Pair Soup and Sandwich for a Warming Winter Meal
(Family Features) Cool winter days and their cold, crisp air call for a quick warmup in the form of a classic combo: soup and sandwich. Next time you need warmed up from the inside out, go for a homemade pairing that brings together a cheesy handheld and hearty minestrone.
When you sit down for a wintertime meal with the family, Gourmet Grilled Cheese with Aunt Nellie’s Pickled Beets provides the comfort you crave with caramelized onions, gooey melted cheese and toasted sourdough. Slowly simmered to savory perfection, 3-Bean Tortellini Minestrone – powered by READ 3-Bean Salad – plays the ideal complement to the griddled sandwiches as a filling soup without the hassle.
To find more comforting meal ideas made for combatting the cold, visit AuntNellies.com and READSalads.com.
Gourmet Grilled Cheese with Pickled Beets
Recipe courtesy of "Carlsbad Cravings"
Prep time: 60 minutes
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large yellow onions, halved, sliced 1/4-inch thick
- 1-2tablespoons water (optional)
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 8 large sourdough slices, 1/2-inch thick
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 4 ounces fresh goat cheese, at room temperature
- 8 ounces shredded gruyere cheese, at room temperature
- 1 jar Aunt Nellie's Sliced Pickled Beets (about 32 beets)
- 2 cups baby arugula
- 2 tablespoons butter, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- To make caramelized onions: In Dutch oven over medium-high heat, melt butter and olive oil. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes then reduce heat to medium.
- Cook until onions are caramelized and rich, deep golden brown, about 25 minutes, stirring often. Turn heat to medium-low or add water if onions are dry or start to scorch before caramelizing.
- Add sugar, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes; cook 1 minute. Onions should be jammy and darkly caramelized when done. Remove to plate to cool.
- To make sandwiches: Spread out bread slices on flat surface. Spread thin layer of mayonnaise on one side of each bread slice.
- Turn four bread slices over and spread goat cheese on plain side. Top goat cheese with gruyere, even layer of beets, caramelized onions and arugula. Top with remaining bread, mayo side out. Secure with toothpicks, if desired.
- In large skillet over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon butter with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add two sandwiches, cover and grill until bottom of bread is toasted, about 5-7 minutes, and cheese starts melting, checking often. Flip and cook, uncovered, until cheese is melted and bottom of bread is toasted.
- Repeat with remaining sandwiches.
3-Bean Tortellini Minestrone
Recipe courtesy of "Joy of Eating"
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
- 1 can (15 ounces) READ 3-Bean Salad
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 peeled garlic cloves, minced
- 2 pinches salt, plus additional to taste, divided
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, plus additional to taste, divided
- 3 small carrots, trimmed, peeled and diced
- 2 celery stalks, trimmed and diced
- 1 medium zucchini, diced
- 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 Parmesan rind (optional)
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 9-10 ounces refrigerated cheese tortellini
- 2 cups baby spinach
- jarred pesto, for serving (optional)
- Drain and rinse bean salad; set aside.
- In large pot over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onions, garlic and 1 pinch salt; saute until translucent, 3-4 minutes. Stir in Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add carrots, celery and zucchini with remaining pinch salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are crisp tender, 5-7 minutes.
- Stir in tomatoes. Add Parmesan rind, if desired. Cook about 10 minutes until most tomato juice evaporates. Pour in vegetable broth. Bring to boil. Add tortellini; cook 2 minutes, or just until tender. Stir in bean salad and spinach. Cook 2-3 minutes to heat through.
- Season with additional salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve garnished with pesto, if desired.
Festive Recipes for Hosting an Inclusive Holiday Gathering
A family-favorite meal starts with a main course that looks and smells as good as it tastes. Creamy Mushroom Pasta Nests deliver that festive flavor with a robust blend of breadcrumbs, earthy mushrooms and a homemade sauce crafted with Violife Just Like Cream Cheese. Developed to capture the taste of dairy cream cheese, it’s designed to be enjoyed by everyone at the table this holiday season as a non-GMO solution free from dairy, soy, nuts, gluten, preservatives and lactose.
Dishing out a dessert that boasts the colors of the season is a perfect way to cap off a gathering of friends and family. With pops of red and deliciously sweet flavor, Pomegranate Cheesecake is ideal for serving in individual tins so guests can delight in the creamy deliciousness together without the hassle of cutting and serving.
