Helping families eat healthier for less

Helping families eat healthier for less

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Green and Gold Kiwifruit are Nutrition Superstars

I received free samples of green and gold kiwifruit mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am promoting kiwifruit. I was not compensated for my time.

I just received a package containing green and sungold kiwifruit from Zespri. This is actually the second care package they have sent me as the first one arrived while I was out of town on vacation in Alaska. My next door neighbor enjoyed them thoroughly.

If you've not seen or experienced SunGold kiwifruit, let me try to explain the differences between it and more commonly known green kiwifruit. The gold variety is a little larger, has smoother and hairless skin, its flesh is yellow, and it tastes slightly sweeter but with a tang. The SunGold variety is a cross between gold varieties that Zespri spent 10 years developing through natural crossbreeding methods.

Nutritionally, there are differences between the gold and green. A serving size is 2 medium kiwifruit. The chart below compares the two varieties.   You can see that the sungold has more naturally occurring sugar, potassium and vitamin C.

(based on 2 med fruit)
1 g
0 g
4 g
2 g
sugar (naturally occurring)
13 g
20 g
460 mg
520 mg
vitamin C (% DV)
vitamin E (% DV)

My kiwifruit came with a perfect little spoon/knife for cutting the kiwifruit in half, scooping out the fruit and enjoying.

You can find more information and recipes at

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Back to the Dinner Table with Roasted Pork and Veggies

Slow-cooked pork with vegetables is a family favorite

Recipe Redux’s theme for August is “Back to the Dinner Table.”  It could be a family favorite that has be “ReDuxed” or a current family favorite. For me it is pork roast with a lot of veggies. I didn't eat red meat when I was younger. But, then I moved to the Midwest (Nebraska) and had the best pork I've ever eaten in my life. It converted me. While I don't eat pork roasts often, I love them and this one is a family favorite.

This recipe uses the slow cooker. One pot. Once things are assembled, you can basically forget about it for several hours. The pork is cooked with carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and sweet potatoes in a tomato-based broth. My family loves it.  It's sure to please your's too.

Slow Cooked Roast Pork with Veggies


Non-stick cooking spray
1 2-pound boneless sirloin tip pork roast
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 large sweet onion, peeled and chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 (14.5 oz) can no salt added diced tomatoes
3/4 cup no salt added vegetable broth
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 2-inch strips
1 large or 2 small parsnips, peeled and cut into 2-inch strips
12 ounces baby red potatoes, cut in half or quarters (depending on size)
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes


Spray a large dutch oven with non-stick spray and heat on high heat. When pan is hot, add roast that has been patted dry with paper towels to pan and brown on all sides. Remove browned roast and set in bowl of slow cooker set on high. Return dutch oven to range top and heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic, tomatoes, broth, pepper, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Coat all vegetables well with sauce. Pour mixture into slow cooker on top of the pork roast. Cook for 4 to 6 hours on high (or 6 to 8 hours on low), until pork and vegetables are fully cooked.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutritional Information (1 serving = 3 ounces cooked pork plus 1/8 vegetable mixture):
276 calories, 3.4 g total fat, 0.8 g saturated fat, 5.7 g dietary fiber, 29.0 g protein, 167 mg sodium. One serving provides an excellent source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber.

Cost per Serving: $1.83
Pricing Note: all ingredients were at “regular” prices.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Philly Cheesesteak Breakfast Casserole a Hearty Favorite

Philly Cheesesteak Breakfast Casserole is Sure to Please

I received beef product mentioned in this post at no cost. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by The Beef Checkoff and am eligible to win prizes available associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

I got excited when I heard the Beef Checkoff was offering a recipe contest.  One of the first recipe ideas that came to me was a Philly cheesesteak. I live in northern Delaware, only 40 minutes to South Philly. Cheesesteaks are big here and are many people's favorites. After reading the recipe contest rules, I decided I wanted to do something for breakfast. So, I developed a Cheesesteak Breakfast Casserole that has the red and green bell peppers, onions and provolone cheese combined with an egg/milk/flour mixture. And it all fits into one skillet.

There is new research that shows that eating lean beef as part of a heart-healthy diet and lifestyle can actually help lower your cholesterol levels. In the BOLD study (Beef in an Optimal Lean Diet) published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, study participants consuming lean beef every day as part of a heart-healthy diet saw a 10 percent decrease in their LDL “bad” cholesterol.

How do you identify “lean” cuts of beef? Look for “loin” or “round” in the name. I chose a boneless, trimmed “eye of the round” steak because it is one of the leanest cuts, with only 4.0 grams of total fat and 144 calories per 3-ounce cooked serving and it was less per pound than many of the other cuts in the meat case. For a colorful chart of lean cuts of beef, go to:

Lean beef has less than 10 grams of total fat, 4.5 grams or less of saturated fat, and less than 95 milligrams of cholesterol per 3-1/5-ounce cooked serving.  That means some cuts of beef are as lean as a 3-ounce skinless chicken thigh.

Beef is also loaded with nutrients. A 3-ounce cooked serving provides 48% Daily Value (DV) protein; 44% DV B-12, 40% DV selenium, 36% DV zinc, 26% DV niacin, 22% DV B-6, 19% DV phosphorus, 16% DV choline, 12% DV iron, and 10DV riboflavin.

Many people don’t get enough protein in the morning hours. They do okay at lunch and often get too much protein at their evening meal. The latest research says it is better to spread out your protein throughout the day, aiming for 20 to 30 grams at breakfast,  lunch and dinner.

This Cheesesteak Breakfast Casserole recipe provides 23 grams of protein a serving for a breakfast meal. As I mentioned earlier, it uses only one skillet and prep is easy.  This recipe is kid-friendly, so you can get even your picky eaters to chow down on this breakfast meal. It’s sure to become a family favorite.

Start by freezing eye of the round beef steak, then cutting into thin slices.

Then, brown beef in skillet.

 Then saute sliced onions and bell pepper strips in skillet.

Combine flour, egg and skim milk in a small bowl. Then pour over beef and vegetables in pan. Top with provolone cheese. Bake.

Here is the complete recipe.

Philly Cheesesteak Breakfast Casserole
8 ounces lean “eye of the round” beef steak
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
1/2 sweet onion, peeled and cut into thin strips
3 large eggs
1/3 cup white wheat flour
1/3 cup skim milk
3 slices (2 ounces) thinly sliced reduced-fat provolone cheese, cut into small pieces

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place beef in freezer for 30 to 60 minutes, until just firm. Using a sharp knife, cut into thin strips. Heat oil in large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add beef and stir until lightly browned. Remove beef from pan and set aside. Add bell pepper and onion to skillet and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until soft.

Meanwhile, whisk eggs in small bowl. Add flour and milk and mix just until blended. Set aside.

Add beef back to skillet with peppers and onions. Pour egg mixture over all. Sprinkle with provolone cheese.  Place skillet in hot oven and bake for about 13 to 15 minutes, until set and cheese is lightly browned. Carefully remove skillet from oven (remember handle will be hot) and cut into fourths. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Information per Serving:
277 calories, 14 g total fat, 5 g saturated fat, 186 mg cholesterol, 2 g dietary fiber, 23 g protein, and 371 mg sodium. One serving of this low cost recipe provides an excellent source of protein, vitamins A, B-6, B-12, riboflavin, niacin, and calcium and a good serving of thiamin and folate.