The new year is a perfect time for a health makeover, but executing it is most often easier said than done. Around this time of year most people flood the gyms, break out the juicers, and start some crazy fad diet (the Baby Food Diet? Yuck!). All of this lasts a good two months tops. Getting healthier isn’t rocket science when you know what you’re doing. You have to keep in mind that becoming a healthier you isn’t a 100 yard dash, but a marathon. Marathons take time, you have to pace yourself. The same concepts apply when you decide to buckle down and start living a healthier life. I’ve added some tips below to help make this getting healthy kick a cakewalk (carrot cake, it’s better for you), and a recipe at the end. Enjoy!
1. Make a swap
There are so many benefits that go along with healthy substitutions. Not only do they reduce the amount of fat, calories and salt in your recipes, but they can also boost the nutritional content. Here are some tips:
- Choose low-fat or fat-free versions of ingredients like milk, yogurt, sour cream, cheese or mayonnaise. Substituting Greek yogurt for sour cream is a great option.
- Opt for “light” margarine in place of butter.
- Choose light or low-fat condiments like salad dressing, dips and sauces.
- Try using hummus instead of high-fat spreads and condiments.
2. Limit or Omit Some Ingredients
In some recipes, you can completely eliminate an ingredient or scale back on the amount you use. You can:
- Eliminate toppings that are used only for presentation like whipped toppings, coconut, frosting, chocolate chips or cheese and butter toppings for casseroles.
- Omit salt from recipes and add your favorite salt-free seasoning blends, herbs, citrus zest, juice or vinegars.
- Use low-sodium marinades and soy sauce. Cut the amount a recipe calls for in half to reduce the salt content.
- Use 1/2 the amount of cheese a recipe calls for and opt for sharp versions for more flavor.
- Use egg whites instead of whole eggs. One whole egg is equal to two egg whites in recipe conversions.
3. Healthy Cooking Methods
The way you prepare food can also alter its nutrient content. You can:
- Retain nutrients in vegetables by steaming
- Bake, broil, grill, poach, stir fry or roast lean meats instead of frying or sautéing.
- To intensify veggie flavors try roasting them with 1-2 tsp of oil, a pinch of salt and pepper. You can try this with broccoli, Brussels sprouts, string beans, cauliflower, zucchini and wedges of cabbage.
- If you need a “crunchy” texture, try oven “frying” or pan frying instead of deep frying and opt for a healthy oil such as canola or olive oil
Spinach Stuffed Flounder
Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes*
2 tsp. olive oil
3 shallots, finely diced (1/4 cup)
1 tsp. no-salt-added garlic and herb seasoning
1 (10-oz.) pkg. frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup lower sodium chicken broth or dry white wine
1/4 to 1/2 cup finely shredded Parmesan
6 (4-oz.) flounder fillets
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly coat a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. For the filling, in a medium skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots and seasoning; cook 3 to 5 minutes or until shallots are tender. Add spinach and chicken broth or wine. Cook 2 to 3 minutes or until wine has evaporated, stirring occasionally. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl; let stand 10 minutes to cool. Add Parmesan; toss until well-combined. Set aside.
2. Place fillets on a clean work surface; season both sides with pepper to taste. Place three rounded tablespoons of the filling on the center of each fillet. Fold the tail end of each fillet over filling and roll up, securing with toothpicks if necessary. Place rolls, seam side down, in baking dish; coat lightly with nonstick cooking spray.
3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through and fish flakes easily with a fork. Transfer to a platter, and serve.
Makes: 6 servings
Per serving: 170 calories, 5g fat, 2g saturated fat, 50mg cholesterol, 300mg sodium, 4g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 21g protein
*10 minutes cooling time extra
I hope you guys enjoy this recipe and it helps you get in the habit of cooking and eating healthier. Do you have any favorite healthy recipes you love? How about New Year’s resolutions? Comment them below, I’d love to read them. Enjoy your weekend and stay beautiful lovies ❤