Dairy-inspired, plant-based dishes to serve from morning to night

MISSION, Kan.Feb. 3, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — (Family Features) From cereal and milk to yogurt and fruit to broccoli and cheese, combining dairy with plant-based foods creates a superfood power couple that can help ensure you and your family are getting the nutrients you need any time of day.

Photo courtesy of United Dairy Industry of Michigan
Photo courtesy of United Dairy Industry of Michigan

With the rise in popularity of plant-based diets, dairy can help optimize nutrient absorption from plant foods and provide additional nutrients like high-quality protein, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin B12. You can create delicious meals with the nutrition you need while enjoying the best of plants and dairy.

Combining dairy and plant-based foods can be easier with these dairy-powered recipes from Milk Means More. They are ideal for creating a nutritious and delicious plan for every meal throughout the day. Start with a Blueberry Apple Crisp Smoothie Bowl in the morning then build out your lunch or dinner plans around an appetizer like this traditional Middle Eastern Labneh Spread with grilled pita bread and assorted veggies. For the main course, try Lentil Tacos with Tangy Guacamole and a classic Moroccan staple, Creamy Couscous with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Cheese, on the side.

Find more recipes that combine the goodness of dairy and plant-based foods at milkmeansmore.org.

Creamy Couscous with Broccoli, Tomatoes and Cheese
Recipe courtesy of culinary dietitian Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

            1/2       cup chopped onion
            2          tablespoons butter
            3          cups broccoli florets
            1          teaspoon minced garlic
            1/2       teaspoon pepper
            3          cups fat-free, 2% or whole milk
            1 1/2    cups plain couscous (wheat pasta)
            1          cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
            1          cup (4 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
            1 1/2    cups seeded and chopped tomatoes
            2          tablespoons slivered fresh basil leaves

In large nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook onion in butter 2 minutes. Add broccoli, garlic and pepper. Cook and stir 2 minutes.

Stir milk into broccoli mixture. Bring to boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.

Gently stir Parmesan cheese into couscous mixture. Spread on serving platter. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Top with tomatoes and fresh basil leaves.

Lentil Tacos with Tangy Guacamole
Recipe courtesy of culinary dietitian Marcia Stanley, MS, RDN
Prep time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

Tangy Guacamole:
            1          medium ripe avocado, pitted, peeled and chopped
            1          tablespoon orange, lime or lemon juice
            1/4       teaspoon hot pepper sauce
            1          clove garlic, minced
            1/2       cup plain, fat-free Greek yogurt

Lentil Tacos:
            2 1/3    cups water
            1          cup dry brown lentils, rinsed and drained
            1/2       cup finely chopped onion
            2          teaspoons chili powder
            2          cloves garlic, minced
            1/2       teaspoon salt
            1 1/2    cups seeded and chopped tomatoes, divided
            1 1/4    cups (5 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
            12        yellow corn taco shells

To make Tangy Guacamole: In small bowl, mash avocado, juice, hot pepper sauce and garlic.  Stir in yogurt. Cover and refrigerate until serving time.

To make Lentil Tacos: Heat oven to 400 F.

In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine water, lentils, onion, chili powder, garlic and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Cover and gently boil 12-15 minutes, or until lentils are just tender. Uncover and boil 5-15 minutes, or until most liquid evaporates.

Remove lentils from heat. Stir in 1 cup tomatoes and 3/4 cup cheese. Spoon into taco shells. Stand filled tacos in 13-by-9-by-2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle tacos with remaining tomatoes and cheese. Loosely cover dish with foil. Bake 3-5 minutes, or until cheese melts.

Stir guacamole. Serve with warm tacos.

Labneh Spread
Recipe courtesy of Jenn Fillenworth, MS, RDN of Jenny with the Good Eats
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

            12        ounces whole milk Greek yogurt
            1/8       teaspoon salt
            1/2       teaspoon fresh lemon juice
            2          tablespoons olive oil
            1          pinch sea salt, for garnish
                        fresh herbs, for garnish
                        pita bread, grilled
                        assorted seasonal vegetables

In bowl, mix Greek yogurt, salt and lemon juice.

Transfer mixture to fine mesh strainer lined with cheesecloth.

Wrap mixture in cheesecloth and strain over bowl in refrigerator 24-48 hours. Strain longer to make thicker.

Once thickened as desired, remove from cheesecloth and top spread with olive oil, sea salt and fresh herbs.

Serve with grilled pita bread and assorted seasonal vegetables.

Blueberry Apple Crisp Smoothie Bowl
Recipe courtesy of Rachel Gurk of Rachel Cooks
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

            1          cup frozen blueberries
            2          cups apples, roughly chopped, reserving 2 tablespoons for topping
            1          teaspoon cinnamon
            1/2       cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
            1          cup spinach
                        pure maple syrup, to taste
                        ice cubes (optional)

Toppings:
            2          tablespoons oats
            1          teaspoon pure maple syrup
            1          tablespoon pecans, chopped
            2          tablespoons reserved chopped apple
                        fresh blueberries

In blender, blend blueberries, apples, cinnamon, yogurt and spinach until smooth. Taste and add maple syrup, to taste. If thicker mixture is desired, add ice cubes.

Pour into bowl. Mix oats with maple syrup. Top smoothie mixture with oats, pecans, apples and blueberries.

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