Put Produce on Your Plate

  • Written by Family Features

Do you eat enough fruits and vegetables every day? According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans should fill half their plate with fruits and vegetables.  Most people don’t come near that amount.

In fact, nearly 90 percent of Americans fall short of the recommended daily servings of vegetables and 80 percent fall short of daily fruit servings. But it’s easier – and more delicious – than you might think to make food choices that can help your whole family live a healthier lifestyle.



Serves: 6 to 8

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

6     tablespoons olive oil

1    pound yellow onion, chopped

3    cloves garlic, crushed

1    pound zucchini, chopped

1    pound yellow squash, chopped

1    pound green pepper, chopped in 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 pound red bell pepper, chopped in 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 pound yellow bell pepper, chopped in 1/2- inch cubes

1    whole bay leaf

3/4 cup tomato juice

1    teaspoon Italian seasoning

1     teaspoon red pepper flakes

1    teaspoon dried basil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 pound ripe tomato, seeded, skinned and chopped

In one large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and sauté onions for 5 minutes. Add garlic, reduce heat to low.

In another large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, sauté zucchini until brown. Add browned zucchini to skillet with onions and garlic, toss.

In empty skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil, sauté yellow squash until brown. Add browned yellow squash to pan with onions, garlic and zucchini. Repeat process with all remaining vegetables, except tomatoes.

When vegetables are done and in same skillet, increase heat to high. Add spices and tomato juice and stir. Bring to slight boil.

Cook uncovered on low for 20 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook 10 minutes. Stir and serve.

Score a tailgating touchdown

  • Written by Family Features

Tickets? Check. Foam finger? Check. Favorite team jersey? Check. Tailgating food that scores with all your friends? You bet. Beef and tailgating are a winning team.


Bruschetta Burger

Makes 4 servings

Total recipe time: 30 to 35 minutes

1 pound ground beef

1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tbsp. minced green onions

1 tsp. minced garlic

Salt and pepper

4 slices rustic crusty bread, cut 1/2 inch thick

Olive oil

Bruschetta Topping:

3/4 c. chopped red tomatoes

1/2 c. chopped yellow tomatoes

1 Tbsp. thinly sliced fresh basil

1/4 tsp. minced garlic

1/2 tsp. salt


Combine Bruschetta Topping ingredients in medium bowl; set aside. Combine ground beef, cheese, green onions and garlic in medium bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly. Lightly shape into four 1/2-inch thick patties.

Place patties in center of grid, over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, uncovered, 11 to 13 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, covered, 7 to 8 minutes) until instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally into center registers 160°F, turning occasionally.

Meanwhile, brush both sides of bread slices with oil. About 3 minutes before burgers are done, place bread on grid. Grill until lightly toasted, turning once.

Season burgers with salt and pepper, as desired. Place 1 burger on each bread slice; top each with 1/4 c. Bruschetta Topping. Serve open-faced.

Cook’s Tip:  Cooking times are for fresh or thoroughly thawed ground beef. Color is not a reliable indicator of ground beef doneness.

Cook’s Tip:  If using 95 percent lean ground beef, combine ground beef with 1/4 c. soft bread crumbs, 1 egg white and ingredients as directed in step 2.

Courtesy of The Beef Checkoff

Beyond the Scoop

  • Written by Recipe courtesy of Graeter’s and Family Features

Ice Cream

Cupcake Fruit Trifles

Yield: 20 trifles

16 ounces mascarpone cheese

1 pint Vanilla Ice Cream, thawed, refrigerated

1 quart heavy cream, whipped to soft peaks

4 to 6 cups of fruit: raspberries,  strawberries, blueberries or oranges

Sprinkle of sugar

20 yellow cupcakes, using recipe of choice, remove liners and cut into equal thirds, horizontally

20 wine or beverage glasses, 6 to 9 ounces

Place the mascarpone cheese and ice cream in a mixing bowl and whisk until smooth. Do not over mix.

Fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture, cover and refrigerate until ready to assemble trifles.

When ready to assemble trifles, sprinkle fruit with a small amount of sugar, to create a syrupy consistency.

To assemble trifle: Place a small amount of custard in bottom of glass. Add some fruit, followed by the bottom third of the cupcake. Continue to layer custard, fruit and cupcake slices, using three cupcake slices per glass.

Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until ready to serve. Garnish with fruit just before serving. Note: it is best to make the trifle a few hours before serving, or the day before.

Serving idea: Make your presentation extra special with a chocolate-painted glass.

Three Breakfasts in Five Minutes

  • Written by Family Features

“No time” is no longer an excuse for skipping breakfast. Not with this repertoire of easy ideas from Special Fork, a free mobile recipe cookbook where recipes are geared to people with more taste than time.

The five easy recipe ideas below cook up in just minutes, and will get any morning off to a great start.


Scrambled Egg Breakfast Burrito

Makes 1 serving

This recipe concept, developed by the American Egg Board, is genius in its simplicity.

1 flour tortilla (6-inch size)

1 egg

1 Tbsp. shredded cheddar cheese

1 Tbsp. salsa

Line 2-cup microwave-safe cereal bowl with microwave-safe paper towel. Press tortilla into the bowl. Crack egg into the center of the tortilla and beat egg gently with a fork to blend. Microwave on high 30 seconds; stir and microwave 15 to 30 seconds more until egg is almost set.

Remove tortilla to a flat surface. Top egg with cheese and salsa; fold bottom of the tortilla over the egg and fold in each side.

Microwave-Oven-Baked Apples

Makes 1 serving

Take a few minutes to core and stuff an apple; then bake for just 5 minutes.

1 small Braeburn or Granny Smith apple, peeled

1 Tbsp. butter

1 Tbsp. rolled oats

1 Tbsp. light brown sugar

1 tsp. flour

Pinch salt

1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/3 c. apple juice

1/2 tsp. sugar

Freshly grated nutmeg


Use a melon baller to core the stem end of the apple, then hollow a 1-inch cavity in the center.

In small bowl, mix together butter, oats, brown sugar, flour, salt and cinnamon; fill the apple.

Set apple in a small microwave-safe dish, add juice; sprinkle apple with sugar and nutmeg. Microwave on high until apple softens and liquid is bubbling, about 5 minutes. Serve with yogurt. Recipe by Katie Barreira, cooking newbie blogger.

French Toast

Dip French bread slices into mixture of 2 beaten eggs, 1/2 c. milk, 1 tsp. sugar, a pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp. freshly ground nutmeg. Fry in butter or oil until golden.

Family pizza night done right

  • Written by Family Features

Pizza, Per Favore!

(Family Features) Forget about delivery pizza — make your own fresh and flavorful creations for a fantastic family pizza night sure to bring everyone together at the table.

This recipe uses ingredients that let you put your own tasty and creative spin on a classic favorite — fresh herbs; a blend of rich Italian cheeses; and high-quality, flavorful Johnsonville Italian sausage, available in mild, sweet or hot varieties.


Classic Pizza Margherita

Serves 4 to 6

1 package refrigerated pizza dough

1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 package Johnsonville Mild Italian Sausage

1/2 medium red onion, minced

1 Tbsp. parsley, minced

1 Tbsp. garlic, minced

1 Tbsp. oregano

8 Roma tomatoes, sliced (divided — save 10 slices for the top)

10 fresh basil leaves (divided)

2 c. mozzarella cheese, shredded

1 c. fontina cheese, shredded

Pepper and sea salt

1/2 c. fresh Parmesan cheese, grated

Position oven rack on lowest shelf and preheat to 425°F. Lightly oil a pizza pan. Roll out dough as thin as possible. Let rest 10 minutes.

In small skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium-high, add sausage and cook until browned.

Remove from skillet, cool slightly and coin slice. In the same pan, sauté onion and parsley to golden, then stir in garlic and oregano for a few seconds.

Add tomatoes to pan, crushing them as they are mixed (do not substitute crushed tomatoes).

Boil, stirring 5 minutes or until thick.

Spread sauce over crust, sprinkle with half the basil, mozzarella, fontina, sausage, remaining slices of tomatoes and finally remaining olive oil.

Finish with generous pepper and a little sea salt. Bake for 10 minutes.

Using a spatula and an oven mitt, slip pizza off pan directly onto oven rack; bake for two minutes. Slip pizza back onto pan, remove from oven. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and remaining fresh basil.

Cut and enjoy.

Sausage should always be prepared to reach an internal temperature of 160°F.

For more ways to do pizza night right, visit