Healthy Barbecue Grilled

Healthy Barbecue Grilled images
Healthy Barbecue Grilled images

For many Americans, summer just wouldn’t be the same without a backyard barbecue. However, the blackened meats and smoky flavor that come with grilling could put your health at risk, experts caution.

The good news, though, is that by planning ahead and making some smart choices, you can enjoy summer barbecues and reduce your exposure to cancer-causing chemicals.

High-heat grilling can convert proteins found in red meat, pork, poultry and fish into heterocyclic amines (HCAs). These chemicals have been linked to breast, stomach, prostate and colon cancer.

“What happens is that the high temperature can change the shape of the protein structure in the meat so it becomes irritating in the body and is considered a carcinogenic chemical,” Stacy Kennedy, a nutritionist at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, said in an institute news release.

Another cancer-causing agent, called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), is found in the smoke from the barbeque. PAHs form when fat and juices from meat cooking on the grill drip down onto the heat source.

“That’s where the main cancer-causing compound occurs in grilling,” Kennedy said. “So you want to reduce the exposure to that smoke.”

For those who plan to fire up the grill this summer, Kennedy offered the following tips to reduce exposure to cancer-causing agents:

  • Choose meats wisely. Avoid grilling high-fat meats, like ribs and sausages. Instead, choose lean meats, which create less dripping and less smoke. Always trim excess fat and remove skin. It’s also a good idea to choose smaller cuts of meat, such as kabobs, which require less cooking time.
  • Try thin marinades. Thicker marinades tend to char, which could increase exposure to cancer-causing agents. Choose marinades made with vinegar or lemon, which will form a protective layer on the meat.
  • Reduce grilling time. Always thaw meat before cooking. Meat and fish also should be partially cooked in the microwave before grilling. This will reduce cooking time and the risk for smoke flare-ups.
  • Flip often. Flipping burgers once every minute will help prevent burning or charring.
  • Consider food placement. Be sure to place food at least six inches away from a heat source.
  • Create a barrier. Do not allow juices to spill and produce harmful smoke. Line the grill with aluminum foil or cook on cedar planks.
  • Consider veggies. Try grilling your favorite vegetables since they do not contain the protein that forms harmful HCAs. “People are surprised, but you can safely eat charred vegetables,” Kennedy said. “They have different proteins that are not affected the same way as the meat protein.

Despite the risks, Kennedy said, barbecue enthusiasts should keep things in perspective. “If you’re grilling and following the proper safety tips, the risk of getting cancer from grilling food is very low,” she said. “Being overweight or obese, which are at epidemic levels in the U.S., are far greater risk factors for developing cancer than the consumption of grilled foods.”

 
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Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day

Here are well-balanced options you can eat for days, weeks or even months at a time and feel assured that you’re getting the nutrients you need. Mix and match them for breakfast, lunch, or dinner for variation.

Soy Burger and Baked Fries

Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day - Soy Burger and Baked Fries images
Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day – Soy Burger and Baked Fries images

A burger with fries is a go-to favorite meal for many people, so turn it into a healthy choice by swapping out a fatty burger for a soy burger, and roasted or potato fries. Start with a 100-calorie whole grain roll, add your soy burger, and top with lettuce, tomato, low-fat cheese slice, pickles, and a bit of mustard and ketchup. A small baked or sweet potato (the size of your fist) baked whole or cut into six long chunks (Roasted at 400 for 30 minutes, first tossed with one teaspoon of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper) is a fiber-rich starch. Complete your meal with one cup of sliced melon, or fresh fruit of your choice. That’s a 450-calorie meal with heart healthy fat, high-quality protein, and fiber-rich carbs.

