17

Jun

Cooling Down in the Kitchen


Summer is here – temperature-wise anyway. With the heat outside, it sometimes makes it difficult to want to turn on the oven and stove in the kitchen. Below is a nice solution – a filling (and chilling) recipe from www.eatbetteramerica.com that is easy to make and will fill you up on some nice summer veggies.

Veggie Salad in a Pocket

Prep Time: 20 min
Start to Finish: 2 hr 20 min
makes: 4 servings

1 cup chopped yellow summer squash and/or zucchini
3/4 cup chopped broccoli
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (2/3 cup)
2 tablespoons chopped, pitted Kalamata or ripe olives
2 tablespoons snipped fresh flat-leaf parsley or regular parsley
1/4 cup bottled fat-free Italian salad dressing
3/4 cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (from a 19 oz can)
1 1/2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 6- to 7-inch whole wheat pita bread rounds

1. In a medium bowl, combine squash, broccoli, tomatoes, olives, and parsley; toss with 2 tablespoons salad dressing. Cover and chill for 2 to 24 hours.
2. For hummus: In a food processor, combine cannellini beans, the remaining 2 tablespoons salad dressing, mustard, and salt. Cover and process until smooth and spreadable. (Or mash beans with a potato masher or fork. Stir in salad dressing and mustard.)
3. Cut pita bread rounds in half crosswise; open pita halves to make pockets. Spread hummus inside each pita pocket. Spoon chilled vegetable mixture into pita pockets.

Nutritional Information

1 pocket: Calories 150 (Calories from Fat 20); Total Fat 2g (Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 640mg; Total Carbohydrate 30g (Dietary Fiber 6g, Sugars 3g); Protein 7g

Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 10%; Vitamin C 45%; Calcium 4%; Iron 10%

Exchanges: 2 Starch; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 1/2 Vegetable

Carbohydrate Choices: 2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
Read more articles by Melanie


05

May

Moving From the Crockpot to Spring Eats


Its spring time! All over my friends social media sites I see comments about spring cleaning, baseball, pedicures, flip-flops, gardening, yard-work and playing at the park. For me, in addition to the above, I get excited about the change in the food we eat. Different fruits and vegetables are in season – or coming into season. And as it warms up, I move from the crock pot and oven – to the grill and lighter meals.

Below is a yummy recipe from www.eatbetteramerica.com that is easy to make and sets the mood for spring. It is a lighter meal filled with fruits and vegetables. Make it up for your family or friends this weekend. They are sure to enjoy!

Chicken-Wild Rice Salad with Dried Cherries

Prep Time: 30 min

Start to Finish: 30 min

Makes: 5 servings (1 1/4 cups each)

1        package (6.2 oz) fast-cooking long-grain and wild rice mix

2        cups chopped cooked chicken or turkey

1        medium unpeeled eating apple, chopped (1 cup)

1        medium green bell pepper, chopped (1 cup)

1        medium stalk celery, chopped (1/2 cup)

1/2     cup chopped dried apricots

1/3     cup chopped dried cherries

2        tablespoons soy sauce

2        tablespoons water

2        teaspoons sugar

2        teaspoons cider vinegar

1/3     cup dry-roasted peanuts

1.  Cook rice mix as directed on package, omitting butter. On large cookie sheet, spread rice evenly in thin layer. Let stand 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until cool.

2.  Meanwhile, in large bowl, mix chicken, apple, bell pepper, celery, apricots and cherries. In small bowl, mix soy sauce, water, sugar and vinegar until sugar is dissolved.

3.  Add rice and soy sauce mixture to apple mixture; toss gently until coated. Add peanuts; toss gently.

Nutritional Information
1 Serving: Calories 380 (Calories from Fat 90); Total Fat 10g (Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 50mg; Sodium 950mg; Total Carbohydrate 50g (Dietary Fiber 4g, Sugars 18g); Protein 23g

Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 20%; Vitamin C 45%; Calcium 6%; Iron 15%

Exchanges: 1 1/2 Starch; 1 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 1 Vegetable; 2 1/2 Lean Meat

Carbohydrate Choices: 3
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.


Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
Read more articles by Melanie


28

Jan

Eat Better


Whether it is Rachel Ray’s signature “Yum-O” or Emeril Lagasse’s “BAM!” we all want to make a meal that our family and friends (and yes, us too) will enjoy. Right now in the dead of winter, providing a hot homemade meal is great – I know in my house it is – but we all know that time can be an issue.

Following is a really great, healthy, warm and filling meal shared by www.eatbetteramerica.com. They partner with The Biggest Loser’s Pound for Pound Challenge that benefits the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, Feeding America and other food banks across the nation. This is so easy to do. I double the recipe, add chopped Portobello mushrooms, fresh minced garlic and use beef stock instead of the sherry. I can get it all thrown together and my mess cleaned up in 20 minutes. I just set my Crockpot on low and head out for work, knowing it will be ready to enjoy at the end of the day!

Tender Turkey and Wild Rice

1/2   cup uncooked wild rice, rinsed

1/2   cup chopped carrot

1/4   cup chopped onion (1/2 medium)

1/4   cup thinly sliced celery

1/2   teaspoon seasoned salt

1/2   teaspoon garlic-pepper blend

1/2   teaspoon dried marjoram leaves

1        cup chicken broth

2        tablespoons dry sherry or dry white wine

1        turkey tenderloin (1/2 to 3/4 lb), cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices

  1. In 1 1/2-quart slow cooker, mix rice, carrot, onion, celery, 1/4 teaspoon each of the seasoned salt, garlic-pepper blend and marjoram, the broth and sherry.
  2. Arrange turkey slices over rice mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 teaspoon each seasoned salt, garlic-pepper blend and marjoram.
  3. Cover; cook 5 to 6 hours (if slow cooker has heat settings, cook on low).

Makes two servings


Nutritional Information

1/2 of Recipe: Calories 330 (Calories from Fat 20); Total Fat 2 1/2g (Saturated Fat 1/2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 75mg; Sodium 930mg; Total Carbohydrate 41g (Dietary Fiber 5g, Sugars 5g); Protein 36g

Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 120%; Vitamin C 4%; Calcium 4%; Iron 15%

Exchanges: 2 ½ Starches; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 4 Very Lean Meat

Carbohydrate Choices: 3
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
Read more articles by Melanie


09

Dec

A New Spin on Tacos


Life can get crazy during the holidays.  School programs, work events, holiday shopping, baking and social events with family and friends.  That is a lot to keep up with along with everyday life!

I am one of those folks that believe it is important to get everyone around the table for dinner, but this time of year it can be tough.  Luckily, years ago I purchased a cookbook put out by The Pampered Chef called “The Busy Mom’s Cookbook.”  It has some great and easy recipes where you can make a home cooked meal – in most instances – less than 30 minutes.  One of my kids’ favorites is the Taco Ring.  It is quite simple and the kids can help get it ready too!

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of crescent rolls
  • 1 lbs of lean ground beef (you can use ground turkey or ground chicken)
  • 1 package of taco seasoning
  • 8 oz of the shredded cheese of your choice (I use Monterey Jack & Colby)
  • ¼ cup of water

Directions:

  1. Turn oven onto 350°.
  2. Brown your meat on the stove, draining off any oil.  Add ¼ cup of water and the taco seasoning to the browned meat and simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add the shredded cheese and mix into the meat and seasoning until melted.
  3. On a baking sheet or pizza stone, line up the crescent rolls and overlap the bottom part of the triangle ½ way.  Use a rolling pin or cup to roll over the crescent rolls where they overlap so the dough doesn’t separate.
  4. Next, scoop meat mixture onto the bottom third portion of each crescent roll.  Once this is done, pull the top part of the crescent roll over and touch the bottom part of the roll.  Press firmly. Fold back the top part of the crescent roll and let it lay on top.
  5. Bake in oven for 8 – 10 minutes, until crescent rolls are golden brown.
  6. Serve over a bed of lettuce with sides of salsa, sour cream or guacamole.

This recipe is easy, fast and yummy – a fun twist on tacos!  Something I do is put the crescent rolls on the pizza stone first – before I start browning the meat.  That way they get closer to room temperature and they bake up big and fluffy in the oven.

