Tropical Cabbage Slaw
During the month of March, grocery stores may run really good sales on cabbage – whole heads as well as the bags of slaw. This is super news because such healthy foods aren’t always THIS cheap! Cabbage is a great source of vitamin C as well as fiber AND is low in calories – or at least is CAN be unless you go drowning it in mayo by making it into coleslaw. Here is a flavorful tip to try – use lemon or pina colada flavored yogurt for the dressing INSTEAD of mayo. It adds great flavor and a little bit of calcium to your diet. Rather than mixing up a big bowl, stir together what you can eat at one meal or snack. If you use fat free yogurt, you have a side dish that is very inexpensive AND easy on your waistline. To make it more fun, add some fruit and nuts (small amounts since they are higher in fat and more expensive). Here are some combinations I like:
Fruit Kabobs—Look Elegant, Taste Great, Kid-Friendly
Sometimes it’s the way you present food that makes it special. Fruit Kabobs are an example. You could chop fruits up and stir the yogurt in, but it wouldn’t look this good.
Do you regularly pack a lunch? It saves money, but until you make it part of your regular routine, it can be a hassle. My husband and I want the health and money saving benefits of taking lunch from home, but often are too unorganized, lazy, short on time, or whatever to consistently get something together either the night before or in the morning. Here’s what we’ve done:
Gourmet Salsa is a hit!
My entire family enjoys snacking on baked taco chips and salsa for an easy snack. We usually just eat tomato salsa that I buy at the store until our home grown tomatoes are ready from the garden. But, for something a little different, I tried adding some plain yogurt to it along with some fat free sour cream. It was a big hit with my son and husband – the yogurt was cool but there was still the spiciness of the salsa for a great flavor combination. It couldn’t be any easier to make – equal parts of salsa, fat free sour cream and nonfat plain yogurt. Just a 2 tablespoon serving yields 2% of the daily value for calcium and it only costs $ .15 a serving. I also liked the fact that it tasted great with vegetables. There was just enough spice to make you keep eating and that IS what I need – ideas to keep me eating more nutrient rich vegetables. At only 25 calories for a 2 tablespoon serving of this South of the Border Dip, you can enjoy this guilt free, inexpensive snack.
Energy Bars- are they worth it?
A food that seems to be gaining popularity is “energy bars.” I think of them as candy bars with good marketing. Is my bias showing?
The last couple of weeks I have been studying the Mediterranean diet in Crete. This diet, which is named for the traditional cooking style of countries bordering the Mediterranean sea, is associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease, cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and Alzheimer’s disease, and higher life expectancy. The locals brag that almost everyone in Crete has a relative that is over 100 years old (it seems like the older I get, the more important life expectancy is to me!).
You have to try this Fruit Pizza! It really is one of the biggest recipe hits we have created for our Healthy and Homemade Calendar. It is quick, easy, and uses common ingredients including whole grains (oatmeal). Plus it tastes and looks fabulous.
Which Yogurt Should I Buy?
For me, one of the most confusing parts of the grocery store is the yogurt area. There are so many options! There are different types and flavors, different nutrition, and different prices. To play it safe, I usually stick with what my family likes – citrus flavored yogurts for me, peach yogurt for my husband, drinkable yogurt for my oldest son, Greek yogurt for my daughter, and small containers of yogurt for my youngest son.
Last week our blog was all about buying yogurt. This week we have a tasty recipe using yogurt as the main ingredient – Vegetable Dip. This recipe is very helpful at my house because my youngest son will not eat vegetables unless he has something to dip them in. I like this recipe better than ranch dressing or store bought dip because the yogurt adds some nutrition to those vegetables that he would not get otherwise.