recipes

Healthy 16 February 2022

Deliciously Healthy Dishes from Sweet to Savory

(Family Features) Supplementing meals and snacks with powerful, versatile ingredients can take healthy eating from bland and boring to delicious and adventurous.

Take your breakfasts, appetizers, dinners and desserts to new heights while maintaining nutrition goals with naturally nutritious and surprisingly versatile California Prunes. Rich and smooth with an ability to enhance both sweet and savory flavors, they can expand your menu with nearly endless powerful pairing options.

One serving of 4-5 prunes packs a powerful punch of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Together, these nutrients form a web of vital functions that support overall health.

Whole, diced or pureed, the versatility of prunes allows you to enhance the flavor of recipes from morning to night in dishes like Citrus Breakfast Toast, which brings together vitamin B6 and copper from prunes and vitamin C from citrus to support a healthy immune system.

Try Caramelized Onion, Mozzarella, Prune and Thyme Flatbreads for a tasty family meal, and while you wait for dinner to cook, you can serve up Prune, Mozzarella and Basil Skewers. These easy appetizers provide several key nutrients. Mozzarella is a good source of calcium and prunes provide vitamin K and copper, all of which support overall bone health.

Make dessert a bit better for you but equally delectable with a vegan option like gluten-free, plant-based Prune and Almond Truffles. The soluble fiber in prunes helps lower serum cholesterol and blunt the effects of excessive sodium in the diet. Nuts like almonds provide good fats that help lower the risk for heart disease.

Find more recipe ideas at CaliforniaPrunes.org.

Caramelized Onion, Mozzarella, Prune and Thyme Flatbreads

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: 4 flatbreads

Caramelized Onions:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 6 large yellow sweet onions, sliced into thin half circles
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • coarse kosher salt, to taste

Flatbreads:

  • 4 personal flatbreads
  • 1 cup caramelized onions
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 10 California Prunes, diced small
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • sea salt, to taste
  • coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
  1. To make caramelized onions: Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In large stockpot over medium-low heat, warm oil and melt butter. Add onions and cover; cook 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add thyme sprigs and season with salt, to taste; turn pan lid slightly ajar. Place pot in oven 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  3. To make flatbreads: Preheat oven to broil. On sheet pan, toast flatbreads under broiler 4 minutes, or until toasted, flipping halfway through.
  4. Spread 1/4 cup of caramelized onions over each toasted flatbread. Refrigerate leftover onions.
  5. Tear mozzarella and place over onions. Divide prunes among flatbreads and place flatbreads under broiler 4-6 minutes until cheese has melted and is beginning to brown.
  6. Sprinkle flatbreads with fresh thyme and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Citrus Breakfast Toast

Prep time: 13 minutes
Cook time: 2 minutes
Servings: 2

Prune Puree:

  • 16 ounces pitted California Prunes
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 1 large citrus fruit, peels and piths removed with knife, sliced into rounds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons raw sugar
  • 4 tablespoons sunflower butter
  • 2 slices whole-grain sourdough bread, toasted to desired darkness
  • 2 tablespoons prune puree
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
  • 2 California Prunes, finely diced
  1. To make prune puree: In blender, pulse prunes and water to combine then blend until smooth, pourable consistency forms, scraping sides, if necessary.
  2. Store in airtight container up to 4 weeks.
  3. To make bruleed citrus wheels: Place citrus wheels on baking sheet and divide sugar evenly among each piece.
  4. Using circular motion, pass flame of culinary torch repeatedly over sugar until it boils and turns lightly charred and amber.
  5. To build toast: Spread 2 tablespoons sunflower butter on each piece of toast. Top each with 1 tablespoon prune puree spread evenly across sunflower butter. Sprinkle each evenly with sunflower seeds and diced prunes. Top each with half broiled citrus and serve.
  6. Alteration: Use broiler set on high instead of culinary torch to caramelize sugar.

Prune and Almond Truffles

Recipe courtesy of Meg of "This Mess is Ours"
Prep time: 45 minutes
Servings: 24

  • Water
  • 1 cup California Prunes
  • 1 1/2 cups toasted slivered almonds, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus additional, to taste, divided
  • 1 tablespoon cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla paste or extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  1. Boil water and pour over prunes. Soak 30 minutes; drain.
  2. In food processor fitted with "S" blade, pulse 1/2 cup toasted almonds with salt, to taste, until fine crumbs form. Transfer to shallow bowl and set aside.
  3. Add remaining almonds to food processor with 1/4 teaspoon salt and cocoa powder. Pulse 30 seconds to combine. Add prunes, vanilla paste and almond extract; process until combined. Mixture should be creamy with slight texture from almond crumbs. Transfer prune mixture to bowl and refrigerate 1 hour.
  4. Once chilled, use small cookie scoop to portion out individual truffles on parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently roll each truffle in reserved toasted almond crumbs. Store on parchment-lined plate in refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Serve chilled.

