ONIE’s List of Back To School Resources

23 Jul back to school chalk board with ONIE

back to school chalk board with ONIE


ONIE is here to help get you ready to go back to school. We have put together a list from across Oklahoma of the “who, what, where and when” to find school supplies, uniforms, haircuts, and more. If you do not find a location near you, your school counselor may know of other resources. Just click and follow the link to find 2014 school supply resources:

Oklahoma City Area

Tulsa Area

Rural Oklahoma by County

Oklahoma Tribal Resources


In addition, the ONIE project is also going to be out and about the next two weekends at back to school fairs. You can find us this Saturday, July 26, 2014, at the Ashley Parham Foundation Annual Backpack Giveaway, 4502 NE 23rd, Oklahoma City, from 8:00 a.m. or until backpacks are gone. This is going to be a  fun event with free schools supplies, hot dogs, and watermelon. ONIE is bringing our famous hula hoops. We had lots of fun last year!


Ashley Parham Back Pack Give Away

Next Saturday, August 2, 2014, ONIE will be joining other community-based organizations at the Back to School Bash hosted by the Urban League of Greater Oklahoma City. The Bash begins at 8:30 a.m. and ends at 12:30 p.m. This is a huge free, family-friendly event that provides backpacks and school supplies, health screenings, haircuts. There will also be a community vendor resource fair and children’s activities. Immunizations are available if shot records are provided.

Wishing you a happy healthy school year!

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Recipe of the Month

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Turkey Tarragon Pitas

Turkey Tarragon Pitas are a great summer dish. They are light but you feel full after eating one serving. The recipe is easy, just mix everything together. You can make the recipe ahead and serve it a few days later even. Great nutrition for you and your family as well, one serving offers all 5 recommended food groups: fruit, grains, vegetables, protein, and dairy! The ONIE Test Kitchen prepared this recipe for a cooking demonstration this week. Lucky me, I got some of the left overs.


DSC_01391 cup plain, non-fat Greek yogurt
2 Tbsp mayonnaise
1 tsp tarragon, dried
3 cups cooked turkey, shredded
1 cup green grapes, halved
4 (6-inch) whole grain pitas
8 oz fresh spinach


Servings:     8                                                                    7 ingredients


Turkey Tarragon Pitas Blog Food Label

  • In a medium bowl, add yogurt, mayonnaise, and tarragon, mix well.
  • Add in turkey and grapes.
  • Cut the pitas in half; Place spinach inside of pitas.
  • Fill pitas with turkey mixture just before serving.
  • Refrigerate left overs within 2-3 hours.

Printable version

ONIE Test Kitchen Tip: covering and refrigerating the turkey mixture for an hour before serving will enhance the flavor. It allows time for the flavors to meld toghether.

Happy Hump Day!  I am loving the rain!

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Karla and the ONIE Project Team

Bell Peppers are in Season: Pasta recipe, fun facts, & more!

9 Jul Pasta close up

bell pepper on burlap Come see us this Saturday, July 12, 2014 from 8:00 to 12:00 at the Norman Farm Market for their watermelon festival. We will be there with our hula hoops and new recipes for you to take home.  Watermelons are in season and the market will have juicy slices for you and your family to taste. We also want you to see all the other tasty fruits and vegetables in season. We are extra excited for you to see the bell peppers, they are growing faster than the farmers can pick them! Bell peppers are great for many reasons. They come in different colors.  Their mild flavors go well with many foods from salads, pizza, and main dishes. Bell peppers have lots of health benefits too.  The are low in calories and loaded with Vitamin A and C, even more vitamin C than an orange!

Fun Facts about Bell Peppers!

OK Grown: In Oklahoma, peppers are in season from July to October.

Shopping Tip: Look for peppers with firm, shiny, and wrinkle-free skin.

Storage Tip: Refrigerate peppers unwashed in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer.

Heidi Steenbergn, an intern working with us this week, created a new recipe using bell peppers for us to try; it is pasta, pea, and bell pepper salad. This pasta dish is something the whole family will love and its a budget saver! It cost a $1.70 per serving to prepare and we had lots of Italian dressing left over. So really, it cost even less! It is quick as well. The total prep time is less than half an hour including the time to prepare the pasta. The recipe serves 6 people.

