From The Nutritionist

Trish Zecca, M.S.
Author
Trish Zecca, M.S.
Chef Carrie Welt, CCC
Author
Chef Carrie Welt, CCC

Too Busy To Cook?

Most of us think we are too busy to cook. An American Time Use Study from 2007 showed that women spend less than 50 minutes a day on food preparation and higher income women less than 30. Think of what that might translate to today, when our lives are busier than ever. Even more troubling, a convincing body of evidence suggests a correlation between eating out and lower diet quality, not to mention that people consume more calories, fat and sodium when they eat out than when they cook and eat at home.

So what can we do? We can rediscover the joy of cooking and teach these all-important skills to our children! Remember cooking together as a family cannot only be fun but nutritious and educational as well. Kids get to measure using math skills, read and follow directions, and even demonstrate their individuality and creativity combining ingredients and seasonings. All that AND you are instilling in them a sense of pride and accomplishment that can carry over into so many areas of their lives.

Not sure where to begin? To answer that question I sat down with Campbell’s very own Chef Carrie to discuss some simple ways to introduce (or re-introduce) the healthy, home cooked family meal.

“Start simple,” suggests Chef Carrie, “not everything needs to be made from scratch.” Take a familiar food like Tomato soup and transform it into a quick and easy meal that the whole family can help prepare. Make the familiar exciting by making it your own. Add basil for a fresh, sweet, herbal flavor. Stir in a chipotle pepper for smoky heat. “If you like it as a soup, then you will love it as a sauce over meat, pasta or rice.” Drain the liquid from a small can of roasted red peppers, add a can of Campbell's® Condensed Tomato soup, toss in a handful of almonds and puree for a romesco sauce. “If your child isn’t old enough to chop ingredients, then they can help measure ingredients and work the buttons on the blender or food processor”.

Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated or time consuming and research suggests that kids are more likely to eat foods they helped to prepare. Our Santa Fe Chicken Sauté combines familiar foods like chicken, corn and Campbell's® Healthy Request® Condensed Tomato soup into a delicious, fast and easy meal that’s not only nutritious but sure to be a hit with the kids.

If you’re ready to be more adventurous or are trying to meet the taste expectation of older kids, try Lightened-Up Chicken Enchiladas. This on trend dish brings familiar restaurant food to your table at home. The recipe uses Campbell's® Healthy Request® Condensed Cream of Chicken soup and Pace® Picante sauce and provides plenty of opportunity for the whole family to get involved (grating, chopping, blending, stirring etc.) at a significant cost savings to eating out!

Cooking with your family has lots of benefits, but MOST of all it builds memories that can last a lifetime. The nutritional rewards are just icing on the cake…or sauce on the chicken in this case.


Bon Appetite,
Trish & Carrie


For more information:


Trish Zecca, M.S.
Trish is Program Manager of Global Nutrition where she manages nutrition operations and communications. She is the lead nutritionist for Soup & Simple Meals and directs communications for campbellnutrition.com, health professional conferences and stakeholder engagement. She received her Bachelor and Master’s degrees in nutrition science from the Pennsylvania State University, and is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Society for Nutrition. Trish has more than 20 years of experience in various areas of public health and the food industry. Her expertise includes USDA regulation, nutrition education, training, and communications.

Carrie Welt, CCC
Chef Carrie earned her A.O.S. degree from The Culinary Institute of America and her master of management degree in hospitality from the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. Carrie is a Certified Chef de Cuisine (CCC) by the American Culinary Federation. Carrie Welt joined Campbell as Senior Chef, managing Campbell’s Culinary and Baking Institute (CCBI) and works with the global network of chefs to build passion for food throughout Campbell Soup Company. Among her responsibilities are culinary education, planning internal and external events, business and innovation support, and building the CCBI global network of chefs.

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En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

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Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.