Stuffed Bell Peppers

Serving Size: 1 stuffed pepper | Serves: 5

Ingredients:

  • 5 bell peppers (red, orange, yellow, or green)
  • 1 pound ground beef (90% lean), uncooked
  • 3/4 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 1/2 can diced tomatoes (14 oz), low sodium
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions:

  1. Cut a circular hole in the tops of the bell peppers. Remove seeds and membrane and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients and stir until completely mixed. Fill the bell peppers with meat mixture.
  3. Place the stuffed bell peppers in a large stockpot on the stove with the tops facing up. Add 1 inch of water to the bottom of the pot and cover.
  4. Place heat on medium, keeping covered for 30–40 minutes until rice is done. Serve.

Nutrition information per serving:
277 calories, 8g total fat, 3g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 57mg cholesterol, 66mg sodium, 29g total carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 4g sugar, 21g protein

See how to make this recipe and more on USDA’s MyPlate Kitchen YouTube, bit.ly/3s09zjQ.

Source: MyPlate, www.myplate.gov/myplate-kitchen/recipes

Energy Bites

Energy bites on sheet pan with milk

Serving Size: 1 energy bite | Serves: 25

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups oats (old fashioned or quick)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut fakes
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Stir all ingredients together in a medium sized bowl.
  2. Cover a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper. Drop mixture by tablespoonfuls onto the cookie sheet.
  3. Refrigerate 1 hour.
  4. Roll each drop of mixture into a ball. Place in an airtight container. Store in the refrigerator.

Nutrition information per serving:

90 calories, 5g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 25mg sodium, 10g total carbohydrate, 2g fber, 5g sugar, 2g 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

Pasta Fagioli Soup

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

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound turkey sausage
  • 1 tablespoon oil (canola or olive)
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) white beans (cannellini or great northern) (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, low sodium
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 cup whole wheat pasta
  • 1 cup fresh spinach (cut into bite-sized pieces)
  • Shredded parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook sausage for 6 minutes. Drain grease from sausage. Remove sausage to a plate or bowl. Wipe the remaining grease out of the pan with a paper towel.
  2. Add oil to the pan and heat over medium. Add onion and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes.
  3. Add water, broth, beans, tomatoes, and ground black pepper to the pan. Heat until boiling.
  4. Add pasta, cook until tender (8–10 min).
  5. Reduce heat to low. Add sausage and spinach. Simmer until spinach is wilted (about 3 minutes).
  6. Serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.

Nutrition information per serving:
320 calories, 8g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 35mg cholesterol, 650mg sodium, 43g total carbohydrate, 8g fiber, 5g sugar, 21g 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

Time to Spill the Beans

Variety of dry beans

If you have dry or canned beans in your pantry, you have the start to an easy, budget-friendly meal. Beans are high in iron, zinc, potassium, folate, and fiber—nutrients missing in the diet of many Americans. Beans are readily available and an inexpensive source of protein. Adults should eat at least 1 1/2 cups of beans per week. They come in many sizes and varieties, including kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, garbanzo beans (chickpeas), black-eyed peas, split peas, and lentils. There is a type of bean to please everyone!

One of the easiest ways to prepare dried beans is in the slow cooker. Simply rinse beans and remove any small stones, dirt, or withered beans. Then combine 1 pound of dried beans (2 cups) with 8 cups of water in the slow cooker. Lastly, cook on low for 6–8 hours (or overnight), until beans are soft.

Sources:
USDA, Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020, health.gov
Spend Smart. Eat Smart., spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Slow Cooker Mexican Chicken Soup

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

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (15 oz each) diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup dried black beans, rinsed
  • 1 bag (16 ounces) frozen corn, thawed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound skinless boneless chicken breast, thawed
  • Optional—Baked tortilla chips, chili fakes, chopped cilantro, jalapenos, lime, chopped avocado, light sour cream, salsa, or shredded cheese

Directions:

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

TIPS: Use Mexican diced tomatoes to add spice.

