Think Outside the Lunchbox with Healthy Meal and Snack Ideas

It’s that time of year! Summer is over and the kids are headed back to school! This year think outside the lunchbox with nutritious and tasty snack and meal ideas that your kiddos will gobble up! Check out my recent appearance on DC’s Let’s Talk Live to help kick off the school year with healthy food tips that will make the transition back to school easier and healthier!

Get Your Goodness to Go

Cereal can be a smart choice for a quick breakfast. Look for high fiber, whole grain options like Post Grape Nuts and Shredded Wheat.
But what about when you really need “grab and go”? chocog2gPost has a new breakfast shake called “Goodness to Go”. These new dairy blend beverages are an excellent source of protein and are made with natural sweeteners and flavors. Post is making it easy to have a nutritious and satisfying breakfast. Its available in three flavors, Dutch Chocolate, Tahitian Vanilla and Mocha, so there is something for everyone. Check out Post Goodness to learn more.

Power Up Your Lunch Box

About half our plate should be fruits and veggies. Besides the sandwich, the sides and snacks can be a great way to get in fruits and vegetables.
Pack Zespri kiwifruit, it packs a “punch”. Two kiwifruit have more vitamin C than an orange and as much potassium as a banana. And they’re high in fiber and cholesterol free. Kiwifruit are easy and fun to eat, but most people cut them wrong–All you do is cut it in half with a knife and spoon it out. You can send a cut kiwifruit in the lunch box and let your kids scoop out the goodness. Or you can slice it, which are great to snack on or even place on a peanut butter sandwich instead of jelly. Another option is to dice it up for a fruit salad you make at the beginning of the week and pack each day. Kiwifruit is quite versatile. You can also add kiwifruit to your kid’s yogurt for a sweet tangy taste.Zespri_Landing_Hero_Gold

Did you know Zespri kiwifruit is available in two varieties? The Zespri Green kiwifruit is probably what you’re familiar with. The SunGold variety has a sweet, refreshing Tropical flavor and it’s newly available in the U.S. And, two SunGold kiwifruit have 2.5 times the daily recommended amount of vitamin C. Don’t miss out! Zespri kiwifruit are only in season through October. You can find the Zespri brand at Safeway, Whole Foods and Wegman’s– or check with your local grocery retailer. Be sure to visit ZespriKiwi.com for more inspirational recipe ideas.

calraisinsSend the kids to school with a nutritious sandwich or wrap. I love tuna salad, egg salad, and the classic “PBJ”. The sides and snacks you send can be a great way to get fruits and vegetables.
California Raisins
are an all-natural, dried-by-the-sun fruit you can feel good about sending with your kids. The ingredient list says it all: Raisins. They have Zero fat, no cholesterol, no added sugar, California Raisins come by their sweetness naturally. Plus they have fiber, potassium and iron, too!
Convenient and portable, California Raisins are a great choice for wholesome, healthy, on-the-go snacking. Try them on their own or in one of the recipes from Love Your Raisins like the honey nut mix, crunchy cinnamon mix, peanut butter pretzel, or the cocoa peanut raisin mix. California Raisins have a great giveaway happening on their Facebook page for Back To School–if you love raisins check it out!

Choose a “Better Bar”

EnviroKidz Back to School Snacks Giveaway - prize graphicThere are lots of granola bars on the market to choose from. You want to pack a quality bar that tastes good and is good for you. EnviroKidz products come in delicious flavors that kids love like Chocolate and Berry Blast.
Parents can feel good about them because they are organic and non-GMO, which means they are not made from synthetic chemicals or Genetically Modified Ingredients. The entire EnviroKidz line is gluten-EnviroKidz Envirotrip contest graphicfree, so everyone in the family can enjoy them together. They are also whole grain, low fat, and trans-fat free. As part of their ongoing Conservation efforts, EnviroKidz is having a contest where you can win an all-expense paid family trip to Costa Rica to help save the Sea Turtles. Enter at EnviroKidz.com and learn more about their Environmental initiatives.

