(Family Features) Getting the whole family around the dinner table every evening can be hard. Feeding your family meals that incorporate high-quality ingredients and are also delicious can be even harder. Sometimes, though, that special ingredient you’re looking for can already be in your pantry.
Consider including bursts of flavor from an ingredient such as California Ripe Olives at your next family meal and take into account the versatility and taste made possible by the hard-working farm families who grow them.
Grown by his family for more than a decade, Rick Benson vividly remembers the day he convinced his father the next crop at Benson Farms should be California Ripe Olives, which are both heat- and salt-tolerant.
That was 12 years ago, and the Benson family has grown olives ever since. Though they are seasoned farmers, the Benson family members are new to olives, and they have brought an innovative way of harvesting to the decades old industry.
While California Ripe Olives remain a primarily hand-harvested crop, the Bensons’ young grove was planted with the intention of harvesting mechanically. As newer olive groves are planted, mechanical harvesting is slowly being implemented.
“It’s a labor of love,” Benson said. “We view olives as our crop for the next generation.”
Whether you’re enjoying olives as a snack or using them in a new dish like this favorite recipe from a California Ripe Olive-growing family, consider the hundreds of farming families behind each can of olives.
Learn more about multi-generational farming families like the Bensons and find more recipes at calolive.org.
Rustic Chicken with Ripe Olives
Recipe courtesy of Vincent Richutti, a third-generation California Ripe Olive grower
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 30-35 minutes
- 1/2 cup mixed, porcini or chanterelle dried mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons fennel seeds
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 pounds baby yellow potatoes, halved
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 1/2 cups California Black and Green Ripe Olives
- 1/4 cup chicken broth
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced and seeds removed
- Heat oven to 425° F.
- In small food processor, pulse mushrooms, fennel seeds, basil, salt and red pepper flakes until mixture is finely chopped and almost powder-like.
- Place potatoes on large, shallow-rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil; toss to coat. Sprinkle with half the mushroom mixture and toss lightly.
- Brush chicken with remaining olive oil and sprinkle both sides with remaining mushroom mixture.
- Nestle chicken and olives into potatoes. Drizzle with broth and wine, and top with lemon slices.
- Roast 30-35 minutes, or until chicken and potatoes are cooked through.
- Remove lemon slices before serving.
Source: California Olive Committee
Cooking with canned foods combines convenience and nutrition
(Family Features) Simple, convenient and versatile, canned foods provide an array of options for families looking to increase nutrition during mealtimes. However, some home chefs may not be aware of the benefits canned foods bring to the table.
Consider these common consumer misnomers cleared up by the Canned Food Alliance:
Myth: Canned foods don’t count toward dietary goals.
Fact: Canned foods provide important nutrients that deliver on the USDA’s Dietary Guidelines, as all forms of fruits, vegetables, beans, meats and seafood – whether fresh, frozen, canned or dried – are recommended to help ensure a proper balance of nutrients. In fact, according to a survey conducted by the Canned Food Alliance, 95 percent of health professionals surveyed agree that all forms of food, including canned, can help consumers meet the USDA’s MyPlate fruit and vegetable recommendations.
Myth: Canned foods aren’t as nutritious as fresh or frozen foods.
Fact: Research published in the “Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture” shows canned foods can be as nutritious, and in some cases more nutritious, than fresh and frozen counterparts.
Myth: Canned foods are filled with preservatives.
Fact: Because canned foods have already been cooked, preservatives aren’t necessary to prevent spoilage. The canning process itself preserves the food.
Myth: Canned foods are highly processed.
Fact: Once canned fruits and vegetables are picked and packed near peak ripeness, they’re cooked quickly at high temperatures to lock in nutrients, similar to the home-canning process.
Myth: Canned foods are high in sodium.
Fact: Salt and sodium aren’t required for preservation of canned foods, and low- and no-sodium canned food options are available. Additionally, draining and rinsing canned foods can further reduce sodium by up to 41 percent.
Find more canned food facts and recipes at mealtime.org.
