Avocado-Papaya Relish Fig and Black Olive Spread Fruit Kebabs and Dip Rice  Tabbouleh Light Chocolate Pudding Purple Passion Juice Family-Friendly Frozen Pizza Healthy Side Veggies

Delicious Nutrient-Dense Food Choices For A Healthy Lifestyle

(NAPSI)—Are you looking for ways to improve the healthfulness of your diet? The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 (DGA) recommends eating nutrient-dense foods and beverages such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products, lean meats and poultry, eggs, beans, peas, nuts and seeds.

MyPlate is an easy to understand visual representation of the DGA and a helpful road map for building balanced meals made from the five food groups.

Make Half Your Plate Veggies and Fruits

MyPlate encourages consumers to fill half of their plates with a variety of vegetables and fruits because they contain a variety of essential nutrients, are associated with reduced risk of many chronic diseases and, when prepared without added fats or sugars, are relatively low in calories.

California avocados are a delicious nutrient-dense fruit. One-fifth of a medium avocado has 50 calories and contributes nearly 20 vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients including 8 percent of the Daily Value for dietary fiber and 4 percent of the Daily Value for potassium, nutrients of public health concern identified by the DGA.

MyPlate inspires us to make half our plate veggies and fruits because doing so is critical to good health. Unfortunately, many Americans are not getting enough of these important foods,” notes Elizabeth Pivonka, PhD, RD, president and CEO of Produce for Better Health Foundation. “I feel good about recommending California avocados to consumers as a tasty way to help meet daily fruit needs. Everyone should take advantage of the nutrition package avocados offer.”

Fit in Your “Good” Fats

California avocados are one of the few fruits that deliver “good” monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats that can have a beneficial effect on health, providing 3 grams of monounsaturated and 0.5 grams of polyunsaturated fat per 1 oz. serving. According to the American Heart Association, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, when consumed in moderation and eaten in place of saturated or trans fats, can help reduce blood cholesterol levels.

This refreshing, flavor-packed recipe will help you fill out your plate with produce.

Pan-Seared Scallops with Fennel Slaw and California Avocado-Papaya Relish
Serves: 4


  • California Avocado-Papaya Relish

  • 1 ripe, fresh California avocado, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch cubes

  • ⅔ papaya, peeled, seeded, and cut into ¼-inch cubes

  • ⅓ red bell pepper, cut into ¼-inch cubes

  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

Directions: In a small bowl, combine avocado, papaya and bell pepper. Add lime juice and gently stir to coat; set aside.

Fennel Slaw

  • 1 tsp. grated lemon peel

  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

  • 1 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme leaves

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • ¼ tsp. salt

  • ¼ tsp. white pepper

  • 3 cups thinly sliced fennel

  • 2 green onions, green part only, thinly sliced lengthwise


  1. In a small bowl, combine lemon peel, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper; stir until well mixed. Set aside.

  2. In a medium bowl, combine fennel and green onion. Top fennel mixture with dressing. Mix well, cover and set aside.

Pan-Seared Scallops


  • 16 scallops, rinsed and patted dry

  • ¼ tsp. salt

  • ⅛ tsp. white pepper

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil

  • Fennel Slaw (see make-ahead recipe above)

  • California Avocado-Papaya Relish (see make-ahead recipe above)


  1. Season scallops with salt and pepper.

  2. Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat. Place scallops in skillet and cook for 2−3 minutes on each side.

  3. Divide Fennel Slaw evenly among plates. Place equal servings of scallops on each plate. Spoon California Avocado-Papaya Relish over scallops.

For other recipe ideas that feature California avocados, visit the California Avocado Commission website at

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Simply Healthy, Simply Mediterranean, Simply Delicious

(NAPSI)—Get inspired and get healthy with a Mediterranean diet. It’s easy to bring the remarkable health benefits and affordable Mediterranean style of eating to your home every day.

Here are a few simple tips and a delicious Dried Fig and Black Olive Spread recipe to start you on your journey to good taste and good health:

  • Eat mainly plant-based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.

  • Use healthy fats, such as extra virgin olive oil, which is naturally trans fat free, instead of butter.

  • Choose herbs and spices to flavor foods instead of salt.

