SOURCE: California Milk Processor Board

November 19, 2008 12:01 ET

Food Bills Gobbling up Your Income?

Renowned Chef Shares Gourmet Thanksgiving Dishes & Desserts for Under $1

SAN CLEMENTE, CA--(Marketwire - November 19, 2008) - As the cost of putting food on the table continues to soar, families are looking for ways to cut costs without sacrificing taste or nutrition. It seems the price of everyday staples such as eggs and bread are increasing by the minute. A New York Times article reports the price of bread rose by 12 percent and eggs by 25 percent over the past year.(1) ABC News also reports that food prices could jump by another 20 percent next year, according to the USDA Price Forecast. But a renowned Los Angeles-based chef says families can still afford a nutritious, delicious meal this Thanksgiving. Bret Thompson, executive chef of famed restaurant MILK, is teaming up with GOT MILK? to share milk-based gourmet holiday recipes that feed a family of 10 for about 50 to 80 cents per person per dish.

Exclusively available on www.gotmilk.com, Thompson invents palate-tempting milk-based side dish creations like sweet potato gratin with sage and creamed spinach with a parmesan crust to compliment a traditional turkey dinner. The gourmet Thanksgiving recipes also incorporate low fat milk, spinach and almonds -- foods considered most nutritious according to the NuVal Nutritional Scoring System. The NuVal system is a rating guide developed by top-ranked nutritionists from around the world, using a number score from one to 100 (with 100 being the best score) to indicate the nutritional quality of a specific food. It places skim milk at 91 as one of the top of ranked beverages. And because Thompson's recipes feature ingredients that are widely available on special, in bulk or are already cupboard staples, families are able to get the most bang for their buck.

"Families are looking for bargains more than ever, but still want a holiday meal that will please everyone," says Thompson. "Milk is a key ingredient to traditional Thanksgiving side dishes and desserts, packing nutrition while adding the texture and creaminess everyone craves. I'm thrilled to be able to share healthier menu options that are high on taste, but don't cost a lot of money."

Thompson's menu includes a twist to traditional Thanksgiving comfort foods like creamy green beans with caramelized onions and toasted almonds. His version conserves the creaminess of the dish with a much lower fat content while adding a delicious nutty crunch thanks to the toasted almonds. For a Latin twist, Thompson also created a velvety corn soup with grilled corn pico de gallo.

"You wouldn't know these delicious gourmet recipes are low fat and cost from 50-80 cents per serving," says Steve James, executive director of the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB), the creators of GOT MILK? "Chef Thompson shows that families don't have to go to a five-star restaurant to experience epicurean delights. He truly offers a champagne menu on a milk budget!"

Thompson also says desserts don't have to be sinful, packed with calories and fat to taste great either. For GOT MILK?, he creates a stunningly mouth-watering pumpkin profiteroles with pie spice sauce as well as an apple cranberry bread pudding.

"Our hope is that families will recreate these recipes at home and make them part of their holiday tradition for generations to come," says James.

For Thompson's nutritious, gourmet and affordable recipes as well as tips on how to save money while shopping for groceries this holiday season, visit www.gotmilk.com.

About Bret Thompson & MILK

Before opening MILK in Los Angeles in 2007, Bret Thompson was the corporate executive chef of the Patina Restaurant Group. In the United States, he worked with renowned chefs like Roy Yamaguchi. In Europe, he trained under Michelin starred chefs like Martin Berasategui as well as Alain Passard of L'Arpège and Bernard Loiseau. MILK is located in 7290 Beverly Blvd. in Los Angeles, where Thompson can be found delighting his clients daily.

About the CMPB

The California Milk Processor Board was established in 1993 to make milk more competitive and increase milk consumption in California. Awareness of GOT MILK? is over 90% nationally and it is considered one of the most important and successful campaigns in history. GOT MILK? is a federally registered trademark that has been licensed by the national dairy boards since 1995. The CMPB's Spanish-language campaign began in 1994 using the tagline "Familia, Amor y Leche" (Family, Love and Milk). The TOMA LECHE (Drink Milk) campaign replaced it in 2006, following a growing trend in Hispanic food advertising that uses wit and humor to reach audiences. GOT MILK? gifts and recipes can be viewed at www.gotmilk.com and www.tomaleche.com. The CMPB is funded by all California milk processors and administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

(1) The New York Times.15 March 2008 "Costs Surge for Stocking the Pantry." http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/15/business/15consumer.html?_r=1&n=Top/Reference/Times%20Topics/Subjects/F/Food%20Prices&oref=slogin