Today’s quick take: Grilled salmon with cucumber dressing

 

Terrific recipes ready in less than 30 minutes.

grilledsalmon

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 6 minutes

Grilled salmon with creamy cucumber dressing

 

4 salmon fillets, (about 6 ounces each)

1/2 cup  mayonnaise dressing with olive oil, divided

Salt and pepper

1/4 cup plain yogurt

1 cucumber, minced

1/4 cup loosely packed fresh dill (or mint, thyme or basil), chopped

 

Heat grill to high. Using a pastry brush, paint 1/4 cup of the mayonnaise dressing with olive oil  on the flesh side of the fish. Season fish with salt and pepper.

Place fish on grill mayonnaise side down. Let sit on grill for at least 3 minutes before flipping, then cook for 3 minutes more. Remove from grill and top with creamy cucumber dressing.

For dressing: Mix remaining 1/4 cup mayonnaise, yogurt, cucumber and dill and add salt to taste.

Makes 4 servings.  Nutrition information per serving: 370 calories, 24 g. fat, 105 mg. cholesterol, 400 mg. sodium, 4 g. carbohydrate, 1 g. fiber, 2 g. sugars, 35 g. protein.

Source: Chef Tim Love and Hellmann’s

Celebrate Grilled Cheese Day at home or at Tom+Chee

tomcheese

Saturday, April 12, is National Grilled Cheese Day.

Check out grilled cheese favorites at Tom+Chee, a grilled cheese and tomato soup restaurant in Hamburg at 2200 War Admiral Way. Call (859) 263-0144 or go to Tomandchee.com.

Here are some ideas from Tom+Chee for jazzing up your homemade grilled cheese sandwiches.

  • Goetta+Cherry Peppers+Fried Onions+Sweet Hot Mustard+Pepper Jack+Sourdough+Rye
  • Roasted Turkey+Bacon+Pickles+Gouda+Sourdough
  • Mac & Cheese+Cheddar+White
  • Hummus+Cucumber+Mixed Greens+Tomato+Cheddar+Wheat
  • Pepperoni+Tomato Sauce+Mozzarella+Sourdough

Incredible Food Show welcomes Ree Drummond

 

reedrummond

The celebrity guest at this year’s Kentucky Proud Incredible Food Show in October will appeal to down-to-earth cooks.
Ree Drummond, star of Food Network’s The Pioneer Woman, will present two cooking shows on Oct. 11 at Rupp Arena.  Long before her TV debut, Drummond was well-known for her blog, Thepioneerwoman.com, which attracts more than 20 million page views per month.
Cooking demonstrations, specialty food companies, and restaurants will participate in the event at Lexington Center. Call (859) 233-4567 or go to Incrediblefoodshow.com.

 

