May 2007

In This Edition
Wise Choices – Making Them Last
Holidays and Celebrations
Recipe of the Month
Chef to Spotlight
Health and Nutrition
Choices for Healthful Eating

Step 1. Take Stock
Step 2. Keep a Journal
Step 3. Learn the Basics
Step 4. Learn to Read Labels
Step 5. Healthful Snacks
Step 6. Plan Ahead
Step 7. Be Realistic
Step 8. Plan for Setbacks
Step 9. Get Help
Step 10. Stick with the Familiar

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Wise Choices – Making Them Last

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Choices for Healthful Eating

Step 10. Stick with the Familiar

Don’t change your whole menu by throwing out all of the recipes your family loves. Modify and improve on those favorites for healthier versions.

  1. Cut the amount of cheese used everyday.
  2. Bake meats rather than fry them.
  3. Look for ways to cut fat from recipes.
  4. Follow a lowfat carbohydrate-rich diet.
  5. Moderate sugar and alcohol.
  6. Exercise regularly and
  7. Monitor your weight.

Try these substitutions:

  1. Use ricotta cheese instead of cream cheese.
  2. Blend lowfat yogurt or cottage cheese with lemon juice instead of sour cream.
  3. Use chilled evaporated milk instead of whipped cream.
  4. Two egg whites will replace a whole egg to reduce cholesterol.
  5. Include more whole grain cereals and breads.
  6. Transform any fruit into tangy salsas and dressing for grilled meats.
  7. Boost the vitamins, minerals and fiber with unpeeled fruits and vegetables.
  8. Drink plenty of water.

Here are a couple of tips to keep those calories in check and avoid feeling deprived:

  1. Eat what you like. Taste what you want, but eat only the foods you really like.
  2. Keep portions in check.
  3. Divide all your meals in half; small sacrifices can add up to a number of calories saved.
  4. Then, add some new healthful recipes to your menu just for fun.

Chicken Breast Rolls with California Golden Raisins and Spinach is one of those somewhat familiar recipes that you can cut in half to save a lot of calories. It freezes well so you can store that other half for up to 3 weeks. If you just want to reduce calories and fat, use 4-ounce breasts instead of the 6-ounce ones specified in the recipe; reduce the butter to 2 ounces (about 1/4 cup) and use cooking spray when sautéing the onion and tomatoes. That cuts the calories from 1130 per serving to 628 and the calories from fat to just under 33% from 38%.

A simple change from light mayonnaise and sour cream to all nonfat sour cream in the California Waldorf Salad and half as many walnuts will bring the fat down dramatically from 61% to 27% of calories from fat.

If Warm German Potato Salad is on your menu, just be sure the chicken stock is fat free and omit the bacon bits or substitute vegetable protein bits to go from 52% to 34% of calories from fat. A little slight of hand to replace the heavy cream and half-and-half with whole milk in the Chocolate Rum-Raisin Bread Pudding brings the calorie count down from 270 calories to 178 per serving and only 19% of them from fat as compared to 44% before.

For a couple of new, healthy and fun foods, try the Minted Yogurt Soup with California Raisins, Walnuts and Chives and Orange and Raisin Bread Pudding to replace some old favorites.

Holidays and Celebrations

May is National Hamburger Month

In honor of this observation, we present everything you ever wanted to do with hamburger and California Raisins. Start off with the lowly meatloaf and lift it above all expectation with some Creole flavors in New Orleans-style Meat Loaf with California Raisins and Creole Mustard. Then, go Italian in Italian Meatballs with California Raisins. Finally, just because it is too nice to be indoors, fire up the grill and do some hamburgers and serve them with Pickled California Raisins or Quick Raisin Relish instead of sweet cucumber pickles. It would be hard to beat Burgers with Raisin Salsa, too.

Speaking of which . . .

May is Salsa Month, too

Lentils are hot and trendy so get into the swing with Black Lentil and Golden Raisin Relish or the California Raisin Tomato and Onion Seed Chutney. If fruit is your dish, apricots are in season and nothing beats the Raisin Apricot Chutney with a great big steak. Or go way south for the Tropical Fruit Salsa with California Raisins while the fresh strawberries last.

More Holidays and Celebrations

As spring turns into summer, first it’s Memorial Day on May 28. Then, it’s Flag Day on June 14. Finally, Father’s Day comes along on June 17. Any one of these would be a good time to pack a picnic for a day in the park or just to grill in the backyard.

Start off with Beyond Good Old Raisins and Peanuts and Spiced Apple Pie Party Mix just to be sure no one starves before lunch or dinner is ready. Make it hot and spicy with juicy hamburgers or your favorite beef cut hot off the grill served with one of those spicy salsas or wrap it all up at home with Beef and California Raisin Picadillo or sweet and simple with Island Chicken Wraps. Then, throw in a big batch of Our Growers Favorite Oatmeal Raisin Cookies to serve with the homemade ice cream that has been churning all morning or make ice cream sandwiches with these or our Recipe of the Month.

Recipe of the Month

Pecan Thumbprint Cookies with California Golden Raisin-Dried Cherry Marmalade

May is Cherry Month, too. In May, fresh and dried cherries of all kinds will be at their peak so live it up with these California Raisin and cherry-filled cookies wrapped around smooth, cold ice cream.

Chef to Spotlight

Geoff Southwick

Prime Meridian at the Omni Hotel at CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, writes, “Enjoy breathtaking views of Centennial Park and the Atlanta skyline while experiencing exquisite menu items from around the world. Our contemporary design showcases an open kitchen exhibition grill, hearth oven, and floor-to-ceiling wine rack.” Right in the middle of all of this, you will find our Chef of the Month, Geoff Southwick on the job as Meridian’s Executive Chef.

From beef to chicken in less than 30 years, Southwick focuses on menu trends, food quality, upscale food presentations, and kitchen efficiencies. He is committed to serving the finest quality foods from the most efficiently run kitchens. “That’s why I choose California Raisins every time,” he says.

Geoff Southwick’s Featured Recipes

Pecan Thumbprint Cookies with California Golden Raisin-Dried Cherry Marmalade
Put two of these filled cookies together with rum-raisin ice cream for dessert.

Sautéed Lamb T-Bones with Fresh Thyme and Creamy Raisin Grits
Creamy grits with raisins and spinach combine with lamb T-bones and mint sauce.

Asiago-Goat Cheese Tartlet with Golden Raisins and Cranberries
First course or dessert. It’s perfect any time!

Baked Peaches with Golden Raisins
A quick to make, light dessert to serve often.

Golden Raisin Peach Tart
Free-form tarts filled with golden peaches and California raisins.

Golden Raisin-Granny Smith Apple Chow Chow
A sweet spicy apple-raisin condiment for pork, ham and other meats.