Vegetable Frittata

Serving Size: 1 slice | Serves: 4

Vegetable Fritatta

Ingredients:

2 cups vegetables, chopped (mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomatoes)
6 eggs
1/4 cup nonfat milk
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat an ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Add vegetables and sauté until tender, 3–5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium low.
  2. While vegetables are cooking, beat eggs and milk together in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in cheese.
  3. Turn the oven broiler on high.
  4. Pour eggs over vegetables. Cover with a lid. Cook until eggs are nearly set, about 6 minutes. Do not stir, and do not remove the lid.
  5. Remove the lid from the skillet and place the skillet in the oven. Broil until eggs are completely set and lightly browned, 2–3 minutes.

Nutrition information per serving:
190 calories, 12g total fat, 5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 295mg cholesterol, 210mg sodium, 5g carbohydrates, 1g fiber, 3g sugars, 14g protein.

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit Spend Smart. Eat Smart., spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu.

Berry and Greens Smoothies

Serving Size: 8 ounces | Serves: 8

Glass of smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium bananas
  • 2 containers (6 ounces each) nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 3 cups leafy greens, washed (kale or spinach)
  • 1 package (16 ounces) frozen berries
  • 1 cup nonfat milk

Directions:

  1. Put bananas, yogurt, and greens in the blender. Blend until smooth.
  2. Add berries to blender. Blend until smooth.
  3. Add milk to blender. Blend until smooth.
  4. Serve immediately or freeze in individual servings.

Nutrition information per serving:
100 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 50mg sodium, 23g total carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 12g total sugar, 4g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Good Gut Health

Bowls of fruit and grains

Did you know that your digestive system plays an essential role in your overall health? Nurturing a population of good gut bacteria is good for your health. What you eat may encourage the growth of good or bad bacteria. For example, avoiding processed foods, high-fat foods, and foods high in added sugars is important for maintaining a healthy gut. Eating high-fiber and fermented foods actively promotes the growth of good gut bacteria.

High-fiber foods are a good source of prebiotics. Prebiotics are the fuel for your good gut microbes. High-fiber foods include legumes, like black beans and chickpeas; whole grains, including whole wheat and oatmeal; vegetables; nuts; and fruits. Eating high-fiber foods may help build a strong immune system; improve digestion, sleep, and brain health; and support heart health.

Fermented foods are great sources of probiotics. Probiotics are living friendly bacteria. The goal is for these helpful organisms to take up residence in your gut and replace other less helpful or even harmful bacteria. Fermented foods include yogurt, sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi.

This month’s recipe, Berry and Greens Smoothies, has both high fiber and fermented foods. Bananas, frozen berries, and greens are high in fiber and yogurt is a fermented food; try it today!

Sources:
Healthline, www.healthline.com/health/gut-health
Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter, nutritionletter.tufts.edu/

Sloppy Joes

Sloppy Joe sandwich

Serving Size: 1/2 cup meat, 1 bun | Serves: 5

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green or red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tomato ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 5 whole wheat buns

Directions:

  1. Combine ground beef, onion, celery, and pepper in a skillet. Add water.
  2. Cook over medium low heat for 15 minutes. Cook until beef mixture reaches at least 160°F.
  3. Put ground beef mixture in a colander set over a bowl. Drain fat into separate container, later discard in the trash. Rinse ground beef with warm water, and return to skillet.
  4. Add ketchup, mustard, and sugar. Heat 5–10 minutes on low heat.
  5. Serve mixture on whole wheat buns.

Nutrition information per serving:
300 calories, 11g total fat, 4g saturated fat, 0.5g trans fat, 60mg cholesterol, 450mg sodium, 29g total carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 11g sugar, 23g protein

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Strategies to Help When Cooking for One or Two

Woman cooking
  1. Prepare Semi-homemade Meals. Semi-homemade is a combination of packaged foods and unprocessed foods. For example, you can use frozen stir-fry mix with canned chicken and instant rice. Grab a frozen chicken alfredo dinner and pair it with a salad and a cup of milk.
  2. Choose Simple Recipes. You can make delicious meals with just 5 ingredients for a quick meal. Benefits of choosing simple recipes include that they are easy, they take less time to prepare, and there is less food waste.
  3. Cut Recipes in Half. Cutting a large recipe in half is a great way to make cooking and preparation easier. Soups and casseroles are recipes that are easy to cut in half.
  4. Use Canned and Frozen Food. Choosing canned or frozen food is a quick addition to any meal. Add canned chicken in a chicken salad sandwich or prepare frozen veggies by microwaving them. Canned and frozen food items are budget friendly, provide smaller portions, have a longer shelf life, and reduce food waste, making them just as nutritious as fresh food items.
  5. Enjoy Leftovers. You can also cook once and enjoy a second meal later. Recipes serving more than two can be easily prepared, divided in half, and frozen to enjoy later. Sloppy Joes is an example of a recipe that freezes well.

