January 2023

WIC Inspired Recipe

2023-01-11T18:19:59+00:00January 9th, 2023|Categories: Grocery Services North, Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Use WIC-Approved Pasta to Make This Comforting Meal

This recipe features WIC-approved pasta, and is sure to be a crowd pleaser. It’s creamy and cheesy…the kids might not even notice the vegetables! Plus, it makes a big batch so you can cook and eat more than once.

Lemon Alfredo Bowties with Tuna & Peas

1 lb whole wheat pasta

1 cup frozen peas

2 cans tuna

Juice from ½ lemon 

(Add lemon zest to bring out more lemon flavor)

2 tablespoons minced garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 ½ cups whole milk

½ stick butter

1 ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese 

(Mozzarella works great too – Just be sure not to use pre-shredded cheese!)

¼ cup flour

Season with pepper, onion powder, & oregano to your taste

Boil pasta with 1 tablespoon of salt for 10-12 minutes, or suggested cook time on package. 

Drain & set aside. In the same pot, heat olive oil at medium high heat and add minced garlic. Cook for about 3 minutes, or until golden. Add tuna and break up into smaller pieces. Add lemon zest and lemon juice, cook for 3 minutes, then add butter and half of the shredded cheese. Slowly add in milk and flour, while stirring well. Turn the heat down to medium and bring to a simmer while stirring often. Add in peas, and the other half of the shredded cheese. Cook for about 5 more minutes, stirring often, then turn off the heat. Slowly mix in the pasta. 

Top with more shredded cheese if you like! Enjoy!

Get all your WIC-approved pasta and other WIC foods at Grocery Services North stores. It’s easy, fast and you can get all your WIC foods in one easy stop. Visit today to see for yourself.

Looking for more WIC-inspired recipes? Check out our blog. 

Mom Hacks Using WIC Foods

2023-01-11T16:06:33+00:00January 5th, 2023|Categories: Baby Food, Child Health, Grocery Services North, Meal Planning, Mom Health, Pregnancy, Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Moms and moms-to-be all need savvy, time-saving hacks to save time, be healthy and to maintain sanity.

Infant and toddler moms don’t usually have a lot of spare time. Moms often feel a lot of stress to take care of tiny humans. That’s why we have come up with some great mom hacks to help save time while offering a little piece-of-mind.

Stress for expecting mothers can also be high. What can you eat? What should you not eat? It can be overwhelming. Not to mention, you are creating a human in your belly. That is very tiring.

PREGNANCY HACKS

Now is the perfect time to practice carrying a prepared bag (think diaper bag for moms). Except this bag will be filled with healthy snacks/water for mom. Here are a few ideas for your mom bag: water bottle, dry WIC-approved cereal – which is packed with iron and fiber. Other ideas for your “snack” bag: fresh fruit like bananas or peanut butter on whole wheat bread. Get more information about WIC foods and pregnancy here.

TIME SAVING COOKING HACKS FOR MOMS

Every mom loves a good kitchen shortcut. Here are a few ideas you can use in the kitchen to help you save time and maintain your sanity.

  1. First up: homemade teething rings. When toddlers start to teeth, it can be painful for your baby and hard on mom. No parent likes a little one to cry in pain. Make homemade teething ring popsicles. The cold pop is perfect for sore gums. Plus, because you can make several at a time and freeze you will have treats for weeks to come. Here is a recipe you can use:

BERRY YOGURT POPSICLES

1 ½ bananas (mom can eat the other half)

16 ounces of yogurt (any flavor)

4 ounces of blueberries

Blend all ingredients in a blender until it is very smooth. Place yogurt mixture into popsicle molds. Freeze for at least 6 hours. Keep in the freezer for the next time your child needs a treat.

2. Here is another time-saving hack: make pre-made snacks for hungry toddlers. Moms know that one of your main roles as a parent is to give your child healthy foods. It can often feel like a full-time job. You can save time by making several pre-made snacks to keep on hand. Pre-cook boiled eggs to have on head in the fridge. These are great for children starting to eat real foods and older kids looking for a snack. For kiddos starting to eat table food, make sure you have easy foods you can grab when your baby is hungry. A few great examples are avocados and bananas that can be smashed for smaller children. Here are a few more ideas for snacks using WIC foods.

