Meal Ideas 18 September 2019

Busy Season Solutions

Quick and tasty meals and snacks

(Family Features) For those who are always on the go, it can be difficult to find time to whip up meals and snacks that are both nutritious and tasty. However, with some simple changes – and timesaving recipes – you can create delicious dishes and meals that will keep you feeling energized to fuel your busy lifestyle.

For example, these quick and easy recipes for a main course, snacks and even desserts are all part of the Atkins low-carb lifestyle, a long-term, healthy eating approach focused on high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats. The eating approach, which is a more flexible version of the popular ketogenic diet, offers a balanced mix of foods containing fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and the “hidden sugar effect” – when carbohydrates convert to sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugar, but your body does.

An On-the-Go Morning Treat

Busy mornings can lead to breakfast being put on the backburner or skipped altogether. However, with an option like the Atkins Chocolate Banana Shake, which is made with real fruit, you can enjoy the most important meal of the day on-the-go or anytime you need a snack break.

A beneficial source of B vitamins, these protein-rich shakes can satisfy hunger with 5 grams of fiber and provide steady energy all day long. Made to easily fit into a busy lifestyle, they’re also gluten-free with no artificial colors or preservatives, and low-glycemic with 4 net carbs and 2 grams of sugar.

Learn more about the benefits of a balanced, low-carb approach, and find more recipes to help kickstart a nutritious eating plan, at Atkins.com.

Egg Roll Bowl with Shrimp

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 5          cups frozen cauliflower rice
  • 3          tablespoons canola oil
  • 3          tablespoons sesame oil
  • 4          teaspoons minced or pressed garlic
  • 2          teaspoons ginger paste
  • 6          cups pre-cut coleslaw (cabbage and carrots)
  • 1          cup sliced red bell pepper
  • 1/2       cup thinly sliced scallions, root and tips trimmed
  • 1          teaspoon Chinese five-spice blend
  • 1/4       cup tamari soy sauce
  • 2          tablespoons mirin rice cooking wine
  • 1          pound cooked and peeled shrimp, thawed
  • 4          teaspoons sesame seeds
  1. In microwave, steam cauliflower according to package instructions.
  2.  
  3. While cauliflower is cooking, warm large, nonstick skillet with lid over medium heat. Add oils, swirl to coat pan and, when shimmering, add garlic and ginger. Sauté until sizzling and fragrant, stirring constantly, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add coleslaw, bell pepper and scallions; continue sautéing, stirring frequently, until cabbage just begins to wilt, about 3 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle on five-spice blend and stir to incorporate. Add soy sauce and mirin rice cooking wine to pan and stir to evenly coat cabbage. Add shrimp to skillet; toss to evenly distribute. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with lid and allow shrimp to warm, about 3 minutes.
  6. Measure about 1 cup cooked cauliflower rice into bottom of four bowls. Top evenly with shrimp and cabbage mixture, about 1 cup vegetables and 9-11 large shrimp per serving, drizzling with pan sauce evenly. Sprinkle each bowl with 1 teaspoon sesame seeds and serve while hot.

Notes: To help meal come together quickly, use frozen cauliflower rice, pre-grated ginger paste, pre-minced jarred garlic and bagged coleslaw mix. Green onions and bell pepper can also be pre-sliced.

Parmesan Crisps

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 8 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 3/4       cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2       teaspoon Italian seasoning blend
  1. Heat oven to 325° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Use large cup or mug to draw six roughly 4-inch circles on parchment paper. Fill each circle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, smoothing shreds out and creating slightly thicker outer edge. Sprinkle each with pinch of Italian seasoning and bake 7 1/2 minutes, or until outer edges and bottoms are golden but not burned.
  3. Remove from oven and let cool at least 1 minute before eating. Store in airtight container at room temperature up to 1 day.

Avocado Chocolate Mousse

Recipe courtesy of Atkins
Servings: 4

  • 3          avocados
  • 1/2       cup unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/2       cup sugar-free chocolate chips
  • 2 1/2    tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2          tablespoons Erythritol (low-carb sweetener)
  • 3          teaspoons stevia-based sugar substitute
  • 2          teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt
  1. Mash avocado and place in blender with coconut milk. Blend until smooth.
  2. In microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips 20 seconds, stir well and heat in 10-second intervals until melted, stirring in-between. Once melted, add to avocado mixture and continue to blend while scraping down sides of bowl.
  3. Add cocoa powder, sweetener, sugar substitute, vanilla and salt. Blend and scrape down sides of bowl until all ingredients are well combined and mousse is smooth and creamy. Add additional sugar substitute 1/4 teaspoon at a time if sweeter mousse is desired.

Note: All ingredients should be at room temperature to make blending smooth and easy.

