(Family Features) The holiday season means it’s time for gathering family and friends for food and celebration. To make the process easier, incorporate recipes that can feed a crowd without lots of exotic, hard-to-find ingredients or long, laborious prep and cook times.
These recipes for Hearty Roasted Winter Vegetables featuring Aunt Nellie’s Whole Pickled Beets and Caprese Bean and Salami Salad with READ 3 Bean Salad, for example, are ideal side dishes for holiday gatherings with enough to go ’round for everyone at the table. Plus, if you’re heading to a holiday potluck, they’re perfect for bringing along to share with the whole crew and versatile enough to be paired with a variety of main courses. Plus, the Caprese Bean and Salami Salad can also stand in as an appetizer.
Hearty Roasted Winter Vegetables
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45-55 minutes
- 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Whole Pickled Beets, drained
- 1 small red onion, cut into 12 wedges
- 2 cups baby portobello mushrooms, cleaned and stems trimmed
- 2 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste (optional)
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper, plus additional, to taste (optional)
- 2 cups Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and scored with cross-cut
- Heat oven to 400° F. Place beets, onion, mushrooms and squash on rimmed 15 1/2-by-10 1/2-by-1-inch baking sheet; drizzle with olive oil. Add garlic, rosemary, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper; toss to coat. Roast 15 minutes.
- Add Brussels sprouts, stir and continue to roast until vegetables are tender and browned, about 30-35 minutes, stirring once. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste, if desired.
Caprese Bean and Salami Salad
Recipe courtesy of “The Reluctant Entertainer”
Prep time: 25 minutes
- 5 cans (15 ounces each) READ 3 Bean Salad (3 cans drained, 2 cans undrained)
- 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 pound small marinated mozzarella balls, drained
- 3/4 cup (1 ounce) fresh basil, chopped
- 8 ounces dried salami, sliced
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- 2 whole-wheat baguettes (13 ounces each), sliced
- In large bowl, stir together bean salad, tomatoes and mozzarella balls.
- Before serving, add basil and salami. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Stir to combine.
- Serve on large platter surrounded by baguette slices.
(Family Features) When fall comes around, it brings many iconic flavors, festive traditions and family meals, along with cravings for warm, hearty dishes. For your next gathering of loved ones, whether it’s a special occasion, sporting event or simply spending quality time together, serve a classic comfort food perfect for a small crowd.
While a roast leg of lamb may be considered time-intensive or best-suited for special occasions, it can be a surprisingly stress-free dish to prepare at home. A simple way to update familiar dishes, grass-fed lamb, available at your local Whole Foods Market, is easy to cook; prepare it the same way you would grass-fed beef.
This grass-fed leg of lamb recipe, for example, requires little fuss and the oven does the work for you. Infused with garlic and thyme, topped with a creamy meat sauce and garnished with a side of seasonal produce, you can delight your family and friends with this tender and delicious meal. Plus, New Zealand grass-fed lamb is a lean, finely textured and flavorful protein, well-suited for a variety of dishes.
For more information, cooking tips and recipes, visit beefandlambnz.com.
Grass-Fed Leg of Lamb
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
- 4 1/2-5 1/2 pounds Atkins Ranch grass-fed leg of lamb, at room temperature
- 1 3/4 ounces butter, softened
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon roughly chopped thyme leaves
- salt, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 1-2 handfuls thyme sprigs
- 1 onion, sliced
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 cup beef stock
- 3/4 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
- lemon zest, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- salt, to taste
- sauteed mushrooms (optional)
- sauteed green beans (optional)
- steamed carrots and snap peas (optional)
- Heat oven to 320° F.
- To prepare lamb: Using sharp knife, make 4-5 shallow slits in lamb. In bowl, mix butter, garlic and chopped thyme. Coat butter mixture in slits and sprinkle lamb with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Place thyme sprigs and sliced onion in base of roasting tin and place lamb on top. Drizzle olive oil over lamb. Roast 2 hours, 45 minutes.
- To make meat sauce: Remove lamb from oven 30 minutes before end of cooking time. Place lamb on board then tip juices into saucepan. Place lamb back in roasting tin and return to oven.
- Skim fat off roasting juices. Add beef stock to remaining juices and bring to boil.
- Reduce heat and add creme fraiche or sour cream, lemon zest, vinegar and bay leaf. Simmer until sauce reduces some. Season with salt, to taste, to counteract acidity.
- Remove lamb from oven and rest covered loosely with foil and tea towel 10 minutes before carving.
- Strain sauce into bowl or gravy boat and serve hot with lamb and sauteed mushrooms, green beans or steamed carrots and snap peas, if desired.
Source: Beef + Lamb New Zealand
If you need an on-the-go breakfast option, wake up your morning with bacon, eggs and a biscuit in these simple, tasty Breakfast Sandwiches.
Find more on-the-go recipe ideas at Culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
- 1 can (16 ounces) buttermilk biscuits
- 1 package (12 ounces) bacon
- 8 eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 5 slices cheese
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- Place biscuits on baking sheet. Bake 12-16 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Cut bacon slices in half. In skillet, cook bacon until crispy. Drain and set aside.
