4 Brilliant Pork Recipes

You love chicken for its ease and versatility, but don't forget about "the other white meat." Let's explore some delectable uses for pork - from flavorful gameday chili recipes to simple weeknight supper recipes.

" ... delectable uses for pork ... "

An Impressive Pork Tenderloin Recipe When it comes to entertaining, pork is an ideal choice. It's leaner than beef, and it has a relatively quick cooking time, which means it's less likely to get dry and tough. In this easy pork tenderloin recipe, sweet apples and baked beans complement the savory meat. Beautifully presented, it'll be the talk of any dinner party.

A Savory Enchilada Recipe Avoid the "What's for supper?" conundrum. Have dinner waiting in the slow cooker at the end of the day with this pork enchilada recipe. When you get home in the evening, simply shred the slow-cooked pork tenderloin and put it on the table along with some fresh toppings and tortillas. It's a meal the whole family will love.

A Nourishing Soup Recipe The protein portion of the meal often takes the most time and effort. Save time by freezing precooked pork. For example, keep cubed ham in the freezer for a variety of meals, such as this comforting ham and blackeye pea soup recipe.

A Gameday Pork Chili Recipe Everyone loves getting together for sporting events, and the food served is often just as important as the game itself. When it comes to creating a potluck dish for gameday, this quick pork chili recipe satisfies even the hungriest fans. Featuring pork, two types of canned beans, veggies and hot sauce, it's ready in under an hour.

The next time you need a delicious dish to serve your guests, or a quick meal to nourish your family, think beyond the bird and use pork!

*Tip: Craving more meaty content? Check out our entire collection of pork recipes, as well as tips for using up leftover ham.

Meet Sandy Coughlin

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Easy, Delicious Baked Beans Recipes

Canned baked beans aren't just a side dish for a summer picnic or a cold winter's night. They're great as part of a main dish any night of the week. We have some scrumptious ways to reimagine baked bean recipes beyond sharing a plate with hamburgers and hot dogs.

Spice Up a One-Skillet Chicken Recipe One of my favorite spice blends is Chinese five-spice powder. Star anise, cloves, cinnamon, Sichuan peppercorns and fennel mix to make a sweet-and-savory spice that is incredibly versatile. Combine Chinese five-spice powder, mandarin oranges and boneless chicken breasts with bold-flavored baked beans. This one-skillet chicken recipe comes together quickly and adds a unique kick to weeknight dinner.

"Baked beans are incredibly versatile."

Make a Restaurant-Worthy Mac & Cheese Recipe Want to add some extra protein and fiber to a family favorite? Try adding baked beans to your classic macaroni and cheese. Crisp bacon, elbow macaroni and super-creamy cheese combine with sweet baked beans for an amazing lunch or dinner dish. This dressed-up macaroni and cheese recipe tastes restaurant worthy. If you like baked macaroni and cheese, follow the same instructions and add some shredded cheddar on top. Pop it under the broiler until it's browned and bubbly, and serve.

Use Beans Instead of Beef in a Stuffed Pepper Recipe Trying a meatless Monday? For a great dinner idea, take this stuffed pepper recipe, which uses vegetarian baked beans instead of ground beef. If you don't have a grill (or it's too cold to stand outside), try substituting the broiler in the final step, or use a grill pan on your stove. Also, remember that the measurement for hot sauce is just a suggestion; add as much or as little as you like. In this recipe, I like a chipotle-based hot sauce.

Think Small With This Slider Recipe Admit it: Tiny food is fun. Don't you love little egg rolls, bite-sized quiche and mini pizzas? Sliders are no different. You won't need condiments for this easy slider recipe. Just sprinkle cumin on some skirt steak, grill to your preferred temperature and place on a bun. You can use other spices as well: try the Chinese five-spice powder from the chicken recipe or any spice blend you like. Top with baked beans for a cross between sloppy Joes and beef sliders. Delicious and easy!

Baked beans are incredibly versatile. Try these recipes to experience how they can add extra flavor to a weeknight dinner in just a few minutes.

