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Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Saborear: Flavor + Enjoyment = Happy Health

For being a blonde, fair-skinned Scandinavian, I have quite the soft spot in my heart for all things Hispanic.  Having spent a year and a half in Guatemala as a missionary for the LDS church, I fell in love with the  color, the music, the food, the dancing, and the beautiful people whose hearts are as big as all outdoors.  

Dejé la parte de mi corazón allí con mis queridos Chapinos.  So although Cinco de Mayo is mainly a USA holiday, I embrace the chance to crank up some Latin tunes, get those hips swinging and savor the experience of cooking up some latin-fare.  One of the most wonderful parts of their culture is the attitude that they have about food and family.  Mealtime means lots of preparation and love.  When you sit down to eat, you all enjoy the food which is traditionally made fresh from scratch and involves lots of produce.  It is interesting that regardless of the culture, following a traditional diet of any given culture turns out to be healthier than the average American diet.  So embrace your roots, or adopt a new culture and dig in. . . your waistline, your health and your mental state will thank you for it.  

Here's what I made for Cinco de Mayo this year:

Gazpacho for lunch (recipe below)
Milanesa with seasoned-veggie rice, fruit (including platanos manzanos) and salad made of corn, avocado and cherry tomatoes.  It's rare that I drink anything but water or milk with dinner, but I splurged and made limonada con fresas (strawberry lemonade)
Here's the quick gazpacho-to-die-for recipe:


In a large bowl combine the following ingredients:
  • 4 cups low-sodium tomato or vegetable juice
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. dried dill
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 dashes hot pepper sauce (optional but tasty)
  • 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped cucumber (bite size diced)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion (since I can't eat raw onion, I use 1 tsp. onion powder)
  • 1/2 cup chopped red or yellow pepper
  • 3 oz. cream cheese diced
  • 1 avocado peeled and diced

Mix together and store in the fridge until ready to serve.  (Can be made the day before and stored overnight.) When serving, top with some fresh cilantro.

Here's your RDN-approved nutrition info:

Since you're eating basically large quantities of veggies you've got loads of fiber, not a ton of calories, and generous amounts of vitamins such as C, A, E (from the avocado) and loads more.   Plus it is all balanced out with some good fats.  The most important thing is that it's super-delicious, healthful and satisfying.  So go ahead and saborearlo!

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