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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

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

Comfort Food Makeover

Tis the season of cooler weather and comfort foods. Nothing warms up the heart better than savory dishes, such as macaroni and cheese, potato soup, meatloaf, or fried chicken. But while these all-star fare are certainly delicious, they're also heavy and high calorie. Lightening up your favorites can be easier than you think. Simply use less of the unhealthy ingredients or swap them out...

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Posted by Jenna Smith at 2:53PM on 9/19/2014
Categories: Fruits and Vegetables

peanut butter pumpkin dip

Lunchbox Lessons

Now that the kids are back in school, and you suddenly have to get everything prepared for the day, your nights and weekday mornings are probably a little more hectic. But keeping your child's lunch safe should never be compromised. A poorly packed lunch could lead to foodborne illness, which is more common than you think. In fact, each year one in six Americans will have foodborne illness, and...

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Posted by Jenna Smith at 1:33PM on 9/15/2014
Categories: Eating Outside the Home Food Safety Fruits and Vegetables Healthy Snacks Nutrition at School

quiche closeup

How to Make the Perfect Quiche

Quiche. The word alone sounds fancy-shmancy, but don't let the tart pan or the perfect egg to cream ratio scare you. It's doesn't have to be fancy, and it doesn't have to be heavy and high-calorie. Quiche is popular in French cuisine. It's an open face pie filled with a custard made of egg, cheese, and milk or cream, poured into a pie crust, and baked. It can be made lighter by skipping...

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Posted by Jenna Smith at 3:17PM on 9/5/2014
Categories: Breakfast Holidays Nutrition at School

Rainbow Salad2

What Kind of Salad Are You?

When someone asks you to bring a salad to a potluck, do you bring a lettuce, meat, vegetable, gelatin, or dessert salad? You may need more explanation from the potluck planner or you'll just have to guess as to what dish is actually needed and desired! Lettuce salads are typically what most people think of when the term salad is used. When eating out, lettuce salads are often a side dis...

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Posted by Jenna Smith at 1:32PM on 8/26/2014
Categories: Eating Outside the Home Fruits and Vegetables


Is the perfect burger possible?

Burgers are the quintessential all-American grilling favorite. Nothing beats biting into a juicy burger with all the fixings. But when it's dry and under seasoned, it can be a disappointment. Just how do you get the perfect burger? It starts with the right kind of beef. Most grilling experts will recommend a high grade chuck beef that's about 80% lean and 20% fat. However, you can still...

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Posted by Jenna Smith at 10:23AM on 8/22/2014

zucchini pesto noodles

What to Do With Zucchini?

I'm pleased to introduce guest blogger and Illinois State University, Food, Nutrition and Dietetics student, Tessa Spinelli! Since early spring, you have been patiently waiting for your vegetables to grow. Thanks to your hard work, time, and patience, you now have a garden filled with nutritious homegrown vegetables that are ready to be eaten. Home grown vegetables are not the only gift...

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Posted by Jenna Smith at 1:22PM on 8/8/2014
Categories: Fruits and Vegetables

caprese salad

Pass the Cheese, Please

Who doesn't love cheese? Grilled cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, baked lasagna with ooey gooey cheese melted all over it are common cheesy dishes. But with over 2,000 varieties to choose from, it's time to put a little more thought into your cheese choices. Cheese is formed from milk. Milk is curdled by the addition of acid, rennet (enzymes) or bacteria. The mixture separates in...

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Posted by Jenna Smith at 8:58AM on 8/1/2014
Categories: Healthy Snacks