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Changing the way we cook in the south can sometimes be a real challenge. Here are
tips how to learn to cook healthy and still enjoy many of the foods you grew up with.
Nashville, Ark. – Changing the way we cook in the south can sometimes be a real challenge.
We love our fried chicken with all the fixins, as well as our tasty desserts. Although
it may sound impossible, you can learn to cook healthy and still enjoy many of the
foods you grew up with! Here’s how:
Prepare meals at home. Eating out and using mixes or freezer convenience foods can put on extra pounds and
make us unhealthy. Learn how to prepare foods from “scratch”. You can control the
amount of calories, fat and sodium (the three big things that can make a person unhealthy).
The Cooperative Extension Service offers classes on learning how to cook if you need
to brush up on your cooking skills.
Shop wisely. The key to shopping wisely is to make a list. Be sure to include everything you will
need to prepare healthy meals at home. Make fruits and vegetables a priority when
shopping for food. Take advantage of seasonal produce and review the weekly newspaper
Choose colorful vegetables and fruits. Dark green, deep orange and other dark colors generally signify a high nutritional
content. For instance, red or green leaf lettuce provides more nutrition than does
iceberg lettuce. Spinach in a salad will provide more vitamins and minerals than iceberg
Eat more whole grain. Try to choose brown rather than white rice; whole wheat or other whole grain breads
rather than white or bleached. Whole grain oats, pasta and whole grain cereals are
also great for providing fiber to the diet. Dietary guidelines recommend at least
half your serving of grains should be whole grain.
Choose lean cuts of meat. When buying meat, look for the leanest possible cuts; and opt for skim and low-fat
milk, cheese, and yogurt.
Choose snacks carefully. Making healthy snacks readily available might be the most important factor in helping
your family eats well. Snacks should be within easy grabbing distance --- placed ready
to eat on the table, counter, or wherever your family will pass in search of a snack.
Some great, healthy snack options include:
- Freshly washed grapes, apples, oranges, bananas, pears, kiwi, and other
fruits that are in season
- Baby carrots, broccoli and cauliflower
- Pretzels and baked chips
- Low-fat fruit yogurt
Eating healthy does not need to be a challenge. The best meals should
be enjoyed with family and friends. Eating at home leaves you in total control of
what you eat and how it was prepared.
If you would like more information on healthy cooking at home or to find
out about cooking classes, contact the Howard County Cooperative Extension Service
at 870-845-7517 or visit our office located on the second floor of the courthouse.
Here is a great recipe you can make for your family this week! It is low
in fat, calories and is a complete meal! And it is super easy to prepare!
8 ounce pasta (try whole grain)
3 cups frozen loose-pack broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower
¾ cup skim milk
2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon instant chicken bouillon granules
¾ teaspoon fines herbes
¾ cup plain fat-free yogurt
3 ounces reduced fat shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 Tablespoons fresh parsley, optional
2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta in large saucepan in boiling water according to package directions;
add vegetables for the last 3 minutes of cooking time.
In a medium saucepan stir together milk, flour, bouillon granules, fines
herbes, and one fourth teaspoon pepper. Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture
is thickened and bubbly. Drain pasta and vegetables; transfer to a serving bowl.
Add sauce; toss to coat. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Yield: 4 servings
Nutrition information per serving: 374 calories, 6 grams fat, 498 mg sodium, 58 g
carbohydrates, 21 g protein.
Note: Fines Herbes, pronounced feenz ehrb, is a mixture of finely chopped herbs usually
including chervil, chives, parsley and tarragon. Found in the spice section of the
By Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff ChairThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Jean Ince County Extension Agent - Staff Chair U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service 421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852 (870) 845-7517 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.