Splash on Flavor
Seasoned rice vinegars add pizzazz to your meals
-Holly Clegg, www.hollyclegg.com
Oh, how I look forward to the bounty of seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables now available in the groceries and farmers’ markets this time of year! As author of the trim&TERRIFICTM cookbook series, I am always looking for a low calorie, high flavor option to highlight the natural crisp freshness of vegetables. A simple splash of Nakano seasoned rice vinegar, with its sweet light flavor, before steaming goes great with fresh asparagus, okra, squash, zucchini or any vegetable.
If you aren’t sure how to use or aren’t familiar with Nakano seasoned rice vinegars, you will enjoy their versatility and flavors. The vinegars come in several mouth-watering distinct flavors, such as garlic, roasted red pepper, and basil and oregano – a few of my personal favorites. Each deliciously seasoned rice vinegar has its own unique flavor as I can attest to from my own vinegar tasting. Here are my favorite flavors:
• Roasted Garlic Seasoned Rice Vinegar – my personal favorite, a sweet, mellow roasted garlic flavor excellent in marinades, vinaigrettes, and splash on rice, vegetables and potatoes.
• Pesto Seasoned Rice Vinegar – an easy pesto accent with blend of fresh basil, tangy garlic and olive. Sprinkle on pastas, salad, and then top with Parmesan cheese.
• Basil & Oregano Seasoned Rice Vinegar – sweet and light blend of basil & oregano herbs – great for enhancing red sauces and salad dressings, or for splashing on cold pasta salads
• Red Pepper Seasoned Rice Vinegar – that perfect amount of kick of crushed red pepper giving this vinegar a zing … great with any food to kick it up a notch.
Whether you splash it on to enhance a marinade, add spunk to a veggie, or to complement flavor in a dessert, this is a pantry flavor staple for every kitchen. Best of all, these vinegars are all natural, low calorie, no fat, gluten free, no preservatives and 50 percent less sodium than other seasoned rice vinegars.
Trim&TERRIFICTM Tips for using Nakano seasoned rice vinegars:
• Drizzle on salads as a healthier alternative to dressing
• Use on baked potatoes in place of sour cream and butter
• Cole slaw as a fat-free replacement for mayonnaise
• Rice, green beans, beets, almost any vegetable for a light flavor accent
Here are a few of my favorite easy, delicious, and healthier recipes to get you started with your seasoned rice vinegars!
Shrimp Orzo Salad
Have fun with your favorite flavored Nakano seasoned rice vinegar in this fantastic, marinated diabetic-friendly salad that combines bold flavors with great ingredients. Edamame, a power house of nutrition, may be found in the grocery with frozen vegetables.
Makes 12 (1/2-cup) servings
2 cups orzo pasta
2 cups diced, rotisserie, skinless white chicken
1 cup frozen peas, thawed, or shelled edamame
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
8 ounces sun-dried tomatoes, sliced, reconstituted, reserving 1/3 cup water from reconstituting tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons Nakano Seasoned Rice Vinegar (or flavored)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain.
2. In large bowl, combine orzo, chicken, peas, green onions, feta, cucumber, tomatoes, and dill.
3. In another bowl, whisk together reserved sun dried tomato water with remaining ingredients.
4. Toss with orzo mixture. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Nutritional information per serving: Calories 300, Protein (g) 19, Carbohydrate (g) 42, Fat (g) 6, Calories from Fat (%) 18, Saturated Fat (g) 2, Dietary Fiber (g) 5, Cholesterol (mg) 26, Sodium (mg) 148, Diabetic Exchanges: 2 starch, 3 vegetable. 1.5 lean meat
Terrific Tidbit: To reconstitute the tomatoes, pour 1 cup boiling water over them and let sit for 15 minutes or until soft.
Perfect Pork Tenderloin
The secret to grilling is definitely in the marinade! This simple but delectable marinade of soy sauce, honey, and seasoned rice vinegar gives the tenderloin a subtly sweet, savory flavor.
Makes 6-8 servings
2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins, trimmed of excess fat
1/4 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup Nakano Roasted Garlic Seasoned Rice Vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. In bowl, combine all ingredients except tenderloins.
3. Place meat in dish or large re-sealable plastic bag, pour marinade over meat. If time permits, refrigerate overnight, turning meat several times.
4. Bake 40-45 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 160ºF. Slice tenderloins, serve.
Quick Tip: Tenderloins come two to a package. If one will be enough for you to serve, halve recipe, freeze other tenderloin.
Nutritional information per serving: Calories 160, Protein (g) 24, Carbohydrate (g) 5, Fat (g) 4, Calories from Fat (%) 24, Saturated Fat (g) 1, Dietary Fiber (g) 0, Cholesterol (mg) 67, Sodium (mg) 138, Diabetic Exchanges: 3 lean meat, 1 other carbohydrate
Nothing is better than seasonal vegetables with a simple splash of seasoning.
Makes 4 servings
Pound of seasonal vegetables (corn, asparagus, okra, squash and zucchini)
1/4 cup water
Splash of Nakano Seasoned Rice Vinegar (2-3 tablespoons), any flavor
1. In microwave safe shallow dish, put vegetables and water.
2. Splash on vinegar, cover, and microwave 3-4 minutes or until crisp tender.