Prune, Mozzarella and Basil Skewers

Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 5

  • 5 pieces prosciutto, halved lengthwise (optional)
  • 10 California Prunes
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 10 cherry-size mozzarella balls
  1. If using prosciutto, fold each half in half lengthwise so width of prune is wider than width of prosciutto. Starting at one end of prosciutto, wrap one prune; repeat with remaining prosciutto. Set aside.
  2. Wrap one basil leaf around each mozzarella ball then thread onto skewer. Thread one prune or prosciutto-wrapped prune onto each skewer.

Source: California Prunes

Snacks 16 December 2021

Pop Up Some Winter Fun

(Family Features) The winter months provide many occasions to celebrate, and no celebration is complete without tasty treats. A perfect partner for a broad variety of flavors, popcorn is a versatile pantry staple that can be served plain or as a better-for-you addition to seasonal snacks.

With no artificial additives or preservatives, light and airy popcorn is naturally low in fat and calories, non-GMO and gluten free, making it a sensible option to satisfy cravings for something savory, sweet and just about every flavor in-between. Plus, whole-grain popcorn has energy-producing carbohydrates and fiber, which can help keep you satisfied longer.

As a way to honor one of America’s oldest and most beloved snack foods, National Popcorn Day on Jan. 19 is a perfect opportunity to pop up a bowl to enjoy with loved ones or create whole-grain culinary masterpieces like fragrant and flavorful Jamaican Jerk Popcorn, which features hot pepper, spices and jerk butter to help you warm up from the inside out. Or consider another tasty snack option like Furikake Popcorn, a lighter recipe exploding with the flavors of sesame, nori and a Japanese spice blend.

You can combine favorite flavors for movie night with Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn, which is perfect for settling in on a snowy winter’s eve, and an option like Rocky Road Popcorn Clusters, featuring chocolate, marshmallows and nuts, are perfect for sharing with loved ones after an evening meal.

Find more fun, fluffy and flavorful recipes to celebrate everything winter has to offer at Popcorn.org.

Furikake Popcorn

Yield: 2-3 servings

Furikake Seasoning:

  • 1 nori sheet, broken into pieces
  • 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 6 cups popped popcorn
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  1. To make furikake seasoning: In spice grinder or using mortar and pestle, grind nori with 1/2 tablespoon sesame seeds until finely ground. Transfer to small bowl; stir in remaining sesame seeds, salt and sugar.
  2. In large bowl, toss popcorn with butter and furikake seasoning until evenly coated.
  3. Tips: Use store-bought furikake seasoning and season to taste.
  4. To toast sesame seeds: In small dry skillet over medium heat, cook sesame seeds 2-3 minutes, or until lightly golden and fragrant. Let cool completely before using.

Jamaican Jerk Popcorn

Yield: 4-6 servings

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced, seeded scotch bonnet chili pepper
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 8 cups popped popcorn
  1. In small saucepan, combine butter, chili pepper, lime zest, chili powder, thyme, allspice, pepper, ginger, garlic powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, onion powder and salt. Cook over low heat 3-5 minutes, or until butter melts and mixture is fragrant.
  2. In large bowl, toss popcorn with spice mixture until evenly coated.

Tip: Omit scotch bonnet pepper and substitute 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, if preferred.

Cheesy Pepperoni Pizza Popcorn

Yield: 6-8 servings (1 cup each)

  • 1/4 cup nonfat Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried marjoram leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil leaves
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried sage
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 12 cups air-popped popcorn
  • 3/4 cup turkey pepperoni, cut into bite-size bits
  • olive oil cooking spray
  1. In small bowl, combine Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, oregano, marjoram, basil, sage and pepper; mix well.
  2. In large bowl, combine popcorn and turkey pepperoni; spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray.
  3. Sprinkle popcorn and pepperoni with cheese mixture; toss to coat evenly.

Rocky Road Popcorn Clusters

Yield: 3 dozen

  • 1 bag (6 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 4 cups popped popcorn
  • 1 1/2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 3/4 cup chopped walnuts
  1. In small microwave-safe bowl, heat chocolate chips in microwave on high 1 minute, until melted. Stir in vegetable oil.
  2. In large bowl, add popcorn, marshmallows and walnuts. Pour melted chocolate over mixture, tossing to coat.
  3. Drop mixture by tablespoonful onto wax paper-lined jellyroll pan.
  4. Refrigerate until firm, about 2 hours, or overnight.

Source: Popcorn Board

Videos 13 December 2021

Cheesy Spinach Ravioli

(Family Features) One of the easiest ways to warm up at the end of a winter day – both inside and out – is by sharing a comforting meal with loved ones.

Getting your whole family to the table can be surprisingly easy when a savory dish like Cheesy Spinach Ravioli awaits. This recipe offers a kid-friendly way to get a serving of greens along with favorite flavors. Originally started by an Italian mother more than 80 years ago, having a delicious jar of RAGÙ sauce in hand, with its distinctive yellow cap, can help anyone create this mouthwatering recipe and quick real-world dishes at home.

