Patriotic Strawberries

A festive way to eat dessert with less guilt.  These looks great on any party table spread.

Prep: 5 min.
Assembly: 10 min.
Yields: 18

Ingredients

box of fresh washed strawberries
1 c white chocolate chips
1 tsp. coconut oil
Blue (and red) sprinkles, and sugar for decorating

Directions

1. Lay parchment paper on large cookie sheet or pan.
2. Melt coconut oil and white chocolate on double boiler and stir
3. Dip strawberries in chocolate and sprinkle to decorate
4. Let chocolate harden in fridge for an hour and serve!
5. Store in fridge in airtight container.

Fueling Up For A Road Trip

Jodie Parus, RD, LD

When you begin packing for your vacation or road trip this summer, don’t forget to plan for fuel along the way…for your body that is! Traveling can be exhausting, so you will want to take things that will give you energy and keep you alert, especially if you are the driver.

Stopping at a gas station and running in for a restroom break can present you with a myriad of tempting treats to eat. If you are starving you are more likely to grab something you normally wouldn’t. Plan ahead and pack some of the following smart choices for your travel. They will leave you feeling satisfied and you will have more money to spend at your destination.

Water
Apples, grapes
Carrots, cherry tomatoes
Nut butter, Nuts
Trail Mix
Snack bars, muffins
Sandwiches or wraps
Hummus
Yogurt

Some of the foods will require a cooler, while others do not. Pack some of each, hit the road and enjoy your trip!

Shrimp Quinoa Casserole

Super easy to prepare and packed with protein!

Difficulty: Easy
Total Number of Servings: 4
Serving Size: approximately 1 cup

Ingredients:

¾ lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 medium tomatoes, diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
½ C chopped onion
½ tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp tomato paste
3 tbsp olive oil
2½ tsp cajun seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
2½ C cooked quinoa

Instructions:

1. Toss the shrimp and 1 tsp Cajun seasoning together, set aside.
2. Toss the tomatoes with 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tsp Cajun seasoning, set aside.
3. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet (or any oven-safe skillet.) 4. Cook the shrimp until opaque, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and set aside.
5. Add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pan along with the onion, jalapeno and garlic. Cook until the onion and jalapeno are tender, stirring often. Mix in the quinoa, tomato paste, ½ tsp Cajun seasoning and tomato. Top with the shrimp.
6. Place in the oven and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Berry Basil Pops

There is nothing better than a cold treat after being out in the heat on a hot summer day, the problem is traditional popsicles are loaded with sugar, dye and low in nutrients.  Try this easy homemade version for a twist.

Prep: 5 min.
Assembly: 2 min.
Cook: let freeze approx. 1 hour
Yields: 4 pops

Ingredients:

1 c fresh or frozen berries of your choice (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and black berries)
½ c pure pomegranate juice
½ c water
¼ c fresh basil chopped

Directions:

Blend all ingredients until smooth and pour into Popsicle molds. Freeze and serve when ready.

Summer Grilling Tips

By Dana Yarn, RDLD

Grilling is a great way to prepare food at home, at a park, camp site or at a bonfire.  Grilling controls the fat content, maintains flavor and is a quick way to prepare a meal on the fly.  The best part of grilling for anyone who is busy is the minimal amount of dishes that need to be washed.

Grilling Tips:

Marinade meats 24 hours prior to placing on the grill to maintain flavor, and moisture while grilling.  Especially boneless skinless chicken breast, these tend to dry out quickly.

Grill vegetables to avoid losing nutrients, over cooking vegetables while steaming on stovetop reduces nutrient content and fiber.  Lightly coat in olive oil and fresh or dried herbs and wrap in foil or grill pan.

Don’t forget about dessert.  The grill is not just for meat, and veggies, dessert like banana boat S’mores, grilled pineapple skewers, and grilled cinnamon apple slices are all healthy sweet treats that can prepared on the grill.

Grilling safety and food safety tips:  It is important to keep safety in mind especially with children around at a campsite or fire pit.  Food preparation and storage are essential in reducing bacteria exposure.  

• Avoid foods that may produce dripping fat. Foods that can create hot, drippy fat as they cook-certain cuts of steak, bacon-may cause flare-ups and should be avoided.  Avoid cooking with oils, this may cause a flame flare up too.  A Dutch oven offers more reliable heat than a frying pan with added protection from splatters.

• Keep it cold or not, nothing in between. Pulling raw meat or poultry out of your fridge for your outing? Make sure you keep the food well packed in ice leading up to grill time: Bacteria can grow dangerously on food that warms to between 40 degrees Fahrenheit and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, conditions that create a breeding ground for food-borne pathogens. Food should never sit out for more than three hours-or one hour, if the outdoor temperature is very hot.

When grilling, always use a meat thermometer. Food needs to be heated to between 140 degrees Fahrenheit and 165 degrees Fahrenheit to kill any food-borne pathogens.

• “If it goes in the campfire it stays in the campfire.” This rule is the most important to establish before the campfire is even lite.  A child may want to fish out the lost marshmallow, but make sure you have plenty extra so it can burn away if something drops in the fire.
• Put out, clean up, and secure your site. Always have a bucket of water or sand on hand to extinguish the fire when you’re done with it. Once the flames have been extinguished and the embers stop hissing, stir the ashes using a metal skewer. Pour on more water or sand. Repeat this process until the ashes are completely cold and wet or smothered.