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Eating Well on a Budget Cookbook

Copyright 2012.

The Nutrition and Food Web Archive ( All Rights


Eating well doesnt have to be difficult or expensive. This cookbook will provide you with the resources you need to shop for and prepare meals that are affordable, nutritious and taste great. Get started by using these tips for eating well on a budget: Plan Menus and Write a Grocery List. Plan a nutritious menu each week and make a shopping list based on the menu. This will help minimize impulse buying and keep you from purchasing unhealthy foods you dont need. Buy in Bulk. Bulk foods are often cheaper. Tuna, nuts, olive oil, beans, and other healthy items can be bought in bulk to save money and be stored in your pantry until needed. Frozen chicken breasts, turkey breast, lean beef, and fish bought in bulk can be divided into individual resalable bags and stored in the freezer. Avoid buying large amounts of foods that will go bad quickly such as dairy products, produce, or bakery items. Dont Buy Convenience Foods. Pre-packaged and ready-to-eat foods can be quite expensive. You can save a lot of money by making food from scratch. Home-made food is almost always less expensive and healthier than storebought items. If you buy convenience foods because youre strapped for time try making a couple different dishes at the beginning of the week, portioning them into individual containers, and storing each portion in the fridge for a quick meal later in the week. Eat in Season. Buy fresh fruits and vegetables in season when they generally cost less. If a recipes calls for an out of season fruits or vegetables out of season try substituting it for an in season vegetable or a frozen or canned variety. Canned and frozen fruits and vegetables are often less expensive than fresh produce, especially in the winter when a lot of produce it out of season. Buy Food when its On Sale. Take a look at your grocery stores weekly circular and check the Sunday paper to see what is on sale before you plan your weekly menu and head to the store. Visit the Farmers Market. Foods grown locally and sold at farmers markets are usually cheaper, fresher, and more nutritious than produce sold at the grocery store. Use Coupon Carefully. Coupons can be a great way to save money but only use coupons for food you usually buy. Dont use coupon as an excuse to buy an item that you dont typically eat. It will most likely go to waste. Buy Store Brand Items. Store brand items are almost always cheaper than name brand items and taste the same. Do an experiment next time you visit
Copyright 2012.

The Nutrition and Food Web Archive ( All Rights


the grocery store and compare the ingredients of a name brand vs. a store brand item. The list will most likely be exactly the same or pretty close.

Copyright 2012.

The Nutrition and Food Web Archive ( All Rights


Stocking a Healthy Pantry

Copyright 2012.

The Nutrition and Food Web Archive ( All Rights


Keeping a variety of these basic food stacked in your pantry will allow you to create quick, nutritious meals anytime without making extra trips to the grocery store. Fruits
FRESH Apples Bananas Oranges Pears CANNED Oranges, mandarin Pineapple, canned in juice FROZEN Berries, such as blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries DRIED Raisins, dried cranberries, apricots, unsweetened mangoes, pineapple, etc. FRESH Bell peppers Carrots Cabbage, shredded Lettuce, darker green varieties (Romaine, green leafy, red leaf) Onions(sweet onions are
the most versatile if buy an onion or two weekly)


CANNED (no-salt-added forms available) Corn Tomatoes, diced FROZEN Green Beans Broccoli

or frozen fillets of other varieties Nuts (almonds, walnut,


Peanut butter/other

nut butters (look for

natural varieties)

Pork Loin chops, boneless Turkey cutlets

Dairy Products
Cheese, low-fat cheddar, feta, parmesan, cottage cheese Milk, low fat or fat-free Yogurt, low fat for fatfree (vanilla-flavored
yogurt is especially versatile)

(Consider whole grain varieties whenever possible)

Sour Cream, low fat


Meat, Fish, Beans, Eggs, and Nuts

Beans, canned or

Breads and tortillas Hot and cold cereals Pancake, cornbread, and biscuit mixes Rice Crackers Oatmeal Pasta Flour

Extra Virgin oil for dressing, dipping and drizzling Mayonnaise-type salad dressing (look for light
and low fat varieties)

dry, such as Great Northern, navy, kidney, red, black, pinto beans, etc. (check
for no-salt-added canned varieties)

Potatoes (whites and sweet) Tomatoes (cherry and

grape tomatoes tend to have the best flavor when other tomatoes are out-ofseason) Copyright 2012.

Beef, ground, 9095% lean Chicken breast, skinless Eggs, large (large
suggested because most recipes are designed for use with this size)

Other oils for cooking: canola, corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean, sunflower Soft (tub or squeeze) margarine without trans fat Cooking spray

Fish such as salmon, canned tuna,

Black Pepper

The Nutrition and Food Web Archive ( All Rights Reserved.

