Meal Ideas 18 September 2019

Family Favorites with a Blended Twist

(Family Features) If you are raising picky eaters, there's a cooking technique that makes some of kids' favorite foods - like burgers and nachos - more nutritious while still tasting delicious.

Mushrooms, with their inherent umami flavor, are a perfect addition to blend into meals to increase both flavor and nutrition. Chefs kicked off the trend by blending finely chopped mushrooms with meat for burgers that are flavorful, healthy and Earth-friendly, and now blended burgers are showing up in school cafeterias, supermarket meat counters and fast food drive-thrus.

"Blended entrees like burgers are a win-win-win for families wanting to eat better," said Dayle Hayes, registered dietitian and founder of School Meals That Rock. "Mushrooms add delicious umami flavor, reduce fat and sodium in many popular dishes and kids love them."

Another fan of blending is MasterChef Junior finalist and teen chef, Evan Robinson. Robinson likes to blend with multiple varieties of mushrooms in family favorites such as tacos, burgers and stuffed peppers.

"I find that blending mushrooms into some of my go-to recipes helps increase the flavor while reducing the amount of fat and sodium," Robinson said.

If you're ready to start blending at home, it can be a simple process for introducing foods to even the pickiest of eaters. Recruit kids as kitchen helpers to tackle tasks such as wiping mushrooms clean and using their hands to blend the meat and mushrooms together.

For more family-friendly, blended recipes, visit Blenditarian.com

A Cooking Technique You Need to Know: Blending

Blending involves mixing finely chopped mushrooms with ground meat for more nutritious, but still delicious, burgers, tacos, meatballs and more.

1. Chop your favorite mushroom variety to match the consistency of the ground meat. This can be done with a knife or food processor.

2. Blend the chopped mushrooms with the ground meat.

3. Cook with Mexican seasoning mix for tacos, marinara sauce for meaty ragu or salt and pepper for juicy, flavorful burgers.

Blended Mushroom Nachos

Recipe courtesy of Chef Evan Robinson
Servings: 4

  • 5 shiitake mushrooms
  • 5 white button mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tablespoon Mexican meat seasoning
  • 10 ounces ground turkey

Cheese Sauce:

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 1/4 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • tortilla chips
  • salsa (optional)
  • guacamole (optional)
  • kale (optional)
  • romaine lettuce (optional)
  • tomatoes (optional)
  • cilantro (optional)
  • diced red bell peppers (optional)
  1. In blender or food processor, pulse mushrooms, garlic and onions. In large saute pan over medium-high heat, mix finely chopped mushroom mixture with seasoning and cook 2 minutes. Add ground turkey, breaking into fine crumbles until completely cooked through. Set aside.
  2. To make cheese sauce: In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter then add flour and whisk constantly, breaking up lumps. Stir 2 minutes then add milk and continuously whisk. Stir in cheese and mix with wooden spoon.
  3. Assemble chips on serving platter; spread mushroom-meat crumble on top. Add cheese sauce and toppings like salsa, guacamole, kale, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro and diced red bell peppers, if desired.

Pizza Burgers

Recipe courtesy of Chef Evan Robinson
Servings: 4

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium portabella mushroom, finely chopped
  • 2-3 white button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/2 small onion
  • 1/2 clove garlic
  • 2 teaspoons Italian-style herb seasoning
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • salt, to taste
  • pizza or marinara sauce
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • hamburger buns
  1. In large pan over medium-high heat, saute extra-virgin olive oil, mushrooms, onions, garlic and herb seasoning approximately 5 minutes until vegetables are soft. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
  2. Blend mushroom mixture with ground beef. Season with salt, to taste.
  3. Form into four patties and cook in same pan as mushroom mixture to preferred doneness. Top with dollop pizza sauce and mozzarella cheese. Cover pan to melt cheese then carefully transfer to buns.

Source: Mushroom Council

Holiday 09 April 2019

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

(Family Features) This Cinco de Mayo, make sure you're prepared to celebrate the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. Gather your family on this festive day to enjoy music, dancing and, of course, great Mexican food.

