RECIPES:

 

 

Shrimp and Vegetable Stir-Fry Sweet Potato Dumplings Deep, Dark and Stout Chili Classic Hummus Tomato-Basil Sandwiches Kalamata Olive Pizza Sizzling Bacon-Wrapped Apricots with Cranberry General Tso’s Chicken

Take A Fresh Look At Frozen Food

(NAPSI)—The frozen aisles of the grocery store offer more nutritious, delicious, convenient options than ever. From fully prepared entrées to heat-and-eat frozen ingredients, side dishes, appetizers and desserts, they can easily be incorporated into your meal preparation routine.

The Benefits of Frozen Food

  • The picking, cleaning, slicing and dicing are already done.

  • Your favorite foods are always in season.

  • Easy, quick preparation and cooking. Easy, quick cleanup.

  • No spoilage or waste. Always ready to cook.

  • No chemical preservatives-flash-freezing technology maintains optimal freshness, quality, taste and vitamin content.

  • Many stores feature special prices and promotions on tasty frozen favorites. In celebration of March National Frozen Food Month, the National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association (NFRA) has created a $10,000 Sweepstakes that runs through the end of April. To enter and for the rules, visit www.EasyHomeMeals.com.

To take a fresh look at frozen food, try this easy, tasty meal-and enjoy more time with your family and less time in the kitchen.

Shrimp and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Ingredients:

  • 24 large frozen shrimp (thawed, shelled and deveined)

  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

  • 2 tsp. chopped garlic

  • 2 16-oz. bags frozen stir-fry vegetables

  • 1 cup stir-fry sauce

  • Tomato wedges

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium heat; add shrimp and stir-fry 3 minutes or until done. Remove shrimp from pan and set aside. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil to pan and heat; add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add frozen vegetables and cook for 4 minutes. Add stir-fry sauce and cook until vegetables are tender (about 6 minutes). Add cooked shrimp to pan; stir and heat together. Plate and garnish with tomato wedges. Serves 4.

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Bringing Healthier Appetizers To The Table

(NAPSI)—Just about everyone loves a good holiday party or potluck get-together, and perhaps the only thing better than celebrating with delicious food is doing so with great-tasting dishes that are healthier, too. That’s where you can come in. This year, whether you’re hosting a party or invited to one, you can delight your friends and family with recipes that are full of flavor yet low in fat and calories.

For example, this recipe for Sweet Potato Dumplings with Cranberry Coulis turns simple, fresh ingredients into an extraordinarily tasty, attractive and healthful dish. Using Smart Balance Omega Cooking Oil and Eggs brings heart-healthy omega-3s into the nutritional mix:

Sweet Potato Dumplings with Cranberry Coulis

Chicken Mixture:

  • 2 Tbsp. each minced onion, shredded carrot

  • 1 tsp. Smart Balance® Omega Cooking Oil

  • ½ lb. ground chicken

  • 1 Smart Balance® Omega-3 Egg, white only

  • ¼ tsp. each salt, black pepper

  • ⅛ tsp. each ground sage, ground ginger

Dumplings:

  • 1 (1-lb.) sweet potato

  • 2 cups flour

  • ½ tsp. each salt, black pepper

  • ⅛ tsp. nutmeg

  • 1 Smart Balance® Omega-3 Egg, white only

Cranberry Coulis:

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen cranberries

  • ½ cup water

  • ⅓−⅓ cup sugar, depending on cranberries and desired sweetness

Directions:

1. Sauté onion and carrot in oil just until softened; cool. In medium bowl, add sautéed vegetables to ground chicken along with egg white, salt, pepper, sage and ginger. Mix well and set aside.

2. For dumplings, bake sweet potato until softened; cool. Remove skin and mash potato in a medium bowl. In separate bowl, combine flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Add egg to mashed sweet potato and mix well. Mix in 11/2 cups flour mixture. Knead remaining flour mixture into dough.

3. On floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8-in. thick. Using a 3-in. cutter, cut dough into circles. To make dumplings, spoon a rounded half tablespoon of chicken mixture into center of each dough circle. Fold dough in half around meat mixture, sealing seam with water, to form half-circles. Press dumplings gently to slightly flatten.

4. Drop dumplings, a few at a time to keep from sticking together, into boiling water. Cook 10 min. Remove with slotted spoon. Serve hot dumplings with Cranberry Coulis.

To make Coulis, combine cranberries, water and sugar in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook 20−30 min. or until berries are cooked down. Press mixture through a food mill or a strainer. If necessary, thin with water to desired consistency.

For more recipes, visit www.smartbalance.com.