Lexington, Louisville chefs bet their food, not their money, on Cats vs. Cards

The battle on Friday between the ­University of Kentucky and the ­University of ­Louisville in the Sweet Sixteen of the NCAA men’s ­basketball tournament is spilling over into ­Lexington and Louisville kitchens.
Bill Lynch, chef at The Bristol Bar & Grille in Louisville, is challenging Jeremy Ashby, chef/owner of Azur in Lexington, to a wager.
If the Louisville Cardinals lose to the Kentucky Wildcats in Indianapolis on Friday night, Lynch has agreed to wear Kentucky blue and serve Ashby’s signature dishes at Azur. If the ­Wildcats lose, Ashby will don ­Louisville red and serve patrons at The Bristol’s Hurstbourne Parkway ­restaurant.
A date for the dinner has not been ­announced. Go to Azurrestaurant.com and Bristolbarandgrille.com.
Nick Ryan’s Saloon, 157 Jefferson Street, is celebrating the Kentucky-­Louisville game with all-night happy hour on Friday. In celebration of the Wildcats’ 26 wins, the restaurant will offer its 8-ounce filet mignon for $26; it’s regularly $29. If the Wildcats win, Nick Ryan’s will serve the special on Saturday for $27. Call (859) 233-7900 or go to Nickryans.com.
Special events
■ Seventeen ­wineries are participating in ­McConnell Springs’ 7th annual Wine ­Barrel ­Tasting on Saturday. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at any participating winery. Call (859) 272-0682 or go to Mcconnellsprings.org.
During the event, Jean Farris Winery, 6825 Old Richmond Road, will offer a limited lunch menu from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. ­Included are filet burger, smoked chicken salad, grilled chicken Caesar, shrimp and grits, and duck sausage pizza. Call (859) 263-9463 or go to Jeanfarris.com.
■ Kathy Archer will serve Howard’s Creek authentic beer cheese at the Taste of the South in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.
Taste of the South was founded in 1982 by transplanted ­Southerners ­living in Washington. The group ­decided to host a party where they could share with Washington residents their love for all things ­Southern. Thirteen states are ­represented, and this year, Kentucky is the featured state, with ­proceeds going to West End School in ­Louisville. The free alternative school serves at-risk boys from preschool to eighth grade.
Openings
■ Sherrie Keller-Pauley and her husband, Ben Pauley, are back in the restaurant business in the same location where their original Three Suns Bistro was, 502 North Main Street in Nicholasville. The Pauleys’ Three Suns opened in 2000. It moved to Brannon Crossing in 2005 and closed in 2012.
Now called The Bistro, the ­restaurant will offer “some tried and true favorites from the Three Suns ­Bistro menu including pecan-fried chicken with praline glaze, lobster bisque, and our honey vinaigrette, a Kentucky Proud product,” Keller-­Pauley said. The menu includes hand-cut steaks, seafood, pasta, salads and burgers. Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Call  (859) 221-3925.
Specials
First Watch Daytime Café is ­offering three new limited-time items for spring: lemon ricotta pancakes; AB&J waffle topped with almond butter, strawberry sauce and granola; and smoked salmon and roasted vegetable frittata. Locations are 3071 Richmond Road, (859) 899-3447; and 1080 South Broadway, (859) 252-2226. A new First Watch will open this spring on ­Winchester Road in front of Hobby Lobby. Go to Firstwatch.com.
■ Saturday and Sunday specials at 1790 Row House Restaurant, 2117 Old Main Street in Washington, in Mason County, are Hawaiian chicken with grilled pineapple, pesto grilled shrimp, grilled pork chops, sausage quiche, and white chicken chili. Call (859) 907-6093. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Chef Jim Olert opens a grill in the country

AvonJim Olert, who teaches culinary skills to students at Southside Technical Center, has returned to a working kitchen. Olert and his wife, Elaine, have opened a grill at Avon Service Mart, near Bluegrass Station.
“It’s a cozy mom-and-pop country store that serves breakfast and lunch,” he said. “Our menu consists of an American flair with several comfort food choices. We have everything from burgers and hot dogs to chicken, pork and fish.”
Homemade items include sausage gravy, beer-battered onion rings, seasoned home fries, and fried pickles, Olert said. Daily specials can include meatball sandwiches, sloppy Joes, chili, or Kentucky hot Browns.
Olert is a graduate of Baltimore International Culinary College and has worked as sous chef at Roy and Nadine’s, kitchen manager at Café Joseph-Beth, banquet chef at the Hyatt Regency hotel, and executive chef at Lake Cumberland State Resort Park. He started teaching at Southside in 2004.
The grill is at 5569 Briar Hill Road. Hours are 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ­Saturday. Call (859) 327-3212.
Special events