Veggie Frittata

Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day - Veggie Frittata images
Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day – Veggie Frittata images

An egg is the most digestible protein in nature and an ideal choice to mix with cooked vegetables and low-fat cheese. Enjoy a vegetable frittata by beating two eggs (or egg substitute) and pouring into a non-stick pan then adding one cup of chopped veggies (fresh or frozen) and ¼ cup of shredded low-fat cheese. Cook until eggs are firm, then fold over one edge if you want it omelette-style. Include a fresh green or fruit salad and you’ve got a low-calorie healthy meal you can eat anytime of the day.

Rotisserie Chicken and Vegetables

Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day - Rotisserie Chicken and Vegetables images
Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day – Rotisserie Chicken and Vegetables images

Roasted chicken can be a calorie-watcher’s best friend. Whether grilled at home, or cut from a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, a skinless chicken breast or leg/thigh combination is a perfect source of lean protein. Just add two cups of a bagged salad and a half-cup of cooked instant brown rice to make it a meal. You can alternate one cup of fresh or cooked broccoli or other veggies instead of salad, and swap out your brown rice for half a cup of cooked couscous or a small baked potato (eat the skin for optimal nutrients). You’ve got a 450-calorie lunch or dinner loaded with protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Still hungry? Add a 100-calorie dessert of berries with low-fat topping or small low-fat yogurt or pudding.

The Best Frozen Meals

Seeking an easy way to control your portions and maintain variety? Try a frozen, low-calorie meal. Look for meals that are “lean”, “healthy”, “light” and “smart” and are high in protein and low in sodium. You can find many in the 300 to 350 calorie range. Add a bag of green beans, a fresh fruit, or frozen berries (eaten frozen or thawed) to boost your nutrient intake, and the complete meal should come in under 450 calories.

Low-Fat Deli Sandwich

When you’re on the go and want a deli lunch, look for low-fat options like Subway’s 6-inch sandwiches with 6 grams of fat or less (on whole- grain bread). Skip the cheese, and load up on fresh veggie toppings like lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, onions, and cucumbers. Use mustard instead of mayonnaise. Add a small bag of baked chips or piece of fruit along with a bottled water or low-calorie soda, and you have a satisfying meal for 450 calories or less. Or try the chain’s kid’s combo, which includes a 4-inch sandwich and a choice of mini-yogurt and fruit, for fewer than 400 calories.

Colorful Veggie Salad with Tuna

Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day - Colorful Veggie Salad with Tuna images
Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day – Colorful Veggie Salad with Tuna images

You can make this healthy salad yourself, or select it at a serve-yourself salad bar. Start with three cups of dark green mixed greens and add about 4 ounces of water-packed canned tuna. Top with colorful veggies of your choice like tomatoes, carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, or peppers. Mix up different veggie combos to keep it interesting. Put your dressing on the side and use the “dip and scoop” method of dipping your fork in the dressing first then scooping up salad, or use a calorie-free balsamic vinegar blended with a teaspoon of olive oil. Add a 100-calorie pack of whole wheat crackers and a fresh fruit, and you’ve got yourself a 450-calorie nutrient-dense meal that will keep you satisfied for hours.

Egg and Cheese Sandwich

Who doesn’t love an egg sandwich? Make your own healthy version by starting with a 100-calorie whole-grain English muffin, bagel, or slice of bread. Add one cooked scrambled egg plus 2 egg whites (either use the stove or cook a beaten egg and 2 egg whites in the microwave in a glass cup for 1 minute). Top with a thin slice of 2% low-fat cheddar cheese. The whole grains and protein combo is filling and nutritious, and just 275 calories.

Greek Yogurt with Fruit

Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day - Greek Yogurt with Fruit images
Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day – Greek Yogurt with Fruit images

A container of plain, low- or non-fat Greek yogurt is a quick and easy breakfast on-the-go. Mix in some sliced fresh fruit, or frozen berries, or take along a whole fruit to add on the side. If you’re drinking coffee or tea, add 1% or skim milk, and if you use a sweetener, stick to one teaspoon of a natural sweetener (honey, brown sugar, cane sugar, etc.), which adds only 15 calories to your coffee. This protein-dense breakfast is about 200 calories.

