recipes

Meal Ideas 30 January 2019

Find Better Balance for Family Meals this Year

(Family Features) This New Year, set a realistic resolution to take time to sit down with your family and eat balanced meals together. A few simple solutions and a dash of inspiration are all you need to set the tone for a year of health and wellness.

13583 lasagna

Last year, Americans were only meeting the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s MyPlate recommendations for vegetables, fruit, protein, dairy and grain consumption one week out of the entire year. While many families try to cook nutritious meals at home, a balanced plate can be hard to achieve. Educational programs, such as Nestlé’s Balance Your Plate, make it simple to create delicious and balanced meals by pairing frozen prepared meals and pizzas with made-from-scratch side dishes, which makes meeting the dietary guidelines a more attainable goal.

Frozen entrees are a convenient starting point for a well-rounded meal.

“It’s so important to me that we sit down as a family and have a nutritious meal,” said Kim Stoegbauer, creative director and founder of The TomKat Studio, who created a few easy ways to add some special touches to your next family dinner.

By pairing Stouffer’s Lasagna with Meat & Sauce, made with ingredients you would find in your own kitchen cupboard, with a homemade Panzanella Salad and Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Balsamic, Stoegbauer demonstrates how easy it is to create a family-friendly meal without the hassle.

“It’s a frozen entree that you can feel good about feeding your family, especially paired with some delicious and easy-to-prepare sides,” Stoegbauer said.

Find more simple, delicious and well-balanced meal ideas to share with your family at nestleusa.com/nutrition/balance.

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Panzanella Salad

Recipe courtesy of The TomKat Studio blog on behalf of Stouffer’s
Serves: 8-10

  • 1          whole wheat baguette, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 4          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 3          tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 1          cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1          hothouse cucumber, diced
  • 3          assorted bell peppers, diced
  • 1/2       red onion, diced
  • 10        sprigs basil leaves, julienned
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. On baking sheet, spread bread in single layer and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Bake 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove and set aside.
  3. In bowl, whisk together garlic, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper with remaining olive oil to make vinaigrette. 
  4. In large bowl, toss ingredients together, making sure to coat all ingredients with vinaigrette. Serve immediately.

Garlic Roasted Asparagus with Tomatoes and Balsamic

Recipe courtesy of The TomKat Studio blog on behalf of Stouffer’s
Serves: 6

  • 2          pounds asparagus, ends trimmed
  • 1          pint cherry tomatoes 
  • 4          garlic cloves, minced
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste
  • reduced balsamic vinegar
  1. Heat oven to 375° F. 
  2. On baking sheet, toss together all ingredients, except balsamic vinegar. Roast 15 minutes, or until asparagus is tender. Transfer asparagus and tomatoes to platter. Drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar to taste and serve.

Tip: Add some leftover fresh basil to the top of your lasagna for a pretty and flavorful garnish that complements your sides.

Source: Stouffer’s

Meal Ideas 16 January 2019

Warm Up with Sweet and Savory Comfort Food

(Family Features) If chocolate for dinner sounds too good to be true, it’s because chocolate is usually associated with decadent desserts. However, it can also take comfort food to a whole new level when paired with savory ingredients like red meat.

A bit of bittersweet cocoa powder helps balance out the richness of red meats like duck. Although it’s leaner and lower in saturated fat than other red meats, duck has a bold flavor and texture similar to steak.

In this Mocha-Rubbed Duck Breast recipe, cocoa powder, ground coffee and savory spices are rubbed onto the meat before it’s seared and smothered with a luscious sweet cherry and red wine sauce. The toasty, nutty flavor of coffee complements the cocoa while dark sweet cherries, red wine and toasted almonds complete the sweet and savory dish.

