By Courtney Mangers, dietetics student at University of Nebraska–Lincoln
I get excited for summer when the grass starts turning green, and the sun stays out longer! With summer flavors and colors, this tilapia taco recipe gives a tasty and refreshing change to your typical taco. I found this recipe on the USDA Mixing Bowl website, I think it is a perfect meal to eat with family or while entertaining guests.
Although this recipe has a lot of ingredients going into it, it is quick to put together. It also was only about $3.00 per serving, with plenty of leftovers to make more!
For the Tacos:
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup fresh pineapple, cut into 1-inch chunks
1 red onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
1 orange, red, or green bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch chunks
24 cherry tomatoes
2 fresh tilapia fillets
8 corn tortillas
1/2 cup low-fat Mexican cheese blend
For the Slaw:
1/2 cup shredded cabbage
1/2 cup finely chopped kale
1/4 cup peeled shredded carrots
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup red onion, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 limes, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
For the Dip:
2 avocados, pitted
1 cup yogurt
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 limes, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste
Grill the vegetables and fish: Grease the grill lightly with vegetable oil to prevent sticking and preheat to medium-high. Place the fruit and vegetables on 4 skewers, alternating the pineapple, onion, bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes. Cook the veggies and fish, turning once, about 5 minutes per side, or until cooked through and browned on the outside.
Grill Vegetables and Tilapia
Meanwhile, make the slaw: In a large bowl, combine all the slaw ingredients and mix thoroughly.
3. Make the dip: In a blender or food processor, combine all the dip ingredients. Blend until just mixed, then season to taste with salt and pepper.
Greek Yogurt Guacamole
4. Warm each tortilla in a frying pan over low heat. Flip then sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of cheese and heat until the cheese melts. Place each tortilla on a plate and top with ¼ piece of fish and a few grilled vegetables. Top each with 1 big spoonful of cabbage slaw, drizzle with Guacamole-Yogurt dip, roll up, and serve.
(This blog is written by Zane Ehnes, UNL graduate student in Community Nutrition and Health Promotion.)
A very popular trend right now, especially among young adults either in college or beginning their professional careers, is meal prepping! Meal prepping is an easy and quick way to make meals ahead of time that are healthy and nutritious go-to meals for during the busy work week that will keep you on track for your fitness goals, whether they are to build muscle, lose or maintain weight!
For this week’s meal prepping, I decided to go with a ground-beef and potatoes recipe that seemed cost friendly but also easy to make! I did alter the recipe just a little bit to add more nutrition. The recipe calls for two main ingredients, beef and potatoes, but I thought adding carrots for antioxidants and beta-carotene and garbanzo beans for plant protein and fiber would be nice additions. These additions also are a cheap way to get more servings out of your recipe.
This recipe is quick and easy to make with just a few common ingredients and little preparation.
Beef & Potatoes
93% lean ground beef
4 medium potatoes (peeled and chopped)
5 medium carrots, chopped (remove the green tops)
1 cup water
1 beef seasoning packet, suitable for flavoring 1 pound of ground beef (Check if there is a low sodium version. In my recipe I used a taco seasoning packet, but you may use whatever you prefer. For example, chili seasoning, or any seasonings you have on hand at home.)
1 (16-oz) can of garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained (reduced sodium or no salt added)
Brown 1 pound ground beef in large skillet, drain the fat.
Add potatoes, carrots, water and seasoning packet to the skillet.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are fork-tender.
Uncover, add beans and cook until excess water evaporates.
Divide into equal portions in food containers, refrigerate for up four days.
Recipe slightly adapted from a recipe by Colorado State University and University of California at Davis, Eating Smart Being Active Recipes and featured in USDA Mixing Bowl at http://bit.ly/2fK9AVg
Reheat and enjoy your pre-prepped meals within four days of preparing them.
Draining the fat from less lean cuts of ground beef removes much, but not all, of the fat. With the leaner options you aren’t paying for the excess weight from fat that you end up draining. And a comparison of the final yield and costs of a lean and a higher fat ground beef shows there is very little difference in cost once the fat is removed (pictured below). Use the US Department of Agriculture’s Ground Beef Calculator to determine the difference in nutrients between different percentages of fat and lean per similar weights of ground beef.
Rinse the garbanzo beans with water. This will help reduce the sodium by about 40%.
Prefer different vegetables? Go ahead and alter this recipe in any way that fits your preferences!
Transfer food, no more than 2-inches deep, into shallow containers.
Refrigerate within 2 hours after preparing.
Cover loosely with lid; close lid after food has cooled. Eat within 4 days.
Comparison of 80% Lean and 93% Lean Ground Beef
I wanted to show a visual comparison of cooked ground beef with different fat percentages. Below I have pictured on the left a glass-measuring cup filled to the top with 93% lean ground beef. On the right is a picture of the glass-measuring cup filled with 80% lean ground beef.
The important thing is I started out with about the same amount of both varieties. I had 1.07 pounds of the 93% lean ground beef and 1.05 pounds of the 80% lean ground beef.
You can see how cooking the ground beef dramatically changes the amount you end up with after draining away the fat. When comparing the price per pound of the two types of ground beef, the actual cost difference per cup was only about 15 cents.
