5 healthy foods: Nutrient-rich meals can taste good, too
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
1/08/13 at 6:56 AM
After a month or more of culinary revelry, many are looking to eat healthier in the new year.
It's easier to do than you might realize. Sometimes, it's just a matter of adding foods, not subtracting the stuff you love.
Take spaghetti, for instance - just bulk it up with nutrient-rich vegetables, said Lauren Pitts, a registered dietitian with Nutrition Consultants of Tulsa.
Add red and green bell peppers, onions, and tomatoes to any spaghetti sauce, she said. Or try broccoli, carrots and snap peas with your next stir-fry.
"Not only do these veggies provide vitamins, minerals and fiber, but they also help to fill you up," she said.
When people shop, they tend to grab the old standbys, which aren't always the most nutritious, said Eudene Harry, a Florida physician and author of "Live Younger in 8 Simple Steps" ($17.45, amazon.com).
"By substituting a few items on your list, you can not only look and feel more youthful, you'll boost your resistance to certain cancers and other illnesses," Harry said.
She suggested the following foods for shoppers with healthy eating on their minds.
Tomato, garlic and almonds
Tomatoes contain one of the world's most concentrated sources of cancer-fighting lycopene, which is best absorbed from tomatoes that are cooked. Garlic has been used for centuries for various health purposes and is a known free-radical destroyer. Nuts help with weight loss, maintaining healthy blood pressure and balancing moods.
How: Pair these goodies with chicken and whole wheat couscous for a full dinner, or substitute almond crumbs for bread crumbs on chicken.
With its high protein, fiber and isoflavones content, plus the meaty texture, tempeh is a favorite of vegetarians. It's made from soybeans processed in a manner similar to cheese-making.
How: Like tofu, tempeh takes on the flavors with which it is cooked or marinated, including zesty-tangy balsamic vinegar - perfect for accentuating salads.
Not only does it have a thicker texture and richer taste, Greek yogurt is also denser in lactobacilli, the healthy bacteria that may delay the onset of cancer.
Also, yogurt is low in fat and high in protein, which is essential for many body functions, including building and repairing muscle tissue, organs, bones and connective tissue.
How: Rather than adding fatty, cholesterol-filled butter and sour cream to starchy potatoes, pair two healthy options: mashed cauliflower and Greek yogurt with fresh black pepper.
Wild salmon, minced cucumbers, shredded carrots, kelp, sesame seeds, rice - healthy ingredients abound in sushi rolls, which are much more filling and satisfying than a non-sushi eater might think.
Many grocery chains - including Reasor's, locally - offer ready-made rolls, but they are also fairly easy to make.
How: A bamboo roller is a great start. Place a sheet of nutrient-dense kelp as the first thing on the roller. Then, add your desired ingredients lengthwise. Your first try is not likely to be perfect, but the tasty and healthy ingredients will be there.
You'll find everything you need to make sushi at Nam-Hai Oriental Food Market, 1924 S. Garnett Road. Check out tulsaworld.com/sushivideo for an allrecipes.com sushi demonstration.
Bring together chopped apples, strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon and pineapple with blueberries and grapes for a sweet and juicy post-dinner palate-cleanser. Remember, lemon juice prevents fruits from browning.
How: Combine the salad with Greek yogurt - perhaps blended with vanilla or almond extract - and fiber-filled granola for a parfait.
Original Print Headline: Nutrient-rich foods can taste good, too
Jason Ashley Wright 918-581-8483
A parfait is a great way to incorporate Greek yogurt, fruit and whole grains into your diet. JAMES GIBBARD / Tulsa World file
Tomatoes are a great source of lycopene, which has been shown to help prevent cancer. CHRISTOPHER SMITH / Tulsa World file
Sushi rolls can contain many healthy ingredients. CHRISTOPHER SMITH / Tulsa World file