Food for Thought: Tips to Help

— Written By

To continue celebrating February as National Heart Month, here are some tips to help you with the top health threat to women. Because what you don’t know about heart disease really can hurt you. Sugar is the new salt. The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugar intake to 6 teaspoons a day for woman and 9 for men, which is less than what you’d find in a single bottle of sweetened iced tea. Try simple substitutions to make the comfort foods healthy and delicious. For example, instead of a pepperoni pizza, try a pizza with a whole-grain crust, load it with veggies and ask for half the cheese and extra sauce to reduce the amount of fat and up the antioxidants from the tomatoes. It’s possible to cook away cholesterol. It can help to use heart healthy-fats when cooking such as olive instead of butter. Your kid’s heart needs you now more than ever. It is important to keep your kid’s blood pressure in check with a diet that’s low in sodium, saturated fats, and sugars. And make sure your child gets at least 60 minutes of daily exercise.

Suffering from food insecurity, struggling to put food on the table for yourself or your family? The “More In My Basket” program can help you determine if you are eligible to receive food assistance in the form of SNAP benefits. We are having a Lunch N’ Learn workshop on Tuesday, February 23, 2021, at noon virtually through Zoom to discuss how to “Develop a Household & Food Budget” and give you more information about how to see if you qualify for food assistance. You can also call 1-855-240-1451 to speak with the More In My Basket support staff. You can register at our website.

Check us out on Facebook @persongranvillefcs to find information or register for upcoming programs, recipes, or information on food and nutrition. Try the following recipe from the North Carolina Expanded Food Nutrition Education Program.

Vegetable Chili Boat – serves 6


  • 2 1/2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1/2 cup Fresh onion, peeled, diced
  • 1/2 cup Fresh green bell pepper, seeded, diced
  • 1/2 cup Canned low-sodium pinto beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup Canned low-sodium kidney beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 cup Canned low-sodium black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 1/3 cups Canned low-sodium diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup Low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1 dash hot sauce (optional)
  • 1/4 cup Canned low-sodium tomato paste
  • 18 Low-sodium tortilla chips (about 3 oz)
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded (1 oz)
  • 1/4 cup Low-fat mozzarella cheese, low moisture, part skim, shredded (1 oz)


  1. Heat canola oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and green peppers. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until tender.
  2. Add beans and stir to coat. Add chili powder. Stir. Cook for 1 minute for flavors to blend. Add tomatoes, chicken stock, and hot sauce. Bring to a boil. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add tomato paste and mix well.
  3. Cook uncovered for an additional 10 minutes. Bring to a rolling boil for at least 15 seconds. Reduce heat to low and simmer to keep warm.
  4. Combine cheddar and mozzarella cheeses (the cheese is a garnish) Place ¾ cup chili in a bowl. Top with 3 chips and sprinkle with about 1 tablespoon of cheese blend.