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Legumes, pulses, and beans, oh my!

Legumes, pulses and beans are terms used interchangeably, but they each have a specific meaning. The easiest way to understand the difference is to think of them in a hierarchy. Legumes are at the top. It’s an umbrella name that includes all types of beans, peas and lentils, even...
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Cream of tartar: From winery byproduct to baking essential

Have you ever wondered what cream of tartar is? What does it do? What does it taste like? Do I have to use it, or can I just skip over it? This mystery ingredient serves a purpose, particularly in two foods: meringue and snickerdoodle cookies. Cream of tartar’s scientific name is potassium...
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bowl of salt

Table salt vs. sea salt: What's the difference?

Salt is the most common ingredient in foods, which is probably why 90% of Americans consume more salt than the recommendation. This can be a problem as an excess of sodium can lead to high blood pressure, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. Those looking for lower sodium options often...
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Accessibility in the kitchen

Research indicates that people who cook more meals at home, rather than eating out or grabbing take-out, have a healthier diet and lower risk of chronic disease, such as type 2 diabetes. However, cooking at home for someone with limited mobility, disability, injury, or health conditions, such as...
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Optimizing your diet with vitamin D

Vitamin D is an important nutrient, but unlike most nutrients, it can be difficult to obtain through food. You may be wondering, “am I getting enough?”Vitamin D is critical in helping the body absorb and retain calcium and phosphorus, both of which are necessary for building strong bones. Plus,...
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Garlic: A flavorful staple in any kitchen

Garlic is a staple in most every home kitchen. It packs big flavor. Yes, a dish that is a little heavy on the garlic will give you garlic breath but wear it proudly and embrace social distancing!Garlic can be purchased or harvested in many forms, including green garlic, a head of garlic, minced...
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Two people cooking healthy in a kitchen

Fueling your golden years

It’s inevitable that we all get older, but as my grandpa used to say, “it’s better than the alternative!” Our bodies experience many changes as we age, including those that we can see, like gray hair or wrinkles and those not as visible, such as the stiffening of our blood vessels and arteries...
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Colorful vegetables and fruit

Eating the rainbow: One salad at a time

This article is written by Illinois State University dietetic intern, Maggie Loveridge. Maggie spent four weeks of her internship with University of Illinois Extension.Ever heard of the slogan ‘Taste the rainbow,’ by the famous candy brand Skittles®? While you may ‘taste’ the rainbow when...
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Swiss chard on wood table

Swiss chard: From bitter to better

Swiss chard is the less popular green when it sits next to spinach and kale, but it deserves its shining moment, too. It has big, dark green leaves and stalks that can be white, red, or a rainbow of colors including yellow and orange. It has a slightly bitter taste, but that can be resolved with...
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Bowl of spinach

Know the facts about spinach

Dark leafy greens are not everyone’s cup of tea. Collard greens, kale and turnip greens, for example, can taste bitter, especially when not handled in a way to alleviate some of that bitterness. However, spinach is a dark leafy green, less bitter than most, and still packs the nutritional punch of...
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