For the Home Cook: More Cooking Matters

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 by News and Updates From Dreamfields

How do you define a home-cooked meal?  Where do you get your recipes?  How often do you cook at home?  What motivates you to cook “homemade”?   And how do American home cooks stack up against global cooks?

These questions were among those posed in the recent Global Food Trends Survey,* given to nearly 8,500 home cooks from 13 countries.  Among the findings:  in this digital age busy, family-focused home cooks are using digital resources – websites, social networks, and blogs -- to find, create, and share cooking and meal prep ideas in the United States (U.S.) and outside the borders.   What a shift from just a few years ago!

A Home Cooked Meal Is…

Do you define a home-cooked meal as prepared from “scratch” … or from “speed scratch” with convenience products?  From country to country, and cook to cook, home-cooked meals are defined differently.  Among U.S. cooks, 84% consider a home-cooked meal to be made entirely from the basics, such as dry pasta and grains, and whole fruits and vegetables; in most other countries surveyed – especially in Argentina, Australia/New Zealand, the Netherlands, Poland and Russia – that percentage was higher.   

Compared to cooks elsewhere, more American cooks consider “speed scratch” as home-cooked too, using convenience products to speed meal preparation.   Forty-eight percent say food prepared with convenience foods, such as pre-washed and cut vegetables, canned beans, frozen ingredients, and baking mix, is home-cooked.  Twenty-seven percent say it’s still home-cooked if they just add their own “touch”:  ingredients or other sides to already-prepared food.  And 10 percent say a home-cooked meal also can be bought fully prepared with only the need to reheat or do the final cooking at home.

Dreamfields take-away … Whether you’re a “scratch” or “speed scratch” cook, Dreamfields has recipes for you.  Click on “Theme” for Quick and Easy recipes, when you’re in a time crunch.

Show Me the Recipe …

While cookbook sales continue to soar in the publishing world, most home cooks (89 percent) in the U.S. and around the world who have computers get their recipes from websites!  Cookbooks rank second, followed by magazines and then friends and families.  In some parts of the world – Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Poland, and Russia – online cooking videos teach 25 to 40 percent of home cooks how to prepare a recipe.   That number is much lower (11 percent) in the U.S. – at least for now (and doesn’t include the viewing of popular TV cooking shows).

Has a mobile device become your latest kitchen appliance?  Today smart phones, iPads/tablets, and laptops are used for more than recipe finding.  Now home cooks shop, cook, and share recipes digitally, too.   Increasingly they need a place on the kitchen counter to cook directly from the digital screen.

Dreamfields take-awayDreamfields.com offers you a variety of main dish, side dish, and salad recipes, prepared with seven different cuts of pasta.  If you like, download the recipes, and use your mobile device as your cookbook – away from cooking splatters.

 

Homemade Every Day …

Who cooks most often at home?  Not Americans.  On average 86 percent of global cooks said they cooked daily, up from 80 percent last year.  Those who cooked the most at home were from Australia, France, Italy, New Zealand, and Quebec.  The U.S., Mexico, and Germany had the lowest rates of daily home cooking, with the U.S. in last place at 75 percent (the same as the previous year). Recipes of choice used ingredients they had on hand, often referred to as “comfort foods.”

Dreamfields take-awayDreamfields’ recipes range from quick comfort foods, such as macaroni and cheese, lasagna, and tuna salad, to dishes you would proudly serve dinner guests.

 

Health: The Greatest Motivator …

What motivates you to cook a meal?  Globally (68 percent) – and in the U.S. (79 percent) – homemade equates to healthier.  In the U.S., saving grocery dollars ranks second (76 percent), followed by the love of cooking (61 percent).   Other reasons include improving cooking skills, adding variety to mealtime, and spending time with family and friends.   Bottom line:  home cooking matters!

Dreamfields take-away … Dreamfields’ recipes are created as Healthy Pasta Dishes.  If you have a special health concern, browse the collection for recipes that are high fiber, low calorie, low cholesterol, low fat, low saturated fat, or low sodium.

For more reasons to hone your culinary skills, click our earlier blog post: “Let’s Get Cooking”

* Source:  March 2014 Global Digital Food Trends, Allrecipes.com, Measuring Cup, Meredith Corporation

 

Roberta L. Duyff, MS, RDN, CFCS is author of the American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide,          with ways to develop your kitchen know-how and cook for health!

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Enjoy A Healthy Spring Seafood Recipe

Sunday, April 13, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Get back into the swing of things this spring with a nutritious seafood pasta dish. Full of protein, vitamin D, zinc, other minerals as well as Omega-3 fatty acids our Penne Primavera with Shrimp recipe is a great way to move your diet over to the wholesome tastes of spring. This is a delicious recipe that combines fresh baby carrots, baby arugula and sweet sugar snap peas with succulent fresh shrimp in a light cream sauce made from minced garlic, white wine, half and half, lemon juice and grated Parmesan cheese. This tasty pasta recipe will be a hit with any seafood lover.

Penne Primavera with Shrimp

Celebrate Spring With This Healthy Recipe

Ingredients:

8 ounces Dreamfields Penne Rigate (3 cups uncooked)
1 1/2 cups baby carrots
1 1/2 cups sugar snap peas, about 12 ounces
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
12 ounces fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/4 cup white cooking wine
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup half & half
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cups baby arugula (or spinach)

Directions:

Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add the carrots and snap peas and cook for 3 minutes. Remove the carrots with a slotted spoon, then add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions.
Over medium-high heat in a large skillet, heat the oil. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute before adding the carrots and snap peas to the skillet, salt and pepper cooking for 2 minutes. Then add the shrimp and wine then cook until the wine has evaporated. Pour the half and half as well as the lemon juice into the mixture, reducing heat and simmering for 3 minutes.

