WELCOME TO THE HEALTHY TEST KITCHEN

WELCOME TO THE HEALTHY TEST KITCHEN
ANSWERS FROM AN AETNA NUTRITION SPECIALIST
Q: Hearing alot about ACAI, is it really beneficial? What should we look for or look out for when buying products with ACAI?
A: These berries contain anthocyanins and flavonoids, which are powerful antioxidants that help the body defend itself against stress and may play a role in the body's cell protection system. Since supplements are not regulated by the FDA. I would recommend talking with your doctor or pharmacist for help.
Q: Is using Splenda instead of Sugar(white) healthy or healthier ?
A: A teaspoon of sugar is about 4 grams. For perspective, consider that one 12-ounce can of a sweetened cola contains 8 teaspoons of added sugar, or about 130 calories. If you're trying to lose weight or prevent weight gain, products sweetened with artificial sweeteners, rather than with higher-calorie table sugar, may be an option.
Q: I am diabetic type 2 hispanic, i have read that every thing has sugar when you eat bread can't have beans and so on...where can I find a 30 day menu from morning to night with the right foods and portions( mexican style)
A: Diabetes.org is a great site with lots of information that will help provide the right information on managing your eating plan. In addition, there are great recipes pertaining to the Latin culture. You can also check out eating well.com.
Q: Is there really a "zero calorie" food?
A: Besides chemically altered foods that are calorie-free such as sugar substitutes, all real foods contain calories. There are some foods, such as celery that burn off more calories during digestion than they contain. Sometimes these can be marketed as zero-calorie foods.
Q: I put a lot of stuff in my salad, so how do you know if it's still good for me?
A: For a healthier salad, start by choosing dark leafy greens instead of iceberg lettuce and vegetables of various colors, such as red pepper, yellow squash and green zucchini. Build lean proteins into your salad, by adding turkey, chicken, low-fat cheese or beans; and choose tuna fish or seafood salad without the mayo. Try to use only 1 tablespoon of dressing and avoid creamy ones if you can.
Q: I love fish and seafood and my question is when your trying to watch your fat intake and chloresterol which do you consider first the fat or the chloresterol. Thank-you
A: Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat make your blood cholesterol levels go up. Saturated fat is the main culprit, but cholesterol in foods also matters. Reducing the amount of both in your diet will help lower blood cholesterol levels.
Q: How would organically raised foods contain carcinogens?
A: Organic produce does contain some naturally occurring pesticides. However, despite that, the Environmental Working Group has stated that organic produce can decrease the amount of toxins you consume by about 80%. For additional information, go to the United States Department of Agriculture website.
Q: My LDL is high,(134) do you know of any special veggies that will bring it down. I know I have to cut out fats, cheese etc.
A: Try to eat at least 5 servings of vegetables per day and keep them colorful. All vegetables have benefits to our health and are full of fiber to help with lowering cholesterol levels.
Q: i am looking for a low cal veggie lazania
A: Check out the Food Network's Healthy Eating tab or eatingwell.com.
Q: Are there any cheeses that are healthier for you than others?
A: Cheese is an excellent source of protein. It is also high in calcium and Vitamin D but may be high in saturated fat. Try choosing cheeses that are part skim, low fat or fat free.
Q: I really don't understand what "crude fat" means. My Vet told me my dog had suffered from Pancreitis, he said no treats absolutely with ANY FAT IN THEM. Well, not only is the doggie treats impossible to find with no fat,but people fat is harder.
A: Crude fat by definition appears to be a combination of various fats composed into a product, in this case, the form of a dog treat. In terms of pancreatitis, it is important to avoid excessive fat intake because of the increased risks of gallstones or an infected pancrease. Therefore, choosing lean protein sources, such as fish, chicken, egg whites, etc. may be more appropriate. You may want to ask your veterinarian for additional help if you are finding it challenging to provide food for your dog.
Q: What kind of foods are best, when trying to get stomach smaller? I walk 3 miles a day and am not overweight and 62 yrs. young!!
A: In terms of decreasing the size of your stomach, cardio exercises, weight-bearing activities, and diet rich in foods that are higher in protein, such as lean meats and low-fat dairy, might be best. It is often a combination of many things. If you feel that your weight is appropriate, then focusing on some core exercises for your stomach area might be helpful in building muscle and burning fat. Check out ACEfitness.org for some core exercises that might be helpful.
Q: I have a kidney disease. I was told by my nephrologist that a change in diet wouldn't be helpful. Is that true?
A: Yes. Diet is helpful in the management of some kidney diseases. There are various stages of kidney disease, and treatment is generally based on the stage that you are at. Some important things to consider in your diet are determining the appropriate amount of calories to consume (especially protein) and adequate nutrients, such as sodium, potassium, calcium, and fluids. You may want to talk with a registered dietitian for additional diet guidance, or check out the National Kidney Center website.
Q: WHY IS SOY BAD FOR A BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR?
A: Some studies have suggested that estrogen, which is found naturally in soy, can promote the development, growth, and spread of breast cancer. However, more recent studies have suggested that soy is actually safe and beneficial for breast cancer survivors. Breast Cancer.org provides more detailed explanations more about the data.
Q: My husband eats white rise or wheat noodle every meal, how can I let him to change?
A: Maybe ask him first if he is ready to change. Once you have that figured out, explain the benefits of variety.
Q: What is the best foods to eat to regain weight that I lost from being ill ? I need to regain at lest 18-20lbs. I am also on a restricted diet for high blood pressure.
A: Try having ½--1cup of nuts every day. This may add an additional 500-800 calories to your daily diet.
Q: i am diabetic i love fruits and vegetables i know all fruit is not good for diabetic what fruits can i eat lots of and it wont affect my blood sugar as well as vegetables
A: Which fruits and vegetables you can eat depends on how your body reacts to them. Fruits and vegetables have different glycemic indexes, which can affect an individual’s blood sugar. Try eating a fruit and vegetable, and then test your blood sugar afterward to see how your body may be affected by it. All fruits and vegetables have benefits; therefore eating a variety is best.
Q: What foods can I eat to gain weight without elevating my cholesterol. Thanks
A: I think the best way to tackle this question is to think of all the foods you can eat that will not elevate your cholesterol. Avoid foods that are high in saturated fat, such as butter, full-fat dairy products and meats with visible fat. Also be aware of foods that have hidden trans fats, called partially hydrogenated oils. For gaining weight, eat a variety of foods, and if you want to eat fats since they are higher in calories, choose fats that come from nuts, seeds, avocados or fish oils.
Q: I have some low fat cookbooks, but they all use processed foods, like fat free cream of something soup. I don't usually cook with cream or milk, so are those foods still more healthy than just having pan 'fried' (Pam) meat with vegetables and rice or past
A: Eat real food! Eat appropriate portions of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy products, and nuts and seeds throughout the day. If you choose processed foods once in a while, I think that is fine but do not think they’re a healthier option than real food.
Q: I have acid reflux and really don't know what to eat. I cannot drink any juices, greasy foods or etc. I was just wondering do you have a special diet for people who have acid reflux but still can eat some bad foods. I love my junk food. lol
A: When I talk with people who suffer from acid reflux, my advice is to avoid high-fat foods, such as fried foods and fatty meats, as well as spicy foods, mint, alcoholic beverages and caffeine-containing beverages and foods. I also recommend smaller, more frequent meals and having make your last meal at least 3 hours before bedtime. Know your limits and which of these foods can trigger your heart-burn, and try various cooking techniques.
Q: i had a friend that wants to find a way to make chicken alfrado healthier for her kids. some suggestion i had was using like 2% or tofu to make sauce and maybe use soba noodles but could you give me anymore advice.
