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.

August is National Breastfeeding Month

Happy mother lying on bed with child.Breastmilk provides your baby with the best source of nutrition they can get. However, breastfeeding may not come easily for mom and baby–it takes practice! The key is to do the best you can and get the support you need from healthcare providers trained in breastfeeding support and friends and family. To recognize National Breastfeeding Month, we’re sharing just a few of the many benefits of breastfeeding:


  • For Mom: Moms who breastfeed have a lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes, certain types of breast cancer, and ovarian cancer. Breastfeeding can even help moms lose weight and tighten their bellies. Breastfeeding can also be more convenient than formula feeding. For one, you don’t have to worry about the temperature of the milk. There is no need to sterilize bottles or artificial nipples and you don’t have to buy, measure, or mix formula, which can save valuable time. Breastfeeding bonds mom and baby together, helping them form a special relationship.
  • For Baby: Breastfed babies are less likely to get ear infections, diarrhea, and vomiting, and they have a lower risk of getting type 2 diabetes, asthma, and becoming obese during childhood. Breastmilk is easier for babies to digest than formula, making breastmilk easier on their bellies. In fact, mothers’ bodies naturally adjust the nutrition content of their breastmilk supplying all the baby needs. The closeness of breastfeeding makes babies feel safe and comforted.
  • For Society: Breastfeeding saves babies’ lives. Research shows that if 90% of families exclusively breastfed for the first 6 months of a baby’s life, almost 1,000 infant deaths each year could be prevented. Breastfeeding saves the community money as it prevents illness, which reduces healthcare costs. Formula feeding creates waste for the environment (from formula cans and bottle supplies), so breastfeeding can help reduce waste.

Many women pump and store breast milk so they can return to work. Like any other food, it’s important to store pumped breastmilk properly to keep your baby safe. For tips on storing breastmilk properly, visit https://www.cdc.gov/breastfeeding/recommendations/handling_breastmilk.htm.

There are many opportunities for emotional support as well as help with breastfeeding for breastfeeding moms. Using these resources is key to breastfeeding success. Whether you’re a breastfeeding mom or have a friend or family member who is pregnant or has a baby, keep these options in mind:

  • Lactation Consultant: International Board Certified Lactation Consultants (IBCLCs) are your go-to healthcare providers when it comes to breastfeeding. Lactation consultants are available at hospitals, community health programs like WIC, pediatrician offices, and other locations. Many can even do home visits! Talk to your doctor if you’d like to meet with a lactation consultant.
  • WIC & Community Programs: The Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (called “WIC”) offers breastfeeding counseling and may be able to provide breast pumps and other supplies. To find your local WIC program, visit https://www.fns.usda.gov/wic/breastfeeding-priority-wic-program.
  • Family and Friends: Loved ones can encourage you to breastfeed through all the ups and downs of breastfeeding. They’re the ones there for you when healthcare providers can’t be there (at home in the middle of the night, for example). Family and friends can also offer other help, such as changing the baby, getting the baby ready to be fed, making sure you have enough water to drink and get enough rest, helping around the house, caring for other children at home, and loving and playing with the baby.
  • Other Breastfeeding Moms: Other breastfeeding moms can offer advice, support, and encouragement. There are different ways to connect with other breastfeeding moms at breastfeeding support groups. You can talk to your doctor, who may know about a breastfeeding support group at their office or a nearby hospital. Also, you can check Internet websites like the Nursing Mothers Advisory Council and org to find a breastfeeding support group near you. Your local La Leche League may offer meetings near you where you can connect with other breastfeeding moms.
  • The National Breastfeeding Helpline: You can call 1-800-994-9662 to talk to trained breastfeeding peer counselors who can answer women’s health and breastfeeding questions in English or Spanish. This is a free service and you can call as much as you need!

Breastfeeding is natural and the rewards and benefits of breastfeeding for you and your baby are endless. With the assistance of health care providers, family and loved ones, and other breastfeeding moms, you can get the support to help overcome challenges you may have.


July is National Culinary Arts Month

We’re celebrating National Culinary Arts Month with some tips to make you more confident cooking nutritious meals on a budget for your family! Cooking can be a bit scary if you haven’t had much practice. Hopefully, these ideas will inspire you to give it a try and get creative in your kitchen!

Think of your favorite foods you’ve had eating out at a restaurant or at a friend’s house. Try re-creating one of those dishes at home. The great thing about cooking is that you can control what goes in it. If some of your family’s favorite foods are high in fat, salt, and sugar, you can make healthier versions at home. For example, macaroni and cheese is usually made with white pasta and a lot of fat from butter, whole milk or cream, and full-fat cheese. When you make macaroni and cheese at home, you can use whole wheat pasta instead of white pasta. You can also pick what shape pasta you want! Elbows are a traditional choice, but you can also try penne, rotini, and bow-ties. To lower the fat content, you can use plain nonfat yogurt instead of butter, skim milk instead of whole milk, and low-fat cheese instead of full-fat cheese. You can also add vegetables like peas, broccoli, or tomatoes, as well as white beans to add more filling protein and fiber to your meal. This is a great way to sneak a few vegetables into your family meals.

Spice blends add flavor to the food you cook, but store-bought blends can be expensive and high in salt. Instead, you can make your own homemade spice blends without salt by using individual spices you may already have in your pantry. For more ideas on how to cook with herbs and spices, check out this website. In addition to spice blends, you can add flavor to your food with lemon juice, vinegar, and small amounts of plant-based oil like olive oil.

