Tag Archives: Mizkan

Tangy Collard Greens

Tangy Collard Greens at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.comI wanted to make a Southern style Thanksgiving this year, so of course collard greens had to be part of the meal. While it's a great dish for holiday meals, you can make collard greens any time of year, from fancy sit down dinners to backyard barbeque parties.

Usually, collard greens are made with a bacon or slices of fatty pork, so I tried to health up the recipe – and keep the taste – by using turkey bacon instead. The original recipe also called for six pounds of greens, so I halved it as that was way too much for one meal. Even so, you’ll need to make this in a large pot.

If three pounds of collard greens are too much for your pot, fill it with as much collard greens as possible and cover with a lid. Wait awhile until they cook down and add some more. It’s amazing how much collard greens will shrink down. Also, use presliced collard greens to save time and hassle if they're available in your area of the country.

I used NAKANO’s Red Pepper Seasoned Rice Vinegar instead of cider vinegar. I love how NAKANO’s rice vinegars are already seasoned and sweetened, saving you a few steps in the cooking process. Make sure to keep a bottle on the table in case your dinner guest want to splash on some more!

Finally, to make ham broth, simmer water with a ham bone for two to three hours, then refrigerate and skim off fat. I used the leftover bones and skin from the pig we grilled for our open house party that I had frozen. I put a gallon freezer bag’s worth in a stock pot, covered it with water, and brought it to a boil over high heat. After reducing the heat, I simmered the pig leftovers for a couple of hours and then let the broth cool. Finally, I ran the broth through a fine mesh colander and froze any ham broth I didn’t need for this recipe for my next batch of collard greens!

Tangy Collard Greens at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Tangy Collard Greens

Based on a recipe by Chef Ted Lahey of Table and Main, a Southern Tavern in Roswell, Georgia from Local Palate magazine

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound turkey bacon
  • 1/4 pound yellow onions, chopped
  • 1/2 ounce minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 3 pounds collard greens, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon powdered stevia
  • 3 tablespoons NAKANO Red Pepper Seasoned Rice Vinegar
  • 1 cup ham broth

Directions

  1. Cook bacon until it starts to render.
  2. Add onion and garlic and cook until onions are translucent.
  3. Add spices, collard greens, stevia, NAKANO vinegar, and broth. Bring to a simmer.
  4. Reduce heat, cover and cook until green are tender (about one hour).
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Servings: Makes 8 servings.
  • Serving size: 3/4 cup

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of NAKANO, provided compensation for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own.

Making dips with World Harbors marinades

Making dips with World Harbors marinades at This Mama Cooks! On  a Diet - thismamacooks.com

I love using  World Harbors premade marinades when grilling steak or fish or making Beer Can Chicken, but was always frustrated when I had a shelf of half-used up bottles in the refrigerator. So I started to experiment and realized that World Harbors can also be turned into great dips! You don’t have to use their marinades straight from the bottle either. Instead you can combine them with low fat sour cream, Greek yogurt or my favorite tofu sour cream to make yummy and somewhat healthy dips.

My family and I tried the Maui Mountain Sweet ‘n’ Sour two ways – plain and with no fat lemon flavored yogurt on a 1:1 ratio – with our sweet potato fries. Hands down both dips were a hit with my family, so I encourage you to experiment with other flavors. For example:

  • Honey Dijon, Lemon Pepper or Italian would all be terrific with veggie sticks as a party snack. Again, combine the marinade with sour cream, yogurt, etc. for your guests!
  • Island Mango would be wonderful for French fries or sweet potato fries.
  • Just about any World Harbors marinades combined with yogurt or sour cream would go great with pretzels, too!

If you have children who are reluctant to eat their veggies, serve up your World Harbor dip alongside their dinner plates in small ramekins. Kids can use fondue forks, toothpicks, skewers or regular forks to dip their veggies in the marinades. I bet they’ll like it so much that they’ll ask for veggies and World Harbors dip during snack time!

Also, you can combine fruit flavored yogurt with a sweet marinade, like Island Mango, for a fun dip for apple slices, grapes, sliced strawberries, and so on.

Save money on World Harbors

World Harbors is offering a coupon on Facebook. Also, don’t forget to sign up for Mizkan’s Splash for Cash e-newsletter for a chance to win up to $600. (Mizkan is World Harbors parent company.) Even if you don’t win, you’ll receive a terrific e-newsletter filled with with recipes and tips using World Harbors marinades.