Keeping a variety of these basic food stacked in your pantry will allow you to create quick, nutritious meals anytime without making extra trips to the grocery store.
Chicken/vegetable/bee f stock, low sodium Chili Powder Garlic, fresh or dry Herb and spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, basil, dill weed, ginger, oregano, cilantro, rosemary, thyme, cumin, coriander, cloves, saffron, allspice, etc. Mustard, Dijon-type Vanilla Vinegars (consider
vinegar such as balsamic, red wine, cider, white wine, or rice-start with a small bottle and see which you use the most; vinegar easily lasts at least a year)


Salsa Spaghetti Sauce Light soy sauce, oyster sauce, teriyaki sauce, Worcestershire sauce

Sugar, white granulated Sugar, Brown Honey

Copyright 2012.

The Nutrition and Food Web Archive ( All Rights Reserved.

Cooking Techniques

This glossary of the most common cooking methods will help you use the cooking techniques described in many recipes.

Dry-Heat Techniques
Bake/Roast Definition: to cook in a closed environment (namely, an oven) using indirect heat. Roasting is generally done at temperatures above 450 F; baking refers to cooking done at lower temperatures. Equipment: oven, oven-proof pans Roasting is most often used for root vegetables, meats and poultry and baking is generally reserved for breads, pastries, cakes and cookies; it is also useful for warming/re-heating foods. Broil/Grill/Barbecue Definition: to cook food directly over/under hot coals, a fire, or some other heat source. Equipment: Charcoal/gas grill or open fire for grilled; oven for broiling and metal spatula or tongs. Best used for thin cuts of meat and seafood that will cook thoroughly before burning; often the meats are marinated before cooking. Vegetables are also tasty grilled or broiled.

Oil-Based Techniques
Fry/Deep-fry Definition: to cook in a large amount of hot oil (enough to cover the food completely). The ideal frying temperature is between 350F and 375 (too cool and the food will be soggy; too hot and it will burn). Equipment: Large, heavy pot; stove or electric deep fryer, slotted spoon. Frying is most often used for chicken and vegetables Saut Definition: To cook in a small amount of hot oil (butter and olive oil are the most commonly used fats) over direct heat. Equipment: shallow, wide pan (skillet or saut pan), stove, spatula advantages Chopped vegetables, thin pieces of meat or seafood are often sauted Stir-fry definition: a Chinese method of cooking, similar to sauting. Small, bite-sized pieces of food are stirred rapidly and quickly cooked over a very high heat in a small amount of oil (generally vegetable or peanut). Equipment: wok, a large, deep, (traditionally) round-bottomed cooking vessel with a domed cover, stove, metal spatula. Chopped vegetables, thin pieces of meat or seafood are often

Water-based techniques
Blanch/parboil Definition: to drop food into boiling water and cook very briefly (not quite all the way through). Equipment: large pot; stove, strainer or slotted spoon. Blanching and parboiling are most often used for vegetables to retain their color and foods that will be cooked further with other ingredients can be blanched to speed up cooking time. Braise Definition: to cook food in hot oil first, such that the exterior has begun to brown, before adding enough liquid to cover the food and cook it slowly over low heat (up to several hours). Equipment: a large heavy-bottomed pot, stove. Braising is used for meats cooked with vegetables such stews and goulashes Simmer Definition: to cook liquid at a temperature just below the rapid boiling point (releasing very small bubbles to the surface). Equipment: any pot, stove. Sauces, soups, and stews are simmered to allow the flavors to develop further or the liquid to be reduced Steam Definition: to cook food over (but not immersed in) a small amount of boiling/simmering water in a tightly closed vessel. Equipment: large pot or wok; steaming rack, collapsible metal steaming basket, or bamboo steaming basket; stove Steaming is used most often used for vegetables and poultry Stew Definition: similar to braising with the elimination of the initial browning step; food is barely covered in liquid and then simmered over a low heat for a long period of time (can be several hours). Equipment: heavy-duty pot with a lid; stove. Stewing is most often used for meats cooked with vegetables such stews and goulashes

Creating Flavors

MARINADES Marinating is an easy way to season grilled foods and keeps meat and fish moist and tender. Acid-based marinades both tenderize and flavor many different types of foods, not just meats and seafood. Acids such as citrus juices, pineapple, yogurt, buttermilk, and wine tenderize by breaking down the proteins in the foods. Dry marinades or rubs are used to enhance flavor as opposed to tenderize, although some may have some beneficial tenderizing side effects. This type is usually a mixture of herbs and spices, sometimes mixed with oil, which is rubbed into the meat, poultry and seafood. Those recipes using dry rubs usually specify a grill, pan-fry

Tips for Using Marinades The Right Container A shallow, nonreactive dish allows marinade to coat food evenly and is easy to transport to the grill. You can also use a large resealable plastic bag; if marinating meat in the refrigerator, rest the bag on a plate in case of leaks. How Long Do You Marinate? Marinate meat and poultry for at least 30 minutes at room temperature; if marinating longer, refrigerate, turning meat occasionally. Let the meat come to room temperature before grilling. Seafood should be marinated for only 15 to 30 minutes; any longer, and the acid in the marinade will begin to "cook" the fish. Safety Note Because it's not safe to consume marinades used on raw fish or meat, set some aside or broil cooking method.

