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Do you wish you craved healthy foods? Chefs and doctors are teaming up to create healthy dishes you might actually want to eat.

This past weekend, the Culinary Institute of America hosted the 10th annual Healthy Kitchens/Healthy lives conference. The conference brings together chefs with doctors, registered dieticians and nutritionists, educators, sustainability experts and healthcare professionals. The goal of the conference is to get people to move towards a healthier lifestyle and diet, which would help prevent or manage illness.

The idea that food can provide more than sustenance isn’t new. Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Many of our products are developed with the same concept in mind.

We want the best for you and your family so all of our products are MSG and gluten-free, reduced sodium (salt) levels, with low sugar and low fat. Smokin’ Texas Gourmet-Red Kitchen Foods products will help you create homemade, healthy meals for your family that are full of flavor. What’s the best part? Our products taste so good you’ll actually crave them!

Click on our recipes tabs under each STG product to view simple, healthy recipes for each product.

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Here’s a great low-calorie take on a whiskey sour for your St. Patty’s Day celebration using our Votew mixer!

STG’s Frisky Whiskey Votew Cocktail

1 ½ Oz. Premium Irish Whiskey (or your favorite whiskey)
3 Parts VOTEW
1 Oz. Blue Curacao Liqueur
Lime Twist
Orange Twist

Shake and serve in a rocks glass or martini.

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The most prestigious awards in the spicy food industry were recently distributed at the Fiery Food Challenge in Irving, Texas, and one of our products came out on top!

Smokin’ Texas Gourmet was awarded the Golden Chile for People’s Choice in the 2014 Fiery Food Challenge for its beloved candied jalapenos, Li’l Gems.

If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that Texans recognize good spicy food. To be chosen as one of their favorites is a true honor.

The Fiery Food Challenge, a competition sponsored by The Dallas Morning News, pits products against one another in more than 80 categories. Professional judges evaluate hundreds of sauces, salsas and other spicy treats and award first, second and third place prizes in each category. Awards are proudly displayed at ZestFest, a spicy food festival held the same week as the Fiery Food Challenge at the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas.

We’ve won seven Fiery Food Challenge awards, including honors for Votew, our low-calorie beverage mixer; Texas Especial Steak Sauce; Jalapeno Honey Mustard; Texas Gold Barbecue Sauce; Dry Rub; Li’l Gems and our website.

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We’re so excited to show off our newly wrapped trailer! A big thank you to Zilla Wraps for taking our ideas and putting them to paper…er…wrap.

We use our trailer for deliveries and trade shows and we think it’s going to attract a lot of new attention. Look out for it rolling through your town soon!

Here’s a blog post from Zilla Wraps on our trailer: http://zillawraps.com/trailer-wrap-keller-red-kitchen-foods/

Make sure to check out Zilla Wraps for all of your wrapping needs! http://zillawraps.com/

 

 

 

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We have some very exciting news to share with our fans. Smokin’ Texas Gourmet won four 2014 Scovie Awards!

Now in its 18th year, the Scovie Awards is the world’s largest professional competition for fiery foods and BBQ products. Smokin’ Texas Gourmet’s 2014 awards include:

Garlic, Salt and Pepper: First Place, Dry Rub/All-Purpose Seasoning For Meat

Texas Gold Barbecue Sauce: Second Place, Mild, Mustard-Based Barbecue Sauce

Tres Chilies Salsa: Second place, Processed Salsa-Medium Heat

Jalapeno Honey Mustard: Third Place, Condiments-Not Hot & Spicy-Mustard

It’s also notable that our Texas Gold Barbecue Sauce and Jalapeno Honey Mustard are repeat winners. Both products won Scovie Awards in 2013.

There were more than 800 product submissions into the Scovie Awards competition this year. Since Smokin’ Texas Gourmet first entered the competition in 2013, we’ve racked up a total of nine awards. Not bad for the new kid on the block!

The Scovie Awards will formally announce the winners next month.

 

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Last week we told you how to pack for your tailgating party. Now it’s time to discuss creating a healthy tailgating menu.

