Recipes and Resources

Help Us Build a Healthier Community

The SLO Food Bank strives to give community members the food as well as the tools they need to live healthy lives. By providing our participants with healthy, affordable, culturally inclusive recipes and science-based nutrition education, we encourage them to prepare more nutritious meals at home and make informed choices in their everyday lives.

This page is the home for simple and affordable recipes as well as other cooking- and nutrition-related educational materials. Individuals, educators, and service providers are welcome to utilize all resources. To request additional materials or to partner with us for outreach at your organization, please email our Nutrition and Children’s Programs Manager.

Distribution Ingredient Recipes – November 2022

At each of our 53 monthly Neighborhood Food Distributions across the County, participating households receive a bag of shelf-stable protein, grains, vegetables, beans, and fruits, a bag of fresh assorted produce, as well fresh and frozen protein and dairy items.

Below are recipes that incorporate the shelf-stable ingredients given out across our April 2022 Neighborhood Food Distributions. They are healthy, affordable, and easy-to-prepare.

Do you need additional assistance with purchasing groceries? Visit Funds for Food for information on programs that provide monetary assistance to purchase healthy foods.

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Consuming a variety of fruits and vegetables on a daily basis will provide you with an array of nutrients essential for your overall health. See below for produce info and recipes!

Fall Fruits and Vegetables: 

Fruits 

  • Cranberries

     

    Appearance: Round crimson berries about the size of currants and are often spotted.

    Availability: October through December

    Look for: Firm, plump, unblemished berries that are dark to light red in color with a sheen.

    How to Prepare: Wash with cold water. Place on a clean towel to dry, pick through and discard any leaves or soft or damaged berries. Berries can be eaten fresh, cooked, or dried.

    How to Store: They can be kept in a plastic bag (usually how they are sold in stores) and stored in the crisper drawer of a refrigerator. If purchased from the farmers market and they’re in a brown paper bag, transfer them to an airtight container or zip-top bag.

    Fun Fact: Cranberries can bounce.

    Nutrition Fact: Cranberries contain fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K and manganese. Also high in other antioxidants, which help protect against diseases.

    Recipes: Cranberry Nut BreadCranberry Pumpkin Muffins Homemade Cranberry Sauce

     

  • Persimmons

     

    Appearance: There are two different types of persimmons commonly found in the US. Stringent persimmons, which are inedible when firm and need to become extremely ripe and soft before they can be eaten, and non-astringent persimmons, which can be eaten hard or soft, with the skin on. In the US, the best-known non-astringent persimmon is the round, squat Fuyu. The best-known astringent persimmon is the Hachiya, an oblong fruit with an acorn-like shape. When ripe, they have a very soft, slippery texture.

    Availability: October through January

    Look for: Plump persimmons with smooth, shiny, orange skin free of cracks or blemishes.

    How to Prepare: After washing you can eat them like an apple or cut it into smaller bite-size pieces or thin slices.

    How to Store: It is best to store them at room temperature. Ripe persimmons are best eaten immediately, but you can refrigerate them for 1 or 2 days.

    Fun Fact: There are about 2,000 varieties of persimmons, but only 2 types are commercially available.

    Nutrition Fact: Persimmons are a good source of thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), folate, magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin A (over half the recommended intake). Also, they are loaded with fiber. All which can help reduce the risk of certain health conditions.

    Recipes: Savory Stuffed PersimmonsPersimmon BreadPersimmon and Spinach SaladCaramelized Baked Persimmons

     

  • Pumpkins

     

    Appearance: Round with smooth, slightly ribbed skin, and is most often deep yellow to orange in coloration.

    Availability: September to November

    Look for: Pumpkins that are firm, have smooth orange skin, and feel heavy for their size. Avoid pumpkins with cracks and bruises. Try to pick pumpkins (pie pumpkin/sugar pumpkin) between 3-6 pounds, big pumpkins tend to be very stringy and not flavorful.

    How to Prepare: Wash then cut stem from top, don’t remove yet. Cut lengthwise on either side avoiding the stem. Remove seeds with spoon. Cut and remove stem. Ready for desired cooking method.

    How to Store: Whole pumpkins can be kept in a cool, dry place for several months. Once you cut up your fresh pumpkin, store it in the refrigerator wrapped in plastic and use within five days.

    Fun Fact: The word “pumpkin” showed up for the first time in the fairy tale Cinderella.

    Nutrition Fact: Pumpkins contain vitamins A, B1, B6, and C, copper, fiber, folate, and manganese. As well as calcium, potassium, and magnesium, which can help keep your heartbeat regular and your blood pressure low.

    Recipes: Savory Baked PumpkinSpicy Pumpkin and Collard GreensPumpkin PureeCinnamon Toast Pumpkin Seeds

     

  • Tomatillos

     

    Appearance: Small round fruit with a green color and papery husk.

    Availability: Midsummer and Fall

    Look for: Husk that almost completely covers the fruit. The husk should be relatively tight, and the fruit inside should be firm, but not rock-hard.

