Shake Up Summer Snacks
(Family Features) Power up for summer adventures by shaking up your snacking routine with homemade recipes inspired by childhood favorites.
Tasty and versatile, California walnuts are easy to swap into your favorite snack recipes and work hard to keep you energized and full. Kick off summer with some irresistible plant-forward Walnut Chorizo Pizza Bites and Strawberry Walnut Hand Pies for delicious summer snacks loaded with the nutrition benefits of walnuts.
Visit walnuts.org/snacking for more snack recipes.
Strawberry Walnut Hand Pies
- 1/4 cup California walnuts
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon cane sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed
- 4-5 tablespoons ice cold water
- 1 egg, beaten
Strawberry Walnut Filling:
- 1 cup strawberries, tops removed, halved
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons cane sugar
- 1/3 cup finely chopped California walnuts
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons 2% milk
- 1/2 teaspoon beetroot powder
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped California walnuts
- To make dough: In food processor, pulse walnuts until fine and evenly ground. Add flour, sugar and salt to ground walnuts; pulse to combine. Add cubed butter; pulse until butter is in small pieces. Add cold water 1 tablespoon at a time, pulsing while adding, until dough starts sticking together.
- Transfer dough to clean surface; shape into two 4-inch discs. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour.
- To make filling: In food processor, pulse strawberries and lemon juice until slightly chunky.
- Transfer to saucepan and gradually whisk in cornstarch until dissolved. Stir in sugar.
- Heat over low heat until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Turn heat off and stir in chopped walnuts. Transfer mixture to small bowl; refrigerate.
- To assemble hand pies: Remove one dough disc from refrigerator. Lightly flour work surface and rolling pin. Roll out dough into large rectangle. Slice dough into six 4-by-2-inch rectangles. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
- In bowl, mix water and egg. Brush perimeter of dough rectangles with egg wash. Place 1 tablespoon filling on center of dough.
- Roll out second dough disc, creating six rectangles of dough. Place on top of jam and crimp edges with fork to seal. Freeze hand pies 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Trim uneven edges of dough with sharp knife and brush tops and sides with egg wash.
- Bake 20-24 minutes until golden brown around edges. Cool at room temperature 5 minutes on baking sheet then transfer to wire cooling rack until completely cooled.
- To make frosting: In bowl, whisk sugar, milk and beetroot powder until thick but smooth. Drizzle frosting over hand pies and top with chopped walnuts. Cool 15 minutes, or until frosting is set.
Walnut Chorizo Pizza Bites
- 1 1/2 cups California walnuts
- 1 cup pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup sliced sweet onion
- 5 mini bagels
- 1 large zucchini, sliced 1/2 inch (10 slices)
- 1 cup marinara sauce
- 1 cup walnut chorizo
- 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped basil
- To make walnut chorizo: In food processor, pulse walnuts until finely crumbled. Transfer to mixing bowl.
- In food processor, pulse pinto beans, lime juice, paprika, oregano, cumin, chipotle powder, salt and garlic powder until mixture resembles ground meat. Stir bean mixture with walnut pieces.
- In medium skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add walnut chorizo and cook 5-7 minutes until lightly browned, using spatula to break into crumbles.
- To make pizza bites: In pan over medium heat, heat olive oil and add onion. Cook, stirring occasionally, 15-20 minutes until onion is soft and golden brown.
- Preheat oven to 375 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Halve bagels and place on baking sheet. Place zucchini slices on second baking sheet.
- Top each bagel and zucchini slice with 1 tablespoon marinara; spread with back of spoon. Add 1 tablespoon walnut chorizo crumbles to each bagel and zucchini slice. Sprinkle with caramelized onion and goat cheese.
- Bake 10 minutes.
- Cool 5 minutes on baking sheets. Top with basil.
Source: California Walnut Board
A Fresh, Sweet Way to Celebrate Spring
(Family Features) Enjoying a meal outside is one of the many benefits of warmer weather, which makes spring a favorite season for those who relish the opportunity to dine outdoors. When the weather cooperates, a light dish focused around fresh ingredients is a perfect way to savor the moment.
Center your next al fresco dining occasion around a recipe like this Flatbread with Caramelized Onions, Bacon and Arugula. Whether you choose to bake this spring delight in the oven or lay it flat on the grill, it’s an easy way to enjoy fresh flavors in the sunlight.
It starts with sweet caramelized Texas 1015 onions, a versatile veggie that can be grilled, roasted or eaten fresh on salads and sandwiches. Straight from more than 100 Texas farm fields to grocery stores, the low sulfur content makes them a “no tear” onion, meaning there’s no “hot” or burning sensation when you cut or eat them.
Once the onions are caramelized, simply layer them along with cheese and bacon on a flatbread before baking or grilling less than 15 minutes. Top with arugula tossed with olive oil and lemon juice for a sweet spring eat.
