By Eliza Short, Communications Coordinator for Jackson In Action
Meat, eggs, and dairy are very popular sources of protein in Americans’ diets. However, there are other options you may choose that are much leaner and contain other healthful nutrients, including beans, legumes, seeds, nuts, fish, and soy. These alternative protein sources contain the healthy fats essential to our diet. In addition, beans, legumes, seeds and nuts contain dietary fiber, which supports the function of the digestive tract.
Since many people are not used to cooking with these alternative protein sources, they often go for the classic beef, chicken, or pork dinner. One may save money and improve health by choosing one of these alternative sources. Make a goal to eat one meatless meal per week!
Tips to make meatless meals:
- Instead of chicken stir fry, try marinating firm tofu in sesame oil, soy sauce, and fresh ginger and using this instead
- Create a vegetarian burrito bowl, with rice, black beans, stir fry vegetables, and salsa
- Instead of meat in chili, add extra bean varieties, peppers, and onions
- Snack on a small portion of a nut and seed trail mix
- Roast chick peas or edamame on low heat in vegetable oil, as an alternative snack or side to a meal
- Make a hummus and vegetable wrap on a tortilla, using fresh vegetables such as carrots, cucumbers, peppers, and tomatoes
New Recipe: Pumpkin Chili
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 carrots
- 1 bell pepper
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 jalapeno, minced
- 2 ½ tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 can low-salt diced tomatoes
- 1 can pureed pumpkin
- 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cans of beans (black beans, pinto beans, etc)
Directions: Chop the onion, carrot, and bell pepper into small pieces. Heat the oil, and sauté the onion, carrot, and pepper until they begin to brown. Add garlic, jalapeno, and spices and cook for about 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, pumpkin, broth, and beans. Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Looking for additional recipe ideas? Check out http://www.whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/, which allows you to build healthy meals and generate shopping lists, create and print your own cookbook, and browse recipes by nutrition themes.
New Year, Healthy Living Program:
As the New Year approaches, the focus on slimming down begins. This year why not take a simple and positive approach by making tiny steps that can add up to big returns. Just moving 15 minutes more per day can result in a 10-12 lb. weight reduction in a year. For more ideas on healthy lifestyle changes, Black River Memorial Hospital will be offering an 11-Week group program called B WELLthy that includes cooking demos, weight management techniques, wellness topics, stress management, and more. Nutrition and fitness experts from BRMH will be presenting the program. B WELLthy begins January 21 – March 31. For more information contact Ruth at 715-284-1348 or visit www.brmh.net for program fees and enrollment.