Hydrate Young Athletes

After school, the real fun begins with after school activities like sports. Pre-fuel those practices with high carbohydrate foods like fresh or dried fruits, or peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Most kids doing sports are probably going to ask their parents about a sports drink, but not all sports drinks are equal. Body Armor_BRANDEDBODYARMOR is a healthier alternative to other sports drinks because it has no artificial ingredients. It’s made with coconut water and is high in potassium and low in sodium. Most people get enough sodium through their diet and don’t need to get it from sports drinks. BodyArmor has 2.5 times the electrolytes and more vitamins than the other sports drinks on the market. It comes in 6 great tasting flavors fruit punch, orange mango, and strawberry banana so everyone can enjoy!

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send a tweet to@ScritchfieldRD to share your favorite back to school tips and recipes for keeping the kiddos healthy and happy.

Disclosures: I was compensated by California Raisins, BODYARMOR, Post, Zespri Kiwifruit, and Nature’s Path for my work on the TV segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

 

Make Your Own “Deconstructed” Grilled Guacamole

Taditional Gauc

Holey moley, grilled guacamole? Summer is coming to an end but the weather is still perfect for grilling and being social. If you’re finding yourself wanting to do something fun and flavorful for your end of the summer dinner party or cookout, you MUST try my grilled guacamole!

With a little inspiration from the brand folks at Mazola Corn Oil, I’ve created four guacamole dips with creative flavor twists that will make you look like a culinary rock star! Read on to discover how you can add a sweet, smoky and tangy twist to your guacamole.

You might be wondering how one “grills” guacamole? It’s simple! Just grill the avocados and any other veggie that you’d like to add to create a unique creamy and smoky twist to a traditional favorite. Mazola Corn Oil is a versatile all-purpose oil that is great for grilling due to its high smoke point, which is why it’s perfect for my “deconstructed” guacamole recipe below.

Avocados are loaded with 25 essential nutrients, including potassium, which helps in controlling blood pressure. And if this guac couldn’t get any healthier, it’s made with Mazola Corn Oil which is a heart healthy cooking oil! It contains more cholesterol-blocking plant sterols than other cooking oils, and can play an important role in helping to lower your cholesterol. It’s also a great source of healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, or “good for you” fats. A recent study even found corn oil was better at reducing LDL or “bad” cholesterol than extra virgin olive oil.

Grilled Guacamole

Grilled avocados add that extra special touch to fresh made guacamole.

 Yield: 12 servings 

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Grill Time: 4-8 minutes

 Ingredients

1 lime

1 tablespoon Mazola Corn Oil

1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1/8 teaspoon Paprika

2 avocados

1 jalapeno

3 green onions, diced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 teaspoon salt

Baked tortilla chips

Making the guacamole:

First cut lime in half, squeeze 1 tablespoon fresh juice and set aside.

Next, combine oil, lime juice, garlic powder and paprika in a small bowl.

Then cut avocados in half, remove pit but leave the peel, cut jalapeno in half and remove seeds-if you like more of a heat kick leave the seeds. Gauc 1Brush cut sides of avocados, jalapeno and remaining lime with flavored oil.

Place avocados flesh-side down on grill over high direct heat. If you have a grill pan, use that to grill the jalapenos and limes. After 4-8 minutes you should have some great grill marks or grill until avocados, jalapenos and lime are lightly browned, brushing with any remaining flavored oil.

Gauc Grill1

 

Remove from grill and let cool 5 minutes.

 

Gauc Grill2

 

Scoop out the avocados from peel and place in a bowl and mash with fork

Finely chop jalapenos and add to avocados with green onions, cilantro and salt.

Squeeze lime juice from grilled lime over guacamole

Lastly, mix well. You can serve this warm or cold with baked tortilla chips or fresh vegetables, either way is a guaranteed crowd pleaser!

Taditional Gauc

 

Here is how to make the deconstructed version:

First, grill the vegetables and cool as directed above.

Then scoop out avocados from peel and slice lengthwise into ¼ inch slices.

Arrange on a serving tray with chopped jalapenos, green onions, cilantro and salt.

Lastly, squeeze lime juice over all.

 

You can also try adding a flavorful twist to the traditional gauc by switching things up! Grill the green onions whole and use them in all three flavor variations below!

