Sauteed Brussels Sprouts and Shallots

Brussels sprouts have been all the buzz lately.  They’re a delicious side dish to any lunch or dinner.  Try this easy recipe from Cooking Lightwith your dinner tonight.  We’re sure you are going to be making more!

Courtesy of Cooking Light
Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon sugar
3/4 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced lengthwise
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  
Preparation

1. Heat a large stainless steel skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.

2. Add shallots; sauté 3 minutes or until almost tender, stirring occasionally.

3. Add garlic; sauté 30 seconds, stirring constantly.

4. Add sugar and Brussels sprouts; sauté 5 minutes or until brown, stirring occasionally.

5. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; toss.

The recipe and photo featured in this post were provided by Cooking Light. To read the original recipe please click here.

Color Me Red

Color Me Red

by Christie Caggiani, RDN, LDN, CEDRD 

 

As we enter February, we’re seeing Red around every corner.  Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month highlight the color, and give us a burst as the sometimes-drab days of winter continue to swirl around us.   Not only can our moods become a little blah this time of year, our food choices may become more monotonous as well.  By creating a theme, however, we can add a fun, proactive twist to eating, and bring more variety to our plates. What a great way to jazz up your kids lunchboxes, snacks or meals at home by picking a color theme– and what better color this month than RED!

Photo Credit: Kiwifraiz via Compfight cc

Our role as parent or provider is not to make sure our kids love everything they eat, but rather to present them with opportunities to explore food, develop their preferences, expand their comfort level around a variety of choices, and therefore become confident, competent eaters.  A color theme is one way that children can participate in the process, as they identify colors in the grocery store, find them in your fridge, and add them to their plate palate.  It also provides an opportunity for them to learn about the function of many foods.   For example, as you will notice below, many red fruits and veggies help promote heart health, so children can begin to connect the ways that foods work for them and support their bodies and brains.   If you are introducing a new food, make it fun and don’t be discouraged if they don’t enjoy it the first time around (or the first many times!). 

So roll out the red carpet and enjoy acquainting your family with some of these bright beauties: 

Acai: This berry from Central and South America is shown to have excellent antioxidant value, which may assist in heart health, decreased inflammation and decreased risk of some cancers.  Mix frozen acai in your blender with a splash of milk and banana, then top with granola, fresh fruit and shredded coconut for a colorful and satiating breakfast or snack. 

Cherries:  These succulent rubies give us great fiber, immune-helping vitamin C, and heart-happy potassium.  Slice up fresh or frozen cherries for a fun ice cream topping or substitute berries in your favorite recipe with equal parts (pitted) cherries. 

Cranberries:  Not only are they super for our urinary tract system, they may also help keep our digestive system protected from unhealthy bacteria and ulcers.   Pour a glass of cranberry juice, add some canned cranberries into a smoothie or mix some dried cranberries into your kids’ trail mix.

Raspberries:  Rich in vitamins C and K, and many antioxidants such as alpha and beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and choline,  these berries can help protect our heart and prevent certain types of cancers.  Fold some fresh berries into your favorite muffin or pancake mix, or keep frozen raspberries on hand to toss into a smoothie or oatmeal

Strawberries:  They are a good source of heart-helping folate, which decreases the risk of certain birth defects, and are a powerhouse of the antioxidant vitamin C, giving a boost to our immune system.   Sprinkle some strawberries on cereal or blend up some frozen strawberries in a milk and yogurt smoothie.  Or dip into some melted chocolate for a super satisfying snack!

 

Photo Credit: jetalone via Compfight c

Watermelon:  Despite popular belief that watermelon is made up of only water and sugar, it is actually considered a nutrient dense food, one that provides a high amount of vitamins, particularly A and C, mineralssuch as magnesium, potassium and zinc, and antioxidants, including high levels of lycopene.  Because it does contain 92% water, it’s also a wonderful way to help keep your kids hydrated.  Insert a popsicle stick into watermelon chunks for a fun snack, or freeze some watermelon balls to add to your kids’ water bottles. 