Heart Shape bowl with pasta


  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas, rinsedIngredients for pepper salad
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • ⅔ cup Italian salad dressing
  • 8 ozs whole wheat rotini pasta
  • 1½ cups red, green and yellow bell peppers, cubed
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • Ground black pepper, to taste


Pasta Pea and Bell Pepper Salad Nutrition Label1. In a medium saucepan, bring peas and water to a boil. Boil for 3-5 minutes, or until peas are cooked. Drain and transfer peas to a large bowl.
2. Stir salad dressing into peas and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions or until tender. Drain.
4. Cut bell peppers into cubes and chop green onions then add to peas.
5. Toss pasta with peas, peppers, and green onions.
6. Add salt and black pepper. Serve warm or chilled.

Happy Hump Day!  I hope we see you Saturday at the Norman Farm Market. To see a list of all the Farmers’ Markets in Oklahoma visit www.okgrown.com 

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The ONIE Project Team


Summer Fresh Salsa!

2 Jul IMG_4274


ONIE has got you covered! Whether you are planning a family reunion, a backyard barbeque, or just hanging out with the family for the 4th of July.  We have a delicious salsa recipe for you to share with your family!  It can be served as a dip,  side dish,  salad topper, or many other ways.  To prepare this recipe for you, we went shopping this morning and spent $5.48 excluding tax.

Easy on the budget, just 69 cents per serving


Summer Fresh Salsa FINAL Cropped1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn
1 (15.5 oz) can black beans (reduced sodium and drain/rinse)
2 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies
2 bell peppers (any color)
½ red onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
4-5 cloves of garlic crushed, minced
2 Tbsp chili powder

*Check out the nutrition label! You can feel good about what you are serving your family. No fat, 6 grams of protein, lots of vitamin C, plus Vitamin A and dietary fiber.


It is this easy!



1. Rinse and drain the black beans.
2. Mix all ingredients together in large bowl.
3. Refrigerate covered for 3 to 4 hours to allow flavors to blend together.
4. Serve with celery sticks, baked chips, or as a side dish.


IMG_4208ONIE Test Kitchen Tip

Peeling garlic: Lay the knife blade flat over a piece of garlic, form a fist with your hand, and give the blade a quick pop with your hand. The skin will crack to make peeling easy!


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Meredith, Stephanie, Karla, Jade & Veronica

Special ONIE Nutrition Tip: 

Cut back on the sugary drinks and serve fresh water flavored with sliced lemons, limes, watermelon, or even herbs like mint.




See you in the fall MWC!

25 Jun Dance


We were so happy to see 600 families enjoying themselves this past Sunday at the Splash Dash family fun run. Playing together is great bonding time, and families at the Splash Dash created memories to last a life time. Almost 1500 people participated in the Let’s Get Midwest City Moving Free, Family Fun Runs over the three runs.We can’t wait to see you all again, and are already thinking about the next free, family event, scheduled for October 19, 2014.

In the meantime, ONIE has a few tips to stay active with your family. You and your family will reap the benefit of any physical activity that you enjoy and that fits into your life.

  • Keep walking with your family- Walking finish mother daughter

You have a great park, Midwest City Joe B. Barnes Regional Park. We hope you keep enjoying it. In fact, most of our cities and towns in Oklahoma have wonderful parks.


  • Jumping rope is a family favorite-

It is easy and can be done anywhere. Jumping rope will really get your heart rate up and build muscle tone.

  • My pet is my walking buddy-

He is learning how to catch a Frisbee now. These games get us both moving.

Hula hoop

The kids can give us plenty of tips on hooping!

  • Hula hooping is way cool right now-

Anyone up for a game of twister?

Anyone up for a game of twister?

It is not just for kids, even adults are picking up hooping. It strengthens core muscle and tone your body. It works as many as 30 different muscles. Some people say it even helps with lower-back pain

  • Some of the benefits of regular physical activity-

Well of course it will reduce your risks of chronic disease like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers. But did you know it can improve your mental health and mood.


Children benefit as well. Regular physical activity helps build healthy bones and muscles but it also improves school performance.

  • A little bit goes a long way-

For us adults (18 to 64 years of age) 30 minutes of moderate physical activity is recommended five days a week. Even ten minutes at a time is fine.  Children and adolescents (6 to 17 years of age) need more; 60 minutes of moderate physical activity is recommended every day.

Plan and schedule a time to be active together and keep moving Midwest City!

Be well from the ONIE Project Team!

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It is Race Time! Splash Dash

18 Jun


Get ready, set, ‘Let’s Get Midwest City Moving!

