December 21, 2007
More Matters! Even in the Winter!
Fruits and veggies....more matters. Here are some favorite winter fruit and veggie recipes to help get more in everyday.
Winter Squash Risotto
Makes 4 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each
5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
3 cups chopped peeled butternut, hubbard, red kuri or kabocha squash (½-inch pieces)
2 cups shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads (optional)
1 cup arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. Place broth in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the broth remains steaming, but is not simmering.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in squash and mushrooms; cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms give off their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add thyme, salt, pepper and saffron (if using); cook for 30 seconds. Add rice; stir until translucent, about 1 minute. Add wine (or vermouth) and cook, stirring, until almost absorbed by the rice, about 1 minute.
3. Stir in 1/2 cup of the hot broth; reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until all the liquid has been absorbed, until the rice is tender and creamy, 30 to 40 minutes total. (You may have some broth left.) Remove from the heat and stir in cheese.
Per serving: 372 calories; 11 g fat (3 g sat, 6 g mono); 15 mg cholesterol; 54 g carbohydrate; 14 g protein; 6 g fiber; 632 mg sodium; 790 mg potassium.
Nutrition bonus: Vitamin A (380% daily value), Vitamin C (65% dv), Potassium (21% dv), Calcium (20% dv).
Green & Yellow Beans with Wild Mushrooms
Makes 10 servings, about 3/4 cup each
1 pound green beans, trimmed
1 pound yellow wax beans, trimmed
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 ounces wild mushrooms, such as chanterelle, oyster or porcini, trimmed and sliced (see Substitution Note)
½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add green beans and wax beans and cook until tender-crisp, about 4 minutes. (Cook for another minute or two if you like your green beans more tender.) Drain well.
2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they release their juices and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Season with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper.
3. Reserve 1 tablespoon of the mushrooms for garnish. Add the cooked beans to the mushrooms in the pan and cook, stirring to combine, until heated through, 1 to 3 minutes. Season with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Serve topped with the reserved mushrooms.
Per serving: 75 calories; 5 g fat (1 g sat, 3 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrate; 2 g protein; 3 g fiber; 59 mg sodium; 272 mg potassium.
Crunchy Pear & Celery Salad
Makes 6 servings, 1 cup each
4 stalks celery, trimmed and cut in half crosswise
2 tablespoons cider, pear, raspberry or other fruit vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
¼ teaspoon salt
2 ripe pears, preferably red Bartlett or Anjou, diced
1 cup finely diced white Cheddar cheese
½ cup chopped pecans, toasted (see Tip)
Freshly ground pepper to taste
6 large leaves butterhead or other lettuce
eating well Crunchy Pear & Celery Salad Ingredients Cont.
1. Soak celery in a bowl of ice water for 15 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces.
2. Whisk vinegar, honey and salt in a large bowl until blended. Add pears; gently stir to coat. Add the celery, cheese and pecans; stir to combine. Season with pepper. Divide the lettuce leaves among 6 plates and top with a portion of salad. Serve at room temperature or chilled.
eating well Crunchy Pear & Celery Salad Instructions Cont.
Per serving: 221 calories; 14 g fat (5 g sat, 4 g mono); 20 mg cholesterol; 20 g carbohydrate; 6 g protein; 4 g fiber; 244 mg sodium; 234 mg potassium.
December 13, 2007
It's That Time of Year to... Eat More Cranberries
Health benefits: Cranberries -- a good source of vitamins A and C -- contain antioxidants and flavonoids that help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke and protect you from cancer. They also contain fiber, which aids in digestion and helps lower cholesterol.
Nutritional info: One cup of whole, raw cranberries -- 47 calories -- provides an impressive 4.0 grams of fiber, along with 0.4 gram of protein, 0.2 gram of fat (none of it saturated), 1.0 milligram of sodium, and no cholesterol.
How to eat them: Traditional sauce aside, these very tart berries work well in pies, cobblers, muffins, chutneys, and relishes. They also complement meat superbly, and mix nicely with other, less tart fruits. The best way to chop fresh or frozen cranberries -- which do not need to be defrosted before use -- is to use the "pulse" setting on a food processor with a metal blade. If you're cooking the berries, be sure to remove them from the heat when they pop, or they'll start to turn mushy and bitter.
Peak growing season: Harvesting generally occurs between in September and October, with the peak market period running through December.
Apple Walnut Salad with Cranberry Vinaigrette
* 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
* 1/4 cup cranberries
* 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
* 1 cup red onion, chopped
* 1 tablespoon white sugar
* 1 tablespoon Dijon-style prepared mustard
* 1 cup vegetable oil
* salt and pepper to taste
* 10 cups mixed salad greens, rinsed and dried
* 2 Red Delicious apples, cored and thinly sliced
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spread the walnuts out on a baking sheet in a single layer. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly toasted.
2. In a food processor, combine the cranberries, vinegar, onion, sugar, and mustard. Puree until smooth; gradually add oil, and season with salt and pepper.
3. In a salad bowl, toss together the greens, apples, and enough of the cranberry mixture to coat. Sprinkle with walnuts, and serve.
CRANBERRY NUT BREAD
1 c. sugar
1 c. cranberries, chopped
2 c. flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 c. salad oil
1 tsp. grated orange rind
3/4 c. orange juice
1/2 c. chopped walnuts
Stir 1 tablespoon sugar into chopped cranberries; set aside. In large bowl, combine remaining sugar with dry ingredients; blend thoroughly. With hand beater, beat egg, oil, rind and juice together. Stir into dry ingredients, mixing just enough to moisten. Fold in the nuts and cranberries. Bake in greased loaf pans, at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until done. Best after frozen and thawed.
