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    • Build a Better-for-You Menu in 2022

      27 January 2022

      (Family Features) Committing to healthier habits in the new year often starts in the kitchen. Adding better-for-you recipes to your arsenal is the start of a more nutrition-focused lifestyle, and whether you’re a true home chef or just learning the basics, these dishes can be the gateway to a healthier you.

      From fresh spins on family night and quick solutions in a pinch to homemade lunches and satisfying salads, consider these delicious and nutritious ways to enhance your homemade meals in 2022.

      Visit Culinary.net to find more health-conscious recipe ideas.

      Take Your Salad from Bland to Bold
      Step aside, boring salads. A new year and a healthier eating plan can include better-for-you greens and dressings that hit the spot.

      Veggies roasted with aromatic spices served on Fresh Express 5-Lettuce Mix are drizzled with lemon tahini dressing in this Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Salad, a delicious vegetarian way to turn a bland meal into a bona fide delight. With green leaf lettuce, red leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, romaine and radicchio, the mix of greens offers a bold combination of textures and flavors for those who love variety and color.

      Find more ways to enhance your at-home salads at FreshExpress.com.

      Moroccan Roasted Vegetable Salad
      Prep time: 20 minutes
      Cook time: 20 minutes
      Servings: 4

      Lemon Tahini Dressing:
      1/4 cup tahini
      1/4 cup olive oil
      3 tablespoons lemon juice
      3 teaspoons maple syrup
      2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
      1/4 teaspoon salt
      2 tablespoons cold water
      nonstick cooking spray
      6 tablespoons olive oil
      2 teaspoons ras el hanout or garam masala
      1/2 teaspoon salt
      1/4 teaspoon pepper
      4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into long wedges
      4 whole large carrots, chopped
      2 red bell peppers, cored and cut into 1-inch pieces
      2 packages (6 ounces each) Fresh Express 5-Lettuce Mix
      1 can (15 1/2 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
      1/3 cup dried apricots, sliced
      1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
      2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped

      To make lemon tahini dressing: In a small bowl, whisk tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, Dijon mustard and salt. Add cold water; mix well. If dressing thickens, mix in more cold water.

      Heat oven to 400 F. Spray two baking sheets with nonstick cooking spray.

      In a large bowl, mix olive oil, ras el hanout, salt and pepper. Add sweet potatoes; toss to coat. Transfer to the first prepared baking sheet. Add carrots and peppers to leftover oil; toss to coat. Transfer to a second prepared baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Let cool.

      Arrange lettuce mix on four plates. Top each with sweet potatoes, carrots, red pepper, chickpeas, apricots and almonds. Drizzle with dressing and sprinkle with parsley.

      A Lean, Nutritious Lunch 
      Meal prepping is one of the most common strategies for improving eating habits, however, this tactic is often focused primarily on nutritious breakfasts and family dinners. Don’t let lunch go by the wayside; you can skip the fast food breaks by opting for a recipe you can make quickly at home.

      Made with nutritious Wisconsin Potatoes loaded with goodness, low in calories, high in fiber and a good source of vitamin B6, potassium, vitamin C and antioxidants, a Turkey-Potato Wrap provides a simple solution for swapping out saltier foods for a lean lunch. By making four at a time in just half an hour, lunch is served for most of your work week to help save time on busy mornings while adding vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants to your afternoon meal.

      Find more better-for-you recipe ideas at eatwisconsinpotatoes.com.

      Turkey-Potato Wrap
      Recipe courtesy of Wisconsin Potatoes
       
      3/4 pound Wisconsin russet potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
      1 tablespoon water
      1 tablespoon canola oil
      3/4 pound ground lean turkey
      1 large carrot, shredded
      1/3 cup sliced green onions with tops
      1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
      2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
      1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning or basil
      salt, to taste
      pepper, to taste
      4 large whole-wheat or high-fiber tortillas
      light sour cream (optional)

      Place potatoes in a microwave-safe bowl; sprinkle with water. Cover, venting one corner. Microwave on high for 5-8 minutes until potatoes are tender.

      In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add and break up the turkey; cook for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally. Mix in carrot; cook for 2 minutes. Add potatoes and onions; toss and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; mix in tomato sauce, cheese and Italian seasoning.

      Cook, stirring occasionally, 4-5 minutes until mixture is hot and most sauce is absorbed. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. On the work surface, lay out tortillas. Place 3/4 cup hot turkey mixture on each; fold and roll for burritos.