Chipotle Pumpkin Black Bean Chili
Recipe courtesy of the Canned Food Alliance
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 60-70 minutes
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 rib celery, chopped
- 2 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can (28 ounces) no-salt added canned diced tomatoes
- 1 cup canned pureed pumpkin
- 1 cup no-salt-added canned chicken broth
- 1 can no-salt-added canned black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 can (12 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added chicken, drained
- 1 chipotle in adobo sauce, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon brown sugar
- salt, to taste
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- lime wedges, for serving
- In Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions, celery, jalapenos, garlic, cumin, oregano and pepper. Cook, stirring, 5-8 minutes, or until vegetables soften. Add tomato paste and cook 2 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, pumpkin puree, chicken broth, black beans, chicken, chipotles and brown sugar. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 1 hour, or until chili thickens. Add salt, to taste.
- Garnish with green onions and serve with lime wedges.
Tip: Add preferred canned beans, such as white kidney beans, pinto or Romano beans, in place of or in addition to black beans.
Nutritional information per serving: 240 calories; 6 g fat; 35 mg cholesterol; 210 mg sodium; 29 g carbohydrates; 8 g fiber; 8 g sugar; 18 g protein; 7,390 IU vitamin A; 35 mg vitamin C; 98 mg calcium; 3.2 mg iron.
Source: Canned Food Alliance
(Family Features) After a holiday season filled with indulgent food and limited time for exercise, there’s no time like the New Year to adopt some new, healthy habits.
These additional tips can help you get a healthy start to the New Year:
Change up your routine. Start by making a few lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthier diet or increasing your exercise regimen. Maybe you’d like to shed a few pounds or tone up before the weather gets warmer. Changing up your eating (and drinking) habits can be the first step on the path to success.
Start at the tap. Make sure your healthy eating habits include cooking with the best-tasting water possible. That means you could be washing your fruits and vegetables or making soups and smoothies with water that contains impurities. Contrary to what some people may think, boiling water does not completely remove certain contaminants like lead from water.
“Drinking water daily is an important component to staying healthy, as water keeps you hydrated, aids in digestion and transports vitamins and other nutrients. I prefer drinking filtered water to make sure I avoid potentially unwanted contaminants,” said Keri Glassman, a registered dietitian, nutritionist and PUR spokesperson. “I recommend installing a faucet filtration system that won’t break the bank, such as the PUR Advanced Faucet Filtration System, for a superior, on-demand solution for clean, healthy and great-tasting water right from the tap.”
Visit PUR.com to learn more about superior faucet filtration systems and how to get cleaner, better-tasting water.
Create healthy, hearty recipes. There are plenty of delicious and nutritious recipes that can help fuel your body all year long. For example, this hearty soup is full of tasty, powerful ingredients like protein-rich chicken sausage; nutrient-dense kale and butternut squash, which are excellent sources of fiber; plus vitamins and minerals. Garlic, onions and cloves add a kick of antioxidants and flavor.
White Bean Soup with Spicy Chorizo
Recipe courtesy of Keri Glassman
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 4 cups kale, chopped
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 1 can (14 ounces) cannellini beans, drained
- 2 cups PUR filtered water, plus additional for rinsing
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 links precooked chicken sausage, diced
- 3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Rinse kale, squash and cannellini beans in filtered water. Set aside.
- In pot over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and garlic, stirring frequently until softened, about 5 minutes. Add sausage and saute 2 minutes, or until warmed through and slightly browned.
- Add squash, kale, broth and 2 cups filtered water. Cook, partially covered, 15-20 minutes, or until squash is softened.
- Reduce heat to low. Add beans and gently simmer uncovered 3 minutes. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste, before serving.
Southwest Chicken and Rice Wraps
- 1 can (14 ounces) low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 cups Minute Brown Rice, uncooked
- 2 tablespoons Mrs. Dash® Salt-Free Extra Spicy Seasoning Blend
- 2 cups frozen southwest blend vegetables
- 2 cups cooked chicken, diced
- 4 whole wheat tortillas
- 1 cup low-fat cheddar cheese, shredded, optional
- 1/2 cup light sour cream, optional
- Bring broth to a boil in a medium saucepan.
