MARCHing To Better Nutrition…

Hello fellow Hunger Busters! I (Rachel) am so excited because SPRING IS COMING!!! This is by far the best time of the year for produce. There is so much going on with my favorite veggies that I’m bringing you two recipes! We love to plant fresh herbs and a few staple kitchen veggies around our house so they’re ready for late spring/early summer cooking. Have you ever grown something before that you’ve used in your kitchen?

Herbs like basil, mint, rosemary, and thyme are great kitchen herbs to plant during this time of the year, and lessen your need for salt to season your meals.

As far as what’s in season, I am so excited for the GREEN!!! There are asparagus, avocado, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, citrus fruits, greens (lettuce, kale, spinach, etc.), leeks, mushrooms, parsnips, peas, radishes, and sweet potatoes.

A new cooking tip I’ve started doing each week is getting my veggies (Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, radishes, sweet potatoes) and roasting them. I slice them up and roast them with a little olive oil, sea salt, and turmeric (my favorite spice) at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes depending on the veggie. For example, your Brussels sprouts will need to roast longer than the mushrooms or bell peppers.

Kids LOVE those sweet potatoes roasted with olive oil, cinnamon, and sea salt, too!

Also, get your fill of those winter squashes: acorn, butternut, etc. because they’re about to go out of season once the end of April/beginning of May comes around!

Here are those two recipes I promised:

 

Asparagus with Gremolata Sauce

Makes: 6 servings

Total Cost: $5.08

Serving Cost: $0.85

Ingredients:

3 cups asparagus (washed and trimmed)

2 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons lemon peel (grated)

1 garlic clove (large, minced)

2 tablespoons lemon juice (fresh)

Directions:

  1. Cook asparagus in a large pot of boiling water until tender, about 4 minutes.
  1. Drain: rinse with cold water to cool quickly, and drain again.
  1. Pat dry; wrap in a paper towel and then plastic wrap and refrigerate.
  1. Melt butter in a heavy large skillet over medium-high heat.
  1. Add lemon peel and garlic and stir for 30 seconds.
  1. Add asparagus and toss to coat.
  1. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Sauté until asparagus is heated through and coated with Gremolata sauce, about 3 minutes.
  1. Transfer to platter. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Brussels Sprouts with Mushroom Sauce

Makes: 2 servings

Total Cost: $1.59

Serving Cost: $0.79

Ingredients:

2 cups Brussels sprouts (or broccoli, cabbage, kale, collards, or turnips)

1/2 cup chicken broth, low-sodium

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 teaspoon brown mustard (spicy)

1/2 teaspoon thyme (dried)

1/2 cup mushroom (sliced)

Directions:

  1. Trim Brussel sprouts and cut in half. Steam until tender – about 6 to 10 minutes, or microwave on high for 3 to 4 minutes.
  1. In a non-stick pot bring the broth to a boil.
  1. Mix in the lemon juice, mustard, and thyme. Add the mushrooms.
  1. Boil until the broth is reduced by half, about 5 to 8 minutes.
  1. Add the Brussel sprouts (or other cooked vegetable).
  1. Toss well to coat with the sauce.

Along with March bringing us the beginning of our beloved spring produce, it is National Nutrition Month, which means Fernando and I are going ca-RAY-zee getting stuff together for our clients and upcoming events and health fairs. There are so many amazing things going on this month with the Food Bank! We’re going to be at the St. Katharine Drexel Health Fair at Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School in Beaumont on March 5th, so please come by and say hi! 🙂 We’re also going to schools and holding assemblies and parent meetings to promote National Nutrition Month. The new Dietary Guidelines from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics have been released, so we are updating all our stats and info. You can read them HERE. We’re also hosting a Diabetic Health Fair at the West Side Development Center in Port Arthur on the 19th. Be sure to stop by and say hi to Fernando and Amanda there! For more info on that, you can call Amanda at 409-839-8777.

The classes we’re offering this month are: “MISSION:NUTRITION! Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a mystery…” We are going to be helping you learn to pre-plan your meals and shopping lists with meal plans already made as well as going over portion control (trust me, this makes a HUGE difference when shopping on a budget), and adding fresh produce to your recipes.

Another helpful National Nutrition Month activity we recommend is making an appointment with your local dietitian/nutritionist. They can give you personalized advice on the best foods to eat to suit your needs as well as physical activity ideas for you. You can check with your doctor’s office, or HERE to find one in your area. To find out more about dietitians and nutritionists and what they can do for you, click HERE. If you already have one, make sure you let them know about how much you appreciate them, because Wednesday, March 9 is RDN Day!

Speaking of nutritionists and dietitians, this video sums up everything National Nutrition Month is about!

Thanks for stopping by, Hunger Busters! Next month, we’ll be back with some more great recipes and a focus on weight-loss tips!

Dial 2-1-1 for free, bilingual information and referrals for food assistance and other health and human services.

The mission of the Texas WIC (Women, Infants & Children) program is to improve the health of low-income women, infants, and children up to age 5 who are at nutritional risk.

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