July 23, 2009
Soccer Night Supper
You may have heard that eating together as a family is important. It helps bond the family, allow for "important subjects" to be addressed and even has been shown to help improve grades in school and reduce risk of drug or alcohol use.
If you find yourself rushing out the door to get your children to soccer, cheerleading or basketball practice, you know that busy families need quick meals that can make it to the table with no stress or hassle. Sometimes you may feel you do not have the time to make a healthy meal, and resort to fast food; but "home-cooked fast food" does not have to be difficult or fancy, and it is almost always a healthier, lower calorie choice.
Try this easy meal on a busy day this week and eat better and together!
Hamburger, veggies and fruit (serves 4. Time to table: 30 minutes or less)
4 hamburger patties (4-ounces each, lean beef or ground turkey)
4 whole wheat hamburger buns
lettuce, tomato, pickle, condiments for burgers
Store-bought cole slaw
Eggplant, zucchini, summer squash, onions
Olive oil, minced jarred garlic or powder, salt, pepper
Heat grill to medium heat. While pre-heating, slice eggplant longwise about one quarter inch thick. Place in bowl and toss with 1 TB. olive oil. Slice summer squash and zucchini into one quarter inch slices. Slice onion. Place zucchini, squash and onion onto a large piece of alumninum foil. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, or favorite herbs. Drizzle with olive oil. Close foil around vegetables and place on hot grill. Take oil-coated eggplant slices and place directly on grill rack. Watch closely; turn, and cook until tender. Remove eggplant from grill to serving dish.
Place hamburgers on grill and cook unti done, about 8-10 minutes. Watch squash mixture, gently tossing until tender. Remove burgers to buns, and take vegetables off grill and transfer to small serving bowl.
Rinse cherries and place in a bowl. Set table with paper plates. Offer cole slaw, grilled vegetables and cherries. Provide your favorite toppings for burgers (an eggplant slice is delicious on the burger- try it!)
Serve chocolate milk for children, ice water for adults. You'll be out the door within 45 minutes!
July 16, 2009
Enjoy Barbeque Season
|Summer is in full swing. Taking care of your health needs is a full time job, and do to it properly, you cannot make excuses every time a barbeque, graduation party, or picnic rolls around, but you can still have fun and enjoy what you eat.
The main dish at a picnic or barbeque is usually not so bad. Sure hot dogs are not the best food in the world, but if you enjoy them, and only eat one, fine. The important thing is to balance out the not-so-nutritious foods with more nutritious ones. If you have high blood cholesterol, you can also try some of the turkey dogs or “light” version hot dogs. Hamburgers or ribs can also fit into a healthy diet in moderation. Choose extra lean ground beef or buffalo for your burgers whenever possible, and try more chicken barbeque recipes for your cookouts too.
So with the entrée in check, take a new look at your side dishes. You can easily rack up hundreds of calories on high fat side dishes such as traditional macaroni salads, coleslaw, baked beans, macaroni and cheese, or high sugar gelatin-type salads. So if you are in charge of the next gathering, offer some healthy side dishes for everybody’s sake. Try a light new recipe that can help balance out the meat portion of the barbeque, and offer your guests the vitamins, minerals and fiber they need. When you look through recipes, look for some that include some fresh vegetables, or incorporate your own chopped veggies into dishes. Try potato salads or coleslaw that uses a vinegar and oil-based dressing instead of the creamy type.
In addition, simple is often best. Don’t have time to go to a lot of trouble? Just put out a bowl of freshly washed plums, peaches, grapes and cherries for everyone to grab. The traditional watermelon slices are delicious and nutritious too.
Lighten up. Enjoy a healthy and tasteful summer.
©Rosanne Rust 2009
Rosanne’s Couscous with Zucchini Salad
This colorful, simple dish is a great side for grilled chicken.
1/4 to 1/2 onion, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small to medium zucchini, diced with skin
1 1/2 cups instant whole wheat (or regular) couscous
2 3/4 cups water
2 ounces goat or feta cheese, crumbled
1. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil into a nonstick skillet to heat. Sauté garlic, onion and pepper until tender. Set aside in small bowl.
2. Wash zucchini and dice into small pieces. Stir-fry zucchini in same skillet with another bit of olive oil (about 2 teaspoons) for three minutes, until bright colored, and just tender. Do not overcook. Remove from heat.
3. Prepare couscous according to package (or, simply heat water to boil in microwave, about 2 minutes, and pour couscous into boiling water. Let sit, uncovered, for five minutes until water is absorbed. Salt/season to taste. You can also substitute chicken broth for the water). Fluff with fork.
4. In medium serving bowl, toss vegetables and crumbled goat or feta cheese with couscous and refrigerate until ready to serve. Can also be eaten at room temperature.
July 14, 2009
Personal Nutrition Coaching
|You may be hearing a lot about “Personal Nutrition Coaching” these days. Many large insurance providers are providing this “benefit” to their members, and some websites offer free “programs”. But read the fine print. Are you really getting “personal” attention?
