Displaying articles for: November 2011
After the Thanksgiving feast has been enjoyed, the days and leftovers thereafter should be filled with healthier food decisions (especially if you’re gearing up for Black Friday shopping!). There’s inevitably going to be loads of turkey leftover. A day or two before Thanksgiving, head to the grocery store and pick up a few quick things to make lettuce wraps: mushrooms, green onions, watercress and a head of iceberg lettuce. When it’s time for your post-holiday snack, chop the vegetables and then sauté the mushrooms, watercress, green onions and leftover turkey in some extra virgin olive oil and just a touch of garlic. Any leftover vegetables can be thrown in the mix as well. Then drizzle with some fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper, and wrap in a crisp leaf of iceberg lettuce. Just like that, an easy breezy, and most importantly, healthy snack has been made! These wraps are so full of wholesome nutrients that you will definitely feel full and content. Leftovers from Thanksgiving don’t have to mean turkey sandwiches with all the fixings, there’s always a way to mix them into something healthier, leaving you satisfied and nourished.
Although I love Thanksgiving turkey, I grow tired of eating it before it’s used up. Our Leftovers Makeovers has a slew of creative and delicious ways to use leftover Thanksgiving fare. My family loves Mexican food, and one of my favorite non-traditional tricks is to use leftover turkey and cranberry sauce in this super-simple quesadilla “recipe”. I say “recipe” in quotes because it’s more like assembly than an actual recipe!
Mix leftover cranberry sauce with a small can of drained and diced green chiles and a few dashes of cumin. Set aside. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Place 4 whole-wheat tortillas on a cookie sheet and top tortillas with even amounts of leftover turkey, a plop of cranberry sauce and shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese. Place remaining tortillas on top of turkey and fixings. Broil about 3 minutes on each side or until cheese melts and tortillas begin to brown, watching carefully so tortillas don’t burn. Cut each tortilla into 4 wedges, sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro and serve.
What are your favorite ways to use Thanksgiving leftovers?
Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This year we went up to the mountains to celebrate with good friends. Preparing this festive meal away from home in a basics only kitchen has presented some challenges but with some advanced planning and packing of our favorite cooking tools/pans I am pleased to say that we pulled it off. We are looking forward to leftovers tomorrow. Hope you are all enjoying your holiday!
Can you remember that sweet smell of fresh baked Pumpkin Pie as a kid? I still have fond memories of baking with my grandmother and getting to make my own special cinnamon sugar twists from unused portions of pie crust! What are you going to serve for this Thanksgiving holiday? Is it going to be a homemade Pumpkin–Pecan Pie that will give your home the smell of the season, or are you starved for time and want something that is both elegant and simple to serve?
If you want easy pre-made desserts that will surely impress your guests, come by Safeway Bakery and pick up one of our Pumpkin Streusel Cheesecakes or Pumpkin Mousse Cakes! These are a twist to your typical pumpkin pie, but are light and fluffy and a delicious way to celebrate the season! I recommend having at least two desserts available, perhaps one pre-made and one of your own!
Here is a decadent recipe for a Pumpkin–Pecan Pie!
Thanksgiving is upon us, and I’m sure all of you that are hosting dinner this year are getting your recipes ready to go. Here is an asparagus recipe that will serve great as a vegetable side dish. It’s really easy to make (and of course, delicious), which will spare you extra time for something else in the kitchen!
1 pound asparagus
2 tablespoons Tony Tantillo's extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon dry vermouth or light vinegar such as rice, wine or cider
2 scallions, white and 2/3 of the green, minced
1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence
Freshly ground black pepper
What is that wonderful aroma? Can you smell it? The aroma of roasted turkey with homemade stuffing combined with the warm deliciousness of freshly baked pumpkin pie. Have you ever tried to have something other than turkey at Thanksgiving? I did and received a family intervention. Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving unless turkey is the center of the table.
Safeway offers an excellent variety of fresh and frozen birds to choose from. In my house we get the fresh Safeway Select turkey. It is USDA certified Grade A and is naturally moist and delicious, as well as being competitively priced. There is generally a good selection of sizes available and if I am worried about not being able find the right size, I can pre-order my turkey. This way, I know I will get the size I need and pre-ordering is fast and easy. Three weeks before Thanksgiving, the meat department at your local Safeway will begin taking fresh turkey orders, just stop in and sign up. You can specify the brand, size and the date you want to pick it up.
