recipes

Meal Ideas 05 February 2019

Fulfill Your Family’s Nutrition Mission

(Family Features) Eating healthy as a family starts with a plan involving nutritious ingredients, and one of the easiest ways to incorporate them is through meal prepping. By organizing recipes and the ingredients you’ll need to make them ahead of time, you’re saving time in the kitchen and helping ensure your family members won’t go off-course.

Dishes like Chicken Cauliflower Fried Rice and Mini Apple Pie Empanadas, ideal for a weekday family dinner and dessert, involve using fresh produce to encourage nutritious eating habits. Plus, because the recipes take little time to assemble and cook, you’ll save yourself more precious moments to spend at the table with loved ones.

These recipes are part of the “Mission for Nutrition” by Produce for Kids, an effort to raise awareness on the importance of meal planning and preparation to achieve regular healthy family eating together. In addition, partners of the program will donate 800,000 meals to families in need through Feeding America.

To find more information and recipes, and to download a free e-book including meal-planning ideas, visit themissionfornutrition.com.
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Mini Apple Pie Empanadas

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Servings: 12

  • 4          cups peeled, sliced Gala apples
  • 1/4       cup maple syrup
  • 1          tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1          teaspoon cinnamon
  • 12        frozen empanada shells, thawed
  • 1          large egg white, beaten
  1. Heat skillet over low heat. Add apples, syrup, cornstarch and cinnamon. Cook 10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until apples are tender.
  2. Line center of each empanada shell with apples; fold and use fork to press edges together and seal. Brush with egg wash.
  3. Heat oven to 375° F.
  4. Place sealed empanadas on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Tip: To make in air fryer: Heat air fryer to 375° F. Spray air fryer basket with nonstick cooking spray. Add sealed empanadas and cook 8 minutes, or until golden brown.

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Chicken Cauliflower Fried Rice

Recipe courtesy of Produce for Kids
Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 2          teaspoons olive oil
  • 12        ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts, chopped
  • 1          package Green Giant Fresh Cauliflower Crumbles fried rice blend
  • 1          large egg, scrambled
  1. In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add chicken and cook 5 minutes, or until cooked through. Remove from skillet.
  2. Add cauliflower crumbles. Cook 5 minutes, or until tender. Push to edge of skillet to make hole in middle. Pour egg into center and cook, stirring frequently, 2-3 minutes, or until firm. Add chicken back to pan and stir to combine.

Source: Produce for Kids

Meal Ideas 21 January 2019

Wing It for Game Day

(Family Features) When bringing your friends and family together to watch the game, you’ll likely want to avoid any fumbles in the kitchen. Fret not and opt for a big batch of easy-to-make wings while incorporating these stress-free tips into your game plan to help ensure a resounding success:  

  • Delegate responsibilities. The best gatherings are a team sport. Tackle this recipe for Crispy Baked Wings and let your friends help with snacks, dips and drinks.
  • Prep what you can the day before. Reduce the time needed to make these wings on game day by prepping some steps in advance. The seasoning blend and sauces can be prepped up to two days in advance and chicken wings can be separated into drums and flats the day before.
  • Veggies are underrated. It’s usually a good plan to have a snack that can be easily replenished for grazers attending your party. Stock up on vegetables that are easy to slice such as carrots and celery. Place some of the cut vegetables out with dips like blue cheese dressing or ranch, both of which can double as classic pairings for your wings.   
  • Redefine “homemade.” The Crispy Baked Wings can serve as a versatile base for just about any sauce you might be craving. Instead of making a sauce entirely from scratch, consider making some quick alterations to premade ones. For example, add an ingredient like Tabasco Chipotle Sauce to store-bought barbecue sauce to impart a smoky flavor and lime juice for added brightness. Small changes can add that special, homemade quality without all the work. Recipes like Chipotle Barbecue Sauce or Nashville-Style Sauce can complement wings for true crowd-pleasers – pick your favorite or try both.