Yogurt Parfait

Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 13        pieces Atkins Honey Almond Vanilla Crunch Bites
  • 1/4       cup fresh blueberries
  • 1/4       cup plain, unsweetened whole milk Greek yogurt
  • 1          tablespoon almond butter
  • 1          pinch cinnamon
  • 1          pinch sugar substitute
  1. Roughly chop crunch bites.
  2. In small glass, layer blueberries, crunch bites and yogurt. Swirl almond butter on top and finish with sprinkle of cinnamon and sugar substitute.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images (Egg Roll Bowl with Shrimp, Parmesan Crisps and Avocado Chocolate Mousse)

Source: Atkins

One Dish Meals 01 August 2018

7 One-Pot Recipes for Back-to-School Season

(Family Features) School is back in session, and so are hectic weeknights with little time to cook dinner. Instead of reaching for ready-made meals or takeout, serve up tasty one-pot dinners made with wholesome ingredients like spaghetti squash and quinoa. These seven kid-friendly recipes bring everything together in a single baking dish or skillet, so there's less prep and clean up, and more time for reconnecting around the dinner table.

  1. Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Lo Mein

    Load up on veggies with this weeknight version of an Asian takeout favorite. Carrots, bell pepper and shrimp are flavored with soy sauce, ginger and garlic. Try a microwave shortcut to cook the spaghetti squash and have it on the table in no time.

  1. Fall Skillet Pot Pie

    Rotisserie or leftover chicken, refrigerated biscuits and an oven-proof skillet make this comfort food favorite a weeknight reality. Add sweet potatoes, peas and flavor with thyme, cinnamon and garlic powder.

  1. Quinoa Taco Skillet

    McCormick Organics Taco Seasoning Mix adds kid-friendly flavor to this skillet dinner made with quinoa, ground turkey, fresh tomatoes and corn.

  1. Creamy Tomato Italian Parmesan Chicken

    Tender chicken simmered in a creamy red sauce, fresh parmesan and freshly ground Italian herbs make for a perfect weeknight dish. Whether you serve with pasta, atop Italian bread or let the chicken be the star, this dish is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

  1. Chicken Noodle Casserole

    Everyone's favorite soup gets a casserole treatment. Simply combine pasta, chicken, vegetables and gooey cheese with the flavors of pepper, garlic and Italian seasoning for a comforting weeknight meal, perfect for leftovers.

  1. Chicken Fajita Soup

    Warm up with a one-pot wonder that gets a Tex-Mex twist from McCormick Organics Fajita Seasoning Mix. Let the family customize with toppings like avocado, cheese, sour cream and tortilla strips.

  1. Chicken Chili with Apple and Sweet Potato

    Say goodbye to beans and whip up a new fall chili the whole family will love. Kitchen Basics Organic Chicken Stock gives the quick dish a rich, cooked-all-day flavor.

Find more tips and recipe inspiration for back-to-school season at McCormick.com and be sure to check out Pinterest and Facebook.

Source: McCormick Spice

Meal Ideas 06 February 2019

Diversify Your Dinner Menu

(Family Features) Crafting quick, easy, nutritious meals is one of the most common goals for home chefs, yet it may sometimes be difficult to keep the menu feeling fresh and new. By introducing a variety of ingredients, you can broaden the horizons of your family’s dinner options.

For creative, simple, tasty family meals, consider these globally inspired recipes that highlight inventive ways to incorporate veal as a satisfying main ingredient in nearly any dish. From sandwiches to salads, the versatility of an ingredient like veal can help you build out a full menu with a wide array of protein-rich dishes. With recipes like these, veal can become a staple on your family’s weekly menu.

Visit vealmadeeasy.com for additional recipes and complete nutrition information.
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Classic Veal Parmesan Sandwiches

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Serves: 6

  • 6          veal cutlets (3 ounces each)
  • salt, to taste
  •             ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2       cup all-purpose flour
  • 1          egg wash
  • 1          cup breadcrumbs
  • 1          cup vegetable oil
  • 12        tablespoons tomato sauce
  • 3          tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 6          slices provolone cheese
  • 6          slices mozzarella cheese
  • 6          sub rolls
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Pound each veal cutlet between sheets of parchment or plastic wrap until 1/4-inch thick.
  3. Blot veal dry. Season each cutlet with salt and pepper, to taste. Dredge veal in flour; shake off excess. Dip in egg wash and dredge in breadcrumbs.
  4. In large skillet over medium heat, heat about 1/8-inch oil to about 350 F. Working in batches, add breaded veal to hot oil and pan fry first side until golden brown and crisp, about 2 minutes. Turn once and pan fry second side until it reaches internal temperature of 160 F, about 1-2 minutes.
  5. Drain on paper towels or wire rack set over baking sheet.
  6. Add 2 tablespoons tomato sauce to each veal cutlet and sprinkle 1/2 tablespoon Parmesan cheese on top. Add one slice provolone and mozzarella cheese to each cutlet.
  7. Place veal parmesan in oven 2-3 minutes, or until the cheese begins to melt and veal is hot.
  8. Add veal to sub rolls and serve.