- Add rice, seasoning blend, vegetables and chicken; stir. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes.
- Warm tortillas and divide rice mixture evenly onto tortillas. Top with cheese and sour cream, if desired, and roll into desired shape.
Savory Honey Mustard Poached Pears and Figs
Submitted by Pamela V.
Servings: 4 to 6
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
- 2 cups College Inn® Chicken Broth
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 tablespoons honey, divided
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 pears (firm variety such as Bosc), peeled, halved and cored
- 6 ounces dried figs, stems removed
- 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese or goat cheese
- Trace diameter of large saucepan onto parchment paper. Cut out and set aside.
- Combine broth, white wine, water, mustard, 2 tablespoons honey, lemon juice and bay leaves in large saucepan. Bring to a boil, whisking occasionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes.
- Add pears, core-side-up, and figs; cover with vented parchment paper so pears stay fully submerged.
- Simmer 20 minutes until pears are fork-tender.
- Toast hazelnuts in small, non-stick sauté pan over medium high heat, about 2 minutes or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Quickly remove nuts from pan onto a separate plate.
- To serve, remove pears from poaching liquid and place onto individual salad plates. Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon honey and sprinkle with nuts and cheese.
Source: College Inn
(Family Features) The rich smell and crisp, smoky flavor of fresh sizzling bacon is a temptation few diners can resist. Indeed, some 53 percent of Americans eat bacon at least once a week, according to a recent survey by Smithfield. This love for bacon is fueling a culinary craze for bacon-infused and -inspired foods - everything from the tame (sauces) to the outrageous (ice cream).
But perhaps this trend should come as no surprise. After all, a full 78 percent of Smithfield's survey respondents agreed that bacon makes everything better.
Whether you're pairing your morning eggs with strips of their most perfect protein sidekick, loading up a BLT with an extra layer of bacon-y crunch, or following the lead of the nation's top chefs and experimenting with new flavor combinations, you're likely to achieve a crowd pleaser.
Quirky products and recipes aside, for the average consumer, the simple versatility of bacon makes it a winning addition to most meals. Even a classic pork chop, one of the most popular cuts of fresh pork, takes on a new personality when paired with the distinctly savory flavor of bacon, as in this recipe for Bacon Pork Chops with BBQ Glaze.
Image and recipe provided by The Pork Board
Bacon Pork Chops with BBQ Glaze
- 4 6-7 ounce Smithfield Boneless Pork Loin Chops (1 1/4-inch thick)
- 1 teaspoon coarse salt
- 4 slices Thick-Cut Smithfield Bacon
- 4 tablespoons barbecue sauce
- 1/2 cup lager beer
- 1 teaspoon canola oil
- 1/2 cup chicken broth, reduced-sodium
- Season pork with salt. Wrap bacon around edges of pork and secure with wooden toothpick.
- Mix together barbecue sauce and beer.
- Heat oil in oven-proof large skillet over medium-high heat. Stand chops with bacon-wrapped edges down in skillet, leaning against side of pan if needed. Using tongs, rotate chops along edges to lightly brown bacon (allow about 45 seconds to brown each section).
- Place chops flat side down in skillet and cook until underside is lightly browned, about one minute. Turn chops over. Spread equal amount of barbecue sauce mixture over each chop, letting excess run into skillet.
- Place skillet with chops in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Transfer each chop to dinner plate and let stand.
- Pour fat from skillet, leaving browned bits. Heat skillet over high heat until hot. Add broth and bring to a boil, scraping up browned bits with wooden spoon, and boil until reduced by half, about two minutes. Top each chop with spoonful of sauce and serve hot.
(Family Features) - In the restaurant world, professional chefs can afford to spend hours on their culinary creations. When they come home after a long day, however, even the most passionate cooks tend to relish a few cooking shortcuts. From simple recipes to pantry essentials, there are a variety of tips and tricks that home cooks can add to their repertoire, too.
