Displaying articles for: July 2011
To me, nothing says summer like a bowl of fresh, ripe berries! Besides their juicy, sweet taste, berries are also loaded with fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants. Look for these and other nutrients on our SimpleNutrition tags in the produce aisle.
Although I love just popping berries into my mouth au natural, they’re also delicious when combined with other foods:
· Spoon sliced strawberries or a mix of berries over angel food cake.
· Mix blueberries into whole-grain pancake and waffle batter.
· Cook any type of berries to make a sauce for pancakes, grilled chicken or ice cream. Simply heat berries in a saucepan and cook them down until the mixture is thick and syrupy. Add a little orange juice or a sprinkle of sugar, if needed for sweetness. Layer berries in a parfait made with low-fat vanilla yogurt and granola.
·Toss blackberries or raspberries with O Organics Fresh Herb Salad mix and a light vinaigrette dressing. Add sliced, grilled chicken breast and a sprinkle of gorgonzola cheese to make it an entrée salad. Or try my Strawberry Spinach Salad.
· Sprinkle sliced strawberries, blueberries or raspberries over light ice cream or frozen yogurt.
· Blend a mix of berries with a little lemon juice in a food processor. Pour into popsicle molds, freeze and enjoy!
· Add berries to a bowl of whole grain cereal or oatmeal for breakfast.
· Blend sliced strawberries and a handful of blueberries with a banana, a dollop of low-fat vanilla yogurt, a splash of orange juice and a few ice cubes. Perfect for breakfast or a snack!
We are so fortunate to live on a cul-de-sac with great neighbors who love to socialize. We have two official “block parties” a year, but my favorite get-togethers are the spontaneous ones that just evolve organically from being outside and hanging out in the summer. Since these aren’t planned events I’ve started keeping a few things on hand so I always have something I can bring at the last minute without a run to the store – chips & salsa and Skinny Girl Margaritas. Have you tried these margaritas? Lightly sweetened with agave nectar, they taste great and they’re lower in calorie than your typical margarita. They come pre-mixed so all you have to do is pour over ice to serve. If we have limes on hand I’ll dress it up with some salt on the rim too!
Did you know cucumbers have a water content of over 95 percent? It’s no wonder they are so fresh and crispy tasting! Cucumbers are a great staple to summer recipes because of their cool and moist flavor. Select cucumbers that are firm and display a good green color. They should be well shaped but not too large. I favor the smaller cucumbers because they tend to be less bitter. Small bumps or light green spots are not an indication of poor quality. However, avoid cucumbers that have withered or shriveled ends, a dull or yellowed color, puffiness, soft spots or pitting. Cucumbers should be stored in a plastic bag and placed in the refrigerator for up to a week. Be sure not to wash cucumbers until you're ready to use them. One of my favorite ways to eat cucumbers is in a cucumber-tomato salad. Simply chop the vegetables, and mix with olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic salt, pepper and Italian seasoning. Everything is mixed to taste so make it to your liking!
My sister Katy and her family arrived yesterday for a week-long visit. It’s the first time that my nieces and nephew have visited the Pacific Northwest, and we’ve got lots of sightseeing and outings planned. On the agenda for Tuesday night is our town’s weekly summer concert that’s held in the park downtown. It’s a perfect way to enjoy a summer night, made even more special with our houseguests! We’re bringing a picnic dinner and our menu includes items that adults and kids alike will love:
· Crudités Plate: I’m bringing an Eating Right Veggie Party Platter. It’s loaded with baby carrots, grape tomatoes, celery, sugar snap peas, and broccoli florets, along with a bowl of light ranch dressing for dipping.
· Flank steak sandwiches: Thin slices of marinated, grilled flank steak layered on a loaf of Safeway Select Artisan Como bread. Brush the insides with olive oil and garlic and toast on the grill or in the oven. Pile on arugula and tomato slices, then add thinly sliced sautéed red onions and a sprinkle of blue cheese crumbles on the adult side of the loaf. Wrap the entire loaf in tin foil and slice into sandwiches at the picnic.
· Fruit Salad: Cantaloupe balls, watermelon chunks, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries, pitted cherries and mango chunks tossed with a few tablespoons of lemon juice and a light sprinkle of sugar; cover and chill in the fridge until ready to pack. A delicious fruit salad like this is simple to make with great summer produce from Safeway!
· Baked potato chips
We try and spend as much time outside as we can in the summer and getting away for at least one weekend to camp is a family favorite activity. The girls look forward to the adventure of sleeping in a tent and the special treats like s’mores. Max and I enjoy the simplicity of it all – no technology and no schedule! We’ll hike and swim and take advantage of whatever nature programs the campground offers. We once brought balloons so the girls could play water balloon tag, which had the added benefit of helping them meet other kids at the campground. What are some of your favorite camping activities or favorite meals to make when camping?
