Meal Ideas 26 March 2019

Time-Saving Secret for Busy Cooks

Roasted Slicing Chicken From the Deli

(Family Features) Looking for a way to get out of the kitchen to enjoy warm weather activities with friends and family? Here's a secret for cooks looking for time-saving shortcuts that won't compromise the taste of homemade meals. Fully cooked, roasted chicken sliced to desired thickness at the deli counter can save hours of preparation time for dishes calling for roasted chicken as an ingredient. By substituting chicken that's already been slow-roasted and seasoned when bought sliced at the deli, meals can still have the homemade taste of roasted chicken even if the cook has spent the day at the beach, on the golf course or in the garden.

Deli slicing chicken is versatile, too. It can be sliced thick and then cut into pieces and tossed into a refreshing salad, or give a boost to a summery soup. Cut thin, deli slicing chicken goes gourmet when layered on soft slices of multigrain bread and combined with an assortment of fresh vegetables and spices.

Visit www.boarshead.com for more time-saving meal preparation tips.

Chicken Lettuce Wraps with Barbecue Dressing

Servings: 4 wraps
Light and satisfying, tangy and sweet - this recipe has it all. Juicy roast chicken topped with a sweet and mild barbecue sauce and wrapped up in tender butter lettuce leaves makes a quick lunch or a light supper - and it all comes together in just minutes.

  • 2 cups Boar's Head EverRoast Oven Roasted Chicken Breast, julienned
  • 4 large butter lettuce leaves
  • 1 cup mixed cucumber and green onion strips
  • 1/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon mix black and white sesame seeds
  1. Place the chicken onto the lettuce leaves and top with the cucumbers and onions. Mix the barbecue sauce with the lemon juice and mayonnaise and pour over the top. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds.

Chicken Gazpacho Sandwich

Servings: 4
The pungent tastes of roasted red peppers, sun-dried tomatoes, sweet carrots, cucumbers and spices turn a simple chicken sandwich into the perfect gourmet meal for a warm day or evening.

  • 8 slices multi-grain bread
  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1 small cucumber, sliced into thin rounds
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup drained roasted red peppers, cut julienne style
  • 1/2 cup drained, sun-dried tomatoes in oil, cut julienne style
  • 12 slices Boar's Head EverRoast Oven Roasted Chicken Breast
  1. Place 4 bread slices on a work surface. Spread each with a layer of mayonnaise and add enough cucumbers to form a layer. Sprinkle with carrots and a pinch of dried rosemary and garlic powder. Mix peppers with tomatoes and layer on top of carrots. Evenly divide chicken among sandwiches. Close sandwich with remaining bread slices and serve.

Pulled Chicken and Tomato-Vegetable Soup

Servings: 6
Cut the cooking time for this flavorful soup by substituting deli slicing chicken for recipes calling for pre-cooked chicken. Make sure to use a quality chicken that is sliced fresh at the deli for a homemade chicken taste.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 head cabbage, shredded
  • 1 red onion, cut into a small dice
  • 3 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 4 small Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into a 1/2-inch dice
  • 2 large carrots, cut into
  • 1-inch julienne strips
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 6 sprigs for garnish
  • 2 14-ounce cans chicken broth
  • 2 14-ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 pound (1/4 inch thick) slices Boar's Head EverRoast Oven Roasted Chicken Breast, cut in strips
  1. Add olive oil to large soup pot and heat at medium high until oil is hot. Add cabbage, onion, celery and potatoes; sauté for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add carrots, dried oregano, chicken broth and tomatoes. Cook 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Use your fingers to pull chicken into strips; add to soup. Serve in individual bowls garnished with an oregano stem.

Source: Boar's Head

Holiday 01 November 2018

Holiday Inspiration for Every Occasion

(Family Features) The holiday season is full of opportunities to eat, drink and gather around the table with the ones you love. Whether it's a family dinner, office potluck or neighborhood brunch, good food is a cornerstone of nearly every great holiday celebration.

