Tag Archives: favorite

Secretly Healthy Lunches Done Right

Secretly Healthy Lunches

We snuck more fruits and veggies into your diet this week with secretly healthy lunches for Fruits & Veggies—More Matters Month.

First up is Cauliflower Crusted Grilled Cheese that skips the bread for veggies.

Cauliflower Crusted Grilled Cheese
Image and Recipe via Kirbie’s Cravings

 

Sneak in even more veggies on today’s salad with Vegetable Based Dressings.

Vegetable Based Dressings

 

Whip up these Hidden Veggie Crockpot Sloppy Joes for a family favorite.

Hidden Veggie Crockpot Sloppy Joes
Image and Recipe via Yummy Healthy Easy

 

Looking for the perfect lunchtime side? Satisfy your chip craving the right way.

Apple Chips
Image and Recipe via Greatist

 

These Mushroom Beef Burgers mix the veggies in for a hearty lunch.

Mushroom Beef Burgers {Gluten Free}

 

California Turkey and Bacon Lettuce Wraps with Basil-Mayo pack in the veggies.

California Turkey and Bacon Lettuce Wraps with Basil-Mayo

 

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Cooking with Fresh Spinach Recipes

Healthy Spinach Recipes

This week, we featured healthy spinach recipes for the in-season veggie.

First up is an easy and savory One-Pot Chicken, Quinoa, Mushrooms, and Spinach.

One-Pot Chicken, Quinoa, Mushrooms & Spinach Recipe

 

Make this Creamy Avocado and Spinach Pasta instead of traditional pesto.

Creamy Avocado and Spinach Pasta

 

This Roasted Garlic Spinach White Pizza is an adult take on your takeout favorite.

Roasted garlic spinach white pizza

 

Spinach Stuffed Salmon is a healthy and interesting fish dinner.

Stuffed Salmon
Image and Recipe via eHow

 

Make this tasty Apple Pecan Feta Spinach Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette for lunch.

Apple Pecan Feta Spinach Salad with Maple Cider Vinaigrette
Image and Recipe via Cooking Classy

 

Spinach and Mushroom Egg White Frittata makes a healthy and light weekend brunch.

 

Sundried Tomato, Spinach, and Cheese Stuffed Chicken will become a family favorite.

Sundried Tomato, Spinach, and Cheese Stuffed Chicken
Image and Recipe via Yammie’s Noshery

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Making the Most of Vegan Meals

Healthy Vegan Meals

This week, we offered healthy vegan meals that are tasty enough for any meat-eater, too.

First up, try these Cozy Vegan Enchiladas with Lime Cream for a beautiful weeknight meal.

Vegan Enchiladas with Lime Cream

everyday eats: cozy vegan enchiladas w/ lime cream

 

Make Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes for a healthy and light dinner that’s actually vegan.

Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes

 

This Vegan Pad Thai with Tofu is a delicious homemade version of the takeout favorite.

Pad Thai Jay with Yellow Tofu

 

With this tasty Vegan Pizza, even people with milk allergies can enjoy a slice.

My Favorite Vegan Pizza

 

Skip the steak but not the comfort with this Vegan Mushroom Stroganoff.

Mushroom Stroganoff
Image and Recipe via One Green Planet

 

Vegan Poblano and Portobello Fajitas bring your restaurant favorite home.

Poblano and Portobello Fajitas

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Featuring Pear Recipes

Healthy Pear Recipes

This week we featured wonderful wintery, pear recipes to help you make the most of the fruit while it’s in season.

Pear Chutney Bruschetta with Pecans and Blue Cheese makes the perfect, rich holiday appetizer.

Pear Chutney Bruschetta with Pecans and Blue Cheese

 

Baked Pears with Walnuts and Honey are a delicious and healthy dessert, which also looks beautiful.

Baked Pears with Walnuts and Honey

 

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Pears and Brie are the perfect winter meal for the holidays.