      Cut in halves. Serve each with sour cream, if desired.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • The Right Way to Load Your Dishwasher

      27 January 2022

      As for home appliances, your dishwasher is one of the most hard working and utilized. When the cycle is finished, it’s nice to see your dishes, glasses and silverware sparkling clean. But in some cases, when the time comes to empty, residue is stuck and you’re left wondering how a plate, glass or pan is still dirty after an entire wash cycle.

      This can happen simply because the dishes weren't properly loaded. Here, you’ll find a guide to loading your dishwasher the right way to ensure the best clean. 

      Top Rack
      Designed for your smaller items, the top rack is perfect for glasses and cups, bowls and plastic containers. To ensure that plastics don’t get warped, keeping them on the top rack, away from direct heat is the safest bet. Don’t over fill, as it can cause dishes to break or limit the water and detergent from thoroughly washing. 

      Bottom Rack
      Larger items, like plates, serving bowls, pots and pans and cutting boards belong on the bottom rack of your dishwasher. Just make sure that the item isn’t too tall, as it can block water and detergent as well as cause the center spray arms to stop rotating. Remember to remove as much residue as you can before loading, especially on pots and pans. 

      Silverware Basket
      Most dishwashers have utensil baskets, however some have a rack above the top rack to lay down silverware. For baskets, place forks and spoons handle-side down, exposing the top where it’s mostly dirty. Knives should be placed handle-side up to avoid injury when unloading.

      Other Tips
      For larger utensils, like cutting knives or wooden spoons, it’s smart to lay them down on the top rack. In some dishwashers, they can catch the center spray arms and stop movement, disturbing the cycle for the rest of the load. 

      When loading bowls or large spoons, be sure to load them face down to avoid catching large pools of water. Also, always start with the bottom rack. If there is any residual water on items from the top rack, pulling it out first will spill water onto the dishes below.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Organize Your Refrigerator

      27 January 2022

      You and your family probably open your refrigerator several times per day looking for food, beverages and condiments. If things aren’t organized, people must rummage for the items they want, only worsening the disorganization. Not storing things in the right places can also cause food to spoil faster and put your family’s health at risk. Creating and sticking to a system can make cooking and snacking easier and help you avoid having food go bad.

      Which Foods Go Where?
      Before you reorganize the refrigerator, empty it out and clean it thoroughly. Wipe down and disinfect all surfaces and use baking soda or another deodorizer to control odors.

      Store foods that don’t need to be cooked, such as leftovers, yogurt, cheese, deli meat, other prepared foods and beverages, on the upper shelves. Use labeled plastic containers to organize items. If you have several open jars or containers, use a Lazy Susan to make them more easily accessible.

      Put raw meat on the lowest shelf so any juice that leaks won’t contaminate other foods with bacteria. If the shelf where you store meat is above the crisper drawers, put meat in a plastic bin to catch any drips and prevent cross-contamination. Group raw meats together and store other raw items in different areas on lower shelves. 

      Many people don’t understand how the crisper drawers at the bottom of the fridge work. They are intended to store fresh produce. Most refrigerators have humidity and temperature controls that can be adjusted to different levels for each drawer. Store leafy greens, such as lettuce and spinach, in a drawer set to a high humidity level to keep them crisp. Put fruits and vegetables that can rot in a low-humidity drawer. Line the bottoms of the crisper drawers with paper towels to make them easier to clean.

      Every time you open the refrigerator, items stored on the door are exposed to air at room temperature, which is significantly warmer than the interior of the refrigerator. Don’t put perishable foods, such as eggs and dairy products, on the door. Instead, keep them in a section of the refrigerator that stays cold. Store condiments, sauces and butter on the door.

      Get Your Fridge in Order
      When organizing your refrigerator, it’s important to think about both food safety and convenience. Many people inadvertently put their family’s health at risk by storing foods in the wrong places. Not having a clear system can also lead to a lot of frustration. Go through your refrigerator, get rid of any expired foods, clean and reorganize the rest in a way that will keep your food fresh, keep your family safe and make it easier to find foods and beverages when you want them.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Savor a New Way to Seafood

      26 January 2022

      (Family Features) Adding salmon to your weekly menu can take dinnertime from drab to delicious. Combining it with bright, fresh veggies heightens the savory experience even more for a burst of seafood flavor.

