Creating Your Own Delicious Meals Is A Snap

Sunday, February 2, 2014 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Cook fast, easy meals with Pasta Pronto.

Dreamfields Pasta Pronto is designed for the busy cook who enjoys experimenting in the kitchen and creating delicious meals without the need for recipes. By keeping a well-stocked kitchen, tasty and healthful pasta meals can be assembled in little more than the time it takes to cook the pasta.

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Save time by stocking up and planning ahead.

By keeping your cupboards, refrigerator and freezer stocked with ingredients that pair well with pasta, delicious dishes can be made pronto! Don’t forget leftovers such as cooked meats, fish and poultry, vegetables and sauces... they make great pasta partners, too.

STEP 1:  Stock Up: Organize your kitchen with ingredients that can help you create quick and easy pasta dishes. Our sample ingredient lists below will help get you started.

STEP 2:  Pasta Perfect: Learn how to cook pasta perfectly. Read Pasta Perfection - Cook Pasta Perfectly the First Time  to find a serving size chart and tips guaranteed to make you a pasta expert.

STEP 3:  Get Creative: Combine what you have on hand to create delicious side dishes, main dishes or pasta salads. Check out our blog post No-Recipe Recipes for some more inspiration.

Pantry Stockers

Pasta

  • Plenty of Dreamfields Pasta, 7 assorted varieties

Produce

  • Garlic
  • Onions (yellow and/or Red)

Jars & Cans

  • Alfredo sauce (reduced-fat)
  • Artichoke hearts (plain, marinated)
  • Beans (cannellini, Great Northern, black beans, red kidney, garbanzo beans)
  • Bean sprouts
  • Capers
  • Chicken broth, reduced-fat and sodium
  • Salsa (chunky)
  • Green chilies (diced)
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Marinara sauce (assorted varieties, reduced-fat and/or sodium)
  • Olive oil, extra virgin
  • Olives, pitted (black, green, Kalamata)
  • Pesto (basil, tomato)
  • Roasted red and yellow bell peppers
  • Salad dressings (reduced fat balsamic vinaigrette, cranberry balsamic vinaigrette, raspberry, Italian, sesame-ginger, ranch)
  • Thai peanut sauce
  • Tomatoes, Sun Dried
  • Tuna (water-packed), salmon, anchovies
  • Vinegars (balsamic, red or white wine, rice, sherry)
  • Water chestnuts

Dried Herbs

  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme

Spices/Seasonings

  • Cinnamon
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • Curry powder
  • Cumin
  • Ginger
  • Nutmeg

Dried Fruits

  • Apricots
  • Cranberries
  • Raisins

Nuts

  • Almonds
  • Dry roasted peanuts, lower salt
  • Pine nuts
  • Walnuts

Note: All items except dried herbs, spices, salt, olive oil, vinegars, dried fruits, sun-dried tomatoes (unless packed in oil), peanuts, garlic, onion & pasta need to be refrigerated after opening. Nuts can be frozen for longer storage.

Refrigerator Stockers

  • Apples, assorted
  • Avocado
  • Bell peppers
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Cheese (see types below *)
  • Cucumber
  • Eggs
  • Fresh herbs (basil, parsley, rosemary)
  • Green onions
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Mushrooms
  • Oranges
  • Pasta sauces
  • Pesto
  • Radishes
  • Salad greens (romaine, radicchio)
  • Spinach
  • Smoked meats and fish: salmon, prosciutto/ham
  • Tomatoes

* Types of Cheese include: fresh mozzarella, part-skim/low-moisture mozzarella, reduced-fat Monterey jack, reduced-fat feta, reduced-fat blue, reduced-fat cheddar, reduced-fat shredded Mexican cheese blend, wedge of parmesan for grating, queso fresco.

Freezer Stockers

  • Artichoke hearts
  • Broccoli, chopped
  • Cooked chicken strips
  • Cooked or raw shrimp
  • Diced cooked chicken
  • Green beans
  • Green peas
  • Ground beef 90% lean
  • Ground turkey or chicken breast
  • Italian-style vegetables
  • Nuts (almonds, pine nuts, walnuts)
  • Spinach (chopped or leaf)
     

Back to School: Suppers for a Smart Start!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013 by News and Updates From Dreamfields

The end of a relaxing summer marks the start of busy school year:  time to trade in summer cookouts and picnics, for all-too-hectic suppers at home.   That said, workday commutes, after-school activities, and time-pressing homework all make recommitting to the routine of family mealtime a real challenge for many households. 

Yet, family meals, as part of the school day, are well worth the effort.  With school success top of mind, parents are reminded that regular family mealtime matters.  This not only builds family bonds but also contributes to good health and better school performance!

 With the start of the school year, consider these strategies to turn your time into family mealtime:

Plan ahead.  Stay ahead by planning a week’s menus at a time, perhaps with plan-over menus made from yesterday’s leftovers

Stock up with quick-to-fix foods.  Keep pasta, rice, canned beans, frozen and canned vegetables, pasta sauce, deli meats, cheese, and other basic ingredients on hand for quick, emergency meals.

Do pre-prep the night before.  Perhaps cook taco meat ahead, prepare pasta sauce, shape meatballs or turkey patties, clean and slice vegetables, and more.