10 things you need to know for the Splash Dash Race this Sunday, June 22, 2014

Water and snacks

Every race participant will be given a bottle of water before and after the race.  In addition, there are three water stops on the course. Snacks include bananas, apples, granola bars, and bagels.  Big shout out to Buddy’s workout_waterProduce, Ozarka Water, Great Plains Coca Cola Bottling Company, Panera Bread, Buy for Less, and Starbucks for the donations.  Feel free to bring your own water as well!


GlassesWe all need to avoid exposure from the sun’s UV rays even if it is cloudy on Sunday.  Dr. Hayes Dermatology is hosting a sunscreen zone if you need to reapply sunscreen throughout the day. Visit her booth and get your screen on!  Broad spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher is recommended. Water resistant is best (sweatproof) for physical activity. Also we have some protection for your eyes with a sleek pair of WellnessNow/ShapeYourFuture sunglasses, these will be passed out at the beginning of the wellness expo!  Sunscreen is provided courtesy of the Oklahoma State Department of Health.


Plenty of fun is planned for the whole family with new and old activities. Eighteen vendors have activities for your enjoyment.  Check out the face painting, obstacle course, hula hoops, jump rope zone, bicycle rodeo, and more.  Splash Zones have been set up on the course to keep you cool (participation optional*). IMG_8921

Support others

The Mid-Del Pantry is bringing their donation truck. Donations are invited. Please bring non-perishable items.  Race packets will include a donation bag.

Pet friendly?

Pets make great walking or running buddies. If you need a walking buddy, the Midwest City Animal Welfare will be at the Splash Dash with adorable pets that need a home and their own personal walking buddy. My dog, bEJUBeju, is a rescue. He is always ready for our walks and his company makes each one fun. Adoptable dogs will be wearing stellar bandanas with “Adopt Me” on them.

Photo Booth

IMG_2979The photo booth will be ready and operating to take a photo of you and your family. All photos are uploaded on Facebook post-race.

Dress festive and wear your race day t-shirt

Beautiful race t-shirts are available courtesy of Variety Care Health Center; let’s show the spirit of Let’s Get Midwest City Moving and wear our t-shirts, race bibs, and color-coordinated sunglasses. Moreover, every participant receives a finisher’s medal and lots of great awards will be given away! A special award has been arranged for the most festive dress.

Packet-pick up

Packet-pick up starts Friday at 12:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Midwest City YMCA, 2817 North Woodcrest Drive, Midwest city, OK, and continues on Saturday from 8:00 to 5:00 p.m. IMG_8888Everyone who picks up a packet on Friday or Saturday will be eligible to win cool prizes.  You may also pick up your packet on race day at Midwest City Joe B. Barnes Regional Park from 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.

Race day logistics

The day begins on Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 12:30 with the Wellness Expo and race time begins at 3:00 will be preceded by 1:00 p.m. Jazzercise activity and 2:30 YMCA warm up at Midwest City Joe B. Barnes Regional Park at the SE 15th and Century Blvd. entrance. Parking is available at Buddy’s Produce and the Elks Lodge.

We are there for YOU!

Text Logo HR

Remember we are there to make sure you have a good time. If you have any questions or need assist with anything, staff and volunteers will be wearing royal blue event t-shirts.

YMCA and ONIE Logo Photo





*If you prefer to not participate in the Splash Zone, stickers are available so no one will spray you, and you can always walk around the splash zone. If you choose to participate, please place your electronics in a plastic bag.

Healthy Meets Tasty! A Summer Sandwich

11 Jun IMG_3487

IMG_3487We have turned a sandwich into a special treat with summer squash and zucchini; some of the cheapest summer vegetables. I love this sandwich. It is yummy, light, and helps me eat my daily servings of veggies!  I picked up the veggies at my local farmers’ market that accepts SNAP benefits.


1 Tbsp olive oil
½ yellow squash
½ zucchini
4 slices of whole wheat bread
1/4 cup hummus (any flavor)
Lettuce (optional)

*Makes 2 sandwiches



  1. Slice zucchini and yellow squash into long, thin strips.   Zucchini Sandwich Blog
  2. Toss squash, and zucchini together with olive oil in bowl.
  3. Add vegetable mixture to frying plan.
  4. Sauté until slightly brown about 2- 4 minutes per side.
  5. Remove from heat.
  6. Toast slices of bread.
  7. Spread hummus across toasted bread and top with sautéed vegetables.

ONIE Test Kitchen Tip: I used rosemary to season the potatoes instead of salt because some foods that we eat often have quite a bit of salt or sodium. Potatoes pair well with many herbs.

