Tamale Pie Recipe

Makes 8 servings


1 pound ground beef, completely browned, crumbled and drained

                      (Can substitute ground turkey or chicken)

1 cup low-sodium whole kernel corn, drained

1 can low-sodium black beans, drained

1 medium green pepper, chopped

1 teaspoon chili pepper

1 cup salsa

½ cup low-fat cheddar cheese, grated

1 8.5 ounce box of Cornbread mix, cooked accordingly to package directions

Non-stick cooking spray


1.Preheat oven to 375 ℉.  Lightly spray or grease a 2-quart casserole dish or baking pan.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the cooked ground meat, corn, black beans, green pepper, chili powder, and salsa.  Mix well.

3. Put in casserole pan and top with grate cheese

4.  cornmeal mix according to the directions, pour over meat mixture.

5. Bake at 375 for 35-45 minutes.

Nutrition information per serving

323 calories, Total Fat 11g, Saturated Fat 5g, Protein 19g, Total Carbohydrate 3g, Dietary Fiber 5g, Sodium 455 mg.

Baked Apples

Makes 2 servings  – Serving Size: 1 apple


• 2 apples

• 2 tablespoons brown sugar

• 1 teaspoon cinnamon


1. Peel apples.

2. Cut apples into 1-inch pieces.

3. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and cinnamon together.

4. Sprinkle apple pieces with brown sugar and cinnamon.

5. Microwave for 30 seconds until soft.

6. Let cool for 1 minute.

Nutrition Information Per Serving

150 Calories, Total Fat 0g, Saturated Fat 0g, Protein 0g, Total Carbohydrate 37g, Dietary Fiber 7g, Sodium 0mg.

Fifteen Minute Bean Soup

Fifteen Minute Bean Soup

Makes 8, One Cup Servings


1 can low-sodium tomatoes, diced

1 can low-sodium great northern beans, rinsed and drained

1 small onion, diced

1 can low sodium chicken broth (or 2 cups of water and one bouillon cube)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 10 ounce package frozen spinach

½ cup whole wheat pasta, uncooked


  1. In a 2 -quart saucepan, combine all ingredients except spinach and pasta. Allow to boil.
  2. Add spinach and stir to break up as spinach thaws and mixture returns to a boil.
  3. Stir in the pasta and simmer until macaroni is tender, about 6-8 minutes.

Nutrition information per serving

121 calories, Total Fat 1g, Saturated Fat 0g, Protein 6g, Total Carbohydrate 24g, Dietary Fiber 5g, Sodium 196mg.

New Year, New Goals – Move More!

New Year, New Goals – Move More!

Did you know that the top four New Year’s Resolutions in 2018 were to eat healthier, exercise more, save more money, and take better care of yourself? We often end our holidays and start our new year with great intentions, but fizzle out before the last decorations have been put away.

Although they can feel impossible, health goals don’t have to be a challenge! Regular exercise can improve mood and mental health, control weight, reduce the risk of chronic disease, and help you sleep better at night. Incorporating more physical activity can be as simple as sitting less and moving more throughout your day. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 30-45 minutes of moderate-intensity activity or 20 minutes of vigorous activity each day for major health benefits.

Regular exercise doesn’t always have to mean a trip to the gym. Here are some helpful tips to make exercise more enjoyable:

  • YouTube workouts: YouTube is full of great workouts for any skill level that can be done from the comfort of your home!
  • Join a community recreation center: many community centers have athletic programs such as softball and kickball that can make exercise both fun and social! Check with your local community center for more information.
  • Go for a walk or play at the park: although the weather can be a bit chilly this time of year, some days are still warmer. Try taking a walk with your kids or visit a local park as a fun way to get the whole family involved!
  • Discount gym memberships: many gyms have discount memberships at the beginning of the year. Check with a local gym to see if they have any deals.

Remember, a resolution doesn’t have to be perfect! Don’t give up if don’t reach your exercise goal every week. Give these exercise tips a try this new year!


Mindful Eating and Portion Control

Do you remember what you ate for breakfast? How about last night’s dinner? Eating is becoming a subconscious act, similar to breathing, we do it every day but our focus is often on other things. We chew and swallow without really tasting our food or we focus on the next bite before enjoying the current one. Many watch television or fiddle with their phone, keeping their attention away from their meal. This can contribute to overeating and weight problems. Think about it. Have you ever mindlessly shoveled in an entire bag of chips or ½ a tub of ice cream while watching a movie?

Mindfully savoring your food can be a great tool for portion control. Not only will you be paying attention to your food but also to your body. Are you still hungry or are you satisfied? Follow the tips below to begin your mindful eating practice.

  1. Start with small portions. Choose smaller bowls and plates.
  2. Use all your senses. When you’re cooking, serving, and eating your food, pay attention to color, texture, smell, and even the sounds different foods make as you prepare them. As you chew your food, try to taste all of the ingredients.
  3. Take small bites. It’s easier to taste food completely when your mouth isn’t full.
  4. Put your fork down between bites. The act of setting your fork down forces you to focus on chewing your food rather than letting yourself mindlessly pick at your plate for your next bite.
  5. Eat in silence. Minimize distractions and make sure you’re eating in a calm environment. Close your eyes if you find your thoughts racing to other things.
  6. Focus on finding the sweet spot between hungry and full. Pay attention to how you feel during the meal and how long you stay satisfied after eating. Eventually, you will get more comfortable understanding your body’s cues for hunger and fullness.  


By Laura Harkins, EFNEP Intern

Eat Better, Eat Together

Family Eating Dinner

Take the time to set your busy schedule aside and focus on enjoying meals as a family. All too often, meals are consumed as an afterthought with hastily thrown together with ingredients and family members eating at all different times. Some may eat in front of the TV, some at the kitchen counter, and some in the car while driving to work. Finding time to gather at the kitchen table may seem impossible but the benefits should not be overlooked.

Benefits of Eating Meals Together

  • Families who eat together are more likely to eat their 5 servings of fruit and vegetables
  • Eating together helps strengthen relationships by allowing for a time to connect
  • Allows parents to “lead by example” and show children proper table manners.

 Tips for Eating Meals as a Family

  • Involve children in meal preparation and clean-up
  • Plan meals before grocery shopping
  • Start with one family meal per week or gradually add more meals together each week.
  • Make family meals a priority by writing it on the calendar

When was the last time you sat down and ate a meal with your family? If you cannot remember, now is a great time to start. Make it a pleasant experience for all and have everyone share how their day went.

by Laura Harkins



Sources: https://www.fcconline.org/the-importance-of-family-mealtime/