Marinade Recipes Basic marinade formula: Acid (to tenderize)+ some oil or other liquid, such as buttermilk (to moisten) + and assorted seasonings. Makes marinade for roughly 2 lb. of meat, poultry, or fish. Tangy 1/2 cup olive oil 1/4 cup grainy mustard 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce 2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar 2 teaspoons dried thyme Use this to marinate lamb chops; grill over medium heat until seared outside, pink inside. Let stand, covered, 5 minutes. Deviled 1/2 cup olive oil 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon red or green Tabasco sauce 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

This spicy marinade might overwhelm delicate fish but is appropriate for just about everything else. Japanese 1/2 cup canola oil 1/4 cup rice-wine vinegar 3 tablespoons soy sauce 3 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground ginger 2 tablespoons sugar Besides chicken and fish, this marinade is good with steak, tofu, or vegetables. In place of the vinegar and sugar, try mirin, Japanese cooking wine. Buttermilk 1/2 cup buttermilk 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest 2 tablespoons chopped garlic (3 cloves) Instead of dill, try finely chopped chives. Or substitute limes for the lemons. Use with chicken, fish, or other seafood. Indian 1/2 cup plain whole-milk yogurt 2 tablespoons canola oil 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1 teaspoon ground turmeric 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander The yogurt helps keep chicken especially moist; add chopped fresh cilantro and ginger for a deeper flavor. Caribbean Jerk Marinade 3 scotch bonnet chiles, stems and seeds removed 2 tablespoons chopped green onions 3 teaspoons allspice 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 tablespoons water 1 tablespoon honey 4 teaspoons fresh lime juice 1 teaspoon steak sauce In blender container, combine all ingredients; blend until smooth. Pour mixture over pork cutlets, pork tenderloin, boneless skinless chicken breast halves, or chicken or

pork cubes for kabobs. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes to marinate. Makes 1/3 cup, enough for 4 servings of meat SALSAS, DRESSINGS, AND SAUCES Salsas, dressings, and sauces are simple way to give food flavor. Becoming familiar with these versatile toppings will help you create quick flavorful meals with what youve got on hand in your pantry and refrigerator. Salsas Salsa Fresca 6 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely diced 1 red onion, finely chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1 fresh green chile, seeded and finely chopped 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro salt, black pepper Combine tomatoes, onion, garlic, chile, lime juice, oil and cilantro. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let stand for 30 minutes at room temperature to allow flavors to blend. Serve chilled or at room temperature. Black Bean Salsa 1 Can Tomatoes with Green Chilies 1 Onion, chopped 1/2 Cup Cilantro 1 Fresh Lime 1 Tsp Chopped Garlic 1 Can Black Beans Mix all together & refrigerate until cold. serve with tortilla chips. Roasted Super Sweet Corn Salsa 2 cups roasted frozen corn 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 can (16 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed 1 cup chopped sweet red bell pepper 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1/2 to 1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce 1/2 teaspoon salt In a large bowl, combine corn kernels, black beans, bell pepper, cilantro, lemon juice, hot pepper sauce, salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Serve chilled or at room temperature with grilled meat or fish, if desired.

Apple Salsa 2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and finely chopped 1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies cup lemon juice 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh cilantro 1 clove garlic, minced 1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed teaspoon salt Combine all ingredients and mix well. Mango Salsa 1 mango, peeled and diced 1/2 cup peeled, diced cucumber 1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno 1/3 cup diced red onion 1 tablespoon lime juice 1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves Salt and pepper Combine the mango, cucumber, jalapeno, red onion, lime juice and cilantro leaves and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Dressings Basic Vinaigrette cup white-wine vinegar 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard teaspoon salt 1/8 teaspoon pepper Pinch of sugar cup extra-virgin olive oil In a small bowl, whist together white-wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, salt, pepper, and sugar. Slowly add extra-virgin olive oil, whisking until emulsified. Try these variations of the basic vinaigrette: Garlic Parmesan Add 1 teaspoon minced juice garlic or clove crushed vinegar; add Scallion Add 3 chopped whole crumbled blue Balsamic Substitute balsamic vinegar for white wine vinegar Lemon Use fresh lemon instead of cup grated Parmesan Herb Blue Cheese Add 2 tablespoons chopped Add cup

