(Family Features) Hosting a crowd can be exciting and rewarding, but it can also come with plenty of challenges. One of the simplest ways to make mealtime stress-free when entertaining is to focus on ingredients that can be incorporated into a variety of different dishes.
From quick appetizers to grab-and-go snacks, you can crowd-please with ease by using Eckrich Smoked Sausage and Deli meats. Whether you're celebrating an occasion, hosting a family gathering or watching a game, using a convenient option like deli meat means all you have to do is add it to your favorite recipes for an extra boost of flavor. This season, whip up some delicious Quiche Cups in Muffin Tins for a combo of deli ham, eggs and other simple ingredients for a speedy dish that can ward off your group's hunger and allow for more quality time together.
Find more recipes for entertaining with ease at Eckrich.com.
Quiche Cups in Muffin Tins
- 5 eggs
- 1 cup skim milk
- 1 1/2 cups shredded Swiss cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped green onion
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- nonstick cooking spray
- 18 thin slices Eckrich Deli Ham
- Heat oven to 350° F.
- In bowl, whisk eggs. Add milk, cheese, onion, thyme, salt and pepper; stir to combine.
- Spray muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place one slice ham in each chamber.
- Spoon about 3 tablespoons egg mixture into each chamber so each is three-fourths full.
- Bake about 25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and tops begin to brown.
- Remove from oven and cool about 10 minutes.
(Family Features) Summertime officially ushers in grilling season. There's no better way to celebrate the warm weather than at a backyard barbeque. Whether you're entertaining friends or cooking for your family, it's easy to make healthful choices at your next summer soirée.
When planning for an outdoor get-together, try better-for-you alternatives to traditional grilling fare. For example, serve fresh, seasonal grilled vegetables instead of potato chips. Once you've fired up the grill, try veggie burgers as an alternative to meat.
MorningStar Farms Grillers Original Veggie Burgers contain 57 percent less fat than regular ground beef.* So, it's not a burger - it's better!
Get your meatless barbeque started with an Alpine Burger. Or, if you're looking for a burger with a bit of a twist, consider making these Garden Veggie Deluxe Burgers or Spicy Tex-Mex Pita Burgers.
Once you're finished with the main course, grill pineapple and serve it over sherbet for dessert.
These simple substitutions are so delicious, your family and friends are sure to leave your next backyard party satisfied. For more recipes and fun food ideas, visit www.morningstarfarms.com.
*Regular ground beef contains 14g total fat per 64g serving. Grillers Original contain 6g fat per 64g serving.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Time to Table: 25 minutes
- 3/4 cup sweet onions, sliced
- 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1/4 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
- 1 MorningStar Farms Grillers Original Burger
- 1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard or Dijon Mustard
- 1 slice multigrain or whole wheat bread, toasted
- 1/3 cup baby arugula
- 1 tablespoon Gruyere cheese or Swiss cheese, shredded
- In large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook onions, covered, over medium-low heat for 16 to 20 minutes or until onions are very tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in mushrooms and garlic. Cook over medium heat, covered, for 4 to 6 minutes or until onions begin to brown and mushrooms are tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
- Meanwhile, cook veggie burgers according to package directions.
- Spread mustard on one side of bread slice. Top with arugula (if desired). Place burger on arugula. Spoon onion mixture over burger.
Sprinkle with cheese. Let stand for 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve immediately.
Spicy Tex-Mex Pita Burgers
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Time to Table: 20 minutes
- 2 MorningStar Farms Spicy Black Bean Veggie Burgers
- 1 cup baby romaine lettuce or torn romaine lettuce
- 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 4 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1/2 medium avocado, pitted, peeled, chopped
- 4 tablespoons tomato salsa
- 1 whole-wheat pita bread round
- 4 tablespoons shredded Cheddar cheese with jalapeño peppers or Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers
- 10 baked tortilla chips (optional)
- Cook burgers according to package directions.
- Meanwhile, in a mixing bowl, toss together lettuce, mayonnaise, and cilantro until lettuce is evenly coated. In another bowl, stir together avocado and salsa.
- Cut pita bread across middle in half. Fill each half with lettuce mixture. Insert burgers. Add cheese and avocado mixture. Serve with tortilla chips, if desired.