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of World Harbors, provided compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Thanksgiving sides: Okra Pickles

Okra Pickles at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

I’ve decided to serve a southern style Thanksgiving this year. Well, what could be more southern than okra pickles? Even better, this recipe gives me a chance to use Holland House’s White Wine Vinegar along with several spices that have been crowding my cupboards for years.

This is also a great recipe for those who are new to canning or making pickles as it’s very easy to do. To sterilize your mason jars, you can wash them on the hottest setting on your dishwasher or boil them in a big pot.

The recipe is based on this one from the November 2012 issue of Saveur magazine. I used two quart jars for the pickles, since that’s what I had on hand. Feel free to do that or use a two quart jar instead. Since pickles can be refrigerated for up to a month, this is perfect for making a week or two before Thanksgiving!

Okra Pickles at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Okra Pickles

Ingredients

  • 1 pound whole okra
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 sprigs fresh dill
  • 1 habanero or Scotch bonnet chile, stemmed and halved
  • 2 cups Holland House White Wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 8 whole black peppercorns

Directions

  1. Combine okra, garlic, dill, and chile in a sterilized two quart glass jar and set aside.
  2. Bring vinegar, salt, both seeds, peppercorns, and 1 3/4 cups water to a boil in a four quart saucepan over high heat, stirring to dissolve salt.
  3. Pour into jar, seal, and let cool to room temperature.
  4. Keep okra pickles in refrigerator up to one month.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes
Servings: Two quart jars.
  • Serving size: 1 pickle

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of Holland House, provided compensation for this post. All opinions are my own

Non-Dairy Tofu Sour Cream

Non-Dairy Tofu Sour Cream from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

As promised in my Healthier Lemon Pasta post for this month’s Secret Recipe Club, here’s my version of Tofu Sour Cream is based on a recipe from the Vegan Epicurean. I made the following changes to her recipe:

Vinegar: I used NAKANO Natural Rice Vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar. I find that NAKANO’s rice vinegars have a milder flavor and are less acidic, which I like. You could have a little fun with this recipe and use some of NAKANO’s flavored vinegars, too, like Roasted Garlic or Red Pepper, for a fun flavor twist.

Tofu: I was confused over the type of tofu the Vegan Epicurean used, since I’m not familiar with Mori Nu lite silken tofu (firm). Is it firm or silken? After doing a little research, I found out that all of Mori Nu’s tofus are silken and come in soft, firm or extra firm. However, other brands’ silken tofus are actually soft tofus, which are good for soups, dips and smoothies.

I ended up using Nasoya’s Silken Tofu, so the consistency of my sour cream was very runny. This was fine for my Healthier Lemon Pasta, but next time I want to make something the consistency of sour cream, I’ll use a firm tofu. I also changed the amount of tofu used since I like using the full tub. Having a few ounces left over of tofu means I have to remember it’s in the refrigerator and use it in a recipe before it goes bad. Usually, I forget and find a science experiment waiting for me in the far reaches of the fridge. Hate that!

Lemon zest and lemon juice: I cut back on both ingredients and still could taste the lemon. That was fine since I was using it in a lemon flavored dish. However, next time I may cut back even further. I love lemon, but it doesn’t go with everything.

Non-Dairy Tofu Sour Cream from This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Tofu Sour Cream

Recipe based on this recipe from the Vegan Epicurean

Ingredients

  • 1 (14-16 ounce) package firm tofu, preferably organic
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons NAKANO Natural Rice Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon agave, stevia or other sugar substitute
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Process several minutes, until very creamy and smooth.
  2. Firms up when chilled. Refrigerate sour cream until it is ready to be used.
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 10 Minutes
Servings: 2 cups
  • Serving size: varies

Connect with NAKANO

Sign up for Mizkan’s “Splash Recipe Club!” When you join the club you get exclusive recipes, access to special features and more! Each month one new member could win a $150 leading up to a grand prize of $600 in March 2013. You can also connect with NAKANO on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of NAKANO, provided compensation for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own.

Easy Peasy Caprese Appetizer

Easy Peasy Caprese at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.comOne of my family's favorite summer time appetizers is Caprese. Sometimes I think that we grow basil and tomatoes just to have this dish. Traditionally it’s made with red wine vinegar, but I enjoy it with Nakano Rice Vinegar, which I find has a lighter taste and doesn’t overpower the basil, cheese and tomatoes.

This is a simple appetizer to make when you have guests over and not a lot of time to fuss in the kitchen making food. Plus it’s easy enough to make that the kids can help by slicing tomatoes or picking basil leaves. My kids love this dish, though Lucie has a bad habit of not eating the basil. Oh well, just more for me to put on my caprese!