Nutrition information per serving: 45 g protein; 55 g carbohydrate; 7 g fiber; 11 g fat; 7 g saturated fat; 145 mg cholesterol; 908 mg sodium.
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Veal Za’atar Flatbreads

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4

  • 1/4       cup za’atar seasoning
  • 3          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1          package (10 ounces) flatbreads
  • 1          onion (4 ounces), finely chopped
  • 1/2       pound ground veal
  • 1/4       cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 1          tomato (6 ounces), cored and chopped
  • chopped parsley, for garnish
  1. Heat oven to 425° F. In small bowl, combine za’atar seasoning and 2 tablespoons olive oil.
  2. Spread about 1 tablespoon za’atar mixture on each flatbread. Arrange flatbreads on large baking sheet; set aside.
  3. In 10-inch skillet over medium heat, heat remaining olive oil. Cook onion 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add veal and cook 4-5 minutes until no longer pink, stirring to break up meat.
  4. Remove skillet from heat; stir in feta cheese. Spoon 1/4 veal mixture onto each flatbread. Sprinkle each flatbread with tomato. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until hot. Sprinkle each flatbread with parsley.

Nutrition information per serving: 17 g protein; 40 g carbohydrate; 19 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 45 mg cholesterol; 760 mg sodium; 1 g fiber; 5 g total sugars; 10% DV calcium; 15% DV iron.
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Mediterranean Grilled Salad

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

  • 1          large orange (12 ounces)
  • 1/2       cup Italian salad dressing
  • 1          teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1          veal cutlet (12 ounces), pounded to 1/4-1/8-inch thick
  • 1          bulb fennel (7 ounces), trimmed, halved and cored
  • 1/2       small red onion (1 1/2 ounces), thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2    cups cooked farro
  • 2          cups packed baby arugula (about 3 ounces)
  • 1          head radicchio (4 ounces), cored and torn (about 2 cups packed)
  • 1/2       cup toasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • 1          ounce Parmesan cheese
  1. Grate 1/2 tablespoon zest from orange; reserve orange. Stir zest into salad dressing.
  2. Use knife to remove skin and pith from orange. Use knife to cut between fruit and membrane to release each orange section. Squeeze membrane to extract 1/4 cup juice; reserve juice and orange sections.
  3. In bowl, whisk reserved orange juice, mustard and salad dressing. Remove 1/4 cup dressing to re-sealable food storage bag. Add veal cutlets to dressing in bag. Re-seal bag and turn several times until veal is coated with dressing; set aside.
  4. Prepare grill or heat grill pan over medium-high heat on stovetop. Remove veal cutlets from dressing; discard dressing. Grill veal cutlets 5-6 minutes, turning once. Remove cutlets from heat. Place on cutting board and cut into bite-size pieces.
  5. Thinly slice fennel halves and place in bowl. Add red onion, farro, arugula and radicchio; toss. Add veal, orange sections, reserved salad dressing and hazelnuts.
  6. Draw blade of vegetable peeler across surface of cheese to make thin ribbons. Toss to coat with dressing. Divide salad among four bowls.

Nutrition information per serving (about 2 cups): 30 g protein; 36 g carbohydrate; 17 g fat; 3 g saturated fat; 50 mg cholesterol; 560 mg sodium; 6 g fiber; 9 g total sugars; 3 mg iron; 539 mg potassium.
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Veal, Spinach and Tomato Arepas

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4

  • 1/2       pound veal cutlets
  • 1          teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2       teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2    tablespoons olive oil
  • 2          green onions (1 ounce each), sliced
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 1          can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1/8       teaspoon salt
  • 2          cups packed baby spinach (about 2 1/2 ounces)
  • 4          arepas (5 inches in diameter)
  • 1/4       cup crumbled queso blanco cheese (1 ounce)
  1. Pound veal cutlets into 1/4-1/8-inch thickness; cut into 1-inch strips. Place in bowl and toss with cumin and chili powder.
  2. In 12-inch, nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Cook veal strips 1-2 minutes. Remove veal to plate; keep warm. In same skillet over medium heat, cook green onions and garlic 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes and salt; over high heat, heat to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes until slightly reduced.
  3. Stir in spinach. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until spinach wilts and is tender. Return veal to skillet; heat through.
  4. To serve, heat skillet or griddle over medium heat. Toast arepas on each side until lightly browned and heated through, turning once.
  5. Cut each arepa in half horizontally. Top bottom half of each arepa with veal mixture. Sprinkle each with cheese; replace arepa tops.

Nutrition information per serving (1 arepa): 15 g protein; 12 g carbohydrate; 14 g fat; 5 g saturated fat; 50 mg cholesterol; 450 mg sodium; 2 g total sugars; 10% DV calcium; 10% DV iron.
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Source:  North American Meat Institute

Meal Ideas 05 February 2019

6 Easy Spring Seafood Dinners

(Family Features) Sheet pan and one-pot dinners can be perfect in a pinch, so it’s no wonder they’ve become a go-to for busy families. Cleanup is typically a breeze with just one pan, and it’s a quick way to get vegetables and protein all in one step. Combine your key ingredients with rich spices, herbs and sauces to create a flavorful meal in no time.

Visit McCormick.com or find McCormick on Facebook and Pinterest for more recipes to make your weeknight meals easier.

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Orange Chili Sheet Pan Salmon

Salmon gets a sweet and spicy kick with this crowd-pleasing dish. Chili seasoning mix brings the heat while orange extract, brown sugar and red bell pepper create balance with tang and citrus flavors. Even sweeter: This recipe is made in one pan for an easy, weeknight-friendly meal.