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Pears and Brie

Skinnytaste Stuffed Chicken Breast with Pears and Brie Recipe

 

This quick and easy Honey Pear Bread is a wonderful way to kick off your weekend.

Honey Pear Bread

 

Pear Sauce made from the in-season fruit is a great substitute for your kids’ favorite apple sauce.

Easy Pear Sauce

 

Cinnamon Pork Chops with Spiced Pears perfectly balances sweet and savory flavors.

Cinnamon Pork Chops with Spiced Pears
Image and Recipe via Favorite Family Recipes

 

Make this Spiced Pear Baked Oatmeal for a hearty holiday breakfast.

Pear Baked Oatmeal
Image and Recipe via Oh My Veggies

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Fresh Fiddlehead Ferns at Your Farmers Market

Making the Most of a Farmers Market

There are lots of reasons to get out to your local farmers market, but going to a farmers market for the first time is very different than going to the supermarket. We can help make sure it goes smoothly with these tips from a farmers market veteran:

1. Prepare.

  • Illinois has a Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program that gives you a free booklet of checks that you can use at local markets. Check it out on the Illinois Department on Aging’s site for details and participating counties and markets .
  • Many vendors only take cash (and some take SNAP and WIC benefits). Some booths only take small bills, 20s and smaller.
  • Many vendors don’t offer bags, so it’s a good idea to bring a few cloth ones you can use.
  • Most markets don’t allow dogs, so leave them at home.
  • Have an idea of what is in stock at that time of year, so you know what to expect. Use this map to find out what’s in season where you live.

2. Check the info booth first. If your market has an info booth, check there before you start shopping. The people working can let you know if there are any special things going on that day, like cooking demos.

Certain markets, like the new Champaign Farmers’ Market downtown, have special deals for SNAP users, so it’s always good to check with the info booth. At their market, they will double up to $20 of benefits per person while funds last when you bring your Link card to the market booth!

3. Go early or go late. If you go early, you will have first pick of the freshest and largest selection. If you go late, some farmers will offer discounts to clear out their stock before heading home.

4. Take a lap. Unless you know your market really well, don’t just buy the first things you see. By walking a lap through the market first, you can get the lay of the land, compare prices and selection, and taste samples.

5. Talk to the farmers. The farmers can answer questions about how the food was grown and harvested, talk about why their produce is or is not organic, offer recipes, give info about something you’ve never tasted, or recommend their favorites.

6. Be mindful. It’s considered rude to squeeze stone fruits, like peaches, plums, or tomatoes, because it can bruise them. And it’s considered rude to open husks of corn before buying them, which can actually make them less sweet. Also, look for whole produce, meaning veggies like carrots and beets with their green tops still whole. These will stay fresh longer, and you can make things like pesto sauces with the greens.

7. Take a risk. Sometimes you find things that are new, different, or even strange at the farmer’s market. This is the perfect opportunity to try something new because the farmers can usually give you advice on how best to use it.

8. Bring a friend or the family. Grocery shopping, unlike the farmers market, can feel like a chore. Take people with you to talk and walk with outside, and the farmer’s market instantly becomes a more fun activity. And you can always save money and split certain produce.

9. Keep it simple. When you’re cooking your food at home, go for simple recipes. Because you bought such fresh produce, you should let it shine. Put fresh wild strawberries over a salad or in a breakfast parfait instead of baking them into a cake. If you’re worried you won’t be able to use all of something you bought you can always freeze it and use the rest later. Use this guide from the FDA to make sure you’re storing and washing produce correctly.

10. Find the right market. Many areas have more than one farmers market within driving distance. If you can, test them all. Large farmer’s markets have a lot of energy, selection, and sometimes even dining options, but smaller markets often have good deals. Find the one that works best for you.

Find farmer’s markets near you. Learn more about which ones take SNAP and WIC, or check out this list of all the farmer’s markets that take Illinois Link Benefits.

Up Next:

Do you really understand what you’re getting when you buy organic? We break it down in Organic 101.

And make sure you’re cleaning your fresh fruits and veggies the right way to keep your family safe.