Easy Peasy Caprese at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Easy Peasy Caprese Appetizer

Ingredients

  • 1 Mozzarella log
  • several tomatoes from the garden or store
  • fresh basil leaves from the garden or store, washed and gently patted dry
  • Nakano Natural Rice Vinegar for splashing
  • olive oil for drizzling
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Slice the mozzarella up in thin slices. Place slices on a large plate or platter.
  2. Count how many mozzarella slices you have, then cut tomatoes up in thin slices to match that number.
  3. Place tomato slices underneath the cheese slices so they’re directly on the plate or platter.
  4. Cover tomato and mozzarella with basil leaves. If you have small leaves and big slices of tomato/cheese, feel free to use more than one leaf.
  5. Drizzle a little olive oil over the basil leaves.
  6. Next splash on a little Nakano Natural Rice Vinegar.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Serve immediately.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Servings: Makes approximately 10 to 12 appetizers.
  • Serving size: 1 appetizer

Nakano 60-Day SPLASH IT ON, STEP IT UP CHALLENGE – Ends 8/24

Nakano is holding a 60-Day Splash it on, Step it up Challenge on Facebook to encourage their fans to to make healthy lifestyle choices such as eating more vegetables and being more active. Check it out for fun and helpful fitness tips and health features such as a step tracker wrapping around a globe that show you the number of steps you’ve walked.

They’re also offering prizes such as a one-year free gym membership for the first prize winner. (The second prize winner receives six personal training sessions and third prize winner will receive a Nakano workout bag!) It ends on August 24th (this Thursday!) so sign up as soon as possible!

You can also sign up for Mizkan's enewsletter to be eligible for their Splash for Cash giveaway - a chance to win $150! (Mizkan is the parent company of NAKANO.) Even if you don’t win, you’ll get a terrific enewsletter filled with tips and recipes. I signed up for it months ago and really like it.

Finally, you can connect with NAKANO on Facebook and Twitter.

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of NAKANO, provided compensation for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own.

Smoked Beer Can Chicken with Dry Rub

Beer Can Chicken with Dry Rub at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

You’ve heard of beer can chicken, right? You know, the recipe when you shove a can of beer up a chicken’s backside and grill it? Well, if you have a smoker, a few tools and World Harbors premade marinades, it’s even easier.

First, you need a smoker. I use a Masterbuilt Digital Electric Smoker. (You can read my smoker review here.) While you can simply use a beer can and perch your chicken on top, it’s so much easier to do some with a rack. I have two - Steven Raichlen Stainless-Steel Beer-Can Chicken Rack with Drip Pan and a KitchenAid BBQ Vertical Chicken Roaster. Both will hold the beer can in place so you don’t have to worry about the chicken getting knocked over.

Here’s what the chicken looks like on the racks (the two in the back). The one in the front is placed on top of the beer can, sans rack, and was propped up by one of the other chickens in our smoker.

Preparing Beer Can Chicken at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.comThe method I use is based on a recipe from the Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook. I have a lot of barbecue cookbooks, but this one’s my favorite especially since it was recommended by an English friend who learned how to smoke meat when he went to school in Austin.

Tip: Save the chicken carcass and skin to make stock. There’s nothing better than smoky chicken stock in soups and turkey stuffing!

Beer Can Chicken with Dry Rub at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Smoked Beer Can Chicken with Dry Rub

Ingredients

  • 1 (3 1/2 pound) whole chicken
  • 1/4 cup dry rub of your choice
  • 1 can beer
  • 3 cups World Harbors marinade

Directions

  1. Remove the giblets and rinse the chicken cavity.
  2. Season the chicken inside and out with the rub. Press the rub on to the skin, too. Allow to sit for at least an hour on the counter top.
  3. Open the beer and empty half of it into the smoker’s drip pan.
  4. Refill the can with your favorite World Harbors marinade. I like Italian Grill, but Maine's Own Lemon Pepper & Garlic is also a good choice.
  5. Shove the can into the chicken cavity, and place on your beer can roaster if you’re using one.
  6. Set up your smoker for indirect heat. Use wood chips, chunks or logs to set up a good level of smoke. (Electric smokers use pellets. I chose Jack Daniels Wood Pellets, but you can use hickory, apple, mesquite or other woods that go well with chicken.)
  7. Maintain a smoker temperature of between 225 and 275 degrees F. (I set my smoker for 250 degrees.)
  8. Set the chicken on the grill on the beer can base, and cook for three hours. If you don’t use a dripping pan full of beer and water to “steam” the chicken, baste with more World Harbors marinade every hour.
  9. When the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F (about three to four hours), test for doneness by inserting a knife tip into the thickest part of the thigh. If the juices run clear, the chicken is done to medium. Note: the FDA recommends cooking to 185 degrees F. Many people find this overcooks and dries out the chicken, so use your best judgment.
  10. Remove the chicken and let sit for 20 minutes to let the juices “set.” Slice and serve.
Prep Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 3 Hours
Total Time: 4 Hours 10 Minutes
Servings: Serves 4 to 6
  • Serving size: 1/2 pound per person

