Questions or Comments? Email Alice Henneman, MS, RD, Extension Educator 

Cook It Quick Newsletter - April/May 2012

Char's Fruit Dip  Fruitastic Summer Smoothie Vegetable Fried Rice

Char's Fruit Dip

This fruit dip recipe from four extension colleagues who write Nutrition Know How Blog is made from low-fat sour cream, skim milk, instant vanilla pudding crushed pineapple and shredded coconut . It tastes delicious!

What a great way to enjoy  more fruit and dairy in your meals.

It's found on a webpage that includes several dip recipes.

Fruitastic Summer Smoothie Blast

This recipe from Iowa State University Extension is part of their Spend Smart, Eat Smart program.

While purchased smoothies often cost $2.00-$3.00 per serving, this smoothie costs around $0.75 per serving.

Vegetable Fried Rice

 Make this colorful recipe for about $0.71 cents per serving.

Substitute fresh vegetables in season for the frozen vegetables.

For more recipes like this, check Iowa State University Extension's Spend Smart, Eat Smart.



Vegetable Ribbons Cooking with Chives Roasted Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Onions

Vegetable Ribbons

Shave carrots and zucchini into "ribbons" with a vegetable peeler for this colorful dish.

Source: Iowa State University Extension's Spend Smart, Eat Smart.

Foods Come Alive with Chives!

See how to add color and flavor with a sprinkle of chives in this VERY short video from my New Jersey Extension colleague, Joanne Kinsey, and myself.

Herbs can turn the ordinary into extraordinary. Also, learn what you can do with edible chive flowers!

If you enjoy pesto, check out a related video on making pesto from basil.

Roasted Potatoes, Tomatoes & Onions

I enjoyed this dish on a recent trip to Sicily. It was so easy to make that no "recipe" is needed! Here's what I did:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Coat in a small amount of olive oil and roast a single layer of (amounts according to your preference) halved cherry tomatoes, potatoes cut in about 1/2- to 1-inch similiar-sized pieces, and sliced onions.
  3. Roast about 35 to 45 minutes until potatoes are slightly browned and fork tender.
Herb Garden in pots Roasted Brussels Sprouts Lemon Pudding

Planting / Using Fresh Herbs

No space to plant herbs? Try container gardening.

What's the best way to cook with fresh herbs? Learn everything from how to cut them to fresh food and herb combinations at Cooking with Fresh Herbs.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Brussels Sprouts are part of the cabbage family. When roasted they are tender and delicious. Did you know they really do grow on sprouts?

Try this simple Roasted Brussels Sprouts recipe, illustrated in this very short video from Extension colleague, Joanne Kinsey in New Jersey and me.

Lemon Velvet Supreme Pudding

Having young children or grandchildren help in the kitchen is a good way to get them to try new foods. 

Here is a great recipe, from Extension Educator Cami Wells, where kids can have fun measuring ingredients, stirring together yogurt and pudding mix, and crushing graham crackers.

Check out the related "printer-friendly" copy of the recipe for tips of when children can do different cooking tasks.

Decorated Pancake Grilling a hamburger safely tomato  

Adding Fruit to Favorite Foods

Decorating pancakes with a fruit face is a simple, fun way to add  fruit to your children's or grandchildren's breakfast shared by my Extension colleagues in their Nutrition Know How Blog.

Use any leftover fruit from the banana, berries, and mandarin oranges in a salad for lunch or supper.

Grill It Tasty and Safe

Hamburgers from the grill -- delicious! Remember to Grill It Safely!

For an assortment of hamburger recipes from "Classic Beef Cheeseburgers," to "Olympian Burgers," to Calypso Beef Burgers, "visit the Nebraska Beef Council Website and type hamburger in the "Keyword or Ingredient" search feature.

(Image courtesy of The Beef Checkoff)


Storing a Tomato for Best Taste

Did you know the best place to store tomatoes is at room temperature (above 55 F) until they've fully ripened. A ripe tomato is red or reddish orange, depending on variety and yields to slight pressure.

Store them stem end up as the "shoulders" are the softest part and bruise most easily. Keep them out of direct sunlight. If you must store them a longer time, place them (after they've ripened fully) in the refrigerator.


Our goal is to make you “hungry for healthy food” by offering tips and delicious, quick-to-prepare, inexpensive recipes. Preparing these recipes and using the tips will help you increase consumption of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products. At the same time, you will reduce sodium, solid fats, and calories. Food safety tips are included.

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