(Family Features) A salad can fill an empty stomach for nearly any purpose, from an al fresco snack to a family appetizer. When combined with protein like chicken, a salad can become a full, nutritious meal all on its own.
If you're looking for a way to take your salad from snack or side to a savory main course, consider this High-Protein Chicken, Onion and Quinoa Salad with its own handmade dressing. Ready in less than 30 minutes, it calls for a handful of everyday ingredients including sauteed onions as a key ingredient for added flavor.
In fact, onions can be called nature's ninja because of their many "skills." Onions add abundant flavor to a wide variety of foods with just 45 calories per serving as a source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin B6, potassium and other key nutrients such as folate, calcium and iron. They are also rich in heart-healthy nutrients and have been shown to help prevent some cancers.
Visit onions-usa.org for more recipe ideas.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
High-Protein Chicken, Onion and Quinoa Salad
Recipe courtesy of the National Onion Association
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 1/2 cups red quinoa, rinsed
- 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1 white onion, sliced
- 3 cups baby kale
- 1 red skinned apple, chopped
- 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- To make dressing: In bowl, whisk vinegar, olive oil, lemon juice, honey and Dijon mustard until well combined. Set aside.
- In saucepan, bring quinoa and broth to boil. Simmer, covered, 12-15 minutes, or until broth has been absorbed. Cool completely.
- In medium skillet, heat canola oil over medium-high heat. Saute onion 3-5 minutes, or until softened and translucent. Remove from heat; cool completely.
- In large bowl, toss onion, kale, apple, chicken, salt and pepper with dressing. Stir in cooled quinoa.
Nutritional information per serving: 407 calories, 36.5 g protein, 11.6 g fat, 39 g carbohydrates, 297 mg sodium, 4.2 g fiber.
(Family Features) Some of life’s most cherished moments are shared with loved ones around the table. As temperatures climb, cheerful sunshine and sparkling blue skies are the perfect ingredients to make family time even more enjoyable with a meal served al fresco.
One of the great joys of dining outdoors is the chance to appreciate the simplicity of a gentle breeze or the first glimpses of seasonal blooms. Keeping meal prep simple makes it even easier to embrace these special moments.
A unique approach to an entree salad is easy to prepare and adds a festive flair to your picnic plate. These Ruby Beet Chicken Salad Skewers owe their zesty flavor to the delicate balance of sweetness and vinegar infused by Aunt Nellie’s Baby Whole Pickled Beets.
A cool salad is another must for your outdoor dining menu. Classic Mediterranean flavors like feta cheese and olives combined with READ 3 Bean Salad make this Mediterranean 3-Bean Quinoa Salad the perfect side dish to accompany a light lunch or grilled main course.
Ruby Beet Chicken Salad Skewers
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Baby Whole Pickled Beets
- 2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper, plus additional, to taste, divided
- 4 1/2 tablespoons stone ground mustard, divided
- 1 1/2 tablespoons, plus 1/3 cup, orange marmalade, divided
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
- 1 large lemon, zest and juice (1/3 cup juice)
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 bag (9 ounces) leafy romaine lettuce pieces
- 1/3 cup chopped almonds, toasted
- 1/3 cup crumbled blue, feta or goat cheese
- Heat oven to 375° F. Drain beets; set aside.
- Season both sides of chicken with salt and pepper, to taste. In small bowl, combine 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard and 1 1/2 tablespoons marmalade. Brush mixture over chicken until completely coated. Bake chicken on rimmed baking sheet lined with aluminum foil about 20-25 minutes, or until juices run clear; set aside.
- To make vinaigrette: In medium bowl, combine remaining mustard, remaining marmalade, chives, lemon zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Slowly pour in oil while whisking vigorously until completely combined.
- Slice cooled chicken into 1-inch pieces. Onto each skewer, thread one beet, one piece of chicken and 4-5 pieces of lettuce; repeat two times for each skewer, adding one beet at ends. Repeat to make eight skewers. Place skewers on large serving platter.
- Stir vinaigrette; drizzle lightly over skewers. Sprinkle with almonds and cheese. Serve with remaining vinaigrette.
Recipe courtesy of "A New Dawnn"
Prep time: 20 minutes
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) READ 3 Bean Salad
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 cup chopped olives
- 1/2 cup diced bell pepper, any color
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
- Drain bean salad; reserve 3 tablespoons liquid.
- In large bowl, combine bean salad, tomatoes, feta cheese, quinoa, olives and bell pepper. Add reserved bean liquid, lemon juice and balsamic vinegar. Stir gently to coat ingredients.