In a large bowl, toss together the hot pasta with the shrimp and vegetable mixture, arugula and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.

Let's Get Cooking!

Friday, April 11, 2014 by News and Updates From Dreamfields

Looking for ways to make family meals healthier?  Then improve your cooking skills.  Why?  Home cooking is often healthier cooking – and typically more economical than eating out.

You likely know.  While most grandmas and great-grandmas were adept at preparing homemade soups, hearty casseroles, and fresh-from-the-oven breads, culinary skills declined in the next generations.  More women in the workplace often resulted in fewer who made home cooking their priority.  Instead, convenience foods, eating out, and take-out became easy, accessible meal solutions, especially for busy households.  

Fast forward to today, besides the lingering limits on kitchen time, many of today’s family cooks lack skills and confidence in the kitchen -- even as interest in food has surged. 

That said, home-cooked meals – and the shared family table – matter.  In her March remarks at the Partnership for a Healthier America Conference, First Lady Michelle Obama gave her support, urging families to cook at home – at least once a week.  

 

Why Home Cooking Matters

Home-prepared meals can help to improve family health, according to recent research.  Cooking at home puts you in control of the ingredients, cooking methods, and portions in your family meals -- and of your family food budget. 

  • Healthy meals.  With home cooking you control the ingredients and how they’re prepared: perhaps by adding more colorful vegetables to a pasta dish or pizza topping, using less salty ingredients in a mixed dish, or preparing salad dressings or sauces with less high-fat ingredients.

Compared with restaurant meals and highly-processed packaged convenience foods, home-cooked meals, especially those made with less processed    ingredients, often have lower sodium, fat, and calories … and more fiber and micronutrients.   And home-cooked meals can be an important strategy for helping to reduce childhood obesity, noted Mrs. Obama.

  • Right-sized portions. Whether you serve family style or plate each meal, a home-cooked meal lets you control the portion amount – and so the calories.   Smaller portions also help to cut back on the sodium, solid fats, and added sugars in any meal.
  • Cost-wise meals.   With home cooking, you probably can feed your whole family for the cost of one similar meal at a restaurant.  For example, pasta with meat sauce, a salad, and crusty bread for four people at home costs $20 or less, about the same price as this pasta meal for one (without the tip) at a restaurant.  If you cook at home with less processed and more seasonal ingredients, family meals can be even more economical.
  • Shared family meal.  Home cooking encourages and supports shared meals at the family table -- with benefits that include and go beyond nourishment.

Becoming More Kitchen Savvy

You can … boost your culinary skills:  knife skills, measuring skills, cooking terms and skills, and more.  The result:  satisfying, nourishing, and delicious home-prepared meals. 

  • Take cooking classes – by yourself, with your kids or spouse, or a friend.  Look for hands-on classes where you can practice  
  • Cook with kitchen-savvy friends or family members.   Preparing food together not only hones your cooking skills; as a shared experience, it’s fun!
  • Learn “food prep” basics online.   Today’s culinary websites, blogs, YouTube, and apps provide a “library” of videos that teach kitchen basics.  Some offer “how-tos” that accompany their recipes.
  • Start simply.  Until you’ve mastered the basics, use the many “quick & easy” recipes in magazines, cookbooks, and online.   Hint:  many pasta dishes, stir-fries, and casseroles are easy to make.
  • Pass it on; cook with kids.  Kitchen skills are life skills, which can translate to better health in the long run.    And they help to create life-long food traditions that children can pass along to their own families someday.

Roberta L. Duyff, MS, RDN, CFCS is author of the American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide, with ways to develop your kitchen know-how!

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Spring into Salads

Friday, April 4, 2014 by News and Updates From Dreamfields

Salads … food historians say their place at the table dates back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who enjoyed a mixture of raw vegetables and herbs, dressed with a salty oil–and-vinegar dressing.  Hence the Latin term “salata” (salty) from “sal” (salt), which later became “salade” in French.  In Renaissance Italy and Spain salads re-gained their mealtime popularity.

Over time, salads became more complex and arguably more varied.  By the late 19th century in the United States, tossed, “disorganized” salads became “tidy” and arranged, sometimes as a gelatin salad, and with a much greater variety of flavorful ingredients, seasonings, and dressings.

Today’s salads may be as simple as those savored by the ancients … as composed as those prepared by our great-grandparents … or as creative as your own imagination and the variety of ingredients you have on hand in your kitchen! 

 

It’s Time for a Salad Makeover!

Now that spring has sprung, use your creativity to invent delicious salad makeovers … and to add flavor, nourishment and appeal to your mealtimes.  The only rules to remember for great salads:  high-quality ingredients; clean, cut and ready vegetables and fruits; and for garden salads, dressed and tossed just before serving to enjoy fresh and crisp! 

