Farfalle with Jennie – O Turkey Italian Sausage and Peppers

February 8, 2014 at 9:22 AM | Posted in Jennie-O Turkey Products, pasta, Peppers, Ronzoni Healthy Harvest Pasta | Leave a comment
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A favorite among Steve and Rachael’s family, thanks for passing it along!



Farfalle with Jennie – O Turkey Italian Sausage and Peppers

8 ounces Whole Grain Farfalle Pasta (bow tie pasta)
12 ounces, or more, Jenny – O Turkey Sweet or Spicy Italian Sausage (if using links, remove sausage from casings)
1 medium Green Bell Pepper, seeded, membrane removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium Red Bell Pepper, seeded, membrane removed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup Swanson Low-Sodium Beef Broth
Kosher or Sea Salt and freshly ground Black Peppercorn to taste
1/4 cup chopped Flat Leaf Parsley (Italian parsley)
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese for accompaniment



Cook pasta according to package directions, preferably al dente (firm to the bite). Drain and keep warm.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet cook sausage over medium-high heat, breaking up into bite-sized chunks, until browned; drain fat.
Add the bell pepper and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the beef broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper; stir in parsley and the cooked pasta and toss gently to combine.
Serve immediately garnished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Makes 4 servings.

What to do With – Leftover Turkey and Mashed Potato

November 8, 2013 at 8:41 AM | Posted in Ham, potatoes | 1 Comment
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So much leftover  Turkey and Mashed Potatoes and so many delicious Leftover Recipes to choose from! Here’s one for you, Leftover Turkey and Mashed Potato Shepherd’s Pie.

Leftover Turkey and Mashed Potato Shepherd’s Pie




1 1/2 lbs Leftover Turkey, fork shredded
1 Onion chopped
1-2 cups Vegetables – chopped Carrots, Corn, Peas
1 1/2 cups Leftover Mashed Potatoes, or a bit more if you have them
8 tablespoons butter (1 stick), Blue bonnet Light Stick Butter
1/2 cup Swanson‘s Low Sodium Chicken Broth or Stock
1 teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
Sea Salt, Pepper, other seasonings of choice


1 Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Sauté onions in butter until tender over medium heat (10 mins). If you are adding vegetables, add them according to cooking time. Put any carrots in with the onions. Add corn or peas either at the end of the cooking of the onions, or after the meat has initially cooked.

2 Add leftover Turkey and sauté until heated. Add salt and pepper. Add worcesterchire sauce. Add half a cup of chicken broth and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes, adding more chicken broth as necessary to keep moist.

3 Place turkey and onions in baking dish. Distribute mashed potatoes on top. Rough up with a fork so that there are peaks that will brown nicely. You can use the fork to make some designs in the potatoes as well.

4 Cook in 400 degree oven until bubbling and brown (about 20 -25 minutes). Broil for last few minutes if necessary to brown. Enjoy!

Skillet Chicken Paella

February 21, 2013 at 12:32 PM | Posted in chicken, vegetables | 2 Comments
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Skillet Chicken Paella


1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch strips
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic , minced
2 1/4 cups Swanson fat-free chicken broth
1 cup uncooked long grain rice or brown rice
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground roasted cumin
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 medium sweet red pepper, cut into thin strips
3/4 cup sugar snap peas



In a 10-inch skillet heat oil over medium-high heat and cook chicken strips, in two batches, for 2 to 3 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove chicken from skillet. Set aside.
Add onion and garlic to skillet; cook until onion has softened but not browned.
Add broth, uncooked rice, oregano, paprika, salt, pepper and saffron or turmeric. Bring to boiling. Reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes.
Coarsely chop stewed tomatoes and add with their juice to the pan. Add sweet red pepper and sugar snap peas. Cover and simmer about 5 minutes more or until rice is tender.
Stir in cooked chicken. Cook and stir about 1 minute more or until heated through.
Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 297, fat 6 g, cholesterol 50 mg, Protein 24 g, carbohydrate 36 g, Fiber 2 g; sodium 642 mg. (To lower sodium content, use low-sodium chicken broth, no salt added tomatoes and lite-salt.)

