Watermelon Kebabs Satisfy Picky Eaters and Make for Healthy School Lunches

As another school year rolls around with new wardrobes and flashy electronics, the war for healthy school lunches  wages on.

“With childhood obesity on the rise and kids eating worse today than they did 20 years ago, it is so important for parents to take their children’s diets seriously,” says Elizabeth Somer, registered dietitian, nutritionist and author of “Eat Your Way to Happiness.”

But, as many busy moms and dads know firsthand, it’s not easy to pack a quality lunch at 6 a.m., especially if your kid is likely to opt for a slice of cafeteria pizza regardless.

Looking for Chef-Inspired Recipes in Your Kitchen? Start With Breakfast

Restaurant owners spend countless hours fretting over food stock and prices, catering to customers, negotiating with suppliers and supervising staff.  How does a super-busy food entrepreneur stay on top of business and make time for a healthy meal? We asked Megan Walhood and Jeremy Daniels, co-owners of the popular, Portland, Oregon-based Viking Soul Food, and the answer was: Plan ahead and eat a good breakfast!

“One of the things we try to do as busy business owners is plan ahead when it comes to our food,” says Walhood. “Making big batches of soup can sustain a family throughout the week. Even a big batch of beans combined with different veggies, cheese, chicken, fish, etc., will create a variety of healthy, satisfying meals.”

Wrap Up Your Diet: Add Fresh, Healthy Eating to Your Menu

Five words or less(NewsUSA) – Every day it seems there are a host of new and outlandish methods to win the battle of the bulge. The Cabbage Soup diet, the Fat Flush diet and the Blood Type diet are some of the more unusual, yet even the most ridiculous monikers do little to preserve your overall nutrition.
The reason why fad diets typically don’t work, according to sports and lifestyle dietitian Molly Kimball, RD, is that they aren’t designed to succeed in the long term. “In reality, a successful diet is one that doesn’t sacrifice flavor, taste or nutrition and incorporates your favorite foods every day.” So scratch the word “diet” out of your vocabulary and follow these four tips for fresh, healthy eating:
Keep calories in check. “Even if you exercise an hour every day, there are still 23 hours where you can negate it,” says Kimball. “You still have to keep an eye on what you’re eating.” She advises that you spend your calories on foods high in fiber, protein and healthy fat. Since the body takes longer to digest these nutrients, you’ll be left feeling fuller, longer. For a snack, try a quarter cup of reduced fat cheese melted on a whole wheat tortilla. Low in calories but high in fiber and protein, this snack keeps you powering until the next meal.
Fill up on veggies. Instead of ham, turkey and roast beef thrown between two slabs of bread with cheese and extra mayo, keep the lean protein and incorporate loads of vegetables (raw, grilled or roasted) into a low-carb, high-fiber tortilla. “You’ll be slashing calories but still get the satisfaction of eating a full sandwich, along with loads of fiber-rich, nutrient-dense vegetables,” says Kimball.
Choose healthy fats. Olive oil and fatty fish get a lot of attention for a reason: they’re both filled with healthy fats. The monounsaturated fat in oil and the omega-3’s in fish not only help to keep hunger at bay, they also boost your heart health by raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol. Get your fill of both with a La Tortilla Factory Extra-Virgin Olive Oil SoftWrap smeared with cream cheese and a little bit of salmon.
Lighten the foods you love. The bottom line is calories, but is giving up your favorite foods worth it? Of course not. Instead of a massive burrito stuffed with cheese, refried beans and sour cream, use a whole wheat tortilla and pile on lean protein, grilled veggies and fresh salsa for an authentic Mexican meal that tastes great with a fraction of the fat and calories.
For healthy ideas and recipes, visit www.latortillafactory.com.

Enjoy a Fun, Kid-Friendly Recipe

(NewsUSA) – Cooking with kids can be a challenge, but there’s no need to tackle hollandaise or souffles. When looking for a kid-friendly recipe, choose something that’s simple and hands-on.For example, the following recipe for Texas Reds in a Blanket involves spreading cream cheese, folding refrigerated crescent roll dough and sprinkling cinnamon sugar, giving junior pastry chefs plenty to do. The accompanying sauce only requires the use of a microwave, though you should handle any hot bowls and cookie sheets yourself.Use Texas Rio Star Grapefruit, which is sweeter than other varieties of grapefruit. The grapefruit season runs from October to May. When buying grapefruit, look for fruits that feel heavy for their size, as that indicates a juicy fruit. Texas Reds in a BlanketMakes four servings Ingredients:2 Texas Rio Star Grapefruit1/4 teaspoon cinnamon3 tablespoons cream cheese1 (8 ounce) roll refrigerated reduced fat crescent dinner rolls1/4 teaspoon cinnamon1 tablespoon granulated sugar3 tablespoons granulated sugar1/4 cup sour cream1 tablespoon maple syrup Directions:1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.2. Remove grapefruit segments; place on paper towels to remove excess moisture. Set aside.3. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and cream cheese spread.4. Separate crescent dough into triangles, and lay on wax paper. Spread each with creamed cheese.5. Place three grapefruit segments on wide end of each triangle; roll each triangle into crescent shape enclosing grapefruit segments.6. Combine 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1 tablespoon sugar on waxed paper; roll grapefruit crescent in cinnamon sugar; Place on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.7. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown.8. Finely chop remaining grapefruit segments; place in small bowl with three tablespoons sugar, sour cream and maple syrup. Cook in microwave on high for about one to two minutes, or until it starts to boil.9. Drizzle sauce over crescents, or serve as a dipping sauce.

