Tag Archives: seasonal produce

Winter Produce Recipe Round-up 2016

It may not feel like it with the unusually warm weather, but today is the official first day of winter. My favorite part is that starting tomorrow, the days will begin to get longer again. Yay!

Winter is not typically thought of as a prime time for seasonal produce. However, many local farmers are able to offer fruits and veggies that grow in cooler weather or store well. Also, tropical fruits, like citrus fruits, pomegranates, or pineapples, are in season in winter.

Seasonal Winter Fruits and Vegetable Recipes

Winter Produce Recipes

If we finally get some real winter weather, soup is always a great warming comfort food to enjoy.

Winter Soup Recipes

And as a holiday treat, I threw in a few seasonally flavored dessert options, too!

Winter Dessert Recipes

What are some of your family’s favorite winter recipes? Share in the comments!

Matthew’s SNAP Challenge Day 3

Today’s post is part of a series written by a dietetic intern working with us over the past month. As part of their internship experiences, I like to have them do a SNAP Challenge to better understand the experiences of people trying to eat smart on a tight budget. ~Austin

Waking up this morning was not as bad as yesterday. I was a little more hungry this morning than I normally am. I had a glass of milk with overnight oatmeal and added peanut butter to it. By adding peanut butter to the oatmeal, it would help boost my energy, while keeping me feeling full all morning and get me closer to the MyPlate recommendations. I also just love peanut butter!


Overnight Oatmeal, peanut butter and milk

Breakfast kept me going all throughout the morning. Lunch was black beans, chicken and rice with ratatouille, olive oil, garlic powder and ginger powder. I was not rushed to eat lunch today, so I took my time and mindfully ate, just like I have been trying to do with every meal. By eating mindfully, I focused on the flavor of my lunch and paid attention to my body’s hunger and fullness signals. That helped me feel comfortably full from a slightly smaller than usual meal, instead of worrying about the Challenge.


Beans and rice with ratatouille and chicken

I wanted something different for dinner tonight. I was in the mood for some sort of soup since it was cold and rainy outside. I made a butternut squash and apple soup with lentils and chicken. It was a nice addition to my menu because it was seasonal and it hit the spot. The soup, was, to say the least, really good! I actually had to stop myself if I was going to make it last. I ended the night with a glass of milk and an apple with peanut butter.


Butternut squash soup

Apples and peanut butter late snack



After having a couple of days where I was under my calorie needs, I realized that I needed to eat a little more. As a  result, I ate more than I needed. It is possible to eat more calories than is needed in the day while on SNAP benefits. But, often times, the calories come from cheaper, but less healthy foods. This can put a person on a tight food budget at an increased chance of becoming obese.  For me, I could have balanced out my grains and proteins by not eating as much of the soup as I did and adding more rice at lunch and dinner.

Calorie intake

Calories and food groups eaten today (from MyPlate.gov)


Matthew’s SNAP Challenge Day 1

Today’s post is part of a series written by a dietetic intern working with us over the past month. As part of their internship experiences, I like to have them do a SNAP Challenge to better understand the experiences of people trying to eat smart on a tight budget. ~Austin

This morning I was kind of tired after staying up late to work on projects. I am glad that I made overnight oatmeal for breakfast last night. I also had a cup of coffee at work. I was glad someone made a pot of coffee at the office because I needed it!


Overnight Oatmeal

Breakfast was surprisingly filling. About an hour before lunch I was getting hungry. For lunch, I ate rest of my overnight oatmeal from this morning, two celery stalks with peanut butter and an apple. It was healthy, but very light for a lunch.  lunch apple

A light lunch

Oatmeal, celery, peanut butter, and an apple.







My one regret for today was not doing more meal prep yesterday. I was hungry on my way home from work today because of my small lunch, but I had nothing ready to eat. So I went ahead and had some of my snacks – yogurt with mixed berries and an apple with peanut butter. I hope this doesn’t throw off my meal plan for this Challenge!


Yogurt with berries

Yogurt with mixed berries

Healthy snack

Apple with peanut butter







I decided to prep lunch and dinner for at least two days, so that I would not run into the same problem tomorrow. Having that snack was a good idea because I  did not get to eat my dinner until 9 pm. Dinner for that night was black beans, chicken, and rice, with Ratatouille and a glass of milk.

Dinner ratatouille, black bean chicken and  rice

Black beans and rice with chicken and Ratatouille



A glass of milk to go along with a hearty dinner









Today was not a great start since I did not mindfully eat and I did not prep dinner the night before. I did not meet my calorie, grain, and protein needs for the day. I thought that with the oatmeal and rice, I would have met the recommendations for grains. Substituting more grains for vegetables would have helped meet my grains group and calorie needs. I could have eaten more rice and beans to meet the recommendations but, if I had I may not have had enough to last me for the week.

Nutrient analysis for Monday

Calories and food groups eaten today (from MyPlate.gov)