If you are planning to get a frozen bird, purchase it at least a week in advance. Depending on the size of the bird, it generally takes 4-7 days to thaw properly. Turkeys need to thaw under refrigeration, not out on the counter or soaking in water. The last two examples are the worst for increasing the chance of illness. I can’t tell you how many people have come in two days before Thanksgiving for a frozen turkey only to find out that it will not thaw in time.
You will find other helpful holiday tips under the “tips and techniques” heading on the Safeway.com website.
Green bean casserole is a traditional favorite on many people’s Thanksgiving menu. This revamped version keeps its great taste but trims its fat, calories and sodium content. Best of all, it tastes so good, no one will miss the original!
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
½ cup onion, diced
1 pound pre-sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 can (10.75 oz.) 98% fat-free condensed mushroom soup
½ cup fat-fat milk
6 cups frozen green beans, cooked
¾ cup canned French fried onions
Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a 2-quart casserole or baking dish with cooking spray; add green beans and set aside. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat; add onions and cook until soft. Stir in mushrooms, onion powder, thyme, salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are soft, stirring often. Add condensed soup and milk. Stir and bring to a simmer, then pour mixture over green beans in baking dish and mix together. Bake until bubbling, about 15 minutes, then top with onions and bake another 5 minutes. Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: Calories: 100; Fat: 2 g (Saturated Fat: 0.5 g); Protein: 6 g; Carbohydrates: 15 g; Fiber: 3 g; Sodium: 360 mg.
Do you have a holiday recipe makeover to share?
Here it is, Thanksgiving already and as always my mind is focused on planning our menu and timing the prep – there are a lot of dishes and we usually have a small crowd! The one thing that is always the afterthought for me is the wine. I always end up grabbing whatever we have on hand and have a flicker of remorse that I didn’t think about what wine would best complement the meal we all just put so much energy into. So, this year, I reached out to our wine team to get their thoughts on some reasonably priced wines (under $15) that would go well with Thanksgiving dinner. Here are their thoughts for a couple of reds and whites: Mirassou Pinot Noir, Robert Mondavi Private Selection Pinot Noir, Louis Jadot Beaujolais, Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling, and Fetzer Gewurztraminer. What beverage is the favorite at your Thanksgiving feast?
I have a new idea for you this Thanksgiving. Instead of mashed potatoes (or maybe with them if you love Thanksgiving potatoes too much to ditch them altogether) try mashed cauliflower! The cauliflower cooks much faster than potatoes, and still packs a ton of nutritional value. First, make sure you pick out the right cauliflower. Choose cauliflower with white or creamy white, tightly packed heads without loose or spreading florets. Cauliflower usually comes wrapped in plastic, so it is important to inspect the greens that wrap the underneath and sides of the cauliflower like giant hands. Mashed cauliflower can be prepared and cooked in under 20 minutes. Simply steam the cauliflower until soft, about 8-10 minutes, then put in a food processor with milk, olive oil, salt and pepper. Process until it’s blended, and just like that you have a mashed potato alternative! Enjoy!
With fall’s chilly and rainy weather here in Seattle, soup is back on our weekly dinner menu. Coupled with a salad and a slice of whole grain bread, it’s the perfect meal this time of year. My mother-in-law gave me this recipe for Mediterranean Lentil Soup a few years ago and it’s become a favorite. Lentils are not a type of bean, although they are both types of vegetables called legumes. Like beans, lentils are high in protein, low in fat and pack soluble fiber, which helps lower “bad” LDL blood cholesterol. Unlike beans you buy dried in bags, however, dried lentils do not require soaking and they’re quick cooking – time saving reasons you’ll love this soup for more than just its great taste.
Greek Lentil Soup
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
4 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup dried red or brown lentils, rinsed
1 can (14.75 oz.) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, including juice
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in medium saucepan. Add onion and sauté until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add garlic, celery and carrot and sauté another 3–4 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring soup to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20-25 minutes, until lentils are tender. Remove bay leaf and serve. Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: Calories: 100; Fat: 1.5 g (Saturated Fat: 0 g); Protein: 8 g; Carbohydrates: 20 g; Fiber: 8 g; Sodium: 100 mg.
What’s your favorite fall soup?
Here’s an activity that is sure to please – decorating cookies. The girls enjoy some parts of baking, like getting to taste the batter and cracking the eggs, but what they love most is decorating. One afternoon I found myself with a houseful of girls (5!), so I decided to bake some doll cookies and let the girls paint them. I put out small cups of quick icing (~4 cups of confectioners sugar and ~3-4 TBSP of water) tinted with food coloring and gave the girls small paint brushes to use. They had so much fun creating different looks for their dolls!