As you're getting ready for this year's fiesta, keep Mama Ortega in mind. Maria Conception Jacinta Dominguez Ortega, otherwise known as Mama Ortega, raised a family of 13 children with homemade Mexican meals every night. One hundred fifty years later her traditions still live on with great Mexican foods from Ortega.

Make some of your own family traditions with great recipes such as Pasta and Grilled Vegetable Salad with Cilantro Dressing, Taco Casserole or, perhaps, a Frozen Margarita Pie. From tasty whole kernel corn taco shells and delicious salsas to authentic taco sauces and diced green chiles, Ortega offers a wide variety of Mexican food products to meet all of your family's needs.

To get some new ideas on Cinco de Mayo recipes and valuable coupons, visit www.ortega.com.

Taco Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Start to Finish: 30 minutes
Makes: 8 servings

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 bottle (8 ounces) Ortega Taco Sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 can (4 ounces) Ortega Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chiles
  • 1 packet (1.25 ounces) Ortega 40% Less Sodium Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 1 package (12-count) Ortega Whole Grain Corn Taco Shells, broken, divided
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • Chopped tomatoes, chopped green bell pepper, sour cream
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease 11 x 7-inch baking dish.
  2. Cook beef and onion in large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned. Drain and discard excess fat.
  3. Stir in taco sauce, water, chiles and seasoning mix; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Layer half of broken taco shells on bottom of prepared baking dish. Cover with half of meat mixture; sprinkle with 1 cup cheese.
    Repeat layers with remaining ingredients.
  5. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted. Serve with desired toppings.

Pasta and Grilled Vegetable Salad with Cilantro Dressing

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Start to Finish: 30 minutes
Makes: 6 to 8 servings

Dressing

  • 1 can (4 ounces) Ortega Fire-Roasted Diced Green Chiles
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Regina red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon Polaner minced garlic
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

Salad

  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut in half
  • 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded, cut in half
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise into thin slices
  • 1 medium yellow squash, cut lengthwise into thin slices
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
  • 1 pound pasta shells or penne, cooked
  • 1 jar (16 ounces) salsa
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed fresh basil, cut into thin strips
  • Lettuce leaves (optional)
  1. Combine chiles, cilantro, oil, vinegar and garlic in small bowl. Whisk until well blended. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Set aside.
  2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat, about 15 minutes. Lightly brush grill grid with vegetable oil.
  3. Grill bell peppers, zucchini, squash and onion 3 to 5 minutes per side or until fork-tender. Remove vegetables from grill: cut into bite-size pieces.
  4. Toss cooked pasta, salsa, sliced vegetables and basil in large bowl or serving platter. Serve with dressing on lettuce leaves, if desired.

Frozen Margarita Pie

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Start to Finish: 4 hours
Makes: 8 servings

Crust

  • 10 Ortega Yellow Corn Taco Shells
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

Filling

  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1/3 cup frozen limeade, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 drop green food coloring
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • Lime curls (optional)
  1. Place taco shells in food processor and pulse until evenly ground.
  2. Melt butter in medium saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in taco crumbs and sugar until well blended. Press firmly over bottom and up sides of 9-inch pie plate.
  3. Place in freezer until firm.
  4. Combine sweetened condensed milk, limeade, orange juice and food coloring in large mixing bowl.
  5. Whip cream until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream gently into condensed milk mixture until blended. Pour onto prepared crust.
  6. Freeze uncovered, 4 hours or until firm. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with lime curls, if desired.

Tip: To crush taco shells without a food processor, place them in a resealable plastic food storage bag and run a rolling pin over the shells until they're evenly crushed.

Source: Ortega

Holiday 09 April 2019

A Fiesta of Flavor!

(Family Features) This Cinco de Mayo, gather the whole family together and enjoy a true Mexican fiesta like Mama Ortega would have thrown over 100 years ago. With mariachi music, dancing, piñatas and traditional homemade Mexican meals, Mama's fiestas were always a favorite with family, friends and especially her 13 children!

