Healthy Bites: Harvesting healthy meals
The end of the summer season may be fast approaching, but we still have a few weeks to enjoy many of the tastes associated with warmer weather. Gardens and produce departments have an abundance of end-of-summer vegetables just waiting to be added to your meals!
With all the readily available fruits and vegetables being harvested from gardens, now is a great time to get in the habit of eating the MyPlate way. Try using these tips to fill half your plate with fruit and vegetables at every meal.
Best known for bread, but don’t overlook these other great ways to enjoy zucchini:
• Grill it. Thinly slice and grill in an aluminum foil pouch with olive oil, spices and other vegetables.
• Add to salads and sauces. Dice and add to summer salads or to pasta sauces.
• Replace all or some lasagna noodles with zucchini ribbons. This will drastically lower the carbohydrates and calories in your pasta dish.
Go beyond BLTs and salsa by trying one of these simple ways to serve tomatoes:
• Create a cold salad with quinoa, halved cherry tomatoes, diced cucumbers and chopped green peppers. Toss with olive oil.
• Bake tomatoes for a warm side dish. Spray or drizzle a baking dish with olive oil, slice tomatoes about 1/2-inch thick and sprinkle with whole wheat bread crumbs and shredded Parmesan cheese. Bake until tomatoes start to soften.
A perfect complement to a variety of dishes. Try one of these ways to eat more peppers:
• For extra color, add sliced or diced pepper to your favorite lettuce salad.
• Grill them. Brush with olive oil and lightly season for a great way to get in a vegetable serving.
• Add to soups, salads, pizza and pasta dishes for added texture and flavor.
• Make Philly Steak Peppers – Fill peppers with thinly sliced roast beef, onion and provolone cheese. Bake and enjoy with a side of fruit for a meal in minutes.
A fan favorite that can be made healthier with a few simple steps.
• Try serving a baked potato bar for upcoming tailgate parties. Be sure to have lots of healthy toppings, chili, salsa, shredded cheese, peppers, chopped ham and Greek yogurt in place of sour cream.
• Swap out some of the mayo in your potato salad and cut hundreds of calories from this popular picnic dish.
Think it doesn’t get any better than corn on the cob with butter? Try cooking the corn in the butter (cut with a little olive oil to reduce saturated fat) with lemon and garlic and you may change your mind.
Corn on the Cob
Active time: 15 minutes | Total: 15 minutes
All you need:
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 ears corn, husked
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
All you do:
1. Heat butter and oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned, about 1 minute.
2. Add corn, water, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cover and cook, gently shaking the pan occasionally to turn the cobs, for 5 minutes.
3. Uncover and continue cooking, turning the cobs occasionally, until all but a few tablespoons of liquid has evaporated, 2 to 4 minutes more.
4. Serve the corn drizzled with the lemon-garlic pan sauce.
Nutrition facts per serving: 149 calories; 8g fat (3g sat, 4g mono); 8mg cholesterol; 20g carbohydrate; 0g added sugars; 4g protein; 2g fiber; 162mg sodium; 294mg potassium.Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (18% daily value).Carbohydrate servings: 1. Exchanges: 1 starch, 11/2 fat
Source: adapted from Eating Well, Inc.
The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.