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Who doesn't love spring? After a long and difficult winter for much of the United States this year, we all long for sitting outside, enjoying some much deserved relaxation and warmth. In addition to shedding all those layers, we may also have some pounds we need to shed! (Amazing how bulky winter clothes make the decision to eat an extra slice of pizza, loaded nachos, and that ice cream sundae sooooo much easier).
One of the best things about warmer weather is the beautiful fresh produce it brings. Gone are the days of hearty comfort food that fit so perfectly into the cold (and short) winter days. (There’s nothing better than curling up with big bowl of chili and watching a football game on TV). With the warmth and glow of sunshine, we start to see fresh vegetables at our local grocer or farmer’s market, offering crisp flavors to heighten our menus and refresh our palates. They fit the mindset of health and fitness for everyone we're serving. These flavors set the tempo for the approaching ventures of the year. (Did someone say beach?)
As we begin the transition to Spring flavors, our recipes need to be reflective of both cool evenings that crave comfort and warm sunny days longing for freshness and excitement. It's the perfect time to pull out recipes in order to explore both mindsets. Give them comfort and crispness! Give them bright flavors and healthful hardiness! Give them the confidence to take their shirt off at the pool but the wisdom to know it's not quite time for that yet! (When I think of my early spring shape…."round" seems to come to mind).
Make your guests transition seamless this Spring by taking them into their next season of eating. Enjoy the attached Black Bean Goat Cheese Dip recipe. Fullness of rich cumin, garlic, and black beans are set against bright flavors of cilantro, green onion and the gentle heat of poblano chilies and creamy goat cheese.
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 cup Diced Onion
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon Cumin
3 cup Furmano's Low Sodium Black Beans, Drained & Rinsed
1 liquid cup Chicken Broth
As needed Salt
As needed Black Pepper
1 cup Poblano Chilies, Roasted & Chopped
1/2 cup Green Onion, Sliced
1/2 cup Cilantro, Chopped
12 ounce Goat Cheese (you can use Feta Cheese, if you prefer)
Chef Paul, a Certified Research Chef, is a 2002 graduate of Yorktowne Business Institute School of Culinary Arts in York, Pennsylvania. There he was class valedictorian and received the Chef Michael Hostetter Memorial Award for Culinary Excellence. He is a member of the Research Chefs Association and the Refrigerated Foods Association and has over 15 years of experience.
Working in restaurants since the age of 16, Paul has spent most of his life working with food; a love he developed in family style restaurants, honed in school, and practiced in fine dining establishments. Never one to be defining himself with a particular cuisine, Paul explores the world's palate with excitement. "The world is full of people who have made incredible foods with what is in their backyard and we now have access to all those wonderful flavors and combinations," he says. That love and excitement for flavor he now brings to Furmano Foods.