Having a go-to jar of sauce in your pantry offers an invaluable resource for at-home cooks who want to “cook like a mother” and create delicious, homemade recipes regardless of culinary skill. With a wide array of flavor varieties, the rich heritage of these familiar sauces can quickly help you make cold days feel far away while elevating everyday meals at the family table.

Visit Ragu.com to find more winter recipe inspiration.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

 

Cheesy Spinach Ravioli

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: about 1 hour
Yield: 17-20 ravioli

Dough:

  • 3          cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1          pinch salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon olive oil
  • 4          whole eggs
  • 2          egg yolks
  • water

Filling:

  • 1/2       teaspoon olive oil
  • 2          cups chopped spinach, fresh or frozen
  • 1          pinch salt
  • 1          pinch pepper
  • 1          container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese

Toppings:

  • 1          jar (24 ounces) RAGÙ Old World Style Traditional Sauce
  • shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2          chopped basil leaves
  • 2          chopped sprigs rosemary
  • grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
  1. To make dough: Place 2 1/2 cups flour in bowl and make hole in center. Add salt, garlic powder, olive oil, eggs and egg yolks to hole. Slowly bring flour into middle and knead into ball. Cover with bowl and let rest 20 minutes.
  2. To make filling: In pan over medium heat, add olive oil; add spinach, salt and pepper then saute until spinach is wilted. Let cool then mix in ricotta cheese; set aside.
  3. Cut dough in half. Sprinkle remaining flour on large cutting board and roll dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into rectangle then cut into 2-3-inch squares. Set scraps aside. Brush water on squares then spoon 1 teaspoon spinach-ricotta filling in center of every other square. Top with remaining squares. Use fork to crimp edges. Repeat with remaining dough. Form scraps into ball and repeat.
  4. Put ravioli in boiling water, 8-10 minutes; they will rise to top when done.
  5. In saucepan over medium heat, heat sauce until simmering.
  6. Place ravioli on plate and top with warm sauce, mozzarella cheese, basil and rosemary. Grate Parmesan cheese on top, if desired.

Source: Ragu Foods

Meal Ideas 09 December 2021

Warm Up Winter with Comforting Classics

(Family Features) Whipping up family favorites all winter long is a perfect activity to keep loved ones warm in the kitchen while avoiding the bitter chill outdoors. Delicious, heartwarming snacks offer a simple and savory way to bring everyone in from the cold while enjoying comforting flavors together.

Lean on beloved ingredients like go-to RAGÚ sauces when it’s time to come together for quick bites. The possibilities are nearly endless with delicious recipes using classics like the RAGÚ Old World Style Traditional or RAGÚ Simply Traditional options.

Hearty flavors can take away the chill of winter in recipes like Snowman Pizza Bombs, Polenta Bites and Baked Tomato Goat Cheese Dip. Easy to make and fun to create together, these simple snacks are perfect for a cold afternoon spent together in the kitchen or watching a family-movie marathon.

Originally started by an Italian mother more than 80 years ago, RAGÚ sauce, known for its distinctive yellow cap, is the perfect have-on-hand pantry staple to help you create easy and delicious home cooking. As an invaluable resource and family favorite since 1937, RAGÚ sauces easily allow anyone, regardless of gender or culinary skillset, to “cook like a mother” and serve up delicious, homemade favorites. The brand’s rich heritage and array of sauce choices ensures that your next cold-weather day spent inside will be elevated with family-favorite snacks and easy and taste-tempting meals made with RAGÚ.

Find more recipes perfect for warming up this winter at Ragu.com.

Baked Tomato Goat Cheese Dip

Recipe courtesy of Marzia Aziz of "Little Spice Jar"
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups RAGÚ Simply Traditional Sauce
  • 3 cloves garlic, divided
  • 1/ 4 cup fresh basil, chopped, divided
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 log (10-10 1/2 ounces) goat cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, plus additional for brushing, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • kosher salt, divided
  • pepper
  • 1 large baguette, sliced on bias
  • blistered tomatoes, for serving (optional)
  1. Position one rack in upper third of oven and one in lower third. Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray small, round baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Add sauce to small bowl. Grate in two garlic cloves then add 1/8 cup basil and red pepper flakes. Stir to combine then pour sauce into baking dish.
  3. Smash goat cheese log into ball. Place ball between two sheets plastic wrap. Using hands, flatten cheese into thick, round disc about 1 inch smaller in diameter than baking dish. Remove goat cheese from plastic wrap and place in center of sauce. Drizzle cheese with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Sprinkle with fresh thyme, kosher salt and pepper. Bake on lower rack, uncovered, 20-25 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is warmed through.
  4. Place baguette slices on baking sheet. Drizzle or brush with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake crostini on upper rack 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through. When bread is done, remove from oven, cut last garlic clove in half and rub cut side on bread.
  5. Top dip with remaining basil and blistered tomatoes, if desired, and serve with crostini.

