RECIPES:           

Macaroni Salad with Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing

Celebrate World Heart Day With Workplace Wellness

Spicy School Day Smoothie

Torino Sangria Wild Mushroom and Sirloin Burgers Deep-Fried Walleye with Pork Rind Fish Batter

Macaroni Salad For The Perfect Picnic

(NAPSI)-With a basket on hand and a well-stocked summer pantry, it's never too late for an impromptu picnic.

A versatile starter or main dish for the outing is Macaroni Salad with Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing. Extra virgin olive oil, tangy vinegar and fresh herbs combine with seasonal vegetables, white beans and elbow macaroni to create a colorful dish that's flavor-packed and easy to prepare. This recipe makes a generous side salad. To serve as a main dish, add two cans (6 oz. each) of white albacore tuna or cooked chicken.

Macaroni Salad with Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing

Ingredients:
  • 1 package (16 oz.) elbow macaroni
  • 1 Tbsp. salt
  • 1 can (15 oz.) white beans, such as navy, cannellini or great northern; drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (6 oz.) sliced, pitted ripe olives, drained
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley leaves
  • small red onion, diced
  • Lemon and Olive Oil Dressing:
  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. rice vinegar
  • tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5⅓ Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Prep Time: 5 to 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes (pasta)

Bring 1 gallon of water to boil. Add salt and macaroni and cook until just tender; drain and rinse with water until cool.

While pasta cooks, mix remaining salad ingredients in large bowl. When pasta is cooled, add to salad. (Can be covered and refrigerated up to 2 hours.)

For the dressing, mix lemon juice, vinegar, salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in oil to form a thick dressing. When ready to serve, add dressing to salad, toss to coat, and serve.

Makes 12 servings; approximately cup each.

For more recipes, and other cooking tips using heart-healthy olive oil, visit the Web site at www.aboutoliveoil.org.

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Celebrate World Heart Day With Workplace Wellness

(NAPSI)-Many of us spend about 60 percent of our waking hours at work, so workplace habits like being active and eating a diet low in saturated fat are critical for overall health. Embrace workplace wellness with these easy, heart-smart tips:
  1. Pack it up. Packing a lunch instead of eating out lets you control calories and money while incorporating healthy ingredients such as canola oil and canola mayonnaise.
  2. Step away from the desk. No matter how busy your day, take a short break at lunch to recharge.
  3. Plan ahead for leftovers. Prepare larger, healthy meals for dinner to have leftovers for work.
  4. Get moving. Take a walk at lunch, take the stairs, get off the bus a few blocks earlier or park your car farther away.
  5. Team up. Partner with a co-worker to commit to a nutrition and fitness plan.
  6. Break for water. The American Heart Association recommends six to eight glasses of water a day.
  7. Laugh for life. Minimize stress with laughter.
  8. Power up. Get an afternoon boost from healthy snacks like these homemade granola bars:

Lunchbox Granola Bars

Instructions:
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • cup ground flaxseed
  • ⅓ cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup raisins or chocolate chips
  • cup sunflower seeds
  • teaspoons salt
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • cup canola oil
  • cup applesauce
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease 9 x 13-inch baking pan. Combine oats, flour, flaxseed, sugar, cinnamon, raisins, sunflower seeds and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and set aside. Combine honey, egg, oil, applesauce and vanilla in a small bowl. Add to dry ingredients; mix. Pat evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the bars begin to turn golden at the edges. Cool 5 minutes, then cut while still warm. Do not allow the bars to cool completely before cutting or they will be hard to cut. Yield: 24 servings.

Nutrition per serving: Calories, 150; Total Fat, 6g; Saturated Fat, 0.5g; Cholesterol, 10mg; Sodium, 55mg; Carbohydrates, 22g; Fiber, 3g; Protein, 3g.

Find more information and recipes at www.canolainfo.org.

Note to editors: Kick off workplace wellness in honor of World Heart Day on Sept. 27, which is calling for people to "work with heart." World Heart Day is a trademark of the World Heart Federation, www.worldheart.org.

