RECIPES:                            

Olive and Gruyère Quiche Apple and Brown Rice Salad Wild Thyme Summer Salad Crazy Curly Broccoli Bake Garlic And Olive Oil Chicken Kabobs Chewy Fruity Popcorn

Taking Pride In What You Serve Your Family

(NAPSI)-It's easy to take pride in what you serve your family if you start with quality products.

Everyone wants to feel good about the food they serve their guests and families, secure in the knowledge that it was grown and prepared without chemicals and that it delivers optimal nutrition.

Often, that translates into choosing a brand that has a reputation they can trust. Here are a few tips to help you select the healthiest, safest foods:

  • Read labels. Find out what's in each product and what's not.
  • Learn more about the different food companies you support so you know who you can trust. For example, RiceSelect oversees every part of the process from the seed to the plate, including seed processing, farming, milling, packaging and distribution, all within U.S. borders. These measures result in the highest quality rice products.
  • Buy local in-season fruits and vegetables for the freshest and most nutritious produce. Farmer's markets and farm stands are great places to find farm-fresh food.
  • The FDA says diets rich in whole grain foods that are low fat, low in saturated fat and cholesterol, such as brown rice, can be a delicious way to help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. For example, Texmati Brown Rice, with its nutty flavor and delightful popcorn aroma, can provide a delicious serving of the whole grains your family needs.
  • Make sure any products that say they are organic are certified by USDA accredited agencies and that the process starts with the seeds. RiceSelect products are identity-preserved from seed to packaged product to ensure a truly superior non-GMO grain.
These products are recognized worldwide for their outstanding taste, texture and cooking qualities and include Texmati, Jasmati, Kasmati, Arborio, Sushi and Royal Blend rices.

That's an important consideration for cooks, since rice is a mainstay in any healthy diet. Economical and easy to prepare, rice can be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even dessert.

Try these delicious, easy-to-make rice salads you'll feel confident serving to friends and family:

Apple and Brown Rice Salad
Whole grain brown rice is key in this super salad.

Ingredients :
  • ¾ cup (6 oz.) low-fat orange yogurt
  • ½ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 3 cups cooked Texmati Brown Rice
  • 2 medium apples, diced
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • ¾ cup coarsely chopped pecans, toasted
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries

Preparation :
Combine yogurt and mayonnaise in large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, mixing well. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve. Makes 6 servings.

Wild Thyme Summer Salad
A great main dish salad for lunch or a light supper.

Ingredients :
  • 3 cups cooked Texmati Rice
  • 2 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut
  • into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 8½ oz. jar sun-dried tomatoes, drained, chopped
  • ⅓ cup chopped Kalamata olives
  • ½ cup prepared vinaigrette
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh thyme leaves

 

Preparation :
In large bowl, combine ingredients; mix well. Chill until ready to serve. Makes 4 servings.For more recipes and information, visit www.riceselect.com.Apple and Brown Rice Salad is a delicious twist on traditional Waldorf salad.

Wild Thyme Summer Salad is flavored with fresh thyme leaves and Kalamata olives.

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Tips For Eating Better On A Budget
by Elizabeth Pivonka, President, Produce for Better Health Foundation

(NAPSI)-There's good news for those looking for an economical way to offer their family a healthier diet. Healthy eating doesn't have to be expensive. It's possible to buy a cart full of healthy items without breaking the bank.

Think in terms of nutrition per dollar and the nutrition "powerhouse" in the diet is fruits and vegetables. They offer higher vitamin, mineral and fiber content per calorie compared to just about everything else you can eat! Fruits and veggies, including 100 percent juice and beans, provide both nutrition and great taste, making them a great value for your food dollar.

Canned, frozen and dried fruits and vegetables are as nutritious as fresh because they are processed quickly after harvest, locking in their flavor and nutrients. They are also very wallet friendly. But don't skip the fresh produce aisle! Fresh fruits and veggies are still less expensive than other foods when compared by price per serving and nutrition per dollar.