CRAFTY PROJECTS

Having a little fun can also be a great way to take a break and cut the stress. We have gathered a few hacks using containers from WIC foods. Use empty and cleaned milk and egg cartons for fun crafty projects. So are baby food jars. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Turn your egg carton into a fun container for kid paint. Each egg holder can be for a different color. Your egg container could also be used to create a homemade sensory tray. Fill the egg carton with items with different textures that you can find around the house: a small ball of yarn, a block, a small piece of fabric. Just make sure the items are age-appropriate and are not a choking hazard for your little one.
  2. For older kids, use the lids from your milk jugs to make checkers pieces. Just color the lid black or red. Save enough to make your own checkers pieces. Make a checkerboard out of cardboard or a piece of paper you have around the house.

Of course your imagination is the limit for using containers to help entertain your kids. Sometimes kids enjoy making toys out of the simplest items around your house.

The best mom hack of all is to get all your WIC foods in one easy stop at any Grocery Services North location. Since you won’t have to go searching down long aisles to get all your WIC foods, you will save time and your sanity. Find a location near you.

Do you have mom hacks you would like to share? Drop them in the comments below. Use hashtag #GSNmomhacks

Looking for more blog articles about these topics? Check these out:

Join WIC During Pregnancy

3 Reasons To Join WIC

December 2022

Celebrate New Year’s Day Blacked-Eye Peas, Cabbage

2023-01-11T17:42:16+00:00December 29th, 2022|Categories: Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Cheers to 2023!

Fill Your Bowl With Symbols Of A Year-To-Come Filled With Luck, Money

It’s almost 2023! Bringing in a New Year has a set of customs and traditions. The ball drops at Midnight. Some watch fireworks light up the sky. Some may attend parties and others may cuddle up for a movie or book at home. 

New Year’s Day traditions center around food! Many people celebrate New Year’s Day with Blacked Eyed Peas, which symbolizes a year filled with good luck. Others may eat something green, like Cabbage or Greens, to symbolize a year filled with money. 

This recipe combines ‘luck’ and ‘money’ into one simple, delicious Near Year’s Day meal or side you and your family will love. Cheers to a year filled with luck and money!

BLACK-EYED PEAS

3 cups of black eyed peas (you can use canned, frozen, or dry!)

1 can of diced tomatoes 

½ head of cabbage, diced

½ onion, diced

1 lg carrot, diced

1 jalapeno, seeds removed & finely diced

4 cups of chicken broth

Salt, Pepper, Paprika, Oregano

Note: You can also use any of these leftovers you may have in you fridge to step it up a notch: 

Corn, bacon, ham, or a ham bone

Add all ingredients to a slow cooker and cook for 4 hours on high heat, season to taste.

Pick up all your WIC foods in one easy stop at any Grocery Services North location. 

2 Great Recipes Using WIC Foods

2022-12-20T15:07:33+00:00December 14th, 2022|Categories: Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Potato Soup, 3 Bean Chili Recipes To Comfort Your Family This Winter

This winter, soups are the perfect way to cozy up. We have two amazing recipes using WIC foods that will help warm your whole family on the coldest of days. These two recipes use popular WIC foods such as beans, vegetables and cheese to help make a filling family meal that you can enjoy for days to come.

BAKED POTATO SOUP

5 large russet potatoes, diced

1 teaspoon salt

5 slices thick cut bacon

1 large onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tablespoon butter

¼ cup flour

3 cups Chicken broth

2 cups milk

1 cup sour cream

½ teaspoon pepper

2 cups shredded cheese – Colby jack, cheddar, or mozzarella work best

1/8 cup green onion chives, finely diced

Helpful Tips: 

Avoid using bagged shredded cheese, as it contains cellulose which prevents the cheese from melting smoothly.

Plain Greek Yogurt can be used instead of sour cream.

Instructions:

Submerge diced potatoes in a pot of water. Add salt and boil for about 20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain the potatoes and set aside.

Cut the bacon into squares and cook low and slow until crisp.

Add the onions and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and butter and cook for 2 more minutes. 