Note: To make blistered tomatoes: Heat skillet over medium-high heat until almost smoking. Add 1 pint cherry tomatoes to dry skillet and let sit 1 minute. Lower heat to low, toss tomatoes with 2 teaspoons olive oil and cook 2-3 minutes, or until tomatoes are about to burst. Remove from heat; sprinkle with pinch of salt and pepper.

Polenta Bites

  • 1 tube (18 ounces) polenta
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) RAGÚ Chunky Tomato, Garlic and Onion Sauce
  • 1 package (8 ounces) shredded mozzarella
  • 2 sprigs, rosemary, destemmed and chopped
  • 3 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 block (8 ounces) hard Parmesan cheese
  1. Cut polenta into slices. In skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat; fry polenta slices 10-12 minutes on each side until crispy and golden brown.
  2. In saucepan over medium heat, warm sauce.
  3. Place polenta slices on tray and sprinkle with mozzarella. Place 1/2 teaspoon warm sauce on each slice then sprinkle with chopped rosemary and basil. Grate hard Parmesan onto each slice for topping.

Snowman Pizza Bombs

  • 1 tube (11.8 ounces) pizza dough
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) RAGÚ Old World Style Traditional Sauce
  • 1 package (6 ounces) pepperoni slices
  • 1 package (6 ounces) Canadian bacon slices
  • 1 package (8 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 package (8 ounces) mozzarella cheese slices

Decorative vegetables (optional):

  • multicolored sweet peppers
  • olives
  • spinach
  • mushrooms
  • cherry tomatoes
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. Cut pizza dough into 12 squares. On each square, place 1/2 teaspoon sauce and evenly top with pepperoni, Canadian bacon and cheddar cheese.
  3. Pinch corners of dough together to round into balls then place in muffin tins.
  4. In small bowl, mix melted butter, garlic powder and Italian seasoning; brush generously over dough balls.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Remove from muffin tin and carefully shape dough balls into circles; place on baking sheet. Cover with mozzarella slices and bake until melted.
  7. Create snowman faces by decorating each with peppers, olives, spinach, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, if desired. Use remaining sauce for dipping.

Source: RAGÚ

Meal Ideas 22 September 2021

Better School Days Ahead with Egg-Powered Recipes

(Family Features) The school year can be full of challenges, but fueling kids for a full day of learning tops the priority list. Affordable and easy to prepare, eggs are a key ingredient for successful days in the classroom. From a wide variety of breakfast options for even the pickiest of eaters to a nearly limitless menu of lunches, eggs keep kids full and energized to conquer each school day.

As one of the only foods that naturally have vitamin D, eggs offer a nutrient critical for building strong bones. Eggs also help the body absorb nutrients like vitamin E and carotenoids that are found in plant foods, making them a perfect partner for veggies that might be a hard sell for some kids. Additionally, they’re one of the best sources of choline, which is critical for brain health and development at every age and stage.

What’s more, between learning and down time, many kids spend a lot of hours in front of electronic screens. The lutein and zeaxanthin found in egg yolks can help protect their eyes from harmful blue light.

Try these easy recipes that support eye health, brain health and nutrient absorption, and are easy to prepare ahead of time. To learn more about the nutritional benefits of eggs and find more family-friendly recipes featuring eggs, search #ProteinPrepSchool on social media or visit IncredibleEgg.org.

Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheddar Quinoa Bites

Prep time: 20 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 10 large eggs
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cauliflower florets
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Lightly oil or coat 12 muffin cups with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In large bowl, crack eggs. Whisk until well combined. Stir in cheese, quinoa, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower and basil, if desired, until well combined.
  3. Use 1/4-cup measuring cup to divide mixture evenly into prepared muffin cups.
  4. Bake 16-18 minutes until eggs are set. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
  5. Refrigerate leftovers up to 3 days or freeze up to 1 month.

Simple Egg Salad Sandwich

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 6 large hard-boiled eggs, peeled
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 8 slices rustic wheat bread
  • 4 lettuce leaves
  1. Chop eggs.
  2. In medium bowl, mix mayonnaise, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper. Add chopped eggs, celery and green onions; mix well.
  3. Refrigerate, covered, to blend flavors.
  4. Serve on wheat bread with lettuce leaves.

Blueberry, Avocado and Banana Muffins

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium banana (about 1/3 cup), peeled
  • 1 large avocado (about 3/4 cup), peeled and pitted
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup blueberries
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Prepare standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In bowl, whisk flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In separate bowl, mash banana and avocado together. Add applesauce, egg and milk. Stir to combine then stir into flour mixture. Fold in blueberries and divide batter into prepared muffin tins.
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Store leftovers in airtight container up to 3 days.