Save money and win with World Harbors

World Harbors is offering a $1 off coupon on Facebook. You can also enter World Harbors Golden Label Sweeps to win a once-in-a-lifetime vacation. Finally, don’t forget to sign up for Mizkan’s Splash for Cash e-newsletter for a chance to win up to $600. (Mizkan is World Harbors parent company.) Even if you don’t win, you’ll receive a terrific e-newsletter filled with with recipes and tips.

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of World Harbors, provided compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.

Cucumber, Feta and Red Onion Salad

Cucumber, Feta and Red Onion Salad at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

I’ve always used NAKANO Rice Vinegar to make sushi rice. However, now that I’ve become more familiar with their products, I use their rice vinegar in any recipe that calls for other types of vinegars. For example, this summer, we’ve been making a lot of salads, so I’ve been making salad dressing with NAKANO Rice Vinegar (instead of red wine vinegar), olive oil and some garden seasoning spices. Also, now that I live in the South, use Nakano’s flavored rice vinegars (like their Red Pepper Seasoned Rice Vinegar) on sautéed greens. I even used NAKANO to season a new crystal wine carafe recently!

One of my family’s favorite summer salads is based on one I used to make years ago from a recipe I found in Bon Appetit back in the early ‘90s. We even used cucumbers from the neighbor’s garden!

 

Cucumber, Feta and Red Onion Salad at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Cucumber, Feta and Red Onion Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 cucumbers, seeded and diced (you can leave the peels on if you wish)
  • 6 ounces low or no fat feta, crumbled
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons NAKANO Rice Vinegar (Natural, Original Seasoned, Basil & Oregano Seasoned or Roasted Garlic Seasoned)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Combine cucumbers, feta and onion in a large bowl.
  2. Add olive oil and NAKANO Rice Vinegar and gently mix ingredients.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill until it’s time to serve.
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Servings: Serves 4 to 6
  • Serving size: 1 cup

Check out the NAKANO website for more recipes!

Nakano 60-Day SPLASH IT ON, STEP IT UP CHALLENGE

Nakano is holding a  60-Day Splash it on, Step it up Challenge on Facebook to encourage their fans to to make healthy lifestyle choices such as eating more vegetables and being more active. Check it out for fun and helpful fitness tips and health features such as a step tracker wrapping around a globe that show you the number of steps you’ve walked.

They’re also offering prizes such as a one-year free gym membership for the first prize winner. (The second prize winner receives six personal training sessions and third prize winner will receive a Nakano workout bag!)

You can also sign up for Mizkan's enewsletter to be eligible for their Splash for Cash giveaway  - a chance to win $150! (Mizkan is the parent company of NAKANO.) Even if you don’t win, you’ll get a terrific enewsletter filled with tips and recipes. I signed up for it months ago and really like it.

Finally, you can connect with NAKANO on Facebook and Twitter.

How do you use vinegar in your cooking?

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Disclosure:
I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of NAKANO and received a product sample to facilitate my review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.

Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.

Seared Panko Encrusted Tuna on Black Rice

Seared Panko Encrusted Tuna on Black Rice at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

It’s been over a month since I’ve been back from Hawaii. I still miss the food, especially the fish dishes. I bought two wonderful cookbooks to see if I could replicate some of the recipes, but so many Hawaiian ingredients aren’t available on the mainland or the dishes were too complicated for a quick weekday meal.

Instead, I’ve been using products like World Harbors marinades to help give me the taste of Hawaii without all the hassle. I’ve used World Harbors’ Island Mango and the Maui Mountain Sweet and Sour marinades when I’ve made Seared Panko Encrusted Tuna on Black Rice. They’re super easy to use and you can boil the marinade afterwards to create a dipping or drizzling sauce. All you need to do is marinade your tuna overnight or first thing in the morning before you leave from work. That evening, roll the marinated tuna steaks in panko Japanese-style breadcrumbs, grill and serve over rice. I used black rice, which I get at Costco, but you can use brown rice. Easy, quick, healthy and delicious!

