Did you know, not only are canned foods a great way to work in a variety of comfort food dishes year-round, they're just as nutritious as their fresh, frozen and dried counterparts? It’s true. They’re also a winner when it comes to fighting food waste.
The benefits don't just stop there; canned foods are also widely available, accessible and affordable. A few popular canned foods I've found no matter where I may be in the world are canned tomatoes, canned peaches and canned corn. These three can really jazz up any dish or take center stage just fine, and they’re staple ingredients in some of my favorite summertime meals.
Canned corn is awesome on its own heated up with a dab of butter, but have you tried mixing it into a cornbread recipe? The pops of corn kernels liven up traditional cornbread by adding really delicious texture and flavor.
Canned peaches are another pantry staple for me. I buy the cans in bulk and pack peaches with my lunches for an easy way to work in another fruit serving without even thinking about it. They're also divine heated up a bit and served warm over vanilla ice cream. The balance of hot and cold, fruity and creamy are unparalleled. Or go the sweet and savory route with canned peaches served alongside cottage cheese.
Canned tomatoes are really the all-stars to impart summer comfort flavor into a dish without having to do much. Canned tomatoes make their way into my salsas, soups and even my knock-out Turkey Taco Meatloaf. My Turkey Taco Meatloaf can easily adapt to be cooked in any multicooker (slow cooker, pressure cooker) to achieve the summer comfort flavor without heating up the oven. This meatloaf can serve a group of up to 8 people, or fewer, depending on how hungry you are. Any leftovers can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or portioned up and frozen to defrost and enjoy at a later date.
What about canned tomatoes, canned peaches and canned corn teaming up for a dynamic summer comfort meal from start to finish? Plate up my Turkey Taco Meatloaf made with a side of cornbread, roasted green beans and ice cream with canned peaches for dessert for a super easy meal with lots of summer flavors.
Turkey Taco Meatloaf
Serves: up to 8 people
- 2 pounds of ground turkey breast
- 2 cans (10-ounces each) of diced tomatoes with chilies
- 1 (8-ounce) block of white cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
- 2-4 tablespoons taco seasoning (homemade or store bought)
- ¼ cup fresh chopped cilantro (use more or less to your liking)
Optional garnishes: chopped cilantro, lime wedges, chopped white/green onions
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together ground turkey, cheese, taco seasoning and chopped cilantro until the cheese and spices are evenly distributed throughout the ground turkey.
- Mold the turkey into a meatloaf shape and place into an oven-proof dish.
- Evenly pour the diced tomatoes and chilies onto the meatloaf.
- Bake the Turkey Taco Meatloaf at 375°F for 45 minutes, covered. After 45 minutes has passed, remove the cover and continue baking until the Turkey Taco Meatloaf is browned and cooked through to an internal temperature of 165°F.
- Let Turkey Taco Meatloaf rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving. Serve inside a tortilla for a more traditional taco-style meal, over a bowl of rice or on its own with the diced tomatoes and chilies. Garnish with optional cilantro, lime and white/green onions.
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