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A Hearty Twist on Homemade Meals


In Good Taste







(Family Features) When you think of fall comfort foods, you think of those hearty meals from home: rich stews, soups and chili, pot pies and one-pot dishes. This year, put a new twist on those tastes of home.

Sorghum, a grain that resembles bulgur or wheat berries, is a healthy and tasty way to add variety to your favorite comfort foods. You can use sorghum in its whole grain form or pearled for great tasting, healthy dishes just like you would use rice. Its mild taste absorbs other flavors well, and its hearty texture is ideal for cool-weather recipes. What’s more, sorghum boasts an impressive nutritional profile. Naturally gluten free, it’s a hearty, soft bite solution to meeting the goal of 2-3 servings of whole grains each day.

Easy to prepare ahead and freeze, sorghum doesn’t compromise quality and also lends convenience to dishes that will warm you from the inside out. For best results, soak the whole grain overnight in cool water, then drain and cook 1 cup of sorghum in 3 cups of water – 35 minutes for pearled sorghum and 45 minutes for whole grain sorghum.

Find a new comfort food favorite with this risotto dish, and explore more recipes at

Sorghum Butternut Squash Risotto12862_A
Recipe courtesy of Barbara Kliment, Nebraska Grain Sorghum Board
Serves: 6

4     cups chicken broth
1     large vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon vanilla paste
3     cups peeled butternut squash, cut in 1-inch cubes
2     tablespoons butter, plus 1 tablespoon
1/2     cup chopped onion
1 1/2     cups pearled sorghum
1/2     cup dry white wine
1/2     cup grated Parmesan
1/2     teaspoon salt
pepper to taste
chives for garnish (optional)

In medium saucepan, warm broth over medium-high heat. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise; scrape out seeds and add with bean to broth. (Or use vanilla paste.)

Bring to simmer; reduce heat to low. Add squash and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Use slotted spoon to remove squash to a separate dish. Turn heat on broth to very low and cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, in large, heavy saucepan, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add onion; saute until tender, about 3 minutes. Add sorghum; stir to coat with butter. Add wine and simmer until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups broth, cover and cook until almost completely absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. Continue cooking, adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time, stirring constantly, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more until sorghum is tender but still firm to bite and creamy, about 20 minutes total.

Discard vanilla bean. Turn off heat; gently stir in squash, cheese, remaining butter, salt and pepper. Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle with chives or additional Parmesan. Serve immediately.

Source: United Sorghum Checkoff Program


September 30, 2015 |

Get Schooled: Creative Lunchbox Ideas


In Good Taste







Family Features) It’s time for sandwiches to move aside, because this school year bento-box style lunches reign king on campus. Bento boxes provide not only the space for healthy and nutritious food choices, but also creativity. Isn’t it time for lunch to be more fun?

Nutrition blogger and mom of two, Sally Kuzemchak, uses Lil Snappers kid-sized fruit when she creates bento box lunches because they are easy for little students to hold, serving size proportionate and each 3-pound pouch provides enough fruit for lunches and snacks for an entire week. On top of that, the fruit can be sliced up for dipping in almond butter or yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon or cut up into a fruit salad, perfect for the three or four compartments in a bento box.

Studies indicate healthy eating can influence the cognitive ability and intelligence levels of students, and balanced midday meals of fruits, proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats are best. For a well-rounded lunch, parents can fill bento boxes with fresh pasta alongside sliced carrots and grapes, taco fixings with a Lil Snappers apple or a fun and creative meal-on-a-stick to keep school-aged children satisfied throughout the day.

Preparing healthy, filling lunches shouldn’t be difficult, and with bento-box style meals your kids will never be bored. With a little preparation and recipe inspiration, crafting back to school lunches will be a breeze. For additional recipes and information, visit and look for them at your local grocery store.