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Sensible Snack Solutions For The School Lunch Box

(NAPSI)-Here's food for thought: Nearly 50 million students are attending approximately 97,000 public elementary and secondary schools, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That equals a lot of lunch boxes needing nutritious, kid-approved snacks.

Parents also need to note what is stocked in the home pantry, since that determines what options kids have to snack on.

For healthy, but tasty, lunch box items and after-school treats, parents can start with these practical choices to keep children energized:

  1. Pack simple fresh veggies, including sliced carrot and celery sticks. Pair these crunchy snacks with fun, healthy dipping sauces such as low-fat cream cheese or dressing.
  2. Choose organic snacks when possible to reduce consumption of unwanted pesticide residues. For example, Santa Cruz Organic Apple Cinnamon Sauce cups are a portable and tasty option.
  3. Avoid sugary sodas and juices. Instead, consider R.W. Knudsen Family's organic Sensible Sippers juice boxes, made with half water and half juice, which cuts the calories by 40 percent and reduces the sugar load. The 4-ounce boxes are suited to children's petite hands and portion control.
  4. A peanut butter sandwich can be especially healthful if made with whole grain bread, organic peanut butter (such as Santa Cruz Organic's dark roasted) and organic jams or jellies.
  5. Let them go nuts. Cashews and almonds are easy, high-protein snacks. Buy them from the bulk containers to avoid unnecessary packaging and to get the desired amount.
  6. Start the day right with a nourishing smoothie. Try this recipe:

Spicy School Day Smoothie

Instructions:

  • 1 cup R.W. Knudsen Family's Morning Blend juice
  • cup plain yogurt
  • 1 small banana
  • 8-10 shelled walnut halves
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 6 large ice cubes
  • 2 shakes ground nutmeg

 

Directions:

Blend everything together, except the nutmeg, at high speed for a minute and a half. Pour into 2 tall glasses. Shake the nutmeg over the top of each glass before serving.

Makes 2 Servings

For more healthful snack ideas, visit www.RWKnudsenFamily.com and www.SantaCruzOrganic.com or call (888) 569-6993.  

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A Joyous Blend You Can Raise A Glass To

(NAPSI)-One way to discover the meaning of "gioia di vivere," Italian for "joy of living," is to mix up a pitcher of Sangria. While typically a Spanish drink, why not try an Italian twist on this classic cocktail? There are many delights that pair well with this unique Sangria, such as cheese, olives or prosciutto that can transform your patio into a classic Italian terrazza.

No need to waste time away from your guests (over 21 years old) mixing individual cocktails. The blend of aromatic herbs and spices in Martini & Rossi vermouth does the work of adding all the flavor, while fresh fruits serve as the finishing touch that will liven up any warm-weather bash.

The vermouth is traditionally enjoyed before a meal, and its popularity continues to grow due to the resurgence of classic cocktails, but it's a delicious addition to these Sangria recipes.

Torino Sangria

Instructions:
  • 1 (750 ml) bottle of Martini & Rossi Extra Dry vermouth
  • 2 cups (16 oz.) cranberry juice cocktail
  • cup (4 oz.) brandy (optional)
  • cup sugar
  • 2 cups (16 oz.) sparkling water
  • 2 oranges, thinly sliced into wheels
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced into wheels
  • 1 lime, thinly sliced into wheels

Directions: Combine Martini & Rossi Extra Dry vermouth, cranberry juice, brandy and sugar in a large pitcher; stir until sugar is dissolved. Chill until ready to serve. Stir in sliced fruit and sparkling water. Serve over ice. (Makes 8 servings)

Monviso Sangria

Instructions:

  • 1 (750 ml) bottle of Martini & Rossi Rosso vermouth
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) cranberry juice
  • cup (4 oz.) DISARONNO Originale Liqueur
  • cup (4 oz.) simple syrup
  • 2 apples, cubed
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced into wheels
  • 20 cherries, whole
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) lemon-lime soda

Directions: Combine first five ingredients in a large pitcher and stir in fruit. Chill until ready to serve (24 hours, if possible). Just prior to serving, stir in lemon-lime soda. Pour over ice in tall glasses. Makes 8-10 servings.

