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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Save Money Without Sacrificing You Food Quality

Save Money Without Sacrificing You Food Quality images
When you’re on a tight budget, the thought of preparing tasty, healthy meals on a regular basis can seem daunting. Not only is it easy to get sucked in by grocery merchandising tricks, but it’s also normal for most of us to fall into a mealtime rut, eating the same foods over and over. But you’re in control of your kitchen—and if you cook smart, you can enjoy the first-class meals you deserve.

You can save money and still have quality. If you’ve been using cost as an excuse to eat junk, you can kiss that excuse goodbye! With a little organization and creativity, you can have the proverbial champagne when cooking on a beer budget. To start, here’s a quick review of basic tips of healthy eating:

  • Limit your intake of junk food and alcohol
  • Drink lots of water (at least 8 cups a day)
  • Limit salty and sugary foods
  • Avoid eating many foods that are high in saturated fats
  • Make “variety” the watchword of your eating

Next, set aside regular blocks of time for planning meals, making your grocery list, and shopping—tasks that are most often shortchanged in food prep. Include healthy snack ideas, as well as main menu items. Think about the time of day, day of week, and even week in the month that you shop. Generally, the grocery is the least busy early in the morning, in the middle of the week, and on any day but the first day or two of the month (when many people receive pension or paychecks).

Don’t be afraid to surf the internet for recipes that use specific ingredients (plug the ingredient in as a keyword of your search), since you can often get good buys on breads, meats, and other items marked for quick sale before they go bad.

Stock your fridge and cupboards with items that are quick and easy to cook (yet kind to your wallet):

  • Beans and lentils, whether canned or dried, make nutritious, hearty soups, and can be a main course with the addition of fresh vegetables or rice.
  • Brown Rice is a great addition to leftover meat and veggies. Although brown rice is slightly more expensive than white, the nutritional payoff is well worth it. Another inexpensive, easy-to-fix grain, millet, is best when bought fresh. Simply rinse and toast before using it in recipes.
  • Pasta, likewise, is quick and easy to prepare, and can be paired with veggies, meat, or a fresh salad. Have fun adding your own embellishments (mushrooms, spices, and herbs.) Choose whole-wheat pasta whenever available.
  • Soups can’t be beat for nutrition and convenience, especially since you can use canned or packet soups as your base, then add your own veggies and leftover meat. Again, try to experiment, adding your own herbs and spices.
  • Fresh vegetables and fruit should be bought at least once or twice each week, preferably in season, to ensure optimal taste and nutrition. You can also rely on canned/frozen varieties as handy additions to last-minute meals. Veggies make great stir-fries and vegetable patties, while fruit is good for a quick nutritious snack.
  • Meat and fish can be kept on hand also for last-minute meals— try the newer tuna and salmon pouches, and shop for inexpensive cuts of meat that work well in stews and casseroles.
  • Condiments add flavor and interest to your dishes. Keep a selection of dried herbs, spices, curry powder, marinades, vinegars, tomato and soy sauces, along with stock cubes, in your cupboard. Experiment with the new, such as Japanese miso, an aged salty condiment made from soybeans and various other ingredients (found in the natural foods section, usually refrigerated).

Finally, a few more hints that can help you save a little green:

  • When cooking a big meal, make extra to freeze, or use later in the week for lunches or quick suppers. Double recipes, then freeze half.
  • Save your vegetable trimmings to make your own vegetable stock. Not only do you save money, but vegetable stock also makes a nutritious base for casseroles, soups, and Crockpot cooking.
  • Buying in bulk is almost always cheaper; you can freeze perishable items (such as meat, milk, and even bread) in smaller portions to use as needed. It’s always a good idea to buy non-perishable items in bulk (canned foods, dried beans and grains, etc.).
  • Use less expensive cuts of meat for casseroles that you slow cook; add extra vegetables and beans to make the meal go further.
  • Capitalize on one-pot dishes, which generally save prep time, money, and dishwashing, and often make great leftovers.
  • Look high and low (literally) to find the less expensive generic or store brands on grocery shelves, often very similar to higher-priced brand names though packaged under different labels. Stores deliberately place the highest-priced brand-name items at eye level, but if you compare the cost per unit, you’ll be able to figure out the most cost-effective purchase. You can even try your own taste tests— blind, of course— to see where you can save money without sacrificing flavor.
  • Take advantage of specials on staples—broth, soups, pasta, rice, canned veggies, even bread and meat. Many of these items have a long shelf life or can be frozen for short periods of time.
  • Limit your dining out, especially when it comes to fast food, since you’ll find yourself spending unnecessarily on items that are high in fat, salt, and calories, which short-change you in the nutrition department.

