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Deliciously healthy dishes from sweet to savory

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(Family Features) Supplementing meals and snacks with powerful, versatile ingredients can take healthy eating from bland and boring to delicious and adventurous.

Take your breakfasts, appetizers, dinners and desserts to new heights while maintaining nutrition goals with naturally nutritious and surprisingly versatile California Prunes. Rich and smooth with an ability to enhance both sweet and savory flavors, they can expand your menu with nearly endless powerful pairing options.

One serving of 4-5 prunes packs a powerful punch of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Together, these nutrients form a web of vital functions that support overall health.

Whole, diced or pureed, the versatility of prunes allows you to enhance the flavor of recipes from morning to night in dishes like Citrus Breakfast Toast, which brings together vitamin B6 and copper from prunes and vitamin C from citrus to support a healthy immune system.

Try Caramelized Onion, Mozzarella, Prune and Thyme Flatbreads for a tasty family meal, and while you wait for dinner to cook, you can serve up Prune, Mozzarella and Basil Skewers. These easy appetizers provide several key nutrients. Mozzarella is a good source of calcium and prunes provide vitamin K and copper, all of which support overall bone health.

Make dessert a bit better for you but equally delectable with a vegan option like gluten-free, plant-based Prune and Almond Truffles. The soluble fiber in prunes helps lower serum cholesterol and blunt the effects of excessive sodium in the diet. Nuts like almonds provide good fats that help lower the risk for heart disease.

Find more recipe ideas at CaliforniaPrunes.org.

Caramelized Onion, Mozzarella, Prune and Thyme Flatbreads

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: 4 flatbreads

Caramelized Onions:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 6 large yellow sweet onions, sliced into thin half circles
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • coarse kosher salt, to taste

Flatbreads:

  • 4 personal flatbreads
  • 1 cup caramelized onions
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 10 California Prunes, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • sea salt, to taste
  • coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
  1. To make caramelized onions: Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In large stockpot over medium-low heat, warm oil and melt butter. Add onions and cover; cook 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add thyme sprigs and season with salt, to taste; turn pan lid slightly ajar. Place pot in oven 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. To make flatbreads: Preheat oven to broil. On sheet pan, toast flatbreads under broiler 4 minutes, or until toasted, flipping halfway through.
  4. Spread 1/4 cup of caramelized onions over each toasted flatbread. Refrigerate leftover onions.
  5. Tear mozzarella and place over onions. Divide prunes among flatbreads and place flatbreads under broiler 4-6 minutes until cheese has melted and is beginning to brown.
  6. Sprinkle flatbreads with fresh thyme and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Citrus Breakfast Toast

Prep time: 13 minutes
Cook time: 2 minutes
Servings: 2

Prune Puree:

  • 16 ounces pitted California Prunes
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 large citrus fruit, peels and piths removed with knife, sliced into rounds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 4 tablespoons sunflower butter
  • 2 slices whole-grain sourdough bread, toasted to desired darkness
  • 2 tablespoons prune puree
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 2 California Prunes, finely diced
  1. To make prune puree: In blender, pulse prunes and water to combine then blend until smooth, pourable consistency forms, scraping sides, if necessary.
  2. Store in airtight container up to 4 weeks.
  3. To make bruleed citrus wheels: Place citrus wheels on baking sheet and divide sugar evenly among each piece.
  4. Using circular motion, pass flame of culinary torch repeatedly over sugar until it boils and turns lightly charred and amber.
  5. To build toast: Spread 2 tablespoons sunflower butter on each piece of toast. Top each with 1 tablespoon prune puree spread evenly across sunflower butter. Sprinkle each evenly with sunflower seeds and diced prunes. Top each with half broiled citrus and serve.
  6. Alteration: Use broiler set on high instead of culinary torch to caramelize sugar.

Prune and Almond Truffles

Recipe courtesy of Meg of “This Mess is Ours”
Prep time: 45 minutes
Servings: 24

  • Water
  • 1 cup California Prunes
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted slivered almonds, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla paste or extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  1. Boil water and pour over prunes. Soak 30 minutes; drain.
  2. In food processor fitted with “S” blade, pulse 1/2 cup toasted almonds with salt, to taste, until fine crumbs form. Transfer to shallow bowl and set aside.
  3. Add remaining almonds to food processor with 1/4 teaspoon salt and cocoa powder. Pulse 30 seconds to combine. Add prunes, vanilla paste and almond extract; process until combined. Mixture should be creamy with slight texture from almond crumbs. Transfer prune mixture to bowl and refrigerate 1 hour.
  4. Once chilled, use small cookie scoop to portion out individual truffles on parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently roll each truffle in reserved toasted almond crumbs. Store on parchment-lined plate in refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Serve chilled.

