Plan your meals and cook smart

By Leanna McKamey - For The Times-Gazette

Prepare and freeze vegetable soups, stews, or other dishes in advance. This saves time and money. Add leftover vegetables to casseroles or blend them to make soup. Overripe fruit is great for smoothies or baking.

Plan out a weekly menu, then make out your grocery list. When you get home from the grocery, prep food for the week and then attach the menu to the refrigerator. This will help you remember what you are fixing each day. Always have a leftover at the end of the week and be creative. It may become your favorite day.

Below is another soup to try. For more recipes, go to

Broccoli potato soup

Servings — six

Prep time — 10 minutes

Total time — 40 minutes


4 cups low sodium broth (vegetable or chicken broth or four cups of water with four bouillon cubes)

1 ¼ pounds white potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size cubes

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 small carrot, peeled and chopped

2 cups broccoli florets, one cup chopped into bitesize pieces, one cup chopped very small

2 cups low-fat milk

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese


1. Before you begin, wash your hands, surfaces, utensils and produce.

2. In a large sauce pan, bring broth to a boil over medium high heat.

3. While broth is heating, chop vegetables. Add potatoes, celery, onion, carrot, and one cup bitesize broccoli florets to broth.

4. Bring soup to a boil, reduce heat, cover pan and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.

5. Cool soup slightly. In small batches, transfer soup to a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer blended soup to a bowl. Repeat process until all soup is smooth.

6. Transfer soup back to saucepan and stir in milk, Italian seasoning, one cup finely chopped broccoli, and cheese and cook on medium heat for 10-15 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

Leeanna McKamey is the SNAP-Ed program assistant for the Highland County OSU Extension Office.

By Leanna McKamey

For The Times-Gazette