Visit ViolifeFoods.com to find more holiday-worthy recipes.
Creamy Mushroom Pasta Nests
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 1/2 ounces hoisin sauce
- 2 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic chili paste
- 2 tablespoons black and white sesame seeds
- 1 teaspoon harissa paste
- 1 tablespoon Violife Plant Butter
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
- 1 teaspoon dried garlic
- 17 1/2 ounces mushrooms, roughly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 10 1/2 ounces fresh spinach
- 1 package Violife Just Like Cream Cheese Original
- 17 1/2 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 1/2 ounces Violife Just Like Parmesan Wedge, grated
- To make marinade: Whisk olive oil, hoisin sauce, sesame oil, garlic chili paste, sesame seeds and harissa paste. Set aside.
- To make breadcrumbs: In frying pan, heat plant butter. Add breadcrumbs, rosemary and garlic; saute 3-5 minutes until golden. Remove from heat and set aside.
- To make pasta: Saute mushrooms in olive oil 5-7 minutes until golden. Add spinach, 2-3 minutes, and pour over marinade. Add cream cheese and whisk until creamy.
- Boil pasta according to package instructions. Sieve and reserve 1/2 cup pasta water, adding to pasta sauce. Whisk constantly until combined.
- Using tongs, make small nests in pasta, place on plates and pour creamy mushroom sauce on top.
- Sprinkle with breadcrumbs, red pepper flakes and grated Parmesan.
Prep time: 5 hours, 30 minutes
Servings: 6 individual cheesecakes
- 10 1/2 ounces vegan gingerbread biscuits
- 6 ounces plant-based butter
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 0.07 ounces agar-agar
- 3 1/2 ounces canned coconut milk
- 2 packages Violife Just Like Cream Cheese Original
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
- 10 fluid ounces pomegranate juice, divided
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- pomegranate seeds, for garnish
- To make crust: In blender, blitz gingerbread biscuits until they form powder. Add butter and salt; blitz again until combined.
- Place in six individual greased tart tins and smooth over base with back of spoon. Refrigerate to set.
- To make cheesecake: In small pot over low heat, dissolve agar-agar in coconut milk, whisking constantly. Once boiling, remove from heat and set aside.
- In large bowl, mix cream cheese, maple syrup, lemon juice and vanilla essence; slowly pour over warm coconut milk, whisking until combined and creamy. Divide evenly among tart tins and refrigerate 4 hours.
- To make pomegranate syrup: In small bowl, combine 3 fluid ounces pomegranate juice with cornstarch. In small pot, boil remaining pomegranate juice 5 minutes. Pour in cornstarch and pomegranate mixture; whisk 5 minutes until syrup forms. Cool.
- When cheesecakes have set, remove from tins and serve on plates. Pour pomegranate syrup on top and garnish with pomegranate seeds.
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
- 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
- 1 large baguette, sliced on bias
- blistered tomatoes, for serving (optional)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- In saucepan over medium heat, warm sauce.
- 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
- cherry tomatoes
- Preheat oven to 400 F.
- Cut pizza dough into 12 squares. On each square, place 1/2 teaspoon sauce and evenly top with pepperoni, Canadian bacon and cheddar cheese.
- Pinch corners of dough together to round into balls then place in muffin tins.
- In small bowl, mix melted butter, garlic powder and Italian seasoning; brush generously over dough balls.
- Bake 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
- Remove from muffin tin and carefully shape dough balls into circles; place on baking sheet. Cover with mozzarella slices and bake until melted.
- Create snowman faces by decorating each with peppers, olives, spinach, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes, if desired. Use remaining sauce for dipping.
Protein-Powered Morning Meals
(Family Features) With all the hustle and bustle of typical mornings, it can be easy to fall into a rut when it comes to serving your family balanced, nutritional breakfasts. However, building the “most important meal of the day” around delicious proteins – like sausage and bacon – can provide a scrumptious start and help reduce hunger and snack cravings.
When you have flavorful, high-quality and easy-to-make ingredients on-hand like those from Farmer John, including pork sausage, sausage links and thick-cut bacon, great-tasting breakfast recipes like Sausage and Egg Breakfast Tacos and Bacon Tater Tot Cast-Iron Casserole can be made at the drop of a hat.
