Monthly Archives: December 2013

“In Season”

By Katie Crabb, Dietetic Intern, Farm to Fork

What Does “In Season” Mean?

Every month you hear about different foods that are “in season.” Have you ever wondered what that means? Well, from apples to asparagus, every produce item has its very own “season.”  This means that items are ripe around the same time each year. For example, have you ever noticed that around November and December, you start to see mandarin oranges in the grocery store and the price of them begins to fall? This is because during that time mandarin oranges are ripe on the tree and ready to be delivered to the store. The price of these oranges falls because there is a large amount of them available to be purchased. These mandarin oranges are “in season” in the winter.

So, what is in season right now?

In December, there are many produce items that are in season at your local grocery store. Right now you should see many vegetables including broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and mushrooms. There are also many citrus fruits like grapefruit, limes, and oranges. You may see all of these items offered at a lower price because they are in season. Now this does not mean that you cannot find these items when they are not in season, however, they may be more expensive because they are not grown locally and will need to travel further to get to your local grocery store. To see what is in season at anytime in California, check out the California Farm to Fork website!

What is in season all year?

All year round you should be able to find some items that are not perishable such as dried fruits, dried beans, rice, and nuts. There are also produce items grown in California that are available all year round such as carrots.

What can I make with foods in season at a reasonable cost?

Eating fresh fruits and vegetables can be costly and time-consuming, however, with the right recipe, eating healthy can be hassle-free. Here is a recipe using produce items that are in season during the winter months all with a total serving cost of $0.57 ($3.42 for total recipe) and preparation time of around 30 minutes. You can also create your own quiche using vegetables that are in season during other months, too!

Vegetable Quiche

Ingredients

1 Pie Crust (9-inch)
1 stalk Broccoli
½ cup Mushrooms
½ stalk Celery
½ cup Cheese
3 Eggs
1 cup Milk (non-fat)
½ tsp. Salk
½ tsp. Pepper
½ tsp. Garlic powder

 

Makes 6 servings

 

 

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Follow directions to pre-bake pie crust.
  3. Shred cheese into small bowl and set aside.
  4. Chop vegetables into bite-sized pieces.
  5. Sautee vegetables for 3-5 minutes.
  6. Place vegetables and cheese in cooked pie crust.
  7. Mix eggs, milk, salt, pepper, and garlic powder in bowl.
  8. Pour egg mix over cheese and vegetables.
  9. Bake for 30-40 minutes ( until knife inserted in center of dish comes out clean)
    1. Cool quiche for 5 minutes before serving.

 

 

Resources

California Department of Food and Agriculture. California Farm to Fork. 2103. Web.

United States Department of Agriculture. Snap-Ed. 20 November 2013. Web.

(SNAP)py Holidays!!

By Katie Crabb, Dietetic Intern, Farm to Fork

With all your holiday expenses, there might not be enough money left in your budget for a traditional holiday feast. In that case, I am here to help! This holiday-themed meal was created using the recipe finder provided by SNAP (CalFresh in California). The total cost of this meal for your family of four is only $8.08! It is an all-inclusive feast that your family is sure to love and you won’t have to break the bank.  On top of all that, each item can be purchased using your EBT card.

First, you’ll need an entrée. If that holiday ham just isn’t in the cards for you this year, try these crowd pleasing pork chops. According to the SNAP recipe finder, this dish only costs $0.60 per serving, or $2.40 for 4 servings.

Honey Mustard Pork Chops

Ingredients

4 Top loin pork chops
1/3 C Orange Juice
1 Tbs. Soy sauce
2 Tbs. Honey mustard

 

Instructions

1. Place pork chops in large non-stick skillet.

2. Cook over medium-high heat to brown one side of pork chops.

3. Use spatula to turn chops.

4. Add rest of ingredients and stir.

5. Cover pan and lower heat. Simmer for 6 to 8 minutes until chops are done.

 

Next, you’ll want some side dishes. Try this spin on traditional mashed potatoes that costs only $0.30 per serving, or $1.20 for your family of 4.

Cheesy Twice-Baked Potatoes

Ingredients

2 Potatoes (medium)
½ C Cottage cheese (low-fat)
1/8 C Milk (low-fat)
1 Tbs. Margarine
½ tsp. Herb seasoning
1 Tbs. Parmesan cheese

 

Instructions

1. Bake potatoes at 425°F for 60 minutes.

2. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out potato, leaving 1/2 inch of pulp inside shell.

3. Mash pulp in large bowl.

4. Mix remaining ingredients except Parmesan cheese with pulp. Spoon mixture into potato shells.

4. Evenly sprinkle top with Parmesan cheese.

5. Place on baking sheet and return to oven. Bake 15-20 minutes.

 

 Still hungry? How about another side dish? Casseroles are always sure to satisfy a hungry crowd. Here is one that costs $0.44 per serving, or $1.76 for 4 servings.

Herbed Lentils and Rice Casserole

Ingredients

2 2/3 C Chicken broth (low-sodium)
¾ C Lentils
¾ C Onion (chopped)
½ C Brown rice (uncooked)
¼ C Water
½ tsp. Basil
½ tsp. Oregano
½ tsp. Thyme
½ C Mozzarella cheese

 

Instructions

1. In a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish add chicken broth, lentils, onions, brown rice, water, spices and 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese.

2. Cover and bake at 350º for 2 hours, adding more broth if casserole is dry.

3. Top with remaining cheese and bake 2 or 3 minutes until all the cheese is melted.

 

You’re sure to be thirsty after all this food, so you’ll need a nice, cold beverage! This is a refreshing drink that has been popular in my family ever since I can remember. It only costs $0.25 per serving, or $1.00 for your thirsty family of 4.

Orange Cream

Ingredients

1-6 oz. can Orange juice concentrate
2 C Water
1/3 C Milk (low-fat)
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 C Ice

 

Instructions

1. Place all ingredients in blender or food processor.

2. Secure lid and blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Last comes everybody’s favorite… dessert! This recipe is not only delicious, but can also use that leftover cranberry sauce sitting in your cupboard from Thanksgiving! This recipe comes in at $0.43 per serving or $1.72 for your family of 4.

Cran-Apple Crisp

Ingredients

2 Apples
1-8 oz. can Cranberry sauce
1 tsp. Margarine
½ C Oatmeal (uncooked)
¼ C Brown sugar
½ tsp. Cinnamon

 

Instructions

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Slice apples thinly, keeping peel on.

3. Combine cranberries and apples in a bowl. Pour into 8×8 inch pan.

4. Combine melted margarine with oatmeal, brown sugar, and cinnamon until well blended. Sprinkle over apple/cranberry mixture.

5. Bake for 25 minutes until topping is crisp and brown.

 

Hopefully you now have some delicious, yet inexpensive ideas for feeding your family this holiday!