Greta Farley's Healthy Recipes
One of my favorite things about spring is getting the grill out and cooking in the backyard. My husband and I are partial to grilling with charcoal (yes, it takes more patience, but in the end is worth it!). We have tried grilling just about everything but not always with success. We tried grilling pizzas last year but ended up with charred crusts. This year we tried something a little different. Our HealthMarket just received a shipment of naan bread and an idea clicked in my head.
Naan bread is an Indian flatbread, similar in appearance to pita bread. It works fantastically as a pizza crust, especially when grilling. You can find naan in the frozen section of our HealthMarket.
Serves: 2 (makes 2 personal-sized pizzas)
- 1 package naan bread (each package contains 2 pieces of naan), thawed
- ½ cup pizza sauce, divided
- 1 fresh mozzarella ball, sliced
- 6 fresh basil leaves, washed and torn
- Light your charcoal grill, place the lid on and let it heat up for about 30 minutes.
- On each piece of naan, spread ¼ cup pizza sauce.
- Split the sliced mozzarella between both pizzas and top with fresh basil.
- Lay the pizzas directly on the grill.
- Cover the grill and cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the mozzarella has melted and the crust has dark brown grill marks. Have a pizza pan accessible to transport the pizzas once they are cooked.
- These pizzas can be made on a gas grill as well. Follow the above directions on medium-low heat.
- These guidelines can be followed to create a pizza with your toppings of choice.
- We grilled extra pizzas and the leftovers were delicious the next day.
Well, Worthington, this has been quite the spring/winter storm! With the abundant power outages, food safety can be of real concern. Fortunately, with the rolling blackouts we are having, the power should be on in long enough segments to keep our food safe.
Here are some tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to keep food safe in a power outage:
If the power is out for less than 2 hours, then the food in your refrigerator and freezer will be safe to consume. While the power is out, keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible to keep food cold for longer.
If the power is out for longer than 2 hours, follow the guidelines below:
- For the freezer section: A freezer that is half-full will hold food safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold food safely for 48 hours. Do not open the freezer door if you can avoid it.
- For the refrigerated section: Pack milk, other dairy products, meat, fish, eggs, gravy and spoilable leftovers into a cooler surrounded by ice. Inexpensive Styrofoam coolers are fine for this purpose.
- Use a food thermometer to check the temperature of your food right before you cook or eat it. Throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
Here is a list of non-perishable food items that will be safe without refrigeration:
- Canned food (make sure you have a can opener!)
- Freeze-dried food
- Pudding cups
- Protein bars
- Granola bars
- Whole fresh fruit (such as apples, bananas, oranges)
- Fruit cups
- Peanut butter and jelly
I can’t think of anything worse than getting food poisoning during a power outage; when in doubt, throw it out! If you have any further questions about food safety, please contact Greta at Hy-Vee: 507-372-7354; email@example.com.
We were born to love sugar. Humans have a natural taste preference for sweets. Back in the day, sugar was a source of extra calories that was easily burned off with exercise and everyday physical activity. Nowadays, all of that extra sugar is going straight to our waistlines. Added sugars can lead to obesity which then leads to complications such as diabetes and heart disease.
A calorie of sugar is a calorie of sugar, no matter where it comes from. That being said, sources of sugars such as honey, agave and pure maple syrup are much sweeter than refined white sugar, which means that you will likely use less of them and in the end consume fewer sugar calories. Sugars such as honey and agave also break down more slowly than refined white sugar, which can be beneficial for diabetics (but caution: portion size is still important).
Overall message: Sugar intake should be limited, no matter where the sugar comes from. The American Heart Association recommends women limit their added sugar intake to no more than 25 grams a day, and men no more than 30 grams a day.
Q: How will you know what diet works best for you?
A: In general I don’t recommend “diets.” The word “diet” tends to infer to a short-term change in eating habits that a person will not stick with his or her whole life. Instead of finding the right diet, one should look at how he/she is eating and determine what changes can be made to be healthier. These changes are called “lifestyle changes” and can be followed throughout life. Here are some examples of lifestyle changes that can lead to a healthier you:
- Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables
- Try a new recipe each week
- Eat breakfast every morning
- Reduce fast food consumption
- Decrease portion sizes
- Eat supper with your family at least three times a week
- Involve your children in the meal planning process
- Learn how to read a nutrition label
These are just some examples; there are countless lifestyle changes that can be incorporated into your daily life. If you are looking for a specific meal plan, visit a registered dietitian who can give you ideas that are centered around your specific needs. Remember with diet programs, diet pills and “magic shakes,” if it sounds too good to be true, it is.
I’m very proud of my husband; he has become quite the cook. He has been trying new recipes, most of which include seafood. Last night, he found a recipe for fish tacos that was amazing! He even shopped for the ingredients himself (after getting a little help finding the jicama). He found the recipe on www.allrecipes .com; we did alter the recipe slightly from the original.
Makes 6 servings
- 1 cup canned corn, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup diced red onion
- 1 cup peeled and diced jicama
- ½ cup diced red bell pepper
- ½ cup diced green bell pepper
- ½ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 lime, juiced
- Salt and ground black pepper, to taste (for the salsa)
- 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons salt
- 6 (4 ounce each) tilapia fillets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 12 corn tortillas, warmed
- 12 tablespoons sour cream, divided
- In a medium bowl, mix together corn, red onion, jicama, bell peppers and cilantro. Stir in lime juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Place salsa in refrigerator.
- In a small bowl, combine cayenne pepper, 1 tbsp. ground black pepper and salt. Brush each fish fillet with olive oil, then sprinkle with spice mixture.
