Make a Healthy Bite

The first week of nutrition month focused on building a healthy pantry. Now that we have stocked all the healthy foods , what next? The foods can’t improve your health if they never leave the shelf.

The first time you set out to make something new from the cupboard, lets take salad dressing, it will seem that it takes a lot of effort. Then by the second and third time you whip up a tasty vinaigrette , you will wonder why you haven’t done this before! Once made these salad dressings can keep for up to 5 days in the fridge.  After that you will want a new flavor anyway. So whip one up on Sunday night and it will ready and waiting for your weekday salads.

Man can not live by salad greens alone.  This is where having a handy protein in the fridge comes in.  Again, eggs are quick to fix, and if hard boiled will last a few days in the fridge, ready to turn into a healthy sandwich for lunch or a high protein topping for salads. Not in to eggs?  Then roast a chicken or stir fry some pork and make a little extra to wrap in a tortilla for lunch or a quick supper.

We can not forget the carbs. A healthy diet includes a good balance of protein, fat and CARBS! Fortunately healthy carbs can also be made ahead to be ready when you are. Have a rice cooker?  Brown rice can be cooked in one of these handy appliances just as easily as white rice. Many machines have settings for other grains such as barley and quinoa. If not check the internet, you are bound to find an answer there!

Find plain grains boring? You can be just as creative with a bowl of rice or quinoa as you can with salad.  While cooking, throw in some lovely Indian spices, like whole cloves, cardamoms and a cinnamon stick, then remove before serving.  For a simply delicious twist, stir sautéed onions and  chopped herbs into cooked rice. Again make some extra and you have a ready healthy lunch.

Finally we all need more vegetables in our diet. The easy route is to just wash and cut up your veggies when you buy them.  Then they are ready to steam, roast or dip into some hummus! Most should stay crisp for almost a week, greens should be used in 2-3 days after you wash them.

It does take effort to make sure you have the ingredients for a healthy meal and then some more time to get those delicious foods on to your plate. But I bet you will be surprised at how little effort it really takes…and aren’t you worth it?

Red Wine Vinaigrette: To 3 Tablespoons of olive oil, add one Tablespoon of red wine or rice vinegar. Stir in 1 -2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard and sea salt to taste.  Whisk together and enjoy!

Creamy Dressing: 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano, crushed with fingers, then add 1/4 cup of plain yogurt ( can use Greek style) and a 1/2 teaspoon of minced garlic, mix well with a fork.  Then drizzle in 2 Tablespoons of balsamic or red wine vinegar and blend well with a fork.  If the dressing is too thick you can blend in more vinegar or water , 1/4 teaspoon at a time until you like the consistency.

Eat Well Live Well, Have Fun!