Johnson City Press Sunday, August 2, 2015
SNEAK PEEK: Take a first look at our new site and tell us what you think. »

Family Meals Matter: Summer produce

August 8th, 2014 4:04 pm by Staff Report

Family Meals Matter: Summer produce

Corn and broccoli calzones. (Healthy-Eating/MCT)


If eating fresh and in-season is important to you and your family, here's a handy rule of thumb. Grocery stores tend to feature the freshest fruits and vegetables at the very front of the produce section.

Since fresh food in-season is highly plentiful and perishable, it's also likely to be marked down or on special. So shop the front for what's fresh and hit the frozen or canned sections for other fruits and vegetables not in season.

Frozen and canned foods also great, nutritious choices because their ingredients are picked in-season to preserve their nutrients until you can use them at your convenience.

Celebrate summer produce this week with a featured family meal of Corn + Broccoli Calzones, Bean Salad and Rhubarb Fool. Other recipes to enjoy all week long include California Summer Salad, Chunky Gazpacho Salad with Citrus Scallops, Cheese Herb Zucchini and Chicken with Oranges and Avocados.


Shopping list (Includes ingredients to make at least four servings of each Featured Family Meal recipe)


Total preparation time: 15 to 30 minutes

Actual cooking time:15 to 30 minutes

Number of servings: 6


1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets

1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)

1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella

2/3 cup reduced-fat ricotta cheese

4 scallions, thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

all-purpose flour for dusting

20 ounces prepared whole-wheat pizza dough (see shopping tip), thawed if frozen

2 teaspoons canola oil


Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 475F. Coat 2 baking sheets with cooking spray.

Combine broccoli, corn, mozzarella, ricotta, scallions, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

On a lightly floured surface, divide dough into 6 pieces. Roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Place a generous 3/4 cup filling on one half of each circle, leaving a 1-inch border of dough. Brush the border with water and fold the top half over the filling. Fold the edges over and crimp with a fork to seal. Make several small slits in the top to vent steam; brush each calzone with oil. Transfer the calzones to the prepared baking sheets.

Bake the calzones, switching the pans halfway through, until browned on top, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.

Healthy heart variation: To reduce saturated fat even further, use nonfat ricotta in place of the reduced-fat ricotta. 334 calories, 2 g saturated fat.

Cook's Notes:

Tips: To remove corn kernels from the cob: Stand an uncooked ear of corn on its stem end in a shallow bowl and slice the kernels off with a sharp, thin-bladed knife. This technique produces whole kernels that are good for adding to salads and salsas. If you want to use the corn kernels for soups, fritters or puddings, you can add another step to the process. After cutting the kernels off, reverse the knife and, using the dull side, press it down the length of the ear to push out the rest of the corn and its milk.

Look for balls of whole-wheat pizza dough at your supermarket, fresh or frozen and without any hydrogenated oils.



Total preparation time: less than 15 minutes

Actual cooking time: no cooking required

Number of servings: 8

1 cup black beans

1 cup garbanzo beans

1 cup pinto beans

1 cup red kidney beans

1 bunch cilantro — washed and chopped

1 medium red onion

1/2 cup seasoned rice vinegar

pepper to taste


Wash tops of all cans then open. Place all beans in a strainer and rinse well. Place in large bowl.

Wash and chop onion and cilantro and add to beans.

Add rice vinegar and stir. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cook's Notes:

You can get very creative with this recipe. You can add in cut green beans (my favorite), olives, cooked brown rice (then you'll need to add a bit more rice vinegar), or whatever other fresh vegetables you have — just chop them up and stir them in.

Rinsing the beans will reduce the overall sodium in this dish.



Total preparation time: less than 15 minutes

Actual cooking time: more than 2 hours

Number of servings: 8

1 cinnamon stick

3 whole cloves

1 2-inch-long strip lemon zest

2 1/4 pounds rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch pieces (8 cups)

1 1/4 cups sugar

2 cups fat-free vanilla yogurt

1/2 cup whipping cream


Tie cinnamon stick, cloves and lemon zest together in a cheesecloth bag. Combine rhubarb, sugar and the spice bag in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has the consistency of applesauce, 6 to 8 minutes. Discard the spice bag. Chill the rhubarb mixture about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, line a colander with cheesecloth and set it over a bowl. Spoon in yogurt and let it drain in the refrigerator until it measures 1 1/2 cups, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Place the drained yogurt in a medium bowl. Add the rhubarb mixture and fold lightly, leaving some swirls. Whip cream in a chilled bowl and swirl it into the fool. Spoon into individual dishes. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or up to 6 hours.

Cook's Notes:

Reduce the calories and fat in this recipe, if desired, by reducing the sugar addded and using a reduced-fat whipping cream.


comments powered by Disqus