Monthly Archives: March 2012

Mary’s Memo #2259

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF
     Many of you are Taste of Home fans and they do have good recipes and cookbooks. One of their latest, published in 2011, is the Everyday Slow Cooker & One Dish Recipes cookbook. I love slow cooker recipes and Taste of Home made me an offer I couldn’t ignore. There’s hardly a recipe in the book that I don’t want to try! In addition to slow cooker recipes there are stovetop suppers, oven entrees, snacks and treats and a bonus chapter of breads and salads. What will appeal to you most, none cost an arm and a leg to make or take much time to prepare.
     I’ve picked Herbed Slow Cooker Chicken to share and because we’re still in the season of Lent, Seafood ‘n’ Shells Casserole from the oven entrees chapter.

HERBED SLOW COOKER CHICKEN
1 teaspoon olive oil1 teaspoon paprika1/2 teaspoon garlic powder1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt1/2 teaspoon dried thyme1/2 teaspoon dried basil1/2 teaspoon pepper4 bone-in chicken breast halves1/2 cup chicken brothIn a small bowl, combine the oil, paprika, garlic powder, seasoned salt, thyme, basil and pepper; rub over chicken. Place in 5-quart slow cooker; add broth. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours or until meat is tender. Recipe makes 4 servings.SEAFOOD ‘n’ SHELLS CASSEROLE
6 cups water1 teaspoon lemon pepper1 bay leaf2 pounds cod fillets, cut into 1-inch pieces1 cup uncooked small pasta shells1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped1 medium green pepper, chopped1 medium onion, chopped1 tablespoon butter3 tablespoons all-purpose flour2-1/2 cups fat-free evaporated milk3/4 teaspoon salt1/2 teaspoon dried thyme1/4 teaspoon pepper1 cup (4-ounces) shredded Mexican cheese blendIn large skillet, bring the water, lemon pepper and bay leaf to a boil. Reduce heat; carefully add cod. Cover and simmer for 5 to 8 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork; drain and set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in large saucepan, sauté the peppers and onion in butter over medium heat until tender. Stir in flour until blended. Gradually stir in evaporated milk. Bring to a boil; cook for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in salt, thyme and pepper. Remove from heat; stir in cheese until melted. Drain pasta. Stir fish and pasta into sauce. Transfer to 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake in 350ºF oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until heated through. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Source: Taste of Home Everyday Slow Cooker & One Dish Recipes, Rieman Media Group. For Taste of Home books and products visit  ShopTasteofHome.com.
SCOOP ON TUNA
     In an effort to buy canned tuna and salmon caught in USA waters, I took the time to call the StarKist® toll-free number to verify that the solid white albacore tuna I bought was USA caught. I did this because some StarKist® products are from Ecuador and Thailand. I was assured by the person who answered my question that if the tuna is caught in another country it must be listed on the label. My albacore was caught in Hawaiian
waters. When you have a question about a product, do call the toll-free number that is printed on the label. I do it a lot.

MORE ON BPA-FREE PLASTIC PRODUCTS

     Add new Glad®, Ziploc® and Rubbermaid® containers to the list. Although the companies say you can cook in them, I don’t cook or reheat anything in plastic, BPA-free or not. Glass and CorningWare® are the safest to use. We older cooks have plenty of glass ones on hand but fortunately glass baking dishes are not expensive or if you really want a bargain, pick them up at garage sales, thrift stores or Goodwill®. I’m still thrilled about the 2.5-quart white CorningWare® covered casserole with nary a chip that I bought at Goodwill® for $3.

QUICK-COOKING OR INSTANT BROWN RICE VERSUS REGULAR
     Quick-cooking and instant brown rice are both whole grains, and there is no appreciable difference in their nutrient profiles. Both quick-cooking and the long-cooking versions are good sources of many minerals (magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc) and antioxidants (vitamin E and selenium), as well as
fiber. Incidentally, brown rice is more nutritious and healthier than white rice. Any time you have a choice, pick brown rather than white.
Source: Weill Cornell Medical College Women’s Nutrition Connection, March 2012.

P.S.
     If there were Kraft gingerbread marshmallows at Christmas, strawberry-flavored hearts for Valentines Day, will there be Kraft marshmallow bunnies for Easter? The answer is yes. Look for them at Chief and Rays. Download PDF of Memo #2259

Thai Chicken Pizza

When my husband and I moved to Lima two years ago, we had quite a bit of fun trying out new (to us) restaurants around town. We moved from a small town in Illinois that basically had fast food and an Italian place, so the options in Lima seemed endless! (I know some of you might be thinking otherwise...)