Sweet – add some sweet to your spice with diced up kiwifruit and grapes for a flavorful deconstructed guacamole platter

Gauc Fruit Combo

Smoky – for an even smokier, spicy flavor puree one diced chipotle pepper in adobo sauce with 1 TBSP Mazola and drizzle over avocado slicesGauc Chipolte

Tangy – add feta cheese crumbles and diced dried tart cherries to deconstructed guacamole platter

Gauc Feta Cran

Once you’ve added a twist, you’ve got the perfect fun and flavorful guac! Just be prepared, ‘cause this stuff will fly out the bowl!

I’d love to hear some of your favorite summer grilling recipes! Share your ideas in the comments below and be sure to visit Mazola on Facebook to learn more about the health benefits of Mazola Corn Oil and get other great recipes.

(Disclosure: I am currently working with Mazola as a paid spokesperson.)

Foods and Snacks to Keep Your Cool

It’s the ‘dog days’ of summer and the heat can really take a toll on our willingness to cook hot meals. Watch my recent appearance on Let’s Talk Live DC as I show some of my favorite foods and snacks that are nice and cool and you don’t have to turn on the oven to enjoy them!

Read on for some fresh and flavorful foods and snack ideas to help keep your cool in this hot and humid summer weather.

Go Tart

Go tart – tart cherries that is! Tart cherries have been found in research to help ease muscle pain and improve sleep quality and they happen to be a great ingredient in some cold food recipes. We’ve seen tart cherry juice be effective for muscle recovery in both runners and cyclists, so no matter what your sport, this is a cool addition to your nutrition routine.  Enjoy a refreshing homemade popsicle  made with tart cherry juice and coconut milk. Not onTartCherryCoconutPopsiclesFinal-700x455ly is this an easy way to cool down for anyone in the family, but it’s a smart idea for after a workout too so you can get the benefits of easing muscle pain and inflammation associated with exercise. Chilled soups are hydrating and refreshing in this weather. Try making Tart Cherry GazpachoTart-Cherry-Soup-700x455 which is a chilled soup made with tart cherry juice and frozen tart cherries – this is a really flavorful, cool way to start off a summer brunch or dinner party. Tart cherries naturally contain melatonin which helps improve sleep quality and duration.Tart cherries are easy to include in a variety of recipes, and they add a really nice tart flavor and nutrient punch to any meal.  Visit  Choose Cherries for many more delicious recipes and research on the health benefits of cherries.

Let Someone Else Prep

The Fresh Food line at 7-Eleven makes it convenient to eat a healthy bite, especially while on-the-go. The Fresh Foods line offers sandwiches, wraps, salads, whole and fresh cut fruit and yogurt parfaits, all made fresh. 7-Eleven’s salads are available in 4 different varieties all under 500 calories – like the BLT Salad loaded with crisp romaine lettuce and shredded red cabbage, grape tomatoes, real bacon and grilled chicken and served with avocado ranch dressing. They come in easy and portable packaging, which makes them a great lunch option and really affordable at $3.99. 7-Eleven’s sandwiches are all prepared locally and delivered fresh every day. They are made with fresh ingredients including premium meats and fresh-blended spreads – like tuna salad or smart turkey sandwiches. If you’re looking for a nutritious snack for on-the-go, 7-Eleven has a fresh selection of snack options like hard boiled eggs. You can also pick up yogurt parfaits and Carrot and Celery packs with dips. You can also follow 7-11 on Facebook to learn of Fresh Food in-store promotions .

Keep Cool with Smart Snacks

Keep cool between meals with smart snacks. Snacks are a great opportunity to get nutrients if you choose wisely. SunChips® multigrain sunchipssnacks are made with 100% whole grains and are a great tasting option to have on hand at home for a quick snack or if you’re throwing a BBQ. Each 1-ounce serving of SunChips snacks contains 21 grams of whole grains, which is almost half the recommended amount of 48 grams per day.  SunChips multigrain snacks can help you “keep your cool” by pairing with a protein-packed dip such as Savory Edamame Puree made with edamame, peas and ricotta cheese or with my Healthy Tuna Salad recipe made with tuna, hummus, spinach and other veggies. Visit Fritolay for more recipe inspiration and be sure to “Like” them on Facebook.