Scallion (about cup) such as Roquefort

fresh herbs, such as thyme, parsley, or tarragon


Sauces Tomato Sauce 1/4 cup olive oil 1 small onion, chopped 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed (I use about 8 cloves) 2 28-ounce cans Diced tomatoes 1 small can tomato paste Salt and pepper to taste Fresh herbs/dried herbs to taste (oregano, basil, parsley, crushed red pepper, cumin, or chili powder) for added flavor You may also like to try adding these extras for added flavor and variety to the sauce: mushrooms, peppers, eggplant, capers, olives. Pesto Combinations The basic equation: Fresh + Nuts + Cheese + Garlic Olive Oil Herbs/Greens Basil Pine Nuts Parmesan Spinach Walnuts Romano Kale Almonds Pecorino Sardo Parsley Pecan Arugula Garlic Scapes Cilantro Sage Pick an ingredient from each column to create your own unique pesto. Toss all ingredients in a blender and combine. Dark Stir-Fry Sauce Basic equation: (1 tbsp. soy sauce) + (1 tbsp. wine) + (1 tsp. cornstarch) + (1 tsp. water) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well; pour mixture into pan/wok during final minute or two of cooking stir-fry ingredients. Add variety by adding one of the following to the basic sauce equation: tsp. sesame oil 1 tsp. mild vinegar 1 tsp. sugar 1 tbsp. chili bean paste Light Stir-Fry Sauce Basic equation:( c. stock -- chicken, fish, or veggie) + (1 tbsp. cornstarch) + (1 tbsp. water) Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well; pour mixture into pan/wok during

final minute or two of cooking stir-fry ingredients Add variety by adding one of the following to the basic sauce equation: 1 tbsp. white wine/sherry) tsp. sesame oil Ground white pepper to taste SODIUM FREE FLAVORING Most people consume more sodium than recommended. A high-sodium diet can lead to an increase in blood pressure and put you at higher risk for heart disease and stroke. Use these flavor pairings to make great tasting dishes without added salt:

Beef Basil Bay leaf Caraway Curry Dill Dry mustard Garlic Grape jelly Green pepper Mace Marjoram Mushrooms (fresh) Nutmeg Onion or onion powder Parsley Pepper Rosemary Sage Pork Applesauce Basil Caraway Chives Cloves Garlic or garlic powder Onion or onion powder Rosemary

Fish Basil Bay leaf Chervil Curry Dill Dry mustard Green pepper Lemon juice Marjoram Mushrooms (fresh) Paprika Pepper Tarragon Tomato Turmeric

Lamb Cloves Curry Dill Garlic or garlic powder Mace Mint Mint jelly Onion Oregano Parsley Pineapple Rosemary Tarragon Thyme

Eggs Chervil Curry Dill Dry mustard Garlic or garlic powder Green pepper Jelly Mushrooms (fresh) Nutmeg Onion powder Paprika Parsley Rosemary Tarragon Tomato

Chicken Basil Cloves Cranberries Mace Mushrooms (fresh) Nutmeg Oregano Paprika Parsley Pineapple Sage Saffron Savory Tarragon Thyme Turmeric Tarragon Thyme Tomato

Veal Apricots Basil Bay leaf Currant jelly Curry Ginger Marjoram Mushrooms (fresh) Oregano

Vegetables Basil Dill Garlic Ginger Lemon juice Mace Marjoram Nutmeg Onion Tarragon

Desserts Allspice Anise Cinnamon Cloves Ginger Mace Nutmeg Vanilla extract Other extracts



Tomato Vinegar

Save-A- Lot Recipes

The ingredients for all of these nutritious recipes can be found at Save-A-Lot.

Oatmeal Bake Serves 6

3 cups quick oats 1/2 cup packed brown sugar 2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt 2 egg whites 1 egg 1-1/4 cups fat-free milk 1/4 cup canola oil 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1 can (15 ounces) sliced peaches in juice, drained and chopped 1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries In a large bowl, combine the oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Whisk the egg whites, egg, milk, oil and vanilla; add to dry ingredients and stir until blended. Let stand for 5 minutes. Stir in peaches and blueberries. Transfer to a 11x7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with walnuts. Bake, uncovered, at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until top is lightly browned and a thermometer reads 160. Serve with additional milk if desired. Nutrition information: Per serving 277 calories, 1g fat, 8g protein, 38g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, Sodium - 263mg Banana French Toast Serves 2 2 medium bananas 2/3 cup soy or low fat milk 1/4 tsp. powdered cinnamon 4 slices Whole wheat bread Place bananas, milk and cinnamon in blender and blend until smooth. Pour onto shallow dish; soak bread slices 1 minute on each side. Transfer to nonstick or oiled skillet and cook until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Flip and repeat. Nutrition information: Per Serving - 300 calories, 3g fat, 10g protein, 65g carbohydrate, 6g fiber

Breakfast Burrito Serves 1 1/2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

