Asian Asparagus Salad Recipe

The following Family & Consumer Sciences article originally printed in the 2018 Spring edition of the Oldham County Extension Newsletter.

Asian Asparagus Salad Recipe


  • 1 pound fresh asparagus
  • 1½ tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons sugar or artificial sweetener
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons sesame seeds

healthy asparagus recipe

Yield: 4, ½ cup servings


  1. Snap off and discard the root ends of the asparagus.
  2. Wash remaining stalks thoroughly.
  3. Slice stalks into 1½ inch lengths on the diagonal.
  4. Blanch asparagus for 1-3 minutes in boiling water, until bright green in color.
  5. Cool immediately under cold water and drain.
  6. Combine soy sauce, sugar, olive oil, and sesame seeds in a small glass bowl. Mix dressing until sugar is dissolved.
  7. In a gallon zip-seal bag, add asparagus and dressing. Turn bag to coat asparagus with dressing and chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Turn bag again and chill for an additional 15 minutes before serving.

Nutritional Analysis: 70 calories, 4.5 g fat, .5 g sat. fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 250 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrate, 2 g fiber, 3 g protein

This Kentucky Proud recipe is a favorite of Chris Duncan, Family & Consumer Sciences Agent in Oldham County.


Classes on Cooking, Gardening, Sewing & More

The following Family & Consumer Sciences articles originally printed in the 2018 Spring edition of the Oldham County Extension Newsletter.

Homemaker Lessons – Open to the Public

Louisville Area Needlework • March 13, Shelby County Extension

Learn about Silk Ribbon, Cross Stitch, Basic Needle, Crewel Embroidery, and Creative Stitchery. Pick up an information packet at the Oldham County Extension Office, or contact us for the registration materials. Registration is due Thursday, March 8, to the Bullitt County Extension Office.

health classes

Couch Potato Challenge • March 22, 10:00 a.m., Oldham County Extension

A 12-week set of walking challenges based on the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institutes’ walking plan, this program helps you get started walking at a pace that is comfortable for you! RSVP via (502) 222-9453.

gardening in small spaces

Gardening in Small Spaces • April 26, 10:00 a.m., Oldham County Extension

Gardening is one of America’s most popular hobbies, and rightly so. Gardening activities help promote healthy habits. The physical activity of working in the garden burns calories. As well, consuming home-grown vegetables is good for your health. Lesson taught by Traci Missun, Oldham County Extension Agent. Save your seat by emailing or calling (502) 222-9453.

Come Sew With Us

Sewing classes are free and open to the public! All ages welcome — youth must be accompanied by an adult. The project of the day is not mandatory; you are encouraged to bring your own project to work on. Project supply lists are available online. Please call and reserve your seat.

Monograming • Monday, March 26, 3:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Gardening & Outdoor Accessories • Monday, April 23, 3:00 – 8:00 p.m.

oldham county sewing class

Cooking for Diabetics & Everyone Else Too!

Making healthy food choices is part of managing diabetes. At 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 11, learn about cooking healthy, easy meals that are both economical and tasty. This free class takes place at the Oldham County Extension Office. Call (502) 222-9453 to reserve your seat.

Looking Ahead to Summer

Mark your calendars! Canning Boot Camp will premiere at 6:30 p.m. on June 7, to be repeated at 10:00 a.m. on June 8.

Jefferson County is hosting this year’s Louisville Area Homemakers Annual Meeting on Monday, June 25. The meeting will be held at Riverside, The Farnsley-Moremen Landing, located at 7410 Moorman Road in Louisville. Watch your email for more details.

Kids’ Cooking Camp is scheduled for June 26 and 27. Further details to be announced.

Written by Chris Duncan, Family & Consumer Sciences Agent, and Lauren Fernandez, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.

10-Minute Bean Soup Recipe

healthy fast bean soup recipe

Soup Ingredients: 1 tablespoon olive oil • 1 teaspoon minced garlic • 1/4 cup onion, finely chopped • 2 (15.8 ounce) cans of great northern beans, rinsed and drained • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano • 1 (14 ounce) can low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth • 4 cups kale, torn into small pieces • 1 tablespoon lemon juice • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat and saute garlic and onion for 3 minutes or until onion is tender.
  2. Add beans, tomatoes, and broth to saucepan. Stir and simmer for 5 minutes. Add kale and cook until tender, for about 2 minutes.
  3. Mix in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese just before serving. Optional, garnish with finely chopped fresh basil or dried basil.