  • Eat fish, poultry and dairy products in low to moderate amounts, and limit red meat.

Dried Fig and Black Olive Spread

by Marie Simmons, James Beard Award-winning cookbook author


  • 8 oz. Blue Ribbon Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid Figs, stems trimmed, quartered

  • 1 cup pitted Kalamata olives

  • 1½ teaspoons fennel seeds

  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic

  • ¼ teaspoon grated orange zest

  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ cup California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  • Crostini, for serving

  • 2 to 4 ounces crumbled feta or blue cheese, optional


  1. Combine the figs and 1 cup water in a small saucepan. Heat to a boil. Cook, covered, over low heat until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 20 minutes. Cool slightly.

  2. Combine the figs, olives, fennel seeds (crushed with a mortar and pestle or the side of a heavy knife), garlic, orange zest and black pepper in a food processor. Process until pureed, stopping to scrape the sides of the container down once or twice. With the motor running, slowly add the extra virgin olive oil. Transfer the mixture to a container or bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve.

  3. To serve, place the spread in a small bowl with a butter knife and surround it with crostini. Alternatively, spread it on the crostini and serve plain or with a little crumbled cheese on top. Makes 2 cups.

Celebrate all that’s Mediterranean throughout the year with dried figs and fresh extra virgin olive oil from sunny California.

  • Extra virgin olive oil contains polyphenols that act as health-promoting antioxidants. It’s perfect for cooking, frying, sautéing, dressing and baking.

  • For freshness, look for the most current harvest date on the bottle label. Always store in a cool, dark cupboard away from heat or light to maintain freshness longer.

  • Dried figs offer a rich source of fiber in every sweet, chewy, crunchy bite.

  • Dark purple Mission and golden Calimyrna figs can be used interchangeably in recipes and make great on-the-go snacks.

Free Recipes

You can find more great recipes and tips for California Dried Figs, California Olive Ranch Extra Virgin Olive Oil and the Mediterranean Diet at,, on Facebook and Twitter and at

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Keep Your Herd Happy And Healthy With Dairy

(NAPSI)—Building strong families can be easier when you serve cool dairy foods.

Foods in the dairy group supply most of the calcium that families need, as well as provide important protein, vitamins and minerals.

Calcium plays a major role in maintaining good health. Research shows it can help increase bone density, decreasing your chances of developing osteoporosis. Calcium can also help lower blood pressure and help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

The USDA reports that nine out of 10 women and seven out of 10 men fail to meet the recommended calcium requirements of two to three servings a day, and more than half of children do not get enough calcium. Children ages 1 to 3 need two servings of dairy, ages 4 to 8 need three, and ages 9 to 18 need four servings daily.

A single serving of delicious, wholesome, calcium-rich foods includes:

  • 1 cup milk, yogurt, pudding or frozen yogurt

  • 1½ ounces natural cheese (cheddar, Swiss, etc.)

  • 2 ounces processed cheese (American slices)

  • 2 cups cottage cheese

  • 1½ cups ice cream

  • ½ cup ricotta cheese

Try this tasty snack that will keep your herd mooing for more:

Fruit Kebabs and Dip


  • Variety of fruits (bananas, strawberries, pineapple)

  • Wooden skewers

  • 1 (8-oz.) cup vanilla yogurt

  • 1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened

  • ½ jar marshmallow cream

  • 1 small container whipped topping


Cut fruit into bite-sized pieces and alternate on skewers. For dip, mix remaining ingredients until smooth.

The National Frozen & Refrigerated Foods Association is celebrating June Dairy Month with a $10,000 Mammoth Money Sweepstakes. For contest rules and entry form, visit and

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The Power Of Plants

(NAPSI)—For countless health reasons, including weight loss and improved heart health, an increasing number of Americans are setting aside one day a week or more to go meatless. Fortunately, those seeking plant-based recipes that the whole family will love can look to USA-grown rice for inspiration.

From Brown Rice Burritos to Creamy Red Beans & Rice with Caramelized Onions, there’s flavorful ideas for everyone to enjoy. The key is Texmati® Rice with its unique nutty, buttery flavor and popcorn-like aroma that enhances every recipe.