1 egg, beaten 1/4 cup salsa 1/4 cup chopped green pepper 1 wheat flour tortilla 1/4 cup low-fat shredded cheese (part-skim mozzarella) In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Once oil is heated, add beaten eggs and scramble until no longer runny. Place scrambled eggs in the middle of the tortilla. Top with cheese, salsa, and pepper. Roll tortilla, and enjoy. Nutrition information: Per Burrito - 340 calories, 19g fat, 19g protein, 32g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, Breakfast Strata Serves 6 1 small loaf Italian bread cut into 1" cubes 1/2 lb. turkey bacon, cut into 1 peices 2 cups low fat shredded cheese (part-skim mozzarella) 1/2 cup sliced green onion 6 egg whites 5 cups skim milk 1/2 tsp salt In a non-stick baking pan, layer in bread cubes, sausage or bacon, 1 cups of the shredded cheese, and green onions. In a small bowl lightly beat eggs. Stir in milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Pour over bread, trying to wet every piece. Sprinkle with remaining shredded cheese. Cover and refrigerate over night. Preheat oven to 375 F. Bake 45-50 minutes until puffed and golden brown. Serve immediately. Nutrition information: Per Serving - 333 calories, 6g fat, 28g protein, 40g carbohydrate, 2g fiber

Corn Meal Pancakes Makes 12 large pancakes

11/2 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup cornmeal 14 cup granulated sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon baking powder 2 eggs 112 cups low-fat or fat-free milk 1 cup butternut squash pure 3 tbsp vegetable oil 1 tsp vanilla 1 cup fresh or frozen fruit In a large bowl, combine all-purpose flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking soda and baking powder. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, 112 cups of the rmilk, squash pure, oil and vanilla. Whisk into flour mixture. If mixture appears too thick, add up to 12 cup (125 mL) buttermilk to thin. Heat a griddle or large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spray lightly with vegetable cooking spray. For each pancake, pour 12 batter onto griddle and cook until bubbly around the edges, about 3 minutes. Flip and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Serve topped with fruit. Nutrition information: Per pancake - 198 calories, 5.2g fat, 5.7g protein, 33g carbohydrate, 2.5 g fiber Smoothies Smoothies are a great way to pack vitamin and color into your day. They are nutritious refreshing and can be enjoyed anytime of the day. Try your own unique combination of the ingredients below: Fruits + Greens (Optional ) Spinach + Protein + Juice (Optional) Orange Pineapple Mango

Strawberrie Non-fat or Low-fat s Milk Mango Kale Soy Milk Raspberries Low-fat Frozen Yogurt Blackberrie Low-fat vanilla or s plain yogurt Blueberries Silken Tofu Pineapple Bananas Add 4 or 5 ice cubes if using fresh fruit.

Soups and Salads

Try these salad combinations:

FRUIT + Apples Dried Apricots Dried Cherries Figs

VEGETABLES CHEESE + NUTS + + Feta Pine Nuts Goat Cheese Pistachios Shaved Radicchio Gorgonzola Cambozola Hazelnuts Walnuts

EXTRAS Lemon Zest Fresh Mint or Basil Crisp Pancetta Orange Zest, Walnut Oil, or Prosciutto Fresh Mint Crumbled Bacon Cayenne Pepper or Freshly Grated Nutmeg Fresh Basil or Hazelnut Oil

Grapefruit Nectarines Pears


English Stilton Pecans Manchego Macadamia Nuts Shaved Parmesan Curls Goat Cheese or Blue Cheese Pepper Flavored Boursin Cheese Fresh Mozzarella (Boccocini) Walnuts




Pecans (Optional Caramelized) or Toasted Pumpkin Seeds Hazelnuts


Tomatoes or Sun dried Tomatoes Red and Yellow Pepper

Pine Nuts

Fresh Basil

Orange Segments, Dried Cherries


Smoked Gouda

Cashews (Optional Sweet Candied) Coconut, Scallion, Red Onion, Almond Slices Red Onion

Zucchini , Tomato Mango, Pineapple Green Apple


Avocado, Corn, Red Pepper Green Beans Blue Cheese Fennel , Carrot


Parsley, Mint, Red Onion, Lemon Zest Red Onion, Scallions Red Onions Red Onion, Crushed Ginger

Carrot Ginger Soup Serves 4 2 teaspoons canola oil 1 medium onion, chopped 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh ginger root 3 cups carrots, chopped 1 medium potato, peeled and chopped 8 cups vegetable stock Salt to taste Heat the canola oil in a large pot, add the onion and ginger, and saut, stirring, just until the onion is translucent. Add the carrots, potato and vegetable stock. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and boil gently until the vegetables are tender, about 30-45 minutes. Pure the soup in batches in a blender or food processor. Add salt to taste and flavor nutmeg. Nutrition Information: Per serving- 140 calories, 1.5g fat, 25g carbohydrate, 5g fiber Butternut Squash Soup Serves 6 2 tablespoons butter 1 small onion, chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 1 medium carrot, chopped 2 medium potatoes, cubed 1 medium butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cubed 1 (32 fluid ounce) container chicken stock salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste Melt the butter in a large pot, and cook the onion, celery, carrot, potatoes, and squash 5 minutes, or until lightly browned. Pour in enough of the chicken stock to cover vegetables. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 40 minutes, or until all vegetables are tender. Transfer the soup to a blender, and blend until smooth. Return to pot, and mix in any remaining stock to attain desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

