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Fresh, healthy family meals

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Recipes to help boost iron levels, aid plasma donation recovery

(Family Features) Chef Nate Appleman knows how important it is to serve healthy meals to your family – ones they actually want to eat. Before having his first child, he transformed his eating and exercise habits and lost 85 pounds to get on a healthier path.

Now, he’s cooking meals for his family, including 14-year-old Oliver who was diagnosed with Kawasaki Disease as a toddler – an inflammation of the blood vessels that can cause damage to coronary arteries – as a healthy lifestyle is important to help manage the disease. Since Oliver’s diagnosis, Appleman made it his personal mission to create awareness of Kawasaki Disease and for the critical need for plasma donations that many people with the disease rely on for treatment, which is why he partnered with Abbott to bring attention to the need for plasma donations.

Plasma is a powerful part of your blood that supports essential bodily functions. It’s a lifeline for thousands of people who are immune-compromised and live with a variety of chronic and complex diseases. In fact, more than 125,000 Americans rely on medication made from plasma every day, according to the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association (PPTA).

The COVID-19 pandemic led to a serious shortage of plasma donors – average donations per center in the United States were down approximately 11% during the first few months of 2021 compared to the previous year, further deepening the nearly 20% decline in donations in 2020 compared to 2019, according to the PPTA.

Donating plasma is a safe and relatively easy process. Since plasma is replaced in the body within about 24 hours, it can be donated up to twice per week. With a donation that typically takes between 1-3 hours, you can make a lasting impact by providing lifesaving medicine for patients like Oliver.

It’s a good idea to fuel up with iron-rich foods before and after donating, so Appleman created these fresh, nutritious recipes he loves to serve his family: Marinated Skirt Steak, Lemon Chicken with Roasted Red Onions and Potatoes, and Cheesy Frittata with Veggies.

Learn where you can donate at bethe1donor.abbott.

Marinated Skirt Steak

Recipe courtesy of chef Nate Appleman on behalf of Abbott

Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup fish sauce
  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, juice only
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 small Thai bird chile or serrano chile, chopped
  • 1/4 head finely shaved green cabbage
  • 1/4 head finely shaved purple cabbage
  • 2 carrots, thinly julienned

Skirt steak:

  • 1 1/2 pounds trimmed skirt steak
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons sriracha
  • salt, to taste
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup crushed peanuts
  • 1 lime, quartered, for garnish
  1. To make vinaigrette: In large bowl, mix oil, fish sauce, rice wine vinegar, water, sugar, cilantro, lime juice, garlic and chile. Toss cabbage and carrots in vinaigrette; refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. To make skirt steak: Marinate steak in coconut milk, garlic, lime juice, cilantro, sriracha and salt, to taste, at least 1 hour, or up to 24 hours.
  3. Heat grill to high.
  4. Grill 3-4 minutes each side until medium rare.
  5. Let rest 3 minutes.
  6. Thinly slice steaks against grain and serve with vinaigrette, rice and crushed peanuts; garnish with lime wedges.

Lemon Chicken with Roasted Red Onions and Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of chef Nate Appleman on behalf of Abbott

Lemon chicken:

  • 1 whole chicken, cut into eight pieces
  • 1 ounce minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel seed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt

Potatoes:

  • 2 1/2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes
  • salted water
  • oil

Cauliflower:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • salted water
  • ice
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Roasted onions:

  • 1 red onion
  • salt
  • oil

For serving:

  • 3 ounces pitted Castelvetrano or green olives, cut into quarters
  • 5 ounces wild arugula
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  1. To make lemon chicken: Marinate chicken in mixture of minced garlic, granulated garlic, paprika, smoked paprika, fennel pollen, dried oregano, coriander and salt; let sit overnight.
  2. To make potatoes: Boil potatoes in heavily salted water until tender. Cool, peel and cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks. Toss with oil to coat; reserve.
  3. To make cauliflower: Cut cauliflower into florets and blanch in salted water 1 minute; shock in ice bath. Remove from ice and dry. Toss with mayonnaise, tamari and parsley; reserve.
  4. To make roasted onions: Preheat oven to 450 F. Peel onion and slice into 1-inch rings. Toss with salt and oil; roast until slightly caramelized with texture. Chill and reserve.
  5. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  6. Bake chicken on sheet pan approximately 15 minutes. Add potatoes and cauliflower. Bake approximately 15 minutes then switch oven to broil approximately 10 minutes.
  7. Squeeze lemon over reserved onion.
  8. When chicken is crispy and reaches internal temperature of 165 F, remove from oven and add onions and olives. Plate chicken, potatoes, onions, olives and cauliflower on top of arugula and garnish with lemon.

