RECIPES:

 

Onion, Chicken And White Bean Chili Spicy Noodles Beijing Oatmeal with Spiced Apples Game Day Chili Salmon with Lemon Sauce Mashed Sweet Potatoes Sweet And Spicy Cajun Chicken Sweet And Spicy Cajun Chicken
Onion, Chicken And White Bean Chili Spicy Noodles Beijing

Oatmeal with Spiced Apples

Game Day Chili

Salmon with Lemon Sauce Mashed Sweet Potatoes Sweet And Spicy Cajun Chicken The Saints' Gumbo

Boost Nutrition, Add Flavor Without Scorching Your Budget

(NAPSI)-Experts call it a superfood. Chefs call it a recipe necessity. Perhaps best of all, it's available in the grocery store. It's the sweet onion.

Dice it, caramelize it, chop it, sauté it, mince it. However you prepare it, a sweet onion in a dish can boost flavor and nutritional content without breaking the bank.

Sweet onions provide incredible flavor and contain protein, vitamin C, antioxidants and almost a third more sugar than regular yellow onions. This makes them a great way to add both volume and flavor to recipes. One jumbo sweet onion, the traditional size displayed loose in grocery stores, can add up to two extra servings to most recipes.

Healthful Comfort Food That's Easy To Make And Affordable

Whether you call it comfort food or slow cooking, it conjures up warm, down-home feelings and provides an affordable, delicious way to feed your family. Few things can get your favorite slow-cooker recipe off to a better start than sweet onions.

If you're on a tight schedule or want to slow-cook a family favorite, OSO Sweet Onions add great flavor to every meal. They're grown in the mineral-rich soil at the foothills of the Andes Mountains in South America and, domestically, in Texas. As an added bonus, these onions are highly digestible so everyone can enjoy them.

Onion Advice

When buying sweet onions, look for those that are light golden-brown in color, with a shiny tissue, thin skin and firm, tight, dry necks. When cut into, they should have a creamy white interior and a mild aroma. Avoid onions that have soft spots or surface bruises as these onions can be lacking in flavor.

Generally, these delicious sweet onions will keep for four to six weeks or longer. Once cut, a sweet onion should be wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerated.

Onion, Chicken And White Bean Chili

Onion, Chicken And White Bean Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 OSO Sweet Onion, ½" dice
  • 2 pounds dried navy beans or great northern beans
  • 6 chicken thighs, boneless, skinless (cut into 1" pieces)
  • 2 cups celery, ½" dice
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded, ¼" dice (optional)
  • 8 cups chicken stock
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 dashes Tabasco sauce (optional)

Serves 6

Directions:

Soak beans overnight in cold water (cover with 3" of water). Drain beans. Place all ingredients in a slow-cooker and stir well. Cook for 4 hours (medium heat).

Learn More

You can learn more about onions and get recipes and tips online at www.OsoSweetOnions.com.

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Learn to Cook Like a Pro

(NAPSI)-If you're looking to spice it up in the kitchen with new recipes and flavors, it's no secret, the CIA--as in The Culinary Institute of America--can help.

The CIA and CanolaInfo are offering free cooking lessons online, featuring the cuisines of North Africa, Asia, Latin America and more for cooks of all skill levels.

"Cooking is such a global experience today due to the availability of ingredients from many countries," says CIA chef-instructor Almir Da Fonseca. "Whether traditional or fusion, ethnic-inspired recipes can broaden the skills of any chef and the taste buds of guests."

Professional and home chefs alike can visit www.CIAProChef.com/canola to choose from 16 flavor-packed recipes and step-by-step cooking demos by CIA chef-instructors.

Each recipe uses canola oil because of its neutral taste, light texture and high heat tolerance. In addition, canola oil has the least saturated fat and most omega-3 fat of all common cooking oils, with zero trans fat and cholesterol. By displacing sources of saturated fat, canola oil gets healthful fats into food. Here is one delicious sample:

Spicy Noodles Beijing

Ingredients:
  • ½ lb. fresh egg noodles
  • ½ lb. ground pork
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp. canola oil
  • ½ head Napa cabbage, julienned
  • 3 cups bean sprouts
  • 1 Tbsp. ground bean sauce*
  • 3 Tbsp. chili paste with garlic or any chili garlic sauce
  • 1 tsp. sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Chiangking* or rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. dark soy sauce
  • ¼ cup water
Spicy Noodles Beijing
  • Corn starch slurry as needed
  • ½ cup carrot, thinly julienned
  • ½ cup cucumber, thinly julienned

Directions:

Cook noodles in a pot of boiling water until al dente. Rinse with hot water; drain. Transfer to a serving plate and cover with a bowl to keep warm. While the noodles are cooking, heat a wok until hot. Stir-fry the ground pork and onion in 1 tablespoon oil until the onion is translucent. Add the cabbage and bean sprouts and stir-fry for 1 minute. Add the bean sauce and chili paste. Season with the sesame oil, vinegar, sugar and dark soy sauce. Add the water to heat through and thicken with slurry. Adjust seasoning. Top with carrot and cucumber and serve immediately with cooked noodles.