Find more flavorful recipes and game day tips at Tabasco.com/wings.
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Crispy Baked Wings with Chipotle Barbecue Sauce or Nashville-Style Sauce

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4-6

Wings:

  • 2          tablespoons baking powder
  • 1          teaspoon salt
  • 1          teaspoon paprika
  • 1/4       teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 1/2    pounds chicken wings, drums and flats separated, tips removed

Chipotle Barbecue Sauce:

  • 1          cup barbecue sauce
  • 3          tablespoons Tabasco Chipotle Sauce
  • 2          tablespoons lime juice

Nashville-Style Sauce:

  • 6          tablespoons Tabasco Sauce
  • 8          tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1          tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1          teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. In bowl, combine baking powder, salt, paprika and black pepper. Shake over both sides of wings.
  3. Place seasoned wings on rack over foil-lined sheet pan.
  4. Bake 20 minutes, turn wings over and continue cooking additional 20 minutes in convection oven or 30 minutes in conventional oven. Cooked wings should reach at least 180° F internal temperature with crispy texture.
  5. To make Chipotle Barbecue Sauce: In bowl, mix barbecue sauce, Tabasco Chipotle Sauce and lime juice.
  6. Alternatively, to make Nashville-Style Wing Sauce: In bowl, mix Tabasco Sauce, butter, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder and salt. Set aside.
  7. Remove wings from oven. Toss wings with preferred sauce and serve.

Source:  Tabasco

Meal Ideas 16 January 2019

5 Tips to Tackle a Tasty Game Day Menu

(Family Features) Just like your favorite sports team, hosting a winning big-game party or tailgate takes planning, preparation and teamwork. To make your festivities fun-filled, remember these entertaining tips that are sure to score big with your fans.

Scatter the refreshments. Help direct movement and traffic flow by setting up food stations. Using different rooms or areas helps prevent congestion and encourages guests to mingle. Try placing finger foods and other appetizers in a couple of locations, beverages in another area and desserts in yet another space.

Embrace variety. Take into account taste preferences and dietary needs, and have an assortment of food and drinks available. Offer spicy options along with less seasoned dishes, both indulgent and better-for-you treats, plus an array of beverages for drinkers and non-drinkers alike.

Build your roster. If your party is a potluck, encourage guests to sign up for dishes so you don’t end up with multiple versions of the same thing. Create a discussion group online, or simply ask guests to indicate what they’ll bring along with their RSVP.

Don’t forget the dips. Wings are a tailgating staple, and dips are a great way to complement those zesty flavors or cool the heat, but you may find yourself in a team rivalry when it comes to the preferred dip at the game day bash: ranch or bleu cheese dressing? Both pair well with a range of wing flavors, so these dips are sure to be crowd pleasers. The delicious combination of fresh herb and vegetable flavors make Litehouse Homestyle Ranch a perfect party choice, and Litehouse Chunky Bleu Cheese features fresh buttermilk, homemade mayonnaise and a blend of spices as the backdrop for award-winning artisan blue cheese chunks that will make your fellow sports fans cheer for more.

Expand on tradition. Tailgating is a time-honored tradition, and the food lineup is often based on familiar fare. Along with those fan favorites, don’t be afraid to put some new flavors into play, such as these Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings that add a tangy ethnic flair to traditional wings.

Find more game day recipes at LitehouseFoods.com.

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Sticky Sesame Chicken Wings

Yield: 4 servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

  • 1/4       cup flour
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 20        chicken wings
  • 3          tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2          tablespoons sesame oil
  • 1/2       teaspoon Litehouse Instantly Fresh Garlic
  • 3          tablespoons water, divided
  • 1/2       cup brown sugar
  • 1          tablespoon cornstarch
  • sliced green onions, for garnish
  • sesame seeds, for garnish
  • celery sticks (optional)
  • Litehouse Homestyle Ranch and Chunky Bleu Cheese Dressing
  1. Heat oven to 400° F.
  2. In large bag, combine flour and salt. Add chicken wings and shake to coat. Discard any leftover flour.
  3. Line baking sheet with foil and spray with pan spray of your choice. Place wings in single layer on baking sheet.
  4. Bake wings 40-45 minutes, turning halfway through.
  5. In sauce pan over medium heat, combine soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, 2 tablespoons water and brown sugar. Whisk together remaining water and cornstarch, and pour into sauce. Bring to boil then simmer until thickened.
  6. When wings are done, toss with sauce, garnish with green onion and sesame seeds, and serve with celery sticks, ranch and bleu cheese dressing.

