The Pulaski County Extension Office will be closed Monday in observance of Memorial Day. Come by the office Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 to 4:30 to receive a free sample of the Pancakes Master Mix.
If thinking about and preparing dinner has you stumped each night or wishing you could just serve tv dinners, meal planning may be the solution for you. When you plan your meals in advance, do your shopping for items needed, then you are ready to cook.
Most likely you will also add more fruits and vegetables to your family menu when you do family planning for your meals. One of the first things to consider in planning your meals is what fresh, seasonal, products are available at the Farmers Market, and at the other sites where the Farmers are selling their fresh produce. You are sure to get the freshest products when you shop locally.
In planning your meals for the week with your family be sure to include vegetables and fruits your family likes. Once you have made out your menu, then make a list of items you need to purchase. Be sure to check your refrigerator, freezer and pantry for food items you may have on hand. You can save money by using the products already available at home. Always check the dates on food items to keep them fresh.
When planning your menu, don't forget to include nutritious snacks for the family. Your children are home from school, and it is a good habit to keep fresh fruits and vegetables for snacking. Your children and family will enjoy those fresh strawberries, apples, blackberries, cantaloupe and other fruits that are in season. As fresh produce becomes available in your garden, other great snacks include raw cucumber slices, carrot sticks, broccoli florets, radishes and green onions. Your family will love grabbing a snack when the food has been chopped and prepped for them in advance.
The activities of your family for the coming week should also be considered when making out a menu. If everyone is busy with activities that will interfere with the evening meal, then you should plan a quick and easy meal, or a grab to go dinner. This may be a sandwich, loaded with green lettuce, tomatoes, onions and cheese on wheat bread, or a cup of left-over soup that has been prepared previously.
Fresh kale makes a delicious soup that is also good served the next day. Kale is also good cooked in broth or fried. Some people like to make Kale chips in the oven that are low in calories, but so nutritious. Kale salad has been served at several restaurants and at delis locally. You can add kale to your smoothies for added nutrition and you can't taste it in the smoothie. Try this Kale Soup for one of your meals.
Vegetarian Kale Soup
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 bunch of kale, stems removed and leaves chopped
64 ounces of low-sodium vegetable broth
15-ounce size can of Diced Tomatoes
6 red potatoes, peeled and cubed
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat for 1 minute. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Stir in the kale and cook until wilted, about 2 minutes. Add the vegetable broth, tomatoes, and potatoes. Simmer about 25 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Season with salt and pepper. This will make 8 - 1 cup serving.
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