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What's Cooking with USDA Foods?

Posted by Lindsay Walle, USDA Food and Nutrition Service, Food Distribution Division in Food and Nutrition Initiatives
Aug 12, 2021
A Harvest of Recipes with USDA Foods, a cookbook for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, is now available on the What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl website. All recipes are included in the searchable database.
A Harvest of Recipes with USDA Foods, a cookbook for the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations, is now available on the What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl website. All recipes are included in the searchable database.

This is the second installment of the What’s Cooking? Blog Series. In honor of the Let’s Move 5th Anniversary, and the commitment USDA shares with Let’s Move to promote healthy eating and access to healthy foods, this month-long series will high­­light the various features of the What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl recipe website.

Family gatherings and potlucks are traditional places to be on the lookout for new recipes to add to your collection. With the recent launch of the What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl, you now have hundreds of additional contenders for dishes to grace your table. The new website features household recipes from the Food Distribution programs that serve food banks, soup kitchens, senior citizens, Indian Tribal Organizations, and disaster feeding organizations throughout the country.

The common denominator of the Food Distribution recipes is the focus on USDA Foods products, which are often lower in sodium, sugar, and fat than their commercial counterparts.  USDA Foods are 100% American grown and processed, meeting the highest safety and nutrition standards, and supporting both domestic agriculture and food security of participants in the Child Nutrition Programs, the Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR), the Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP), and The Emergency Food Assistance Program (TEFAP).  Individuals and organizations who receive USDA Foods through these programs can visit the Mixing Bowl for ideas on how to combine these products with additional ingredients in creative and healthy ways for delicious meals.

The new Mixing Bowl gathers valuable resources and recipes in one convenient location.  The website now houses all of the USDA Foods Fact Sheets for household programs.  These fact sheets include product descriptions, nutrition information, and recipes.  All of these recipes are also part of the Mixing Bowl’s searchable database.  Users may sort recipes based on course, food group, nutrition focus, cooking equipment required, or type of cuisine.  Recipes contain nutrition and cost information to help consumers make wise choices.  The USDA Foods Fact Sheets and recipes are available in both English and Spanish.

Cookbooks are another central component of the new website.  A Harvest of Recipes with USDA Foods, produced for the FDPIR program, and other ready-made cookbooks are available to be downloaded or printed.  Additionally, users may use the My Cookbook feature to select recipes from the database to create and print their own cookbooks!

The interactive Mixing Bowl allows users to rate recipes on a five-star scale.  Try out an exotic but easy main dish like Orange and Honey Glazed Pork Chops, a hearty Native American tradition like Three Sisters Stew, or an alluring appetizer like Baja Bean Dip.  While you’re browsing the website, check out the links to valuable resources including Healthy Eating on a Budget tips or the SuperTracker.

The Mixing Bowl combines recipes from Food Distribution with budget-conscious options from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), healthy MyPlate-friendly choices from the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion (CNPP), and large quantity offerings from Child Nutrition.  Whether you are administering a nutrition program, conducting a food demonstration, receiving a food package or other assistance from the USDA, or just looking to diversify your diet, visit the Mixing Bowl for some culinary inspiration!

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Kimberly R Jozwick
Jul 15, 2019

How do I get a copy

Kara Lynn Sixsmith
Sep 07, 2019

You have many delicious recipes. I would love to have this cookbook, but I have no way to print it at home and I do not have any "extra"money for printing this at the library. Is there any other way to get a printed copy of this cookbook?

Ben Weaver
Sep 16, 2019

@Kara Lynn Sixsmith - thank you for your comment. We have a copy of the cookbook to mail to you. Would you please provide your mailing address so we can mail this to you?

Angela Montgomery
Mar 31, 2020

I would like a copy of the cookbook or to access via the website if possible. Thank you.