Blog

Take Your Grilling To A Healthier Level

Posted by Gail Moraski on Mon, Jul 31, 2017 @ 15:07 PM

Let’s face it, when most of us think about food cooked on an outdoor or stove-top grill, we automatically think of grilled meat and fish. The words “grill” or “grilled” seem to immediately conjure up mouth-watering thoughts of charcoal-broiled hamburgers, perfectly-blackened hot dogs, barbecued chicken, and bourbon-glazed shrimp. Fortunately, all the gorgeous grilled fruit and vegetable recipes we’ve been seeing lately, along with social media posts tagged with #meatlessmonday, have caused us to decide to make this summer the one where we think outside “the meat and fish” aka protein box, and take our grilling to a healthier level.

Throw Down Some Produce

In keeping with our aforementioned quest, we’re introducing delicious and nutritious produce to our grill with the following recipe ideas – ones that can be flavor-enhanced with just a few squeezes of our lime and/or lemon juices. We’re hoping these recipes will inspire you to create some of your own healthier grilled dishes.

  • Veg Out…
    • With a skewer (kabob) made of a variety of bright-colored vegetables, like these recipes from Martha Stewart
    • By focusing on making one type of grilled vegetable a star like the ear of corn in this Food Network recipe
    • By grilling a vegetable like a green, red, yellow, or orange pepper that you can stuff with your preferred filling post grill.grilled pineapple.jpg
  • Fire Up Fruit’s Flavor
    • By grilling the whole or a half a piece of fruit, like peaches.
    • With sliced fruit you place on the grill. Check out this recipe from allrecipes.com for grilled pineapple slices (shown above) that’s sure to win you rave reviews from your grilling guests.
  • Go Sweet & Savory
    • By mix & matching vegetables with fruit and grilling your selected combo alongside each other.
    • With the addition of pineapple to any grilled vegetables to make them extra sweet, as in this grilled vegetables with pineapple recipe from SparkPeople.

Serve Non-Grilled Sides, Apps, Drinks, and Desserts That Still Sizzle

While grilling isn’t involved, you can still add an extra produce punch to your grilling get-togethers by serving sides, appetizers, beverages, and desserts that still sizzle because of flavors that “pop”. Get ideas for recipes that include zesty, tangy lemon or lime juice, like our Mediterranean chickpea salad with lemon-herb dressing and our baby blueberry key lime pies (shown below) from our “Cookout” recipe collection.

 

Baby_Blueberry_Key_Lime_Pies-resized-600.jpg

Get Greater Grilling Inspiration

You can get more gorgeous grilled produce recipes from our Grilled Produce Perfection Pinterest board. We’ll also be talking about healthier grilling using #healthygrilling #producegrilling #grilledproduce #summerproduce #sensationalsummer and #summersupper on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest. We want to hear and see the clever ways you, your family, and your friends take grilling to a healthier level, so please do share!

Tags: Vegetables, Fruit, grilled food, produce, grilling

Do A Mid-Summer Check-in To Ensure You Enjoy The Season's Health Benefits

Posted by Gail Moraski on Mon, Jul 17, 2017 @ 15:07 PM

As we recently shared in our “Capitalize on Summer’s Gift of Gorgeous Produce” and “Small Steps to Make a Big Impact on Your Family’s Health This Spring” blog posts, warmer weather so lends itself to healthier habits. Everyone seems to feel like eating lighter and getting outdoors exercise. To make sure that we and all our readers are taking advantage of the potential health benefits that can be reaped during summer, we pulled together a mid-summer checklist to remind us of healthy activities in which we all should consider engaging during these lazy, hazy days.

Check Off Your Checklist

See how many of the healthy behaviors and activities below you can already check off, and think about which additional ones you can reasonably check off during the remaining weeks of summer. And, don’t forget, summer lasts through September 21!