Apple-Tuna Treasure Chest12878_A
Servings: 2

2     Stemilt Lil Snappers Kid Size Apples
1     can (6-ounces) white albacore tuna, packed in water, drained
2     tablespoons mayonnaise
1/2     teaspoon honey mustard
1/2     carrot, finely diced
salt and pepper, to taste

Slice off top one-third of each apple; set aside. Using small teaspoon or grapefruit spoon, core-out center of each apple base (working outward from centermost part of fruit), leaving 1/4-inch outer edge; set aside.

In small bowl, mix tuna, mayonnaise, mustard and carrot. Season to taste. Spoon 1/4 cup of tuna salad into each apple, top with top one-third of apples, tilted slightly to resemble a chest being opened.

Use playful, pirate-themed cupcake holders and flagged toothpicks to make for fun presentation and easy clean-up.

Apple Turkey Cheese Kabobs 12878_B
Servings: 2

1     Stemilt Lil Snappers Kid Size Apple, cored not sliced
1     block (3 ounces) low-fat cheese
1    slice oven-roasted turkey, cut 1/4-1/2-inch thick
2     bamboo skewers

Core apple and slice in half vertically.

Place two halves on cutting board, flesh side down, and slice each into 3-4 slices, from stem end to bottom to resemble half-moon. Set aside.

Cut 2-3 1/2-inch slices from block of cheese and, depending on dimensions of cheese block, cut each slice again to create square or triangle shape, as preferred.

Cut cubes of turkey from slice, or, using 1 1/2-2-inch round cutter cut rounds of turkey from slice. Then cut each round in half.

Thread pieces onto skewers, alternating between apple slices, cheese and turkey.
Source: Lil Snappers






September 23, 2015 |

Autumn Baking Trends Worth Falling For


In Good Taste







(Family Features) As the seasons shift from summer to fall, you can begin looking forward to warm flavors and fresh inspiration with new takes on favorite comfort foods inspired by the 2015 Baking and Decorating Trends from the Wilton Test Kitchen. Check out a few fall favorites, featuring trend-worthy flavor combinations we’re sure you’ll fall in love with too.

Middle Eastern and North African flavors have become increasingly popular ingredients in baking and other sweet treat making. Wilton’s Cinnamon and Aleppo Pepper Braided Loaf recipe is reminiscent of classic cinnamon bread, but served with a side of sass as it weaves in a mild, almost citrus-like heat with Aleppo peppers.

For dessert, tap in to the “fruitful possibilities” trend with this Hard Apple Cider Tart. The tart plays up crisp, light apple flavor with a refreshing bite of hard cider. Produce sections are piled high with ever-expanding selections of fruit. Each type boasts its own signature flavor, texture, fragrance and color.

For more flavor and recipe inspiration, visit

Cinnamon and Aleppo Pepper Braided Loaf     12864_A
Serves: 12-14

6    tablespoons butter, softened
1/4    cup granulated sugar
2    tablespoons all-purpose flour
1    tablespoon ground cinnamon
1    teaspoon crushed Aleppo pepper

1    package (16 ounces) hot roll mix
1    cup warm water
1/4    cup butter, softened
1    egg
1    egg yolk
1/2    cup all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350 F. Prepare 9-by- 5-inch loaf pan with vegetable spray.

In small bowl, stir together butter, sugar, flour, cinnamon and Aleppo pepper bowl until well combined.

In large bowl, stir together hot roll mix and included yeast packet. Add water, butter, egg and egg yolk; stir until dough forms (dough will be very sticky). Turn out onto well-floured surface and knead 1/2 cup flour in until smooth dough forms, about 5 minutes. Cover and let rest 5 minutes.

Roll dough into 20-by-12-inch rectangle. Spread filling evenly over dough surface. Roll up from long end as for cinnamon rolls, pinching seam and ends to seal. Cut log in half lengthwise. Twist pieces together and place in prepared pan in “S” shape, tucking ends under. Cover pan and let rise in warm area 15 minutes.

Uncover loaf and bake 30- 35 minutes or until loaf is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Let cool in pan on cooling grid 5 minutes then turn out onto grid to cool completely.

