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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!

Discover What's Wild About Wild Rice

Unbelievably, wild rice is not actually rice at all. It's a seed of a wild water grass found around the Great Lakes region. Every September, during the Wild Rice Moon, Anishinaabeg people, and other Great Lakes Native American tribes, harvest wild rice in canoes using wooden ricing sticks to knock the rice grains into the boat. It's a long, labor-intensive process, but it is a tradition that ha...

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Enchilada Stuffed Poblano

Pick Your Pepper

Peppers are a common ingredient in so many recipes. Whether you play it safe with a bell pepper or throw in a punch of heat with a hot chile pepper, you are sure to find a pepper that brings a depth of taste to your dishes. The most popular mild peppers are the bell and banana varieties. They can be slightly sweet and will give a sandwich or salad a boost of flavor. Poblano peppers are...

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Baked Beans for your Cookout

Tis the season of summer cookouts, where family and friends gather for an outdoor meal. Whether you're the host or the guest, you'll need an outstanding side dish to accompany the usual grilled entrée. A pot full of baked beans will round out your meal and keep your friends happy and well fed. There are baked beans and then there are Boston baked beans. Baked beans are traditionally mad...

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Freezer Meals in a Flash

In the heat of the summer, "busy" tends to take on a whole new meaning. Aside from the everyday chores, there are now baseball games to attend, swimming lessons to pack bags for, and summer camps to chauffer the kids to. Putting a healthy meal on the table is just another "chore" that can seem daunting, even for a super hero parent. However, with a little prep work, a freezer, and the magic of...

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Quinoa Pixabay

Crazy for Quinoa

Today's blog post is written by Illinois State University dietetic student, Allyson Weier! Switch up your usual side dish with one that is bursting with nutrients and flavor; try quinoa (pronounced keen-wah)! Quinoa looks like a grain and is typically prepared like one, but it is actually a seed. It is native to South America, but because of its high tolerance to differ...

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caprese salad

Tomato and Basil: The perfect match

Like Mickey and Minnie, there are certain foods that just simply belong together. Tomato and basil are the perfect match. The slightly sweet aromatic flavor of basil complements the savory juiciness of a tomato. And the world has taken notice; there are countless dishes that highlight these two stars. Tomato basil soup, margarita pizza, bruschetta and caprese salad are just a few of my favorite...

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Lemon Basil Vinagerette

Lemon Flavored Herbs

On a recent trip to a garden center, I bought what I had thought was sweet basil only to bring it home to realize that it was lemon basil. After pondering what I was going to do with lemon basil, I realized that it really was not much different from other lemon fragranced herbs, such as lemongrass, lemon balm, lemon verbena, or lemon thyme. All are known for their lemon aroma that can bring a r...

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