Slowly stir in flour while mixing and cook for 1 – 2 minutes.

Add the chicken broth, then the milk. Bring to a boil while stirring often, then reduce to a simmer. Mash the potatoes then add them to the pot. Mix in the sour cream, salt and pepper.

Remove from heat.

Gradually sprinkle in the shredded cheese. Stir until combined. Add the green onion chives and any extra cheese or sour cream you want. The soup will continue to thicken as it stands. 

Serve & enjoy!

Frijoles WIC

The temperatures are dropping. What’s more comforting than a nice warm soup or chili? Gather up WIC-approved beans and other WIC ingredients for this hearty and healthy recipe. It’s the perfect time to cozy up to a bowl of this 3 Bean Chili.

3 BEAN CHILI

1 onion, diced

1 tablespoon of minced garlic

3 celery stalks, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 jalapeno, diced

1 can of diced tomatoes with chilies

1 can of kidney beans, drained

1 can of black beans

2 cans of pinto beans, drained

1 tablespoon of butter or oil

Optional for topping:

Green onions

Cheese and/or sour cream

Turn the slow cooker on high heat. Finely dice about 2 cloves of garlic, 1 onion, 3 celery stalks, 1 large carrot, and 2 jalapenos then add to the slow cooker. Add 1 tablespoon of butter or oil & stir. Drain the liquid out of 1 can of kidney beans and 2 cans of pinto beans, then add to the slow cooker. Then add 1 can of black beans (don’t drain the liquid out of this one).

Stir & cover. Cook for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve with shredded cheese & green onion on top, and this pairs great with cornbread too! Enjoy!

Pick up all your WIC-approved beans and other WIC foods in one easy stop at any Grocery Services North store. There are 11 locations in Dallas, Garland, Grand Prairie, Plano, Waco, Tyler and Longview. 

Check out our blog for more recipes using WIC-approved beans and other WIC foods. 

 

WIC Inspired Recipes – Corn Chowder

2022-12-06T14:07:18+00:00December 6th, 2022|Categories: Meal Planning, Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping|Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Everyone seems to be talking about corn these days. With the viral song about corn, it seems most of us can appreciate the vegetable for it’s sweetness and versatility. Corn just seems to go with everything! This hearty corn chowder recipe is sure to keep your family warm this fall and winter. It’s so tasty and comforting, you may find yourselves going back for a second serving!

CORN CHOWDER

2 tablespoons butter

4 slices of bacon (optional)

1 onion 

2 celery stalks 

1 bell pepper

1 jalapeno 

1 large carrot 

3 medium potatoes 

6 ears of corn

5 cups milk

1 bay leaf

Salt & Pepper

Smoked Paprika

Green onion

Peel potatoes and dice along with onion, celery, carrot, bell pepper, and jalapeno.  Shuck the husks off the corn and slice corn kernels off of the cobs, then save the cobs for later. (You can also use canned or frozen corn to skip this step! But you’ll want to add the corn in with the rest of the veggies to get more corn flavor) Slice some green onion & shred some cheese to top off each bowl of corn chowder if you like!

Place butter and bacon into a large, heavy-bottomed soup pot. Heat on medium high heat until the bacon renders its fat, about 5 minutes.

Cook the vegetables (except the corn and potatoes):

Add the chopped onions, celery, bell pepper, jalapeno, and carrot, and lower the heat to medium and cook until vegetables are well softened, about 10 minutes.

Break the corn cobs in half (after you’ve stripped off the corn) and add the cobs to the pot. Add the milk and the bay leaf. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 20 minutes, discard the cobs and the bay leaf. Add the potatoes, corn, salt, pepper, and paprika to the pot. Increase the heat to return the soup to a simmer, then lower the heat to maintain the simmer and cook for another 20 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Stir often to prevent milk from curdling. Add more salt, pepper, and paprika to taste, and add a little shredded cheese and sliced green onion on top of each bowl when serving. Enjoy!

November 2022

WIC Inspired Recipes – Blackberry Banana Bread

2022-12-14T20:14:21+00:00November 18th, 2022|Categories: Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Try out this unique take on a classic banana bread recipe using WIC approved products like bananas, eggs, and blackberries! This warm and comforting treat is perfect to serve Thanksgiving morning, or any time this winter.