■ Town Branch master distiller Mark Coffman will introduce Town Branch rye at Jonathan at Gratz Park, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The cost is $20. Call (859) 252-4949. Jonathan is at 120 West Second Street.
Specials
■ If you missed the Fat Tuesday ­celebrations around town, you still can get Cajun specialties at Rick’s White Light Diner in Frankfort. The diner, featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives in 2010, serves oyster po’boys, crawfish pie, ­muffalettas and crawfish etouffee. New hours are 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through ­Thursday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. ­Friday, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Rick’s is at 114 Bridge Street. Call (502) 696-9104 or go to ­Whitelightdiner.com.
■ Starting Friday, Thai Orchid Café will offer Lenten seafood specials including shrimp and greens, tom yum seafood noodle bowl, and crispy chili fish. The café is at 1030 South Broadway. Call (859) 288-2170 or go to Thaiorchidcafe.net.
■ 1790 Row House Restaurant, 2117 Old Main Street, Washington, is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Specials include chicken Parmesan and Swiss steak on Saturday, and baked spaghetti and hot German potato casserole on Sunday. Call (859) 907-6093.
■ The Grey Goose, 170 Jefferson Street, is serving grilled Clare Island salmon with cream risotto and grilled asparagus as the weekend special. The pizza flavor is “sky high meat pie.” Call (859) 233-1500.
■ Jan Sullivan, chef/owner of Bakery Blessings & Bookstore @ the Bar, 1999 Harrodsburg Road, is ­making ­shamrock sugar cookies for St. ­Patrick’s Day parties. Soup specials are chunky Cheddar potato and tomato bisque. Call (859) 554-6044.
■ The color green reigns at ­Greentree Tearoom this month. The menu features potato leek soup, Irish oat scone with blackberry jam, ­spanakopita, corned beef, poppy seed egg salad and Benedictine tea ­sandwiches, Bailey’s fudge, and ­pistachio cupcakes. Greentree is at 521 West Short Street. Call (859) 455-9660 or go to Greentreetearoom.com.

Top female chefs to cook dinner together March 13

shannoncollinsShannon Collins, day chef at Azur Restaurant, was one of many people who were offended when a Time ­magazine article last fall neglected to include any female chefs as “gods of food.” (Four women were on the list of 13, but none was a chef.) Collins decided to plan an event that would showcase the talents of six of Central Kentucky’s top female chefs.
“In this male-dominated profession, women are often overlooked. We need to take up our space,” Collins said.
The dinner, at 6 p.m. March 13 at Azur, 3070 Lakecrest Circle, will ­benefit Susan G. Komen. Tickets are $85. Call (859) 296-1007 or email info@azurrestaurant.com.
Collins will serve grilled tenderloin of bison with red wine-almond mole and sweet potato-apple hash.
The other chefs and what they will prepare are: Amy Harris, sous chef at Jonathan at Gratz Park, pan-seared ­scallop with apple-golden raisin compote and blackberry-pomegranate coulis; Ranada West-Riley, chef/owner of The Lexington Diner, masala of ­curried chickpeas with spinach, braised carrots and new potatoes in coconut milk curry with jasmine rice; Vanessa Wilhite, chef/manager at Gigi’s Cupcakes, spiced airline quail breast with warm quinoa salad over ­cauliflower bisteche with saffron jus and roasted red grapes; Ouita Michel, chef/owner Holly Hill Inn, rolled grouper roasted in sorghum brown butter with Woodford Reserve gastrique over white beans, Benton’s bacon, shaved ­Brussels sprouts and caramelized onions; and Toa Green, chef/owner of Thai Orchid Café, strawberry balsamic sorbet with bubbly prosecco, lemon sea salt and ginger-sorghum pizzelle.