- Arrange tilapia fillets on a stovetop skillet; cook for 3 minutes per side on medium-heat. For each fiery fish taco, top 1 corn tortilla with 1/12 fish, 1 tbsp. sour cream and ½ corn salsa.
This is the first time we added jicama to fresh salsa and it was delicious! The jicama adds a cooling effect that counteracts the spicy tilapia. If you are not very tolerant of spicy foods, decrease the amount of cayenne pepper in the recipe. This recipe did not take very long to make and was perfect for a weeknight supper. Enjoy!
Q: What do you think of low-glycemic-index diets?
A: The glycemic index (GI) ranks carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100 based on their effect on blood sugar levels. Low GI foods produce gradual rises in blood sugar and insulin levels, whereas high GI foods result in more immediate rises in blood sugar and insulin levels. Low GI foods can be beneficial because they can improve diabetes control, aid in weight loss and generally help keep you feeling full for a longer period of time. Low GI foods food choices are usually high in fiber and include whole-grain foods.
I am not necessarily a fan of low-glycemic “diets” because they discourage consumption of healthy high GI foods such as bananas, potatoes and oranges. The GI is a good tool to use when planning healthy meals and snacks but I would not suggest solely using the GI when making food choices. A mix of low and high GI foods can be incorporated into a healthy diet.
Examples of low GI foods (with a GI below 55):
Q: I am a college student and don’t have the option of cooking and preparing my own meals. What are some healthy eating ideas in my situation?
A: I completely understand your situation; in college I lived in the dorms for two years and the only cooking apparatus I had access to was a microwave.
If you are eating meals in the cafeteria, here are some healthy eating tips:
- For breakfast, opt for a whole-grain cereal with skim milk or scrambled eggs with whole-grain toast and a piece of fruit.
- Avoid eating dessert with every meal. I know, all those sweets look delicious.
- If your college cafeteria offers stir-fry, give it a try! This is a great meal that combines lean protein with vegetables.
- Try the salad bar. Most college cafeterias switch up their salad bar options so there is always something new to try. Note: limit the salad dressing and bacon bits!
- Do not take more than you can eat. Yes, most college students are strapped for cash and want to get their money’s worth in the cafeteria. This being said, stuffing yourself during every meal will only contribute to that “freshman fifteen.”
If you have access to a mini-fridge and a microwave, here are some easy, healthy meal and snack ideas you can prepare in your dorm room:
- Breakfast burrito
- Scramble 2 eggs in a microwave-safe dish with 1 tablespoon milk and 2 tablespoons shredded cheese. Microwave for 2-3 minutes or until eggs are set.
- Wrap in a whole-grain tortilla and top with salsa.
- Yogurt parfait
- Place 1 cup Greek yogurt (such as Chobani) in a bowl or cup; top with 1 cup Kashi Go-Lean Cereal and 1 cup fruit of your choice.
- On 2 pieces of whole-grain bread, add 3 slices of lean deli meat (such as Di Lusso turkey, ham or roast beef), 1 slice of cheese and vegetables of choice. Instead of mayo, spread mustard or hummus on the bread.
- Homemade trail mix
- This was a go-to item in between classes for me.
- Combine Kashi Go Lean Cereal, your choice of nuts (such as almonds, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, etc.), dried fruit and dark chocolate chips. Portion into snack-sized baggies.
- Food to keep on hand in your dorm room:
- Apples and bananas
- Beef jerky
- Frozen vegetables (varieties that come in a steam-ready bag are very convenient)
- Greek yogurt
- Lean deli meat
- Natural peanut butter (such as Old Home)
- Snack bars (such as Kashi or PureFit bars)
- String cheese
- Whole-grain bread
- Whole-grain chips (such as Food Should Taste Good Chips)
Reader, what is your favorite healthy food for a college dorm room?
Q: What is the best pre-workout meal?
A: The answer is different from person-to-person and depends on what the workout entails. That being said, here are some general guidelines:
- What to include in a pre-workout meal:
- Aim for about 45-60 grams of carbohydrates, 14-21 grams of protein and 5-8 grams of fat
- An example of a pre-workout meal:
- A sandwich with 2 pieces of whole-grain bread, 3 ounces of. turkey, ½ slice cheese and vegetables of choice
- An apple
- Glass of water
- If you get an upset stomach from eating a meal too close to your workout time (which is my case):
- Some people can wake up in the morning and work out on an empty stomach; I am not one of them. If you feel dizzy or unsteady during a morning workout, chances are your blood sugars are low. Eat a small pre-workout breakfast such as a banana with peanut butter, a PureFit Bar or Greek yogurt, and then eat a full breakfast when you get home.
Remember that everyone is different! If you want personalized advice about what can work best for you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: What is the best diet program?
A: This is an excellent question and one that I am often asked. My answer: instead of focusing on a “diet program,” concentrate on healthy lifestyle changes that contribute to healthy living. More specifically, make goals (whether they be to decrease fast-food intake, learn how to cook, etc.) that can be implemented for a lifetime. Most diet programs will result in some form of weight loss, but once a person discontinues the program, he/she will likely put the weight back on, plus some. The other downside to “diet programs” is that they are generally set up as a one-size-fits-all program.
The most important factor to take into consideration before making healthy lifestyle changes is that a person must be ready to make the changes, and the changes must be realistic. A great way to assess your readiness to change and to set realistic goals is to meet with a registered dietitian.
Keep in mind with diet programs and diet supplements that if they look too good to be true (for example, they promise 30 pounds of weight loss in the first month), they probably are. Good ol’ healthy eating and exercise have been proven time and time again to work. And they do, when a person is ready.