Simple Ways to be Heart Smart

Discover recipes chock-full of heart-healthy pecans

Sometimes making small changes can have a positive impact on your health – including heart health – like drinking more water, taking the stairs instead of the escalator and adding nutritious ingredients to your snacks and meals.

Incorporating nutritious ingredients is an easy way to step up your mealtime – for example, American Pecans can super-fy nearly any recipe by adding flavor and nutrition.

It’s always a good time to include heart-healthy ingredients on your shopping list. Certified by the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check*, American Pecans and their unique mix of unsaturated fats, plant sterols, fiber and flavonoids add up to help promote a healthy heart. In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration, research suggests but does not prove that eating 1 1/2 ounces of most nuts, such as pecans, each day as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may help reduce your risk of heart disease. One serving of pecans (28 grams) contains 18 grams unsaturated fat and only 2 grams saturated fat.

Boosting the heart-smart punch of your favorite recipes can be easy with pecans. Whether topping a salad, sprinkling into bread batter or using them as the foundation of a portable snack, there are few things America’s native nut can’t do.

Start the day right with a bowl of Banana Pecan Cherry Oatmeal – a comforting and hearty combination that can keep you full for hours. For a wholesome, on-the-go option perfect for school snacks, desk drawers or an afternoon pick-me-up, try Cherry Pecan Energy Bites. Dried cherries, dates and crunchy pecans combine for an all-natural burst of heart-smart nutrition to help you power through the day.

Discover more ways to create heart-healthy meals with pecans at AmericanPecan.com.

Banana Pecan Cherry Oatmeal

  • 1          cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2          cups water
  • 1/2       cup pecan milk
  • 1          banana, sliced
  • 1/4       cup pecan halves
  • 1/4       cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/4       cup honey
  1. In large, microwave-safe bowl, combine oats and water. Microwave on high 3-4 minutes, or until oats are cooked through. Watch carefully to avoid boiling over.
  2. Remove from microwave, stir and divide between two bowls. Pour 1/4 cup pecan milk over each bowl.
  3. Divide sliced banana, pecan halves and dried tart cherries between each bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons honey. Serve immediately.

 

Cherry Pecan Energy Bites

Makes: 10-12 energy bites

  • 1          cup toasted pecan halves or pieces
  • 1          cup dried cherries
  • 4          medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4       cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1          tablespoon cacao powder, plus additional, for coating (optional)
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In bowl of food processor, combine toasted pecans, dried cherries, dates, oats, cacao powder and vanilla extract.
  2. Pulse until ingredients begin to bind and form loose, dough-like ball.
  3. Roll into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in additional cacao powder, if desired, and transfer to airtight container. Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to seven days.

Note: To make gluten-free, substitute 1/4 cup of certified gluten-free old-fashioned oats.

*Heart-Check certification does not apply to recipes. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
American Pecan Council

Game Day Eats and Treats

Score major points with delicious dishes

If the crew is coming over to root for your favorite team, it may be time to spice up the menu. Whether you’re hosting the weekend get-together or watching the game after work, switch up your typical spread and serve something new to leave your guests cheering for more.

When it comes to choosing an ingredient that can lend a winning assist to nearly any dish and score you some major points, look no further than California Ripe Olives.

Variety is key when mapping out food for a crowd, regardless of the event. Plan on serving one main course and two sides, and consider no-fuss options like chips and dips. If there are kids in attendance, make sure there is something neutral for even the pickiest eaters to snack on. However, try your best to avoid anything that needs a knife and fork to eat – finger foods typically work best when the game is on and conversation is flowing.

The mild and unique taste of California Ripe Olives lends itself well to many different flavor pairings, such as these recipes for Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peach-Olive Jam, Easy Olive Bread and Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade. Whether your guests are fans of spicy, mild, sweet or savory, the only limit is your imagination when you pull a can of olives from the pantry.