Just to let you know, The Pampered Chef has a great program called “Round-up From the Heart” where if you purchase any Pampered Chef items, or a special trivet, you can round your bill up to the next dollar and they will donate funds to your local Food Bank.  Since 1992, The Pampered Chef has invested more than $72,000 to help feed Oklahoma’s hungry through this program!  Check out their website, it is great.
Merry Christmas & Happy Cooking!

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
Read more articles by Melanie


20

Sep

Geico Race for Freedom – A Celebration of Life


Recently, I attended and participated in the annual Geico Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) Race for Freedom with some of my coworkers and friends. The Race for Freedom is a community wide walk/run event that is held each fall and sponsored by federal employees to raise money for non-profit organizations – organizations like the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma. (To support the Regional Food Bank in the Combined Federal Campaign, please mark designation code #67922.) This particular event provides an opportunity for the entire community to join together to “celebrate life through philanthropy, fitness and fun.”

After the event, when everyone was waiting to hear the results of the race, I met the Davis family. They lost Wayne Davis – their father, son, husband, friend – when the Twin Towers were attacked on September 11th. The youngest family member, Chai, was eight months old when his father was killed. His mother Tanya had to retire her commission to take care of their two young children. This year, they chose to celebrate the life of Wayne through participation in the Race for Freedom – it was their first time to be a part of the event. They all wore shirts honoring Wayne, and they were there to celebrate. Chai ran the entire two mile family walk/run and came in first place – he was so excited. Erik Salazar and Joey Bowling, race coordinators, awarded Chai his first place medal.

Chai didn’t only race to raise money to help the community – he raced in memory of his father – and inspired many of us with his story. The Davis family plan to attend the event each year bringing more of their family and friends into town to participate.

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
Read more articles by Melanie


The Pound for Pound Challenge has officially ended for the year. Many of us at the Regional Food Bank said goodbye to unwanted and unhealthy weight. As a group, we lost a total of 153 pounds. Everyone who participated is below their start weight – yes! As a group, we lost 6 percent of our total body weight, with one individual losing 12% of their body weight and another losing 11 percent of their body weight.

In addition to our employee weight loss, many Oklahomans pledged to change their lifestyles and lose weight, too. This year, individuals across the nation pledged to lose a total of 6.2 million pounds. Folks in our service area (1,616 individuals) pledged to lose 51,189 pounds! With generous donation of $.14 per pound pledged from the Pound For Pound Challenge, the Food Bank will receive a gift in the amount of $7,166. This gift will allow us to provide more than 50,000 meals those struggling from hunger!

Great job everyone!

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
Read more articles by Melanie


22

Jun


It doesn’t seem possible that we started this journey 24 weeks ago.  Several of those who are participating in the Pound for Pound Challenge at the Food Bank and through our Facebook group have met their personal goals – and maintained. Some of us still have some weight to lose, but now it seems achievable.

The Pound for Pound Challenge ends on June 30th, but the healthy changes you have made in your life need to continue. Keep up the good work, ask for help when you need it, and let someone know when you achieve an important goal. The accountability will help keep you focused on your goals and the task at hand.

If you are finally ready to take control of your health, or if you have and now you have someone who you’d like to support, it isn’t too late to join the Pound for Pound Challenge.  Just go to Pound for Pound Challenge and click on Pledge – then you can enter some basic information and the weight you pledge to lose will be credited to your community’s food bank. For every pound you pledge to lose, your food bank will receive 14¢!

Updates:

Food Bank staff who have joined the challenge are now at 150 pounds lost!  Great job everyone!

Oklahoma has fallen down to 27th place, pledging to lose 79,340 pounds!  Again Oklahoma – it isn’t too late to pledge!!!

Healthified Fresh Citrus Chicken

From eatbetteramerica.com

Get 40 percent of your daily value of vitamin C with a single helping of this double-citrus sautéed chicken. Serve it on a bed of lightly wilted spinach for extra vitamins, calcium and phytonutrients.

Prep Time: 5 min
Start to Finish :25 min
Makes: 4 Servings

1 tablespoon canola oil
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves (1 to 1 1/4 pounds total)
3 cloves garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon finely shredded lime peel
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 teaspoons snipped fresh cilantro
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 medium fresh navel orange

1. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add chicken and garlic; cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink (170ºF), turning chicken once and stirring garlic occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine lime peel, lime juice, cilantro, and crushed red pepper; set aside. Peel and coarsely chop orange. Add lime juice mixture to skillet. Place chopped orange on chicken. Cover and cook for 1 to 2 minutes more or until heated through.
3. Serve any pan juices with chicken and chopped orange.