Recipe Variations:

  • Cooked dried beans may be substituted for canned beans. Using prepared dry beans in place of canned will reduce sodium in this dish.
  • If you can’t find diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano, use regular diced tomatoes and add dried versions of these seasonings.
  • Opt for vegetable broth instead of chicken broth to make a vegetarian 10-minute bean soup. Make the soup vegan by leaving out the Parmesan cheese.

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
Makes 4 servings.
Serving size: 1/4 of recipe
Cost per recipe: $6.52
Cost per serving: $1.63

Nutrition facts per serving: 400 calories, 8 g total fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 500 mg sodium, 62 g carbohydrate, 15 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 24 g protein, 140% Daily Value of vitamin A, 160% Daily Value of vitamin C, 40% Daily Value of calcium, 30% Daily Value of iron

Source: Caroline Durr, Area Nutrition Agent for Kentucky Nutrition Education Program, University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service

Extension Builds Healthy Kentuckians

The following Family & Consumer Sciences article printed in the November 9, 2017 edition of the Oldham Era.

extension builds healthy Kentuckians

FCS Extension Builds Strong, Healthy Kentuckians

In Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) Extension, we help individuals develop the skills they need to improve quality of life for themselves and their families. We offer a variety of educational programs throughout the year, including cooking and nutrition classes, sewing workshops, financial stability talks, and much more. In the past programming year, we reached more than 1.6 million Kentuckians.

These programs have made a meaningful impact across the state. Our Truth and Consequences Program, which focuses on the realities of substance abuse, has changed the lives of young Kentuckians. In a recent survey, more than 400 of them reported that they know of peers who no longer engage in substance abuse because of the program.

tips for getting healthy

Extension offers health-related programs for all age groups that focus on eating healthy and increasing physical activity. Due to these efforts, more than 12,000 Kentuckians made a lifestyle change to improve their health. FCS Extension agents also work closely with local farmers markets to promote fresh produce consumption. By conducting Plate It Up Kentucky Proud food demonstrations and offering recipe cards during the markets, agents increased Kentucky farmers market sales by more than $17,000. Oldham County FCS Agent Chris Duncan partnered with Oldham County Fiscal Court to bring food demonstrations and nutrition tips to Oldham County TV. “Cooking With Chris” can be found online by visiting

Educating low-income families on the benefits of healthier eating and buying fresh foods resulted in redemption of more than $61,000 in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; Women, Infants and Children; or senior benefits at the state’s farmers markets. To help support individuals and families in tough economic times, Oldham County Extension partners with the Dare To Care Food Bank to provide economic cooking and nutrition classes using the foods donated to the mobile pantry. Participants learn about preparing healthy recipes, meal planning, buying vegetables and fruit in season, and other ways to stretch a food budget.

Oldham County Extension also brings nutrition education to inmates in the substance abuse program at Roederer Correctional. Lessons focus on preparing the men for a healthier lifestyle upon returning to their families.

Through various career preparation programs, we spread knowledge that helps Kentuckians attain employment or find a more fulfilling job. In the past year, more than 43,000 people used practical living skills learned through FCS Extension to advance their education or employment.

We are home to a vibrant group of Extension Homemakers. These members engage in numerous outreach projects to better their communities and Kentucky. One such project is the ovarian cancer screening fundraising program. Each year, Extension Homemakers contribute to this UK Markey Cancer Center program, which provides free ovarian cancer screenings to Kentucky women. Since fundraising began 40 years ago, Extension Homemakers have given $1.4 million to that effort. Oldham County Extension Homemakers also contribute to Oldham County Community Scholarships, Oldham County 4-H Camp, Coins for Change, and WaterStep.

For more information on local Family and Consumer Sciences programs, contact the Oldham County Cooperative Extension Service via (502) 222-9453 or You can also visit us online at

extension food safety classes

Educational programs of the Cooperative Extension Service serve all people regardless of economic or social status and will not discriminate on the basis of race, color, ethnic origin, national origin, creed, religion, political belief, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, marital status, genetic information, veteran status, or physical or mental disability.

Written by Jennifer Hunter, Interim Assistant Director of Family and Consumer Sciences Extension, and Lauren State Fernandez, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.

Extension Teaches Food Safety & Nutrition Classes

The following Agriculture & Natural Resources and Family & Consumer Science articles originally published in the 2017 Report to the People and reprinted in the 2017 Winter edition of the Oldham County Extension Newsletter.