- Top with cilantro or parsley. Serve immediately.
Source: Seneca Foods
(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) Save time and serve up better-for-you lunches, snacks, desserts and after-school energy boosts with these simple and affordable recipes.
By packing quick and easy lunches, you can have your kids set for each busy day without sacrificing time together. Shopping for your grade-A, back-to-school essentials at a store like ALDI means you’ll use quality ingredients to prepare fun, better-for-you lunchboxes and more.
Consider these eight recipe ideas to pack a better lunchbox. Get schooled in savings and check out aldi.us to find more back-to-school inspiration.
- Secret Veggie Turkey Nuggets – Sneak those all-important veggies into your child’s lunch with these baked nuggets that combine ground turkey, cauliflower, zucchini and onions. Add a favorite dipping sauce to the lunchbox for a tasty, nutritious midday meal.
- Bento Box Lunch – If your child is adventurous when it comes to flavors, combine a turkey sandwich roll, quinoa salad, broccoli salad and cinnamon apples in this full-flavored bento box.
- Fruit Leather Wraps – Snack time doesn’t have to mean candy and other unhealthy options. Instead, provide a sweet treat that’s all-natural with blueberries and raspberries in these fruity wraps that are both guilt- and gluten-free.
- Tropical Granola Bar – One of the most versatile snacks to enjoy nearly any time of day: granola bars. This homemade version combines dried fruit with pumpkin flax and quick oats for a sweet, nutritious treat.
- Peanut Butter Granola Bites – Make dessert a more nutritious venture with the classic combination of peanut butter, fruit and honey. These small bites of savory flavor can be ready in just 12 minutes for a nighttime snack the whole family can share.
- Strawberry Yogurt Bars – The nutritious combination of oats and strawberries makes for a tasty treat. This kid-friendly recipe is an easy option to make ahead and serve anytime.
- Tropical Superfruit Smoothie – It only takes six natural ingredients and five minutes to make a supercharged after-school snack.
- Carrot Pineapple Smoothie – Before diving into the evening’s homework assignments, help your little learner refuel with fruits and veggies in this creamy smoothie.
(Family Features) As a parent, instilling healthy eating habits in your children at an early age can aid in proper growth and development. Eating well goes a long way toward maintaining a healthy weight, increasing energy levels and improving moods while also reducing risk of obesity and other chronic issues such as heart disease and diabetes later in life.
Set your children on a path to making lifelong nutritious choices with these tips:
Foster independence. Allowing your children to help with shopping and meal prep can aid in them taking ownership of what they’re eating. Start by divvying up easier tasks such as setting the table then work toward creating snacks and meals on their own. These Rainbow Fruit Parfaits are simple for kids to assemble – just set the ingredients out and let them layer – and can serve as a healthful on-the-go breakfast or after-school snack.
Offer balanced options. Children require balanced diets made up of all three major food groups, including fruits and vegetables, for proper development. Looking for the Produce for Kids logo next to nutritional, family-friendly items at the grocery store is an easy way to identify healthy food choices while also supporting local organizations that help children and families in need.
Be a role model. Typically, your children will follow your behaviors, which includes the types of foods they select at mealtimes. Eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables can help ensure your family is getting a complete range of nutrients. For example, a recipe like this Rainbow Buddha Bowl provides a combination of fresh and roasted vegetables that can be customized to meet your family’s tastes. Thinking about how many colors you eat in a day may inspire your kids to do the same, which can foster a lifetime of healthy eating habits.
To find more healthy meal inspiration, including more than 500 registered dietitian- and family-tested recipes, visit produceforkids.com.
Rainbow Fruit Parfaits
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 1/2 cup sliced strawberries
- 2 mandarins, peeled and segmented
- 1/2 cup chopped pineapple
- 2 kiwis, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1/2 cup red seedless grapes
- 1 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
- In parfait glasses, layer strawberries, mandarins, pineapple, kiwis, blueberries and grapes.
- Top each fruit parfait with yogurt.
Rainbow Buddha Bowl
Recipe courtesy of Jodi of Create Kids Club on behalf of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 30 minutes
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 cup broccoli florets
- 1/2 small purple cabbage, sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 2 cups quinoa, cooked according to package directions
- 1 cup red cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup yellow cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 4 tablespoons yogurt ranch dressing
- Heat oven to 425° F.
- Place sweet potatoes, broccoli and cabbage on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Toss with oil and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until potatoes are soft.
- Divide cooked quinoa into four bowls. Top with roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli, cabbage, red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes and avocado.
- Drizzle with dressing.