Family farms across California grow 95 percent of the ripe olives consumed in the United States. Each can is a labor of love. Multi-generational family farms work with family-owned canneries in California to produce each can and ensure only the highest quality olives make it from the farm to your game-day table. For more creative ways to use olives, including family recipes from growers across California, visit CalOlive.org .

Simple Entertaining Tips to Take Your Table to the Next Level

  1. A colorful platter is an easy way to spice up a spread.
  2. Pair something salty with something sweet for a juxtaposition of flavors.
  3. If you’re serving food on neutral plates, add some colorful linens.
  4. Plan the menu around a central theme or ingredient.
  5. Guests love choices – making more options available can make for better spreads.
  6. Use versatile ingredients, like California Ripe Olives, to keep picky eaters happy.

Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peach-Olive Jam

  • 1          teaspoon olive oil
  • 3          pounds pork shoulder roast
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4          cloves garlic, quartered
  • 4          cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8          ounces dried peaches
  • 1          tablespoon chili powder
  • 1          cup California Black Ripe Olives, wedged
  • 2          teaspoons country mustard
  • 1          ounce arugula
  • 8          onion rolls, split and toasted
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. In large, high-sided saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Season pork with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook in pan 3-4 minutes on each side until browned.
  4. Stir in garlic and continue cooking 3-5 minutes.
  5. Pour in chicken broth, peaches and chili powder; bring to boil.
  6. Cover loosely with foil and bake in oven 2 hours.
  7. With slotted spoon, carefully remove peaches and transfer to small mixing bowl. Mix olives and mustard with peaches; set aside.
  8. Continue to cook pork in oven 30-60 minutes until fork tender.
  9. Allow to cool slightly then shred by pulling apart with fork.
  10. Assemble sandwiches by spooning pork onto toasted rolls.
  11. Top with arugula and peach-olive mixture.

Easy Olive Bread

Recipe courtesy of The Wicked Noodle

  • 8          ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4       cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2       cup mayonnaise
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 2          cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 10        ounces California Green Ripe Olives, chopped
  • 2          green onions, chopped
  • 1          loaf French bread, sliced in half lengthwise
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In bowl, mix cream cheese, butter and mayonnaise until thoroughly combined. Add garlic; stir well to distribute. Add cheddar cheese, green olives and green onions; stir to combine.
  3. Spread mixture on cut sides of bread. Bake 20-30 minutes, until cheese is hot, bubbly and starting to brown.

Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade

  • 1/2       cup shallots, chopped
  • 1/4       cup chopped smoked sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          can (6 ounces) California Green Ripe Olives, drained
  • 1          can (6 ounces) California Black Ripe Olives, drained
  • 1/4       cup lightly packed fresh basil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • crackers or toasted baguette slices
  1. In food processor, pulse shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar and garlic until finely chopped. Add olives, basil, salt and pepper; pulse again until chopped.
  2. Cover and chill 1 hour.
  3. Serve with crackers or toasted baguette slices.

Note: Recipe can be prepared one day in advance. (Family Features)

Photo courtesy of The Wicked Noodle (Easy Olive Bread)

SOURCE:
California Olive Committee

Healthy Mealtime Inspiration in Your Pantry

One of the secrets to ordering less takeout and serving more nutritious homemade meals may be as simple as keeping a well-stocked pantry of canned foods. By cooking with canned foods, you can cut down prep time, meaning less time in the kitchen and more time with family.

Canned fruits, vegetables, proteins and soups can help you get through the week with creative meals you can feel good about serving your family like Panzanella Salad and Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chili. In addition, according to a study published in “Nutrients,” kids and adults who use six or more canned foods per week are more likely to have diets higher in 17 essential nutrients, including potassium, calcium and fiber.

Canned foods can also help reduce the amount of perishable fruits and vegetables purchased then thrown away. how many times you’ve opened the fridge only to find the fresh produce you purchased only days ago has already spoiled. Because fresh fruits and vegetables are harvested at the peak of ripeness and canned within four hours, sealing in their nutrition and flavor, your family can have access to seasonal, ready-to-use fruits and vegetables year-round. Simply reach in your pantry – or your “cantry” – and get cooking.

