vinegar – Natural or Nakano Organic Rice Vinegar – Natural
  • 1/2   tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2   tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8   teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8   teaspoon black pepper
  • 16    brown rice crackers
  1. Cut avocado in half, remove pit and scoop out flesh leaving thin wall of avocado. Dice avocado flesh and set shell aside for serving.
  2. In small bowl, combine tuna, celery, carrot, onion, vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix well. Gently stir in diced avocado.
  3. Scoop mixture into avocado shells and serve with brown rice crackers.

Nutritional information per serving: 360 calories; 19 g total fat; 3 g saturated fat; 530 mg sodium; 26 g carbs; 9 g fiber; 3 g sugar; 22 g protein.

Source: Nakano Rice Vinegar

Grilling-Tailgating 17 January 2019

Big Game Snacks for the Win

(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.

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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)
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. In shallow, 1-quart baking dish, combine all ingredients.
  3. Bake 20 minutes, or until mixture is heated through. Stir.
  4. Garnish with chopped green onions, if desired. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers and/or vegetables.

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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
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Mix ground meat, panko crumbs, cilantro, green onion, ginger, egg, salt and 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce. Form into one-inch meatballs.
  3. Place meatballs on lightly greased baking sheets.
  4. Bake 20 minutes, turning once halfway through. Put meatballs in slow cooker on warm.
  5. With slow cooker on low to keep meatballs warm, pour remaining sweet chili sauce over meatballs. Gently stir to coat.

Source: Frank’s RedHot

Meal Ideas 28 September 2018

Italian-Inspired Dishes

Delightful dining that honors heritage

(Family Features) Italy is one of the world’s great food nations, and many dishes have Italian roots. In honor of Italian heritage, light up the dinner table and impress your friends and family with sophisticated, traditional Italian recipes.

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Creating a true taste of Italy means including an abundance of smooth, high-quality extra-virgin olive oil, like Carapelli Olive Oil. Tracing its roots to the heart of Tuscany in 1893, the line of olive oils is designed to lift cooks out of the everyday cooking experience with high-quality olives nurtured by nature, selected at the optimal harvest time and handled delicately.

The ease and simplicity of shared dishes like Marinated Roasted Portobello Mushrooms with Olive Oil Agrodolce – a traditional Italian sweet and sour sauce – focuses on quality ingredients inspiring quality memories. The artistry behind the olive oil shines in Creamy Potato Leek Soup with Olive Oil Pistou and Sicilian Lamb Meatballs with Whipped Feta-Olive Oil Spread, each recipe celebrating the embodiment of Italian cuisine.

Celebrate the best of Italy in your own kitchen by incorporating Italian artisan-inspired dishes ideal for memorable moments with loved ones. Find more Italian flavors and recipes at carapelliusa.com.
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Sicilian Lamb Meatballs with Whipped Feta-Olive Oil Sauce

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

Sicilian Lamb Meatballs:

  • 1          pound ground lamb
  • 1          tablespoon Carapelli Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/3       cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3          tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2          tablespoons golden raisins
  • 1          large egg, lightly beaten
  • 3/4       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground black pepper

Feta-Olive Oil Sauce:

  • 1/2       pound feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2          tablespoons Carapelli Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2          tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  1. To make Lamb Meatballs: Heat oven to 375° F. Line large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In large bowl, mix lamb, olive oil, panko bread crumbs, pine nuts, raisins, egg, salt and pepper. Use hands to mix all ingredients together.
  3. Roll mixture into approximately 36 meatballs about 1 inch in diameter and place on baking sheet.
  4. Bake 15 minutes until sizzling and golden brown.
  5. To make Feta-Olive Oil Spread: In food processor, blend feta cheese, olive oil and yogurt 30-45 seconds until creamy.
  6. Serve Lamb Meatballs with Feta-Olive Oil Sauce for dipping or scooping.