In my first few weeks of teaching at Lima Senior, we were invited out to dinner by some fellow teachers to eat at Thai Jasmine. Thai food? Never had it before, but I was willing to try it. And I absolutely loved it. Sesame peanut noodles? Delicious. Crunchy spring rolls with sweet chili sauce? So tasty. Thai Jasmine is now one of our favorite restaurants... we're there at least once a month. (What will I do when they close down for the month of April to go to Thailand?!)  

  Anyway, when I saw a recipe for Thai Chicken Pizza, I knew it had to be good. Take pizza (one of the best foods on the planet) and put a twist on it with Thai flavors? Yes, please.   A little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and a lot of fresh flavor make this pizza a winner. You might want to make two. (Considering the fact that my husband and I polished off the entire pie in one sitting. Whoops.)  

  Start with your favorite pizza crust. (I love this recipe.) Or a pre-made crust works fabulous as well.  

  Top with some sweet Asian chili sauce. (This can be found in the ethnic foods aisle.)    

  Then, the veggies - thinly sliced zucchini & green onion. Make sure it's sliced really thin so that it cooks all the way through.  

  Then comes the shredded chicken, about a cup and a half. White meat, dark meat, your pick. If you want to make it easy on yourself, pick up a rotisserie chicken and use some of the breast meat. (Just leave the skin off the pizza.)  

  Sprinkle with a bit of shredded mozzarella, and pop it into the oven! 10 minutes until pizza perfection.  

  While the pizza bakes, get the toppings ready - chopped peanuts, fresh cilantro, and fresh basil. Yes, peanuts on pizza sound weird, but they make the pizza. Don't leave them off!  

  As soon as the pizza comes out, sprinkle with the peanuts, cilantro, & basil, and dig in!  

  This pizza has quickly become one of our favorites... next time you're doing 'pizza night', give it a try! You won't be disappointed.  

  ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Thai Chicken Pizza

Servings/Yield

One 12-inch pizza
  • 1 batch pizza dough
  • 2 tablespoons cornmeal
  • ½ cup sweet Asian chili sauce
  • 1 green onion , thinly sliced
  • ½ zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ cups cooked & shredded chicken, (2 chicken breasts)
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped peanuts
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
 

Method

Preheat oven to 500*F with pizza stone inside for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare the pizza. Sprinkle cornmeal over a piece of parchment paper. Roll out pizza dough to a 12-inch diameter (or stretch it out with your hands) and place it onto the cornmeal-topped parchment paper. Spread with sweet Asian chili sauce; then, top with green onions and zucchini. Top with shredded chicken. Sprinkle cheese all over pizza. Remove (hot) pizza stone from oven and slide the parchment paper with pizza directly onto the stone. Place back in oven and bake 8 to 10 minutes until pizza crust is golden and cheese is melted. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts, cilantro, and basil. Slice and serve!
Source: from Tasty Kitchen

BBQ Bacon Jalapeno Poppers

It's that time of year... March Madness! Unfortunately, I didn't fill out a bracket this year. Time escaped me, and before I knew it, the tournament had begun! Although - my method of choosing the team names that sound prettier might have actually proven successful, with all the upsets there have been so far.   I'm not a huge sports-watcher (unless it's long-distance running... I could watch that for hours!), but I do love a good sports game on TV. As long as there are appetizers are involved, hehe. These BBQ Bacon Jalapeno Poppers are sure to be a hit the next time you're watching the game on TV. Or ya know, any time you have a craving for something smoky, cheesy, and a bit spicy.  

  It all starts with half a jalapeno pepper, which is stuffed with a cream cheese-green onion-cheddar cheese mixture. It's then wrapped in bacon, covered in barbecue sauce, and baked until the bacon is bubbly and brown. Every time I have prepared these jalapenos, they have all been gobbled up in a matter of minutes. Even if it's just my husband and me. (Although, if it's just the two of us, I do usually scale the recipe down a bit.)  

