/PRNewswire/ -- The Unilever Consumer Kitchens report the comeback story of 2009 is the return of cooks to their home kitchens. With many people tightening their wallets and replacing dinners out with dinner at home, the challenge for cooks of every skill level is how to create budget-friendly and easy-to-prepare meals. With the surge of interest for recipe and meal ideas, the Consumer Kitchens at one of world's leading packaged goods companies, makers of Bertolli, Hellmann's, Breyers, to name a few, reveal that the search for recession-proof recipes is on the rise as evident with the increased web traffic to Unilever's recipe database www.MakingLifeBetter.com.
"During the month of January, we experienced record-high numbers of recipe downloads, as people today look to do more with less," explained Lauren Dellabella, Co-Manager, The Unilever Consumer Kitchens. "Meal solutions and recipe ideas from trusted brands can deliver a great value to help consumers get more out of life by creating delicious meals that save time and money."
With comprehensive online recipe resources like Unilever's www.MakingLifeBetter.com, it's easy to find go-to meal ideas that are fresh and simple to prepare. Here are five popular recipes that deliver convenience, great taste and tap into people's growing interest for finger foods, hearty meals and slow cooking.
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cost per recipe: $6.22*
Cost per serving: $3.11
-- 1 Tbsp. Bertolli(R) Classico(TM) Olive Oil
-- 1 medium onion, chopped
-- 1/2 lb. ground beef
-- 1/4 cup dry red wine
-- 1 pouch Bertolli(R) Premium Champignon & Portobello Mushroom Pasta
-- 1/4 cup heavy or whipping cream
-- 4 oz. rigatoni or large tube pasta, cooked and drained
1. Heat Olive Oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high
heat and cook onion, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or
2. Stir in ground beef and cook 4 minutes; drain. Stir in wine
and cook 30 seconds. Stir in Pasta Sauce. Reduce heat to low
and simmer uncovered 10 minutes.
3. Stir in cream; heat through. Serve over hot rigatoni and
sprinkle, if desired, with grated Parmesan cheese.
8 appetizer servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 50 minutes
Cost per recipe: $5.76
Cost per serving: $0.72
-- 2 lbs. chicken wings (about 15)
-- 2 Tbsp. Shedd's Spread Country Crock(R) Calcium plus Vitamin D or
Shedd's Spread Country Crock(R) Spread, melted
-- 2 Tbsp. hot pepper sauce
-- 1 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted (optional)
-- 1/2 tsp. salt
1. Preheat oven to 425Â°. Spray 13 x 9-inch baking pan with
nonstick cooking spray; set aside. Cut tips off chicken
wings. Cut wings in half at joint.
2. Arrange wings in prepared pan. Bake 50 minutes or until
wings are thoroughly cooked and crispy.
3. Meanwhile, combine melted spread, hot pepper sauce, sesame
seeds and salt in large bowl. Add cooked wings; toss to
COUNTRY-STYLE POT ROAST
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Cost per recipe: $10.00
Cost per serving: $1.25
-- 3- to 3-1/2- lb. boneless beef pot roast (rump, chuck or round)
-- 1 envelope Lipton(R) Recipe Secrets(R) Onion Soup Mix
-- 2-1/2 cups water
-- 4 medium all-purpose potatoes (about 2 lbs.), cut into 1-inch pieces
-- 4 carrots, sliced
-- 2 to 4 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1. Brown roast in Dutch oven or 6-quart saucepot over medium-
high heat. Add Lipton(R) Recipe Secrets(R) Onion Soup Mix
blended with 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to low and simmer covered, turning roast
occasionally, 2 hours.
2. Add vegetables and cook an additional 30 minutes or until
vegetables and roast are tender; remove roast and
3. For gravy, blend remaining 1/2 cup water with flour; stir
into Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat
to low and simmer uncovered, stirring constantly, until
thickened, about 5 minutes.
SLOW COOKER METHOD:
1. Add vegetables, then roast in slow cooker.
2. Add Soup Mix blended with 2 cups water. Cook covered on LOW
8 to 10 hours or HIGH 4 to 6 hours or until roast is tender.
3. Remove roast and vegetables to serving platter.
4. Blend remaining 1/2 cup water with flour and stir into
juices in slow cooker. Cook covered on HIGH 15 minutes or
NO-FRY WHITE CHICKEN PARMIGIANO
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes
Cost per recipe: $11.28
Cost per serving: $2.82
-- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 lbs.)
-- 1 egg, slightly beaten
-- 3/4 cup Italian seasoned dry bread crumbs
-- 1/4 tsp. paprika
-- 1 jar Bertolli(R) Creamy Alfredo Sauce
-- 1 medium tomato, chopped
-- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, thickly sliced
-- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 400Â°. Dip chicken in egg, then bread crumbs
combined with paprika, coating well. In 13 x 9-inch baking
dish, arrange chicken.
2. Bake 20 minutes. Evenly pour 1 cup Pasta Sauce over chicken,
then top chicken with tomato and cheeses. Bake an additional
10 minutes or until chicken is thoroughly cooked.
3. Garnish, if desired, with chopped fresh basil and ground
black pepper. Serve with remaining sauce, heated, and, if
desired, hot cooked pasta.
SLOW-COOKER BBQ PORK
Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 4 hours
-- 3-1/2-lb. boneless pork shoulder
-- 1 jar (1 lb. 10 oz.) Ragu(R) Old World Style(R) Pasta Sauce
-- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
-- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
-- 1 medium onion, chopped
-- 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
-- 1/2 tsp. ground chipotle chile pepper
-- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
1. Season pork, if desired, with salt and ground black pepper.
Arrange pork in 4-1/2-quart slow cooker sprayed with
nonstick cooking spray.
2. Combine remaining ingredients in medium bowl; pour over
pork. Cook covered on LOW 8 to 10 hours or HIGH 4 to 6
3. Remove pork from sauce. Shred pork with two forks. Return
shredded pork to sauce; stir. Serve, if desired, on whole
TIP: This slow cooked pork makes the perfect wrap for lunch the next day.
*All costs based on average retail prices at national supermarkets.
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