For more information about the benefits of cooking with canned foods and to find more flavorful recipes, visit CansGetYouCooking.com.

Panzanella Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes

Servings: 4

Dressing:

  • 1/2       cup olive oil
  • 1/4       cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon fresh black pepper

Salad:

  • 1          pound day-old Italian bread, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 8          ounces romaine lettuce, chopped
  • 2          cans (10 ounces each) tomato wedges
  • 1          can (15 1/2 ounces) garbanzo beans
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) artichoke hearts
  • 1          can (3.8 ounces) olives
  • 1          can (1 1/2 ounces) sliced radishes
  1. To make dressing: In small bowl, stir together olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. To assemble salad: In large bowl, toss bread cubes, lettuce, tomato wedges, beans, artichoke hearts, olives and radishes; drizzle with dressing.

Slow Cooker Coconut Curry Chili

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 4-8 hours

Servings: 6-8

  •             Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          small yellow onion, diced
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 2          cans (12 1/2 ounces each) white premium chunk chicken breast, drained
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
  • 3          tablespoons red curry paste, plus additional, to taste
  • 1/4       cup all-natural peanut butter
  • 1          tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1          can (13 1/2 ounces) coconut milk
  • 1          tablespoon fish sauce
  • 3          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1          can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas, drained
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) whole potatoes, drained and cubed
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) sliced carrots, drained
  • 3          tablespoons lime juice, plus additional, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • brown rice, cooked according to package instructions (optional)
  • cilantro, for garnish
  • salted peanuts, for garnish
  1. Grease slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Add onion, garlic, chicken, tomatoes, red curry paste, peanut butter, brown sugar, ginger, coconut milk, fish sauce and soy sauce to slow cooker. Stir to combine. Cover and cook on high 4 hours or low 8 hours.
  2. Uncover and stir in chickpeas, potatoes, carrots and lime juice. Taste and add lime juice and salt, to taste, if necessary.
  3. Serve on top of brown rice, if desired, and garnish with cilantro and peanuts. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Can Manufacturers Institute

Put a Healthy Twist on Your Favorite Foods

Whether it’s a simple date night at home or a weeknight meal for the entire family, finding inter-culinary balance between everyone at the table can sometimes be difficult.

However, when at least one party is willing to make dietary changes to benefit a loved one, serving up quality meals can become less of a hassle. Though men are often stereotyped as carnivorous cavemen, the majority are willing to change their eating habits – trading in those porterhouses for veggie burgers – to make their partners happy, according to a survey from Yves Veggie Cuisine. While 63 percent of men and 62 percent of women would eat less meat if their partner asked, 59 percent of men said they would also eat less of their favorite foods, at the request of their significant other.

In the same survey, dietary changes in the name of love were found at every level of the food pyramid, not just meat. Among the changes men have already made are eating less meat (22 percent), eating less dairy (18 percent) and eating less gluten (15 percent). However, it was found that women tend to hold their ground more when it comes to giving up certain foods with only 14 percent eating less dairy, 10 percent eating less meat and 6 percent eating less gluten for the sake of their relationship.

Making dietary compromises can be as simple as using high-quality ingredients like Yves Veggie Cuisine Appetizer Bites to complement, complete or even reinvent family-favorite meals like tacos. The gluten-free, non-GMO bites are low in fat and contain no artificial preservatives, colors or flavors, making it easy to put a plant-positive twist on nearly any meal with one of the two varieties – Kale and Quinoa or Falafel.

Find more balanced, veggie-forward recipes that can inspire shared moments together at yvesveggie.com.

