"I'd much rather have something you made than a tie," my Dad always used to say when I'd ask him what he wanted for Father's Day. My handmade cards aren't much better today than when I was, oh...3, but I'm still making things for Dad. And now, I've found some things he actually loves, uses and looks forward to.
No, I'm not referring to my watercolors or popsicle-stick sculptures.
This weekend I am making him healthy gifts from the kitchen, such as granola mixes, spice rubs and marinades. I'm going to pack them in pretty glass jars or containers, print out the gift/recipe tags that come with the recipes on EatingWell.com and voila! I will also give him a gift he can use all year: a cookbook and a share in a local CSA. So, here's my shopping list. Feel free to steal, share and copy! (Just don't tell my dad.)
1. Give Dad Homemade Breakfast for Every Day
I'm mixing him up a batch of Maple-Nut Granola and Blueberry-Pecan Pancake Mix and packing it in a ball jar with a pretty ribbon. Then I'll download one of the EatingWell "Happy Father's Day" gift tags with the recipe right on the tag. (Get the recipes and print the gift tags here.)
2. Make Your Own Rubs, Marinades & Sauces for Grilling
Dad loves to grill so I am making gourmet spice rubs and marinades like a Coffee Rub or Mojito Marinade. You can also mix up chutneys, marmalades and barbecue sauces too.
3. Buy Him a CSA Share & The Farmers' Market Cookbook
Farmers' markets make food shopping fun and, in fact, much healthier. EatingWell in Season: The Farmers' Market Cookbook will inspire Dad to use the freshest ingredients of the season with guides to shopping, prepping and preserving 20 or more fresh ingredients. If you want to splurge, buy him a share in a CSA (community supported agriculture).
4. Make Dad Dinner
Of course, the thing I think dads love the most is if you make them dinner (well, my dad says he likes my cooking...but then again he also said he liked those little pipe-cleaner figurines I made). Try one of the recipes from our Father's Day Collection, such as easy Chile & Beer-Braised Brisket (which you can make ahead) with corn on the cob and a salad.
Chile & Beer-Braised Brisket
Brisket, a naturally tough cut, becomes meltingly tender braised in beer and chiles. Try this with corn tortillas or as a filling for enchiladas or tamales. Or serve simply with rice and a green salad.
6 dried New Mexico, Anaheim or ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup Mexican lager, such as Corona or Dos Equis
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 pounds trimmed flat, first-cut brisket (see Shopping Tip)
1 15-ounce can pinto beans, rinsed
1. Tear chiles into 1-inch pieces and place in a large bowl. Cover with hot water and let sit until softened, at least 20 minutes. Drain.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Place tomatoes and their juices, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, salt and the drained chile pieces in a food processor. Process until smooth. Transfer to a large bowl and stir in beer.
3. Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add brisket and brown on all sides, about 6 minutes total. Pour the chile sauce over the meat and bring to a simmer.
4. Cover, transfer to the oven and bake for 2 hours. Stir in beans and continue baking until the meat is fall-apart tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour more.
5. Transfer the meat to a cutting board and pull apart into long shreds using two forks. Stir the shredded meat back into the sauce.
Makes 8 servings, about 3/4 cup each.
Per serving: 285 calories; 9 g fat (2 g sat, 3 g mono); 54 mg cholesterol; 18 g carbohydrate; 31 g protein; 6 g fiber; 492 mg sodium; 678 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (60% daily value), Zinc (47% dv), Iron (26% dv), Potassium (19% dv).
TIP: Shopping Tip: "Flat, first-cut brisket" is a far better choice for healthy eating than the fattier point cut. If the briskets at your store aren't labeled as such, ask the butcher to help you select the right cut. You'll need 2 pounds of brisket after it's been trimmed of fat.
MAKE AHEAD TIP: Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days or freeze for up to 3 months.
By Lisa Gosselin
Lisa Gosselin is editorial director for EatingWell Media Group. Her passion for food started when she was a kid, growing up in Paris, France. Lisa's favorite thing to do when she visits someplace new is to find a local food market and try something she's never tasted before.
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