Fit fare for fathers

June is men’s health month 

Tips for men on how to take better care of themselves:

Get Regular Check-ups. Did you know men are half as likely to visit a doctor for a check-up as women, and over 7 million men have not seen a doctor in over 10 years? If you cannot remember the last time you had a complete physical, call your doctor and make an appointment. (You would not let 10 years go between oil changes, would you?)

Be More Physically Active. June is a great time to start a healthier lifestyle by being more physically active. Research shows exercise helps prevent heart disease and obesity, and lowers blood pressure. Aim for 30 to 60 minutes on most days. You can even spread it out over the course of your day.

Improve the Nutritional Quality of your Diet. Some tips on how to improve the nutritional quality of your diet include eating a varied diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and low-fat foods. Especially limit cholesterol intake and avoid saturated fats.

Pay Attention to Warning Signs. When a warning light flashes on the car dashboard, most men take the car to the shop. But when warning lights flash on their body, most men do not (or will not) notice. Examples of flashing lights to look for are changes in bowel or bladder habits, persistent backaches, recurrent chest pains, and extreme fatigue. Men’s health issues significantly impact everyone around them, and far too many men never see a doctor unless there is something seriously wrong or a partner or spouse makes the appointment for them. Women and men should educate themselves about potential male health problems. Check out for resources and health facts.

By: Lisa Franzen-Castle, RD, PhD, Nutrition Specialist UNL Panhandle Research & Extension Center.

Cider Glazed Chicken

1 cup apple cider

1 cup low sodium chicken broth

1 cinnamon stick (3-inch long or a couple of pinches of ground)

4 whole cloves (or a tiny pinch of ground)

4 peppercorns

1/3 cup minced shallot or onion

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2" thickness

2 tablespoons butter

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme


In a large saucepan, combine cider, broth, cinnamon, cloves, peppercorns and shallots. Bring to a boil and reduce to 1/4 cup, removing cinnamon stick, cloves and peppercorns when done. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter. Add chicken breasts and sprinkle with half the salt, pepper and thyme.

Cover and cook until chicken is well browned. Turnover and sprinkle with remaining half of salt, pepper and thyme. Cover and cook until chicken is just done. Remove to a platter and keep warm.

Pour the reduced cider mixture into the skillet and bring to a boil, stirring up any bits from browning the chicken. Pour sauce over chicken breasts (or slice and then pour sauce over) and serve.

Recipe Source: University of Tennessee Extension Service


Broccoli Salad Supreme

10 cups broccoli florets (about 3½ lbs.)

6 cups seedless red grapes (about 3 lbs.)

1 cup sliced celery

6 green onions, sliced

2 cups mayonnaise

2/3 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. cider vinegar

1 lb. sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled

1 and 1/3 cups slivered almonds, toasted


In large salad bowl, combine broccoli, grapes, celery and onions. In small bowl, combine the mayo, sugar and vinegar. Pour over broccoli mixture and toss to coat.

Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Just before serving, gently stir in bacon and almonds. Yield: 20 servings. Note: Recipe may be halved.

Recipe Source: University of Vermont Extension Service


Picnic Macaroni Salad

1 pkg. (16 oz.) elbow macaroni, cooked and drained

4 medium carrots, chopped

1 medium tart green apple, chopped

1 medium green pepper, chopped

1 small onion, chopped

1.5 cup mayonnaise or salad dressing

2 Tbsp. prepared mustard

1.5 Tbsp. cider vinegar

1.5 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. garlic salt

6 hard-cooked eggs, sliced


In large bowl, combine first five ingredients. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, sugar, and garlic salt. Mix well and pour over macaroni mixture and toss to coat.

Top with egg slices. Cover and refrigerate for at least three hours. Yield: 15 servings.

Recipe Source: University of Vermont Extension Service


German Potato Salad

2 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes

1/2 lb. thick-cut bacon

3/4 cup onion, finely chopped

1/3 cup cider vinegar

1/4 cup sugar

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. minced parsley, for garnish

Place the potatoes in a medium-size pot and cover them with enough water to extend 2 inches above the surface of the potatoes. Salt the water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Continue cooking until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Drain and slice into 1/4-inch rounds. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Once crisp, place on a paper towel-lined plate and crumble into small pieces. Pour off the rendered fat, reserving 2 tablespoons in the pan. Turn the heat to medium and add the onion.

