Zesty Southwest Burgers With Cilantro Slaw Mango Relish

Roasted Red Pepper and Avocado Sandwich

Salmon Burger Tacos With Fruit Salsa Couscous with California Avocado, Mango and Shrimp Tuna Pasta Salad With Avocado


Advice For Home Cooks That Makes Healthy Eating Easy
by Elizabeth Pivonka,
President, Produce for Better Health Foundation

(NAPSI)-There's been a renewed interest in cooking at home, and getting a home-cooked meal on the table night after night doesn't have to be a challenge, though even experienced cooks need a little help now and then.

People need easy-to-understand, healthy recipes that are quick to fix and that their kids will eat. The good news is that cooking at home can save money and brings the family together for dinner. It can also contribute to healthy eating.

Eating fruits and vegetables matters so much in maintaining a healthy weight and may reduce the risk of many diseases. It's easy to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet when you remember that all forms count; fresh, frozen, canned, dried and 100 percent fruit and vegetable juice.

Keeping a variety of fruits and vegetables on hand makes fixing healthy last-minute meals a breeze. Some of the items I keep on hand include bell peppers, carrots and celery, which can be added to dishes to boost their color, taste and nutrition. Another fun way to boost flavor is to squeeze fresh lime juice over meat or fish on the grill to add flavor without adding salt.

Tuna Pasta Salad with Avocado is a tasty, one-dish meal that can be prepared in minutes, even by a novice cook.

Tuna Pasta Salad With Avocado

Preparation time: 30-60 minutes

  • 2 cups pasta shells
  • ¼ cup bottled fat-free Italian dressing
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
  • 1 6-oz. can water-packed tuna, drained and flaked
  • ¾ cup diced tomato
  • ½ ripe avocado, diced
  • ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons black olives, chopped
  • 4 green leaf lettuce leaves

In a large saucepan, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain, then rinse briefly under cold water. Drain. In a small bowl, combine the Italian dressing, basil, garlic and crushed red pepper. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, tuna, tomato, avocado, red onion and olives. Add the dressing and toss until evenly coated. Line plates with the lettuce leaves and spoon the salad on top.

Serves: 4, ½ cup of vegetables per serving

Nutrition Information per Serving: calories: 295, total fat: 6.4g, saturated fat: 1.1g, % calories from fat: 19%, % calories from saturated fat: 3%, protein: 18g, carbohydrates: 41g, cholesterol: 18mg, dietary fiber: 5g, sodium: 363mg

You will find several healthful, easy-to-prepare recipes online at There is even an entire section of recipes that can be made in 30 minutes or less. You'll also find a healthy meal-planning guide with advice on making a weekly menu and shopping list.

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 archive keyword: "Pivonka."

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Entertaining Made Simple And Delicious With California Avocados

(NAPSI)-Hosting a get-together is a great way to enjoy the warm days of summer with friends and family. When it comes to your menu, be sure to take advantage of the seasonal fruits and vegetables available during the summer-they can add a great fresh flair to your meals.

California avocados are just one of the many fruits that are in season and available now. This locally grown fruit is a perfect addition for relaxed summer meals, as it can add a creamy texture and delectable flavor to a variety of dishes such as grilled meats, salads and sandwiches.

While well-known for their exceptional flavor, California avocados have a nutrient punch. Naturally sodium and cholesterol free, one-fifth of a medium avocado, or about one ounce, has 50 calories and contributes nearly 20 beneficial nutrients to the diet. So you can feel good about incorporating this fruit into your meals.

For a simple and fresh summer dish, try this recipe for Couscous with California Avocado, Mango and Shrimp. For other recipes that feature fresh California avocados, visit the California Avocado Commission Web site at

Couscous with California Avocado, Mango and Shrimp

Serves: 8
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cooking Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 48 minutes

  • 24 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 Tbsp. seafood grill seasoning
  • Olive oil, optional
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 (10-oz.) box plain couscous
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 ripe, fresh California avocados, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes*
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal
  • 1 cup cooked edamame (shelled soybeans)
  • 2 cups Mango-Lime Dressing (see make-ahead recipe below)



  1. Toss shrimp with seasoning. Barbecue or sauté in olive oil for about 3 minutes, turning over once. Remove to plate; set aside.
  2. In a 2-quart pan, bring water to a boil. Stir in couscous, oil and salt. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes.
  3. In a bowl, combine avocado and lemon juice; set aside.
  4. Remove lid from pan and fluff couscous; cool. Pour couscous into a large mixing bowl. Add avocado, mango, onions and edamame.
  5. Pour dressing over salad, as needed. Toss to coat.
  6. Serve onto plates and top with cooked shrimp.