Prune, Mozzarella and Basil Skewers

Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 5

  • 5 pieces prosciutto, halved lengthwise (optional)
  • 10 California Prunes
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 10 cherry-size mozzarella balls
  1. If using prosciutto, fold each half in half lengthwise so width of prune is wider than width of prosciutto. Starting at one end of prosciutto, wrap one prune; repeat with remaining prosciutto. Set aside.
  2. Wrap one basil leaf around each mozzarella ball then thread onto skewer. Thread one prune or prosciutto-wrapped prune onto each skewer.


SOURCE:
California Prunes

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EDIBLES

Kick winter’s chill with hearty chowder

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(Family Features) Colder, shorter days call for a little comfort. Cozying up with a hearty meal on brisk winter evenings can help fight off the chill while savoring favorite flavors alongside the ones you love.

Avoid venturing into the cold for a trip to the store by turning to a pantry staple like sweet potatoes. As one of the most versatile veggies, they’re easy to add to a variety of recipes while enhancing both flavor and nutrition. Perfectly suitable for both simple and elevated dishes, they can be baked, microwaved, grilled, slow cooked or prepared on the stove so their sweet taste never goes out of style.

Their long shelf life – up to four weeks if stored properly in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area away from heat sources – means you can rely on sweet potatoes throughout the winter as an on-hand ingredient. Additionally, as a “diabetes superfood” according to the American Diabetes Association, they’re rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, all of which are good for overall health and may help prevent disease, making them a key source of nutrients during wintertime.

When your family needs a warm-up on those frosty days, put sweet potatoes at the center of mealtime (with an added kick) in this Jalapeno Sweetpotato Chowder. Loaded with the flavors of winter comfort, it’s a filling meal that makes enough for a crowd so no one goes hungry.

Visit ncsweetpotatoes.com to find more comforting meal ideas.

 

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Jalapeno Sweetpotato Chowder

Recipe courtesy of the North Carolina SweetPotato Commission
Servings: 6

  • 2          large North Carolina sweet potatoes, baked
  • 1          small onion, 1/4-inch diced
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          quart chicken or vegetable stock
  • 2          cups cooked chicken, cubed
  • 1 1/2    cups whole corn kernels
  • 2          teaspoons minced jalapenos
  • 1/2       cup heavy cream
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • chopped scallions, for garnish
  1. Peel baked sweet potatoes; discard skin and puree.
  2. In soup pot, saute onion in butter until softened. Add pureed sweet potato and stock, as desired. Bring to boil, reducing liquid slightly.
  3. Add chicken, corn, jalapenos, heavy cream and salt. Simmer 10 minutes.
  4. To serve, ladle into bowls and garnish with chopped scallions.


SOURCE:
North Carolina SweetPotato Commission

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EDIBLES

Thanksgiving traditions, memory-making meals

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Waking up to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a tradition that brings smiles and happiness for many families, and this year, an iconic brand will join the festivities. Since 1921, Wonder Bread has captured the “wonder” its founder Elmer Cline experienced when first watching a hot air balloon race. It’s often credited with the popularization of sliced bread in the United States and now, for the first time, its legacy will be on display Nov. 24 parading through the streets of New York City.

To celebrate the special occasion and the joy that Thanksgiving brings, you can enjoy Turkey Cranberry Dinner Rolls as a delicious homemade meal that’s as easy to make as it is to share. If you’re searching for a tasty side that’ll leave your loved ones stuffed, look no further than this Thanksgiving Stuffing, a classic accompaniment to holiday meals and a favorite of home chefs across the country.

To learn more about the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and find family-favorite recipes fit for Thanksgiving feasts, visit wonderbread.com/macys-parade.

Turkey Cranberry Dinner Rolls

  •             Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          package of Wonder Dinner Rolls
  • 2          cups diced turkey, cooked
  • 1          cup cranberry sauce or relish
  • 6          slices Swiss cheese
  • 6          tablespoons butter
  • 1          tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1          tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2       tablespoon dried minced onion
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          tablespoon parsley
  • 1          cup Parmesan cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 325 F. Cover 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Remove rolls from package in one piece, cutting entire slab in half lengthwise to create one half of “tops” and one half of “bottoms.”
  3. Place bottom half in foil-covered pan and layer with turkey, cranberry sauce and Swiss cheese. Add top half of rolls.
  4. In microwave, melt butter and whisk in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, onion and salt and pepper, to taste. Pour evenly over rolls.
  5. Cover with foil and let sit 5-10 minutes then bake, covered, 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan cheese. Slice into individual rolls.