Timesaving products, such as prepared stock and mashed potatoes, allow home cooks to replicate restaurant-quality dishes without spending all day over a hot stove. Here are a few recipes that are easy to prepare, but rich with flavor.
For an elegant main course, try Pan Sautéed Chicken With Vegetables and Herbs. This moist, flavorful dish gets its richness from Swanson chicken stock. Or trade in the traditional salmon filet for savory Butter and Herb Salmon Cakes. Made with cayenne, tarragon, garlic and Idahoan Butter and Herb Mashed Potatoes, these cakes are a cinch to prepare, but friends and family will think you ordered in.
Butternut Squash Soup With Sage is a show-stopping first course that is accented with the flavors of sweet apples and sage. For an appetizer that will please a crowd, try Four-Cheese Potato-Stuffed Mushrooms.
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon paprika
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 bone-in chicken breast halves
- 2 small red onions, cut into quarters
- 1 pound new potatoes, cut into quarters
- 8 ounces fresh whole baby carrots (about 16), green tops trimmed to 1 inch
- 1 1/2 cups Swanson chicken stock
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
- Heat oven to 350°F. Combine black pepper, paprika and flour in small bowl. Coat chicken with flour mixture.
- Heat the oil in 12-inch oven-safe skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until it's well browned on all sides. Remove chicken from skillet.
- Add onions and potatoes to skillet and cook for 5 minutes. Add carrots, stock, lemon juice and oregano and heat to a boil. Return the chicken to the skillet. Cover the skillet.
- Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes. Uncover the skillet and bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender. Sprinkle with the thyme.
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 2 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 medium Granny Smith apples, cored and sliced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3 cups Swanson chicken broth (regular, Natural Goodness or Certified Organic)
- 1 tablespoon butter OR margarine
- 12 fresh sage leaves
- Heat oil in saucepot over medium heat. Add squash, apples and onion and cook until almost tender. Stir in sugar, coriander and cayenne pepper. Cook and stir 2 minutes.
- Add broth. Heat to a boil. Cook over low heat 10 minutes or until squash is tender.
- Place cooked squash mixture in food processor, using a slotted spoon. Cover and blend until smooth, adding enough cooking liquid to make soup of desired consistency.
- Heat butter in small skillet. Add sage and cook until crisp. Remove and drain on paper towels. Reserve butter in skillet. Divide soup among 4 bowls. Drizzle each with sage butter and garnish with fried sage leaves.
- 4 cups water
- 1 1/2 lemons
- 1 10 to 12-ounce salmon filet
- 1/3 cup celery, finely diced
- 1/3 cup onion, finely diced
- 3 teaspoons mayonnaise
- Pinch of cayenne pepper
- 3/4 teaspoon tarragon
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 4-ounce pouch Idahoan Butter and Herb Mashed Potatoes, dry
- Canola oil
- In a medium pot, boil 4 cups water with the juice of the lemons, placing one lemon half in the water. Reduce heat to a simmering boil. Poach salmon filet in water by cooking, covered, for 7 to 10 minutes, or until done. Remove with spatula. Set aside to cool.
- When salmon is cool, combine with celery, onion, mayonnaise, cayenne, tarragon, garlic, dry mustard, salt and black pepper in large bowl and mix well. Add dry potatoes slowly while mixing until everything is moist.
- Form patties and cook in preheated canola oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat until both sides are brown (3 minutes per side).
- Serve hot.
- 1 4-ounce package Idahoan Four Cheese Mashed Potatoes
- 12 large mushrooms or 18 medium mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons butter, margarine or olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped chives
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Prepare potatoes as package directs.
- Remove stems from mushrooms; chop stems and set aside. Carefully scoop out center of each mushroom cap with a spoon, leaving 1/2-inch shell.
- Melt butter in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add chopped mushroom stems and cook 3 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat and stir in mashed potatoes, 2 tablespoons chives and salt.
- Fill each mushroom cap with potato mixture, mounding it slightly. Bake 10 minutes or until potatoes are lightly golden. Sprinkle mushrooms with remaining 1 tablespoon chives.