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15 Ways to Take Your Family Recipes from Health-Hazard to Just Plain Healthy

By Layne Lieberman, RD

We all know it’s better to cook at home than rely on restaurants to satisfy your stomach and take care of your health. Restaurant chefs and cooks are trained to use salt, sugar, and fat to add flavor to most dishes.

Unfortunately, a lot of recipes—particularly ones that have been passed down from generation to generation—rely on these same unhealthy tricks. The good news is that even your most gluttonous go-to comfort food recipes can be altered to be healthier. It simply takes a few substitutions and healthy cooking techniques to do the job.

recipe

Here are my 15 favorite recipe rules which I use to make any homemade dish healthier. (Need some initial inspiration? Browse my favorite recipes!)
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Graduating from Jenny Craig: You Hit Your Goal Weight. Now What?

Imagine it’s the day you’ve been dreaming of—where you glance down at the scale and have finally reached your goal weight! Celebration is in order. But, if you’re on Jenny Craig, which supplies pretty much all of the food its dieters eat, the thought of learning to maintain your weight while making your own meals may make you anxious.

Don’t worry. Jenny Craig’s chief nutritionist, Lisa Talamini, is here to help you feel more confident about the transition.

grocery shopping

According to Talamini, you already have the tools you need for success. Here’s why:

  • On the plan, members learn to make healthy choices by adding grocery foods to their weekly planned menus. So, even though you’ve been eating packaged meals you’ve also been planning your eating schedule and supplementing with veggies and other purchased foods. You’ll keep doing the same thing, only with more cooking and less zapping!


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3 Steps to Perfect Pasta

Pasta is an incredibly versatile food. It’s an easy option on a busy night, or when funds are low. It’s a comforting option when you want something warm and filling. It’s also a heavy option when you’re trying to cut calories and watch your waistline.

 pasta pot

It’s this last reason that can give pasta a bad rap, especially among dieters. So we want to share a secret with you: You can eat pasta and lose weight. Really. We promise.

The problem is, most people don’t focus on making good pasta. So, let’s start there. Let’s assume you’re already buying a whole grain option, therefore getting maximum nutrients from each and every calorie.  But how are you preparing it? If you’re like most people, you’re probably just setting the pot to boil and dumping it in. If you take just a few extra steps, your pasta will taste much better.


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How to Cook with Parsnips and 5 Deliciously Simple Parsnip Recipes

Root vegetables aren’t the most exciting food in the bunch, but despite their funny name and appearance they can be surprisingly delicious and high in vitamins and key nutrients. Such is the case with parsnips, a lesser-known root vegetable that’s been inching its way into the hands and hearts of foodies and getting more notoriety for its versatility, pleasant taste, and abundant health benefits.

What are parsnips? Parsnips are typically grown in colder weather, allowing their starches to convert into sugar and develop their sweet flavor. They harvest in late fall and like potatoes and carrots, are available throughout winter and spring. Their appearance is similar to an off-white or pale-yellow carrot. And they have a bulbous top that tapers down to a skinny root.

When looking for a quality parsnip, choose one that is small and firm and not limp or shriveled. Once you get it home, store in the produce drawer of your fridge and they should keep for about two to three weeks.
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Stedman’s Favorite Oprah Recipes Include the Love Sandwich

For as public a woman as Oprah is, her life behind the cameras is very closely guarded. Who can blame her? Part of that life is a relationship with her long-time partner Stedman Graham. The two remain mostly out of the limelight together, leading seemingly separate lives. The truth, is the two are very close and very connected, especially in the kitchen. Every woman knows the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach!

Oprah might be one of the most powerful women in the world, with an Outlook schedule that would put all of ours collectively to shame, but she still makes time to make her favorite homemade dishes. In his very first appearance on the cover of O Magazine, something Oprah rarely shares with anyone, Stedman and his leading lady grant us a peek inside her kitchen as part of the recent first-ever Food Issue.

In an interview for O Magazine, Stedman raves about Oprah’s work in the kitchen, saying, “Chefs don’t have anything on [Oprah],” calling her a fantastic cook and adding that he enjoys anything she cooks, even that he appreciates her work.

It’s difficult to have Stedman narrow down his favorite recipe of Oprah’s, but one that stands out was an accidental creation she made just for him based on various on-hand ingredients, and it became known as the Love Sandwich, a panini made with pepper Jack cheese, turkey, avocados, tomatos and scallions served on seven-grain bread.
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