Tips and Recipes

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Berry Blast Bars

Makes 12 bars
Serving size: 1 bar

  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup strawberry jam
  • 1 cup strawberries, sliced (or other berries that are in season)


  1. Preheat oven to 350˚ F.
  2. Spray square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  3. Mix flour, oats, sugar, baking soda, salt, egg, butter, vegetable oil, and milk in a large bowl until a doughy mixture is formed.
  4. Measure out 1 1/2 cups of dough and press to the bottom of the pan.
  5. In a separate bowl, stir jam and strawberries together, spread over dough in the pan.
  6. Press the rest of the dough with your hands on top of the jam mixture.   The dough will not completely cover the top.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes and let cool for 15 minutes.
  8. Cut into 12 bars.

Calories per serving: 180

Total fat: 7 grams

All About Potatoes

Potatoes are a starchy vegetable and are widely available year-round across the country. In fact, potatoes are the most-eaten vegetable in the United States! 

The way potatoes are prepared is important. Fried potatoes, like french fries, often contain lots of unhealthy fats and salt. Boiled potatoes can lose some of their nutrients as they cook. When boiling potatoes, leave the skin on until they are fully cooked to help preserve the most nutrients possible. 

In addition to being easy to find, potatoes also contain several nutrients that our bodies need to keep working properly. 

  • Potatoes are a great source of potassium. They contain more potassium per serving than many other fruits and vegetables, including bananas! Potassium helps your nerves and muscles work properly and is important for a healthy heart. 
  • Potatoes are also full of fiber. Getting the right amount of fiber can help reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, and helps you feel full for longer.
  • Potatoes also contain vitamin C, which helps build our bones, teeth, cartilage, skin, and blood vessels. Vitamin C is also an important part of a healthy immune system.

There are many varieties of potatoes, and they all contain slightly different types and amounts of nutrients depending on their variety and where they were grown. Another difference between potato varieties is the type of cooking that works best for each! 

  • White potatoes are always a good choice if you aren’t sure what you plan to make yet. They taste good baked, boiled, and fried!
  • Russet potatoes are great for baking, but not for soups and stews as they will fall apart in the liquid. 
  • Red-skinned potatoes are great boiled, roasted, or lightly fried. 
  • Yellow potatoes are great for boiling because they hold their shape, which means they’ll do well in potato salads, soups, and stews. Yellow potatoes are also great mashed as they are softer and lighter than russet and white potatoes.
  • Blue or purple potatoes are best baked, so they don’t lose their cool colors!

Finally, sweet potatoes are plentiful in North Carolina and are a great source of Vitamin A. Try swapping regular potatoes for sweet potatoes in a recipe!

Corn, Tomato, Avocado & Arugula Salad with Salmon Patties

Enjoy some of summer’s major produce with the enhanced flavor of a two ingredient vinaigrette for a breezy meal. You can serve this salad with any grilled protein but this dish pairs well with these salmon patties. 

Serves 4 

Salmon Patty Ingredients:

  • 1 12-14 oz can of salmon
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread, hand torn
  • 1 cup fresh parsley, chopped 
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten 
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper 
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder 
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 

Salad Ingredients:

  • 2 ears of fresh corn on the cob
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons salt 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper 
  • 3 large tomatoes, quartered 
  • 1 avocado, diced 
  • 1 bag of arugula (about 5 ounces) 

Salmon Patty Directions: 

1. In a medium sized bowl, add the hand torn bread and drain the salmon directly over the bread. 

2. Add the chopped parsley, egg, salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and Dijon mustard to the bowl. 

3. Using a fork, combine all ingredients, making sure all the pieces of the salmon and bread are grounded together. The mixture should be dense. 

4. Using your hands, form the mixture into balls.  

5. Add the one tablespoon of olive oil to a large sauté pan and pan sear each patty for one minute per side. 

6. While the tuna patties are cooking, ready a paper-towel lined plate. 

7. When the patties are cooked to 160˚ F, remove from pan and set aside on paper-towel lined plate.

Salad Directions: 

1. In a large pot bring 2 quarts of water to boil. Add the cobs of corn and cook for four minutes. 

2. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and whisk together. 