The iconic winemaker has created a number of easy and elegant Sangria recipes (www.martini.com).

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Make Your Tennis-Viewing Party A Winner

(NAPSI)-With the popularity of tennis on an upswing, more Americans are finding unique ways to enjoy the game. For some, that may mean grabbing a racket and hitting the courts. But for others, it means tuning in to professional matches and hosting an upscale, at-home tennis bash.

If you'd like to join them, try these tips:

Spruce up your buffet table with a crisp, green tablecloth. Use thin, white tape against the green to re-create a scaled-down tennis court.

Create bold floral arrangements featuring tennis balls as an unexpected accent. Simply poke a hole into a tennis ball, insert a bamboo skewer or chopstick and place it into the bouquet.

Strategically incorporate tennis rackets and balls on the food or wine table. Even use the rackets as a creative serving tray for appetizers.

In addition to these party-planning ideas, you can try the following recipe from McWilliam's Wines, Australia's oldest and most awarded winemaking family. The winemaker has created a list of casual yet sophisticated recipes that can easily be paired with favorite varietals.

Wild Mushroom and Sirloin Burgers

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb. ground sirloin
  • 1 cup chopped (4 oz.) wild mushrooms, finely chopped
  • cup each McWilliam's Shiraz, minced sun-dried tomatoes, minced onion, and seasoned dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • teaspoon each sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 to 16 small rolls or focaccia bread squares
  • 1 4- to 6-oz. Brie cheese, sliced
  • 2 cups arugula
  • Extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt and pepper to taste

Makes 12 to 16 small burgers

Directions: Mix sirloin, mushrooms, wine, tomatoes, onion, bread crumbs, basil, salt and pepper until well combined. Form into 12 to 16 flat patties. Grill over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove from grill and top with cheese while still warm. Lightly dress arugula with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and place on the bottom of rolls. Top with burgers and roll tops. Secure with toothpicks and serve. Pair with McWilliam's Shiraz.

For more party-planning tips and recipes, visit www.mcwilliamswines.com.

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The Secret, Healthy Life Of Pork Rinds

(NAPSI)-If you think you know all there is to know about pork rinds, think again. They may be a much healthier food than you ever suspected. Consider the following:

When Men's Health magazine listed their "Top 5 Junk Foods that are Good for You," pork rinds topped the list.

A one-ounce serving of pork rinds contains zero carbohydrates, 17 grams of protein and 9 grams of fat. That's nine times the protein and less fat than a serving of potato chips.

Even better, according to Men's Health, 43 percent of a pork rind's fat is unsaturated, and most of that is oleic acid-the same healthy fat found in olive oil. Another 13 percent of its fat content is stearic acid, a type of saturated fat that is not supposed to raise cholesterol levels.

Pork rinds have also become a favorite of many people who have diabetes-again because they are low in fat and carbohydrates and have a glycemic index of 0.

For example, here's a recipe that uses pork rinds as a coating for fish.

Deep-Fried Walleye with Pork Rind Fish Batter

Ingredients:

A member of the perch family, walleyed pike has firm, flaky flesh that is very mild in flavor and is suitable for many cooking methods including baking, frying, broiling, grilling and poaching.

  • 1 lb. walleye
  • 2 eggs
  • cup milk
  • cup ground or chopped pork rinds
  • cup any fish breading
  • Vegetable oil for frying

Directions:

Mix eggs and milk together. In a separate bowl, combine pork rinds and fish breading. Dip pieces of fish in milk/egg mixture and then coat with the breading mixture. Deep fry until golden brown.

Makes 6 servings (1 cups)

Rudolph Foods, based in Lima, Ohio, is the world's largest manufacturer of pork rinds. To learn more and for more recipes, visit www.rudolphfoods.com or call (800) 241-7675.

Pork rinds are so versatile that they can be a substitute for flour at a 1:1 ratio for almost any recipe.

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