Libby’s and Vanessa Lachey encourage you to get back to the table


With the holiday season underway, Libby’s and Vanessa Lachey are encouraging everyone to find their way back to the table. Are you ready to get cooking?

For many people, Libby’s fruits and vegetables are a pantry staple. From pumpkin puree to green beans, the iconic brand has been a part holiday recipes and tables. While those traditional recipes might be family favorites, Vanessa Lachey is showing how those classics can get a tasty update.

Like many families, Lachey and her family have favorite dishes that everyone craves during the holiday season. Whether it is grandma’s classic pumpkin pie or that secret stuffing recipe that never goes out of style, the holidays are as much about the food as they are about the family togetherness.

While food trends evolve over time, the holiday season seems to bring people back to the classics. Still, those classics can get a little “boost” from time to time. As people’s palates evolve, the tried and true doesn’t fade, but it can get better.

Recently, Vanessa Lachey partnered with Libby’s Fruits and Vegetables for their Get Back to the Table Cansgiving promotion. While many hosts feel the pressure to make the picture perfect holiday meal, a few simple tricks can make every gathering a big success.

With the growing popularity of food television shows and people wanting to mimic famous chefs, there can be some desire to take that traditional recipe and transform it into something trendy. While a little boost can be tasty, sometimes simplicity can be a saver, both in execution and flavor.

During a recent chat with Lachey, FoodSided asked her about using pantry staples, like Libby’s, in her recipes. She mentioned that these products help to create an easy, tasty and well-liked dishes. In a way, these products help to balance the traditional with the innovative.

Vanessa Lachey teams up with Libby`s Fruits & Vegetables to create timeless Thanksgiving recipes.

Recently, some surveys have shown that the classic green bean casserole may not be the Thanksgiving favorite recipe. While not everyone will agree, that recipe can be transformed into something exciting this year.

For example, Lachey created a green bean skillet recipe that is simple, yet is bursting with flavor. In a way, this easy recipe satisfies both the person who loves the traditional and the person who wants a more exciting flavor. More importantly, this recipe showcases that canned green beans can be new again.

Here’s how to make Vanessa Lachey’s Italian Herbed Green Bean Skillet with Crunchy Crumb Topping.

"Italian Herbed Green Bean Skillet with Crunchy Crumb ToppingServes: 10 to 12Prep time: 15 minutesCook time: 15 minutesINGREDIENTSGreen Beans:3 cans (14.5 oz.) Libby’s® French Style Green Beans, drained2 tbsp butter1 large onion, halved and sliced4 garlic cloves, minced1 ½ tsp Italian herb seasoning blend½ c chicken or vegetable broth1/3 c chopped dry sun-dried tomatoes (preferably smoked)Freshly ground pepper to tasteTopping:2 tbsp butter½ c grated Parmesan chees1 c crushed cheese and garlic or herbed croutonsINSTRUCTIONSMelt butter in very large skillet over medium-high heat.Add onion and cook for five minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to medium and stir in garlic; cook for two more minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in herbs.Add Libby’s® French Style Green Beans, broth and sun-dried tomatoes to skillet. Cook and stir over medium-high heat for five to six minutes or until excess liquid has cooked off. Season with pepper and set aside.To prepare topping, melt butter in medium skillet over medium heat. Add crushed croutons; cook and stir for two minutes.Transfer green beans to large shallow casserole dish and sprinkle with cheese and croutons."

Even if green beans aren’t the star of your Thanksgiving plate, Libby’s can transform other classic dishes as well. In some ways, it can be the perfect way to add a few more fruits and vegetables to your meal.

For example, Lachey said that her husband must have stuffing, specifically cornbread stuffing, at the holidays. This type of dish is a great example where you can add some extra vegetables to the traditional recipe.

With the Libby’s corn, you can sneak in veggies, flavor and texture. It is a win all around.

Check out Vanessa Lachey’s Double Corn Herbed Sausage Stuffing.

"Double Corn Herbed Sausage StuffingServes: 10 to 12Prep time: 25 minutesCook time: about 1 ½ hours totalINGREDIENTS1 can (15 oz.) Libby’s Whole Kernel Sweet Corn, drained10 c cubed, or very coarsely crumbled, cornbread1 pound hot or sweet Italian turkey or pork sausage*½ c butter1 very large onion, coarsely chopped3 large stalks celery, cut in half lengthwise and sliced1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped**1 tbsp fresh sage, chopped**1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped**1 1/2 tsp poultry seasoning2 eggs2 to 2 ½ c chicken brothFreshly ground pepper to tasteINSTRUCTIONSPreheat oven to 375 degrees F and lightly butter 13 X 9-inch baking dish.Place cornbread on large baking sheet and bake for five to seven minutes to toast, stirring once.Remove sausage from casings and crumble into medium skillet set over medium heat. Cook for five minutes or until cooked through, stirring occasionally. Remove from skillet.Melt butter in same skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook for five minutes. Add celery and cook for five minutes more, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in he, poultryseasoning and Libby’s® Whole Kernel Sweet Corn.Whisk eggs with chicken broth in large bowl. Lightly stir in cornbread, vegetables and sausage, adding additional broth as needed. Mixture should be moist, but not soggy. (May be tightly covered and refrigerated for up 2 days at this point.)Place in prepared baking dish and bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until heated through and golden brown on top. Makes 12 servings.*If using pork sausage, decrease butter to 6 tablespoons.*Can substitute 1 tsp dried herbs for fresh herbs."

This cornbread stuffing recipe is a great example of holiday cooking hack that Lachey shared. She recommends making dishes ahead of time and attaching cooking instructions on a post-it note. Then, everything is ready to put in the oven without the hassle.

Even friends and family can help because all the instructions are on top of the dish. It is super easy and definitely a stress reducer for the host.

Lachey made a poignant point about a holiday dinner. The day is about enjoying the moment, not just focusing on the food. Whether it is everyone helping out in the kitchen or enjoying a glass of wine with your spouse, the quality time together is the focus. The meal is just the vehicle for bringing everyone together.

This holiday season let Libby’s help to make those holiday recipes easy and tasty. More importantly, remember to let the people around the table be the real star of that holiday gathering.

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Does your family have a traditional family recipe? What is your favorite holiday food tradition?