Be Fit Basics: Clam Chowder

December 1, 2016 at 11:00 am | Posted in recipes | Leave a comment
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Warm up this winter with a bowl of this Be Fit clam chowder.  Pair with a salad to round out the meal.

Ingredients

2 bacon slices
2 small onions, chopped
1¼ cups chopped celery
¼ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp dried thyme
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 (6½ ounce) cans of chopped clam
5 cups diced potato
32 ounces bottled clam juice
1 bay leaf
3 cups low fat milk
½ cup all-purpose flour

Instructions:

Cook bacon in a large saucepan or Dutch oven on medium heat until crisp.  Remove bacon and set aside.  Add onion, celery, salt, and thyme to pan and cook for 2 to 3 minutes; add garlic and cook until vegetables are tender, 1 to 2 minutes more.

Drain clams, reserve the liquid, and set the clams aside.  Add clam liquid, potatoes, bottled clam juice, and bay leaf to the pan and bring the mixture to a boil.  Reduce heat and then simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.  Discard bay leaf.

In a medium bowl, combine milk and flour, stirring with a whisk until smooth.  Add flour mixture to the pan and bring to a boil.  Cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until the mixture thickens slightly; stirring occasionally.   Add clams.  Crumble bacon and divide among soup bowls.

Yield: Serves 6

Serving Size: 2 cups. 

Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories: 345 • Protein: 20g • Sodium: 675mg • Carbohydrate: 40g • Fiber: 4g • Fat: 9g Sat Fat: 2g

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.  Originally posted on clubsatcrp.com.

Pasta with Beet Greens, Goat Cheese and Raisins

November 3, 2016 at 9:26 am | Posted in recipes | Leave a comment
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The addition of greens, raisins and almonds to pasta is a healthy new spin on a quick dinner.  Beets are in season in Massachusetts from June to October. Beet greens are often thrown away after beets are removed.  Instead, save the greens: they are a good source of many nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K.  If beet greens aren’t available, you can substitute any dark green like Swiss chard or spinach.

Ingredients:
8 ounces (1/2 of a 1-pound box) whole wheat penne pasta
¼ cup sliced almonds
1½ tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups chopped beet greens
¼ cup raisins
3 oz goat cheese (soft variety, such as Chevre)
½ tsp salt
Black pepper to taste

Instructions:
Prepare pasta according to the directions on the package. While pasta is cooking, toast the almonds in a large, dry sauté pan over medium heat until they turn golden brown (about 3 minutes). Remove almonds from pan and place in a small bowl. Add olive oil to the pan and add garlic, greens and raisins.  Sauté for about 3 minutes, until greens are tender and wilted. (If necessary, once greens are fully cooked, remove sauté pan from heat until pasta is cooked.)

Once pasta is cooked, reserve ½ cup of the pasta water and add it to the sauté pan with the greens.  Let mixture cook for about 1-2 minutes until slightly thickened.  Meanwhile, drain pasta from remaining water. Add pasta, toasted almonds, goat cheese, salt and pepper to the greens and toss to combine.

Yield: 4 servings (about 1 cup each)

Nutrition Information per Serving:
Calories: 375 • Protein: 15 g • Sodium: 380 mg • Carbohydrate: 53 g • Fiber: 7 g • Fat: 14 g Sat Fat: 4 g

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

“Everything in moderation!”

October 27, 2016 at 9:00 am | Posted in Nutrition, recipes | Leave a comment
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By Melanie Schermerhorn, Dietetic Intern

Most of us have heard the phrase, “everything in moderation.” Many say moderation is the key to success; for someone who has diabetes this phrase is especially true when it comes to what you eat. Moderation in relation to healthy eating habits, especially portion control, can have a huge effect on your overall health! To break the phrase “everything in moderation” down further, let’s talk about what it means. What your healthcare providers are saying is:  eat a balanced diet most of the time, but do not deprive yourself of the not-so-healthy things you enjoy. In other words, it’s alright to eat them but be sure to have them less frequently and in a smaller portion.

With diabetes this is important for your blood sugar management. The goal is to not completely deny yourself things like chocolate chip cookies, but instead maintain a healthy lifestyle while still treating yourself.  A tip to do this is buy smaller portion sizes, so having one small cookie won’t have as much of an effect on your blood sugar as a larger one would.  Another great way to keep track of your portions is reading the labels on packages for serving sizes. Sometimes a package could be more than one serving!  Sharing a baked good with a friend instead of eating the whole thing can help you consume less as well. You could make homemade treats with healthier ingredients like in the recipe below so you aren’t consuming a heavily processed carbohydrate.  So aim to keep your portions in check and when it comes to sweets “Everything in moderation!”

Recipe: Healthy Banana PancakesCombine 1 ripe banana, 2 large eggs, and a few shakes of cinnamon in a bowl until smooth. Heat up a pan on medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Put a few spoon fulls of the “batter” into the pan. Cook until lightly brown on each side and serve.

Post content reviewed by Department of Nutrition and Food Services

Be Fit Basics: Quinoa Parsley Salad

September 14, 2016 at 9:48 am | Posted in Nutrition, recipes | Leave a comment
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Celebrate Whole Grains Month with this easy grain salad.  One serving is a good source of iron.

Ingredients:
1 cup of water
½ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp honey
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¾ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
½ cup thinly sliced celery
½ cup thinly sliced green onion
½ cup finely chopped dried apricots
¼ cup pumpkin seeds

Directions:
Bring water and quinoa to a boil in a medium saucepan; cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.  While the quinoa is cooking, whisk the lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper together in a small bowl.

Fluff the quinoa with a fork and place in a bowl.  Add the parsley, celery, onion, and apricots.  Toss with the dressing to coat and top with pumpkin seeds.

Yield: Serves 4

Serving Size:about 2/3 cup.  Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories: 195 calories • Protein: 5 g • Sodium: 160 mg • Carbohydrate: 33 g
Fiber: 4 g • Fat: 6 g • Sat Fat: 1 g

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light.  Originally posted on mghbefit.com.

Be Fit Basics: Sesame-Miso Cucumber Salad

June 30, 2016 at 11:09 am | Posted in Nutrition, recipes | Leave a comment
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A quick and easy side dish to bring to this weekend’s cookout.  Miso is typically found in the refrigerated food section, often either by the dairy or chilled salad dressings.

Ingredients:
1½ tbsp sesame seeds, roasted
2 tbsp white miso
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp dark sesame oil
4 cups thinly sliced cucumber

Directions: 
Combine the first 6 ingredients and whisk in 1 tbsp hot water.  Add cucumber and toss to coat.

Yield: 5 servings

Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories: 100 • Protein: 2 g • Sodium: 260 mg • Carbohydrate: 13 g • Fiber: 2 g
Fat: 5 g • Sat Fat: 1 g

Recipe adapted from Cookinglight.com. Originally posted on mghbefit.com.

Be Fit Basics: Herbed Pear Breakfast Sausage

March 24, 2016 at 10:55 am | Posted in recipes | Leave a comment
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A fresh idea for Sunday brunch from the Be Fit Program.

You can substitute other herbs, like parsley or basil, for the cilantro.  Fresh rosemary or oregano can also be used, but use much less because they are stronger-flavored. This recipe is also gluten free, but be sure to check your spices if you have Celiac disease.

Ingredients:
1 pound- ground turkey meat (look for 93% lean or ground turkey breast)
¾ cup- diced pear
¾ cup -diced red pepper
½ cup -diced red onion
¼ cup- chopped cilantro leaves
1 tsp -dried sage (or ½ -1 tbsp chopped fresh sage)
½ tsp -salt
½ tsp- ground cumin
½ tsp -ground allspice
½ tsp- crushed red pepper
1½ tbsp- canola oil

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except the canola oil. Shape into 8 patties (½ inch thick).

Heat a large sauté pan on medium heat and add half the canola oil and half the shaped patties. Cook patties about 4 minutes per side, until slightly golden brown with an internal temperature of 165 degrees.

