Chinese Longevity Noodles

Lo mein

Gong hei fat choy! Or Happy New Year in Mandarin Chinese. This year, we’re saying hello to the Year of the Dog during the most important Chinese holiday of the year. To celebrate, many families gather together and eat traditional foods that symbolize good luck, wealth and prosperity for the year to come. Fruits like tangerines and oranges are especially popular because they represent luck and wealth, respectively. Dim sum dishes like turnip cake represents prosperity and fried spring rolls resemble gold bars. You can even incorporate traditional foods into desserts such as with Chinese walnut cookies in which walnuts symbolize the happiness of the whole family.

Eating any kind of noodles during Chinese New Year is considered good luck because it also symbolizes prosperity. One must have item are longevity noodles. During the holiday, these special noodles are eaten all throughout China because like their name, they represent a long life. So remember not to cut or break the noodles while you’re eating them. This traditional recipe is perfect for any Chinese New Year celebration or special occasions such as birthdays and is usually served towards the end of the meal. It’s fairly easy to make as you’re cooking all the ingredients separately and then tossing together. The chewy noodles soak up all the delicious flavors of the soy sauce, sesame oil  and rice wine and the addition of just a few simple ingredients like Melissa’s dried mushrooms, green onions and chopped chiles make this dish the perfect way to end a traditional Chinese New Year feast.

Shitake Mushroom

Melissa’s Dried Mushrooms take the spotlight in this simple yet delicious dish. Shiitake mushrooms are one of the quintessential items in many Asian pantries and serve as a culinary foundation in plenty of recipes. They give off a great earthiness that can impart a deep umami flavor that give a lot of Asian recipes their distinctive taste. When used in soups, sauces and stir fries, Shiitake mushrooms truly take things to the next level. However, fresh Shiitake mushrooms are not always readily available. That’s where Melissa’s Dried Shiitake mushrooms come to the rescue. Having our dried mushrooms stocked in your home kitchen ensures you’ll always have this flavor staple readily available when needed. Rehydrating dried mushrooms is incredibly easy and the bonus is the leftover soaking liquid that can be used as a base for a tasty sauce or in broth.

Chinese Longevity Noodles

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package/12 oz. of longevity noodles
  • 8 oz of sirloin or any lean cut of beef, sliced
  • 2 cups of Melissa’s Dried Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 2 cups of Melissa’s Dried Wood Ear Mushrooms
  • 1 Thai Chile, chopped plus 1 Thai Chile, chopped for garnish
  • 1/2 cup of green onions, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons of sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons of peanut oil
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of Chinese rice wine
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground white pepper
  • Fresh chopped parsley for garnish

1. Before you begin the cooking process, reconstitute the shiitake mushrooms and wood ear mushrooms by blanching them in boiling water for 2 to 5 minutes or soaking them in lukewarm water for 30 minutes. When they have finished reconstituting, squeeze out any excess water and pat dry with a paper towel.

2. Boil the noodles in a saucepan for around 4 to 5 minutes until done. Drain and run under cold water to stop the cooking process. Pour out the water and return the noodles to the saucepan.

3. Toss the noodles in the sesame oil an set aside.

4. Mix together the 1 teaspoon of soy sauce, 1 teaspoon of rice wine, ginger, salt and white pepper. Place the beef in a small container and add the sauce, making sure all the slices of beef are covered in the marinade. Marinate for 10 to 15 minutes.

5. Heat up the peanut oil in a wok over high heat. Add the chile peppers and marinated beef. Stir fry the chiles and beef together for 1 to 2 minutes until the beef has finished cooking. Remove the beef and set aside.

6. Add more peanut oil to the wok. Add the noodles back into the wok and stir fry for 30 seconds. Pour in the remaining 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of rice wine. Add in the beef and stir fry along with the noodles and mushrooms for another 1 minute.

