{Recipe} Turkey Divan Casserole

Turkey Divan Casserole | puresugar.net

With the kids all in school, we are back to a crazy schedule that includes a bunch of activities. We have Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, CCD, afterschool electives… and that’s just for beginners. Add in my part-time job at the library, trying to keep up with my blog, and family commitments and you have a full calendar! But a full schedule is no excuse for not cooking. You just need to plan ahead!

Here are my top 5 ways to save time in the kitchen on weekdays.

  1. Menu plan. I make a home-cooked meal for my family six nights a week, and being organized is key. I’ve been menu planning since our pre-kid days. I look at what I have in my pantry and freezer, check my grocery store’s sale flyer, and go from there. 
  2. Be your own sous chef. Prep as much as you can ahead of time. Have an open burner on the stove? Fill a pot with water and cook rice, pasta, or quinoa for the week. Roast a pan of vegetables or boil them so you can reheat or quickly add them to dishes. Earlier this year I read An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler, and this simple tip stuck with me and has made a huge difference in the way I cook.
  3. Cook once, eat twice. Making a meatloaf? Buy enough ingredients to make two and freeze one. I also always try to keep the following pre-cooked items in my freezer: taco meat, browned ground beef, and shredded chicken. Within 20 minutes I can pull together a quick pot of soup or chili.
  4. Save the culinary experiments. We all love trying out new recipes, but save the multi-step gourmet dishes for weekends or days when you have extra time.
  5. Keep a file of quick-fix family favorites. Whether it’s juicy burgers, a fresh pasta dish, or a comforting casserole, it’s a relief knowing that you can throw together a home-cooked meal that everyone will love.

Turkey Divan Casserole

Turkey Divan Casserole is something I’ve been making for over 10 years. I occasionally change up the recipe depending upon what I have in my fridge (oh, that could be #6 – Be flexible). Don’t have rice? Use stuffing or egg noodles. Don’t have turkey? Use chicken. That’s the beauty of a casserole. It lends itself to whatever’s leftover. Country Crock Original Spread is delicious in this recipe. It contains 0 g trans fat per serving, no partially hydrogenated oils, and no cholesterol. Additionaly, it has 70% less fat than butter and 30% fewer calories than butter per serving.

Turkey Divan Casserole
Transform boring leftovers into delicious comfort food with this #QuickFixCasserole.
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Ingredients
  1. 2 c. cooked rice
  2. 3 c. cooked, diced turkey
  3. 2 c. broccoli (leftover or blanched)
  4. 3 Tbsp. Country Crock Original Spread
  5. 3 Tbsp. flour
  6. 1/8 tsp. poultry seasoning
  7. pinch nutmeg
  8. 1 c. half & half
  9. 2 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
For topping
  1. 1 Tbsp. Country Crock
  2. 2 Tbsp. breadcrumbs
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 2-quart casserole dish, layer the cooked rice, the turkey, and the broccoli.
  2. Melt 3 Tbsp. of Country Crock in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the flour, poultry seasoning, and nutmeg. Slowly add the half & half, whisking continuously. Continue to stir until no lumps remain. Remove from heat and add cheese. Stir until melted. Pour over top of casserole.
  3. Melt 1 Tbsp. of Country Crock and stir in the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over top of dish.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with a crisp salad.
Notes
  1. This recipe can be prepped ahead of time. Let it come to room temperature before baking.
Pure Sugar http://puresugar.net/
Turkey Divan Casserole

You know it’s good when the kids just about clean the dish! (And yes, I did finish off the last few bites.) For more #QuickFixCasseroles, be sure to check out Country Crock on Pinterest. (And try not to drool all over your keyboard!)

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Sponsored: Electrolux Perfect Temp Fridge & Sweepstakes

We’ve just had some the hottest weather of the summer here in the Hudson Valley and it reminded me just how important it is to store food at the perfect temperature. Bacteria love when it’s warm, so it’s important to be extra-cautious during the summer (of course it’s important year-round, as well). 

Of course, some foods need to be stored at different temperatures than other foods — even within the refrigerator. (For example, did you know that when thawing frozen meat, you should store the meat on a bottom shelf where it’s the coldest?)

The Electrolux French Door Refrigerator has adjustable, humidity controlled crisper drawers that keep fruits and vegetables fresher longer with self-closing drawers that provide a tighter seal to lock in freshness. When you’ve just stocked up on fresh fruits and veggies from the Farmer’s Market, you want to make sure they will last the week, right? It’s always a bummer when you’re craving a crisp salad, only to find that your lettuce has wilted.