Source: Produce for Kids
(Family Features) Make it easy to stick to your resolutions by starting every morning with a breakfast with more protein. Did you know the average breakfast bowl or plate contains on average only 13 grams of protein, yet some nutrition experts recommend getting 20-30 grams at each meal?
Spreading out your protein throughout the day (rather than in one large amount) can help optimize how your body uses it. That means getting enough protein at breakfast! A breakfast with enough protein can help you feel fuller longer so you’re more likely to stick to your healthy eating routine. One easy way to get eight grams of high-quality protein is to add milk to your breakfast routine – whether in a cup, bowl and in your favorite recipe, an 8-ounce glass of milk contains 8 grams of high-quality protein!
Here are eight delicious breakfast ideas with protein to kick-start your new year.
Make your oatmeal with milk instead of water to add milk’s high-quality protein to your morning meal. This twist also adds the classic combo of bacon and eggs to shake up your morning routine – serving up a total of 25 grams of protein.
Need a quick breakfast for busy mornings? These grab-and-go mini casseroles have a few simple ingredients, like lowfat milk, spinach and cheddar cheese – with a ton of palate payoff. Pair two mini casseroles with a cup of milk for 24 grams of protein.
Apple-Cinnamon Whole-Grain Pancake Muffins
Try this yummy twist on your morning go-to pancakes filled with delicious apple slices and cinnamon and made with 100% whole-grain pancake batter. Pair with an 8-ounce glass of milk to add an extra 8 grams of protein to the meal, for a total of 13 grams.
These savory crepes made with milk and filled with veggies and Swiss cheese for a delicious way to kick-start your day with 23 grams of protein.
Breakfast takes a flavorful twist in this recipe that uses traditional Italian flavors of polenta and marinara to create a delicious dish. Pair with a glass of milk for 25 grams of protein.
Lowfat milk and avocados make this smoothie extra creamy for 7 grams of protein per serving, and it’s packed with spinach, pineapple and bananas so it’s a choice you can feel good about.
Spice up your morning meal by adding quinoa and blueberries. Pair this dish with a glass of milk for 21 grams of protein power to start your day!
Sweet potatoes, lowfat milk and chicken sausage combine in this tasty egg scramble to give you a protein boost to start your morning right. Add a cup of milk for 22 grams of protein.
Source: Milk Life
(Family Features) School is back in session, and so are hectic weeknights with little time to cook dinner. Instead of reaching for ready-made meals or takeout, serve up tasty one-pot dinners made with wholesome ingredients like spaghetti squash and quinoa. These seven kid-friendly recipes bring everything together in a single baking dish or skillet, so there's less prep and clean up, and more time for reconnecting around the dinner table.
Source: McCormick Spice
(Family Features) As the weather cools down and routines ramp up, parents know it becomes increasingly challenging to keep the whole family on track. While most people know breakfast is the most important meal of the day, many don’t realize that protein in the morning is key to starting the day off right.
A protein-rich breakfast including milk can help energize your morning. Plus, protein at breakfast can help you feel full and satisfied, so you won’t feel hungry by mid-morning, which helps the whole family tackle work, errands, school, extracurricular activities or whatever else the day has in store.
One easy way to increase your family’s protein intake at breakfast is to simply add a glass of milk. Each 8-ounce serving has nine essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality, natural protein. If mornings in your household are chaotic, plan ahead by making protein-rich breakfasts the night before that are easy to pair with milk, ensuring that the whole family can get out the door on time and fed in the morning.
“As a mom and a pediatrician, I’m focused on what I feed my kids each day,” said Dr. Jennifer Shu, pediatrician and author. “Milk is a simple, nutritious way to make sure they get high-quality protein at each meal, plus other nutrients like calcium, vitamin D and more.”
When thinking about the week ahead, consider tasty, protein-rich recipes the whole family will love that can be prepared in advance and eaten on the go – like these PB and J Protein Power Muffins. For more recipe ideas and morning inspiration, visit milklife.com/morningprotein.
PB and J Protein Power Muffins
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 3/4 cups milk, divided
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed according to package directions
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 tablespoons creamy reduced-fat peanut butter
- 1/4 cup strawberry preserves
- Heat oven to 350°F and grease 12-muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.
- In medium saucepan, stir together quinoa and 1 cup milk. Bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook 10-15 minutes until quinoa is tender and milk is absorbed.
- In large bowl, combine flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt; whisk to combine. In medium bowl, combine remaining milk, Greek yogurt, eggs, vanilla and peanut butter; mix well. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until combined. Stir in cooked quinoa. Divide batter among muffin cups.