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Sheet Pan Shrimp Scampi

Garlic, butter and white wine create a winning flavor combination, which is freshened up with lemon juice, broccoli and cherry tomatoes in this sheet pan version of an Italian classic.

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Sheet Pan Tuna Melt

Being short on time doesn’t mean you have to skimp on flavor. These tuna melts can be on the table in less than 15 minutes. Swap out mayonnaise for tartar sauce in the tuna salad as a better-for-you option with an extra kick.

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Parmesan Herb Shrimp

In one pan, saute shrimp with Parmesan cheese, white wine and herbs, and serve over a bed of fluffy rice. This surprisingly simple, gourmet-tasting dish can be whipped up by nearly any home chef.

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Basil Shrimp and Pasta Alfredo

Whisk up a creamy Alfredo sauce with fresh shrimp, bright green peas and crisp basil in just a few minutes. Simply toss with pasta in the same pan and you’re done.
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Sheet Pan Lemon Butter Dill Tilapia

This white fish dish gets its flavor from a citrusy, lemon butter dill sauce that adds extra zest. Serve alongside asparagus, shallots and green beans for added veggie goodness.

Source: McCormick

Grilling-Tailgating 16 January 2019

Dig Into 7 Game-Winning Dips

(Family Features) Although you may share a passion for a favorite sports team, not everyone has the same taste when it comes to the tailgating menu. Enter these seven dips: from a yogurt turmeric dip to spicy buffalo chicken dip, you’re sure to please nearly every game-day guest.

Visit McCormick.com or find McCormick on Facebook and Pinterest for more recipes to make your tailgating menu a winner.

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Texas Trash Dip

There won’t be any trash talk when it comes to this dip. It’s the ultimate ooey, gooey, cheesy dish that’s sure to be all the rage at game-day parties and social gatherings.

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Easy Buffalo Chicken Dip

Games and wings go hand-in-hand, but you can keep hands mess-free with this alternative that combines all the flavors of savory Buffalo chicken wings in a warm, creamy dip. 

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Sweet Georgia Peach and Pecan Dip

Think outside the box this season with a dip that is the perfect blend of salty and sweet. Bacon, Georgia peaches, sweet onions and a brown sugar bourbon marinade are complemented by pecans for a nutty, crunchy finish.

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Creamy Turmeric and Cinnamon Dip

Low-fat yogurt and milk blend with golden turmeric and cinnamon for a tangy dip just waiting for crispy dippers like pita chips and veggies.

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Roasted Carrot Yogurt Dip

Move over cheesy, chili dips – the tangy sweetness of orange juice, carrots and honey make for a simple dip you can feel good about devouring.

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Spinach Artichoke and Dill Dip

Warm up with this crowd-pleasing dip made with fresh spinach, artichoke hearts, cream cheese and Parmesan.

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Spicy Black Bean Dip

Simply mix together a can of black beans, chopped tomatoes and spices like chili powder and cumin for an easy dip to throw together for last-minute guests.

Source: McCormick

Meal Ideas 31 May 2018

Authentic Italian Cuisine

Savory dishes featuring pesto

(Family Features) One of the best times of each day is gathering with family members to enjoy home-cooked meals. Using fresh and versatile ingredients, adults can be at ease that everyone is eating right with a nutritious dinner and kids are eating something delicious and relaxing each evening.

Pesto can be used as an ingredient in many recipes and brings a punch of flavor to each dish on the table. For example, it can be served mixed in potatoes, as a spread on sandwiches, dolloped on soups or dips and as a sauce on pasta.

With authentic Italian taste capturing the recipes of the region, Filippo Berio Pestos are made to suit any taste. The versatile flavors include Classic Basil, Sun Dried Tomato, Tomato & Ricotta and Hot Chili and Olive. Each variety is vegetarian, gluten-free and GMO-free, making it the perfect addition to any dinner.

Pesto can be served hot or cold, so it is easy to cook with or add to dishes featuring fresh vegetables, like this recipe for Chicken Caprese Stuffed Spaghetti Squash. Add Savory Zucchini and Fontina Muffins to the meal for a fun twist on muffins.

For a more traditional meal the whole family can enjoy, try this Tomato and Tortellini Soup made with Tomato & Ricotta Pesto. This pesto is based on an age-old Sicilian recipe, combining the sweetness of tomatoes with the smoothness of ricotta cheese and the rich taste of Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

For more flavorful recipes and ways to cook with pesto, visit FilippoBerio.com.
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Savory Zucchini and Fontina Muffins

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Serves: 12

  • 2          cups all-purpose flour
  • 1          tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2       cup Filippo Berio Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, divided
  • 1/3       cup Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4       cup milk
  • 1/4       cup granulated sugar
  • 1          egg
  • 1          cup shredded zucchini
  • 2          green onions, finely chopped
  • 12        cubes (1/2 inch each) fontina cheese
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with large paper liners.
  2.  
  3. In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. In separate bowl, whisk 1/4 cup pesto, olive oil, milk, sugar and egg; stir into flour mixture until moistened. Fold in zucchini and green onions.
  4. Divide half the batter evenly among muffin cups; place cube of fontina on top of batter. Top each with 1 teaspoon remaining pesto; top with remaining batter.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and top of muffin springs back when pressed lightly. Let cool slightly; serve warm.