The flavors and smells of Mama's homemade meals still taste great today, but are easier to create - and more fun to eat! Her legendary meals inspired today's convenient and great tasting Ortega Mexican products. Achieve authentic fiesta flavors by using crisp and crunchy Ortega taco shells made with whole kernel corn, topped with slow simmered Ortega Taco Sauce and authentic fire-roasted green chiles. Ortega's zesty Mexican seasonings and fresh-tasting salsas are perfect for adding flavor to your favorite snack, casserole, dip or soup!

So, gather the family together and enjoy a fiesta of flavors with Ortega. For other great recipe ideas or to learn more about Ortega's line of products, visit www.ortega.com.

Taco Rice and Beans

Prep time: 5 minutes
Start to finish: 15 minutes
Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 package (1.25 ounces) Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup Ortega Thick & Chunky Salsa
  1. In skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes. Add taco seasoning mix and water. Stir until combined and slightly thickened. Add beans, rice and salsa; stir. Cook 5 minutes more or until contents are heated through.

Grilled Margarita Shrimp

Prep time: 40 minutes
Start to finish: 50 minutes
Serves 6

  • 1 cup margarita mix
  • 1 cup Ortega Taco Sauce, divided
  • 2 pounds raw shrimp (21 to 30), peeled and deveined
  • 3 tablespoons Ortega Diced Green Chiles
  1. In large bowl, pour margarita mix and 1/2 cup taco sauce over shrimp and toss well. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  2. Preheat grill until sizzling hot, about 15 minutes. Grill shrimp 4 minutes on each side or until pink.
  3. Combine remaining 1/2 cup taco sauce with green chiles to use as dipping sauce.

Ham and Cheese Quesadillas

Prep time: 10 minutes
Start to finish: 20 minutes
Serves 5

  • 1/2 pound cooked ham, diced
  • 3/4 cup cream cheese, softened
  • Zest of one lime
  • 2 green onions, white and green parts, diced
  • 1 Ortega Soft Taco Kit - includes 10 soft tortillas, 1 package (1.25 ounces) taco seasoning mix and 1 package (3 ounces) taco sauce
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  1. In mixing bowl, combine diced ham, cream cheese, lime zest, green onions and half of taco seasoning packet contained in soft taco kit. Heat large skillet on medium and spray with cooking spray.
  2. Spread about 1 teaspoon taco sauce onto a flour tortilla and then spread about 1/4 cup ham/cream cheese mixture on top.
  3. Place tortilla-side down onto hot skillet and top with another flour tortilla. Heat about 4 minutes, until bottom of tortilla is browned; spray top of the other tortilla and flip. Cook another 4 minutes and repeat with remaining quesadillas. Cook two at a time if skillet is large enough.
  4. Cut into wedges and top with tomato, cilantro and sour cream and serve.

Mexican Meatballs

Prep time: 15 minutes
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Makes about 30 meatballs

  • 3 Ortega Yellow Corn Taco Shells
  • 1 pound (16 ounces) lean ground beef
  • 1 teaspoon Ortega Chili Seasoning Mix
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons Ortega Diced Green Chiles
  • 1 bottle (8 ounces) Ortega Taco Sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Cilantro, finely chopped (optional)
  1. Break taco shells into food processor and pulse several times to create about 1/2 cup taco shell crumbs. Place into large mixing bowl and add ground beef, seasoning mix, egg and green chiles. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Form mixture into 30 (1-inch) meatballs and drop into hot skillet. Cook until they begin to brown. Carefully turn over and continue browning. Add taco sauce. Coat meatballs with sauce and simmer over low heat, uncovered, 10 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle meatballs with cheese and garnish with cilantro, if desired. Serve with toothpicks.

Photos copyright (c) 2008 Publications International, Ltd. Used by permission.

Source: Ortega

One Dish Meals 21 February 2019

Bring the Family Together with a One-Pot Fiesta

(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, make a kid-friendly, south-of-the-border casserole. All of the ingredients – from the whole grain elbow macaroni to the ground beef – are cooked in one skillet, meaning minimal cleanup and maximum quality time spent reconnecting around the dinner table.