Veggie and Cheese Frittata Fingers

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup zucchini, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray 9-by-9-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In skillet over medium heat, add olive oil then saute bell pepper, onion and zucchini until tender. Add garlic and spinach; cook until wilted.
  3. In bowl, beat eggs then add sauteed vegetables, cheese, salt and pepper. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
  4. Bake 25-30 minutes until fully set. Allow to cool.
  5. Cut into seven strips then down the middle to create 14 pieces.
  6. Refrigerate leftovers in airtight container up to 4 days.
  7. To freeze, place cooled frittata fingers in freezer bag and lay flat until frozen. When ready to eat, microwave 60-90 seconds, or until warmed.

Source: American Egg Board

Meal Ideas 16 March 2021

Celebrate All-Star Moms with a Simple, Delicious Meal

(Family Features) From big things like juggling a career and family priorities to little things like writing lunchtime love notes, there are so many ways moms lift up their families and the people they love every day. In today’s world, where multi-tasking has taken on a whole new meaning, it’s clear moms deserve to be celebrated.

One of the easiest ways to do something special for the all-star mom in your life is to make her a homemade meal and enjoy some quality time together around the dinner table. For those in need of inspiration, consider a delicious option like this Tuscan Chicken Pierogy Skillet for an easy, elevated, sure-to-impress dish that comes together in 45 minutes.

The key ingredient: Mrs. T’s Pierogies, which are pasta pockets stuffed with creamy mashed potatoes, cheesy goodness and other big, bold flavors. Found in the frozen food aisle and available in 13 flavors, in full and mini size varieties, they can be boiled, baked, sauteed, fried or grilled. They are easy to prepare, which means less time in the kitchen and more time together.

Visit mrstspierogies.com to find more recipe inspiration to celebrate mom.

Tuscan Chicken Pierogy Skillet

Prep time: 10 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          box Mrs. T’s Pierogies 4 Cheese Medley
  • 3          tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2          boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to even thickness
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          bag (5 ounces) fresh baby spinach
  • 2          cups diced tomatoes
  • 1          teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/4       cup chicken broth
  • 1/2       cup heavy cream
  • 3/4       cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional, for garnish
  • 1          tablespoon cold water
  • 1/2       tablespoon cornstarch
  • fresh basil, for garnish
  • crushed red pepper flakes, for garnish
  1. Boil pierogies according to package directions. Drain then toss pierogies with 1 tablespoon olive oil to keep from sticking.
  2. In 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook 8-10 minutes per side, until golden brown and cooked through. Transfer to plate, cover and allow to rest 5-8 minutes. Slice thin.
  3. While chicken rests, lower heat to medium-low and add remaining oil to same skillet. Add garlic, spinach and tomatoes; saute 1-2 minutes until garlic is fragrant. Season with Italian seasoning and salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Stir in chicken broth, heavy cream and 3/4 cup Parmesan. In small bowl, whisk cold water and cornstarch then stir into pan. Simmer 4-5 minutes until thickened and creamy.
  5. Return chicken and pierogies to skillet and toss to combine. If desired, top with additional seasonings, to taste. Garnish with fresh basil, Parmesan and red pepper flakes, if desired.

Source: Mrs. T’s Pierogies

Meal Ideas 12 March 2021

Pro Tips for Perfecting Pasta

(Family Features) Next time hunger calls in your home, turn to a filling family favorite: pasta. With a nearly endless variety of pasta types, sauce pairings and recipe ideas, the options are aplenty, and cooking is often a breeze.

Consider these pasta cooking tips from Rouxbe, an online culinary school training people of all abilities to become better, more confident cooks.

  • Use a large, straight-sided pot with 6 quarts of water for every 1 pound of pasta. Bring to a boil, add 1 teaspoon of salt for each quart of water and stir to dissolve.
  • Wait for rapidly boiling water before adding pre-made pasta then cook according to package instructions for al dente, which means the pasta offers a slight resistance. For stuffed or fresh pasta, aim for a gentle boil and cook 1-5 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water for use in sauces then drain (never rinse) your pasta.  
  • Add pasta to your sauce; never the other way around. Pair thin pastas like angel hair with lighter sauces, seafoods, basil and light oils. Fettucine, penne and rigatoni complement spicy sausage, heavy creams and chunky ragu. When in doubt, spaghetti offers a versatile option.

Pasta is a natural fit for fresh veggies, and you can put your skills to the test with Pappardelle with Garden Vegetables or create Homemade Potato Gnocchi to freeze and enjoy later.

For more information, visit rouxbe.com.