Source: Litehouse, Inc.

Videos 16 January 2019

Cooking Up Comfort

Hearty dishes for cold, dreary days

(Family Features) On crisp winter days when the wind blows cold, warming up from the inside-out with hearty comfort foods can feel like a worthy solution. From chili to cornbread to dumplings, flavorful and filling foods prepared without an overload of ingredients certainly can provide a feel-good boost on chilly evenings.

Chili, a classic wintertime favorite, can be taken to the next level with a few tasty additions. Make a spicy version by mixing in bacon, sweet potatoes and a chopped jalapeno pepper for a quick warm-up. A simple and somewhat sweet spin on a classic, comforting side, Honey-Pumpkin Cornbread pairs well with the slightly spicy chili. If you’re really looking to put the comfort in a comforting main course, this Skillet Chicken and Dumplings recipe takes less than an hour to create.

To make these heart-warming recipes stand out from a crowd, Circulon Symmetry Chocolate Cookware provides dishwasher-safe, premium nonstick cookware for easy cleanup and food release that slides right off.

Find more information and comforting family-favorite recipes at circulon.com.

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!

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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6

  • Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 5.5-Quart Casserole
  • 6          slices thick-cut smoked bacon, chopped
  • 1          pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 2          medium onions, chopped
  • 1          jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 5          garlic cloves, minced
  • 2          tablespoons chili powder
  • 2          teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4       teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 2          cups chicken broth
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1          can (15 ounces) no-salt-added black beans
  • 1/2       cup quick-cooking barley
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  1. Heat casserole over medium heat. Add bacon and cook until browned and crisp, about 7-8 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-covered plate.
  2. Reduce bacon fat in casserole to 2 tablespoons and return to stove over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes, onions and jalapeno pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is slightly softened, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano and ground chipotle; cook until fragrant, 15 seconds.
  4. Pour in broth, tomatoes, beans and barley; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until sweet potatoes are tender and barley is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in bacon and salt; let stand 15 minutes before serving.

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Honey-Pumpkin Cornbread

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12-16

  • Circulon Nonstick 9-Inch Square Baking Pan
  • 1 1/2    cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4    cups yellow cornmeal
  • 3          tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4       teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2       teaspoon sea salt
  • 1          cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 2          large eggs, at room temperature
  • 5          tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 4          tablespoons honey
  • 1/3       cup buttermilk
  • 1          tablespoon grated orange zest
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Lightly butter baking pan.
  2. In bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  3. In separate bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, eggs, butter, honey, buttermilk and orange zest. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until moistened; transfer to prepared baking pan.
  4. Bake until cornbread pulls away from sides of pan and toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 20-22 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack at least 10 minutes before cutting.

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Skillet Chicken and Dumplings

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8

  • Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 3.5-Quart Saucepan
  • 3          containers (32 ounces each) low-sodium chicken stock
  • Circulon Symmetry Chocolate 12-Inch Essentials Pan
  • 2          medium onions, diced
  • 4          carrots, peeled and sliced into 1-inch rounds
  • 1          head broccoli, chopped
  • 2          tablespoons butter
  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3       cups chopped chicken
  • 2          bay leaves
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1          teaspoon powdered garlic
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2       cup half-and-half
  • 2          tablespoons cornstarch

Dumplings:

  • 1 1/2    cups whole-wheat or all-purpose flour
  • 2          teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1          cup half-and-half

Garnish:

  • fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh black pepper
  1. In saucepan, bring chicken stock to boil.
  2. In essentials pan, saute onions, carrots and broccoli with butter. Add olive oil as needed if pan looks dry. Cook until onions are translucent and carrots are beginning to soften.
  3. Add chopped chicken, bay leaves, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and hot chicken stock to skillet. Simmer 20-30 minutes until vegetables are softened. Adjust seasoning, as necessary.
  4. Whisk cornstarch into half-and-half until smooth. Whisk into soup and simmer 5 minutes, until slightly thickened.
  5. To make Dumplings: In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and half-and-half. Swirl soup with wooden spoon and add heaping tablespoons into center of soup at strong simmer. Continue adding until all dumpling batter is used. Cover with lid and cook on high 2-3 minutes.
  6. Serve topped with grated Parmesan and fresh cracked pepper.

Source: Circulon

Videos 04 January 2019

Family-Favorite Comfort Foods

3 dairy-inspired dishes for weeknight dinners

(Family Features) Warm meals that come together quickly are a necessity for busy families, especially on weeknights filled with homework, practices, meetings and more. Serving up comfort foods that require less time in the kitchen make for more moments spent together at the table.

Hearty and satisfying, this Chicken and Wild Rice Soup can bring everyone together for a warm, soothing meal, while Cheesy Turkey Chili Mac makes for familiar fare enjoyed by adults and kids alike. For a rich, creamy, one-dish dinner solution, Pasta and Chicken in Garlic Cream Sauce requires less than 45 minutes of kitchen duty, making it an ideal weeknight family-favorite.

These dairy-fueled recipes from Milk Means More of Michigan can be part of a healthy diet that includes fruits, vegetables, grains, fat-free or low-fat dairy and a variety of protein foods.

Find more weeknight meal solutions at milkmeansmore.org.

Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!

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Pasta and Chicken in Garlic Cream Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Milk Means More
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 4          slices bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
  • 3/4       pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 10        ounces (about 4 cups) farfalle (bow tie) pasta
  • 2 1/2    cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 4          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2       teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1          cup heavy cream
  • 1          cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3          cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1          cup halved cherry tomatoes, for garnish
  1. Place removable pan inside programmable pressure cooker. Using saute function, cook bacon, uncovered, until crisp. Use slotted spoon to remove bacon from pan. Drain bacon on paper towels. Leave 1 tablespoon drippings in pan; discard remaining.
  2. Add chicken to bacon drippings in pan in two batches. Using saute function, stir-fry chicken 2-3 minutes, or until cooked through. Use slotted spoon to remove chicken from pan. Repeat until all chicken is cooked. Press cancel.
  3. Stir pasta, broth, garlic, Italian seasoning and pepper into drippings in pan. Secure lid and set pressure release to sealing function. Select high pressure setting and cook 5 minutes. Press cancel.
  4. Allow pressure to release naturally 5 minutes. Move pressure release to venting function to release any remaining steam. Remove lid.
  5. Stir cream into pasta mixture. Using saute function, cook and stir, uncovered, until boiling. Boil, uncovered, about 4 minutes, or until sauce generously coats pasta, stirring frequently. Press cancel. Stir in chicken and Parmesan cheese.
  6. Place spinach and bacon in large bowl. Pour pasta mixture over top. Toss until combined. Ladle into serving bowls. Top each serving with tomatoes.

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Cheesy Turkey Chili Mac

Recipe courtesy of Milk Means More
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Servings: 8

  • 1          tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1          pound lean ground turkey
  • 1          cup chopped onion
  • 1          can (15 1/2 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1          can (15 ounces) no-salt- added tomato sauce
  • 1          can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with green chili peppers
  • 1 2/3    cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1          tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 8          ounces (about 1 3/4 cups) elbow macaroni
  • 1/2       cup 2 percent or whole milk
  • 2          tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2          cups (8 ounces) shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 3/4       cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt or sour cream
  1. Place oil in removable pan of programmable pressure cooker. Place pan in pressure cooker. Using saute function, heat oil until hot. Add turkey and onion. Cook, uncovered, about 5 minutes, or until turkey is no longer pink, stirring to break up. Press cancel.
  2. Stir in beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, broth, chili powder, garlic salt and pepper. Stir in macaroni. Secure lid and set pressure release to sealing function. Select high pressure setting and cook 5 minutes.
  3. Allow pressure to release naturally 2 minutes. Move pressure release to venting function to release any remaining steam. Remove lid.
  4. Stir macaroni mixture. Whisk together milk and flour. Stir into macaroni mixture. Using saute function, cook and stir, uncovered, 1-2 minutes, or until boiling. Press cancel.
  5. Stir cheese into macaroni mixture until melted. Ladle into serving bowls. Spoon dollops of yogurt or sour cream on top.

