A Recipe for Healthy Cooking
Cooking for your family is a snap with these must-stock staples and easy recipes.
Egg and Bean Scramble
Heat a frying pan and coat with non-stick spray or a small amount of canola oil. When the pan is hot, sauté corn tortillas that have been cut in pieces until they are brown and crisp. Add scrambled eggs or egg substitute and cook until firm. Add red or pinto beans or black-eyed peas — go heavy on the beans if you love them, less if you don’t. Top with grated low-fat cheese and serve.
Whole-Wheat Pasta With Steamed Vegetables
Vegetables over whole-wheat pasta makes a quick meal or side dish. Here’s an easy recipe: Steam vegetables (try an assortment of broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, and snow peas) while you prepare the pasta according to package directions. If the vegetables are large, chop them up. Toss together and add some marinara sauce — the veggies will add texture to the sauce
Vegetable Chicken Bake
For another quick meal, cut vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, and yellow or green squash, into bite-size chunks and bake with boneless and skinless chicken breasts seasoned with your favorite Italian herbs. If you must add oil, use canola sparingly.
Hearty Vegetable Soup
Soup can be filling, nutritious, and comforting on a cold night. Skip the high-fat cream versions and focus on healthy recipes that are tomato-based or made from vegetable or low-fat chicken stock. For a quick meal, add a can of black or white beans and vegetables to canned soup. Serve with whole-wheat bread and low-fat cheese for a great lunch or dinner.
Veggie Wrap With Whole-Wheat Tortilla
A veggie wrap with roasted vegetables and low-fat cheese rolled up in a whole-wheat tortilla is the perfect example of an easy recipe. Roast vegetables, such as green and red peppers, onions, and zucchini, in the oven with a dash of canola oil.
Brown Rice With Veggies and Beans
Brown rice is a good source of healthy whole grains, so substitute it for white rice in your favorite Chinese and Mexican dishes. For a healthy recipe built around brown rice, fold in steamed vegetables and red beans, and sprinkle with fresh or dried herbs. Want some extra protein? Sauté strips or cubes of skinless and boneless chicken breasts in a small amount of canola oil and serve on top of your rice and beans.
If you keep frozen fruit in your freezer, you can whip up a thick, slushy smoothie for a quick breakfast or a healthy dessert. In a blender, place 2 bananas, 1/2 cup of frozen berries (raspberries, blackberries, or strawberries), 1 cup frozen peaches or mango pieces, 1 cup orange or pineapple juice, and the juice of half a lime. Process until smooth. For a variation, use fat-free milk or yogurt in place of the orange juice.
Oatmeal is full of soluble fiber, which is known to lower bad cholesterol. Mix ground oatmeal with breadcrumbs when you’re coating boneless chicken breasts to sauté in canola oil. Top breasts with low-fat mozzarella cheese and tomato sauce and bake until the cheese melts. Reach for oatmeal when you need to thicken soups and casseroles.
Egg substitute can be used in any recipe that calls for eggs. Try this healthy recipe for a lunch or dinner frittata : Sauté 1 cup broccoli florets, 1/2 cup chopped cooked chicken breast, 1/4 cup chopped tomato, 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning, and a dash of salt. Add 1 cup of egg substitute and cook until set, then brown under the broiler. Leave out the chicken for a breakfast version of the frittata.
For an easy recipe for low-fat stroganoff sauce, mix 16 ounces fat-free sour cream, 1 package of dry onion soup mix, and a 10.5-ounce can of low-fat or 98 percent fat-free cream of chicken soup. Pour over 5 chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces. Cook in a crock pot for about 5 hours, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice or whole-wheat noodles, cooked according to package directions. Serves six. With a salad, you have a healthy meal that tastes rich and delicious.