Just because you’re tailgating doesn’t mean you have to eat unhealthy. With small changes, you can cut calories and fat without losing the flavor or sense of fun.

Most people love to load up on carb- and calorie-dense foods while tailgating, but protein- and fiber-rich foods will keep you full longer. Plan your meal around a protein: chicken, extra lean ground beef, chicken sausage and pork are all good, lower-fat options. For vegetarians, beans and tofu are an excellent source of protein.

Consider grilling the meat, which renders out fat and allows it to drip away. If you’re making sandwiches, use whole wheat buns and don’t forget to top it off with one of our delicious condiments, all of which are MSG and gluten-free with reduced fat and sugar.

Once you’ve chosen your protein, plan side items. For those who love chips and dip, skip the queso, which can pack a whopping 300 calories per half cup. Instead, use a Smokin’ Texas Gourmet salsa or make your own by combining a jar of salsa, black beans and corn. Guacamole, which is loaded with healthy fats, is also a great option. For the tortilla chips, we sell a gluten-free variety that is excellent for dips, nachos or snacking solo.

Other great side items include vegetable kabobs, a salad or vegetable tray with dip. For the vegetable kabobs, use zucchini, cherry tomatoes, onions and summer squash. Season the vegetables with our garlic, salt and pepper prior to grilling and the flavors will really pop. The salad or vegetable tray should include a nice variety of vegetables. Make sure you include broccoli for an extra dose of fiber!

For the vegetable tray, whip up a spicy ranch by combining one of our pepper sauces (we recommend Smokin’ Chipotle) with your favorite low-fat ranch dressing. Get your buffalo wing fix by combining our Texas Twister with low-fat blue cheese dressing. Serve it with celery sticks and you’ll save more than 1,000 calories-the amount in a small order of chicken wings.

Do you have some healthy tailgating recipes? Share them with us in the comments below. Make sure to include your name with the recipe and we’ll add it onto our STG products page!

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It’s football season and that means it’s time to tailgate. We love tailgating during football season because there’s nothing better than grilling out at Cowboy stadium. The picture above is from our tailgating party last Sunday. We roasted a whole pig for the party and it’s was absolutely delicious!

There’s always thousands of people tailgating at Cowboy stadium and it’s pretty awesome to see what everyone is cooking. One year, we parked next to some tailgaters who were cooking a low country boil. We traded some of our meat for their seafood and we all enjoyed a nice surf and turf dinner that night!

We’ve also tailgated for Thanksgiving dinner. Deep fried turkey is definitely a southern delicacy!

It’s easy to be a professional tailgater but a must is ORGANIZATION! Organize a menu and then organize a checklist of items needed to fulfill the menu. Always bring more to cook than you think you need because your tailgate neighbors will want samples after they smell your delicious meal. Also, don’t forget tents or a canopy to stay cool in the shade.

Here’s a starter list of items you’ll need to take your party to go:

-Food and beverages TBD

-Grill and/or sauté burners

-Charcoals

-Grill chimney

-Lighter fluid and lighter

-A cooler for food. Make sure to keep the food below 40 degrees.

-A cooler for beverages

-Ice

-Pans for sauté burners (if preparing sauces or other food on burners)

-Cutting board

-Kitchen utensils (knives, spatulas, tongs)

-Aluminum serving dishes with lids to keep food warm

-Plates, utensils and cups for eating and drinking

-Aluminum foil

-Plastic bags for marinating food

-Tupperware

-Disinfecting wipes

-Sanitizing solution to clean cutting boards/table

-Trash bags

-Tables to prepare food on and tables for eating

-Chairs

-Satellite dish and TV (optional)

Do you have something to add to the list? Leave us a reply below.

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When it comes to grilling and marinades, flavor is only skin deep.

Most people believe that meat and marinade is a natural pair. Marinades are supposed to add flavor, tenderize the meat and help it endure the grilling process.

But that’s really only partially true. Marinades add subtle flavor, which is usually lost in the grilling process. If you want big flavors, you won’t get it from a marinade. And while it’s true that a marinade tenderizes meat, it can only tenderize what it comes into contact with. Chicken (for example) isn’t porous, which means the inner portions of the meat aren’t getting tenderized. After marinating, most meat comes off the grill with a slightly mushy texture. Now you can see why marinating is not necessarily the way to go.