Food Safety in Oldham County

Oldham and surrounding counties are home to many farmers markets, roadside farm markets, and community supported agriculture sites. Additionally, some farms sell to grocery stores and restaurants. A concern for producers and consumers is safe production, harvest, handling, and storage of food to minimize risk of microbial and other contaminant-related sicknesses.

farmers market produce

The University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and Kentucky Department of Agriculture developed Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) guidelines to reduce the likelihood of produce contamination. It focuses on safe techniques and inputs on all levels of the farm to fork food chain. Farmers that utilize GAP principles in their production proactively take steps to reduce the possibility of producing unsafe food products. County Extension Offices provide GAP training to producers throughout the state.

From 2008 to 2017:

  • Oldham County Extension has provided 15 GAP training sessions to 56 producers.
  • These producers sell products in at least 44 markets, community supported agriculture sites, grocery stores, and restaurants.
  • These producers sell in Oldham, Jefferson, Henry, Shelby, Trimble, and Barren counties.

At a conservative estimate of 500 consumers reached through each market, this represents a minimum of 22,000 consumers purchasing foods that have been safely produced by local farmers. GAP is an ongoing training program offered periodically throughout the year at Oldham County Extension, with training verified through the Kentucky Department of Agriculture.

oc canning classes

Oldham County Extension also targets food safety during canning classes. Following Canning Boot Camp in June 2017, twenty-five Oldham Countians reported that they could identify research-based methods for home food preservation, safe methods of canning low and high acid foods, and signs of spoilage in home canned goods. Participants with intermediate to skilled canning experience indicated plans to increase the amount of food that they canned.

Stretching Your Food Dollars

Although Oldham County is one of Kentucky’s healthiest and wealthiest counties, over 5,100 residents live in poverty. Struggling Oldham County residents learn food budgeting tips at the Oldham County Extension office.

Over the past year, the FCS agent taught a series of seven Economical Entrée classes for Extension Homemakers and the general public. This “train the trainer” program reached more than 1,533 people in Oldham and surrounding counties. Post-lesson survey results showed that 99% of participants understood the entrée’s role according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 95% could identify economical proteins, and 94% felt confident planning meals using economical entrees. A six month follow-up survey revealed 89% of participants use new skills to prepare economical entrees at home and estimate saving $25.00 or more on monthly food expenses.

economical entrees

Extension programming emphasizes utilizing available resources to help provide nutritious food for a growing family. In 2013, Sheila N. attended a series of “Cooking on a Budget” classes that were held at the Oldham County Extension office. Her husband being an avid hunter, Sheila was looking for ways to make meals with the wild game that her family would find more appealing. Along with meal planning and money-saving strategies, the FCS agent provided easy and economical recipes that included venison and other wild game. Recently, Sheila reported that her family now boasts that they have the most delicious meals using wild game. Plus, Sheila has been able to be a stay at home mom and provide care for her children.

To help support individuals and families in tough economic times, Oldham County Extension partners with the Dare To Care Food Bank to provide economic cooking and nutrition classes using the foods donated to the mobile pantry. Participants learn about preparing healthy recipes, meal planning, buying vegetables and fruit in season, and other ways to stretch a food budget. Of the 70 plus families that receive supplemental food each month, more than 40% report using recipes and tips to save an average of $20.00 a week.

Inmates Pursue Healthier Lifestyles

The National Institute on Drug Abuse asserts that successful addiction treatment helps an addict become drug-free, stay drug-free, and be productive member of the family. In an effort to address the latter, the Oldham County Extension EFNEP assistant partnered with Roederer Correctional Complex to bring nutrition education to their substance abuse program. Lessons from the Healthy Choices curriculum focus on helping prepare inmates for a healthier lifestyle upon returning to their families.

Since the fall of 2016, approximately 60 participants have learned how to use nutrition labels to find healthy food choices for their families, proper food safety techniques, and stretch food dollars. Extension also provides low-salt, low-sugar versions of common recipes, such as Bean and Corn Salsa for healthier tailgating.

healthy food choices

Multiple participants noted the importance in keeping a daily food journal, especially in the case of previous health issues. One man expressed his hope that his diabetic wife could use this strategy to improve her eating habits.

