Category Archives: Student Blog

Quick and Easy Enchiladas

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Quick and Easy 15-Minute Enchiladas

By Sydney Engberg

Needing a quick main dish? Trying to cook on a budget? This easy enchilada recipe is great for those who are new to cooking and tastes amazing. Plus, I was able to find all the ingredients at a local grocery store for less than $6.00!

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I bought all my ingredients for under $6.

Makes 8 servings (serving size = 1 enchilada)

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups chili without beans (or a 24 oz can)
  • 1 ½ cups refried beans (can use low sodium, non-fat beans)
  • 2 cups low-fat shredded cheese (Cheddar or Monterey jack)
  • 8 large flour tortillas

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Spray a cookie sheet or glass baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Heat chili and refried beans in a medium saucepan until warm (do not boil).
  4. Scoop about half a cup of the chili mixture into a tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, and roll up.
  5. Repeat for all 8 tortillas laying them side by side on the baking sheet.
  6. Spoon the remaining chili mixture on top of the rolled tortillas and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
  7. Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Sydney’s Gluten-Free Modifications

I am not able to consume products that contain gluten (such as flour tortillas) and so I made a few modifications to the original recipe. So for all my gluten-free pals out there; you too can have these delicious enchiladas!

  • Use soft white corn tortillas instead of flour tortillas.
  • In a glass dish lay down a layer of tortillas (they are smaller so they don’t roll well).
  • Spoon in a layer of chili mixture, sprinkle with cheese, and then start another layer of tortillas.
  • Repeat until you have about 2 inches of “enchilada lasagna.”
  • Bake for 12-14 minutes.

Enchilada Storage Instructions

If you are cooking for yourself or just have too many to eat, these taste wonderful as leftovers.

  • Let enchiladas cool entirely, but do not leave out for more than 2 hours after removing them from the oven. (It’s okay to put them in the refrigerator warm.)
  • After they have cooled, wrap entire pan tightly in plastic wrap or tin foil and place in refrigerator. (Don’t wrap them if they are still warm as they may accumulate moisture and become soggy.)
  • Or place individual enchiladas in plastic bags and place in refrigerator for easy leftover meals!

I really loved the way that this recipe turned out! It was simple and had a good base flavor. Because it is very basic, there are a lot of ways that you could spice it up and make it your own. For example, adding some chicken or beef to the chili mixture or throwing some fresh pico de gallo on the top would add even more flavors and textures.

Recipe source: USDA What’s Cooking – USDA Mixing Bowl

Tilapia Tacos with Kale Slaw and Greek Yogurt Guacamole

By Courtney Mangers, dietetics student at University of Nebraska–Lincoln

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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!

Ingredients: 

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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

Equipment:

  •   4 skewers

Directions:

  1. 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.

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    Grill Vegetables and Tilapia

  2. Meanwhile, make the slaw: In a large bowl, combine all the slaw ingredients and mix thoroughly.
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Kale Slaw

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.

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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.

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Now it’s time to put it all together!

Recipe source: USDA What’s Cooking – USDA Mixing Bowl.

Beef and Veggies Make Ahead Meal

Beef, carrot and potato one dish meal

(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.

potatoes, carrots and garbanzo beans being prepped for a meal

This recipe is quick and easy to make with just a few common ingredients and little preparation.

Beef & Potatoes

Ingredients

  • 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)

Directions

  1. Brown 1 pound ground beef in large skillet, drain the fat.
  2. Add potatoes, carrots, water and seasoning packet to the skillet.
  3. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes and carrots are fork-tender.
  4. Uncover, add beans and cook until excess water evaporates.
  5. 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

ground beef, carrots, potatoes and hamburger meals

Reheat and enjoy your pre-prepped meals within four days of preparing them.

Zane’s Tips:

  • 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.

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Comparison of 93% lean and 80% lean ground beef after browning and removing the fat

Orange Banana Frosty

This Orange Banana Frosty recipe is a perfect way to liven up your meals or snacks. It is not only nutritious, but it is quick and delicious.

Orange Banana Frosty

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.