Serves 6.

* Located in Asian section of grocery stores.

For more canola oil recipes, go to www.canolainfo.org.

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Key Ingredients For A Healthier Heart

(NAPSI)-Here's heartening news: Although cardiovascular diseases remain the nation's No. 1 killer, according to the American Heart Association, you can help reduce your risk.

"People tend to focus on what they should cut out of their diets; but it's also what you add in that can make a difference," said registered dietitian Tammi Hancock. Here are key heart-healthy nutrients to look for:

Omega-3 fatty acids can decrease the plaque on artery walls while raising healthy HDL cholesterol levels.

Phytosterols, plant sterols, can lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol while raising HDL.

Vitamin D: Not only does vitamin D help keep bones strong, but it also plays a role in heart health.

Balanced fats: All fats are not created equal. For example, Smart Balance spread has been shown to balance cholesterol ratios. The patented blend of all-natural vegetable oils contains no hydrogenated or interesterified fats or palm kernel oil.

Here's a great way to use it to start the day:

Oatmeal with Spiced Apples

Ingredients:
  • 3¼ cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1¾ cups quick-cooking oats
  • ¼ cup Smart Balance HeartRight Buttery Spread, softened
  • 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar or honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups (¼-inch-thick) sliced Granny Smith apple, peeled if desired
Oatmeal with Spiced Apples

Serves 4

Directions:

Bring cups water and salt to a full boil in a large saucepan over high heat. Stir in oats. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, 6 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. While oatmeal cooks, combine all the spread ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well blended. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ¼ cup of the spice spread; refrigerate remaining spread for later use. When bubbly, add the apple slices and cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring gently. Remove from heat and let stand 1 minute to absorb flavors. Divide oatmeal equally among four bowls. Spoon equal amounts of the apple mixture over each serving.

Per Serving: 234 calories, 5g protein, 39g carbohydrate, 6.5g total fat, 1.7g saturated fat, 2g monounsaturated fat, 2.4g polyunsaturated fat, 0g trans fat, 183mg omega-3 fatty acids, 810mg omega-6 fatty acids, 0mg cholesterol, 271mg sodium, 5g fiber

%

Note to Editors: While this article is particularly apt during February, American Heart Month, it can be useful to your readers at any time.

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Quick Meal Tips For Game Day Entertaining

(NAPSI)-If the gang is headed to your house to watch the game, chili is a great crowd-pleaser that's easy to make.

Cooking chili in a slow cooker is simple and it gets the host out of the kitchen and into the game. Just place a disposable liner in the cooker, add the ingredients, cover and set the controls. When the whistle blows, you have a meal your team will love. Slow cooker liners from Reynolds make cleanup a snap. Just toss the disposable liner when you're done--no scrubbing or soaking required.

Put assorted toppings such as sour cream, grated cheese, chopped onions and more in bowls before everyone arrives to serve with this hearty game day favorite:

Game Day Chili

Game Day Chili

Ingredients:

  • 1 Reynolds® Slow Cooker Liner
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cans (15 oz.) red kidney beans, undrained
  • 2 packages (1.25 oz.) chili seasoning mix
  • 1 can (15 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (10 oz.) diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • Cheese and sour cream (optional)

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3-7 hours
Serves: 8

Directions:

Open slow cooker liner and place it inside a 5- to 6½ -quart slow cooker bowl. Fit liner snugly against the bottom and sides of bowl; pull top of liner over rim of bowl. Brown ground beef, bell pepper and onion in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is no longer pink. Drain well. Place beef mixture into slow cooker liner. Combine remaining ingredients in a medium bowl. Pour over beef mixture; gently stir with wooden or plastic spoon to combine. Place lid on slow cooker. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 3 to 3½ hours until heated through. Carefully remove lid to allow steam to escape. Serve food directly from slow cooker liner. Do not lift or transport liner with food inside.

