With the holiday season just around the corner, time with family and friends is so important. The holidays can be very hectic, between the shopping and party planning, but if you can save some time on the day to day tasks (like cooking for your family/cleaning up afterwards), you can definitely etch out some time with your loved ones.
Calphalon recently relaunched their popular Contemporary Nonstick line, and is all about helping families save time with “The Time You Save” campaign. One of the key new perks about the cookware is that it’s now dishwasher safe! So, you can make your quick, weeknight meals, rinse the pot/pan out & place it straight in the dishwasher with your plates & utensils. Calphalon realizes that The Time You Save is valuable, so taking away the task of doing the dishes after a meal is great! You can now take some time away from the kitchen, and instead, enjoy that time with your family decorating the house, wrapping gifts or building a gingerbread house for the holidays!
Also, along with Calphalon’s “The Time You Save” campaign, I wanted to share a couple of recipes with y’all, featuring their new cookware that requires very little hands-on time in the kitchen.
Calphalon sent me their new panini pan, as well as their 8 quart multi-pot with steamer to use for some time-saving recipes. I used their panini pan to make a chicken panini, using leftover roasted chicken, and I used the multi-pot to make a chicken tortilla soup.
There’s two options to make these simple recipes happen, depending on your preference (either work fine for the recipes I’m about to share):
1. You could take a weekend day to roast your own chicken(s), remove the meat (after the chicken has cooled down…reserving the meat for weekday dinners), and using the leftover bones, make your own chicken stock (for the soup I’m sharing). I found the multi-pot strainer to be especially useful for making stock…you just pull out the insert and all of your chicken bones and veggies come out for you to discard. All you need to use is a fine mesh sieve to ensure that you get pure stock in whatever containers you use to store the stock in.
2. You can simply purchase an already cooked, rotisserie chicken at the store and remove the meat for weekday dinners. You can also use store bought chicken stock/broth….the soup will still taste fantastic!
Paninis are ridiculously simple & quick to make. It’s a perfect weeknight dinner, and it’s so comforting (especially with a good bit of melty cheese). This panini is a chicken, tomato & spinach panini with cheese. The pan makes the perfect grill marks on the bread, and I love that it’s non-stick, because I don’t even need to use butter/oil to get a good grill mark/sear on the bread. I personally use the low calorie bread to make this, and it cooks beautifully. You can easily make a chicken panini customizable to your family’s preferences, if you’d prefer something other than tomato and spinach.
Chicken, Tomato & Spinach Panini
Source: an original
- 2 slices of whole wheat bread
- 2 oz. roasted chicken, shredded or sliced
- handful of fresh baby spinach (stems removed)
- 3 slices of tomato
- 1/4 cup shredded cheese (I used pepperjack & cheddar)
- On medium-low heat, preheat your panini pan while assembling the sandwich.
- To assemble the sandwich, place a slice of bread on the bottom, then half of the shredded cheese, the chicken, spinach and tomato, the other half of the shredded cheese, and then the last slice of bread on top.
- Once the pan is preheated, carefully place the sandwich on the panini pan, and press the metal panini press on top of the sandwich. Allow it to cook for a minute or so (checking the bread to see how brown it is). Once the bread is toasted to your liking, remove the press, carefully flip the panini over, and then place the press back. Cook the panini until it’s toasted to your liking on the other side.
- Slice the panini in half and enjoy!
This soup is the perfect weeknight recipe, because it’s very tasty and it makes a lot. If you have a smaller family and don’t need a large pot of soup, the leftovers freeze wonderfully, so you could end up with a quick meal to reheat for another night. While this does take some time in the kitchen to simmer/develop flavors, there’s very little hands on time involved with this soup. I love adding shredded cheese, as well as baked corn tortilla strips on top. This soup just screams comfort, so it’s perfect to enjoy for the holiday season.
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Source: adapted from The Pioneer Woman
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1/4 cup diced green bell pepper
- 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 cups roasted chicken
- 1 can (10 oz. can) rotel tomatoes/chiles
- 32 ounces low sodium chicken broth (or homemade stock)
- 3 tbsp. tomato paste
- 4 cups hot water
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 3 tbsp. corn meal
- 5 corn tortillas, cut into uniform strips
- 1 cup shredded cheese
- Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and red/green bell peppers. Stir everything well, and cook the vegetables down for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add in the minced garlic, and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add in the cumin, chili powder, garlic powder and salt, and stir to combine for a few seconds, until fragrant. At this time, add in the shredded pre-cooked chicken and stir everything together.
- Pour in the rotel, chicken broth/stock, tomato paste, water and corn. Bring the mixture to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low (to simmer). Simmer the soup for 45 minutes, uncovered.
- In a small cup/bowl, mix the cornmeal with a small amount of water. Pour the mixture into the soup, and simmer the soup for another 30 minutes. At this time, check your spices and see if you need to add anymore spices to the soup. Turn off the heat, and let the soup cool slightly by sitting for 15-20 minutes.
- In the mean time, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Add the corn tortilla strips in one layer on a baking sheet and spray well with an oil spray. Bake the strips for 8-10 minutes, until the tortilla strips start to brown.
- To serve, ladle the soup into bowls, and top with some grated cheese and corn tortilla chips.
Not only did the generous people at Calphalon send me these pieces of cookware to review, they also are offering one lucky reader of The Nifty Foodie the same two cookware pieces that I received: a Calphalon Contemporary panini pan set and a Calphalon Contemporary 8 qt. multi-pot with steamer! I have used both pieces quite a few times already, and as always, the quality of the cookware is amazing. They heat evenly, and the non-stick coating is awesome (especially if you add a little too much cheese to your panini).
To enter this giveaway, check out the Rafflecopter widget below.
Note: This giveaway is supplied by Calphalon and is open to readers in the continental US only. Entries will be accepted until November 27th at 12:00am (central standard time). Winner will be emailed (make sure you leave an email address in the form), and will have 48 hours to respond or another winner will be chosen.
DISCLAIMER: I was sent two pieces of Calphalon Contemporary cookware from Calphalon at no cost to me for a fair and honest review. Calphalon is also supplying the same cookware for the giveaway. All opinions are 100% my own.