My Family and I/My Friends and I Are:

  • Weather-permitting, getting outside to take advantage of how sunshine helps with Vitamin D absorption; of course, while sunbathing responsibly so no-one ends up with a sunburn (note: suntan lotion has not been proven to block Vitamin D absorption, as many think.)
  • Participating in a wide variety of outdoor sports, such as tennis, swimming, biking, walking, hiking, running, rollerblading, badminton, croquet, and softball; this way, we exercise different muscle groups and engage in aerobic activity.
  • To support emotional health, doing “al fresco” device-free dinners and snacks at home, like supper served on the picnic table and s’mores made around the fire pit.
  • Packing and taking “power picnics” to local parks to capitalize on both healthy summer snacks – think produce + produce-containing ones – and exercise from game-playing at parks, like a simple game of “tag.”
  • Planning and making delicious and nutritious summer meals together, like salads that contain a diverse group of vegetables and fruit, and lightly breaded or topped fish recipes that contain the zesty taste of lemon or lime juice.
  • To strengthen our connectedness and communications, foregoing TV watching for after-dinner walks or reading together outside.
  • Always looking forward to and discussing our next walking, hiking, running, or biking challenge – ones that cause us to walk, hike, run, or ride a little bit further than the last time.

summersalad1.jpg

Check-in With Us

Check-in with us by checking out our many produce-related boards on Pinterest, including FortifywithFruitVeggingout, Summer Salads, Beautiful Blueberries, Simply Super Strawberries, and ProduceUp. We’ll also be talking about summer produce, summer recipes, and mid-summer check-ins using #sensationalsummer #summerproduce #producepassion #powerpicnic #produceup #summersalads #sweetsummersalad #summersnack #midsummercheckin and #reapsummerbenefits on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest. We want to hear and see the clever ways you, your family, and your friends enjoy all the healthy activities and associated health benefits that summer’s #94simplesummerdays offer, so please do share!

Tags: Fortify With Fruit, Fruit, mid-summer check-in, healthysummerhabits, healthy habits, summersalads, healthy summer, salads

Capitalize on Summer’s Gift of Gorgeous Produce

Posted by Gail Moraski on Fri, Jul 07, 2017 @ 16:07 PM

As we write this post, it looks like it’s going to be another beautiful summer weekend here in New England, where Concord Foods is headquartered. And, as we think about the weekend errands we’ll run, and the food we’ll make for friends and family, we feel so fortunate – as well as excited – that we’ll have so many great produce items to choose from when we visit the grocery store and our local farmers’ market! Check out this guide from “Saveur” to refresh your memory or learn what yummy fruit and vegetables are available this time of year.

If you’re like us, and passionate about preparing and serving meals with #deliciousandnutritious summer produce, you can’t wait to get your eyes and hands on the bright, beautiful produce that summer brings. But, even if you’re not, we hope we can cause you to join us in our "produce passion" by sharing some of our favorite recipes that incorporate summer’s produce blessings. That way, you and your family too will enjoy the many taste- and health-related benefits of this season’s fruit and vegetable bounty.  

Blueberry_Banana_Smoothie.jpg

"Produce Up" Each and Every Summer Serving

Because of the diversity of fruit and vegetables available in the summer, and the fact that fruit and vegetables make any dish prettier, brighter-tasting, and nutrient-rich, we’re challenging friends and family – and we hope our readers will join us too – to include produce with every meal, or at least most, this summer. An added bonus is that produce can add an extra source of hydration on hot summer days. Here’s some of the items we plan to make and serve, by meal, to capitalize on summer’s gorgeous produce and meet the challenge to “produce up”!

  • Break Out The Berries For Breakfast – Our favorite children and our significant others adore it when we kick-start their summer days with a refreshing and energizing smoothie made with our blueberry banana smoothie mix and beautiful summer blueberries.
  • Make Your Summer Snacks Tangy with Tomato – So many colors and sizes of summer tomatoes, so little time. Whether it’s mid-morning or mid-afternoon, don’t miss out on the opportunity to make and serve delicious salsa, that incorporates a variety of tangy tomatoes, alongside your summer snacks.
  • Summer Salad It for Lunch – Spinach is so plentiful in the summer. Let it shine in the summer with this spinach and goat cheese with banana walnut croutons salad recipe.
  • Go Exotic With Avocado AppetizersWhile avocado consumption continues to grow and grow in the U.S., there’s still something about the delicious and luxuriously smooth taste of avocados that makes anything made with them feel exotic and extra-special. We love this summer appetizer or light summer dinner recipe from “Life Tastes Good” for Cucumber Bites With Creole Shrimp and Guacamole that, in addition to avocado, capitalizes on summer’s great cucumber crop. And, of course we know a convenient, tasty mix for great guac for use in this recipe.
  • Go For Two At Dinner – Serve your family two great forms of produce simultaneously with our chicken tenders with strawberry mango salsa. And, why not #produceup your summer supper further with a sizzling summer side of zucchini and summer squash using this grilled zucchini with yellow squash with Greek spices recipe from Epicurious.
  • Serve a Cheery, Cherry Dessert – It would be illegal to miss out on serving bright, beautiful, and oh-so-delicious cherries this summer, and we think this special cherry cream cheese cobbler (shown in photo below) from “Southern Lady Cooks” is the perfect recipe to capitalize on this summer fruit favorite.