A Healthier Frozen Dessert

Ice cream and frozen yogurts can’t be beat in the summertime. This is one you can do at home, even if you don’t have an ice cream maker. My Banana Nut Crunch “ice cream” has two simple ingredients – frozen banana just pureed in a blender layered with KIND Healthy Grains Banana Nut Clusters. banananut_417x417The clusters are like a better kind of granola packed with super grains! Made with a unique blend of Five 100% Whole Grains: Gluten Free Oats, Millet, Quinoa, Amaranth and Buckwheat. They are gluten free and available in 8 flavors like Peanut Butter Whole Grain Clusters, Vanilla Blueberry Clusters with Flax Seed and Maple Quinoa Clusters with Chia Seeds. You can also enjoy them with yogurt, milk, and on their own as a snack. Visit KIND Snacks for more

What are your favorite foods to keep your cool?

I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or send a tweet to@ScritchfieldRD to share your favorite summer time tips and recipes for keeping cool.

Disclaimer: I was compensated by KIND Snacks, Fritolay, Cherry Marketing Institute, and 7-11 to do the tv segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

Easy Weeknight Marinades Done Right

Grilled Tilapia2

I recently partnered up with the brand folks at Mazola Corn Oil to create this fun recipe for marinated grilled Tilapia with kiwifruit served over coleslaw. Mazola Corn Oil has more cholesterol-blocking plant sterols than other cooking oils, and can play an important role in lowering your cholesterol. It is a great source of healthy polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids. Its mild flavor and high smoke point also make it a fantastic all-purpose oil great for general cooking, baking, grilling, sautéing and stir-frying, and can be used as a butter substitute in certain recipes. It’s also the perfect oil to use in your coleslaw and marinades.

Why marinades? Because they help transform the taste of the foods without adding lots of fat, sugar, and salt to your meal. I love using fruit-based marinades because they add a delicious sweet, tangy flavor while making your dish even healthier. Plus, fruity marinades are perfect for the grill! You can make the marinade in advance to save time during the week – just throw in your favorite protein and you’re well on your way to a flavorful, wholesome meal. My basic marinade calls for just a few simple ingredients you probably already have on hand, which makes it quick and easy.

I chose to use tilapia in this fish-based recipe because it is economical and widely available. For a healthy diet, the American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times per week. Fish is a low-fat, high-quality protein filled with heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Fish is also a great source of vitamins and minerals.

Below are the recipes for the marinade, tilapia, and coleslaw for a tasty and easy weeknight meal.

MAZOLA and Kiwifruit Marinated Grilled Tilapia with Crunchy Slaw

by: Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, ACSM HFS

Serves 6

Simple 3-Step MarinadeMarinade1

½ cup of Mazola corn oil

3 kiwifruits peeled and chopped

4 minced garlic cloves

¼ cup of fresh chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons of lime juice

1 teaspoon of black pepper

2 tablespoons of salt

Add all ingredients into a shallow bowl, mix with a wooden spoon until well blended and place in a gallon size zip-lock bag. Add the tilapia, and let it marinate for 30 – 60 minutes in the refrigerator.fishinmarinade

Note: You may also make this marinade ahead of time keep for up to 1 day refrigerated.

Tilapia

2 lbs of tilapia

Preheat grill.  When grill is ready, remove marinated fish from storage container and place on hot grill.  Cook for about 4-5 minutes on medium heat. Turn once and grill other side for about 4-5 minutes until cooked through.  Serve over coleslaw with additional kiwifruit and lime to garnish.