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Chicken and Wild Rice Soup

Recipe courtesy of Milk Means More
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour

  • 1          cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2       cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2       cup sliced celery
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 2          tablespoons butter or clarified butter
  • 4          cups chicken broth
  • 4          ounces (about 2/3 cup) wild rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1          teaspoon dried thyme leaves
  • 1/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon pepper
  • 12        ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1          cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2          tablespoons flour
  • 1/2       cup whipping cream
  1. In Dutch oven, cook carrots, onion, celery and garlic in hot butter about 2 minutes, or until tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. Stir broth, wild rice, thyme, salt and pepper into vegetable mixture. Bring to boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 40 minutes. Stir in chicken pieces. Return to simmer, covered, 10-15 minutes, or until rice is tender and chicken is done.
  3. In small bowl, whisk together yogurt and flour. Gradually whisk in cream. Stir into chicken mixture. Cook and stir over medium heat until boiling. Boil 1 minute. Ladle into bowls.

Source:  United Dairy Industry of Michigan

Meal Ideas 04 October 2018

Family Favorites from Tree to Table

(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.
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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
Servings: 4

  • 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
  1. Heat oven to 425° F.
  2. In small food processor, pulse mushrooms, fennel seeds, basil, salt and red pepper flakes until mixture is finely chopped and almost powder-like.
  3. 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.
  4. Brush chicken with remaining olive oil and sprinkle both sides with remaining mushroom mixture.
  5. Nestle chicken and olives into potatoes. Drizzle with broth and wine, and top with lemon slices.
  6. Roast 30-35 minutes, or until chicken and potatoes are cooked through.
  7. Remove lemon slices before serving.

Source: California Olive Committee

Meal Ideas 21 September 2018

What’s in the Can May Surprise You

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.
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Chipotle Pumpkin Black Bean Chili

Recipe courtesy of the Canned Food Alliance
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 60-70 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • 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
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Meal Ideas 14 August 2018

Back-to-School Meals in Minutes

Mexican menu ideas for simple family dinners

(Family Features) When the school year is back in full swing, families often find themselves battling the mealtime crunch. Mexican-inspired meals bursting with flavor are known family-friendly picks that can be easily prepared and put on the table on those frenzied weeknights.

These simple ideas from the experts at Ortega can help make “taco night” and other Mexican meals better than ever.

Encourage kids to get hands-on. It’s no secret that kids like finger foods, and many Mexican dishes are best enjoyed by hand. Tacos are an obvious favorite, but other options like quesadillas, taquitos and Ortega Fiesta Flats are also easy to enjoy sans silverware.

Step outside of tradition. If you’re looking for something that makes mealtime feel extra special, skip the basic taco and choose a meal kit that lets you serve up a restaurant-style experience at home. For example, Ortega’s Bakeable Tortilla Bowl Kits bring a new and simple way to change up your Mexican meals. Just bake and fill with your favorite ingredients.

Offer a variety of ingredients. One of the benefits of a Mexican meal is all the ways each family member can customize plates to their own tastes. Try setting out a wide range of ingredients and encourage the kids to experiment with toppings they may not have tried before, like olives and guacamole.

Don’t forget the sauce. Taco sauces can bring unique, unexpected flavor to recipes. One to try is Ortega’s line of bold and creamy Flavor Craver Taco Sauces. Varieties include Taco Ranch, Chipotle and Jalapeno Lime, all perfect for tacos, taco salads, dips, burgers and more.

