Thursday, April 28, 2011

The BAD/BETTER/BEST of Foods Challenge Post # 9


BAD –White Bread

Although they are reasonable in terms of calories, most varieties ranging from 90-120 calories/slice, white breads are made from refined, white flour which is devoid of whole grains and fiber-the majority having 0-2 grams fiber/serving at most.

BETTER/BEST- Whole Grain Bread (wheat, multigrain, oat, rye breads)

For the same amount of calories as white bread, these have the goodness of whole grains which contain all the essential parts and naturally occurring nutrients of the entire grain seed-these parts are the bran, germ and the endosperm. In contrast to refined grains that are processed or “broken down”, leaving the whole grain intact means it has more fiber, protein, minerals (like magnesium, and selenium) as well as vitamins (like Vitamin E, B6 and niacin) all of which are protective against chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease. Not to mention these are great for weight control because the fiber helps to fill you up. Most whole grain breads are good sources of fiber with 3-6 grams per slice, depending on the variety. (A few have only 2 grams or less, so try to choose a brand that has at least 3, which is not hard to find!). Some brands even make whole grain varieties of white breads. And some companies, such as Sara Lee or Oroweat have reduced calorie versions, that are made from whole grains, have plenty or fiber, but only half the calories (this means you can have two slices of reduced calorie bread for the same amount of calories that is in one regular slice- what a deal!) Try using whole grain bread in my Ridiculously Easy 200 Calorie Grill Cheese or Parmesan Crouton recipes.


Friday, April 22, 2011

Cucumber Dill Salad

A dollop of yogurt and a hint of dill combine to make a light and refreshing cucumber salad- try it with your Easter ham! It’s also a nice accompaniment to spicy Indian food or the garlicky Mediterranean dishes.


Two cucumbers (Persian variety are great), peeled, sliced into very thin rounds, then sliced in half
6 tablespoons non fat Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
½ teaspoon dill (fresh or dried)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
salt to taste (optional)


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

Makes 4 servings

Serving size: 1/2 cup Calories 20 Protein 2 g Carb 3 g Fiber 0 g Sugars 2 g Fat 0 g saturated fat 0 g Sodium 35 mg


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Versatile Chicken Soup...Post Number 200!

200 posts in almost 2.5 years, wow…time flies! Another big thanks to all my readers for all your attention, support and feedback!! Spring has arrived, and with it will come the warmer temps soon so I thought I’d post about this soup before the hot weather calls for more salad recipes. This is a great, comforting, and easy basic recipe that you can take in many directions according to your own taste and creativity. I’ve included some of my own fun add-ins listed at the bottom of the recipe, enjoy!


1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups chopped carrots
2 cups chopped celery
1 cup onion
2 cups mushrooms
3 cups chicken breast, preferably cooked
64 ounces chicken broth (*use a gluten-free brand such as Trader Joes if you are on a gluten-free diet)
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
Additional seasonings:
Salt, pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon of Morton’s Nature’s Seasoning


If you are starting with raw chicken, cut into large pieces, about 3 ounces each and add to a pot of boiling water. Cook until no longer pink in the center but still very moist, abut 10-12 minutes. Drain, cool and cut into cubes. If you have leftover cooked chicken, you get to skip this step! Add the teaspoon olive oil, carrots, celery and onion to a large pot and sauté on medium-high heat for 5 -7 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the mushrooms, cooked chicken and broth and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, add desired seasonings and simmer for at least 10 -15 minutes until veggies are tender.

Makes 14 cups, 14 servings

Serving size: 1 cup Calories 70 Protein 10 g Carb 5 g Fiber 1 g Sugars 3 g Fat 1.5 g Saturated fat 0 g Sodium 790 mg


Great add-ins = a couple of handfuls of raw spinach, brown rice, whole wheat pasta, a can of cooked tomatoes, beans, corn …you name it!

If you are watching sodium, use low sodium broth


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Ways to get your kids (and maybe even adults) to eat more veggies!

I gave a lecture to a group of parents today and one of the hot topics was ways to increase their child's veggie intake. And hey, I find that in working with my adult patients, it's even a problem with many of them too! Having trouble getting your child, (or even an adult you know) to eat enough vegetables? Here are some ways to be smart and savvy with sneaking in veggies by combining them with foods and dishes that are already loved:

Toss in shredded carrots with spaghetti or stir canned pumpkin into pasta sauce.

Blanket veggies like zucchini, broccoli, mushrooms into quesadillas or
scramble them into an omelet.

Construct a festive burrito bowl with black beans, brown rice, cheese, avocado and tomato salsa.

Bake shredded zucchini and carrot into quick breads and muffins.

Simmer generous portions of carrots and celery with chicken noodle or rice soup.

Top pizza with plenty of veggies like mushrooms and peppers

Tomato sauce and tomato juice count as veggies too!

For lunches tuck hefty portions of darker green lettuce and tomato into sandwiches and serve cut up raw veggies with a dip that encourages munching like hummus or low fat ranch.

Hope some of these tips are helpful :)


Friday, April 1, 2011

Cumin Beets

A light, fresh side dish or starter, this recipe was inspired by a beet salad that I had at a local Persian Restaurant a few months ago. The combination of cumin + beets is a winner and I just had to copy it! It is super easy to prepare, which is also a plus Very low in calories too :)


3 cups chopped cooked beets (I used the canned, regular, not pickled)
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
¼ teaspoon ground cumin


If using canned beets, rinse them, chop into small cubes and place in a medium size bowl. In a small bowl whisk the vinegar, honey and cumin together and pour over the beets. Stir well and serve at room temp or chilled.

Makes 3 cups, 6 servings

Serving size: ½ cup Calories 40 Protein 1 g Carb 10g Fiber 2 g Sugars 8 g Fat 0 g saturated fat 0 g Sodium 260 mg


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