Cook until translucent and just beginning to brown, about 4 to 5 minutes. Whisk in the vinegar, sugar, mustard, and salt and stir until thick and bubbly. Add the sliced, cooked potatoes and toss to coat. Top with the crumbled bacon and garnish with the parsley. Serve warm.

Recipe Source: University of Vermont Extension Service


Strawberry Rhubarb Bars

1.5 cups all-purpose flour

1.5 cups old fashioned oats

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 tsp. baking soda

3/4 cup cold butter

3 cups sliced rhubarb

1 cup chopped strawberries

1 cup cold water

1/4 cup cold water

1 cup sugar

3 Tbsp. cornstarch

1 tsp. vanilla

Optional items: 1/2 tsp. red food coloring

1/2 cup chopped nuts

1/4 tsp. salt


In a large mixing bowl combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda, nuts, and salt. Cut in butter until crumbly. Press three cups into an ungreased 13x9x2-inch baking dish and set aside. Soak rhubarb in 1 cup cold water for 3 minutes; drain. In a saucepan combine sugar and cornstarch.

Stir in 1/4 cup cold water until smooth. Add rhubarb, vanilla and food coloring, if desired. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 5 minutes or until thickened. Add strawberries. Spoon over crust; sprinkle with remaining crumb mixture. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 23 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Yield: 12 serving

Recipe Source: University of Vermont Extension Service


Cornbread Salad

1 pan (9-inch) cornbread, crumbled

1 can (15 oz.) pinto beans, drained

1 can (15.5 oz.) black beans, drained

3 tomatoes, chopped

1 cup green onions, chopped

2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

10 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 cans (11 oz.) whole kernel sweet corn, drained or use fresh

2 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

1 cup frozen peas, thawed

24 oz. bottle light ranch dressing


Place half of the crumbled corn bread in the bottom of a large bowl (very large). Top with half the pinto beans, half the black beans and half of the remaining ingredients, ending with ranch dressing. Repeat layering again starting with cornbread and ending with dressing.

Cover and chill 2 to 3 hours before serving. Note: You can also add bell pepper and use different kinds of beans. Yield: 20 servings. Recipe can be halved.

Recipe Source: University of Vermont Extension Service


Potatoes in Foil Packets

Pre-cooked or raw potatoes, cubed

1 small onion, cut in small pieces

1 Tbsp. butter, cut in small pieces

Aluminum foil for 2 packets

Salt and pepper to taste

Garlic powder


If using raw potatoes, cook cubes in bowl in microwave until almost done. Or warm up cold potatoes in microwave. Use two pieces of foil, about a 2 foot in length each. Fold each in half and spray top with non-stick spray. Place potatoes in center of greased side of foil. Add cut up onion and salt and pepper to taste.

Place butter pats over potatoes. Sprinkle with garlic powder. Bring the two short edges of foil together and fold down 2 to 3 times and lay flat. Roll other two sides up to form packet. Make one slit in packet with sharp knife to let steam escape.

Place directly on grill to cook, approximately 20 minutes, turning over once or twice. Note: You can add any other vegetables you would like.

Recipe Source: University of Vermont Extension Service


Sweet and Sour Beans

8 bacon strips, diced

2 medium onions, halved and thinly sliced

1 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup cider vinegar

1 tsp. ground mustard

1/2 tsp. garlic powder

1 can (28 oz.) baked beans

1 can (16 oz.) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15.5 oz.) pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 oz.) lima beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15.5 oz.) black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed


In large skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove to paper towels. Drain, reserving 2 tablespoons drippings. In the drippings, sauté onions until tender. Add brown sugar, vinegar, mustard, and garlic powder. Bring to a boil. In a slow cooker, combine beans and peas.

Add onion mixture and bacon, mix well. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or until heated through.

Recipe Source: University of Vermont Extension Service 

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