  • Create a rainbow.  Mix in colorful veggies (beets, broccoli florets, shredded carrots, red or yellow pepper, spring peas, tomatoes, zucchini), cut in bite-size pieces first.  As a side or main dish, enjoy the artichokes, red bell peppers and tomato that make this Mediterranean Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing so appealing.
  • Mix and match your greens.  Besides iceberg and leaf lettuce, toss your salads with arugula, endive, kale, red leaf lettuce, Romaine, spinach and watercress. The deeper the color, the more carotenoids and health-promoting benefits. For a spring fresh salad with a variety of baby greens, try Lemony Spring Peas & Pasta Salad.
  • Fiber up.  Make hearty salad with fiber-rich pasta such as Dreamfields pasta, brown or wild rice, and beans (legumes) of all shapes, sizes, and colors.  Fiber adds to a feeling of fullness and satisfaction after a meal.
  • Add protein with a crunch.  Topping or tossing a salad with nuts or seeds -- almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pecans, pistachios, pine nuts, walnuts or sunflower seeds – adds texture and protein to a delicious salad.  Enjoy Lemony Angel Hair Toss with its pine nut garnish!
  • Keep lean with protein.  Turn sides into heartier main dish entrees by topping or tossing them with protein-rich ingredients:  perhaps lean deli meat, chicken or turkey, salmon, crabmeat, shrimp, tofu, eggs, or canned beans (rinsed and drained).  Savor Chicken Caprese Salad now that the salad season is here.
  • Sweeten your salad.  Add sweet flavors to savory salads with mandarin segments, berries, chopped apples, or dried fruit.  Fruit & Yogurt Elbow Salad makes a delicious side salad, dessert -- or even as a great breakfast or brunch!
  • Season this season!  Herbs offer another flavor layer to spring salads.  Try fresh basil, chives, cilantro, marjoram, parsley, and tarragon. As mint shoots up in your garden, try Salmon Pasta Salad with Mint and Lemon Vinaigrette.
  • Dress lightly, dress well.  One or two tablespoons per serving is enough to enhance, yet not overwhelm, the fresh flavor of other salad ingredients. 

Click here for more salad ideas from Dreamfields.

 

Savor the salad season!

 

Roberta L. Duyff, MS, RDN, CFCS is author of the American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide,

with more on ways to fit salads into everyday meals!

New Foods, New Flavors … Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right!

Monday, March 24, 2014 by News and Updates From Dreamfields

Taste tops most food decisions.  Yet even favorite foods can seem all-too-ordinary when they become everyday fare.   In celebration of the 2014 National Nutrition Month® theme, "Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right," the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages you and your family to explore new foods and flavors – while keeping good taste and healthy eating on your plate at every meal!

For starters, experiment with these flavorful, healthful, and simple twists for some of America’s top comfort foods.  They might give you a chance to try some new (perhaps trendy) ingredients, too!

  • Beef stew
    • Make it vegan-style.  In your favorite stew recipe, substitute tempeh, with its nutty flavor, for beef.  Tempeh, which is protein-rich yet low fat, is a soybean cake that’s firm, dense, and chewy and readily absorbs flavor when cooked.
    • “Beef up” the veggies.  Add or substitute one or more of these:  jicama, okra, parsnips, rutabagas, salsify, sweet potatoes, turnips, and winter squash.  Try adding chopped collards or kale, too!
  • Chicken noodle soup
    • Switch from egg noodles.  For homemade soup, try different pasta shapes instead, perhaps Dreamfields linguini or rotini pasta, which are rich in fiber and a good protein source.
    • Season with Asian flavor.  To prepared chicken broth, add cooked chopped chicken (perhaps leftovers), snow peas, green onion, shredded carrot, sliced gingerroot, and a splash of soy sauce – and Dreamfields angel hair pasta. 
  • Chili
    • Swap the seasonings.  Add peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, adobo or chipotle seasonings, and ground cinnamon, chili powder, cumin, or smoked paprika.  Top with a strong-flavored cheese (shredded, aged cheddar, Parmesan or Romano, or pepper jack), cubed avocado, chopped herbs (cilantro, green onion, or parsley) or a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.
    • Go lean with protein.  Besides lean ground beef, consider ground chicken or turkey breast – and/or use a variety of beans (black beans, black soybeans, cannellini beans, and red kidney beans).
  • Fried Chicken
    • Change the crumbs.  Coat chicken with whole-wheat breadcrumbs, breakfast flakes, or crushed nuts or peanuts for a more robust flavor – and more fiber.   Add dried herbs, paprika, cayenne, and/or Parmesan cheese to the crumbs for more flavor, too.
    • “Oven fry.”  Marinate chicken (in your favorite marinade), then coat with crumbs before arranging chicken skin-side up on a rack on a baking sheet.  Drizzle some vegetable oil, olive oil, or butter over the top. Then bake at 375°F until crisp, golden, and cooked through (about 50 to 60 minutes).
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Mashed potatoes
    • Make it “buttermilk better.”  For creamy texture and tangy flavor – with less fat and fewer calories in mashed potatoes, replace cream and butter with low-fat buttermilk.  Buttermilk with live (active) cultures is a source of probiotics with beneficial bacteria that can boost immunity and help improve digestion.
    • Try potato combos.  Mash potatoes (perhaps Yukon Golds) with other vegetables, such as carrots, cauliflower, leeks, parsnips, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes.  For St. Patrick’s Day in March, purée potatoes with mustard greens, kale, or spinach.
  • Meatloaf
    • Substitute ingredients.  For more fiber, replace plain breadcrumbs with instant oats or wheat germ. Switch from regular ground beef to extra-lean ground turkey for less saturated fat and fewer calories.  Tip:  Add frozen chopped spinach, diced carrots, sliced leeks, or sun-dried tomatoes for more flavor -- and more vitamin A, too.
    • Experiment with alternative protein foods.  Make meatloaf with ground buffalo or bison, brisket, lamb, venison, or even ostrich meat!
  • Pizza
    • Build it on flatbread:  Pita, naan, and lavash also make great pizza crusts. Look for whole-grain versions.
    • Top with global flavors:  Perhaps go Indian-style with ground lamb, chutney, and paneer (a type of cottage cheese; or Scandinavia-style with smoked salmon, caramelized red onion, dilled mustard, and havarti cheese; or Australian-style with shrimp, pineapple, barbecue sauce, and cheddar cheese.
  • Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
    • Mix in more veggies.   Mix fresh or frozen pre-cut veggies (broccoli, red, green or yellow bell peppers, carrots, fava beans, leeks, portobello mushrooms, zucchini, or your favorites) to traditional meat-tomato sauce to bulk up the sauce, add flavor, and help you feel full longer!
    • Give it Mexican flavor and flare.  Cook ground beef, chicken, or turkey with taco seasonings; add canned, crushed tomatoes, sliced bell peppers, chipotle or jalapeño peppers, sliced black olives, and red pepper flakes and simmer.  Serve over Dreamfields spaghetti; top with Monterey jack cheese or queso fresco, cilantro or parsley, and other typical taco toppings.
  • Tuna Noodle Casserole
    • Switch the fish.  Use canned salmon instead of tuna – and get salmon’s omega-3 heart health benefits.  The edible bones in canned salmon also deliver calcium!
    • Go Mediterranean.   Combine canned tuna in olive oil with sliced red bell peppers, sliced artichoke hearts, green onions, grated Parmesan, and a creamy canned soup with Dreamfields fiber-rich penne rigate or rotini.

