(Family Features) Few things go together quite like cold weather and comfort foods. However, those hearty dishes that are typically craved on blustery days are usually not classified as “healthy.”
With the right approach, though, you can put a better-for-you twist on some of your favorite dishes that can keep you cozy and satiated during the winter season. For example, you can put a grown-up twist on grilled cheese and tomato soup with this recipe for Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup with Cheddar Cracker Melts.
Pairing flavorful seasonal dishes like soups and stews with a wholesome snack cracker like gluten-free, non-GMO Crunchmaster Tuscan Peasant Crackers can help satisfy those comfort food cravings while also contributing to a healthy lifestyle. With 20 grams of whole grains per serving, these crunchy, robust baked crackers are also cholesterol-free, allowing you to take a back-to-basics approach to your diet using simple ingredients and no artificial flavors or colors.
For other seasonal recipes, coupons, tips and nutritional information, visit crunchmaster.com.
Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup with Cheddar Cracker Melts
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 pinch chili flakes
- 4 cups organic no-salt-added vegetable broth
- 1 can (28 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped prepared roasted red peppers
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/3 cup 35 percent heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, divided
- 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
Cheddar Cracker Melts:
- 24 Crunchmaster Tuscan Peasant Fire Roasted Tomato Basil Crackers
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- In Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Cook onion, carrot, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, paprika and chili flakes about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are slightly softened.
- Stir in broth, tomatoes, roasted red peppers and bay leaves; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaves. Let cool slightly. Transfer to blender; puree in batches until smooth. Stir in cream, remaining salt, 1 tablespoon chives and vinegar.
- To make Cheddar Cracker Melts: Heat broiler to high and position rack in center of oven. Arrange crackers on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil 1-2 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- Divide soup among six bowls. Sprinkle with remaining chives and serve with Cheddar Cracker Melts.
Tip: Use mild, medium or aged cheddar cheese. Smoked mozzarella can be substituted, if desired.
Nutrition information per serving: 250 calories; 15 g fat; 7 g saturated fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 730 mg sodium; 22 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 6 g protein.
(Family Features) As temperatures climb and summer sets in, a slight change in diet can help maintain energy without overfilling on hot days.
Vegan and vegetarian diets are becoming a popular trend, but many people are also opting to be semi-vegetarians, also known as the flexitarian diet. A flexitarian diet means you don’t have to eliminate meat from your diet but can still reap the health benefits associated with plant-based diets.
Plant-based proteins like beans, peas, nuts, seeds, soy and lentils are chock-full of nutritional benefits from disease-fighting phytonutrients to cholesterol-lowering fiber. They’re also an excellent way to add low-sodium and low-cholesterol protein to your diet that can leave you feeling satisfied but not stuffed.
Light finger foods and dips are ideal summer snacks. Hummus, made from chickpeas and tahini (ground sesame seeds), makes for a quick and easy treat by itself or paired with health-conscious options like air-popped chips, whole-grain crackers or veggie sticks. You can also create simple summer snacks using hummus as an ingredient.
These vegan Cucumber Cups are the perfect refreshing pick-me-up on a hot afternoon, and they’re stylish enough to serve to guests at an upscale cookout. For a cool and creamy summer appetizer, try these vegetarian Southwestern Snack Bites made with hummus, guacamole and Greek yogurt.
Find more healthy ideas to help you snack your way through summer at sabra.com.
Southwestern Hummus Bites
Yield: 30 pieces
- 1 package (7 ounces) whole-grain bagel chips
- 1 container (10 ounces) Sabra Hummus
- 2 cups pico de gallo
- 1 cup guacamole
- 1 cup plain, low-fat Greek yogurt
- 4 green onions, sliced (optional)
- Top each bagel chip with 1 tablespoon hummus, small spoonful of pico de gallo, guacamole and small dollop of yogurt.
- Garnish with slices of green onion, if desired.
Yield: 16 pieces
- 2 English cucumbers
- 1 container (10 ounces) Sabra Hummus
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 bunch parsley, finely chopped
- Peel cucumbers and slice lengthwise into 1 1/4-inch pieces. Using melon baller, carve out seeds to create vessel, making sure to leave bottom intact.
- Using piping bag or small spoon, fill each cucumber with hummus (about 1 teaspoon each). Sprinkle with paprika and finely chopped parsley.
- 4 (10- to 14-ounce) Omaha Steaks rib eye steaks
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 8 teaspoons Blackening Seasoning (recipe below) or Omaha Steaks Blackened Seasoning
- 1 cup Creamy Horseradish Sauce (recipe below) or Omaha Steaks Creamy Horseradish Sauce
- 3 tablespoons sea salt or kosher salt
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon dry oregano
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1 tablespoon fennel seed
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon white pepper
- 1 tablespoon granulated garlic
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
Creamy Horseradish Sauce
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon green onions, finely minced
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt or kosher salt
- Heat a cast iron skillet until very hot, in a well ventilated area.
- Brush steaks with olive oil.
- Coat each side of the steaks with 1 teaspoon of blackening seasoning.
- Place steaks in the iron skillet, flipping steaks halfway through cooking. To cook a 1-inch-thick steak medium rare, cook about 4 minutes on first side and 3 minutes on other side.
