2018-07-11 / Living

Meal planning can save money & time

Meal planning is something that can help you save money and time, while reducing food waste. However, there are a few tips that you need to be aware of when thinking about meal planning. You want to use foods that you know your family will like and that are within your budget. For example, if your family likes broccoli instead of carrots, be flexible in your menu. Another tip that can save you money is to purchase fruits and vegetables in season. They usually cost less and can be substituted for expensive items in a recipe. It is helpful to cook your main dishes when you have more time, such as on a weekend. You can make soups, stews, or casseroles to freeze for next week. Or you can cook extra food and you have plannedovers for later. Any tasks that can be done ahead will save you time each night as you prepare dinner. For example, wash and trim your vegetables, cook noodles or ground meat the day before you need them. This will save you some time during those busy weeknights. And don’t forget to make your plate colorful. Colorful meals are more appealing to eat and usually consist of fruits and vegetables.

For more information on menu planning, join us at from noon to 1 p.m., Wednesday, July 18, at the County Office Building.

We will be learning about menu planning, freezer meals, slow cookers, and planned-overs. The cost for all of the Lunch N’ Learn workshops is $5 and includes a healthy, delicious lunch. Pre-register and pre-pay for by this Friday.

Enjoy this delicious recipe from the USDA at https://whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/, check us out online at http://facebook.com/personcountyfcs or email jennifer_ grable@ncsu.edu

LEMON CHICKEN PASTA

serves 4

8 oz. whole wheat spaghetti, uncooked

1 Tablespoon tub margarine

1 Tablespoon olive oil

20 ozs. Boneless, skinless chicken breast

5 green onions, sliced

1 clover large garlic, minced

¼ cup all-purpose flour

¼ tsp salt

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 1/3 cups chicken broth

2/3 cup skim milk

2 tsps prepared mustard

¼ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

For topping:

¼ cup chopped almonds

2 tbsp chopped chives or scallions

¼ tsp paprika (optional)

Combine flour, salt, pepper and cayenne in a saucepan; gradually add chicken broth and skim milk, stirring with a wire whisk until smooth. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add mustard and lemon juice. Allow to cool. Heat margari ne and oil in a skillet. Add chicken pieces, green onions and garlic. Sauté until chicken is just firm and cooked through, about 10 minutes. Prepare pasta according to package directions and drain. Combine sauce, chicken and pasta mixture. Put into a 2 ½-quart casserole dish. Sprinkle top with almonds, chopped chives and paprika (if using). Bake at 375 degrees for 10 minutes or until heated through.

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