Cooking healthy meals at home requires a little bit of thought and planning before it becomes a regular habit. Most recipes can be made healthier by substituting reduced-fat ingredients, whole grain products, and reducing the amount of sugar used. Over time, these substitutions and healthy habits become second nature. I have two healthy recipes for you, but I’d also like to share a couple of tips that have helped me with my diet/nutrition.
Serving size: 1 cup (325 calories)
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium zucchinis, cut into long julienne strips
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook 1-2 minutes. Increase heat to med-high and add zucchini, seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook for one minute. Stir everything around to give the zucchini a nice coating of the oil and cook another 1 to 1 ½ minutes, until the veggies are cooked yet firm. Serve with your favorite meat or marinara sauce.
Chicken Divan (lightened up!) – This is a great comfort meal for the winter!
Serving size: 1 cup (336 calories)
1 ½ lbs chopped broccoli
1 ½ lbs boneless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 Tbsp butter
2 tsp EVOO (olive oil)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 Tbsp shallots (or onions) minced
4 Tbsp flour
1 cup fat-free chicken broth
1 cup fat-free milk
2 oz white wine
6 oz shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese
¼ cup grated Parmesan
¼ cup seasoned whole wheat bread crumbs
Bring large pot of water to a boil, cook broccoli for 3 minutes, rinse with cold water, and drain. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9 X 13 pan with cooking spray.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Saute over med-low heat using a grill pan for about 5 minutes per side (until almost cooked thoroughly). Remove from heat and slice into bite-sized pieces when cool.
In a medium skillet, melt the butter and oil then add the garlic and shallots. Sprinkle the flour, whisking until smooth. Stir in the broth, milk and wine and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in half of the Swiss cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Arrange broccoli in casserole dish and pour half the sauce over it. Add the chicken next and pour the remaining sauce over. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, and remaining Swiss cheese on top. Bake 30 minutes until hot and bubbly.
By: Adele McMahon, BSN, RN, Group Exercise Instructor at Valley Health Wellness & Fitness Center
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