Staples for a Healthy Cook

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Healthful recipes are easy to make when you have the right ingredients on hand.
• Vegetables: onions, celery, carrots and garlic are the base for most soups and many other dishes. They keep for at least a week or two. Salad ingredients are a good idea for a fresh salad each day.
• Spice cabinet: bay leaf, black pepper, granulated garlic, olive oil, oil spray and Italian seasoning are used in many dishes. Thyme and rosemary are good additions for chicken and grilled items. Chili powder, cumin, coriander and annato are great for Latin-spiced dishes.
• Pantry:?Keep cans of broth, tomatoes and beans on hand. It is even better if these items are labeled “no salt added.” Pasta and lentils cook quickly and can be used for a variety of dishes. Brown rice is an easy-to-make whole grain.
• Fresh fruit is great for snacks and desserts.

Mediterranean Fish Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 plum tomatoes, cored and quartered
1 stalk celery, sliced
1 orange, grated zest
1 bay leaf
Black pepper to taste
3 cups chicken broth, low-sodium
16 ounces potatoes (4), peeled, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 pound fresh or frozen fish, cut in 3-inch pieces
1. Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat (not too high).
2. Saute the onion until soft, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, and saute another minute.
3. Add the tomatoes, celery, orange zest, bay leaf, pepper and chicken broth. Cook until the vegetables are very soft; remove bay leaf. Puree in blender.
4. Put broth back on stove and cook the potatoes for 7 minutes. Add the fish and cook until fish and potatoes are done, about 10 minutes.
5. This soup may be seasoned with saffron or annato for color.
Serves 4. Each 1.5 cup serving: 255 calories, 5.5 g fat, .5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 67 mg cholesterol, 265 mg sodium, 21 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 28 g protein.

Light Valencia Paella
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup diced carrots
1 clove minced garlic
1 cup diced onion
2 cups short grain Spanish rice
2 cups chicken broth, low-sodium
2 cups water
8 oz skinless chicken breast, cubed
4 oz shrimp, peeled and deveined
14 oz can chick peas, drained
1 cup green peas
1 lemon, juice only
1. Heat oil in large wide pan over medium heat (not too high). Saute the peppers, carrots, garlic and onion until soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the rice and stir well. Then add the water and broth and bring to a boil; lower heat and do not stir too much.
3. After 10 minutes, add the chicken, shrimp and both peas. Continue cooking until the chicken and shrimp are done and the liquid has evaporated. It is okay to add more broth if needed. Season with lemon juice and pepper and serve hot.
Serves 8. Each 1.25 cup serving: 378 calories, 6.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 51 mg cholesterol, 115 mg sodium, 57 g carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 22 g protein.

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