Dill coated white fish and asparagus on white plate and blue background

Dill is an interesting plant. In the kitchen, cooks have a choice of fresh and dried dill weed (the leaves) or dill seed for their recipes. Each provide their own flavors and preferred applications. Dill weed is generally more mild than the seeds, adds color to dishes, and provides better flavor when added towards the end of cooking. Dill seeds can stand up to long cooking times and tend to have a stronger flavor. From pickles to soups and salads to dips, dill is one versatile plant.

Nutrition

Three strips of jerky on white plate with blue background

Jerky is a dried meat product that comes in as many different flavors and uses as many different meats as you can probably think of. While jerky can be made at home, this post will focus on prepared jerky.

Nutrition

The nutrition of jerky will vary based on the type of protein used and any flavorings. For nutrition information on your specific jerky, check the food label.

Check out Parts 1 and 2 of this series for more. Part 1 covers an introduction to deer meat and flavors. Part 2 shares information on cooking with venison. And check out the recipes videos on social media.

Venison & Root Vegetable Stew (Serves 8)

Chimichurri sauce over sliced venison

Partnerships are a big part of Illinois Extension programs.  This one started with a conversation about deer hunting and turned into recipe videos and a blog series.  So many ‘thank you’s to Sara Wade, MS, RD, LDN, with Kirby Medical Center for sharing her experiences.

Open avocado on cutting board next to decorative bowl with one avocado

Back in my college classes, we students had opportunities to be food scientists and modify recipes.  Since we were also nutrition and dietetic students, we were told to focus these modifications on ways to add nutrition, such as adding fiber, or improve the nutritional profile, such as lower sodium.

Opening pomegranate over bowl

Pomegranates are simple looking on the outside, and offer an unexpected surprise inside. If you have never opened one, I encourage you to take a look.

Nutrition

A half cup of pomegranate arils – the seed and juice sacs – contains around 70 calories, 16g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, and 1g each of fat and protein. They also contain vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, folate, and vitamin K. Pomegranate is not a significant source of sodium.

Garlic scape on gray background

Last summer, our office bought a share of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Each week of the season, we got a box of local fruits, veggies, and herbs. Garlic scapes were a unique addition one week.

In his article, fellow UI Extension educator, Grant McCarty, shares that "garlic scapes are the immature, flowering stems of hardneck garlic." Scapes have a milder flavor than cloves of garlic, and can be used in place of garlic.

Nutrition

Beef and bean casserole under cornbread

Part of the parsley family, cumin is an annual plant that produces seeds. These seeds can be used as a spice – often ground up – when cooking. To see cumin go from seed to powder, watch the short video, Grinding Cumin at The Spice House, from chicagospiceboss. Note that University of Illinois Extension provides this information for education and does not endorse any company, products, or services over another.

Nutrition

Bowl of red pepper flakes on marble background

Any fans of spicy foods? January 16 is National Hot and Spicy Food Day.

Red pepper flakes – or crushed red pepper – are a great way to add spice and heat to recipes. Red pepper flakes are dried hot peppers that are crushed into small pieces and served along with the seeds.

Nutrition

Red pepper flakes are very spicy, so the amount typically eaten is small. There are not significant calories, carbohydrates, fat, protein, or vitamins or minerals in a few shakes of red pepper flakes.

Smoothie with strawberry on rim of glass

For all the soybeans grown in Illinois, the Illinois Soybean Association notes, "Animal ag is the No. 1 customer for soybeans. Of the soybean meal fed in Illinois, pigs consume 74%, poultry 13%, and beef and dairy cattle 12%."

Hummus in black bowl with pretzel sticks

Chickpeas or garbanzo beans? A different name for the same food, this member of the legume family has a firm texture and a nutty flavor that enhances a variety of recipes.

Cooked chicken wing, leg, and thigh

Where do you often see paprika? Sprinkled on egg salad or cottage cheese? Added to a recipe like chicken paprikash for that red color?

Paprika is made by drying and grinding varieties of mild red peppers. This powdered spice can be used to garnish foods and add color and unique flavors. A blend of different peppers creates the varieties, flavors, and heat levels of paprika you see on shelves, such as sweet paprika, Hungarian paprika, Spanish paprika, and smoked paprika.

Nutrition