This week, during National Agriculture Week, let’s give thanks to the farmers who provide our food.
To help you enjoy the various agricultural products available in the United States, check Nebraska Extension’s links to the many resources about livestock and crops grown in Nebraska and throughout many of the other states in our nation.
Commercially canned foods are convenient as they require no refrigeration to keep their contents safe. Their nutritional value is comparable to other forms of food such as frozen and fresh. In some cases, it may be higher.
The question that people often our Nebraska Extension office, is “how long can you keep canned food”? This article on “Shelf-Stable” Food Safety,” from the U.S. Department of Agriculture answers this question and more. For example:
Alice’s Notes: This is a very basic coleslaw recipe that can be made from ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen, especially the dressing ingredients. Possible alternative purchased salad dressings include: classic coleslaw dressing, ranch dressing and poppy seed dressing. Other ingredients you could add include:
Five seems to be the magic number for the number of ingredients we want in a recipe. This excludes such common ingredients as salt, pepper and water. While researching recipes for a workshop on 5-ingredient cooking, I found the recipes I chose had at least one of the following qualities. See if these criteria help you find quick, easy, tasty recipes too!
Use the best-tasting ingredients whenever possible. It’s hard to hide a poor quality ingredient when there are only five of them. For example, freshly ground black pepper tastes much better than pre-ground.
Try to include at least one high intense flavor ingredient. Examples include:
• Mustard (consider Dijon)
• “Sharp” cheeses (you can use less because the flavor is more potent)
• Lemon juice or lemon zest
• Onions, garlic, celery
• Pickle relish
Use some pre-prepared foods that can take the place of several ingredients. Compare the labels on the various brands and varieties as the sodium level can vary significantly. Examples include:
• Sauces: spaghetti, pizza, marinara, enchilada
• Commercial salad dressings (flavorful, lower-fat varieties)
• Low-fat granola
• Pie dough, graham cracker crust, pizza dough
Consider seasoning blends. Examples include:
• Italian seasoning
• Salt-free blends – sample in the smallest container-size the first time.
Keep on hand ingredients that can be used several ways. Some of my favorites are:
• Vanilla and plain Greek Yogurt
• Diced tomatoes (no-added-salt)
• Canned beans (no-added salt)
Refrigerate some mixed foods (like dips) at least an hour, to allow flavors to blend.
Roast meats and vegetables until “caramelized” or browned. This brings out the flavor.
Thickening a soup without making a white sauce:
• Remove some of the soup solids and liquid and puree in a blender. Cooking Light magazine (March 2003) warns when blending hot liquids to use caution because steam can increase the pressure inside the blender and blow the lid off. They advise filling the blender no more than half full and blending in batches, if necessary. And, while blending, hold a potholder or towel over the lid.
• Sprinkle on some instant mashed potato flakes at the end and stir. Add more until you get the consistency you want.
The first thing that attracted me to this recipe was the name and the fact I didn’t have to peel the potatoes! Plus, while the potatoes were boiling, I could gather the other ingredients and clean up my preparation dishes and utensils.
Potatoes have gotten a bad rep as being “fattening” – however as you
can see from the nutritional information, potatoes can make a delicious side dish that is reasonable in calories, low in cholesterol and high in potassium.
My omelets end up looking like scrambled eggs. So … I was very pleasantly surprised when I tried this recipe for “Microwave Mexican Omelet” from the American Egg Board. It takes 1 minute to prepare and 2-1/2 minutes to cook.You cook it in a pie plate.
I’ve always liked eggs — they’re an inexpensive source of high quality protein and a source of Vitamin D and choline. Plus, they weigh in at only 70 calories per egg.
After my successful experience making an omelet in the microwave, I decided to try a recipe for scrambled eggs. As the photo shows, these turn out great, also. Plus, they take just a few minutes to make. This is now my go-to method for scrambling eggs for myself. Use this American Egg Board recipe for Basic Microwave Scrambled Eggs.
Have you ever looked in your fridge and found a little bit of this and a little bit of that? And … it should all be used … SOON!
When that happens, I often make potato salad! (Note: Potatoes should be stored in a cool dry place in your house for best quality … not in the refrigerator.)
Follow these quick “1 … 2 … 3″ steps!
After my cooked* potatoes had cooled slightly, I cubed them and sprinkled them with a bit of apple cider vinegar — for added flavor — while they were still warm. (Tip: You can leave the skins on young, tender potatoes and Yukon Gold potatoes).
While the potatoes were cooking, I cleaned and prepared the following ingredients from my fridge. Use your own preference as to amounts of ingredients.
Onions (part of an already cut onion in the fridge)
The last step was combining the potatoes and veggies with mayonnaise. Or, use your favorite homemade or purchased potato salad dressing. Then, chill your potato salad for about an hour before serving, to let the flavors meld.
Some other foods you can add to potato salads include:
My fingers aren’t moving much; it feels a lot like the pathetic, dried-out plant on my desk – the one I look at to see flourishing, lush life that helps me feel inspired about writing something great for readers like you. Maybe I should get a new plant…
That plant won’t work well for today, but food will. I’m always inspired by food – I think about it nearly all day long: what I’m going to have for dinner tonight, tomorrow night, next Thanksgiving; how I plan to drink more milk and eat more yogurt; what I can do to help Kendall (the kiddo) stop furiously shaking her head at the applesauce I offer her; the dreamy cheeseburgers I will meticulously build after my next exhausting long run. You see, food follows me all day, every day. It is my obsession and it inspired my career. And suddenly my mind feels more like…
Five co-workers and I are all providing fresh-tasting recipes and tips from July through October in our newsletters and blogs. For those of you on Pinterest, we have created a Fresh Fruits and Recipes Board where you can repin your favorites to your own boards. Here’s a glimpse of some of the things we are pinning (NOTE: You may need to read this article online to see this sample of our Pinterest Board).
My husband and I enjoy eating healthy foods, but they must taste good and be quick to prepare.
My goal with Cook It Quick is: Making you hungry for healthy food!
Follow along as I share recipes and kitchen tricks that help you enjoy the same types of foods. And though I am a registered dietitian and University of Nebraska-Lincoln extension educator, all my recipes must pass inspection by my toughest critic … my husband!