Beets:  With an earthy flavor that gets supersweet when cooked, beets are very nutrient-loaded, giving us 19 percent of the daily value for folate, necessary for the growth of healthy new cells.  Their rich color comes from the phytochemical betanin, which helps bolster immunity. Roast them, pickle them or shred them raw and dress them with citrus for a refreshing salad. 

Red peppers:  For the love of your eyes and your skin, include these vitamin A-packed foods.  Add a little crunch to your child’s favorite deli sandwich or have them taste test with peanut butter or hummus. 

Tomatoes:  These red beauties are heart protective and provide a great defense against prostate and potentially breast cancers.  Include a little more marinara sauce on your pasta or add some grape tomatoes into the lunchbox.  

Butternut Squash Lasagna

This meal is a definite must for Fall dinner. Its relatively easy to make, plus it comes with instructions to freeze for future meals! Let us know in the comments below your favorite Fall dinner dish.

Photo Courtesy of Cooking Light

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 3 cups chopped onion
  • 10 cup fresh spinach
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 (15-ounce) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 (15-ounce) carton fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 3 cups diced peeled butternut squash
  • 6 cups marinara sauce
  • 12 oven-ready lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

 

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Heat a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add spinach; sauté 1 1/2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Combine provolone, parsley, salt, pepper, eggs, and ricotta cheeses in a large bowl.
  3. Place squash in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and cook on high 5 minutes or until tender.
  4. Coat the bottom and sides of 2 (8-inch-square) baking dishes with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup Smoky Marinara in the bottom of one prepared dish. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup cheese mixture over noodles. Arrange 1 1/2 cups squash over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over squash.
  5. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup cheese mixture over the noodles. Arrange 1 1/2 cups onion mixture over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over spinach mixture.
  6. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup Smoky Marinara evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan. Repeat procedure with remaining ingredients in remaining pan. Cover each pan with foil.
  7. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes.

 

To Freeze:

  1. To freeze unbaked lasagna: Prepare through Step 6. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.
  2. To prepare frozen unbaked lasagna: Thaw completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 375º. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover lasagna with reserved foil; bake at 375º for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until bubbly.

 

The recipe and photo featured in this post were provided by Cooking Light. To read the original recipe please click here.

Marinated Eggplant + Video Tips

Relish the end of eggplant season with this delicious side dish. It makes a great addition to holiday meals and is simple to make!

Ingredients:

  • 1 small eggplant, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Marinade:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl, toss eggplant slices, olive oil and salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, combine marinade ingredients in a small bowl and whisk. Remove eggplant from oven and allow to cool.
  3. Toss poured marinade and eggplant slices into a sealed container and allow to marinate overnight. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Looking for more eggplant tips? Watch this great video from Cooking Light.

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1&isUI=1

Grilled Corn on the Cob

It’s no secret that corn on the cob is a summer staple. But what about grilled corn on the cob? Not only does it give the corn a different flavor, it also gives the corn a nice appearance. Try this recipe out with your families at your next summer event and let us know your variations!

Photo Credit: Another Pint Please… via Compfight cc

Ingredients

    • 8 ears corn, pull back husks
    • 2 tablespoons butter of choice
    • Optional toppings: black pepper, red pepper, a sprinkling of salt, lemon or lime juice

 

Method

    1. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
    2. Pull back the husks, leaving the husks on, remove the strings from the corn, and pull husks back over corn to cover. Place corn in a large pot or bowl and cover with water. Let stand for 30-45 minutes. Drain.
    3. Once drained, place corn on grill, and grill for 8 minutes on each side or until husks appear slightly blackened. Serve grilled corn with butter and toppings of choice.

 

This recipe was adapted from Cooking Light. To see more of Cooking Light’s corn recipes click here.

 

Summer Ratatouille

We love soup at my house. However, we miss it in the summer months because it’s just too hot to enjoy it. Luckily, this Summer Ratatouille recipe can be served both hot or cold, making it a great option for these warm summer months!