Add a Fresh Twist to Taco Night With Seafood

div img class=”category-img” src=”http://ftper.newsusa.com/Thumbnail/FishTacos.jpg” alt=”Five words or less” width=”180″ //divdiv class=”category-listcontent”div class=”category-body” id=”ArticleBody” style=”display: block” (a href=”http://www.newsusa.com”NewsUSA/a) – You want to serve fun, nutritious meals, but your kids clamor for pizza and mac amp; cheese. The solution? Create nutritious versions of …/div/div

Feta Brings Fast Flavor to the Table

<b>Feta Brings Fast Flavor to the Table</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Health nuts often hear that eating cheese is taboo — but cheese can fit into any healthy diet. Yes, cheese contains more fat and calories than, say, a celery stick. But unlike candy bars or sodas, cheese offers important nutrients, including B vitamins, calcium and protein — things you might want to keep in your diet.

The key to responsible cheese consumption is to choose cheeses that offer big flavor, so you can eat less and still feel satisfied. For example, feta cheese’s tangy

flavor lets a little go a long way. And the cheese is tasty to boot. In fact, Président Crumbled Feta (www.PresidentCheese.com) won the 2008 ChefsBest award, a prize given by an independent judging organization that tests America’s best food products.

If you’d like a more flavorful breakfast, consider adding feta cheese to your next omelet.

Greek Gourmet Omelet

2 Servings


1 3.5 ounce Président Crumbled Plain Feta

3 tablespoons Président Normandy Butter

1 cup torn fresh spinach leaves

4 eggs

Salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon cream

1/2 clove garlic

Make the omelet filling first. Wash and dry the spinach leaves. In a skillet, melt one tablespoon of butter. Add the spinach and stir to coat it with butter. When the spinach has wilted, remove it from the skillet and set it aside.

Break the eggs in a bowl and season them with salt and pepper. Add the cream and beat the eggs with a fork just enough to mix the yolks and whites. Set aside.

Rub the omelet pan with the cut side of the garlic clove. Place the pan over medium heat until it is hot enough to make the butter sizzle on contact. Add the remaining two tablespoons of butter. When the butter is sizzling, pour in the beaten eggs. Quickly stir the eggs for a second or two, as if you were scrambling them.

When the edges start to set, lift the eggs with a fork so the liquid can run under them. Repeat this until the eggs are no longer runny, but are still moist and soft. Spoon the cooked spinach onto the omelet, then sprinkle the feta cheese over the spinach. Shake the skillet to loosen the eggs. Remove the skillet from the heat and fold the omelet in half. Serve.

To perfect the presentation, skim a piece of butter over the top of the omelet, then garnish the top of the omelet with an additional tablespoon of feta and a few rings of black olives. You can also add complementary ingredients on the side, like orange and apple slices or toasted bread.

Delicious Meals Start With Simple Ingredients

<b>Delicious Meals Start With Simple Ingredients</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – High-quality ingredients make any meal shine, whether it be a weeknight pasta or a lavish holiday dinner.

Take feta cheese, a favorite among food enthusiasts for its fresh, rich and tangy flavor. The 2008 ChefsBest award, a prize given by an independent judging organization that tests America’s best food products, went to Président Crumbled Feta (www.PresidentCheese.com), a cheese available in most grocery stores. The ChefsBest awards are judged by a panel of professional chefs looking to find the highest-quality, American-made ingredients.

Feta is the perfect cheese for salads and is great sprinkled over pizza or sliced in sandwiches. It pairs well with olives, cucumbers, herbs de Provence, tomatoes, beets, endive, dill and mint. The soft cheese crumbles easily, effortlessly bringing complexity to vegetable dishes. Because a little goes a long way, with meals using feta cheese, you can eat less and still feel satisfied.

If you’re one of the many Americans hoping to create more gourmet recipes at home, try these two salads. Both use fresh vegetables and feta to create a simple lunch or a satisfying accompaniment to pasta or chicken.