Stock Your Pantry for Mexican Cooking

You can enjoy the flavors of a Mexican cantina in your kitchen anytime if you’re stocked up with the right goods.

Pantry and Dry Goods

  1. Keep dried or canned chiles of all sorts on-hand. Dried chiles include ancho, chipotle, guajillo, negro and mulato.
     
  2. Expand your spice rack with Mexican staples like chili powder, cayenne pepper and paprika, as well as oregano and cumin.
     
  3. Buy white rice in bulk so you can create Spanish rice to accompany any dish.
     
  4. Stock up on canned refried beans, black beans and pinto beans for use in your favorite Mexican dishes.

 

Refrigerator and Produce

  1. Keep ready-made salsa and spicy sauces chilled and serve them alongside chips, tacos and other Mexican dishes.
     
  2. Always have garlic, onions and fresh cilantro handy. Keep lemons and limes within reach to add bright flavor to your dishes. Also, buy fresh chiles like jalapeno and pasilla to spice up a variety of dishes. If possible, grow them yourself.
     
  3. Store flour and corn tortillas in your cupboard or refrigerator to create burritos, tacos, enchiladas and wraps.
     
  4. Keep Monterey Jack, queso fresco and cotija cheese on-hand to include in enchiladas and burritos.

Find more recipes and ideas to add a unique twist to any Mexican meal at Ortega.com.
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Poblano Ranch Tacos

Makes: 8 tacos

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 4          poblano peppers, sliced
  • 1          yellow onion, sliced
  • 1          tablespoon fresh lime juice (optional)
  • 1          box Ortega Yellow Corn Taco Shells
  • 6          radishes, sliced
  • 1          cup corn kernels
  • 1          cup cotija cheese
  • 1          bottle Ortega Flavor Craver Ranch Taco Sauce, to taste
  1. Add olive oil to skillet over medium heat. Add sliced poblano peppers and yellow onion to pan. Saute until cooked through. Add squeeze of lime to pepper and onion mixture, if desired.
  2. Bake taco shells according to package directions. To assemble tacos, add poblano and onion mixture to base of taco. Top with sliced radishes, corn and cotija cheese. Finish with taco sauce.

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Steak Fajita Burrito Bowl

Makes: 4 bowls

3          tablespoons olive oil, divided
1          pound skirt steak
1          red pepper, sliced
1          yellow pepper, sliced
1          package instant rice
1          tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2       packet Ortega Original Taco Seasoning
1          Ortega Bakeable Tortilla Bowl Kit
3          cups green leaf lettuce, sliced
2          avocados, diced
1          cup corn kernels
1/2       cup cotija cheese
1          bottle Ortega Green Taco Sauce, to taste

  1. Add 2 tablespoons oil to skillet over medium-high heat. Cook skirt steak 5 minutes on each side. Remove steak from pan and let rest. When cooled, slice into strips. 
  2. Add remaining olive oil to skillet over medium-high heat. Saute red and yellow peppers until cooked through. 
  3. Prepare rice as directed on package. Add squeeze of lime and taco seasoning. Stir to combine. 
  4. Prepare tortilla bowls as directed on package. Fill with rice, shredded lettuce, sliced steak and peppers. Top with diced avocado, corn and cotija cheese. Finish with taco sauce.

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Southwest Chicken Salad

Makes: 4 bowls

  • 2          tablespoons olive oil
  • 4          chicken breasts
  • 2          teaspoons chili powder
  • 1          Ortega Bakeable Tortilla Bowl Kit
  • 3          cups green leaf lettuce, sliced
  • 1          can Ortega Black Beans
  • 1          cup corn kernels
  • 2          avocados, diced
  • 1          tomato, diced
  • 1          cup cotija cheese
  • 1          bottle Ortega Flavor Craver Ranch Taco Sauce, to taste
  1. Add olive oil to skillet over medium heat. Coat chicken with chili powder. Cook chicken 8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and let rest. Slice chicken into strips when cooled.
  2. Prepare tortilla bowls as directed on package. Fill with shredded lettuce, black beans, corn and sliced chicken. Top with diced avocado, tomato and cotija cheese. Finish with taco sauce.