*Tip: Don't leave just yet, baked bean fans. Take a look at these articles with quick and creative uses for the popular legume and delicious baked bean hacks.

Meet Julie Niesen Gosdin

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Food for Kids: Tips for Helping Your Picky Eaters Get the Protein They Need

True confession: As a kid, I was a terribly picky eater. If it wasn't bread or chicken, I wasn't going to eat it. When I was in third grade, my mom - who crafted amazing homemade dinners every single night - hit a breaking point. "If you don't like the food I am making, you can cook your own dinner," she declared.

So, at the age of 9, I started making most of my meals. I created my own recipes, helped with grocery shopping and even entertained dinner guests. The more I played in the kitchen - the more flavors I tried - the more excited I was about food (beyond bread and chicken).

I also learned what it took to fuel my super-active, soccer-loving little body. I didn't really know it at the time, but along the way I was actually designing tricks to get myself to eat the nourishing proteins and colorful vegetables I needed.

Now, I am uniquely qualified to offer up kid-friendly food ideas that are packed with nutrition. Having personally navigated years and years of my own picky eating, I deliver to you my best advice for getting the job done.

" ... my best advice for getting the job done."

Sandwiches Hide Vegetables One of the biggest issues for picky eaters is texture. Too much crunch, too little crunch - any kind of mystery mouthfeel can ruin a meal. But sandwiches can atone for all sorts of sins. This white bean cheddar melt recipe features smooth, melty cheese on crisp, hearty bread toasted in butter - and it has protein. As a final bonus, it expertly "hides" onions and celery. Once your kids are requesting this gem, you can start sneaking in more vegetables like zucchini or spinach.

Choose Your Own Adventure As I relayed in my own childhood experience, the very best way to get kids to try new food is to involve them in preparing it. It is nearly impossible for kids not to want to try one of their own creations. So, bring them into the planning/food prepping/cooking mix. As a family, choose a recipe, like this BBQ chicken fingers and beans recipe, that gets everyone involved.

Assemble the pouches early in the day, so they're ready right when you need them. Offer up the vegetables you know your kids will eat, along with some new ones. Then, bake them, grill them, roast them over an open fire - decide together how you will cook them - and dole them out in their individual portions. The chicken and beans are the easy part of this recipe to sell; delight in your kids' excitement about all the veggies they've chosen and cooked for themselves.

Brinner Is Served Breakfast for dinner (brinner) is always a fan favorite. Expect zero pushback when you serve this breakfast sandwich recipe that begins simply with English muffins, spice-kissed black beans and scrambled eggs. Top it just as the recipe suggests, or let the kids doctor it up to their tastes. My oldest always asks for bacon in his eggs. My youngest wants Greek yogurt dolloped on them. My husband covers every bite with salsa.

Variety is exciting for everyone at the table. Finish with homemade fruit-and-yogurt parfaits for a winning brinner.

It's a (Tortilla) Wrap When you're low on creativity, wrap it up. That is, hide the good stuff in a tortilla. Not knowing what's inside can be stressful for picky eaters, but if you can negotiate just two bites of something as delicious as this chicken burrito recipe, you can be sure they'll eat the entire thing. The chicken, cheese, beans and cream are quickly recognized, immediately savored and ultimately nourishing.

Here's where I tell you the funny part. As it turns out, I gave birth to three of the pickiest eaters on the planet. They are quite possibly even worse than I ever was. You can be certain that I actively use all of the aforementioned tips and tricks in my current day-to-day life. That way, I'm sure the adorable whirlwinds I call my kids get the protein and nutrients they need.

*Tip: Wish you could say "abracadabra" and get your children running to the table and enjoying kids' food? Here are four "magic" words that might do just that!

Advice for Slow Cooker Novices

February 02, 2016 Quick & Easy, Slow Cooker Tips

The gift of a slow cooker usually marks a rite of passage — a new home, a wedding, a first child. It is quite a commitment of counter space, but a slow cooker is an investment in the quality of everyday living that comes with home-cooked family meals.