Summer Ratatouille

Photo Credit: alykat via Compfight cc

Ingredients

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 large onions thinly sliced
  • 2-3 minced garlic cloves
  • Small eggplant peeled & diced
  • 1 large can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • 4 zucchini sliced
  • 2 green peppers, cleaned & diced
  • ½ teaspoon basil
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • Salt & pepper to taste

 

Method:

  1. Heat oil in heavy sauce pan
  2. Add onions & garlic brown quickly over high heat
  3. Add eggplant & tomatoes & mix
  4. Crush mixture with back of wooden spoon
  5. Add zucchini & green peppers & mix well
  6. Add all seasoning, cook 2-3 minutes over high heat, stirring most of the time
  7. Cover & simmer for 1 hour, stirring once or twice until sauce is thick & creamy

 

*Recipe provided by The Darsa Family

Heirloom Tomato Salad

One of the greatest things about Summer is seasonal fruits and vegetables – especially tomatoes! We’re always looking for recipes here at MDIO and when we found this little beauty at Cooking Light, we knew we had to share it. It’s simple to make and a great way to introduce your kids to different kinds of tomatoes, and maybe even some goat cheese!

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 4 medium heirloom tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/3 cup small basil leaves
  • Optional: 1/3 cup goat cheese, crumbled

 

Preparation

  1. Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add chopped basil and tomato wedges; toss to coat. Cover and let stand for 1 hour, tossing occasionally. Top with basil leaves and goat cheese (optional).

 

 

Both the recipe and photograph were provided by Cooking Light.

Artichoke Antipasto

Spring is here and so is the warm and sunny weather. We just can’t wait to break out our favorite spring dishes and to try out some new recipes! To help us get started on our Spring recipes we wanted to share this Spring-y Artichoke Antipasto dish from our friends at Cooking Light. Check out the delicious details  and be sure to let us know what your favorite Spring recipes are in the comments below!

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr. Cooking Light.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups water
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, divided $
  • 4 medium artichokes (each about 12 ounces)
  • 1 (7-ounce) bag whole baby carrots with tops $
  • 3 cups small cauliflower florets $
  • 1 (8-ounce) bag baby pattypan squash, halved
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil $
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar $
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt $
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup vertically sliced red onion $
  • 1/3 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 1/3 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Preparation

  1. Combine water and 2 tablespoons juice in a large bowl. Cut off stem from an artichoke to within 1 inch of base; peel stem. Remove bottom leaves and tough outer leaves, leaving tender heart and bottom. Cut lengthwise into quarters. Remove fuzzy thistle from bottom with a spoon; place in lemon water. Repeat procedure with remaining artichokes. Drain artichokes. Cook artichokes in boiling water 6 minutes or until tender. Remove from pan with a slotted spoon; plunge into a large bowl of ice water. Add carrots to pan; cook 1 minute. Add cauliflower and squash to pan; cook an additional minute or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Drain and plunge in ice water with artichokes. Drain artichoke mixture well.
  2. Combine remaining 2 tablespoons juice, vinegar, and next 6 ingredients (through garlic) in a large bowl; stir with a whisk. Add artichoke mixture, onion, and olives; toss gently to coat. Cover and chill. Sprinkle with the parsley just before serving.

 

Both recipe and photograph courtesy of Cooking Light.

Spring Asparagus

With the clocks springing forward this Sunday, we couldn’t help but post a recipe for a Spring-y dish. We can’t wait for the weather to warm up and the spring flowers to bloom, not to mention, eating delicious seasonal fruits and veggies! One of our favorite spring vegetables is asparagus and we especially love this asparagus salad recipe.

Photo Credit: hoveringdog via Compfight cc

Ingredients

  • 1 pound asparagus, washed and trimmed
  • 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups halved heirloom tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp minced fresh garlic
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp diced red onion
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp feta cheese
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Method

  1. Cook asparagus in steamer for 2 minutes or until bright green.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add tomatoes and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar; cook 3 minutes. Stir in salt.
  3. Arrange asparagus on a platter; top with tomato mixture and chopped onions. Sprinkle with cheese and pepper.
  4. Tip: if raw red onion is too strong, you can soak in water for 5-10 minutes to dilute the flavor.

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.

 

For more great asparagus recipes, head on over to Cooking Light. They have over 50 recipe variations perfect for Spring!