A: Some other great suggestions would be to try adding plain Greek yogurt or low-fat cream cheese.
Q: I have read the sugars in general are not good for you including the natural sugar in fruit. is this true
A: Moderation is key, experts say. For example, the AHA statement recommends that women limit themselves to about 6 teaspoons of sugar a day, or about 100 calories. Men should aim for about 9 teaspoons a day, or about 150 calories.
Q: What is a good method to detox the body?
A: Eat real foods, meaning think local, think fresh and think in season. Try to avoid foods with preservatives and added sugars. Make sure to drink water and stay hydrated and try various types of teas (freshly brewed). Tea is a very rich source of a specific kind of antioxidant called flavonoids. These types of antioxidants may have a detoxifying effect.
Q: What does a good source mean?
A: "Good Source," "Contains," or "Provides" 10%-19% of the daily value - These terms may be used on meals or main dishes to indicate that the product contains a food that meets the definition but may not be used to describe the meal.
Q: Is white sugar bad for bad?
A: White sugar is pure sucrose produced from either sugar-cane or sugar beets; therefore it does not necessarily mean it is worse for you than other sugars. Bottom line: The World Health Organization recommends that you limit your intake of added sugars to no more than 10% of your calories. If you’re an average-sized adult, ten percent of your calories is around 50 grams of sugar, or the equivalent of 3 tablespoons of granulated sugar.
Q: Name the primary Iron rich foods/contents...
A: There are two forms of dietary iron: heme and nonheme. Heme iron is derived from hemoglobin. It is found in animal foods, such as red meats, fish and poultry. Your body absorbs the most iron from heme sources.
Q: What can I eat if I am type 2 diabetic and I have a cholesterol problem when I eat at the buffets?
A: Being a diabetic, it is a good practice to test your blood sugar regularly, especially to see how foods may affect it. With saying that, while eating specifically at buffets, recognize which foods impact your blood sugar most. Avoiding excessive carbohydrates such as rice, pasta and potatoes can help in addition to smaller portions or avoiding desserts. For cholesterol issues, it is always good to try and limit your consumption of red meat, full-fat dairy such as cheese and cream-based soups and sauces and baked goods such as cookies and cakes, since they tend to be high in saturated and/or trans fats.
Q: What is the benefit of taking Vitamin B Complex for a Diabetic person?
A: Thiamine, riboflavin, niacin/niacin amide, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid and pantothenic acid, all of these B Vitamins make up B-complex vitamins, and some research studies suggest that these vitamins can help in the prevention of neuropathy in diabetes
Q: What food is good for constipation?
A: The Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board recommends that women consume 91 ounces of water each day from beverages and foods; men need to consume 125 ounces daily. Remember, this recommendation includes fluids in the foods you eat, variety of fruits, vegetables and whole grains in addition to proper hydration is best.
Q: Are sugar substitutes a healthier option than regular sugar?
A: A teaspoon of sugar is about 4 grams. For perspective, consider that one 12-ounce can of a sweetened cola contains 8 teaspoons of added sugar, or about 130 calories. If you're trying to lose weight or prevent weight gain, products sweetened with artificial sweeteners rather than with higher calorie table sugar may be an option.
Q: What natural food or drink can I eat or drink to get energy? Are the 5-hour energy drinks good for you?
A: Smart carbohydrates such as whole grains can help to provide some energy and is our body's preferred source of fuel. Nuts, which are high in protein and magnesium, can help support energy as well. Lean proteins such as chicken or turkey are high in the amino acid Tyrosine, which is know, to boost levels of dopamine and norepinephire, which are brain chemicals, that make you feel more focused.
Q: Recently I have been substituting meat products for soy products I would like to know why soy and soy-based products are considered by many to be unhealthy.
A: There appears to be many mixed reviews about the benefits of soy. In July 2011, The Journal of Menopause published a study that reviewed other studies of soy and its findings. Overall, the review supported the benefits of a variety of foods for health, which includes soy, but did not support the idea that soy may help in lowering some cancer risk, relieving hot flashes and other menopausal symptoms, and possibly improving mental health.
Q: What is the healthiest type of oil to use in baking?
A: Most vegetable oils are high in omega-6 fatty acids, which the body makes enough of. Therefore, it is wiser to use oils that contain omega-3 fatty acids, which our bodies do not create. These oils are canola and olive oil. I think canola oil is best because it tends to be neutral in taste vs. olive oil.
Q: What are the healthy grains and how much should I have a day? How can I tell the difference when I buy at the grocery store? What percentage on my plate would a healthy grain be? For example, if I had a 4-oz serving of lean meat or fish?
A: The healthiest types of grains to consume are whole grains, which come from food sources such as brown rice, whole wheat products, buckwheat and popcorn, to name a few. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that at least half of all the grains you eat are whole grains. When reading labels, look for ingredients that state "whole" vs. refined or enriched.
Q: Since carbohydrates turn to sugar, which turns to fat, should I not eat fruit because it has a lot of sugar in it?
A: Moderation and variety is best and fruit is a good choice for part of your total carbohydrate intake per day.
Q: I have a terrible sweet tooth. How can I combat it? I crave something sweet after every meal (and in between meals)...even after breakfast.
A: Try having fruit in between meals or give in a little, meaning it is OK to have a little something sweet once in a while, such as a small cookie or snack-size candy bar. Try not to skip meals and include foods with variety and different tastes and textures to help stimulate your taste buds.
Q: Are organic foods more nutritious than nonorganic foods?
A: Organic foods contain the same nutrients as nonorganic foods and in the same amounts. The only advantage of organic foods is that they contain little or no pesticides or herbicides. Foods may contain carcinogens whether grown organically or not.
Q: Is white sugar bad for you?
A: White table sugar is no better or worse for you than any other. Too much sugar of any kind can be bad for your health, however, because sugar contains calories (which provide energy) but no vitamins, minerals or other nutrients. Sugar is especially bad for the teeth.
Q: How do I order healthier when I eat out?
A: Look for entrees on the menu that are broiled, grilled, poached, steamed, roasted or baked, and avoid foods described as fried, crisp, sauteed, creamy, creamed, au gratin, escalloped or breaded.
Q: Do you have any tips for healthy lunches?
A: Plan the week's lunches in advance to make shopping easier. Make a list, and stick to it. Don't give in to the temptation to buy extra sweets, junk food or fatty deli meats.
Q: Does "sodium-free" mean it's totally sodium free?
A: If a serving contains less than 5 mg of sodium, it can be called, sodium-free.
Q: What does a "good source" mean?
A: If a serving contains 10 to 19 percent of the daily value for a given nutrient, it can be considered a good source.
Q: Buffets are my weakness. Any suggestions?
A: Fill your plate with plain vegetable side dishes before you go for the meat. Look for grilled, broiled or flame-cooked chicken, fish and lean meats and avoid anything breaded, batter-dipped or fried.
Q: Are foods that are high in fiber are also high in calories?
A: High-fiber foods — whole grains, legumes (beans, peas and lentils) and fresh fruits and vegetables — are actually lower in calories than most other foods because they contain practically no fat. It's only when they're mixed with fats and other foods or eaten in large quantities that high-fiber foods provide large amounts of calories.
Q: Do vitamins provide energy?
A: Only calories from carbohydrates, protein and fat provide energy. Some vitamins are essential to use the energy present in the foods we absorb, but consuming an excess of them will not make more energy than what is in the food.
Q: Does fasting eliminates toxins from the body?
A: While fasting for a day or two probably won't do any harm, and might be psychologically useful in slowing down bad eating habits, there's no evidence that it actually "cleans out" the body by eliminating toxic waste. Basically, your digestive system needs time off from doing its job no more than your heart needs a rest.
Ingredients
Directions
Bookmark and Share
Recipes