Cherry-Cream-Cheese-Cobbler-TSLC1.jpg

 

Feed Your Produce Passion

Need more food for thought (hah, hah) to ignite your summer produce passion? Check out our many produce-related boards on Pinterest, including FortifywithFruit, Veggingout, and ProduceUp. We’ll also be talking about summer produce using #summerproduce #producepassion #powerpicnic #produceup #producepowerhouse #producepower and #summersnack on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest. We want to hear and see the clever ways you capitalized on summer’s gift of gorgeous produce, so please do share!

Tags: summer recipes, produce, summer produce recipes, summer vegetable recipes, summer produce, summer fruit, summer vegetables, summer fruit recipes

Finger Food It for Fourth Fireworks and Other Festivities

Posted by Gail Moraski on Mon, Jun 19, 2017 @ 16:06 PM

Since, in recent blog posts, we’ve talked a lot about menu ideas for events hosted in your home, related to our great country’s upcoming Independence Day (July 4th) holiday, we thought we’d shake things up a bit and share our best ideas with readers on how to pack up snacks to bring to a “Fourth” festivity or for eating or drinking on a road trip to a festivity.

As we discussed in our “How to Pack a Power Picnic” blog post, we think “finger food”, therefore, food that doesn’t require a fork and knife to cut or eat it, is the best food to pack and eat at an outdoor summer festivity, like fireworks display watching, or to eat on the way to a summer festivity. Let’s face it, a wobbly car ride or a paper plate set in your lap just doesn’t allow for a steady, level platform for cutting up food. No need to set yourself, family members, or friends up for a possible holiday knife accident!

Just Add Dip for Dunking

What’s really fortunate is that many naturally healthy food items – think fresh, raw fruit and vegetables that are seasonal to summer – make for perfect finger food. And, grocery stores, and some farmers markets, offer previously washed and cut-up vegetables ready for serving and dunking. Like us, we’re sure you also love the fact that many dips, because of being made from produce themselves, offer an extra dose of health benefits. Some of our favorite summer dips and dunkers include:

  • Grape or cherry tomatoes paired with guacamole dip
  • Carrots or asparagus paired with hummus dip
  • Cucumbers paired with almond butter
  • Celery, or zucchini or summer squash slices, paired with salsa
  • Strawberries paired with caramel dip or herbed cheese dip

xSriracha-Deviled-Eggs-Photo-2-800x1208.jpg.pagespeed.ic.jkqYtE9AuU.jpg

Power Up With Protein

To keep friends and family feeling full and energized for Fourth festivities and road trips, be sure to include protein foods and drinks like the following:

  • “Grab a Handful” Foods
    • Nuts
    • Raisins and Currants and Dried Apricots
    • Dried Peas, Chickpeas, and Edamame (Soy Beans)
    • Dates, figs, blackberries, raspberries, and cherries (yes, all these fruit contain a significant amount of protein)
  • Fan-Favorite Foods and Drinks (may require a cooler for keeping cool on long trips or if there will be extensive time between packing and eating); you may need and want to offer these on a cracker or small roll or flatbread:

Fireworks-Pudding-Cookies-1-of-8w.jpg

Red, White & Blue No-Plate-Required Desserts

 What’s a picnic without yummy desserts made with love? Red, white & blue it in honor of the Fourth with these tasty, easy crowd-pleasing treats we found on Pinterest!

Need more inspiration to finger food it this Fourth? Check out our “Pack a Power Picnic” Pinterest board. We’ll also be talking about Fourth finger food using #fingerfoodforfourth #fingerfood #powerpicnic #summersnack and #july4food on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest. We want to hear and see the clever ways you finger-fooded your Fourth, so please do share!