Organize do-it-yourself assembly meals.  Try individual mini-pizzas, made with everyone’s favorite toppings; or a home-cooked taco bar with soft tortillas or crisp taco shells; or macaroni and cheese with an array of “add-ons,” such as sun-dried tomatoes, chopped ham or smoked turkey, chopped herbs, or steamed veggies.

Prepare one-dish meals.  Put variety into a dish, perhaps lasagna, layered with cheese, meat sauce, and baby spinach; risotto with seafood, Swiss chard, and cheese, or stir-fry vegetables and tofu, tossed with rotini. You’ll only need to add a salad or bread, and a nourishing beverage such as milk.

Make one meal count for two.  Cook double batches of meat sauce for spaghetti one day and sloppy Joes the next.  Extra grilled chicken breasts from one night’s meal make a great chicken pasta salad another night.

Involve kids in the kitchen.  Most kids can do simple food prep tasks, such as toss salads, mix ingredients, pour milk, and set and clear the table.  “All hands on deck” in preparation can result in more time for your family to spend together at the table.

Keep a collection of quick-to-fix recipes that your family enjoys.  If a recipe is a hit, plan to make it again!

 

Dreamfields Is Helping America Make Healthier Life Choices

Thursday, March 21, 2013 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

Dreamfields 50 States/50 Plates

We here at Dreamfields Pasta are strong believers in living a healthy, balanced lifestyle. As part of that commitment we do our best to help educate Americans on ways to make healthier life choices. This is especially true when it comes to the prevention of prediabetes and diabetes.

While national programs can go a long way in raising awareness for major health concerns like diabetes, we believe that it’s the local, grassroots, one-on-one programs that have the greatest impact and can actually change someone’s life. Due to their smaller size and reach, these programs often don’t receive as much support by other grant programs. That's why Dreamfields is launching the "Dreamfields 50 State/50 Plates: 2013 Health Initiative."

If you know of a health care professional that would be a good candidate for one of our grants let them know about our Dreamfields 50 States/50 Plates program.

Here is a quick overview of the program:

• Organizations and individuals must submit an online application to be considered for a Dreamfields grant.
• The minimum amount to apply for is $100; the maximum is $500.
• Funds must only be used for the activities outlined in the application. Grantees must provide Dreamfields with documentation of the event and specific use of funds.
• Grantees agree to acknowledge Dreamfields’ grant support in all public documents, materials and statements.
• When possible and appropriate, Dreamfields will help promote the event/activity via social media channels.
• Applications for funding will be accepted from February 18 through September 15, 2013, or until funds have been depleted, for events that occur in 2013. We encourage applying as early as possible.

Health Tips From Dreamfields Pasta Fans

Monday, February 25, 2013 by Dreamfields Recipes & More

 

Last month in our monthly Dreamfields Pasta email we asked what your best health tip was and did you ever answer. After sifting through over 5,000 entries we finally found our 3 winners for the contest plus plenty of other great tips and tricks!

First the winners…

“Always pack a healthy lunch at night while preparing dinner; this makes it much less likely that you will choose unhealthy options at work the following day.”

“Eat Breakfast like a King, Lunch like a Queen and dinner like a Pauper.”

“You just need to start, even if it’s small; one healthy meal a day and 10 minutes of exercise each day is better than doing nothing. Then you can build on that base.”

Honorable mentions:

“Don't eat just because it's there.”

“Be organized! Having a meal plan and some time consuming elements prepared ahead of time allows for faster meal preparation which decreases the likelihood of takeout being an option.”

“Be conscious of what you eat and exercise regularly. When eating pasta choose the healthy choice: Dreamfields Pasta!”

“Be active! Find a way to get moving at least 30 minutes every day. I like to take my dog on a walk or run at least twice a day to keep us both in shape.”

“Don't eat anything after 8pm.”

“Instead of soda- take fresh squeezed juice and add some carbonated water. You get the fizz and sweetness of soda without any of the negative aspects.  It’s both very refreshing and good for you.”

“Instead of the typical New Year's diet that ends/fails by February because it's too limited or difficult to adhere to, try this eating plan: Eat 3 sensible meals plus 2 healthy snacks per day. No food is off limits, but use your common sense and moderation. Every meal should include approx 30% lean protein(ex, chicken, fish, eggs), 20% healthy fats(ex. olive oil, nuts, safflower oil) and 50% carbs. Aim for mostly healthy carbs like fruits, veggies and whole grains rather than nutrient-free carbs like candy or soda. Remember to drink plenty of water, especially before meals. It helps you feel full, keeps your body well-hydrated and assists your cells in removing waste products. While you may not lose weight as quickly as you would with a fad diet, you also won't quit after a few weeks because you always feel deprived.”

“Make meals ahead of time so you won't have to grab something quick and unhealthy.”

“My best healthy living tip for this year is more rest! We are constantly on the go go go with work, families, and/or play and do not give our bodies the rest we need to feel great and look great!  (and of course MORE DREAMFIELDS!!!)”

Even more Healthy Ideas!

For even more tips or ideas on how to stay healthy this year check out some of the posts below:

Creating a Plan:
Doable Steps To Actually Meet That New Year’s Weight Loss Goal

Simple Steps:
Losing Weight Is All About The Small Things
Start A New Diet Lifestyle in 2013

Cooking:
4 Ways To Eat Healthy Without Sacrificing on Flavor

Snacking:
How Healthy Snacking Can Lead To A Better Diet

Working Out:
How To Keep Working Out Through The Winter Months
6 Important Winter Workout Tips