From hosting guests to kids returning home on winter break, the holiday season can require more planning than usual. Ensure you're prepared this year with a savory centerpiece staple like Smithfield Spiral Sliced Ham or a crowd-pleasing favorite like Bacon French Toast Bake, giving you more time to soak in the best parts of the season.

To keep the holiday season fresh and exciting, consider putting a twist on a classic, like adding sausage to a traditional side dish like Sausage and Ciabatta Stuffing. Available as links, patties and rolls, Smithfield's line of Fresh Breakfast Sausage is made using premium, high-quality pork to provide big flavor that can be enjoyed any time of day.

For more recipes and tips that can help make your holiday soiree a breeze, visit Smithfield.com/HolidayHub.


Bacon French Toast Bake

  • 1 small loaf challah or brioche bread, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • nonstick cooking spray
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 slices Smithfield Bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup blackberries
  • 1 teaspoon powdered sugar, for dusting
  1. Leave bread slices out, at room temperature, at least 3 hours, or until slightly stale.
  2. Generously coat 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange bread, slightly overlapping.
  3. In large bowl, whisk eggs, heavy cream, milk, Gruyere cheese, maple syrup and cinnamon. Add chopped bacon, saving 2 tablespoons for later. Pour over bread in baking dish. With hands, press down on bread to submerge.
  4. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 5 hours, or overnight.
  5. Heat oven to 375 F. Remove plastic. Sprinkle remaining bacon and Swiss cheese over top of bread mixture.
  6. Bake 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and set.
  7. Top with blackberries and dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Sausage and Ciabatta Stuffing

  • 1 large loaf ciabatta bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 pound Smithfield Fresh Sausage Roll
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups onion, diced
  • 2 cups celery, diced
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley, plus additional for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Heat oven to 325 F.
  2. Bake ciabatta bread cubes until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Set aside. Increase oven temperature to 375 F.
  3. In skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter.
  4. Cook sausage, breaking meat into medium pieces, until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer sausage to large bowl; set aside.
  5. Add remaining butter to skillet; cook carrots, onions and celery until soft, 5-7 minutes, and transfer to bowl with sausage.
  6. In large bowl, mix bread cubes, chicken broth, olive oil, parsley, rosemary and salt and pepper, to taste. Add vegetable and sausage mixture to bread cubes mixture and combine.
  7. Spread evenly in greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake until golden brown and bread is slightly crisp on top, 30-35 minutes.
  8. Garnish with additional parsley before serving.

Tip: Recipe can be made one day before and refrigerated overnight.

Source: Smithfield

Holiday 01 November 2018

Go Beyond Pecan Pie this Holiday Season

(Family Features) When deciding which dishes to serve this year at holiday gatherings, consider going beyond traditional recipes and use beloved seasonal ingredients in new ways.

For example, while pecan pie is top of mind for many dessert-makers, it’s also a perfect time to make new dishes with an ingredient like pecans, also known as The Original Supernut. Naturally sweet and nutritious, the pecan lends itself to nearly endless holiday menu inspiration.

It hasn’t been an easy year for the pecan industry, but you can support American pecan growers and #PledgePecans – that’s a promise to add one more pecan-friendly recipe beyond the pie to your table this holiday.

To pledge, visit Americanpecan.com/PledgePecans and click on seasonal recipes or watch the Pecan-A-Thon, an entertainment variety show spotlighting the growers behind the Supernut and showcasing ways pecans can be enjoyed this holiday season.