 

 

 

Tags: July 4th Menus, July Fourth, picnic food, dips for vegetables and fruit, packing food for a road trip, 4th of July, finger food, packing a picnic

Use Summery Seasonings to Make Your Summer Meals Sensational!

Posted by Gail Moraski on Mon, May 22, 2017 @ 09:05 AM

We’re guessing our tongue-twisting blog title made you think of another summer-focused one, “she sells seashells by the seashore,” and that’s a good, fun thing because the primary purpose of our post is to put you in a summery frame of mind and start you thinking about all things summer! Although summer’s season doesn’t officially start until June 21st, most Americans, particularly those who have endured cold winters in their part of the U.S., begin thinking about and enjoying summer-related activities long before that. All it takes is a few really warm May days and we are breaking out our shorts and grills, walking daily, and serving lighter, summer-fare menus.

 

Sensational Summer Recipe Header.jpg

 

Add Zest to Your Summer

When we think about food that tastes like summer, we immediately think of recipes made with the zesty, tangy taste of lemon and lime juice. There’s just something about those juices' flavors that say “summer” – maybe because they are frequently used in fish dishes or fresh salads that one makes at home or enjoys at a seaside restaurant during the summer. Or, because we so highly associate tangy, refreshing drinks like lemonade or raspberry-lime rickeys with summer.

We’ve created, as well as collected, so many delicious, family- and guest-pleasing recipes for our readers that incorporate fruity lemon or lime juice. We think the groups of recipes below will provide lots of reasons and opportunities to break out our convenient lemon and lime juices that save you both trips to the store and time cutting up lemons and limes.

Get Inspired and Please Do Share

  • Need more inspiration to make your summer meals sensational with summery seasonings? Check out our “Main Course” recipes for several great fish entrees. We’ll also be talking about sensational summer recipes using #sensationalsummer #twistthatfish #kidfriendlyfish #summersalads #givelimesometime and #givelemonstheirdue on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest. We want to hear and see the clever ways you added zest to your summer, so please do share!

 

 

 

 

Tags: Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, summer salads, summer seasonings, summer flavors, summer recipes, summery food

Go With A Theme To Make Your Party A Scream

Posted by Gail Moraski on Wed, May 10, 2017 @ 12:05 PM

We love all the fun and camaraderie that planning a party with friends or family members offers. It’s particularly enjoyable when we come up with a theme for the party. We find that’s when people get the most excited, want to be involved in planning and preparation, and come up with their most creative food and decoration ideas. So, we’re proposing that this year, you and any fellow party planners select a theme for your Memorial Day weekend party and share it in advance with guests. That way, they can get jazzed up for the event and get their own creative juices going too, particularly if some kind of special attire is required.

Red-E-Made_Products_Breaders_and_Batters-1.jpg

Parties with themes are also great when you are hosting a diverse group of friends and/or family members who haven’t met before or don’t know each other well. Attire, food, decorations, and music all lend themselves to easy “ice-breaking” conversation. Here’s a few ideas from the Concord Foods team to inspire you, but we’re sure you can come up with lots of your own amusing party themes and activities to support it.

  • Country Fair It!
    • Serve BBQ like honey barbecued pork chops.
    • Ask guests to wear their favorite pair of cowboy boots and denim clothing and bring their favorite country music tunes.
    • Give out inexpensive bandanas purchased from a party store.
    • Hold pie and other dessert baking contests (announced ahead of time, so guests can bring their award-winning recipes like ours for avocado pie or baby blueberry key lime pies); let guests serve as judges and give out blue ribbons.
    • Arrange for karaoke, so guests can croon their favorite country tune.
  • Have A Fishy, Seaside Affair!
    • Serve fish appetizers and entrees, like shrimp bites and grilled swordfish in lemon-ginger sauce.
    • Ask guests to wear clothes that make them feel like they are at the seashore like light sundresses and beach shirts.
    • Set up a small children’s pool with water and small items children can fish for with little poles (like you see at carnivals).
    • Play “beachy” music from artists like the Beach Boys and Kenny Chesney.
    • Decorate tables with sea shells and sea glass bought at a local crafts store.
  • Go Tropical!
lemon_hi.jpg

Regardless of the theme you land on for your Memorial Day weekend party, be sure to plan and take a moment during the festivities to remember with your guests what Memorial Day is all about, and therefore, honor and acknowledge the contributions of veterans and current U.S. troops to keep our great country safe!