Sweet Potato, Carrot, Apple, and Split Pea Soup 1/4 olive oil 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped 1 apple, peeled, cored and chopped 1 onion, chopped 1/2 cup split peas 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 1/2 teaspoon paprika 4 cups vegetable or chicken stock broth Plain yogurt Heat olive oil in heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Place the chopped sweet potatoes, carrots, apple, and onion in the pot. Cook until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. Stir the lentils, ginger, ground black pepper, salt, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and vegetable or chicken stock into the pot with the apple and vegetable mixture. Bring the soup to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the lentils and vegetables are soft, about 30 minutes. Pure the soup in batches in a blender or food processor. Return the pureed soup to the cooking pot. Bring back to a simmer over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes. Add water as needed to thin the soup to your preferred consistency. Serve with yogurt for garnish.

Side Dishes

New Orleans Red Beans Serves 8 1 lb. dry red beans 2 quarts water 1 1/2 cups chopped onion 1 cup chopped celery 4 bay leaves 1 cup chopped sweet green pepper 3 Tbsp. chopped garlic 3 Tbsp. chopped parsley 2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. black pepper Pick through beans to remove bad beans; rinse thoroughly. In a 5-quart pot, combine beans, water, onion, celery and bay leaves. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and cook over low heat for about 1 hours or until beans are tender. Stir and mash beans against side of pan. Add green pepper, garlic, parsley, thyme, salt and black pepper. Cook, uncovered, over low heat until creamy, about 30 minutes. Remove bay leaves. Serve over hot, cooked brown rice, if desired. Nutrition information: Per Serving- 175 calories, 1g fat, 11g protein, 33g carbohydrate, 8g fiber Green Beans with Tomatoes and Herbs Serves 2 1 tsp. olive oil 2 garlic cloves 1 small onion, minced 1 large ripe tomato, diced or can diced tomatoes 1 tsp. minced fresh basil (1/2 tsp dried) 1 tsp. fresh oregano 3/4 lb. trimmed green beans (or 1 pkg. frozen) Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste In nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion and saut 5 minutes. Add tomato, basil and oregano. Cook 2 minutes. Add green beans. Cover and cook 6 minutes. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Nutrition information: Per Serving - 80 calories, 3g fat, 4g protein, 14g carbohydrate, 6g fiber

Mac and Cheese Serves 4 Nonstick cooking spray Salt 4 ounces whole wheat macaroni 1/2 cup onion-garlic puree 1/2 teaspoon dijon mustard Pinch cayenne pepper 1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese 1/3 cup nonfat plain yogurt 1/4 cup whole wheat bread crumbs 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Mist an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray; set it aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add macaroni and cook according to package directions, drain. Meanwhile, bring onion-garlic puree, mustard, and cayenne to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring often. Whisk in cheddar until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in yogurt. In a medium bowl, toss the macaroni with the cheese sauce. Season with salt to taste. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and sprinkle bread crumbs over the top. Top with Parmesan. Bake until Parmesan is melted and macaroni is hot throughout, about 10 minutes. Nutrition Information: Per serving- 237 calories, 17g protein, 31g carbohydrate, 7g fat, 3g fiber Carrot Raisin Salad Serves 2 1/2 pound carrots, shredded 1/3 cup golden raisins 1/3 cup plain yogurt 2 tablespoons mayonnaise 1 teaspoon honey 1 dash cinnamon Combine the carrots, raisins, yogurt, mayonnaise, honey and cinnamon if desired in a small bowl. Chill for several hours or overnight. Serve in a lettucelined bowl

Purple Cabbage Slaw Serves 6 3 carrots, grated head red cabbage, thinly sliced onion, thinly sliced 6 green onions, chopped head napa or Chinese cabbage, thinly sliced 4 inches of fresh ginger , peeled and minces cup olive oil 1 cup white vinegar 2 cloves minced garlic Pepper or hot sauce to taste Combine carrots, cabbage and onions in large bowl. In small bowl, whisk together ginger, oil, vinegar, garlic, and pepper . Add dressing to large bowl and toss to coat. Refrigerate for 2 hours to allow vegetables to soak up dressing. Broccoli Bean Salad Serves 6 1 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained 1 15-oz can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained 1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained 1 16-oz bag frozen cut green beans, steamed until tender 1 16-oz bag frozen broccoli, steamed until tender 1/2 red onion, chopped fine 1 cup fresh, finely chopped cilantro 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 teaspoon black pepper In a large bowl, mix the beans, broccoli, onion, and cilantro. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, and pepper. Add the dressing to the beans. Toss to coat. Chill beans in the refrigerator for several hours, to allow the beans to soak up the flavor of the dressing.