It’s Mardi Gras and the crawfish are boiling

100204mardigrasPASnow and freezing temperatures in ­Louisiana have put a chill on Mardi Gras celebrations in ­Lexington. The crawfish aren’t eating and they’re likely to be smaller than normal. Still, the limited amount of crawfish won’t halt crawfish boils at Fat Tuesday parties.
Mardi Gras, aka Fat Tuesday, is Tuesday, the last day before the season of Lent begins. Here’s what some ­Central Kentucky places have planned.
Furlong’s owner Tommy Walters has been in contact with Louisiana fishermen, and he’s telling customers not to expect an abundance of large crawfish. “It’s the worst beginning to any crop people my age have ever seen,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll get some crawfish that are a nice size. “The good news is that we’ll probably have crawfish all summer long.”
The menu for Tuesday’s party at Furlong’s includes crawfish ­etouffée, shrimp etouffée, gumbo, ­jambalaya, boudin and andouille sausage. ­Furlong’s is at 130 West Tiverton Way. Call (859) 523-5500.
Bourbon n’ Toulouse’s annual Fat Tuesday party is so big it spills over to Chevy Chase Inn, The Beer Trappe and other bars and restaurants in the neighborhood. “We’ll be serving up bulk orders all weekend long for people who can’t make it down here on ­Tuesday,” owner Kevin Heathcoat said.
The Cajun specialties, except boiled crawfish and alligator etouffée, are available by the quart and gallon for carry-out. The deadline for orders is Monday. Call (859) 335-0300 or email Catering@ilovecajun.com.
Tuesday’s festivities begin at 11 a.m., and the menu includes alligator ­etouffée and king cake from Sunrise Bakery. The crawfish boil starts at 6:30 p.m. Bourbon n’ Toulouse is at 829 Euclid Avenue.
CCI, 833 Euclid Avenue, opens at 11 a.m. to allow for more places for diners to sit (you must be 21, but you don’t have to buy drinks). The Tall Boys will entertain from 7 to 9 p.m.
Also starting at 11 a.m., diners 21 and older may take their food to The Beer Trappe, 811 Euclid Avenue.
■ One of Lexington’s largest Mardi Gras parties is at The Red Mile ­Clubhouse, 1200 Red Mile Road. Bayou Bluegrass Catering serves a lunch buffet that includes sausage gumbo, crawfish pie and bread pudding. The dinner menu features fried alligator and catfish, shrimp etouffée, seafood gumbo, smoked beef brisket and Cajun fried turkey.
Lunch, $16.50 a person, is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dinner seatings, $29.50, are at 5:30, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m. Call (859) 621-3912 or go to Bayoubluegrass.com.
A la Lucie, 159 North Limestone, is having a Big Easy/Fat Tuesday party that features shrimp Creole, oysters, beignets and king cake. Call (859) 252-5277 or go to Alalucie.com.
Ramsey’s Diners will have its 25th annual Fat Tuesday celebration at all locations. “We’ll be flying 1,200 pounds of live crawfish in from New Orleans,” owner Rob Ramsey said. Also on the menu are seafood gumbo and king cakes baked by Missy’s Pies. Go to Ramseysdiners.com for addresses.
Gumbo Ya Ya, 1080 South ­Broadway, will begin its 11th annual Fat Tuesday celebration on Friday. Chef-owner Greg Todd will serve ­alligator sauce piquant and ­several crawfish dishes through Tuesday. ­Tuesday’s festivities will kick off at 11 a.m. with free slices of king cake and Ale-8-One soft drinks. Order party packs or king cakes at (859) 252-9292 or go to Gumboyayaky.com.
Willie’s Locally Known, 805 North Broadway, will have a crawfish boil beginning at 11 a.m. Tuesday, along with gumbo, jambalaya, king cake and beignets. Live music will feature the Baja Yetis. Call (859) 281-1116 or go to Willieslex.com.
■ The lunch and dinner menus at Nick Ryan’s Saloon, 157 Jefferson Street, will feature crawfish etouffée and shrimp Creole. Call (859) 233-7900 or go to Nickryans.com.
■ The Blue Heron Steakhouse, 185 Jefferson Street, will serve  smoked chicken-andouille gumbo, chargrilled or fried oysters, blackened redfish with crawfish etouffée, duck and shrimp ­jambalaya, and beignets with dark chocolate espresso sauce. Go to ­Blueheronsteakhouse.com or call (859) 254-2491.
Woodford Reserve Distillery in Versailles will begin its Mardi Gras celebration at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday with a tour of the historic distillery. A Cajun buffet will be served at 7:30 p.m. in the Dryer House. The menu includes ­jambalaya, crawfish, baby back ribs, king cake and chocolate bread pudding. The cost is $50. The distillery is at 7855 McCracken Pike. Call (859) 879-1953 or email catering@ b-f.com.
Special events
TAI on Rye, the pop-up, New York-style deli at Temple Adath Israel, returns Sunday. Specials include matzo ball soup and homemade rugelach, a rolled pastry with a nut filling. Hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Temple Adath Israel is at 124 North Ashland Avenue. Go to Lextai.org.
Wines on Vine, 400 Old Vine Street, is hosting Caitlin Craig, who will pour wines from Willamette Valley Winery in Oregon from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday. Brian Miracle of Failla Winery in California will be at the store from 6 to 7:30 p.m. March 18. Tastings are free. Call (859) 243-0017.