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Make Dude Food Heart-Healthy

(NAPSI)—Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the number one killer ofU.S. men, accounting for about a third of all deaths. Men have a higher incidence of CVD than women and tend to experience their first cardiac event earlier.

“Sometimes men take a fatalistic approach to heart health,” says nutrition consultant Christopher Mohr, Ph.D., R.D. “They think if someone in their family had heart disease, it’s over for them the same way, but really, they can prevent it up to 80 percent of the time with a healthy diet and lifestyle.”

On the flip side, he added, some men, especially when young, think they’re invincible and don’t have to worry about heart health. But they should.

To combat these attitudes and statistics, CanolaInfo created a “Heart-Healthy Dude Food Recipe Collection” to encourage men to make some of their favorite dishes better for them. Each recipe is made with canola oil, which has the least saturated fat and most omega-3 fat of all cooking oils. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a qualified health claim on canola oil’s potential to reduce heart disease risk when used in place of saturated fat.

“I don’t tell my patients to give up their favorite foods,” Mohr says. “I simply encourage them to make smarter choices, like substituting canola oil for solid fats or other oils and choosing lean cuts of meat, and to be mindful of portion sizes.”

CanolaInfo’s Dude Food recipes include Hoisin-Whiskey Glazed Meatballs, Beef Tenderloin with Balsamic-Coffee Sauce, Herbed Pork Chops on Mustard Sauce, Fall-Apart Beer Brisket, Grilled Tuna Steaks with Cilantro and Basil and this one:

Deep, Dark and Stout Chili

  • 2 Tbsp canola oil, divided

  • 1½ lb extra lean ground beef (or 1 lb extra lean ground beef and 15-oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained)

  • 2 cups diced green bell peppers

  • 1 cup diced red onion

  • 3 cans (14.5 oz each) no-salt-added stewed tomatoes

  • 1 bottle (12 oz) dark stout beer

  • 3 Tbsp chili powder

  • 1½ Tbsp ground cumin

  • 1½ Tbsp smoked paprika (optional)

  • 1 Tbsp sodium-free beef bouillon granules

  • 1 tsp salt

Toppings

  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

  • ½ cup finely chopped red onion

  • 1 medium lime, cut into six wedges

Directions:

1. In Dutch oven, heat 1 Tbsp canola oil over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches, brown beef, about 3−4 minutes per batch, stirring frequently. In sauté pan, heat remaining 1 Tbsp canola oil and cook bell peppers and onions 4 minutes or until onions are soft, stirring frequently. Stir in cooked beef and add remaining ingredients, except salt. Bring just to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat, cover and simmer 45 minutes. Stir in salt.

2. Serve chili with choice of toppings placed in three small bowls.

Yield: 8 servings. Serving size: 1⅓ cups.

Nutritional Analysis per Serving: Calories 240, Total Fat 8 g, Saturated Fat 1.5 g, Cholesterol 45 mg, Sodium 480 mg, Carbohydrates 18 g, Fiber 5 g, Protein 20 g

The complete “Heart-Healthy Dude Food Recipe Collection” is available atwww.CanolaInfo.org. Visit Facebook.com/CanolaInfo andTwitter.com/CanolaInfo for more information.

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Broaden Your Food Horizons

(NAPSI)—Snack time can be a great time to broaden your food horizons and share new taste treats with friends and family.

If you have never tried hummus or if you already love the delicious flavor, there are several new ways to enjoy it. For example, you could pair Roasted Red Pepper Hummus with some crunchy vegetables, such as carrots or celery, for a great alternative to traditional chips and dip. Or pair warm pita bread and heat up some Classic Hummus for a toasty treat on a cold winter day.

Hummus can also be a healthy way to add flavor to sandwiches. Try spreading Basil and Pesto Hummus on your favorite deli sandwich or using Supremely Spicy Hummus to kick up chicken salad instead of mayonnaise. You can also eat them as a dip with pretzels.

Whether you choose to dip, spread or spice up your everyday snacks, dozens of flavor possibilities and taste adventures await you. Sabra offers more than 20 flavors of hummus, fresh salsas, guacamole and Greek yogurt vegetable dips.

For more information and recipes, visit www.facebook.com/sabra.

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Family Meal Makeovers

(NAPSI)—To make family meals more nutritious, the USDA recommends filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Adding these nutrition powerhouses to your favorite dishes is easy. Try these tips from the Produce for Better Health Foundation:

Create toaster waffle “burritos”—simply top toasted whole grain waffles with peanut butter and sliced bananas. Then roll them up to eat on the go.

Fill your favorite wrap with shredded lettuce, chopped avocado and tomato for extra goodness.