Pecan-Crusted Prime Rib with Horseradish Cream Sauce

Horseradish Cream Sauce (optional):

  • 1          cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1/4       cup horseradish, grated
  • 1          tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2       lemon, juice and zest only
  • 2          tablespoons fresh chives, finely sliced
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • fresh black pepper, to taste
  • 1          boneless prime rib roast (8-10 pounds)
  • 1          tablespoon, plus 1/4 teaspoon, kosher salt
  • 2          teaspoons fresh black pepper, plus additional for pecan topping
  • 1          cup raw pecan pieces
  • 3          tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3          tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2       cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2          tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8          garlic cloves, divided
  • 2          tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
  1. To make Horseradish Cream Sauce: In small bowl, combine sour cream, horseradish, mustard, lemon juice and zest, and fresh chives; add salt and pepper, to taste. Sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead of time and refrigerated.
  2. Season prime rib with 1 tablespoon salt and pepper; let sit at room temperature 1 hour.
  3. To make pecan topping: Heat oven to 325° F. In food processor, process pecans, rosemary, thyme, breadcrumbs, butter, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon mustard, remaining salt and pepper until combined. Set aside.
  4. Cut small slits in fatty side of prime rib; stuff with remaining garlic. Rub remaining mustard over top of prime rib and apply pecan topping, making sure to press firm.
  5. Transfer prime rib to roasting pan. Place rib roast in lower-third of oven, insert digital probe thermometer in middle and loosely cover top of prime rib with foil so pecans don’t burn. Cook 1 1/2 hours, remove foil and continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 120° F.
  6. Allow prime rib to rest covered 30 minutes so juices can redistribute. Serve with Horseradish Cream Sauce, if desired.

Pecan Apple Stuffing

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          pound mild Italian sausage
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil or pecan oil
  • 1          yellow onion, diced
  • 3          celery stalks, chopped
  • 3          garlic cloves, minced
  • 12        ounces herb-seasoned cubed stuffing
  • 2          cups tart apples, chopped
  • 1 1/2    cups pecan halves
  • 1          cup chicken broth, plus additional (optional)
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Grease large casserole dish or 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In large skillet, brown sausage, breaking into crumbles. Drain on paper towels. Discard excess grease.
  3. In same pan over medium heat, add olive oil. Saute onions, celery and garlic 2-3 minutes, or until starting to soften and fragrant.
  4. In large bowl, mix sausage, onion mixture, stuffing cubes, apples and pecans.
  5. Add broth and stir to combine. If stuffing mixture remains dry, add additional broth as desired. Season with salt and pepper; stir to combine.
  6. Transfer stuffing to prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes.

Source: American Pecan Council

Holiday 01 November 2018

Put a Twist on Tradition this Holiday Season

(Family Features) ’Tis the season to dust off the decorations, dig out your family cookbook and celebrate everything that makes the holidays special. While it’s certainly a time to honor longstanding traditions, there’s also room to start something new and put your personal touch on the festivities.

When planning your holiday menu, for example, shake it up with a few simple swaps to impress your guests no matter the meal occasion. For an appetizer, try a Pork and Ricotta Crostini for a flavorful upgrade to the typical cheese platter. Come dinnertime, replace the annual pot roast with a savory and seasonal Apple and Herb-Roasted Pork Shoulder featuring high-quality Farmer John California Natural Fresh Pork, which is made from 100 percent fresh pork and with no artificial ingredients.

For more recipe inspiration and ideas to shake up the season, visit FarmerJohn.com.

Apple and Herb-Roasted Pork Shoulder

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours, 15 minutes
Total time: 2 hours, 30 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1          Farmer John Boneless Pork Shoulder Butt Roast
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • garlic powder, to taste
  • 1          pound potatoes, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 2          firm apples, cut into six pieces
  • 4          thyme sprigs
  • 6          sage leaves
  • 1          cup chicken broth
  1. Heat oven to 500° F.
  2. Season pork shoulder roast with salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste.
  3. Lay potatoes and apples in bottom of roasting pan. Top with thyme and sage.
  4. Place seasoned pork shoulder in roasting pan on top of thyme and sage.
  5. Pour chicken broth into roasting pan. Roast 10-15 minutes until skin is browned.
  6. Reduce heat to 300° F and continue to roast, basting liquid over pork every 30 minutes for about 2 hours until internal temperature reaches 155° F.
  7. Remove pork shoulder roast and let cool 15 minutes before slicing.
  8. Serve with roasted potatoes and apples.