In addition to offering tasty protein options for any meal of the day, Farmer John is also on a mission to give back. As a member of the Southern California community for more than 90 years, it is committed to being a good neighbor, which is why it launched year two of the California Commitment Tour, an initiative to help support California residents and the neighborhoods where they live. By delivering free grab-and-go lunches to local heroes and essential businesses, such as health care facilities, youth empowerment centers, grocery retailers and postal establishments, and donating much-needed protein to local food banks, the tour served as a way to feed, celebrate and support the area.
For more delicious breakfast recipes, visit FarmerJohn.com.
Sausage and Egg Breakfast Tacos
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
- 2 jalapenos, diced small
- 1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped
- 2 lemons, juice only
- 1/2 cup seasoned vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 packs Farmer John Classic Pork Sausage, browned
- 1 dozen eggs
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 cup half-and-half
- olive oil
- 12 yellow corn tortillas
- 16 ounces salsa roja (optional)
- To make chimichurri: In mixing bowl, combine scallions, jalapenos and cilantro with lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, salt and red pepper flakes. Set aside until ready to use.
- In hot skillet, fry sausage until cooked through and golden brown.
- Scramble eggs; add salt and half-and-half.
- In hot pan over medium heat, drizzle olive oil. Add enough eggs to cover pan. Let eggs cook, using spatula to move them around until cooked thoroughly and scrambled. Set aside and repeat with remaining eggs.
- On hot griddle or pan, heat corn tortillas until warm.
- On separate plates, place two tortillas and divide eggs to fill 12 tacos. Add sausage, chimichurri and salsa, if desired.
Bacon Tater Tot Cast-Iron Casserole
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
- 16 ounces Farmer John Classic Bacon, diced
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup whole milk or half-and-half
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 bag (32 ounces) frozen tater tots
- 3 cups cheddar jack cheese, shredded
- 1 jar (12 ounces) hot or regular tomato salsa
- 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- In cast-iron pan over medium heat, cook bacon 5-8 minutes. Place on plate lined with paper towels. Reserve grease.
- Scramble eggs with milk, salt and reserved bacon drippings until thoroughly mixed.
- Layer 1/3 of tater tots on bottom of cast-iron pan; add 1/3 of cooked bacon, 1 cup cheese and 4 ounces salsa; repeat twice to use remaining bacon, cheese and salsa. Pour scrambled eggs on top.
- Bake 25-30 minutes. Halfway through cooking, add scallions and rotate pan.
- Let cool 5 minutes.
Source: Farmer John
Get Outside with Fresh Grilled Flavors
(Family Features) When bright, sunny days offer opportunities to take it outside for a celebration or casual weeknight dinner, take advantage with the fresh flavors of grilled fare. Good food and good company can combine for a meal to remember with loved ones while enjoying the outdoors.
Try taking your grilling game to the next level with Atkins Ranch grass fed ground lamb – available at Whole Foods Market – for lean, delicate flavor perfect for burgers, skewers, meatballs and sausages. Grass fed lamb is a versatile option that’s easy to cook, even on the grill – simply treat it the way you would beef.
If you’re new to cooking lamb, consider these Grilled Lamb Burgers that showcase 100% grass-fed lamb topped with a light herb salad, sliced tomato and yogurt sauce on a brioche bun. Or you can combine a robust herb dipping sauce with Lamb Meatball and Veggie Skewers for a customizable meal hot off the grates.
Visit Take-It-Outside.AtkinsRanch.com for more grilling inspiration.
Lamb Meatball and Veggie Skewers with Herb Sauce
Total time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Yield: 6 skewers
- 6 wooden skewers
- 1 pound Atkins Ranch ground lamb
- 2 large eggs
- 2/3 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely minced yellow onion
- 1 clove minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 medium red onion, cut into 1-inch stacks
- 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch stacks
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch stacks
- 1 cup flat leaf parsley
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves, minced
- 2 tablespoons capers
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- grilled Italian bread, for serving
- Soak skewers in water 10 minutes.
- In large bowl, break apart ground lamb; add whisked eggs and breadcrumbs.
- In small saute pan, add olive oil then saute yellow onion, garlic clove, coriander seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, to taste, about 5 minutes, until onion is translucent and spices are fragrant. Add to bowl with lamb. Mix until combined and form into roughly 1 1/2-ounce balls.
- Add meatballs to skewers, alternating with onions and peppers. Cover and refrigerate 1 hour to ensure meatballs hold together during grilling.