  If you do happen to have any leftovers, these would be awesome on top of a grilled burger or chicken breast sandwich. Can you imagine?   Let's get started. Start by cutting the jalapenos in half.     The trickiest part is probably getting the seeds out of the jalapenos. If you can't take the heat, get as many of the seeds out as possible. (I like to remove the seeds completely on all but one. And then watch very carefully as I figure out which friend got the super spicy one. And just pray it isn't me. Hehe.)  

Then, mix up the cheesy filling. Just cream cheese, green onions, and shredded cheddar cheese.  

  Scoop a bit of filling into each jalapeno half.  

  Wrap with the jalapenos with the bacon, secure with a toothpick, and top with a bit of barbecue sauce!  

  50 minutes later... yum!  

  ________________________________________________________________________________________________________

BBQ Bacon Jalapeno Poppers

Servings/Yield

36 appetizers
 
  • 18 jalapeno peppers
  • 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup cheddar cheese, finely shredded
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 package bacon
  • ¾ cup barbecue sauce
  • 36 toothpicks
 

Method

Preheat oven to 300*F. Cut jalapenos in half, and scoop out seeds and membrane, and discard, leaving only the jalapeno shell. Lay out jalapenos on a baking sheet. (You should have 36 total.) In a small bowl, combine softened cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, and chopped green onions. Evenly spread the cheese mixture into each jalapeno shell. Cut bacon slices in half, and wrap each half around one jalapeno. Secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining bacon and jalapenos. Brush evenly with barbecue sauce. Bake in 300*F for 50-60 minutes until bacon is done. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Mary’s Memo #2258

SAY CHEESE
     Though it’s high in saturated fat, cheese may not raise LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, according to a recent Danish study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. When people ate a few ounces of either cheese or butter everyday for six weeks, the butter raised LDL and total cholesterol but cheese did not. Some previous research also found that cheese did not increase heart attack risk. Cheese is calorie-dense, and in a new study it partly replaced other high fat foods in the diet, so overall calorie intake went up only a little. But if cheese causes weight gain, that would have an adverse effect on cholesterol levels.
Source: University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter, March 2012.

CHEWING GUM MAY PERK YOU UP

     That’s the suggestion of a new British study, though scientists aren’t sure why. Researchers tested the effects of gum chewing on 30 Coventry University students who were put in a darkened room for 1 minute for three consecutive days. On the first day, they chewed gum; on the second, they did nothing;
on the third day, they mimicked a chewing motion with no actual gum. Scientists measured changes in pupil size as a sign of sleepiness, and also recorded self-reported alertness. On both measures, volunteers were more alert when they’d been chewing gum compared to doing nothing or pretending to chew.
Source: Tufts University Diet & Nutrition Letter, February 2012.

WHAT ABOUT BPA?
     There is hardly a day goes by that we aren’t told that something is injurious to our health. Bisphenol A (BPA) that’s been used for years in clear plastic bottles and food can liners has now been restricted in Canada and some US states and municipalities because of potential health effects. The FDA has not yet decided what it considers a safe level of exposure to BPA, which some studies have linked to reproductive abnormalities and a heightened risk of breast and prostate cancers, diabetes and heart disease.
     Consumers who are concerned might be able to reduce, though not necessarily eliminate, their dietary exposure to BPA by taking the following steps:
Choose fresh food whenever possible.Consider alternatives to canned food.Use glass containers when heating food in microwave ovens.Source: Information taken from Consumer Reports Magazine "BPA Update: what you need to know 1/12."
     Perhaps anticipating a FDA ban on BPA products eventually, some manufacturers have vowed to stop selling BPAcontaining products. The plastic lids for 2-cup Anchor Hocking and Pyrex brand glass containers that I bought last year are both BPA-free.A SOUP FROM THE PAST
     Judy Shilling of Bryan has shared a lot of good recipes with me including Hearty Hodgepodge from the December, 1969 Better Homes & Gardens magazine. The recipe calls for condensed minestrone soup but Campbell’s® doesn’t make a Healthy Request® version, the only kind I use in cooking, mainly because it’s MSG-free. As a result I turned to Progresso® brand
minestrone that is ready to heat and eat. Since I’ve personally cut back on red meat, I reduced the ground chuck from 1-1/2 pounds to a pound. Choose whichever amount you like.