“This simple three-step recipe is perfect for busy weeknights because it’s quick, family-friendly and just as good re-heated for leftovers,” said McCormick Executive Chef Kevan Vetter. “You don’t need a second pot to cook the pasta; it’s cooked in the skillet along with the ground beef, fresh tomatoes and corn. Season with organic taco seasoning and sprinkle with cheddar cheese and you’re sure to have a meal the kids will beg to add to the dinner rotation.” 

For more one-dish meals for the back-to-school season, visit McCormick.com, and check out McCormick Spice on Facebook and Pinterest.

Tex-Mex Macaroni Casserole

Ingredients
Makes 8 (1-cup) servings

  • 1          pound lean ground beef
  • 1          medium onion, chopped
  • 1          package McCormick Organics Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 2          cups water
  • 2          cups fresh chopped tomatoes
  • 1          cup frozen whole kernel corn
  • 2          cups uncooked whole grain elbow macaroni
  • 1          cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Directions

  1. Brown beef and onion in large skillet on medium-high heat. Drain fat.
  2. Stir in seasoning mix, water, chopped tomatoes and corn. Bring to boil. Add pasta. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Sprinkle with cheese, cover. Let stand 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Source: McCormick

Kids 03 September 2018

Pack a Healthier Lunchbox this School Year

(Family Features) When school is in session, it's the perfect time to renew your family's healthy eating habits by getting in a groove of lunchbox packing.

While packing a healthy school lunch day after day can seem daunting, it doesn't have to be. By taking the free Power Your Lunchbox Promise, you can gain access to customizable, make-ahead lunchbox inspiration like Black Bean Empanadas and Rainbow Bento Boxes, which creatively include servings of fruits and veggies to keep kids' brains charged all day.

Making the promise not only signals a commitment to making healthier meal choices this year, it also helps those in need. For every promise made, health-focused partner brands will collectively donate $1 to Feeding America programs that support families and children. In addition to kid- and registered dietitian-approved breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner recipes, the promise website features coupons, health tips to help your family during the school year, lunchbox ideas and giveaways.

Additionally, teachers have a special section of the site where they can make the promise as a classroom and download free fruit and veggie themed classroom decor and lesson plans.

To find your lunchbox inspiration and make the promise, visit poweryourlunchbox.com.

Rainbow Bento Box

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 2

  • 2 red mini sweet peppers, sliced
  • 1 mandarin, peeled and segmented
  • 1 kiwi, sliced
  • 1/2 cup sugar snap peas
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 cup red seedless grapes
  • 1 large spinach wrap
  • 1 tablespoon hummus
  • 2 slices provolone cheese
  • 2 ounces low-sodium deli-sliced turkey
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach, chopped
  1. Assemble two lunchboxes each with half of the peppers, mandarin, kiwi, snap peas, blueberries and grapes.
  2. Lay wrap on flat surface. Spread with hummus and top with cheese, turkey and spinach. Roll up tightly and slice into 1-inch thick rounds. Add half to each lunchbox.

Black Bean Empanadas

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings 6

  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 3 mini sweet peppers, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped sweet onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium taco seasoning
  • 12 frozen empanada discs, thawed
  • 3/4 cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 large egg white, beaten
  • 6 guacamole minis
  • 6 packages crispy fruit
  1. In skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add peppers, onions and tomatoes. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until tender. Add black beans and taco seasoning. Cook 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Heat oven to 375 F.
  3. Lay empanada dough out on parchment-lined baking sheet. Fill with black bean filling and 1 tablespoon cheese. Fold dough over filling to create pocket. Use fork to press down sides to seal. Brush with egg whites. Repeat with remaining dough, filling, cheese and egg whites.
  4. Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool.
  5. Serve two empanadas with guacamole, for dipping, and crispy fruit on side.

Source: Produce for Kids

Meal Ideas 05 February 2019

5 Tips to Meal Prep Like a Pro

(Family Features) Dinner can be a daunting task for any family with multiple mouths to feed. Factor in complex schedules and individual tastes, and a family meal can become a stressful thought for home cooks.