Tip: To make extra savory, add 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon.

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Chicken Caprese Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
Serves: 4

  • 2          small spaghetti squash
  • 2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Robusto Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 3/4       teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3/4       teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 12        ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1          small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3       cup Filippo Berio Classic Pesto
  • 1 1/2    cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 8          ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Halve spaghetti squash lengthwise and scrape out seeds; drizzle cut sides with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bake, cut sides down, on parchment paper-lined baking sheet 45-50 minutes, or until tender. Let cool slightly. Using fork, scrape strands of squash into bowl; reserve squash shells.
  2. In skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat; cook chicken, onion and remaining salt and pepper about 5 minutes, or until chicken is browned. Stir in pesto; bring to simmer. Cook about 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in cherry tomatoes; cook about 1 minute, or until slightly softened.
  3. Toss spaghetti squash with chicken mixture; divide among reserved squash shells. Top with mozzarella cheese; broil 1-2 minutes, or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with chopped basil.

Tip: For a more savory dish, add chopped black olives or jarred artichokes, if desired.
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Tomato and Tortellini Soup

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

  • 2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Olive Oil
  • 1          onion, finely chopped
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          carrot, diced
  • 1          stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2       cup Filippo Berio Tomato & Ricotta Pesto
  • 1          teaspoon dried basil
  • 1          teaspoon oregano
  • pinch of chili pepper flakes
  • 1          can (28 ounces) whole Italian-style tomatoes
  • 4          cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  • 1          package (12 ounces) fresh cheese tortellini
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  1. In large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil; cook onion, garlic, carrot and celery about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add pesto, basil, oregano and chili flakes; cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  2. In blender or using immersion blender, puree tomato mixture; return to pan and bring to simmer. Add tortellini; cook 8-10 minutes, or until tender. Sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan.

Tip: Dried basil can be substituted for 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, if desired.

Source: Filippo Berio

Healthy 07 April 2017

A Colorful, Crunchy Salad

(Family Features) As days get longer and the weather gets warmer, take your meal outdoors for some tasty al fresco dining featuring a fresh and easy-to-prepare salad.

With minimal ingredients and maximum flavor, this combination of radicchio, California green ripe olives, chickpeas and Parmesan is sure to find its way into your seasonal meal occasions, from at-home dinners to garden parties.

Boasting vibrant purple hues, radicchio not only looks beautiful on the plate but packs a unique and pleasing, bitter flavor that is complemented by the texture added to each bite by toasted sunflower seeds and chickpeas.

Completing the salad are California Ripe Olives, which are grown by farming families across California. The California green ripe olive is similar to the black ripe olive but features a more mild and buttery flavor profile.

Find more tasty recipes at calolive.org.

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Radicchio Salad with Olives, Chickpeas and Parmesan

Recipe courtesy of the Simply Recipes blog
Prep time: 15 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4-6

  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 large head radicchio (10-12 ounces)
  • 1 can (16 ounces) California green ripe olives, drained, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1 can (16 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
  1. Add sunflowers seeds to small, dry skillet. Toast over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until seeds are toasted around edges and smell fragrant.
  2. Transfer seeds to bowl to cool.
  3. Peel away and discard a layer or two of outer radicchio leaves if they look wilted or battered. Cut head of radicchio into quarters through root. Trim away root.
  4. Cut each quarter crosswise into strips, 1- to 1 1/2-inches thick. Transfer to large mixing bowl.
  5. Add olives, chickpeas and 3/4 cup cheese to bowl with radicchio.
  6. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss gently until ingredients are evenly coated. If cheese clumps together, break apart with spatula and stir in.
  7. Let salad stand at least 10 minutes, or up to an hour.
  8. Add additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve salad on individual plates or one shared platter. Top with remaining cheese and toasted sunflower seeds.

Substitution: If radicchio is unavailable, try frisee, endive or another bitter green.

Note: Salad is best served within one hour of preparation, but can be stored in airtight container in fridge for several days.

Source: California Olive Committee

Healthy 04 April 2017

Celebrating Salads With Pistachios

America’s Top Chefs Share Their Favorite Recipes

(Family Features) Want to add taste, color and crunch to salads any time of the year? Then sprinkle on pistachios. Chefs are going nutty over them, and for good reason. California grown, these pale green nuts have a subtle, delicate flavor that is wonderful in sweet as well as savory dishes or for eating out of hand. Traditionally used in rice dishes, stuffing, ice cream and pastries, pistachios are now a key ingredient in signature salads.