Pork and Ricotta Crostini

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 36 minutes
Total time: 51 minutes
Servings: 10

  • 1          Farmer John Pork Tenderloin
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 1          tablespoon, plus 1 teaspoon, Italian seasoning blend, divided
  • 1          teaspoon garlic powder, divided
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2    cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/4       teaspoon onion powder
  • 1          long baguette, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
  • balsamic glaze
  • 3          tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  1. Heat oven to 425° F. Rub all sides of pork tenderloin with olive oil and place on rack in shallow roasting pan. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper evenly over tenderloin.
  2. Roast 25-30 minutes per pound until internal temperature reaches 150° F. Remove pork tenderloin from oven and let stand 5-10 minutes. Cut into thin slices.
  3. In small bowl, mix together ricotta cheese, remaining Italian herb mix, remaining garlic powder and onion powder until well combined. Set aside.
  4. Place baguette slices on large baking sheet and bake 2-4 minutes per side while pork tenderloin is standing.
  5. To assemble, spread about 1 tablespoon ricotta cheese mixture on one side of each baguette slice; top with thin slices of pork. Garnish with drizzle of balsamic glaze and parsley.

Source: Farmer John

Meal Ideas 19 February 2019

Wonderful Weeknight Dining

(Family Features) With school, work and evening activities all spiraling in different directions, most families find that some things have to give. Make sure quality time around the dinner table isn’t one of them with these savvy solutions that can help make weekday meals a cinch.

One-dish wonders
Most busy families are well-versed in the benefits of slow cooker meals, but when you haven’t planned that far ahead there are other options, such as your oven’s broiler, that allow you to capture the convenience of single-dish meals. A cookie sheet filled with your favorite protein, veggies and a sprinkle of seasoning will broil in minutes. Just remember to cut your protein into small pieces that will cook through quickly and line your sheet with foil for easier cleanup. Another quick-fix idea: empty the odds and ends from the pantry and veggie drawer to make a stir-fry in minutes.

Go for the gold
When it comes to mealtime, Sunday dinner is the gold standard. It’s the one day of the week when you’re most likely to go “all out” and prepare a great-tasting meal. But you can achieve similar meals during the week using delicious, time-saving sides such as packaged Idahoan Signature Russets mashed potatoes, which can be made in just 5 minutes. The smooth flavor of Idahoan Signature Russets – like original homemade mashed potatoes with just a hint of butter and cream – makes any day taste like Sunday.

Quick-prep proteins
Every family has its favorite go-to meals that stand the test of time. Build your repertoire with a few recipes centered on proteins that take next to no time to prepare. Eggs don’t have to be restricted to the breakfast table, especially in preparations like a frittata or quiche. Or rely on seafood, which can be seared to perfection in minutes. A mild white fish is an ideal foundation for creating diverse, rich flavors, such as this Seared Halibut with Lemon Butter Sauce.

For more tips to increase family time and get quick meals on the weeknight dinner table, visit idahoan.com.

Seared Halibut with Lemon Butter Sauce

Serves: 4

Lemon Butter Sauce

  • 1/2       cup white wine
  • 1/4       cup fresh lemon juice
  • 8          tablespoons whipping cream
  • 3/4       teaspoon fresh garlic, chopped
  • turmeric, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • white pepper, to taste
  • 8          tablespoons unsalted butter, diced

Halibut

  • 4          teaspoons olive oil
  • 4          halibut filets (6-8 ounces each)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • lemon zest
  • herbs

Vegetables

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 2          small zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2          small yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch strips
  • 2          small red peppers, washed, seeded and sliced into strips

