Facts Up Front

Using the food label to make meals and food choices work for you!

We’re building healthier diets with smart nutrition labels! Registered Dietitian– Kimberly Kirchherr joins us to discuss Facts Up Front.  That’s a labeling system that provides key nutrition information – right where you can see it.  The easy-to-read labels can help you make better food choices for you and your family. It shows the number of calories and the amount of saturated fat, sodium and sugar, found in each serving.  It may also highlight good nutrients such as fiber and calcium.  It makes our life so much easier, when we’re pressed for time, at the grocery store. Facts Up Front is a voluntary initiative led by the Grocery Manufacturers Association, which represents the nation’s leading food and beverage companies. Knowing your choices in advance can help make meal planning easier.  And remember– as you’re planning your meals, think about choosing foods from multiple food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy foods.  Facts Up Front is simplifying nutrition.. so more people get on a balanced food track. You don’t want to miss this!

The Balancing Act

Chilaquiles Casserole Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 19-ounce can black beans, rinsed
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups corn, frozen (thawed) or fresh
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 12 corn tortillas, quartered
  • 1 19-ounce can mild red or green enchilada sauce
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese


Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in zucchini, beans, tomatoes, corn, cumin and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are heated through, about 3 minutes.

Scatter half the tortilla pieces in the pan. Top with half the vegetable mixture, half the enchilada sauce and half the cheese. Repeat with one more layer of tortillas, vegetables, sauce and cheese. Cover with foil.

Bake the casserole for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the casserole is bubbling around the edges and the cheese is melted, about 10 minutes more.

Leek, Asparagus & Herb Soup Recipe

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, trimmed, washed and finely chopped (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 pound new potatoes, scrubbed and diced (about 1 2/3 cups)
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1 1/2-2 cups)
  • 2/3 cup snow peas, or sugar snap peas, stemmed and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, divided
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh chervil, or flat-leaf parsley, plus sprigs for garnish
  • 2 cups 1% milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1/3 cup low-fat plain yogurt, for garnish


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leeks and cook, stirring often, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.

Add potatoes and broth; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 10 to 15 minutes.

Increase heat to medium-high and stir in asparagus and peas; simmer, covered, stirring 2 or 3 times, until just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in 1 tablespoon chives, parsley, dill and chopped chervil (or parsley). Transfer the soup to a blender and blend until smooth. (Use caution when pureeing hot liquids.)

Return the soup to the pan. Add milk and bring to just below a simmer, stirring, over medium heat. Stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper. Ladle into soup bowls. Garnish each serving with a dollop of yogurt, a sprinkling of the remaining chopped chives and a sprig of chervil (or parsley).

Date & Oat Muffins Recipe

  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts, (optional)
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup whole flaxseeds, ground
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup chopped pitted dates


Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat 12 muffin cups with cooking spray.

Spread 1 cup oats and the walnuts, if using, in 2 separate small baking pans. Bake, stirring once or twice, until light golden and fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes for the nuts and 8 to 10 minutes for the oats. Transfer to a plate to cool.

Meanwhile, whisk whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, flaxseeds, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.

Whisk eggs and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth. Whisk in buttermilk, orange juice, oil, orange zest and vanilla. Add to the dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula just until moistened. Fold in dates, the toasted oats and nuts, if using. Scoop batter into the prepared muffin cups (they’ll be quite full). Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 2 tablespoons oats.

Bake the muffins until the tops are golden brown and spring back when touched lightly, 15 to 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Loosen edges and turn muffins out onto a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.