Recipe of the Week:
Arugula and Pear Salad
Pears combined with walnuts add a sweet, buttery, nutty flavor to arugula. For extra added flavor I like to add a bit of crumbled goat cheese over the salad.
Nutrition Profile: Diabetes appropriate, low calorie, low cholesterol, low saturated fat, low sodium, heart and weight healthy, gluten free.
2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
3 tablespoons low sodium vegetable broth
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste.
½ cup chopped walnuts
2 firm red Bartlett pears
5 cups butter head lettuce, (Bibb or Boston), torn into bite size pieces
4 cups arugula, trimmed.
1. Dressing: whisk shallot, broth, oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl.
2. Salad: Toast walnuts in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring, until fragrant (about 2-3 minutes). Transfer to a bowl and allow cooling.
3. Just before serving, cut pears into 16 slices each. Place in a large bowl. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the dressing and toss to coat. Add lettuce, arugula and the remaining dressing; toss well. Divide among 8 plates. Top with walnuts and optional cheese.
Nutrition per serving (1 cup): 132 calories; 10 g fat (1g sat, 5 g mono); 0 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrates; 2 g protein; 2 g fiber; 94 mg sodium.
Fit Tip of the Week:
Healthy Cooking Methods
Looking to get the most nutritional value out of cooked food? As a general rule, rapid cooking techniques are better for retaining nutrients than slower methods. For the most nutritional results, most experts recommend cooking food thoroughly but rapidly. The following cooking methods are the most highly recommended methods for cooking while preserving nutrients:
1. Pressure Cooking: A pressure cooker (basically a pot outfitted with a locking lid) cooks food quickly and healthfully by creating steam under pressure, raising the cooking temperature. This method works well for food like beans, grains and vegetables. When prepping veggies for the pressure cooker, trimming is a must as they can become overcooked in seconds. Also use the precise amount of liquid called for the recipe. When cooking grains and beans, do not fill the cooker more than half way to allow enough room for expansion. An old school tip to prevent beans and grains from foaming over is to add a few teaspoons of oil.
2. Steaming: This method retains the most nutrients, since the food isn’t immersed in water and is highly recommended. Almost any food that can be boiled can be steamed, especially vegetables. Invest in a steaming basket or a bamboo steamer, or improvise by using a metal colander in a pot topped with a tight fitting lid. If you’re a rice lover, many rice cookers on the market come with a metal colander for steaming foods. A large steamer pot is usually the way to go as it allows plenty of space for the steam to circulate cooking the food more efficiently. Keep an eye on the water levels in the pot as the water will boil away.
3. Stir-Frying: This is a quick way of cooking small, uniform-sized pieces of food, most commonly mixed with vegetables. Thinly sliced beef, chicken, or shrimp can also be stir-fried in a wok or large non-stick frying pan. Cooking food rapidly at high temperatures with very little oil is what makes stir-frying a healthful option. If so desired nonstick cooking spray can be used instead of oil. If using oil, gradually add the oil to the pan and heat until hot (but not smoking). Then toss in the food and stir constantly until meats are thoroughly cooked and veggies are tender and crisp.
4. Grilling and Broiling: These two methods expose food to direct heat, leaving behind a crispy outside and a tender juicy inside. Broiling and grilling work well with meat, seafood, poultry, vegetables and even fruit. Try using sturdy vegetables like baby carrots or mushrooms or thickly sliced veggies like potato wedges. Grilled pineapples go great with teriyaki marinated chicken or turkey or you can grill asparagus tossed with olive oil rosemary. Keep in mind that veggies and fruit should be placed about 4 inches from the heat source and as they cook baste them once or twice with marinade or juice. When they begin to brown, turn them over and lightly brown the other side.
These cooking methods not only help to preserve nutrients, they also keep the extra fat away unlike other cooking method such as frying. These methods keep your food healthy and are waistline friendly.
Until next week!
It's always educational to learn cooking techniques. Thanks for sharing
I would also add that if you really just have the urge for some fried chicken, oven frying is a good option. Season and toss your chicken in a beaten egg. Roll the chicken (or other meat of your choice) in breadcrumbs and pop in the oven and bake. I've used regular bread crumbs, panko bread crumbs and most recently French's fried onions. It is delicious.
Tip to prevent uneven crispness – I have one of those baking wired racks which allows the chicken to crisp up on all sides. Also make sure to turn at once halfway through cooking.