Salmon Cakes with Cucumber Relish

Servings: 10. Portioning information: 2 cakes (2 2/3 oz / 74 g), ½ oz / 45 g cucumber relish

Nutrition per serving

179 calories, 7 g fat, 20 g total carbohydrate, 9 g protein, 278 mg sodium, 16 mg cholesterol

SALMON CAKES

  • 14 oz / 400 g halved peeled Idaho potatoes
  • 6 ½ oz / 185 g salmon, poached, cooled, flaked
  • 5 oz / 140 g fresh bread crumbs
  • 5 fl oz / 150 mL skim milk
  • 1 ¾ oz / 50 g whole-grain mustard
  • 1 ½ oz / 45 g mayonnaise
  • ¾ oz / 20 g minced smoked salmon
  • ½ oz / 14 g chopped capers
  • 5 tsp / 25 mL chopped chives
  • 5 tsp / 25 mL chopped dill
  • 1 tsp / 5 mL coarse grind black pepper

CUCUMBER RELISH

  • 5 ½ oz / 155 g diced seedless cucumber, skin on
  • 5 ½ oz / 155 g tomato concassé
  • 2 ¾ oz / 78 g diced red onion
  • 1 tbsp / 15 mL minced jalapeño
  • 4 tsp / 20 mL balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp / 15 mL chopped cilantro
  • 2 tsp / 10 mL olive oil
  1. Simmer the potatoes in water until tender. Drain and place the potatoes on a sheet pan in a warm oven to steam dry, about 5 minutes.
  2. Purée the hot potatoes using a ricer or food mill. Allow the potatoes to cool to room temperature and combine with the remaining salmon cake ingredients. Form into 20 cakes weighing approximately 1 1/3 oz / 37 g each.
  3. To prepare the cucumber relish, toss the relish ingredients together (see Note).
  4. For each portion: Cook 2 cakes in a preheated seasoned skillet until golden brown on each side, about 8 minutes. Serve the salmon cakes on a bed of approximately 1 ½ oz / 45 g of cucumber relish.

Note: Drain any excess liquid from the relish and reserve it to toss with mixed greens.

Reprinted by permission from The Culinary Institute of America, Techniques of Healthy Cooking, 3rd Edition (John Wiley & Sons), 2008

Recipes

Grilled Chicken and Spicy Pecans

Servings: 10. Portioning information: 7 oz / 200 g chicken salad, 3 tbsp / 45 mL vinaigrette

Nutrition per serving

300 calories, 17 g fat, 16 g total carbohydrate, 23 g protein, 90 mg sodium, 55 mg cholesterol

VINAIGRETTE

  • 10 fl oz / 300 mL apple cider
  • 1 ¾ fl oz / 40 mL cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp / 15 mL Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp / 15 mL Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tbsp / 15 mL chopped thyme
  • 1 ¾ fl oz / 40 mL walnut oil
  • 5 ½ oz / 155 g pecan halves
  • 2 ½ lb / 1 kg skinless chicken breast
  • 6 oz / 170 g mixed greens
  • 5 oz / 140 g julienned endive
  • 1 lb 5 oz / 595 g thinly sliced Granny Smith apples
  • 9 oz / 255 g arugula
  1. To make the vinaigrette, reduce the apple cider by two thirds. Combine the reduced cider, vinegar, Worcestershire, Tabasco, and thyme. Slowly whisk in the oil.
  2. Toast the pecans in a 300°F / 150°C oven until golden brown.
  3. Grill the chicken breast until thoroughly cooked. Cool and slice thinly.
  4. Toss the pecans, chicken, and remaining ingredients.
  5. For each portion: Toss 7 oz / 200 g chicken salad with 3 tbsp / 45 mL vinaigrette and arrange on a room-temperature plate.