Potatoes

  • 2          cups Idahoan Signature Russets Mashed Potatoes (from 16.23-ounce package)
  1. For lemon butter sauce, add white wine, lemon juice, cream, garlic, turmeric, salt and pepper to saute pan. Heat on high heat and reduce to half its original volume.
  2. While lemon sauce is reducing, prepare fish and vegetables.
  3. Once reduced, remove from heat and swirl in diced butter.
  4. For halibut, heat non-stick skillet on medium-high heat with olive oil. Season halibut with salt and pepper. Sear until deep golden brown, approximately 5 minutes each side. Remove from heat and cover with foil.
  5. For vegetables, add olive oil to skillet over medium-high heat. Saute zucchini, squash and pepper until crisp-tender, about 2-3 minutes. Keep warm.
  6. For potatoes, prepare mashed potatoes following package instructions.
  7. To serve, plate mashed potatoes, vegetables and halibut. Drizzle halibut with lemon butter sauce and garnish with lemon zest and fresh herbs.

Note: Haddock or striped bass can be substituted for halibut.

Hoisin Roasted Pork with Steamed Greens

Serves: 4

  • 2          tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2          tablespoons honey
  • 1          tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1          pork tenderloin filet (16 ounces)
  • 8          ounces fresh sugar snap peas
  • 8          ounces green beans
  • 2          cups Idahoan Signature Russets Mashed Potatoes (from 16.23-ounce package)
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In bowl, combine hoisin, honey and soy. In non-metallic bowl, pour marinade over pork and set aside for 15 minutes.
  3. Heat medium nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add marinated pork and cook each side 1-2 minutes.
  4. Transfer pork to baking tray and cook 15 minutes, or until cooked to desired doneness.
  5. Steam fresh sugar snap peas and green beans together. Set aside.
  6. Prepare mashed potatoes following package instructions.
  7. To serve, plate mashed potatoes, sliced pork and steamed vegetables. Spoon pan juices over pork and enjoy.

Roasted Chicken Provencal

Serves: 4

  • 8          chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2       cup dry white wine
  • 1/4       cup chicken broth
  • 2          thyme sprigs
  • 2          garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2          cups Idahoan Signature Russets Mashed Potatoes (from 16.23-ounce package)
  • 1          cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1/2       cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4       cup pitted black olives, halved
  • sauteed green beans
  1. Sprinkle chicken thighs with salt and pepper. In 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, brown chicken thighs on both sides in hot oil. Add white wine, chicken broth, thyme sprigs and garlic.
  2. Over high heat, heat mixture to boiling. Cover and simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare mashed potatoes according to package directions.
  4. In skillet, add mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and olives; cover and simmer 5 minutes longer until chicken is tender.
  5. Serve chicken thighs with mashed potatoes and sauteed green beans.

Source: Idahoan Mashed Potatoes

Meal Ideas 18 January 2019

Game Day Eats and Treats

Score major points with delicious dishes

(Family Features) If the crew is coming over to root for your favorite team, it may be time to spice up the menu. Whether you’re hosting the weekend get-together or watching the game after work, switch up your typical spread and serve something new to leave your guests cheering for more.

When it comes to choosing an ingredient that can lend a winning assist to nearly any dish and score you some major points, look no further than California Ripe Olives.

Variety is key when mapping out food for a crowd, regardless of the event. Plan on serving one main course and two sides, and consider no-fuss options like chips and dips. If there are kids in attendance, make sure there is something neutral for even the pickiest eaters to snack on. However, try your best to avoid anything that needs a knife and fork to eat – finger foods typically work best when the game is on and conversation is flowing.

The mild and unique taste of California Ripe Olives lends itself well to many different flavor pairings, such as these recipes for Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peach-Olive Jam, Easy Olive Bread and Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade. Whether your guests are fans of spicy, mild, sweet or savory, the only limit is your imagination when you pull a can of olives from the pantry.

Family farms across California grow 95 percent of the ripe olives consumed in the United States. Each can is a labor of love. Multi-generational family farms work with family-owned canneries in California to produce each can and ensure only the highest quality olives make it from the farm to your game-day table. For more creative ways to use olives, including family recipes from growers across California, visit CalOlive.org .