Share Where Your Team Landed on Their Dream Theme

We’ll be talking about Memorial Day weekend remembrance and acknowledgement of U.S. troops and veterans using:  #USA #ThankYou #AlwaysRemember #ArmedForces #HonorOurTroops #Veterans and #HonorThem, and about food and fun using:  #MemorialDay #MemorialDayParty #MemorialDayWeekend and #DreamTheme on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest. We’d love to hear about how you remembered and honored U.S. veterans and troops, as well as the fun theme you and your fellow party planners executed or plan to excecute for your Memorial Weekend get-together, so please do share!

Tags: Party planning, parties, cookout recipes, recipes that include lemon and lime, grilling food, grilled food, memorial day weekend, party themes, tropical food and drinks, bbq, barbecue food, fish recipes

Honor Your Guest of Honor with a Bodacious Buffet Brunch!

Posted by Gail Moraski on Mon, May 01, 2017 @ 14:05 PM

Spring brings with it lots of great reasons for celebrating your favorite people. Whether it’s Mother’s Day (May 14th this year) or Father’s Day (June 18th this year), a college or high school graduation, a bridal or baby shower, or some other happy life event, we find May and June are usually full of occasions to honor folks who are near and dear to us. When it’s our turn or opportunity to host or organize an event to honor a loved one, we often choose to invite friends and family members to our home for brunch for a variety of great reasons, including the following:

  • Large Range in Guests’ Age and Tastes: Most celebrations that honor an individual of any age mean other family members and friends will be joining in, and that usually means a huge range in both the age and tastes of mouths we need to feed. Because brunch offers the opportunity to serve simple, traditional breakfast favorites that guests of any age enjoy like breakfast meat, eggs, French toast, and cut-up fruit, we know a brunch menu and meal will satisfy everyone.
  • Self-Service Perks: In addition to the age range being large for celebratory events, we find the number of guests is often quite large. Because brunch is usually served buffet style, we like the convenience that this breakfast-lunch combo meal, aka brunch, offers. It lends itself well to lining up serving and chafing dishes on a table so that individuals can serve and seat themselves. Let’s face it, it’s hard to serve a sit-down dinner to a large number of guests. We also find it easy to make large quantities of traditional brunch items like pancakes, sausage, and bacon.
  • A Showcase for Diverse Cooking Skills and Recipes: Since one of the aspects of brunch that makes guests love it so much is that they can select their own food items from a diverse and delicious assortment, guests welcome our making and serving both basic tried and true recipes, as well as more elegant, trendy, or exotic recipes – like our “hold the ham” eggs benedict recipes that replace traditional ham with bright, beautiful vegetables, and capitalize on many Americans’ desire to consume more healthy, yummy produce.
  • Meaningful Mingling: Hosting a party in your home may bring a bit more work than holding it at a restaurant or event venue, but we think it’s worth the extra time and effort for these key reasons:
    • Guests of honor know you went out of your way to plan and prepare a special event for them, and that, well, makes them feel extra-special!
    • Guests can mingle significantly more at a home vs. restaurant get-together. That means that everyone gets to spend a little time with everybody, and isn’t that the best part and purpose of any celebration?
    • Guests and guests of honor will often hang out and visit far longer in someone’s home vs. a restaurant or event venue.

eggs_port.jpg

 

Our Starting Line-up

So, what will we be serving at our spring celebratory buffet brunches to make them bodacious? Here’s our starting line-up (literally and figuratively), but we know our readers are creative and will come up with lots of other bright and beautiful ideas. Of course, because we love recipes that provide a clever way of incorporating healthy produce in our friends’ and family’s meals, we’ve included lots of produce-rich ones! Click on links to access recipes.

Bacon,_cheddar,_blueberry_muffin-resized-600.jpg

Get Inspired and Please do Share

You can get lots of great produce-incorporating egg and other bodacious brunch recipes on our Memorable Mother’s Day Brunch Pinterest Board. Or, check out our recent blog post on using eggs as a canvas for serving produce. We’ll also be talking about celebratory brunch recipes using #celebratorybrunch #memorablemothersday and #bodaciousbrunch on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest. We want to hear and see how you honored your guest of honor with a bodacious brunch buffet, so please do share.