    How to Prepare: Run under warm water, while you peel off husk. Rub resin off. They can be blanched, boiled, or roasted.

    How to Store: They can be Kept in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. To help keep them fresh and free of bruises, don’t peel back the husks until you’re ready to eat them.

    Fun Fact: The fruits are true berries with many tiny seeds and are typically green, yellow, or purple when mature.

    Nutrition Fact: Contains antioxidants that help protect against environmental damage. Additionally, tomatillos provide beta carotene, vitamin E, vitamin C, copper, and zinc.

    Recipes: Tomatillo Salsa VerdeChile Verde (Pork in Tomatillo Sauce)

     

Vegetables 

  • Green Beans

     

    Appearance: Long green pods of young unripe fruits of various cultivars of the common bean.

    Availability: May to early December

    Look for: Snappy crispness when bent in half. It should be free of blemishes; mold and the pod should not be hard or dried out.

    How to Prepare: : Wash then cut off both ends of the bean. Cut to desired length.

    How to Store: Keep snap beans in the crisper section of the refrigerator in a perforated plastic bag; this will keep the beans from drying.

    Fun Fact: They come in a variety of colors and patterns, like yellow, purple, black, and speckled.

    Nutrition Fact: Excellent source of vitamins C, K, A, and some B vitamins. As well as fiber, which helps to stabilize blood sugar, boost satiety, and improve digestive health.

    Recipes: Greek Green BeansGarlic Parmesan Green Beans RecipeGreen Bean Casserole

     

  • Turnips

     

    Appearance: Turnips are generally white at the bottom with a light purple blush on the top of the bulb and leaves sprouting out the top.

    Availability: Fall and Spring

    Look for: They should feel firm and heavy with crisp green tops.

    How to Prepare: Rinse thoroughly in cold water to remove sand and dirt. Cut off root and stem ends. Chop to desired thickness.

    How to Store: Store turnips in a vegetable crisper where it is cool and moist for only a few days. Longer storage will make turnips bitter.

    Fun Fact: The Irish carved turnips, not pumpkins, for their jack-o’-lanterns.

    Nutrition Fact: Rich in fiber and vitamin C.

    Recipes: Harvest Vegetable SaladTurnip Pancakes

     

  • Sweet potatoes

     

    Appearance: Elongated yellow or orange root tubers that taper to a point at each end. The paler-skinned sweet potato has a thin, light-yellow skin and pale-yellow flesh. The darker variety has a thicker, dark orange to reddish skin with a sweet, vivid orange flesh and a moist texture.

    Availability: Late August to early November

    Look for: Choose small to medium-size firm sweet potatoes with smooth skin and no bruises or cracks.

    How to Prepare: Wash thoroughly under cold water and scrub skin with a vegetable brush.

    How to Store: In a cool, dry, and dark area. Can be stored for up to two weeks.

    Fun Fact: Sweet potatoes that are a bright orange color are the richest in beta-carotene.

    Nutrition Fact: Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of beta carotene, vitamin C, and potassium. They are also a decent source of many other vitamins and minerals.

    Recipes: Sweet Potato and Cabbage TacosLoaded Sweet PotatoesOven Sweet Potato FriesSweet Potato Apple Pie

     

  • Cauliflower

     

    Appearance:Edible white flesh sometimes called “curd”. The cauliflower head is composed of a white inflorescence meristem. Cauliflower heads resemble those in broccoli.

    Availability: September through November

    Look for: Creamy white color with densely packed florets that are free of blemishes, browning or wet spots. The cauliflower head should feel heavy in your hand for its size.

    How to Prepare: Remove greens and then steam (edible). Detach florets with knife then rinse. Can be roasted, boiled, fried, or steamed.

    How to Store: Store stem-up in the refrigerator in loose plastic wrap or container with holes. You still want to keep it covered, but you’ll want to give the cauliflower some room to breathe.

    Fun Fact: The vegetable contains sulphur compounds, which will react with aluminum and iron resulting in a discolored cauliflower.

    Nutrition Fact: One of the best plant sources of choline. As well as glucosinolate and isothiocyanate antioxidants, which fight inflammation. Its other antioxidants: vitamin C, flavonoids, and carotenoids, may reduce your risk of certain illnesses.

    Recipes: Cauliflower Herb Soup  • Roasted Buffalo Cauliflower Bites • Cauliflower Shells with Cheese • Cauliflower fried rice • Cheesy Cauliflower Mac

     

Year-Round Produce:

Fruits 

  • Apples

     

    Appearance: Apples are crunchy, juicy fruits that grow on trees. They vary in color including red, yellow, and green.

    Look for: Apples that are hard, without bruising or soft spots.

    How to Prepare: Rinse and eat. To prevent browning, coat cut surfaces with lemon juice.

    How to Store: Store at room temperature for up to a week or unwashed in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks.

    Fun Fact: The average apple has 10 seeds.

    Nutrition Fact: Eat the apple peel to add more fiber to your diet. Fiber helps us stay full and aids in digestion.

