The Big Day of Giving is Just Around the Corner!


Tuesday, May 3, is the Big Day of Giving. What’s it all about?

The Big Day of Giving is a Sacramento-wide effort to bring attention to nonprofits that are making a difference and to raise funds for worthwhile projects. Last year the Big Day of Giving raised $6 million from 30,000 donors for 570 local charities.

The Center for Land-Based Learning is participating in the Big Day of Giving again this year to raise money for programs that promote agricultural careers for young people, encourage environmental stewardship and spearhead urban farming to address food deserts and utilize vacant properties. Learn more about the Center’s future plans.

How can you give?
Starting at midnight on May 3, you’ll be able to give by visiting the Big Day of Giving website at and selecting the nonprofits you want to give to. Nonprofits can even win prizes for getting donations in certain categories, such as receiving the most donations in one hour through the Big Day of Giving website. So the more you give, the more local charities receive!

Let’s get ready and give on the Big Day of Giving!

Add Some Zest to Breakfast!



’Tis the season for weekend brunch and we’ve got the ideal recipe for zesty, south-of-the-border flavor. Raley’s Chefs’ Menu makes it easy with all-natural Cilantro Lime Rice and Verde Fajita Sauce. This dish is great for using up the last bits of black beans, green onions and tortilla chips you may have on hand. Olé!

Rice, Pepper and Black Bean Pancakes with Fried Eggs

1 (12-oz.) package Raley’s Chefs’ Menu Cilantro Lime Rice
1 cup coarsely shredded Pepper Jack or Mexican blend cheese
1/4 cup each: chopped roasted red pepper, lightly mashed black beans, sliced green onions and crushed tortilla chips
1½ tsp. Mexican blend seasoning
1 egg
Olive oil cooking spray
4 fried eggs
Raley’s Chefs’ Menu Verde Fajita Sauce, diced avocado and fresh cilantro leaves (optional toppers)

Prep: 20 minutes, Cook: 10 minutes, Serves: 4

1. Place rice in a medium microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap; cook on HIGH for 2 to 3 minutes. Let cool slightly.

2. Stir in cheese, peppers, beans, green onions, chips, seasoning and egg and shape into 4 patties. Cook in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray for 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

3. Top each with a fried egg and serve with any desired toppers.

Why Is Kale Never Lonely? Because It Comes in Bunches!



Bad jokes aside, kale is a great gateway green. Like collard greens this dark green veggie is a member of the Brassica oleracea group, but its earthy flavor is milder. It’s great in everything from soups to salads to crunchy chips.

You can buy kale chips at the store for convenience, or make your own – it’s easy! Substitute dinosaur or lacinato kale for a delicate, slightly sweeter flavor.

Baked Kale Chips

1 bunch curly kale
1 tbsp. organic extra virgin olive oil
1 (0.8-oz.) packet Simply Organic Guacamole Dip Mix or 2½ tbsp. Simply Organic Ranch Dressing Mix

Prep: 10 minutes, Cook: 30 to 40 minutes, Serves: 6

1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Rinse kale and pat dry. Tear into 2-inch pieces, discarding tough stems. (You should have 8 cups lightly packed kale.) Place in a large bowl and toss with several paper towels to remove all excess moisture.

2. Drizzle with oil and toss again to coat. Sprinkle with seasoning and toss again to coat as evenly as possible.

3. Spread in a single layer on 1 or 2 baking sheets.

4. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring once or twice. When done, kale will be very lightly browned and crisp. Let cool and store in an airtight container.

Nutritional Information
79 calories, 3 g protein, 3 g total fat (0 g sat.), 12 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 0 mg cholesterol, 292 mg sodium, 2 points plus

Tantalizing Tacos In Less Than 30 Minutes



You might think you know tacos, but we’re here to shake things up. We’ll help you go beyond the traditional with unexpected ingredients like pickled veggies and Havarti cheese. Be bold and enjoy a fresh spin on an old favorite! It might change the way you view Taco Tuesday.

Pastrami Tacos with Pickled Vegetables

1½ cups Raley’s Tri Color Slaw (in our Produce Dept.)
1/2 cup brine from dill pickle jar
1/3 cup chopped dill pickle
1/3 cup slivered red onion
1 tbsp. spicy brown mustard
1 cup shredded dill Havarti cheese
8 traditional yellow or white corn tortillas
8 oz. very thinly sliced pastrami, warmed
Crema Mexicana or sour cream (optional topper)
Diced avocado (optional topper)
Fresh dill sprigs (optional topper)

We love the handmade style tortillas, but for this recipe traditional corn tortillas are best.