Reprinted by permission from The Culinary Institute of America, Techniques of Healthy Cooking, 3rd Edition (John Wiley & Sons), 2008

Recipes

Chocolate-Ricotta Bavarian

Batch yield: 2 lb / 900 g. Servings: 10. Portion information: 1 bavarian (3 oz / 90 g)

Nutrition per serving

158 calories, 5 g fat, 27 g total carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 61 mg sodium, 5 mg cholesterol

Vegetable oil spray, as needed

  • 1 oz / 30 g powdered sugar
  • 3 ½ oz / 90 g chopped semisweet chocolate
  • 1 tsp / 5 mL gelatin powder
  • 1 ½ fl oz / 45 mL water
  • 14 oz / 400 g Dairy Base (recipe follows)
  • 2 oz / 57 g cocoa powder
  • 1 ¼ oz / 50 g sugar
  • 6 oz / 170 g egg whites

Batch yield: 3 ¼ lb / 1.5 kg
Servings: 14
Portion information: 3 ½ oz / 100 g

Nutrition per serving: 175 calories, 4 g fat, 28 g total carbohydrate, 7 g protein, 83 mg sodium, 16 mg cholesterol

  • 1 ½ lb / 680 g part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 pt / 480 mL nonfat yogurt
  • 12 fl oz / 360 mL maple syrup
  • ¼ fl oz / 20 mL vanilla extract
  1. Spray the inside of 3-in / 8-cm diameter ring molds with sides 2-in / 5-cm high with oil and dust with powdered sugar. Place the molds on a sheet pan lined with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until needed.
  2. Melt the chocolate over a double boiler.
  3. Bloom the gelatin in the water for 5 minutes. Dissolve over a double boiler.
  4. Combine the dairy base with the warm chocolate and heat very gently over a double boiler. Add the dissolved gelatin and cocoa powder to the chocolate mixture and whisk until smooth. Cool the mixture to room temperature.
  5. Warm the sugar and egg whites together to 100°F / 38°C. Whip the mixture to medium peaks and fold into the chocolate mixture. Pipe 3 oz / 90 g of the mixture into the molds, cover with plastic wrap, and chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

Purée the ricotta in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and process until incorporated. Flavor as desired and freeze in an ice cream machine according to the machine's directions.

Reprinted by permission from The Culinary Institute of America, Techniques of Healthy Cooking, 3rd Edition (John Wiley & Sons), 2008

Salmon Cakes with Cucumber Relish

Servings: 10. Portioning information: 2 cakes (2 2/3 oz / 74 g), ½ oz / 45 g cucumber relish

Grilled Chicken and Spicy Pecans

Servings: 10. Portioning information: 7 oz / 200 g chicken salad, 3 tbsp / 45 mL vinaigrette

Chocolate-Ricotta Bavarian

Batch yield: 2 lb / 900 g. Servings: 10. Portion information: 1 bavarian (3 oz / 90 g)

Recipes

Grilled Zucchini Succotash

Grilled Zucchini Succotash that makes 6 servings

  • 3 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup blanched fresh lima beans or thawed frozen lima beans
  • Kernels from 2 ears of fresh corn
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 plum tomato, seeded, halved and chopped
  • 1 grilled poblano chile, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 1 grilled jalapeno, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • ½ cup crumbled queso fresco cheese or fresh farmer's cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  1. Heat your grill to high.
  2. Brush the cut side of the zucchini with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with ¼ teaspoon of the salt and ¼ teaspoon of the pepper. Grill cut-side down until lightly golden brown, 3-4 minutes. Turn over and continue grilling until just cooked through, 4-5 minutes longer. Remove from the grill and cut into small dice.
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a medium saucepan on the grates of the grill. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft, 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the lima beans, corn and stock and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, poblanos, jalapenos, grilled zucchini and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Remove from the grill and stir in the cheese and cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipes

Spanish Spiced Rubbed Chicken

Spanish Spiced Rubbed Chicken with Mustard-Green Onion Sauce

Mustard-Green Onion Sauce

  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/3 cup pure olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced green onions, light and dark parts
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley leaves

Whisk together the vinegar and mustard in a large bowl. Drizzle in the oil and whisk to emulsify. Season with the salt and pepper, then stir in the green onions and parsley.

Spanish Spice Rub

  • 3 tablespoons Spanish paprika
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons ground fennel
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper

Whisk together all of the ingredients in a bowl.

Chicken

  • 4 bone-in skinless chicken breasts, 6 ounces each
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • Chopped parsley
  1. Heat your grill to medium or a large nonstick sauté pan over high heat.
  2. Rub each breast on the top side with the rub, drizzle with the oil and place on the grill, rub-side down. Grill or cook in pan for 3-4 minutes or until slightly charred and a crust has formed. Turn the breasts over, close the cover and continue cooking for 5-6 minutes or until just cooked through (165 degrees F) Remove to a cutting board and let rest 5 minutes.
  3. Place the chicken breasts on a platter and drizzle 2 tablespoons of the mustard-green onion sauce over each breast. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve remaining sauce on the side, if desired.
Recipes

Grilled Salmon with Sherry Glaze

Grilled Salmon with Sherry Vinegar-Honey Glaze and Spicy Tomato Relish. Serves 6.

Spicy Tomato Relish

  • 2 large ripe tomatoes, halved, seeded and diced
  • ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon red chile flake
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Combine the tomatoes, onion, vinegar, oil, chile flakes and parsley in a medium bowl; season with salt and pepper. Let the relish sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Salmon

  • 1 cup aged sherry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon ancho chile powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 salmon fillets, 6-ounces each
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Parsley leaves, for garnish
  1. Put the vinegar in a small saucepan over high heat and cook until thickened and reduced to about ¼ cup. Transfer to a bowl and whisk in the honey, mustard, ancho powder and salt and pepper until combined. Let rest at room temperature for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat a grill to high or grill pan over high heat. Brush the fish on both sides with canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill until bottom is golden brown, about 2 minutes. Flip over, brush with glaze and continue grilling until fish is cooked to medium well doneness, 3 to 5 minutes longer. Remove from the grill and brush with more of the glaze.
  3. Place the salmon fillets on a large platter and top each with some of the relish. Garnish with parsley leaves.
Grilled Zucchini Succotash

Grilled Zucchini Succotash that makes 6 servings

Spanish Spiced Rubbed Chicken

Spanish Spiced Rubbed Chicken with Mustard-Green Onion Sauce

Grilled Salmon with Sherry Glaze

Grilled Salmon with Sherry Vinegar-Honey Glaze and Spicy Tomato Relish

Recipes

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Porridge Patties with Jicama Pico de Gallo

Recently, I was challenged to develop a creative recipe using steel cut oats. I thought that the name black bean porridge patties had a nice ring! I experimented and stirred up lots of pots of porridge. I ended up winning that cook-off, and now I head to the world porridge contest in Scotland! When I read about the Healthy Food Fight I loved the challenge to make my original porridge patty even healthier. Reducing the salt and fat along with adding fresh ingredients to the Pico de Gallo were my first feats. I added sweet potatoes for a touch of added nutrition. Now let's see if the porridge patty can be crowned a winner ~ once again, after all the name is just so fun to say ~ and the patty so yummy to eat!