    Recipes: Simple ApplesauceApple and Chicken SaladCabbage, Apple and Cheese Casserole

     

  • Pears

     

    Appearance: A sweet and juicy fruit with mild flavor that is the shape of a tear drop.

    Look for: Firm, well-shaped, fruit. Use fully ripe fruit for immediate use. Minor scars and blemishes do not affect flavor.

    How to Prepare: Rinse and enjoy whole or cut into pieces. To prevent browning, coat cut surfaces with lemon juice.

    How to Store: Cover, refrigerate unwashed ripe fruit for up to three days. Ripen firm fruit at room temperature in a paper bag until it yields to gentle pressure at stem.

    Fun Fact: Pears do not ripen on the tree. They’re harvested when they’re mature, not ripe. Pear also ripen from the inside out.

    Nutrition Fact: Pears contain fiber, which helps with healthy digestion and keeps us feeling full.

    Recipes: Frozen Pear PopsPear QuesadillasPear Salad

     

  • Oranges

     

    Appearance: Plump, round, and shiny with orange skin and orange flesh

    Look for: Dense and firm

    How to Prepare: Rinse the outer skin, cut through the stem and into slices. Or simply peel and enjoy!

    How to Store: Store at room temperature if you plan to enjoy the fruit soon. To enjoy later, store in the crisper in the refrigerator.

    Fun Fact: The color “orange” was named after the orange fruit.

    Nutrition Fact: One orange provides all the vitamin C you need in a day.

    Recipes: Citrus SaladCinnamon OrangesBreakfast Fruit Cup

     

Vegetables 

  • Potatoes

     

    Appearance: A potato is a vegetable that grows underground. They can be brown, red, or blue.

    Look for: Clean, firm, smooth potatoes, without sprouts, green areas or blemishes.

    How to Prepare: Scrub well. Remove sprouts, decayed and green areas. Leave whole or peel cut as desired.

    How to Store: Keep in a cool, dry, dark, ventilated place for up to two months or keep at room temperature for up to one week. Do not refrigerate except new potatoes for up to one week.

    Fun Fact: The word “potato” comes from the Spanish word patata.

    Nutrition Fact: Potatoes are rich in potassium which helps build muscle and keeps your heart healthy.

    Recipes: Potato and Broccoli SoupPotato Corn ChowderTasty Tots

     

  • Carrots

     

    Appearance: Carrots are long root vegetables that taper at one end. They are a crunchy, sweet vegetable and are usually orange but can also come in yellow and purple.

    Look for: Firm, clean, bright carrots that are well shaped. If tops are attached, they should be bright green.

    How to Prepare: Trim root and stem ends. Rinse. Scrub or peel. Leave whole, shred or cut into coins or sticks.

    How to Store: Cover, refrigerate unwashed carrots for up to 2-3 weeks.

    Fun Fact: California produces over 85% of all carrots grown in the United States.

    Nutrition Fact: Carrots are rich in vitamin A, which supports our vision and immune system.

    Recipes: Carrot Apple PieCarrot DipCarrot & Potato Baked French Fries • Carrot Cookies

     

  • Onions

     

    Appearance: Onions are an edible bulb that grow underneath soil. They have many layers inside with thin papery layers on the outside. They are crunchy and pungent when raw and are soft and sweet when cooked.

    Look for: Firm, small necked onions. Avoid dark spotted or sprouted bulbs.

    How to Prepare: Rinse, trim root and stem ends. Discard outer leaves, cut in half and lay each side on the flat side to slice/chop.

    How to Store: Cover, refrigerate unwashed carrots for up to 2-3 weeks.

    Fun Fact: Onions make you cry because they contain sulfuric acid. To prevent tears, place onions in the freezer 30 minutes before chopping or chop onions from the top, and not the root end.

    Nutrition Fact: Onions contain B vitamins, which help our cells grow and stay healthy.

    Recipes: Couscous with Peas and OnionsFrench Onion Soup

     

  • Cabbage

     

    Appearance: Cabbage are dense-leaved heads that come in shades of white, green, or purple.

    Look for: Firm, heavy head with fresh outer leaves and good coloring.

    How to Prepare: Remove outer wilted leaves. Rinse. Cut head in half lengthwise and remove core. Cut into wedges or shred. Boil, microwave, steam or stir-fry.

    How to Store: Cover, refrigerate unwashed for up to two weeks.

    Fun Fact: Cabbage is closely related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cauliflower.

    Nutrition Fact: Cabbage is rich in vitamin K, which helps wounds heal as well as vitamin C, which helps support immune system health.

    Recipes: Cabbage SaladSweet and Sour Cabbage

     

Nutrition Education resources

Click on the topics below for handouts, tips and tricks!

Produce Picks

General Nutrition Topics

Kitchen and Cooking Tips

Farmers’ Market Information

Family Activities

Kids’ Corner

Food Safety

Spanish Resources

All Recipes

Do you need some additional inspiration in the kitchen? Check out these yummy and nutritious recipes:

Breakfast

Main Dishes

Soups and Salads

Snack and Sides

Sweets