(Family Features) With hectic day-to-day schedules and varying dietary needs, many families face the dreaded daily question: “What sounds good for dinner?” In contrast, millions struggle to put food on the table each night, impacting about 1 in 8 children, according to Feeding America.
You can help support those in need through Safeway and Albertsons’ “Fight Hunger, Serve Hope” cause program – an initiative to fight hunger in local communities during summer months when households with school-aged children face higher rates of food insecurity. The company’s private label will donate one meal for every O Organics® product purchased, up to $7 million and the equivalent of 28 million meals. Donations will be made to Nourishing Neighbors, a program of Albertsons Companies Foundation, to fund grants dedicated to providing healthy meals for at-risk youth throughout the summer.
“While summertime sparks excitement for countless students, it also marks the unfortunate reality that millions of children face when they lose access to school cafeteria lunches and breakfasts they depend on throughout the school year,” said Jennifer Saenz, EVP and chief merchandising officer at Albertsons Companies. “As a company, we are committed to making a difference in the lives of children in need. For the first time, we are making it easier than ever for our customers to support this mission by connecting each purchase of our O Organics brand to hunger relief efforts in the communities we serve.”
Following the campaign period, families looking to help in their communities can give back in a variety of ways.
Donate Canned Goods
Once school is in session, many classrooms participate in canned food drives for a variety of causes while serving a dual purpose: feeding those in need and teaching children the importance of giving back. Sending your students to school with canned goods can show them the value of helping others and instill a sense of responsibility.
Volunteer at a Food Pantry
Sharing valuable resources like canned goods helps make a difference in communities, but local food pantries also need willing volunteers to sort and distribute food, among other duties. It can provide a unique sense of perspective as you meet other volunteers, improve the lives of people in your community and gain new skills.
Promote the Power of Family Meals
Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, dinner or all three, sharing a meal with neighbors can be a powerful moment. It provides an opportunity to connect while enjoying easy-to-make recipes like Ribeye Steak, Grape Tomato and Mushroom Kebabs; Grilled Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese, Fresh Raspberries and Pecans; and Mixed Berry-Lime Smoothie Bowl with Banana and Granola.
Ribeye Steak, Grape Tomato and Mushroom Kebabs
Recipe courtesy of Safeway and Albertsons
Total time: 30 minutes
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 small bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
- 1/4 cup O Organics extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons O Organics Dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 pound O Organics ribeye steak
- 1/2 pint O Organics grape tomatoes
- 1/4 pound O Organics white mushrooms
- green pepper, sliced (optional)
- 1/2 medium red onion
- 6 skewers
- Peel and mince garlic. Wash and dry parsley. Shave leaves off stems; discard stems and mince leaves.
- In large bowl, whisk minced garlic, half the minced parsley (reserve remainder for garnish), olive oil, vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.
- Cut steak into cubes; transfer to marinade bowl and toss to coat.
- Wash tomatoes, mushrooms and green pepper. Halve mushrooms. Add tomatoes, mushrooms and green pepper to marinade. Peel onion and cut into chunks; add to marinade. Toss beef and vegetables until well coated.
- Heat grill pan, outdoor grill or skillet to medium-high heat.
- Thread steak and vegetables onto six skewers.
- Cook kebabs in batches until steak is browned and vegetables are tender, 3-5 minutes per side. Transfer to plate and repeat with remaining kebabs.
- To serve, plate kebabs and sprinkle with remaining minced parsley.
Grilled Chicken Salad with Goat Cheese, Fresh Blueberries and Pecans
Recipe courtesy of Safeway and Albertsons
Total time: 20 minutes
- 3/4 pound boneless, skinless O Organics chicken breasts
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 teaspoons O Organics extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 package (5 ounces) O Organics spring mix
- 1 package (6 ounces) O Organics blueberries (or desired berry)
- 1/4 cup O Organics pecan halves
- 3 tablespoons O Organics olive oil
- 1 tablespoon O Organics balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 log (4 ounces) O Organics goat cheese
- Pat chicken dry with paper towels and place on cutting board. Cut chicken in half horizontally to form thin cutlets. Season with salt and pepper on both sides.
- Preheat grill pan, outdoor grill or skillet to medium-high heat.
- Once pan is hot, coat with oil. Add chicken to pan and grill, turning once, until cooked through, 3-4 minutes per side.
- Wash and dry spring mix. Place in medium bowl.
- Wash and dry blueberries. Add to bowl with mixed greens. Using clean cutting board, roughly chop pecans. Add to bowl.