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Soup

Bowl of soup with fruit and milk

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups | Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup dried black beans, rinsed
  • 1 bag (16 ounces) frozen corn, thawed
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound chicken breast, thawed
  • Optional: baked tortilla chips, chili flakes, chopped cilantro, jalapenos, lime, sliced avocado, salsa, light sour cream, shredded cheese

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook for 4 to 6 hours on high or for 8 to 10 hours on low.
  2. Remove chicken right before serving. Shred. Stir chicken back into soup.
  3. Serve with choice of optional ingredients.

Nutrition information per serving:
210 calories, 3g fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 35mg cholesterol, 270mg sodium, 28g carbohydrates, 6g fiber, 4g sugar, 19g protein. This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit Spend Smart. Eat Smart., spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu.

Scrambled Egg Skillet

Serving Size: 1 1/3 cups | Serves: 3

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon oil (canola, olive, vegetable)
  • 1 1/2 cups yellow or red potato, diced
  • 3/4 cup bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Optional: chopped avocado, chopped herbs, hot sauce, ketchup, salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add potatoes to skillet. Sauté for12 minutes, stirring every 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Add peppers and onions. Sauté 4 to 5 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through.
  4. Reduce heat to medium low. Pour eggs over vegetables. Stir in salt and pepper.
  5. Gently stir the eggs into the vegetables. Cook and stir until eggs are set and no liquid remains in the pan.
  6. Top with optional ingredients.

Nutrition information per serving:
200 calories, 1.0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 450mg sodium, 39g total carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 9g sugar, 12g protein.

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Slow Cooker Black-eyed Pea Soup

Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups | Serves: 5

Woman peeling a carrot

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound dried black-eyed peas
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 6 carrots, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning (basil, dried oregano, rosemary, or sage)

Directions:

  1. Rinse and sort dry black-eyed peas to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Place all the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix.
  3. Cook on low for 8 hours.

Nutrition information per serving:
200 calories, 1.0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 450mg sodium, 39g total carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 9g sugar, 12g protein.

This recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website. For more information, recipes, and videos, visit spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Slow Cooker: Your Best Friend for Plant-based Meals

Slow cookers are popular and an easy dinner option. Slow cooking is exactly what it sounds like—a process of cooking slowly. Using a slow cooker can retain some of the nutrients typically lost when frying or boiling.

Plant-based slow cooker meals focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. Plant-based meals are a great way to focus on choosing foods from plant sources, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop eating meat and dairy.

Research has shown plant-based diets reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes, certain cancers (specifically colon, breast, and prostate cancer), depression, and a decreased risk of frailty, along with better mental and physical function.

Here are a few tips to get started with a plant-based slow cooker meal:

  • Add a whole grain with root vegetables, like potatoes and turnips, for soups and stews.
  • Try dry beans for soups and stews.
  • Layer vegetables, starches, and sauces for a casserole-style meal.
  • Use a variety of herbs and spices to add flavor.

Enjoy a nutritious and delicious plant-based recipe perfect for slow cooking at Spend Smart. Eat Smart., go.iastate.edu/FR22GX.

Source: Harvard School of Public Health, go.iastate.edu/OYSCUO

Cooking in a Hurry

When time is short for cooking, having a stocked pantry and freezer can be a game-changer. By keeping healthy staple ingredients on hand, you can shorten a meal’s cook time and save money. Try these tips to save time and money the next time you need a meal in a hurry.

Use Quick and Easy Recipes: Planning and purchasing ingredients for easy recipes that only need a few ingredients can simplify cooking. Many healthy, quick recipes can be found at
Spend Smart. Eat Smart., go.iastate.edu/1E3RBW, and MyPlate, www.myplate.gov.

Purchase Pantry Staples: Nonperishable food items are budget friendly, and their long shelf life reduces food waste. Many delicious meals only need a few canned goods, a protein, and a whole grain pasta or rice. Some canned foods are very high in sodium, so choose low-sodium or no-salt-added options when available.

Soups in a Snap: Many quick meals can center around a nutritious bowl of soup. Make it a meal when served with a salad, whole-grain bread, and a glass of low-fat milk.

Use Frozen Vegetables: Frozen vegetables are a great way to add flavor, nutrients, and color to your meals. Frozen vegetables have nearly the same nutritional benefits as fresh, and many entrees and side dishes can be planned around a frozen vegetable.

Sources:
Spend Smart. Eat Smart., spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/
MyPlate, myplate.gov/myplate-kitchen

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