Orange Ginger Brown Rice Vegetable oil 1 medium onion, diced 1 cup brown rice 1 teaspoon orange zest 1 tablespoon finely chopped or fresh ginger 2 cups vegetable stock Salt and freshly ground black pepper Begin by sweating onions in oil in a medium sized pan until they are translucent. Add the rice and saut for 1 minute. Add the orange zest and ginger and cook for 1 more minute. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover the pan with a lid and cook over low heat for 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender. Add salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Main Dishes

Veggie Pita Pizzas Serve 4 4 whole wheat pita bread rounds 1 cup prepared pasta sauce (with vegetables) 1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely diced 1 small zucchini, finely diced 1 small yellow summer squash, finely diced 4 sliced mushrooms 1 tsp. dried oregano 1 tsp. dried basil 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese 4 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On oven rack or in toaster oven, toast pita bread for 1 minute. Remove and allow to cool. Spread cup pasta sauce on each pita round. In medium bowl, combine red pepper, zucchini, yellow squash and mushrooms. Spoon evenly onto pita rounds. Sprinkle teaspoon oregano and basil on each round. Divide mozzarella among pitas. Top each with 2 teaspoons of Parmesan cheese. If desired, sprinkle with a bit of crushed red pepper flakes. Broil, watching carefully, until cheese is melted and bubbly, and pita is hot. Serve immediately. Nutrition information: Per Serving - 172 calories, 5g fat, 9g protein, 24g carbohydrate, 4g fiber Meatloaf Serves 6 1 pound extra lean ground beef 2 cups shredded cabbage 1 medium green bell pepper, diced 1/2 tsp salt 1 Tbsp onion flakes 1/2 tsp caraway seeds (optional) Pre-heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine all ingredients. Place into loaf tin. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours. Nutrition information: Per Serving - 173 calories, 11g fat, 17g protein, 3g carbohydrate, 1g fiber,

Baked Herb Fish Serves 4 1 lb white fish fillets such as cod, halibut, or flounder 2 Tbsp. olive oil 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp thyme leaves 1/4 tsp garlic powder 1/8 tsp pepper 2 bay leaves 1/2 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup white wine Paprika to season Preheat oven to 350F. Wash fish, pat dry and place in baking dish. Combine oil, salt and herbs. Drizzle over fish. Top with bay leaves and onions. Sprinkle with paprika. Pour wine or water over all. Bake uncovered for 20-30 minutes. Serve with lemon wedges. Nutrition information: Per Serving - 150 calories, 4g fat, 21g protein, 2g carbohydrate, 0g fiber Chicken Creole Serves 4 4 small chicken breast halves (1 lb total), skinned, boned and cut into 1-inch strips 1 14-oz can tomatoes, cut up 1/2 cup chili sauce 1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper (1 large) 1/2 cup chopped celery 1/4 cup chopped onion 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil, crushed 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley or 1 tsp dried parsley 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper 1/4 tsp. salt Spray a deep skillet with nonstick spray coating. Preheat pan over high heat. Cook chicken in hot skillet, stirring for 3 to 5 minutes or until no longer pink.Reduce heat. Add tomatoes and their juice, low-sodium chili sauce, green pepper, celery, onion, garlic, basil, parsley, crushed red pepper, and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes. Serve over hot, cooked rice or whole-wheat pasta.

Nutrition information: Per Serving - 270 calories, 3g fat, 43g protein, 17g carbohydrate, 4g fiber Cheesy Chicken, Broccoli and Rice Bake Serves 12 5 cups water 2 1/2 cups brown rice 1/4 cup chopped onion 1 garlic clove, chopped 1 cup skim milk 1 can (10.75 ounces) condensed, 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon pepper 3/4 cup grated low-fat cheddar cheese 2 cups shredded, cooked chicken 2 cups broccoli pieces Preheat oven to 350 F. In large saucepan bring water to boil. Add rice, onion, and garlic. Cook for about 20 minutes or until rice is soft. While rice is cooking combine milk, soup, salt, and pepper, mix well. When rice is done combine with milk mixture, chicken and broccoli, mix well. Grease 9 x 13 pan and pour mixture into pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 18 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake for another 6 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve immediately. Nutrition Information: Per Serving- 240 calories, 2.5 g fat, 39g carbohydrates, 2g fiber Shrimp and Papaya Salad Serves 4 1 papaya, large 1 tablespoon vegetables oil 12 ounces shrimp, cooked and shelled Juice of 1 limes 2 fresh red chiles, seeded and chopped 1 teaspoon light brown sugar 4 scallions, finely chopped Baby salad greens 1 teaspoon fish sauce scoop seeds out of the papaya and slice thinly. Stir gently together with the shrimp. Mix the scallions, chiles, fish sauce, oil, lime juice, and sugar together. Arrange the salad green in bowl and top with papaya and shrimp. Pour dressing over salad and serve immediately.

