For those who enjoy preparing home-cooked, nutrient-rich meals, but are often pressed for time, canned foods are essential cooking tools. A well-stocked pantry — or “Cantry” — ensures you always have healthful fruits and vegetables on hand — no matter the time of year.
“Cans’ ironclad seal locks in freshness, flavor and nutrients, so you can rely on canned foods to create wholesome and delicious meals for your family,” said Elizabeth Fassberg, MPH, RD, CDN, owner of EAT FOOD, a food and nutrition consultancy in New York City. “Cooking with canned food means you know what you’re serving your family and helps cut down on eating out.”
To get the most nutritionally from your canned foods, here are Fassberg’s tips:
• Select fruits that are packed in their own juice, water or 100-percent fruit juice.
• When possible, opt for canned vegetables or soups with no sodium added or low sodium products. If these options are not available, rinse the vegetables before you use them.
• Refrigerate leftover canned goods in a glass or plastic container.
So if you’re not sure what to make for dinner tonight, look no further than your cantry.
Preparation time: 5 minutes; cooking time: 10 minutes; makes 8 servings
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/2 teaspoon dried savory
1/4 teaspoon ground sage
1 quart canned, low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup 100 percent vegetable juice
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 cup canned, diced tomatoes (no-salt added)
1 cup canned navy beans or chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can (8-1/4 ounces) sliced carrots, drained
1 can (8-1/4 ounces) cut green beans, drained
1 can (4 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
Parmesan cheese (optional)
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until transparent, about 2 minutes. Add garlic, Italian seasoning, savory and sage, and cook 10 seconds. Add broth, vegetable juice and vinegar, and bring to a boil.
Add tomatoes, navy beans, carrots, green beans, and mushrooms; simmer 4 to 5 minutes.
Serve in bowls garnished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Recipe and image courtesy of Mealtime.org.
Source: Can Manufacturers Institute
Serve a simple skillet supper
Getting dinner on the table fast during a busy week need not cause a panic — or a call for carryout. With this simple recipe and five key ingredients, supper is served in just 20 minutes.
Begin with a pantry staple that can be the starting point for lots of great meals — a can of READ German Potato Salad. This ready-to-serve salad makes a savory side dish to accompany all kinds of entrees, but it’s so much more versatile. Think of it as a base for a hearty soup, a casserole or a skillet meal like Quick Sausage and German Potato Salad Skillet.
Thinly sliced potatoes, deliciously seasoned with a vinegary-bacon dressing, make a perfect pairing with smoked sausage and a quick sauté of onion wedges and colorful bell peppers. Think of the prep time and number of ingredients saved by beginning with the potato salad. And by choosing pre-cooked sausages, which can be browned and heated in about five minutes, cooking time is greatly reduced.
Add a mixed greens salad, perhaps topped with apple or pear slices, and dinner is done. How quick, easy and appetizing is that?
For more great-tasting, simple recipes made with READ salads, visit www.READsalads.com.
Quick Sausage and German Potato Salad Skillet
Preparation time: 10 minutes; cooking time: 10 minutes; makes 4 servings
2 teaspoons olive or vegetable oil
1 medium red or yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch thick wedges
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
3/4 pound pre-cooked smoked chicken or turkey sausage links
1 can (15 ounces) READ German Potato Salad
1/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper
Chopped parsley, optional
Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until hot. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook and stir 1 minute. Add sausages; continue cooking 5 minutes until browned and heated through, turning occasionally. Remove sausages from skillet.
Add potato salad and black pepper to skillet. Stir to combine with onion mixture. Return sausages to skillet. Cook 2 to 3 minutes to heat through. Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.
Note: Other smoked sausage such as Polish or kielbasa can be substituted.
Source: Seneca Foods