7. Remove from the heat and place the noodles onto a serving dish. Garnish with green onions and serve.

 

 

 

Pomegranate Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta with pomegranate sauceYou know the saying, “The way to someone’s heart is through their stomach?” On Valentine’s Day, that couldn’t be more true. The most romantic holiday of the year is the time to impress your sweetheart with something sweet and decadent. And nothing quite says, “I adore you,” like a homemade dessert. From strawberry crepes with raspberry sauce to chocolate coconut truffles and even strawberry pistachio pavlovas, plenty of our dessert recipes are easy enough to whip up for a loved one. But let’s talk about what we’re serving for that special someone this year. Panna cotta is a sweetened cream molded with gelatin and dressed with dessert sauces and fruits. When people hear about this Italian dessert, some tend to think of it as some fancy, tedious restaurant recipe. But trust us when we say it’s anything but. Our Pomegranate Panna Cotta is a strikingly beautiful dessert that’s a lot easier to make than you think. The gorgeous red and white coloring makes it exquisitely festive for Valentine’s Day that’s only made even more lovely with the addition of juicy, red pomegranate arils. One taste and you just may fall head over heels.

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One of the most gorgeous fruits out there, Pomegranates are a highly coveted seasonal favorite. It’s one of the world’s oldest known fruits and also one of the most interesting. On the outside is a hard, leathery shell but inside are a complex chamber of ruby red seeds. What’s neat about pomegranates are its seeds are entirely edible and are bursting with delicious sweet-tart juice. They’re also incredibly rich in antioxidants and vitamins, making them worth the little extra effort in cracking them open. However, here at Melissa’s, we taken out the hassle of having to peel and extract the seeds with our ready-packaged Pomegranate Arils. These arils are perfectly fresh and will last around two weeks in the refrigerator. Add them to fresh salads, desserts, sorbets, soups, sauces, juices or use as a garnish to any dish in need of a little sprucing up. What would you do with these tiny, edible scarlet jewels?

Pomegranate Panna Cotta

Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 and 1/2 cups of pomegranate juice
  • 1 box of Melissa’s Pomegranate Arils 
  • Zest from 1 orange
  • 1 packet of gelatine
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of whole milk
  • 1/2 cup of heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice
  • 1/4 cup of hot water
  • 2 teaspoons of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered gelatin
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1. In a sauce pan, combine the heavy cream, orange juice and zest and turn up the heat to medium. Add the sugar and bring to a simmer. Then stir in the vanilla extract.

2. In a small bowl, combine the whole milk and packet of gelatin. Allow for the gelatin to bloom for 5 minutes.

3. Add the gelatin and milk mixture to the cream and stir together to combine.

4. Pour the panna cotta layer into small jars or serving dishes and refrigerate for 2 hours up till overnight.

5. After the panna cotta layer has chilled in the refrigerator, make the pomegranate juice layer. Boil the 1/4 cup of water and stir in the 1.5 teaspoons of gelatin. Pour in the pomegranate juice and stir. Allow to cool for around 5 to 10 minutes.

6. Take the panna cotta and pour in the pomegranate juice layer. Sprinkle in some pomegranate arils. Again, place the panna cotta in the refrigerator and chill for another 2 hours.

7. When ready to serve, top with more pomegranate arils and serve cold.

Chinese New Year 2018 Recipe Roundup

Chinese new year food and drink still life.Chinese New Year is the most important traditional Chinese holiday of the year and this year happens to be the Year of the Dog! Many people have been busy preparing to usher in the new year from cleaning the house to sweep away all of the bad luck from previous years to decorating with red lanterns and firecrackers. Chinese New Year, also known as the Lunar New Year, is the time to usher in incoming good luck and prosperity and gather together with families in celebration. While everyone has their own traditions in commemorating the holiday, the food is where many find their common ground. Chinese New Year’s Eve dinner is the most important gathering among family members and is not only a reunion but also a way of welcoming good fortune. From noodles to dumplings to spring rolls, all of the food eaten during this special dinner holds significant meaning and symbolizes prosperity, health and good luck. For this week’s blog post, we’ve gathered together ten auspicious traditional Chinese recipes that are sure to bring you great fortune in the new year to come. And for even more wonderful Asian-inspired ideas, be sure to check out our Chinese New Year recipe menu.