Spinach Salad with Crumbled Feta

6 ounces crumbled feta (like Président)

1 bunch of spinach

1 cup of red grapes

1/2 cup smoked almonds

3 tablespoons of optional bacon bits

1/3 cup Greek dressing

Rinse spinach and place in a serving platter. Add red grapes, smoked almonds, bacon bits and feta. Serve with pita crisps and a side of Greek dressing.

Tomato and Olive Salad with Crumbled Feta

6 ounces crumbled feta (like Président)

4 large, ripe tomatoes

1 red onion

1 cup pitted and chopped kalamata olives

1 teaspoon minced garlic

3 tablespoons minced parsley

Fresh basil

1/2 cup vinaigrette

Cut tomatoes and onions into slices and arrange on a platter. Mix vinaigrette with minced parsley and garlic in a bowl. Pour vinaigrette over the tomato and onion slices and sprinkle with crumbled feta. Add kalamata olives and fresh basil.

For more information, visit www.PresidentCheese.com.

Substitute Yogurt in Your Recipes for Healthier Meals

<b>Substitute Yogurt in Your Recipes for Healthier Meals</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – Eating healthier isn’t about deprivation, but replacing low-nutrient foods with healthy substitutes. Incorporating yogurt into basic recipes is the pefect way to start.

By using yogurt instead of sour cream, cream cheese, whipped cream or mayonnaise, meals become not only lower in calories and fat, but also higher in calcium and protein. In baked goods, yogurt can improve texture and keep foods moist. When it’s not heated, yogurt provides live active cultures, which can aid digestion and provide immune system support.

Greek yogurt — a thick strained yogurt — is especially versatile in cooking. It can be used in dips, spreads and low-fat desserts, or in any recipe that calls for cream, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, sour cream or other fats. You can even use Greek yogurt as an egg extender by replacing one egg with one-fourth cup yogurt.

For a decadent, reduced-fat dessert, try this recipe for Vanilla Cheesecake Made with Vanilla Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt:

Vanilla Cheesecake

Made with Vanilla Oikos

Organic Greek Yogurt

Makes 10 Servings


2 1/2 cups shortbread cookies, finely ground

1/2 stick unsalted butter melted

1 1/2 cups vanilla Oikos Organic Greek Yogurt

4 large eggs

2 8-ounce packages low-fat cream cheese

1 cup super-fine sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Juice and zest of 1 lemon


In a medium-sized bowl, mix cookie crumbs and butter. Press into a 9-inch spring form pan and refrigerate for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Add all ingredients for filling in bowl, and combine using food processor or hand mixer. Pour into cooled crust. Bake for 2 hours. Let cool overnight in refrigerator.

To find other recipes, or to use an online ingredient-substitution calculator that will compute how much yogurt to use in place of your original ingredients, visit www.stonyfield.com/recipes/substitutioncalc.cfm.

Keeping it Casual: Simple Ideas for Entertaining at Home

<b>Keeping   it Casual: Simple Ideas for Entertaining at Home</b>“></td>
<p>(<a href=NewsUSA) – With the arrival of warmer weather and longer days come many wonderful reasons to gather with family and friends. From graduations to weddings, this is a season of celebrations — big and small.

Entertaining at home is a lovely way to bring people together. Whether you are toasting newlyweds or hosting a backyard barbecue, treat guests to simple food and fruit-forward, approachable wine. Woodbridge by Robert Mondavi wines fulfill the late Mondavi’s vision of putting great California wine on every table.

To start your next event off on an elegant and delicious note, offer guests Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Roulades (recipe follows) paired with Woodbridge Chardonnay. The lushness of the wine perfectly complements the lightly salty tang of the roulades.

Depending on the occasion, you may want to offer guests a choice of white or red wine. Whites should be served slightly chilled but not cold. Red wine shouldn’t be chilled, but be careful it hasn’t been allowed to get too hot. A 750 ml bottle contains about five glasses of wine, and guests typically have about two glasses each. For casual entertaining, pairing wine with food should be fun. If you’re not sure about what wine pairs with a dish, serve a wine that you enjoy drinking, and you won’t go wrong.

Prosciutto and Goat Cheese Roulades

Courtesy of Cook’s Illustrated/

America’s Test Kitchen

Serves 8


8 ounces mild goat cheese

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves

1 small clove garlic, minced

4 ounces prosciutto, thinly sliced into 12 slices, then halved to form 24 strips, each about 3 inches by 1 1/2 inches

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice from 1 small lemon

Ground black pepper


Mix goat cheese, parsley, and garlic together in a small bowl until well blended. Place about 2 teaspoons of the mixture on each prosciutto slice. Fold the sides of each slice over the cheese mixture, then fold one end over, forming a roll. Arrange the rolls on a plate, and sprinkle with olive oil, lemon juice, and pepper to taste. Serve at room temperature.

For additional recipes courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen, please visit www.woodbridgewines.com.