Healthy Meals in a Hurry

Making nutritious food choices can be a challenge whether you're facing a hungry family or just your own growling stomach. A new program from Iowa State University Extension is designed to help consumers of all ages blend time-saving convenience with nutritious, dollar-stretching food choices. 

"Healthy Meals in a Hurry" is the topic of both a new publication and a program/workshop available from ISU Extension. The publication offers recipes for 14 main dishes that can be prepared ahead of time and frozen for ready-to-use convenience. Preparing all 14 recipes and packaging them in the suggested amounts produces a total of 120 servings at a cost of less than $1 per serving.

In addition, each recipe includes a nutritional analysis. Most recipes also satisfy the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Dietary Guidelines, as well as the DASH (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension) Diet recommendations.

"Knowing that Americans spend a smaller proportion of their income on food than do residents of other countries doesn't make our own food dollars stretch any further,"  Pat Anderson, Nutrition and Health Specialist said. "But we can each try new techniques or adapt some habits that will help us spend whatever amount we have more wisely."

In her educational program based on the publication, Anderson gives tips on modifying recipes to reduce sodium and fat. She also offers guidelines for alternative ways to prepare the recipes for freezer storage.

"Some people like the idea of spending a marathon cooking day to put two-weeks worth of main dishes in their freezer," Anderson said. "Others find it easier to simply double a single meal recipe and freeze half of it. Both methods can help consumers eat better for less."

The "Healthy Meals in a Hurry" publication (PM 2035) is available for $2.50 per copy from the Montgomery County ISU Extension office at 400 Bridge Street, Red Oak. It's also available from ISU Extension's online store at

For more information about scheduling a program with your group, or to learn about already scheduled Healthy Meals in a Hurry programs, call Pat Anderson at 712-366-7070.

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