Food Fair Archives | St. Louis Area Foodbank

Navigate / search

Pumpkin Pudding Parfait

If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed after planning a whole Thanksgiving meal, then this easy dessert will save you time and stress.

This pumpkin pie parfait has all of the flavor and nostalgia of a pumpkin pie with less fat and less time spent in the kitchen.

Kelly Hall, our Registered Dietitian, demonstrates how easy it is to put this dessert together.

Give yourself a break this year, and keep everyone happy with the pumpkin pie flavor they love.


  • 1 ounce fat-free sugar-free instant vanilla pudding mix
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree (or approx 1/2 of a 15oz can)
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 -2 cup Cool Whip Lite
  • 4 low-fat cinnamon graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup pecans


1. Prepare pudding according to package directions. Be sure to whisk for the full two minutes as the box instructs to ensure creamy texture.

2. Whisk in pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon.

3. Allow to set up in the refrigerator for at least 5 minutes (longer is better).

4. In small glasses or bowls, spoon in about 1/3 cup of pumpkin pudding, spreading with a spoon to create an even layer.

5. Next, add a layer of cool whip, followed by the last layer of pumpkin pudding.

6. Top with a dollop of cool whip and sprinkle with crushed graham crackers and pecans.

7. Enjoy immediately while graham crackers are still crunchy.


Find more healthy Thanksgiving recipes here.

Apple Month Recipe

October is National Apple Month, so our Registered Dietitian, Kelly Hall, put together a recipe that’s perfect for this time of year.

Braised Apples and Cabbage is a colorful, tangy addition to any meal. Kelly demonstrates the ideal size of the chopped items and what the finished product looks like. Try it out and let us know what you think!


Braised Apples and Cabbage


  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 Gala or Fuji apple, halved, cored, and sliced
  • 1 head red cabbage (2 pounds), cored, quartered, and thinly sliced
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. In a large Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and apple; cook, stirring, until onion softens, approximately 4 to 6 minutes.
  2. Stir in cabbage and season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Add cider vinegar, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until cabbage is tender, approximately 20 to 25 minutes. Enjoy!

Happy World Food Day!

Friday, October 16, is World Food Day, a day to stand together against world hunger. Our Dietitian, Kelly Hall, has put together some simple recipes from around the world for you to try. 

All over the world, people will be taking action against hunger on World Food Day. Even in St. Louis, people will be working together to package meals for the hungry at home and abroad. You can find out more about World Food Day here.


Chicken Enchiladas

Enchiladas are quick and easy Mexican dish: a corn or flour tortilla stuffed with meat and covered in a tomato-chili sauce. They’ve been around since Mayan times and are a versatile dish that allows for the use of a variety of meats and veggies depending on what you have on hand. Serve them with rice and beans for a complete Mexican meal.


4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1tablespoon olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 ½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded

8 6-inch corn tortillas

2 1⁄2 cups canned enchilada sauce


Enchiladas Suizas

Heat oven to 400° F. Place the chicken on a baking sheet. Rub with the oil and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Roast, until cooked through, 14 to 16 minutes; let cool, then shred.

In a medium bowl, toss the chicken with 1 cup of cheese. Dividing evenly, roll up the chicken mixture in the tortillas and place seam-side down in an 8-inch square baking dish. Top with the enchilada sauce and the remaining ½ cup of cheese. Bake until heated through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Add a side of rice and beans for a complete Mexican meal.


Italian Sausage Soup

Sausage Soup is a hearty staple of the Italian diet, especially during the cold winter months. It combines fresh herbs with the pasta, cheese, and tomatoes that Italy is known for. Pair this soup with garlic bread for a delicious and filling meal.


8 ounces hot or sweet turkey Italian sausage

2 cups reduced or no sodium chicken broth

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic, and oregano

1/2 cup uncooked small shell pasta

2 cups bagged baby spinach leaves

2 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan or Romano cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil


Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage to pan, and cook about 5 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain; return to pan.

Add broth, tomatoes, and pasta to pan, and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until pasta is done. Remove from heat; stir in spinach until wilted. Sprinkle each serving with cheese and basil.
Read more

The Recipe Card: September 2015

We talked to clients from Irvington, IL to get their favorite recipes for some of the produce items we distributed that day.

With produce items like potatoes, onions, bananas, apples, and watermelons there was no shortage of inspiration! Now that it’s starting to feel like Autumn, it’s the perfect time of year for a warm Potato Cheese Casserole or Apple French Toast.
What are some of your favorite recipes for the Fall months?


Potato Cheese Casserole


1 Onion, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped

3-4 potatoes, chopped

½ bar of velveeta cheese

Salt and Pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. Layer vegetables and cheese in a casserole dish.
  3. Sprinkle top with salt and pepper to taste and top with a layer of cheese.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes, until cheese is melted over top.


Apple French Toast


1-2 apples, sliced

½ cup white sugar

2 Tbs butter

6 slices bread

2 eggs

½ cup milk



  1. Preheat a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Whisk eggs and milk together in a bowl. Dip bread in egg mixture and cook both sides 1-2 minutes until toasted. Set bread aside.
  3. Melt butter in skillet, add sugar and stir until the sugar begins to melt.
  4. Add the apples, stir occasionally until the apples are tender and juices mix with the sugar mixture.
  5. Sprinkle toast with cinnamon and top with apple mixture. Serve warm.

Tammy and Mary’s Fruit Salad Bowl


1 whole watermelon

Assorted Fruit, sliced/balled/chopped


  1. Cut watermelon in half. Carve melon out of the rind, but save the rind to use as the bowl.
  2. Mix melon and fruits together and place in watermelon rind.

Easy Black Beans and Rice

For National Rice Month, we’re sharing an easy rice and black beans recipe.

This recipe is great for a side dish, and by adding a protein, it works well as a main dish, too. (Try it with chicken or sausage!) Another great thing about this recipe is that it’s easily modified- you can add your favorite vegetables or proteins to suit you and your family’s tastes.

What would you add to this recipe?

Easy Black Beans and Rice


  • 1 cup uncooked white rice (substitute with brown rice as a healthier option)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, thinly sliced (for added flavor you can use roasted red bell peppers)
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • 2 16-ounce cans of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook rice according to package instructions. White rice usually takes 15 minutes to cook once the water is simmering, and 10 minutes to sit.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium high. Sauté onions and bell peppers for 3-4 minutes, until just beginning to soften, then add garlic and sauté a minute more. Add the black beans, vinegar and cayenne. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir in rice and oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Quick and Easy Chicken Salad

It’s National Chicken Month, and we’re celebrating with a classic favorite.

With only five ingredients, this makes for a fast, versatile chicken salad. Eat it on a sandwich, with crackers, or scoop it up with some celery.

What is your favorite chicken recipe?

Quick and Easy Chicken Salad


  • 3 cups cooked chicken breast, diced or shredded
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans or almonds
  • 1/3 cup red grapes, cut in quarters
  • 1/4 cup celery, diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


1. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mix until well incorporated.

2. Serve immediately or refrigerate and enjoy later.


Find more easy recipes like this one on!

Happy Corn on the Cob Day!

National Corn on the Cob Day is Sunday, August 16.

We’re celebrating with a delicious and healthy corn salsa recipe. What are some of your favorite ways to use corn on the cob?

Zesty Corn Salsa


  • 2 large ears corn
  • 1/4 red onion, diced
  • Can of black beans
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, seeds slightly removed and diced
  • 1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • juice of one lime
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. To grill corn (preferably over charcoal for best flavor), leave the husk on and grill it first until charred. Then remove the husk and strings and put it back on the grill for a little color – 2-3 minutes – rolling to heat all sides.
  2. Once grilled, slice corn off of the cob and add to bowl with remaining ingredients and stir.
  3. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed, adding more salt, pepper or lime juice for added flavor.
  4. Serve immediately. Will keep covered in the fridge for several days, but is best when fresh.

The Recipe Card: July 2015

Toward the end of July, we were in Pitsburg, IL, and Warrenton, MO, for Food Fairs.

We distributed produce like carrots, potatoes, apples, radishes, and watermelons. We hope the recipes we collected will be a good resource for the community.

Kay’s Homemade Applesauce


  • 7-10 Apples, peeled and cored
  • 3-4 TBS lemon juice
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ bag marshmallows
  • 1 cup water


Place all ingredients in a pot and cook until apples are tender. Add water if needed. Mash. 

Leonard’s Apple Crisps


  • 1 pkg of crescent roll dough
  • 3-4 apples peeled and chopped
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 1  tsp cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350°. Combine apples, brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon in a bowl. Place crescent roll dough flat on a baking sheet, fill with a spoonful of apple mixture, fold dough over top of apple filling (it’s ok if the apple filling shows). Bake for 20-25 minutes or until pastry is golden and crisp.


Texas Potatoes


  • 5-6 potatoes peeled (optional) and cubed
  • 1 pkg ranch seasoning
  • Italian seasoning


Preheat oven to 350°. Mix potato cubes with seasonings. Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are tender.

Radish Coleslaw


  • 4 cups cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup carrot, shredded
  • 10 radishes, shredded
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 TBS malt vinegar
  • 1 cup mayonnaise


Combine cabbage, carrots, and radishes and mix well. Mix sugar, salt, vinegar, and mayonnaise until sugar and salt are dissolved. Pour mayonnaise mixture over vegetables and toss thoroughly. Serve cold.


Have a good recipe to share? Looking for more ideas? Feel free to email your ideas to Maddie Smith, the Communications Coordinator at

The Recipe Card: June 2015

During our June Food Fairs in Potosi, MO, and Carlyle, IL, we distributed over 45,000 pounds of food, including fresh produce like cabbage, potatoes, carrots and corn.

As we were preparing the distribution line, we asked multiple clients their favorite ways to cook the produce they were getting that day. Our goal is to make it easier for families that receive bulk produce distribution to come up with new and creative ways of preparing the food for their families.


Joe’s Homemade “Hamburger Helper”


  • 3 potatoes, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 lb hamburger meat
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • seasoning



Heat oil in a skillet and fry potatoes, onions, and hamburger meat together. Add the cream of mushroom and cream of celery to the skillet. Season to your liking using anything from salt and pepper to chili powder or garlic. Warm the mixture on the stove on low for 15 minutes.


Teresa’s Cole Slaw


  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 1 jar of mild banana peppers
  • 1 tomato
  • Italian salad dressing
  • Salt and pepper



Chop cabbage, banana peppers and tomato. Toss together with Italian dressing and add salt and pepper to taste.

Crockpot Corn


  • 3 lbs. corn
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 – 8 oz. package cream cheese


Combine corn, butter, and cream cheese in a crock pot and allow to melt together for a warm, tasty dish.

Carrot Fries


  • 1 lb carrots, peeled and sliced lengthwise
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • garlic salt and pepper


Preheat oven to 375℉. Coat carrots in olive oil. Arrange on a baking pan and sprinkle with garlic salt and pepper. Bake for 30 minutes.

Struggling Families Pay It Forward

Sandra is battling breast cancer. But she is also battling hunger.

Last week, she skipped a chemotherapy treatment just so she could go to the Chester Area Christian Food Pantry to pick up the food she and her husband so desperately need.

And yet, Sandra doesn’t expect to take without giving back.


Sandra and her husband have a lush garden, so every time she comes to pick up food from the pantry, she brings in bags full of tomatoes and other vegetables.

She is just one of the many people in this small southern Illinois community who share what little they have with others in need.

Food pantry staff tell countless stories of families in need who bring in homegrown fruits and vegetables or handmade items, hoping to share their own bounties with other families in need.

Yesterday, at a food fair in Chester, Ill., Foodbank staff watched nearly 180 of these families in need wait patiently in line for hours for their share of food.


Some families lined up as early at 5 a.m., knowing the Foodbank truck wouldn’t arrive with food until after 10 a.m. They waited, in their cars, without complaint for nearly six hours.

This is a testament to how much these families truly need the food.

By 1 p.m., the nearly 20,000 pounds of food we delivered to Chester was gone, divided up amongst the families.

Every family I spoke with expressed gratitude for the food, and said without it, they would not have enough to eat.

They were also quick to tell me that when they get food from the pantry, if there is any extra or anything they can’t use, they share it with their neighbors in need.

Perhaps it is the common ground of hard times that motivates families in need to help one another. Or perhaps, they help each other when they can, simply because they want to pay it forward.

See some moving pictures from the Chester food fair here.

By Bethany Prange

Social Media Specialist