As fall approaches, I can’t get enough of nutrient dense root vegetables. Most notably: the sweet potato. While some prefer variety in their diet, I could eat some form of sweet potato every day: mashed for breakfast, fried for lunch, and stuffed for dinner.
Stuffed sweet potato, you ask? Yes. My multiple experiments in the kitchen to include as much sweet potato as possible has led to one of my staple year-round dinners –the kale & white bean stuffed sweet potato. Who needs to wait for fall to have a hearty, yet surprisingly light, dinner? Not me!
Sweet potatoes are an all-star source of beta-carotene, vitamin A, and the purple sweet potatoes are even thought to have anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Just as the recipe name implies, you simply bake the sweet potatoes, choose your green and your white bean, prepare as directed, then stuff the greens & beans into the sweet potato for a healthy and satisfying edible boat! It’s truly delicious. (more…)
Dr. Oz recently asked his fans to play a prank. The hoax: Tell a loved one they’d be joining you on a one-year kale-only diet. Kale, kale, and more kale.
Funny, but some people sort of do become singularly focused on certain veggies, eating a lot of kale, or broccoli, or spinach, and not much of anything else. We were curious: What type of variety should we be aiming for when it comes to produce?
It seems like Jay Bush and Duke the Dog are always on TV hocking cans of Bush’s Best Beans. We love beans as much as the next person—especially with some barbecue!—but a recent commercial gave us pause. At the end of it one mother, who’s watching her kids eat baked beans, says something along the lines of, “Isn’t it great to see them eating vegetables?”
Now, there’s no denying that beans are plants–after all, the navy beans used for most varieties come from a plant that looks a lot like a green bean. But, when you add bacon, salt, and sugar to beans, do they still really qualify as a vegetable?
Here’s what Mary Hartley, RD, our in-house nutrition expert had to say:
“As a plant food, beans are technically in the vegetable group. Like all vegetables, they are loaded with fiber, potassium and folate. Dried beans can also fill in for meat because they have more protein, iron, and zinc than other vegetables. (more…)
On picnics and at barbecues, it isn’t often the main dishes that contribute the most calories to the meal. Side dishes, picnic salads and desserts can all be heavy and high-calorie if you aren’t careful to limit the oil, dairy and other indulgent ingredients.
Make a few simple swaps next time you plan a picnic or outdoor dinner party to shave hundreds off calories off your summer meals.
Carrot Hummus: Baby carrots are often used as a dipping vehicle for this chickpea-packed Middle Eastern spread, but this recipe incorporates carrots within. Serve over whole grain crackers or whole wheat pita bread – or even with raw veggie sticks for even more nutrition.
Herbed Dip for Veggies: If you want to up your veggie intake at your next picnic, ditch the chips and whip up a dip for your favorite vegetables that uses light sour cream and silken tofu.
When you think of picnic salads, you probably think of fattening classics like coleslaw, potato salad and macaroni salad. Not only are these traditional salads laden with saturated fat and empty calories, they’re usually bound with mayonnaise, which makes them susceptible to spoilage.
Instead of looking to the usual suspects next time you’re asked to bring a dish to a potluck picnic, opt for something mayo-free that will keep well at room temperature and help you stick to a healthy diet.
Instead of coleslaw…
Apple Slaw: Full of fresh, crunchy apples and mixed with low-fat yogurt, this slaw has less than a hundred calories per serving and is a great alternative to a fuller-fat version.
It looks like BPA strikes again and this time our canned tomatoes and beans are under attack.
Just a few years ago bisphenol-A, or BPA, a toxic chemical that has been linked to biological problems and developmental problems in the young, was found in many popular reusable water bottles and baby bottles. This discovery gained lots of attention and called for a major change in the manufacturing of many products.
Now it is being found that the lining of most cans contains a resin that can pick up the toxin BPA. Canned tomatoes are more susceptible due to their acidic properties; the acid increases the rate at which BPA is absorbed into food. This is found to be true for canned soda and canned beans as well.
The risk that this poses is argued to be significant, especially for children under the age of six. Due to their smaller size, the levels of BPA that children are exposed to is higher than that of adults. Children also metabolize BPA slower therefore the toxins stay in their systems longer causing a higher risk for damage to their developing bodies.
New Orleans might be the hub for Mardi Gras parades and celebrations on Tuesday, March 8, but you can easily get into the spirit of this holiday no matter where you are. Mardi Gras, also called Carnival in some countries, is celebrated the day before Ash Wednesday in the Christian faith.
The kickoff of Mardi Gras is known as “Fat Tuesday,” which for some, might imply that it’s hard to celebrate without loosening your belt or spending some extra hours at the gym. Instead of overindulging, recreate some of your favorite Cajun and Louisiana recipes for Mardi Gras this year — but with a healthier twist. (more…)
When a lot of us think of chili, we think of indulgent bowls of cornbread topped with juicy beef, beans and tomatoes. We think of mounds of cheddar cheese, sour cream topped with crushed tortilla chips.
If you’re feeding the family on Super Bowl Sunday and you want to keep your menu on the healthier side, opt for a lighter chili loaded with blood pressure-lowering fiber and no-salt-added beans and tomatoes.
Instead of serving with bread or chips, serve chili over whimsical wagon wheels for a fun, lighter spin on a hearty winter favorite.
Especially this time of year when Old Man Winter is in full force, there’s nothing I love more than a bowl of soup as a meal. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or even a snack, soup is filling (hello Volumetrics!) and you can pack so much nutrition into a single bowl. Not to mention that soup is pretty fool-proof one-pot dish to make, and usually keeps well as leftovers.
Over the years, I’ve found that no matter what soup recipe you’re following, you can almost always up the nutrition and lower the fat and sodium with a few easy swaps and additions. The best part, because all the flavors in the soup meld together, as long as you keep the proportions right, no one usually notices the healthier changes!
The 17 Day Diet seems to be all the rage these days. Created by Dr. Mike Moreno, the diet was recently featured on The Doctors and the Dr. Phil Show. To go along with this “17” craze, we’re featuring a list of 17 healthy carbs that you should be eating for overall health. With so many healthy options, you’ll never fall into a food rut again!
1. Oatmeal. It may seem boring, but oatmeal is such a delicious and filling breakfast choice. With lots of fiber, five grams of protein, 27 grams of carbs, three grams of fat and only 150 calories, you get a lot of nutritional bang for your bite!
2. Barley. Also high in fiber, barley is great in soups, as a whole-grain side or even as a healthy rice replacement in risotto!
We’ve heard the jingle, but few of us know what makes beans such a healthy food. Beans are packed with fiber and protein to help keep you strong and prevent disease. While a lot of people eat their legumes in the form of calorie-laden Mexican refried beans or barbecue baked beans, there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the nutritional powerhouse.
Black Beans: Like most beans, black beans are a good source of fiber, which lower cholesterol. When combined with whole grains, like brown rice or whole-wheat pasta, black beans are filling and delicious. They’ve also been said to be as rich in antioxidants as grapes and cranberries, two foods that have been touted as “super fruits.” Try them in a fish with black bean salad with a figure-friendly white fish like tilapia. (more…)