Tag Archives: meat

Holiday Food Safety Tips

Holiday Food Safety Tips

Are you cooking for a crowd this holiday season? In honor of Food Service Safety Month, we can help you protect your guests with these helpful holiday food safety tips.

Keep hot food hot and cold food cold while serving guests with things like slow cookers and ice trays.

Put leftovers away after eating. Toss perishable foods that are left out for more than 2 hours.

Putting Away Leftovers

 

Make sure you’re cleaning produce properly before you start cooking.

Cleaning Before Cooking in the Holiday Season

Cleaning Before Eating

 

Do you know how to cook safely, like avoiding cross-contamination? Brush up for holiday meals.

Safe Holiday Food Prep

Preparing Your Food Safely

 

Cooking meats to the right internal temperature could be the difference between a happy holiday and a disaster.

Cooking Thoroughly During the Holiday Season

Hot Enough

 

Fight food waste in your leftovers this holiday season by storing food properly, using your freezer, and more.

Making the Most of Holiday Leftovers

Fight Food Waste

 

How long are all those leftovers and special ingredients good for? We can help.

When to Eat and When to Toss Holiday Leftovers

Decoding Expiration Dates

Healthy Summer Party Tips

Healthy Summer Party Tips

4th of July get-togethers and summer parties are in full swing, so we have healthy summer party tips to make your party a success.

First up, brush up on outdoor food safety.

Safe Summer Infographic

 

Know the 4 steps to food safety for your 4th of July party.

4 Steps to Food Safety

 

Transport food in coolers whenever possible, and never leave any food with mayo, dairy, meat, or eggs out for longer than 2 hours.

Food Sitting Out

 

When grilling, cook beef and pork to 145 degrees, ground meat to 160 degrees, and chicken or turkey to 165 degrees.

Temperature Guide

 

Avoid cross-contamination by keeping dishes and utensils that touched raw meat away from other ingredients and cooked meat.

Tick season is supposed to be bad this year, so set up a bug spray station and use torches or candles to repel bugs.

18 Cookout Hacks to Take Summer Entertaining to the Next Level

 

Sunscreen is an important part of all outdoor get-togethers. Have it on hand and help prevent skin cancer.

Skin Cancer Awareness Month

 

And check out our healthy summer party recipes that are perfect for your next party or get-together and, without mayo or dairy, will keep longer outside.

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National Soy Foods Month

National Soy Foods Month

It’s National Soy Foods Month, and even if you aren’t a vegetarian or don’t have food allergies, soy can be a great source of protein in your diet.

Make the long-time staple (especially for those with dairy allergies), Homemade Soy Milk.

Homemade Soy Milk
Image and Recipe via Light Orange Bean

 

This Sheet Pan Honey-Sesame Tofu and Green Beans is hearty, tasty, and easy.

Sheet Pan Honey-Sesame Tofu and Green Beans
Image and Recipe via The Kitchn

 

Skip the meat in one dish on your grill with Vegan Sweet Potato Tofu Burgers.

Appetizing Vegan Sweet Potato Tofu Burger {Gluten-Free}

 

This Vanilla Soy Ice Cream is perfect for warm days when you’re avoiding dairy.

Vanilla Soy Ice Cream
Image and Recipe via Food

 

Your perfect summer side dish awaits with High-Protein Edamame Mango Salad.

High-Protein Edamame Mango Salad

High-Protein Edamame Mango Salad

 

No one will know this Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Pie uses tofu to get its silky texture.

The Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Pie

 

Eat with your eyes and skip the fish or pork with this beautiful Sesame-Crusted Tofu.

Sesame Crusted Tofu

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Camping Meals & Campfire Delights

Healthy Camping Meals

To go along with our National Camping Month safety tips, we also featured some healthy camping meals you can make on the campfire.

First up were easy Breakfast Burritos that you can just throw in the fire.

Breakfast Burritos – Campfire Style

 

Lumberjack Breakfast combines your favorite breakfast fixings in one packet.

Lumberjack Breakfast In Foil Packet

 

These Campfire Tex Mex White Bean and Chicken Foil Packets are a breeze to make.

Campfire Tex Mex White Bean Chicken Foil Packets

 

This BBQ Party Pack is the perfect side dish or vegetarian meal while camping.

BBQ Party Pack

 

Hobo Dinners are foil packets of meat, potatoes, and veggies perfect for camping.

Hobo Dinners

 

Foil Wrapped Salmon with Herbs and Lemon is great made with fresh fish.

Foil Wrapped Salmon with Herbs and Lemon
Image via Roadtrippers

 

Reheat this Whole Wheat Pasta with Goat Cheese & Tomatoes in Foil over the fire.

