Category Archives: Side Dishes

Perfect Pumpkin Platters

Written by Cynthia -

The warmth and joy of the holiday season is only made better by the food, people and memories we share them with. What I look forward to most this time of year is spending time with family and friends, while enjoying all of the great seasonal meals. One of my favorite of which is any dish that includes pumpkin!

In early fall, pumpkin becomes a staple in most households and a versatile super food that could be enjoyed both savory and sweet. Pumpkin also adds extra flavor, fiber and Vitamin A, while being low in fat and sodium.

At Nestlé Kitchens we have tons of delicious and even unique recipes using LIBBY’s® 100% Pure Pumpkin. Here’s a few of our favorites:

Pumpkin Chia Seed Pancakes

Pumpkin Chia Pancakes

These hearty pancakes feature whole wheat flour, chia seeds and pumpkin for a nutritious boost.

Pumpkin Curry Soup

Pumpkin Curry Soup

Curry and white pepper add zest and flavor to this creamy pumpkin soup that is sure to be a winter favorite at your table!

Pumpkin Spice Panna Cotta

Pumpkin Spice Panna Cotta

Oh!… how they will adore this easy yet completely delicious Pumpkin Spice Panna Cotta treat. Crushed gingersnaps add wonderful texture and flavor. For an elegant presentation, serve in ramekins topped with orange slices and crushed cookies.

Quick Pumpkin Pizza

Quick Pumpkin Pizza

Ready in less than 30 minutes, this Quick Pumpkin Pizza uses prepared pizza crusts. You’ll love the great flavor combinations of pumpkin, shredded Gouda or Fontina and parmesan cheeses, garlic and basil pesto. Toasted pine nuts add a flair. Perfect for entertaining when you’re sure to impress your guests with your flavor creativity.

Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Pumpkin Sage Pasta Recipe

Try this amazing Pumpkin Sage Pasta when you’d like to serve something elegant and distinctive. Works well with all types of pasta such as trottole, spirals, penne or bow tie. And it’s ready in 30 minutes! Garnish with fresh sage leaves for an extra flavor dimension and eye-catching appeal.

Adding Sabor to Your Thanksgiving: Latin-Inspired Stuffing Recipes

Written by Natalie -

Stuffing is my favorite of all the Thanksgiving side dishes. This year I’ve come up with a few Latin-inspired recipes that are so good and definitely unique. I invite anyone who is looking to shake up their traditional stuffing repertoire to add some sabor!

Mexican Chorizo Stuffing

This Mexican Chorizo Stuffing will definitely be a hit. The chorizo (Mexican sausage) and jalapeño add a little kick. The olives and cilantro create a blend of savory and fresh. And for the first time, I used NESTLÉ® CARNATION® Evaporated Milk to moisten it which I find really gives it a creamy texture that water alone can’t achieve.

Puerto Rican Stuffing

Now if you’re a little concerned about the spicy factor from the Mexican Chorizo Stuffing but still want to make a delicious and original stuffing this Puerto Rican Stuffing is for you! It’s inspired by many typical flavors of the island: sofrito (combination of tomatoes, bell peppers and onions), pork and coffee. I know what you’re thinking, “Coffee?”  Yes, browning the pork with the NESCAFÉ® CLÁSICO™ Pure Instant Coffee Granules gives it a very rich flavor that is fantastic.

Guatemalan Stuffing

And last, but certainly not least there is a Guatemalan Stuffing. This is the Latin version of cornbread stuffing. Roasted corn and cornbread stuffing are added to the mix, along with jalapeños and cilantro. It’s a real treat for your family holiday meal.

Related Recipes:

Latin Turkey Rub & Gravy Pumpkin Bread Stuffing
Latin Turkey Rub & Gravy Pumpkin Bread Stuffing
with Fennel Apple

How to a Make Vinaigrette Dressing using a Juice Reduction: Roasted Beet & Peach Salad Recipe

Written by Chris -

Roasted Beet and Peach Salad Recipe

Have you ever thought of using a juice reduction in a vinaigrette dressing or even in a sauce for grilled summer fruit? Cooking down the juice (reducing the volume) not only thickens it, but it concentrates the flavor, making it the perfect addition to this Roasted Beet and Peach Salad.