Recipes for heart health

In January, many of us chose a diet that would help us lose the pounds we gained over the holidays. In February – American Heart Month – we focus on foods that are heart-healthy and might help you to lose some weight, too.
“There is no one ‘superfood’ or nutrient that can prevent heart disease,” said registered dietitian Kathleen Stanley, left. “Research has shown that diets that contain whole grains and fruits and vegetables, and are generally low in fats, can help reduce risk for heart disease.”
According to statistics from the American Heart Association, heart disease affects more than 82 million Americans. We know the steps to take to reduce the risk: Don’t smoke, lower blood pressure if it is high, eat a healthy diet (low in saturated fat, low in trans fat, low in cholesterol, low in salt), stay active, achieve and maintain a healthy weight, follow medical advice, and see your physician regularly.
Although some of us might need our own dietitian to make healthier eating happen, you can change your diet immediately by reducing the amounts of cholesterol and saturated and trans fats you consume.
“These fats are the type that can build up inside your blood vessels, restricting blood flow or even clogging up a blood vessel. You can help prevent cholesterol and fat buildup by avoiding foods that are high in cholesterol such as organ meats, dairy products made from whole milk, lard, egg yolks, butter, fat-back, meat grease. You can reduce the amount of saturated fats and trans fats in your diet by reading the labels of products to find products low in these two types of fats,” Stanley said.
Stanley, coordinator of diabetes, health and nutrition Services at Baptist Health Lexington, said that despite the efforts of health professionals to encourage Americans to reduce the amount of sodium in their diets, Americans still consume more sodium than they need each day.
According to the Institute of Medicine, daily sodium intake should be less than 2,300 milligrams a day.
The American Heart Association recommends using fresh herbs for sodium-free flavor in dishes.
A simple first step is to eat more fruits and vegetables, which are naturally low in fat, sodium and calories, and do not contain cholesterol.
“Fruit and vegetables also provide fiber, which may help reduce risks for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers,” Stanley said. “Other nutrients in fruits and vegetables are being studied to better determine if they have a significant role in prevention of heart disease, such as flavonoids from citrus fruits, lycopene from tomatoes, carotenoids from kale, and various other antioxidants.
“Until we learn more about these specific components, eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is a smart choice.”
You can achieve a balanced diet simply by filling your shopping cart with an ample supply of fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain products, fresh lean meats and low-fat dairy products. Skip the aisles with processed foods and sugary/salty snacks, Stanley said.
She recommends using the USDA “My Plate” method. For more specifics, go to Choosemyplate.gov.
Following an exercise program also will help to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. “If you are overweight or obese, reducing your body weight by as little as 7 to 10 percent can reduce your risk of heart disease,” Stanley said.
Incorporating ancient grains, seeds and beans into your diet also offers many healthful benefits, and American Heart Month is a good time to look into some of the grains that might not grace our tables every day.
There’s a developing interest in sprouted grains, and according to the Whole Grains Council, research detailing the health benefits of sprouted whole grains is growing daily. Although it’s important to remember that no standard, uniform definition of sprouted grains was observed from one study to another, many different benefits seem to be associated with sprouted grains.
The process of sprouting boosts nutrition by increasing vitamins and micronutrients, and activating enzymes that make nutrients more available for the body to absorb, according to the makers of TruRoots Originals. The company has a line of organic and sprouted grains including quinoa, sprouted quinoa, germinated brown rice, sprouted rice and quinoa blend, sprouted mung beans, sprouted green lentils, and chia seeds.
These items might not be on your weekly shopping list, but their health benefits make them worth buying. Here’s a recipe using sprouted lentils.