Cheesy Frittata with Veggies

Recipe courtesy of chef Nate Appleman on behalf of Abbott

Roasted Garlic:

  • 2 heads garlic
  • olive oil
  • salt

Frittata:

  • oil
  • 2 medium leeks, sliced
  • 8 ounces blanched, chopped broccoli
  • salt, to taste
  • 9 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 ounces grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  1. To make roasted garlic: Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Slice 1/4 inch off entire heads of garlic and place cut sides down in 1-liter casserole dish. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt; cover with lid.
  3. Bake 35-45 minutes until heads of garlic are soft and light brown. Let cool then use back of knife to squeeze garlic from pods.
  4. To make frittata: Lower oven to 375 F.
  5. In saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook leeks until soft; add broccoli then season with salt, to taste, and remove from heat.
  6. In mixing bowl, mix roasted garlic, sauteed leeks and broccoli, eggs, parsley, Parmigiano Reggiano and cream; place in 9-inch pie dish and bake approximately 20 minutes until top of frittata is brown. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before cutting and serving.


SOURCE:
Abbott

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Bring joy to mealtimes by dining together: Benefits of a Mediterranean lifestyle

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(Family Features) The renowned Mediterranean Diet, celebrated for its myriad benefits, has been rated as a top diet in the world for years. 

Recognizing the benefits of the foods included in the Mediterranean Diet, it’s important to broaden the understanding beyond its ingredients to embrace the elements of the Mediterranean lifestyle, which also contribute to these benefits. Essentially, it’s not just about what you eat; it’s also about how you enjoy it and with whom you share the experience.

Nutrition, physical activity, sleep and togetherness comprise this balanced way of living, with preparing, eating and enjoying food together being key elements of the Mediterranean lifestyle. You can immerse yourself in the vibrant spirit of the Mediterranean lifestyle simply by inviting friends or family to gather around the table for a meal – like a family favorite pasta dish.

The benefits of gathering around the table are abundant, ranging from fostering stronger connections and communication among family members to enhancing overall well-being. In fact, first-of-its-kind research conducted by researchers at the University of Minnesota and supported by Barilla, the world’s leading pasta maker, demonstrates that people experience greater happiness when they share meals with others, highlighting the importance of togetherness.

Published in “Families, Systems, & Health,” the research shows a strong positive correlation between how often people gather around the table during mealtimes and enhanced connectedness, reduced depressive symptoms and an improvement in overall mood.

Semolina pasta is a staple for many people in the Mediterranean region, playing a significant role in culinary history and making it a favorite ingredient in dishes aligned with the Mediterranean lifestyle and gathering around the table. For example, these recipes for Cellentani Caprese Pasta Salad and Linguine with Zucchini Carbonara are perfect for sharing, whether you’re hosting friends and neighbors or enjoying a meal with someone special.

A high-quality, minimally processed carbohydrate, semolina pasta is naturally low in sodium, a good source of fiber and contains a variety of micronutrients.

“Eating together is a joyful and important practice of the Mediterranean lifestyle that truly contributes to overall well-being,” said Michele Lefebvre, registered dietitian nutritionist and manager of nutrition and well-being at Barilla America. “As a traditional yet versatile food, pasta brings a sense of nostalgia to meals as people gather together around the table and connect in an impactful way.”

Visit barilla.com/recipes to discover more dishes that can help you follow the Mediterranean lifestyle.

Cellentani Caprese Pasta Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Servings: 7

  • 1 box Barilla Protein+ Cellentanii pasta
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 pints grape tomatoes, mixed color, halved
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 8 basil leaves, julienned
  • 2 cups small mozzarella cheese balls, halved
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  1. Bring large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Drizzle pasta with 1 tablespoon olive oil and place on sheet tray to cool. Set aside.
  2. In large bowl, combine tomatoes, lemon juice, basil, remaining olive oil and cheese. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add pasta and stir.

Linguine with Zucchini Carbonara

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated, divided
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini, julienned
  • 1 box Barilla Linguine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint, chopped
  • black pepper, to taste
  1. Bring large pot of water to boil.
  2. In bowl, mix egg yolks, 1/3 cup Pecorino Romano cheese and milk. Season with salt, to taste. Set aside.
  3. In large skillet, heat olive oil and cook zucchini.
  4. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water.
  5. Mix pasta in pan with zucchini. Add egg yolk mixture and 2 tablespoons cooking water. Combine well.
  6. Add remaining cheese and mint; mix. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.


SOURCE:
Barilla

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Create a family-friendly grazing board

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(Family Features) A beautifully designed charcuterie board may feel more like a grown-up treat, but with the right ingredients, delicious grazing boards can provide fun and nutrition for the whole family.

No matter what you call it, charcuterie boards, grazing boards and snack platters are all basically the same thing. The boards make a trendy addition to an entertaining menu, but a platter or kid-friendly board can be equally pleasing.

What you serve on a grazing board is entirely up to you. Most include a selection of meats and cheeses, and many incorporate nuts, crackers, dips and jams. Some also incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables. Creating your own board means there really are no rules; you can add just about anything you want.

To build a successful board, keep these tips in mind:

Choose ingredients and elements that don’t require temperature control. The idea of a grazing board is that it sits out for a while. Avoid anything that needs refrigeration, heat or will lose its shape or flavor if it rests for an extended amount of time.

Select a surface large enough to hold a variety of food. It can be a simple cutting board or a cute platter. There’s no specific size requirement but err on the side of bigger; spacing out your goodies can be more attractive and less messy.

