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Pulling It Together: Discovering The Wider World of Nutritious Recipes

Mixed salad with vegetables eggs and cheese

When it comes to living and eating healthily, you need to not only have the right ingredients, you must have the right recipes. Nutritious recipes are essential if you plan to keep off that weight. It is not hard to find them. Below are a few different ones to get you started.

Before getting started, you need to consider a few things:

  • Watch portion size. Make sure it is in keeping with the “2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.”1 According to current research, it is not simply food type but the size of the serving that can result in obesity2
  • If you decide to substitute make sure it is in keeping with the low-fat, low-sugar and low-calorie nature of these recipes. One reason why it is important to decrease the amounts of fat and sugar in the diet is the role they play in obesity. Studies and industry figures reveal that Americans are eating more sugar and fat than is necessary.3
  • Experiment. Follow the recipe but do not be afraid to use your creativity. When doing so, however, be sure you are sticking to the overall integrity of the weight loss program you are on.
  • Food is necessary for survival. It also should be enjoyable. If you do not like the ingredients or your family does not find pleasure in eating them, do not despair. It simply means they are not to your taste. As long as you are adventurous enough to think outside the average American diet, you are making a start towards healthy living. Work with your family to find out which recipes they liked or did not like and why. Do not accept “It’s too weird,” or “Because,” as valid answers. Take any fact-based criticism under consideration and go back to the cutting board.

Breakfast

It is true. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.4 Why not start off with some delicious and nutrient, fiber satisfying food to help you and your family get into high gear for the day. Below are some vegan and non-vegan recipes to try out.

Classic Vegan Pancakes

Ingredients:
          2 c spelt flour 1 tsp baking powder
          1 tsp baking soda 4 c soy milk
          2 tsp sunflower oil fruit for garnish
Directions:
Mix carefully all together except the fruit. Do not over mix or they will not be fluffy.Add fruit topping later.

 

French Toast

Ingredients:
1 c soy or fat-free milk substitute
½ cp egg
1 tsp sucanat or light brown sugar
1 tbsp nutritional yeast
   ½ tsp cinnamon
spelt buns or whole wheat bread
2 tsp canola or olive oil
Directions:Combine together the milk, egg substitute and cinnamonHeat up your griddle to medium. Place 1 tsp of oil, stirring to coat the surface.

Dip the buns or whole-grain bread in the mixture. Be sure you coat both sides.

Cook until golden, flip so each side is done.

Keep warm in the oven before eating.

You can further top them with more cinnamon, or light jam if you wishOatmeal is a nutritious start to any day. It is high in fiber and low in fat.5

 

Cinnamon Plus Oatmeal

Ingredients:
1 ½ c Old-fashioned rolled oats 2 ¾ fat-free milk
1 tbsp and a tsp of sugar fruit
¾ tsp ground cinnamon 1 tsp finely ground nuts
Directions:Combine the cinnamon and sugar into a bowl. LeaveIn a large pan bring the milk to a boil. Stir in the oats.

Add the sugar-cinnamon mixture leaving 2 tsp for later.

Reduce the heart and let it simmer – being careful to avoid burning, for about 5 minutes.

Pour into bowls (should serve 4). Sprinkle with the remaining cinnamon and any nuts or fruit you wish.

Lunch – Salads and Burgers

There are many books on what you should eat for lunch. Vegetables and fruit are high on the list. If your child wants a hamburger, you can try a chicken or turkey or even tofu burger instead. Another option which is tasty and high in fiber is an oatburger.

Oatburgers

Ingredients:
4 c water
1 large onion
½ cp each nutritional yeast & sunflower seeds
1 tsp each oregano, garlic powder and basil
4 c large flake oats
¼ c tamari
1 c quick oats
Directions:Combine all but oats in a saucepan.Bring to a boil.

Stir in oats.

Take off heat and let sit for 20 minutes.

Form into patties

Bake at 350

Salads are also important for lunch and dinner consider the following easy three bean salad. Beans are a good source of protein.

Three Bean Salad

Ingredients:
1 c each of kidney, green and garbanzo beans
½ small onion, cut in rings
1c black olives, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
1 ½c olive oil
1 ½c lemon juice
Directions:Marinate beans, onions, olives and red pepper in lemon juice and olive oil.Chill

Place in a glass bowl and serve.

This makes several servings. Reduce by halving as necessary

 

Yogurt Cucumber Salad

Ingredients:
1/2 English cucumber
Smidge of dill (fresh)
1 ½ tbsp olive oil
½ -1 single minced clove garlic
1-2 c yogurt
1 1/2 tbsp fresh low-fat milk
Directions:Quarter and slice cucumbers then set aside.Rub bowl with garlic and vinegar.