      Loaded with salmon, a homemade dressing, sushi rice and a variety of tasty veggies, this Salmon and Shrimp Coconut Curry is a perfect option for putting together a quick yet delicious meal. Plus, you can feel good that it's sustainably produced by looking for the Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s (ASC) certification on farmed salmon.

      Fast becoming a leading source of seafood worldwide, aquaculture is similar to typical agriculture but with fish, shellfish and seaweeds. It consists of two methods: natural environment and onshore tanks, which are both safe ways to raise quality, responsibly produced seafood.

      Through strategic partners, innovative technologies and mindful farming practices, the ASC is transforming the seafood industry with a certification for farmed fish to help ensure the seafood you enjoy is traceable, responsible and flavorful.

      This “new way to seafood” includes four upgrades to the way seafood is produced:

      • Traceability: Seafood is traced from the farm to the store, eliminating seafood fraud or mislabeling.
      • Social responsibility: Certified seafood comes only from farms with a record of fair treatment and pay for workers as well as a commitment to conserving and restoring wildlife.
      • Environmentally mindful: Only farming operations that operate with a minimal impact on the environment are supported. These farms enact sustainable resource practices so you can protect oceans, coasts and wildlife with your purchases.
      • Quality products: Food with the ASC label has been monitored at every step of the production process to ensure quality.
      Visit NewWaytoSeafood.com to find more information about the certification process.

      Salmon and Shrimp Coconut Curry
      Recipe courtesy of MOWI on behalf of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council
      Servings: 2

      2 pieces of MOWI Pure portions salmon
      1 cup wild rice
      1 tablespoon coconut oil
      1 clove garlic, sliced
      1/4 cup red onion, diced
      1 cup pumpkin or butternut squash, diced
      1 tablespoon lemongrass, finely chopped
      1 1/2 tablespoons red curry paste
      1/2 cup coconut milk
      1 tablespoon fish sauce
      1/4 cup tomatoes
      4 shrimp
      1 lime, quartered
      2-3 cilantro leaves, for garnish

      Cut salmon into 1/2-inch cubes. Cook rice according to package instructions.

      In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion and pumpkin or squash; saute 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Mix in lemongrass and curry paste. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant.

      Add coconut milk, fish sauce and tomatoes; mix thoroughly. Add shrimp and salmon; cook until done.

      Serve with rice and lime quarters. Sprinkle with cilantro.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Spot the Signs: Are Your Burnt Out?

      26 January 2022

      If you’ve been feeling stressed and overwhelmed lately, you’re not alone. Though stress is a normal feeling each and every one of us deals with, it’s not something you should take lightly. But how do you know when it’s just too much?

      Whether your stress stems from your job or daily life tasks, you need to be sure that you understand how it can affect you. Here are some signs that you may be burnt out.

      Physical and Emotional Exhaustion 
      One of the most obvious signs that your burnt out is exhaustion. When your body and mind feel completely spent, consider this a first and prominent sign that you’re burnt out. You will feel tired most days and find that you have no energy at any point in your day. Because this not only affects the body, but also the mind, you may feel disconnected from relationships and lose the desire to complete, or even start, daily tasks. 

      Unexplained Frustration 
      Because of your stress, you may find yourself in fight or flight mode in almost every situation. This means that your filter for irritability and patience is very thin. Outbursts, physical or verbal, are often the main result of frustration. If you can’t get through even the first half of your workday without screaming, crying or over-exaggerating any given situation, this is another sign that you’re burning out.   

      Poor Concentration 
      A common resolution for people who feel stressed is to distract themselves with a new piece of work. However, this can quickly become a problem, as your mind is surely tired and distracted. Though many people claim to be great at multitasking, it can actually negatively affect your concentration and productivity. When your problem solving skills diminish and your decision making skills can’t be trusted, it may be a sign you’re burnt out. 

      Chronic Sickness
      Walking around with a dark cloud of stress can seriously affect your health. Aside from depression, you may suffer from migraines, digestive issues, heart disease or even something as simple as a cold you just can’t shake. This is a sign of burning out, as your body is trying to signal you to slow down. When your brain function is thrown off, it doesn’t only affect your mind, but your entire body. 

      Loss of Sleep or No Sleep
      Combining the stress of the day with the dread of what the next day will bring can keep your brain awake through all hours of the night. Insomnia causes many forms of anxiety, which will only burn you out more. And the longer you stay in this cycle, the harder it will be to break out of the fight or flight mindset and rest your mind. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.