Food Day Features Healthy Eating

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On Food Day, October 24, the Capital Area Food Bank officially announced its Healthy Food Initiative, which sets nutrition standards for our entire food bank inventory and will ultimately distribute more healthy food to the community.

The event was delicious. Staff and partners from the community came together in the Mildred J. Brooks Learning Center for a demonstration on how the initiative will link education with food in our distribution center, so that food bank ingredients are transformed into nourishing meals that can feed an entire family and stretch a food budget.

Healthy Eating on a Budget came to life in the kitchen as participants watched an engaging cooking demonstration by Kate Sherwood, the “Healthy Cook” from the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which is the organization that established Food Day.

Using common food bank ingredients, Chef Kate prepared a delicious West African peanut stew. Those in the audience loved the dish and were inspired by how the ingredients and flavors came together to form a delicious and budget-friendly meal.

Some Healthy Eating on a Budget tips:

  • The sweet potatoes and onions are nutritious, store well, and are items commonly found at the food bank.
  • One chicken breast was used in the recipe. Stretching animal proteins by incorporating them into a stew or soup stretches the ingredient.
  • Curry powder was a spice that brought ethnic flare to the dish and a little bit went a long way. While spices can be expensive, share the cost with a friend, divvy it up, and keep it in stock as a spice staple.
  • Fresh snap peas were added for color, nutrition, and texture.
  • Substitutes: Use 2 cups of canned sweet potatoes (drained), adding them at the end of the cooking; use fresh, canned or frozen green beans instead of snap peas adjusting the cooking time depending on which type you chose;
  • For vegetarian options, try browning tofu and putting it in at the end, or use chickpeas or lentils.

Sweet Potato, Chicken & Peanut Curry

Ingredients
Serves 8

1 large onion
1 lb. sweet potato
½ lb. snap peas
½ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breast or thighs
1 Tbs. canola oil
1 Tbs. curry powder
1 15-oz. can no-salt-added tomatoes
1/3 cup natural crunchy peanut butter
¾ tsp. salt

Chop the onion. Peel the sweet potato and cut into ½-inch pieces. Trim the snap peas. Cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat until hot enough to make the onion sizzle. Sauté the onion until soft, 3-5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomatoes, peanut butter and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Add the sweet potato and cook until tender, 8-15 minutes. Add the snap peas and chicken and reduce the heat to low. Gently simmer until chicken is cooked through, 3-5 minutes. Season with the salt.

Cooking Tip: be sure not to boil the stew once the chicken is added – a gentle simmer will keep the chicken deliciously tender

NIs: 380 calories; 41g carbs; 16g fat (2.5g sat fat); 21g protein; 510mg sodium; 9g fiber.

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