The Electrolux French Door Refrigerator also  features the innovative Perfect Temp Drawer with Luxury-Close. The Perfect Temp Drawer provides ultimate control with a customizable, versatile temperature zone designed to store a variety of foods and beverages at the ideal temperature. So, if you’re having guests and want to perfectly chill that bottle of white wine, you can set the Perfect Temp Drawer to 45ºF while the rest of your fridge stays cooler.

Electrolux Perfect Temp Drawer photo ElectroluxPerfectTempDrawer_zps84f910c7.jpg

Electrolux Perfect Temp Sweepstakes

Wouldn’t it be amazing to win a new Electrolux French Door refrigerator like this one? 

Electrolux French Door Bottom Mount Refrigerator

Now through August 22, visit www.livelovelux.com and enter the Electrolux Perfect Temp Sweepstakes daily for a chance to win your own Electrolux French Door Bottom Mount Refrigerator and a trip to a climate with a perfect temp — the sunny Abaco Islands in The Islands Of The Bahamas. For every entry and share, Electrolux will donate $1 to Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF) with the goal of reaching $125,000.

In the meantime, I also want to share a delicious summertime recipe with you, thanks to Kelly Ripa. I love making freezer pops with my kids — not only it is a fun activity, but you can make them much healthier than the ones with crazy food dyes and tons of sugar. These Spiced Peach-Mango Greek Yogurt Pops sound so delicious. I can’t wait to try them for myself!

Spiced Peach-Mango Greek Yogurt Pops

 

 

Spiced Peach-Mango Greek Yogurt Pops
Kelly Ripa says, "I love adding a pinch of an unexpected spice to recipes, especially a healthy treat like my Spiced Peach-Mango Greek Yogurt Pops. This recipe combines all of my favorite ingredients: fruit, yogurt and a hint of spice. The key to this simple recipe is serving it at an ideal temperature (I set the Perfect Temp® Drawer in my Electrolux refrigerator to a perfect 30 degrees)."
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups of chopped ripe mango
  2. 1½ cups non-fat Greek yogurt
  3. ½ cup peach nectar
  4. two tablespoons sugar
  5. ½ teaspoon ground cardamom
  6. ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  7. ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth
  2. Pour the mixture into individual popsicle molds
  3. Freeze the molds for 30 minutes, remove and insert popsicle sticks
  4. Return to freezer and keep there until solid – approximately six hours (or overnight)
Notes
  1. Makes 6-8 pops (depending on size of mold)
Pure Sugar http://puresugar.net/
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Green Giant Has a Surprise: New Veggie Chips!

{Sponsored Post}

Although I am not a big snacker, I do enjoy having a side of something crunchy with a bowl of soup or with a sandwich at lunchtime. Of course, most chips aren’t super healthy. But imagine if there was a tasty chip made from whole grains and veggies! Well, Green Giant has a big surprise for you: its brand-new Veggie Chips.

That’s right, we all know Green Giant for canned and frozen vegetables. Well, now they have a delicious new way to sneak more veggies into our diets. Thanks to a Green Giant rep sending us some free bags, I was able to sample two varieties: Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips and Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips.

green giant veggie chips

The tortilla chips were hands-down, the family favorite. They were full of flavor and delicious! The sweet potato chips were very yummy too, but a little more subdued. They were the perfect accompaniment to my sandwich.

green giant veggie chips

 

Here are some fun facts about the new chips.

  • The Green Giant™ Roasted Veggie Tortilla Chips – Zesty Cheddar Flavor are made with real vegetables, 17 grams of whole grain per serving (48g are recommended daily), and are naturally flavored.
  • The Green Giant™ Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips – Sea Salt Flavor are made with real sweet potatoes and made with 14 grams of whole grain. Plus, they contains 40 percent less fat than regular potato chips*!
  • *Green Giant Multigrain Sweet Potato Chips (6g per 28g serving) have 40 percent less fat than regular potato chips (10g per 28g serving).

The folks at Green Giant want to know what your surprise talent is. Here are just a few that they have unearthed — check out more on their YouTube Channel or head over to the Green Giant Facebook page and show the Giant what you can do!

