Friday, January 28, 2011

Healthy Eating For You and Your Family…..ON A BUDGET!

Trying to provide the most nutritious foods to your family for the least amount of money? Here are some easy ways to help make the most of your shopping dollars:

Tip One –going with the Grains:

Oats are a great staple, very versatile as not only a hot cereal, but also can be used in baked goods (like quick breads or cookies), home made granola and even in savory dishes like meatloaf. Many places offer generic or their own store brand versions of popular cereals and breads, so stock up on these to keep costs down. Other staples such as whole grain pasta and brown rice will last a long time- use them as fiber filled side dishes, or in main dish soups, stews and casseroles. Buy popcorn kernels and pop in an air popper for a whole grain low fat snack instead or small boxes of microwave packets. Making homemade baked goods is better and cheaper when whole grain flour is used too. Whole corn tortillas are sold in generous portions for s low price, keep long in the fridge and wonderful in soft tacos, enchiladas or homemade baked tortilla chips.

Tip Two- pack in the Protein:

Eggs are fairly cheap and high quality protein source-and can be used not only as a breakfast dish but also in egg salad, baked goods and many other recipes. Dried or canned beans are a really cheap and full of protein and fiber too- add them to salads, soups and burritos and dips. Cottage cheese is very high in protein, has some calcium and goes great with fruit or chopped veggies or even works as a topping for toast and waffles. A jar of peanut butter will last awhile and provide protein as well as healthy unsaturated fat when spread on sandwiches, toast, slice apples or celery. Buy milk, yogurt and fresh meats on sale weekly to keep costs down.

Tip Three – feast on Fruits and Veggies

Shop for fruits and veggies in season as these will likely be on sale and taste the best. Great canned fruits and veggies are pumpkin, beets, tomatoes and pineapple packed in juice (rinsed).. Buying fresh frozen fruits and veggies is a great way to get them year round, low cost and they don’t have any added sodium or sugar. Use veggies in salads, soups/stews, casseroles as in sandwiches/wraps, in omelets, as side dishes or cut up raw for a snack. Fruits are great not only as a snack but work nicely in smoothies, with cottage cheese, on top of cereal and in baked goods. A simple and cheap dried fruit, raisins are great as a snack, topped on cereal or even in salads.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Quick Bruschetta Salad for One

Another low cal, quick and easy recipe to kick start healthy eating in 2011!


One roma tomato, chopped
One low fat string cheese stick, cut into mall cubes or slices (*use a gluten-free brand such as Trader Joes if you are on a gluten-free diet)
A few fresh basil leaves, chopped
A dash of balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste


Combine all of the above in a small bowl and eat! Chill if not serving immediately.

Makes one serving

Serving size: 1 salad Calories 70 Protein 7 g Carb 4 g Fiber 1 g Sugars 2 g Fat 3 g saturated fat <1 g Sodium 180 mg


Friday, January 14, 2011

Simple Celery Soup

This soup is a dieter’s dream- super low in calories, helps to fill you up and celery is a natural diuretic so it may help a bit with belly bloat as well! Oh- and not to mention, it tastes good too ☺


1 teaspoon olive oil
1 finely chopped fresh garlic clove (1 teaspoon)
½ cup chopped white or yellow onion
4 cups chopped celery
3 cups chicken or vegetable broth (*use a gluten-free brand such as Progresso Natural if you are on a gluten-free diet)


Add ½ teaspoon of olive oil to a large pot, along with the onions and garlic and sauté them on medium-high heat until lightly browned/tender, about 3-4 minutes. Put in the other ½ teaspoon of olive oil plus the chopped celery and saute some more, stirring frequently for another 3-5 minutes. Add the broth, bring to a boil, then reduce to low heat and simmer for 7-10 minute, until the celery is tender. Turn off the heat and cool for 5-10 minutes, then carefully transfer the soup into a blender. If you have a smaller blender do this in batches, instead of blending the entire amount at one time. Add only one fourth to one half of the mixture at a time (you can put the other half in a large bowl.)
**A note about blending hot liquids: in order to be safe, it is recommended when you blend hot liquids that you never fill the jar more than half full, that you put the lid on and then cover it with a dry towel and hold it down by hand. Or instead, cover with the top, but leave out the center plastic covering, place a kitchen towel on top, which will allow air to escape more gently. Also, use as slow a speed as possible. NEVER blend hot liquids fully covered and at high-initial're just inviting burns as the hot liquid quickly blends, heats up the air above it, and causes an explosion through the blender top.

Blend in batches on low speed for about a minute, until a smooth consistency is reached. Put all of the finished blended mixture back in the saucepan and warm on low heat for 5 -10 minutes, stirring frequently (to prevent the thick soup from spattering.)

Variation: to reduce sodium content you can use low sodium broth

Makes 4 cups, four servings

Serving size: 1 cup Calories 45 Protein 2 g Carb 5 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 3 g Fat 1.5 g saturated fat 0 g Sodium 780 mg


Friday, January 7, 2011

Curry Orzo Salad

This spiced up whole grain salad can be served hot or cold.


1 cup dry whole wheat orzo (2.5 cups cooked)
2 cups chopped cauliflower florets
1 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ to ¾ teaspoon curry powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
2 tablespoons golden raisins
chopped cashews (optional, for garnish)


Cook orzo according to package directions (basically just boil one quart of water, add the orzo and simmer for about 10-15 minutes until tender), drain when done, Meanwhile add the broth, carrots and cauliflower to a large sauce pan, cover and simmer on medium heat until the veggies are slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked orzo to the pan with the veggies, stir in the olive oil, garlic powder, curry powder and raisins and heat for another 3-5 minutes. Serve warm or chilled topped with crushed cashews as a garnish.

Makes 5 cups, 10 servings

Serving Size: ½ cup Calories 80 Protein 3 g Carb 16 g Fiber 4 g Sugars 3 g Fat 1 g saturated fat 0 g Sodium 108 mg


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