Kale and Quinoa Bite Tacos

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 12 minutes

Servings: 8-10

  • 1          package (8.2 ounces) Yves Veggie Cuisine Kale and Quinoa Bites
  • 1          package hard taco shells (8-10 shells)
  • 1          cup salsa
  • 1          cup guacamole
  • 1          red onion, sliced
  • 1          bunch cilantro
  • lime wedges
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. On nonstick baking pan, arrange kale and quinoa bites.
  3. Bake 10 minutes, or until outside is slightly crispy. In taco shells, layer guacamole, salsa and kale and quinoa bites.
  4. Top with sliced red onion and cilantro. For additional zest, serve with lime wedge. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Yves Veggie Cuisine

Fuel Up for a Busy Day

While some may say being busy is good, it’s not always good for a healthy lifestyle. With less time to prep, the thought of planning nutritious meals and snacks may feel overwhelming, but with simple changes, you can power through your hectic schedule.

This full menu of quick and easy recipes is part of the Atkins low-carb lifestyle, a long-term, healthy eating approach focused on high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats. The plan also aims to reduce levels of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and the “hidden sugar effect” – when carbohydrates convert to sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugar, but your body does.

Consider these tips from Colette Heimowitz, author of “Atkins: Eat Right, Not Less” and vice president of nutrition and education at Atkins.

Fill up with fiber. Fiber-rich foods, such as vegetables, nuts and seeds, low-glycemic fruits and whole unrefined grains, are considered carbohydrates but they don’t raise your blood sugar the way processed carbs do. Fiber slows the entry of glucose into your bloodstream so you don’t experience the insulin spikes that encourage your body to produce and store body fat. Additionally, fiber can help you feel full longer. If possible, try to eat 25-35 grams of fiber each day.

Start the day with breakfast. Start your mornings with a hearty breakfast like an Almond Butter Smoothie Bowl. The nutritious combo of protein and healthy fats can set you up for a productive day and prevent mid-morning donut or bagel cravings. For another quick option that takes just 10 minutes, a Power Mug Muffin with Cinnamon Butter can provide the fuel you need to start your day right.

Snack smart. If you’re in the midst of a traffic-clogged commute, on-the-go snacks can be an ideal solution for the whole family. For a fun, tasty option, try these Portobello Pizzas, full of nutrients and fiber, or these Tuna-Stuffed Deviled Eggs that can help round out lunch at work.

A Simple, Nutritious Snack

When it comes to nutrition, finding a healthier way to snack can be just as important as full-blown meals. For a protein- and fiber-rich snack low in sugar, an option like Atkins Protein Wafer Crisps provide a light and crispy texture for a surprisingly filling treat. Whether it’s for a grab-and-go snack or afternoon pick-me-up, the wafer crisps boast 10-11 grams of protein, 4-5 grams of fiber and 1 gram of sugar with three flavor profiles to choose from: Peanut Butter, Chocolate Mint and Lemon Vanilla.

Find more recipes to kickstart a nutritious eating plan at Atkins.com.

Portobello Pizza

Active time: 10 minutes

Total time: 40 minutes

Serves: 4

  • Olive oil spray
  • 4          large Portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • 1/2       cup low-sugar marinara sauce
  • 1/2       cup (2 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 16        slices pepperoni sausage or 1 chorizo link, thinly sliced
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Coat with olive oil spray.
  3. Using spoon, scrape out dark gills from mushrooms; discard gills.
  4. Place mushrooms stem-side up and top each with 2 tablespoons sauce. Sprinkle each with 2 tablespoons mozzarella cheese and four slices pepperoni or chorizo.
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and mushrooms are soft.

Almond Butter Smoothie Bowl

Active time: 10 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

Serves: 2

  • 1/3       cup plain protein powder
  • 1          cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 8          ounces spinach or kale
  • 1/4       cup almond or peanut butter
  • 1/2       cup fresh or frozen strawberries
  • 2          tablespoons chopped almonds
  • 2          tablespoons ground flaxseed
  1. In blender, blend protein powder, yogurt, water, spinach or kale and almond or peanut butter until smooth. Divide between two bowls.
  2. In straight lines, sprinkle strawberries, almonds and flaxseed over smoothie bowls.