Instead, what you want to do prior to grilling is use a dry rub. Since dry rubs are made up entirely of spices and herbs, you get the full flavor you’re looking for without compromising the texture of the meat. Since they’re dry, they stick and get “drawn into” the meat. This ends up helping tenderize and breaking down the proteins and creates a nice crust during grilling. An added bonus is many rubs are low in salt, allowing you to reduce your sodium intake and use as much as you want for that big flavor. A good rub will also be low in sugar so it doesn’t burn during high heat grilling or searing of meats like steak.

I’m not suggesting you give up on marinades entirely. Rather, use them after you’re done with your primary cooking as a finishing sauce. You’ll get the best of both worlds – a well-seasoned piece of meat with a nice smoothness to it from the sauce.

It’s time to bring out the flavor with dry rubs and put down the marinade. To view our dry rubs, visit our dry rubs product page.

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Our daughter made these for her husband and his friends over the weekend. Not only were they promptly gobbled up, but her husband already requested them for his birthday meal-in November!

Jalapenos are in season right now, so it’s the perfect time to try these out. They’ll also be the perfect side dish for your upcoming football parties.

Makes 2 Dozen

Ingredients:

12 fresh jalapeno peppers

6 ounces cream cheese, softened

1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons milk

8 teaspoons Smokin’ Texas Gourmet Smokin’ Creole Seasoning

1 cup panko crumbs, or more if needed

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Ranch dressing, for dipping

Smokin’ Texas Gourmet Chipotle Hot Pepper Sauce (optional)

 

Directions:

Half the jalapenos lengthwise. Wearing a pair of latex gloves, remove the stems, seeds and membranes.

Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.

In a bowl, whip together the cream cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, cumin and cayenne pepper.

In a separate small bowl, beat together the eggs, milk and 2 teaspoons of creole seasoning.

In a shallow dish, combine the panko crumbs and 4 teaspoons of creole seasoning.

In a third dish, combine the flour and remaining 2 teaspoons of creole seasoning.

Spread some of the cheese mixture (about 1 tablespoon) into the middle of each jalapeno half.

One at a time, dredge the jalapeno halves in the flour mixture, dip into the egg mixture, then dredge in the panko crumbs, pressing to coat.

Place the poppers, cut side up, on the baking sheet and bake until the filling is runny and the crust is golden, about 30 minutes.

Serve poppers with plain ranch dressing or mix ranch dressing with Smokin’ Chipotle Pepper Sauce for additional spice, if desired.

 

 *Adapted from Emeril Lagasse

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Making Homemade Happen the Healthy Way™

“The challenge facing us and other big food companies today is not easy: to have a great-tasting product without as much salt, fat and sugar,” said Greg Yep, senior vice president for long-term research and development at PepsiCo. “Chefs have ways of tricking the taste buds that we can use in our products.”

Have you ever tried to reduce the amount of salt or sugar you eat? As we all know, it can be difficult. But many food corporations are trying to do just that, after being prodded by consumers, regulators and politicians to make healthier foods.

“Food is tending to be healthier and healthier,” said Beau MacMillan, executive chef at Elements, a restaurant at the Sanctuary Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz. “People come into our restaurant and read labels and want to know more about what’s in what they’re eating. They’re looking for foods that are fresh and healthy but also make them feel good.”

At Smokin’ Texas Gourmet, we understand that you want healthy food that tastes good. That’s why our entire product line is MSG and gluten-free and everything is made with reduced sugar and salt. Smokin’ Texas Gourmet products are also low fat, and contain no chemicals or chemical preservatives. You won’t find any junk in our food.

It’s interesting to note that the chefs who are in charge of creating healthier alternatives for the companies are having a difficult time replacing the salt in recipes. They’ve begun smoking ingredients as a means of imparting saltiness without using actual salt. We won’t say we told you so, but if you look at the name of our company, it’s obvious we were on to something.

Read the full New York Times article, which this blog is based on.

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