If you’re gluten free, you can make bread crumbs from gluten free bread. Or be on the lookout for Kinnikinnick Gluten Free Panko or Aleia’s Gluten Free Panko. Toast the bread and chop it finely in a mini-food processor or blender. World Harbor marinades are not certified as gluten free, so check the label to make sure they’re right for you and your food sensitivities. The Island Mango doesn’t contain wheat, but the Maui Mountain Sweet and Sour one does.World Harbors marinades

World Harbors Golden Label Sweepstakes

World Harbors is hold two sweepstakes this year. First is their Golden Label Sweeps launched in retail stores today and runs through September 3, 2012. Six winning bottles will have a “golden label” in it. If you purchase one of those bottles, you’ll win an exotic vacation to either Maui, Fiji, Tahiti, Cabo, New England or a trip for a tropical cruise. You can find more about the sweepstakes on World Harbors Facebook page.

While you’re on the World Harbors Facebook page, say hi to dad blogger John Cave Osborne, who is “taking over” the page during the month of May. In June, Dad Centric will be taking over. So stop by and ask them a few cooking or grilling questions!

Seared Panko Encrusted Tuna on Black Rice at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Seared Panko Encrusted Tuna on Black Rice

Ingredients

  • 1 bottle World Harbors marinade
  • 4 (6 ounce) tuna steaks
  • 1 cup black rice, uncooked
  • 1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)

Directions

  1. Place tuna in a zipper lock baggie. Pour in entire bottle of marinade. Place bag in the refrigerator and marinate 5-10 hours or overnight.
  2. Cook rice as directed on package.
  3. Pour panko on to a large plate or cookie sheet.
  4. Remove tuna steaks from marinade and dredge (roll) in panko until covered.
  5. Grill steaks until golden on the outside and rare in the middle.
  6. Slice tuna at an angle and serve over rice.

To use marinade as a dipping or drizzling sauce:

  1. Pour used marinade it into a small sauce pan.
  2. Cook over high heat until marinade is at a rolling boil for 1 to 2 minutes.
Prep Time: 12 Hours
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 12 Hours 15 Minutes
Servings: Serves 4
  • Serving size: 1 (6 ounce) tuna steak)
 

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of World Harbors, provided compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Amazon links are affiliate links. A commission may be earned from a referred sale to their website.

Goat Cheese Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Baby Greens and Balsamic Reduction

Goat Cheese Pizza with Pine Nuts, Baby Greens and Balsamic Vinegar Reduction at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

I’m crazy about balsamic vinegar reduction as a sauce on anything from roasted vegetables to fish. Drizzling it on food makes an ordinary dish burst with flavor and adds a little elegance to boot. Plus, it’s so easy to make. In this recipe, I used Holland House balsamic vinegar, brought it to a boil on the stove top, and then simmered it until it was reduced by half. Easy!

This pizza recipe is inspired by a gluten free pizza I had at Udi’s PIzza Café Bar in Arvada, Colorado and a Caramelized Onion & Fig Mini Pizza I had when I visited the I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter test kitchen back in 2010.

I made this gluten free using Udi’s Gluten Free pizza crusts. If you’re not gluten free, feel free to use whatever pizza crusts you wish. Or you can make your own using my healthy whole wheat pizza dough recipe.

Leftover balsamic vinegar can be stored in the fridge for a couple of weeks and reheated slightly to drizzle on vegetables, fish, chicken, beef and even strawberries!

Goat Cheese Pizza with Pine Nuts, Baby Greens and Balsamic Vinegar Reduction at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Goat Cheese Pizza with Caramelized Onions, Baby Greens and Balsamic Reduction

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Holland House balsamic vinegar
  • 1 large onion, sliced thin
  • 2 tablespoons low saturated fat, buttery spread
  • 1 premade pizza crust
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • 12 ounces baby greens
  • 2 teaspoons pine nuts

Directions

  1. Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. (Make sure to watch carefully to avoid a messy boil over.)
  2. Quickly reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered until vinegar is reduced by half and thickens slightly.
  3. While your balsamic vinegar is reducing, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add buttery spread to skillet to melt.
  4. Add onions and reduce heat to medium. Slowly sauté onions until they turn slightly brown and are caramelized. Be careful not to burn onions. Reduce heat and add more buttery spread if needed. When onions are done, remove skillet from stove top and set aside.
  5. Set oven to 425 degrees F.
  6. Place pizza crust on a cookie sheet or pizza pan.
  7. Using a spreader or offset spatula, spread a thin, even layer of goat cheese on pizza crust. If goat cheese is too hard to spread, put it in the microwave on high for 10 seconds to soften.
  8. Add an even layer of baby greens on top of the goat cheese layer.
  9. Carefully sprinkle pine nuts evenly over pizza.
  10. Cook for 10-12 minutes until greens start to wilt and pizza crust and cheese are heated through.
  11. Remove pizza from oven and drizzle balsamic vinegar over it. Apply a light or heavy drizzle depending on your individual taste.
  12. Slice pizza and serve.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Total Time: 1 Hour 15 Minutes
Servings: Makes 1 personal sized pizza.
  • Serving size: Serves 2 as an appetizer or 1 as an entrée.