chinese egg rolls with sauce on plate

Lucky Chinese Spring Rolls

Fried spring rolls, also known as egg rolls, are an especially popular item during the New Year because of their resemblance to gold bars. They represent money and wealth and are the perfect excuse to eat plenty of these delightful fried goodies. This recipe is our take on a classic fried spring roll recipe with a pork, Napa cabbage, carrot and mushroom filling. Before Chinese New Year festivities kick off, make a big batch of these ahead of time or as a fun party idea, allow your guests to roll their own and eat them fresh.

BlogPost_ChineseNewYear2018RecipeRoundup_2Braised Rice Noodles with Choy Sum

Eating long noodles during Chinese New Year represent longevity. Noodles are such a staple during the celebration of the new year with so many different ways to enjoy them. Just remember, do not cut the noodles as the noodles are symbolic and represent the length of the eater’s life. This recipe calls for rice stick noodles but simply replace them with longevity noodles for a festive, auspicious dinner! Yu Choy Sum takes the spotlight in this dish and has a pleasantly bitter taste and can be steamed, boiled, or sautéed and topped with a little butter and salt and a squeeze of lemon.

Steamed turnip cakeChinese Turnip Cake

This year, we’re adding to our list of lucky recipes with this Chinese Turnip Cake, also known as Lo Bak Go. Turnip cake is a delicious savory cake made from daikon, steamed and then pan-fried until golden and crispy on the outside. Although commonly found in dim sum restaurants, turnip cake is special during Chinese New Year because it symbolizes prosperity. Throw on a few slices of this simple yet scrumptious dish into a hot pan for breakfast and store the rest to eat all throughout the holiday.

BlogPost_ChineseNewYear2018RecipeRoundup_4Cantonese Roast Chicken with Honey-Hoisin Glaze

While some may balk at the idea of serving chicken with the head, eating a whole chicken during Chinese New Year is especially important because it represents good health and family unity. When it comes to a family dinner, what could be more comforting than a roasted chicken? This special Cantonese Roast Chicken recipe, developed by Chef Martin Yan, is perfect for ushering in the Year of the Ox and will surely bring the family together.

 

Homemade Asian Pork PotstickersVegetarian Potstickers

Another must-have for the holiday are dumplings, also known as jiaozi. Dumplings are eaten in excess for breakfast, lunch and dinner because of their resemblance to gold and silver ingots and their representation of wealth and good fortune.  While potstickers are usually filled with pork and shrimp, we’re going down a healthier route and stuffing them with Napa cabbageorganic carrotsshiitake mushrooms and more. These delicious little pockets of gold are incredibly simple to make and get crispy on one side and succulent on the other from being seared in a hot wok and left to finish steaming.

BlogPost_ChineseNewYear2018RecipeRoundup_6Fried Wontons

Another type of dumpling you may want to try during Chinese New Year are these mouthwatering fried wontons. Wontons differ from potstickers in their shape and texture as you can tell from the last photo. Preparing and folding wontons are incredibly easy and can be even made with the entire family as part of a fun tradition. This recipe by Chef Martin Yan utilizes Melissa’s Won Ton Wraps and features a delectable filling of shrimp and pork. While wontons are delicious boiled or in soups, they just may be even better fried, especially for any upcoming party.

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Twice Fried Long Beans with Chile and Green Onions

Like noodles, eating long beans on Chinese New Year has come to represent leading a long life. Similar to regular green beans, long beans hold up quite well in high heat making them ideal for stir fry. A simple seasoning of minced garlic, green onions, fresh chile, soy sauce and sugar really helps to draw out the natural savoriness of the long beans. And double frying the beans helps keep them extra crunchy yet moist.