Love Your Leftovers

Breakfast Brown Rice Serves 1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 tablespoon brown sugar 2/3 cup 1% milk 1 cup leftover cooked brown rice Fresh berries, banana, peaches, or apple to top Combine rice, milk, brown sugar and cinnamon in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat until thick and creamy, about 10 minutes. Spoon into serving bowl, let cool 3 minutes. Top with fresh berries. Chicken Salad Serves 6 1 pound chicken breasts, boneless, skinless 3/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 2 tablespoons freshly chopped chives 1 tablespoon tarragon 1 Granny Smith apple Juice of 1/2 lemon 1 cup finely diced fennel 1/2 cup finely diced celery 2 cups red seedless grapes, cut in half Salt and pepper to taste Combine salt and pepper in a bowl. Heat a large saut pan over medium-high heat. Coat with cooking spray. Sprinkle chicken with some of the salt mixture; place in saut pan. Reduce heat to medium; cover. Cook until chicken is cooked through, about 12 minutes (flip halfway through cooking time). Remove from pan; set aside. In a bowl, combine yogurt, mustard, chives, tarragon, and remaining salt mixture. Core the apple, and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Place in a medium bowl with lemon juice, and toss to combine. Add fennel, celery, and grapes. Cut reserved chicken into 1/2-inch pieces. Add to salad with yogurt dressing; stir to combine. Serve on pumpernickel bread, open-faced, with watercress.

Pasta Salad

Serves 4 2 cups broccoli florets 3/4 cup light mayonnaise 4 cups leftover whole grain pasta 2 tablespoons cider vinegar 2 medium carrots, julienned 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard 5 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped 1 garlic clove, minced 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed 1 teaspoon dill weed 1/2 cup cubed fully cooked ham 1/4 teaspoon pepper 1/2 cup cubed Cheddar cheese 1/3 cup sliced green onions Place 1 inch of water in a small saucepan; add broccoli. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 2-3 minutes; rinse in cold water and drain. In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, pasta, carrots, peas, ham, cheese and onions. In another bowl, combine the dressing ingredients. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Spicy Turkey Chili 2 tablespoons cooking oil 1 onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 pound leftover turkey, cut into thin strips 4 teaspoons chili powder 1 tablespoon ground cumin 2 teaspoons dried oregano 1 teaspoons salt 2 jalapeo peppers, seeds and ribs removed, chopped 1 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes with their juice 2 1/2 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or homemade stock 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed 1/2 teaspoon fresh-ground black pepper In a large saucepan, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook until they start to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the leftover turkey, chili powder, cumin, oregano, and salt. Add the jalapeos, the tomatoes with their juice, and the broth. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Uncover the saucepan and stir in the beans and black pepper. Simmer until the chili is thickened, about 15 minutes longer.

Bread pudding Serves 8

2 1/2 cups low-fat milk 4 large eggs 1/2 cup sugar, divided 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 4 cups cubed, day-old country-style bread, crusts trimmed (4-6 slices), preferably whole-wheat 2 tablespoons raisins 1 teaspoon butter, softened, 2 tablespoons, divided 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, cut into 8 slices each 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice Heat milk in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring, until steaming, 4 to 6 minutes. Whisk eggs in a large bowl until blended; gradually whisk in 1/4 cup sugar. Slowly whisk in the hot milk until blended. Whisk in vanilla, lemon zest and nutmeg. Add bread and raisins (or currants) to the milk mixture; gently fold together. Cover and set aside at room temperature. Butter the bottom and sides of a round 2-quart baking dish with 1 teaspoon butter. Preheat oven to 350F. Put a kettle of water on to boil. Place pear sliced in a medium bowl and toss with lemon juice. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in medium skillet over low heat until hot. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup sugar over the melted butter. Arrange the pear slices on their sides in the pan in an even layer and increase the heat to medium-low and let the pears begin to brown and sauce caramelize. Remove the pan from the heat and carefully turn each pear slice with a fork. Return to the heat and cook until the sauce is uniformly golden, 2 to 4 minutes more. Arrange pear slice in prepared baking dish. Scrape any remaining sauce over the pears. Set the baking dish in a shallow baking pan. Spoon the bread and custard mixture into the baking dish. Place the pan in the oven and carefully add the hot water to the shallow baking pan until it is halfway up the sides of the baking dish. Bake until the pudding is browned on top and set in the center, 1 to 1 1/4 hours. Let cool for at least 45 minutes before serving