We all look forward to a Thanksgiving feast, but may be wary about all the unhealthy temptations. Turkey is one of the leaner meats, however. As long as you watch your portion size, avoid the skin, defeat the drippings thoroughly and fill your plate with vegetables, there is no reason why your Thanksgiving dinner can't be truly healthy meal!
September is prime time for the vegetable harvest. This hearty Mediterranean vegetable and bean soup is an ideal way to take advantage of overflow produce from your garden or a trip to the farmers market. It is also an easy and delicious way to incorporate the principles of the Mediterranean diet into your daily fare. This vegetable-rich soup recipe gets off to a flavorful start with a sofrito, a mixture of aromatic vegetables, garlic and herbs sauted in olive oil. Mashed beans give this soup body and a finishing swirl of fresh basil sauce brings it to life. If you dont want to bother making the Basil- Garlic Sauce, top each serving with a sprinkling of chopped fresh basil and grated Parmesan cheese.
Potato salad is a summertime classic, but not exactly what the doctor ordered for your joint health. Swap your mayonnaise-laden white potato salad for this colorful and healthful recipe, which features sweet potatoes, a lively citrus dressing, and vitamin-rich spinach. The sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene and vitamin C, which promote joint health, and even the seasonings have nutritional benefits. Ginger and turmeric have anti-inflammatory properties, while cinnamon helps control blood sugar. If you have leftovers, just heat in the microwave to warm the sweet potatoes and wilt the spinach for an appealing side dish.
As a delicious harbinger of spring, asparagus is one of the most celebrated of all vegetables. There is no need to get bored with asparagus because there are so many tasty ways to prepare it. Grilled or roasted, its addictive. It is also delicious simply boiled, microwaved or steamed, especially when dressed with one of our healthful toppings.
Super Bowl parties are not known for healthy snack food, but lots of healthy foods, such as crudits and popcorn, make perfect Super Bowl fare. This easy dip is a winner for both taste and nutrition. The base of the creamy dip is artichokes, which provide fiber, vitamin C, folate and magnesium. Low-fat cottage cheese replaces much of the mayonnaise used in traditional recipes. Serve with Whole-Wheat Pita Crisps (see recipe below) or whole-grain crackers. Snack healthfully while cheering on your favorite team!
In the chill of winter, comfort food is especially appealing. As an example of a meal makeover, here is an unconventional update of the comfort-food perennial favorite, macaroni and cheese. Instead of the usual cream sauce, this recipe uses an easy sauce made with frozen squash (an excellent source of beta carotene) and low-fat milk. Surprising? Yes, but it works! Whole grains boost fiber, while the delicious sweetness of caramelized onions complements the squash and cheese.