Category Archives: Better Pantry

making omelets

Egg-cellent Omelets


Omelets are a tasty, budget-friendly, and easy meal your entire family will enjoy for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Use ingredients you have on hand from your fridge and pantry to make a meal that matches your family’s taste preferences. Simply pair with fresh fruit, and you have a balanced breakfast, lunch, or dinner to serve your family in less than 10 minutes! #BetterPantry

Steps:

Eggs:

Only two eggs from your refrigerator are needed for each omelet! All you have to do is add about 1 tablespoon of water to the eggs and use a whisk or fork to beat the eggs together.

Protein (optional):

Eggs are a great source of protein, but adding more protein is a great way to fill you and your children up. You can add a ¼ cup of leftover meat from your dinner the night before, such as chicken, or you can add canned beans that are already in your pantry!

Veggies:

You can use any vegetables that you already have on hand, and match your family’s taste preferences. About 1 cup of whichever cooked vegetables your family likes is a perfect amount to add in for each omelet!

Cheese (optional):

A sprinkle or two of shredded cheese of your choice!

Now that you understand the many different ingredients that can go into an omelet, check out some of our omelet recipes! You can completely follow these recipes or use ingredients that are already in your pantry or refrigerator!

Veggie-packed omelet

2 eggs

1 dash salt

1 dash pepper

1 Tbsp water

1 handful or ¼ cup of onion, chopped and sauteed in olive oil

1 handful or ¼ cup of red pepper, chopped and sauteed in olive oil

1 handful or ¼ cup of frozen spinach and sauteed in olive oil

1 handful or ¼ cup of mozzarella cheese

Southwest omelet

2 eggs

1 dash salt

1 dash pepper

1 Tbsp water

1 handful or ½ cup canned tomatoes, diced

1 handful or ½ cup canned corn

1 handful or ¼ cup jack cheese

Do you make omelets for your family? What is your favorite omelet recipe? What is your child’s favorite omelet? Let us know in the comments!

Find more resources at:

http://blogs.ext.vt.edu/eatsmart-movemore/

breakfast casserole recipes

Build Your Own Breakfast Casserole

It is easy to prepare a healthy breakfast for your whole family! Breakfast can be simple and budget friendly by combining four food types to build your own casserole! Add protein, veggies, cheese, and your family’s favorite herbs and spices to eggs to make a tasty casserole. Casseroles can be made ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator or freezer to make your mornings simpler. Using leftover meats from dinner and frozen veggies also helps to keep both time and costs down.

Start with your proteins: Start with a base of around 8 eggs. Eggs are budget-friendly and a great source of protein. Then, use lean proteins like chicken breast, ground turkey, turkey bacon, low-fat beef, or beans. This is a great opportunity to use leftover meats from dinner the night before.

Moving onto veggies: Use what vegetables you already have on hand. Spinach, tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and mushrooms all add color, flavor, and nutrients to the dish. Switch between fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables to fit your pantry and preferences.

Add cheeses: Try reduced-fat cheeses to keep it healthier. Mozzarella, cheddar, and feta are all great additions.

Choose herbs and spices: Pick flavors you know your family enjoys! Basil, garlic, thyme, and a little salt and pepper go a long way in making your casserole tasty.

It is so easy to make a casserole tailored to your family’s taste buds! Get the kids involved in helping choose ingredients and making the dish. Kids are more likely to eat food that they have helped to make. Our casserole featured eggs, turkey bacon, peppers, broccoli, cheddar cheese, thyme, salt, and pepper. Our other casserole featured eggs, leftover chicken, spinach, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, basil, and garlic. Refrigerate your casserole after it cools for up to 5 days. Or freeze and microwave until heated for a quick and easy meal for next week. A great tip is to freeze it in individual portions or make smaller portions using a muffin tin. Mornings can be hectic, but breakfast does not have to be stressful anymore. For other simple breakfast ideas head to:  http://blogs.ext.vt.edu/eatsmart-movemore/2017/02/09/quick-and-easy-breakfast-ideas/