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of Holland House, provided compensation for this post. All opinions are my own

Win a meal makeover from the Meal Makeover Moms and Holland House #HollandHouseCW

Holland House productsAre you a fan of the Meal Makeover Moms? If so you may want to enter the Holland House/Meal Makeover Moms Sweepstakes. The sweepstakes is running through the beginning of June. Each month, one fan will be chosen to receive a meal makeover from the Meal Makeover Moms.

The first drawing took place in April, but there’s still time to enter for the May and June drawings. All you need to do is go to the Holland House Facebook page, like it then enter the contest. Winners will get the chance to talk with the Meal Makeover Moms about their mealtime challenges, have a favorite dinner recipe made over, and win a new set of cookware.

Holland House sweepstakes

If you’re looking for some mealtime makeover inspiration, check out Holland House’s website. Some of the Meal Makeover Moms favorite recipes  include the Broccoli Beef Stir Fry featuring Sherry Cooking Wine, Multi Grain Pilaf with White Cooking Wine, and Cool Cucumber Dressing with White Wine Vinegar.

You can also check out some of my recipes using Holland House products like: Marsala Whipped Sweet Potatoes, Best Carne Asada Marinade, and Sautéed Rainbow Chard.

And check out these recipes from my fellow Mizkan Bloggers:

What favorite family recipe would you have the Meal Makeover Moms make over?

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of Holland House, provided compensation for this post. All opinions are my own

Christmas leftovers: Roast Beef Salad with Chipotle Rice Vinegar Salad Dressing

Roast Beef Salad with Chipotle Dressing at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com The problem with making roast beef is figuring out what to do with the leftovers, since reheating overcooks and dries out the meat. Sure, you could thinly slice the roast beef for sandwiches. But my favorite way of eating leftover roast beef (or venison) is cold and in a salad.

You can either thinly slice the roast beef into strips or cut it into cubes. To make your salad, add the cold roast beef to your favorite type of lettuce (I used romaine) and pile on other goodies like pine nuts, feta cheese crumbles, tomatoes, olives or whatever strikes your fancy.

Chipotle Dressing at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Homemade salad dressings with NAKANO rice vinegars

Then there was the matter of all that leftover Chipotle Mayo sauce. What was I going to do with it? I got the idea to add NAKANO Roasted Garlic Seasoned Rice Vinegar to the sauce to make a fabulous homemade salad dressing. It’s very spicy, so you may want to dial down the heat by adding more mayonnaise or using a no fat Greek yogurt instead of mayo.

Roast Beef Salad with Chipotle Dressing at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Chipotle Rice Vinegar Salad Dressing

Adapted from Nadia G.’s Chipotle Mayo recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 cup prepared light mayonnaise
  • 6 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup NAKANO Roasted Garlic Seasoned Rice Vinegar

Directions

  1. In a food processor, blend together the mayonnaise, chipotle peppers, sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  2. Add NAKANO rice vinegar and blend until combined.
  3. Pour into a salad dressing bottle and shake before pouring on your salad.
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 15 Minutes
Servings: Makes 2 1/2 cups of dressing.
  • Serving size: 3 - 4 tablespoons

Splash it on with NAKANO vinegars

NAKANO Natural and Seasoned Rice Vinegars are a healthy alternative to fattening condiments in your holiday cooking. Instead of butter and sour cream on your baked potato, try a splash of NAKANO Red Pepper Seasoned Rice Vinegar. Splash some NAKANO® Basil & Oregano Seasoned Rice Vinegar on noodles. NAKANO Balsamic Blend Seasoned Rice Vinegar would be wonderful on salads or roasted vegetables, too!

What other healthy ways can you use NAKANO vinegars in your holiday cooking?

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of NAKANO, provided compensation for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own.

Marsala Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Marsala Whipped Sweet Potatoes at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Holland House is holding a Holiday Sweepstakes Bash on Facebook where you can win $500 for your holiday party. You’ll also get advice from an expert blogger party planner to help you plan your holiday bash. All you need to do is “like” the Holland House Facebook page and then enter the contest here. The sweepstakes ends on December 7, 2011 at 11:59:59 pm CT.