Next time when you’re shopping for ground beef, remember the variety with the higher fat content may be cheaper but the cost difference isn’t that much. And … if you’re using it in a recipe where you can’t drain the fat, you’re adding excess calories to your final product.
Comparison of 93% lean and 80% lean ground beef after browning and removing the fat
This blog was created by Cassie Augustine, a Dietetic and Nutrition Exercise Health Science double major at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln.
With summer right around the corner, are you looking for a refreshing way to excite your taste buds? Great, this recipe is a perfect way to liven up your meals or snacks. It is not only nutritious, but it is quick.
This banana orange frosty is the perfect way to perk up your day. With three simple ingredients you can make it for a breakfast on the go, a snack in between meals or even to compliment your meal.
Orange Banana Frosty is made with three common ingredients that can be found in your kitchen.
Makes: 2 servings
Total Cost: $1.86
Serving Cost: $0.93
1 banana (frozen)
½ cup low fat yogurt (plain)
½ orange juice (prepared)
Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix well.
You can add more liquid if you want to make the smoothie thinner consistency.
This blog was created by guest blogger, Sunny Arnold, a dietetic undergraduate student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Do you love to host parties but don’t know what to serve? Are you looking for a new way to incorporate protein, vegetables and grains into your meals? This delicious stuffed bell pepper recipe gives a fresh look at healthy eating with new, exciting flavors. (The secret ingredient is a bit of cinnamon.) Sound interesting? Try it out!
This recipe can contribute to the USDA’s daily recommendations of three cups of vegetables, six ounces of protein and 6-8 ounces of grains (according to a 2,000 calorie diet). Make it optimally healthy by choosing whole grain brown rice, low sodium diced tomatoes and 90% lean ground beef. This recipe requires only about 20 minutes prep time and 40 minutes cook time!
This blog was created by a guest blogger, Allie Hohman, a dietetic student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
Searching for a quick, yet delicious and healthy breakfast option to feed the whole family? This recipe is for you! With its, light, sweet, and nutty flavor, this apple coffee cake is perfect for any brunch or breakfast. Loaded with raisins, apples, pecans, and a hint of cinnamon, this cake is full vitamins and minerals.
Apple Coffee Cake
5 cups apple (tart, cored, peeled, & chopped)
1 cup sugar
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup pecans (chopped)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg (beaten)
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon (ground)
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine apples, sugar, raisins, & pecans; mix well. Let stand for 30 minutes.
3. Stir in oil, vanilla, and egg. Sift together flour, soda, and cinnamon; stir into apple mixture about 1/3 at a time, just enough to moisten dry ingredients.
4. Lightly grease a 13-by-9 by 2 inch pan. Turn batter into pan. Bake 35-40 minutes.
This blog was created by Mollie Sievers, a junior Nutrition and Dietetics major at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln.
When thinking of pizza, most people think of the standard pizzas: cheese, pepperoni, sausage. But pizzas can be fun and unique for each person. This new take on pizzas is light, healthy, and quick enough to be the perfect afternoon snack for all ages!
BBQ Chicken Pizza
• 6 English Muffins
• ¾ cup BBQ sauce
• 1 ½ cups chicken (cooked and diced)
• ¾ cup shredded cheese
• 1 chopped bell pepper
1. Preheat oven to 450ᵒ.
2. Measure out all ingredients.
3. Slice English muffins in half and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.
4. Spread BBQ sauce on English muffins.
5. Top with remaining ingredients.
6. Bake at 450ᵒ for 7-12 minutes (or until cheese is melted).
This blog was created by guest blogger Rachel Wulf, a dietetic student at the University of Nebraska- Lincoln.
Are you too tired to come home from work and prepare a full-fledged dinner when all you want to do is sit down and relax? This 20-minute recipe makes a perfect quick meal!
The black beans and celery in this recipe provide an ample amount of fiber to help keep you fuller longer. Likewise, the fresh celery, onion, garlic, black beans, and salsa provide an array of essential nutrients, such as Vitamin C, inulin, and several other minerals.
1 cup onion (chopped)
3⁄4 cups celery (chopped)
2 teaspoons garlic (chopped)
1 1⁄2 cup beef broth (fat removed)
2 cans black beans (15 oz. each, drained and rinsed)
1⁄2 cup salsa (thick and chunky)
1 1⁄2 teaspoon cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder
1⁄4 teaspoon oregano (dried)
1. Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.
2. Cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
3. Spice up your soup even further with a little bit of sour cream or shredded cheese and enjoy!
This blog was created by guest blogger, Khara Krueger, a dietetic student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
If you’re looking for a quick, delicious, and inexpensive treat, this recipe is for you! This dish can be made up in about 20 minutes and it’s easy to eat on the run. These Oatmeal Jiffy Crunch squares will take care of your sweet tooth without the added calories and fat! There are only 80 calories per square and the dietary fiber in them will help you feel fuller longer. The great thing about the Oatmeal Crunch is that you probably already have most of the ingredients in your cabinets! I hope you enjoy!
1/2 cup margarine or butter
3/4 cups brown sugar (firmly packed)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups quick oats (uncooked)
1 cup raisins
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9×13 in baking pan.
2. In large skillet, melt butter and brown sugar.
3. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.
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!