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Quick Granola Bars

Finished product1

(This blog was created by guest blogger, Beth Menhusen, a dietetic student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Beth also has her own Blog,

Most of us know that it’s super easy to grab a packaged granola bar on our way out the door, but did you know that you can quickly make your own? This recipe is loaded with nutrients, is cheaper, and has fewer preservatives!


  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3.5 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup coconut


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Peel and grate the carrots. For a little extra money, you could buy a bag of carrot shreds and make this process even faster.

Carrot Collage 2

3. Measure your peanut butter and honey and mix together in a large sauce pan. Cook on low heat until melted.

pb collage

4. Remove the pan from heat and turn off the burner.

5. Add oatmeal, raisins, carrots, and coconut to the saucepan. Stir well, and let it cool until you can safely touch it with your hands.

final collage

6. Put the mix into the baking and press firmly into the bottom.


7. Bake for 25 minutes and then cut into 24 square bars. If you want long rectangular bars like what you purchase at the store, then use a larger, thinner pan.

Recipe Source: Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Program, Pennsylvania Nutrition Education Network
Website Recipe,

Herb Garnishes

Chickpea salad sandwichVenison Tenderloins, Fresh Asparagus and Baby Red SkinsOlivesBlackberry LemonadeMojito Sorbet in Lime CupFancy KFC Part 11
Tomato ConsomméBaking day.Sage and Garlic Roast Turkey RecipeHummus Bruschetta RecipeChicken Noodle SoupTarragon deviled eggs
Bacon, Shrimp & Pastawith linguine, spicy sausage, pecorino and a basil chiffonadeHalibut dinner 72609bCold Cucumber SoupSaladA Fruity Dessert

Herb Garnishes, a gallery on Flickr.

I’ve assembled a Flickr Gallery of interesting pictures that show ways to add color and flavor (without more calories!) to foods with fresh herbs. Enjoy and I hope these provide inspiration to try something new! (NOTE: If you don’t see the gallery in the email version of my blog, check on my blog site to see it.)

Click on the link “Herb Garnishes” under the photos to go to Flickr and see larger versions of the photos, plus my comments on each.

Banana Kale Smoothie

Try a Banana Kale Smoothie - tastes minty and refreshing!

Try a Banana Kale Smoothie – tastes minty and refreshing!

I always thought green smoothies were something other people drank!

Then, bringing home a big bundle of kale from the Farmers Market, I decided to experiment. Here’s the recipe I developed. I think it tastes refreshing and minty. And … I’m now drinking green smoothies!


  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 cup nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 large kale leaf, torn into pieces and without thick pieces of the rib (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 ripe banana
  • Approximately 4 to 6 cubes (smaller ice cubes work better)


  1. Add milk, then yogurt to blender.
  2. Next, toss in the kale.
  3. Break banana into chunks and add to mixture.
  4. Place the ice cubes on top. NOTE: If you’ve never made a smoothie with ice in your blender, check your blender instruction book or look for your manual online on the manufacturer’s website to determine if there are specific guidelines for adding ice to your blender. Some blenders may not be strong enough to break down ice cubes.
  5. Begin blending, starting out on a lower speed and then increasing speed. Puree until smooth.
  6. Enjoy immediately.

Makes 1 very large or 2 medium smoothies.


  1. Place liquids in a blender first. It makes it easier to start the blending process.
  2. To facilitate the mixing process, start at a lower speed and work your way to a higher speed as the bigger pieces get broken up.

Another Tip: Don’t even tell people it’s high in calcium, potassium, vitamins A & C to name just a few nutrients!

Techniques for Chopping Herbs

georgia-chopping tarragon2
A sprinkling of fresh herbs quickly adds appealing color, plus flavor and nutrients to foods. Here’s how to chop them to kick up the taste and nutrition of favorite foods in just a few seconds.


  1. Quickly snip small bundles of chives with a kitchen scissors OR
  2. Cut bundles on a cutting board with a very sharp chef’s knife


Cilantro, parsley, and other
small-leaved delicate herbs:

  1. Remove leaves by hand
  2. It’s OK to include some tender stems

Pulling leaves from thymeThyme, oregano, rosemary, tarragon and other sturdy stemmed, small-leafed herbs:

  • Hold thumb and index finger together; run down the stem in the opposite direction the leaves have grown

bunching-tarragon2Chopping herb leaves into smaller amounts:

  1. Bunch leaves on cutting board
  2. Use a sharp chef’s knife so as not to bruise the leaves

georgia-chopping tarragon2How to cut with a chef’s knife:

  • Place fingertips on tip of a chef’s knife and rock blade briefly back and forth. Re-gather leaves and chop again if a smaller size is desired.

basil-ribbons-2Basil, mint, sage and other large, leafy herbs:

  • A technique called “chiffonade” can be used with these herbs
  • This method cuts these herbs into narrow ribbons

georgia-4-hand-rollHow to Chiffonade:

  • Stack 5 or 6 leaves, and roll tightly

georgia-handsHow to Chiffonade:

  • Cut crosswise into narrow ribbons

For More Info about Herbs: