Meal Ideas 04 January 2018

Make Kitchen Time Easier

(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

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Pork Loin Chops with Sweet Balsamic Mushrooms

Servings: 8

  • 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
  1. Sprinkle both sides of pork with pepper.
  2. 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.
  3. Reserve four pork chops in refrigerator to make Pressed Pepperoncini-Pork Sandwiches.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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Pressed Pepperoncini-Pork Sandwiches

Servings: 4

  • 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
  1. Hollow out top and bottom halves of bread, leaving 1/2-inch thick shell.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Source: CanolaInfo

Meal Ideas 09 May 2017

Add Sizzle to Your Fourth

(Family Features) A dazzling fireworks display may be the grand finale for your celebration, but you can make your mouthwatering menu a close second with these ideas to light up your Fourth of July. From bold burgers to crisp salads and sweet sides, give your guests plenty of reason to feel festive all day long. And don’t forget to add a little indulgence for all ages with a DIY dessert bar.

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Find more recipes perfect for the Fourth of July at

Serve Up a Sundae Bar
The only thing better than a dish of cold ice cream on a hot summer day is the chance to make it all your own. Let guests create their own dishes of deliciousness with a DIY sundae bar. Start with a healthy supply of cups, spoons and towels to mop up inevitable drips then fill the bar with irresistible options like these:

  • A sampling of ice creams, like vanilla, chocolate and strawberry
  • Fresh sliced fruit
  • Crushed candies and cookies
  • Sauces (chocolate, caramel and something fruity, too)
  • Assorted nuts
  • Crunchy favorites like crumbled cones or salty pretzels
  • Coconut (raw and toasted)
  • Whipped cream
  • Sprinkles

A Bold Take on an American Classic
When it comes to feeding family and friends on the Fourth of July, nothing pleases guests more than fan-favorite American bites fresh off the grill. Cheeseburgers are a tried-and-true classic for summer grilling season. Give your burger recipe a bold, sweet kick this Fourth of July with honey barbecue sauce and the finishing touch of delicious, smooth-melting Borden Cheese. Find more summer recipes to transform mealtime into memorable family time at

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Bold Honey Barbecue Burger

Total time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3-4 tablespoons steak seasoning
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • 1/2 stick melted butter
  • 3/4 cup barbecue sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 4 slices Borden Cheese American Singles
  • 8 slices thick bacon, cooked until crispy
  • 8 frozen onion rings
  • 4 slices tomato
  • fresh lettuce
  1. Combine ground beef, green onions, garlic powder and cayenne pepper; form into four patties. Sprinkle both sides of each patty with steak seasoning. Cover and chill. (Patties can be made several hours in advance.)
  2. Brush buns with melted butter; set aside. In small bowl, mix barbecue sauce with honey; set aside.
  3. Heat grill to medium-high heat.
  4. Grill burgers to internal temperature of 160° F, about 4-6 minutes per side. Two minutes before burgers are finished, grill buns, butter-side down, until golden brown. Place cheese slices on burgers to melt.
  5. Serve each burger on buttered bun topped with two slices bacon, two onion rings, honey barbecue sauce, lettuce and tomato.

A Tropical Summer Twist
If you find yourself hosting a last-minute barbecue without time to plan an extensive menu, don’t panic. Simply add a twist to traditional summer staples, like mixing one bag of cabbage with one jar of coleslaw dressing for a classic coleslaw side dish or incorporating coleslaw into your main course. This spin on a classic barbecue meal, Grilled Hawaiian Chicken and Tropical Coleslaw, can take your entertaining to the next level. For more recipes, visit

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Grilled Hawaiian Chicken and Tropical Coleslaw

Total time: 1 hour, 25 minutes
Serves: 6

  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup pineapple juice
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided, plus additional for brushing grill
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons Litehouse Instantly Fresh Garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Litehouse Instantly Fresh Ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • 1 3/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped into 1 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 large red onion, diced into 1 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 large green peppers, diced into 1 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3 cups fresh cubed pineapple


  • 1 package (14 ounces) coleslaw mix
  • 1 cup diced red pepper
  • 1 cup diced pineapple
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds
  • 1/2 cup Litehouse Coleslaw dressing
  1. In mixing bowl, whisk together ketchup, brown sugar, soy sauce, pineapple juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger and sesame oil. Stir in pepper and season with salt, if desired.
  2. Place chicken in gallon-sized re-sealable bag. Reserve 1/2 cup marinade in refrigerator then pour remaining marinade over chicken. Seal bag and refrigerate 1-2 hours. Soak 10 wooden skewer sticks in water 1 hour.
  3. While chicken marinates, prepare coleslaw. In medium bowl, toss together coleslaw mix, red pepper, pineapple, almonds and coleslaw dressing. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Heat grill to 400° F.
  5. Drizzle remaining olive oil over red onion, bell pepper and pineapple; toss. Season red onion and bell pepper with salt and pepper then thread red onion, bell pepper, pineapple and chicken onto skewers until all chicken is used.
  6. Brush grill grates with olive oil then place skewers on grill. Grill 5 minutes then brush along tops with 1/4 cup marinade. Rotate to opposite side and brush remaining marinade on opposite side; grill about 4 minutes, or until chicken registers 165° F in center on instant read thermometer.
    Serve skewers warm with coleslaw.

A Honey of a Side
No summer picnic or grilling spread is complete without an array of mouthwatering sides. When planning your menu, go for variety with dishes ranging from rich and savory to light and refreshing. If you want to mix things up a bit, look for ways to dress up timeless favorites, like this take on baked beans that gets its sweetness from honey instead of sugar. Find more ways to sweeten up your celebration at

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Honey Baked Beans

Recipe courtesy of the National Honey Board
Servings: 4-6

  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 4 1/2 cups cooked navy beans (or 3 cans, 15 ounces each)
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. Saute bacon and onion until onion is tender; combine with remaining ingredients in shallow 2-quart, oven-safe baking dish. Cover with lid or aluminum foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 45 minutes longer.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (berry sundaes)
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (baked beans)

Source: Family Features

Beef 11 August 2015

Classic Beef-Stuffed Peppers

  • 4 medium red, green or yellow bell peppers
  • 1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup cooked white or brown rice, cooled
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 400°F. Cut tops off bell peppers; remove seeds and membranes. Place peppers upright in 8-inch square baking dish, cutting thin slice off bottoms of peppers to stabilize, if necessary.
  2. Combine tomatoes, tomato sauce and 1 tablespoon parsley in large bowl. Remove and reserve 1 cup tomato mixture. Combine ground beef, onion, rice, remaining 2 tablespoons parsley, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, salt and black pepper with remaining tomato mixture in bowl, mixing lightly but thoroughly.
  3. Spoon beef mixture evenly into peppers. Top with reserved tomato mixture. Cover baking dish with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake at 400°F for 30 minutes. Uncover baking dish; continue baking 35 to 40 minutes to medium (160°F) doneness, until beef is not pink in center and juices show no pink color. Garnish with parsley, if desired.
Preparation and Cooking Time

1-1/2 hours

Calories: 328 | Total Fat: 15g
Cholesterol: 77mg | Protein: 25g
Carbohydrates: 25g | Sodium: 824mg


4 servings

Notes, Tips & Suggestions:

Cook's Tip: Due to the natural nitrate content of certain ingredients such as onions, celery and bell peppers, ground beef may remain pink even when a 160°F internal temperature has been reached. Always verify the internal temperature with a meat thermometer or instant-read thermometer to be certain it reaches 160°F.

SOURCE: National Cattlemen's Beef Association on behalf of The Beef Checkoff

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