Tag Archives: meal

Making the Most of Frozen Food

National Frozen Food Month

It’s National Frozen Food Month, and frozen fruits and veggies are wonderful ingredients to keep on hand.

First up is an easy Fried Rice filled with veggies straight from the freezer.

Fried Rice
Image and Recipe via Life Currents

 

Whip up this light Peach-Mango Sorbet for an easy and refreshing treat.

Peach-Mango Sorbet
Image and Recipe via Williams Sonoma

 

This copycat Corn Salsa is perfect on your burritos or tacos at home.

Chipotle Corn Salsa
Image and Recipe via Food Fun Family

 

Whip up an antioxidant-filled Blueberry Green Tea Protein Smoothie.

Blueberry Green Tea Protein Smoothie
Image and Recipe via The Gold Lining Girl

 

Green Pea Hummus is a vibrant way to get your veggies in.

Green Pea Hummus
Image and Recipe via Virtually Homemade

 

You’d never know this Triple Berry Crumble is so easy because of frozen berries.

Triple Berry Crumble
Image and Recipe via Tastes Lovely

 

Corn and Edamame Succotash is a simple, hearty side for any meal.

Corn and Edamame Succotash
Image and Recipe via Eat Simple Food

National Slow Cooking Month

National Slow Cooking Month

January is also National Slow Cooking Month. Your slow cooker can make meals easier.

First up is Super Skinny Spinach and Artichoke Dip that’s perfect for game day.

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Super Skinny Slow Cooker Spinach and Artichoke Dip

 

Whip up an easy app with these Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks.

Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks

 

Choose Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Potatoes for a great side without effort.

Slow Cooker Garlic Parmesan Potatoes

 

Make bowls, tacos, and more with this Slow Cooker Mojo Pork.

Slow Cooker Mojo Pork
Image and Recipe via Iowa Girl Eats

 

Keep snacks simple with Slow Cooker Applesauce.

Slow Cooker Applesauce

 

Toss the takeout menu and make this Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef instead.

Slow Cooker Broccoli Beef

 

Dessert is done ahead of time with this Slow Cooker Granola Berry Crisp.

Slow Cooker Granola Berry Crisp

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Preparing for the New Year

Healthy Meal Planning

As you get ready to take on a new year, we can help you start meal planning for success.

Use these tips to get started.

So You Want to Start Meal Planning

 

Interested in trying a vegan diet? This meal plan can help you make a smart effort.

Weekly Vegan Meal Plan #1 (Shopping List Included): Zero waste and less effort

 

Learn to mix and match for the perfect meal.

 

Prepare to shop for a smooth trip to the store.

Before You Shop

 

These tips can help you make smart and healthy choices at the grocery store.

Grocery Shop Like a Pro

 

Looking for healthy meals you can prep in advance? These freezer meals are perfect for you.

24 Healthy Freezer-Friendly Dinner Recipes

 

Not much of a cook? Try some of these No-Cook Meal Prep ideas.

No-Cook Meal Prep for the 1,800–2,100 Calorie Level

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School Lunches Done Right

Vantage Point: Eating Like a Grown-Up

With the holidays fast-approaching, I think fondly of my mother. She was a private and commercial cook for over 40 years and was very good about making our family eat balanced meals. Of course, she included my school lunches in that quest as well.

Like every kid, I wanted a lunch just like my friends’. Their menus consisted of:

  • Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches
  • Bags of chips
  • Carrots (only a few)
  • A Twinkie or Hostess cupcake

My mother had other ideas. Here’s an example of what my lunches consisted of:

  • Meatloaf sandwich
  • Cut-up celery
  • An apple or pear
  • A box of raisins

To a sixth-grader, this was so not cool. I pleaded and begged with my mom to change what she was putting in my lunches, to no avail. By high school, I was buying lunch, and she never knew what I ate.

Fast forward to my lunches as an adult. Most days, I eat leftovers from dinner the night before, which works out great because they are well-balanced meals. However, on those days when I am on-the-go out of the office, it’s a little bit more work to eat a balanced meal. I sometimes feel like I am channeling my mother, or she’s haunting me.

I think all of our tastes develop and get more complex as we get older. And with that, healthier eating gets easier, especially if we make the choice. I find myself making that choice by looking for places to eat where the food is served fresh, well-balanced, and healthy.

And every once in a while, I still find myself wanting a Twinkie or a Hostess cupcake, well…just because I can.

Joy Stanford is a community liaison with Health Alliance, serving Thurston County. She’s been involved with Medicare for 20+ years and truly enjoys it. She enjoys gospel, R&B, and country music, and she owns over 100 pairs of shoes.

Old School Lunching

Long View: What Food Group Includes Olive Loaf?

My childhood lunch menu:

Appetizer

  • Banana
  • In-season apple

Entrée

  • Olive loaf sandwich on soft white bread, with lavishly applied mayonnaise (The sandwich had to be cut on the diagonal, or I wouldn’t eat it.)
  • Fresh Fritos in an individual bag serving

Dessert

  • Hostess Ding Dong or Sno Balls

Beverages

  • Sweet tea, chocolate milk, or Kool-Aid

There was little variation in this menu when my brother and I were little kids, and our mom saw little reason to change it. She, and countless other mothers at that time, felt this was a nutritious, filling lunch for 2 growing boys. On the positive side, the Fritos were made from corn, so it counted as a vegetable.

After lunch, Mom expected us to lie down and take a nap. We never went to sleep for some reason, but at least she got a few moments of peace and quiet.

OK, so this was probably not the most nutritious meal we could have eaten, but our supper was usually a well-balanced meal. However, dessert was a nightly occurrence, and a spectacular Jell-O salad often graced the table. Neither my brother nor I seem to have suffered any ill effects. At least not yet.

Remember, this was a time when candy cigarettes and bubble gum cigars were common treats for kids. Flavored sugar water in tiny wax bottles was a Halloween staple, for reasons that are still unclear to me now. SweeTARTS were an odd and unexplainable pleasure, and we ate them by the fistful.

In retrospect, my food preferences have certainly changed over the years. I refused anything with cheese in it, except for a grilled cheese sandwich. I guess in my head, the grilling made it acceptable. I wouldn’t eat a vegetable unless it was cooked to death. That is definitely not the case now. I needed all my seafood encased in a crispy, fried batter, and I remember hating beets. Wait, I still hate beets.

I think we all develop our palates over time and grow to have more complex taste preferences. Healthier eating seems a lot more attainable these days, at least if we make the choice.

But occasionally, I still grow nostalgic for the treats I enjoyed as a child. I recently bought some olive loaf and white bread so that I could recreate my childhood favorite.

It was disgusting.

Patrick Harness is a community liaison with a long history of experience in health insurance. If you ask him to pick a color, he always chooses orange, and he is known for his inability to parallel park.

National Chili Month

National Chili Month

October is National Chili Month, which is perfect for fall tailgating, parties, and meals.

This Turkey Chili with Kale is hearty, filling, and packed with veggies.

Turkey Chili with Kale
Image and Recipe via The Vintage Mixer

 

Dump and forget about this Crockpot Creamy Taco Chicken Chili until dinnertime.

Crockpot Creamy Taco Chicken Chili

Crockpot Creamy Taco Chicken Chili

 

Use your favorite ground meat in this Crockpot Sweet Potato Chipotle Chili.

Crock Pot Sweet Potato Chipotle Chili {Paleo}

 

This Slow Cooker Verde Chicken Chili is nice and spicy for fans of heat.

Slow Cooker Verde Chicken Chili

 

The Best Healthy Turkey Chili is better for you than the classic beef version.

The Best Healthy Turkey Chili

 

Healthy Vegetarian Quinoa Chili is rich and filling, even without the meat.

Healthy Vegetarian Quinoa Chili

 

This Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Chili delivers with big flavor you’ll love.

Roasted Red Pepper Chicken Chili Recipe

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Coming Together and Eating Socially

Recipes for Eating Socially

For Social Wellness Month, we had recipes to help you entertain your closest friends and family and get eating socially.

Make entertaining easy with these 5 quick versions of bruschetta.

Strawberry Bruschetta
Recipe via Today

 

These Individual Salad Cups make it easy to munch healthily at any gathering.

Individual Salad Cups with Rhubarb Vinaigrette

 

Peach and Mozzarella Skewers with Basil and Lime are a simple, tasty app.

Peach and Mozzarella Skewers with Basil and Lime
Image and Recipe via Goop

 

Whip up Spicy Grilled Shrimp Tacos for the perfect party meal.

Spicy Grilled Shrimp Tacos
Image and Recipe via The Healthy Maven

 

This Vegetarian Mezze Platter is an easy app to put out for your next party.

Vegetarian Mezze Platter

 

 

These 8 Infused Water Combos make entertaining delicious and healthy.

8 Infused Water Combos to Keep You Hydrated

 

Watermelon, Cucumber, and Feta Salad Cups are the perfect summer finger food.

Watermelon, Cucumber and Feta Salad Cups

 

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