Mix, Match, and Simmer Your Summer Dinner

Easy dinners after a long day sound nice. You’re in luck! Easy can mean healthy too. Look no further than your own Better Pantry for a yummy, inexpensive soup recipe.

A good pot of soup starts with vegetables. Chop up onions, carrots, and celery before heating them on the stove with oil for the soup’s base. Use any fresh veggies you have in the fridge or canned veggies from the pantry. A bag of mixed vegetables works great if you have some in the freezer. Remember to mix and match your veggies to include lots of colors.

Be sure you also add in a food with protein. Maybe you have leftover chicken breasts in the fridge. Chop these up into bite-sized chunks and add them in with the veggies. A can of beans is another great source of lean protein that adds a hearty touch to vegetable soup. Just be sure to drain and rinse your beans before putting them in. Draining and rinsing can cut the salt content in half!

Next, you should include a grain such as pasta or rice. When you buy pasta from the store, go for whole grain shells or brown rice. Whole grain pasta won’t get soggy when you add it to soup and it’s heart healthy!

To finish off your pot of soup, fill your pot with water or broth. Try to choose a broth low in salt to keep your dish healthy. A can of tomato sauce works too for thicker soups. All you have to do now is leave your soup on the stove to simmer until the family is ready for dinner. Choosing ingredients is truly the hardest part. Try to create fun, new recipes using what you have on hand. Now just enjoy your quick, easy soup! #BetterPantry

roasted meat and vegetable recipe

Build your Own Sheet Pan Meal in 3 Simple Steps

Are you always worrying about what to make your family after you come home from work? With just 10 minutes of prep, you can prepare a simple and tasty sheet pan meal with very little cleanup. All you have to do is put the sheet pan in the oven and allow your food to cook, leaving you with plenty of free time to spend with your family. You have the option of making enough food for one night or making extra to feed your family throughout the week. You can do just this in three simple steps! Continue reading

too much screen time

Reducing Screen Time

If your family is like most Americans, you and your children spend a lot of time looking at screens – watching TV to unwind, checking social media, using a computer at work, playing video games, etc. In fact, most people spend 7-11 hours a day viewing various screens. Some of those activities are necessary, like for work or homework. But a lot of our screen time is for pleasure and is taking a toll on our health. Continue reading

mother and daughter cooking

Better Pantry Cooking Basics

The best first step to eating smart is to cook more at home. Cooking your own meals gives you control over the ingredients. You can also adapt recipes to fit your family’s tastes. Here is a collection of helpful resources showing basic cooking methods that help you cook healthy meals, save time in the kitchen, and most importantly, prepare delicious meals for your family. Continue reading

mother and daughter plant kale

Grow Your Own Food to Eat Smart

We know that making half your plate fruits and vegetables is an important part of eating smart. But getting enough fresh produce can be tough when you’re on a budget or live far from a grocery store. Thankfully, with a little effort and a small investment, you can grow your own nutritious and delicious produce. A Master Gardener from Oregon pulled together an estimate of the net profit (price of food grown – cost of equipment, seeds, fertilizers, etc.) of a home garden. On average, she calculated the value of growing your own food to be $0.74 per square foot of garden space. To put that into more practical terms, a 10-foot x 10-foot garden will give you $74 of fresh produce. Even just a few containers of edible plants can provide more food than the cost of the investment. Continue reading