Cooking a delicious, healthy meal can take time, but there are ways to make it easier. Plan your meals before you go to the grocery store so you’ll have on hand exactly what you need to cook for the week. Also, plan your meals around what ingredients are on sale at the grocery store that week. When you’re cooking, go ahead and double the recipe so you can have leftovers for the next day, or freeze them for another week. Getting five servings of fruits and vegetables in a day can be challenging, but canned and frozen vegetables can be just as nutritious as fresh, and sometimes cheaper when the food you’re buying isn’t in season. Make sure to choose canned and frozen fruits and vegetables without added sugar or salt. Drain and rinse canned vegetables and fruits before you use them to wash away some of the sugar and salt. Having canned and frozen produce on hand is a great way to add fruits and vegetables to any meal in case you don’t have fresh ones to cook with–plus the canned and frozen won’t spoil as quickly!

Lastly, involve your family in the cooking process! Even young children can help with mixing, measuring, stirring, and setting the table. This is a great way to bond as a family and make your family more willing to try what you made since they’ll play a part in the cooking process. Cooking doesn’t always have to be exact, so there’s room to be creative and customize your dishes to how you like them.

What can you cook in your kitchen this week?

-Cara Mowery

Build an Easy Breakfast

Mornings can be a hectic time to get everyone fed and off to the places we have to be often early in the morning. Breakfast may not always be a top priority. However, breakfast is a very important part of the day for you and everyone in your family. For some ideas, Super Healthy Kids has a list of recipes to help make your mornings a little easier: http://www.superhealthykids.com/10-healthy-breakfasts-help-kids-well-school/

Here are some of the highlights:

However you choose to make breakfast a part of your family’s day, be sure keep it simple!


Learn benefits of eating together

Family meals help provide regular, consistent opportunities to create shared experiences that are meaningful and offer a sense of belonging to all. Research has shown that regular and meaningful family meals offer a large variety of benefits to children and parents.

Family meals provide a sense of family unity and identity. Family meals become a vehicle for carrying on valued family traditions, such as having a particularly favorite dish on someone’s birthday or going to a favorite place to eat together on special occasions.

Family meals make a positive impact on young children’s language acquisition and literacy development. Family meals furnish a daily opportunity for a parent or sibling to speak to an infant or toddler, and help them learn words, understand language and build a conversation.

Family meals are associated with improved dietary intake among family members. For example, several large studies have shown that regular family meals are strongly associated with increased consumption of fruits, vegetables, grains and other healthy food choices while also linked with lesser consumption of fried or fatty foods, soft drinks or other less healthy food choices.

Click the link under Source to learn more about strengthening family bonds and improving your family’s wellness here:: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/eatsmart/eat-smart.-play-hard.-magazines-1/2009-eat-smart-play-hard-magazine/test-item



Neha is a Special Projects Assistant for NC EFNEP.


August is Peach Month


One thing that people always think about when the summertime arrives is how sweet the summer peaches will taste. Peaches have various recipes and can taste delicious in anything. Peaches can even be made into a salsa recipe! There are many health benefits to peaches and many interesting facts about them. Peaches can enrich skin health, heart health, eye health, and contain various vitamins and minerals. Peaches are actually members of the rose family and were initially grown in China. There are also different types of peaches depending on how the seed separates from the inner part of the peach. The peaches that don’t separate from the seed easily are called clingstone peaches. The other peaches that do separate from the seed easily are called freestone peaches.

There are many colors that a peach can be including yellow, white, or orange. The color also can indicate the acidity of the peach. The white flesh is less acidic than the golden yellowish orange color. Peaches are also produced in Italy and in China mostly. Peach season is from June until the end of August. Peaches are typically ripe when they are a creamy yellow color or a golden color. Checking peaches with your whole hand is recommended as compared to using your fingertips since peaches bruise so easily.

A large peach has less than 70 calories and has 3 grams of fiber in it. Peaches contain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C. Peaches are not only tasty but nutritious as well and go great with a numerous amount of recipes. The most common food that people think of when it comes to peaches is a peach cobbler, but peaches can be used in very different recipes other than desserts. Peaches can be used to make a peachy chicken salad, peach salsa, and even in muffins! Peaches are great in many ways and can be delicious in various dishes! Here is a great healthy southern peach cobbler recipe for those of you who love peach cobbler and want a healthier recipe!

Healthier Southern Peach Cobbler:  (Makes 4 servings)


  • 8 fresh peaches – peeled, pitted, and sliced into thin wedges
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8-teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ¼ cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 425˚F.

Combine peaches, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, ¼ tablespoon cinnamon, nutmeg, lemon juice, and cornstarch in a large bowl. Toss to coat evenly, and pour into a 2-quart baking dish.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine flour, white sugar, ¼ cup brown sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Blend in butter with your fingertips or a pastry blender until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in water until just combined.

Remove peaches from oven, and drop spoonfuls of flour mixture over them.

Mix together 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 1-teaspoon ground cinnamon. Sprinkle entire cobbler with the sugar and cinnamon mixture. Bake until topping is golden, about 30 minutes.

For more information on peaches and peach recipes/dishes, please visit these links:

Serve and enjoy!

Taylor Davis

Taylor is a student intern working with EFNEP at N.C. Cooperative Extension, Pitt County Center.