 

Healthy Asian Chicken Lettuce WrapChinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Lucky for you, Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps are not only healthy but also part of the traditional Chinese New Year foods. The word “lettuce” in Cantonese is similar to the words “rising fortune” and symbolizes prosperity. In turn, foods eaten in lettuce cups are popular at this time of the year. Though our Chinese Chicken Lettuce Cups look simple, they’re packed full of flavor with juicy, marinated chicken and a sweet and savory sauce. Say hello to the Year of the Dog with this tasty and symbolic dish and welcome in a fresh start!

BlogPost_ChineseNewYear2018RecipeRoundup_9Lucky Fruit Salad

Citrus season could not be a better time for Chinese New Year! Fresh tangerines are abundant this time of the year. With their round shapes and golden color, they symbolize wealth and prosperity. This Lucky Fruit Salad by Chef Martin Yan is a fun and delicious way to serve these fruits and gets extra flavor from a homemade zesty orange-lime dressing. Serve in a scooped-out coconut bowl for an extra festive decoration.

 

Cookies with walnutsChinese Walnut Cookies

Chinese New Year is known for its many festive, symbolic dishes but we can’t forget about one of the best parts of the meal–dessert! Chinese Walnut Cookies, also known as Hup Toh So, are adorable bite-sized cookies that may be small in size but big in flavor. They’re not cloyingly sweet and instead, get a fantastic nuttiness from the generous amount of chopped up walnuts in the dough. Top them off with an extra walnut and you’ve got yourself the ultimate Lunar New Year cookie!

The Big Game Recipe Roundup 2018

BlogPost_TheBigGameRecipeRoundup2018The Big Game is just days away! The biggest football showdown of the year means it’s time to get together with your best buddies and throw the ultimate game day party. Like millions of other people, you’ll probably watching from the television which means you’re going to want to have some pretty amazing fare to snack on while the action is happening. In fact, to some, the Big Game is more about the food than football. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, especially when you have plenty of delicious appetizers, wings, dips and all the other good stuff in front of you. We’ve rounded up ten of our favorite game day worthy recipes you can bring to your upcoming gathering. From spicy chicken wings to kicked up deviled eggs and even vegetarian nachos for those trying to err on the healthier side, here are our twists on some party favorites that are certainly to score a touchdown this upcoming weekend. For other tasty ideas to add to your spread, check out our Big Game Menu.

Honey Serrano WingsHoney Serrano Chicken Wings

Chicken wings are a quintessential game day favorite and an easy and delicious way to feed a crowd. While everyone has a different level of heat they can withstand, these Honey Serrano Wings are definitely for those who like it hot! First, they’re roasted in the oven and then tossed in a sticky, sweet and spicy honey sauce that’s kicked up a few notches with serrano chiles. You can make these wings ahead of time and then bring them to your game day gathering or grill them fresh  and then coat with sauce.

Roasted pepper hummusRoasted Red Pepper Hummus

We’ve always been big fans of hummus because they make not only a delicious afternoon snack but also a crowd pleasing appetizer at parties. Pair them up with sliced pita bread, pita chips or raw vegetables for a great finger food alternative to the usual party dip. This week’s recipe is our refreshing take on a classic hummus made with our Peeled and Steamed Garbanzo Beans and Fire Roasted Red Bell Peppers. The result is a vibrant creamy dip blended with the perfect combination of sweet and smokey flavors.

Hatch Chile Deviled EggsBlogPost_TheBigGameRecipeRoundup2018_3

Deviled eggs, meet your new best friend, Hatch chiles. Deviled eggs are the perfect finger food for parties and always a popular item, no matter how you dress them. Ever noticed how quickly they disappear at a gathering? Hard boiled eggs mashed with mayo, mustard, relish and a dash from our Hatch Chile Powder Shakers is all you need for this amped up party classic. The powder has the same scrumptious and unique heat and flavor as Hatch Chiles and is available in both mild and medium.