Making a vinaigrette dressing isn’t difficult at all. The general ratio of oil to vinegar is 3:1. Meaning, 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar. You can also add other seasonings like mustard, shallots, herbs, salt and pepper.

Any light, neutral-flavored oil like canola, safflower or soybean oil will work. I personally love extra-virgin olive oil due to its fruity flavor and peppery finish. The vinegar you use depends on the other ingredients in the recipe. In this salad, I’ve found that white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar and sherry compliment the juice the best. You may notice I broke the general rule of 3:1. The juice reduction adds a bit of sweetness, so to counteract this, I added a little extra vinegar.

Since beets and peaches are so abundant in our local Farmers’s Market, I like adding them to this delicious summer salad. Try using golden beets for a lighter, milder taste. And, of course, you can substitute nectarines for peaches.

Roasted Beet and Peach Salad

Ingredients for 6 servings:

  • 1 1/2 cups Orange Tangerine or Apple Flavor NESTLÉ® JUICY JUICE® 100% Juice
  • 3 medium purple and/or golden beets
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or sherry
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 fresh peaches, pitted and sliced
  • 4 cups arugula or mixed salad greens
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta or goat cheese
  • Cooked farro or quinoa (optional)

Directions:

BRING Juicy Juice to a boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; cook for 20 minutes or until juice is reduced to ½ cup. Transfer to jar or sealed container, making sure there is extra space in jar; refrigerate while the beets roast. (Juice can be refrigerated in covered container for up to 2 days.)

PREHEAT oven to 400° F.

WIPE or scrub beets then trim ends, leaving tails on. Place beets on a sheet of foil and make a pouch, sealing tightly (you can individually wrap if you are using both purple and golden beets so the colors don’t bleed together). Place on baking sheet.

Roasted Beet and Peach Salad

ROAST beets for about 45 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and let beets steam for 10 minutes. Open pouch; let beets cool until cool enough to handle. Remove and discard skin (this can easily be done under running water with your fingers). Slice into wedges and place in large bowl.

ADD vinegar, oil, shallot, mustard, salt and pepper to the reduced juice. Seal lid and shake vigorously until emulsified. Add a little vinaigrette to the beets; toss gently to coat. Cover and refrigerate beets for 30 minutes. Allow remaining vinaigrette to stand at room temperature while beets are marinating. This will help the flavors meld.

ADD peaches and arugula to bowl with beets; toss gently to coat. Arrange on plates; sprinkle with cheese. Serve with remaining vinaigrette (be sure to shake to emulsify).

NOTE: Beets can be refrigerated in covered container for up to 2 days. Store any remaining vinaigrette in sealed container in refrigerator for up to a week.

Roasted Beet and Peach Salad Recipe

Tip: Stir in a little cooked farro or quinoa to boost fiber and add texture. And throw on a few thinly sliced red onions if you have them. This has become my favorite lunch!

Do you have any tips you’d like to share for creating a flavorful vinaigrette?

Related Recipes:

Beet Salad with Oranges and Cheese Recipe Seared Steak Salad with Balsamic-Shallot Reduction Recipe
Beet Salad with
Oranges and Cheese
Seared Steak Salad with
Balsamic-Shallot Reduction

A Simple Guacamole for Father’s Day

Written by Chris – 

Guacamole Recipe

Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday of June, which also coincides with the U.S. Open. It’s been a standing tradition in my family to celebrate Dad while watching this major golf championship together. My husband actually dabbled in professional golf early on, but once the triplets arrived, he put his golf aspirations on hold (he has his eye on the Champions Tour!). Our kids are now in a Junior Golf League, so golf is just part of our life. As is good food!

We usually keep it simple (as in little time spent in the kitchen) when it comes to food. So in the spirit of keeping it simple, I wanted to share a new Guacamole recipe with you! Whether you are entertaining or lounging, this appetizer is sure to please!