Source:  Ortega

Meal Ideas 31 May 2018

Authentic Italian Cuisine

Savory dishes featuring pesto

(Family Features) One of the best times of each day is gathering with family members to enjoy home-cooked meals. Using fresh and versatile ingredients, adults can be at ease that everyone is eating right with a nutritious dinner and kids are eating something delicious and relaxing each evening.

Pesto can be used as an ingredient in many recipes and brings a punch of flavor to each dish on the table. For example, it can be served mixed in potatoes, as a spread on sandwiches, dolloped on soups or dips and as a sauce on pasta.

With authentic Italian taste capturing the recipes of the region, Filippo Berio Pestos are made to suit any taste. The versatile flavors include Classic Basil, Sun Dried Tomato, Tomato & Ricotta and Hot Chili and Olive. Each variety is vegetarian, gluten-free and GMO-free, making it the perfect addition to any dinner.

Pesto can be served hot or cold, so it is easy to cook with or add to dishes featuring fresh vegetables, like this recipe for Chicken Caprese Stuffed Spaghetti Squash. Add Savory Zucchini and Fontina Muffins to the meal for a fun twist on muffins.

For a more traditional meal the whole family can enjoy, try this Tomato and Tortellini Soup made with Tomato & Ricotta Pesto. This pesto is based on an age-old Sicilian recipe, combining the sweetness of tomatoes with the smoothness of ricotta cheese and the rich taste of Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

For more flavorful recipes and ways to cook with pesto, visit FilippoBerio.com.
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Savory Zucchini and Fontina Muffins

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Serves: 12

  • 2          cups all-purpose flour
  • 1          tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/4       teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2       cup Filippo Berio Sun Dried Tomato Pesto, divided
  • 1/3       cup Filippo Berio Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3/4       cup milk
  • 1/4       cup granulated sugar
  • 1          egg
  • 1          cup shredded zucchini
  • 2          green onions, finely chopped
  • 12        cubes (1/2 inch each) fontina cheese
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Line 12-cup muffin pan with large paper liners.
  2.  
  3. In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. In separate bowl, whisk 1/4 cup pesto, olive oil, milk, sugar and egg; stir into flour mixture until moistened. Fold in zucchini and green onions.
  4. Divide half the batter evenly among muffin cups; place cube of fontina on top of batter. Top each with 1 teaspoon remaining pesto; top with remaining batter.
  5. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and top of muffin springs back when pressed lightly. Let cool slightly; serve warm.

Tip: To make extra savory, add 1/2 cup cooked and crumbled bacon.

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Chicken Caprese Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
Serves: 4

  • 2          small spaghetti squash
  • 2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Robusto Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 3/4       teaspoons salt, divided
  • 3/4       teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 12        ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1          small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3       cup Filippo Berio Classic Pesto
  • 1 1/2    cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 8          ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  1. Heat oven to 400° F. Halve spaghetti squash lengthwise and scrape out seeds; drizzle cut sides with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bake, cut sides down, on parchment paper-lined baking sheet 45-50 minutes, or until tender. Let cool slightly. Using fork, scrape strands of squash into bowl; reserve squash shells.
  2. In skillet, heat remaining oil over medium-high heat; cook chicken, onion and remaining salt and pepper about 5 minutes, or until chicken is browned. Stir in pesto; bring to simmer. Cook about 5 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through. Stir in cherry tomatoes; cook about 1 minute, or until slightly softened.
  3. Toss spaghetti squash with chicken mixture; divide among reserved squash shells. Top with mozzarella cheese; broil 1-2 minutes, or until cheese melts. Sprinkle with chopped basil.