- Drop 1/2 teaspoon of strawberry preserves into center of each muffin tin on top of batter. Bake 20-25 minutes until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow to cool 5-10 minutes. Serve with 8-ounce glass of milk.
Nutritional information per serving: 540 calories; 8 g fat; 1.5 g saturated fat; 70 mg cholesterol; 25 g protein; 91 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 520 mg sodium; 517 mg calcium (50% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat free milk, and include an 8-ounce glass of milk.
Leidy HJ, Lepping RJ, Savage CR, Harris CT, Neural responses to visual food stimuli after a normal vs. higher protein breakfast in breakfast-skipping teens: a pilot fMRI study. Obesity. 2011;19:2019-2025.
Leidy HJ,Bossingham MJ, Mattes RD, Campbell WW. Increased dietary protein consumed at breakfast leads to an initial and sustained feeling of fullness during energy restriction compared to other meal times. British Journal of Nutrition. 2009;101:798-803.
(Family Features) Back-to-school time means it’s back to being busy before, during and after school, so it’s time for parents and kids to create new routines. From early wakeup calls to shuttling kids to school and activities, ease the morning mayhem by incorporating a simple meal-planning strategy.
As a parent, look for fresh, make-ahead options your kids will enjoy. Serve up lunchbox love by mixing up the classic sandwich with a spin on sushi in this Bento Box Lunch recipe. It’s a creative way to deliver nutritious, wholesome ingredients that will make the whole lunchroom drool. Plus, it’s something you can take for lunch too.
No matter what meals you’re prepping, a store like ALDI can be your solution for packing tasty and better-for-you choices for lunches and on-the-go snacks. With high-quality ingredients at affordable prices, ALDI offers what you need to get ready for the days ahead.
For more recipes and meal prepping ideas, visit aldi.us.
Bento Box Lunch
Recipe courtesy of Chef Alyssa, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
- 4 slices SimplyNature Knock Your Sprouts Off Sprouted Low Sodium 7 Grain Bread
- 4 slices Lunch Mate Never Any! Turkey
- 1 teaspoon Burman's Yellow Mustard
- 1/2 avocado, sliced
- 1 mini cucumber, cut into 3-inch-by-1/4-inch sticks
- 1 cup SimplyNature Organic Quinoa, cooked
- 1/4 cup Southern Grove Sliced Almonds
- 2 mandarin oranges, peeled and separated
- 1/4 cup Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
- 1 bunches green onions, sliced
- 1 teaspoon Carlini Pure Olive Oil
- Stonemill Iodized Salt, to taste
- Stonemill Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- 1 large head broccoli, chopped
- 1/4 cup Southern Grove Sliced Almonds
- 1/4 cup Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
- 1 teaspoon Fusia Soy Sauce
- 1/2 cup Friendly Farms Vanilla Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- Stonemill Ground Black Pepper, to taste
- 1 Granny Smith apple, sliced
- 1 tablespoon Nature's Nectar Lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Ground Cinnamon
- To make “Sushi Roll”: Trim crust from bread. Using rolling pin, roll out bread slices to 1/8-inch thickness. Top with turkey, mustard, avocado and cucumber. Roll into cylinder, wrap with plastic wrap and cut in half.
- To make Quinoa Salad: In medium bowl, combine quinoa, almonds, oranges, cranberries, green onions and olive oil; season to taste with salt and pepper.
- To make Broccoli Salad: In medium bowl, combine broccoli, almonds, cranberries, soy sauce and yogurt; season to taste with pepper.
- To make Cinnamon Apples: Toss apples with lemon juice and cinnamon. Place in sandwich bags and wrap tightly.
- Organize equal amounts of “Sushi Rolls,” Quinoa Salad, Broccoli Salad and Cinnamon Apples in separate bento box compartments.
(Family Features) Eating a high-protein breakfast can help provide energy and focus to keep your day on track. While many experts now recommend 25-30 grams of protein at each meal, the average breakfast plate only contains 13 grams. One way to help close the gap is to add an 8-ounce glass of milk to your meal. Whether organic, flavored or white, each variety provides nine essential nutrients, including 8 grams of high-quality protein per 8 ounces to help start the day on the right foot.
Get ahead of the game and prep breakfast the night before so you have something delicious and satisfying to look forward to each morning. Now is the perfect time to update your routine with these powerhouse breakfast ideas. These recipes are all made and paired with milk, helping you get protein and nutrients you need to fuel your day.
Once you try these delicious recipes, you’ll never go back to your old, lackluster options again. For additional breakfast inspiration, visit milklife.com.