A few weeks ago I tested Natalie’s guacamole recipe – Natalie is a culinary professional in our test kitchen. If you haven’t met her, you can check her out here. She’s awesome, trust me! I noticed the guacamole used Maggi Seasoning Sauce. I’ve been splashing Maggi Seasoning over my avocado and scrambled eggs for years – it’s full of umami-rich flavor and adds depth to stir-fries, gravies, soups, stews and such. A little goes a long way, so go easy! This guacamole uses classic ingredients like avocado, tomato, peppers, cilantro and lemon, then adds a little cream for a smooth and creamy texture. The cream is really optional.

Here’s a few avocado and guacamole tips…

Avocados are best ripened at room temperature. You will know they are ripe if they give to gentle pressure. You can speed the ripening process by putting the avocado in a paper bag in a warm place (like on top of the refrigerator) or in a bowl with other fruit; the ethylene gas they emit will ripen the avocados. It’s best to not refrigerate avocados after they are ripe as this weakens their flavor.

Guacamole Recipe

To dice the avocado, I find it easiest to make cross-hatch incisions in flesh with a knife, cutting down to but not through skin. With a spoon, scoop out the cubes.

You really can’t keep guacamole from turning brown, but you can slow down the process. Use Hass avocados and add citrus (lemon or lime) to your guacamole, cover with plastic directly on its surface, and keep it cold. That’s the best advice I can give.

Ok, here’s Natalie’s delicious recipe…

Guacamole Recipe

Guacamole

Ingredients for 3 ½ to 4 cups of guacamole:

  • 1/4 cup NESTLÉ Media Crema Ligera Lite Table Cream or light sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon MAGGI Seasoning Sauce
  • 4 medium ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1 jalapeño, deveined and seeded, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
  • Baked tortilla chips

Directions:

MIX media crema, seasoning sauce and avocados gently in a medium bowl. Add tomatoes, jalapeño, cilantro and lemon juice; mix until incorporated. Serve with tortilla chips.

It’s best to serve guacamole right after it’s made. If you want to make it in advance, place plastic wrap directly over the surface of the guacamole and place in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

If you are looking for a last-minute gift for Dad, I highly recommend this cookbook, Absolutely Avocados by Gaby Dalkin. I’ve made several of Gaby’s recipes and all are outstanding!

Happy Father’s Day!

Related Recipes:

Avocado Cilantro Dip Recipe Avocado and Tomato Salad with Confetti Vinaigrette Recipe
Avocado
Cilantro Dip
Avocado and Tomato Salad
with Confetti Vinaigrette

A New Take on Homemade Granola: Quinoa Granola with Raisinets

Written by Chris – 

Quinoa Granola with Raisinets

March 24th is National Chocolate Covered Raisinets Day. Did you know that? What better way to celebrate than with a brand NEW Nestlé Raisinets recipe!

Raisinets are best known as a movie theater treat, but they also make a great addition to granola (and cookies!). When I make homemade granola, snack or trail mix, I like a little chocolate and dried fruit, so Dark Chocolate Raisinets make the perfect addition!

Let’s talk quinoa. Quinoa has been around long enough that you probably already know how good it is for you. You also likely know it’s a great addition to salads, sides and mains. But have you tried it in granola?

Maria of Two Peas and Their Pod created a recipe for Crunchy Quinoa Granola that looked fantastic! I have her to thank for the initial inspiration. Thanks, Maria! Brandi of BranAppetit developed a Stove Top Spiced Raisinets Granola for Nestlé that I fell head over heels for. She used cardamom, ginger, cinnamon and maple syrup and something about that combination tantalized my taste buds!

In this recipe, cooked quinoa (cooked in just water or equal parts water and apple juice), oats, nuts, seeds and spices are coated with a little coconut oil and maple syrup and then baked until golden. Raisinets and toasted coconut are added to the mixture once cool. Oh wow is this good!