 

Excite your tastebuds with a new twist on long-time favorites … and enjoy the taste of eating right during March National Nutrition Month and throughout the year!

 

Roberta L. Duyff, MS, RDN, CFCS is author of the American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide,

with more on ways to enjoy the tastes of eating right!

Eat and Live Healthier This National Nutrition Month!

Sunday, March 23, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Eat Healthy, But Don't Sacrifice On Taste!

With the start of spring already upon us, many of us are starting to cast off our winter habits in an attempt to get back to eating and living healthier. That’s why, in the spirit of National Nutrition Month, we’re giving you 4 big ideas to live healthier this spring. While it may not be easy to do all of this at once, try focusing on just a few then adding more as you can. As we’ve mentioned before in our blog post, Losing Weight Is All About The Small Things, it’s much more effective to let the little things add up.

Change how you cook.

Eating healthy doesn’t mean that all you can eat are bland foods. Taste is a huge part of how we either love or struggle with our diets. There are several ways that you can eat healthy and not bland.

  1. Try healthier cooking methods such as roasting or grilling. This is a great way to add taste and not calories.
  2. Throw in that extra little something special. Sometimes an ingredient is all it takes to change a blah meal to an amazing one. Experiment with capers, lemon zest and other healthy ingredients to transform your favorite dish.
  3. Use flavored vinegars. Flavored vinegars are the secret ingredient to your cooking arsenal. Using one can change the taste of an entire meal.
  4. Keep it spicy. Even if you’re not a fan of heat, spices can be one of your best friends. Spices and herbs offer great ways to put a new twist on your meal that adds flavor, but not calories.

To learn more on these ways of changing your cooking read our blog post 4 Ways To Eat Healthy, Not Bland.

 

Start eating breakfast again.

Yes, mother was always right. At least when she said “breakfast is the most important meal of the day”. No matter what your age, putting breakfast back into your eating habits can be good for you and offers tangible health benefits such as:

  • Improved memory, concentration, productivity, attention, creativity and mood.
  • Prevention of or minimized midday fatigue.
  • Fewer cravings for unhealthy food choices.
  • Results in the body storing less fat obtained from other meals or snacking.
  • Improved metabolism.

 

Eat Healthier At Work.

While this may be one of the hardest places to change how we eat, it can result in some of the biggest changes. Since many of us spend at least 8 hours at work, it can have a great influence how we eat the rest of the day as well as the next morning. Grabbing something from that fast food joint around the corner maybe why you’re crashing towards the end of your work day and ready to eat whatever is around at home. While eating healthy all the time at work may not be possible use these tips to make better choices more often:

  • Drink water throughout the day and especially during meals.
  • Pack healthy, low-calorie snacks such as nuts, vegetables and fruit.
  • Pack your own lunch to have more healthy options.

 

Work exercise into your daily life.

While eating healthy is important working out is often one of the easiest aspects of a healthy lifestyle to over looked. Just by doing a few extra things each day you start burning more and more calories just by taking a few extra steps or climbing a few extra stairs. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Park in the back. Walk to the front. (At work, at the grocery store or anywhere else you can.)
  • Take your shopping cart back.
  • Put your exercise times on the calendar.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  • Do light work outs during commercial breaks.
  • Work out 10 minutes a day, every day.

 

 

Fiery Confetti Noodles by Spice Bites

Tuesday, March 18, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Looking for healthier ways to enjoy your pasta? In honor of National Nutrition Month, Dreamfields will be sharing some new, tasty, lighter recipes all month.

Fiery Confetti Noodles by Spice Bites

IMG_0386-2

Ingredients

4 oz. Dreamfields angel hair pasta, broken in half
4 oz. broccoli slaw

Sauce:
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oyster sauce
1/8 tsp. ground white pepper
1/8 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. ginger paste
1/2 tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. chili oil
2 tbsp. sliced green onions, reserve 1 tbsp. for garnish

Preparation

Combine sauce ingredients in small bowl and set aside.