The nights are getting a little more chilly, and I don’t know about you, but my family has been feeling like some hearty dinners! This recipe from Safeway is perfect. Remember when choosing the produce to look for the right things, especially with the butternut squash. Sometimes differentiating between summer and winter squash can be kind of tricky, so here are some tips. Butternut squash (which is classified as a winter squash) should be hard not soft like a summer type. It should be large and heavy for its size, and also look for a deep orange color, not a light tan. Keep the squash in a dark, cool place when you bring it home- don’t refrigerate it until its cut and ready to be cooked. Enjoy this delicious recipe!
Cider-Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Apples, Squash, and Onions
2 cups Safeway Apple Cider
2 cups cubed butternut squash
2 firm Gala or Fuji apples, peeled, cored, and cut into wedges
2 red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
5 tablespoons O Organics(TM) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon minced O Organics(TM) Rosemary leaves
2 (1 1/4 pound) whole pork tenderloins, trimmed of any fat and silverskin
I love this flickering candle, autumnal design for tabletop or mantle top in your home.
3 Debi Lilly Design Illusion Vases in small, medium, large
3 Debi Lilly Design Pumpkin Spice Candles in 3x3 size
1 bag dried Kidney Beans
1 bag raw Almonds
1 bag unshelled Almonds
Place a layer of Kidney beans inside the vases and top with layers of nuts.
I like to have just two layers inside the small vase and three layers in the medium and large vases.
Wrap candles with twine for texture and detail, and insert fall leaf for a splash of color and interest.
Set candles inside the vases, making sure they sit flat so the flame burns evenly.
Arrange the trio of vases. Light candles and enjoy.
Find all debi lilly design™ at your local store.
Find more great tips on our Holiday Microsite.
November is American Diabetes Month. Did you know that nearly 26 million Americans have diabetes? In type 1 diabetes, usually diagnosed in childhood, the body does not produce insulin. In type 2 diabetes, the most common form, the body makes some insulin, but it is either not enough or the body does not properly use the insulin. Fortunately, you can take steps to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Increasing physical activity, losing weight if needed and quitting smoking can all help. Eating a nutritious diet also plays an important role, so remember these tips the next time you pull out a plate:
Cut back on fat. Select lean cuts of beef and pork that end in "loin" or “round”, such as pork loin and ground round. Remove skin from poultry. Choose fat-free and low-fat dairy foods. Use added fats sparingly to manage calories, and opt for healthy fats most often. Use our green SimpleNutrition “Low Fat” and “Low Saturated Fat” tags to find foods that fit your needs.
Choose whole grains. Research shows that eating whole grains is associated with a lower body weight. Replace refined grains with whole-grain varieties, such as whole-wheat bread, pasta and brown rice. Our SimpleNutrition “Made with Whole Grains” tag can help you scope out options.
Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables. Loaded with vitamins, minerals and other nutrients needed for good health, fruits and veggies are also full of fiber.
Watch portion sizes. Eating too much of even healthy foods can lead to weight gain, so be mindful of how much you eat.
Do you know an artistic high schooler? Have you looked at your kids’ artwork and thought, “hmmm, that’s pretty good!”? If so, encourage them to participate in the Lucerne Art of Dairy contest, open to high school students who are at least 13 years of age. This year’s theme celebrates American ingenuity and not only are there prizes for the winner and their art teacher, but the winning school also gets money for their art department! Have your budding artist express what American ingenuity means to them on the blank form and make sure they incorporate 2 Lucerne products in their drawing. Entries must be postmarked by November 18th. Please see link for official rules.
Did you know California is the second largest fig producer in the entire world? Not too shabby! Despite California supplying the US with such vast amounts, it still isn’t the most popular fruit around.
Figs are very popular among the Mediterranean regions, where it is believe they were first found. When selecting figs, it is important to handle them carefully because they are extremely fragile and can bruise easily. Select plump, fragrant figs that have a little give when touched. Avoid those that are hard, mushy, or show signs of mold. Also avoid figs that are dry or have splits on their skins. Figs are usually not fully ripe when picked, so once home they can ripen on the counter top, but use as soon as possible. If you select already ripened figs, they can last in the refrigerator up to three days. One of the best ways to eat figs is fresh out of hand, skin and all, after thoroughly washing them. A great hors d' oeuvre is to stuff figs with nuts or mascarpone, the luxurious Italian sweetened cream cheese. Figs can also be wrapped in thin sheets of pancetta, the Italian unsmoked bacon, cooked until the bacon just crisps.