Special reminder:

Summer feeding programs are available across Oklahoma. Click on meals to find a location near you!

 Karla and The ONIE Team

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2014 Summer Meals for Kids!

4 Jun meal tray


Summer meal program

School is out and summer meals for children are beginning in many communities around Oklahoma.  Each meal meets USDA nutritional guidelines and is a quick and easy way to feed your family. ONIE has the who, where, and when!


Meals are free for children and youth under the age of 18. Adults can join their kids for a small fee (about the cost of the meal).  No application or identification is required; just show up at the most convenient location at the schedule time.  The menu and cost for adults vary depending upon the location.

Where and When!

Summer meals are served at over 800 locations across Oklahoma.  Many serve breakfast, snacks, and lunch. A few serve supper as well. You may find the location nearest you and the time that meals are served by following the link on the name of each area described below.

Oklahoma City and Surrounding Area

Includes Bethany, Deer Creek, Del City, Edmond, El Reno, Guthrie, Midwest City, Noble, Norman, Oklahoma City, Shawnee, Spencer, the Village, Warr Acres, and Yukon.

Tulsa and Surrounding Area

Includes Bartlesville, Broken Arrow, Claremore, Sallisaw, Sapulpa, and Tulsa.

Lawton Area

Includes Lawton only.

Muskogee Area

Includes Muskogee only.

Rural Areas

Any other area.

ONIE sends a big thanks to all of the sponsoring organizations across the state that are helping our Oklahoma families stay strong! We hope everyone has a happy, fun-filled summer.


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*Information provided courtesy of the Oklahoma Department of Education.
Photograph provided courtesy of Putnam City Public Schools.


June Recipe of the Month

28 May IMG_4728


With just 5 ingredients, this quick pasta recipe substitutes hummus for Alfredo sauce. Hummus comes in many different flavors. This recipe used roasted pepper; a great flavor to pair with pasta. There are many other flavors that will work well too. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans), the main ingredient in hummus, are rich in fiber and protein and also contain other important vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, folic acid, zinc, and magnesium. It can lower blood cholesterol, reduce the risk of cancer, and help with weight management. With all these health benefits, it is also yummy!

Sunshine Hummus Pasta        Servings:     4


5 ingredients


8 oz whole-wheat dry linguini noodles
16 oz roasted red pepper hummus
16 oz frozen broccoli florets
2 bell pepper (any color), sliced


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Set aside.Sunshine Hummus Pasta Blog Label
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, mix broccoli, bell peppers & water.
  3. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are slightly tender.
  4. In a large bowl, mix steamed vegetables, cooked pasta, & hummus.
  5. Serve immediately.

(Cook Time: 20 minutes)            

Karla and The ONIE Team

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It’s Asparagus Season!

21 May Asparagus at the market
Asparagus at the market

Fresh Asparagus at the Farmers’ Market

Asparagus is one of the best SUPERFOODS at the market, but so much of the time it’s too expensive to buy. We have some GREAT news! When it is asparagus season, the price of an asparagus bunch goes down by several dollars!  In the perfect conditions, an asparagus spear can grow 10 inches in a 24 hour period, thus when it is in season there is a lot of it. Asparagus is in season in Oklahoma April through the beginning of June. Find a market near you at www.okgrown.com.

A few facts on what asparagus offers you:

  • It is low in calories, less than 4 calories a spear with 5 spears as a serving that is 20 calories a serving!
  • It’s a great source of potassium (400 mgs), fiber (3 grams), protein (3 grams)
  • It’s an excellent source of folic acid (60% of daily need)

When buying asparagus look for…

  • Bright green color
  • Thin in diameter (if it is too thick it could be bitter or tough)
  • Tight, compact heads
  • Firm stalks

photo 3


The best way I know how to keep my Asparagus fresh is to stand it up right in two inches of water in the refrigerator. I sometimes just use one of those big souvenir cups.

photo 2

Quick and Easy Asparagus Saute


1 bunch Asparagus, 2 Tbsp olive oil, and 2 cloves minced garlic


1. Rinse Asparagus, giving a bit extra attention to the tops to get off all dirt.

2. Put 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.

3. Add minced garlic in hot oil, next add asparagus.

4. Cover skillet and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Change cook time depending on how tender you want it)

5. Now enjoy your fresh Asparagus!

Yummy Oklahoma Grown Asparagus!

Yummy Oklahoma Grown Asparagus!


We hope you all have a wonderful Memorial Day with your family, honoring those who have fallen during military service.

Meredith and The ONIE Team

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