Serve Tomato Basil Open-Faced Sandwiches for a boost of vitamins A and C—sauté crushed garlic in olive oil; stir in minced fresh basil. Cool. Brush on crusty hearth-style bread and top with more fresh basil leaves and sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, if desired.

Put nutritious potatoes on your menu for a healthy snack or light dinner. Top baked potatoes with cottage cheese and chives or avocado, chopped tomato and low-fat cheddar cheese.

Top cereal, yogurt or frozen yogurt with sliced bananas, pineapple or cantaloupe. Make over macaroni and cheese, spaghetti or pizza with added chopped, cooked broccoli, spinach, tomatoes and more. Boost the nutrition in chili by doubling the beans and veggies you already add. The possibilities to make your family meals more nutritious are endless.

For more ideas and recipes, visit www.FruitsandVeggiesMoreMatters.org orDel Monte Fresh Produce at www.fruits.com.

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Five Pantry Staples Every Family Needs

(NAPSI)—The next time you’re looking to jazz up family pizza night, feed the girls during “Dancing with the Stars” or seeking to create unique appetizers and party platters for holiday get-togethers, consider this: One of the easiest and quickest ways to punch up a weekday dinner or impress your guests is to keep your pantry stocked with glass-packed specialty foods that provide convenient options for inspired dining and entertaining—without spending a ton of time or money.

Here are five pantry essentials and dish ideas to add in to your at-home culinary repertoire:

1. Sun-Dried Tomatoes—Toss olive oil−marinated sun-dried tomatoes into spaghetti with basil and Parmesan cheese to add a twist to pasta night.

2. Pesto—Spruce up a traditional burger with a touch of pesto for bold, basil-rich flavors. Serve with potato fries or chips for barbecue with a twist.

3. Giardiniera—Serve this classic Italian relish made up of assorted, pickled vegetables alongside pecorino cheese and cured meats as an antipasto platter. Now there are updated varieties of this antipasto staple made with white wine vinegar and bright herbs to pair well with modern flavors.

4. Assorted Olives—Get creative and mix several different types of more exotic olives, from bright-green buttery Castelvetranos to feta- or cheddar cheese−stuffed olives, for an instant appetizer.

5. Peppers—Layer roasted red bell peppers, fresh mozzarella and arugula leaves on rustic bread for delectable grilled panini, or toss a few varieties on a frozen cheese pizza before baking.

Any of those items also makes a fantastic addition to a frozen or delivered pizza to create an instant crowd-pleaser for family or even entertaining friends, and you won’t need to spend hours in the kitchen kneading homemade dough or chopping vegetables. For example, this recipe can be thrown together in minutes for instant entertaining.

Roasted Bell Pepper and Kalamata Olive Pizza

(Serves 4−6)

Ingredients:

  • 12-inch round frozen cheese pizza (purchased at the store)

  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, thinly sliced

  • 4 oz. prosciutto, thinly sliced

  • 7 oz. MEZZETTA® Roasted Red Bell Peppers, sliced

  • 2 oz. MEZZETTA® Pitted Kalamata Olives, sliced

  • 1 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped

  • 1 tsp. fresh basil leaves, chopped

Directions:

  1. Cook frozen pizza as directed.

  2. Five minutes before pizza is fully cooked, take out of the oven.

  3. Top with onions, prosciutto and roasted peppers. Sprinkle with olives, oregano and basil.

  4. Place pizza back in the oven and bake for additional 5 minutes.

  5. Let stand for 5 minutes before cutting.

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Perfect Pairings To Make Party Planning A Snap

(NAPSI)—Perfect food and drink pairings are main ingredients in planning gatherings of any size. The art of combining cool cocktails with amazing appetizers that create a symphony of flavors as they mix and mingle in your mouth... it’s like a party for your palate. With the following tips, you’ll have everything you need to impress the most discerning guests.

• Create a theme: Incorporate versatile ingredients, such as cranberries, into multiple courses to create a theme that will surprise and delight guests.

• Think through the meal: For the menu, weigh how the different colors, textures, flavors and temperatures of the dishes will combine, keeping in mind their presentation on the plate.

• Balance flavors: Consider mixing and matching opposing tastes to create uniquely balanced flavor profiles, such as salty with sweet. Cut the richness of a pastry or dessert with the refreshing crispness of a sparkling cocktail or mocktail.

• Remember presentation: When setting the table, pairing casual and formal arrangements will blend sophistication with personalization. Showcase homemade centerpieces and the children’s crafts among your finest silver and dinnerware for a true representation of your home.

Perfect Pairing Suggestions

• Kick off the evening with Cranberry Shrimp Cocktail paired with the Cranberry Gin Fizz.

