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Now Serving: Tasty, Healthful Meals on a Budget Week 4: Planned-over Food Tips, Menus and Recipes (FN1386)

Planning menus, shopping for foods and using your leftovers wisely can pay off in many ways. Your family can enjoy healthy meals with lots of variety, and you can stretch your budget.

Julie Garden-Robinson, Ph.D., R.D., L.R.D., Food and Nutrition Specialist

Grete Peterson, Former Program Assistant; Tera Sandvik, R.D., Former Project Assistant


This is the fourth in a series of publications to help you eat well but spend less at the grocery store. It includes sample menus and recipes that you can adapt to meet your family’s tastes. It also includes creative ways to make use of your leftovers, which become “planned-overs.”

Stretch Your Food Dollar

Turn Leftovers into “Planned-overs”

“Leftovers” often have a bad reputation. They may get forgotten in the back of your refrigerator and later thrown out. Instead of letting them go to waste, turn extra food items into planned-overs. Consider these ideas for making good use of extra food:

• Planned-over whole roast chicken: Shred it, add some mayonnaise and chopped celery and use it to make sandwiches. Add some salsa and use it for chicken tacos. Simmer it with barbecue sauce and make sandwiches. Make some chicken-vegetable soup.

• Planned-over spaghetti sauce with meat: Use it to make lasagna or homemade pizza, or freeze it for a quick dinner later.

• Planned-over roast beef: Use it to make soup, stew or stir-fry. Shred it, add some barbecue sauce and serve it on buns.

Handle Planned-overs Safely

Large quantities of planned-over perishable food can become a food safety issue if they are not cooled promptly. Most foods, including meat, casseroles, rice, beans, baked potatoes, cooked vegetables, and cut-up fruit and vegetables, are perishable. Perishable foods should spend no more than two hours at room temperature.

• Divide large amounts of leftovers into small, shallow containers for quick cooling. Slice meat into smaller pieces. Thick foods, such as stew, should be no more than 2 inches deep in a shallow container.

• Freeze planned-overs in recipe-sized portions. Label the container with the date and type of food.

• Use refrigerated planned-over foods within a few days.

• Reheat gravy and meat to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

 MyPlate Portion Equivanlents

What’s Your MyPlate Plan?

You can find the latest nutrition recommendation.

Each person has different needs based on gender, age and level of physical activity. Learn what each of your family members needs at his or her particular calorie levels by visiting the website or contacting your local Extension agent for “MyPlate Plans” handouts for different age groups. The MyPlate Plans are available online.


Size up your portions with these visual clues.  As shown, one-half of a baseball is the same size as ½ cup mashed potatoes.

Portion Comparisons

Example: MyPlate Plan and three-day menu plan for a 40-year-old male who gets 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity per day*

MyPlate Plan*

Grains                   9 ounces
Vegetables             3.5 cups
Fruit                      2 cups
Dairy                     3 cups
Protein Foods        6.5 ounces

Three-day Menu Plan for a 40-year-old Male*

3 Day Meal Planner

* indicates recipe is included

Enjoy Family Mealtimes

Eating is a source of enjoyment. Families who spend time together at meals eat more healthfully. Children who enjoy family meals are more likely to do well in school. They are more likely to avoid risky behavior, such as smoking and drinking, too.

Slow down and enjoy family mealtimes. Your brain takes about 20 minutes to get the signal that your stomach is full. If you eat too quickly, you may eat more than you need before your brain tells you to stop.

 Weekly Meall Planner

Menus adapted from publications by Cynthia Gardner, former NDSU Student Dietitian, and Suzanne Fundingsland, former Nutrition Specialist, NDSU

Recipes

Key to Abbreviations

tsp. = teaspoon
Tbsp. = tablespoon
c. = cup
oz. = ounce
pkg. = package
g = grams
mg = milligrams
lb. = pound

Sugarless Oatmeal Cookies

Equipment you will need
• mixing bowl
• mixing spoon
• cookie sheet
• measuring cups
• measuring spoons

Ingredients
3 bananas, mashed
1/3 c. margarine, melted
2 c. uncooked quick-cooking oats
¼ c. skim milk
½ c. raisins
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Set oven at 350 degrees. Mix together all ingredients in a bowl. Mix really well. Let stand about five minutes, until oats become wet. Heap teaspoons with dough and drop dough onto greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand one minute on cookie sheet. Remove cookies to wire racks or a towel to cool completely.