Here’s the recipe…

Quinoa Granola with Raisinets

Ingredients for 24 (¼ cup) servings:

  • Parchment paper
  • 2 cups cooked ivory or red quinoa (cooked in water)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seed kernels
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 package (11 ounces) NESTLÉ RAISINETS Dark Chocolate-Covered Raisins
  • 1 cup shredded coconut, toasted

Directions:

PREHEAT oven to 375° F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

COMBINE quinoa, oats, almonds, pepitas, sunflower seed kernels, cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and salt in large bowl. Add coconut oil and maple syrup; stir to coat. Spread onto prepared baking sheet.

Quinoa Granola with Raisinets Recipe

BAKE for 35 to 40 minutes, stirring halfway through baking time, until golden and toasted. Once it has cooled completely, stir in the Raisinets and coconut. Store the granola in airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Quinoa Granola with Raisinets Recipe

Here’s a little tip. Add a few tablespoons of this granola to nonfat Greek yogurt, and then drizzle with a little maple syrup. Perfect snack!

More Raisinets Snacks:

Nutty Raisinets Trail Mix Recipe Raisinets Cereal Snacking Mix Recipe
Nutty Raisinets Trail Mix Raisinets Cereal Snacking Mix

A New Favorite: Fennel & Apple Salad with Apple Vinaigrette

Written by Chris -

Apple and Fennel Salad with Apple Vinaigrette Recipe

This Fennel & Apple Salad has become my new favorite salad – and mind you, this is coming from someone who avoided fennel her whole life. Really. I’m not sure why it took me so long to warm up to fennel, but now, I can’t get enough of it. Fennel and apple play so well together and I’m kicking myself for just discovered this.

I have our local Farmer Fresh to You program to thank for my new obsession. Bi-weekly, we get fresh, local and organic produce delivered to our doorstep, so I like to challenge myself to create new recipes from what’s in the box. Two of our recent deliveries were overflowing with apples and fennel. My first thought was – shoot, what am I going to do with all this fennel? Then I remember coming across a recipe for a stacked fennel salad that caught my eye. It was more the visual that I fell in love with, because, well, fennel was the star ingredient.

I nearly always add fresh thyme, glazed walnuts or pecans and crumbled blue cheese to my salads, so why not incorporate these elements into a stacked fennel & apple salad? I thought I’d tie it all together with an apple vinaigrette that I created for Nestlé. Wow! I am certain I ate at least 3 servings.

I used a mandoline to slice the apples and fennel, but you could thinly slice with a sharp chef’s knife as well. I made one minor change to this recipe after photographing it. I’ve been using the mandoline to shave the apples and fennel almost paper-thin. This way, you can eat it with just a fork. It’s really just a matter of preference. One tip: if you like fennel, double the recipe and save half. This salad gets even better the second day! The fennel softens ever so slightly, the apple stays crisp and the flavors marry beautifully. I was topping everything with it – turkey burger, ahi tuna – you name it.

Apple & Fennel Salad with Apple Vinaigrette

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 1 1/2 cups Apple NESTLÉ® JUICY JUICE® All Natural 100% Juice
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 small red apples, washed, cored and thinly sliced
  • 4 small fennel bulbs, washed and thinly sliced (about 4 cups total)
  • 2 to 3 slices red onion (optional)
  • 1/4 cup chopped glazed pecans
  • 1/4 (1 ounce) cup crumbled blue cheese
  • Fresh thyme leaves

Directions:

BRING Juicy Juice to a boil in small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low; cook for 20 minutes or until juice is reduced to ½ cup. Cool to room temperature. (Juice can be refrigerated in covered container for up to 2 days.) Whisk in vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper.

apple fennel salad edit2

TO ASSEMBLE: Alternately stack layers of fennel and apple (and onion if using) on salad plates. Drizzle with apple vinaigrette. Sprinkle with pecans, blue cheese and thyme leaves.

Related recipes:

Apple Quinoa Salad Recipe Spring Farro Salad Recipe
Apple Quinoa Salad Spring Farro Salad
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