The first time you come home to the aroma of a chili recipe that's simmered all day, or pork shoulder that's roasted tenderly into stew, you know the value of a slow cooker. However, getting started with the appliance can be a little tricky. Many newbies often feel clueless as to how to use their slow cooker and exactly what dinner ideas to put in it.

For all you slow cooker novices, here are my tried-and-true tips and favorite recipes.

" ... my tried-and-true tips and favorite recipes."

Use for Simmering Savory Chili The very best chili recipes earn their reputations because they've been simmered and stirred for hours and hours. From the chopping to the cooking, they require a lot of attention. With a slow cooker, however, a meaty chili recipe comes together with minimal prep and even less attention.

Once the bacon is crisped, and the beef is browned, the work is done. Because a slow cooker on low heat keeps the temperature of the chili constant, and the lid traps the moisture, there is no risk of it burning on the bottom or drying out. After four hours of slow cooking — without any stirring at all, in fact — the chili recipe's veggies, beans and spices come together in savory, almost magical, perfection.

Use for Prepping Meals in Advance Take full advantage of the fact that you can remove the slow cooker bowl from its electric base. It's not just for easy cleaning; it's also for make-ahead meals like this Greek-inspired slow cooker recipe.

Twenty-four hours before you plan to serve the dish, layer all the ingredients into the crock of the cooker. Cut, dice, chop and stir everything together right in the bowl. Then, tightly seal by covering the crock with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it's time to drop it back into its base four hours before supper. Don't think about it again until you're boiling the orzo and getting ready to serve. Plate and garnish the complete meal in minutes.

Use for Cooking Budget Cuts of Meat That is, the fattier, tougher, chewier cuts of meat like pork shoulder, chicken thighs and beef brisket. They're the least-expensive meat cuts you can buy from the butcher department, and they yield brilliantly delicious results in the low temperatures and high moisture of a slow cooker.

Before you head out on your next trip to the grocery, cut out the coupon for chicken thighs and print up this slow cooker stew recipe. Season the chicken simply and stack it right on top of nutrient-rich kale, tomatoes and beans to slow cook all day. Shred the chicken and bring to the dinner table with fluffed white rice to make the meal complete.

Use for Bringing Family to the Table Use the slow cooker to get everyone excited about supper. There's nothing like an afternoon of this slow cooker enchilada recipe perfuming our home to make even my pickiest eaters hungry for dinner.

By the time the dinner bell rings, everyone's already sitting at the table, ready to stuff his own enchiladas with the shredded pork and saucy beans simmered to perfection. No doubt, slow cooked enchiladas are an easy sell when piled high with lettuce, sour cream and cheese. (The only argument is over who gets the last bite.)

Don't let your slow cooker sit unused in a cabinet. Put it to work cooking delectable meals, and it will soon be your favorite timesaving tool in the kitchen.

Going to a Potluck? Try One of These Easy Recipes

February 02, 2016 Entertaining

An invitation to a potluck means you need to create a dish that feeds a crowd. Even if you have a busy schedule, there are quick, easy, delicious recipes you can make for your next event.

" … there are quick, easy, delicious recipes you can make for your next event."

Considering how hectic our lives are, no one wants to spend hours making a dish completely from scratch. However, homemade creations are often the stars of the party. With a clever mix of fresh and pre-made ingredients, and the below tips, you can prepare a unique, great-tasting dessert or appetizer at home — without all the fuss.

Plan Your Potluck Dishes Having a collection of your favorite recipes on hand to serve a large group takes the guesswork out of what you'll prepare. Thinking ahead to how many you'll be feeding at the party can help you decide which of those recipes to select. For most potluck dinners, you only need to bring one dish that feeds around 8–10 people, but to be sure, ask the host.

Keep Your Pantry Stocked Always have canned beans, pasta, stock, peppers, sauces, condiments and baking supplies in your kitchen. If you have the right ingredients, it doesn't take long to whip up a dessert like this brownie recipe. Partygoers will love the indulgent flavor of dark chocolate, although they'll never guess the secret ingredient: black beans.