Pappardelle with Garden Vegetables

Total time: 1 hour
Servings: 3-4

  •             Salted water
  • 3          tablespoons olive oil
  • 3          tablespoons shallots or white onion, minced
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4       teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1          cup white wine
  • 2          cups pappardelle noodles
  • 3/4       cup vegetable stock
  • 3          tablespoons capers (optional)
  • 2          vine-ripened tomatoes, sliced in wedges
  • 1          handful baby kale
  • 1          fresh lemon, juice only
  • 2          tablespoons butter (optional)
  • sea salt, to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1          handful fresh basil, torn
  1. Bring large pot of salted water to boil.
  2. In fry pan on medium-high heat, add olive oil and onions; saute 2 minutes. Lower heat slightly and add garlic and chile flakes. Saute on medium heat 2-3 minutes. Add white wine and deglaze pan. Cook 3 minutes. Remove from heat and keep warm until ready to add freshly cooked pasta.
  3. In pot of boiling water, add pappardelle. Cook according to package instructions then drain.
  4. Place fry pan back on medium heat. Add drained pasta; vegetable stock; capers, if desired; tomatoes; baby kale; and lemon juice. Add butter, if desired, and toss well. Cook 2-3 minutes, tossing occasionally, and season with salt and pepper, to taste, and fresh basil.
  5. Toss again, remove from heat and serve.

Homemade Potato Gnocchi

Total time: 2 hours
Servings: 2-4

  • 2          medium Yukon Gold or russet potatoes
  • 3/4       teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 2          teaspoons water
  • 1          cup all-purpose flour, divided, plus additional, for surface
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/8       teaspoon white pepper
  • 2          large egg yolks
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Place potatoes on sheet of foil, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and water; wrap. Bake 40 minutes, or until cooked through.
  2. Peel potatoes while hot. Cut and rice potatoes. Let potatoes cool completely.
  3. To make dough, sprinkle potatoes with flour. Aerate with bench scraper then add remaining salt, nutmeg and white pepper.
  4. Break up egg yolks and pour over potatoes. Cover surface with flour. Continue cutting and gently lifting dough.
  5. Test dough by squeezing gently; it shouldn’t stick. Add flour, if needed.
  6. Shape dough into rectangle and fold several times, using fingertips to bring together. Flatten dough out until it reaches finger thickness. Sprinkle with flour and let rest 5-10 minutes.
  7. Cut finger-width strips of dough and sprinkle strips with flour. Roll out each strip and cut ropes into 3/4-inch pieces. Separate slightly and flour well.
  8. Fresh gnocchi can sit at room temperature 30 minutes before cooking.
  9. To freeze: Place gnocchi on tray, making sure they aren’t touching. Once frozen, transfer to plastic freezer bag and freeze up to 2 months. Cook gnocchi from frozen and serve with desired sauce.

 Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Source: Rouxbe

Healthy 25 January 2021

Hearty, Wholesome Dishes to Support Immune Systems

(Family Features) If feeding your family wholesome meals is a daily goal, keep in mind you can serve up tasty foods that also feed your immune system by including ingredients like mushrooms. With their earthy flavor, mushrooms – like many other fruits and vegetables – can also play a positive role in supporting a healthy immune system.

Studies at Oregon State University concluded there are a variety of micronutrients important for supporting a healthy immune system. Consider that three of these nutrients (vitamin D, selenium and B vitamins) can be found in mushrooms, meaning these family-friendly recipes for Roasted Chicken Thighs and Veggies with Mushroom Orzo Risotto; Grilled Portobello Gyros with Yogurt Dill Sauce; Creamy Spinach, Mushroom and Lasagna Soup; and Asian Barbecue Sesame Salmon with Noodles and Veggies can help you add all-important nutrients to your family’s menu.

Find more ways to add mushrooms to family meals at mushroomcouncil.com.

Grilled Portobello Gyros with Yogurt Dill Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Emily Weeks of “Zen and Spice”
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 4          portobello mushrooms
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4       teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2          yellow bell peppers, sliced

Yogurt Dill Sauce:

  • 1          English cucumber, grated
  • 1          cup whole-milk

Greek yogurt

  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • 2          tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2       small lemon, juice only
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1          tablespoon minced fresh dill
  • 4          pita breads or naan
  • 2          tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1/2       red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2       head green lettuce
  • crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  1. Remove stems from mushrooms and brush caps with wet towel. Using spoon, carefully scrape out gills. Slice mushrooms into 1/4-inch pieces and place in medium bowl with olive oil, oregano and smoked paprika.
  2. Preheat indoor grill pan over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and peppers; grill, tossing occasionally, until tender, 5-7 minutes.
  3. To make yogurt dill sauce: Squeeze grated cucumber in clean towel to remove excess liquid. Add to large bowl with yogurt, sour cream, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and dill. Stir to combine.
  4. To serve, place mushrooms and peppers in middle of pita bread. Top with tomatoes, onion, lettuce, feta, if desired, and big dollop of yogurt dill sauce.