Nutritional Information
1 Serving: Calories 180 (Calories from Fat 50); Total Fat 4 1/2g (Saturated Fat 1/2g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 65mg; Sodium 60mg; Total Carbohydrate 5g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 3g); Protein 27g
Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 4%; Vitamin C 40%; Calcium 4%; Iron 6%
Exchanges: 0 Other Carbohydrate; 0 Vegetable; 4 Very Lean Meat
Carbohydrate Choices: 0

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
Read more articles by Melanie


17

Jun

$500,000 Inasmuch Grant Fights Hunger!


In an effort to help meet the increased demand for food, the Inasmuch Foundation presented the Food Bank with a generous $500,000 emergency assistance grant to help feed hungry Oklahomans.

Bob Ross, president and CEO of Inasmuch Foundation, said he hopes this grant will help create some stability for our most disadvantaged citizens. Since their first gift in December 1992, the Inasmuch Foundation has committed more than $2 million to the cause.

This grant couldn’t have come at a better time. We are distributing more food than any other time in the history of the org; we distributed more than three million pounds of food in April – which is a 29 percent increase over the same time a year ago.

Thank you so much to the Inasmuch Foundation for your continued commitment to fighting hunger in Oklahoma!

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
Read more articles by Melanie


Last week’s finale of The Biggest Loser was amazing. Seeing how the contestants had continued their weight loss and life changing journeys on their own at home was quite inspiring. Michael ended up winning the title of The Biggest Loser by losing 264 pounds – more than half his weight (526 starting weight)! Just amazing.

After the confetti fell and the show was over, I wondered how many people decided to lose weight; who all tuned into the show for the first time, saw where these folks started, and where they ended up. The Pound for Pound Challenge is still out there. People can still join and pledge to lose weight through June 30th – so it isn’t too late.  Right now, just over six million pounds have been pledged, and thanks to a last minute donation from Kroger, the Pound for Pound Challenge can deliver up 7.7M pounds of food!

Unfortunately, Oklahoma has slipped down from 24th place to 27th – so let’s go Oklahoma!  Make a pledge to yourself today to get healthy and lose weight. Just go to Pound for Pound Challenge and click on Pledge – then you can enter some basic information and the weight you pledge to lose will be credited to your community’s food bank. For every pound you pledge to lose, your food bank will receive 14 cents!

Pound for Pound Challenge Staff Updates:
Food Bank staff who have joined the challenge are now at 140 pounds lost! Great job everyone!

Oklahoma has fallen down to 27th place, pledging to lose 78,725 pounds! Again Oklahoma – it isn’t too late to pledge!!!

White Bean Hummus Pitas


Check out this healthy recipe from eatbetteramerica.com!

Fiber Up With Beans
Cannellini beans are loaded with fiber—the soluble kind that helps to lower blood cholesterol. Start slowly so you have time to get used to more fiber.

Prep Time: 20 min
Start to Finish: 20 min
Makes: 4 servings

Hummus
1 can (15 or 19 oz) Progresso® cannellini beans, drained, rinsed
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 small clove garlic, chopped
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
Sandwiches
4 whole wheat pita (pocket) breads (6 inch), cut in half to form pockets
1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh spinach
4 very thin slices red onion, cut in half
8 thin slices tomato, cut in half

1. In food processor bowl, place all hummus ingredients except basil; process 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. Add basil; pulse to mix.
2. To assemble sandwiches, spoon about 2 tablespoons hummus into each pita bread half. Place spinach leaves, onion and tomato slices in each.

Nutritional Information
1 Serving: Calories 330 (Calories from Fat 45); Total Fat 5g (Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 460mg; Total Carbohydrate 56g (Dietary Fiber 10g, Sugars 6g); Protein 15g
Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 30%; Vitamin C 15%; Calcium 10%; Iron 30%
Exchanges: 3 1/2 Starch; 0 Other Carbohydrate; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat
Carbohydrate Choices: 4
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
Read more articles by Melanie


25

May


A recent episode of The Biggest Loser really got to me. Helen and Erik, both past winners of The Biggest Loser title, came to the ranch to visit with the contestants.