*Tip: If you don't have a particular can of beans in your pantry, chances are you can substitute a different one. We have an entire story dedicated to clever bean swaps.

Do Prep Work Ahead of Time Look for recipes you can assemble ahead of time, such as this chili cheese dip recipe. With prep work out of the way, all you have to do is bake the dish for 15 minutes once you arrive at the party. (Of course, check with the host in advance to make sure you can use her oven.)

Look for Healthy Recipes Parties make it easy to eat a lot of overly processed foods. Break the habit of buying those frozen appetizers that are so popular and instead substitute a more sensible, but still delectable, choice. A tasty, easy pinwheel recipe is not only a more wholesome option, but it is also sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Think Small Bite-size appetizers are super simple to transport and can be fun to display. Two perfect examples of easy recipes are these Southwest-inspired mini quiches and this hearty bruschetta. Guests can load them on their plates and snack on them as they mingle.

Don't stress over your potluck dish. These delicious, easy recipes will lend a savory (or sweet) note to any event!

Meet Sandy Coughlin

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Simple Soups & Salads Your Whole Family Will Love

When it comes to charting the weekly eats for my family, there are two sorts of dinner recipes that make every meal plan: soups and salads. They stand alone in their simplicity, and they always satisfy. While soups warm from the inside out, salads serve as a blank canvas for clever flavor combinations. Both stretch leftovers and pantry staples into nourishing reasons to come to the table.

"They stand alone in their simplicity, and they always satisfy."

Here's a list of my favorite soup and salad recipes, and the thoughts behind why I make them when I do.

Hearty Soups This savory, satisfying Italian sausage soup recipe is my go-to answer to grumbling tummies and "I'm staaarving!" cries from my husband and kids. The rich aroma of sautéed garlic and browned sausage brings them straight to the table, and the great northern beans ensure they leave with their bellies full. A complete rainbow of colorful veggies makes the soup extra delectable, and the finishing sprinkle of Parmesan cheese makes for a fun final step. With a hunk of crusty bread, this is the ultimate comfort food.

Surprising Salads Many days of the week, my family seems to multiply. Between play dates, practices and study groups, I frequently find myself hosting the moms and dads who come with their kids. It is my pleasure to add an extra leaf to the table — especially when I've got the fixings for a quick salad lined up.

For a small group of on-the-go moms in particular, I reach for a can of garbanzo beans to toss together a couple plates of this easy salad recipe. It's crunchy and crispy with an unexpected twist. Warm, creamy beans are the perfect taste and textural surprise when added to an otherwise traditional Caesar salad. The option of salty little anchovy fillets allows guests to tailor their plates.

Warm Comfort Foods Some days call for consolation, making warmth — in every sense of the word — the order of the day. Whether one of us survived a rough test, a brutal soccer game or a broken heart, having all of us together with some grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup is the only thing that can make it better. In fact, the best way for me to learn all the details of the day is to serve grilled pepper-jack cheese sandwiches on thinly sliced Italian bread and this just-spicy-enough tomato soup recipe. The pairing is made in just about 10 minutes, and it requires all of us to be still to enjoy it. With every bite of sandwich, and every sip of soup, we settle in and tune out the craziness of the rest of the day.

Easy Recipes In our house, Monday and Friday nights very often include salad. At the end of long days and long weeks, I need a dinner recipe that comes together in minutes. This unique tuna salad recipe fits the bill when I don't have the time (or patience) to put on my apron. Six ingredients, requiring minimal prep, arrange into a mouthwatering meal. Try substituting leftover chicken or beef for the tuna, or add green beans, asparagus, shredded cheese or bacon. Finally, offer everybody's favorite vinaigrettes to top off the individual salads according to personal tastes.

From breakfasts to snacks to desserts, all meals have their place in the family plan. I count on them to nourish, satisfy and bring my family together. More times than not, however, I count on soups and salads specifically to serve as my superhero. In one fell swoop, they save me over and over again.

*Tip: Creating delicious, wholesome meals for your family doesn't have to be a chore! We have an entire collection of articles with easy recipes and helpful advice.

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