Makes 2½ dozen. Per cookie: 40 calories, 9 g carbohydrate, 0 g fat, 1 g fiber and 0 mg sodium

Taco Salad

Equipment you will need
• cutting board
• sharp knife
• frying pan
• can opener
• mixing spoon
• grater
• 4 dinner plates

Ingredients
Leftover chili, recipe of choice (or use 15- to 16-oz. can chili)
½ head lettuce
½ lb. grated cheddar cheese
1 tomato, chopped
4 c. baked tortilla chips or corn chips
Salsa

Make chili. On each of four plates, put 1 c. chips. Top with chopped lettuce, one-fourth of chili, grated cheese and chopped tomatoes. Serve with salsa on the side.

Serves six. Per serving: 280 calories, 19 g carbohydrate, 17 g fat, 3 g fiber and 370 mg sodium

If you like, mix all the food together in a large bowl and serve it right away.

Rice Hot Dish

Equipment you will need
• can opener
• cutting board
• sharp knife
• mixing bowl
• mixing spoon
• baking dish

Ingredients
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 (16 oz.) can kidney beans, drained
4 to 6 medium potatoes, peeled and sliced
1 can tomato soup
1 (6 to 8 oz.) box seasoned rice
½ c. water

Set oven at 350 degrees. Wash, peel and slice potatoes. Drain kidney beans. Layer half the sliced potatoes on the bottom of the baking pan. Place one-half can of kidney beans on top of the potatoes. Place one-half of ground beef on top of the kidney beans. Place one-half of the rice on top of the beef. Repeat steps. Sprinkle the rice seasoning on top of the layers. Mix water and tomato soup together and pour over everything. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 1½ to two hours.

Serves six. Per serving: 490 calories, 85 g carbohydrate, 4.5 g fat, 13 g fiber and 250 mg sodium

This recipe was developed by dietetic students at the College of St. Benedict and St. John’s University, Minnesota.

Cheesy Potato Soup

Equipment you will need
• large pot
• knife
• cutting board
• measuring cups
• measuring spoons

 Ingredients
2 c. water
2 c. potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 Tbsp. butter or margarine
1 small onion, chopped
3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
Black pepper to taste
3 c. low-fat milk
½ tsp. sugar
1 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
1 c. (8 oz.) cooked ham, cubed

Bring water to boil in large saucepan. Add potatoes and cook until tender. Drain, reserving liquid. You should have 1 cup; add water if necessary. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir until tender but not brown. Add flour; season with black pepper. Cook three to four minutes. Gradually add potatoes, reserved liquid, milk and sugar to onion mixture; stir well. Add cheese and ham. Simmer over low heat 30 minutes, stirring frequently.

Serves 10. Per serving: 190 calories, 14 g carbohydrate, 10 g fat, <1 g fiber and 160 mg sodium

Substitution: 1 c. nonfat dry milk + 3 c. water for 3 c. low-fat milk

Beef Burritos

Equipment you will need
• cutting board
• sharp knife
• frying pan
• can opener
• mixing spoon
• grater
• baking dish

Ingredients
½ lb. ground beef
2 (15 to 16 oz.) cans kidney, pinto or red beans
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp. chili powder or 1 pkg. taco seasoning
8 large flour tortillas
Salsa of choice

Chop onion. Brown ground beef and onion in frying pan. Drain fat. Mix in kidney beans and chili powder. Put a spoonful of meat mixture in the center of the tortilla. Fold opposite edges of the tortilla over the meat. Then fold both ends to the center so you form a pocket. Set burrito in baking dish. Heat burritos in covered dish for 10 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve with salsa.