Try it in Rice Tabbouleh, a twist on the popular grain-based salad bursting with Mediterranean flavors. It’s terrific for a weekday meal or to bring to any gathering, and it’s gluten free.

Rice Tabbouleh


  • 3 cups cooked Texmati Brown or White Rice

  • 1 cup chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley

  • ¾ cup chopped cucumber

  • ¾ cup chopped tomato

  • ¼ cup minced mint leaves

  • ¼ cup olive oil

  • ¼ cup lemon juice

  • Salt and pepper to taste


In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Toss well.

If desired, you can add in rinsed canned beans, feta cheese or even leftover chopped chicken (for those who want a bit of meat).

For more recipes and facts, visit

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A Lighter Way To Enjoy Sweets

(NAPSI)—Here’s news you may find enlightening: You can now create delightful desserts that are lower in calories but highly tasty.

That’s because a major sugar producer has introduced a new light product that’s an all-natural blend of pure cane sugar and stevia, with half the calories of sugar. Pure cane sugar is blended with naturally sweet stevia and a natural flavor to enhance the taste, for a delicious light sweetener with no artificial ingredients.

The tropical stevia plant has been used for centuries as a zero-calorie sweetener. It joins pure cane sugar to create an excellent sweetener—sweet taste and half the calories of sugar.

Both Domino Light and C&H Light come in two package sizes: a 40-count packet box, convenient for quick, portion-control servings for beverages or for sprinkling on fruit or cereal, and a 2-lb. resealable pouch.

It’s easy to convert recipes—just replace each cup of sugar with half a cup of the blend to save 350 calories. One recipe you may care to try is this:

Light Chocolate Pudding & Whipped Cream Pudding


  • ¼ cup plus 1 Tbsp. Domino or C&H Light

  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

  • ¼ cup cornstarch

  • 2 cups 1% milk

  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract

  • Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1 to 2 Tbsp. Domino or C&H Light

  • ½ tsp. vanilla extract


In a small saucepan, whisk together all dry ingredients. Whisk in milk, ½ cup at a time, until combined. Place over medium heat and continue to whisk until the pudding becomes thick and begins to bubble. Remove from heat and whisk in vanilla. Pour into medium-sized bowl or individual serving bowls. Place a piece of plastic wrap on the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Chill for at least 2 hours. Serve with fresh whipped cream. Serves 4.

In a large bowl, whip cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks are just beginning to form. Add Domino Light and vanilla; increase speed slightly until stiff peaks form.

You can find more baking tips plus light and delicious recipes for such delicious treats as a Mixed Berry Almond Biscotti, Chocolate Mocha Brownies, and Orange Cream Smoothie at and

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Juicy Recipes Get Grill Season Off To A Sizzling Start

(NAPSI)—Here are two tasty new recipes to help you wow your friends and neighbors at your next outdoor get-together.

Featuring nutrient-dense 100% juice, they can brighten any gathering. Along with incredible flavor, fruit juice provides vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant nutrients. It’s a terrific beverage to sip on a sunny afternoon or a refreshing ingredient to liven up recipes such as these:

Purple Passion Juice 
Serves 1

This juicy trio is a cool grown-up refresher. If serving to kids, you may prefer to omit the tea and mint garnish.


  • ¼ cup 100% grape juice made with Concord grapes, chilled

  • ¼ cup 100% white grapefruit juice, chilled

  • ¼ cup 100% apple juice, chilled

  • ¼ cup chilled strong mint tea*

  • Fresh mint leaves, as garnish (optional)


In a tall iced-tea glass, combine the juices with the mint tea. Add ice to fill the glass, preferably using cubes made from the juice-and-tea blend. Garnish with fresh mint leaves, if desired.

*Note: For strong mint tea, pour 6 ounces boiling water over 1 tea bag and steep for 5 minutes. Chill before using.

Italian Salsa Verde
Makes ½ cup

Pass this bright green, classic Italian sauce to accompany grilled meat or chicken. It’s also great tossed with cooked shrimp or spooned over salmon.