 

Green Giant has provided me with a printable coupon for Pure Sugar readers who’d like to try out their new veggie chips. Save 85 cents on a bag — I bet you’ll be surprised by how good they are, too!

Thank you to The Green Giant™ for being a sponsor. Show the Giant your surprise talent at www.facebook.com/greengiant

Hyundai Santa Fe: Families Who Rock!

This post is brought to you by The New Santa Fe from Hyundai. Think your family rocks? Show us by uploading a photo of your family rocking out. Enter now for a chance to win great prizes.

Those of you who know how I met my husband, know that rock & roll is the whole reason behind it. And for those of you who don’t know, here is the abbreviated version… Drew was in a band in college called Rosemary Caine, and I absolutely loved them.

caine

Years later, when I was living in Boston and looking for shows to see during the week, I checked out the Rosemary Caine website and learned that they’d broken up. I e-mailed Drew to let him know what a bummer it was because I really liked them. He wrote back, and we eventually went on a picnic for our first date, during which a random person told us he just knew we were going to get married.

And the rest, as they say, is history! That was back in May 1998. Some 14+ years later, I still think we rock 😉 Of course, our kids love to listen to Drew’s music (both old and new) and they jam together in the basement studio. Or living room. Or out on the deck. Wherever there happens to be a guitar laying around! (Or in this case, Noah’s drum set and Jake’s trumpet.)

rockin' out

Some of you also know about Drew’s comic Skateboard Heroes, the brainchild of our boys. As the tagline goes, “They rock, they roll, they save the world.” It’s a story about two kids (depicted by Jake & Noah), who love skateboards, ska music, and jamming in the garage when they’re not trying to save humanity from the evils of Dr. Inferno.

DSC_0305

What about you — does your family rock? Do you love to play around and have fun together? Do you play practical jokes on each other? And most important, does your family value kindness, sharing, and hard work? Then you’ve got to enter the Families Who Rock Contest sponsored by Hyundai Santa Fe and Rolling Stone.

Just upload a photo that shows how your family rocks and write about yourselves in 500 words or less. The prizes are pretty amazing and include a photo shoot in Rolling Stone (!!!) featuring the winning family shot by an industry photographer; airfare, hotel and transportation to the 55th Grammy Awards; and a fully tricked-out Hyundai Santa Fe custom rock ‘n’ roller.

The contest ends December 14, 2012. So what are you waiting for? Rock on!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Healthy Eyes, Smart Kids


 

When I was a sophomore in high school, I noticed that my vision started to get a little fuzzy. My mom brought me to the optometrist and sure enough… I needed glasses. The prescription wasn’t particularly strong, but wearing them made a huge difference.

Flash forward several years… now I’m married to a wonderful guy who unfortunately has very poor eye sight and can’t see much without his glasses. Because of this, we are very sensitive to our children’s eye health. We make sure they have an annual eye exam with an eye doctor because even though, yes, schools do vision screenings, they do not provide the same level of detection as comprehensive eye exams. Annual eye exams – such as the VSP Vision Care WellVision Exam® allow VSP eye doctors to detect early signs of health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol, among others.

This year we thought Noah might need glasses because he’d been complaining of headaches and rubbing his eyes (two signs that there might be a problem). We were surprised (pleasantly so) to learn that his vision is totally fine. But I can’t imagine not following up on what could be tell-tale signs that your child needs glasses.

What else should parents look for? Here are a few things:

  • squinting
  • head tilting
  • avoiding “close work”
  • trouble focusing

One  in four children have an undetected vision condition that can negatively impact learning.

Jake’s vision is almost super-hero good. In fact, the doctor remarked that she was impressed how quickly his focus adjusts and this is probably one of the reasons he’s such a good reader — his eyes can glide along the page from word to word with very little effort.

My exam went well too and my prescription did change slightly so I got a pair of new glasses (which I probably would have gotten even if my prescription remained the same). My new specs have a funky tiger strip on the inside, which I love!

mosaic

Chances are, all of our kids will need glasses at some point though, so we will continue to “watch” how well they see. And now that most children have been in school for a while, it’s important to make sure they can see the board without trouble and they’re not having trouble with their schoolwork.

Good eyesight is integral to successful learning — 80 percent of what we learn is through our eyes! Goodness, I just can’t imagine going through life without the gift of sight. Do you take your kids for annual eye exams?


Visit SeeMuchMore for more information about VSP and vision care benefits.  I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.