However, with proper meal planning and preparation, those stressful evenings can become a thing of the past. Consider these steps to becoming a better meal prepper:

Start Slow
If you’re new to meal prepping, don’t bog yourself down trying to come up with ideas and ingredients multiple days in advance. Start by planning just one or two days ahead then consider lengthening your prep phases as you get more comfortable.

Shop Smart
Avoid overbuying by heading to the grocery store with a plan in mind or, even better, a specific list. While perusing the aisles, look for the Produce for Kids logo next to healthy, family-friendly items to help make nutritionally sound choices.

Go with What You Know
Rather than teaching yourself to meal prep while trying to learn new recipes at the same time, stick to the basics. Create dishes you’ve made in the past while you get into the habit of meal prepping.

Make It a Family Event
Recruit some help from your kids by enlisting them with some easier kitchen tasks. It can be a learning and bonding experience to make recipes like Easy One-Dish Chicken and Veggie Bake or Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadilla.

Plan for In-Season Produce
Certain fruits and veggies are stocked (and taste better) at certain times of year. Be sure to create shopping lists with these timeframes in mind.

To find family meal tips and more than 400 registered dietitian- and family-approved recipes, visit produceforkids.com.
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Easy One-Dish Chicken and Veggie Bake

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 50 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          pound chicken breast, cut in fourths
  • 12        small red potatoes, quartered
  • 12        ounces green beans
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 3          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          tablespoon herbs de Provence
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/8       teaspoon pepper
  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place chicken, potatoes and green beans in rows in 13-by-9-inch baking dish with chicken in middle. Drizzle with olive oil and season with garlic, herbs de Provence, salt and pepper.
  3. Bake 50 minutes, or until chicken reaches internal temperature of 165 F and potatoes are tender.

Nutritional information per serving: 554 calories; 8 g fat; 65 mg cholesterol; 87 g carbohydrates; 11 g fiber; 37 g protein; 9 g sugar; 82 mg calcium; 5 mg iron; 282 mg sodium.
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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadilla

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          large sweet potato
  • 1          can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4       cup chopped cilantro
  • 1          tablespoon low-sodium taco seasoning
  • 8          whole-wheat tortillas
  • 1          cup low-fat shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  1. Use fork to prick sweet potato. Microwave 5 minutes on high. Let cool slightly.
  2. Cut potato in half lengthwise and scoop flesh into large bowl. Mash until smooth.
  3. Combine beans, cilantro and seasoning with sweet potato; mix well.
  4. Heat skillet over medium heat. Spread sweet potato mixture evenly on one side of tortilla, sprinkle with cheese and place second tortilla on top. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Flip and cook 2-3 minutes more.
  5. Repeat with remaining tortillas and mixture. Cut each into quarters.

Nutritional information per serving: 293 calories; 9.34 g total fat; 34.82 g carbohydrates; 10.39 g fiber; 17.04 g protein; 2.33 g total sugars; 237 mg calcium; 2.65 mg iron; 146 mg sodium.

Source: Produce for Kids

Meal Ideas 05 February 2019

Resolve to Make Your Lunchbox Healthier

(Family Features) It’s the perfect time of year for families to get back on track and pledge to eat healthy lunches for the remainder of the school year.

Families that take the free Power Your Lunchbox Pledge can access nutritious and delicious ideas for lunch, after-school snacks and weekday family dinners, as well as coupons, tips and ideas for incorporating more fruits and vegetables into lunchboxes. The pledge website also features a collection of registered dietitian-approved recipes, including warm, hearty and healthy lunches like this Alphabet Vegetable Soup and kid-friendly, build-your-own lunchbox ideas like these tasty Wonton Taco Cups.

For teachers who want to incorporate the program into their classrooms, pledge resources such as nutrition-focused lesson plans, certificates for students and take-home materials for families are also available online. Teachers who take the pledge can win a $500 gift card for classroom supplies.