Written by Chris Duncan, Oldham County Extension Family & Consumer Science Agent; Lauren State Fernandez, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant; Traci Missun, Oldham County Extension Agriculture & Natural Resources Agent; and Sherry Ragsdale, Expanded Food and Nutrition Program Assistant.

Fall Spiced Pumpkin Bread Recipe

The following Family & Consumer Sciences article originally printed in the 2017 Winter edition of the Oldham County Extension newsletter.

pumpkin recipe

Fall Spiced Pumpkin Bread Recipe

Try this new Plate It Up! Kentucky Proud recipe at your next family gathering.


  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup melted margarine
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts


Heat oven to 350 °F. Mix flours, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin spice, and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together margarine, sugar, honey, pumpkin puree, and olive oil. Blend in eggs. Add flour mixture. Stir until dry ingredients are moistened. Spray a 8-by-4 inch loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. Pour batter into pan; sprinkle walnuts on top of batter. Bake for 1 hour. Remove from oven and cover with foil. Return to oven and bake an additional 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes and remove from pan.

Nutritional Analysis:

220 calories, 13 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 30 mg cholesterol, 270 mg sodium, 26 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 14 g sugars, 4 g protein

Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Yummy Sweet Potato Casserole

Yield: 12, 1/2 cup servings

Casserole Ingredients: 6 medium sweet potatoes • 1/4 cup maple syrup • 2 tablespoons brown sugar • 2 eggs • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 3/4 cup low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Topping Ingredients: 1/2 cup brown sugar • 1/2 cup ground rolled oats • 1 tablespoon maple syrup • 3 tablespoons melted butter • 1/4 teaspoon salt • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1-inch cubes. Place sweet potato cubes in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Cook over medium-high heat until tender. Drain and mash. In a large bowl, mix together mashed potatoes, maple syrup, brown sugar, eggs, salt, yogurt, vanilla and cinnamon. Blend until smooth. Pour into a 13-by-9 inch baking dish. Topping: In a medium bowl, mix the brown sugar and oats. Add in syrup, melted butter, salt and cinnamon; blend until mixture is coarse. Stir in pecans. Sprinkle over sweet potato mixture. Bake 30 minutes, or until topping is lightly browned.

Nutritional Analysis: 190 calories, 7 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 190 mg sodium, 31 g carbohydrate, 20 g sugars, 4 g protein

Recipe from Plate It Up! Kentucky Proud. The Kentucky Proud Project is a cooperation between County Extension Agents for Family and Consumer Sciences and Dietetics and Human Nutrition Students at the University of Kentucky.

Tips for Healthier Tailgating

The following Family & Consumer Science article printed in the Fall 2017 edition of the quarterly Oldham County Extension newsletter.

oldham county fall news

Healthier Tailgating

Football season is here! Across the state, many Kentuckians will mark the season by getting out their tastiest tailgating recipes and firing up the grill. Unfortunately, some tailgating favorites like hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken wings, and potato chips can cause you to pack on the pounds while cheering for your team. Consider the tips below to help you make healthier choices this season.

  • Include vegetables in the game plan. Cut them up and serve them with a low-fat dip or hummus. You can also grill them and serve as a side to your main course.
  • Grill leaner meats like ground turkey, pork or chicken breasts for main courses.
  • Choose water whenever possible. Alcohol and sugar-sweetened beverages contain a lot of calories and won’t quench your thirst on those hot weekends that are typical of late summer and early fall.
  • Substitute fresh salsa and either pita bread or baked chips for nachos and cheese. Below is a Plate It Up recipe for a healthier salsa option.
  • Use lean beef or ground turkey to make chili.
  • Serve a fruit-based dessert like fruit kabobs or fruit salad.

More healthy recipes and ideas that use local ingredients are available through Plate It Up! Kentucky Proud, a partnership of the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service and Kentucky Department of Agriculture. They are available online or by contacting the Oldham County Extension office.

healthy recipes

Cucumber, Corn and Bean Salsa


  • 2-3 large cucumbers
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 yellow bell pepper
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup fresh whole kernel corn, cooked
  • 1 ounce package dry ranch dressing mix
  • 1/8 cup cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar, optional

Yield: Makes 20, ½-cup servings

Directions: Wash all vegetables. Finely chop cucumbers, tomatoes, pepper, and onion. Combine in a large mixing bowl with chopped cilantro. Drain and rinse beans and add to chopped vegetables. Add corn. If using canned corn instead of fresh, drain off liquid prior to adding to vegetables. In a small bowl, mix together ranch dressing packet, vinegar, and sugar. Pour dressing over vegetables and mix well. Serve immediately or refrigerate until chilled.