There’s no magic formula to cooking on a budget. Like anything else worthwhile in life, it takes a little planning, creativity, and work. But if you think of the rewards—better health and more money—you’ll find it’s worth the effort. No doubt you’ll still have days when you fall back on that quick-fix packaged food or the local burger drive-thru. But if you look at cooking as an adventure, you’ll also have days when you find yourself pleased at what you’ve accomplished—as you serve dinner to rave reviews from family and friends!

low calorie meals

low calorie meals Restricted recipes

low calorie meals recipes images

low calorie meals Breakfast (190 calories)

Oatmeal made with 1.4 ounces steel-cut oats (160 calories) and water

Scant (slightly less than 1/2 cup)  fresh blueberries (30 calories)

low calorie meals Dinner (306 calories)

Chicken Stir-Fry (281 calories)

Cut a 5-ounce chicken breast fillet (148 calories) into strips. Stir-fry in a nonstick skillet in 1 teaspoon olive oil (27 calories) with 1 teaspoon finely chopped ginger (2 calories), 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (3 calories), 1 clove garlic, crushed (3 calories), 2 teaspoons soy sauce (3 calories), and the juice of 1/2 lemon (1 calorie), until the chicken is lightly browned. Add water if it sticks.

Add 1/2 cup trimmed snow peas (12 calories), 1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage (26 calories), and two large carrots, peeled and cut into thin strips (56 calories). Stir-fry for 5 to 10 minutes more, until the chicken is cooked through. Add water if necessary.

1 tangerine (25 calories)

Daily Total: 496

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low calorie meals Breakfast (178 calories)

4 ounces smoked salmon (132 calories)

1 plain Ryvita cracker (35 calories)

low calorie meals recipes images 1 - plain ryvita crackers

1 ½ teaspoons low-fat whipped cream cheese (11 calories)

low calorie meals Dinner (322 calories)

Thai Salad (322 calories)

Soak 1.8 ounces rice vermicelli noodles (194 calories) in water, according to package instructions. Combine 2 tablespoons Thai fish sauce (20 calories), the juice of 1 lime (1 calorie), 1 teaspoon sugar (16 calories), 2 scallions (white and green parts), trimmed and thinly sliced (5 calories), and 1 very small red chile, finely chopped (1 calorie) in a bowl. Mix well. Add 10 very small cooked and peeled shrimp (30 calories) and 2 large carrots, peeled and grated (55 calories). Drain the noodles and add. Toss well.

Daily Total: 500 calories

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low calorie meals Breakfast (223 calories)

1 small apple, sliced (47 calories)

1 small mango, peeled and pitted (86 calories)

1 small boiled egg (90 calories)

low calorie meals Dinner (267 calories)

Tuna, Bean, and Garlic Salad (267 calories)

Combine 1 1/2 cups canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (108 calories), one 5-ounce can solid white tuna in spring water, drained (119 calories), 2 ounces grape tomatoes (16 calories), and 1 loosely packed cup baby spinach (8 calories) in a salad bowl. In a small bowl, combine 1 clove garlic, crushed (3 calories), the juice and grated zest of lemon (1 calorie), ½ teaspoon olive oil (12 calories), and a splash of white wine vinegar. Drizzle over the salad and toss to mix well.

Daily Total: 490 calories

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low calorie meals Breakfast (140 calories)

1 small boiled egg (90 calories)

3 ultra-thin slices 97 percent fat-free ham (25 calories)

1 tangerine (25 calories)

low calorie meals Dinner (358 calories)

Vegetable Pizza (358 calories)

Preheat the oven or a toaster oven to 400°F. Top one 8-inch whole-wheat tortilla (144 calories) with 1 tablespoon tomato puree (5 calories) and 2 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, diced (159 calories). Scatter with about 6 ounces chopped lightly steamed vegetables (50 calories); mushrooms, red pepper, zucchini, red onion, eggplant, spinach are all OK. Sprinkle with Italian herb seasoning. Bake for 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese has melted.

Daily Total: 498 calories

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low calorie meals Breakfast (331 calories)

2 small soft-boiled eggs (180 calories)

5 lightly steamed asparagus spears (33 calories), to dip

1 slice whole-grain toast (78 calories)

2 small plums (40 calories)

low calorie meals Dinner recipes  (260 calories)

Thai Steak Salad (260 calories)

low calorie meals recipes images 2 - Thai Steak Salad

Grill a 5-ounce sirloin steak (188 calories) until cooked to your preferred doneness. Set aside to cool to room temperature. Slice the steak very thin across the grain. In a bowl, combine 2 cups shredded romaine lettuce (16 calories) and 1 cup shredded savoy cabbage (24 calories). In a separate bowl, combine the juice of 1 lime (2 calories), 1 teaspoon sugar (16 calories), 1 clove garlic, crushed (3 calories), 1 very small red chile, seeded and finely chopped (1 calorie), and 1 tablespoon Thai fish sauce (10 calories). Pour over the salad and toss to combine.

Place the salad on a plate and arrange the steak slices on top.