Taking the pledge not only signals a commitment to making healthier meal choices, it helps those in need. From Jan. 4 through Feb. 15, for every online pledge, companies supporting the Power Your Lunchbox Pledge will donate $1 to Feeding America programs that support families and children. For more information, visit poweryourlunchbox.com.

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Alphabet Vegetable Soup

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Total time: 45 minutes

  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 3          carrots, diced
  • 2          cups organic baby kale
  • 8          ounces snipped green beans, chopped
  • 1          russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1/2       medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2          quarts low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1          can (14 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1          cup alphabet pasta
  1. In large pot over medium heat, heat oil.
  2. Add carrots, kale, green beans, potato and onion. Cook 5 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Add broth, tomatoes, salt, pepper and garlic powder. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 20 minutes.
  4. Stir in pasta and cook 10 minutes, or until cooked.

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Wonton Taco Cups

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Total time: 25 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 3/4       pound lean ground beef
  • 1          tablespoon low-sodium taco seasoning
  • 1          Roma tomato
  • 2          mini sweet peppers
  • 1/4       small sweet onion
  • 1          tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 24        wonton wrappers
  • 1/2       cup shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
  • 2          avocados, sliced
  • 1          lime, juiced
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Spray 24-cup mini muffin pan with nonstick spray and set aside.
  2. Heat large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add ground beef and cook 5-7 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and return to pan. Add taco seasoning and mix well.
  3. Add tomato, peppers, onion and cilantro to food processor and chop until fine (or finely chop by hand). Add to ground beef and mix well.
  4. Line muffin pans with wonton wrappers, placing one in each cup. Add taco mixture and top with cheese. Bake 12-15 minutes, or until wontons start to brown on edges.
  5. Meanwhile, toss avocados with lime juice. Top each taco cup with avocado.

Source: Produce for Kids

Meal Ideas 06 April 2017

Comida Mexicana

Sassy, Savory Mexican Home Cooking

(Family Features) The best home cooking traditions not only get passed down from generation to generation, but they also get “adopted” into other families. Emilio Ortega’s family, for example, enjoyed the benefits of his fascination with green chiles when he moved to New Mexico in 1890. When he returned home to California, he and his family started growing, then cooking with these great tasting chiles, perfecting homemade, authentic, Mexican meals the entire family would enjoy.

Today, you can pass that tradition on to your family by enjoying great tasting Mexican meals with the convenience of the Ortega family of products. Look for crisp Ortega taco shells made from whole kernel corn and vacuum-sealed trays to keep them fresh and crisp — and unbroken. And choose Ortega fire-roasted green chiles, Mexican seasonings and zesty salsas, ready to stir into your favorite casserole, cheese dip or soup.

So, gather at the table for your own “comida Mexicana” or family meal.

For more recipe ideas and information on Ortega’s Taco Shells, Kits, Soft Tortillas, Taco Sauces, Seasonings and Peppers, visit www.ortega.com.

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South of the Border Salad With Creamy Lime Dressing

Makes: 4 servings

  • 4 Ortega Taco Shells, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 pound boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips
  • 1 1.25-ounce package Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 5-ounce package mixed salad greens
  • 1 cup (16) cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup Ortega Sliced Jalapeños, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese blend
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, sliced and sprinkled with lime juice

Creamy Lime Dressing

  • 1/3 cup sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon each oil and milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  1. Combine all Creamy Lime Dressing ingredients in small bowl; stir until blended. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  2. Microwave crushed taco shells on high 30 to 45 seconds.
  3. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken strips; cook and stir 4 to 6 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in taco seasoning mix and water. Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to low; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until mixture is thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
  5. Combine salad greens, crushed taco shells, tomatoes and jalapeños in large bowl. Divide mixture onto four serving plates.
  6. Sprinkle with cheese; top with chicken strips and avocado slices.
  7. Serve with Creamy Lime Dressing.