Drain the patties on paper towels.  Wipe out any bits in the pan and repeat with the remaining oil and patties.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size 2 small patties)

Nutrition Information per Serving:
Calories: 260 • Protein: 22 g • Sodium: 375 mg • Carbohydrate: 10 g • Fiber: 2 g • Fat: 15 g  Sat Fat: 3 g

Recipe Adapted from Cooking Light

Soybean Hummus

February 4, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Posted in recipes | Leave a comment
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Have healthy snacks on hand for this weekend’s big game with this quick and easy hummus recipe from the Be Fit Program.  Serve with vegetables or whole wheat pita.

Ingredients:
1 cup shelled, frozen edamame (soybeans)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 garlic clove, minced
dash of Tabasco (or more, to taste)
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

Directions:
Place edamame in a small saucepan with water.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes (or until beans are tender). Drain.

In a food processor or blender, combine edamame with olive oil, juice, salt, garlic, Tabasco, and parsley. Puree until smooth.

Yield: 9 servings ( Serving size ~ 2 tablespoons)

Nutrition Information Per Serving:
Calories: 65 • Protein: 2g • Carbohydrate: 2g
Fiber: 1g • Fat: 5g • Sat Fat: 1g • Sodium: 270mg

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Pulled Pork Sandwiches

December 22, 2015 at 10:43 am | Posted in recipes | Leave a comment
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Is a long day at work leaving you with little time left to make a healthy meal?  Let your crock pot do the cooking.

Ingredients:
3 pounds boneless pork loin roast, cut in half with fat trimmed
1 cup water
1-18 oz bottle barbecue sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar, unpacked
2 tbsp hot sauce
½ tsp black pepper
2 cups shredded cabbage and carrot coleslaw, pre-packaged mix if available
10 whole wheat hamburger buns (try Pepperidge Farms®100% whole wheat)

Directions:
Place pork and water in a 4-quart crock pot/electric slow cooker. Cover with lid and cook on high heat for 7 hours, or until meat becomes tender. Drain and discard liquid from pork. Return pork to cooker and shred with a fork. Reduce to low-heat and add remaining ingredients (minus the shredded cabbage and carrots) and cook 1 hour more. Serve pork on a whole wheat hamburger bun and top with shredded cabbage and carrots.

Yield: Approximately 10-1/2 cup servings of pulled pork

Nutrition Information per Serving (bun and cabbage mix included):
Calories: 421 • Protein: 36g • Sodium: 691mg • Carbohydrate: 42g Fiber: 2g
Fat: 11g • Sat Fat: 3g

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Parmesan Almond Crusted Chicken Breast Stuffed with Cauliflower and Dried Cranberries

November 19, 2015 at 10:23 am | Posted in recipes | Leave a comment
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A nutritious take on a classic stuffed chicken recipe that is as delicious as it is healthy.

Ingredients:

Cauliflower Cranberry Stuffing
2¼ cups frozen cauliflower
¾ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
¼ tsp black pepper
pinch salt

Chicken
¾ cup almonds, sliced or chopped
6 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
6 4 oz chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1½ cups fresh baby spinach, washed
pinch salt and black pepper
pan spray

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make the cauliflower cranberry stuffing: Fill a medium saucepan with water and add cauliflower.  Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until tender. Drain water from saucepan and mash cauliflower with the backside of a fork or potato masher until slightly chunky. Mix in cranberries, salt, and pepper then set aside.

Cook the Chicken: In a small bowl combine sliced almonds and Parmesan cheese, set aside. Butterfly raw chicken by cutting ¾ of the way through the side of the chicken breast (so that it opens like a book) and season with salt and pepper.

Place spinach on chicken breast, covering all visible parts of the meat.  Spoon ½ cup of cauliflower cranberry stuffing on one side of chicken. Fold chicken breast over and push any extra stuffing back into the breast.

Spray baking sheet with pan spray.  Place chicken on sheet. Sprinkle about 2 tbsp of the almond Parmesan mixture on top of chicken.

