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

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.

Cajun Salmon Cakes

June 11, 2015 at 10:56 am | Posted in Nutrition, recipes | Leave a comment
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This recipe comes together quickly and makes for an easy, nutritious entree. Canned salmon is low in mercury and is a fairly inexpensive dietary source of vitamin D and healthy omega-3 fats.  Tip: Canned salmon comes in varieties with or without bones; purchasing canned salmon with bones is a good option if you are looking for ways to increase your calcium intake.

Ingredients:
3-6 ounce cans canned salmon, drained
¼ cup green onions, chopped
¼ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp dry breadcrumbs
1 tsp Cajun seasoning blend
2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ cup cornmeal
1 tbsp canola oil

Instructions:
Combine salmon, green onions, mayonnaise, breadcrumbs, Cajun seasoning and Dijon mustard together in bowl. Divide mixture into 6 equal portions and shape into patties. Dredge patties in cornmeal and shake off any excess. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tbsp canola oil and place patties in pan. Cook patties about 3-5 minutes on each side or until golden brown.

Yield: 6 cakes or patties (1 per serving)

Nutrition Information per Serving:
Calories: 230 • Protein: 32g • Sodium: 840mg • Carbohydrate: 21g • Fiber: 3g •
Fat: 15g • Sat Fat: 2g

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light

Potato Basil Frittata

April 16, 2015 at 3:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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A frittata (similar to an omelet) can effortlessly transition from brunch to a quick weeknight dinner, being both elegant and easy.  Add a side salad to round out your meal.

Ingredients:
2 tbsp olive oil
4 red potatoes, peel left on, cubed
8 extra large eggs
¼ cup low fat milk or soymilk
½ cup basil, chopped
1/3 cup scallions, chopped
¼ cup grated pecorino romano or parmigiano reggiano cheese
3 ounces goat cheese, sliced into rounds
Pinch of salt and pepper

Instructions:
Heat a sauté pan on medium heat and then add olive oil. Add cubed potatoes and sauté, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork (about 15 minutes). Meanwhile in a separate bowl, whisk the eggs; then stir milk, basil, scallions, grated cheese, and salt and pepper into eggs. Turn on oven broiler.

Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and cook on medium low heat for 3-5 minutes,
occasionally running a rubber spatula around the edges of the frittata to loosen. Frittata is ready for the broiler when eggs around the edge of the pan start to set, but the middle is still loose.

Top frittata with goat cheese rounds and place under the broiler for about 3 minutes or until eggs are set throughout. Run your spatula along the sides and bottom of the frittata to loosen from the pan and place on large plate or platter.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrition Information per Serving:
Calories: 273 • Protein: 15g • Sodium: 327g • Carbohydrate: 18g • Fiber: 2g
Fat: 15.5g • Sat Fat: 6g

Kale – A Powerhouse Vegetable

March 27, 2015 at 10:33 am | Posted in Nutrition, recipes | Leave a comment
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By Toni Ambrogio, Dietetic Intern

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While many leafy green vegetables are full of healthful nutrients, kale has recently taken the spotlight for its versatility in the kitchen. While kale may start as a crunchy, leafy vegetable enjoyed in salad, it can be easily softened into a soup or stew, or transformed into kale chips for a healthier snacking option.

What Makes Kale Healthy?

Kale contains beneficial nutrients like beta carotene, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C. Beta carotene plays a role in vision and immunity; Vitamin K aids in proper clotting and coagulation of our blood; and Vitamin C is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are molecules that attach to free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals can negatively impact our bodies by causing damage to cells. Kale is also known as a “diabetes super food” due to its low glycemic index.

Kale Chips

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.

Put the kale leaves in a bowl. Lightly pour the olive oil over the kale until the kale is glistening and coated (do not apply too much oil).

Transfer the kale to a baking sheet and spread it out for even cooking. Lightly season with salt. For a kick of citrus flavor, sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning. Create a bold, new flavor by sprinkling the kale with chili powder and garlic powder. You can be very creative!

Bake until crispy, 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on your oven. Cool and serve.

Ribollita – The Italian Minestrone

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)

4 – 6 garlic cloves, chopped

1 medium to large onion, finely chopped

2 medium carrots, diced

1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced into rounds

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup dry red wine

1 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes, low sodium

6 cups water (or vegetable stock, low sodium)

2 15 ounce cans small white beans, low sodium

4 cups chopped kale

Directions:

  1. If vegetables are canned, rinse under water until water runs clear to rinse away some of the sodium.
  2. Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the EVOO. Add the garlic, three-quarters of the chopped onion, the carrots and zucchini and season with salt and pepper. Cook the veggies for 7 to 8 minutes, then add the wine to deglaze the pot. Stir in the tomatoes and stock and bring up the heat. When the soup boils, reduce it to a simmer and stir in the bread and beans. Pile the greens into the pot and wilt them into the soup.
  3. Simmer the ribollita for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring the soup as it simmers, until it thickens to a dense stew-like consistency. Turn off the heat, adjust the seasonings and ladle into shallow bowls.
  4. Additional – top each bowl with some of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, an additional drizzle of EVOO, a spoonful of the reserved raw onion and some basil.