In fact, fruits and vegetables are probably the cheapest form of health insurance you can buy. Eating them may help reduce the risk of obesity and many diseases. Everyone can benefit from eating more fruits and vegetables, so fill at least half of your plate with them at every meal. They're budget friendly and good for your health.

Crazy Curly Broccoli Bake is a kid-friendly, veggie-centric comfort food that's inexpensive to make.

For more healthy and delicious recipes and a Video Center that takes you step by step through the process of selecting, storing and preparing many different varieties of fruits and vegetables, visit www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org.

Crazy Curly Broccoli Bake

Ingredients:
  • 1½ cups whole wheat corkscrew pasta, dry
  • 3 cups broccoli, frozen, chopped
  • 1 10.5-oz. can low-fat cream of broccoli soup, condensed
  • ½ cup skim milk
  • 2 tablespoons plain breadcrumbs
  • ¼ teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend

Preparation :
Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook pasta according to package directions. Place frozen broccoli in large microwave-safe dish and cook for 2 minutes on HIGH. Coarsely chop cooked broccoli. Mix soup with skim milk, and add to chopped broccoli. Add cooked pasta and mix. Top with bread- crumbs and seasoning blend. Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes until heated through.

Serves: 6

Nutrition Information per Serving: Calories: 164, total fat: 2.2g, saturated fat: 0.6g, % of calories from fat: 11, protein: 8g, carbohydrate: 31g, cholesterol: 2mg, dietary fiber: 5g, sodium: 351mg"

Note to Editors: Latest in a series of columns by Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D., president and CEO of Produce for Better Health Foundation. More stories at napsnet.com-pdf archive keyword: "Pivonka."

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Homemade Lunches Save Serious Bucks

(NAPSI)-You don't have to be in grade school to brown-bag it. In fact, providing your own lunch and forgoing the expense of eating out is turning out to be a smart thing to do at any age. At $5 a day (which doesn't buy much more than a fast-food meal), this savings of $100 a month can make a meaningful difference in your bank account.

But if you think packing a lunch box means suffering through day after day with the same old sandwich, think again. All you need to do is plan ahead and shop wisely. There are plenty of delicious, healthy and convenient foods in the market that make preparing lunches a snap.

Try preparing basic pasta salads, soups and other entrées at the beginning of the week.

Add a variety of ingredients to your base as the days roll on. Consider foods such as California Ripe Olives, roasted bell peppers and canned tuna, which will add zip without breaking the bank.

For those who want to get all the cooking out of the way up front, a quick Olive and Gruyère Quiche is certain to satisfy.

Olive and Gruyère Quiche

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup whole milk, heated
  • 8 oz. sliced Yukon Gold potatoes, blanched
  • 1 cup California Black Ripe Olives, halved
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • ¾ cup grated Gruyère cheese
  • 1½ tsp. chopped sage kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (9-inch) prepared pie crust

Preparation :
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Stir in potatoes, California Black Ripe Olives, spinach, cheese and sage. Season to taste with salt and pepper and pour into prepared pie crust.

Bake in a 375º F oven for 40-45 minutes. Cool on a rack for 5-10 minutes, then cut into wedges. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 6.

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving: Calories 290, Fat 17g, Cholesterol 140mg, Sodium 580mg, Carbohydrate 21g, Protein 12g, Calories from fat 54%

For more recipes, visit www.calolive.org.

This tasty quiche delivers extra flavor with ingredients that include olives, Gruyère cheese, spinach and sliced Yukon Gold potatoes.

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Learning The Real Skinny On Fats

(NAPSI)-When it comes to maintaining a healthy diet, all fats are not created equal.

A common misconception is that all fats are bad, when in fact some fats are essential and are needed for energy, vitamin absorption and cell function.

Experts Agree

We should consume less saturated and trans fats. These can contribute to increases in blood cholesterol, which leads to a greater risk of heart disease. Saturated fats are typically found in animal-based products such as beef, butter and other full-fat dairy products. Trans fats are commonly found in packaged bakery products.

Instead, choose mainly polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds and fish. These fats help support healthy cholesterol levels, which are associated with a lower risk of heart disease.