Hard Apple Cider Tart12864_B
Serves: 10-12

1/2    cup (1 stick) butter, melted
1/4    cup granulated sugar
1/2    teaspoon Wilton Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4    teaspoon salt
1 3/4    cups all-purpose flour

1    tablespoon granulated sugar
1/8    teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2    medium red baking apples, such as Braeburn, cored and sliced 1/8-inch thick

1    bottle (12 ounces) hard apple cider
3    tablespoons light corn syrup
2    tablespoons granulated sugar

Heat oven to 350 F. Prepare 9-inch tart pan with vegetable spray.

In large bowl, stir together melted butter, sugar, vanilla and salt. Add flour; stir until just combined. Evenly press into bottom and up sides of pan. With fork, prick dough all over. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

Remove tart from refrigerator; bake 12-14 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely.

In small bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and salt. Arrange apples in tart pan in overlapping circular pattern, working from outside in. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.

Bake on cookie sheet 55-60 minutes until apples are soft and crust is golden brown.

While tart bakes, make glaze. In large skillet, cook cider over medium heat until liquid has reduced to 2 tablespoons, about 10-15 minutes. Reduce heat to low; add corn syrup and sugar. Stir continuously until sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat and cool.

Re-warm glaze over low heat, if needed, and brush on tart when it is removed from the oven. Cool tart completely in pan on cooling grid.

Source: Wilton Products


September 16, 2015 |

F-U-N Learning with Food


In Good Taste







(Family Features) If you’re searching for ways to get little ones excited about learning, try combining fun and function, using food as your teaching tool. Foods that come in letter shapes are a great way to introduce young learners to the alphabet and make learning delightfully F-U-N.

Although it may contradict the popular mealtime mantra to “quit playing with your food,” teaching children to recognize letters using a familiar food, such as cereal, can actually be a great way to promote literacy and a love of reading early on.

You can get started promoting the joys of learning with these “snacktivities” to make snack time as entertaining as it is educational for your littlest family members. Use a nutrient rich cereal, such as Post Alpha-Bits, so when letters start disappearing into those tiny tummies, you can feel good knowing each serving provides 12 of the essential vitamins and minerals growing kids need.

For more great recipes your family will love, visit

Family tree12473_A
Draw a big tree with lots of branches on construction paper. After the tree is drawn, write out each family member’s name on the branches with colorful markers. Encourage your little ones to match the letters you have written with letters from the Alpha-Bits box. Let them glue the cereal pieces to the tree so you can display their works of art on the refrigerator.

Vowel play
Give your little one a one-cup serving of Post Alpha-Bits and ask them to eat all of the consonants and leave only the vowels. They’ll learn their letters a little better and get 20 grams of whole grains along the way.

ABC Crispy Bars
1/4     cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine
1     package (10.5 ounces) miniature marshmallows
8     cups Post Alpha-Bits Cereal
Alphabet-shaped cookie cutters

Line 13-by-9-inch pan with foil; lightly grease foil.

Microwave butter in large microwavable bowl on high for 45 seconds or until melted. Add marshmallows and mix well.

Microwave on high for 1 1/2 minutes or until marshmallows are completely melted and mixture is well blended, stirring after 45 seconds.

Stir in cereal.

Press cereal mixture firmly into prepared pan. Cool.

Using the alphabet-shaped cookie cutters, cut cereal mixture into 12-15 pieces.12473_B

Store in airtight container at room temperature.

Source: Post Foods














September 9, 2015 |

Boost Back to School Success With These Breakfast Tips


In Good Taste







(Family Features) A daily breakfast leads to not only better overall nutrition, but better school performance as well. A simple breakfast at home or school can ensure that your child doesn’t start the day hungry. It also ensures that your child has the nutrients and energy he or she needs during the morning to concentrate on learning.

Research shows that kids who eat a morning meal have better memory, attention and behavior, and score higher on tests.

Eating a nutritious breakfast is a great way for children to be on target to meet their daily needs for key nutrients, like calcium – the bone-building mineral found in milk, cheese or yogurt. Children who don’t eat breakfast also are less likely to get all of the essential nutrients they need each day to thrive.