Garden Veggie Deluxe Burgers
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Time to Table: 25 minutes
- 2 MorningStar Farms Garden Veggie Patties Veggie Burgers
- 2 slices (1 1/2 ounces total) Provolone cheese
- 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise or regular mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 whole-wheat hamburger buns, split
- 2 slices tomato
- 2 slices red onion
- 4 rings green or red bell pepper
- Fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish (optional)
- Cook burgers according to package directions. Top hot burgers with cheese slices. Let stand until cheese melts, about 1 minute.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together mayonnaise and curry powder. Spread on bun bottoms. Top with burgers, tomato, red onion and bell pepper. Top with parsley leaves, if you like, and bun tops.
Source: Morningstar Farms
(Family Features) For flavor fans, there is nearly no better combo than the complementary tastes in a Cubano sandwich. Complete with layers of roast pork, ham, soft swiss cheese, mustard and topped with tangy pickles, all the flavors and textures play in concert.
For an upgrade on the classic sandwich, try this version from Sammy Hagar, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who’s known for his riff on the iconic recipe. He takes his favorite sandwich to the next level by adding a smoky kick.
“The Cubano has everything I love in a sandwich: gooey melted cheese and a crispy, crunchy crust on the bread,” Hagar said. “It's great to be able to get all the flavors in each bite. It has pickles and mustard that cut through the rich cheese and pork. When you splash a little Tabasco on it, you get the last perfect ingredients – flavor and heat.”
Find his signature sandwich at Sammy’s Beach Bar & Grill locations throughout the country, or try creating Sammy’s Cubano Sandwich at home with this recipe.
For more recipes, visit Tabasco.com/recipe.
Sammy’s Cubano Sandwich
Cook time: 3 hours and 30 minutes
- 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup cilantro, minced
- 3/4 cup orange juice
- 1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, minced
- 2 teaspoons cumin, ground
- kosher salt, to taste
- coarse black pepper, to taste
- 3 1/2 pounds pork shoulder or boneless pork butt
- 2 teaspoons Tabasco Chipotle Sauce
- 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 6 pieces Cuban bread or baguette (6 inches each), cut lengthwise
- 8 ounces deli ham, thinly sliced
- 1/2 pound swiss cheese, thinly sliced
- 24 dill pickle chips
- 4 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 4 tablespoons reserved Mojo Marinade
- To make Mojo Marinade: In bowl, whisk olive oil, cilantro, orange juice, lime juice, garlic, oregano, cumin, salt and pepper until incorporated. Adjust salt and pepper, to taste. Reserve 4 tablespoons marinade in separate bowl, cover and set aside in refrigerator.
- Place pork in large zip-top bag. Cover with Mojo Marinade and close bag. Place in roasting pan and refrigerate overnight.
- Heat oven to 450° F.
- Remove pork and marinade from bag and place in roasting pan. Cover with foil and cook in oven 45 minutes.
- After 45 minutes, reduce heat to 375° F, remove foil and cook 2 hours until internal temperature reaches 175° F and pork is fork tender at thickest part.
- Remove from oven and let rest 20 minutes before slicing.
- In small bowl, mix chipotle sauce and mayonnaise until fully incorporated.
- Spread mixture on bottom bread slice.
- On top bread slice, place two slices deli ham, 3-4 ounces roasted pork, two slices swiss cheese, 4-6 pickles and yellow mustard.
- Over medium-high heat, butter flat surface of griddle and add reserved Mojo Marinade while butter is melting.
- Place assembled sandwiches on griddle, pressing grill weight or heavy skillet on top of sandwiches.
(Family Features) When your family is transitioning back into a regular routine in the new year, it’s the perfect time to recommit to healthy eating habits throughout the day. Getting the whole family on board may be easier than you think – just keep the focus on flavor and fun.
If you’re short on ideas to jumpstart better family eating, try these tips:
Keep it simple. Busy families often rely on the convenience of boxed meals, but you can get the same easy, delicious meal in a much healthier way. Everything cooks in one pot for easy clean-up, and this Cheeseburger Mac recipe swaps ground beef for leaner ground turkey. Not only is this an easy weeknight dinner, but leftovers can be packed in a thermos for lunch on chilly days.
Make a family promise. To keep the momentum going, rely on a resource like the Power Your Lunchbox Promise website, which offers everything from healthy lunchbox ideas to after-school snacks and dinners. All meal ideas have been approved by a registered dietitian, meet USDA guidelines and are kid-friendly. What’s more, for every Power Your Lunchbox Promise made on the website, health-conscious companies supporting the initiative will make a $1 donation to Feeding America's programs that support families and children. Learn more at poweryourlunchbox.com.