WIC-INSPIRED RECIPE – BLACKBERRY BANANA BREAD

4 bananas

2 eggs

1 stick of butter

1 cup of sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 1/4 cups of flour

2 teaspoons of baking powder

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

big pinch of salt

1.5 cups of blackberries

4 oz of chocolate chips/chunks (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350. Prepare all the ingredients. Prepare the pan by buttering it or using non-stick spray. Use either a 9×5-inch loaf pan or a 10 inch round cake pan.
In a small pot melt the butter, take it off the heat and let it cool. In a small bowl, mix the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together. Set aside.
Add the eggs and sugar to a mixing bowl, whisk quickly for 5 minutes until the mixture is pale, light and foamy. Add the mashed bananas, vanilla extract, and melted butter, mix until just combined. Slowly add the flour mixture into the batter, stir in with a spatula, until partially combined. Add the chocolate pieces and about 1 cup of blackberries, fold in gently, taking care not to over mix. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan, and lay the remaining blackberries on the top. Bake for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick comes out clean. It may run longer or shorter in your oven and depending on what pan you are using. After about 45 minutes, check if the top is not browning too much, if it is – cover it loosely with a piece of aluminum foil.
Enjoy!

EASY WIC GROCERY SHOPPING

Grocery Services North makes WIC grocery shopping easy.  Get all your WIC foods in one easy stop at any Grocery Services North store. There are 11 locations in Dallas, Plano, Waco, Tyler and Longview.

Visit today to find out how easy WIC shopping can be!

Cook Up Comforting Fall Recipes With WIC Foods

2022-11-21T18:36:28+00:00November 4th, 2022|Categories: Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , , |

Mixing family meals is a never-ending task. To help inspire you and your family at mealtime, here are a few cozy recipe ideas – using WIC foods of course – we think you will enjoy as the fall and winter weather kicks in.

This time of year pumpkin is in everything from coffee to candles. This recipe from USDA’s MyPlate is full of fall flavors and is a great family meal, perfect for catching up and spending quality time with your family.

PUMPKIN CHILI

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 small yellow onion (chopped)

1 green bell pepper (cored, seeded and chopped )

2 jalapeño peppers (seeded and finely chopped, optional)

2 cloves garlic ( finely chopped or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder )

1 pound ground turkey, optional

1 can diced tomatoes with juice

1 can pumpkin puree

1 cup water

1 teaspoon cumin, ground

salt and pepper (to taste, optional)

1 can kidney beans (Can choose other beans if desired.)

Heat oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion, bell pepper, jalapenos (omit if serving to children) and garlic and cook, stirring frequently until tender, about 5 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, water, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low then add beans. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes more. Ladle chili into bowls and serve.

Source: from USDA’s MyPlate, Bronson Wellness Center

It’s also the perfect time to fire-up the oven for tasty treats with healthy ingredients.

This recipe from the USDA’s MyPlate is a perfect twist on a classic cookie recipe. Your kids won’t even know healthy foods are packed into the ingredient list.

Carrots give this traditional oatmeal and raisin cookie a colorful and tasty twist.

CARROT COOKIES

1/2 cup margarine (soft)

1 1/4 cups sugar mixed with 1/4 cup water

1 cup carrot (grated)

2 egg whites (well beaten)

2 cups flour (all purpose)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cups oatmeal, quick cooking (raw)

1 cup raisins

In a large bowl, cream together margarine and honey. Stir in carrots and egg whites. Stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, oatmeal and raisins. Gradually stir flour-oatmeal mixture into creamed mixture, just until all flour is mixed. Do not over mix. Drop a teaspoon on a greased baking sheet. Flatten slightly and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

Source: USDA’s MyPlate, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Healthy Futures

October 2022

Budget Bites to Help You Save Money On Food

2023-01-11T18:12:04+00:00October 21st, 2022|Categories: Meal Planning, Recipes, Texas WIC, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , |

4 Tips To Help You Save Money

Grocery prices keep going up, and we are all looking for ways to stretch our food budgets. Here are a few tips we can all use to curb the waste, and stretch our food dollars even further.