Whole Wheat Pasta in Foil Recipe with Goat Cheese & Tomatoes…For Camping!

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Grocery Shopping Fresh

Grocery Shopping Like a Pro

Even after you’ve gotten ready to head to the store, grocery shopping on a budget for healthy meals can be hard. But there are some things you can do to make it easier.

Stock Your Pantry

Keeping your kitchen stocked with certain key things can make cooking easy. This list has some items that are perfect for this. And this article has some healthy foods perfect for your pantry that only cost about $2.

Add one item that won’t go bad, like a spice, grain, beans, or frozen veggies to your cart each shopping trip to help you build your pantry without dropping a lot of money at once. (These are also good things to buy in bulk when they’re on sale if you have space to store them.)

Having this stocked pantry will help you throw together meals fast, help you save on packaged or premade meals you might’ve grabbed in a hurry, and make shopping easier.

Choosing Your Store

Choosing where you shop can also help you save. Besides the grocery store, some great places to find good deals are:

  • Ethnic markets
  • Dollar stores
  • Retail supercenters
  • Wholesale clubs
  • Farmers markets

At the Store

Once you’re at the store, you should try to shop the outer edge of it as much as possible. The outer edge usually has the fresh produce, like fruits and veggies, meat, dairy, bread, and frozen food. It’s typically the inner aisles that are full of boxed and processed foods.

Fruits & Veggies

It’s recommended that you eat 5 servings of veggies a day, so it’s important to really use that part of the store. With that in mind, fruits and veggies, fresh or frozen, should take up about a third of your cart on each shopping trip.

  • Shop in season 

At the farmers market, you have to buy what’s in season, but at the grocery store, there are lots of choices. But when you buy what’s in season, you can save a lot, and your food will be the tastiest and freshest it can be. This list can help you find what’s in season when.

  • Buy bags at the right time

With certain go-to things your family will always use, like apples, oranges, potatoes, and onions, buying them in the big bags when they’re in season can help you save even more.

  • Stock up on canned and frozen fruits and veggies

Canned and frozen fruits and veggies are picked while they’re in season and tasting best, and they’re good for you, too. So instead of buying fresh peas when they’re not in season, stock up on frozen ones to save and get the best flavor. Plus, they last much longer.

Look for frozen veggies without added sauces or butter. Choose canned fruit in 100% fruit juice and veggies with “low-sodium” or “no salt added.”

Canned veggies and broths are perfect for easy soups and stews, and canned fruit makes great fruit salad and snacks for the kids.

Packaged Goods

Avoid a lot of the packaged and processed foods in the center of the store. Cookies, candy, chips, crackers, and soda are all high in things you don’t want, like sugar, salt, and bad fats, and low in things like protein and nutrients. They’re also expensive.

  • Look for whole grains

Be careful you don’t get fooled by things that just call out wheat. Instead, look for whole grains and whole-grain breads.

  • Find high-protein foods besides meat

Yogurt and cheeses are great sources of protein, as are beans and other legumes, which you can find dried or canned.

  • Be smart about cereal

Cereals are one of the top foods for hidden sugar. Look for ones with little or no sugar. You can always add honey to flavor it in the bowl. Also look for cereals high in fiber to start your day right.

  • Try new things in the bulk aisle

If you want to try a new grain, nut, or dried fruit, the bulk aisle with bins is a great way to taste test. Scoop out a small bag for your family to taste before buying bigger servings.

Shopping Tips

Make the most of your trip by paying attention to how your store organizes things, their price tags, and food labels.

  • Don’t shop at eye level

Stores oftentimes stock the most expensive things right where they’ll catch your eye. Looking at the upper and lower shelves can help you find the best deal.

  • Grab from the back

Stores also stock from the back, putting newer things behind the older ones. Grabbing from the back gets you fresher food with better expiration dates, so your food will be good for longer.

  • Look for store brands

Many stores have their own brands of items, and in most cases, you’ll get the exact same or very similar thing at a much better price.

  • Read the label

Reading the nutrition label can tell you a lot about what’s in a food, if it’s good for you, and help you choose between brands.

  • Pay attention to serving sizes

Some things might seem good for you until you check the serving size. Sometimes the serving size is much smaller than what you’d actually eat in a sitting, which makes the numbers on the label look better.

  • Learn how to read unit price on the price tag

Unit price tells you how much something costs per pound, ounce, quart, or other unit of measure. It can tell you which brands are the most affordable. This guide can help you read or calculate unit price.

  • Have a calculator handy

Whether it’s on your phone or you bring a small calculator along to the store, having one on hand can make it easy to compare labels and costs.

Up Next:

Learn how to read and make sense of nutrition labels to get the most out of your food.

