Main Nutritious Intent Website

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Deconstructing Salad: Tastiest Main Dish Ever!


Salad is an ancient idea, but it’s taken a while to come into it’s own in America.  Salads aren’t just for side dishes or rabbit food anymore. Here are three tips to step up your salad game and bring it into the main dish spotlight.

Following the Choose My Plate guidelines of ½ produce, ¼ grains and ¼ protein makes for a great main dish salad recipe.  Keep the backbone ingredients healthful and balanced, and the smaller, cameo-type ingredients such as dressings and toppings in balance and you’ll have a nutritious meal to get excited about.

Here are three simple but satisfying salad recipe ideas to demonstrate this pattern:


Caprese-Cobb Panzanella Salad

Toss together:
2 cups chopped tomato or halved grape tomatoes
1 cup torn basil
2 cups stale bread cubes (torn and toasted is my favorite)
1/2 cup fresh small mozzarella balls (perlini)
2 hard boiled eggs chopped
2 slices crisp bacon crumbled
Toss with vinaigrette of your choice and drizzle with balsamic glaze.




Chicken, Barley and Edamame Salad

Toss together:
1 cup roasted or grilled chicken, bite sized
1 cup cooked whole grain of your choice (barley, quinoa, brown rice, or bulgur work well)
1 cup broccoli florets
1/2 cup red pepper chopped
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1 cup edamame
Toss with your favorite asian dressing or mix a little soy and honey with a basic vinaigrette and toss.  Serve over a bed of greens.









Vegetarian Tex-Mex Salad

Toss together:
1 cup grilled corn cut off the cob
1 cup black beans
1/2 cup chopped red pepper
1/2 cup sliced radishes
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 cups mixed greens
Toss with your favorite southwest dressing, or combine equal parts salsa and vinaigrette.  Serve with toasted corn tortillas or corn chips.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Avoid Summer Nutrition Pitfalls

While summer seems ideally suited to optimal nutrition with all the in-season produce available, we often drop the ball when it comes to our eating habits in the summer.  Here are a few tips to keep your health on track during some of the most action-packed months of the year.  Here are some things to consider when it comes to your summer nutrition:


Make a plan:
School’s out, kids are home and to your dismay, they want to be fed. . . all the time!    Use this to your advantage and involve your children in planning meals and snacks.  Making a menu and using it to plan your grocery list will save plenty of grief at mealtime.  Good nutrition doesn’t just spontaneously happen, you have to have a plan in place. 
And while you’re at it, plan to involve your kids in meal prep during the summer so they can learn some much needed life skills before they’re on their own.

Snack wisely:
Plan, choose and shop carefully for snack foods.   Then, once you’re home, consider where they should live in your kitchen.  Keeping fruit in the fridge and cookies on the counter doesn’t set yourself up for success in the eating department. 
Keep some produce on the counter and maybe even some nuts.  Keep high-fiber, low sugar snacks at eye level in the pantry, and store the play-foods more out of sight so that it becomes an intentional choice, not just mindless munching.

Up your produce game:
One of the best ways to eat more fruits and veggies is to grow your own.  Even if you don’t end up with a bumper crop, it sparks interest in eating more produce.  It’s not too late to put some lettuce seeds in a planter or get a tomato plant in a pot on the patio if you don’t have traditional garden space.  Find a friend that is participating in a community garden and trade some weeding time for fresh produce. 

Don’t take a vacation from healthful eating:

Trips and travel can make good nutrition a challenge, but it is certainly possible to keep some good habits in place while on vacation. 
Don’t drink your calories, watch your portions while eating out and make an effort to get lots of fruits and veggies in during your trip.