Coleslaw

Grilled Tilapia31/4 cup white vinegar

2 T sugar

2 T Mazola corn oil

16 ounces or 1 half head of cabbage, shredded

1 cup shredded carrots

1 tsp salt

salt and pepper to taste

Mix vinegar and sugar. Add oil. Add cabbage to dressing and season with salt and pepper. Toss with tongs or fingers to combine. Adjust seasoning to taste. Let stand 20 minutes. Re-toss and serve.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:

Calories: 256

Protein: 32g

Carbohydrates: 10g

Fat: 11g

Saturated Fat: 2g

Cholesterol: 76mg

Sodium: 783mg

Fiber: 2g

Sugar: 8g

Share Your Favorite Grilling Recipes

What are your favorite marinades? Have you ever tried using fruit in your own marinades? Share your ideas in the comments below. Be sure to visit Mazola on Facebook to learn more health benefits and great recipes.

(Disclosure: I am currently working with Mazola as a paid spokesperson.)

 

Sorting Out Fact From Fiction: The Gluten-Free Diet Craze

Gluten free diets have become the latest weight loss “fad”. I think one of the reasons this trendy way of eating has evolved is that rather than working on incorporating balance and moderation into meals and snacks, it can be easier to cut something out altogether – whether that’s wheat, dairy or something else. What people may not know who are following a gluten-free diet for weight control, is that many times when gluten is removed from processed foods, sugar, fat and butter are often added to improve the taste.

wheat For most of us, there really is no medical reason to eliminate gluten. In fact, many gluten-containing foods can be very nourishing (ex: whole grain bread and barley). As this article summarizes, there really are only three true reasons to avoid gluten (and I’m sure it’s no surprise to hear that none of them are weight loss related):

  1. An autoimmune condition like celiac disease in which the presence of gluten actually alters the intestine and causes malabsorption and other GI issues like pain and diarrhea. This diagnosis can be made by a biopsy and blood test.
  2. An allergy, which would have symptoms that might appear similar to any other allergy – hives, sneezing, etc. This can’t be tested easily, but is evaluated similar to other allergies based on visible symptoms.
  3. An intolerance/sensitivity which may have symptoms like abdominal bloating, but can’t be accurately tested for.

I recently did a series of videos with the #OWNshow and @OWNTV which covered a number of gluten-related topics, including an overview of what gluten is, if going gluten-free makes sense for weight loss, identifying hidden sources of gluten in some foods, and uncovering some sneaky truths about some gluten-free products that are on the market today. Watch each video below: Can You Lose Weight By Going Gluten-Free?  Weight Loss Gluten Free

The Sneaky Truth of Some Gluten-Free Products  Sneaky Truth Gluten Free Products Could You Be Eating Gluten and Not Know It?  Hidden Gluten The Gluten Guide: What is Gluten Really? Gluten Guide  What do you think about the gluten-free diet trend? To join the conversation about going gluten-free, leave a comment below, use the hashtag #OWNSHOW on twitter, or check out the OWN TV Facebook page.

Healthy Entertaining Ideas for the Fourth of July!

Nothing says 4th of July like watching fireworks and getting together with family and friends for a delicious barbecue!  I recently appeared on Let’s Talk Live with fun and healthy food ideas to make your Fourth of July celebration taste great. Read on to learn how to flavor up your celebration the healthy way with quality foods and ingredients, or watch the full clip below.

Surprise Your Guests with an Unexpected Burger

Did you know that over 90% of American households have a jar of peanut butter? Peanuts and peanut butter do more than just add fabulous flavor to our favorite snacks and meals — they also add nutrition to any dish.  Peanuts contain over 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients. Combined with the fact that they have more protein than any other nut, peanuts are truly a superfood!turkeyburger

They’re also extremely versatile. Peanuts and peanut butter are a great addition to marinades, sauces or a nice crunchy topping for any side dish or salad you’re serving this summer! We all love using it for our PB&J sandwiches, or as a nice spread for some fruits and veggies, but have you ever thought of using it for your BBQ dish? You can actually add peanuts INSIDE your burger.  Try a “Better Burger” like this peanut teriyaki turkey burger that’s made with turkey, peanuts, mushrooms and teriyaki sauce. Find this recipe and many more at NationalPeanutBoard.Org.

