FACTS FOR FAMILIES: Easy to make, and healthy, back to school meals
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FACTS FOR FAMILIES: Easy to make, and healthy, back to school meals

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Cheri Burcham

Last week I shared Extension Educator Mary Liz Wright’s article on back to school meals. I promised I would share some of her recipes – so here are a few lunch recipes:

Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dip

3/4 cup canned pumpkin

3/4 cup peanut butter

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Mix peanut butter and brown sugar. Add vanilla and pumpkin and stir until well blended. Spread on graham crackers, apple slices, celery sticks or baby carrots. Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator.

Yield: 20 servings, 2 Tablespoons each

Nutritional analysis per serving: 70 Calories, 5 grams fat, 4 grams total carbohydrate, 45 milligrams sodium, 3 grams protein, 1 gram fiber

FACTS FOR FAMILIES: Tips for more creative back to school meals

Crunchy Kale Chips

1 large bunch fresh Kale

Optional seasonings: Salt and pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes

1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Rinse kale and pat dry with a paper towel. Remove the stalks from the kale and discard. Tear the leaves into slightly larger than chip-size pieces (they will shrink). Place the kale into a bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Add the seasonings and toss to coat evenly. Arrange the leaves on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet and place in oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp. Remove immediately from baking sheet and place on paper towels to absorb excess oil. Let them cool slightly and serve.

Yield: 3-4 cups of chips

(May also use Swiss chard instead of kale.)

Nutritional analysis per 1/2 cup serving: 70 Calories, 7 grams fat, 1 gram saturated fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 120 milligrams sodium, 2 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram dietary fiber, 1 gram protein

No-Cook Stir-Fry Salad

1/4 cup low-fat bottled Asian sesame salad dressing

2 Tablespoons rice vinegar

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 (12 oz.) bag broccoli cole slaw

10 oz. boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and chopped

2 cups sugar snap peas

In a large bowl, combine salad dressing, vinegar and red pepper flakes. Add cole slaw, cooked chicken and sugar snap peas and toss until coated with dressing. Cover and refrigerate.

Yield: 4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each

Nutritional analysis per 1 1/2 cup serving: 190 Calories, 4.5 grams fat, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 340 milligrams sodium, 11 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams dietary fiber, 26 grams protein

Peanut Butter Crispies

1 cup peanut butter, plain or chunky 1 cup rolled/quick cooking oats

2/3 cup honey 1 cup crispy rice cereal

1/2 cup dry milk

Combine peanut butter with honey. Add dry milk and stir until well-blended. Add oats to peanut butter mixture and mix well. Make 42 balls (tablespoon size) with peanut butter mixture. Pour rice cereal onto a plate and roll peanut butter balls in rice cereal.

Yield: 48 servings, 1 ball each

Nutritional analysis per serving: 60 Calories, 3 grams fat, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 35 milligrams sodium, 7 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram dietary fiber, 2 grams protein

For more information on family life-related topics, contact Cheri Burcham at University of Illinois Extension at 217-543-3755 or at cburcham@illinois.edu. For more information on University of Illinois Unit 19 programming and to read more helpful articles, visit our website at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/ccdms/index.html or call us at 217-345-7034. Also visit the Family Files Blog at http://web.extension.illinois.edu/hkmw/eb380/


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