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Winning back weeknight cooking

Pasta with Spinach Pesto (183812)
Pasta with Spinach Pesto

Moms pride themselves on serving their families wholesome, homemade meals. But here’s the reality: 60 percent of moms think that coming up with dinner ideas is more difficult than getting their children to go to bed on time. Moreover, 61 percent of moms frequently order takeout or go out to eat because they don’t have the ingredients on-hand to make dinner. It’s time for a new strategy.

When it comes to mealtime, a well-stocked pantry can be the difference between culinary success and a dinner failure. With a pantry full of canned foods, a delicious and nutritious homemade meal is just minutes away.

It’s no secret that canned foods are convenient, but did you know that cans are also one of the best ways to get food from the farm to your family’s table? Canned fruits and vegetables are picked and packed when they’re at their peak of ripeness and nutrition, sealing in their freshness and flavor. Just like home canning, the canning process locks in foods’ natural goodness so it’s at arm’s reach whenever you’re ready to get cooking.

A pantry stocked with canned ingredients is also a source of recipe inspiration. Staples such as canned chicken, corn, green chilies, olives, beans and tomatoes atop lettuce combine to create a wholesome Chicken Burrito Salad the whole family will enjoy. And in less than 30 minutes, a box of fettuccine and a can of spinach transform into a hearty Pasta with Spinach Pesto.

For more information, recipe inspiration and the benefits of canned foods, visit

Chicken Burrito Salad

Prep time: 15 minutes

Serves: 6

1   small head romaine lettuce, torn into

small pieces

1   cup cooked brown rice

1   can (15 ounces) black beans, drained

and rinsed

1   can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes

1   can (10 ounces) chicken breast chunks,

drained and flaked

1   can (10 ounces) corn kernels, drained

1   can (4.25 ounces) diced green chilies,


1   can (2.2 ounces) sliced ripe black olives,



2   tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice

1   tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro

3   tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Salad: In large platter or individual bowls, place lettuce leaves. Top with brown rice, black beans, diced tomatoes, chicken, corn, green chilies and black olives.

Dressing: In small bowl, combine lime juice and cilantro; whisk in olive oil. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Drizzle dressing over salad.

Pasta with Spinach Pesto

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

1   can (13.5 ounces) spinach, well drained

1   cup fresh parsley leaves

1/2     cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/2     cup walnuts or almonds

1   large garlic clove

1   teaspoon dried basil

1/4     teaspoon salt

1/8     teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2     cup extra-virgin olive oil

1   box (16 ounces) fettuccine noodles

In food processor, combine spinach, parsley, cheese, nuts, garlic, basil, salt and pepper; blend well. In slow, steady stream, add olive oil until mixture is blended and smooth.

Cook fettuccine as package directs. Drain. Toss spinach pesto with fettuccine.