Find more warm-weather recipe ideas at tx1015.com.
Flatbread with Caramelized Onions, Bacon and Arugula
Recipe courtesy of South Texas Onions
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 naan flatbread (rectangular shape)
- 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- 1 cup fontina cheese, shredded
- 4 slices bacon
- olive oil (optional)
- lemon juice (optional)
- To make caramelized onions: In pan over medium-high heat, heat butter and olive oil. Add onions and let sit about 5 minutes. Once onions start sweating, turn heat to low and cover pan. Cook onions to deep golden brown, stirring every 10-15 minutes. With 10 minutes left, stir in balsamic vinegar.
- To make flatbread: Preheat oven to 425 F.
- On flatbread, layer cheese, bacon and caramelized onions. Bake 13-15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and edges are golden brown.
- Toss arugula with olive oil and lemon juice, if desired, before placing on flatbread.
Source: South Texas Onions
Eggs are Recommended as a Nutrient-Rich 'First Food'
(Family Features) Eggs are for everyone, including babies and toddlers, according to the 2020 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee that released its Scientific Report outlining nutritional recommendations for Americans. For the first time, this committee, comprised of leading doctors and nutrition scientists, included nutritional guidance for younger children.
The committee recommends eggs as a first food for babies and toddlers since they provide eight essential nutrients that can help build a healthy foundation for life at a time when every bite counts.
Eggs provide nutrition for children and moms-to-be, as well. However, the report found most pregnant women and kids need more choline – an essential nutrient critical for brain health – in their diets.
According to research published in the “Journal of the American College of Nutrition,” 92% of pregnant women do not get enough choline in their diets. Choosing foods high in choline, like eggs, can help pregnant women consume enough of this essential nutrient, helping a baby’s brain and spinal cord develop properly. Just two eggs provide more than half of the recommended daily amount of choline.
At only 70 calories, one egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and all nine essential amino acids. Eggs are also a source of vitamin B12, biotin (B7), iodine, selenium, high-quality protein, riboflavin (B2) and pantothenic acid (B5). Additionally, eggs contain lutein and zeaxanthin that can help protect your eyes from harmful blue light that comes from electronic devices.
Lots of parents worry about possible food allergies in their little ones. The committee recommends introducing eggs when your baby is ready for first foods, which may help reduce the chances of developing an egg allergy.
In Your Kitchen
Eggs are a nutritional powerhouse that contribute to health and well-being at every age, and there are plenty of ways to enjoy eggs beyond the basic boiled, scrambled or sunny-side-up. In fact, eggs work well in meals all day long. Toss hard-boiled eggs in a salad, top a sweet potato with an egg for lunch or try a spinach and mushroom frittata for dinner.
Baby-friendly Savory Egg Veggie Pancakes pack in nutrients from whatever vegetables you have on hand and offer a savory twist on classic pancakes. You can add extra toppings like avocado or Greek yogurt for a variety of new textures and flavors.
Another simple way to introduce eggs as a first food is a soft and fluffy egg casserole. You can also incorporate veggies for some added nutrition, since eggs can help you better absorb the nutrients found in vegetables, such as vitamin E and carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin.
You can adapt a Veggie Egg Casserole to your child's development and motor skills by cutting small squares or making a simple mash.
Find more kid-friendly recipes and advice about introducing eggs to your youngest family members at EggNutritionCenter.org.
Veggie Egg Casserole
Recipe developed by Stacey Mattinson, RD
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 sweet onion
- 1 red, yellow or orange bell pepper
- 1 head broccoli florets
- 2 teaspoons canola, avocado or olive oil
- 1 dozen eggs
- 2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon flour
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Chop onion and bell pepper to age-appropriate sizes. Pick apart broccoli florets into small pieces and remove most of stems.
- Heat medium-sized frying pan over medium heat. Add oil and swirl around pan. Add onions and cook 3-4 minutes until they start to soften. Add broccoli and bell pepper. Mix with onions and add salt and pepper, to taste. Cook 1-2 minutes then cover with lid to steam another 2-3 minutes until broccoli is bright green. Remove veggies from stovetop.
- In large mixing bowl, beat eggs. Add cottage cheese, shredded cheese, baking powder and flour. Add veggies and salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer to prepared pan and bake 40 minutes.
Savory Egg Veggie Pancakes
Recipe developed by Min Kwon, RD
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 1/2 teaspoon oil or butter
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon milk or breastmilk
- 3 tablespoons cooked or raw vegetables, chopped or grated
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 teaspoon ground flaxseeds
- 1/4 teaspoon herbs or spices, such as cinnamon, curry powder, cumin, oregano, turmeric, etc.
- In 6-inch nonstick pan, heat butter or oil over medium-low heat, tilting pan to coat bottom.
