By Angie Sutton, www.momsapronstrings.com
June is National Dairy Month! This is an opportunity to honor America’s dairy farm families and the wholesome, nutritious milk they produce. My family thinks of milk as liquid gold!
Consider all the foods that contain dairy products. A quick glance in my refrigerator will reveal yogurt, sour cream, whipped cream, cheese, ice cream, frozen pizza, whole milk and butter. In the pantry there are more items including my middle daughter’s favorite summer snack, macaroni and cheese!
Milk provides nine essentials nutrients, which the USDA defines as a dietary substance required for healthy body functioning. These nutrients must come from the diet because the human body isn’t able to manufacture them in sufficient quantities to meet daily needs. Calcium and vitamin D are the first to come to mind as the dairy industry says about 72 percent of the calcium in the U.S. food supply comes from dairy. Potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamin A, vitamin B12, riboflavin and niacin complete the nine essential vitamins in milk.
How much do we really need? Midwest Dairy Association explains it as three cups of low-fat and fat-free milk or equivalent milk products for those nine years of age and older and two cups of for children ages two to eight years.
June is a great month to celebrate dairy as ice cream and frozen desserts are the perfect summer treat on a hot day! But certainly there are delicious recipes that involve dairy as a main ingredient and add to your daily calcium and vitamin D needs.
Jeff’s Summer-style Chili
2 lbs. ground pork
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 yellow squash, peeled and diced
1 zucchini, peeled and diced
5 asparagus stalks, diced
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 (14.5-oz) can beef broth
2 (14.5-oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 (15.5-oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 c. vanilla (or plain) yogurt
1. In skillet over medium high heat, brown ground pork; drain.
2. After pressing "saute" on Instant Pot, add cooked pork, jalapeno, squash, zucchini, asparagus, onion, bell pepper and garlic to Instant Pot. Mix in chili powder and saute 5 minutes.
3. Add remaining ingredients. Stir well.
4. Put lid on Instant Pot, set Manual time to 7 minutes. Seal release valve. Use manual release at end of cycle. Serve with additional yogurt or sour cream for topping.
One of the original Italian recipes with a couple of small modifications. The additional bacon makes this a nutritional entrée that pairs well with a light green salad.
1 lb. thin spaghetti
16 oz. thick-cut bacon
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 large eggs
3/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 c. half-and-half cream
1. Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt boiling water generously; add pasta and cook until al dente, per package instructions.
2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 8 to 12 minutes; transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan cheese and half-and-half. Set aside. Drain pasta, leaving some water clinging to it. Working quickly, add hot pasta to egg mixture. Add bacon; season with salt and pepper, and toss all to combine (heat from pasta will cook eggs). Serve immediately, sprinkled with additional Parmesan cheese.
Nacho Supreme Casserole
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 (4-oz.) can chopped green chilies
1 (28-oz.) can petite diced tomatoes
1 pkg. (12-16 oz.) tortilla chips (yellow corn)
4 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 c. sour cream
1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In a skillet, cook ground beef and onion until meat is browned and onion is tender; drain.
2. Stir in taco seasoning, chilies (undrained) and tomatoes (undrained). Simmer (uncovered) for 15 minutes and liquid is reduced.
3. Place half the tortilla chips in a 9 in.-by-13 in. baking dish. Layer half of the meat mixture and half of the Monterey Jack cheese evenly over the tortilla chips. Layer the remainder of the chips and then meat mixture and cheese.
4. Bake (uncovered) for 20 minutes. Remove from oven. Top with dollops of sour cream and sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Bake (uncovered) for another 10 minutes. Let rest 5-10 minutes, cut into 8 squares and serve with condiments of your choice (salsa, guacamole, hot sauce, etc).
Vanilla Ice Cream and 3 Variations
This recipe makes about 8 servings of 1 cup each.
2 c. whole milk
1 c. granulated sugar
4 egg yolks
Pinch of salt
2 c. half-and-half
2 c. whipping cream
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1. In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, sugar, egg yolks and salt. Place pan over medium-high heat and whisk until mixture reaches a simmer.
2. Lower heat to medium and whisk for 5 minutes or until mixture begins to thicken.
3. Strain mixture into a large bowl, then whisk in half-and-half, cream and vanilla.
4. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate about 2 hours.
5. Pour mixture into ice cream maker. Process according to manufacturer instructions.
Peanut Butter Ice Cream: After straining mixture in step 3, add 1 cup smooth peanut butter and stir until fully incorporated. Continue with recipe.
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream: In step 3, substitute 1 tsp. peppermint extract for the vanilla. Once ice cream is made, stir in 2 cups mini chocolate chips.
Chocolate Ice Cream: After straining mixture in step 3, add 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and stir until melted and fully incorporated. Continue with recipe.