December 9, 2007
Holiday Time: Ten Tips To Not Tip the Scale
1. Eat a little something before going to a holiday event, so you are not hungry
when you arrive.
2. If you are not hosting the party, volunteer to bring a healthy, tasty dish to
3. Move away from the table. After eating the meal or sampling the buffet,
dispose of the plate and move across the room and away from the food.
4. Choose to eat small portions of the special foods that are served only
during the holidays. Pass on the everyday foods.
5. Beware of beverages. Choose calorie free beverages such as diet soda or
sparkling water in place of punch, cider, alcoholic beverages, or eggnog.
6. Keep healthful foods on hand. Keep the rich and sweet goodies tucked away for the special meal or party.
7. If you make holiday treats, do not let them linger on the kitchen counter.
Give them away as gifts or keep them in the cupboard so you are not
tempted to taste them every time you walk by.
8. Decorate your counter with a bowl of fruit and keep ready-to-eat veggies in the fridge.
9. Make an extra attempt at being physically active throughout the holiday.
10. Get plenty of sleep each night.
December 5, 2007
Pick a fruit, any fruit, and you know it’s good for you. It’s the same with vegetables and many whole grain foods. They deserve their nutritional halos.
Some foods, however, have gotten the healthy nod, when they’re actually laden with fat, sugar or both.
That's why you should always read the label. To save you some time, here are a few items that you may think are good snacks, but might be better left on the store shelf.
Granola bars got their wholesome, outdoorsy reputation as the mountain climber’s snack of choice. They’re filled with whole oats, nuts, seeds and bits of dried fruit — how could that be a bad thing?
The downside: Many granola bars are dipped in sugary syrups or loaded with chocolate chips, highly processed or artificial ingredients and aren’t much better than high-calorie candy bars. Even the less sugared-up varieties have only a little protein, a smidgen of fiber and a small amount of vitamins and minerals.
If you can’t resist: Make your own trail mix with whole-grain, ready-to-eat cereals, such as shredded wheat, with whole nuts, seeds and chunks of unsweetened, dried fruit. Otherwise, stick to bars with a short ingredient list, essentially whole grains, nuts, seeds and real fruit. Pick ones with 4 or more grams of fiber, less than 150 calories per serving and no more than 6 grams of added sugars.
Tea has been lauded for its antioxidant power. The phytonutrients in tea leaves may not predict your future, but they may help reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Tea leaves can calm inflammation in the body and may slow the growth of cancer cells.
The downside: Tea drinks are not the same as brewed tea leaves. Many bottled varieties contain little brewed tea, but plenty of added sugars — enough to rival soda. A recent Consumer Reports review found that all bottled tea beverages had fewer antioxidants than brewed teas. Some of them were made from “concentrates” or “essences,” and likely lack the touted benefits.
If you can’t resist: Brew your own beverage. Chill and flavor it with lemon and a small amount of sugar. If you pick a bottled tea, choose one that lists brewed tea as the first ingredient and no more than 4 grams of added sugars per serving. Studies have health benefits in those who drink 4 cups of brewed tea daily.
They’re the go-to snack food for school kids. One serving of pretzels contains 1 gram of fat, compared to potato chips’ 10 grams.
The downside: Pretzels are mostly nutritionally empty. Sure, they’re lower in calories and fat compared to chips, but they really are not a healthful snack. One serving provides nearly a quarter of the sodium a person needs each day. Because pretzels are basically bland, seasoned varieties pump up the flavor, but also the calories, sodium and fat content.
If you can’t resist: Pick a whole wheat brand. Or, how about a handful of nuts, instead? They offer a variety of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, plus they pack some protein and fiber. Seeds, such as sunflower or pumpkin, are an option. Or try subbing-in any type of veggie sticks and a dollop of zesty dip.
The name evokes a warm kitchen and homemade goodness. The bran or berry varieties give them the image of a nutritious breakfast.
The downside: The sheer size of today’s muffins. Years ago, one muffin was 150 to 170 calories, 5 grams of fat and about the size of a racquetball. Today, a muffin averages 500 calories, 20-plus grams of fat, and are closer to the size of a small planet.
If you can’t resist: Try a different kind of muffin — a whole-grain English muffin. Spread a light layer of peanut butter on a toasted half, and then top with fruit. That’ll set you back only about 150 calories, plus you’ll have some healthy nutrients to show for it. If you must have the baked variety, pick a small muffin or split one of the overgrown ones with a couple of friends. Opt for one that contains real fruit and is made from whole grain flour, corn meal or bran.
Low-fat, low-cholesterol, virtually tasteless – they must be good for you, right? After all, one lightly salted, large-sized cake contains a mere 40 to 50 calories, no fat and no cholesterol.
The downside: Light and airy describes their taste — and their nutritional content. You won’t find much on the nutrition facts label beyond calories and sodium. Even those that boast whole grains typically remove the germ, one of the more nutritious parts of a whole grain kernel. Flavored cakes only add fat, which can be the bad “trans” kind.
If you can’t resist: Choose a plain version, but add hummus spread and sliced veggies on top. A little peanut butter adds healthy protein.
December 1, 2007
Tis the Season to Walk...More.
If you are walking less than 5000 steps per day, your lifestyle is considered “sedentary.” Those who spend most of their day seated--in a car, bus, train, at a desk or on a couch--will barely make it to 2000 or 3000 steps in a full day! If this is you, increase your steps by pacing while you’re on the phone, walking messages to co-workers instead of emailing or using a restroom that is further from your office.
Get a little bit more daily activity by taking stairs, walking to lunch, or parking in a distant lot when you arrive at work, and you will probably register between 5000 and 7499 steps, or the “low active” category. Adding just 10 minutes of these “activities of daily living,” or ADLs, or even a 10 minute walk, increases your total steps by about 1000!