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News By Department: MSU Extension- Rankin County

 Green lettuce and cooked chicken wrapped in a wheat tortilla.
October 11, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

Fans of The Food Factor know I love rotisserie chicken. I’ve added this quick recipe to my repertoire for using a store-bought rotisserie chicken. You could also use canned chicken breast or even sliced chicken or turkey from the deli.

A pink blended raspberry dessert in a green cup.
September 20, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

Eating healthy foods doesn’t mean saying no to all desserts. For me, it means finding recipes that satisfy my sweet tooth but also help me meet my goals for daily fruits and vegetables. This recipe for a frozen treat is low in fat and loaded with fruit and fiber.

Spinach dip in a ceramic bowl centered on a plate surrounded by cut celery, baby carrots, and sliced red bell pepper.
September 13, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

It’s tailgating season, and there’s nothing like a buffet of snacks to rack up the calories. The Food Factor to the rescue! Here is a healthier take on your favorite spinach dip. Instead of chips, serve with cut-up veggies.

Extension for Real Life banner.
September 6, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

September is National Rice Month! To celebrate, we made this fast and filling Caribbean Casserole. It’s perfect as a quick weeknight entrée served with a side salad and fruit, or as a potluck dish. 

Cauliflower and cheese tots on a parchment-paper lined baking sheet.
August 30, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

If you have little helpers in the kitchen, put them to work making these tots. I love how versatile this recipe is – it can be an afterschool snack, an appetizer, or a healthy side dish. Bonus points for making vegetables FUN!

A clear glass pitcher and glass with watermelon punch.
August 23, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

In Mississippi, the summer heat goes on forever. If you are ready for a break from the same old beverages, try this tasty and refreshing watermelon punch. You get the health benefits of fruit and hydration at the same time!

Baked fish with spinach, tomatoes, and onions sits on a plate.
August 16, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

August is National Catfish Month! There are many delicious ways to cook catfish, and this recipe helps you get those daily vegetable servings checked off your list. Support Mississippi’s catfish producers and buy locally raised catfish.

Foil wrapped potatoes in a slow cooker.
August 9, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

Who says you can’t have “baked potatoes” in the summertime?

I love baked potatoes, but I hate heating up the oven when the summer sun is sizzling. That’s when my slow cooker comes to the rescue! It’s fast and easy to wash, oil, and foil potatoes before work in the morning. Then, when I come home, I can add my healthy toppings and have a meal in no time.

An array of ingredients in glass bowls, including romaine lettuce, onion, diced red pepper, Mexicorn, diced tomato, black beans, salsa, cooked diced chicken breast, and mozzarella cheese, surround a blue and white plate bearing four halves of whole wheat pita bread.
July 26, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

When the weather heats up, it’s good to have a plan for those nights when you just don’t want to heat up the kitchen. This recipe is perfect for summer nights, for picky eaters (because everyone can decide what they want in their pita), and for healthy eaters. #winning

A woman stands in a kitchen while holding a can of reduced fat cream of chicken soup.
July 12, 2019 - Filed Under: Nutrition

If you’ve ever been told you need to cut fat from your diet and wondered how to do it, this post is for you!

Fat, especially saturated fat, plays a role in heart health. Increased blood cholesterol is tied to heart disease, so finding ways to reduce saturated fat is important.

A steamed salmon filet sprinkled with onions and dill sits atop roasted vegetables.
June 28, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

Have you ever heard someone praise the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, but wondered what to cook? This delicious fish recipe, cooked with an assortment of tasty vegetables, fits the bill! Fish, healthy oils, and plenty of vegetables are key parts of the Mediterranean diet. Served with a side of whole-grain couscous or pasta, you’ve got a feast ready in about 45 minutes. 

Angel food cake with strawberries, cool whip, and strawberries on a green plate.
June 25, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

Ever since I started hosting The Food Factor, I’ve been getting curious looks at the grocery store. Other shoppers will recognize me and look in my buggy to see what I’m buying. People assume that I must always eat healthy foods, or I never have dessert.

A grilled burrito topped with salsa and a green salad with tomato served on a multicolored plate.
June 13, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

With all of the delicious, fresh vegetables available this time of year at great prices, vegetable burritos are a fast, farmers market-friendly meal you can whip up in no time. While Southwest-inspired recipes can hide a lot of calories, a few substitutions can keep you from breaking the calorie bank. (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

A 10-month-old baby eats homemade baby food.
May 17, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

Making your own baby food can be a great way to save money and capture fresh fruits and vegetables at their peak flavor. This means top nutrition and exciting new food experiences for your baby. (Besides, you know some of those baby food flavor combinations gross you out. When you make your own, you have full control!)

Caramelized onions in a black cast iron skillet.
May 10, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

Loads of recipes call for caramelized onions, but have you ever made them?

The good news is they add a lot of flavor to soups and meat dishes. (Liver and onions always go together for a reason!)

 A mixture of small broccoli florets, diced carrots, eggs and cheese baked as a frittata in a large black cast-iron skillet.
May 3, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

Remember when you bought that head of broccoli on sale, but didn’t have a plan for it? Wash it, chop it, and let’s get dinner on the table in 30 minutes!

Frittatas are not just for fancy brunches! This nutritious, one-pan meal can be made with whatever vegetables you have on hand, though broccoli is one of my favorites. And it comes together so quickly, you’ll be out of the kitchen in no time!

A small clear glass bowl holds baked oatmeal with blueberries and a stainless steel spoon.
April 26, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

Some mornings, it’s hard for me to make healthy breakfast choices. Whether I’m running out of time or tempted by a hot breakfast sandwich from the local fast food restaurant drive-through, preparing ahead of time helps me stay on track. I may even start experimenting by adding bananas in the pan first or swapping honey for the brown sugar.

A display of produce including red raspberries in a small clear glass bowl, green broccoli florets in a small clear glass bowl, 2 red apples behind the bowls. Does that work?
April 18, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

I get it. You’re busy. It’s hard to squeeze a lot of fruits and vegetables into your daily diet.

And, if you’re like me, when you hear a recommended number of daily servings, you just want to roll your eyes.

Homemade ranch dressing in a clear glass bowl atop a turquoise blue plate, surrounded by baby carrots, broccoli florets, and grape tomatoes.
April 5, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

If you’re like me, a full bottle of salad dressing often expires before I can use it all. Plus, ready- made salad dressings tend to be loaded with hidden sugar, salt, and fat.

By making your own ranch dressing, you can control the fat, the flavors, and the portions.

An assortment of snack foods on a butcher block table top, including a green pear, red grapes, baby carrots, pretzels, pecans, dates, almonds, and trail mix.
March 29, 2019 - Filed Under: Food, Nutrition

Time and money are both precious resources, but you don’t have to sacrifice them to eat healthier foods. Next time you find yourself standing in front of the vending machine at work or dashing into a convenience store for a snack, have a plan! (Photo by Jonathan Parrish/Cindy Callahan)

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