Add A Twist to the Traditional BBQ Sauce

Another way to surprise your guests with taste AND nutrition is to add cranberries to your summer dishes. We tend to think of cranberries as a holiday food, but they’re good for us all year round! Did you know that cranberry products contain antioxidants called Flavanoids? A specific type of these that are unique to cranberries actually prevents bacteria from sticking to cell walls – for example, they prevent E. coli from sticking to the walls of the bladder to help prevent urinary tract infections. The international journal, Advances in Nutrition, did a review of the research and they found that the bioactive compounds in cranberries not only help reduce the incidence of certain infections and maintain a healthy urinary tract,but they also improve heart health by improving blood cholesterol levels, reducing blood pressure and improving inflammation.  Add cranberries to your fourth of July celebration by trying this Cranberry Chipotle BBQ sauce recipe. It’s a simple homemade recipe with a blend of tart and smoky flavors that would be a great compliment to chicken or pork. Perfect for any BBQ spread!  For more info about cranberries visit http://www.cranberryinstitute.org/.

Elevate your snacks 

Everyone’s going to look for something crunchy to munch on at a party.  Snacks are perfect to have while waiting for the main dish to be ready! What could be easier than putting out a bowl of chips? Try these veggie chips by The Real Deal Natural Snacks. They have 80% less fat than potato chips, are made with real green peas, corn and rice and there’s a serving and a half of vegetables in each ounce! They come in 2 great-tasting varieties: original and sriracha – a spicy flavor kick! They’re all natural, gluten free, vegan, and kosher. You can find these snacks at your local Whole Foods and Wegmans.

THoney Smoked BBQ (72 bars)ry Interesting Pairings 

Another easy summer entertaining idea is pairing up your favorite snacks. I love KIND bars because they are made from ingredients you can see and pronounce. Various cheeses taste great when paired with KIND.  The new STRONG & KIND bars offer savory flavors and 10 grams of protein per bar from almonds, seeds, and pea protein. These don’t contain soy or whey protein.

There are five bold flavors to choose from, like Honey Mustard, which I’ve paired with creamy goat cheese, Thai Sweet Chili paired with Monterey Jack (for those who like their “spice”) and Hickory Smoked paired with Manchego (which together offer a nutty, smoky flavor). You can also try the Roasted Jalapeno and Honey Smoked BBQ flavors with your favorite cheese.

People will love that you gave them something new and fun to try while hanging out and it couldn’t be easier to pull together — just cut the bars and cheese into bite size pieces, and you’re ready to party! Visit www.kindsnacks.com for more information.

Serve Crowd Pleasing Sides

It’s not easy to find side dishes that can please a crowd, especially for the kids at the celebration. I found an option that kids will love and parents can feel good about. It’s new Pirate’s Booty Mac & Cheese!

This is a great choice for families looking to upgrade their mac-n-cheese, because Pirate’s Booty mac-n-cheese offers quality ingredients like:

  • Organic wheat pasta
  • Real cheese
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.

They’re a good source of calcium, offering 10% of the daily value AND 9-10g of protein per serving. You can get Pirate’s Booty Mac & Cheese in four varieties – my favorites are the shells with aged white cheddar, and the traditional elbows with mild cheddar! Look for them at your local grocery store, or visit www.piratebrands.com for more information.

Hydrate with Citrus Beverages

Sunkist Grapefruit Honey Ginger Fizz Recipe ImageAdding citrus to summer beverages is a healthy and refreshing way to beat the heat! Sunkist offers more than 40 varieties of premium quality, fresh citrus year-round including oranges, lemons, grapefruit, specialties and organics. Rather than provide pre-made lemonade at your party, which often includes added sugars and artificial ingredients, give fresh-squeezed lemonade a try. Or try Sunkist’s delicious, lemony twist on iced tea.

For the adults, serve up their Grapefruit Honey Ginger Fizz.  The honey and ginger compliment the tangy, fresh grapefruit in this refreshing cocktail. I like to add a big wedge of Sunkist grapefruit for a garnish that doubles as a superfood snack packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Visit Sunkist.com for these recipes and more!

Thanks for checking out my favorite healthy ideas for the fourth of July! I’d love to hear some of your favorite ideas that make your fourth of July celebration full of flavor and nutrition!

Disclaimer: I was compensated by  KIND Snacks, Pirate’s Booty, Real Deal Natural Snacks, and Sunkist to do the tv segment, but was not compensated to write this blog.