- To make herb sauce: In immersion blender, blend parsley, rosemary, capers, lemon juice, garlic and olive oil until smooth. Refrigerate until serving.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Grill skewers about 3 minutes on each side, or until meatballs reach 150 F internal temperature. Rest 5 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce and grilled Italian bread.
Grilled Lamb Burgers
Total time: 1 hour, 20 minutes
- 1 1/2 pounds Atkins Ranch ground lamb
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2/3 cup full-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 clove raw garlic, grated
- 1/3 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 small English cucumber, thinly sliced
- 2 green onions, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1/4 cup microgreens
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 4 brioche buns
- 1 medium tomato, sliced into rounds
- Gently divide lamb into four parts, 6 ounces each, and shape into rounds slightly larger than buns. Place covered in refrigerator, 1 hour.
- To make yogurt sauce: In small bowl, mix yogurt, garlic, mayonnaise and Dijon mustard; refrigerate until ready to assemble burgers.
- To make salad: In medium bowl, mix cucumber, onions, parsley, mint leaves, dill, microgreens, lemon juice, lemon zest and olive oil; refrigerate until ready to assemble burgers.
- Preheat grill to medium-high heat with direct and indirect zones. Salt patties then add to grill, cooking about 6 minutes on each side until internal temperature reaches 150 F. As patties near this temperature, or start to brown, move to indirect zone to regulate doneness. Transfer to plate and let rest about 5 minutes.
- To build burgers, add dollop of yogurt spread to bottom buns. Top each with tomato slice, lamb burger, herb salad and top bun.
Source: Atkins Ranch
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
- 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
- Boil pierogies according to package directions. Drain then toss pierogies with 1 tablespoon olive oil to keep from sticking.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
Give Spring Salads a Fresh Spin
(Family Features) With spring and warmer weather comes salad season, offering a perfect canvas for creating refreshing meals and appetizers centered around tasty greens, juicy tomatoes and crave-worthy dressings. Give your salads an update by avoiding the same tired mixes and instead create tasty meals fit for the season.
One easy way to up your salad game is by starting with quality ingredients like Fresh Express salad blends, NatureSweet Cherubs Tomatoes and Litehouse refrigerated salad dressings. These fresh, flavorful ingredients can be combined in a dish like this Chimichurri Chickpea Salad, a perfect way to go green this spring for nearly any occasion.
Part of the appeal of dishing up a homemade salad is the unlimited options you have at your fingertips to make the bowl of greens uniquely “yours.” For many, this means one thing: the more toppings, the better. With grilled chicken, crispy bacon, tomatoes, ripe avocado, hard-boiled eggs, blue cheese and a bed of fresh lettuce, this classic Cobb Salad offers an ideal lunch or even a quick family meal.
Because both these recipes can be made in 20 minutes or less, they provide simple solutions when short on time. Plus, the fresh ingredients sum up everything spring meals are made of.
Find more ways to create easy yet delicious salads at litehousefoods.com/iheartsalad.
Chimichurri Chickpea Salad
Total time: 15 minutes
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 2/3 cup fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2/3 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chickpeas, drained
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 bag Fresh Express Baby Kale Mix
- 1 cup NatureSweet Cherubs Tomatoes, diced
- 1 medium avocado, diced
- 4 tablespoons Litehouse Avocado Ranch Dressing
- In food processor, combine cilantro, parsley, oregano, garlic, red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper. Pulse until sauce is smooth.
- Place chimichurri sauce in small bowl with chickpeas and crushed red pepper flakes; toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate overnight, if possible.
- Divide kale, tomatoes and avocado between four bowls. Top each bowl evenly with marinated chickpeas. Drizzle with avocado ranch dressing and serve.
Total time: 20 minutes
- 3-4 eggs
- 1/4 pound bacon
- 1 bag Fresh Express Sweet Butter Lettuce
- 1 pound grilled chicken
- 1 cup NatureSweet Cherubs Tomatoes, halved
- 1 ripe avocado, sliced
- 1/4 cup blue cheese
- 1/4 cup Litehouse Homestyle Ranch Dressing
- Bring pot of water to boil. Use slotted spoon to place eggs in water. Boil 10 minutes then transfer to ice bath to stop cooking process. Peel eggs and slice.
- Heat skillet over medium heat. Dice bacon and add to pan. Saute until bacon is crispy and fat is rendered, about 7 minutes. Remove from pan with slotted spoon.