To help you on your way to a wonderful Thanksgiving, check out this Holland House recipe for sweet potatoes featuring their Marsala Cooking Wine.

This Mama’s tips

  • To make this dish dairy free and vegan, use a buttery spread instead of butter. Instead of whipping cream, use coconut cream (not coconut milk).
  • Whipped sweet potatoes may be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Reheat in microwave, covered, on medium power. Stir occasionally.
Marsala Whipped Sweet Potatoes at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Marsala Whipped Sweet Potatoes

Recipe courtesy of Holland House

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds orange-flesh sweet potatoes (red garnets)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Holland House Marsala Cooking Wine
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (gluten free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • Grated peel of 1 orange
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream (optional)

Directions

  1. Fill a 6-quart pot halfway with water. Peel each potato and place in pot to prevent browning. Cut potatoes into 1-inch cubes and return to pot. Drain water so there is enough just to cover potatoes. Stir in salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Boil 10 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
  2. In a small microwaveable bowl or 1-cup glass measuring cup, heat marsala cooking wine in microwave 1 minute on medium power or until very hot. Stir in butter, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange peel.
  3. When potatoes are cooked, drain water from pot. Add marsala cooking wine mixture to pot. Whip with electric beater until smooth. Stir in cream, if desired. Keep warm until ready to serve.
Prep Time: 1 Hour
Cook Time: 1 Hour
Total Time: 2 Hours
Servings: Serves 4 to 6
  • Serving size: 1 cup

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of Holland House, provided compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

Best Carne Asada Marinade recipe ever!

Best Carne Asada Marinade recipe ever! at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet  - thismamacooks.com A recent culinary challenge I faced was cooking the mountain goat my husband bagged in September. We had our local game processor make the meat into German, Italian and chorizo sausage – all of which have been fantastic. However, I was concerned with the steaks and chops. Would they be gamey?

I tentatively grilled up a few and found the mountain goat meat was very mild tasting – and extremely chewy. So much so that it was practically inedible. Flummoxed, I decided to marinate and tenderize the heck out the mountain goat meat by making carne asada.

It’s all about the vinegar

We love authentic Mexican carne asada and have learned to make it at home using a recipe my husband found on the Internet. (There are so many similar versions online that I’m not sure who to credit as the author.)

Traditionally, a carne asada marinade uses red wine vinegar. Instead, I decided to do things differently and use Holland House Malt Vinegar. Both Holland House Malt Vinegar and Holland House Red Wine Vinegar have 5% acidity, which makes both perfect for breaking down and tenderizing tough meat. However, the malt vinegar has a wonderful, strong zingy taste that goes well with the lime and orange juices.

My Carne Asada Marinade recipe will marinade five to six pounds of meat and can be easily halved for a small dinner with no leftover or doubled for a big party or tail gating. If you’re using beef, use skirt steak or a similar thin cut, as show above, and marinate 24 to 48 hours. (The tougher the meat, the longer you should marinate it.)

Slow cooker pulled carne asada

Traditionally, you grill carne asada meat. I tried that on half the mountain goat meat I prepared. While it was extremely delicious, it was still chewy even after marinating the mountain goat for over two days!

Instead, I decided to cook the other half of the meat in the slow cooker. Unfortunately, it wasn’t as sweet and tangy as the grilled carne asada. It was still tasty and tender, more like “pulled” meat, which is what I was shooting for. From now on, all mountain goat meat will be slow cooked. Lesson learned.

Rocky Mountain Goat

Best Carne Asada Marinade recipe ever! at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet  - thismamacooks.com

Best Carne Asada Marinade Recipe Ever!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup Holland House Malt Vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lime juice or lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons peeled fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ground white pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1/4 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 5-6 pounds skirt steak

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and whisk to combine.
  2. Place meat in gallon sized freezer bag, in the bottom of a shallow baking dish, or a non-reactive (plastic or glass) storage container with a lid.
  3. Pour carne asada marinade on top of meat, cover dish or close bag, and marinate overnight up to 48 hours in the refrigerator.

Grilling the marinated carne asada:

  1. Take meat out of container and grill until just cooked through. (Rare to medium rare.)
  2. Cut cooked meat into strips.
  3. Place meat and favorite toppings (salsa, cheese, guacamole, avocado slices, tomatoes, shredded cabbage, grilled sweet peppers, etc.) in a tortilla to make into tacos or burritos. You can also serve meat over rice for a carne asada bowl.