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Black and White Mexican Bean Soup

Makes: 6 servings (1 1/3 cups each)

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 1.25-ounce package Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 14-ounce can chicken broth
  • 1 16-ounce package frozen corn
  • 1 15.5-ounce can Joan of Arc great northern beans, drained
  • 1 15.5-ounce can Joan of Arc black beans, drained
  • 1 4-ounce can Ortega Diced Green Chiles
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Heat oil in large pan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; cook until onion is tender.
  2. Stir in flour and taco seasoning mix; gradually stir in milk until blended. Add remaining ingredients except cilantro.
  3. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; simmer 15 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  4. Stir in cilantro.

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Mexican Snack Stacks

Makes: 16 servings

  • 1/2 cup Ortega Salsa (any variety)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cooked chicken
  • 8 8-inch Ortega Soft Tortillas
  • 1/2 cup guacamole
  • 1/3 cup Ortega Refried Beans
  • 6 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. Mix 1/4 cup salsa, sour cream and chicken in small bowl.
  3. Place 2 soft tortillas on ungreased cookie sheet; spread each with salsa-chicken mixture. Spread 2 more soft tortillas with guacamole and stack on top of salsa-chicken tacos, guacamole side up.
  4. Mix refried beans with remaining 1/4 cup salsa; spread mixture onto 2 more soft tortillas and stack on top of guacamole. Top each stack with remaining 2 soft tortillas; sprinkle with cheese.
  5. Bake 8 to 10 minutes until cheese is melted and filling is hot.
  6. Sprinkle with cilantro. Cut each stack into 8 wedges.

 

Mexican Steak Tacos

Makes: 2 servings (2 tacos each)

  • 1 3 1/2-ounce bag boil-in-bag long grain rice
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ortega Taco Sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Ortega Salsa (any variety)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound sirloin steak
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 4-ounce can Ortega Diced Green Chiles
  • 4 Ortega Taco Shells
  • 4 lime wedges
  • Sour cream (optional)
  1. Cook rice combining cumin, garlic powder, taco sauce, salsa and salt.
  2. Rub mixture over both sides of steak.
  3. Spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Place steak on broiler tray.
  5. Broil steak 4 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
  6. Cut steak into thin slices.
  7. Combine rice mixture, tomatoes and chiles. Place the mixture in shells.
  8. Top rice mixture with beef slices. Squeeze juice from limes over beef.
  9. Top with sour cream, if desired.

Source: Ortega

Appetizers & Sides 10 August 2015

Taco Rice and Beans

Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 package (1.25 ounces) Ortega Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 1/4 cup Ortega Thick & Chunky Salsa
Preparation
  1. In skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion; cook 3 minutes. Add taco seasoning mix and water. Stir until combined and slightly thickened. Add beans, rice and salsa; stir. Cook 5 minutes more or until contents are heated through.
Preparation Time

5 minutes

Start to Finish Time

15 minutes

Serves

Serves 4

Notes, Tips & Suggestions

Photos copyright (c) 2008 Publications International, Ltd. Used by permission.

Source

Ortega

Appetizers & Sides 10 August 2015

7-Layer Taco Dip

Ingredients
  • 1 pound Bob Evans Original roll sausage
  • 1 can (16 ounces) refried beans
  • 1 can (4.5 ounces) chopped green chiles
  • 1 package (1.25 ounces) taco seasoning mix
  • 1 container (16 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 jar (11 ounces) salsa
  • 1 can (6 ounces) sliced black olives
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped
  • 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blend
  • Tortilla chips
Preparation
  1. In large skillet over medium heat, crumble and cook sausage until browned. Stir in beans, chilies and taco seasoning mix.
  2. Spread sausage mix into 7 x 11-inch serving dish. Top with sour cream, then salsa. Sprinkle olives, tomato and onion on top. Cover with cheese.
  3. Serve immediately with chips. Refrigerate leftovers.
Preparation Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

10 minutes

Serves

8 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions

Whether you're hosting a watch party, or headed to a tailgate, having the right foods for the big game is crucial. Use these appetizer, side dish and dessert ideas to kick game time up a notch and try this recipe for a delicious dip that will be the hit of the season.

Source

Bob Evans

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