Pistachio Facts & Helpful Tips

The key to including nuts in the diet without adding extra calories is portion control. Use pistachios on salads, or in main dishes, to replace meat or poultry. California pistachios have versatility, texture and great taste. They also pack a powerful nutritional punch. A 1-ounce serving — 49 pistachios — contains more than 10 percent of the Daily Value for dietary fiber, vitamin B-6, thiamin, phosphorus and copper. One serving of pistachios has as much potassium as half a large banana. Pistachios contain mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat (11 of 13 fat grams), the types of fat recommended by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines For Americans. Pistachios also are naturally cholesterol free and trans fat free.

Other Pistachio Facts:

  • A serving of pistachios has more fiber (2.9g) than 1 small tomato (1.1g) or 1 cup of raw spinach (.8g).
  • A serving of pistachios provides almost 1 1/2 times the amount of thiamin as 1/2 cup serving of cooked, long grain, enriched white rice and 2 1/2 times the amount of thiamin in long grain, brown rice.
  • The amount of vitamin B-6 in a 1-ounce serving of pistachios is comparable to that in a standard 3-ounce serving of roasted pork loin, 2 times that in a serving of peanut butter and 5 times that in a serving of black beans.
  • Pistachios contain more phytosterols such as beta-sitosterol than any other commonly eaten nut, 61mg per serving or 279mg per 100g. Phytosterols may help lower cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. Preliminary research suggests phytosterols also may offer protection from certain types of cancer.
  • The largest USDA study of food antioxidants reveals pistachios are one of the best sources of beta-carotene of all tree nuts and peanuts. Pistachios also provide the most lutein and zeaxanthin of all tree nuts. Antioxidants are compounds in foods that may help fight cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, and help maintain healthy arteries.

To Make Pistachio Oil:
Toast 1 cup pistachio kernels. When cool, finely grind in food processor. In a saucepan, warm 1 1/2 cups olive oil and ground pistachios and stir until blended. Transfer to a jar and let stand overnight at room temperature. Strain. Substitute in place of olive oil to add flavor to any recipe.

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Harvest Salad with Caramelized California Pistachios and Green Apples

Chef Andrew Carmellini of A Voce Restaurant in New York celebrates the bounty of the harvest with this delicious — yet simple — salad featuring crisp green apples and caramelized California pistachios.

  • 4 cups arugula, picked and washed
  • 2 cups watercress, picked and washed
  • 1 bulb fennel, sliced in half lengthwise then thinly sliced
  • 1 cored green apple, thinly sliced
  • 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 4 leaves basil, washed and coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons white raisins, soaked in warm water and drained
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 whole lemons, zested then juiced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup California pistachios, caramelized
  1. Combine all ingredients except cheese and breadcrumbs in mixing bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Divide into 6 salad bowls; top with cheese, breadcrumbs and caramelized pistachios (see sidebar for caramelizing). Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Nutritional Analysis (Amount per Serving): Calories 250, Total Fat 16g, Saturated Fat 2.5g, Monounsaturated Fat 10g, Cholesterol less than 5mg, Sodium 610mg, Potassium 530mg, Carbohydrate 27g, Dietary Fiber 5g, Protein 6g

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Goat Cheese, Beet Roots and California Pistachio Salad

Executive Chef Pascal LeSeac’h of Pastis, one of New York City’s hottest restaurants, loves serving this simple beet salad featuring California pistachios.

  • 5 medium size beet roots
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup California pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch flat parsley (1⁄4 cup chopped)
  • 1 log (6 ounces) Montrachet goat cheese
  • Salt and white pepper, to taste
  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  1. Preheat oven: 375°F.
  2. Clean beet roots with cold water, dry with paper towel, coat with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt. Wrap beets in aluminum foil and place in oven 1 1/2 hours. Check doneness by poking with small knife. Remove and peel beets and slice 1/2-inch thick. Reserve and cool in refrigerator. While beets are cooling, toast pistachios, let cool, then chop.
  3. Clean and dry parsley, then chop with large chef knife. Slice goat cheese 1/2-inch thick.
  4. To Serve: Alternate slices of beets and goat cheese on salad plate. Season with salt and white pepper. Add vinegar and remaining olive oil. Garnish with pistachios and chopped parsley. Serves 2.

Nutritional Analysis (Amount per Serving): Calories 380, Total Fat 33g, Saturated Fat 9g, Monounsaturated Fat 19g, Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 310mg, Potassium 450mg, Carbohydrate 13g, Dietary Fiber 4g, Protein 11g

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Spicy Pear and Endive Salad with California Pistachios

Nationally-renowned celebrity chefs and “Too Hot Tamales” Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger offer this scrumptious salad featuring California pistachios from their award-winning Border Grill and Ciudad restaurants.

  • 1/2 cup California pistachios, raw and shelled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Comice or D’anjou pears, quartered, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
  • 4 heads Belgian endive, cored and sliced lengthwise into strips
  • 1/2 to 3⁄4 cup Cabrales blue cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
  1. In small frying pan, combine pistachios, salt, pepper and sugar. Sauté over low to medium heat, stirring and shaking frequently until pistachios are toasted and sugar caramelizes and coats pistachios. Transfer pistachios to non-stick or parchment-lined cookie sheet and allow to cool. In large bowl, combine pears, endive, blue cheese, jalapeños and vinaigrette.
  2. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to 4 chilled salad plates and sprinkle with pistachios. Serves 4.