  • 3 1/2 servings Steel Cut Oats - Bob's Red Mill
  • 4 tsp. Minced Garlic
  • 2 1/2 cup Water (Bottled)
  • 1/2 cup, cubed Sweet Potato
  • 2 servings Coarse Kosher Salt - Morton
  • 1 3/4 servings Organic Black Beans - Private Selection
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. Red or Cayenne Pepper
  • 3/4 cup Cilantro
  • 3/4 tsp. Baking Powder (Low Sodium)
  • 3 1/2 Tbs. Safflower Oil
  • 2 cups Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup, chopped Scallions or Spring Onions
  • 1/2 cup Jicama
  • 1/2 cup, chopped Sweet Red Peppers
  • 1 fruit (2" dia) Lime
  • 1 serving Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt - Chobani
  1. In a coffee grinder, grind 1/4-cup oats for 20 seconds or until it resembles flour. Sprinkle 1-tablespoon oat flour on wax paper lined work surface and save another 1-tablespoon oat flour for sprinkling on top of patties; set aside. Reserve the remaining oat flour for mixing into patty mixture. In a 4-quart or larger saucepan, bring remaining steel cut oats, garlic, water, sweet potatoes, and salt to a boil. Cover and cook on medium high, for 9 minutes. Uncover, adjust heat to high, add black beans, cumin, and red pepper, stir constantly and cook 3-4 minutes or until oats have absorbed water. Pour hot porridge into a large bowl, add baking powder, stir for 15-seconds. Add 1/3-cup cilantro and gradually stir in reserved oat flour. Allow mixture to rest 5 minutes. Scoop 4 heaping 1/2 - cup oat mixture mounds and place on wax paper that has been sprinkled with oat flour. Sprinkle remaining 1-tablespoon oat flour over mounds. Press each mound gently with the back of a pancake turner. Wet hands and shape gently into patties. In a large 10-inch or smaller non-stick skillet, heat safflower oil on high or medium-high. Fry patties on both sides 4-5 minutes, or until patties are brown and crispy. Meanwhile, cut lime in half. Cut one of the halves into 4 slices. Finely grate the peel of the other half to equal 2 teaspoons lime zest. Juice the lime half to equal 2 teaspoons limejuice. In a medium bowl toss together remaining 1/3-cup cilantro, cherry tomatoes, scallions, jicama, sweet red pepper, 1 or 2-teaspoons lime zest, and 2 teaspoons limejuice. Place Black Bean Porridge Patties on 4 serving plates. Top each patty with Pico de Gallo, and dollop with Greek yogurt. Sprinkle with cilantro and scallions. Garnish with a lime slice. Serves 4 patties
Recipes

Salmon Pozole

Having lived in Mexico I always enjoyed pozole - it's like having soup & salad all rolled into one. For this dish I have substituted the pork with salmon, which is so high in Omega 3 fatty acids, and by using sweet white corn instead of canned hominy I have reduced the sodium. This dish is very flavorful, yet mild enough that the kids like to make salmon tacos out of it.

  • 1 32 oz. box low sodium seafood cooking stock
  • 1 large jalapeno, quartered
  • 1 medium sized ripe tomato, rough chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely sliced
  • 12 ounce skinless salmon filet, trimmed and cleaned
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 2 cups sweet white corn
  • 1/2 – 1/3 cup cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 2-3 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, stemmed and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon green onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 avocado, peeled and diced
  • 4 corn tortillas, warmed (optional)
  1. Place the stock, jalapeno, tomato and garlic in a sauce pan and bring up to a boil. Turn the heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes.
  2. This is a good time to clean and prepare the vegetables.
  3. Pat the salmon dry and rub the top with the cumin. Divide the salmon into 4 equal pieces and broil it in a preheated oven for approximately 10 minutes per inch of thickness or until the top is slightly crispy and the inside is opaque.
  4. Pour the stock through a strainer into another sauce pan. Taste test for heat, and according to preference, either remove the jalapeno or lightly press it through the sieve along with the tomato and garlic into the stock. Bring up to a boil and add the lime juice and corn and simmer for 1-2 minutes.
  5. To serve, ladle the stock with the corn into a deep, wide soup bowl, place a piece of salmon into each bowl and serve with the vegetables to be sprinkled on top. Serve with warm corn tortillas, if desired.
  6. Serves 4
Recipes

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper

As a marathon runner, I am constantly looking for ways to up my protein intake. Quinoa has been a great source of protein for me. And, not only is it delicious, it is versatile! I am constantly coming up with new ways to incorporate it into everyday meals. I passed this recipe along to the women at my office and they loved it!

  • 1 cup Quinoa
  • 2 cups (16 fl oz) Chicken Stock
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 4 medium (approx 2-3/4" long, 2-1/2" dia) Bell Peppers
  • 3/4 cup, chopped Bell Peppers
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 ½ cup, chopped Onions
  • 3/4 lb. 99% Lean Ground Turkey - Jennie-O
  • 4 servings Italian Seasoning - Spice Classics 10 leaves Basil
  • ¾ cup Parsley
  • 8 oz Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 cup Reduced Fat 4 Cheese Italian Shredded Cheese - Sargento
  • 1 dash Sea Salt 1 dash Black Pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook 1 cup quinoa in 2 cups chicken stock.
  3. Chop onion, green bell pepper, and garlic. Sauté in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Add in ground turkey, spices, parsley, basil, and salt and pepper. Brown meat (about 6 minutes or so). Once meat is brown, add in can of tomato sauce and about half of the cooked quinoa and mix together. I reserve the other half of the quinoa to save for making salads, but if you don’t want extra, then I would say cook about ½ cup of dry quinoa in 1 cup chicken stock.
  4. For the bell peppers you are stuffing, chop off the top and clean out the inside to remove any seeds.
  5. While the meat is browning, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Once water is boiling, submerge all but the tops of the bell peppers in the water. Let sit in boiling water for about 3 minutes. Remove with tongs. This will darken their color and also soften up the outside quite a bit. Sprinkle bell pepper with a little salt and pepper.
  6. Stuff meat mixture into the bell peppers. Place in a Pyrex dish (8 by 8 works fine, or any size you have on hand). Fill the Pyrex up about 1/8 of an inch with water so that the bottom of the bell peppers will be sitting in the water. Sprinkle cheese on top of the stuffed peppers. Bake in oven for about 20 minutes.
Recipes