Add yogurt, oil and herbs.

Stir until thick.

Add cucumbers and toss gently until coated

Main meals:

When it comes to main meals, you need to consider, size of the serving, nutritional content and taste. Be sure, no matter how healthy the recipe and its contents may be, that it fulfills your nutritional requirements. Check MyPlate6  or the 2010 Guidelines if you have any questions.

Veggie Crisp

Ingredients:
Carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, onions
½ c mango
½ tbsp horse radish
vegetable water
salt and pepper to taste
Canola/olive oil
whole wheat or spelt bread crumbs
Directions:Cook vegetables until crisp.Combine mango, water, horse radish and salt and pepper.

Pour on vegetable mixture.

Add dabs of oil.

Add bread crumbs.

Bake 15 minutes

Cut and serve.

 

Flavorful Baked Garlic Potatoes

Ingredients:
          1 lb. small fresh potatoes 3 minced garlic cloves
          4 tbsp olive oil 2 tsp Herbemare or other herbal seasoning
          ¼ tsp ground pepper
Directions:Preheat oven to 450F.Wash the potatoes then dry them off

Slice them in half and layer them two deep in a casserole dish

In a separate bowl mix together the oil, seasoning, garlic and pepper.

Shake mixture over potatoes to coat thoroughly.

Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes.

Flip potatoes over then bake for about 20 minutes more.

 

Tangy Mustard Chicken

Ingredients:
          4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts 1 minced garlic clove
          1 tbsp olive oil ½ tsp dried thyme leaves
          1 cp non-sweetened apple juice 2 tbsp of Dijon mustard
          1 peeled medium onion sliced 1 apple, cored and sliced
Directions:Heat the olive oil in frying pan.When it is hot, add the chicken. Sauté until a light golden brown.

Add the following: apple juice, thyme and garlic.

Cover and cook until the chicken is tender.

Remove the chicken but keep it warm.

Bring the liquid in the skillet to a boiling point.

Blend in the mustard then add the apple slices.

Continue to cooking until everything is soft but not mushy.

Remove and pour over the chicken.

Suggestion:Serve chicken on a healthy bed of brown rice.

Snacks

Snacks are a popular form of food. They can destroy dieting habits and upset weight loss programs as quickly as rain can a picnic. Below are a few suggestions for healthy snacks.

  • Vegetables and a dip. Try crushed mango with a hint of cinnamon.
  • Fruit is filling and high in fiber and nutrients.
  • Try more exotic fruits and dip into yoghurt. How about kiwi, mango, passion fruit?
  • Popcorn is always a way of snacking without snacking. It is light in calories and good for fiber. Just do not overdo the butter and other toppings. If you make it yourself, use an air popper. If you are buying it – read the ingredients carefully

Another option to serving freshly cut vegetables and fruit is to chip them. You can make more than potatoes into chips. The process is similar. You take the vegetable of choice. You slice it thinly. You place it on a lightly greased cookie sheet or casserole dish. You place it in a preheated oven or around 235F. Bake for approximately 20 minutes. It will depend upon the vegetable and the thickness of the slices.  Remove the vegetables from the oven, allow to cool and eat. Add salt or herbal seasoning for extra flavor. You can also dip them in low-calorie and low-fat dips if you wish.

Conclusion:

Eating healthy food does not have to be boring or restrictive. Consider what you like, reduce the size of your servings and work with reduced fat, low sugar or even substitutes. The decision to change your eating habits and choice of food may result in


References

1 USDA (2011) “Dietary Guidelines.” Retrieved from www.choosemyplate.gov/guidelines/index.html

2 Nielsen, S.J. and Popkin, B.M. (2003). “Patterns and trends in food portion sizes, 1977-1998.” Journal of the American Medical Association. 289(4):450-453.

3 Piernas, C. and Popkin B.M. (2011). “Food portion patterns  (Nielsen & Popkin, 2003)and trends among U.S. children and the relationship to total eating occasion size, 1977-2006.” Journal of Nutrition. 141(6):1159-64.

4 Kant, A. K.; Andon, M. B.; Angelopoulos, T. J. and Rippe, J. M. (2008). “Association of Breakfast Energy Density with Diet Quality and Body Mass Index in American Adults: National Health And Nutrition Examination Surveys, 1999–2004.” American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 88 (5), 1396-1404.

5 Fishback, Alexa L. (2008). Women’s Health. The Daily Fix. Rodale Press.

6 USDA (2011). “Choose MyPlate.” Retrieved from  www.choosemyplate.gov/

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