Cross country skiing was exceptionally encouraging today. For one thing, it was an absolutely beautiful, sunny, March day. Additionally I finally noticed that I am doing alot more gliding and a lot less shuffling, but finally because as I swung around the last bend in the dense woods and came out into the clearing, there were dozens of glistening silver pails attached to the maple trees! It's Maple syrup time which of course is always the first sign that spring is just around the corner!
Having said that, some of you may know March as the Month of no mercy. Just as we start to feel the heat of the sun on our faces and hear the sound of our shoes on the dry pavement, it whips up one more day of swirling, icy winds and buries our hopes under another 12 cm of snow. What some of you may not know, however, is that March is also Nutrition Month! So I thought I would post a few ideas on how to eat healthfully.
Since time is always an issue, all of the suggestions below are super fast, easy, and use mainly whatever vegetables and proteins you have on hand. The one common ingredient is COLOUR. The last one is loved by all of my clients. It's a little longer, but well worth the effort!
Balanced, No-Recipe Meals
- Pita Pizza: Brush pita with 15 ml olive oil, add peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms etc shredded cheese or
goat cheese and spices, (use your imagination) grill dressed pita until
vegetables are warm and cheese is melted. Eat
- Rice Pilaf: cook 2 minute Bistro express rice (whole grain, no sodium) add chickpeas or
left over protein (shrimp, chicken, eggs) and +++veggies, heat through.
- Frittatta: Just about anything you can stir fry (mushrooms, spinach, onion, tomatoes, diced potato...) whisk 2-3 eggs with 15-30ml low fat milk and shredded cheese, pour over top, cover, heat until firm and voila!
- Big leafy salad of mixed greens and whatever vegetables you have. Add beans,
chicken, egg or tuna and a light dressing
- Lemon Pasta: Make whole grain pasta according to package directions and toss with sauteed rapini, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms (whatever veggies you have available) roasted garlic, and chickpeas. Mix together 15ml olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, grated lemon rind, cracked pepper and toss again. Top with freshly grated parmesan and enjoy!!
- Stuffed Sweet Potato – baked sweet potato topped with black beans, green onion, tomato salsa and a spoonful of Greek yogurt. Yummm!
250ml canned chickpeas, drained, rinced and mashed
125ml low fat sour cream
125ml salsa (mild, medium or hot)
1 large clove garlic minced,
8 7 inch flour tortillas
10ml vegetable oil
1 chicken breast half (optional) cooked and shredded
60ml cup each, finely chopped sweet red pepper and chopped green onions
15ml chopped fresh coriander
250ml shredded reduced fat Monterey Jack cheese (4 oz)
Preheat oven to 400
Combine mashed chickpeas, 30ml sour cream, 30ml salsa and garlic in a
small bowl. Mix well and set aside
Brush one side of each tortilla with oil. Arrange 4 tortillas, oil side
down, on a baking sheet. Spread ¼ chickpea mixture over each tortilla, leaving
a ½ inch border.
Combine shredded chicken, red pepper, green onions, and coriander in a
small bowl. Spread ¼ chicken mixture over chickpeas, followed by ¼ cheese.
Cover with remaining tortillas, oil side up.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until tortillas are a light golden brown. Remove
from oven. Let cool 5 minutes before cutting (THIS IS IMPORTANT otherwise
tortillas will slide apart). Cut each quesadilla into 6 wedges. Serve with remaining sour cream and salsa
Makes 24 wedges