Creamy Spinach, Mushroom and Lasagna Soup

Recipe courtesy of Emily Weeks of “Zen and Spice”
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          medium onion, small diced
  • 8          ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1          jar (24 ounces) marinara sauce
  • 1          can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 2          tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2          teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1          teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1          tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1          bay leaf
  • 3          cups vegetable broth
  • 6          lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
  • 1/2       cup heavy cream
  • 5          ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 1          cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
  • 1/2       cup shredded mozzarella cheese, for topping
  1. Heat large pot over medium heat.
  2. Add olive oil, garlic, onion and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions and mushrooms soften, 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add marinara, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, vinegar, sugar, basil, salt, oregano, pepper, bay leaf and broth. Bring to boil over high heat then reduce heat to low and simmer.
  4. Add lasagna noodles and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and remove bay leaf.
  5. Stir in heavy cream and spinach until wilted, 2-3 minutes.
  6. Divide between bowls and top with dollop of ricotta and sprinkle of mozzarella.

Roasted Chicken Thighs and Veggies with Mushroom Orzo Risotto

Recipe courtesy of Emily Weeks of “Zen and Spice”
Cook time: 50 minutes
Total time: 1 hour, 10 minutes
Servings: 4

Chicken:

  • 8          boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 6          tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 16        ounces crimini mushrooms, quartered
  • 3          zucchini, sliced in half moons
  • 3          large carrots, thinly sliced
  • 4          sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed and roughly chopped
  • 4          cloves garlic, minced

Orzo:

  • 4          cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1          tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1          tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1          small yellow onion, diced
  • 2          garlic cloves, minced
  • 16        ounces crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1          cup uncooked orzo pasta
  • 1/8       teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/3       cup white wine
  • 1/3       cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. To make chicken: Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Pat chicken dry. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. In large skillet over medium-high heat, melt butter. Sear chicken until browned, 4-5 minutes on each side.
  3. In large bowl, toss mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, garlic and rosemary. On large baking sheet, spread vegetables. Nestle chicken into vegetables. Drizzle with butter and juices from pan.
  4. Bake 20 minutes until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
  5. To make orzo: In small pot over medium-low heat, warm broth.
  6. Using skillet from chicken, add butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions soften, 3-4 minutes.
  7. Add orzo and black pepper. Stir and cook 2 minutes. Add white wine and cook until evaporated, about 1 minute.
  8. Add warm broth to orzo 2/3 cup at a time, stirring until liquid is absorbed. Repeat with remaining broth, waiting until last batch is absorbed before adding more. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan.
  9. Serve in individual bowls with chicken and roasted vegetables atop mushroom orzo risotto.

Asian Barbecue Sesame Salmon with Noodles and Veggies

Recipe courtesy of Emily Weeks of “Zen and Spice”
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4

Sauce:

  • 1/2       cup soy sauce
  • 2          tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1          tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
  • 1          teaspoon chili garlic sauce (optional)
  • 1          tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 2          tablespoons barbecue sauce
  • 2          tablespoons water
  • 2          teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2    pounds salmon (4 filets)
  • 12        ounces stir-fry (pad thai) rice noodles
  • 1          tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1          pound white mushrooms, sliced
  • 1          cup sugar snap peas
  • 1          large broccoli head, cut into bite-size florets
  • 2-3       green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish
  • sesame seeds, for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. In small saucepan, whisk soy sauce; brown sugar; rice vinegar; garlic; ginger; chili garlic sauce, if desired; sesame oil; and barbecue sauce. Bring to boil over high heat then reduce heat to simmer.
  3. In small bowl, whisk water and cornstarch. Pour into pan and cook on low, whisking often, until sauce thickens, 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Pour 3 tablespoons sauce into small bowl. Brush salmon filets with reserved sauce and place on baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes, or until salmon is flaky. Discard small bowl sauce if any remains.
  5. Cook stir-fry noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  6. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add sesame oil. Add mushrooms, snap peas and broccoli. Cook, stirring often, until veggies are tender-crisp, 7-8 minutes. Add noodles and remaining sauce from pan; toss to combine.
  7. To serve, divide noodles, veggies and salmon between plates.
  8. Top with sliced green onions and sesame seeds.

Source: Mushroom Council

Meal Ideas 18 November 2020

Put a Zesty Spin on Weeknight Meals

(Family Features) Dinner in many households means foolproof recipes that families can count on, but those can become bland and boring. Finding new ways to put a twist on meals throughout the week adds fun to time spent in the kitchen while bringing new flavor to the table.

To help reinvigorate traditional weeknight dinners, chef Bobby Flay and Hidden Valley Ranch created the three-part Hidden Valley Ranch Night! series to debut dishes that bring bold flavor to traditional meals, such as these recipes for Ranch Crusted Burgers with Avocado Ranch Sauce and Ranch Seasoned Chicken and Mushroom Quesadillas with Tomato Salsa and Sour Cream. The series will provide a spin on weeknight staples to showcase the simplicity, versatility and zesty flavor of ranch seasoning when used to create family-friendly dinners any night of the week.

Find more information, including series episodes and additional recipes, at hiddenvalley.com/ranch-night.