• Go full on flavor with Beef Empanadas with Cranberries paired with Cranberry Lime Sparklers.

• Round out the final course with Outrageous Chocolate Cranberry Fudge Cake paired with Cranberry Mimosas.

For more party-planning tips, perfect pairings and recipe demos, just visit www.oceanspray.com, 

www.facebook.com/oceanspray,www.twitter.com/oceansprayinc 

and www.youtube.com/oceanspray or call Ocean Spray’s Consumer Help Line at (800) 662-3263.

Sizzling Bacon-Wrapped Apricots with Cranberry Glaze 
(Makes 24 appetizers)

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups Ocean Spray® 100% Juice Cranberry Blend

  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch mixed with 2 teaspoons water

  • ¾ teaspoon whole-grain mustard

  • 1½ teaspoons packed brown sugar

  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 12 slices maple-cured bacon, halved crosswise

  • 24 dried apricots

Directions:

Boil cranberry juice in medium saucepan over high heat until reduced to 1 cup. Whisk in cornstarch, mustard, brown sugar and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil 1 minute until thickened. Cool to room temperature. Reserve ½ cup of the glaze.

Meanwhile, line rimmed baking sheet with foil; set wire rack over foil and spray with cooking spray. Wrap bacon halves around apricots and secure with wooden pick. Brush with glaze and place on wire rack.

Broil 3 to 7 minutes or until bacon is browned, turning once. Serve warm with reserved glaze.

Treat guests to a perfect pairing of a Cosmopolitan joined with Sizzling Bacon-Wrapped Apricots with Cranberry Glaze.

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Start A Prosperous Chinese New Year With A “Chef’s Specialty” Homemade Recipe

(NAPSI)—With fireworks, dancing dragons and fabulous food, the Chinese New Year has all the makings of a festive celebration.

Chinese communities from around the world take part in the festivities, recognizing the new lunar year as a fresh start and a chance to show gratitude for life’s blessings. January 23, 2012 will mark the start of this year’s celebration and will usher in the Year of the Dragon (4710).

With 15 days to celebrate, Chinese New Year provides plenty of opportunities for family and friends to come together for a delicious meal. Whether it’s a casual potluck or a formal affair, these gatherings are a special time to observe the promise of prosperity and the delights of the table.

When hosting a New Year’s party, it’s important to stay true to the symbolism and traditions of the holiday. Since the festival is a time to rejoice with loved ones, hosts can cut down on the amount of time they spend in the kitchen and enjoy more quality time with guests. It might seem easier said than done, but here’s a secret: It’s all in the planning. If you choose recipes that are easy to make and can be prepared ahead of time, you’ll be able to whip up a meal that is sure to please your guests.

Fried food symbolizes gold and prosperity in Chinese New Year traditions, so General Tso’s Chicken—a sweet and spicy, deep-fried dish—is the perfect meal to commemorate the holiday. It has become a staple at North American Chinese restaurants over the past few decades and is even listed as a “Chef’s Specialty” on some menus.

Making this popular restaurant meal at home may seem like quite the undertaking, but in reality, it’s simple if you make a few tweaks to the recipe. Simple variations like using a pre-packaged seasoning mix to avoid long marinating times can make all the difference. Kikkoman’s Kara-Áge Soy-Ginger Seasoned Coating Mix, for example, infuses a ginger-soy flavor to the dish without requiring any extra marinating time. And if you cut the chicken into pieces beforehand, you’ll have the dish on the table in mere minutes.

So get your apron on, and follow the recipe for Easy General Tso’s Chicken. Serve it over a bed of rice or with vegetables and your guests will never know just how simple it was to make.

For more Chinese New Year entertaining tips and recipes, download Kikkoman’s official Chinese New Year Celebration Guide at www.KikkomanUSA.com.

Easy General Tso’s Chicken

Makes 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup light corn syrup

  • 2 tablespoons sugar

  • 2 tablespoons Kikkoman Seasoned Rice Vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon Kikkoman Soy Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 clove garlic, minced

  • 1¼ pounds skinless, boneless thighs

  • 1 pouch Kikkoman Kara-Áge Soy-Ginger Seasoned Coating Mix

  • Vegetable oil for frying

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Directions:

In a bowl, combine corn syrup, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, red pepper and garlic. Rinse chicken and cut into 1-inch square pieces. Place chicken and Kara-Áge in a sealable plastic bag and shake to coat chicken. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. In batches, add chicken and cook about 3 minutes on each side or until browned. Drain on paper towels. Drain off all but 1 teaspoon oil from skillet. Return all the chicken to the skillet, add corn syrup mixture and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds.

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