3. Add the tomatoes and avocado. Gently toss so that they are coated with the vinaigrette. 

4. Using tongs, remove the corn from the boiling water and allow them to cool for about five minutes. Use a sharp knife on a stable cutting board and cut the kernels off the corn. (You can freeze the corn husk to use for a vegetable stock.) 

5. Add the corn kernels and the arugula to the salad. Toss to combine.

6. Serve immediately with salmon patties.

Peach Buckle

Makes 12 servings

Serving Size: 1 muffin


  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 5-6 very ripe peaches
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup quick cooking oats
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted


1. Preheat oven to 375 ̊F. Spray unlined muffin tin with cooking spray.
2. Peel, slice, and chop peaches. Reserve all juice from peaches.
3. In a small cup or bowl, whisk cornstarch into peach juice until thoroughly combined with no lumps. Pour juice mixture over peaches and stir. Let sit for 5 minutes.
4. Divide fruit and juice mixture among muffin cups.
5. In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients with a whisk or fork.
6. Add egg to dry ingredients and mix with a fork until mixture forms into large crumbles.
7. Spoon crumble mixture over peaches.
8. Drizzle melted butter evenly over crumble of each muffin (about 1 teaspoon) 9. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly and top is brown.

Recipe contributed by Rhonda Church, NC EFNEP Educator

Nutrition Information Per Serving: 103 Calories, Total Fat 5g, Saturated Fat 2g, Protein 2g, Total Carbohydrate 15g, Dietary Fiber 2g, Sodium 160mg. Excellent source of vitamin A.

Chicken Cutlet with Cucumber and Greens

Chicken cutlet is a year-round favorite and a simple way to get more bang for your buck. One boneless skinless chicken breast makes for two hefty cutlets when pounded thin. The surprising addition of crackers goes the distance by adding both crunch and flavor. When paired with a simple summer salad – one full of fresh cucumbers – this meal is sure to be on the summer-time menu plan. 

Serves 4


  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 10 whole-wheat ritz crackers or saltines, pounded to crumbs
  • 1  teaspoon salt, divided 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, divided 
  • 1 egg, beaten 
  • 1 lemon, zested, then juiced 
  • 1 large boneless skinless chicken breast 
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1 bag mixed greens (about 5 ounces) 
  • 1 cucumber


1. On a plate or shallow bowl combine the flour, half the salt, and half the pepper. Mix to combine.  

2. One a separate plate, add the egg, and zest from one lemon. Mix until fairly beaten, without any streaks of white. 

3. On a third plate, add the crushed crackers. (This is a three-step breading station.)

4. Slice the chicken breast in half horizontally and season with salt and pepper. 

5.  Cover with an ample layer of plastic wrap. Using a rolling pin or the back of the sauté pan (that will be used for pan-searing the chicken breast) pound the chicken until it looks like it has doubled in size, but not thickness. Repeat this process for the other half of the chicken breast. Place them on a cutting board

6.  Place a large skillet on medium heat and add the olive oil. 

7. Dredge one piece of the chicken in the flour, then egg, then crackers and place into the skillet. Repeat for the other chicken breast. Wash hands throughly after handling raw chicken.

8. Cook the chicken in a single layer, so that neither breast is touching. Cook for 5 minutes per side, until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165˚ F. Once cooked, transfer the chicken onto a paper towel lined plate. 

9. Cut the cucumber and add it to a large bowl. For added appeal, peel the cucumber alternately then cut it in half half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and then cut horizontally into crescent shapes.

10. Add the remaining salt, pepper, oil, and lemon juice and toss to combine. 

11. Add the mixed greens to the bowl and toss to combine. Serve next to the chicken cutlets. 

© 2021 North Carolina Cooperative Extension
Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP)

North Carolina State University
Agricultural and Human Sciences Department

Cooperative Extension at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University
College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (CAES)