From The Nutritionist

Lindsay Watts, RD
Author:
Lindsay Watts, RD

Fight Hunger, Impact the Health of Your Community

Holidays are a time of decadence filled with food, celebrations, and time spent with family and friends. In the midst of all the tradition, though, it is also a great time to reflect on how we can give back to others throughout the year. This year, I am focusing on ways to not only share what I have, but also to improve the health of others, particularly when it comes to food. We all know food is a necessity of life, yet in the United States 1 in 8 people struggle with hunger.1 In 2015, 43.1 million people (13.5 percent) were in poverty and 42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children.”1 These statistics are a stark contrast to my life where I have too much choice and often, too much food. Sound familiar? Here are some ways you can focus on giving back this year to help:



Focus on Food Quality

Cleaning out your cupboard for a food drive? When you think of nonperishable food donations, think of nutrient quality, not just quantity. Nutrition and health is just as important if not more important for those who struggle with food insecurities. According to Feeding America “Currently, more than half (58%) of the households served by the Feeding America network of food banks have at least one member living with high blood pressure, and more than one-third (33%) has a member with diabetes.” Be thoughtful with your next donation by adding these items to your bag:

• Whole Grains: Include whole grain pastas, brown rice, whole wheat breads, and whole grain cereals like oatmeal over refined grains.

• Fruits and Veggies: If your local food bank accepts fresh and frozen items, be sure to include them on your next shopping list. Also provide canned fruits and vegetables, juices, and dried fruits in your donation.

• Shelf Stable Solutions: Cold storage at food banks can sometimes be limited or hard to come by at all. Look for nutritious, shelf-stable items like canned chicken and fish, dried beans, nuts and nut butters, and low fat shelf-stable milk. Including these items will help food bank clients get important nutrients they need without worrying about spoilage.


Decrease Waste

When I started at Campbell, I felt inspired by the Just Peachy Salsa program we run that takes imperfect, unwanted peaches, turns them into jarred salsa, sells it, and gives proceeds to the Southern New Jersey Food Bank. How great is it to take something that would otherwise sit in a landfill, repurpose it, and give back to your local community? I am making an effort to replicate this in my own household by cutting back on food waste and using the money I’ve saved to give back to my community. A couple tricks that work for me include:

• Freeze it: With just my husband and me at home, we were throwing away a lot of food. I started freezing half of our casseroles, soups, and one pot meals into individual portions to help out when I was too busy to cook. This holiday, freeze leftovers to use in future recipes or to heat up when you’re in a pinch, just keep good food safety practices in mind.

• Plan It Out: Plan your meals each week, and do your best to stick to it. Not only is this good for your waistline, but it is also good for your budget. When you plan your meals, you can buy only what you need and avoid overspending at the store.


Keep the Momentum

Food and hunger have really become a passion of mine over the last few years. Sometimes, though, it feels a little overwhelming to think of how big of an issue it is in our society. I stay inspired by focusing on the small differences I make by helping out where I can. I am fortunate to work for a company like Campbell that makes it easy to do this. A couple of my favorite ways to contribute include:

girl with food

• Volunteering: I like to volunteer, and Campbell makes it convenient for me to make time for causes I care about. Because of our emphasis on volunteering, I get involved with programs like Cooking Matters, where we work with the local food bank to provide nutrition education and cooking skills to kids in our community. If your employer doesn’t have a volunteer program in place, start small with organizing a couple of events. Check out our Make a Difference Week from last April for inspiration.

• E-giving and Paycheck deductions—I never carry cash anymore and have checks on me even less frequently. I love that donating through paycheck deductions and e-giving campaigns makes it convenient to contribute.

• Buy Products that Matter: Sometimes I am really strapped for time, but I still want to help. One way to help is to purchase products that benefit others. Companies like The Soulfull Project and Plum Organics through its The Full Effect ® program make it easy to pick up products on your regular shopping trip and benefit local food banks with donations of nutritious foods.



December is a great time to focus on what we can give back to our communities, not just during the holidays, but year round. This year, give to help improve the health of others. Keep your momentum beyond the holidays by getting involved with programs that make it easier to give back and surround yourself with people that value volunteerism. For more information (and inspiration) about Campbell’s volunteering and community programs, visit our Shared Communities page. Do what you can to help reduce food insecurities – every dollar and donation counts and YOU CAN make a difference!


Cheers,

Lindsay

Lindsay's Bio
Lindsay is a nutrition communications analyst at the Campbell Soup Company where she coordinates health professional and consumer communications. She also works with internal and external partners on retail health and wellness programs. Prior to her role at Campbell, Lindsay worked as an in-store retail dietitian. She received her Bachelors of Science in Nutrition and Dietetics from West Chester University and completed her dietetic internship with Pennsylvania State University.


  1. Feeding America. http://www.feedingamerica.org/


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En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

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Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.