Find more comfort food recipes and tips for cooking with duck at mapleleaffarms.com.
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Mocha-Rubbed Duck Breast with Cherry and Red Wine Pan Sauce

Prep time: 2 hours, 10 minutes 
Cook time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Mocha Rub:

  • 2          tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2       teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground coffee
  • 2          teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1          teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2       teaspoon cocoa powder
  • 4          Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breasts, thawed


Cherry and Red Wine Pan Sauce:

  • 2          tablespoons reserved duck fat
  • 1/2       cup minced shallots
  • 3/4       cup dry red wine
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons granulated sugar
  • 5          ounces frozen dark sweet cherries, thawed and halved
  • 5          sprigs fresh thyme
  • salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • toasted sliced almonds, for garnish
  1. To make Mocha Rub: In small bowl, mix brown sugar, paprika, coffee, salt, pepper and cocoa powder. Set aside.
  2. Pat duck breasts dry and score according to package directions. Use half of rub on meat side of breasts. Cover breasts and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.
  3. In cold saute pan, place duck breasts skin-side down. Place pan over low-medium heat 8-12 minutes, or until fat is rendered and skin is crisp and brown.
  4. Turn breasts over and sprinkle remaining rub on skin side. Cook breasts 1-2 minutes skin-side up. Turn breasts back to skin-side down 1-2 minutes to caramelize rub. Reserve approximately 2 tablespoons duck fat for sauce.
  5. Heat oven to 350° F.
  6. Place duck breasts skin-side up on rimmed baking sheet; bake 5-6 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 155° F. Let breasts rest 4-5 minutes before slicing. Temperature will rise during resting period to reach 165° F.
  7. To make Cherry and Red Wine Pan Sauce: Place saute pan with reserved duck fat over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened. Add wine to pan to deglaze. Stir in balsamic vinegar, sugar, cherries and thyme sprigs; simmer until reduced. Remove thyme sprigs. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  8. Serve sauce over cooked duck breasts. Garnish with toasted almond slices.

Source: Maple Leaf Farms

Healthy 07 April 2017

A Colorful, Crunchy Salad

(Family Features) As days get longer and the weather gets warmer, take your meal outdoors for some tasty al fresco dining featuring a fresh and easy-to-prepare salad.

With minimal ingredients and maximum flavor, this combination of radicchio, California green ripe olives, chickpeas and Parmesan is sure to find its way into your seasonal meal occasions, from at-home dinners to garden parties.

Boasting vibrant purple hues, radicchio not only looks beautiful on the plate but packs a unique and pleasing, bitter flavor that is complemented by the texture added to each bite by toasted sunflower seeds and chickpeas.

Completing the salad are California Ripe Olives, which are grown by farming families across California. The California green ripe olive is similar to the black ripe olive but features a more mild and buttery flavor profile.

Find more tasty recipes at calolive.org.

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Radicchio Salad with Olives, Chickpeas and Parmesan

Recipe courtesy of the Simply Recipes blog
Prep time: 15 minutes
Resting time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4-6

  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 large head radicchio (10-12 ounces)
  • 1 can (16 ounces) California green ripe olives, drained, rinsed and roughly chopped
  • 1 can (16 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
  1. Add sunflowers seeds to small, dry skillet. Toast over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until seeds are toasted around edges and smell fragrant.
  2. Transfer seeds to bowl to cool.
  3. Peel away and discard a layer or two of outer radicchio leaves if they look wilted or battered. Cut head of radicchio into quarters through root. Trim away root.
  4. Cut each quarter crosswise into strips, 1- to 1 1/2-inches thick. Transfer to large mixing bowl.
  5. Add olives, chickpeas and 3/4 cup cheese to bowl with radicchio.
  6. Whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss gently until ingredients are evenly coated. If cheese clumps together, break apart with spatula and stir in.
  7. Let salad stand at least 10 minutes, or up to an hour.
  8. Add additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve salad on individual plates or one shared platter. Top with remaining cheese and toasted sunflower seeds.

Substitution: If radicchio is unavailable, try frisee, endive or another bitter green.

Note: Salad is best served within one hour of preparation, but can be stored in airtight container in fridge for several days.

Source: California Olive Committee

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