There are so many weight loss resources out there: diet books, downloadable calorie-counter applications, recipe websites, goal-trackers, but if reading about weight loss was all it took, then we would not have so many overweight people. Most people need someone to guide them and someone to be accountable to.
Unlike generic meal plans, personal nutrition counseling considers your personal schedule, body, goals, exercise habits, food preferences, and medical and diet history. With this information, in hand, I can provide a plan that is a perfect fit for you. Personal nutrition coaching can also help you through other behavioral aspects of eating that may get in the way of your goals.
No two people are alike, and when I “meet” online with my clients, I provide them with my undivided attention that is specific to their history. It is my personal and professional skills, along with over twenty years of experience in clinical nutrition, that sets me apart from others. So when choosing an online coach to help you meet your goals, be sure he or she is credentialed and experienced.
To learn more about the cost-effective, successful, and secure online weight loss program that I offer, take the Balance Program tour. Find out how easy your weight loss program can be with my regular online support!
July 14, 2009
Quick and Easy Supper
Many of you lead busy, active lives. "Lack of time" is often sited as a top reason people either don't exercise or don't eat right. I decided to post some of my favorite easy supper recipes to help get you enjoy more meals with your family. Of course, the recipes I offer will be good for you, and more importantly, very tasty and quick to get on the table!
You can eat this dish as is if you are in a rush, or serve with a tossed salad.
Quick and Easy Penne with Peas and Sausage (serves 4)
12 ounces of Penne
2 teaspoons olive oil
3 chicken sausage links (such as Member’s Mark Gourmet Spinach and Asiago Cheese Chicken Sausage), sliced into coin-sized pieces
1 cup frozen petite peas
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 ounces grated Romano cheese
Heat a large pot of water to boiling. Pour pasta into boiling water and cook for 7-8 minutes or until firm to bite.
While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in large nonstick pan over medium heat. Stir sausage pieces into hot oil, and sauté until done, about eight minutes. Pour frozen peas into pan, and stir until heated. Keep pan on low heat while you drain pasta. Pour drained pasta into sausage skillet, add additional olive oil, and stir. Remove from heat. Sprinkle Romano cheese over pasta mixture and divide evenly into 4 servings. Enjoy!
July 2, 2009
Ten Tips for a Healthy Barbeque
|Ten Simple Steps to a Healthy Deck Party
1. Use your grill. Grilling is a low fat cooking method since no fat is added, and the fat in the food item drips off.
2. Think outside the beef box. Sure, a grilled steak is great, but poultry and fish are wonderful on the grill too. Choose “meaty” fish such as salmon filets, shark, tuna steaks or swordfish. It’s worth investing in a grill plate so that items such as fish don’t disappear into the grill rack and into the fire.
3. Remove most of the skin from the chicken pieces. While a little bit of skin will add flavor and keep the chicken moist, the skin is high in saturated fat, which is not healthy for your heart. Cook it low and slow.
4. Add lots of flavor. There are a number of grilling sauces and rubs available on the market today. Be sure to choose one that is fat free or low in fat. Keep an eye out for excess sodium on the label too. Some sodium is okay, but if the sauce or rub does contain sodium, be aware that you won’t have to add additional salt.
5. Use the grill for the whole meal. Even if you don’t have a side burner, you can grill the vegetables too. Grill them first, and then set them aside while you grill the chicken, fish or meat. Simple brush the veggies with some olive oil, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and grill. They only take a few minutes, so check often, and then remove to a platter. They can be eaten as is, or chopped into a salad or rice pilaf. Vegetables like zucchini, squash, eggplant, onion slices, and bell pepper halves work well. You can also skewer veggies for an easy side dish.
6. Try some healthier options to the traditional side dishes. Instead of an old-fashioned mayonnaise-laden macaroni salad, try a pasta and vegetable salad that is tossed with a vinaigrette dressing; instead of baked beans, try a three bean salad; instead of chips, try pretzels or a cereal mix; instead of potato salad, try a mixed green salad tossed with greens, sliced strawberries, slivered almonds, and a vinaigrette; instead of cole slaw, try an Oriental mixed rice, mandarin orange, and spinach salad.
7. Include some fresh fruit. You do not have to be fancy or make a time-consuming fruit salad. Just serve a platter of sliced melon, a bowl of grapes, a bowl of berries or nectarines. Let everyone help his or her self.
8. While guests are waiting for dinner, set out a platter of pita pieces, low fat wheat crackers, or raw carrots to go along with a bowl of hummus for dipping.
9. Instead of a bucket of soft drinks for the children, purchase small water bottles or mix up your own lemonade pitcher. Lemonade can contain less sugar than soda, and a child may drink less of it when it is served in a smaller cup, and you will have less waste. For the grown-ups, summertime is a great time to try some lighter white wines. Try a Pinot Grigio, a Riesling, or a Sauvignon Blanc.
10. Don’t tell anyone that is it “low fat” or “healthy”. Just sit back, take the compliments, and watch them enjoy the meal.
Enjoy your backyard or deck, and keep your friends and family healthy this summer.