Simple Entertaining Tips to Take Your Table to the Next Level

  1. A colorful platter is an easy way to spice up a spread.
  2. Pair something salty with something sweet for a juxtaposition of flavors.
  3. If you’re serving food on neutral plates, add some colorful linens.
  4. Plan the menu around a central theme or ingredient.
  5. Guests love choices – making more options available can make for better spreads.
  6. Use versatile ingredients, like California Ripe Olives, to keep picky eaters happy.

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Pulled Pork Sandwiches with Peach-Olive Jam

  • 1          teaspoon olive oil
  • 3          pounds pork shoulder roast
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4          cloves garlic, quartered
  • 4          cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 8          ounces dried peaches
  • 1          tablespoon chili powder
  • 1          cup California Black Ripe Olives, wedged
  • 2          teaspoons country mustard
  • 1          ounce arugula
  • 8          onion rolls, split and toasted
  1. Heat oven to 375° F.
  2. In large, high-sided saute pan, heat oil over medium-high heat.
  3. Season pork with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook in pan 3-4 minutes on each side until browned.
  4. Stir in garlic and continue cooking 3-5 minutes.
  5. Pour in chicken broth, peaches and chili powder; bring to boil.
  6. Cover loosely with foil and bake in oven 2 hours.
  7. With slotted spoon, carefully remove peaches and transfer to small mixing bowl. Mix olives and mustard with peaches; set aside.
  8. Continue to cook pork in oven 30-60 minutes until fork tender.
  9. Allow to cool slightly then shred by pulling apart with fork.
  10. Assemble sandwiches by spooning pork onto toasted rolls.
  11. Top with arugula and peach-olive mixture.

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Easy Olive Bread

Recipe courtesy of The Wicked Noodle

  • 8          ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4       cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2       cup mayonnaise
  • 1          clove garlic, minced
  • 2          cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 10        ounces California Green Ripe Olives, chopped
  • 2          green onions, chopped
  • 1          loaf French bread, sliced in half lengthwise
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In bowl, mix cream cheese, butter and mayonnaise until thoroughly combined. Add garlic; stir well to distribute. Add cheddar cheese, green olives and green onions; stir to combine.
  3. Spread mixture on cut sides of bread. Bake 20-30 minutes, until cheese is hot, bubbly and starting to brown.

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Sun-Dried Tomato and Olive Tapenade

  • 1/2       cup shallots, chopped
  • 1/4       cup chopped smoked sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2          tablespoons white balsamic vinegar
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          can (6 ounces) California Green Ripe Olives, drained
  • 1          can (6 ounces) California Black Ripe Olives, drained
  • 1/4       cup lightly packed fresh basil
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • crackers or toasted baguette slices
  1. In food processor, pulse shallots, sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, vinegar and garlic until finely chopped. Add olives, basil, salt and pepper; pulse again until chopped.
  2. Cover and chill 1 hour.
  3. Serve with crackers or toasted baguette slices.

Note: Recipe can be prepared one day in advance.

Photo courtesy of The Wicked Noodle (Easy Olive Bread)

Source:  California Olive Committee

Meal Ideas 04 October 2018

Family Favorites from Tree to Table

(Family Features) Getting the whole family around the dinner table every evening can be hard. Feeding your family meals that incorporate high-quality ingredients and are also delicious can be even harder. Sometimes, though, that special ingredient you’re looking for can already be in your pantry.

Consider including bursts of flavor from an ingredient such as California Ripe Olives at your next family meal and take into account the versatility and taste made possible by the hard-working farm families who grow them.

Grown by his family for more than a decade, Rick Benson vividly remembers the day he convinced his father the next crop at Benson Farms should be California Ripe Olives, which are both heat- and salt-tolerant.

That was 12 years ago, and the Benson family has grown olives ever since. Though they are seasoned farmers, the Benson family members are new to olives, and they have brought an innovative way of harvesting to the decades old industry.

While California Ripe Olives remain a primarily hand-harvested crop, the Bensons’ young grove was planted with the intention of harvesting mechanically. As newer olive groves are planted, mechanical harvesting is slowly being implemented. 