Waffles with Peanut Butter and Strawberries

Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day - Waffles with Peanut Butter and Strawberries images
Healthy Meals That You Could Eat Every Day – Waffles with Peanut Butter and Strawberries images

If you want to lose weight, fiber-rich carbohydrates are the best way to start the day. Spread one tablespoon of peanut butter on a high-fiber waffle and top it off with three sliced strawberries or a handful of blueberries. Add a small skim milk latte and you have a “grown-up” version of PB and J and milk for just 290 calories.

7 Great Ways to Cook Fresh Vegetables

7 Great Ways to Cook Fresh Vegetables images
7 Great Ways to Cook Fresh Vegetables images

How to Cook Fresh Vegetables

Are you a creature of habit in the kitchen and at the grocery store? Do you reach for the same carrots and celery for snacks, bagged greens for salads, and frozen veggies for dinnertime sides? It’s time to break out of your food rut. Learn a few basic cooking techniques, then head to the produce aisle and pick out something new. With very little time and effort, you can create crave-worthy veggie side dishes every night of the week.
 
Note: The smaller you cut your vegetables, the faster they will cook. Aim for bite-size pieces unless noted below. No matter how large or small your pieces are, be sure they are the same size to avoid uneven cooking.
 
For each cooking technique, you’ll need four cups prepared vegetables to yield four servings. If you’re cooking for fewer people, you can adjust the amounts or save extras for future meals.
 
Stir-fry

How to: Add 2 teaspoons olive oil to a skillet set over medium-high heat.
When the pan is hot, add the chopped veggies.
Cook, stirring often, until the veggies are tender yet crisp.
For flavor add one of the following:
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt-free seasoning blend
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic or ginger
  • low-sodium soy sauce or
  • miso paste
Good for: bell peppers, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, snow peas, celery, green beans, cabbage and carrots
Tip: Add “harder” vegetables such as broccoli and green beans first, then softer veggies like onions and peppers.

 
Roast

How to: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Cut your vegetables into uniform pieces.
Spread the vegetables in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Drizzle on 2 teaspoons oil, sprinkle with pinch of salt and pepper, and 1 tablespoon dried herbs.
Roast, stirring halfway through the cooking process:
  • 10-20 minutes for quick-cooking veggies
  • 20-30 minutes for long-cooking veggies
Good for: 
Quick-cooking vegetables:  mushrooms, bell peppers, zucchini, summer squash, broccoli
Long-cooking vegetables:  sweet potatoes, white potatoes, carrots, turnips, butternut squash, and parsnips, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts

 
Veggie Casserole

How to: 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Coat a baking dish with a tight-fitting lid with cooking spray.
Add your vegetables, chopped into uniform pieces.
Add flavor with:
  • 2 teaspoons purchased pesto or
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil, oregano, parsley, thyme or rosemary
Cover and bake at 325 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Good for: carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, green beans, onions, celery, cabbage
 

Faux Fry

How to: 
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and lightly oil a baking sheet.

Slice your vegetables into long, thin strips and pat them dry with paper towels.
Assemble a dipping station. You’ll need two shallow with flat dishes, such as pie pans.

  • To the first, add 2 beaten egg whites
  • To the other, add 1 cup fine breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon dried parsley and 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
Spritz the vegetables with cooking spray, dip in the egg whites, then the bread crumb mixture.
Place vegetables in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, flipping the vegetables once, until the crust is golden brown.
Serve with a dipping sauce such as salsa, hummus, pesto or tomato sauce.
Good for: green beans (no need to slice), eggplant, squash, onions, mushrooms or asparagus

 
Steam (Microwave or Stove)