Tags: Father's Day, Eggs, Mother's Day, Celebrations, Brunch, Buffet Brunch, Bridal Shower, Baby Shower, Graduation, Brunch Buffet, Hollandaise Sauce

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo for Several Days

Posted by Gail Moraski on Thu, Apr 20, 2017 @ 13:04 PM

Because Cinco de Mayo festivities center around one of our and many Americans’ favorite types of food – Mexican – we think Cinco de Mayo should have its own season vs. just one day. After all, who doesn’t love great guacamole, spicy salsa, crunchy corn chips, and festive drinks like margaritas, and who wouldn’t welcome repeated opportunities to enjoy such fare with family and friends? So, we’re proposing that, this year, we all celebrate Cinco de Mayo for at least several days – cinco or five seems appropriate, don’t you think?

With Passover and Easter over and with Memorial Day weekend still weeks away, Cinco de Mayo provides the perfect, and quite enjoyable, excuse to add some fun and festivity in early May to your, your family’s and your friends’ busy schedules. And, with Cinco de Mayo falling on a Friday night this year, the perfect night for a fun get-together to relax after a long week, why not organize a series of smaller activities, beginning on Monday, May 1, that build up some anticipation to your “grand finale” or “grand fiesta” event on Friday, May 5? To help you plan your sizzling Cinco de Mayo “season”, we’re sharing below lots of ideas for both small and larger Cinco de Mayo activities and celebrations.

Huevos_Benedictos-1.jpg

 

Activities for Days Leading Up to Cinco de Mayo

  • Start Your Day The Mexican Wayserve your family our huevos benedictos egg recipe – one that includes the yummy, healthy south-of-the-border tastes you’d expect in a Mexican dish – like avocado and tomato. Or, dish up some delicious breakfast burritos using our recipe or this one from food.com and serve them along with salsa or guacamole made using our mixes and sour cream. That way, your family can “top” their burritos however they like. And, who says beans aren’t for breakfast? You can add that extra Mexican touch by adding black beans or pinto beans to plates.
  • Pack Snacks That Spice Things Upuse small plastic containers with covers or zip-locked baggies to pack up salsa, guacamole, and/or other typical nacho-dipping favorites, along with chips, of course, for your own, your significant other’s, and/or your children’s weekday lunch or morning or afternoon snacks.
  • Make Dinner Extra Sweet – you may want to save preparing a big Mexican meal for Cinco de Mayo itself/your special Friday night get-together, but why not serve up some sensational desserts on the weeknights leading up to it? Check out our dessert recipes for coconut lime bars and dulce de leche rice pudding, and more, and some other Mexican-fare-fan-favorites like fried ice cream and churro cupcakes from Buzzfeed.com.
  • Decorate Away! – grab your favorite children or a friend to make these fun craft ideas from She Knows, before or in the days leading up to May 5, to make your home or office extra festive!
  • Plan an Office Potluck – ask your co-workers to sign up to bring their favorite Mexican dish or appetizer for a team or department breakfast, lunch, or mid-afternoon snack potluck (we think you’ll be the hit of the office going forward for doing so!)

Grilled_Quesadilla-Tony_T.jpg

Fare for Your Grand Fiesta

Whether you decide to keep it simple or go “mas grande” as far as food preparation goes for your “grand fiesta”, we’ve got you covered. Check out our “Ole - Celebrate Cinco de Mayo Your Way” post for tips on setting up a taco or burrito bar or for serving up more complex, authentic Mexican dishes, and peruse our collection of Cinco de Mayo recipes for more celebration inspiration. Or, skim through our Celebrating Cinco de Mayo Pinterest board for creative ideas on decorations, dishes, drinks and more!

Share Your Sombreros and Sangria Season!

We’ll be talking about Cinco de Mayo using #mayfifth #cincodemayo #mexicanfare and #southoftheborderfare on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest. We want to hear about and see how you made the fifth of May a season, so please do share!