Mango-Lime Dressing


  • 1 ripe mango, peeled, pitted and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • ½ cup fresh lime juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. Dijon-style mustard
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  • ¼ tsp. ground white pepper
  • ¼ tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp. snipped fresh mint leaves
  • 2 Tbsp. snipped fresh cilantro leaves


  1. In a food processor, add mango, juice, oil, garlic, mustard, salt, pepper and cumin. Purée, using the pulse button; set aside.
  2. Mix mint and cilantro into dressing immediately before using.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 270; Total Fat 16 g (Sat 2 g, Trans 0 g, Poly 2 g, Mono 11 g); Cholesterol 30 mg; Sodium 560 mg; Total Carbohydrates 25 g; Dietary Fiber 5 g; Protein 9 g

*Large avocados are recommended for this recipe. A large avocado averages about 8 ounces. If using smaller or larger size avocados, adjust the quantity accordingly.

California avocados are just one of the many fruits that are in season and available now.

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Family Meals Under $10

(NAPSI)-If you need a budget-friendly recipe that delivers great taste in minutes, try these flavorful dishes that won first and second place in Success Rice's recent Feed 4 for $10 contest.

The winning recipes were chosen based on taste, creativity, appearance and ease of preparation. The recipes are ready in 30 minutes or less.

To view other winning recipes, visit

Mango Chicken and Rice

Ingredients :

  • 1 bag Success Jasmine Rice or White Rice
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into
  • 1-inch pieces
  • ½ cup red onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • ¾ cup hot mango chutney
  • 1 fresh mango, peeled and diced
  • ¼ cup cilantro, chopped

Preparation :

Prepare rice according to package directions. In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat, add chicken and cook until the meat is no longer pink in the center.

Add red onion and red bell pepper. Cook five minutes. Add mango chutney, mango, cilantro and rice. Stir well and serve. Serves four

Zesty Southwest Burgers With Cilantro Slaw

Ingredients :

  • 1 bag Success White Rice or Brown Rice
  • ½ cup ranch salad dressing
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 3 tbsps. cilantro, minced
  • 1 lb. ground chuck
  • tbsps. hot and spicy taco seasoning mix
  • 2 tbsps. vegetable oil
  • 4 hamburger buns

Preparation :

Prepare rice according to package directions. Let cool for five minutes. To make cilantro slaw: In large bowl combine ranch salad dressing, cabbage and cilantro. Toss to combine; cover and refrigerate until serving.

In large bowl, combine rice, ground chuck and taco seasoning mix. Form into four patties sized slightly larger than hamburger buns.

Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add patties and cook to medium well (10 to 12 minutes or until center is 165° F), turning once.

To serve, on each hamburger bottom bun, place a cooked patty, an equal amount of slaw and top bun. Serves four.

Feed 4 for $10? It's easier than you might imagine with the winning recipes from a recent contest.

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Celebrating The Art Of Food Preservation

(NAPSI)-A century ago, food preservation was a fact of life. Today, it's an artful craft that brings wholesome, nutritious fruits and vegetables to every dish, in any season. And over the last 100 years, one book has been the definitive guide to preserving foods at home.

Since 1884, cooks have relied on the Ball® brand canning jar for all their preserving needs. And since 1909, the "Ball Blue Book® Guide to Preserving" has provided answers to cooks' questions about safe food preservation. Over the decades, this popular book has also introduced dozens of recipes, such as this tangy creation:

Mango Relish

Ingredients :

  • 4 cups ½-inch cubed, peeled under ripe mango (about 4 medium)
  • 3 cups ½-inch cubed, peeled, underripe papaya (about 1 large)
  • 2 cups green seedless grapes
  • ¼ cup sliced green onions
  • 3 Tbsp. minced crystallized ginger
  • 2 tsp. coriander seed, toasted
  • 1 tsp. mixed peppercorns
  • 1 cup white grape juice
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar

Preparation :

Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Ladle hot relish into hot Ball jars, leaving ¼-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles with a nonmetallic spatula. Adjust Ball two-piece caps. Process relish 15 minutes in a boiling-water canner.

Yield: about 4 pints

Canning tips

  • Add a generous splash of vinegar to water in the canner to reduce hard-water deposits on jars; jars will come out sparkling clean.
  • Use an electric appliance with temperature control such as an electric slow cooker to keep jars and lids hot. Set temperature at 180ºF and keep jars and lids submerged in water until needed.
  • For easy-to-read jar labels, print decorative labels on the computer. These labels will be easy on the eyes, and jars will be ready for gift giving at a moment's notice.

For more recipes, tips and creative ideas, visit the Web site at

For the last 100 years, a popular guide has helped people safely preserve their own fruits and vegetables.

