Topic: Quick Meals
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Need a Quick Dinner...try our Crab Cake Pita Pockets!
Families are busier than ever and are always looking for a fast meal. Our Crab Cake Pita Pockets are the perfect solution for a quick dinner! Prepare our Crab Cake recipe on the weekend and keep in the freezer for mid-week meals. Of course this Crab Cake Pita Pocket is not complete without our Tzatziki-Cumcumber Yogurt Dip using Chobani Greek yogurt. Our Tzatziki will stay fresh up to 5 days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Add it to other sandwiches, salads and wraps during the week. Enjoy!
Crab Cake Pita Pockets
2 whole wheat pita pockets, sliced in half
4 T Tzatziki-Cucumber Yogurt Dip*
4 crab cakes, warmed**
1 oz baby arugula
1 tomato, sliced
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/2 yellow pepper, diced
Spread 1T Tzatziki to the inside of each pita pocket half. Slice the crab cake in half and place in the pita pocket half, repeat with others. Equally divide arugula, tomato, carrots and yellow peppers to each pita. Makes 4 servings.
1 serving = 1 pita pocket
180 calories, 7 g fat, .5 sat fat, 2 mg chol, 450mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 14 g protein
*Tzatziki-Cucumber Yogurt Dip
1 (16 oz) container of Greek Yogurt, strained (such as Chobani Greek Yogurt www.chobani.com)
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced (place cucumber on paper towels to strain water prior to mixing with ingredients)
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp crushed garlic
2 T lemon juice (1 lemon)
2 T fresh dill chopped
1 tsp salt
Mix all ingredients well and chill for at least 2 hours.
Makes approximately 2 ½-3 cups.
1 pound lump crab meat
3/4 cup whole wheat plain bread crumbs
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 T lemon juice ( 1 lemon)
1 tsp Old Bay seasoning
3/4 cup red bell peppers, finely chopped
1 scallion with green top, finely chopped
2 eggs lightly beaten
1 dash hot sauce
Non-stick cooking spray
Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Mix all ingredients well. Roll into 2 inch balls and flatten. Place on cookie sheet sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Bake until golden brown on bottom, about 10 minutes, Gently flip and bake another 5-10 minutes until golden brown on both sides. Makes 12 crab cakes.
Topic: Quick Meals
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Finally…a Healthy Dinner at Home
When life gets hectic, who has time to make a healthy meal? Are the kid’s activities getting in the way of a home cooked healthy dinner? Planning ahead is a large piece of this all too common problem.
Know the basics
Our new model "MyPlate" (www.ChooseMyPlate.gov) draws a good picture of what a meal should look like. Focus on color, variety and freshness. Remember half of our plate should contain fruits and vegetables, while 1 quarter should contain whole grains, with the remainder a lean protein. In addition, let's not forget the low-fat or skim milk. Watch the portion sizes. Use a smaller plate such as a salad plate. Some visual cues to help with portion sizes include: a deck of cards is about the size of a portion of meat, chicken or fish and the size of your fist is about a cup of grains, rice or pasta. Choose cooking methods such as baking, broiling, grilling, poaching and steaming. If you are sautéing or making a stir-fry, use non-stick spray or minimal amount of olive oil.
Make it ahead
When more time is available to cook, make extra and freeze individually portioned meals for later. Keep on hand in the refrigerator steamed vegetables and previously prepared grains. They can also be added to salads, soups and sandwiches or as a quick side to some previously grilled chicken, shrimp or lean meat. Use a slow cooker and come home to an already prepared dinner. A little time in the morning will add up to a quick dinner in the evening.
When you're going in too many directions at once, either with meetings for work or kids activities, plan ahead and pack the meals. Reusable containers packed in a cooler the evening before or in the morning will provide a healthy fast meal. Kids coming out of sport activities need to refuel and don't want to wait to go home. Keep a cooler filled with protein and fiber rich foods to satisfy them and don't forget the low-fat milk and water.
Check out our recipes for some”make ahead” dinners for the upcoming week.
This recipe is great to keep on hand in the refrigerator or for kids to munch on coming home from a sports activity. Add cut-up vegetables and low-fat milk and they're set with a quick on the go dinner. Also these Chicken Strips can be added to salads or rolled in a wrap!