HEARTY HODGEPODGE MY WAY

1 pound ground chuck3/4 cup chopped onion1 clove garlic, minced3 cans Progresso® Minestrone soup(1) 28-oz. can pork and beans in tomato sauce1-1/2 cups chopped celery1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce1/2 teaspoon dried oreganoIn large Dutch oven cook ground chuck, onion and garlic until beef is browned and onion is transparent. Stir in minestrone soup, baked beans, celery, Worcestershire sauce and oregano. Simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes. Recipe makes 8 to 10 servings. Recipe freezes well.
Source: Adapted from 1969 Better Homes & Gardens recipe.YOU ASKED
     I mentioned making Tuna Chop Suey in the March 12 memo and you asked for a recipe. I’ve never had one to make it but I’ll try.TUNA CHOP SUEY
1/2 cup chopped celery1/2 cup chopped onion1 teaspoon each butter and light olive oil(1) 28-oz. can La Choy® Chop Suey Vegetables, reserving 1/4 cup for thickening(2) 5-oz. cans StarKist® Solid White Albacore Tuna, drained4-ounce can mushroom stems and pieces, drained1-1/2 tablespoons cornstarchSoy sauce to tasteIn a Dutch oven sauté celery and onion until soft. Add partially drained chop suey vegetables, tuna and drained mushroom stems and pieces. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes. Mix reserved chop suey vegetable liquid and cornstarch together. Stir into vegetable liquid. Cook until thickened. Season with soy sauce to taste. Serve over rice. Recipe makes 4 to 5 servings.
Download PDF of Memo #2258

Thin Mint Pie

Hi all! My  name is Sara Anderson, and I'll be sharing weekly recipes for you to enjoy using some of Rays & Chief's best seasonal ingredients! Residing in Lima, Ohio, I am a high school math teacher by day, and an avid baker and culinary connoisseur by night. I am excited to share one of my favorite passions with each and everyone of you. Let's get started!   You know it's that time of year... when you can't seem to escape the little girls on every corner selling those oh-so-delectable Girl Scout cookies. And who would want to say no?  

  If you’re a fan of the crispy cool Thin Mint cookies, then this pie is definitely for you. A crispy chocolate crust, with a creamy cheesecake filling loaded with chopped Thin Mints. One of the best parts about this recipe? It’s no-bake, meaning you don’t even have to turn on your oven!     And don’t worry… if you can’t track down any Girl Scouts, you can still enjoy this pie! Keebler makes their own version called Grasshopper cookies. Just get your hands on a couple packages, and you’ll be good to go!     Start with the crust... take 40 Thin Mint cookies (or Grasshoppers) and grind them up in a food processor. If you don't have a food processor, no big deal! Put 'em in a gallon-size zipper bag, seal it up, and go at it with a rolling pin until they've turned into small crumbs.     Combine the crumbs with a bit of melted butter, and press evenly into a pie pan. This'll go into the fridge to set up while you prepare the filling.     First things first, take 24 more cookies, and coarsely chop them into large chunks. (Shhh... I won't tell if a few chunks slip into your mouth. Best part of being the chef!)       Next, take a package of cream cheese and a bit of sugar; blend until smooth. Then you'll fold in a container of whipped topping. Fold in those yummy cookie crumbs and you're almost done!     Just spread it into the crust, and chill for a few hours.     Mmmmm... light & fluffy Thin Mint filling with a crispy chocolatey crust. Delicious!   Need an even better reason to make this pie? It's 3/14! Pi Day! That magical number that represents circumference divided by diameter, 3.1415926535897932384... and so on. The math teacher in me can't help but get excited about a holiday that celebrates Pi! We're definitely celebrating in my classroom with a few pies today.   Enjoy!   ________________________________________________________________________________________________________   Thin Mint Pie Makes one 9-inch pie, 6-8 servings. For the crust 40 Thin Mint cookies or Keebler Grasshopper cookies 5 tablespoons butter, melted For the filling 8-oz. package cream cheese, softened cup sugar 8-oz. package frozen whipped topping, thawed 24 Thin mint cookies or Keebler Grasshopper cookies   Method For the crust, place 40 cookies in a food processor and process until finely ground. Or, place into gallon-size freezer bag and crush into fine crumbs using a rolling pin. Combine cookie crumbs with melted butter and press into a lightly greased pie pan. Place in refrigerator while preparing filling. For the filling, beat softened cream cheese with sugar until smooth and fluffy. Fold in thawed whipped topping. Coarsely chop remaining 24 cookies and fold into filling. Spread filling into prepared crust. Refrigerate pie at least 2 hours before serving. Garnish with additional whipped topping and/or cookies. Store pie covered in refrigerator.   Source: Adapted from My Baking Addiction