“It’s a labor of love,” Benson said. “We view olives as our crop for the next generation.”

Whether you’re enjoying olives as a snack or using them in a new dish like this favorite recipe from a California Ripe Olive-growing family, consider the hundreds of farming families behind each can of olives.

Learn more about multi-generational farming families like the Bensons and find more recipes at calolive.org.
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Rustic Chicken with Ripe Olives

Recipe courtesy of Vincent Richutti, a third-generation California Ripe Olive grower
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30-35 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1/2       cup mixed, porcini or chanterelle dried mushrooms
  • 2          teaspoons fennel seeds
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2    pounds baby yellow potatoes, halved
  • 3          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4          small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 1/2    cups California Black and Green Ripe Olives
  • 1/4       cup chicken broth
  • 1/4       cup white wine
  • 1          lemon, thinly sliced and seeds removed
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. In small food processor, pulse mushrooms, fennel seeds, basil, salt and red pepper flakes until mixture is finely chopped and almost powder-like.
  3. Place potatoes on large, shallow-rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil; toss to coat. Sprinkle with half the mushroom mixture and toss lightly.
  4. Brush chicken with remaining olive oil and sprinkle both sides with remaining mushroom mixture.
  5. Nestle chicken and olives into potatoes. Drizzle with broth and wine, and top with lemon slices.
  6. Roast 30-35 minutes, or until chicken and potatoes are cooked through.
  7. Remove lemon slices before serving.

Source: California Olive Committee

Meal Ideas 21 September 2018

What’s in the Can May Surprise You

Cooking with canned foods combines convenience and nutrition

(Family Features) Simple, convenient and versatile, canned foods provide an array of options for families looking to increase nutrition during mealtimes. However, some home chefs may not be aware of the benefits canned foods bring to the table. 

Consider these common consumer misnomers cleared up by the Canned Food Alliance:

Myth: Canned foods don’t count toward dietary goals.
Fact: Canned foods provide important nutrients that deliver on the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines, as all forms of fruits, vegetables, beans, meats and seafood – whether fresh, frozen, canned or dried – are recommended to help ensure a proper balance of nutrients. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the Canned Food Alliance, 95 percent of health professionals surveyed agree that all forms of food, including canned, can help consumers meet the USDA’s MyPlate fruit and vegetable recommendations.

Myth: Canned foods aren’t as nutritious as fresh or frozen foods.
Fact: Research published in the “Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture” shows canned foods can be as nutritious, and in some cases more nutritious, than fresh and frozen counterparts.

Myth: Canned foods are filled with preservatives.
Fact: Because canned foods have already been cooked, preservatives aren’t necessary to prevent spoilage. The canning process itself preserves the food.

Myth: Canned foods are highly processed.
Fact: Once canned fruits and vegetables are picked and packed near peak ripeness, they’re cooked quickly at high temperatures to lock in nutrients, similar to the home-canning process.

Myth: Canned foods are high in sodium.
Fact: Salt and sodium aren’t required for preservation of canned foods, and low- and no-sodium canned food options are available. Additionally, draining and rinsing canned foods can further reduce sodium by up to 41 percent.

Find more canned food facts and recipes at mealtime.org.
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Chipotle Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

Recipe courtesy of the Canned Food Alliance
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 60-70 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • 2          tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1          onion, chopped
  • 1          rib celery, chopped
  • 2          jalapenos, seeded and chopped
  • 3          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1          teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground pepper
  • 2          tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1          can (28 ounces) no-salt added canned diced tomatoes
  • 1          cup canned pureed pumpkin
  • 1          cup no-salt-added canned chicken broth
  • 1          can no-salt-added canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1          can (12 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added chicken, drained
  • 1          chipotle in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1          teaspoon brown sugar
  • salt, to taste
  • 2          green onions, finely chopped
  • lime wedges, for serving
  1. In Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions, celery, jalapenos, garlic, cumin, oregano and pepper. Cook, stirring, 5-8 minutes, or until vegetables soften. Add tomato paste and cook 2 minutes.
  2. Add tomatoes, pumpkin puree, chicken broth, black beans, chicken, chipotles and brown sugar. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 hour, or until chili thickens. Add salt, to taste.
  3. Garnish with green onions and serve with lime wedges.