This recipe is packed with protein and fiber! It's great made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Serve hot or cold. Add it to soup, salads or serve it as the main fare or a side.
Double this recipe and freeze them for future meals. Great served hot or cold. Make it the main fare, a sandwich or wrap or add it to a salad.
Pair them with our Tzatziki-Cucumber Yogurt Dip recipe.
This is an ideal recipe to freeze for future meals. Freeze them in individually portioned containers, defrost them in the refrigerator while at work and reheat when you arrive home!
Having soup is good way to get your kids to consume their daily dose of vegetables…you too. You can double this recipe and have it all week long. It also can be frozen.
This recipe is a perfect example of a “make ahead” meal. Prepare this the night before and come home to a quick healthy dinner. Serve it over quinoa, brown rice or whole grain pasta also cooked the evening before. Just reheat and serve!
This is another recipe to keep on hand for quick sandwiches, wraps or atop salads. Serve it on a stick hot or cold with our blue cheese dressing.
This is another soup to serve as the main fare, side or a quick snack. Add some paprika for added flavor and color.
This recipe is fabulous to make in a slow cooker! Try it topped on a salad or rolled in a wrap with veggies and low-fat cheese.
Items to keep on hand in the refrigerator:
Think about what can be added to salad, soup, sandwiches or wraps
Already cooked whole grains of your choice
Cut up and already washed fruits and vegetables, such as cherry tomatoes, avocadoes, red peppers, carrots, cucumbers
Prewashed salad greens
Whole wheat wraps
Check out our blog to assemble Quick Dinner Salads!
Topic: Quick Meals
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Quick Dinner Salads
When the weather gets warmer, lighter meals become more appealing. A hearty salad that is filled with veggies and protein can be a very quick, healthy way to avoid cooking and a trip to a fast food restaurant.
A salad can be made many different ways; it’s all about what you add. Here are several variations on dinner salads, all quickly assembled, and all a healthy alternative to take out.
Start with the basics!
Buy prewashed greens in bulk from the supermarket or warehouse store such as Costco or BJ’s. Mesclun or Field greens have the most nutrients, but romaine lettuce is fine too.
Buy a bunch of veggies: different color peppers, cucumbers, cherry or grape tomatoes, onions, carrots, or any fresh vegetable you prefer. Cut them up at your convenience and store them in plastic bags in the crisper in the frig. They will last several days.
You can quickly assemble any one of these salads for lunch or dinner when the veggies are available.
Grilled chicken strips are available in many flavors, and can be found in both the refrigerator and freezer sections of supermarkets and warehouse stores. You may even be able to find organic versions in certain stores.
1: Grilled chicken salad. Take any of your prewashed greens and cut up veggies. Add the chicken and perhaps some low fat shredded cheese. There are several brands that offer 2% or reduced fat cheese options. Available flavors include cheddar, Mexican, mozzarella, even Colby jack. If you wish you can also look for low fat croutons, even some chopped up turkey bacon you can make in the microwave in less than 2 minutes. For dressing, you can prepare your own with olive oil, any flavor vinegar and spices or use a low fat bottled version.
**Salads can always be made with leftovers. Use your leftover steak, fish, (especially salmon or shrimp), rotisserie chicken, or turkey to add protein to your salad.
2: Southwest/Mexican salad. Start with your veggies. Add southwest flavor or plain grilled chicken, low fat Mexican shredded cheese, canned black beans, and some baked tortilla chips. Add avocado if you wish. Dressing can be made out of low fat or fat free sour cream mixed with your favorite salsa.
**As an alternative you can brown ground lean turkey, add taco sauce and create your own taco salad, just use ingredients as above but add baked tortilla chips. And perhaps a small amount of guacamole.
3: Chef Salad. Start with your mixed veggies and greens. Add chopped up deli turkey, ham, or chicken breast. Add low fat cheese, crumbled turkey bacon, or croutons if desired. Use a small amount of low fat bottled or homemade dressing.
4: Summer salad. Mix greens and veggies with added sliced apples, pears, mangoes, raisins, craisins, or any available berries. Add some cheese; try something different like goat, feta, or blue cheese for a variation. You may also want to add some sliced almonds or walnuts. A light vinaigrette works well with this type of salad.
Don’t be afraid to try new combinations. A slight variation can transform something ordinary into something fabulous!