How to: 
Slice the vegetables.
For the microwave: Place veggies in a microwave-safe dish with a tight-fitting lid. Add 1/4 cup water, cover and cook on high for 3-5 minutes.
For stove top steaming: Place veggies in a saucepan with a tight fitting lid, using a steamer basket if you have one. Add 1/4 cup water and cover. Cook on medium-high for 5-7 minutes, until the vegetables are crisp and bright yet slightly tender.
To add flavor, add 1 bay leaf or 2 lemon slices to the cooking water.
Good for: green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, snow pea pods, zucchini and summer squash

 
Grill

How to: 
Preheat an indoor or outdoor grill to medium.
Slice vegetables into 1/2 inch thick slices or strips.
Brush with reduced-fat Italian salad dressing or balsamic vinegar.
Grill for 5 minutes until the vegetables are crisp yet tender.
Good for: asparagus, eggplant, spring onions, bell peppers, zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, mushrooms
Note: Use a grill basket or skewers for small vegetables on an outdoor grill to prevent them from falling through the grates.

 
Parchment or Foil Packets

How to: 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place your chopped veggies on a sheet of aluminum foil or parchment.
Add flavor by:
  • Sprinkling with 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil, oregano or parsley
  • Layering 4 lemon slices on top veggies or
  • Adding 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
Fold and seal the foil or parchment around the veggies to form a packet. 
Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes until the vegetables are tender yet crisp.
Good for: sugar snap peas, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, celery and mushrooms

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken Recipes

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken Recipes images
Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken Recipes images

This is a delicious chicken recipe that my family loves

Minutes to Prepare: 5
Minutes to Cook: 15
Number of Servings: 4

Ingredients:

4 tsp brown sugar
12 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 clove garlic
2 Tbsp butter
Dash black pepper

Directions:

This makes four servings, 3 oz per person
1. Melt the butter in a frying pan
2. Brown the garlic in the butter
3. Add chicken breasts to garlic and butter and cook thoroughly, adding pepper as you like it.
4. When chicken is fully cooked add brown sugar on top of each breast
5. Allow the brown sugar to melt into the chicken (about 5 minutes)
6. Serve with your favorite carb, and veggie or salad. We usually have rice or noodles and carrots or green beans.

Nutritional Info:

Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 166.4
Total Fat: 8.0 g
Cholesterol: 68.2 mg
Sodium: 87.7 mg
Total Carbs: 4.3 g
Dietary Fiber: 0.0 g
Protein: 19.4 g

Calories per Ingredient:

Here are the foods from our food nutrition database that were used for the nutrition calculations of this recipe.

Calories per serving of Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

103 calories of Chicken Breast (cooked), no skin, (3 ounces)

51 calories of Butter, salted, (0.50 tbsp)

11 calories of Brown Sugar, (1 tsp unpacked)

1 calories of Garlic, (0.25 clove)

0 calories of Pepper, black, (0.25 dash)

5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day

There are so many delicious and nutritious foods to eat that it can be hard to know where to start. That’s why I put together my list of favorite foods. No matter what you choose, just remember to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins. If you find foods you love, you’ll be more inclined to eat them. Here, a few of my favorites: 

Cayenne Pepper

5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day - Cayenne Pepper images
5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day – Cayenne Pepper images

Spice up your meals this year by adding some heat! Capsaicin is the active component of hot peppers and has been shown to boost metabolic rate (and promote fat burning and weight loss) by revving up how quickly your body processes food. 

What to do with it? Add cayenne pepper to your chicken marinade for a tastier way to eat this lean protein. Or get a kick in the morning by adding it to your scrambled eggs. It’s also a great way to add more flavor to your homemade salad dressing.

Kale: 

5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day - Kale images
5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day – Kale images

If you are looking for a way to switch up your usual salad, try using leafy green kale. One cup of raw Kale can provide you with 206 percent of your daily vitamin A and 134 percent of your vitamin C needs.

What to do with it? Kale is delicious as a raw, crunchy salad. Just toss it with an olive oil and lemon dressing which softens the leafy greens and add pine nuts and dried fruit for extra flavor. Kale chips are also a great choice for a healthy snack. Try making them yourself with our easy kale chip recipe.