Cook's tip: Store your slow cooker liners in the cooker itself. That way, you'll have them when you need them.

For more recipes and ideas, go to www.slowcookerliners.com.

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Healthy Eating Requires New Habits And New Recipes

(NAPSI)-Deciding to eat better does not have to be about denying yourself. Having more energy and staying healthier can be as easy as developing a few new habits. Here are a few tips to help:
  • Reduce, don't eliminate certain foods. If your favorite foods are high in fat, salt or sugar, moderate how much you eat of them and how often you eat them.
  • Make food decisions in advance. Plan your daily meals, drinks and snacks so you don't have to think about food all the time and keep having to make decisions about what to eat.
  • Eat slowly. Your appetite can be satisfied on less food by slowly savoring everything you eat. And wait before going back for seconds.
  • Try healthful new recipes. Include more brightly colored produce in your diet and add some heart-healthy salmon, with Omega-3s. Karo Syrup and Argo Corn Starch offer two new delicious recipes that don't require self-denial.

The first is a restaurant-quality salad of crisp, fresh greens, tangy feta cheese, juicy whole raspberries, and cinnamon-dusted, pan-toasted pecan halves.

The second recipe is a simply prepared skillet dish that keeps the salmon moist while adding a light citrus flavor, a great way to add more seafood to your diet:

Assorted Greens with Feta, Cinnamon Dusted Pecans and Raspberry Vinaigrette

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Makes 5 servings

Cinnamon Dusted Pecans

Cinnamon Dusted Pecans

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Spice Islands® Ground Saigon Cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
  • ¾ cup pecan halves
  • Raspberry Vinaigrette
  • ⅔ cup frozen, unsweetened raspberries
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup Karo Light Corn Syrup
  • 1½ teaspoons Spice Islands Ground Mustard
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1½ teaspoons Spice Islands Chives
  • dash Spice Islands Black Pepper
  • dash salt

Salad

  • 5 ounces salad greens
  • ⅔ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Fresh raspberries, optional

Directions:

Pecans: Combine sugar and cinnamon; set aside. Melt butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Add pecans and stir constantly until pecans are lightly toasted, about 5 minutes.

Remove from heat and immediately add cinnamon-sugar mixture. Stir well to mix. Pour onto a foil-lined tray. Cool completely. Can be stored in airtight container for up to two weeks.

Vinaigrette: Combine raspberries, water, vinegar, corn syrup and ground mustard in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.

Gradually add oil. Stir in chives, pepper and salt. Chill until ready to serve.

Combine salad greens with feta cheese. Top with fresh raspberries, if desired. Drizzle with Raspberry Vinaigrette and top with Cinnamon-Dusted Pecans. Reserve remaining vinaigrette for another meal.

Salmon with Lemon Sauce

Salmon with Lemon Sauce

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon Spice Islands Dill Weed
  • ½ teaspoon Spice Islands Ground Mustard
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons butter 4 salmon fillets
  • 2 teaspoons Argo Corn Starch

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Makes 4 servings

Directions:

Combine wine, water, salt, dill weed, mustard, lemon and butter in a large skillet. Heat just until boiling. Add salmon; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.

Remove fish and lemon slices to heated serving platter. Stir corn starch into 1 tablespoon cold water in a small bowl. Blend corn starch mixture into pan juices, stirring constantly until mixture thickens and becomes clear. Spoon over fish. Serve immediately.

For more information and recipes, visit www.karosyrup.com and www.argostarch.com.

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Help Kids Like Veggies

(NAPSI)-Getting children to eat their veggies can seem more like child's play if you heed these do's and don'ts.
  • Don't try to hide vegetables in your kid's dinner.
  • Do let the child decide how much to eat at any meal.
  • Don't pressure your children. That can cause them to rebel, making vegetables the enemy.
  • Do introduce new vegetables to your children regularly to give them an opportunity to try veggies without a battle.

For example, one delicious new vegetable you can present to your kids is the sweet potato. Sweet potatoes (yams) are naturally sweet yet very nutritious.

Mashed sweet potatoes can be made at any time of the year, with canned or fresh sweet potatoes.

Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 4 (15/16-ounce) cans sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. margarine, melted
  • ¼ cup evaporated skimmed milk
Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Directions:

In mixing bowl, beat together sweet potatoes, brown sugar, margarine and milk until creamy. Transfer to baking dish and bake for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

For a variety of free sweet potato recipes, visit the Louisiana Sweet Potato Commission's Web site, www.sweetpotato.org.