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground turkey
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 cup mini sweet peppers, chopped
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups whole-grain dry macaroni
- 1 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
- In large skillet over medium high heat, heat oil. Add turkey, onion and peppers. Cook 7-10 minutes, or until turkey is cooked through.
- In small bowl, mix paprika, sugar, salt and chili powder. Add to turkey and stir. Add water, milk, tomato paste and pasta. Mix well. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes, or until pasta is cooked and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and top with cheese.
Space Exploration Bento Box
Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
- 1/2 cup red seedless grapes
- 1 whole-wheat sandwich round
- 2 slices low-sodium deli-sliced turkey
- 1 slice Swiss cheese
- 1/2 slice low-fat cheddar cheese
- 1 clementine, peeled and segmented
- 3 mini sweet peppers, sliced into rings
- 1 package freeze-dried fruit
- Add grapes to bottom of large section of bento box to create space background. Place bottom of sandwich round on top, add turkey and sandwich round top.
- Lay Swiss cheese on cutting board. Using small bowl or other round object, cut into circle. Place on top of sandwich to create moon.
- Lay cheddar cheese on cutting board. Using small star cookie cutter, cut out stars. Add to space around moon.
- Pair with clementine “crescent moons,” pepper “planet rings” and freeze-dried fruit.
Source: Produce for Kids
(Family Features) Throughout 2018, you can create easy, healthy and delicious family meals by using time-saving recipes.
For example, these “Cook Once, Eat Twice” recipes from CanolaInfo start with pork chops that double as the base for lunch or dinner the following day.
“The more you cook your own meals, the more you can control portion sizes and ingredients,” said Manuel Villacorta, registered dietitian. “Knowing the right oil to use is essential. I like using canola oil to keep the flavors of your dishes intact due to its neutral taste and light texture. Plus, it contains high levels of monounsaturated fat and plant-based omega 3 fat, and is low in saturated fat. I use it regularly in my home kitchen and recommend it to my clients.”
For more time-saving recipes, visit canolainfo.org.
Pork Loin Chops with Sweet Balsamic Mushrooms
- 8 boneless center-cut pork loin chops (4 ounces each), trimmed of fat
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
- 12 ounces sliced portobello mushrooms
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 tablespoons chopped green onions
- Sprinkle both sides of pork with pepper.
- In large skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil. Cook pork chops 4 minutes on each side, or until internal temperature reaches 160 F.
- Reserve four pork chops in refrigerator to make Pressed Pepperoncini-Pork Sandwiches.
- In skillet over medium-high heat, heat remaining canola oil; tilt skillet to coat bottom lightly. Cook mushrooms 4-5 minutes, or until tender and juices begin to release, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Place over pork chops; cover to keep warm.
- To pan residue, add vinegar, water, Worcestershire sauce, sugar and remaining salt. Bring to boil over medium-high heat and boil 1 1/2-2 minutes, or until reduced to 2 tablespoons, scraping bottom and sides of skillet. Drizzle sauce over pork and mushrooms. Sprinkle with onions.
Pressed Pepperoncini-Pork Sandwiches
- 12 ounces crusty French bread, unsliced
- 4 leftover pork chops from Pork Loin Chops with Sweet Balsamic Mushrooms recipe
- 2/3 cup pepperoncini slices
- 1 plum tomato, chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon dried pepper flakes
- 3 slices ultra-thin sliced Swiss cheese, cut in half
- Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving 1/2-inch thick shell.
- Place pork on bottom half of bread. In bowl, combine pepperoncini, tomato, onion, garlic, canola oil, vinegar, oregano and pepper flakes. Spoon pepperoncini mixture and any accumulated juices on top of pork and top with cheese.
- Cover with top half of loaf. Press down firmly to flatten sandwich and allow flavors and juices to absorb. Cut filled loaf crosswise into four equal pieces.
Want your kids to acquire healthy eating habits? Start them cooking! Taking part in snack and meal preparation encourages children to develop sound food choices and may even persuade a picky eater to try new tastes. Some of the best items for kids to work with can be found at the supermarket deli counter. Boar’s Head, makers of premium deli products, offers an assortment of fine meats and cheeses for young chefs to make some of their favorite treats. Plus Boar’s Head products meet many of a child’s daily nutritional needs.