Homemade Loaded Sheet Pan NachosVegetarian Sheet Pan Nachos

No football game is complete without nachos on hand and this nacho recipe is sure to score big. This is our quick, easy and (slightly more) healthy take on nachos which are layered with plenty of toppings including corn, chiles, tomatoes and cheese and then baked onto a sheet pan. Once finished in the oven, take the sheet right out of the oven while it’s still hot and bubbly and serve it in front of the television for everyone to enjoy family style. This recipe is vegetarian but you can easily customize it to suit everyone’s tastes.

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Mexican Corn on the Cob (Street Corn)

Few things can rival the tastiness of grilled corn on the cob. Classic Mexican street corn, also known as elote, is sure to make a splash at your Big Game BBQ party. Fresh corn on the cob is grilled and then slathered in a buttery, creamy sauce, topped with plenty of crumbly cheese and Hatch chile powder and finished with a squeeze of fresh lime juice. This magical combination couldn’t be any more delicious and is truly the best way to top off any party.

Spicy Glazed MeatballsChicken Meatballs with glaze

These mouthwatering meatballs are made with either ground beef but you can substitute them with ground turkey if you’d like to opt for less calories; the choice is yours. Serve them up in a sweet and spicy sticky glaze made with sweet chile sauce and Sriracha. However, the secret is in the spices–ground cumin and ginger takes the sauce to a whole new level. It’s truly a flavor explosion, in all the best ways possible! These meatballs can be prepared in bulk ahead of time and kept hot inside a crockpot or a food buffet warmer. In the event you make a large batch, you can even freeze them and pull them out for any future parties when needed.

BlogPost_TheBigGameRecipeRoundup2018_7Beef Kabobs

Kabobs are pretty much the quintessential Big Game party food. After all, what more simple yet festive way to wow a hungry crowd after firing up the grill? These colorful kabobs can be made with any of your favorite grilling vegetables but are especially mouthwatering with Melissa’s boiler onions, organic bell peppers, Dutch Yellow® Potatoes, baby purple potatoes and baby heirloom tomatoes. All you need to do is thread the vegetables, along with some beef, onto skewers and place them over a hot grill for around 15 minutes, making sure to turn them often.

Homemade Skillet Bread with Artichoke DipSkillet Bread Artichoke Dip

All Big Game parties should have a dip or two, wouldn’t you agree? If you’re really looking to impress your guests this year, look no further than this Skillet Bread Artichoke Dip. Artichoke dip is one of those party classics that no matter what you do with it, never fumbles. This version takes all that gooey, melted cheesy goodness and encases it in a freshly baked pull-apart bread. Once ready to serve, simply pull a piece of the bread off and dig in! While you can use the canned stuff, Melissa’s Steamed Artichoke Hearts are a wonderful ingredient for this game day favorite.

BlogPost_TheBigGameRecipeRoundup2018_9Twice Fried Dutch Yellow® Potato Salad

The only thing better than fried Dutch Yellow® Potatoes? Twice fried Dutch Yellow® Potatoes! As you can already tell, this is not your average potato salad. Our bestselling buttery little spuds are first fried until golden brown, then smashed and then fried again. This makes the DYPs® incredibly fork tender on the inside and irresistibly crispy on the outside. Mix them together with smokey, crunchy bacon bits and diced sweet pickles for a flavor explosion. Word of warning: this potato salad will probably be highly requested at next year’s Big Game party.

Spicy Breaded Buffalo Chicken CauliflowerBuffalo Cauliflower Bites

Say hello to the buffalo chicken wing’s cooler, slimmed down cousin: Buffalo Cauliflower Bites! Bite-sized, spicy morsels of organic cauliflower that are packed with tons of flavor, these are closest thing anyone will get to this tailgating classic. And it’s vegetarian too! Serve them with your favorite ranch or blue cheese dip and we’ll promise you that you’ll be munching on these all football season long!