    Hearty Italian sprouted lentil soup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
One can (14 ounces) organic diced tomatoes
3 1/2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
1 cup sprouted lentils
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
Salt and pepper, to taste
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery, and cook, partially covered, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in water and bay leaf. and bring to a boil. Add lentils. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes, until lentils are tender. Cover and let stand for 2 minutes. Stir in parsley and salt and pepper before serving. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
From TruRoots Originals
Studies show that a high consumption of orange and red vegetables might reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. These recipes are from natural foods chef Christine Waltermyer, created for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.
Warm or cold beet salad
3 medium beets
11/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 tablespoon apple juice concentrate
1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon dried dill weed
1 to 2 yellow bell peppers, sliced
Wash and peel beets. Cut each beet in half, and each half into four wedges. To prevent staining your counter top, place a dark-colored towel or paper towels under your cutting board. Steam beets over boiling water until tender when pierced with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes.
Mix lemon juice, vinegar, apple juice concentrate, mustard and dill in a serving bowl. Add beets and toss to mix. Arrange beets on salad plate with sliced yellow peppers. Serve warm or cold. Makes 3 servings.
Nutrition information per serving: 36 calories, 0.2 g. fat, 0 mg. cholesterol, 1 g. protein, 8.4 g. carbohydrate, 1.1 g. fiber, 61 mg. sodium.
When you serve this dessert to the family, don’t tell them what’s in it.


raspberrybrowniesSuper raspberry protein brownies
1/4 teaspoon safflower oil
2 cans (15 ounces each) low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup pitted dates
1 cup all-fruit raspberry jam
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with the oil. Combine black beans, dates, jam and vanilla in a food processor, and process until smooth. Add flour, cocoa powder and salt, and process again.
Pour into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top looks set. Remove from the oven and cool completely, then cut into 16 squares. The brownies will keep, refrigerated in a covered container, for up to 1 week. Makes 16 brownies.
Nutrition information per serving: 145 calories, 1 g. fat, 5 g. protein, 8 g. fiber, 0 mg. cholesterol, 110 mg. sodium.

Fresh produce is now fast food

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Steve Smitha and daughter Emma were shopping in the produce section at Kroger last week for their favorite side dish to go with shrimp on the grill. Smitha picked up a bag of fresh broccoli and cauliflower florets, ready to microwave in 3 1/2 minutes.
Smitha chose the packaged vegetables because: “It’s easy to fix and healthy. She likes cauliflower and the other two children like broccoli,” Smitha said. “There’s no boiling water and cooking on the stove.”
Smitha joins the growing number of shoppers who grab packaged vegetables in the produce section that are chopped, and sometimes already seasoned, to help get dinner on the table in a hurry.
Kathy Means, vice president of industry relations for the Produce Marketing Association, said that area in the supermarket continues to grow. “We know that consumers value convenience – whether it’s to help them prepare their own recipes, such as fresh-cut onions to use in a recipe, or, increasingly, to help them assemble meals quickly at home,” Means said.
“Just as food suppliers and retailers have convenience main dishes (rotisserie chickens, heat-and-serve meat items), we are seeing a strong interest in fresh, convenient sides dishes,” she said. “This makes meal prep easy and it allows spur-of-the-moment meal ‘planning’ while shopping.”
Grab-and-go fresh-cut produce is an important component of the convenience trend, and consumers are demanding single-serve packaging and sizes.
The produce section has a variety of single-ingredient items, such as green beans, and multi-ingredient items, such as a fajita mix that has yellow onions and green and red bell peppers, and a broccoli medley that also has zucchini and yellow squash in the bag. Some packages also contain a sauce or fresh herbs.
Kroger has stocked grab-and-go ready-to-eat or cook vegetables for about a year and a half, said Tim McGurk, public affairs manager for Kroger’s Louisville division.
The Garden Highway brand is produced overnight in a plant in Indianapolis and shipped immediately. “We get it a day after it’s packaged,” said Jeff Disponette, manager of the Kroger in Beaumont Centre.
“The packaging is getting ready to change in about a month to what we call clamshells,” Disponette said. They’re resealable and more friendly to the consumer.”
Other supermarkets such as Meijer carry similar fresh cut vegetables, along with the Green Giant Fresh line which offers side dish-type packages of sweet carrot slaw and tri-color slaws which are combinations of cabbage and other vegetables.
The top-selling produce at Meijer last year was kale, said Meijer’s national produce buyer, Scott Calandra.
Even though kale is packed with nutrients, most of us don’t like the task of washing and trimming and cooking. Buying it fresh and chopped in a package that’s microwaveable is a plus for any cook.
Health-conscious shoppers also are looking in the produce aisles for fresh-cut veggies for snacks. Packs of carrots, celery, broccoli, and grape tomatoes, once considered only for party trays, now are available in smaller packs for snacking.
“It’s all about convenience,” McGurk said.
Less time spent washing, trimming, and chopping kale, broccoli and cabbage, allows busy cooks more time for other, more fun, things to do.

