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New year, new resolutions. Black-eye peas are a traditional New Year's dish for some people and a healthy way to start the year. Visit Healthy Eating with MyPlate to get resources on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, protein, and dairy. These are great resources for SNAP-Ed nutrition education classes.

broiled tomatoes with cheese

Broiled Tomatoes and Cheese

This recipe is especially tasty when using fresh tomatoes. Try using different fresh or dried herbs depending on what you have on hand. 

Makes 3 servings.


  • 3 tomatoes (large, firm)
  • 8 ounces cottage cheese, low-fat
  • 1/2 teaspoon basil (dried)
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup bread crumbs (plain)
  • cooking spray (or vegetable oil)


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Wash tomatoes and cut in half.
  3. Mix cottage cheese, basil and pepper.
  4. Spread cheese on tomato halves.
  5. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and spray with cooking spray.
  6. Spray broiler pan with cooking spray. Place prepared tomatoes on a pan and broil about 10 minutes.

For nutrition information, please visit Broiled Tomatoes and Cheese at USDA’s MyPlate Kitchen.

black eyed peas in a bowl

Quick and Healthy Black-Eyed Peas

Tasty turkey bacon and frozen black-eyed peas are the star ingredients in this recipe. Add a little chipotle pepper and sauce, cayenne pepper, or jalapeños if you prefer some additional heat.

Makes 6 servings.


  • 4 slices turkey bacon (chopped)
  • 5 1/2 cups black-eyed peas, frozen (about 2 pounds)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Place a pot over medium high heat and cook bacon for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to simmer and allow to cook until the peas are tender, about 30 minutes.
  5. Serve hot.

For nutrition information, please visit Quick and Healthy Black-Eyed Peas at USDA’s MyPlate Kitchen.

baked lentils with cheese on top

Baked Lentils Casserole

Baked lentils, vegetables, and cheese make a complete vegetarian dinner in one dish.

Makes 5 servings.


  • 1 cup lentils (rinsed)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • ground black pepper (1/4 teaspoon, optional)
  • 1/2 cup onions (chopped)
  • garlic powder (1/4 teaspoon, optional)
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 2 carrots (thinly sliced)
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Combine lentils, water, seasonings, onion, and tomatoes.
  3. Place in 2 quart casserole dish.
  4. Cover tightly with lid or foil.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and add carrots. Stir.
  7. Cover and bake 30 minutes longer.
  8. Remove cover and sprinkle cheese on top.
  9. Bake, uncovered 5 minutes, until cheese melts.

For nutrition information, please visit Baked Lentils Casserole at USDA’s MyPlate Kitchen.

seared greens

Seared Greens

This quick and delicious way to cook greens will give you a tasty side dish in minutes.

Makes 6 servings.


  • 8 cups kale or collard greens (1 1/2 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or olive oil)
  • 4 garlic clove (chopped)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar, cider


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Clean the greens thoroughly and cut stems away. Dry well and tear into salad pieces or slice across leaf into 1/2 inch pieces.
  3. In a large deep pot or skillet with a cover, sauté garlic in oil. Add greens in pan with 1 cup water.
  4. Cover pan and steam for 4 minutes.
  5. Uncover, stir constantly until greens shrink. Add salt and pepper and continue to stir on high until mixture is thoroughly wet.
  6. Sprinkle cider vinegar on mixture. Cover.
  7. Turn off heat. Let stand until ready to serve.

For nutrition information, please visit Seared Greens at USDA’s MyPlate Kitchen.

corn bread

Corn Bread

Make this corn bread recipe the classic way or jazz it up by adding chili powder, whole corn, or even blueberries to give a yummy twist to a basic recipe.

Makes 12 servings.


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour (all purpose)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup milk, non-fat


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Grease 8- or 9-inch square pan.
  3. Measure cornmeal, flour, sugar, and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine ingredients.
  4. Crack egg into a small bowl and beat with a fork to combine white and yolk.
  5. Add egg, oil, and milk to flour mixture. Mix until ingredients are well blended.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  7. Bake 20 to 25 minutes, until firm to touch or wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Create-a-Flavor Changes:

Buttermilk Corn Bread. Use only 2 teaspoons baking powder and add 1/4 teaspoon baking soda. Substitute 1 cup buttermilk for skim milk.
Whole Wheat Corn Bread. Use 1/2 cup all purpose flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour.
Corny Corn Bread. Add 1 cup kernels (fresh, frozen, or canned, well drained) with the milk.
Cheesy Corn Bread. Add 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese with the milk.
Chili Cheese Corn Bread. Add 1/2 teaspoon chili powder to the flour mixture. Drain one 4-ounce can chopped green chilies. Add chilies and 1/4 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese with the milk.
Blueberry Corn Bread. Fold 1 cup blueberries (fresh, frozen, or canned, well drained) into the batter.
Corn Bread Muffins. Pour batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

For nutrition information, please visit Corn Bread at USDA’s MyPlate Kitchen.

apple crumb dessert

Fat-Free Apple Crumb Dessert

Oatmeal mixed with cinnamon and brown sugar is a delicious topping for this baked apple dessert.

Makes 4 servings.


  • 4 apples (medium, baking)
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal, quick cooking (uncooked)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar (light or dark)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon (ground)
  • 1/3 cup apple juice
  • non-stick cooking spray


  1. Wash hands with soap and water.
  2. Move the oven rack to the center of the oven. Then preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Spray the bottom and sides of a 9" square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  4. Wash and peel the apples. Cut them into thin slices.
  5. Spread the apple slices evenly over the bottom of the baking dish.
  6. In a small bowl, use a fork to mix the oatmeal, brown sugar and cinnamon.
  7. Spread the oatmeal mix evenly over the apples in the baking dish.
  8. Lightly pour the apple juice over the oatmeal mixture.
  9. Cover the dish and bake for 20 to 30 minutes until apples are just starting to soften.
  10. Uncover and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes until apples are soft.

For nutrition information, please visit Fat-Free Apple Crumb Dessert at USDA’s MyPlate Kitchen.