Tuna-Stuffed Deviled Eggs

Active time: 10 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

  • 8          large eggs
  • cold water
  • 1          can (6 ounces) tuna, drained
  • 1/4       cup mayonnaise
  • 1          jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2          tablespoons capers, drained, rinsed and chopped
  • 1          teaspoon hot or sweet ground paprika or ground chili
  1. In medium saucepan, cover eggs with cold water.
  2. Place over high heat and bring to boil. When boiling, turn heat off and cover. Remove from heat and let cool 1 minute.
  3. Place eggs in colander under cold, running water 1-2 minutes. Peel eggs under cold, running water and use kitchen towel to dry.
  4. Cut eggs in half lengthwise and scoop out yolks. Transfer yolks to small bowl along with tuna, mayonnaise, jalapeno and capers. Stir well until combined.
  5. Place egg whites on platter, center-side up, and fill with tuna mixture. Garnish with ground paprika or chili.

Power Mug Muffin with Cinnamon Butter

Active time: 10 minutes

Total time: 10 minutes

Serves: 1

Cinnamon Butter:

  • 1          tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground nutmeg

Muffin:

  • 2          tablespoons golden flaxseed meal
  • 2          tablespoons almond flour
  • 1/2       teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon stevia (sugar substitute)
  • 1          teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1          large egg
  • 1          teaspoon unsalted butter, at room temperature, or olive oil
  1. To make Cinnamon Butter: In small bowl, using spoon, combine butter, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg; mix well. Set aside.
  2. To make Muffin: In coffee mug or single-serving souffle dish, mix flaxseed meal, almond flour, baking powder, stevia and cinnamon.
  3. Mix egg and butter into dry ingredients.
  4. Microwave on high 1 minute until firm. Serve with Cinnamon Butter. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Atkins

Sour Punch® Unviels New Look with Updated Packaging

American Licorice® Company Debuts Brand Refresh for Sour Punch® Candy

American Licorice® Company, makers of one of America’s first sour candies, announces a brand refresh, unveiling a new packaging design for the popular Sour Punch® product line. Introducing a brighter, more modern look, the refresh arrives on the heels of the recently announced brand purpose, “Embrace Your Punch.” This is a message about self-love and appreciating the differences in others with the goal of encouraging mutual respect and spreading kindness to make a difference in people’s lives. The brand refresh, which includes the message: “Love what makes you unique, appreciate what makes others different” on each package encompasses the shared goal of American Licorice® Company to invest in the happiness of employees and consumers alike.

Working alongside the branding and design experts at Kaleidoscope, the new packaging was an inclusive process that enlisted a panel of Sour Punch consumers to weigh in on the creative elements. “Kaleidoscope is thrilled to have partnered with American Licorice to refresh the Sour Punch package design,” said Scott Lucas, executive director, client services at Kaleidoscope. “The goal was to ensure the solution remained true to its valuable equities but also delivered a new and ‘PUN-CHI’ design system that stood out on shelves and enticed consumers of all ages.”

The new packaging will be available in stores and online beginning February 2019, phasing out current packaging later in 2019.

In recent years the sour candy market has continued to gain momentum as a sought-after treat.  As an industry leader and one of the first companies to enter the space nearly 30 years ago, Sour Punch was seeking a creative outlet to expand on the brand’s purpose while also remaining close to its roots as a founding supplier of sour candy.

“The Sour Punch brand has undergone an exciting packaging refresh which will be on shelves soon,” said Kristi Shafer, vice president of marketing at American Licorice® Company. “As part of the process we consulted sour candy fans to find out where the brand should go.  We confirmed the strength of some of our brand assets such as our PUN-CHI™ character, lightening boltz and green accents, so those remain as part of the new design.  Equally important was “testing” the brand purpose messaging on the package.  This was a game changer as we realized people want and need brands that inspire and that is what we are trying to do at ALC.  We are so excited to roll this out in the coming months!”