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Marinated Roasted Portobello Mushrooms with Olive Oil Agrodolce

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4

Roasted Mushrooms:

  • 2          pounds Portobello mushrooms
  • 1/2       cup Carapelli Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2          teaspoons fresh sage, minced
  • 2          teaspoons fresh rosemary, minced
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Agrodolce:

  • 1/2       cup red wine vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons honey
  • Carapelli Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. To make Roasted Mushrooms: Clean and destem mushrooms, cutting large mushroom caps in half.
  2. In large bowl, toss mushrooms with olive oil, fresh sage and fresh rosemary. Let mushrooms marinate 1 hour, tossing occasionally to absorb oil.
  3. Heat oven to 400° F. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. Spread marinated mushrooms on baking sheets, making sure mushrooms are in single layer and not crowded. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
  5. Roast 30 minutes until mushrooms are crisped and golden brown at edges.
  6. To make Agrodulce: In small saucepan over medium-low heat, bring vinegar and honey to simmer, stirring occasionally until honey dissolves.
  7. Continue simmering 15-20 minutes until vinegar is reduced by half and is thick and syrupy.
  8. To serve, place roasted mushrooms on platter and drizzle generously with Agrodolce and olive oil. Serve with choice of side.

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Rustic Tuscan Potato Leek Soup with Olive Oil Pesto

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6

Potato Leek Soup:

  • 3          medium-large leeks
  • 2          tablespoons Carapelli Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1          large garlic clove, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2       teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional, to taste (optional)
  • 2          pounds Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced into 2-inch cubes
  • 6          cups chicken or vegetable broth

Pesto:

  • 1          packed cup fresh basil
  • 1          packed cup flat-leaf parsley
  • 1          medium-large garlic clove, roughly chopped
  • 3          tablespoons pine nuts or 1/4 cup walnuts
  • 1/2       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4       cup Carapelli Unfiltered Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  1. To make Potato Leek Soup: Trim bulb ends and tough, dark green stems off leeks. Slice tender white and light green stems in half lengthwise then soak in cold water 10-15 minutes to remove dirt. Drain leeks, rinse well and slice into thick half-moons.
  2. In large Dutch oven or stockpot over medium-low heat, heat olive oil. Add leeks, garlic and salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add potatoes and broth. Cover and increase heat to medium. Bring soup to simmer then uncover and continue cooking 30 minutes.
  4. Using immersion blender, puree soup until smooth, or carefully ladle into standing blender to puree in batches. Taste and add more salt, if desired.
  5. To make Pesto: In food processor, pulse basil, parsley, garlic, pine nuts, salt and olive oil to make chunky herb sauce.
  6. To serve, ladle soup into bowls and spoon Pesto on top of each serving.

Source:  Carapelli

Meal Ideas 27 July 2017

Memory-Making Meals Mark Back to School

(Family Features) Most families are looking for ways to spend more time together, but managing the family schedule can be a daunting task, especially with the additions of nightly homework and extracurricular activities a new school year brings.

Hectic weeknight schedules during back-to-school season don’t need to get in the way of quality time spent around the dinner table with these simple tips for enjoying dinner together.

Designate a time. Write dinner time on a calendar in the kitchen so every family member is aware of this special time and can look forward to sitting down together. Even if your schedule is overwhelming, pick a specific day each week and block out time to have a meal as a family.

Rely on foods rooted in tradition. Experimenting with recipes can add quick and easy new favorites to the family meal repertoire like Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs, a modern twist on the nostalgic family classic. As food trends come and go, RAGÚ continues to be a culinary staple for family meals. For 80 years, RAGÚ has gathered families at the table to celebrate the tradition of creating memories around a mouthwatering meal. Whether that’s a new take on ravioli or a family-favorite pasta dish, families can count on serving up delicious pasta sauces rich with bold, Italian flavors and vine-ripened tomatoes.

Create rituals. To build a tradition in the kitchen, try involving the whole family by showing your kids age-appropriate ways to contribute to their favorite meal. Let them measure ingredients to create better-for-you turkey meatballs, carry ingredients from one place to another, mix and pour ingredients, and set the table. Creating a ritual of cooking a favorite back-to-school meal with your kids is a good way to help them build healthy habits and skills that will last a lifetime.

