It has become even more important to boost our body’s immune system through a healthy diet and has become an important new focus for people these days. One key dietary recommendation is to eat more fruits and vegetables every day to improve immune function and prevent heart disease and diabetes. If you want to guide your family to healthier snacks and meals or simply trying to add variety to your at-home menu, that can be as simple as rethinking the ingredients you choose to use, including your favorite produce, such as grapes.
Fresh grapes make for an ideal snack because they’re tasty, healthy, hydrating and refreshing, but grapes can also be used to make nutritious dishes that are also satisfying and delicious. Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols. Plus, they’re naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free and contain virtually no sodium.
Try these recipes below from GrapesFromCalifornia.com to pair heart-healthy grapes with other nutritious ingredients to add variety and fresh appeal to your family meals.
Moroccan Grape and Grilled Chicken Bowls with Grape Vinaigrette (serves 4)
1 cup Israeli couscous
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced
1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup parsley, leaves only
1 1/2 teaspoons ras el hanout (Moroccan spice blend)
1 teaspoon salt
2 chicken breasts (8 ounces each)
1 tablespoon harissa paste
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup green California grapes
1 lemon, juice only
1 preserved lemon, rind only
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup red California grapes, halved
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
To make couscous: Cook couscous in boiling salted water. Drain, rinse with cold water and combine with olive oil. Add carrots, tomatoes, parsley leaves, ras el hanout and salt. Mix well and set aside.
To make chicken: Heat grill to medium-high heat. Rub chicken breasts with harissa paste, olive oil and salt. Grill on both sides until just done. Set aside to cool. Slice into 1/4-inch slices.
To make vinaigrette: In blender, puree green grapes, lemon juice, lemon rind, olive oil and cilantro until smooth. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Toss couscous mixture with vinaigrette and portion into four bowls. Top with sliced chicken, red grapes and almonds.
Cauliflower Steaks with Grapes (serves 4)
1 large head cauliflower, leaves trimmed off
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 cup halved California grapes
1/4 cup chopped Castelvetrano olives
2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
2 tablespoons chopped, toasted pistachios
Heat oven to 450 F. Cut stem off cauliflower and cut remaining head crosswise into four 1-inch-thick slices, keeping as intact as possible. Place on sheet pan and brush sides with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast until browned and tender, about 25 minutes.
Combine remaining olive oil, remaining pepper, grapes, olives, parsley and pistachios. When cauliflower is roasted, transfer to serving plates and top with grape mixture.