Bring large pot of water to a boil on high heat.  Add dry pasta and broccoli slaw.  Cook for 5 minutes or until pasta is tender.  Drain and return pasta and broccoli slaw to pot.

Add sauce ingredients and mix to coat pasta and broccoli slaw thoroughly.

Garnish with remaining sliced green onions.

Enjoy!

Spaghetti with Roasted Brussel Prouts and Greek Yogurt Cream Sauce by Bell'alimento

Saturday, March 15, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Looking for healthier ways to enjoy your pasta? In honor of National Nutrition Month, Dreamfields will be sharing some new, tasty, lighter recipes all month.

Spaghetti with Roasted Brussel Prouts and Greek Yogurt Cream Sauce  by Bell'alimento

whole wheat spaghetti with roasted brussel sprouts & greek yogurt cream sauce www.climbinggriermountain.com

Ingredients:

1 lb. Dreamfields whole wheat spaghetti
3 cups brussel sprouts, sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon balasmic vinegar
1 cup Greek Yogurt
2 oz plain goat cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
Blue cheese, garnish
Parsley, garnish
Grape tomatoes, garnish
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place sliced brussel sprouts on baking sheet and drizzle tops with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and s&p. Roast for about 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool slightly.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add about a teaspoon of salt to the boiling water to help flavor the pasta. Add the pasta in small bunches and continue to stir so the pasta doesn't stick together. In a large bowl, add the Greek yogurt, goat cheese, and mozzarella. Stir to combine. Once the pasta is al dente, remove spaghetti with tongs and place in bowl with all the cheeses. Ladle some of the reserved pasta water into the bowl to thin out the cheese allowing the pasta to absorb. Keep tossing and adding water to create a cream sauce. Then add the brussel sprouts.

To serve, place some of the spaghetti on a plate. Top with blue cheese, parsley, and grape tomatoes.

Greek yogurt cream sauce adapted from Running to the Kitchen

Creamy Carrot and Parm Pasta by bell'alimento

Thursday, March 13, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Looking for healthier ways to enjoy your pasta? In honor of National Nutrition Month, Dreamfields will be sharing some new, tasty, lighter recipes all month.

Creamy Carrot and Parm Pasta by bell'alimento

Creamy Carrot and Parm Pasta www.bellalimento.com

What You Will Need:

  • 6 medium carrots - peeled
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt/pepper
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 1 pound Dreamfields rotini pasta
  • Parmigiano Reggiano shavings - garnish
  • fresh thyme - garnish
  • crispy bacon - garnish

What To Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Onto a rimmed baking sheet place: carrots, bell pepper, garlic. Drizzle oil on top. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes.
  3. When bell pepper is cool enough to handle, remove skin and seeds (discard).
  4. Place a large pot of generously salted water onto boil. When boiling, add pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water before draining.
  5. Into blender add: roasted carrots, bell pepper and garlic. Start by adding 1 cup broth and pulse until pureed. Continue adding broth until you have a creamy consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Into a large serving bowl add cooked pasta and 1 cup carrot sauce. Toss to coat. TIP: if sauce is too thick thin using reserved pasta water. If not thick enough add additional sauce.
  7. Garnish with Parmigiano shavings, fresh thyme and crispy bacon if desired.

http://www.bellalimento.com/2014/03/03/creamy-carrot-and-parm-pasta/

 

4 Fan Favorite Ways To Stay Healthy

Thursday, March 13, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Last month we shared some ideas on how to use technology to stay healthy (5 Apps To Help You Stay Healthy) and asked our email subscribers what apps and technology they used to stay healthy. After looking over the results we noticed many of you use the same technology and wanted to share our fan’s favorites*.

MyFitnessPal – Free

Lose weight the healthy way with MyFitnessPal. Based on the belief (and medical studies) that the way to lose weight and keep it off the best is simply by keeping track of the foods you eat. Use their free website and mobile apps to make calorie counting and food tracking easy.

SparkPeople – Free

Feel and look great with your very own personalized plan. SparkPeople will give you all the tools, resources and support you need to reach your weight-loss goal.

Fooducate - $9.99

Learn what’s really in each product that you eat as well as get suggestions of healthier alternatives. With over 200,000 unique products and growing Fooducate has the largest database of UPC-based nutrition information. 

Fitbit – $59.95 - $99.95

Fitbit offers an all-encompassing fitness and health experience. You’ll be able to track everyday activity like how active you are (how many steps you’ve taken, calories you’ve burned, etc.), food intake and even how long and how well you sleep. It's wireless and automatically synced to your computer and smartphone giving you real-time access to your progress and health.

 

 

 

*Dreamfields is not responsible for the development, implementation or function of any of these apps. All apps are suggested by Dreamfields fans and are not directly endorsed by Dreamfields staff. Add at your own digression. Please contact the application vendor for questions or more information. Any downloaded applications may be counted against your total data usage. Contact your service provider for more information. 

Try A New Take On Lasagna With Our Lasagna Roll-Ups

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

While winter is winding down the final artic blasts of cold and snowy weather can grind on even the most chipper among us. One way to alleviate the boredom is by trying new things and new recipes. For example, you can try a different take on lasagna with our Festive Lasagna Roll-Ups with Salsa Rosa Sauce. Rather than being layered like traditional lasagna. Roll-ups, as the name suggests, incorporate all its ingredients in a single rolled up strip of pasta, which makes it a great meal for younger kids.

Give it a try on a weekend or on the next snow day where you’re stuck inside for most of the day.