Skillet Bread Artichoke Dip

Homemade Skillet Bread with Artichoke Dip

All Big Game parties should have a dip or two, wouldn’t you agree? Whether you prefer something cheesy like a chile fundido or healthy like roasted red pepper hummus, it’s safe to say that all dips are welcome. This kind of appetizer always score a touchdown at game day gatherings, turning chips, vegetables and other dippers into fabulous finger foods. Sometimes savory, sometimes sweet and sometimes both, party dips are the easiest way to amp up your spread and keep your party going strong. If you’re really looking to impress your guests this year, look no further than this Skillet Bread Artichoke Dip. Artichoke dip is one of those party classics that no matter what you do with it, never fumbles. This version takes all that gooey, melted cheesy goodness and encases it in a freshly baked pull-apart bread. What better way to celebrate the Big Game? Your guests are sure to be wowed as you sweep in from the kitchen with a hot skillet of this masterpiece. Once ready to serve, simply pull a piece of the bread off and dig in!

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Of course, the most important ingredient in this recipe happen to be artichokes! While you can use the canned stuff, Melissa’s Steamed Artichoke Hearts are a wonderful ingredient for this game day favorite. Melissa’s Steamed Artichoke Hearts come already steamed, vacuum sealed to insure a fresh just-picked flavor and ready to eat. Artichokes are an edible member of the thistle family and actually the immature bud of what would be a large sunflower-like blossom if not picked for consumption. Although there are around 6 different parts to an artichoke, only the leaves, center and heart are eaten. The meaty base of the globe is where the heart is and is considered a culinary delicacy. Its flavor can be tricky to describe–mild with a slightly citrusy taste and a subtle sweetness. Besides incorporating them into dip, you can also enjoy them fresh as part of a salad such as this French Country Style Beet and Artichoke Salad or a pasta like this Lemon Basil Artichoke Spaghetti.

Skillet Bread Artichoke Dip

Yields: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 bag of frozen bread rolls
  • 8 cups of spinach leaves
  • 1 package of Melissa’s Steamed Artichoke Hearts
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup of mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/3 cup of white or yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 brick (8 oz) of cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup of milk
  • 1/3 cup of mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper, freshly ground

1. Grease a large skillet with cooking spray. Take your frozen bread rolls and arrange them in a ring towards the edge of the skillet. Leave a little bit of space between each bread rolls as they will expand as they thaw and rise.

2. Leave the skillet in a warm spot and allow the bread rolls to rise for around an hour.

3. When the bread is almost finished thawing, make the artichoke dip. In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients together. Stir thoroughly to make sure everything is well mixed.

4. Pour the mixture into another skillet and cook everything together until the cheese has melted. This should take around 4 to 5 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven the 350 degrees. Pour the artichoke dip into the center of the skillet bread. You may sprinkle the top of the dip with more cheese if you’d like.

6. Put the skillet in the oven and bake for around 25 to 30 minutes until the dip has become browned and bubbly and the bread is golden brown and puffy.

7. Remove from the heat and allow for the skillet to cool for at least 10 minutes. When ready to serve

 

 

 

Lentil Chickpea Soup

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Soup’s on! Did you know that January is officially National Soup Month? When the winter chill is nipping at your nose, soup is here to save the day. Nothing beats a hot bowl of soup or stew during this time of the year such as comforting San Marzano Tomato Soup paired with grilled cheese sandwiches or a hearty Irish Beef Stew. Soup can be eaten as both an appetizer or a main course, but in this kind of weather, we prefer the latter. In the interest of keeping up with our New Year resolutions of eating healthier, this week’s recipe should do the trick. A Moroccan inspired soup, this Lentil Chickpea Soup is packed with tons of flavor and filled with delicious spices like cinnamon and turmeric, colorful vegetables and lentils and chickpeas from our Steamed Line. Because the lentils and chickpeas are already conveniently cooked, the soup simmers rather quickly and is ready to serve in less than twenty minutes. You can even make it vegetarian by substituting the chicken broth with vegetable broth or water instead. No matter what you do with this recipe, the result is a dynamic, healthy soup that’s sure to soothe the soul.