Mary’s Memo #2257

SUPER BROCCOLI ON THE WAY!
     A new super broccoli might help protect your heart by combating unhealthy cholesterol. British scientists spent 14 years hybridizing the broccoli, crossing a standard plant with a wild, bitter variety found in Sicily. They aimed to boost the broccoli’s content of glucoraphanin, a naturally occurring compound that breaks down fat in the body, keeping it from clogging your arteries. Besides boasting two to three times the glucoraphanin, the “super broccoli” also tastes slightly sweeter. Marketed in the US as Beneforte, the broccoli will roll out nationwide this fall. Meanwhile, the scientists who developed it are conducting human trials to test the heart health of those who eat it, compared to ordinary broccoli.
Source: Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, February 2012.

YOU ASKED

Q: Does light olive oil contain less fat?
A: Light has nothing to do with the fat content of olive oil. It simply means it has a lighter taste. I avoided olive oil for years because of the heavy taste, at least that’s how I perceived it, even though most recipes call for extra virgin olive oil (EVOO).

IT’S CHALLENGING

     Being a food writer isn’t easy, especially when it has to do with what’s good for us and what isn’t. We’re in the season of Lent and Catholics abstain from meat on Fridays. We’re also told to eat more fish and seafood because of its health advantages. The problem is that eating fresh fish and seafood, even the frozen kind, is not cheap. The February Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter addressed the dilemma by suggesting that we turn to canned fish products and that brings me to albacore tuna, the kind I bought before I learned that it had too much mercury in it. But now according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine, Harvard scientists who analyzed mercury in toenails, a more accurate measure of long-term exposure than blood testing, report no link between highest levels of mercury and increased risk of heart disease or stroke. In fact, they found a slight protective association, probably because of other nutritional benefits of fish, even varieties higher in mercury such as shark and swordfish. The scientists cautioned that pregnant and nursing mothers and children up to age 12 should still exercise caution about exposure to mercury from fish. For the rest of us the benefits of canned fish such as albacore tuna far outweigh the risks. Most of us don’t get enough omega-3’s in our diet and light tuna canned in water
that I’ve been buying has less omega-3’s than albacore.
Source: Information taken from Special Supplement to Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter, February 2012.SPEAKING OF CANNED TUNA, CHECK THIS OUT ….
     When I was a home demonstration agent in Rensselaer, IN, I ate in the St. Joseph College cafeteria occasionally, and that’s when I was introduced to Tuna Chop Suey, made like regular chop suey but meatless. It may not be better than the meat version but I liked it, enough so that I later fixed it for our family during Lent. Think of the omega-3’s you’ll be consuming, especially if you use albacore tuna!

HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY!
     You can be sure that this part Irishman will be having corned beef and all the trimmings on Saturday, the 17th! I’m partial to leftover corned beef-on-rye sandwiches as well! It seems to me that corned beef is leaner today than years ago or maybe it’s because Chief and Rays sell such good quality meat, corned beef included! No fancy gourmet recipe for me; I follow package directions, adding red potatoes and carrots when appropriate to do so and cabbage toward the end because I don’t like it overcooked.

DON’T FORGET DESSERT!

     I like Baileys® Irish Cream and love an excuse to use it in a recipe. I broke a rule about the number of calories in this one (about 450) but for St. Patrick’s Day, go for it! Trust me; this pie will get rave reviews!

BAILEY’S IRISH CREAM PIE

(1) 9-inch baked pie crust1/2 cup milk32 large marshmallows1/3 cup Baileys® Irish Cream1-1/2 cups whipping creamGrated semi-sweet baking chocolate for garnish, optionalHeat milk and marshmallows in a 3-quart saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly just until marshmallows are melted. Refrigerate about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until mixture mounds slightly on a spoon. Gradually stir in Baileys®. Beat whipping cream in chilled medium size bowl with electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form. Fold marshmallow mixture into whipped cream. Spread in baked pie crust. Sprinkle with grated chocolate, if using. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours until set but no longer than 48 hours. Store covered in the refrigerator. Recipe makes 8 servings.
Source: Adapted from Gold Medal recipe, 2002.
Download PDF of Memo #2257