Nutrition information per serving:
210 calories, 3g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 35mg cholesterol, 270mg sodium, 28g total carbohydrate, 6g fber, 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 spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu

Slow Cooker Lentils

Serving Size: 1/2 cup | Serves: 6

Tacos on plate

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup dried lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon homemade Taco Seasoning Mix
  • 3 cups water

Directions:

  1. Spray slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Stir all ingredients together in a slow cooker.
  2. Cook on high for 4 hours.
  3. Use cooked lentils as the flling for lentil tacos, burrito bowls, or taco salads.

Tips: Visit Spend Smart. Eat Smart., spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu, for a Taco Seasoning Mix recipe. Use 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder instead of 2 cloves garlic.

Nutrition information per serving:
120 calories, 0g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 15mg sodium, 23g total carbohydrate, 4g fber, 2g sugar, 0g 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.

Sweet Potato Fries

Serving Size: 2/3 cup fries and 1 tablespoon dip | Serves: 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes (about 4 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon oil (canola or vegetable)
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Dip:

  • 1/4 cup light mayonnaise or salad dressing
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, chili powder, or paprika

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Rinse potatoes under running water. Scrub potatoes well.
  3. Cut the potatoes in half lengthwise. Lay each potato half fat and slice into half-round shapes about ¼” thick.
  4. Combine potatoes, oil, and salt in a bowl. Stir so potatoes are covered with oil.
  5. Grease cookie sheet with oil and lay potato slices in a single layer.
  6. Bake for about 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes.
  7. Mix the dip ingredients together while potatoes are baking.
  8. Serve immediately. These are best when served hot.

Nutrition information per serving: 150 calories, 4g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 5mg cholesterol, 220mg sodium, 26g total carbohydrate, 3g fber, 6g sugar, 2g 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

Apple Cinnamon Bread

Serving Size: 1 slice | Serves: 16

slices of apple cinnamon bread

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 apple, unpeeled, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together white sugar, applesauce, oil, and eggs until well combined.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together flours, baking powder, and the 1 teaspoon of cinnamon.
  4. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients. Stir together just until combined.
  5. Gently stir in diced apple.
  6. Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Spread batter evenly through the pan.
  7. In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and the 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon. Sprinkle over the top of the batter.
  8. Bake for 45–50 minutes until a tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Nutrition information per serving:
150 calories, 2.5 total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 25mg cholesterol, 40mg sodium, 24g total carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 12g sugar, 3g protein

Recipe is courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website (spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/)

After-school Hummus

Serving Size: 2 Tbsp | Serves: 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 ounces) reduced-sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced, or 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp oil (vegetable or olive)
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt

Directions:

  1. Use a blender or food processor. Combine garbanzo beans (chickpeas), garlic, lemon juice, cumin, oil, and pepper.
  2. Blend on low speed until beans are mashed.
  3. Stir in yogurt with a spoon.
  4. Place the finished product into an airtight container.
  5. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight, so the flavors blend. Use within 2–3 days.
  6. Serve with whole grain pita chips, crackers, or vegetables such as carrots and celery. Use as a substitute for mayonnaise on a chicken sandwich or a turkey wrap.

Nutrition information per serving:

70 calories, 3g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 80mg sodium, 9g total carbohydrate, 2g fiber, 2g sugar, 3g 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

Crisp Fruit Salad

Serving Size: 3/4 cup | Serves: 6

Bowl of fruit salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 red apple
  • 1 pear
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup seedless grapes, halved
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 container (6 ounces) low fat, sugar free vanilla yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp light mayo or salad dressing

Directions:

  1. Wash fruit.
  2. Chop apple and pear (leave skin on). Add to large serving bowl and toss with lemon juice.
  3. Add grapes and raisins to bowl.
  4. Combine yogurt and mayonnaise in a small bowl; spread over fruit.
  5. Stir to combine. Refrigerate. This is best eaten the day it is prepared.

Nutrition information per serving:

130 calories, 2g total fat, 0.5g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 55 mg sodium, 27g total carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 12g sugar, 2g 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

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