Tip: Add preferred canned beans, such as white kidney beans, pinto or Romano beans, in place of or in addition to black beans.  

Nutritional information per serving: 240 calories; 6 g fat; 35 mg cholesterol; 210 mg sodium; 29 g carbohydrates; 8 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 18 g protein; 7,390 IU vitamin A; 35 mg vitamin C; 98 mg calcium; 3.2 mg iron.

Source:  Canned Food Alliance

Meal Ideas 28 December 2017

3 Tips for Cooking Up a Healthy New Year

(Family Features) After a holiday season filled with indulgent food and limited time for exercise, there’s no time like the New Year to adopt some new, healthy habits.

These additional tips can help you get a healthy start to the New Year:

Change up your routine. Start by making a few lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthier diet or increasing your exercise regimen. Maybe you’d like to shed a few pounds or tone up before the weather gets warmer. Changing up your eating (and drinking) habits can be the first step on the path to success.

Start at the tap. Make sure your healthy eating habits include cooking with the best-tasting water possible. That means you could be washing your fruits and vegetables or making soups and smoothies with water that contains impurities. Contrary to what some people may think, boiling water does not completely remove certain contaminants like lead from water.

“Drinking water daily is an important component to staying healthy, as water keeps you hydrated, aids in digestion and transports vitamins and other nutrients. I prefer drinking filtered water to make sure I avoid potentially unwanted contaminants,” said Keri Glassman, a registered dietitian, nutritionist and PUR spokesperson. “I recommend installing a faucet filtration system that won’t break the bank, such as the PUR Advanced Faucet Filtration System, for a superior, on-demand solution for clean, healthy and great-tasting water right from the tap.”

Visit PUR.com to learn more about superior faucet filtration systems and how to get cleaner, better-tasting water.

Create healthy, hearty recipes. There are plenty of delicious and nutritious recipes that can help fuel your body all year long. For example, this hearty soup is full of tasty, powerful ingredients like protein-rich chicken sausage; nutrient-dense kale and butternut squash, which are excellent sources of fiber; plus vitamins and minerals. Garlic, onions and cloves add a kick of antioxidants and flavor.
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White Bean Soup with Spicy Chorizo

Recipe courtesy of Keri Glassman

Cook time: 30 minutes
Servings: 1

  • 4          cups kale, chopped
  • 1          medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1          can (14 ounces) cannellini beans, drained
  • 2          cups PUR filtered water, plus additional for rinsing
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          medium onion, chopped
  • 2          garlic cloves, minced
  • 2          links precooked chicken sausage, diced
  • 3 1/2    cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  1. Rinse kale, squash and cannellini beans in filtered water. Set aside.
  2. In pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and garlic, stirring frequently until softened, about 5 minutes. Add sausage and saute 2 minutes, or until warmed through and slightly browned.
  3. Add squash, kale, broth and 2 cups filtered water. Cook, partially covered, 15-20 minutes, or until squash is softened.
  4. Reduce heat to low. Add beans and gently simmer uncovered 3 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, before serving.

Source:  PUR

Poultry 14 March 2017

Southwest Chicken and Rice Wraps

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Southwest Chicken and Rice Wraps

Serves 4

  • 1 can (14 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups Minute Brown Rice, uncooked
  • 2 tablespoons Mrs. Dash® Salt-Free Extra Spicy Seasoning Blend
  • 2 cups frozen southwest blend vegetables
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded, optional
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream, optional
  1. Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan.
  2. Add rice, seasoning blend, vegetables and chicken; stir. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
  3. Warm tortillas and divide rice mixture evenly onto tortillas. Top with cheese and sour cream, if desired, and roll into desired shape.

Source: Mrs. Dash® Salt-Free Seasoning Blends and Minute Rice

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