  • ½ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, lightly packed

  • 2 tablespoons chopped spearmint

  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed and chopped

  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped garlic

  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano

  • ¼ cup 100% orange juice

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 2 to 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 anchovy fillets, finely chopped, optional


Finely chop the parsley by hand (there should be ¼ cup chopped) and place it in a small mixing bowl. Add the mint, capers, garlic and oregano. The sauce can be made up to this point and refrigerated, covered, for 8 hours. Just before serving, mix in the orange and lemon juices and stir in the olive oil. Mix in the anchovies, if using.

For more delicious, juicy recipes, go to

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Fast, Fresh And Delicious

(NAPSI)—Busy moms are always looking for healthy ways to feed their families in a hurry.

Moms wanting to keep their families’ hunger at bay in between mealtime often turn to finger foods they can feel good about serving—like fruit, cut-up veggies, hummus for dipping, and low-fat yogurts. But what quick and easy meals can busy moms serve that they don’t have to feel guilty about? The answer—frozen pizza.

Pizza is a tried-and-true family favorite, and many pizzas now offer plenty of nutrients. In fact, select frozen pizzas are made with high-quality ingredients such as real cheeses, which are high in calcium; tomatoes, a powerful antioxidant; basil and oregano, which are high in vitamin K; and garlic, which contains trace minerals and vitamin C.

Fresh Flavor

Moms may want to shop around before stocking up on frozen pizzas and be sure to read the labels. Some brands of pizza may offer fresher ingredients and more flavor. For example, the makers of Freschetta Brick Oven®Pizzas now use sea salt and olive oil to deliver an extra serving of fresh flavor.

Sea salt is produced through the evaporation of seawater, typically with little processing, leaving trace minerals behind and offering a more flavorful alternative to table salt, which is processed to remove these trace minerals.

Health Benefits

Olive oil also offers a flavorful solution as a fresh ingredient, and according to a recent study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, may have heart health benefits associated with it.

In addition to the new sea salt and olive oil ingredients, Freschetta® pizzas offer flash-frozen vegetables picked at the peak of freshness and unique blends of real cheeses and premium meats, for a deliciously fresh-taste experience.

And moms can find flavors to suit everyone in their family—from 5 Italian Cheese, Pepperoni and Italian Style Cheese, Zesty Italian Style Supreme, Roasted Portabella Mushrooms & Spinach, and Three Meat Medley. Pizzas with sauce made with sea salt and olive oil will also expand to the Naturally Rising line of pizza in the fall of 2012.

For More Information

For more information on these family-friendly frozen pizzas, visit

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Kitchen Must-Haves Make For Healthier Eating

(NAPSI)—Cooking healthier meals does not have to be difficult or time consuming.

The first step is to stock your kitchen with equipment that promotes healthier eating—products that are versatile and easy to use.

For example, must-haves for the healthier kitchen are T-fal’s Non-Stick Cookware Sets and its ActiFry Low-Fat Multi-Cooker.

T-fal’s patented Thermo-Spot technology alerts users when the pan reaches the preheated temperature so you can achieve the perfect sear, and keeps dishes healthier as they’re not sitting in oil. As an added bonus, these pans provide fast and easy cleanup with nonstick and dishwasher-safe interior and exterior coating.

T-fal ActiFry creates healthier versions of the foods we all love, ranging from vegetables, seafood, meats, french fries and even desserts. Through its unique patented hot-air circulation technology and stirring paddle, dishes are healthier due to little to no oil required. Simply put in the ingredients, turn on the machine and let it go. When it’s time to clean up, simply put the cooking surface and lid in the dishwasher.

Chef Danny Boome, correspondent on ABC’s “The Chew” and also “Rescue Chef,” on The Food Network, offers the below recipe that can be prepared in the ActiFry or skillet:

Healthy Side Veggies

Total Time: 11 min; Prep: 6 min; Cook: 6 min; Yield: 4 servings; Level: Easy


  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced

  • 1 pound asparagus, thinly sliced on a bias

  • 1 large leek, thinly sliced

  • ½ pound fava beans

  • ½ tablespoon unsalted butter (for ActiFry: ½ Tbsp. olive oil)

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper


In a large skillet or ActiFry, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallot and cook for 1 minute, then add the asparagus, leeks and fava beans. Cook for 6 minutes and season with a little salt and pepper. Serve warm.

For more information, visit and

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