Tags: Appetizers, Guacamole, Party planning, Cinco de Mayo, Salsa, Mexican fare

Use Kid-Friendly Recipes As Bait To Get Children To Enjoy Fish

Posted by Gail Moraski on Thu, Mar 30, 2017 @ 15:03 PM

As they do related to fruits and vegetables, we know that moms and dads are always looking for clever ways to get their kids to eat and enjoy another healthy diet staple, fish. As we think back on our own childhoods, many of us here at Concord Foods recall that it wasn’t until our teenage years or beyond that we actively or passionately chose fish dishes from restaurant menus or buffet spreads. In fact, most of us have memories of our parents either scolding us or begging us to eat any form of fish that wasn’t masqueraded as a fried stick or patty.

Because of all of its many healthy nutrients –- protein, Vitamin D, and Omega 3’s -- we think we all agree that children should learn to eat, and truly like, at as young an age as possible, a variety of fish in its more natural form. Think baked, seared, grilled or poached vs. fried fish. So, we’ve cast a large net to gather up clever ideas, and are devoting our post to sharing our favorite recipes for getting children to eat fish. Read on to reel in healthy, delicious recipes and tips to get your favorite kids hooked on fish!

Include Children In the Process & Preparation

As we’ve seen with other food items, children are more likely to want to taste and devour food whose preparation they’ve been involved with. Some of the ideas below are more appropriate to slightly older children vs. toddlers or pre-schoolers, but there should be one or more ideas for a child of any age.

  • Be Creative and Decorative – whether it’s mixing up and sprinkling on a cracker-crumb topping, or squeezing lemon or lime juice on top, let children help “decorate” the piece of fish in-question before you pop it in the oven, on the grill, or in the frying pan. Or, let them be creative with toppings like pesto sauce, avocado slices, and citrus fruits or juices, when the fish is ready to go from oven, stove, or grill to the table. And, why not create and keep a fun, festive juice container like the one shown below (we like to call them juicekins) in your refrigerator to entice your children further to “zest up” fish?
  • Flavor Fish with Favorites – In keeping with the above, consider which of your children’s most favorite toppings or snacks might work well with fish. For example, if they are fans of cucumbers or tomatoes, you might consider laying a thin layer of tomatoes on the fish before or after you cook it, or adding cucumbers post-oven, -pan, or –grill. Many potato and Mexican-dish toppings work well with fish: guacamole, salsa, cheese, and sour cream. Even produce like raspberries, almonds, and mushrooms make great fish toppings if your children are fans of them.
  • Go Fish – you know your kids best, but we think children age 8 and above might enjoy learning how to cook and bake the fish they help catch on a fishing trip with mom and/or dad.
  • Go Window-Shopping – take your children with you to the grocery store, or local seafood or farmers’ market to help you select the fish they’d like you to make for lunch or dinner.

 IMG_7900.jpg

Favorable Fish Favorites

When it comes to fish that you are grilling, baking, searing, or poaching for your children, we suggest fishes that are naturally milder in flavor, such as “white fish” that is available in your area like cod, haddock, halibut, and flounder. We’ve found our children tend to shy away from some of the darker fish that naturally has a more potent flavor. While oily fish like salmon has extra health benefits, if you choose to serve it, you’ll likely want to top it with a sweet, heavily-lathered-on sauce to mask a bit of that fish’s “fishiness”, and serve “wild caught”, which is much healthier than farm-raised.

Below are some of our and our kids’ favorite, kid-friendly – but also healthy – categories of fish recipes.

  • Fish tacos – As mentioned above, most kids enjoy the great toppings that accompany Mexican dishes, and by making and serving fish tacos, like this recipe from Bobby Flay (shown below), you’ve got a clever way to get kids to enjoy the health benefits and taste of fish.
  • Tuna Fish – Incorporate nuts, raisins, beans, or other family-favorite forms of produce in salads made from canned tuna as Whole Foods and Kidspot did in their tuna with almonds and raisins and tuna with cannellini bean
  • Grilled Fish – We find most kids like grilled food, even if it’s simply because it evokes the thought of hamburgers and hot dogs. Plus, most kids like watching food being grilled. Check out this grilled miso salmon recipe with rice noodles from BBC Good Food.
  • Cracker-crumbed Fish – Most kids like crackers, particularly buttery-flavored ones, so we think they’ll also enjoy this cracker-crusted sole recipe from happyhealthykids.com.

fish-taco1.jpg

Get Inspired and Please Do Share

You can get lots of ideas for fish recipes your children will love on our “Twist that Fish” Pinterest Board. Or, check out our “Main Course” recipes for several great fish entrees. We’ll also be talking about kid-friendly and other fish recipes using #twistthatfish #kidfriendlyfish #givelimesometime and #givelemonstheirdue on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest. We want to hear and see the clever ways you helped your favorite children enjoy fish, so please do share!