Prep: 15 minutes, Cook: 5 minutes, Serves: 4 to 6

1. Stir together slaw, pickle brine, pickles, onion and mustard in a small bowl.

2. Place equal amounts of cheese on half of each tortilla. Coat a very large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Cook tortillas over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is melted and tortillas are lightly browned, or bake on a lightly oiled baking sheet at 400°F for 5 minutes.

3. Top with pastrami and pickled vegetable mixture. Fold to enclose, then top with crema, avocado and dill, if you like.

Nutritional Information
247 calories, 17 g protein, 11 g total fat (6 g sat., 0 g trans), 21 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 53 mg cholesterol, 835 mg sodium, 8 points

Let’s Have Fun with Fruit!

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Need a creative way to keep kids busy and enjoying more fruit? Have them cut fun shapes from your favorite fruits and arrange them on skewers. It makes a lovely spring centerpiece that doubles as a snack bowl!

For more fun food and crafting how-to’s, visit Raley’s Pinterest page.


More Veggies = Healthy Kids

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Our experts Evelyn and Emmie are on Good Day, showing easy ways to get more veggies in your kids’ diets!



Macaroon Heaven is a Place on Earth



Macaroons are heaven for coconut lovers. With a sweet, crunchy exterior and chewy, gooey center, macaroons are often enjoyed at Passover because they don’t contain wheat. (That also makes them delightful gluten-free treats.) Best of all, they’re easy to make and delicious with a cup of coffee on a laid-back Saturday morning.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 11.27.40 AMFor more great recipes, check out the Spring 2016 issue of Something Extra magazine, now in our stores.

Lemongrass Ginger Macaroons

3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
3 tbsp. Gourmet Garden Lemongrass Paste (in our Produce Dept.)
3 tbsp. finely chopped The Ginger People Crystallized Ginger Chips
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 (14-oz.) bag sweetened flaked coconut
4 egg whites

Prep: 15 minutes, Cook: 25 to 30 minutes, Makes: 18 macaroons

1. Preheat oven to 325°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Stir together all ingredients except coconut and egg whites in a large bowl; stir in coconut.

2. Beat egg whites in a medium bowl until stiff peaks form; carefully fold into coconut mixture.

3. Shape 18 mounds on prepared baking sheets. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

Nutritional Information
(1 cookie): 167 calories, 2 g protein, 8 g total fat (6 g sat., 0 g trans), 21 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 17 g sugar, 3 mg cholesterol, 152 mg sodium, 9 points

Mediterranean Secrets to a Long, Healthy Life


Residents of Mediterranean islands are known for having a much lower risk of heart disease, cancer and dementia than Americans.

When researchers took a closer look at why Mediterranean island inhabitants have long and healthy lives, they noticed some interesting habits: Residents drink herbal tea throughout the day, they consume fish twice a week on average, they eat a lot of greens and they exercise and get plenty of rest.

In general, island natives follow a “Mediterranean diet” – or more accurately, a fresh food diet that originated on islands in the Mediterranean Sea.

Mediterranean island residents typically eat a lot of locally-grown whole grains, vegetables and fruits and very little red meat. They also have cheese and yogurt every day, and cook with a lot of olive oil. They flavor their foods with herbs before adding salt and drink red wine in moderation. They stay physically active, in touch with nature and they spend time enjoying friends and family.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 11.27.40 AMFortunately you don’t have to relocate to the Mediterranean Sea to savor a fresh diet and experience its benefits. With just a few basic ingredients from your neighborhood store, you can recreate the flavors at home. Grab a bottle of olive oil and let’s get started! For more great Mediterranean-inspired recipes, check out our Spring 2016 issue of Something Extra magazine, now in our stores.

Mediterranean Braised Beans
Perfect for Meatless Monday!

1 (16-oz.) bag large lima beansMedBraisedBeans
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
1 bulb fennel, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
5 cups vegetable broth
3/4 cup red wine (may substitute vegetable broth)
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley
1/2 cup rosemary sprigs
3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. molasses
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
2 bay leaves
1 (14.5-oz.) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste

Prep: 20 minutes, Soak: 1 to 12 hours, Cook: about 2 hours, Serves: 6 to 8

1. Place beans in a large pot and add water several inches above beans. Soak overnight, or to quick soak, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes; let stand for 1 hour. Drain well.

2. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and fennel and cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until soft. Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Stir in remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 1½ hours or until beans are tender.

3. Remove cover and cook for 15 minutes more or until excess liquid has reduced and beans are saucy but not watery. Remove bay leaves and herb sprigs and season with salt and pepper.

Nutritional Information
342 calories, 14 g protein, 9 g total fat (1 g sat., 0 g trans), 49 g carbohydrate, 13 g fiber, 15 g sugar, 0 mg cholesterol, 547 mg sodium, 11 points

The Extraordinary Blueberry in a Delicious, Better-For-You Cookie




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Small but mighty, the blueberry packs a flavorful nutritional punch. Cook with them, toss them with other fresh ingredients or simply wash and eat them one by one – they bring flavor, color and a boost of nutrition to the table. To learn more about blueberries, pick up a copy of the Spring 2016 issue of Something Extra magazine, now in our stores.

What gives these little jewels their indigo color? Natural pigments called anthocyanins, which vary in hue depending on the amount of acid present. The skin of a blueberry has a neutral pH, making it appear a dusky dark blue. But crush a blueberry and the acidic juice turns them red-purple.

This year, the domesticated blueberry celebrates its 100th birthday. Previously, farmers believed blueberries could only grow wild. A New Jersey woman named Elizabeth White disagreed and set out to work with a botanist to crossbreed blueberries for specific traits. It took a few years of experimentation but in 1916, the first commercial crop was harvested. Before long, Americans were crazy for blueberries.

So what makes the blueberry a nutritional dynamo? First, a cup of blueberries is a good source of dietary fiber and vitamins C and K. They’re also low in calories and loaded with antioxidants – those lovely-hued anthocyanins – which means they can help fight age-related diseases.

Tahini Peanut Butter Blueberry Cookies
These cookies are excellent for a quick breakfast or an afterschool snack! They have protein, fiber and they’re low in sodium. Just add a glass of milk.

1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup water
2 cups rolled oats (old fashioned)
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup fresh blueberries

Prep: 15 minutes, Cook: 15 minutes,
Makes: about 1½ dozen cookies

1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk together tahini, peanut butter, honey and water in a large bowl. Stir in oats, flour and baking soda until well mixed. Gently stir in blueberries.

2. Scoop large tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes or until set and lightly browned.

Nutritional Information
171 calories, 5 g protein, 8 g total fat (1 g sat., 0 g trans), 23 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 0 mg cholesterol, 85 mg sodium, 6 points

At First Blush, Rhubarb Makes a Tangy-Sweet Treat



It’s rhubarb season! Wait – what’s rhubarb? Called “pie plant” in the 19th century because it was most often used in baked goods, it’s a leafy member of the buckwheat family with blushing pink ribs that are chopped and added to desserts and jams. It’s crunchy and bitter when raw, but cook it slowly with sweet ingredients and it becomes tender and tangy-sweet. Rhubarb complements most berry dishes beautifully, like in this easy, delicious berry crisp filled with chunks of fresh rhubarb.

Rhubarb Berry CrispRhubarbCrisp

5 cups fresh rhubarb (about 10 stalks),
cut into 1-inch slices
1 cup fresh blueberries
3/4 cup Smucker’s Red Raspberry Preserves
1/4 cup sugar
1½ tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. grated lemon peel
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbsp. butter
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 tbsp. butter, softened
1 egg

Prep time: 15 minutes, Cook time: 30 minutes, Serves: 9

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Place rhubarb, blueberries, preserves, sugar, cornstarch, lemon peel and cinnamon in prepared dish. Stir well and dot with butter; bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare streusel topping. Stir rhubarb mixture once more, then sprinkle streusel evenly over the top; bake for 15 minutes more. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream, if desired.

Streusel Topping: Measure 1 cup coconut, 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 2 tbsp. softened butter and 1 egg into a medium bowl; stir with a fork or your fingers until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Nutritional Information
260 calories, 4 g protein, 12 g total fat (5 g sat.), 35 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 23 g sugar, 35 mg cholesterol, 45 mg sodium, 5 points