 

Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette

  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 dry chipotle, stemmed and seeded
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey, warm
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  1. Combine vinegar and chipotle in small saucepan and bring to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and oil is emulsified. Adjust seasonings to taste. Makes 1 cup.

Nutritional Analysis (Amount per Serving): Calories 310, Total Fat 20g, Saturated Fat 5g, Monounsaturated Fat 10g, Cholesterol 15mg, Sodium 640mg, Potassium 500mg, Carbohydrate 30g, Dietary Fiber 6g, Protein 8g

 

Caramelize Pistachios

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 cup California pistachio kernels
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat sugar with water, salt and cayenne pepper over a high flame. Cook until mixture is soft and bubbling. Add pistachios and stir 2 to 4 minutes, until caramelized (pistachios may clump together). Remove pistachios from pan and lay on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. When pistachios are completely cool, break apart and reserve.

 Source: California Pistachio Commission

Meal Ideas 03 April 2017

Wrap It Up

Easy Meals That Go Anywhere

(Family Features) Once again, you’re in a rush to pick up one child from soccer practice and take the other one to dance class — you have to feed them something, but there’s no time to eat at home. What do you do? Forget fast food. Everything you need for something quick, delicious and portable could be in your kitchen already. 

In just minutes, you can wrap up an easy meal for your dashboard dining experience using tortillas. They’re versatile, with recipes that go beyond traditional Mexican fare. They’re so handy, in fact, that they’re outsold in the U.S. only by fresh breads, and they outsell bagels two to one. Most tortillas are made from either corn or flour, but they come in a variety of flavors and sizes, as well as fat free, heart healthy, low carb, whole wheat and multi-grain versions. And moms will appreciate that corn tortillas are naturally low fat and a good source of fiber.
Wrapping up favorite ingredients inside a tortilla is a simple way to make breakfast, lunch or dinner a moveable feast the whole family can enjoy anywhere.

To help busy moms, Mission Foods, the makers of Mission Tortillas, has tips and recipes for healthy, easy-to-travel meals.

On-the-Go Meal Ideas

  • Breakfast — Breakfast burritos with eggs, ham, cheese & salsa start the day off right.
  • Lunch — Turkey, Red Delicious apple and cottage cheese wraps make lunch at the office a real treat.
  • Dinner — Kids love quesadillas. Dress up the basic chicken quesadilla with avocado and mushrooms.

For more easy-to-make, easy-to-take recipes, visit www.missionmenus.com.

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Low Carb Stromboli Wraps

Serves 4
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Prep Time: 12 minutes

  • 4 Mission Carb Balance 8-inch Soft Taco Size Flour Tortillas
  • 1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 6 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 4 ounces provolone cheese, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces salami, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces ham thinly, sliced
  • 1/2 cup (4-ounce jar) roasted red bell peppers, rinsed and cut into strips
  • 4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • Marinara or pizza sauce, heated
  1. Heat oven to 400°F.
  2. Lightly spread one side of each tortilla with softened butter; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon Parmesan. Arrange one fourth each of provolone, salami, ham and roasted peppers over center of tortillas, leaving border around edges. Sprinkle with one fourth of the mozzarella.
  3. Fold up “wrap fashion.” Place seam side down on nonstick baking sheet. Brush with remaining butter; sprinkle with remaining Parmesan.
  4. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Slice each stromboli in half on the diagonal. Serve with marinara or pizza sauce, if desired.

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Pizzadillas

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

  • 4 Mission Sundried Tomato Basil Wraps
  • 3/4 cup prepared marinara sauce
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup thinly sliced pepperoni rounds (approximately 72 slices)
  1. Evenly spread 3 tablespoons marinara on each wrap.
  2. Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella evenly over marinara sauce on each wrap.
  3. Layer 1/4 cup (about 18 slices) pepperoni over shredded cheese on each wrap.
  4. Fold each wrap in half, forming a half moon.
  5. Heat 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat and lightly spray with non-stick spray.
  6. Place two pizzadillas in skillet and cook for 3 minutes on each side until crisp and golden brown. Remove and reserve hot. Repeat for other pizzadillas.
  7. Cut each pizzadilla into quarters and serve one full sliced portion to each person.

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Cheeseburger Soft Tacos

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes

  • 4 Mission 6-inch Fajita Flour Tortillas
  • 1 pound lean ground sirloin
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese or 4 ounces sliced
  • 1 red tomato, cut into 1/4-inch slices (4 total slices)
  • 2 small green leaf lettuce leaves
  • 1 large red onion, sliced into 1/4-inch slices, then pulled into rings
  • 12 dill pickle slices
  1. Separate ground beef into 4 equal parts (4 ounces each); form each part into 4 thin half moon shape patties. Try to shape each patty to fill half of a tortilla.
  2. Heat a 10-inch non-stick skillet (or use a square, deep walled non-stick electric skillet) over medium high heat.
  3. Season each hamburger patty with salt and pepper and cook for 3 minutes a side or to desired temperature.
  4. Near the end of desired cooking time, evenly sprinkle each patty with 1/4 cup cheddar cheese and allow the cheese to melt. Remove cheeseburgers and reserve hot.
  5. Warm tortillas in microwave for 10 seconds.
  6. For 1 serving: place a hot cheeseburger on one half of a warmed tortilla and top with 1 tomato slice, 1 lettuce leaf, onion rings and 3 pickle slices. Fold the tortilla in half and serve.