Festive Lasagna Roll-Ups with Salsa Rosa Sauce

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Standing Time: 10 minutes

Enjoy this and many other delicious recipes from Dreamfields Pasta.
 
Ingredients:

16 uncooked Dreamfields Lasagna noodles
4 cups (32 ounces) prepared marinara sauce
1 container (10 ounces) prepared refrigerated light Alfredo sauce (1 cup) 
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1-1/2 cups thinly sliced mushrooms
9 ounces fresh spinach leaves, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup dry red wine or chicken broth
Salt and pepper
1 carton (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup finely shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips, optional

Directions:

Cook the pasta according to the package directions; drain. Rinse with cold water then drain again. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the garlic and the onion, cooking for 1 minute until soft. Add the mushrooms, spinach, herbs and wine. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Cook for 5 minutes stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
Spray a 9 x 13 x 2-inch and 9 x 9-inch baking dishes with a nonstick cooking spray. Spread 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of each of the 9 x 13-inch dish and 1/2 cup in the 9 x 9 dish.

Lay the noodles on a cutting board or counter top and pat them dry. Spread 1 tablespoon of ricotta cheese evenly over each noodle. Next, spread 1-1/2 tablespoons of sauce, then 1-1/2 tablespoons of spinach mixture uniformly over each lasagna noodle. Roll the lasagna noodle gently but firmly. Place the lasagna rolls in the baking dishes seam-side down (10 lasagna rolls will fit in the 9 x 13 dish and 6 in the 9x 9 dish). Pour 3/4 cup sauce over the top of 9 x 13 dish and 1/2 over the 9 x 9 dish. Top with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Cover with foil. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 45 minutes. Remove foil continuing to bake for 10 minutes, until browned and bubbly. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Garnish with additional fresh basil, if desired.

Makes 8 servings.

 

Cold Weather Quickies

Friday, March 7, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

We recently shared some pretty amazing recipes with our Facebook fans and Twitter followers, so here is a quick recap. Try them all!

Chicken Amalfi by Doughmesstic


Penne with Tomatoes and Olives

Roasted Brussel Sprout & Prosciutto

Pasta Toss with Zucchini, Beans, Tomatoes, and Feta

One Pot Pasta with Tomatoes & Basil

Creamy Stovetop Cauliflower Mac N Cheese

One Pot Pasta with Tomatoes & Basil by Girl Versus Dough

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

In honor of this record-breaking winter, Dreamfields is partnering with six fabulous bloggers to bring you some "Cold Weather Quickie" recipes. Enjoy!

One Pot Pasta with Tomatoes & Basil by Girl Versus Dough
one-pot pasta with tomatoes + basil

Ingredients
  • 1 box (13.25 oz) Dreamfields angel hair pasta
  • 1 container (10.5 oz) grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 basil leaves, plus more torn leaves for topping
  • 5 cups water
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Shredded Parmesan cheese, for topping
 
Directions
  1. In a large saucepan, combine pasta (noodles broken in half to fit in pan, if necessary), tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, onion, basil leaves, water and salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook, stirring often, 10 minutes until pasta is al dente and water is almost fully evaporated (there may be about ¼ to ⅓ cup of water left when the noodles are done; this is OK, as it will soak in as the pasta cools).
  3. Season pasta with more salt and pepper, if needed, then divide among serving bowls. Top with extra torn basil leaves and shredded Parmesan cheese.

Stay Warm With A Seafood Stew

Tuesday, March 4, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Looking for a slightly different way to warm this winter? Then try our Seafood Stew with Rotini. This delicious seafood pasta recipe is easy and quick to prepare, making it great for those busy winter nights. It features the sharp bite of chopped leeks, garlic and orange zest as well as succulent shrimp and fresh cod along with the kick of red pepper flakes and an Aïoli sauce.

Seafood Stew with Rotini

 See our other seafood meals.

Ingredients:


1 box Dreamfields Rotini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped carrots (about 3)
1 cup chopped leeks or onions
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 cup reduced-sodium, fat free chicken broth
1 bottle (8 ounces) clam juice (1 cup)
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon orange zest
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3/4 pound cod, cut in to approximately 1 1/2-inch pieces
3/4 pound raw shrimp, peeled, deveined, tails removed  (21-25/pound)
Orange wedges
Aïoli (optional; see recipe below)

Directions:

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and return to the pan.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and leeks. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the leeks are lightly browned. Stir in the garlic cooking for 1 minute.


Stir in the tomatoes, broth, clam juice, wine, orange zest and the red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil before reducing the heat and simmering for 10 minutes to blend the flavors.

Add the cod and shrimp cooking for 3 minutes or just until the seafood is cooked through.

Divide the pasta evenly among the individual serving bowls and ladle the stew over the pasta. Serve with an orange wedge and Aïoli, if desired.


(If you’re not going eat all of the soup in one sitting, store the soup separately and cook pasta when you plan on having it with the soup.)

Makes 6-8 servings.

Aïoli

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup light mayonnaise
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons orange juice
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Directions:

Stir all the ingredients together in a small bowl. (May be made a day in advance. Refrigerate covered then bring to room temperature for serving.)

Makes 6 servings.

Creamy Stovetop Cauliflower Mac n Cheese by A Beautiful Bite

Monday, March 3, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

 

Creamy Stovetop Cauliflower Mac n Cheese by A Beautiful Bite
Creamy Stove Top Cauliflower Mac n Cheese

 

A lighter version of mac n cheese. Velvety and comforting with a fraction of the calories thanks to the addition of mashed cauliflower.
 
