Hearty and Healthy Cooking and Recipe Ideas for the Family

Let's See What Cooking delivers ideas and content about recipes, leftovers and other meals.

Countryside Italian Salad


  • 2 cans (14.5 oz each) Hunt's® Diced Tomatoes, drained
  • 2 cups cooked farfalle (bow-tie pasta), chilled
  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh basil (2/3 cup = about 1-1/3 oz)
  • 1/2 cup diced part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 4 slices fully cooked bacon, heated, chopped
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette dressing


  1. Combine drained tomatoes, pasta, basil, cheese and bacon in large bowl.
  2. Add dressing; toss to coat.

Fire-Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette


  • 1 can (14.5 oz each) Hunt's® Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, undrained
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce


  1. Place all ingredients in blender container. Puree 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth.
  2. Chill 2 hours before serving. Makes about 2-1/2 cups.

Beans, 3 Ways

Though kale, quinoa and chia may be the most buzzed-about super foods, there’s another secret (and inexpensive) item you’re probably not cooking with enough: Beans. A longtime staple of many cuisines worldwide, beans are a nutritional powerhouse that can — and should! — find a way into your weeknight meals.

What Makes Beans So Healthy?
Loaded with fiber, protein, iron, magnesium, zinc, potassium and folic acid, beans play a pivotal role in a healthy diet, with one cup of cooked beans providing approximately 14 to 18 grams of protein, said Vandana Sheth, a CDE, registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Beans are also rich in lignans (a group of chemical compounds found in plants) which are known to play an important role in helping with heart disease, osteoporosis and preventing some types of cancers. While all beans are nutritious, Sheth’s top picks include garbanzo, black and kidney beans.

How to Cook with Beans
Dried beans can be purchased in bulk bins from your local grocery store then soaked in water overnight and prepared on the stovetop in a pot, in a pressure cooker or on a slow cooker (Sheth prefers using her pressure cooker, as it speeds up the process). You can also cook with canned beans by simply draining and rinsing the beans before cooking. To make things easy, consider preparing a large batch of cooked beans then varying the ways you use them.

“Cooked garbanzo beans can be made into hummus, added to a soup, or tossed with herbs and vegetables in a salad,” Sheth says. “You can also make garbanzo bean burgers.”

Ideas for Cooking with Beans
Beans can be enjoyed in a variety of ways and can easily be incorporated into your diet. Use beans whole in salads, soups or casseroles; puree them into dips, such as hummus, or spreads for wraps and sandwiches. Even combining them with Hunt's® Tomato Sauce to create a plethora of delicious chili recipes and sauces! Sheth’s favorite bean-centered recipes include vegetarian chili, bean burgers and bean burritos — all completely different from each other with one central ingredient! Here are some more of our favorites:

  • Two-Bean Vegetable Chili—this easy chili uses canned beans and Hunt's® Diced Tomatoes with Sweet Onion as a base for an easy, and hearty, dinner.

  • Southwestern Breakfast Burritos—combine black beans, Hunt's® Petite Diced Tomatoes and cilantro with scrambled eggs and cheese for a breakfast wrap with a kick.

  • Stuffed Peppers—use a large bell pepper in lieu of a tortilla and fill it with your favorite burrito ingredients, like beans, brown rice, corn and Hunt's® Tomato Sauce.

  • White Bean Minestrone Soup—this recipe uses white beans, kale and pasta as ingredients for a classic and comforting soup in just 30-minutes.


Do It Up with Deviled Eggs

Forget your typical way of whipping up the all-American classic. Deviled eggs are best served with a little creativity and a good amount of untraditional flavor! Put the finishing touches on your recipe with a handful of ways of refashioning the favorite, including truffle, fig, avocado and more twists. 

But first things first -- let’s review your basic deviled eggs recipe. You’ll want to hard-boil eggs in a pot. Don’t crowd the pot, or else they may bump into each other while cooking and crack. Also, try using older eggs closer to their expiration, which may be less delicate and better for these purposes. Then, cover eggs with about 1-inch of cool water and slowly bring to a boil over medium heat.

When water reaches a boil, cover and remove from heat. Let eggs sit 12-15 minutes. Transfer eggs to a bowl full of ice water to stop them from cooking. Peel and split in half lengthwise.

Now, the fun part! Experiment with your deviled egg fillings to jazz up these flavorful appetizers:

  • Horseradish: Mix yolks, mayonnaise, horseradish, salt, paprika and parsley. Adjust the horseradish to control the degree of spiciness, suggests registered dietitian nutritionist, and editor of PaleoBarbie.com, Jenny Champion.
  • Sweet relish: Instead of mustard, add sweet relish to add a little crunchy sweetness in every bite, she adds.
  • Tomato ‘n’ Paprika: For a spicier version of your standard eggs, says Champion, cut back on the mayo and add around 2 tablespoons of Hunt's® tomato paste, fresh ground garlic to taste, and top with smoked paprika, a pinch of Hunt's® canned crushed tomatoes and cayenne pepper.
  • Avocado: One of Champion’s favorites for an extra creamy, healthy fat-filled version of deviled eggs, “cut back on the mayonnaise a bit and add ripe avocado in its place,” she says. Not counting calories? Add a bit of chopped bacon for garnish and a nice crunch.
  • Truffled: First, mash your hard-boiled eggs (~6 eggs) with ¾ cup mayo, 1.5 teaspoons of truffle oil and a pinch of cayenne. Serve in the center of a white oval place (it will look like one large deviled egg!). Top with a fig jam for a sweet finish!