- In bowl, beat egg and milk until blended. Add vegetables, flour, flaxseeds and herbs; stir to combine. Pour mixture into heated pan, spread evenly (don’t stir) and cook batter 1 minute, or until bottom starts to set.
- Flip and cook other side until lightly browned. Remove from pan. Once cooled, slice into desired shapes and serve.
Source: American Egg Board
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
(Family Features) With the rise in popularity of plant-based diets and dishes, combining them with dairy products can create a superfood power couple. For example, the cheddar cheese found in these Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers helps optimize nutrient absorption from the rice, black beans, corn and tomatoes to create a nutritious and delicious appetizer or meal.
Find more recipes that combine the goodness of dairy and plant-based foods at milkmeansmore.org.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
- 6 large sweet bell peppers
- 1/2 cup diced sweet onion
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 1/2 cups cooked black beans plain (drained and rinsed if using canned beans)
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese, divided
- Preheat the oven to 350º F. Line a rimmed half sheet pan with non-stick aluminum foil.
- Slice the tops off of the sweet bell peppers. Use a spoon to scoop the seeds and white membranes from the insides of the peppers. Discard the pepper tops and seeds. Place the peppers onto the prepared half sheet pan; briefly set aside.
- In a large bowl, stir together the diced onion, cherry tomatoes, corn, black beans, and brown rice until combined. Sprinkle the chili powder, oregano, salt, and pepper over top before stirring to distribute the seasonings throughout. Fold 1 cup of the Cheddar cheese into the filling, reserving the remaining cheese for later.
- Stuff the open cavities of the sweet bell peppers tightly with filling, mounding a bit of the filling over the top edge of the peppers. Sprinkle the remaining Cheddar cheese over top of the filling. Bake the stuffed peppers for 30 to 35 minutes or until filling is heated through, the peppers soften, and the exteriors begin to wrinkle. Serve immediately.
Be the Hero of Your Grill This Summer
(Family Features) Nothing brings people together like a barbecue. There seems to be something about being outdoors and the sizzle of fresh food on the grill that makes you want to gather with family and friends.
This summer, you can be the hero of your grill with a few simple tips and tricks:
- A great meal starts with great meat. Make sure to use versatile, high-quality and tender cuts like Smithfield Fresh Pork ribs, chops and tenderloins.
- Cut down on time, not flavor. Look for pre-seasoned meats such as pork chops, or slice, dice or cube larger cuts like boneless loin to shorten cook time and increase flavor.
- Grill like a pro. Use direct heat for burgers and chops, and indirect heat for larger cuts like ribs.
Find more summer grilling tips and pitmaster-perfected recipes at SmithfieldGetGrilling.com.
St. Louis Style Pork Spare Ribs with Coffee Cocoa Dry Rub
Recipe courtesy of pitmaster Chris Lilly
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 3 1/2 hours
- 7 teaspoons salt
- 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 tablespoon ground coffee
- 2 1/2 teaspoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons black pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3/4 teaspoon ancho chile pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon coriander
- 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 racks Smithfield St. Louis Style Pork Spareribs, membrane removed
- Build charcoal fire for indirect cooking by situating coals on one side of grill, leaving other side empty. Heat grill to 250° F.
- To make dry rub: In small bowl, combine salt, brown sugar, chili powder, coffee, cocoa, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ancho chile pepper, coriander and turmeric.
- Generously apply dry rub onto front and back of pork ribs. Gently pat to ensure rub adheres.
- Put ribs meat-side up over indirect heat, away from coals, close lid and cook until ribs are tender, about 3 1/2 hours.
- Remove ribs from grill and let rest, uncovered, 5 minutes. Slice ribs between bones and serve.
Pineapple Pork Kebabs
Recipe courtesy of pitmaster Sterling Ball
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
- 1/2 Smithfield Prime Boneless Fresh Pork Loin
- 1 sweet onion, cut into 1-1 1/2-inch square pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-1 1/2-inch square pieces
- 2 cups pineapple chunks
- 3-4 tablespoons barbecue rub
- 2 1/2 cups teriyaki marinade
- 3-4 flexible skewers
- Heat grill or smoker to 250° F. Cut pork loin into 2-inch cubes.
- Season pork loin, sweet onion, red bell pepper and pineapple chunks with rub.
- Thread pork loin, onion, pepper and pineapple on skewer; repeat until length of skewer is almost full. Repeat with additional skewers.
- Put assembled kebabs in large re-sealable bag and add teriyaki marinade. Carefully remove air from marinade bag and refrigerate 20 minutes.
- Remove kebabs from marinade bag and place on grill over indirect heat; cook 12-14 minutes, remove and set aside.
- Increase grill temperature to 400° F. Sear kebabs at high heat, until caramelized. Using meat thermometer, check pork loin cubes for doneness; remove from heat once pork reaches internal temperature of 145° F.