I think I’ve shared with you before how many times, with ambitious meal plans for the upcoming week, I’ll head to the grocery store with my list of ingredients and diligently purchase lots fresh fruits and vegetables to cook with. Then as the week progresses, I’ll get home too tired to want to cook anything from scratch, and the next day I’m still tired from the previous day, and finally, by the end of the week I’ll have a stack of empty frozen pizza boxes and drawers full of slowly spoiling food in the fruit and vegetable drawers of my fridge. Not only is this a waste of food and money, it obviously isn’t healthy.
One of the things to combat these problems is to purchase canned vegetables. Not only do canned goods have an excellent shelf life, but most of them come prepared to go straight into your recipe for cooking. Del Monte, in partnership with Chef Dave Lieberman of Food Network’s Good Deal with Dave Lieberman, is encouraging households to keep healthy fruits and vegetables in our diets by recommending that we’re stocked up on budget-friendly pantry basics, such as Del Monte Canned Goods. According to Dave, “Now, more than ever, families are looking for economic ways to make nutritious meals for their families, and this is why I partnered on the “Value without Sacrifice” campaign. It’s all about making smart decisions at the grocery store, and using value ingredients in order to stretch your dollar. Fortunately, this doesn’t have to mean sacrificing taste, quality or nutrition. Del Monte products allow families who are on a limited schedule and budget, to easily incorporate fruits and vegetables into their healthy diet. Canned goods are an example of pantry staple items you should always have on hand.”
Del Monte offers a wide variety of canned fruits and vegetables that are convenient and nutritious and are great ingredients to stock-up on without breaking the bank. Over the past few weeks, I took the opportunity to cook up a couple of dishes using a couple of their canned goods. I’ll be honest that I didn’t work up the nerve to make a Chocolate Beet Cake, but after watching the video of Dave preparing the cake mix on solutions.delmonte.com, it’s helping to build up my courage to give it a try. I did use the Del Monte Fresh Cut Leaf Spinach and the Del Monte Stewed Tomatoes, Original Recipe to make a creamy Spinach Dip and a hearty Sausage-Pasta Soup.
Simple Spinach and Scallion Dip using Del Monte Fresh Cut Leaf Spinach
This recipe was super easy to follow and we had a bowl full of spinach dip ready within a matter of minutes. I loved that the spinach was ready to use right out of the can.
A couple of tips we learned from this recipe are to make sure that you use Tabasco sauce because it provides a bit of flavor boost to the dip. I also would suggest cutting back on the scallions a little bit because they seemed to be the predominant flavor, although if you use the Tabasco sauce, that might help to lessen the scallion flavor. We didn’t have any Tabasco sauce so we tried to amp it up with other seasoning. I think with those little tweaks, it will really help balance out the flavors and let the spinach flavor shine.
Sausage-Pasta Soup using Del Monte Stewed Tomatoes, Original Recipe
I cooked this up on a cold, gloomy, rainy day when I was feeling under the weather. After I figured out how to peel and crumble the sausage, this recipe was easy to prepare – essentially throw everything into a pot and let it cook! I didn’t chop up the stewed tomatoes, opting to leave them in nice big chunks.
I love this soup. It was a hearty soup, with a wonderful, fresh tomato flavor that was very evident but not overwhelming. I added extra Rotini pasta to my soup to make sure there was enough pasta in every bowl. As an added bonus, I didn’t realized that using pre-cooked tomatoes actually makes them healthier. According to Dave, “[C]anned tomatoes (such as Del Monte® Stewed Tomatoes) contain more nutrients and lycopene because they are pre-cooked, which enhances their nutritional content.”
After preparing these recipes, I believe that Del Monte offers high quality, fresh tasting canned goods that are easy to cook with and affordable. I also liked that I was able to easily integrate healthy foods into my meals with minimal effort, receiving much more health benefits than my normal meals. The logic that having a collection of canned goods on hand makes them more likely to be used and cooked with is valid. You can’t prepare meals with ingredients that you don’t have. Stocking up on Del Monte canned goods would mean that you can have a wide variety of fruits and vegetables on hand to prepare your meals.
To learn more about Del Monte canned goods, for more recipes from Dave Lieberman, or for more information and tips, you can visit Del Monte’s Value without Sacrifice website at solutions.delmonte.com. You can also follow Del Monte on Twitter or fan Del Monte on Facebook for links to coupons and special offers.
What’s Cooking at DD Del Monte Value without Sacrifice Giveaway!
One winner will receive a “well stocked pantry” which includes 10-20 cans of assorted Del Monte canned goods and a copy of Dave Lieberman’s book, The 10 Things You Need to Eat.
This giveaway is closed.
One winner will be selected at random for this prize.
Giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST, April 2, 2010.
Visit our Giveaway Rules page for general giveaway rules that also apply to this giveaway.
Disclaimer: This post consists of my (and/or fellow tester) opinions only. Your experiences may be different. No compensation was given for this review/giveaway. I did receive free Del Monte canned goods from the manufacturer or their representing PR agency to use and test for the purposes of this review. This did not affect the outcome of this review.