- Spoon 2 tablespoons of Creamy Horseradish Sauce on each plate before topping with the cooked steak.
- Blackening Seasoning - Yield 1 cup -Combine all ingredients and mix well.
- Creamy Horseradish Sauce - Yield 1 cup -Combine all ingredients and mix well.
SOURCE: Omaha Steaks
- 1/4 cup Dijon-style mustard
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons snipped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Dash cayenne pepper
- 2 pounds beef sirloin
- In small bowl, whisk together mustard, vinegar, soy sauce, honey, rosemary, paprika, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour to blend flavors.
- Trim meat if needed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Transfer to large bowl.
- Spoon half of mustard mixture over beef; toss gently to coat. Place in zipper plastic bag and marinate for least an hour in the refrigerator.
- On 10-inch skewers, thread meat, leaving 1/4 inch between pieces.
- Preheat grill.
- Reduce heat to medium (on a gas grill). Place meat skewers on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill 8 to 10 minutes or until meat reaches desired doneness, turning once and brushing with remaining mustard mixture halfway through grilling.
30 minutes, plus marinade time
Notes, Tips & Suggestions
By Shana Beattie
SOURCE: United Soybean Board
(Family Features) - In the restaurant world, professional chefs can afford to spend hours on their culinary creations. When they come home after a long day, however, even the most passionate cooks tend to relish a few cooking shortcuts. From simple recipes to pantry essentials, there are a variety of tips and tricks that home cooks can add to their repertoire, too.
Timesaving products, such as prepared stock and mashed potatoes, allow home cooks to replicate restaurant-quality dishes without spending all day over a hot stove. Here are a few recipes that are easy to prepare, but rich with flavor.
For an elegant main course, try Pan Sautéed Chicken With Vegetables and Herbs. This moist, flavorful dish gets its richness from Swanson chicken stock. Or trade in the traditional salmon filet for savory Butter and Herb Salmon Cakes. Made with cayenne, tarragon, garlic and Idahoan Butter and Herb Mashed Potatoes, these cakes are a cinch to prepare, but friends and family will think you ordered in.
Butternut Squash Soup With Sage is a show-stopping first course that is accented with the flavors of sweet apples and sage. For an appetizer that will please a crowd, try Four-Cheese Potato-Stuffed Mushrooms.
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 bone-in chicken breast halves
- 2 small red onions, cut into quarters
- 1 pound new potatoes, cut into quarters
- 8 ounces fresh whole baby carrots (about 16), green tops trimmed to 1 inch
- 1 1/2 cups Swanson chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Heat oven to 350°F. Combine black pepper, paprika and flour in small bowl. Coat chicken with flour mixture.
- Heat the oil in 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until it's well browned on all sides. Remove chicken from skillet.
- Add onions and potatoes to skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Add carrots, stock, lemon juice and oregano and heat to a boil. Return the chicken to the skillet. Cover the skillet.
- Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Uncover the skillet and bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with the thyme.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 cups Swanson chicken broth (regular, Natural Goodness or Certified Organic)
- 1 tablespoon butter OR margarine
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- Heat oil in saucepot over medium heat. Add squash, apples and onion and cook until almost tender. Stir in sugar, coriander and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 2 minutes.
- Add broth. Heat to a boil. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until squash is tender.
- Place cooked squash mixture in food processor, using a slotted spoon. Cover and blend until smooth, adding enough cooking liquid to make soup of desired consistency.
- Heat butter in small skillet. Add sage and cook until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Reserve butter in skillet. Divide soup among 4 bowls. Drizzle each with sage butter and garnish with fried sage leaves.
- 4 cups water
- 1 1/2 lemons
- 1 10 to 12-ounce salmon filet
- 1/3 cup celery, finely diced
- 1/3 cup onion, finely diced
- 3 teaspoons mayonnaise
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 4-ounce pouch Idahoan Butter and Herb Mashed Potatoes, dry
- Canola oil
- In a medium pot, boil 4 cups water with the juice of the lemons, placing one lemon half in the water. Reduce heat to a simmering boil. Poach salmon filet in water by cooking, covered, for 7 to 10 minutes, or until done. Remove with spatula. Set aside to cool.
- When salmon is cool, combine with celery, onion, mayonnaise, cayenne, tarragon, garlic, dry mustard, salt and black pepper in large bowl and mix well. Add dry potatoes slowly while mixing until everything is moist.
- Form patties and cook in preheated canola oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat until both sides are brown (3 minutes per side).
- Serve hot.
- 1 4-ounce package Idahoan Four Cheese Mashed Potatoes
- 12 large mushrooms or 18 medium mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons butter, margarine or olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped chives
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Prepare potatoes as package directs.
- Remove stems from mushrooms; chop stems and set aside. Carefully scoop out center of each mushroom cap with a spoon, leaving 1/2-inch shell.
- Melt butter in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add chopped mushroom stems and cook 3 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and stir in mashed potatoes, 2 tablespoons chives and salt.
- Fill each mushroom cap with potato mixture, mounding it slightly. Bake 10 minutes or until potatoes are lightly golden. Sprinkle mushrooms with remaining 1 tablespoon chives.