One of my favorite desserts for summer is not only healthy, but colorful and a definite crowd pleaser at any BBQ or summertime get-together! This fabulous dessert incorporates some of my favorite stone fruits available in produce this season! Fresh peaches, plums, and nectarines are all a perfect treat for dessert, and even better when paired with a delicious low fat Angel Food Cake from the Bakery! You can add flair with ice cream or whip cream, or keep it simple and low fat - let each guest choose!
1 c. Blackberries
2 Tbsp. Sugar
¼ c. Brandy
Ice Cream or Whip Cream (optional)
Mint Leaves (garnish)
Angel Food Cake – Safeway Bakery
Slice peaches, plums, and nectarines into sections. Add brandy, sugar, and mix gently. Fold in the blueberries and blackberries and chill for 20 minutes.
Slice Angel Food Cake into sections. Add fresh fruit and top with ice cream or whip cream! Garnish with a mint leaf.
My old house had a plum tree in the backyard, and if you ask me, that is the best way to enjoy a plum. Plums are divided into two broad categories: Japanese plums and European plums, or prunes. The Japanese plum is eaten fresh, canned, and put into jams and jellies. European plums are often called prunes because they can be dried without their pits being removed. In fact, that's the way most people see these plums.
Plums are usually picked when they are mature but not fully ripe. When you choose plums at the store, look for ones that have good color and are slightly firm to the touch. Avoid ones that are too hard or too soft, have poor color, or have shriveled or bruised skin. Plums are delicious on their own but are also great in stuffing, jams, chutney, tarts, sauces and soups. Chefs often prepare plums with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, lemon, orange, orange liqueurs, brandy and ports. Have a yummy plum today!
From Mount Rushmore to the nation’s capital, my family and I have had a great time travelling across the United States for the past few weeks to take in some amazing sights. Check out where we’ve been!
Not only are we traveling the country, we’re actually decked to the nines in all things Open Nature! With an RV wrapped in Open Nature art and filled with 100% natural granola and peanut butter from the new line, passersby not only get a great sight, but delicious treats when they see us.
The RV, as you can see, has crossed many state lines and we’ve really enjoyed bringing Open Nature to folks nationwide:
The RV by the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
Open Nature entering Idaho
Yellowstone was definitely not expecting us!
Keeping warm in the snow!
Our next stop is Ohio, so if you and your family live or are travelling nearby and you see our RV, honk and we’ll be sure to share some great all-natural Open Nature goodies with you!
See you out on the Open Nature road!
Everything seems like it should be lighter in summer – including the foods we eat! Here are four of my wouldn’t-be-summer-without-them favorites:
· Entrée Salads: I love the ease and healthfulness of entrée salads for dinner. I load different salad greens with tons of sliced and diced fresh veggies, add leftover grilled chicken breast or steak slices on top, then toss the salad with a reduced calorie salad dressing. An easy, no-cook meal that’s nutritious and delicious! Another fave? Whole grain salads with chopped veggies or fruits mixed in, that use whole wheat pasta, brown rice, quinoa, bulgur or another whole grain as the base. Finding whole grains – and other nutritious food options – is easy at Safeway, thanks to our green SimpleNutrition tags. Here are two of my favorite main dish salads. And check out these tips to toss up nutritious salads.
· Kabobs: Skewers with alternating cubes of chicken breast or lean beef and brightly colored chunks of veggies not only look beautiful on a plate, they taste great, too!
· Grilled Veggies: They’re a summer mainstay in my house. Check out this post for ways to use them in dishes and tips on how to grill them.
· Fresh Fruits: Seasonal favorites like peaches, nectarines, plums, melons, berries and cherries are at their peak this time of year. Whether on their own, tossed in a fruit salad, spooned over light ice cream or playing the starring role in desserts, I enjoy the summer’s bounty of fruits every chance I get. One of my favorite fruit desserts is grilled peaches – it’s sure to become a favorite of yours, too!
Did you know that about 1 in 7 households are considered “food insecure”? That’s about 50 million people (including 17 million children) that “at times during the year, were uncertain of having, or unable to acquire, enough food to meet the needs of all their members because they had insufficient money or other resources for food.” This is the highest level of food insecurity that we have seen in the U.S. since 1995 when the government first started measuring! Safeway and its stores want to help, so between July 6th and July 23rd, for just $10 you can purchase pre-filled bags of groceries in our stores and drop them in the food drive barrels as you exit. Such an easy way to make a difference this summer!
We are enjoying the lazy days of summer right now, slowing down and relaxing by the pool, maybe doing a little gardening, walking the dog, and doing anything we can outside. But, there are still birthdays, baby showers, weddings, and all kinds of occasions still to celebrate. Come inside to the Floral department. We can help you! We have the right selection of products for you, from mixed bouquets, blooming plants and foliage, chocolates, candles, and orchids. Don’t forget about roses! You won’t find these high quality roses anywhere else. Be sure to check out the many different rose arrangements available. My favorite rose arrangement is one of the new Debi Lilly designs called “The Allure”. This design is perfect as a table centerpiece, on the bedside table, on the coffee table, or even the office desk. It is an updated classic, contemporary style that is suitable to give to any woman or man. When the time comes to leave the hot blazing sunshine to shop for an occasion gift, remember to consider one of our many beautiful rose arrangements.
