Saturday, January 19, 2013

Leader Enterprise - January 16, 2012 - more tips for making healthy choices




Before we get down to business here, I wanted to share some exciting news I recently received. I'm going to have a recipe in the Gooseberry Patch fall issue of "Hometown Harvest" cookbook. The recipe is "Minister's Delight" and is in my cookbook. I'm blessed & thrilled to pieces. More details to follow later after I get my free copy this summer. YOWZA!
 


As we continue with our healthy eating ideas from the Spark People website, I hope you are making positive changes to get healthier in this new year.I know that having these ideas in print are great reminders to help keep me on track. It isn't always easy to make changes and I need help to focus my attention on these thoughts.
 
Start smart. Make it a habit to order a salad or vegetable-based soup when you’re out at restaurants. These fiber-rich starters may keep you from overeating when your meal comes, in addition to helping you add more vegetables into your day.

Bag it up. It may be more expensive to buy pre-chopped lettuce mixes, but they make whipping up a salads a breeze. Throw a few into your shopping cart so you can take salads to work for lunch or have dinner salads ready throughout the week. Just make sure your salad toppings are healthy ones!

Use the freezer. If you buy produce in bulk only to have it rot in your refrigerator before you get to it, start using your freezer more frequently. Have a stock of frozen fruits and veggies on hand at all times so you’ll always have them ready for smoothies and easy dinner sides.

Chop them up. If you have a hard time crunching into big vegetables,try slicing and dicing them into a more manageable size. Shred carrots and zucchini or finely dice onions, pepper and spinach to hide in pasta sauces, hamburger patties, omelets and casseroles.

Pack portable produce. If you’re a snacker who gets hungry when you’re out running errands or on the way home from work in the early evening, carry easy-to-eat fruit and vegetable items for snacking. Baby carrots, chopped broccoli and celery sticks are great for munching anywhere, as are no-muss, no-fuss bananas, apples and grapes. Dried fruits like raisins and prunes are easy to have on hand for a quick snack, too.

13. Find the ones you love. While you should aim for a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in your diet, don’t hesitate to stick to the handful you love if you can only stomach a few. It won’t do you any good to buy the spinach you know you hate if it’s just going to sit in your crisper until it turns into goo. Buy your favorite fruits and vegetables and eat up, while allowing yourself to experiment with new options every now and then.You never know--you might find a new favorite!

The USDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention both have calculators on their sites to help you calculate how many fruit and vegetable servings you should aim for each day. Everyone’s caloric and dietary needs are different and depend on age and activity level, so see what’s recommended for you and make that your new goal!
 
Here's another wonderful casserole recipe from Skinny Kitchen website. I appreciate how she breaks everything down into nutritional info, even Weight Watchers points.
 
SKINNY BEEFY MAC 'N' CHEESE
1-1/2 c. (6 oz) uncooked whole wheat or whole grain penne pasta
1/2 lb. extra lean ground beef
1 Tb. garlic, minced
1 c. zucchini, chopped (about 1 med.)
1 c. onions, chopped
1 (10-oz) container light alfredo sauce
(preferably Buitoni refrigerated sauce)
1/2 c. fat-free cottage cheese
1 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Fresh black pepper,to taste
1/2 c. reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded
Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray 2-1/2-quart casserole with nonstick cooking spray. Cook pasta to desired doneness as directed on package. Drain. In large nonstick skillet, cook and break up ground beef over medium-high heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the fresh garlic. Continue to cook for about 2 minutes or until beef is browned. Pour into a colander and drain all the fat; add back to pan. In the meantime, add the zucchini and onions to a microwave safe plate. Cook in microwave for about 4 minutes until soft. Add to pan of browned beef. Stir in cooked pasta, alfredo sauce, cottage cheese, tomato and a little pepper. Mix well. Spoon mixture into sprayed casserole. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over the top of casserole. Bake uncovered for 20-25 minutes or until thoroughly heated and cheese is melted. Yield:6 servings (about 1-1/3 cups each) 1 serving = 277 calories, 8.7 gr. fat, 19 gr. protein, 31gr. carbs

Dessert doesn't get any easier than this NO fat 2-ingredient dessert recipe! I know several folks who love serving this to company. It's light & tasty.You don't even have to drag out the mixer. 

PINEAPPLE ANGEL FOOD CAKE 

1-16 ozs.box angel food cake mix
1-20 ozs.can crushed pineapple,undrained 

Preheat oven to 350. Place both ingredients in large bowl and stir with a wooden spoon until well blended. Do not use a mixer; it will foam up. Pour into an ungreased 9"X13"X2"baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Serve room temperature along with a dollop of whipped topping.

I'm a big oatmeal fan and love this quick and satisfying breakfast. This recipe comes from Halfmysize.com cookbook.

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER OATMEAL

1/2 c. (instant) oatmeal
1 env. fat free hot cocoa mix with calcium
1 Tb. reduced-fat peanut butter
3/4 - 1 c. water
dash of salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Combine all ingredients, except vanilla. Cook over medium heat until thick or microwave on high for 2 minutes. Add vanilla; serve warm. Serves 1.
Nutritional information per serving:Calories: 285; Fat: 8 gr.; Fiber: 5 gr.