 

 

 

Festive Red, White and Blue “Stuffed” Burgers Recipe

Red White Blue Burger

Fire Up the Grill

With the Fourth of July right around the corner you can show your patriotic pride with a full flavored burger dressed in red, white and blue! These burgers actually have a healthy twist with marinated grilled vegetables incorporated right in.  I partnered up with Mazola Corn Oil to develop this festive recipe that uses Red pepper, White mushrooms and Blue cheese along with fresh parsley, balsamic vinegar and a heart-healthy marinade with Mazola.

You might not think of corn oil first when you think of heart-healthy oils. Mazola Corn Oil is the healthiest cooking oil for your heart, with more cholesterol-blocking plant sterols than other cooking oils, and it can play an important role in lowering your cholesterol. In fact, Mazola corn oil has 4 times more plant sterols than olive oil and 40 percent more than canola oil. A new study even found corn oil was better at reducing LDL or “bad” cholesterol than extra virgin olive oil!

Corn oil is a versatile all-purpose oil that is great for grilling due to its high smoke point, which is why I love using it with my grilled vegetables and my delicious, festive and fun Red White and Blue Stuffed Burger recipe below!

Red White and Blue Stuffed Burger Recipe:

by: Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RD, ACSM HFS

Filling

1-8 ounce container fresh mushrooms

Veggie Mixture-parsley, blue cheese, marinated and grilled mushrooms and red bell pepper

Veggie Mixture-parsley, blue cheese, marinated and grilled mushrooms and red bell pepper

1 red bell pepper

½ cup Mazola Corn Oil

¼ cup balsamic vinegar

3 teaspoons Weber Gourmet Burger Seasoning

4 oz. blue cheese crumbles

¼ cup fresh parsley, minced

Burgers

1 ½ lbs. ground beef, 90% lean or greater

6 whole wheat burger buns

Make the Vegetable Filling:

Fast prep tip: You can marinate these veggies ahead of time and grill later, or instead of stuffing the burgers you can also mix in the filling throughout the patty.

diced grilled veggies

Dicing grilled marinated veggies

Slice veggies and marinate in Mazola with balsamic vinegar and seasoning for ~ 1 hr.

Preheat grill

Remove veggies from marinade and discard remaining liquid.

Grill veggies in a vegetable grill basket on high heat until lightly charred, about 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees. If you do not have a grill basket you can grill the veggies on foil, for 10-15 minutes.

Note: If you are not using a grill pan to sauté your veggies on the grill, make sure when cutting your veggies, leaving large enough space to place on grill.

Once mushrooms and peppers are grilled, dice and mix in blue cheese and parsley, then set aside while you form meat patties.

Make the Burgers:

You’ll need to make two 2 oz. patties for each burger.  Form 12-2 oz. patties (2 oz. ground beef is just a little larger than a golf ball).

For each burger, take one patty and top with 3 Tablespoons vegetable cheese mixture. Then place the second patty on top.  Press together and pinch the ends to seal your burger so the filling can’t escape. You may also use a fork to help seal the two patties together.

Stuffing burgers with veggie and blue cheese filling using 2-2oz patties for each burger

Stuff each burger with 3 Tbsp of veggie and blue cheese filling using 2-2oz patties for each burger

Grill to your desired doneness, about 5-7 minutes on each side for medium well doneness.

Enjoy this flavorful burger hot off the grill on a hearty bun and toppings of your choice – lettuce, tomato, onion, etc.

Nutrition Analysis

If you’re curious how these burgers stack up to your nutrition needs here’s the breakdown:

Analysis

Calories: 425

Fat: 25g

Saturated Fat: 11g

Cholesterol: 121mg

Sodium: 654mg

Carbohydrate: 8g

Fiber: 1g

Sugar: 4g

Protein: 37g

Calcium: 187mg

Share Your Favorite Grilling Recipes

What are your favorite Fourth of July recipes? Share your ideas in the comments below. Be sure to visit Mazola on Facebook to learn more health benefits and great recipes.

(Disclosure: I am currently working with Mazola as a paid spokesperson.)

 

 

 

 

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