Nutritional Analysis: 50 calories, 0 g fat, 130 mg sodium, 7 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 70% Daily Value of Vitamin C, 6% Daily Value of Vitamin A

Written by Janet Mullins, University of Kentucky Extension Professor. Edited by Lauren State Fernandez, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.

Tips for Getting (and Staying) Healthy

healthy lifestyle

Create & Keep a New Healthy Habit

Adult Health Bulletin

Habits can be good or they can be not-so-good. Have you ever tried to change one of your not-so-good habits, only to go back to your usual routine? It can be hard to keep up the motivation for a change in behavior.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when you are trying to create and keep a new, healthy habit.

Building Healthy Habits Tips #1

It does not have to be “all or nothing.” Many times when we start to change a behavior, we tend to think that we need to be perfect 100 percent, with no slip-ups. Staying motivated at that pace is hard, especially if you are trying to change too many things at once. Instead, start small. If you want to start walking, find a time for just 10 minutes and build up to 30 minutes. If you want to start eating healthier, choose one meal a day to start. Pack a healthy lunch from home instead of getting lunch from a fast food place.

Just remember that you do not have to do everything all at once.

Building Healthy Habits Tips #2

Be creative. It can be hard to find the time to make healthy habits. If you get creative, you may be able to get a little “extra” accomplished. Instead of looking for the best parking spot, park in the back of the lot and walk, or take the stairs rather than the elevator. If focusing on making healthy food choices, pack your favorite fruit as a treat for that midday slump, or add green vegetables to a smoothie. These little boosts will help you reach your goal.

Building Healthy Habits Tips #3

Be patient with yourself. Creating and sticking with a new health habit is hard. And remember that it can take time to see results when making a change. You could write down your actions and keep track of successes and areas for improvement. Don’t forget to celebrate the successes that you have. Small successes can add up to big changes!

happy healthy lifestyle

Changing habits is very difficult. When trying to create and keep a new health habit, think about starting small to achieve your goals, be creative in changing your habits, and be patient with yourself as you strive to develop a healthier lifestyle.

Written by Nicole Peritore, Kentucky Extension Specialist for Family Health. Edited by Connee Wheeler, Senior Extension Specialist, and Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant. Source material from the Mayo Clinic.

Fun Summer Activities for Teens

Challenge Your Teen’s Brain over Summer Vacation

While many adolescents look forward to summer vacation, it is not uncommon for them to quickly grow bored. Bored teens often turn to television and electronics. With a little encouragement, however, a teen can transform a bored brain into one that is healthy and active, and in turn, create a most memorable summer vacation.

Activities that can keep your teen happy, fit, and healthy include:

  • Spend time as a family. Go on vacation or create “stay-cations” to explore your own community or state.
  • Hold family/neighborhood Olympics. Create a day (or weekend) of fun physical and mental activities that can played on teams. Have contests and medals.
  • Go for a hike, bike ride, or find other ways to be physically active. Explore new trails, terrain, or a nature center. Oldham County parks offer trails, picnic shelters, basketball courts, horseshoe pits, disc golf, and more!

ky tree park

  • Hold a family board game or card night.
  • Plan an outdoor movie night in the backyard.
  • Make food fun. Play “chopped” kitchen or “iron chef,” or put each member of the family in charge of planning a menu and making dinner as a family.
    Find new recipes on the Kentucky Proud website.

  • Volunteer as a family and get involved in the community. Soup kitchens, homeless shelters, churches, hospitals, nursing homes, libraries, and humane societies are often looking for help. Community service can provide a teen with a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
    Places to volunteer in Oldham County include Creasey Mahan Nature Preserve, the Humane Society of Oldham County, Mission Crestwood, Yew Dell Botanical Gardens, and more.
  • Start a garden. Use it for pizzas, salad, or flowers. Gardens offer both nutritional and psychological benefits.
  • Plan an event. Planning a party such as a back-to-school barbecue can teach a teen planning, budgeting, and organizing.

Written by Amy F. Hosier, Extension Family Life Specialist. Edited by Lauren State, Oldham County Extension Staff Assistant.

Reference: Witmer, D. (2017). 6 Types of Fun Summer Activities for Teens. Retrieved online May 18, 2017.