Ingredients
  • 4 cups cauliflower, chopped into bite sized chunks
  • 1 lb Dreamfields Pasta (you can use any shape)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 1½ Tbsp flour
  • 1¼ cup milk (I used 1%)
  • 3 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (low-fat is fine)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp ground mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste
 
Instructions
  1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Add cauliflower and cook until fork tender. Drain and mash. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  2. Cook pasta just to al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk flour into butter. Cook for three to four minutes or until the mixture turns golden.
  4. Slowly add milk while vigorously whisking. Add cheese, egg, ground mustard, mashed cauliflower and cooked pasta. Cook for four to five minutes over medium heat.
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with toasted breadcrumbs or top with a little extra cheese.

Hawaiian Islands Chicken Pasta by Doughmesstic

Sunday, March 2, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Looking for healthier ways to enjoy your pasta? In honor of National Nutrition Month, Dreamfields will be sharing some new, tasty, lighter recipes.

Hawaiian Islands Chicken Pasta by Doughmesstic

hawaiian-pasta-2

 

Serves 8

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound box Dreamfields Angel Hair Pasta
  • 1.5 pounds Chicken Breast, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon Poppy Seeds
  • Salt & Pepper, to taste
  • 1 medium Sweet Onion, diced
  • 1 Green Pepper, chopped
  • 3 Carrots, thinly sliced
  • 20 ounce can Pineapple Chunks, reserve the juice
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce

Instructions

  1. Place water on to prepare pasta.  While water is heating, brown chicken pieces in a large stir fry pan or wok in a tablespoon of oil.  As you saute, add sesame oil, garlic powder, ginger, poppy seeds, and salt and pepper.
  2. Add pasta to boiling water and prepare according to box directions.
  3. Once chicken has lightly browned, add onion, green pepper, carrots, pineapple chunks, and 1/4 cup pineapple juice.  Stirfry until vegetables are tender, about 8 minutes.
  4. While vegetables are cooking, combine 1/2 cup pineapple juice, cornstarch, and soy sauce.  Whisk until smooth.
  5. One pasta is finished cooking, add noodles to stirfry pan and top with the pineapple/soy sauce.  Stir in pan for one minute; serve hot.

Pasta Toss with Zucchini, Beans, Tomatoes, and Feta by Bran Appetit

Saturday, March 1, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

In honor of this record-breaking winter, Dreamfields is partnering with six fabulous bloggers to bring you some "Cold Weather Quickie" recipes. Enjoy!

Pasta Toss with Zucchini, Beans, Tomatoes, and Feta by Bran Appetit
Pasta Toss with Zucchini, Beans, Tomatoes, and Feta


Ingredients:

    8 oz. Dreamfields rotini
    1/3 cup +1 tsp olive oil
    1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
    ½ cup roasted tomatoes or sundried tomatoes in olive oil
    1 12 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
    1 tsp salt
    ¼ tsp pepper
    ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:

  • Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tsp olive oil to the pan and add the sliced zucchini. Cook - not stirring – for 4-5 minutes on one side until the zucchini begins to brown. Stir the zucchini and cook for another 3-5 minutes until the zucchini is cooked.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a palmful of salt and stir in pasta, returning to a boil. Cook the pasta over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 8-9 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and beans to the pan with the zucchini. Cook over medium heat, about 5 minutes until everything is warmed through.
  • Once the pasta is cooked, drain and return it to the pot. Add the zucchini mixture to the pasta and toss together with the 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Let the pasta cool for about 5 minutes, then stir in the crumbled feta cheese. Serve warm or chilled.


Read more at http://www.branappetit.com/2014/02/19/pasta-toss-with-zucchini-beans-tomatoes-and-feta-dreamfields-giveaway/#Dz9vHsKYuYXvzWS2.99

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. Dreamfields rotini
  • 1/3 cup +1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved and sliced
  • ½ cup roasted tomatoes or sundried tomatoes in olive oil
  • 1 12 oz. can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Directions:

  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tsp olive oil to the pan and add the sliced zucchini. Cook - not stirring – for 4-5 minutes on one side until the zucchini begins to brown. Stir the zucchini and cook for another 3-5 minutes until the zucchini is cooked.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add a palmful of salt and stir in pasta, returning to a boil. Cook the pasta over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 8-9 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and beans to the pan with the zucchini. Cook over medium heat, about 5 minutes until everything is warmed through.
  4. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and return it to the pot. Add the zucchini mixture to the pasta and toss together with the 1/3 cup olive oil, 1 tsp salt, and ¼ tsp pepper. Let the pasta cool for about 5 minutes, then stir in the crumbled feta cheese. Serve warm or chilled.

Read more at http://www.branappetit.com/2014/02/19/pasta-toss-with-zucchini-beans-tomatoes-and-feta-dreamfields-giveaway/#Dz9vHsKYuYXvzWS2.99

Roasted Brussel Sprout & Prosciutto by country cleaver

Friday, February 28, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

In honor of this record-breaking winter, Dreamfields is partnering with six fabulous bloggers to bring you some "Cold Weather Quickie" recipes. Enjoy!

Roasted Brussel Sprout & Prosciutto by country cleaver

Ingredients:

1 pound Brussels Sprouts
2 ounces Proscuitto, sliced into thin strips and fried
3 Tablespoons Garlic infused Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
2 Eggs
¼ cup Goat Cheese
4 ounces dry Dreamfields Spaghetti

Directions:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Trim brussels sprouts of their ends and discard. Cut smaller sprouts into halves and larger sprouts into quarters. Remove any loose leaves as well, they will be roasted also. Place onto a non-stick baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes, turning half way through. Loose leaves will be crispy and browned and the quarter will be fork tender.