Stir fry recipes

Simple and Savory Stir Fry

Finding a meal your family loves that stays within your budget and schedule can be hard. Making a stir fry meal is a quick and tasty way to stay within budget with foods your family enjoys. Stir frys are great for adding flavor and variety to your menu and can easily be modified to fit your family’s taste buds. Mix and match your favorite grains, proteins, veggies, and sauce for a healthy and budget friendly meal. Combine ingredients using these four simple steps to create a new family favorite!

  1. Cook one of your favorite proteins. Options include:
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Shrimp
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Edamame

Keep costs down by picking budget friendly proteins like eggs and canned beans.  Buying meat when it’s on sale and cutting into bite size portions before freezing can save both time and money.  Using meat from another night’s dinner combined with beans is also a time and money saver.

  1. Chop three to four of your favorite veggies. Choices are endless! Options include:
  • Broccoli
  • Snap Peas
  • Baby Corn
  • Zucchini
  • Bell Peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Squash
  • Carrots

Include at least one green veggie in every stir fry to add variety, taste, and color to your dish.  Meals that include more colors are more interesting to kids and have more nutrients too.

  1. Add one of your favorite grains. Options include:
  • Brown Rice
  • Noodles
  • Quinoa

Use whole grains like brown rice or whole-wheat noodles to increase the fiber in your diet and help keep you full for longer periods of time!

  1. Drizzle with one of your favorite sauces or create your own by mixing together:
  • Soy Sauce
  • Broth
  • Vinegar
  • Sugar

Use sauces that you already have in your pantry or create a new, unique favorite!

Use leftovers or ingredients you already have in your pantry or fridge to save time and reduce food waste. To keep the meal within your budget, buy ingredients that are on sale, canned, or frozen.

We choose to make our stir fry with brown rice, chicken, red bell pepper, baby corn, carrots, and broccoli but the combinations are endless! Experiment with different options to make your family’s favorite stir fry. Create a #BetterPantry today!

grain bowl recipe

Build Your Own Grain Bowl

Build your own grain bowl and make an easy, low cost, tasty meal that will help your busy family eat smart. Follow the steps below and use ingredients from your #BetterPantry and you will have a delicious meal that your family will love in no time!

Step 1 – Pick a Base

Choose a whole grain to start your grain bowl. There are lots of tasty whole grains to choose from like brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, or pasta. Whole grains are a great source of heart healthy fiber that will keep your hunger satisfied.

Step 2 – Add Vegetables

Pick your produce and aim for at least one cup of veggies and ⅓ cup of beans for your bowl. Mix and match some of your family’s favorite vegetables so everyone can get in those key nutrients. Mixing raw and cooked vegetables will create an interesting texture profile. You can use frozen veggies as a quick alternative if you are unable to make it to the store to buy fresh produce. Canned black or pinto beans, red kidney beans, or garbanzo beans that you already have stocked in your pantry make a great addition to any bowl.

Step 3 – Add Protein

Add a few ounces of protein. Add lots of flavor by picking a nicely seasoned protein. Pick a lean meat, such as chicken or turkey, seafood high in healthy fats, like salmon, or a fried egg.

Step 4 – Add Sauce

Add a sauce on top to tie your bowl together and add one last flavor punch. Choose from a wide variety of sauces you can find in the supermarket, or might already have in your pantry or fridge. Just a few examples are salsa, teriyaki sauce, balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil, lemon juice, or BBQ sauce.

Here is an example grain bowl to give you an idea:

      1 cup of quinoa

      ½ cup of steamed asparagus

      ½ cup of steamed broccoli

      1/3 cup of white kidney beans

      a few ounces of leftover rotisserie chicken

      a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette

Get started mixing and matching today to find your favorite grain bowl.

Share your creations in the comments!