Serves eight. Per serving: 390 calories, 62 g carbohydrate, 7 g fat, 13 g fiber and 470 mg sodium

Orange Jello Salad

Equipment you will need
• small pan
• mixing bowl
• measuring cup
• can opener
• mixing spoon

Ingredients
1 pkg. (4-serving size) orange gelatin
1½ c. orange juice
1½ c. applesauce

Heat 1 cup orange juice until it almost boils. Add gelatin and stir until it dissolves. Mix gelatin, orange juice and applesauce in bowl. Chill in refrigerator until it is firm.

Serves four to six. Per serving: 80 calories, 20 g carbohydrate, 0 g fat, 1 g fiber and 0 mg sodium

Veggie Muffins

Equipment you will need
• cutting board
• sharp knife
• measuring cups
• measuring spoons
• mixing bowl
• mixing spoon
• muffin pan for 12
• grater
• can opener

Ingredients
1 (8 oz.) package corn muffin mix
1 egg
1/3 c. low-fat milk
1 Tbsp. onion, finely chopped
¾ c. fresh broccoli, chopped (or substitute frozen broccoli)
1 (8 oz.) can mushrooms, drained and chopped
2/3 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Set oven at 400 degrees. Blend muffin mix, egg and milk in mixing bowl. Wash and finely chop vegetables. Add onions, broccoli, mushrooms and grated cheese to corn muffin mix. Grease muffin pan or line with paper muffin cups. Divide the batter evenly among the 12 muffin cups. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

Makes 12 muffins. Per muffin: 110 calories, 17 g carbohydrate, 2.5 g fat, 1 g fiber and 360 mg sodium

Middle Eastern Bean Salad

Ingredients
2 (15 to 16 oz.) cans beans, such as pinto, kidney, garbanzo, black beans
½ c. chopped onion
1 large chopped tomato
1 medium chopped cucumber
½ c. chopped parsley
½ c. vegetable oil
¼ c. lemon juice
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cumin (if you like)

Mix together oil, lemon juice and spices in measuring cup. Combine other ingredients in large mixing bowl. Add lemon juice and oil to bowl. Chill several hours or overnight for flavors to blend.

Serves six. Per serving: 360 calories, 36 g carbohydrate, 19 g fat, 14 g fiber and 105 mg sodium

Cinnamon Fruit Salad

Ingredients
1 can (15.5 oz.) grapefruit sections, drained
1 can (15.5 oz.) pineapple chunks, drained
1 can mandarin oranges, drained
Cinnamon to taste

Toss fruit in bowl and sprinkle with cinnamon to taste. Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.

Serves eight. Per serving: 110 calories, 29 g carbohydrate, less than 1 g fat, 2 g fiber and 4 mg sodium

Stir-fry Chicken and Vegetables

Equipment you will need
• measuring cup
• measuring spoon
• cutting board
• can opener
• sharp knife
• frying pan
• mixing spoon

Ingredients
1 lb. chicken breast, cut in thin strips
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 c. thinly sliced carrots
1 c. thinly sliced celery
2 c. shredded cabbage
1 Tbsp. soy sauce (light)
2 c. chicken broth
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
water

Heat oil in a large frying pan. Stir-fry chicken quickly until lightly brown. Add vegetables, broth and soy sauce. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook for five minutes over low heat or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Blend cornstarch and ¼ cup cold water. Add to chicken mixture. Cook until the mixture thickens and bubbles. Stir the mixture constantly while it is cooking. Serve over hot cooked rice.