Pan-seared salmon with vegetable couscous, mango salsa, and tomato salad

  • 0.7 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1.5 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp. Red or Cayenne Pepper
  • 1.5 tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tbs. chopped Chives
  • 6 sprig Cilantro
  • 1 cup sliced Mangos
  • 0.5 cup chopped Red Onions
  • 5 oz. Cherry Tomatoes
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 0.5 (2-1/8" dia) Lemon
  • 4 oz. Shiitake Mushrooms (Stir-Fried)
  • 1 cup Yellow Sweet Corn
  • 3.25 cup Chicken Broth Soup (Low Sodium, Canned)
  • 1.25 cup cooked Couscous (Cooked)
  • 4 servings Wild Salmon Filets - Wal-Mart
  1. Heat a medium pan with a tbs. of olive oil on medium-low heat. Toast couscous for about 4 minutes. Then add chicken broth. Bring to boil, then let simmer. This will take about 22 minutes.
  2. Chop shiitake mushrooms into vertical strips and mince the cloves of garlic.
  3. 3. In another medium pan cook the garlic for a minute, then add the mushrooms and corn.
  4. When couscous is done, add it to the vegetable mixture, then season with 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 3 dashes of salt, and green onions. Cook for another 3 minutes.
  5. This is for one piece of salmon. Season each side with 1/8 tsp. of black pepper, 1/8 tsp. of cayenne pepper powder, and 2 pinches of salt on each side. Heat a medium pan with 1/4 tsp. olive oil on medium heat. Place salmon skin first and cook for about 6 minutes then flip to other side and cook for about a minute.
  6. For mango sals chop half red onion into cube size pieces then chop mango into cube size pieces. Finely chop 3 sprigs of cilantro. Add the mango, red onion and cilantro to a bowl with a tsp. of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Mix salsa well.
  7. For tomato salad, chop the cherry tomatos into quarters. Finely chop two sprigs of cilantro. Mix the tomatoes and cilantro in a bowl with a tsp. of olive oil, pinch of salt, and pinch of black pepper.
  8. To plate dish, put some couscous on a circular plate first. Make the couscous into a circular shape as well. Then place the salmon on top of the couscous with the skin side facing up. Then put the mango salsa and tomato salad on top of the salmon. Finally drizzle everything with some lemon juice.
Recipes

Five Spice Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Protein-rich quinoa and ground turkey, along with sweet yam, black beans and golden raisins, get a surprisingly exotic kick with Chinese five-spice powder. The cool crunch of the iceberg is a perfect foil for the delicious filling.

  • 1/2 cup quinoa rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 medium yam, peeled and 1/4" diced
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 head of iceberg lettuce, washed, dried and leaves separated
  • 1/4 cup roasted, salted pepitas
  1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil, then add quinoa, reduce heat to medium, and cook about 12 minutes until water is absorbed. Remove from heat, fluff, and cover while proceeding with recipe.
  2. Heat 1 teaspoon of olive oil in 10–12 inch skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble ground turkey into pan and cook until browned and almost cooked through. Add some garlic (optional) and continue to cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Drain any excess fat from pan. Add diced yams, Chinese five-spice powder, raisins. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover, reduce heat to medium, and cook until sweet potatoes are tender, about 6–8 minutes.
  3. Add cooked quinoa to turkey mixture and toss to combine. Taste and check seasonings.
  4. Spoon about 1/2 cup of filling into each lettuce leaf, 2 leaves per serving. Sprinkle with pepitas and serve immediately.
Recipes

Butternut Squash-Quinoa Salad

Warm Roasted Butternut Squash-Quinoa Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

  • 1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeded and 1-inch diced
  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and dried with paper towels
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons mild curry power
  • 1 teaspoon Garam Masala
  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 medium lemons
  • 1 medium navel orange
  • 1 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2/3 cup dried cranberries, chopped
  • 4 cups pre-washed arugula leaves
  1. Preheat the oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, toss the butternut squash with the chickpeas, 1 tablespoon olive oil, curry and Garam Masala; season with salt and pepper. Spread on a large-rimmed baking sheet and roast for 30–35 minutes hour, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender and chickpeas crispy. Cool slightly.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, combine quinoa and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes or until water is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and cool slightly.
  3. Grate the lemons and orange to measure 2 teaspoons lemon zest & 2 teaspoons orange zest. Juice both the lemons and the orange. In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon lemon juice with the yogurt, 1/2 of the mint, and 1/2 of the cilantro; season with salt & pepper.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk the zests, remaining juices, & remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the quinoa, cranberries, & remaining mint & cilantro, tossing to combine. Season with salt & pepper to taste. Add the squash and chickpeas; gently toss to combine.
  5. Arrange arugula leaves over large rimmed platter. Spoon the squash-quinoa mixture on top of leaves. Serve with the herbed yogurt on the side. Makes 6 servings.
Recipes

Salmon Kebabs over Mango Brown Rice

These heart-healthy kebabs are super shiny, colorful, and waaay delicious! They're served over an unusual rice cooked in flavorful mango nectar—yum!

  • 6 cups mango nectar
  • 3 cups brown rice
  • 2 mangoes, peeled and chopped
  • 2 salmon fillets, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • 5 kiwi, peeled and halved
  • 2 yellow crookneck squash, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup grape seed oil
  • 3 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped ancho pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped almonds
  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. In a large pot, bring mango nectar to a boil. Stir in rice, cover, and reduce heat to simmering. Cook 30 minutes, until rice is fluffy. Fold in chopped mangoes.
  2. Meanwhile, thread salmon chunks, kiwi halves, squash chunks, bell pepper pieces, and onion pieces onto four skewers*, repeating to fill kebabs with alternating color. Place kebabs on a greased baking sheet.
  3. In a small bowl, stir grape seed oil, honey, and ancho pepper together. Brush this glaze over the kebabs. Sprinkle with chopped almonds. Bake kebabs for 15–20 minutes, just until salmon is flaky and opaque. Serve over Mango Brown Rice. Serves 4 delighted guests!

