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From the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: “Put Your Best Fork Forward” is the theme for NNM 2017 which serves as a reminder that each one of us holds the tools to make healthier food choices. Making small changes during National Nutrition Month® and over time, helps improve health now and into the future.

The Food Bank is committed to providing nutrient-dense food to partner agencies and clients through purchased and donated products along with fresh produce.

In addition, the Food Bank provides nutrition education to increase the nutritional knowledge of our clients so they can make informed food choices. That’s why National Nutrition Month® is so important to us. Throughout the month of March, we’ll post a few tips and helpful blogs that will encourage you to Put Your Best Fork Forward!

Check Out These Healthy Recipes from our Registered Dietitian, Callie Brust

 

Healthy Mac & Cheese

Recipe #1 – Healthy Mac & Cheese

A classic twist of an old favorite. By reducing the amount of butter, switching whole milk for skim, and only using half of the cheese packet included in the boxed pasta – sodium, fat, and calories are all reduced! Plus, with the addition of the fresh tomatoes and broccoli, this dish becomes a balanced meal.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Mac & Cheese
  • ¼ cup of skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon of butter
  • ½ cup of sliced cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup of steamed broccoli
  • 1 teaspoon of pepper

 
Directions:

1. Cook macaroni noodles according to package directions.
2. Drain noodles in colander and set aside.
3. Using the same pot, mix milk and butter together until combined.
4. Add only half of the packaged cheese mix to the milk mixture and stir.
5. Stir in noodles, tomatoes, and broccoli.
6. Add pepper to taste.
7. Serve warm.

Corn and Quinoa Salad

Recipe #2 – Corn and Quinoa Salad

Use this as a picnic side dish or serve warm topped with some grated cheese and perhaps grilled chicken and you’ve got a fantastic entrée.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of quinoa
  • 3 cups of water
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 cloves of chopped garlic, raw or sautéed
  • 1 can of low-sodium corn, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • ½ cup of bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup of celery, chopped
  • 1 cup of frozen edamame
  • 1/3 cup of feta cheese
  • Lemon juice and pepper to taste

 
Directions:

1. Rinse quinoa.
2. Bring water to a boil in a large sauce pan and add quinoa.
3. Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed.
4. Combine oil, garlic, lemon juice, and pepper in a bowl for dressing. Set aside
5. Add all vegetables and feta cheese to cooked quinoa and mix
6. Pour dressing over the mixture and stir until combined
7. Serve warm or chilled

Pasta a la Pantry

Recipe #3 – Pasta a la Pantry

This recipe is our dietitian’s go-to when she needs dinner in a pinch. All the ingredients are common pantry staples – feel free to substitute different types of beans or frozen greens- you can’t go wrong!

Ingredients:

  • 1 – 14.5 oz. box of whole wheat pasta of any type
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • One can of low-sodium diced tomatoes
  • One can of low-sodium garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • One 16 oz. bag of chooped, frozen spinach
  • Lemon juice and pepper to taste

 
Directions:

1. Cook pasta according to package directions and set aside.
2. In a large skillet, heat oil and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Add frozen spinach and stir until heated.
4. Add tomatoes and garbanzo beans.
5. Once above ingredients are combined, stir in pasta.
6. Add lemon juice and pepper to taste.
7. Serve warm.