Slow cooking the marinated carne asada:

  1. After marinating for one or two days, place meat and marinade in a slow cooker.
  2. Slow cook for 10 to 12 hours on low.
  3. Meat should be extra tender and can be shredded with a fork.
  4. Place meat and favorite toppings (salsa, cheese, guacamole, avocado slices, tomatoes, shredded cabbage, grilled sweet peppers, etc.) in a tortilla to make into tacos or burritos. You can also serve meat over rice for a carne asada bowl.
Prep Time: 48 Hours 20 Minutes
Servings: Feeds 4 to 6 with leftovers.
  • Serving size: 1/2 pound per person.

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of Holland House, provided compensation for this post. All opinions are my own.

How to make homemade Green Tomato Ketchup

How to make homemade Green Tomato Ketchup at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com We’ve had a crazy fall season here in Colorado. Most days have been in the ‘60s and ‘70s until late last week when we had our first overnight freeze warnings. That meant we had to harvest what’s left of our tomato crop – our green tomato crop, that is.

Since I got into canning this summer, I thought I’d try my hand at canning some green tomato recipes! The first one I chose was Green Tomato Ketchup.

Canning green tomatoes with NAKANO rice vinegar

Due to my food sensitivities to honey, I used agave nectar instead to sweeten the Green Tomato Ketchup. (Feel free to use honey if you like.)

Also, instead of just any ol’ vinegar, I decided to use NAKANO® Natural Rice Vinegar. NAKANO rice vinegars are great for “splashing it on” everything from chicken breasts to salads. (I love splashing NAKANO Red Pepper Seasoned Rice Vinegar on my salads instead of using salad dressing. It’s a healthier, super low calorie alternative.)

I never see rice vinegar used in anything except sushi rice. So I thought using rice vinegar would be a fun twist when making Green Tomato Ketchup. Plus, it was a great way to empty the open bottle of NAKANO Natural Rice Vinegar I had in the cupboard. The more stuff we can use up before we move to Boston, the less we have to ship when we move.

I was very happy at how well my first batch turned out. The Green Tomato Ketchup is very sweet and mild, almost like an apple sauce rather than a red tomato ketchup. I’ve tried it everything from eggs to fish sticks to sweet potato fries – terrific!

Canning tips and guides

How to make homemade Green Tomato Ketchup at This Mama Cooks! On a Diet - thismamacooks.com

Green Tomato Ketchup

Adapted from About.com Southern Food’s recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 pounds green tomatoes
  • 3 pounds onions
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons mixed pickling spices
  • 2 cups NAKANO Natural Rice Vinegar
  • 3/4 to 1 cup agave nectar (I used raw agave. Any type is fine.)

Directions

  1. Slice green tomatoes and onions. Place in a large pot with pepper, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce.
  2. Put the mixed pickling spices in a small cheesecloth bag and add to the tomato mixture.
  3. Pour NAKANO Natural Rice Vinegar over mixture.
  4. Cook for four to six hours over very low heat, stirring occasionally.
  5. Remove bag of pickling spices.
  6. Puree mixture with a wand blender or in a food processor or blender.
  7. Strain tomato mixture through a mesh strainer.
  8. Return to pot and bring to boil.
  9. Add 3/4 cup of agave and stir until dissolved. Using a clean spoon, take a taste. If you feel the ketchup is sweet enough, stop. If not, add another 1/4 cup of agave nectar. Remember to use a clean spoon every time you taste test.
  10. Immediately fill six sterilized jelly jars with green tomato ketchup, leaving 1/4-inch head space.
  11. Wipe the jar tops and threads clean with a clean paper towel. Place hot sealing lids on the jars and apply the screw on rings loosely.
  12. Process in boiling water bath in a deep canning pot for 5 minutes, adjusting for altitude.
  13. Remove the jars and cool completely. Tighten the jar screw rings to complete the sealing process.
  14. After the jars of green tomato ketchup cool, check seals by pressing middle of lid with finger. If lid springs back, your green tomato ketchup didn’t seal and must be refrigerated.
  15. Let jars of green tomato ketchup stand at room temperature 24 hours. Don’t forget to apply a dated label!
  16. Store unopened product in a cool dry place up to one year. Refrigerate green tomato ketchup after opening.
Prep Time: 2 Hours
Cook Time: 6 Hours
Total Time: 8 Hours
Servings: Makes 8 to 10 8-ounce jelly jars of green tomato ketchup
  • Serving size: 1 tablespoon

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Disclosure: Mizkan, the parent company of NAKANO, provided compensation for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own.