Mary’s Memo #2256

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF
     I invested in a softback book called Tips Cooks Love by Rick Rogers awhile back. My copy came from Sur La Table and has their name on the bottom of the front cover, although the publisher is Andrews Publishing, 2009. I didn’t think $15.00 was too much to pay for a book with 500 tips, techniques and shortcuts that will make you a better cook!
     Rick Rogers is the author of over 30 cookbooks including the best-selling Fondue, Kaffeehaus and the 101 series. He often works behind the scenes with other cooks helpingthem write their cookbooks. A busy culinary educ ator, he was named Outstanding Cooking Teacher by Bon Appetit magazine. He is a frequent guest chef on TV and radio.
     Order your copy of Tips Cooks Love by Rick Rogers from Sur La Table at 1-800-243-0852.

STATIN USERS BEWARE!
     A magnet on my refrigerator says a good cook is always learning and this weekend I learned something new from Jeff Oelfke, Produce Manager at the Bryan Chief. Because it’s orange I’ve mistakenly assumed that a tangelo is a cross between a tangerine and an orange. Wrong! It’s a cross between a tangerine and a grapefruit. The Minneloa is a variety of tangelo. Since I’m on a statin, that rules out tangelos because anything with grapefruit is a no-no for statin users.

DEALING WITH GADGETS
     I have a u-shaped, efficient kitchen but it’s on the small side compared to the kind being built today. It poses problems for a gadget guru like me. So I’m continually looking for ways to free up more space in my kitchen. As an example, I had a large colander that kept falling out of the cupboard and I replaced it with one that collapses and stands up against the cupboard wall. It came in 2 sizes and is made of chrome and silicone. I bought the larger one because there wasn’t
that much difference in price. Mine came from Sur La Table but I have also seen collapsible ones at Bed Bath & Beyond.

GET HEART SMART AND HEALTHY
     Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Many people are not aware of the warning signs including chest pain and discomfort, pressure or squeezing along with shortness of breath. Although not everyone who has a heart attack experiences the same symptoms.
      Risk factors such as age and heredity cannot be changed so be sure to see your doctors regularly and make sure they know your family’s history of heart problems.
     Heart issues are often associated with men, when in
fact 1 in 4 women have heart problems. Being overweight, a smoker or inactive all contribute to heart disease. Luckily, you can prevent these risks by making good food choices, quitting smoking and getting more exercise. While this may seem daunting, making small daily changes can go a long way: avoid adding salt to your food, gradually cut back on cigarettes and make an effort to walk each day.
Source: www.Publications.USA.govSLOW-COOKING
     A slow cooker, like my food processor and microwave, is an appliance I wouldn’t be without! I love the concept of having at least 3/4 of the main meal cooking all day while I’m doing other things. I would think every working woman would want one, also. Zesty Slow-Cooker Italian Pot Roast is a Campbell's® Soup recipe via AllRecipes.com. Not having baby carrots, I substituted regular carrots cut in similar size pieces. I also added a medium onion cut in chunks. I skipped a diced plum tomato because I didn’t have one. Like many of you, I try to make do when I have almost everything for a recipe but might be missing one or two items that are not major ones. As for the pot roast, I chose an English cut that does well in a slow cooker or roasted at a low temperature
for a longer period of time in a regular oven. Even though most slow cookers recipes don’t say to do it, I always start recipes with meat on high for one or two hours, then reduce the temperature. Spring is just around the corner but slow cooker recipes are good anytime!

ZESTY SLOW COOKER ITALIAN POT ROAST
4 medium russet potatoes, cut in quarters2 cups regular carrots, quartered and cut in half1 rib of celery cut in 1-inch pieces1 medium onion, cut in chunks2.5 lb. English cut beef pot roast, trimmed of as much visible fat as possible1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper(1) 10.75-ounce can Campbell’s® Condensed Tomato Soup3 garlic cloves, minced1 teaspoon dried basil1 teaspoon dried oregano1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes1 teaspoon vinegarArrange potatoes, carrots, celery and onion in a 5 or 6-quart slow cooker. Season roast with pepper. Whisk together tomato soup and remaining ingredients. Pour over all. Cover and start on high for 2 hours. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for 6 hours or until vegetables are fully cooked and roast is tender. Slice beef into thin diagonal pieces. Serve with drained vegetables. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Source: Adapted from Campbell's® recipe via AllRecipes.com.
Download PDF of Memo #2256