Who doesn’t love a sweet, juicy watermelon on a hot summer day? Watermelon is certainly a fan favorite with our family- I know my kids (and my grandson, too) could eat it just about everyday. More watermelons are sold during the Independence Day weekend than the rest of the entire year, yet these big beauties are actually available year-round. Last year, four billion pounds of watermelons were produced in the United States alone, and Americans consumed 13 pounds of watermelon per person. That is a lot of watermelon!
Select a firm, symmetrical watermelon that is free of bruises, cuts and dents. Turn the melon over, if the underside is yellow, and the rind has an overall healthy sheen, the watermelon is probably ripe. Select melons that are heavy for their size. There are so many great ways to enjoy watermelon. My favorite way is eating it from a great, big slice. Enjoy a juicy watermelon during these hot summer days!
Many years ago, my friend Beth gave me this recipe for Strawberry Spinach Salad, and it’s been a summertime favorite ever since. I love the taste combination of baby spinach, sweet strawberries, almonds and poppyseed dressing. It’s a regular summer menu item in our house and guaranteed to become one in yours, too!
3 Tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 Tablespoons 1% low-fat milk
2 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon white vinegar
1 Tablespoon poppyseeds
1 pound O Organics baby spinach salad
2 cups thinly sliced celery
1 pint fresh strawberries, halved
¾ cup sliced almonds
Whisk together dressing ingredients; set aside. Gently toss together spinach, celery, strawberries and almonds. Divide salad evenly among 6 plates and drizzle with dressing; serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: Calories: 190; Fat: 12 g (Saturated Fat: 1 g); Protein: 7 g; Carbohydrates: 17 g; Fiber: 6 g; Cholesterol: 3 mg; Sodium: 150 mg.
The girls love their ice cream (I wonder where they get that from? ) and in the summer we like to keep some frozen treats on hand as a quick dessert when our friends drop by. Our favorite lately has been the Lucerne Root Beer Float Bars – creamy vanilla ice cream covered in a frosty root beer shell - they really do taste like a root beer float and only 100 calories per bar. Give them a try and let me know what you think!
Have you ever experienced the deliciousness of a tri tip sandwich, one that has been marinated and grilled to perfection? Piled high with beef that is sliced so thin that it melts in your mouth? If you haven’t experienced this summer ‘must have’ than this is the perfect read for you.
Start with the perfect tri tip or top sirloin roast. The Safeway meat department can help you pick out the right size and amount to feed you and your guests. Make sure there is enough fat left on the outside of the roast to protect the interior beef while barbequing. Marinate the meat over night, use your own marinade or try the one below.
Tri Tip Marinade
Put all of the below ingredients in a large zip lock bag and refrigerate over night-minimum 8 hours.
2-3 pounds beef tri-tip or top sirloin
4 green onions, sliced
1 cup soy sauce
3 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
Always remember to let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before you carve or serve it. This allows the juices to redistribute. If you have access to a meat slicer, use it. If not, than hand slice your roast with a sharp non-serrated knife. Cut at an angle, going across the natural grain. You want the slice to be thin enough that it wraps around your hand after you have sliced it and doesn’t hold its form.
Cover your homemade bbq sauce, salsa or sautéed mushrooms or add a good amount to your favorite sourdough roll along with sliced pickles, lettuce and tomato and you are ready for some good eats. Make sure you have plenty of napkins available, you will need them!
My family loves salsa- in fact one of my daughters actually likes to eat straight from the jar! Fresh made salsa goes great with so many things besides Mexican food, its delicious with food from the barbeque as well! This is a great recipe for Corn Salsa from Safeway, and I like to put it with grilled chicken or corn. It has that great barbeque flavor mixed with fresh vegetables and a little spice. Perfect for summer! When selecting individual ears, check the freshness of each one by gently peeling back the husk to examine it. Great quality corn should have full, evenly formed and filled ears, with straight rows of bright, shiny kernels. The husks should be bright green with the silk ends free from decay and obvious worm damage. Store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to cook with it! Enjoy!
Salt and pepper
3 ears corn, husks and silks removed
1 tablespoon Safeway SELECT Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 large firm-ripe tomatoes, diced
1 fresh Anaheim chili, stemmed, seeded, and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon ground New Mexico or California chilies
Lay corn on a lightly oiled grill over a solid bed of hot coals or over high heat on a gas barbecue; close lid on gas barbecue. Cook, turning as needed, to brown corn evenly on all sides, about 12 minutes. Cut corn from cobs. In a bowl, mix kernels with tomatoes, diced chili, garlic, lime juice, ground chilies, and salt to taste.
recipe courtesy of Safeway.com
Burgers are a 4th of July staple in my house and as usual, we’re firing up the grill to enjoy them on Monday. If you love burgers but don’t love the fat and calories that often accompanies them, try these tips to build a better–and still great tasting–burger:
How do you build a better burger?