Pretzel Stick Roll Ups
- 2 slices Boar’s Head Gold Label Swiss Cheese
- 2 slices Boar’s Head Maple Honey Ham
- 1 slice Boar’s Head American Cheese
- 1 slice Boar’s Head Bologna
- Small pretzel sticks (There are a number of varieties available — make sure to select a sturdy kind.)
- On clean work surface (plastic cutting board or plate will do), lay out cheese slices. Place 1 ham slice on each Swiss cheese slice and bologna on American cheese. Starting at one end, roll up each pair of slices and skewer with pretzel stick. (Grownup helper may need to assist small hands with pretzel spearing.)
Yield: 3 roll ups
Source: Boar's Head
- 2 slice marbled rye bread
- Thinly carved leftover corned beef brisket
- Drained sauerkraut
- Drizzle of Thousand Island dressing
- Sliced Swiss cheese
- Layer thinly carved leftover corned beef brisket on a slice of marbled rye bread. Top with drained sauerkraut, a drizzle of Thousand Island dressing and sliced Swiss cheese. Top with second bread slice and grill in heated nonstick skillet over medium heat until golden brown on both sides and cheese is melted.
(Family Features) According to a recent survey conducted by Infogroup/Opinion Research Corporation on behalf of Perdue Farms, 91 percent of Americans believe in the importance of a sit-down, home-cooked meal.
While families today are busier than ever, they are still willing to go to great lengths to get a meal on the table the entire family will enjoy - including:
Customizing a recipe to their family's liking - 88 percent
Preparing the best side-dishes to accompany the meal - 85 percent
Purchasing higher-quality products - 74 percent
While the survey revealed roast chicken as Americans' best chicken dish, Chicken Cordon Bleu is the dish people most want to learn to cook.
Perdue's Executive Chef, Chris Moyer, created an easy recipe and how-to video for Chicken Cordon Bleu. Plus, he incorporates some tips to help both cooking novices and enthusiasts get this great meal on the table:
Start with high quality ingredients. Selecting all-natural chicken from a brand you can trust is a good place to start. Look for chicken with the USDA Processed Verified Seal. Perdue is the first poultry company to receive the seal, which verifies that PERDUE® Fresh, All-Natural Chicken products have been fed an all-vegetarian diet with no animal by-products and/or raised cage free. Chef Chris recommends PERDUE® FIT & EASY® boneless, skinless chicken breasts for this recipe.
Want to dress it up? Use prosciutto ham, gruyere cheese and thyme for your filling.
Side dishes matter, too. The survey also revealed that 95 percent of Americans feel that getting a nutritious and delicious meal on the dinner table is important to them - so make sure your side dishes consist of a healthy grain and a green vegetable high in nutrients and fiber.
Visit Perdue on Facebook to learn more about their commitment to providing better chicken and to find tips, tools and recipes for families to help get a great meal on the dinner table.
For a more advanced recipe for Chicken Cordon Bleu visit Perdue on Facebook.
What's your best chicken dish? Go to www.facebook.com/perduechicken, share a picture and describe what you do to make your dish the best for the chance to win a year's supply of PERDUE® chicken.
Chicken Cordon Bleu
Chicken Cordon Bleu is a popular chicken dish that many want to learn to cook.
VIDEO: How to Cook Chicken Cordon Bleu
- 1 package PERDUE® FIT & EASY® Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
- 6 thin slices of salt-cured Virginia-smoked ham
- 3 slices domestic Swiss cheese
- 1 whole egg
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/4 cup flour
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 tablespoon table ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Slice chicken horizontally without cutting all the way through to create butterfly breast.
- Place chicken on cutting board with sheet of plastic wrap over top. With meat mallet, gently pound chicken to even thickness of breast. Place two slices ham and cheese on one side of breast and fold back over.
- In bowl, whip together egg and water to create egg-wash.
- On two separate plates, put flour and breadcrumbs. Season flour with salt and black pepper.
- Carefully dredge chicken first into seasoned flour, then into egg-wash, followed by breadcrumbs.
- Heat olive oil in ovenproof sauté pan. Place chicken in pan to brown. Cook for 2 minutes on one side, then flip each breast over. Place pan into oven at 350°F and cook until each chicken breast reaches 170°F internal temperature, about 20-25 minutes.