- Transfer cooked chicken to cutting board and cut into thin strips.
- In bowl, mix olive oil and balsamic vinegar to create dressing.
- Add chicken and dressing to salad bowl; toss to combine.
- To serve, divide salad between plates or bowls and crumble goat cheese over top.
Mixed Berry-Lime Smoothie Bowl with Banana and Granola
Recipe courtesy of Safeway and Albertsons
Total time: 10 minutes
Yield: 3 cups
- 1 banana
- 1/2 package (6 ounces) O Organics blackberries
- 1/2 lime
- 2 cups O Organics frozen mixed berries
- 1 cup plain O Organics Greek yogurt
- 4 fluid ounces O Organics whole milk
- 1/8 cup O Organics honey
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2/3 cup O Organics granola of choice
- Wash and dry banana and blackberries.
- Peel and thinly slice banana; set aside.
- Zest and juice lime into blender. Add frozen mixed berries, yogurt, milk, honey and cinnamon. Blend on high speed until smooth, 1-2 minutes.
- To serve, divide smoothie between bowls and top with banana, blackberries and granola.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (kebabs)
(Family Features) When it comes to nutritious eating, finding and creating tasty yet healthy recipes is key for many people.
One delicious and nutritious ingredient to add to a variety of dishes: U.S.-grown Montmorency tart cherries, which are abundant in anthocyanins – a natural compound that contributes to the ruby-red color, distinctive sweet-tart taste and is also behind the potential health benefits.
Consider these five ways to incorporate Montmorency tart cherries into your daily routine to help with sleep, inflammation, exercise recovery, heart health and gut health. Find more information and recipes at ChooseCherries.com.
Have that good gut-feeling:Gut health has been the focus of multiple studies in recent years to maintain digestive health. In a first-of-its-kind study published in the “Journal of Biochemistry,” Montmorency tart cherries helped positively impact the gut microbiome – a collection of trillions of bacteria and other microbes that live in the intestinal tract. To help shape and maintain your gut health, add an 8-ounce serving of Montmorency tart cherry juice to your daily diet or try blending this Montmorency Tart Cherry Matcha Smoothie.
Catch more zzz’s:With more than 50 million adults in the U.S. suffering from sleep or wakefulness disorders, a natural and flavorful remedy may help. One study, published in the “American Journal of Therapeutics,” extended sleep time by 84 minutes after study participants consumed Montmorency tart cherry juice for two weeks. This Tart Cherry Moon Milk is one way to add tart cherry juice before bed.
Make workout gains, not pains:Muscle soreness and pain associated after a tough workout is no longer something to dread. A study from “Medicine in Science and Sports Exercise” showed a reduction in muscle damage after intensive strength training from participants who consumed Montmorency tart cherry juice in comparison to a placebo. Whip up some Tart Cherry Power Gummies for a snack to power up before or after workouts.
Help ease arthritis and gout:Many Americans seek natural ways to help manage pain that don’t evoke potential side effects. Research indicates that U.S.-grown Montmorency tart cherries, like those found in this Tart Cherry Granola Smoothie Bowl, may help naturally reduce inflammation related to arthritis and gout.
Keep your heart on beat:Adding more fruits packed with heart-healthy compounds is a great way to help your heart keep beating at its best. Montmorency tart cherries are a natural heart-healthy fruit that may lower blood pressure, reduce risk of stroke and decrease cholesterol levels. Incorporate them in a lunch like this Kale Quinoa Montmorency Tart Cherry Salad.
Source: Cherry Marketing Institute
(Family Features) When the school year rolls around, switching from pool to school means finding simpler ways to kick off the day with healthy and nutritious options.
Preparing feel-good breakfasts can be as easy as picking and putting together the right ingredients, if you know where to buy them. At grocery stores like ALDI, parents can conveniently find choices they can feel good about feeding their families, including fresh produce and organic, non-GMO and gluten-free options. Parents can also shop easier knowing ALDI private label items – which make up 90 percent of its products – are free from certified synthetic colors, added trans fats and MSG.
After the shopping trip, try these make-ahead breakfast ideas to give the busy mornings a boost:
- Homemade energy bars are an easy breakfast option that can keep you fueled until lunch. For simple bars, heat coconut oil and vanilla in a saucepan until combined then transfer to a large bowl and mix with cashew butter, oats, dried fruits and granola. Press the mixture between two cookie sheets to flatten, refrigerate 2 hours and slice into bars.
