BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH BLACK BEANS

Serves 6.

Butternut squash and black beans are filling, healthy and inexpensive. To add more punch to this recipe, stir in a bit of jarred salsa at the same time as the beans. This recipe costs $3.09 per recipe, or 52 cents per serving, according to the federal Food Stamp Nutrition Connection. It takes 30 minutes to prepare. Adapted from the Recipe Finder site of the Food Stamp Nutrition Connection.

• 1 tsp. vegetable oil

• 1 small onion, diced

• 1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2-in. chunks

• 1/4 tsp. garlic powder

• 1/4 c. red wine vinegar

• 1/4 c. water

• 2 (16-oz.) cans black beans, drained and rinsed

• 1/2 tsp. dried oregano

Directions

In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium. Add the onion, squash and garlic powder. Sauté for 5 minutes, or until the onion becomes tender.

Add the vinegar and water, then cover and cook 10 minutes. Check the squash; if it is not tender when pierced with a fork, continue cooking, adding water if necessary.

When the squash is tender, stir in the beans and oregano, then cook until heated through.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 224 Fat 2 g

Sodium 400 mg Saturated fat 0 g

Carbohydrates 45 g Calcium 144 mg

Protein 10 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 13 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 3 bread/starch, 1/2 fat.

EASY CHICKEN AND DUMPLINGS

Serves 2.

This comforting, affordable dish is easy to enhance with vegetables. Stir in frozen peas, shredded carrots and a diced onion at the same time as the chicken. This recipe costs $1.35 per recipe, or 67 cents per serving, according to the federal Food Stamp Nutrition Connection. It takes 30 minutes to prepare. Adapted from the Recipe Finder site of the Food Stamp Nutrition Connection.

• 2 tbsp. flour

• 2 tbsp. water

• 1 c. chicken broth

• 1 c. cooked chicken, diced

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• Dash freshly ground black pepper

For the dumplings:

• 1/3 c. flour

• 1/2 tsp. baking powder

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• Dash freshly ground black pepper

• 1/3 c. milk

Directions

In a medium skillet, whisk together the water and flour until smooth. Slowly stir in the broth, then heat over medium, stirring constantly until thickened. Add the chicken, salt and pepper. Cover and reduce heat to low.

Meanwhile, make the dumplings. In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. Stir in the milk until the mixture forms a thick batter.

Drop the batter on top of the chicken a tablespoon at a time. Cover and cook on low for 15 minutes, or until the dumplings are cooked, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 272 Fat 7 g Sodium 1,300 mg Saturated fat 2 g Carbohydrates 24 g Calcium 135 mg

Protein 26 g Cholesterol 1 mg Dietary fiber 1 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 1/2 bread/starch, 3 lean meat.

OVEN-ROASTED VEGETABLES

Serves 6.

This recipe costs $1.38 per recipe, or 23 cents per serving, according to the federal Food Stamp Nutrition Connection. It takes 30 minutes to prepare. Adapted from the Recipe Finder site of the Food Stamp Nutrition Connection.

• 2 tbsp. vegetable oil

• 1 tbsp. lemon juice

• 1/2 tsp. dried herbs, such as rosemary or thyme

• 1/4 tsp. salt

• 1/4 tsp. pepper

• 3 c. cut-up fresh vegetables (such as potatoes, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower or red peppers)

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. In a small bowl, mix the oil, lemon juice, herbs, salt and pepper.

Spread vegetables in a baking pan. Coat the vegetables with the oil mixture. Roast for 20 minutes. Stir after the first 10 minutes of roasting. Serve the vegetables while hot.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 61 Fat 5 g Sodium 110 mg Saturated fat 1 g Carbohydrates 4 g Calcium 15 mg

Protein 1 g Cholesterol 0 mg Dietary fiber 2 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 1 vegetable, 1 fat.

South-of-the-border bean and tortilla soup

Serves 4.

From "Cheap. Fast. Good!" by Beverly Mills and Alicia Ross.

• 2 tsp. vegetable oil

• 1 medium-size onion (for about 3/4 c. chopped)

• 1 (16-oz.) can red beans or white beans

• 1 (15-oz.) can black beans

• 1 (141/2-oz.) can diced tomatoes seasoned with garlic and onion

• 1 fresh garlic clove, minced, or 1 tsp. bottled minced garlic

•3/4 c. frozen yellow corn kernels

• 1 tbsp. chili powder

• 1 /2 tsp. ground cumin

• 1 (14-oz.) can vegetable broth

• 1 /2 tsp. sugar

• Juice of 1/2 lime

• 4 oz. baked or regular tortilla chips (for 21/2 c. crushed), or to taste

• 1/3 c. shredded Mexican-blend cheese, optional

Directions

Heat the oil in a 41/2-quart soup pot over medium heat. Peel and coarsely chop the onion, adding it to the pot as you chop. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring from time to time.

While the onion cooks, rinse and drain the red beans and add them to the skillet. Add the black beans with their juice and the tomatoes with their juice. Add the garlic, corn, chili powder and cumin to the pot. Stir to blend well. Add the broth,sugar and lime juice. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, 7 to 10 minutes to blend the flavors, then serve.

When you are ready to serve, crush the chips slightly and divide them among four soup bowls. To serve, ladle the soup over the chips and spirnkle with the cheese, if desired.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 450 Fat 9 g Sodium 725 mg Saturated fat 2 g Carbohydrates 62 g Calcium 69 mg

Protein 31 g Cholesterol 46 mg Dietary fiber 7 g

Diabetic exchanges per serving: 4 bread/starch, 3 lean meat.