The Recipe and Wild Eggs are open; Mary Lou’s BBQ has closed

It was home to Murray’s, then an outpost of the Chevy Chase restaurant Josie’s, and now the Southern mansion at 3955 Harrodsburg Road houses The Recipe at Sixty-Eight.
It’s still owned by Murray Family Restaurants, which also owns Josie’s and Merrick Inn, and the menu combines favorites from both restaurants. That includes Merrick Inn’s white Italian lasagna and moonshine-smoked pulled pork. Josie’s specialties are featured at brunch, served Wednesday through Sunday.
Hours are 5 to 10 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. The lounge has live music Thursday through Saturday nights.  Call (859) 523-6833.
Openings
Wild Eggs, a breakfast food restaurant chain that got its start in Louisville, opened in Lexington earlier this week. The restaurant, at 3735 Palomar Center Drive, serves breakfast, brunch and lunch daily. Menu favorites include Kalamity Katie’s border Benedict, which consists of green chili Cheddar corn cakes topped with chorizo, two poached eggs, and avocado; a bananas Foster waffle topped with banana rum caramel sauce and fresh banana slices; and a grits dish of the day. Hours are 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call (859) 277-0402 or go to Wildeggs.com.
Closings
Mary Lou’s BBQ, 226 Walton Avenue, has closed its doors. Owner John Dance had told a customer a few weeks ago he was moving to Texas. Dance also owned Good Ol’ Days BBQ a few years back.
Special events
WineStyles is hosting a release party for Planet Oregon, a pinot noir from winemaker Tony Soter of Soter Vineyards in the Willamette Valley. This is the first time it’s available in Kentucky. WineStyles will be pouring Planet Oregon by the glass 4 to 8 p.m. Friday and 1 to 8 p.m. Saturday. WineStyles is at 2535 Nicholasville Road. Call (859) 278-9463 or go to Winestyleslex.com.
New menus
Nick Ryan’s Saloon, 157 Jefferson Street, is jazzing up its Saturday brunch menu. The bloody Mary bar is $5 and features beef jerky, bacon and shrimp as accoutrements. Specials include local eggs from the Long farm; shrimp and grits; and pork chilaquiles with spicy tomatillo sauce. Call (859) 233-7900 or go to Nickryans.com.
Red State BBQ now serves chicken wings. “I had to be persuaded to add it to the menu,” owner David Carroll said. “Turns out one of my servers used to be a sous chef and so he picked up some chicken wings and brought them to the restaurant, put dry rub on them, smoked them, deep fried them, made a Buffalo sauce to go with them, and made me eat them. I’m happy to admit I was wrong. They’re one of the hottest things on our menu now.” Red State is at 4020 Georgetown Road. Call (859) 233-7898 or go to Redstatebbq.com.
Specials
1790 Row House Restaurant, 2117 Old Main Street in Washington, is serving chicken and dumplings and meatloaf on Saturday. Sunday specials are chicken and rice casserole and Italian meatballs. Also on the menu are quiche, sandwiches,  soups, and desserts. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  The restaurant is in the center of the historic village in Mason County. Call (859) 907-6093.

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