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Grape Ideas To Brighten Up The Winter Blahs

(NAPSI)-Feeling low? Not too peppy? You're not alone. Just remember: It's winter. Being upbeat and cheerful is a challenge when days are short, weather has two faces, and the threat of colds and flu looms unseen but ready to pounce on a weakened immune system. That's why you should grab a bunch of grapes the next time you're in the market.

The very sight of such a summery treat in the midst of winter is enough to put at least a half smile on your face. But grapes have more than good looks: They're good for you. Grapes are a good source of vitamin C, plus potassium and antioxidants to keep your immune system up and running. The biggest surprise is that they're so versatile! Pick them from the bunch and eat them alone by their delicious selves or dunk them in a creamy dip.

Or let them warm up to a family entrée, like in this recipe for Sweet and Spicy Cajun Chicken with Chilean Grapes. A little touch of the unexpected can win over picky eaters much of the time. Grapes partner particularly well with meats and fish, and can quickly play dress-up when you create easy garnishes for decorating desserts or serve as an inventive hors d'oeuvre.

We're able to enjoy grapes all winter long because they hail from Chile, where it's summer right now. Grapes just love summer and ripen to become fantastically sweet. They're in abundance in our markets and will be here all winter long to keep us happily munching these sweet nutritious beauties. So when your thoughts run to chilly, think Chile, too. For more recipes and information, visit www.chileanfreshfruit.com.

SWEET AND SPICY CAJUN CHICKEN WITH CHILEAN GRAPES

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning blend
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6-8 ounces each
  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1½ cups (about 8 ounces) green and red Chilean grapes, halved
SWEET AND SPICY CAJUN CHICKEN

Directions:

Sprinkle Cajun seasoning evenly over both sides of each chicken breast. In large skillet, over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter. Add chicken; cook until browned and juices run clear when pierced with a fork, 5 to 7 minutes on each side. Remove chicken to plate; cover loosely with foil to keep warm. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in skillet; stir in lemon juice and 2 tablespoons water. Add grapes; cook and stir over medium heat until hot. Diagonally slice each chicken breast and top with grapes. Garnish with green onions if desired.

YIELD: 4 portions

Per portion: 340 calories, 46 g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 12 g total fat (6 g saturated), 1 g fiber, 602 mg sodium

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Heartwarming Meals For Cold Winter Evenings

(NAPSI)-In the cold winter months, filled with biting winds and fierce snowfalls, there are few things more satisfying than a hearty stew or gumbo that instantly warms your body at first spoonful.

Hearty soups and stews are all the more savory when made in an enameled cocotte, like those from Staub. Based in France, Staub has been making its signature cookware since 1892. Select cuts of meat brown to perfection and rich stews slowly swell with flavor in the enameled cocottes, making them the perfect tools to create a warm meal.

Chef Carla Hall, who is known by her fans for coining the phrase "Cooking with Love" on season 5 of Bravo's Top Chef, uses cocottes, like Staub's 4.5-qt. Oval Cocotte, to create delicious stews and gumbos during the chilly winter months.

You, too, can "cook with love" with Carla's award-winning "Saints' Gumbo."

THE SAINTS' GUMBO

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 small onion, small dice
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 piece andouille, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 rib celery, small dice
  • 1 red pepper (or yellow), small dice
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, small dice
  • 1 green pepper, small dice
  • 1 cup collard greens, chiffonade
  • 1 cup boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 cup medium-size shrimp, tails off and cut into ½" pieces
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
THE SAINTS' GUMBO
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1½ cups chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons roux (equal parts butter and flour cooked to medium brown, which may be made ahead and used as needed)
  • Salt and pepper, to season
  • Boiled rice

PROCEDURE:

  1. In a 4.5-qt. Staub Oval Cocotte, heat oil on medium heat.

  2. Add chicken and andouille into cocotte and lightly brown.

  3. Add onion and garlic--allow to sweat for approximately 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

  4. Add in diced celery and peppers. Season using cayenne pepper, thyme and oregano. Cook until soft.

  5. Stir in collard chiffonade. Combine well and continue to stir until wilted. Pour in wine and let reduce.

  6. Pour in chicken stock, then stir in 2 tablespoons roux. Adjust seasoning. Add in shrimp pieces at the last minute, so they do not overcook.

  7. Serve gumbo over boiled rice.

Staub products are available for purchase at www.cookswarehouse.com.

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