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Plan A Practically Perfect Picnic

(NAPSI)-The next time you're looking for inspiration to liven up a picnic, take a cue from Chef Dan Kish, former Associate Dean at The Culinary Institute of America and current Vice President of Food at Panera Bread. "Salads, seasonal fruit, frozen treats and picnic-ready sandwiches are simple and delicious additions to any outing."

To spice up the same-old sandwiches, Kish suggests picking up a few loaves of freshly baked bread. Try chicken salad on slices of tomato basil bread or top toasted Asiago cheese bread with a variety of dips and spreads for an appetizer. From focaccia and sesame semolina to Ciabatta and sourdough, there are seemingly endless bread options to please every picnicker.

Kish also recommends using last night's leftovers as today's picnic lunch. Mix this morning's bacon and hard-boiled eggs with grilled chicken and some freshly chopped romaine lettuce for a delicious chopped Cobb salad. If you don't have time to make a salad on your own, you can try Panera's version of this much-loved and delicious classic. Made with all-natural antibiotic-free pepper mustard chicken, Applewood-smoked bacon, hard-boiled eggs, crumbled Gorgonzola and served on a bed of crisp romaine lettuce, the chopped Cobb salad is a savory addition to any picnic.

For those looking to get their fruit fix, Kish suggests creating a salad that uses the season's freshest fruit. Create your own version of a Panera favorite, the Strawberry Poppyseed Salad, by using garden-fresh lettuce, juicy strawberries and blueberries and other fresh fruit, such as pineapple and Mandarin oranges. Top the salad with crispy pecans for a little crunch. For those looking to eat lighter, Kish advises packing dressing on the side to help control calories and avoid soggy lettuce.

Once you've finished the salads and sandwiches, wind down the afternoon with a frozen lemonade. With a few fresh-squeezed lemons, sugar and some ice, it's a great way to relax and refresh on a warm day.

For a wholesome picnic sandwich, try this recipe.

Roasted Red Pepper and Avocado Sandwich

  • 2 Ciabatta loaves, cut in half lengthwise
  • ½ cup roasted garlic hummus
  • 1 small jar of roasted red peppers
  • ½ avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into ¼" slices
  • juice of ½ fresh lemon
  • ½ tomato cut into ¼" slices
  • 2 small leaves of lettuce
  • salt and pepper

(Makes 2 sandwiches)


Spread ¼ of the roasted garlic hummus on each of the four halves of Ciabatta. Top two of the halves with pieces of the roasted red pepper, followed by the avocado slices. Drizzle a bit of lemon juice over the avocado, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Layer tomato and lettuce on top of the avocado, then finish with the two remaining Ciabatta halves. Cut each sandwich in half and fasten with a toothpick.

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Throw A Beach Party-Sans Sand And Shore

(NAPSI)-This year, the "staycation" is becoming more popular than the vacation. So instead of traveling to the seafood in the next few months, start a family habit and bring the seafood home.

An exciting way to gather friends and family together is by re-creating the allure of the coast by throwing a beach party. Decorating for the party is a breeze; simply purchase inexpensive tiki torches and candles to set the ambience, spread out beach towels and add beach pails and beach balls for pops of color. As for the food, SeaPak makes serving seafood convenient and affordable with products from the grocer's freezer case. For the children, dish up SeaPak's tasty Popcorn Shrimp or new Tilapia Tenders with a variety of dipping sauces and vegetables. Spoil the adults in the crowd with SeaPak's best-selling Jumbo Butterfly Shrimp or satisfying and healthy Salmon Burgers.

For a unique departure from backyard burgers, try this recipe served alongside a cold, fruity drink:

Salmon Burger Tacos With Fruit Salsa

  • 2 packages (12.8 oz) SeaPak Salmon Burgers
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 flour or corn tortillas
  • 2 cups torn, iceberg lettuce

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Makes: 4 - 6 servings

Fruit Salsa

  • 1 can (20 oz) crushed or chunk pineapple, drained
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced jalapeño peppers
  • 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon, or lime juice

COMBINE lemon juice, chili powder, oil and garlic in small bowl.

RUB salmon burgers with mixture. Cover and refrigerate about 15 to 30 minutes.

MIX together fruit salsa ingredients in a bowl.

GRILL burgers according to package directions.

PLACE tortillas on grill, heat 10 seconds on each side, and top each tortilla with ½ cup lettuce.

EVENLY break up salmon burgers over lettuce.

TOP with about 2 tablespoons fruit salsa.

Note: This recipe can also be done in oven, under broiler.

With coastal decor, relaxed attire and delicious food, beach party pleasures can be enjoyed anytime, anywhere.

More great recipes and tips are at

Any time is a good time for a seafood-filled beach party at home.

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