Mealtime Shortcuts Save Time And Money

Published 6:44 am Saturday, June 2, 2012

(NAPSI)—When time is of the essence, the clever combination of a few freezer or pantry staples can make all the difference. Used by home cooks and professional chefs alike, kitchen shortcuts can save you time, money and, possibly, your sanity.

Canned and jarred ingredients such as beans, stocks, soups and sauces may be slightly costlier than homemade, but the convenience more than compensates. Canned beans can be used in stews, salads and dips. Premade stocks and soups add flavor and complexity to sauces or casseroles. Jarred sauces provide a versatile base for pasta or rice dishes. While these items have a longer shelf life than fresh alternatives, they still expire. Check the dates on your pantry staples often and replace your stash when necessary.

It may come as a shock, but frozen vegetables are often better than their fresh counterparts for quick cooking. Items such as frozen corn, peas and broccoli are harvested at the peak of the growing season and are flash frozen to preserve freshness and taste. Throw frozen corn into a zesty tortilla soup, stir frozen peas into a creamy pasta dish or fold frozen broccoli into a cheesy rice casserole to boost vegetable count.

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Beyond vegetables, the frozen section provides a variety of meal starters just waiting for the home cook’s personal touch. Family-owned and operated Michael Angelo’s Gourmet Foods—best known for its frozen Italian meals—offers a selection of traditional Italian meal starters, and implements the same flash-freezing process used on fresh vegetables to preserve flavor and freshness. The company’s Chicken Piccata and Italian-Style Sausage and Meatballs both come fully cooked in flavorful lemon-butter or traditional marinara sauce, respectively, but without the pasta that accompanies most Italian frozen meals. This way, the home cook can customize meals by serving the protein and sauce combination over fresh pasta, mashed potatoes or steamed vegetables. Additional options include combining the Chicken Piccata with rice and vegetables for a comforting casserole or stuffing the Italian-Style Sausage and Meatballs inside fluffy rolls for a traditional sub sandwich.

Because Michael Angelo’s pledges never to add unnecessary preservatives, fillers and chemical additives, you can feel good about feeding your family and friends a naturally delicious meal with a personal twist. For more information, visit or call (877) 482-5426.


On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate(NAPSI)