Use high-quality ingredients to ensure every bite is delicious and nutritious. While shopping, remember to look for the Produce for Kids and Healthy Family Project logos next to favorite items in the produce department, as adding these flavorful fruits and veggies to your cart can help make a difference in your community.

Build your board around a theme to add an extra element of fun. Use mini cookie cutters to make fun, kid-friendly shapes out of cheese and meats. Be mindful of colors; a rainbow platter is vibrant and appealing, and colorful fruits and veggies offer a strong mix of nutrients.

Remember it doesn’t have to be elaborate. Classic favorites are all you need. Even kid favorites like sections of mandarin oranges, carrot sticks and chocolate chips are fair game for a family-friendly board.

Find more ideas for creating family-friendly treats at healthyfamilyproject.com.

Taco Tuesday Board

Recipe courtesy of Healthy Family Project’s “Come Graze With Us” e-cookbook

  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Queso
  • Hard and soft taco shells
  • Ground turkey, seasoned and browned
  • Lettuce
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Shredded cheese
  • Chopped onions
  • Chopped peppers
  • Sour cream
  • Cilantro
  • Lime wedges
  1. On grazing board or platter, arrange guacamole, salsa, queso, taco shells, ground turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, onions, peppers, sour cream, cilantro and lime wedges.

Weekend Breakfast Grazing Board

Recipe courtesy of Healthy Family Project’s “Come Graze With Us” e-cookbook

  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Cooked sausage links
  • Mini frozen waffles, toasted
  • Mini frozen pancakes, toasted
  • Mini muffins
  • Yogurt
  • Fresh fruit
  • Syrup
  • Jelly
  1. On grazing board or platter, arrange eggs, sausage links, toasted waffles, toasted pancakes, muffins, yogurt, fruit, syrup and jelly.


SOURCE:
Healthy Family Project

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Simple, convenient salads to celebrate spring

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(Family Features) Letting in a little fresh air with an open window or a screen door is a sure sign of spring, allowing the natural sights and smells of the outdoors to accompany you at the dinner table. Take that open-air freshness to new heights this spring by pairing it with your own signature spins on salad season.

For example, this Tuna and Rice Nicoise Salad offers a new take on tuna salad with olive tapenade, capers, tomatoes, green beans and cherry tomatoes. Its calling card: swapping out potatoes in favor of Minute Yellow Rice Cups, which cook up fast as a convenient and flavorful alternative that saves the chore of washing, peeling and boiling potatoes. Fully cooked and packaged in BPA-free cups, it features white rice lightly seasoned with onion powder, garlic powder and turmeric for a delightful taste ready in just 1 minute.

As a perfect recipe for those who love veggies, this dish combines classic salad freshness with olive tapenade for a briny bite in every mouthful. Canned tuna mixes with bursts of capers, hard-boiled egg, crisp green beans and sweet cherry tomatoes capped off with tart balsamic dressing to round out the dish.

If you love the taste of crisp, peppery arugula, this Pomegranate and Arugula Rice Salad is practically perfect. Your favorite green shines alongside a delicious mix of sweet pomegranate seeds, crisp almonds and tart balsamic dressing that’s ideal for a starter or side, or you can add a preferred protein to turn it into a satisfying main course.

Incredibly colorful with a lively taste, bright flavors mingle with fluffy grains of Minute Instant Jasmine Rice, ready in just 5 minutes to keep your dinner schedule on track. Aromatic white rice provides a distinct scent, perfect texture and delicious taste that’s fast, fragrant, flavorful and fluffy. It’s simply precooked then dried with nothing added but convenience to help you get tasty meals on the table quickly.

Requiring just 15 minutes to prepare, this salad is ready in an instant and serves up to eight people, making it a solution for anything from family gatherings to meal prepping for a busy week ahead.

Find more spring salads and other flavorful, convenient recipes by visiting MinuteRice.com.

Tuna and Rice Nicoise Salad

Prep time: 4 minutes
Cook time: 1 minute
Servings: 1

  • 1 cup Minute Yellow Rice Cups
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic dressing
  • 2 tablespoons olive tapenade
  • 1 teaspoon capers, drained well
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup frozen green beans, thawed
  • 1 can (3 ounces) tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 hard-boiled egg, cut into wedges
  1. Heat rice according to package directions.
  2. In medium bowl, combine rice, balsamic dressing, tapenade and capers. Mix well.
  3. Top with cherry tomatoes, green beans, tuna and hard-boiled egg.
  4. Tip: Serve salad over bed of mixed greens, if desired.

Pomegranate and Arugula Rice Salad

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 2 cups Minute Instant Jasmine Rice
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons minced red onion
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bag (5 ounces) arugula
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  1. Prepare rice according to package directions. Cool completely, about 10 minutes.
  2. In large bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, red onion, mustard, honey, salt and pepper.
  3. Add rice, arugula and pomegranate seeds to bowl; toss to coat thoroughly. Sprinkle with almonds.

Tips: For added flavor, top salad with crumbled goat or blue cheese.

To cool rice quickly, spread evenly on parchment paper-lined baking sheet.


SOURCE:
Minute Rice

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