Cranberry Gorgonzola Spinach Salad

September 5, 2014 at 10:32 am | Posted in recipes | Leave a comment
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This salad utilizes flavorful, seasonal ingredients without derailing your healthy diet and takes minimal effort to prepare. Add grilled chicken, salmon or flank steak to make it into a meal.

Ingredients:
1 cup pecan halves
12 cups baby spinach
½ cup dried cranberries
1 cup gorgonzola (or other blue cheese), crumbled (about 4-5 ounces)
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp grated orange peel (optional)
Salt and pepper

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake pecans on an ungreased cookie sheet for 8-10 minutes or until golden. In a large bowl, combine spinach, cranberries and gorgonzola. Pour balsamic vinegar into a small bowl, whisk in olive oil and orange peel (if using). Pour over salad mixture and toss to combine.  Add pecans, season with salt and pepper to taste.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrition Information per Serving (chicken, salmon or steak not included):
CALORIES: 300 • PROTEIN: 6g • SODIUM: 360mg • CARBOHYDRATE: 14g • FIBER: 3.5g •
FAT: 25g • Sat Fat: 6g

Power Granola

August 13, 2014 at 11:15 am | Posted in recipes | Leave a comment
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Sprinkle this granola on top of yogurt or fresh fruit for a healthy dessert or portion it into Ziplock bags for an on-the-go snack. The flaxseeds and walnuts provide a healthy dose of omega-3 fats, while the dried fruit adds a touch of natural sweetness.

Ingredients:
2 cups oats
1/3 cup flaxseed (whole or ground*)
¼ cup walnuts pieces
¼ cup slivered almonds
2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup honey
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup dried cranberries
¼ cup dried apricots, chopped
¼ tsp salt
Cooking spray or additional canola oil

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 315 degrees. In a large bowl, mix oats, flaxseed, nuts and cinnamon. Combine orange juice, honey and sugar in a small saucepan and cook on medium heat until sugar dissolves; remove from heat and stir in oil and vanilla. Pour orange juice mixture over oat mixture and toss to combine. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray (or grease lightly with additional canola oil) so that granola will not stick to pan. Spread oat mixture on cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes; stir mixture and bake for an other 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. Stir in dried fruit and let cool completely.

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks or in the refrigerator for up to several months.

*Ground flaxseed will provide more omega-3 fats

Yield: About 4½ cups (serving size: ¼ cup)

Nutrition Information per Serving:
CALORIES: 125 • PROTEIN: 3g • SODIUM: 35mg • CARBOHYDRATE: 20g •  FIBER: 2.5g • FAT: 4.5g • Sat Fat: 0.5g

(Recipe adapted from Cooking Light)

Chicken Gumbo

March 4, 2014 at 1:30 pm | Posted in recipes | Leave a comment
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Get in the Mardi Gras spirit any time with this the MGH Be Fit program’s recipe for chicken gumbo.

Ingredients

One 32 oz container of low sodium, fat-free chicken stock
2 c. cooked chicken, diced
1/2 c. Spanish onions, diced
1/2 c. carrot, diced
1/2 c. celery, diced
1/2 c. green peppers, diced
1/2 c. okra, frozen, precut
1 (14.5-oz) can diced tomatoes, no added salt
¼ c. brown rice, uncooked (or 1 c cooked brown rice, if using leftovers)
1 t. dried thyme
Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

Cook rice according to directions on package. While rice is cooking, bring chicken stock to a boil. Add cooked chicken, onion, carrot and celery to chicken stock. Reduce mixture to a simmer for 5-7 minutes.
Add thyme, tomatoes, okra, green peppers. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer for 15-25 minutes more. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with rice.

Preparation Tips
– If soup is too thick, more chicken stock can be added without drastically affecting the nutrition information

– If chicken is not already cooked, it can be baked in a 375-degree oven for 25 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.

Yield:4 servings

Nutrition information per serving:

CALORIES: 234 • PROTEIN: 29g • SODIUM: 360 mg • FAT: 3g • CARBOHYDRATE: 22g • FIBER: 4g • Sat Fat: 1g

(Adapted Recipe Courtesy of the MGH Eat Street Cafe)
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