Go red, white and blue, all the way to dessert!
Happy Birthday America! It’s the Fourth of July and time to celebrate American life. What do you have planned? A family reunion at the beach? A backyard barbeque with family and friends? A picnic in the park? Or a few friends on your patio? Here are some quick and easy tips to make your family’s Fourth of July meals and snacks healthy and delicious!
Get creative and let MyPlate be your guide. Read more »
MyPlate Tips for Valentine’s Day!
This Valentine’s Day, give something for the heart. Sharing a heart healthy gift is a great way to let the people in your life know you care. Instead of offering an over-sized piece of cake or a box of sweets, give something that takes care of the heart.
For Your Spouse or Partner: Make a healthy meal together. Cooking a meal can help you to control portion sizes and the ingredients in your food. Find a healthy recipe to make at home or attend a cooking class at your local mall or community college. For healthy recipe ideas, visit the FNCS Recipe Box. Read more »
Dave’s Herb-Stuﬀed Mushrooms
The MyPlate Team offers the final “Makeover Monday” recipe this week on the USDA blog and the MyPlate Facebook page.
I love mushrooms and could probably eat them every day. They come in a variety of sizes, shapes, colors, textures, and flavors and can be worked into every meal. On their own, mushrooms are pretty healthful – very low in calories, free of cholesterol and (almost) free of fat. They are also naturally low in sodium, high in potassium, and are generally high in vitamins and minerals.
Stuffing mushrooms just makes something wonderful ever better! But what you stuff in these tasty little vegetables can make or break the dish. Typically, mushrooms are stuffed with foods containing saturated fats and sodium. So, if you’re trying to watch one or both of these in the New Year, consider various herbs and spices! Read more »
Liz’s Sparkling New Year’s Cider
With two little ones in the house, I’m always looking for ways that I can introduce them to new flavors and textures of foods and beverages. This Sparkling New Year’s Cider recipe does just that! The 100 % apple juice is familiar and adds a touch of sweetness, while the cloves, nutmeg, and cinnamon introduce them to new spices. The bubbles from the sparkling water also provide a fun new feeling for their mouths. Of course, adults can enjoy this beverage too!
My recipe includes spices to add a special holiday flavor. If you aren’t familiar with star anise or cloves, you can often find them in the baking or spice section of your local grocery store. Some stores sell them individually in the bulk shopping aisle, so you only have to pay for what you need. You might also be able to find these ingredients at a discount store or specialty market. Read more »
Robert Tapia, a single father of two, is pictured outside the Reedley, Calif. home he proudly helped build with ten other families through USDA's Mutual Self-Help Housing Loan program in partnership with Self-Help Enterprises, which celebrated the completion of its 6,000th home last week. (USDA photo)
The holidays will be extra special this year for 11 families in Reedley, Calif., who received the keys to their homes during a celebration ceremony December 19. The group spent nearly 10 months building each other’s homes through USDA’s Mutual Self-Help Housing Loan program.
The rules of the program are simple, though not necessarily easy. Ten- to 12 families are grouped together to pool their efforts. Each family is required to put in a minimum of 40 hours a week working on all the homes and no one moves in until every home is completed. Together, families pour foundations, frame homes, install electrical wiring, hang doors and windows and even lay tile and paint. Their labor – “sweat equity” – acts as a down payment for the home, and USDA Rural Development provides the families with mortgages through the Single Family Housing Direct Loan Program. Read more »
Jean’s Banana Pudding Parfait
The MyPlate Team continues to share “Makeover Monday” recipes each week on the USDA blog and the MyPlate Facebook page through January 6th.
I was first introduced to banana pudding, a traditional southern dessert, during the holidays when I moved to Virginia from North Dakota. It tasted great, but I remember leaving the dinner table with an uncomfortable, heavy feeling in my stomach. I decided to try and make the pudding lighter so that I could still enjoy it, but without the overstuffed feeling.
I must admit, I was skeptical about swapping all of the full fat ingredients for either reduced or nonfat versions. I was afraid that the taste would suffer and not resemble my favorite banana pudding recipe. Boy, was I wrong! I was surprised how good the “makeover” pudding tasted. Read more »