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Ground Chicken Sloppy Joes

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Sloppy Joes are a classic comfort food, and always a hit with the kids. We love making this healthier version using our lean Ground Chicken and an easy homemade sauce. ...

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Italian Dishes 101

You’re well-acquainted with spaghetti and meatballs, and you know exactly what’s in lasagna. But have you ever heard of an exotic-sounding Italian dish and weren’t entirely sure what was in it? We’re here to help. Here are descriptions of some classic Italian dishes – try them using Isernio’s premium sausage to make sure they’re amazing!

Arancini are stuffed rice balls that are coated in breadcrumbs and fried. Exact fillings vary widely – try stuffing yours with sausage!

Bolognese is a thick, meat-based tomato sauce that is typically finished with milk or cream. It is most commonly used in dishes with thicker noodles.

Braciola is thinly-sliced cuts of meat stuffed with cheese, breadcrumbs, and tightly rolled. It is fried and then braised until tender. Try this recipe which takes it up a notch using Isernio’s sausage!

Bruschetta is large, rustic, toasted bread sliced and topped with a variety of flavors. It is most frequently topped with olive oil and garlic, but here are some other ideas!

Caprese refers to the classic combination of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil. Most frequently it’s served as a salad.

Cacciatore refers to a “hunter-style” sauce and cooking method, including onions, peppers, and herbs in a tomato base. It is usually made with chicken, but occasionally with other types of meats.

Chicken Marsala is made from lightly coated chicken cutlets braised with mushrooms in wine. “Marsala” refers to the type of wine used in this dish, which is an Italian dessert wine that is similar to sherry.

Chicken Scarpariello features chicken thighs and Italian sausage in a zesty, vinegary sauce. This is Frank’s favorite version of the dish!

Osso Buco is a veal shank braised in stock and wine until fork-tender. It literally translates to “bone with a hole,” which is a nod to the marrow visible in the center of the cut bone.

Picatta is usually made with chicken or veal cutlets. They are sliced thin and cooked stove-top in a lemon-based sauce with capers and garlic.

Ragu is a sauce made with minced or ground meat. While it may have a small amount of tomato sauce, the meat is the star – not the tomato. Try this Ragu Napolitano with Italian Sausage and Pasta!

Saltimbocca is a piece of meat rolled & wrapped or lined with prosciutto and sage, marinated in wine, and cooked in a skillet. It is most frequently made with veal, but can also be made with chicken.

Spaghetti Carbonara is the classic long, skinny pasta tossed in a rich and creamy sauce made from eggs, cheese, and pepper. The dish usually also includes bacon or pancetta.

Isernio’s is proud to be your go-to ingredient for authentic Italian flavor. Try our classic Italian Sausage, lighten up your dishes with our Italian Chicken Sausage, or make it spicy with Hot Italian Sausage! See our full product line-up here.

Ten Healthy Food Swaps You Won’t Even Notice


Ready to make some healthy changes to your diet? You don’t have to get radical; even small changes can make a big difference. Here are ten healthy food swaps to cut fat and calories while boosting nutrition – without sacrificing any of the flavor you love.

1. Use ground chicken in place of ground beef.

For some reason, most people opt for ground turkey when swapping for ground beef. But it tends to dry out quickly and lack flavor. Instead, try ground chicken. A standard 4-ounce serving has just as much protein as ground beef, and less fat and fewer calories than ground turkey. It’s a winner all around and perfect in burgers, tacos, casseroles, or any other place you’d typically use ground beef!

2. Cut calories with cauliflower.

Don’t worry, we’re not asking you to jump on the cauliflower pizza train if you don’t want to. But you can easily cut calories and boost nutrition by adding some cauliflower puree in place of cream or milk to your favorite potato chowder or cream soups. You can also grate cauliflower and add it to fried rice or rice-based casseroles. If you’re just starting to make changes, don’t completely eliminate the foods you love. Instead, just try to replace 25% of the original ingredient with cauliflower. You probably won’t even notice!

3. Try zucchini noodles.

Just like the cauliflower, start with partial swaps instead of complete substitutions. Use a vegetable spiralizer to make zucchini noodles and eat them along with your regular pasta. Saute your zucchini noodles for 1-2 minutes so they retain a good bite, and then toss them with your spaghetti. In a regular portion you’ll eat fewer calories and carbs and increase your vegetable intake – with practically no effort.

