Archive for Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Summer Food Program offers free meals for area youths

May 19, 2010


Q: I heard a rumor that the Summer Food Program wasn’t going to be offered this year because of budget cuts. Is that true?

A: I’m thankful that’s only a BAD RUMOR! The Lawrence Summer Food Program is DEFINITELY ON for this summer. And we need everyone’s help to spread the word — it’s the best deal in town! Free meals are available to ALL youth between the ages of 1-18. (An adult must accompany anyone under the age of 4 years old.) Any adult may also purchase lunch for $3.10 and breakfast for $1.75.

To participate, all kids have to do is show up at one of the sites listed below. No, they do not have to qualify for the reduced or free lunch school program in order to come. No, they do not need to be participating in a program at any of the sites in order to come. No ... no ... no, there is no paperwork, no registration, no proof of citizenship, no proof of income and no proof of age. And, no there is no fee to pay at all. I know this sounds too good to be true, but it is legitimate, and the best way we know to help kids from going hungry during the summer.

The only requirement is that they must eat the food on site — that means anywhere on the grounds. In other words, they can’t just grab a lunch and hop in a vehicle and take off.

The Summer Food Program will be offered Monday through Friday, except for Edgewood and Central Junior High where it will be closed on Friday. Pay close attention to the dates and times as they vary from one location to another.

Lunch & breakfast sites:

• Central Junior High School, 1400 Mass.

June 1 - June 24 (Monday-Thursday), 8 - 8:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. - 12 noon

• East Lawrence Recreation Center, 1245 E. 15th St.

June 1 - Aug. 6 (excluding July 5), 8:30 - 9 a.m., noon - 1 p.m.

Lunch-only sites:

• Broken Arrow Park, 29th and Louisiana

June 1 - Aug. 6 (excluding July 5), noon - 1 p.m.

• Edgewood, 1600 Haskell

June 1 - July 29 (excluding July 5), Monday-Thursday, noon - 1 p.m.

• South Park Recreation Center, 1141 Massachusetts

June 1 - Aug. 6 (excluding July 5), noon - 1 p.m.

If you have additional questions about the Summer Food Program, just call me at 843-7058 or e-mail

Q: What is Greek yogurt?

A: One of the new “in” foods on the supermarket today is Greek yogurt. But Greek yogurt has been enjoyed by consumers worldwide for generations.

Open a container of Greek yogurt and you’ll find a thick, rich product. It is strained to remove the watery whey typically found in traditional yogurt.

It contains more protein, between 14 and 18 grams per six ounce portion, depending on the brand. Regular yogurt has less than 10 grams per 6 ounce portion. This can help you feel fuller on less. Studies show that consuming protein, as compared to carbohydrate and fat, promotes stronger feelings of fullness and tends to suppress food intake at the next meal.

Greek yogurt tends to be lower in sugar. Regular plain yogurt has 12 grams sugar per 6 ounces; Greek yogurt has 7 to 9 grams sugar. Buy plain Greek yogurt and add fruit and vanilla extract to it. If you need it a bit sweeter, add a sprinkle of sugar — it will still have less sugar than commercially purchased vanilla or fruit flavored yogurt.

On the downside, when whey is removed, it also takes away some calcium. Greek yogurt typically has 20 percent calcium compared to about 35 percent for regular yogurt.

Use Greek yogurt to replace sour cream in sauces and dips. It has about 135 calories per cup. Fat-free sour cream has 170 calories per cup; regular sour cream has 440 calories per cup. Greek yogurt also comes in reduced-fat and fat-free varieties.

The cost may deter some consumers, but you can make your own by putting regular yogurt in a strainer lined with a coffee filter, paper towels, or cheesecloth. Cover and refrigerate for several hours. The longer it drains, the thicker it gets.

Mushroom Stroganoff

Here’s a recipe for stroganoff using Greek yogurt:

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 medium white onions, sliced

1 tablespoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 pound mushrooms (button or cremini), sliced

1 cup vegetable broth

1/2 teaspoon Kosher coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt mixed with 1 tablespoon flour

2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the onions and sauté until tender and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Stir in the paprika, red pepper, and lemon zest. Add the mushrooms and 1/2 cup of the vegetable broth. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until the liquid is reduced. Season with salt and pepper. Add the remaining vegetable broth and heat through.

Remove the skillet from the stovetop. Allow to cool for about 2 minutes. Add yogurt and blend. Sprinkle with chopped parsley. Serve on 100 percent whole wheat noodles.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving (without noodles): 190 Calories, 15 g Total Fat, 2.5 g Saturated Fat, 0 g Trans Fat, 0 mg Cholesterol, 500 mg Sodium, 10 g Carbohydrates, 2 g Dietary Fiber, 5 g Sugar, 6 g Protein.


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