Chia:

5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day - Chia images
5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day – Chia images

That little seed you may have grown at home in your Chia Pet, is really, really good for you. Chia is a great source of omega-3 fatty acids and should be part of your diet. It has been shown to help control blood pressure, improve mood, and help promote heart health by lowering total cholesterol and lousy (LDL) cholesterol.

What to do with it? Add this wonder seed to your oatmeal, smoothies, baked products, and non-fat yogurt. You’ll thank me for it! Start by trying our Chia Seed Muffins.

Buy a bag now in our wellness store and start enjoying the many health benefits.

Walnuts:

5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day - Walnuts images
5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day – Walnuts images

Walnuts are rich in fiber, magnesium, and antioxidants such as vitamin E. A study published by Diabetes Care found that 2 ounces a day of walnuts could help improve blood flow and help lower blood pressure.

What to do with it? Walnuts are easy to incorporate into your diet. They’re perfect added to oatmeal, salad, or trail mix. You can also try one of our tasty recipes: Chicken, Walnut & Brown Rice Stir-Fry or Spinach Salad with Oranges and Walnuts.

Almond Butter:

5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day - Almond Butter images
5 Delicious Foods You Should Be Eating Every Day – Almond Butter images

Almond butter is full of healthy fats and protein. If you are buying a nut butter, however, make sure to look at the ingredients label. You want butters that are unsalted with no added sugar and preservatives.

What to do with it? Almond butter is a fantastic way to change up your standard PB&J sandwich. It’s also delicious with raw apple slices or atop 100 percent whole grain crackers.

Spaghetti with Roasted Eggplant “Bolognese”

Eggplant stands in for the ground beef in this substantial vegetarian main dish. Be sure to serve it with plenty of grated cheese on the side.

Spaghetti with Roasted Eggplant Bolognese images
Spaghetti with Roasted Eggplant Bolognese images

Ingredients:

1 medium eggplant
1 bay leaf1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary, oregano, or both
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces spaghetti
2 garlic cloves, minced
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
28 ounce can whole peeled tomatoes, pulsed a few times in a food processor or blender

directions:

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut eggplant into ½-inch dice, toss with salt in a large mixing bowl, and transfer to a colander. Place bowl underneath to drain, and nest a smaller bowl inside the colander pressing down on the eggplant cubes. Put something heavy inside the bowl to weight it (like a container of salt or can of tomatoes.) Let eggplant drain for 20 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring often, until tender but not brown, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, for 10 minutes, then uncover pan and simmer 5 minutes more. Stir in herbs, season with salt and pepper, and remove from heat; discard bay leaf.
  3. Remove eggplant cubes from colander and spread between two double layers of paper towels, pressing down to dry them. Transfer to a bowl and toss with remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil. Spread in an even layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet; roast for 10 minutes, then increase oven temperature to 475 degrees, gently stir, and continue baking until eggplant cubes are tender and lightly browned, about 10 minutes more.
  4. Stir roasted eggplant to the pot containing the tomato sauce and gently reheat while pasta cooks. Cook spaghetti according to package directions, drain well and toss with eggplant sauce. Top with grated cheese and serve immediately.

Pasta

Pasta – Foods That Are Healthier Than You Think

Pasta images
Pasta images

Pasta is often made out to be a dietary villain by those trying to avoid carbs and gluten, but it can actually be pretty healthy, says Rania Batayneh, a certified nutritionist and author of the upcoming book, The 1:1:1 Diet. Pasta is not only high in folic acid but also naturally low in fat (unlike unhealthy reduced-fat packaged foods). And pasta’s glycemic index, or GI, (a way of measuring short-term changes in blood sugar after a meal) is only 41. That number is similar to pears, lower than many types of bread and much lower than glucose, which ranks 100, Batayneh says.