One Easy Change

To incorporate more unsaturated fats and less saturated and trans fats into your diet, you might switch from butter to soft spreads like I Can't Believe It's Not Butter!, Promise, Country Crock and Brummel & Brown. Made with a blend of nutritious plant oils, including canola and soybean oils, these spreads contain 70 percent less saturated fat than butter, no cholesterol and 0 grams of trans fat per serving. The soft spreads range from 0 to 8g of total fat and 0 to 2g of saturated fat per serving.

Add It Up

When choosing a soft spread, read the Nutrition Facts panel and add up the combination of saturated and trans fats. Look for spreads with a combined total of 2 grams or less of saturated and trans fats and 0 grams of cholesterol.

Integrating spreads into your diet is easy-just use them in place of butter for spreading on toast and vegetables, cooking and baking. Or, for a heart-healthy snack, try this delicious recipe:

Chewy Fruity Popcorn

Ingredients:
  • 1 bag (2.9 oz.) microwave 94 percent fat-free butter popcorn, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 package (5 oz.) dried cherries
  • 1 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • ¼ cup finely chopped pecans
  • 3 Tbsp. Promise Buttery Spread
  • 1 tsp. baking soda

Preparation :
Makes: 10 cups
Preparation Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 5 Minutes

In large bowl sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, combine popcorn with fruit; set aside.

In 1-quart glass measuring cup or microwave-safe bowl, combine sugar with corn syrup. Microwave at HIGH 4 minutes or until very pale yellow. With heat-resistant rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in pecans. Microwave on HIGH 1 minute or until pale yellow. Stir in Promise Buttery Spread and baking soda. With spatula sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, quickly and carefully drizzle mixture over popcorn and fruit, stirring constantly, until popcorn and fruit are coated. Cool completely before serving.

Nutrition Information per 1-cup serving:

Calories 270, Calories From Fat 50, Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 5g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 220mg, Total Carbohydrate 57g, Sugars 38g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 2g, Vitamin A 15%, Vitamin C 0%, Calcium 2%, Iron 4%

Visit www.BigFatTruth.org for more information and recipes.

Chewy Fruity Popcorn is made with a soft spread that contains no cholesterol.

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Garlic And Olive Oil Kabobs
Make Tasty Cookout Fare

(NAPSI)-Now that summer is in full swing, it's time to transform your traditional cookout menu into a truly tasty feast featuring lighter flavors for the grill.

Garlic and Olive Oil Chicken Kabobs string together succulent chicken with fingerling potatoes, summer squash and fresh red and orange bell peppers. Tangy soy sauce and a healthy dose of extra virgin olive oil, combined with grated gingerroot and minced garlic, offer a refreshing alternative to heavier barbecue marinades. Choose other summer garden vegetables or grilled meats for different taste sensations.

Garlic And Olive Oil Chicken Kabobs

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1½-2-inch pieces
  • 12 fingerling potatoes
  • ¼ large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 4 pieces
  • ¼ large orange bell pepper, seeded and cut into 4 pieces
  • 4 slices (¾-inch) yellow squash or zucchini
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • 1 tsp. grated gingerroot, optional
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. coarse ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
  • 4 baby portobello (cremini) mushroom caps, optional
  • Olive oil

Preparation:
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 28 minutes

Heat grill to medium direct heat. Meanwhile, in 1-quart microwave-safe casserole, combine potatoes and 2 Tbsp. water. Cover and microwave at High power for 1 minute; drain well. Combine chicken, potatoes, pepper chunks, squash, garlic, gingerroot, salt and pepper in large bowl; toss to coat evenly. Drizzle with olive oil and soy sauce; toss to coat. (If desired, refrigerate up to 4 hours, turning occasionally.) Add mushrooms; toss gently to coat with oil mixture.

Thread ingredients on 4 (16-inch) metal or wooden* skewers. Place skewers on grill; grill covered 8 to 10 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked, turning once. Brush with additional olive oil, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

*Note: If using wooden skewers, soak in water ½ hour before threading with chicken and vegetables.

For more recipes, and information about olive oil, visit www.aboutoliveoil.org.

A light coating of olive oil can help bring out the flavor of grilled vegetables.

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