Hearty Vegetarian Meals

Healthy Vegetarian Meals

This week, we took Meatless Monday to a whole new level with hearty vegetarian meals that will even satisfy meat lovers.

First up is an Artichoke Flatbread that makes the perfect lunch:

Artichoke Flatbread

 

Cheesy Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Arugula and Poached Eggs are perfect for brunch or breakfast-for-dinner.

 Cheesy Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Arugula and Poached Eggs
Image and Recipe via How Sweet Eats

 

This Grilled Tofu Teriyaki with Spicy Spinach Udon will help you fall in love with tofu.

Grilled Tofu Teriyaki with Spicy Spinach Udon

 

This Grilled Hummus & Caramelized Onion Sandwich packs a salty and sweet bite.

Grilled Hummus & Caramelized Onion Sandwich

Grilled Hummus & Caramelized Onion Sandwich

 

Vegetarian Lentil Chili is so hearty that it’s a perfect recipe to save for football season.

Vegetarian Lentil Chili

 

Orange Cauliflower is a sweet and fresh take on your takeout favorite.

ORANGE CAULIFLOWER–A VEGETARIAN’S ORANGE CHICKEN

 

Make this Grilled Polenta with Mushrooms for a hearty meal that’s ideal for summer or fall.

Grilled Polenta with Mushrooms

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Vegetarian Entrees

My Healthy Journey: Finding Vegetarian Alternatives

I love a good steak as much as the next meat-eater, but changing to a healthier diet has also meant eating more vegetables than meat. Sometimes, that also means it’s a great idea to try eating vegetarian meals.

Rally has a challenge for just this, called Meatless Days. They ask you to “Skip meat for a day and explore tasty vegetarian protein sources such as tofu, beans, lentils, quinoa, and nuts. It’s good for you, easier on the budget, and eco-friendly too.”

When I went on vacation to Nashville, I’d tried eggplant for the first time. We’d gotten a free appetizer that was eggplant marinated in tomato sauce and other goodness. It was incredibly delicious.

Ever since, I’ve been wanting to learn to cook eggplant myself. This week, inspired by the eggplant recipes I ran on social media earlier in the month, and trying an official meatless day, I made Eggplant Parmesan for the first time.

As I’ve mentioned before, when I cook, I rarely follow recipes or measure things out. But, since I’ve never made this before, I did use this recipe for reference, however I made much less since I was dining for one.

I started by slicing my eggplant into thick slices, about a 1/4 of an inch. Then, I laid them out on a rack and salted them well and left them for 2 hours, to draw the excess water out.

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Once I’d dried off my eggplant, I set up three different bowls to bread the eggplant, one flour, one beaten eggs, and one breadcrumbs and parmesan. Dredge each piece in flour first, then dip in the eggs, then carefully coat in breadcrumb mixture.

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Lay the breaded eggplant out on a foil-covered cookie sheet in a single layer. Drizzle the tops of each piece lightly with olive oil and bake at 425°F for 15-20 minutes. After 8-10 minutes, flip all the pieces over so both sides get golden brown.

 

While the eggplant is cooking, make spaghetti following the directions on the box. (I used whole wheat organic spaghetti.)

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While these are both cooking, you can also start making your favorite tomato sauce recipe. Or if you’re like me and it’s a busy weeknight, you can use a jar of sauce.

I heated up just over half a jar of my favorite store-bought sauce on the stove. I added a dash of garlic powder, salt and pepper, a teaspoon of sugar, and 2 handfuls of sliced grape tomatoes. I let this stew together on the stovetop for 15-20 minutes, to begin to break down the fresh tomatoes.

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If you’re going to use fresh mozzarella, slice or grate it now. I chose to use store-bought, low-fat mozzarella which was already shredded, both to save time and calories.

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Pull your eggplant out of the oven and lower your oven temperature to 350°F. Spread a little bit of your tomato sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Layer your eggplant slices on top of it. Top with more of your tomato sauce and your mozzarella and more parmesan.

If you’re making it for one, I used the rest of my tomato sauce and only made one layer. If you’re making a big batch, you will add more than one layer of eggplant, and so you should portion out your sauce and cheese accordingly. Bake for another 10-20 minutes until everything is warm, melted, and bubbly.

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Serve on top of your spaghetti. (I topped mine with a little extra pepper.)

I can honestly say this meal lived up to how delicious it looks. It is rich and so tasty, and packs a big serving of vegetables. Chicken parmesan has long been a family favorite, and I can honestly say that this is just as satisfying.

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Making healthy changes, like meatless days, doesn’t have to be a sacrifice! It just takes a little searching for a good recipe and being willing to try new things.

And you can make using Rally and tracking your goals even easier with their app, so you can check in anytime, anywhere.

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