- In large bowl, whisk eggs, salt and pepper.
- In skillet, melt butter. Pour egg mixture into skillet. Add bell pepper and onion. Cook until eggs are thoroughly cooked but still moist, stirring occasionally. Add cheese over egg mixture and mix thoroughly until cheese is melted.
- Split warm biscuits. Spoon egg mixture over bottom of biscuit. Top mixture with two pieces bacon and add top half of biscuit.
Corn Chowder with Poblano
Recipe courtesy of Nestlé USA, Inc.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 1 poblano chile, deveined, seeded and chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 packages (16 ounces each) loose-pack frozen whole kernel corn, thawed, divided
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) low-sodium and fat-free chicken broth
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 can (12 ounces) Carnation Evaporated Fat Free or low-fat 2% milk
- salt, to taste (optional)
- ground pepper, to taste (optional)
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley (optional)
- In large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil. Add onion, pepper, chile and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, 3-4 minutes, or until tender. Add 4 cups corn; cook, stirring occasionally, 4-5 minutes, or until tender. Add broth and water; cook, stirring frequently, 15 minutes is very soft.
- Place corn mixture in blender or food processor (in batches if necessary); process until smooth. Return to saucepan. Stir in remaining corn and evaporated milk.
- Cook 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until chowder is thick. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley.
Note: One small jalapeño can be substituted for poblano chile. Chiles vary in heat level; half a jalapeno may be all you need.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
(Family Features) If you want to impress your guests, try serving this puff pastry recipe as an appetizer at your next gathering.This flaky pastry filled with a delicious combination of spinach, onions and feta cheese can keep them coming back for more.
For more appetizer ideas, visit culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!
- 1 package puff pastry sheets
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, diced
- 10 ounces frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
- 4 ounces light cream cheese, softened
- 2 eggs, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cup crumbled garlic and herb feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon cold water
- Heat oven to 375° F.
- Thaw folded pastries 15 minutes. Once thawed, unfold sheets to thaw out flat.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions and saute 3 - 5 minutes, or until tender and translucent.
- Stir spinach into softened onions. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until water from spinach evaporates and spinach is mostly dry. Transfer spinach mixture to large bowl.
- In small bowl, blend cream cheese with one egg, salt and pepper until smooth. Fold cream cheese mixture into spinach mixture to combine. Stir in feta cheese and set aside.
- Line baking pans with parchment paper or silicone baking mats.
- On floured surface, roll one sheet of puff pastry out to 10 by 12 inch rectangle. Cut sheet in half lengthwise, then again widthwise to form four 5 by 6 inch rectangles. Place rectangles on prepared baking sheets.
- Place spoonful of filling onto center of each cut pastry. Whisk remaining egg with cold water to create egg wash. Lightly brush egg wash around perimeter edges of each pastry square.
- Pick up short side of pastry and fold over filling toward other short side. Press edges to seal before crimping with fork. Repeat with remaining pastries.
- Brush small amount egg wash over top of each pastry. Cut small slits on top of each pastry to allow filling to vent steam while cooking.
- Bake 25 - 30 minutes, or until pastries are evenly browned on top.
- Transfer pastries to wire rack. Cool 8 - 10 minutes before serving.
Recipe adapted from MilkMeansMore.org.
(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
- Leave bread slices out, at room temperature, at least 3 hours, or until slightly stale.
- Generously coat 9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange bread, slightly overlapping.
- 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.
- Cover baking dish with plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 5 hours, or overnight.
- Heat oven to 375 F. Remove plastic. Sprinkle remaining bacon and Swiss cheese over top of bread mixture.
- Bake 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown and set.
- 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
- Heat oven to 325 F.
- Bake ciabatta bread cubes until lightly toasted, about 15 minutes. Set aside. Increase oven temperature to 375 F.
- In skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter.
- Cook sausage, breaking meat into medium pieces, until browned, about 8-10 minutes. Transfer sausage to large bowl; set aside.
- Add remaining butter to skillet; cook carrots, onions and celery until soft, 5-7 minutes, and transfer to bowl with sausage.
- 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.
- Spread evenly in greased 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Bake until golden brown and bread is slightly crisp on top, 30-35 minutes.
- Garnish with additional parsley before serving.
Tip: Recipe can be made one day before and refrigerated overnight.
(Family Features) Eating healthy isn’t always easy, and when your family is rushing around in the evenings it can seem like a daunting task to put a well-balanced, nutritious meal on the table.
However, cooking at home with a lean protein you can feel good about serving, like seafood, is one way to serve up quick, good-for-you meals. In fact, one-third of people surveyed reported they increased their fish consumption at home last year, according to Datassential.
Research published in the “Journal of the American Medical Association” showed eating seafood 2-3 times per week can improve brain, eye, heart and prenatal health. Seafood also provides unique health benefits as one of the best sources for omega-3 fatty acids, which are healthy fats essential to human health and development.