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

Ingredients:

  • 1 banana (frozen)
  • ½ cup low fat yogurt (plain)
  • ½ orange juice (prepared)

Directions:

  1. Put all the ingredients in a blender and mix well.
  2. You can add more liquid if you want to make the smoothie thinner consistency.
  3. Put in a cup and enjoy (:

Recipe Source: http://www.whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/recipes/supplemental-nutrition-assistance-program-snap/orange-banana-frosty

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

Dietetic student Beth Menhusen and I taped this video (our first!) of how to make a Spinach and Strawberry Salad. Then, we ate it! We hope you enjoy!

Check out more of what Beth is doing on her blog: bethtalksnutrition.weebly.com

 

 

 

Stuffed Bell Pepper

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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!

Yield: 5 servings
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Total time:  1 hour

Ingredients:

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

Instructions:

1.   After washing the bell peppers, cut off the tops and remove the membrane and seeds from the inside.

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Clean, ripe bell peppers ready to be cut!

Peppers after tops are removed

Peppers after tops are removed

2.    In a large bowl, combine ground beef, rice, diced tomatoes, lemon juice and spices! Mix!

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Try whole grain brown rice!

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It may not look pretty yet, but it will soon!

3.   Scoop the meat mixture from Step 2 into the open bell peppers with a spoon!

4.    Put the stuffed bell peppers in a large stock pot on the stove. Add water to the stockpot to a depth of about 1 inch. Cover the stock put and cook on low for 30-40 minutes until rice is soft!

Ready to cook!

Ready to cook!

Enjoy!

Recipe Source: http://recipefinder.nal.usda.gov/recipes/stuffed-bell-peppers

 

Apple Coffee Cake

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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

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Ingredients

  • 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)

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

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2. In a large mixing bowl, combine apples, sugar, raisins, & pecans; mix well. Let stand for 30 minutes.

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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.

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4. Lightly grease a 13-by-9 by 2 inch pan.  Turn batter into pan. Bake 35-40 minutes.

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5. Cool cake slightly before serving.

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6. Serve and Enjoy!

Recipe Source: http://recipefinder.nal.usda.gov/recipes/apple-coffee-cake

Baked Lentils Casserole

Lentils 11 - Final 2

(This blog was created by guest blogger, Mollie Stover, a nutrition exercise health science and dietetic student at the Univerity of Nebraska-Lincoln.)

Are you interested in incorporating more nutritious, meatless meals into your diet?  If you are, this Lentil Casserole is an excellent recipe for you.

This quick and easy recipe provides a delectable lentil-vegetable medley that is rich in protein, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron.

Lentils 1 - Ingredients 2

  • Yield: 5 servings
  • Cooking time: 1 hour
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup lentils (rinsed)
  • ¾ cups water
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (16 ounces)
  • 2 thinly chopped carrots
  • ½ shredded cheddar cheese

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Rinse lentils in a colanderLentils 5 - Colander 2
  3. Combine lentils, water, onion, tomatoes, and seasoningLentils 7 - Tomato and Onion 2
  4. Cover tightly with tinfoil or a lid and bake for 30 minutesLentils 9 - Foil 2
  5. Remove from oven and stir in carrots Lentils 8 - Carrot Addition 2
  6. Cover once again and place in oven for an additional 30 minutes
  7. Remove from oven and sprinkle cheese on topLentils 10 - Cheese 2
  8. Bake, uncovered, for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese has melted
  9. Enjoy!

Recipe Source: University of Wisconsin, Cooperative Extension Service

 

 

BBQ Chicken Pizza

FinishedThis 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

Ingredients
Ingredients:
• 6 English Muffins
• ¾ cup BBQ sauce
• 1 ½ cups chicken (cooked and diced)
• ¾ cup shredded cheese
• 1 chopped bell pepper

Instructions:
1. Preheat oven to 450ᵒ.

2. Measure out all ingredients.

3. Slice English muffins in half and place on an ungreased cookie sheet.

English Muffins

4. Spread BBQ sauce on English muffins.

English Muffins with BBQ
5. Top with remaining ingredients.

Before Baking

6. Bake at 450ᵒ for 7-12 minutes (or until cheese is melted).

7. Enjoy!

All Finished

Recipe source http://recipefinder.nal.usda.gov/recipes/bbq-chicken-pizza

 

Quick Black Bean Soup

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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.

Ingredients

Ingredients
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)

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Instructions
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!

Source:http://recipefinder.nal.usda.gov/recipes/black-bean-soup