About American Licorice® Company

The American Licorice® Company, privately owned and operated since 1914, is one of the original licorice manufacturers in the United States and one of the oldest candy companies in the industry. The brand aims to bring happiness to consumers with its classic Red Vines® candy, one of the top-selling licorice twists in the western United States. In 1990, American Licorice® Company expanded into the sour candy market with the launch of Sour Punch® Straws. These iconic straws with their signature mouthwatering crystals satisfy anyone’s sour craving. In addition, the brand continues to make nostalgic favorites such as Super Ropes® and SNAPS® candies.

American Licorice® Company is headquartered in La Porte, Indiana with a second manufacturing facility in Union City, California.

About the Sour Punch® Brand

As one of the first brands to enter the U.S. sour candy market in 1990, Sour Punch® candy began with sour, fruit-flavored straws. Today, whether fans love straws, bites, or twists, consumers can count on Sour Punch® candy to deliver sweet-yet-sour bliss in every bite. American Licorice® Company, makers of Sour Punch®, continues to hold steadfast to their dedication to Corporate Social Responsibility, looking for ways to broaden its mission and make a lasting impact. Reaching beyond substantial efforts to lessen their carbon footprint and robust programs to support the local community, the brand has embarked on a mission to spread the message of “Embrace Your Punch” This powerful brand message is about promoting self-love and embracing what it means to be different. With the goal of appreciating and celebrating those differences, Sour Punch® aims to lead the focus on choosing kindness and highlight what a profound difference that can make.

Family-Favorite Comfort Foods

3 dairy-inspired dishes for weeknight dinners

Warm meals that come together quickly are a necessity for busy families, especially on weeknights filled with homework, practices, meetings and more. Serving up comfort foods that require less time in the kitchen make for more moments spent together at the table.

Hearty and satisfying, this Chicken and Wild Rice Soup can bring everyone together for a warm, soothing meal, while Cheesy Turkey Chili Mac makes for familiar fare enjoyed by adults and kids alike. For a rich, creamy, one-dish dinner solution, Pasta and Chicken in Garlic Cream Sauce requires less than 45 minutes of kitchen duty, making it an ideal weeknight family-favorite.

These dairy-fueled recipes from Milk Means More of Michigan can be part of a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy and a variety of protein foods.

Find more weeknight meal solutions at milkmeansmore.org.

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!

Pasta and Chicken in Garlic Cream Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Milk Means More

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 8

  • 4          slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
  • 3/4       pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 10        ounces (about 4 cups) farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  • 2 1/2    cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 4          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2       teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1          cup heavy cream
  • 1          cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3          cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1          cup halved cherry tomatoes, for garnish
  1. Place removable pan inside programmable pressure cooker. Using saute function, cook bacon, uncovered, until crisp. Use slotted spoon to remove bacon from pan. Drain bacon on paper towels. Leave 1 tablespoon drippings in pan; discard remaining.
  2. Add chicken to bacon drippings in pan in two batches. Using saute function, stir-fry chicken 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through. Use slotted spoon to remove chicken from pan. Repeat until all chicken is cooked. Press cancel.
  3. Stir pasta, broth, garlic, Italian seasoning and pepper into drippings in pan. Secure lid and set pressure release to sealing function. Select high pressure setting and cook 5 minutes. Press cancel.
  4. Allow pressure to release naturally 5 minutes. Move pressure release to venting function to release any remaining steam. Remove lid.
  5. Stir cream into pasta mixture. Using saute function, cook and stir, uncovered, until boiling. Boil, uncovered, about 4 minutes, or until sauce generously coats pasta, stirring frequently. Press cancel. Stir in chicken and Parmesan cheese.
  6. Place spinach and bacon in large bowl. Pour pasta mixture over top. Toss until combined. Ladle into serving bowls. Top each serving with tomatoes.