Thanksgiving Stuffing

  • 1/2       cup unsalted butter, divided
  • 3          cups chopped onion
  • 2 1/2    cups chopped celery
  • 1          clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons chopped fresh sage
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2          teaspoons celery seeds
  • 1          pinch grated nutmeg
  • 1          pinch ground cloves
  • 1          teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1          loaf Wonder Classic White Bread, cubed
  • 1/2       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2    cups low-salt chicken broth
  1. Heat oven to 325 F.
  2. In large skillet over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add onion, celery, garlic, sage, thyme, celery seeds, nutmeg, cloves and salt.
  3. Cover and cook until onions are soft, 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. In large bowl, toss sauteed vegetables with bread cubes and season with pepper. Melt remaining butter and pour over stuffing along with broth then toss to coat.
  5. Bake, covered, until heated through, about 35 minutes. Uncover and bake additional 15 minutes.


SOURCE:
Wonder Bread

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EDIBLES

Serve up smiles with favorite holiday sides

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(Family Features) Turkey and ham may sit centerstage, but classic holiday sides can make the season truly special. You can bring smiles to your loved ones’ faces by dishing out those favorite recipes everyone asks for year after year.

Made with a delicious combination of rice, cheddar cheese, cream of mushroom soup and broccoli florets, this quick and easy version of Broccoli and Cheese Rice Casserole is an ideal one-pot dish to keep the holidays simple. With three easy steps and everyday ingredients, it comes together with minimal effort for traditional casserole taste.

When it comes to feeding a crowd, it’s often best to let your oven do the work. This Brussels Sprouts and Ham Rice Gratin recipe allows you to serve up a filling favorite with little effort using pantry staples. Plus, it’s a kid-friendly way to encourage veggies at this year’s holiday meal with gooey cheese providing tempting taste bud motivation.

These seasonal classics and more are made quick and easy with an option like Success Boil-in-Bag Rice, a pre-measured, mess-free way to make fluffy, high-quality rice. It’s cooked by simply dropping a bag of rice in a pot of water or broth then boiling it for 10 minutes. BPA-free and FDA-approved, the bags are safe to use and made to withstand high temperatures.

An added bonus: If you’re aiming to achieve a particular flavor, just season the rice by cooking in water infused with herbs, spices, broth, coconut milk or other liquids like juice for sweeter recipes.

Visit SuccessRice.com to find more holiday recipe inspiration.

Brussels Sprouts and Ham Rice Gratin

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          bag Success White Rice
  • 1/2       pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 1/3       cup diced ham
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 3/4       teaspoon salt, divided
  • 3/4       teaspoon black pepper, divided
  • 1          cup heavy cream
  • 2          tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives
  • 2          tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1          cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2       cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/3       cup breadcrumbs
  • 2          tablespoons butter, melted
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F. Prepare rice according to package directions.
  2. In large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts, ham, garlic, olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place on parchment paper-lined baking tray and roast 12-15 minutes, or until caramelized. Decrease oven temperature to 425 F.
  3. In large bowl, toss rice, Brussels sprouts mixture, cream, chives, Dijon mustard, remaining salt and remaining pepper. Stir in cheddar and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Transfer mixture to greased, 2-quart baking dish.
  4. In small bowl, stir breadcrumbs, remaining Parmesan and melted butter. Sprinkle over rice mixture.
  5. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown and bubbling.

Broccoli and Cheese Rice Casserole

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • 1          bag Success White Rice or Brown Rice
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          can (10 3/4 ounces) condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • 2          cups frozen broccoli florets, thawed and drained
  • 1 1/2    cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2       cup evaporated milk
  • 3          tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1          tablespoon grated onion
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  1. Prepare rice according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Coat 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. In medium bowl, combine soup, broccoli, 1 cup cheddar cheese, evaporated milk, butter, onion, salt and pepper. Fold in rice.
  3. Pour mixture into prepared dish and top with remaining cheddar cheese. Bake 20 minutes.


SOURCE:
Success Rice

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