While brussels sprouts are roasting, bring a sauce pan to a boil with salted water. Also bring a 2 inch deep sauce pan to a simmer with water for poaching the eggs.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water. Drain remaining water, rinse the pasta lightly with cold water and set aside. In the saucepan that the pasta was cooked in crumble the goat cheese and pour in the reserved pasta water. Stir together until a light sauce forms.

While the pasta is cooking poach the eggs. Crack each egg into a separate shallow dish. With the edge of the shallow dish touching the water GENTLY slip the eggs into the water. Using a spoon gather the eggs white around the yolk to set. Cook each egg about 3 minutes, or until the whites are set. Remove with a spoon and drain away liquid.

Divide pasta into two shallow bowls, pouring the goat cheese sauce over the top. Top with roasted brussels, fried proscuitto, egg and additional crumbled goat cheese if desired. Serve immediately.

 

Warm Up This Winter With Homemade Soup

Friday, February 28, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Stews are a great way to stay warm during the winter in addition to a great way to use up leftovers. Our Turkey Mac Soup is an easy stew that has only 20 minutes of preparation time and 10 minutes of cook time. So not only is it great for these cold days, but it’s a great throw together meal on days that you’re more than a little busy.

Just grab fresh carrots, celery, bell pepper and combine it with the sharpness of onion or leek, the smoothness of broccoli slaw and succulent chopped turkey.

Turkey Mac Soup

Enjoy this delicious soup recipe.

Ingredients:

1/2 box Dreamfields Elbows
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion or leek
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup sliced celery
1 cup chopped bell pepper
2 cups broccoli slaw
2 teaspoons poultry seasoning
6 cups reduced-sodium, fat free chicken broth
3 cups chopped or shredded cooked turkey
Salt
Black Pepper 

Directions:

Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain and return to the pan, reserving one cup of pasta water.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onion, carrots, celery and bell pepper cooking for 2 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add the broccoli slaw continuing to cook for 1 minute or until the vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Stir in the poultry seasoning. Cook and stir to blend the seasoning into the vegetables.

Add the chicken broth then bring everything to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Afterwards, stir in the turkey heating through. Add the pasta water if more liquid is desired.

Divide pasta among 8 bowls. Ladle the soup over pasta. Season with salt and pepper as desired. 
 

Makes 8 servings.
 

Beat The Winter Workout Blues – Part 3

Thursday, February 27, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Live healthy with Dreamfields Pasta.

Previously in our Beat The Winter Work out Blues Part 1 and Part 2 posts we discussed how keeping to your workout goals and routines during the winter can be quite challenging at times. Whether it’s avoiding winter workout injuries or how to keep your routine fresh we’ve been providing tips to make it easier to make it to spring in the shape you want to be.
Today, we’re going to cover 6 additional ideas of how to combat the cold and stay in shape.

Start Right, Gear Up For The Cold
One of the most important things that you can do before any work out is to warm up. As we slowly warm up we drive more blood to our muscles allowing them to adapt to the demands we’re putting on them. This also gives both muscles and tendons time to loosen up which helps prevent avoidable injuries. During the winter months, warming up becomes even more important as our muscles are even tighter thanks to the cold. It’s for this reason that many of us are more prone to injury during the winter than they are during spring or summer.


Start off by doing light activities like jumping jacks, running in place, using a jump rope or, if you have one, an exercise bike. Even a brisk walk can be good just so long as you’re moving blood to your muscles and especially to your extremities where you feel the cold the most.

Dress for The Weather
Dressing right is one of the most important things you can do for a winter workout.


•    Protect your skin. While you may not feel the heat as much as in the summer you can still get sunburn in the winter. Just like how water on any body of water can reflect the sun’s light increasing your exposure, the snow can do the same thing. Wear sunscreen on sunny days (yes even in the dead of winter). Also make sure that you keep your hands (and face) covered with proper winter gear that will protect you from the chill and wind without making you sweat unnecessarily.

•    Wear breathable fabrics. The key is not to just be warm but also stay dry. Not doing this will cause you to sweat unnecessarily which will then cool against your skin, chilling you as you work out.

•    Make good use of layers. Combat the cold by layering up. You should have at least one layer that will wick moisture away from your skin and one that will protect you from the wind. Use additional layers if the weather makes it necessary to stay warm.

Start Into The Wind
By starting off going into the wind you’ll be able to have it at your back on the second half of your workout or run. This is important because it will reduce the wind chill you’ll face as you head back, which will in turn reduce how cold you feel after you start sweating.

Safety First
The winter not only impacts the outside conditions around you, but also the people around you. Even during the day be sure to wear bright clothes and reflective gear so you stand out. It’s important to be especially alert around roads. Since the ice and snow tends to make everything much more reflective it’s harder to distinguish anything that doesn’t stand out against the glare.

Dry Off After You’re Done
Slip out of wet clothes as soon as you're done. If showering immediately afterwards isn’t an option then slip into a new set of clothes to stay warm.

Know When To Stay Inside
While we’ve mentioned this before in our other posts, this bears repeating. Stay indoors when you know you should. Sometimes it might be too cold, too windy, too dark or just too dangerous. When that happens move your workout indoors and do what you can. The best thing you can do is stick to your routine even if it’s a bit lighter on some days.