- To assemble salad, start with bed of lettuce. Top with hard-boiled eggs, grilled chicken, tomatoes, avocado, bacon and blue cheese; toss in ranch dressing.
Combat Cool Days with Comforting Dishes
(Family Features) From filling dinners to favorite desserts, comfort foods can bring smiles to friendly faces. As temperatures drop, lean on recipes that add flavor and bring warming scents to your kitchen.
Loaded with comforting ingredients like READ German Potato Salad, this Cheesy German Potato Soup can appease appetites with tantalizing taste. Ideal at dinner parties or festivities throughout winter, Mini Chocolate-Beet Cheesecakes with Maple-Orange Glaze combine Aunt Nellie's Sliced Beets with familiar cheesecake flavor for a tempting treat.
Visit readsalads.com and auntnellies.com for more comforting inspiration.
Mini Chocolate-Beet Cheesecakes with Maple-Orange Glaze
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 3 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 1 jar (15 ounces) Aunt Nellie's Sliced Beets
- 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted
- 2 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- whipped cream (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line 12 medium muffin cups with foil liners.
- To make crust: In medium bowl, combine flour and walnuts.
- Using fork or pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Place about 1 tablespoon mixture into each lined muffin cup. Lightly press crumbs into bottom. Bake 5-6 minutes, or until crust begins to brown.
- To make cheesecake: Drain beets, reserving 2 tablespoons liquid. In blender, puree 1/2 cup beets and reserved liquid until smooth; set aside. Dice remaining beets; set aside.
- In large bowl, combine cream cheese and syrup. Beat until smooth. Add egg; mix until blended. Stir in reserved pureed beets. Add melted chocolate; mix well. Spoon about 3 tablespoons cream cheese mixture into muffin cups over warm crusts. Bake 15 minutes, or until filling is set. Let cool to room temperature. Place cheesecakes in refrigerator at least 30 minutes.
- To make topping: In small saucepan, combine reserved diced beets, orange juice concentrate, syrup and cinnamon. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture comes to boil, stirring frequently. Continue cooking and stirring until mixture thickens and appears glossy, 5-8 minutes. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature.
- Remove cheesecakes from muffin liners. Top evenly with glazed beets. Serve with whipped cream, if desired.
Cheesy German Potato Soup
Recipe courtesy of "Today's Creative Life"
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 8 slices bacon, chopped
- 3 large carrots, chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon dried parsley
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) READ German Potato Salad
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup whole milkchopped parsley or chives (optional)
- Place cheeses and flour in gallon-size zip-top bag. Close bag. Shake until cheese is covered with flour; set aside.
- In large Dutch oven over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp, stirring occasionally. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate; set aside.
- Pour off all but 2-3 tablespoons bacon drippings. Return Dutch oven to medium heat. Add carrots, onion and garlic. Cook until onions are translucent and carrots are softened, 3-4 minutes. Add chicken broth, black pepper, red pepper flakes, thyme and parsley. Stir in potato salad. Continue cooking over medium heat 5 minutes, or until potatoes are heated through, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to low. Slowly stir in cream and milk. Cook 5-8 minutes until blended and heated through, stirring frequently. Slowly add cheeses, stirring until melted.
- Top with bacon. Garnish with parsley or chives, if desired.
New Food Trends Can Save Time and Money
(Family Features) As families continue to adjust their meal routines amidst a worldwide pandemic, there are trends you and your loved ones can follow to improve your general health, maintain a budget and spend more time together.
Home cooking: According to a study conducted by Hunter Public Relations on how COVID-19 has changed home cooking, 54% of Americans are cooking more and 50% have more confidence in the kitchen. Many, perhaps for the first time, found that cooking at home and learning cooking techniques could be a fun family activity.
Trusting frozen: Frozen foods have seen a renaissance in 2020. Many families discovered that new technologies allow frozen foods to deliver innovations in flavors, recipes, authenticity and affordability without compromising taste. For example, Aqua Star’s frozen Cutting Board Meal Kits are available at grocers nationwide and feature full chef-inspired meals like Chipotle Shrimp Street Tacos and Southwest Chili-Lime Tilapia.
Saving money: It’s common knowledge for many consumers that eating at or ordering takeout from a restaurant is more expensive than cooking at home. Eating at home showed families just how much they could save, and this trend is likely to continue. According to a Simon-Kucher Restaurants Survey, 26% of consumers who ate meals from casual restaurants before the pandemic anticipate eating meals primarily at home for up to a year after lockdown.