Cheesy Turkey Chili Mac

Recipe courtesy of Milk Means More

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 8

  • 1          tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1          pound lean ground turkey
  • 1          cup chopped onion
  • 1          can (15 1/2 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1          can (15 ounces) no-salt- added tomato sauce
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chili peppers
  • 1 2/3    cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1          tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 8          ounces (about 1 3/4 cups) elbow macaroni
  • 1/2       cup 2 percent or whole milk
  • 2          tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2          cups (8 ounces) shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 3/4       cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt or sour cream
  1. Place oil in removable pan of programmable pressure cooker. Place pan in pressure cooker. Using saute function, heat oil until hot. Add turkey and onion. Cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes, or until turkey is no longer pink, stirring to break up. Press cancel.
  2. Stir in beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, broth, chili powder, garlic salt and pepper. Stir in macaroni. Secure lid and set pressure release to sealing function. Select high pressure setting and cook 5 minutes.
  3. Allow pressure to release naturally 2 minutes. Move pressure release to venting function to release any remaining steam. Remove lid.
  4. Stir macaroni mixture. Whisk together milk and flour. Stir into macaroni mixture. Using saute function, cook and stir, uncovered, 1-2 minutes, or until boiling. Press cancel.
  5. Stir cheese into macaroni mixture until melted. Ladle into serving bowls. Spoon dollops of yogurt or sour cream on top.

Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Recipe courtesy of Milk Means More

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

  • 1          cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2       cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2       cup sliced celery
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 2          tablespoons butter or clarified butter
  • 4          cups chicken broth
  • 4          ounces (about 2/3 cup) wild rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1          teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 12        ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1          cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2          tablespoons flour
  • 1/2       cup whipping cream
  1. In Dutch oven, cook carrots, onion, celery and garlic in hot butter about 2 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir broth, wild rice, thyme, salt and pepper into vegetable mixture. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 40 minutes. Stir in chicken pieces. Return to simmer, covered, 10-15 minutes, or until rice is tender and chicken is done.
  3. In small bowl, whisk together yogurt and flour. Gradually whisk in cream. Stir into chicken mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until boiling. Boil 1 minute. Ladle into bowls. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
United Dairy Industry of Michigan

Kick Off the New Year with 8 Better-for-You Recipes

A commitment to eating better-for-you foods and living a healthier lifestyle in the new year doesn’t need to break the bank.

To help achieve a more nutritious routine without blowing your budget, consider a one-stop shop like ALDI for high-quality, affordable ingredients to incorporate into better-for-you recipes. Plus, it carries the foods and ingredients to fit nearly any dietary lifestyle and budget – including a wide variety of options for plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free diets.

Start the year with a clean slate and make practical, better-for-you eating goals with these recipes for main courses, sides, desserts and kid-friendly meals and snacks. Find more nutritious eating solutions and recipes at ALDI.us.

Harvest Breakfast Skillet – This hearty meal can be enjoyed any time of day. Combining fresh vegetables, eggs and sweet potatoes with diced quinoa crunch veggie burgers, this skillet puts a new spin on breakfast for dinner.

Crunchy Fish Bites – For a kid-friendly dish adults can enjoy as well, these crunchy fish bites feature breaded tilapia with a flavorful mustard-yogurt sauce that can win over nearly any crowd – including picky eaters.

Cauliflower-Quinoa PizzaWith the right ingredients, even pizza can help you attain your health goals in the new year. To create a healthier pizza option the whole family can enjoy, swap out the standard crust for a cauliflower-based version to cut down on carbs without sacrificing flavor.

Fresh Avocado Pasta – This pasta requires just four ingredients along with an easy-to-make, creamy sauce perfect for the entire family to enjoy. Avocado lends a colorful hue to this kid-friendly main course.

Oven-Baked Zucchini Fries – Skip the fried snacks and go for this better-for-you version of breaded veggies. A simple breading and just 15 minutes in the oven put a crunchy, guilt-free, crispy side dish on the table.