Cook in a 350 degree oven for 22-25 minutes or until chicken reaches 165 degrees.
Chicken juices should be clear.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrition Information per Serving:

Calories: 335 • Protein: 11g • Sodium: 388mg • Carbohydrate: 35g •
Fiber: 6.5g • Fat: 10g • Sat Fat: 4.5g

Recipe adapted by Samantha Foor, Dietetic Intern

 

Beans, beans, the magical fruit…

October 15, 2015 at 3:38 pm | Posted in Nutrition, recipes | Leave a comment
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By Kelsey Baumgarten
Dietetic Intern

What comes to mind when you hear the word “beans?” Maybe you think of chili, baked beans, minestrone soup, gallo pinto, burritos. Whatever you think about beans, you may not know how they are related to your health and blood sugar control.

While the old rhyme calls beans a magical “fruit,” they are, in fact, a vegetable! They’re part of a larger group of vegetables called legumes, which includes foods like black beans, chickpeas, lentils, and split peas. When counting carbohydrates, legumes should be counted as a starchy vegetable. However, if you can think of the rhyme, it may help you remember that a ⅓-cup serving of beans has a similar number of carbohydrates as a piece of fruit.

The more you eat, the more you toot…

Many people avoid beans because of their reputation for causing gastrointestinal discomfort. The gas related to eating beans is caused by the fiber and starches your body can’t break down. These are digested by the bacteria in your intestines.

The more you toot, the better you feel…

The fiber is part of what makes beans so good for you! Fiber can help lower your cholesterol and prevent constipation. Over time, your body will get used to it and you will notice less discomfort.

So let’s have beans at every meal!

You don’t need to have beans at every meal like the song suggests, but beans do make a great choice for balanced meals and snacks. Try swapping beans for some of your usual servings of pasta, potato, squash, and bread. You can even replace half of your starch with a half serving of legumes:

  • Eat a smaller portion of pasta, and add beans into the pasta sauce.
  • Mash black beans into a half serving of mashed potatoes.
  • Sprinkle beans on top of a thin-crust pizza
  • Add roasted chickpeas to your salad instead of croutons (just toss dry chickpeas in olive oil and salt, and broil until crispy— about 10 minutes)

Snacking on beans (15-30 g carbs)

  • 2 tablespoons of hummus or edamame dip + 6 whole grain crackers
  • ½ cup of lentil soup
  • ½ cup kidney beans, sprinkled with olive oil and Italian seasoning
  • ⅓ cup soy nuts + 1 piece fresh fruit

Don’t forget:
While legumes are a great source of plant protein, their carbohydrates will still raise your blood sugar. Legumes generally supply 15-20 grams of carbohydrates per serving. Be sure to check the nutrition label of whichever kind you are eating.

Beans can be a great addition to your diet. For increased fiber intake and heart-health benefits, aim to eat 3 or more servings every week. With so many nutrients per serving, they really are a “magical fruit”!

Did you know? You can use beans to make healthier baked goods and desserts!

Cannellini Carrot Muffins

  • BeanCarrotMuffin1 can* cannellini or kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ½ cups grated carrots
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ¾ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ cup oats
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 325° F. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin and set aside.

In a food processor, puree beans, eggs, oil, molasses, salt, and cinnamon until very smooth. Add carrots and nuts and blend on low speed until nuts and carrots are in small chunks. In a separate bowl, mix flour, oats, sugar, and baking powder. Add the bean mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Pour into the muffin tins and bake for 35-40 minutes.

*You can also use beans cooked from dry. 1 can = 1½ cups cooked beans.

Per muffin: 190 calories • 40g carb • 5g protein • 4g fiber • 7g fat

Black bean Chocolate Hummus
(who knew hummus could taste like dessert?)

BeanChocolateHummus
  • 1 can* black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 tbsp canola oil
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 1 tbsp decaf coffee (or water)

Blend all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Serves 8.

For a snack with 30g carbs, spread hummus over 2 graham cracker squares (1 full sheet), or use as dip for 1 serving of apple slices or strawberries.

Per serving (about 2 tbsp): 150 calories • 20g carb • 5g protein • 5g fiber • 7g fat

*You can also use beans cooked from dry. 1 can = 1½ cups cooked beans.

 (Post content reviewed by MGH Department of Nutrition and Food Services)
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