Dairy and breakfast go hand in hand. Dairy delivers a unique package of nine essential nutrients in a variety of tasty and affordable options, and dairy protein helps supports healthy muscles while keeping young tummies feeling full until the next meal.

With so many types of milk, cheese and yogurt to choose from, it’s easy for every family member to find their favorite way to start the day with a healthy dose of dairy. Try these ideas to boost school success:
* Build a yogurt parfait or whip up a yogurt smoothie, such as this Peach-Mango and Cereal Smoothie.
* Eat pizza for breakfast; it’s sure to put a smile on your kids’ faces.
* Build a breakfast burrito bar so kids can create the breakfast they love. Prepare toppings the night before and in the morning, scramble the eggs and warm the tortillas.

This school year, call on dairy and breakfast to set your kids up for success in the classroom.

And remember that hungry students can’t learn. In fact, milk is the number one most requested item by food bank clients. Through the Great American Milk Drive, you can donate milk to hungry families in your community at

Find more kid-friendly breakfast tips and recipes at

Peach-Mango and Cereal Smoothie12796
Recipe created by Midwest Dairy Council and General Mills

1     container (6 ounces) fat-free peach or pineapple yogurt
1/2     cup whole grain cereal
1 1/2     cups fresh or frozen sliced peaches or mango chunks
1     cup fat-free milk
1/2     cup ice, if desired
Peach or pineapple slices, additional mango chunks and additional cereal, if desired

In blender, place first 5 ingredients. Cover; blend on high speed about 30 seconds or until smooth. To serve, wet the rims of 2 glasses with a peach or pineapple slice, and divide smoothie between glasses. Garnish with mango chunks and whole pieces of cereal on rim of each glass. Serve immediately.
Source: Midwest Dairy Association

September 2, 2015 |

Make Snack Time Count


In Good Taste







(Family Features) During this busy time of year, it’s easy to let nutrition slide. That’s why it’s important to have healthy snacks ready to take with you so you can keep your energy up while you’re on the go.

Choosing wisely will let you get the most out of your snacks. For example, soy is a complete plant protein that contains all nine essential amino acids needed for human growth and health, and it’s lower in saturated fat and higher in fiber than other animal protein sources.

Beyond nutrition, choosing the right snacks can help keep hunger at bay so you can focus on shuttling from one activity to the next. Research has shown that soy fiber and protein – found in snacks such as edamame and many nutrition bars – keep you feeling full longer and help you avoid the temptation of sugary on-the-go foods filled with empty calories.

“When my customers are looking for snack ideas, I advise them to layer protein, fiber and carbohydrates,” said registered dietitian Peggy Balboa, a supermarket nutritionist with Mariano’s grocery stores in Chicago. “This is key to feeling full longer, and soy has it all. For example, adding half a cup of soy nuts to trail mix can provide four grams of fiber, 18 grams of protein and 15 grams of carbohydrates. Choose ingredients from the grocery bulk section, add the mix to a snack baggie, and you’ll have a grab-n-go snack for a mid-afternoon energy boost.”

When every minute of your busy day counts, make your snacking count, too, with these nutritious ideas:
* Make your own trail mix, filled with a combination of salty and sweet flavors and a blend of textures to satisfy your cravings. Pretzels and nuts, such as soynuts or roasted edamame, add a delicious crunch, while dried fruits and berries lend a softer sweetness.
* Protein-packed versions of your favorite cereals are now on the market, and they are great to throw in a baggie for a snack or add as a granola topping on yogurt.
* Raw veggies can be easily carried in a baggie and while they taste great cold and crunchy, you can enjoy them at room temperature, too. Experiment with different flavors for variety: zucchini, squash and broccoli are all tasty choices alone or dipped in low-fat dressing or hummus.
* For the kids, get creative and make snack time enjoyable. Serve little ones a variation of ants on a log, filling celery sticks with soynut butter before placing the raisins on top, which makes for a school-friendly option without nut allergens.
* Smoothies made with soymilk, soy yogurt or tofu are a fun way to get your protein and key nutrients on the go. This smoothie takes five minutes to make and packs 12 grams of protein, along with a healthy kick of vitamin A, vitamin C and iron.