Tags: Lemon Juice, Lime Juice, lemon, lime, recipes for kids, fish, kid-friendly recipes

Use Eggs as a Canvas to Produce Up At Easter Or Any Time!

Posted by Gail Moraski on Mon, Mar 20, 2017 @ 12:03 PM

We’ve noticed that more and more moms, particularly ones with children with gluten allergies and intolerances, are using eggs vs. bread as the foundation on which to serve lots of other food items that their children love, including cheese, vegetables, and even fresh fruit! We think this makes great sense since eggs offer so many wonderful health benefits and are quite filling. Why not use the occasion of Easter to kick off a new routine of combining eggs and healthy produce?

Why Eggs are So Eggs-cellentCalifornia_Style_Eggs_Benedict.jpg

As healthfitnessrevolution.com explains, not only do eggs provide protein, amino acids, omega-3 fatty acids, lutein, zeaxanthin, choline and vitamin D – items all bodies need to function at their best – they are easy to make and there’s tons of different ways to make them. Plus, particularly when you add in lots of #deliciousandnutritious produce, they keep family members' bellies and minds satisfied for quite some time, so your loved ones have more energy to participate in and enjoy important daily activities, such as exercising, or in special ones like Easter egg hunts!

Make an Already Eggs-ceptional Food Item More So

We absolutely love it when a food item already provides you and your family with a large variety of health benefits, and then we can help you take both the appeal and the health impact up a notch – with ideas for combining that food item with other healthy ones or for encouraging your family members to eat the food item in-question. So, we’re quite pleased to share the ideas below for adding tasty, nutrient-rich produce to eggs to make them even more eggs-ceptional food powerhouses and eggs-tra enticing at Easter or any time!

California_Style_Eggs_Benedict.jpg

 

Add a twistuse our recipes for eggs benedict that are a twist on an old classic; forego the breakfast meat for bright, beautiful vegetables.

  • Make your eggs as pretty as Easter ones – brighten up whatever eggs you make by incorporating beautiful red kidney beans, pink pinto beans, red tomatoes, carrots, or orange, yellow or red peppers. Add these veggies to a quiche or strata recipe or to your egg scramble.
  • Seuss it up by making green eggs – incorporate spinach, kale, broccoli, zucchini, asparagus, green peppers and/or brussel sprouts directly in your egg dish recipe, such as a scrambled egg or omelet. Or, top your egg dish with great green veggies like asparagus, as our collaborator, Chef Janie does in this recipe video.
  • Fortify and flavor-up with fruit – go sweet and savory and amp up eggs’ nutritional value by including flavorful fruit in your egg dish recipe, like these ones for baked avocado eggs (since avocado is really a fruit - see image below) and fruit scrambled eggs from creativeandhealthyfunfood.com and theskinnyconfidential.com, respectively.
  • Top it off with a special sauce – whether it’s an elegant hollandaise sauce, some salsa or guacamole, or some other family favorite, make your egg dish more enticing with an eggs-citing topping.

best-breakfast-baked-avocado-eggs-recipe.jpg

Get Inspired and Please do Share

You can get lots of great produce-incorporating egg and other Easter recipes on our Make Your Easter Eggs-tra Special Pinterest board. We’ll also be talking about Easter and egg recipes that incorporate yummy, healthy produce using #holdtheham #easter #eatlikearabbit #vegetablevehicle #beinvegout #producepusher #produceup #healthiereaster #producepowerhouse and #fortifywithfruit on TwitterFacebookInstagram, and Pinterest. We want to hear and see how you made your egg dish a produce powerhouse, so please do share.

 

Tags: Spring produce, Spring Vegetables, Fortify With Fruit, Produce Pushers, Vegetables, Fruit, Easter, Eggs, vegout

Subscribe by Email

Most Popular Posts

Blogs We Like

Browse by Tag