Helen looked great, and personally, I thought she looked even better than at the finale. One thing that she said that gave me pause was that she was so focused on winning the title, that she became obsessed with everything that went into her body,  as well as all of her activities. She had reached her goal, but she was struggling. She finally came to the realization that working out 7 to 8 hours a day wasn’t realistic anymore and had to find a balance – and she did. She is happy and healthy and still living an active lifestyle.

And Erik, he was Bob’s New York deli guy who was the sole Blue Team member left standing for a large part of the season it seemed.  He persevered and ended up winning the season. He was such an inspiration losing 214 pounds. But, not only did his return to the ranch shock the contestants, it got to me as well.

Erik had gained more than half of his weight back. You could see the fear and disbelief in the contestants’ eyes. I cannot even begin to fathom the physical and emotional beatings these contestants go through – and to then see a past winner gain so much weight back…wow. Honestly, I related to Erik. I have lost weight, gained it back. Lost weight, gained it back – more times than I care to admit. But, when talking to everyone – something Erik said clicked because I do it all the time. I’ve done it so much during the Pound for Pound Challenge that my weight loss stalled and has gone up and down. He made excuses.

Erik said he felt lost, that he lost his purpose. He began saying, “Well, a little bit won’t hurt” or and he found himself back at over 300 pounds. Erik has returned to a healthy lifestyle plan. He is doing well and continues to be an inspiration.

What I learned from both these past winners is this: when beginning a healthy lifestyle change – structure is important. Be consistent and journal what you do. It keeps you on task, focused and honest with yourself on what you are doing. It won’t forget those two homemade cookies you ate, the drive-thru lunch you had to grab. Once you reach your goal, you are in a maintenance stage. Your body is burning fuel like it should, so you’ll need to adjust your plan accordingly. Don’t forget all that has been accomplished and think that skipping a workout or eating that second slice of pie will hurt you. Once in a while – it won’t, but turning it into a habit will.

As we move into the season finale, I am refocused. I am not going to quit the Pound for Pound Challenge because I haven’t been nearly as successful as I planned or hoped. How are you doing on the Challenge? If you haven’t joined, it isn’t too late. While the season finale of The Biggest Loser is tonight, but the PFP Challenge goes through June 30th. Join us today to make the change – consider joining the Pound for Pound Challenge. For every pound of weight you pledge to lose, the Pound For Pound Challenge will donate 14 cents to your local food bank.

Pound for Pound Challenge Updates:

Food Bank staff who have joined the challenge are now at 136 pounds lost!  Great job everyone!

Oklahoma has fallen down to 25th place, pledging to lose 76,136 pounds!  Again Oklahoma – it isn’t too late to pledge!!!

Strawberry-Melon-Spinach Salad Recipe

image001
Check out this healthy recipe from eatbetteramerica.com!

Try a variety of fruits for this recipe. Blackberries, raspberries, honeydew melon and grapes add extra color and flavor.

Prewashed mixed salad greens can be used instead of the spinach leaves.

Prepare the dressing up to 2 days ahead of time, and store it covered in the refrigerator. Shake just before using.

10 minutes to the table!
Prep Time: 10 min
Start to Finish: 10 min
Makes:16 servings (1 cup each)

Orange-Honey Dressing
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Salad
12 cups bite-size pieces spinach
2 cups sliced strawberries
2 cups cubed cantaloupe
6 medium green onions, sliced (6 tablespoons)

1. In tightly covered container, shake dressing ingredients.
2. In very large bowl, toss salad ingredients with dressing.

Nutritional Information
1 Serving: Calories 60 (Calories from Fat 15); Total Fat 2g (Saturated Fat 0g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 0mg; Sodium 35mg; Total Carbohydrate 9g (Dietary Fiber 1g, Sugars 8g); Protein 1g
Percent Daily Value*: Vitamin A 60%; Vitamin C 45%; Calcium 4%; Iron 4%
Exchanges: 1/2 Other Carbohydrate; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat
Carbohydrate Choices: 1/2
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony

Melanie Anthony is a Development Manager at the Regional Food Bank. She is an Oklahoma State University graduate and mother of two.
Read more articles by Melanie


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