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Lentils have earned their reputation as one of the world’s best superfoods. They’re not only nutrient-dense in dietary fiber, protein and folic acid but also heart-healthy. Aside from their obvious health benefits, they’re also happen to be perfect for soups. Chickpeas are also an excellent culinary ingredient and can be used in a wide variety of recipes. After all, they go beyond just hummus when it comes to their versatility. To make this recipe simple and quick, we used our Steamed Lentils and Peeled and Steamed Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas) from our Steamed Line, which takes out the extra step of having to cook the proteins yourself. All items from our Steamed Line are conveniently ready to eat right out of the bag and can be added to appetizers, salads, casseroles and of course, soups.

Lentil Chickpea Soup

Yields: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 package of Melissa’s Steamed Lentils
  • 1 packages of Melissa’s Peeled and Steamed Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
  • 1 15 oz can of canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 5 cups of low sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Sour cream, for serving

1. In a large pot, heat up the butter over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, cook the onions and carrots until softened for around 10 minutes.

2. Add the garlic, ground ginger, turmeric, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Cook for another minute.

3. Pour the chicken broth into the pot. Add the steamed lentils, chickpeas and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Bring the soup to a boil for 5 minutes, then lower the heat. Add the lemon juice. Simmer the soup for around 10 to 12 minutes.

5. When ready to serve, ladle the soup into bowls. Sprinkle on the chopped cilantro and add a dollop of sour cream.

Baked Green Bean Fries

Homemade Baked Parmesan Green Bean Fries

Let the tailgating parties continue into the new year! Everyone is trying to eat a little healthier at this time of the year. This can pose a bit of a challenge to some as game day food isn’t exactly known for having many healthy options. But alas, not us! Just because the game is on doesn’t mean you have to give up on your resolutions on game day. We’re all about eating healthy all year round such as with Vegetarian Sheet Pan Nachos, Vegetable Bird’s Nests, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus and much more. So let’s talk about fries. Fries are a favorite at pretty much any kind of party and can be dressed up in a variety of different ways. This week’s recipe is the healthy, New Year’s resolution-worthy cousin of your typical potato fry. No, we’re not talking about sweet potato fries, albeit delicious in their own way. Say hello to green bean fries instead. Crunchy, full of flavor and just as delicious as regular fries, these fries crisp up nicely with a tasty garlic and Parmesan cheese coating. And the best part? No deep fryer needed!

Raw Organic French Green Beans

Who needs potatoes for fries when you have green beans instead? Crunchy, sweet beans make an excellent substitute for finger foods and are equally as delicious (and healthier too). Melissa’s Organic Green Beans are vividly green, long and offer a sweet flavor with a perfectly crisp texture. They’re a great source of vitamins, nutrients and fiber and are preferred for their delicious taste, better health and environmental-friendliness. These versatile, high quality beans can be incorporated into a variety of dishes. Enjoy them in a simple green bean salad or as part of a main dish such as Couscous with Shrimp and Green Beans.

Baked Green Bean Fries

Yields: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of fresh organic green beans, trimmed on the ends
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons of minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • Salt and black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. In a bowl, beat the egg. In another bowl, mix together the parmesan cheese, minced garlic, garlic powder and salt and pepper.

3. Dip the green beans in the egg first. Then dip them into to parmesan cheese mixture, making sure each green bean is evenly coated.

4. Move the green beans to a lightly greased baking sheet. Arrange the green beans in a single layer, making sure none of them are touching each other.

5. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown. Sprinkle a little extra salt and pepper on top if desired.