One of America’s Favorites – the TV Dinner

September 17, 2012 at 9:29 AM | Posted in baking, Food | Leave a comment
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A 1950s-style TV dinner. This type of meal was common until the mid 1980s

A TV dinner (also called a frozen dinner, frozen meal, microwave meal, or ready meal) is a prepackaged frozen or chilled meal that usually comes as an individual portion. It requires very little preparation and contains all the elements for a single-serving meal.
The term TV dinner is a genericized trademark originally used for a brand of packaged meal developed in 1953 by C.A. Swanson & Sons (the name in full was TV Brand Frozen Dinner). Swanson stopped using the name “TV Dinner” in 1962; in the United States the term remains synonymous with any prepackaged dinner purchased frozen in a supermarket and heated at home.
The original TV Dinner came in an aluminum tray and was heated in an oven. Most frozen food trays are now made of microwaveable material, usually plastic.

Several smaller companies had conceived of frozen dinners earlier (see Invention section below), but the first to achieve success was Swanson. The first Swanson-brand TV Dinner was produced in the United States and consisted of a Thanksgiving meal of turkey, cornbread dressing, frozen peas and sweet potatoes packaged in a tray like those used at the time for airline food service. Each item was placed in its own compartment. The trays proved to be useful: the entire dinner could be removed from the outer packaging as a unit; the aluminum tray could be heated directly in the oven without any extra dishes; and one could eat the meal directly from the same tray. The product was cooked for 25 minutes at 425 °F (218 °C) and fit nicely on a TV tray table. The original TV Dinner sold for 98 cents, and had a production estimate of 5,000 dinners for the first year. Swanson far exceeded its expectations, and ended up selling more than 10 million of these dinners in the first year of production

The name TV dinner came from the shape of the tray it was served on. The main entrée was in a bigger compartment on one side of the tray and the vegetables lined up in smaller compartments on the other side. The arrangement was similar to that of the front panels of a 1950s television set: a screen on the left and speakers and control on the right. There were other theories about the name of the TV dinner. One reason was that early packaging featured the image of a TV set. Another was that many families would eat these in front of a TV set.

Much has changed since the first TV Dinners were marketed. For instance, a wider variety of main courses — such as fried chicken,

A modern TV dinner with Salisbury steak and macaroni and cheese.

Pizza, Salisbury steak and Mexican combinations — have been introduced. Competitors such as Banquet began offering prepackaged frozen dinners at a cheaper price than Swanson. Other changes include:

* 1960 – Swanson added desserts (such as apple cobbler and brownies) to a new four-compartment tray.
* 1964 – Night Hawk name originated from the Night Hawk steak houses that operated in Austin, Texas from 1939 through 1994. The original “diners” were open all night catering to the late-night crowd. The restaurants produced the first frozen Night Hawk “TV dinner” in 1964.
* 1969 – The first TV breakfasts were marketed (pancakes and sausage were the favorites). Great Starts Breakfasts and breakfast sandwiches (such as egg and Canadian bacon) followed later.
* 1973 – The first Swanson Hungry-Man dinners were marketed; these were larger portions of its regular dinner products. The American football player “Mean” Joe Greene was its spokesman.
* 1986 – The first microwave oven–safe trays were marketed.

Modern-day frozen dinners tend to come in microwave-safe containers. Product lines also tend to offer a larger variety of dinner types. These dinners, also known as microwave meals, can be purchased at most supermarkets. They are stored frozen. To prepare them, the plastic cover is removed or vented, and the meal is heated in a microwave oven for a few minutes. They are convenient since they essentially require no preparation time other than the heating, although some frozen dinners may require the preparer to briefly carry out an intermediary step (such as stirring mashed potatoes midway through the heating cycle) to ensure adequate heating and uniform consistency of component items.