Step away from your cell phone. Designate dinnertime as a no-cellphone zone. Leave your mobile devices in another room to allow for time to reconnect with your loved ones and be fully present.

Create fun dinner table topics. Making the table a fun place to be is the best strategy for getting your family to dinner and keeping them at the table longer. Make a game out of sharing the best parts of your day with each other. This can be a great way to laugh together as well as an opportunity to offer much-needed advice and support.

Find more easy recipes to bring the family together during the busy back-to-school season and throughout the year at RAGU.com or on Facebook.

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Spaghetti and Turkey Meatballs

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 5

  • 10        ounces spaghetti
  • 1          pound (85 percent lean) ground turkey
  • 1/2       cup Italian-seasoned, dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4       cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional (optional)
  • 1/4       cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1          egg, beaten
  • 3/4       cup water, divided
  • 1/2       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2       teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1          jar RAGÚ Homestyle Thick and Hearty Traditional Sauce
  1. Cook pasta as directed on package, omitting salt; keep warm.
  2. Combine turkey, bread crumbs, Parmesan, parsley, egg, 1/4 cup water and salt. Shape mixture into 25 (1 1/4-inch) meatballs.
  3. In large, nonstick saute pan on medium heat, heat olive oil, garlic and crushed red pepper. Add sauce and remaining water once garlic is golden.
  4. Arrange meatballs in sauce; cover and cook 10 minutes, or until cooked through (165° F), stirring occasionally. Serve with cooked spaghetti and additional Parmesan, if desired.

Tip: Use a small ice cream scoop or melon baller to easily make evenly sized meatballs.

Source: RAGU

Meal Ideas 19 July 2017

Smart Meals for Busy Families

(Family Features) Ease your way into a busy new school year with easy dishes you can prepare and serve in minutes. Time-saving and delicious dinners allow you to enjoy valuable family meals without sacrificing precious time in the kitchen.

One smart way to pull together flavorful meals when you’re pinched for time is to keep versatile ingredients on hand that you can use in a variety of ways. For example, pre-sliced pepperoni is perfect for quick snacks, but it’s also great for do-it-yourself pizzas, casseroles and even a fresh take on grilled cheese sandwiches. An option like Armour Turkey Pepperoni can brighten up any appetizer or dish with 70 percent less fat and 25 percent less sodium than the Original variety.

Another “A-plus” idea: keep frozen meatballs handy, but think beyond traditional spaghetti. Not only do fully cooked meatballs save plenty of time, they make for a fun way to add protein and bring great flavor to kid favorites like macaroni and cheese.

Find more easy recipes for family meals this fall at ArmourMeats.com.

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Cheesy Mac and Meatballs

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

  • 12        ounces elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 1          package (14 ounces) Armour Original Meatballs, thawed
  • 12        ounces shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1          cup milk
  • shredded cheddar cheese for topping (optional)
  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Cut meatballs in half.
  2. In large saucepan over medium heat, combine shredded cheddar cheese and milk, stirring until smooth. Stir in meatballs; cover and simmer 5 minutes, or until meatballs are hot.
  3. Drain macaroni; stir into meatball mixture. Top with cheddar cheese, if desired.

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Grilled Cheese and Pepperoni Sandwiches

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

  • 2          tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 8          slices white or whole-grain bread
  • 8          slices cheddar or American cheese
  • 32        slices Armour Original or Turkey Pepperoni
  • 1          cup roasted red pepper strips or 4 thin tomato slices (optional)
  1. Spread butter over one side of each piece of bread. Put four slices of bread on sheet of waxed paper, buttered-side down.
  2. Top each slice of bread with one cheese slice, eight slices pepperoni, 1/4 cup peppers or sliced tomato, if desired, and additional cheese slice. Top sandwiches with remaining bread, buttered-side up.
  3. Heat large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add two sandwiches; cook 4-5 minutes per side, or until cheese is melted and sandwiches are golden brown. Repeat with remaining sandwiches.

Alternate preparation tip: Cook sandwiches in two batches in heated panini maker or well-oiled waffle iron 3-4 minutes.

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