Source: Mission Foods

Meal Ideas 03 April 2017

Inspired Ideas to Change Up Your Chicken Dishes

(Family Features) Chicken is one of America’s favorite foods, so much so that every American ate an average of 84 pounds last year. Although it’s a great go-to ingredient for a family dinner, it’s easy to get tired of the same old chicken recipes. To help combat chicken fatigue, Hellmann’s® mayonnaise has teamed up with Chef Tim Love to launch the “Chicken Change-Up,” offering simple and family-friendly recipe ideas, tips and tricks to help inspire parents when preparing the nightly meal.

“Chicken dishes are a staple in my household,” says celebrity chef, dad and author Tim Love. “I’m always looking for inspiration to create different types of chicken recipes and — no matter the dish — Hellmann’s® Real Mayonnaise made with simple ingredients like oil, vinegar and 30 percent cage-free eggs, is my secret for keeping chicken juicy and crispy.”
Whatever your dinnertime challenge, with recipes such as Parmesan Crusted Chicken and Baked Buffalo Chicken, Hellmann’s® can transform your chicken into a juicier, crispier, more delicious meal that the whole family will love.

Visit www.Facebook.com/Hellmanns to participate in the Chicken Change-Up, where you can find more dinnertime recipes, tips and tricks.

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Parmesan-Crusted Bruschetta Chicken

4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

  • 1/3 cup Hellmann’s® mayonnaise dressing with Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 pound)
  • 4 teaspoons plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup Wish-Bone Robusto Italian Dressing or Wish-Bone Italian Dressing
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine mayonnaise with cheese in medium bowl.
  3. Arrange chicken on baking sheet. Evenly top with mayonnaise mixture, then sprinkle with bread crumbs and Italian seasoning.
  4. Bake 20 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
  5. Meanwhile, combine remaining ingredients in medium bowl.
  6. To serve, evenly top chicken with bruschetta mixture.

Tip: Also terrific with Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Light or Real Mayonnaise.

Nutrition Information per Serving: Calories 290, Calories From Fat 140, Saturated Fat 3g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 16g, Cholesterol 80mg, Sodium 550mg, Total Carbohydrate 8g, Sugars 4g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 27g, Vitamin A 10%, Calcium 5%, Iron 6%

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Baked Buffalo Chicken

4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes

  • 1/2 cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
  • 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 pounds), cut into strips
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Combine mayonnaise and cayenne pepper in small bowl; reserve 1/2 for dipping.
  3. Combine breadcrumbs with parsley. Coat chicken with remaining mayonnaise mixture, then coat with bread crumbs. Arrange chicken on baking sheet.
  4. Bake chicken 12 minutes or until chicken is golden brown and thoroughly cooked. Serve with reserved dipping sauce.

Tip: For a fun twist, serve cooked chicken strips on wooden skewers. Also terrific with Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Canola Cholesterol Free Mayonnaise.

Nutrition Information per Serving: Calories 450, Calories From Fat 210, Saturated Fat 3.5g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 23g, Cholesterol 95mg, Sodium 510mg, Total Carbohydrate 20g, Sugars 1g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 37g, Vitamin A 0%, Vitamin C 4%, Calcium 6%, Iron 15%

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Chicken Nuggets with BBQ Sauce

4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

  • 3/4 cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 6 ounces each), cut into nuggets
  • 1/2 cup Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Combine mayonnaise, barbecue sauce and mustard in small bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup sauce; set aside.
  3. Evenly coat chicken with sauce, then bread crumbs. Arrange chicken on baking sheet.
  4. Bake 15 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Serve with reserved sauce.

Nutrition Information per Serving: Calories 570, Calories From Fat 320, Saturated Fat 5g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 35g, Cholesterol 125mg, Sodium 1210mg, Total Carbohydrate 24g, Sugars 10g, Dietary Fiber 1g, Protein 39g, Vitamin A 4%, Vitamin C 4%, Calcium 4%, Iron 8%

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Parmesan Crusted Chicken

4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes

  • 1/2 cup Hellmann’s® or Best Foods® Real Mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • 4 teaspoons Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine mayonnaise with cheese in medium bowl. Arrange chicken on baking sheet. Evenly top with mayonnaise mixture, then sprinkle with bread crumbs.
  3. Bake 20 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Timesaving Tip: Try making this dish with thin-cut boneless skinless chicken breasts. Prepare as above, decreasing bake time to 10 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked through.

Nutrition Information per Serving: Calories 370, Calories From Fat 210, Saturated Fat 4g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 23g, Cholesterol 100mg, Sodium 390mg, Total Carbohydrate 2g, Sugars 1g, Dietary Fiber 0g, Protein 35g, Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 2%, Calcium 8%, Iron 6%

Source: Hellman's

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