In the United Kingdom, pre-prepared frozen meals first became widely available in the late 1970s. Since then they have steadily grown in popularity with the increased ownership of home freezers and microwave ovens. Demographic trends such as the growth of smaller households have also influenced the sale of this and other types of convenience food.[4] In 2003, the United Kingdom spent £5 million a day on ready meals, and was the largest consumer in Europe.

Unfrozen pre-cooked ready meals, which are merely chilled and require less time to reheat, are also popular and are sold by most supermarkets. Chilled ready meals are intended for immediate reheating and consumption. Although most can be frozen by the consumer after purchase, some may have to be fully defrosted before reheating.

Many different varieties of frozen and chilled ready meals are now generally available in the UK, including “gourmet” recipes, organic and vegetarian dishes, traditional British and foreign cuisine, and smaller children’s meals.

The identity of the TV Dinner’s inventor has been disputed. In one account, first publicized in 1996, retired Swanson executive Gerry

A Hungry-Man brand frozen dinner

Thomas said he conceived the idea after the company found itself with a huge surplus of frozen turkeys because of poor Thanksgiving sales. Thomas’ version of events has been challenged by the Los Angeles Times, members of the Swanson family and former Swanson employees. They credit the Swanson brothers with the invention.

Either way, Swanson’s concept was not original. In 1944, William L. Maxson’s frozen dinners were being served on airplanes. Other prepackaged meals were also marketed before Swanson’s TV Dinner.[citation needed] In 1948, plain frozen fruits and vegetables were joined by what were then called ‘dinner plates’ with a main course, potato, and vegetable. Later, in 1952, the first frozen dinners on oven-ready aluminum trays were introduced by Quaker States Foods under the One-Eye Eskimo label. Quaker States Foods was joined by other companies including Frigi-Dinner, which offered such fare as beef stew with corn and peas, veal goulash with peas and potatoes, and chicken chow mein with egg rolls and fried rice. However, Swanson, a large producer of canned and frozen poultry in Omaha, Nebraska, was able to promote the widespread sales and adaptation of frozen dinner by using its nationally-recognized brand name with an extensive national marketing campaign nicknamed “Operation Smash” and the clever advertising name of “TV Dinner,” which tapped into the public’s excitement around the new device.

A TV dinner usually consists of a cut of meat, usually beef or chicken, with a vegetable, such as peas, corn or a potato, and sometimes a dessert, such as a brownie or apple cobbler. The entrée could also be pasta or a common type of fish, such as Atlantic cod. Rice is a common side item.

The freezing process tends to degrade the taste of food and the meals are thus heavily processed with extra salt and fat to compensate. In addition, stabilizing the product for a long period typically means that companies will use partially hydrogenated vegetable oils for some items (typically dessert). Partially hydrogenated vegetable oils are high in trans fats and may adversely affect cardiovascular health.[citation needed] The dinners are almost always significantly less nutritious than fresh food and are formulated to remain edible after long periods of storage, thus often requiring preservatives such as BHT. There is, however, some variability between brands.

In recent years there has been a push by a number of independent manufacturers and retailers to make meals that are low in salt and

A Gastropub ready meal from Marks & Spencer

fat and free of artificial additives. ConAgra Foods’ Healthy Choice is one brand that markets to the health-conscious niche. In the UK, most British supermarkets also produce their own “healthy eating” brands. Nearly all chilled or frozen ready meals sold in the UK are now clearly labeled with the salt, sugar and fat content and the recommended daily intake. Concern about obesity and government publicity initiatives such as those by the Food Standards Agency and the National Health Service have encouraged manufacturers to reduce the levels of salt and fat in ready prepared food. Their guidelines state:

A benefit of frozen dinners is that they are usually fully cooked during preparation, and only need to be reheated by the consumer. This eliminates the possibility of undercooking by misjudging microwave powers and cooking times, although packaging warnings often state that the food must be “piping hot” before consumption. More recently, however, frozen dinners have been created that are designed to be used as a steamer, allowing rapid cooking of essentially raw ingredients (typically fish and vegetables) immediately before consumption.

All-natural options for frozen meals are also becoming available.

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