As only one out of 10 Americans meets the Dietary Guidelines recommendation of two servings of seafood per week, National Seafood Month is a great time to incorporate more seafood into you and your family’s meals. Check out these tips from the Seafood Nutrition Partnership:
- Make a game plan or meal plan for the week to figure out when you can incorporate seafood into your meals.
- Stock up on canned and frozen seafood at the grocery store and keep an eye out for sales or coupons.
- Make easy swaps, like using white fish or shrimp in tacos instead of beef or a salmon patty instead of a burger patty.
- Try doubling recipes so you only have to cook it once but can reap the benefits of eating seafood twice in one week.
- Use kitchen gadgets like slow cookers and pressure cookers to prepare seafood-based meals in a pinch.
For recipes, ideas and inspiration for eating seafood at least two times per week, visit seafoodnutrition.org or follow #Seafood2xWk on social media.
One Pan Fish Dish
Recipe courtesy of Michael-Ann Rowe on behalf of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1/8 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 medium onion, quartered
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- 1 lemon, half sliced and half juiced, divided
- kosher salt, to taste
- freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1 pound white fish (such as snapper, grouper, flounder or barramundi)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- fresh rosemary sprigs (optional)
- In pan over medium heat, heat canola oil about 1 minute.
- Add tomatoes, onions and broccoli to pan; cook 5 minutes, uncovered.
- Drizzle lemon juice over vegetables and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Place fish on top of vegetables in center of pan and place two lemon slices on top of fish.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.
- Cover pan and cook on medium heat 10-12 minutes depending on thickness of fish.
- Drizzle olive oil over fish and top with rosemary, if desired, before serving.
Source: Seafood Nutrition Partnership
When the weather is frightfully cold and you need something quick to warm you up, try this recipe for Tomato-Tortellini soup. With only 4 ingredients, you'll be warm and cozy in no time.
For more comfort food ideas, go to www.culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!
- 2 14 ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 9 ounce package of refrigerated tortellini
- 1 8 ounce tub cream cheese spread with chive and onion
- 1 can tomato soup
- Fresh chives (optional)
- In a medium sauce pan bring broth to a boil. Add tortellini then reduce heat to simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.
- In a bowl whisk 1/3 cup of hot broth into the cream cheese spread. Whisk until smooth. Pour contents into sauce pan.
- Stir in tomato soup and heat through.
- Serve with fresh chives, if desired.
Recipe adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.
(Family Features) If you’re having trouble getting started, or even sticking to, a healthy eating regimen, you may be surprised that one highly effective practice doesn’t require counting calories or hours of exercise. You simply need to plan out your meals.
When hunger strikes, it’s tempting to grab the fastest, easiest-to-make food available, but that’s rarely the best choice for your health. Planning your meals encourages you to invest in better-for-you options ahead of time and reduces food waste, while saving significant time and money in the long-term. If you don’t know where to start, follow these easy tips to help make meal planning a breeze:
- Build meals around themes like taco night or seafood night. This can help narrow down your options but still allow you to experiment with new recipes or variations on favorites that can be added to your regular rotation.
- Be sure to include breakfast, lunch and snacks. Whether these are meals on the go or foods you’ll eat at home, planning ahead can help ensure you have tasty, healthy options at your fingertips all day long.
- Make it a family affair. Invite meal feedback from everyone and keep kids involved in the prep process to create more family time together.
- Take inventory of your pantry and leftovers before heading to the store – yesterday’s grapefruit breakfast could be today’s citrus salad.
- Shop wisely. Maximize time and money savings by shopping at a store such as ALDI, where you can find all your weekly must-haves, like fresh produce and organics, dairy, USDA Choice beef and bakery items. ALDI also offers a variety of healthy eating resources, including weekly meal plans and recipes like these Quinoa Lentil Tacos, at aldi.us/hellohealthy.
Quinoa Lentil Tacos
Recipe courtesy of Chef Michelle, ALDI Test Kitchen
- 32 ounces SimplyNature Vegetable Broth
- 3/4 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Iodized Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Ground Black Pepper
- 1 tablespoon Stonemill Essentials Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Ground Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Chili Powder
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Onion Powder
- 1 cup SimplyNature Organic Tri-Color Quinoa, rinsed
- 1 cup dry lentils, rinsed
- 1 tablespoon Baker’s Corner Corn Starch
- 10 Pueblo Lindo White Corn Tortillas
- 1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1/2 cup crumbled Pueblo Lindo Fresco Cheese
- 2 limes, cut into wedges
- In medium saucepan, bring broth, salt, pepper, paprika, cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, quinoa and lentils to boil; reduce heat. Simmer 20 minutes, partially covered.
- Remove lid and add corn starch. Stir 5-8 minutes until lentils are cooked through.
- Heat medium pan over high heat. Heat tortillas 1 minute on each side.
- Divide lentil mixture evenly among tortillas. Top with red onion, avocado and fresco cheese. Serve each with lime wedge.
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.
Chipotle Pumpkin Black Bean Chili
Recipe courtesy of the Canned Food Alliance
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 60-70 minutes
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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