USE MORE, WASTE LESS

If you don’t think you will use them before they go bad, freeze fruits and vegetables. Put them in freezer-safe containers or bags and mark with a date. These frozen portions are great to add to soups or smoothies.

Save veggie scraps like potato rinds, ends of onions and celery pieces, to make veggie broth. These vegetables will make a perfect vegetable broth that is delicious in soups.

Use leftovers creatively. You can turn almost any leftovers into a completely different meal. For example, did you make roasted veggies as a side dish this week? Use the leftovers in a delicious omelet. You cook once and have two delicious meals. Plus, you save time in the kitchen.

MAXIMIZE WIC BENEFITS

One of the best ways to maximize your WIC benefits is to use your SNAP benefits first. Your SNAP benefits roll over, but your WIC benefits expire at the end of the month. USE WIC FIRST.

Make fewer trips. If you are making a trip to the WIC clinic, redeem your WIC benefits during the same trip. Grocery Services North, which caters to WIC clients, are conveniently located near WIC clinics. Grocery Services North caters to WIC clients and helps them redeem their benefits in one easy, fast trip.

PLAN AHEAD

By planning ahead you can save time and money. Plan your menu for the week. See what ingredients can be used to do double duty in your recipes. For example, are you making a homemade soup and stir-fry dish this week? Get an onion that can be used for both. What other ingredients can be used in both meals? Stretch your food dollars by using simple recipes with less ingredients. Plus, it is a great way for your kids to help. Make a menu together on a chalkboard or a colorful paper. Your kids will love the family activity.

KEEP IT SIMPLE

One of the best ways to save money cooking is to make simple, nutritious recipes that don’t have a ton of ingredients. Buy pantry staples like seasonings on sale or in bulk. Make your own salad dressing using olive oil and simple seasonings.

Get all your WIC foods at Grocery Services North in Dallas, Plano, Waco, Tyler and Longview. Grocery Services North caters to WIC clients, and are ready to help you get all your WIC foods in one easy stop. Find a location near you.

September 2022

Recipe Spotlight Using WIC Foods

2022-09-26T16:41:49+00:00September 23rd, 2022|Categories: Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , , , |

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, we will be spotlighting several recipes you can make in your kitchen. This one, “A Simple Mexican Salad” is from the USDA website and came from the Oregon State University Cooperative Extension Service. It’s a refreshing salad with a little bite. It’s cool and refreshing flavors are very comforting. 

A Simple Mexican Salad

Chili powder and lime juice are the secret ingredients in this cucumber and orange salad.

2 cucumbers

2 oranges

1 lemon or lime (the juice)

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

Wash the cucumbers, oranges and lemon or lime under cold running water. Slice the cucumbers. Peel and cut the oranges into small pieces. Place cucumber slices and orange pieces in a medium size bowl. Add chili powder, lemon or lime juice and salt.

Get all your WIC foods in one easy stop at any Grocery Services North There are 11 locations in Dallas, Plano, Waco, Tyler and Longview. 

 

Quick, Easy Family Meal Features Whole Grains

2023-01-11T18:28:45+00:00September 22nd, 2022|Categories: Meal Planning, Pregnancy, Recipes, WIC Food, WIC Grocery Shopping, WIC Nutrition|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Whole grains are a great source of nutrition. Texas WIC features several approved-foods that offer whole grains. This recipe for Pasta with Peas from the “staff favorites” from the Whole Grain Council is a super easy, quick meal that can be made in 15 minutes for the entire family. Find more recipes like this one on their website.

Pasta with Peas

2 eggs, beaten

½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1 cup frozen peas

12 ounces whole wheat pasta

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 large onion, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and break linguini in half and cook according to package directions. 

While the pasta is cooking, combine the eggs and cheese in a small bowl, beat, and set aside. Put peas in a strainer, rinse under hot water, and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Add the onion and sauté for several minutes, until it softens. Add the peas to the skillet and cook for about one minute longer.

Drain the pasta and add to the skillet. Toss gently to mix. Create a well in the center, add the eggs and cheese, and cook until they are starting to firm up. Toss with the pasta and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.