* If using bamboo skewers, be sure to soak them for at least 10 minutes before threading. Metal skewers work well, and a fun variation is to use stripped rosemary stems for skewers

Recipes

Stuffed Collards

A great-tasting and filling way to get a serving of nutrient-dense greens. The mixture of beans and rice with the marinara sauce leave you feeling full and satisfied.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 232 | Total Fat: 2.7g | Cholesterol: 67mg

  • 10 medium-sized collard leaves steamed
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked wild grain rice
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked cannelli beans
  • 1 cup chopped red pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup of chopped zucchini
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups low-sodium marinara sauce
  • grated cheese (optional)
  1. Steam the collard leaves and set aside to cool. Sauté pepper, onion, garlic, zucchini and herbs in about 2–3 tablespoons of water. Once they are translucent, turn the stove off and add tomato paste. Mix in well with the rice and the beans. Divide mixture evenly into each of the collards, folding the leaf over the mixture and placing it down in a casserole dish. Once all 10 pieces are placed in the dish, pour the sauce over the stuffed collards and bake for 20 minutes at 350° F. Can serve with some grated parmesan cheese.
Recipes

Homemade Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

Remember Grandma making pasta with all-natural ingredients? Let's get back to natural ingredients!

Nutritional Information

Calories: 232 | Total Fat: 2.7g | Cholesterol: 67mg

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 2 cups Semolina Flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 each of yellow squash and zucchini
  • 1 each of green, yellow and red pepper
  • 1 large onion
  • 1/3 cup of dried organic Italian herbs
  • 1 small container of cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 small can of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 ½ cups of grated locatelli or romano cheese
  • 1 small can of cannelloni beans drained
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Put both flours in a large bowl and make a well. Add the eggs to the well along with the oil and salt. Mix with fork blending everything together until you see a crumbly mixture. Mix and squeeze with your hands to bring it together into a ball. Knead for 7 minutes. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and let it rest for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make the vegetables.
  2. Slice the yellow squash, zucchini, carrots and all the peppers in julienne strips. Cut the onion into regular slices. (Reserve the tomatoes and beans) Mix with 1/2 cup of olive oil and the italian seasonings along with salt and pepper to taste. Roast in a high sided cookie sheet or pan in the middle of the oven at 450°F for about 20 minutes. (A convection oven works great!)
  3. At this time start cutting the pasta into spaghetti. An electric pasta machine takes less time! (Put a large pot of salted water on the stove to boil)
  4. Add the tomatoes which have been cut in half. Cook for another 20 minutes or when almost fork tender. They are done! (Add the beans during the last 5 minutes of cooking). Put the cooked, drained pasta in a large bowl. Drain the juices from the roasted vegetables onto the pasta and then put the roasted vegetables on top. (If vegetables seem dry add 1/2 can of the stock or pasta water to the vegetables before putting it on the pasta). Sprinkle with grated cheese. ENJOY!
Recipes

Moroccan Spiced Vegetable Chili

Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will love this healthy and flavorful chili. The addition of whole grain bulgur wheat not only adds fiber but a "meaty" texture as well. Protein packed garbanzo beans, vitamin-rich butternut squash, and a medley of fragrant spices lend an exotic Moroccan twist to this filling dish!

Nutritional Information

Calories: 232 | Total Fat: 2.7g | Cholesterol: 67mg

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 large cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 3 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, including juices
  • 3 1/2 cups water
  • 3 15-ounce cans low-sodium garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2/3 cup uncooked bulgur wheat
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Optional garnish: minced cilantro and low-fat Greek yogurt or low-fat sour cream
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot set over moderately high heat. Add the diced onion, carrots, red bell pepper, garlic and jalapeño, and sauté until the carrots are tender, 6–8 minutes. Add the butternut squash and the spices, and sauté for 2 minutes more. Add tomatoes, water, garbanzo beans, bulgur and vinegar, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, uncovered, until the bulgur and the butternut squash are tender and the mixture has thickened, stirring often, 20–25 minutes. Ladle chili into bowls, garnish as desired (optional) and serve hot!
Recipes

Baja Shrimp Tacos

Nothing but fresh produce, corn tortillas, and grilled fish. This dish has everything—sweet, sour, salty, spicy, cold and crunchy, creamy, hot. It's also super simple and very quick to prepare.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 232 | Total Fat: 2.7g | Cholesterol: 67mg

  • 1 (26–30) pound of large shrimp, peeled and deveined 1 cup lime juice, divided
  • 3 smashed garlic cloves
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 10 corn tortillas
  • 1 large avocado, ½-inch cubes
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 mango, chopped
  • 1 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 10 bag of shredded cabbage or slaw mix
  • Louisiana hot sauce (optional)
  1. Place shrimp and garlic in a Ziploc® bag. Add all but 2 tablespoons of the lime juice. Massage bag to evenly distribute. Let sit in refrigerator for a few hours, or at room temperature for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, mix remaining lime juice with mango, avocado, onion, cilantro and jalapeño in a large bowl. Mix in salt.
  3. Heat large skillet over medium-high heat. Spray with olive oil cooking spray. Add shrimp and cook until done, about 4 minutes. Warm tortillas in microwave on a plate covered with damp towel for 30 seconds.
  4. Place 3 shrimp on each tortilla. Spoon 1/4 cup shredded cabbage, and a few tablespoons mango salsa on each. Serve with hot sauce if desired.
Recipes

Cauliflower, Chick Pea Curry

Savory vegetable curry over brown rice with raita garnish

Nutritional Information

Calories: 232 | Total Fat: 2.7g | Cholesterol: 67mg

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large diced onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons turmeric
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoon dry oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced, peeled tomatoes
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 large cauliflower, chopped in large chunks
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut in large chunks
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups garbanzo beans with liquid
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 1/2 cup short grain brown rice
  • 2 cup reduced-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 cucumber
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • 1 small bunch cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Curry: Sauté diced onion in 3 tablespoons olive oil until caramelized, add ginger and garlic and sauté for 1 minute more. Add curry, turmeric, cumin, 1 bay leaf and oregano and brown for about 1–2 minutes. Add can tomatoes, 1/2 cup water, cauliflower, sweet potatoes and green and red peppers. Bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer about 25 minutes. Add garbanzo beans and raisins, mix, then add can of coconut milk. Bring to a boil, turn down heat and simmer about 5 minutes until thick. Add frozen peas. Remove bay leaf and remove from heat.
  2. Rice: Put 1 1/2 cups brown rice in sauce pan with about 3 cups of water, 1 tablespoon turmeric, 1 tablespoon garlic powder and 1 bay leaf. Bring to boil, turn down and simmer on low about 25–30 minutes.
  3. Ratia: Peel, seed and grate cucumber, add about 1 teaspoon cumin to taste, juice of about half a lemon, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust flavor.
  4. Chop cilantro. Serve curry over rice with ratia and cilantro as garnish.
Recipes

