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Archive for April, 2011

This article about family dinners caught our eye the other day.  Studies have shown that healthy family meals are important to healthy child development, and moms from different walks of life weighed in on how they try to achieve that family togetherness in their busy lives.

Anybody with kids – whether you’re Mom or Dad – is all too familiar with juggling schedules, work, school, sports, play, family time, etc.  Some days just getting a meal on the table is near impossible.  Trying to make it a healthy, balanced meal (that ALL family members, including picky kids, will eat) can be just plain overwhelming.

So how do you do it?  At Isernio’s we are firm believers in offering healthy and tasty options to kids, and we actually have some very kid-friendly, easy to prepare recipes using our low fat, all-natural sausage.   Here are a few recipes we would recommend trying for low-stress, healthy family meals.  Many of these can even be made ahead and refrigerated or frozen to be reheated for a quick meal later:

Chicken Sausage Meatballs

Italian Sausage Burgers

Rigatoni with Sausage Sauce

We’d also love to hear from you!  Do you have any tips or tricks for fitting healthy family meals into your busy schedules?

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We recently read an article about gluten free diets, and whether they can improve your health.  It was interesting to read about the broad spectrum of gluten intolerance, including celiac disease, and how eliminating gluten can really make a difference in the lives of people who have these issues.

We hear from a lot of folks who enjoy our sausage because it is gluten free and fits into their or their family’s gluten free diets.  Especially in the past few years as public awareness over celiac disease, gluten intolerance and gluten free diets has grown.  We get a lot of questions about our products and whether they contain gluten or any “hidden” forms of gluten, and it always makes us feel good to answer with a resounding “no” to all of those questions.

What’s kind of funny is we actually didn’t set out to make gluten free foods – our products have always been that way!  When you start with wholesome ingredients and don’t include any unnecessary additives or fillers, it’s easy to keep a clean label like ours.  Our chicken sausages, Italian sausages, Breakfast sausages and other products are made from fresh ground natural meats and premium spices, and that’s pretty much it! 

(one exception: our British Bangers do contain gluten in the form of bread crumbs, and we label them with that information so there isn’t any room for confusion!).

Do you stick to a gluten free diet?  If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the gluten free lifestyle and how it has changed your life!

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If you like things on the spicier side, we have a fantastic brunch dish for you – Baked Eggs Veracruzana.  This would be a great recipe for a festive Easter brunch dish this weekend, or pretty much any day you want to kick up your regular breakfast or brunch a few notches!  (Special thanks to our front desk guru, Curtis, for making and photographing this recipe.  He gives it two thumbs up!)

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 Isernio’s Chicken Sausage Roll (Breakfast or Spicy Breakfast), or 4 links Isernio’s Fresh Chorizo
  • 2 Tb. Butter
  • 8 eggs, large
  • 6 Tb. half n’ half
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (or other cheese of choice – Curtis used a mixture of cheddar and pepper jack)
  • 4 oz. can green chiles, drained and chopped
  • Salsa for garnish
  • Tortillas for serving

 

Here’s how to make it:
 


Heat a nonstick 12″ skillet over medium heat.  Slice sausage roll open (or remove casings if using sausage links) and place in skillet.  Break up and crumble sausage with a flat wooden spoon.  Cook sausage until it just loses its pinkness.  Don’t over cook or brown sausage.  Set aside.

Place butter in an 8”- square baking dish, preferably one that is suitable for bringing to the table. Set in a pre-heated 350 degree oven to melt the butter. Shake the pan to distribute the butter evenly.

Slightly beat the eggs, half n’ half, salt and pepper. Pour into the pan and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or just until the eggs begin to set.

Remove from oven and sprinkle the cooked sausage, shredded cheese and chopped chilies on top of the eggs. Draw a wide metal spatula across the bottom of the pan several times to break up the mixture and incorporate the ingredients.

Place back in oven and bake, breaking the mixture up again several times, for 5 more minutes, or until desired doneness is achieved.

Remove from oven and take directly to table, offering salsa and warm flour tortillas as accompaniments.

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A growing trend amongst busy families and working moms is the freezer meal – shop in bulk, cook or assemble recipes in larger quantities, and portion out into meals just the right size for your family.  Pop them in the freezer, and just defrost and do some quick cooking or assembly for a super quick and easy meal.   It’s a bit of work up front, but it pays off on those busy weeknights (or mornings) when there’s just no time to cook a whole meal from scratch! 

There are a ton of options for different types of freezer entrees for breakfast, lunch or dinner, including plenty that use our favorite protein – sausage!   Here are some recipes we found interesting:

Sausage and Peppers

Roasted Red Pepper and Italian Sausage Baked Penne

Sausage and Spinach Quiche

Italian Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Shells

Spicy Sausage Breakfast Casserole

Collections of freezer recipes can be found online or in several books.  Here are a few:

Don’t Panic, Dinner’s in the Freezer

Fix, Freeze, Feast

http://www.freezermealsrecipes.com/

Do you cook in bulk for freezing?  We’d love to hear your tips and tricks, and of course any recipes you would like to share!



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