4. Opt for goat cheese.

Yes, you can still have cheese! Just choose goat cheese instead. It is lower in fat and calories than regular cheese, and contains no trans fats. Plus, it tends to be easier to digest than other dairy products.

5. Snack on fruits.

If you’re not ready to make big changes to your regular meals, just pay more attention to what you eat between them. Resolve to only eat fruits for snacks instead of other calorie-dense choices.

6. Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.

Greek yogurt is thick, tangy, and creamy and can be used to top your chili or burrito, or even to make a creamy salad dressing or dip. (Note: You may have to add more salt to your dish if you use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.)

7. Have an open-faced sandwich.

Most breads are around 100 calories per slice. By having your sandwich open-faced you easily shave off calories while still enjoying bread. You can even have your favorite grilled cheese – just broil it in the oven instead of cooking it stove-top!

8. Opt for chicken sausage.

Using a high-quality chicken sausage gives you all of the delicious savory flavor with significant calorie savings. Plus, using chicken sausage instead of traditional pork cuts the amount of fat you’re consuming by up to 80%.

9. Add heat instead of cheese.

Cheese is delicious, but it’s also calorie-dense. If you bump up the flavor in your favorite dishes, you can reduce the cheese (or even eliminate it). Add spicy salsa or hot sauce to your burritos, omelets, and casseroles to make them delicious and less calorie laden.

10. Choose a vinaigrette salad dressing.

It’s so confusing to know whether an oil-based or cream-based dressing is best, but we’re here to tell you – olive oil wins. With heart-healthy fats and loads of flavor, vinaigrettes are the way to go if you’re looking to make healthy food swaps.

 

If you’re ready to make healthy swaps in your diet, Isernio’s is ready to help. With ground chicken made from lean, whole-muscle meats and chicken sausage with no fillers, no gluten, and no added sugars, you can cut fat and calories without sacrificing flavor. Most of our products are compatible with a variety of eating plans including low fat, low carb, the ketogenic diet, a Paleo lifestyle, and Whole 30.

Plus, you can usually whip up a meal with Isernio’s in a fraction of the time it would take to order take-out – which will also save you loads of fat and calories.

Try our chicken sausage today! Available in a variety of flavors, including:

  • Italian
  • Hot Italian
  • Chicken Spinach & Feta
  • Chicken Breakfast
  • Chicken Apple
Healthy Eating Tips - Food swaps and substitutions you won't even notice.

Italian Christmas Traditions

Italian Christmas Traditions

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and most of us are busy carrying out our families’ traditional holiday celebrations. In homage to our Italian heritage, we thought we’d share some of Italy’s biggest holiday traditions. Do you do any of these in your home?

Nativity Set – “Crib sets” are found in most homes that celebrate Christmas, but they actually originated in Italy! Traditionally they are displayed beginning on December 8th, but the crib remains empty until late on December 24th, at which time the baby Jesus is finally placed in the manger.

Christmas Eve Meal – On Christmas Eve, Italian families have a large meal called “The Feast of the Seven Fishes.” No meat or dairy is eaten. Children write letters to their parents telling them how much they love them and place it under their father’s plate to be read at the end of the meal.

Midnight Mass – Midnight mass is a Christmas Eve tradition in Italy. The services are usually very well attended.

Bagpipes – Shepherds from the mountain come to the town square and wander around paying their respects to the nativity scenes while playing the bagpipes. They also perform at the Christmas markets.

Gift Giving – Children do write to Father Christmas (Babbo Natale) and may get gifts from Santa, a woman on a broom named La Befana, or Jesus on Christmas Day. However, the main gift-giving day for most Italians is Ephiphany, which is January 6th. (Fun fact: If you look at a calendar you’ll realize that January 6th is actually “the 12th day of Christmas” which you probably recognize from the popular Christmas carol.)

Food – On Christmas Day, lunch is the main meal. The exact menu varies by region, but most include several courses of meat, pasta, and sweetbreads for dessert. Some even leave the table set after the meal waiting for Mary and baby Jesus to arrive and sample the food.

Christmas in Italy doesn’t look anything like the glittery commercial holiday we celebrate here in the US, but the meaningful traditions run deep. This season, we hope you find the same depth and meaning in your own family’s traditions – whatever they may be.

Happy Holidays from Isernio’s!