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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Cook Delicious, Healthy Meals in Your Own Kitchen

article by guest blogger Carolyn Knight

How do we satisfy our taste buds without living in a constant state of culinary denial?  One way is to get creative with healthy meal ideas prepared in our own kitchens.  Indulging in fatty foods is tempting because they taste good. But if you arm yourself with colorful fruits and veggies, spices, lean cuts of meat, and whole grains you can make healthy, delicious meals at home. Step into your kitchen, and let us begin!                  

Mix It Up
Meals that are comprised of different flavors and textures are exciting and provide diverse nutrition.  A dinner of steak and fries may taste good, but you will consume 2-3 times the necessary protein portion, and eat a starch that has been deep fried in oil. Why not make a healthy choice and  slice 2-3 ounces of flank steak over a salad?  Add slivered almonds, sliced mushrooms, shredded carrots and beets, kalamata olives, tomatoes, avocado, and a simple homemade dressing and both your heart and your palate will be happy.

A Little Bit Goes a Long Way
Making healthy choices does not always have to be about denial.  If you are craving something, or worse something within your reach is tempting you—use a little portion control.  Slow down and savor each bite. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that 9 seconds of chewing will result in much less food intake than chewing for 3 seconds would.   

Make Your Own
The more colorful a dish, the richer in nutrients it is. Yellow fruits and veggies contain beta-carotene and vitamin C, and blue and purple produce provide zeaxanthin, resveratrol and fiber.  If you want Italian food, rather than going to a restaurant where you don't know what ingredients are being used in your meal,  try this savory eggplant parmigiana recipe prepared at home instead. Note the eggplant is baked, not breaded and fried. To lower calories further, substitute low fat cheese and leave out the bread crumbs.

You can be healthy and save money at the same time! The best way to make your mouth as happy as your body is to take matters into your own kitchen, have a little fun with a lot of flavor, and enjoy what creative combinations will yield!

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