Meal Ideas 29 January 2019

Easy Cold-Weather Cooking

(Family Features) As the chill settles in, comforting, warming, seasonal favorites like stews and soups become top of mind. However, with busy work schedules, there’s often not enough time to prepare them during the week.

When Carrot-Lentil Stew is on the menu, time isn’t an issue. It’s ready in under an hour, plus it’s packed with healthy ingredients and robust flavor. Start with quick-cooking lentils, add nutrient-rich vegetables, vegetable broth and the secret ingredient: a jar of Aunt Nellie’s Glazed Sliced Carrots. The perfectly cooked carrot slices and their flavorful sauce add texture, flavor and vibrant color to the stew, which needs only 10 minutes to cook.

Serve topped with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese for another splash of color and an extra layer of flavor. This vegetarian stew can easily be adjusted to include chicken sausage for even more protein.  

For additional cold-weather cooking ideas, visit AuntNellies.com.

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Carrot-Lentil Vegetable Stew

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          cup dry lentils
  • 3          cups fat-free, reduced-sodium vegetable broth, divided
  • 1          cup water
  • 3/4       cup chopped onion
  • 3/4       cup sliced celery
  • 3/4       cup chopped bell pepper
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1          jar (15 1/2 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Glazed Small Sliced Carrots
  • 1          large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2       cup chopped fresh parsley
  • shaved Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. Rinse lentils and drain. Place in Dutch oven or other large saucepan. Add 2 cups broth and water. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes (lentils should be slightly undercooked).
  2. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, remaining broth, tomatoes with liquid, carrots with liquid and garlic. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 10-15 minutes, until liquid is reduced as desired and vegetables are just tender. Stir in parsley. Serve topped with Parmesan, if desired.

Note: If desired, 1/2 pound chicken sausage links, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces, can be added to stew during last 5 minutes of cooking.

Nutritional information per serving: 280 calories; 14 g protein; 54 g carbohydrate; <1 g fat; 390 mg sodium; 10 g dietary fiber; 5 mg iron; 0.46 mg thiamin; 5499 IU vitamin A; 36 mg vitamin C.

Source: Aunt Nellie’s

Soups 16 January 2019

Fight the Cold with Better-for-You Comfort Foods

(Family Features) Few things go together quite like cold weather and comfort foods. However, those hearty dishes that are typically craved on blustery days are usually not classified as “healthy.”

With the right approach, though, you can put a better-for-you twist on some of your favorite dishes that can keep you cozy and satiated during the winter season. For example, you can put a grown-up twist on grilled cheese and tomato soup with this recipe for Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup with Cheddar Cracker Melts.

Pairing flavorful seasonal dishes like soups and stews with a wholesome snack cracker like gluten-free, non-GMO Crunchmaster Tuscan Peasant Crackers can help satisfy those comfort food cravings while also contributing to a healthy lifestyle. With 20 grams of whole grains per serving, these crunchy, robust baked crackers are also cholesterol-free, allowing you to take a back-to-basics approach to your diet using simple ingredients and no artificial flavors or colors.

For other seasonal recipes, coupons, tips and nutritional information, visit crunchmaster.com.
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Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup with Cheddar Cracker Melts

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 6

Creamy Tomato and Roasted Pepper Soup:

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 1          onion, chopped
  • 1          carrot, chopped
  • 3          cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1          teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon paprika
  • 1          pinch chili flakes
  • 4          cups organic no-salt-added vegetable broth
  • 1          can (28 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1          cup chopped prepared roasted red peppers
  • 2          bay leaves
  • 1/3       cup 35 percent heavy cream
  • 2          tablespoons finely chopped fresh chives, divided
  • 1          teaspoon cider vinegar

Cheddar Cracker Melts:

  • 24        Crunchmaster Tuscan Peasant Fire Roasted Tomato Basil Crackers
  • 3/4       cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1. In Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Cook onion, carrot, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt, pepper, paprika and chili flakes about 5 minutes, or until vegetables are slightly softened.
  2. Stir in broth, tomatoes, roasted red peppers and bay leaves; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 15-20 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaves. Let cool slightly. Transfer to blender; puree in batches until smooth. Stir in cream, remaining salt, 1 tablespoon chives and vinegar.
  3. To make Cheddar Cracker Melts: Heat broiler to high and position rack in center of oven. Arrange crackers on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Sprinkle with cheese. Broil 1-2 minutes, or until cheese is melted. 
  4. Divide soup among six bowls. Sprinkle with remaining chives and serve with Cheddar Cracker Melts.

Tip: Use mild, medium or aged cheddar cheese. Smoked mozzarella can be substituted, if desired.

Nutrition information per serving: 250 calories; 15 g fat; 7 g saturated fat; 30 mg cholesterol; 730 mg sodium; 22 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 11 g sugar; 6 g protein.

Source: Crunchmaster

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