Category Archives: Food

Families cooking together as they confront COVID-19

Families are spending more time at home than ever before. Stay-at-home guidelines have led many parents to expand their culinary horizons, and time in the kitchen can be made more enjoyable by getting the whole family involved.

As stay-at-home measures continued throughout spring, boredom was a common complaint among people of all ages. Families sticking out social distancing together can confront that boredom by working together to prepare delicious, homecooked meals. The following are some simple ways to get the whole family involved when the time comes to get dinner on the table.

• Include young children. Younger children may not be able to cut, dice or chop, but that does not

Follow these take-out tips when dining at home

Although takeout has long been a convenience enjoyed by people around the world, in recent months takeout became a key way for many restaurants to stay afloat when the novel coronavirus COVID-19 forced many to close their facilities to customers.

Restaurants have been allowed to remain open, though they have been forced to change their business models. In a matter of weeks, establishments that were not accustomed to offering takeout quickly reimagined their operations to offer curbside pickup or delivery options. In turn, many communities promoted movements to help keep restaurants afloat, with some encouraging residents to participate in Takeout Thursdays to patronize struggling bars,

Better-for-you family foods

If spending additional time in the comfort of your home has you rethinking the family menu and looking for new ways to enjoy nutritional meals, rest assured you can make better-for-you food choices without losing mouthwatering taste.

Easy, efficient at-home recipes like Thai Coconut Lime Freezer Chicken, Burrito Beef and Cauli Mac and Cheese can all be made in less than an hour while reducing the intake of carbs and unnecessary sugars. All are part of a balanced Atkins low-carb lifestyle, a long-term, healthy eating approach focused on high-fiber carbohydrates, optimal protein and healthy fats.

The eating approach, which is a more flexible version of the popular ketogenic diet, offers a balanced mix of foods containing fiber-rich and nutrient-dense carbohydrates while focusing on reduced levels of refined carbohydrates, added sugars and the “hidden sugar effect” – when carbohydrates convert to sugar when digested. You don’t see the sugar, but your body does.

Introducing your family to smarter food choices can also support your immunity. According to research published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition,” simply sub­stituting whole grains for refined grains has a modest effect on gut microbiota and immunity. Refined grains have had most of the fiber milled out of them, leaving a refined carbohydrate that impacts your body the way sugar would. Opt for whole grains to get the fiber you need, along with protein and healthy fats.

To learn more and find additional ways to focus family meals on nutritious recipes, visit
— Family Features

Cool as a cucumber summer salads

By Olivia Fowler

For the Courier

Take advantage of cucumbers that are really fresh. Buy local if possible. Did you know that some cucumbers lie around in the grocery store for days and days before going home with consumers? So, when you buy them, get the freshest ones you can find.

Right from the garden is best. If a drought is going on, cut the stem end off about a half an inch, as dry weather will make that end of the cucumber bitter.

They say now that it is safe to eat cucumber peel. And that may be, but I always peel mine, because anything a hog won’t consume can’t be that good. It is a matter of personal preference.

These recipes are easy, cool and refreshing. I hope your family enjoys them as much as mine does.


Add seafood to your summer meals

Grilled meals provide a summer escape for many families by offering opportunities to spend moments together while enjoying flavorful dishes. As Americans face uncertainty in many aspects of life, one place they should be able to turn to for normalcy is food.

One option that checks boxes including comfort, fun, taste and variety: seafood. As a nutritious protein available across the country, it is versatile and can be paired with a variety of cuisines and flavors. Options range from salmon and shrimp to crab, tuna and more.

To encourage hungry Americans to enjoy the many benefits of eating seafood, the “Eat Seafood America” campaign offers these reasons to add fish, shrimp and

Asparagus can pack a flavor punch

By Olivia Fowler

For the Courier

Asparagus are not just good, they’re good for you. They have vitamin E, K and folic acid and are credited with helping as a conductor of insulin in the body.

They’re a fibrous vegetable, and a serving can fill you up. These are all good reasons to eat asparagus for your health.

But isn’t it nice that something so good for you is delicious.

None of these dishes are really complicated, but they can be served up quickly and pack some punch into an everyday meal.

I hope you’ll enjoy this delicious vegetable.


New potatoes are a different tater

By Olivia Fowler


For the Courier

   For a few short weeks in late May and June we have access to new potatoes. These are potatoes just rolled from the dirt with skins so thin they easily wash away when cleaned.

They have a unique flavor. And though there are hundreds of ways to cook potatoes, sometimes simplest is best. My favorite is to just have them cooked in water that’s been salted and eaten with a little melted butter.

But variety is the spice of life, so this week a few other options are available. Enjoy.


Salute the tropics with pineapples

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

During the early part of the year, sometimes it seems like spring will never get here and summer is a thing of the past, but even on those long winter days, you can always consider making dishes that feature a fruit that brings warmer weather to mind.

Fresh or canned, pineapple, is good and versatile.

My favorite way to eat it is fresh without baking, grilling or roasting. But these dishes change it up a little bit.

I wouldn’t recommend preparing them all for one meal. That might be overkill.

Still, they make a tasty addition to any table.


Make the most of the whole chicken

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

If you can’t find chicken parts at the grocery store during these challenging times, buy the whole chicken.

It’s cheaper per serving, easy to cook and provides more than one meal. Included on this page are a few recipes that aren’t hard to make and are dishes my family has enjoyed for years.

I like to brine the chicken in salt water overnight before cooking. Cover the chicken with water and 1/2 cup salt, stir, cover and set it inside the refrigerator for at least four hours.

Before using, remove the chicken from brine, rinse inside and out, then pat dry. This keeps the chicken moist and flavorful.


Make The Bread Yourself

By Olivia Fowler
For the Courier

If you can’t find bread in the store, don’t panic.
Buy yeast and bread flour (you can substitute all-purpose flour), go home and get started.
It gives you something constructive to do and helps you acquire a new survival skill.
The key is not to have the liquid you dissolve the yeast in too hot — go by the recommended temperature on the package of yeast. Knead properly and place dough in a warm place to rise.
One suggestion is to heat two cups water in a glass measuring cup for four minutes in the microwave. Move water to back of microwave. Set dough, covered in a bowl, in the center. Shut the door (with microwave off) and let the dough rise.
Breadmaking is nothing to fear. If you can read and follow directions, you’re all set. Remember, the more you make it, the more confident you become.