Beef Ricotta Spinach Meatballs

Thinly sliced zucchini serve as the pasta base for light meatballs made with spinach, ricotta and GA-grown grass-fed beef. Then topped with a fresh, barely cooked tomato sauce and basil chiffonade.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 232 | Total Fat: 2.7g | Cholesterol: 67mg

Meatballs:
  • 1 pound grass-fed beef
  • 1/2 cup ricotta (home made or store-bought and drained)
  • 1 cup baby spinach, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
Zucchini:
  • 4 medium zucchini, sliced thinly lengthwise (including the skin) with a mandoline or wide vegetable peeler
Sauce:
  • 4 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • Generous amount of basil, chiffonaded
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • shaved parmesan for serving
  1. Meatballs: Preheat oven to 350° F. In a sauté pan, cook the garlic and onion until translucent. In a bowl, combine the beef, ricotta and spinach. Add the garlic and onion and mix lightly. Season with salt and pepper (at this point, you can test fry a small piece for seasoning). Form meatballs approximately 2 inches in diameter. Return the meatballs to the pan and brown on all sides, then finish in the oven for 20 minutes.
  2. Sauce: In a sauté pan, cook the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the chopped tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Zucchini: Steam the zucchini in a steamer basket or in a small amount of water until just barely cooked—"al dente."
  3. To serve: In warm bowls, twirl a generous amount of the zucchini pasta. Top with 4 meatballs, the warm tomato sauce and a chiffonade of basil.
  4. Shaved parmesan on the side.
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Porridge Patties with Jicama Pico de Gallo

Recently, I was challenged to develop a creative recipe using steel cut oats. I thought that the name black bean porridge patties had a nice ring!

Salmon Pozole

Having lived in Mexico I always enjoyed pozole - it's like having soup & salad all rolled into one.

Quinoa Stuffed Bell Pepper

As a marathon runner, I am constantly looking for ways to up my protein intake. Quinoa has been a great source of protein for me.

Pan-seared salmon with vegetable couscous, mango salsa, and tomato salad

Makes 4 servings.

Five Spice Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Protein-rich quinoa and ground turkey, along with sweet yam, black beans and golden raisins, get a surprisingly exotic kick with Chinese five-spice powder. The cool crunch of the iceberg is a perfect foil for the delicious filling.

Butternut Squash-Quinoa Salad

Warm Roasted Butternut Squash-Quinoa Salad with Crispy Chickpeas

Salmon Kebabs over Mango Brown Rice

These heart-healthy kebabs are super shiny, colorful, and waaay delicious! They're served over an unusual rice cooked in flavorful mango nectar—yum!

Stuffed Collards

A great-tasting and filling way to get a serving of nutrient-dense greens. The mixture of beans and rice with the marinara sauce leave you feeling full and satisfied.

Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

Remember Grandma making pasta with all-natural ingredients? Let's get back to natural ingredients!

Moroccan Spiced Vegetable Chili

Vegetarians and meat-eaters alike will love this healthy and flavorful chili. The addition of whole grain bulgur wheat not only adds fiber but a "meaty" texture as well. Protein packed garbanzo beans, vitamin-rich butternut squash, and a medley of fragrant spices lend an exotic Moroccan twist to this filling dish!

Baja Shrimp Tacos

Nothing but fresh produce, corn tortillas, and grilled fish. This dish has everything—sweet, sour, salty, spicy, cold and crunchy, creamy, hot. It's also super simple and very quick to prepare.

Cauliflower, Chick Pea Curry

Savory vegetable curry over brown rice with raita garnish

Ricotta Spinach Meatballs

Thinly sliced zucchini serve as the pasta base for light meatballs made with spinach, ricotta and GA-grown grass-fed beef. Then topped with a fresh, barely cooked tomato sauce and basil chiffonade.

Close

Each week, we’ll pick several questions to be answered by our Specialist.

So keep checking back every day for the answer to your question!

Close

You must be logged into submit a question. Please register or login to submit your question.

Close

Healthy Recipe Analyzer

How can you find out if that recipe you're about whip up really is healthy? Easy: Enter it into the Healthy Recipe Analyzer. Just fill out the fields below and hit submit for a detailed rating of any recipe you'd like analyzed.

Recipes must serve four people and must be an entree.

Please enter ingredients individually so that we can verify it’s a healthful contender for the Healthy Food Fight.

Close

Fast Food Alternatives

Fast food is quick, tasty, and usually unhealthy. But there are better options for when you're on the run. Click on the food items below to see some healthier fast food choices.

Super Sized Fries

To Burn: 600 calories You must do: 1hrs 45min walking

Small Fries

To Burn: 230 calories You must do: 40 min walking

Bacon Cheeseburger

To Burn: 710 calories You must do: 2hrs 4min walking

Lean Meat Burger

To Burn: 145 calories You must do: 25 min walking

Sausage Biscuit, Egg and Cheese

To Burn: 630 calories You must do: 1hrs 50min walking

Egg Beaters on Whole Wheat Toast

To Burn: 117 calories You must do: 20 min walking

Slice of Deep Dish Pizza

To Burn: 400 calories You must do: 1hrs 10min walking

Vegetable Pizza

To Burn: 260 calories You must do: 45 min walking

Chicken Tostado

To Burn: 840 calories You must do: 2hrs 27min walking

Chicken Tostado With No Shell

To Burn: 410 calories You must do: 1hr 12min walking

4 Piece Fried Chicken

To Burn: 1180 calories You must do: 3hrs 27min walking

Grilled Chicken Breast Sandwich

To Burn: 140 calories You must do: 24 min walking

Close

Nutrition Tips From the USDA

There's a lot to consider when trying to plan healthy meals for yourself and your family. That's why the USDA's Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion created this helpful tool. Just click on the portions in the plate below to learn exactly what a healthy, balanced diet is made of.

Balancing Calories:

  • Enjoy your food, but eat less.
  • Avoid oversized portions.

Foods to Increase:

  • Make half your plate fruits and vegetables.
  • Make at least half your grains whole grains.
  • Switch to fat-free or low-fat (1%) milk.

Foods to Reduce:

  • Compare sodium in foods like soup, bread and frozen meals—and choose the foods with lower numbers.
  • Drink water instead of sugary drinks.