Tip: For a more savory dish, add chopped black olives or jarred artichokes, if desired.
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Tomato and Tortellini Soup

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4-6

  • 2          tablespoons Filippo Berio Olive Oil
  • 1          onion, finely chopped
  • 2          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          carrot, diced
  • 1          stalk celery, diced
  • 1/2       cup Filippo Berio Tomato & Ricotta Pesto
  • 1          teaspoon dried basil
  • 1          teaspoon oregano
  • pinch of chili pepper flakes
  • 1          can (28 ounces) whole Italian-style tomatoes
  • 4          cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon pepper
  • 1          package (12 ounces) fresh cheese tortellini
  • 2          tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  1. In large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil; cook onion, garlic, carrot and celery about 5 minutes, or until softened. Add pesto, basil, oregano and chili flakes; cook 1 minute. Add tomatoes, chicken broth, salt and pepper; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, or until slightly thickened.
  2. In blender or using immersion blender, puree tomato mixture; return to pan and bring to simmer. Add tortellini; cook 8-10 minutes, or until tender. Sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan.

Tip: Dried basil can be substituted for 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, if desired.

Source: Filippo Berio

Meal Ideas 09 February 2018

Beat Winter Blues with a Little Help From Vitamin D

Wholesome ingredients can help up your intake during the dark days of winter

(Family Features) Staying indoors and wrapping up in a blanket is one way to avoid winter’s frigid weather, but less exposure to the sun can also put you at risk of a vitamin D deficiency. Milk is the primary source of vitamin D in the American diet, according to research published in the FASEB Journal, making it a great choice on dark winter days.

An 8-ounce glass of milk provides 30 percent of the daily value of vitamin D, so just three cups of milk each day will provide 90 percent of your body’s recommended daily requirements. Milk is also an easy way to get other essential nutrients like B vitamins for energy, high-quality protein for lean muscle and vitamin A for a healthy immune system.

When you need a quick way to warm up on a cold day, try this creamy chicken corn chowder recipe that can be made with a pressure cooker. Cooked with wholesome ingredients like milk, chicken and potatoes and topped with bacon and green onions, it’s an easy and delicious addition to your weekly meal rotation. For more recipes to warm up your winter, visit milklife.com.

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Pressure Cooker Corn Chowder

Servings: 12

  • 6          slices (6 ounces each) thick-cut bacon, chopped
  • 1          small yellow onion, diced
  • 3          cloves garlic, minced
  • 1          pound boneless skinless chicken breast, diced
  • 1          bag (16 ounces, about 3 1/3 cups) frozen corn kernels
  • 4          cups chicken broth
  • 1          pound unpeeled or peeled Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into 1/4-1/2-inch chunks
  • 1/2       teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional, to taste
  • 1/2       teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper, plus additional, to taste
  • 2          tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/2    cups fat-free milk
  • 2-3       green onions, sliced (optional)
  • 1          tablespoon heavy cream or half-and-half (optional)
  1. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped bacon and cook until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer cooked bacon to paper towel-lined plate and pour off all but 1 tablespoon bacon fat.
  2. Return skillet to stove. Add onion and garlic; saute 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add diced chicken and frozen corn; saute for an additional 3 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Remove skillet from heat and transfer contents to pressure cooker. Add chicken broth, potatoes, salt and pepper. Close and seal pressure cooker, making sure the vent is in the sealed position. Cook on high 8 minutes.
  4. While the chowder cooks, make a slurry by whisking cornstarch (or flour) into milk. Set aside.
  5. When done, remove pressure cooker from heat. Allow pressure to release on its own or carefully quick-release pressure after a few minutes. Stir in the cornstarch-milk slurry. Cover and allow chowder to thicken for 10-15 minutes before serving.
  6. Portion soup into bowls and generously top with bacon. Garnish with green onion and cream or half-and-half, if desired. Season with additional salt and pepper, to taste.

Nutritional information per serving: 190 calories; 5 g fat; 1.5 g saturated fat; 35 mg cholesterol; 14 g protein; 20 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 530 mg sodium; 52 mg calcium (6% of daily value). Nutrition figures based on using fat-free milk.

Source: MilkPEP

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