Find this and more protein-rich snacks for your busy lifestyle at and

Go Green Soy Smoothie   12768
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

1     cup light or unsweetened vanilla soymilk
1/2     banana, cut into pieces and frozen
1/2     ripe pear, cored and chopped
2     cups baby spinach

Puree all ingredients in blender until smooth. Serve immediately.

Nutritional information per serving: 230 calories; 5 g total fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 100 mg sodium; 636 mg potassium; 36 g total carbs; 10 g dietary fiber; 8 g sugars; 12 g protein. Percent of daily recommended intake: 111 percent vitamin A; 49 percent vitamin C; 26 percent iron.
Source: Soyfoods Association of North America

August 26, 2015 |

Flavorful Sides for the Win


In Good Taste








(Family Features) Much like a star quarterback, grilled foods get all the glory when it comes to tailgating, but the often overlooked side dishes are the supporting players that help drive your menu to victory.

Whether you’re tailgating in the parking lot or hosting a “homegate” in the backyard, plan a well-rounded menu with a wide range of sides. To be sure your sides and apps get the play time they deserve, rely on bold flavors that keep guests coming back for more. These tips from the makers of Tabasco Sauce will help create a flavor-rich spread that makes you the fan favorite.

* Stay ahead of the game. Plan ahead by prepping appetizers and chilling drinks beforehand. This allows plenty of time for the ingredients to blend and develop perfect crowd-pleasing flavors.

* Change up your lineup. Upgrade traditional tailgate fare with healthier and tastier versions. This Cajun Country Caviar is a delicious take on a tasty tailgate dip that incorporates protein and fresh, seasonal vegetables. Then take it up a notch with some Tabasco Original Red Sauce to make sure it’s the MVP of the party.

* Make a pass on budget, not flavor. Inexpensive cuts of meat, such as drumsticks, flank steak and brisket, can make for delicious football fare. Be sure to season well and offer variety of flavor combinations to really impress.

* Give veggies some play time. Skip the side salad and throw your favorite veggies, such as corn, zucchini and lettuce, on the grill. The uniquely smoky flavors from the grill can transform everyday basics into applause-worthy apps in minutes.

For more ideas to heat up your menu, visit

Cajun Country Caviar
Created by Jessica Koslow of Sqirl in Los Angeles

For black-eyed peas:                         12785
2     cans black-eyed peas, drained
1     teaspoon chives, thinly chopped
1/4     cup parsley, finely chopped
1/3     cup lime juice
1/4     cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2     teaspoon salt
1/2     teaspoon Tabasco Original Red Sauce
1/2     cup carrot, thinly shaved
2     tablespoons radish

For avocado:
2     avocados
1/2     teaspoon salt
3     limes, juiced
1/2     cup cilantro

In large mixing bowl, combine black-eyed peas, chives, parsley, lime juice, olive oil, salt and Tabasco Sauce. Add additional salt and lime juice to taste.

Using knife, slice off tops of carrots on bias. Using mandolin, shave thinly from top to bottom; place in ice bath for 5 minutes. Remove and place on towel to dry for 5 minutes; add to bowl.

Using mandolin, shave radishes thinly; place in ice bath for 5 minutes. Remove and place on towel to dry for 5 minutes; add to bowl.

Slice avocado from tip to tail to open; secure pit, twist and remove. Score each side vertically 3 times and horizontally 4 times. Using a spoon, remove avocado from rind and add to blender.  Add salt, lime juice and cilantro; blend until smooth.

On large serving platter or in wide bowl, spread avocado mixture in wide, thick circle. Pile black-eyed peas mixture high in center. Serve with corn chips.

Source: Tabasco

August 19, 2015 |
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