Ranch Crusted Burgers with Avocado Ranch Sauce

Servings: 4

Avocado Ranch Sauce:

  • 1/4       cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4       cup sour cream
  • 1          tablespoon well-shaken buttermilk
  • 1/2       teaspoon Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 3          green onions, thinly sliced
  • 2          avocados, peeled, pitted and diced

Ranch Spice Crusted Burger:

  • 1 1/2    teaspoons Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning
  • 1          teaspoon paprika
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/2    pounds ground chuck (80% lean)
  • 2          tablespoons canola oil
  • 8          slices American cheese
  • 1/4       cup water
  • 4          brioche buns, split in half
  • Avocado Ranch Sauce
  1. To make avocado ranch sauce: In bowl, whisk mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, ranch seasoning, salt and pepper until smooth. Fold in green onions and diced avocados; set aside.
  2. To make burgers: In small bowl, whisk ranch seasoning, paprika, salt and pepper.
  3. Heat large cast-iron pan or griddle over high heat. Divide meat into four 6-ounce patties and make deep depression in centers with thumb. Season each with spice rub on one side.
  4. Add canola oil to pan and heat until shimmering. Place on burgers in pan, spice side down, and cook until golden brown and lightly charred, 4 minutes. Turn burgers over and cook 4 minutes, or until they reach desired doneness.
  5. Top each burger with two slices cheese. Add water to pan and cover tightly with lid 10 seconds, or until the cheese is melted.
  6. Place burgers on bottom buns and top each with avocado ranch sauce and top buns.

Ranch Seasoned Chicken and Mushroom Quesadillas with Tomato Salsa and Sour Cream

Servings: 4

Tomato Salsa:

  • 4          plum tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
  • 1/2       small red onion, finely diced
  • 1/2       jalapeno, finely diced
  • 1          lime, juice only
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 3          tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped into ribbons
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

Quesadillas:

  • 2          tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 1/2    pounds cremini or button mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 2          teaspoons Hidden Valley Ranch Seasoning, divided
  • 12        flour tortillas (6 inches)
  • 2          cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 16        ounces roasted or rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • canola oil
  • 1/2       cup sour cream
  • tomato salsa
  • 2          tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  1. To make tomato salsa: In medium bowl, combine tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno, lime juice, olive oil and basil; season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. To make quesadillas: Preheat oven to 450 F.
  3. In large saute pan over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add mushrooms and season with 1 1/2 teaspoons ranch seasoning. Cook until mushrooms are golden brown and liquid has evaporated. Set aside to cool.
  4. Place tortillas next to each other on baking sheet. Sprinkle thin layer of cheese on eight tortillas. Add cooled mushrooms to four tortillas and shredded chicken to other four tortillas. Season each layer with salt and pepper. Stack tortillas to create four, two-layer quesadillas. Cover each with remaining tortillas; brush top tortillas lightly with canola oil and sprinkle with remaining ranch seasoning.
  5. Bake 6-8 minutes until cheese is melted and tortillas turn lightly golden brown with crispy edges.
  6. Cut each quesadilla into four pieces. Garnish each slice with dollop of sour cream. Add dollop of tomato salsa on top of sour cream and garnish with basil.

Source: Hidden Valley Ranch

Videos 21 September 2020

Savory Leek, California Raisins and Ricotta Tart

(Culinary.net) Versatile recipes that make mealtime a cinch for busy families are one easy way to free up time for moments with loved ones.

This Savory Leek, Raisin and Ricotta Tart is a perfect example of a dish that can be enjoyed for breakfast, as a snack or even if your family gets a craving for a breakfast-for-dinner swap. Prep time is minimal before simply baking in the oven 40 minutes, meaning you can have a meal ready in under an hour. Plus, because it makes 10 servings, you’ll have leftovers to help curb appetites later in the day.

To go along with the convenience and ease, it’s made using California raisins as a key ingredient. Dried in the California sunshine, they come by their sweetness naturally as a fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-sodium ingredient that can also be enjoyed on their own as a snack that packs nutritional value with 6% of the daily value for potassium and 7% of the daily value for fiber in each serving.

Find more recipes for meals from morning to night at calraisins.org.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Savory Leek, Raisin and Ricotta Tart 

Servings: 10

  • 1          pastry (9 inches, not in pie shell)
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil
  • 3          large leeks, chopped
  • 1          cup California golden raisins
  • 3          ounces diced smoked ham
  • 15        ounces low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 3          eggs
  • 3          cups Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
  • 1          cup chopped fresh basil or arugula
  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Roll out pastry dough and press into 9-inch springform or tart pan. Bake 10 minutes. 
  2. In large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil. Add leeks and saute until browned, about 10 minutes. Add raisins and ham; cook 5 minutes. 
  3. In bowl, combine ricotta cheese, eggs and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese; whisk well. Add leek mixture and basil; stir well. 
  4. Spoon ricotta mixture into tart shell. Bake 40 minutes or until puffed, golden and set.

Source:  California Raisin

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