- Portion out produce for daily breakfast smoothies. Seal each weekday’s smoothie ingredients in separate plastic bags and simply toss the ingredients in a blender each morning. Enjoy your smoothie in a tumbler or try something new, such as this Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl.
- Use your slow cooker to make oatmeal. Before heading to bed, simply add milk, vanilla and your favorite sweetener to rolled oats and cook on low 7-8 hours. Include dried fruit to soak up moisture and provide a sweet, juicy addition. Or try these Morning Oasis Overnight Oats for a no-cook variation on traditional oatmeal for a quick, crunchy start to the day.
Make school mornings a breeze with more quick recipes at aldi.us.
Morning Oasis Overnight Oats
Recipe courtesy of Chef Michelle, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes (plus overnight to set)
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 1 1/2 cups Millville Quick Oats
- 1 teaspoon Southern Grove Chia Seeds
- 2 cups Friendly Farms Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk
- 1/8 teaspoon Stonemill Iodized Salt
- 3 tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey, divided
- 1/4 cup SimplyNature Organic Quinoa, toasted
- 1/4 cup Southern Grove Whole Almonds, toasted
- 1 mango, sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped coconut
- .45 ounces Moser Roth Premium Dark Chocolate 70 percent Cocoa, shaved
- .45 ounces Moser Roth Premium Dark Chocolate 70 percent Cocoa, melted
- Heat oven to 400° F.
- In large mason jar, combine oats, chia seeds, almond milk, salt and 2 tablespoons honey. Refrigerate overnight.
- In medium bowl, combine quinoa, almonds and remaining honey. Spread onto parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes. Remove, cooling completely and crumbling. Store in re-sealable bag overnight.
- The next day, stir oats and pour desired amount into serving bowl. Top with mango, coconut, shaved chocolate and candied quinoa. Drizzle with melted chocolate.
Blackberry Avocado Smoothie Bowl
Recipe courtesy of Chef Audrey, ALDI Test Kitchen
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 3/4 cup blackberries
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup Friendly Farms Plain Nonfat Greek Yogurt
- 3/4 cup Friendly Farms Unsweetened Original Almond Milk
- 1/2 avocado
- 1/2 frozen banana
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Pure Vanilla
- 1 teaspoon SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- SimplyNature Flax Seed
- Southern Grove Chia Seeds
- Southern Grove Sliced Almonds, toasted
- Lime zest
- Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to serving bowl and add garnishes as desired.
(Family Features) Eating with heart health on your mind has never tasted so good. While many aspects of life can impact heart health, opting for nutritious foods plays an especially important role.
“Heart-healthy eating can be delicious and on-trend with vibrant colors and sweet-tart flavors. There are simple ways to add nutrient-rich ingredients to your favorite recipes that add depth of flavor and texture, too,” said Michelle Dudash, registered dietitian. “Packed with beneficial phytonutrients, including anthocyanins, research shows Montmorency tart cherries may help lower levels of cholesterol and triglycerides, reduce blood pressure, reduce inflammation and reduce belly fat – all factors linked to heart disease risk.”
Start the day off by blending frozen tart cherries into a Tart Cherry Granola Smoothie Bowl or incorporating dried tart cherries into your favorite trail mix when it’s time for a snack. This heart-healthy, ruby-red fruit has a distinct sweet-tart taste that makes an easy addition to a variety of dishes and is available year-round in dried, frozen, juice and concentrate forms.
To learn more about the health benefits of Montmorency tart cherries and find more delicious recipes, visit ChooseCherries.com.
Recipe courtesy of Sonja Overhiser of A Couple Cooks on behalf of the Cherry Marketing Institute
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup dried Montmorency tart cherries
- 1/2 cup pepitas
- 2 1/2 cups frozen Montmorency tart cherries
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (1 lemon)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 ripe banana
- 1 cup almond milk, plus additional (optional)
- Heat oven to 325° F.
- In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, maple syrup and vanilla.
- In separate bowl, stir together oats, salt, cinnamon and almonds. Pour in mixture. Bake about 45 minutes until golden brown, stirring every 15 minutes and watching carefully near end of baking, stirring more, if necessary.
- Roughly chop dried cherries.
- When granola is baked, cool slightly then stir in cherries and pepitas.
Note: Granola can be stored in air-tight container up to 1 month.
To make smoothie bowl: Blend together tart cherries, lemon juice, maple syrup, banana and almond milk. If necessary, add additional milk for a smoother consistency.
Serve smoothie in bowl with 1/4 cup tart cherry granola.
Source: Cherry Marketing Institute