Dishing Out Healthy And Delicious Meals

People with a gift for serving up delicious-but healthful-dishes say it’s important to present food that tastes good, is made with natural ingredients and is good for you. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to mean skipping many classic recipes. These tips may help:

• Portion Size-You can help control weight gain by being wary of portion size. If you’re serving meat, for instance, nutritionists say not to give a portion that’s larger than a deck of cards. Fill the empty space on plates (and in stomachs) with veggies and whole grains.

• Something On The Side-Try serving a healthful vegetable soup and a side salad before dinner. That way, people can fill up on veggies, instead of less nutritious foods. Also, if you’re trying to eat a little less, remember that our bodies often mistake thirst for hunger. So before you dig into dessert, try having a big glass of water and waiting a few minutes. You may turn out to be less hungry than you thought.

• Cooking Tips-Something as simple as switching to nonstick oil sprays can make a difference in how healthy a meal is. For instance, new Mazola Pure™ Cooking Spray is a healthier alternative to high-saturated-fat products such as butter or margarine. It adds Pure™ taste and Pure™ aroma to food, is perfect for fat-free cooking-and unlike other leading sprays, it does not contain alcohol or silicone. It comes in canola oil, extra virgin olive oil and natural butter flavors. It’s also cholesterol free and has 0g trans fat per serving.

The spray can be used in a variety of ways including: adding light flavor when grilling sandwiches, making popcorn, holding seasonings in place on meats and vegetables, sauteing, pan searing seafood and chicken, flipping pancakes and browning foods in the microwave.

Try this delicious and healthful recipe:

Seasoned Roasted

Potatoes

2 lbs mini red or golden potatoes

2 teaspoons garlic, minced

2 teaspoons rosemary, dry

1 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, cracked

2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

Mazola Pure Cooking Spray -Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Preheat oven to 450ºF.

2. Spray 9″ x 13″ baking pan with olive oil spray.

3. Combine garlic, rosemary, Kosher salt, and black pepper to make seasoning blend. Set aside.

4. Under cold running water, scrub potatoes to remove excess skin.

5. Cut potatoes into approximately 1″ x 1″ cubes. If using very small potatoes, do not cut.

6. Place potatoes in baking pan and spray with olive oil cooking spray until potatoes are coated. Mix potatoes after spraying to ensure even coating.

7. Add reserved seasoning blend and Parmesan cheese, and mix well. Spread mixture in a single layer and spray tops again, lightly with additional spray to help browning.

8. Bake at 450ºF for 25 to 30 minutes.

Serves: 6

PrepTime: 10 minutes

Dining Out Guide for the Health Conscious Eater

Here’s food for thought! Did you know the average restaurant meal has over 1,000 calories? That’s enough to blow any healthy eating plan. Fortunately, by following a few simple guidelines, you can dine out without having to sacrifice good taste and nutrition.

1. Avoid ordering an appetizer. It’s a little known fact that some appetizers have more calories and fat than the main course. Plus, many appetizers are fried and served with heavy sauces which will add to your intake of saturated fat as well as trans fats and calories. It’s not a healthy way to start your meal.

2. Say “yes” to salad. Salad is a healthy eater’s best friend. Not only will it fill you up so you’ll consume fewer calories overall, but it will also give you a hefty dose of antioxidants which are heart healthy. Be sure to ask your waitress to hold the croutons and cheese which will further reduce your caloric load. Also, choose your dressing wisely. Avoid cream based dressings and go for the vinegar based ones. You also have the option of using vinegar and olive oil which is heart healthy.

3. Make the right entree selection. Go for broiled and grilled rather than fried. Not only will you save calories and fat grams, you’ll also avoid trans fats which are so prevalent in fried foods. Instead, consider asking for a doubles order of vegetables with your entree. Very few Americans are getting the 7-9 servings of fruits and vegetables recommended for optimal health. Plus, by avoiding the starch, you’ll be reducing your caloric and carbohydrate load. Also, stick to tomato based sauces rather than cream based and you’ll enjoy a considerable calorie savings. Lastly, ask for the sauce to be served in a separate dish on the side so you can control the amount you eat.

4. Think about what you’re drinking with your meal. By not ordering an alcoholic beverage, you’ve saved yourself a considerable number of calories. Try sipping iced tea sweetened with a noncaloric sweetener, a diet soft drink, or water with lemon. You’ll be glad you did when you consider the calorie savings.

5. Indulge your sweet tooth wisely. Many of the chain restaurants now offer a low fat or low carbohydrate dessert selection such as a low carb cheesecake. These are wise choices for the health conscious eater and still allow you to end the meal on a sweet note. If a healthy dessert option isn’t available, try a cup of coffee with skim milk to help satiate your desire for something sweet.

6. Learn to control your portions. Many restaurants are serving larger quantities of food than in the past. If this is the case, put aside a portion of your entree at the beginning of the meal to take home with you. If you remove it from your plate before you start eating, you’ll be less tempted to overindulge.

By following these steps, you can make your dining experiences not only healthy, but enjoyable. Your heart will thank you!