More seafood: According to a national survey by Aqua Star, one of the country’s largest seafood companies, 75% of Americans want to eat more seafood. Seafood provides nutritional benefits for a multitude of recipes, but many people don’t know how to prepare it. One of the easiest ways to introduce your family to seafood is through familiar comfort food recipes and convenient one-pan meals.
Online grocery shopping: Nearly daily trips to the grocery store can be an expensive habit since impulse buying is a bane to healthy eating and saving money. As online grocery shopping grows in popularity, it provides families with a convenient, time-saving way to keep must-haves on hand without overspending at the store.
Dinners with family: After years of families grabbing meals on the run, sheltering in place has brought many back to the dining room table. For a simple family meal that focuses on frozen seafood and pantry staples, try this recipe for Shrimp Scampi that involves just a few steps of preparation that can even allow kids to help in the process. If you don’t have time to cook, Aqua Star’s Shrimp Scampi MicroSteam Bowl is a simple way to enjoy the same flavors in minutes, from the microwave, with no clean-up required.
Find more at-home seafood solutions at aquastar.com.
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 8 ounces pasta linguine
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or seafood broth
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 dash crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds large or extra-large Aqua Star shrimp, shelled
- 1/3 cup parsley, chopped
- 1/2 lemon, juice only
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- In large skillet, melt butter and oil. Add garlic and saute until fragrant. Add wine or broth, salt, red pepper flakes and black pepper. Bring to simmer and reduce by half.
- Add shrimp and saute until shrimp turn pink and opaque, approximately 2-4 minutes depending on size. Stir in parsley, lemon juice and cooked pasta.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images (family dinner)
Source: Aqua Star
Master Family Meals with Ease
(Family Features) Comforting family meals are a tradition in many homes with time spent around the table sharing stories and laughs while enjoying great food. These meals can include lavish or complicated recipes, but you can also enjoy dinner with loved ones by turning to easy-to-make dishes that still follow through with delicious flavor.
Serve up snack-sized sandwiches, for example, with this recipe for Pulled Pork Sliders with Tangy Red Slaw made using Aunt Nellie’s Whole Holland Style Onions and Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage to add a zesty zip to tender pork sandwiches.
Ready in less than half an hour and requiring only a handful of ingredients, Lemon-Butter 4 Bean Ravioli is an easy solution for a comfort food craving. Cheesy ravioli, READ Bean Salad and veggies make a simple, satisfying, meatless pasta dinner in minutes.
Visit auntnellies.com and READsalads.com for more easy family meal inspiration.
Pulled Pork Sliders with Tangy Red Slaw
Prep time: 25 minutes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 teaspoon sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
- 1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper
- 1 cup Aunt Nellie’s Whole Holland Style Onions, drained and coarsely chopped
- 1 jar (16 ounces) Aunt Nellie’s Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage, drained
- 1 pound pulled pork, heated through
- 1/4 cup hickory smoked barbecue sauce, warm
- 12 small pull-apart dinner rolls, split crosswise and lightly toasted
- To make slaw: In large bowl, combine oil, vinegar, sugar and cayenne pepper; whisk to combine. Add celery, bell pepper, onions and red cabbage; toss to coat.
- To make sliders: In medium bowl, mix pork and barbecue sauce. To assemble, spoon pork evenly over bottom half of each roll. Top with slaw and top half of each roll.
Note: If desired, slaw can be served warm. In saucepan over medium-low or medium heat, cook slaw about 5 minutes, or until heated through, stirring frequently.
Lemon-Butter 4 Bean Ravioli
Recipe courtesy of “Winnie’s Balance” on behalf of Seneca Foods
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
- 1 package (10 ounces) fresh cheese ravioli
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 2 cups combination of sliced button mushrooms, chopped kale and grape tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (15 ounces) READ 4 Bean Salad
- 1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- Cook ravioli according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- Heat medium skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil; swirl to coat.
- Add mushrooms, kale, tomatoes and 1 tablespoon butter. Cook 6 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft and tomatoes burst, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.
- Return pasta to medium heat. Add remaining butter and minced garlic. Cook 2 minutes, or until garlic is fragrant, stirring frequently. Stir in bean salad; cook 1 minute, or until heated through.
- Gently stir vegetables into pasta. Drizzle with lemon juice. Toss gently and top with red pepper flakes, if desired.
Source: Seneca Foods