Serves four. Per serving: 240 calories, 12 g carbohydrate, 10 g fat, 2 g fiber and 960 mg sodium

Golden Rice and Pork Casserole

Equipment you will need
• large pot for rice
• can opener
• cutting board
• sharp knife
• measuring spoon
• cheese grater
• large mixing bowl
• 2-quart casserole dish

Ingredients
3 c. rice, cooked
3 lb. pork roast with bone, cooked and cubed, or 20 oz. boneless pork roast, cooked and cubed
1 can (10 oz.) whole-kernel corn, drained
¼ c. onion, finely chopped
1½ c. low-fat milk (or use b c. dry milk plus water to make 1½ c.)
¼ tsp. pepper

Topping
1½ c. (6 oz.) American cheese, grated

Set oven at 350 degrees. Mix all ingredients together except grated cheese. Pour into lightly oiled, 2-quart casserole. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 45 minutes.

Serves six. Per serving: 470 calories, 32 g carbohydrate, 20 g fat, 1 g fiber and 410 mg sodium

Easy Supper Casserole

Equipment you will need
• can opener
• cutting board
• sharp knife
• mixing spoon
• measuring cup
• frying pan with cover

Ingredients
2 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 c. dry macaroni
2 c. tomato juice
1 (15.5 oz.) can chili beans
1 tsp. oregano, crushed
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper
1 c. grated cheddar cheese

Brown ground beef in a large frying pan or electric skillet; drain fat. Add chopped onion to ground beef; cook until onion is clear. Turn heat down; add macaroni, beans, juice and spices, stirring to combine. Cover pan and simmer mixture for 20 minutes. (If you uncover the pan more than twice to check and stir, add additional tomato juice). Remove pan from heat, stir and sprinkle grated cheese on top of mixture. Cover and let stand until cheese melts.

Serves six. Per serving: 269 calories, 31 g carbohydrate, 8 g fat, 4.5 g fiber and 763 mg sodium

Snack Mix

Equipment you will need
• mixing bowl
• mixing spoon
• airtight container

Ingredients
2 c. small pretzel twists
1 c. roasted peanuts
1 c. dried cranberries or raisins
2 c. Cheerios cereal (or store brand)
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Divide trail mix into single-serving plastic bags or store in an airtight container.

Serves 10. Per serving: 340 calories, 47 g carbohydrate, 15 g fat, 3 g fiber and 90 mg sodium

Tuna Salad Sandwich

Equipment you will need
• cutting board
• can opener
• small sharp knife
• small bowl
• measuring cup
• mixing spoon

Ingredients
1 (7 oz.) can tuna
1 stalk celery, chopped
¼ c. mayonnaise*
8 slices bread

Open tuna can and drain tuna. Put tuna in small bowl. Wash and chop celery on cutting board. Measure ¼ cup mayonnaise. Add celery and mayonnaise to tuna in bowl. Mix well. Place four slices bread on cutting board. Put one-fourth of tuna mix on each slice. Spread tuna over bread and put another slice of bread on top. Cut sandwiches in half and serve.

Serves four. Per serving: 210 calories, 25 g carbohydrate, 3 g fat, 4 g fiber and 520 mg sodium

*To cut calories and fat, use nonfat or low-fat mayonnaise, or use half nonfat yogurt.

Beef Stew

Equipment you will need
• cutting board
• sharp knife
• vegetable peeler
• heavy pan with tight lid
• stirring spoon
• measuring spoons
• plastic or paper bag

Ingredients
1 lb. beef cubes
2 Tbsp. flour
salt and pepper
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
water
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

Measure flour into plastic or paper bag. Add salt and pepper. Shake. Add beef cubes to bag and shake until beef is well coated. Heat oil in heavy pan. Add beef cubes and brown. Add 1 cup water. Cover with tight-fitting lid and cook at low heat one hour. Peel and cube carrots, potatoes and onion. Add to beef. Cover with lid again. Cook one more hour at low heat.

Serves four. Per serving: 280 calories, 12 g carbohydrate, 15 g fat, 2 g fiber and 110 mg sodium

Grocery List

 

MyPlate

This material was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Supplemental Food Assistance Program (SNAP). SNAP provides nutrition assistance to people with a low income. It can help you buy nutritious foods for a better diet. To find out more, contact your county social services office.

Visit the NDSU Extension Service website at for parent/caregiver information, recipes and educational activities for children.

Reviewed August 2016

 

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