By Chelsea Stevens

Special to the Heights Herald

Everyday someone somewhere calls a spouse from work and says, "I'm on my way home, dear. What's for dinner tonight?" Sometimes they have an answer, but often they don't.

For those who could use ideas for quick healthy meals, the Texas AgriLife Extension Service can help. AgriLife Extension is offering an online program, "Dinner Tonight!," a collection of free webcasts of easy-to-prepare nutritious recipes. They can be accessed by visiting: or on our Facebook page under Dinner Tonight!

Many people become overwhelmed when they think of menu planning and trying to prepare healthy, cost-effective meals for their families. We have made this process much easier on you.

The agents who appear in the webcasts have the knowledge and expertise to provide families help for mealtime. Dinner Tonight! is one of newest programs offered by Texas AgriLife Extension to promote healthy living.

For information about other programs, go to

The videos run between about three and seven minutes each and resemble cooking shows commonly aired on television. The site already has more than 60 recipes and is updated weekly.

Each recipe contains the calories, fat, protein, fiber, cholesterol, sodium and carbohydrates for your convenience. They also tell you how many servings the dish will provide and how much each serving will cost you.

Families can sign up to receive weekly

e-mails announcing new recipes by contacting Chelsea Stevens at

Spicy crockpot chicken

Prep time: Six hours


4 frozen chicken breasts (skinless, boneless)

1 package cream cheese (fat free or low-fat)

1 package taco seasoning

1 jar mild salsa

1 14-ounce can corn, drained

1 14-ounce can black beans, rinsed, drained


Put all ingredients in a slow cooker and cook on low for six hours. Make sure the chicken has reached 165 degrees before turning the cooker off. After the dish has cooked, shred chicken and mix with the rest of the ingredients in the slow cooker. Serve over chips with lettuce, tomatoes and grated cheese, or over wide egg noodles and a salad.

Serves: 4 to 6

Cost per serving: $2

Nutrition per serving: 234 calories, 5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 44 mg cholesterol, 675 mg sodium, 25 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 22 g protein.

Corn salsa


2 cups corn kernels, canned or frozen

2 tablespoons red onion, minced

2 tablespoons tomato, diced

2 tablespoons jalapeño peppers, diced

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 teaspoons Splenda

1 tablespoon vinegar

salt, pepper, garlic to taste

¼ cup ripe avocado, diced (optional)


Drain corn and combine all ingredients. Serve immediately or let chill for several hours before serving.

Serves: 6

Nutrition per serving: 70 calories, 0.5 g fat, 230 mg sodium, 11 g carbohydrates, 1 g protein.

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