Soft-Baked Granola Cups – Topped with a dollop of strawberry yogurt and fresh berries, these granola cups are ideal for breakfast or as an after-school snack. They’re perfect to make ahead of time – just store the premade cups in an airtight container and add toppings before serving. Fun tip: Let your child decorate his or her own cups.

Cocoa Mocha Oatmeal Cookies – A mocha drizzle makes these oatmeal cookies stand out among healthier dessert options. After 15 minutes in the oven, you’re left with a delightful treat that doesn’t send your diet down the drain.

Chocolate Mug CakeA better-for-you dessert, these miniature cakes made in mugs can be on the table in just 3 1/2 minutes. Simply combine a short list of ingredients, mix in your microwave-safe mug and pop it in the microwave for a quick, chocolaty snack. (Family Features)

3 Steps to a Healthier You

Starting a diet or diving headfirst into a workout plan may be the first steps to enhancing your personal health, but once you’ve started down the path to better fitness and nutrition, it’s important to find ways to stay on track.

Instead of burning yourself out on a diet that’s too stringent or workouts that are too intense, moderate your healthy lifestyle and use simple tricks to avoid falling into bad habits. Consider these tips from celebrity trainer and food coach Valerie Waters, author of “Red Carpet Ready,” to help ensure you stick to your plan.

Bank your fitness. Interruptions in life happen frequently. Travel, for example, whether for business or pleasure, can disrupt workouts and access to nutritious food. To allow a little room for a missed workout or a special meal, put some fitness in the bank by tightening your diet a couple weeks ahead of your trip. You can also put some extra effort into workouts by adding intervals, additional weight or simply going a little longer.

Strategy trumps willpower. While willpower is certainly part of maintaining a diligent healthy lifestyle, strategizing can be of even more importance. Planning a full day or even week of meals can help you curb cravings and avoid indulging in extra, unnecessary calories. Instead of white-knuckling through afternoon cravings at work, try bringing a go-to snack like California Figs, which are filling, portable, rich in antioxidants and fat-free.

Eat simply. Eating foods as close to their natural state as possible can help you avoid consuming excess sugar and fat. Plus, by incorporating more natural foods and snacks into your routine, you’re less likely to eat items loaded with preservatives or ingredients you may not even recognize. Focus on lean protein, fruit, veggies and nuts available in recipes like this Farro and Fig Salad with Arugula and Feta.

Find more nutritional tips and information at californiafigs.com.

Farro and Fig Salad with Arugula and Feta

Servings: 6

  • 1          cup semi-pearled farro
  • 2          cups water
  • 2          tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1          tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          medium shallot, minced (2 tablespoons)
  • 1          teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2       teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4       teaspoon dried turmeric
  • 3/4       cup California Dried Golden or Mission Figs, stemmed and chopped (6-8 figs)
  • 2          cups arugula
  • 2          ounces crumbled feta cheese (about 1/2 cup)
  1. In medium saucepan over high heat, bring farro and water to boil. Lower heat to simmer, cover with lid and cook until farro is tender, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat and let rest, covered, 10 minutes.
  2. In large bowl, whisk lemon juice, red wine vinegar, olive oil, shallot, mustard, salt, pepper and turmeric. Add farro, figs and arugula; toss well. Crumble feta over top and toss again. Serve warm or at room temperature. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
California Fig Advisory Board

Say Hello to 2019 at Carpenter’s Hall

Join the fine folks at Carpenters Hall for a New Year’s Celebration as they say good riddance to 2018 and hello to 2019!

To celebrate, Chef Grae Nonas and team have prepared a festive 5-course menu that pays homage to classic hotel dishes (think Beef Wellington and Baked Alaska).

Of course, there will be a few sparkling surprises along the way, including a midnight toast. An optional wine pairing will feature Grower Champagne and special magnums.

Let’s eat, drink, and be merry!

You can book your reservation and see the full five course menu here.