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Low Fat Recipes
Keep boullion and some flavorfull dried soup bases on hand for a quick soup base.
Keep fresh fruit in the refrigerator at all times for those sweet attacks. The fresh fruit will satisfy as well.
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Week of October 2, 2005

Delicious Winter Squash
We all know about zucchini and yellow summer squash, but many of us are bewildered by the many and varied bright green, orange and yellow varieties of winter squash. The fact is, they were once a very important part of the Native American diet in North America.

Once you get past the tough exterior to the mellow, sweet heart of a winter squash, you will be glad you tried them. When cooked, the orange or yellow flesh becomes soft and tastes wonderful in both savory and sweet dishes.

Always select squash that's heavy for its size and has a dull rind which tell you that the fruit is ripe and flavorful. Store winter squash in a cool, dry place. Acorn squash is probably the best squash to just bake and eat. Its flesh is golden yellow, dry, and sweet, with a definable but pleasant texture.

Butternut squash is very versatile and easy to handle. Its orange flesh is thick, dry, fine-grained, and sweet. Because of its density and ease of preparation, butternut is the squash to use when you want to dice or slice or present squash in any form other than a purée or a roasted chunk.

Roasted Winter Squash
Serves 4

1/4 cup liquid honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 acorn squash (2 ¼ - ½ pounds total)*

Whisk first 5 ingredients together in a large bowl. Halve each squash crosswise, and scoop out seeds. Cut into 1 inch thick rings & toss in honey mixture until well coated. You can cover and refrigerate for up to 6 hours at this point if you are preparing ahead of time.

Arrange squash rings on a greased, foil lined, rimmed baking sheet and drizzle with honey mixture. Bake in preheated 400 degrees F oven, turning once and basting with liquid, until tender and golden, about 30 to 40 minutes.

*Or you may use 1 butternut squash, peeled (leave the peel on acorn and peel butternut - peel can be removed after cooking on acorn squash)


Per Serving: 148 Calories; trace Fat (1.1% calories from fat); trace Saturated Fat; 2g Protein; 39g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 440mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain (Starch); 0 Vegetable; 0 Fat; 1 Other Carbohydrates.

Week of October 9, 2005

Wrap It Up or Stuff It - Low Fat Flatbreads!

If you are looking for great low fat lunch-box ideas or a quick lunch at home - experiment with wraps, flatbread enclosed parcels stuffed with any filling imaginable. Wraps are the perfect meal for someone on the go or an excellent way to use up leftovers meats, poultry and salads.

Wraps can be found among many ethnic cuisines; filled crepes - France, tacos - Mexico, gyros - Greece, spring rolls - Vietnam, sushi rolls - Japan, moo shu - China, falafel sandwich - Middle East. The filling does not necessarily have to come from the same ethnic origins as the wrapper. Try your own combination of ethnic fusion in an every day sandwich. Cross those culinary borders to combine your favorite low fat flavors. (The combinations are endless.)

Probably the most widely available flatbread are tortillas (usually flour). As the popularity of wraps has increased, tortilla manufacturers have even started making more than just flour and corn - you can now find different flavors, different colors, herb, pesto, whole wheat, jalapeno, lemon, spinach, tomato as well as low fat and low carb. But don't stop with tortillas; try soft low fat Greek pita breads, Indian Chapati (Roti), Italian piadine, Indian naan, Asian spring roll wrappers, Chinese moo shu wrappers, French crepes, cornmeal crepes and soft Armenian lavash (lavosh). And don't worry if you can not wrap it - just fold it over.

Week of October 16, 2005

Fiber Rich Beans in Your Diet
Tasty little beans are good for you and they are easy on your pocketbook too. In fact, beans are one of the most inexpensive sources of protein that you can find. Beans cost one third to one half the price of hamburger meat. Beans are available frozen, canned or dry for ease of preparation and storage.
Beans have lot of vitamins and minerals such as B vitamins including folic acid and iron. They are also low in fat and calories and contain fiber to help with digestion. Beans are so nutritious and so rich in protein that they are included in both the vegetable and the protein groups in the USDA's new Food Guide Pyramid.

Black Bean Tostadas
Servings: 4

1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained, mashed
2 teaspoons chili powder
Cooking oil spray
4 - 8 inch corn tortillas
1 cup washed torn romaine lettuce leaves
1 cup chopped seeded tomato
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
2 jalapeño peppers,* seeded and finely chopped

Combine beans and chili powder in small saucepan. Cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally.

Spray large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Heat over medium heat until hot. Sprinkle tortillas with water; place in skillet, one at a time. Cook 20 to 30 seconds or until hot and pliable, turning once during cooking.

Spread bean mixture evenly over tortillas; layer with lettuce, tomato, onion, yogurt and peppers. Garnish with cilantro, sliced tomatoes and peppers, if desired. Serve immediately.

COOKS NOTE: *Jalapeño peppers can sting and irritate the skin. Wear rubber gloves when handling peppers and do not touch eyes. Wash hands after handling.

Per Serving (Per Tostada): 151 Calories; 2g Fat (9.4% calories from fat); trace Saturated Fat; 8g Protein; 28g Carbohydrate; 7g Dietary Fiber; 1mg Cholesterol; 280mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 1/2 Grain (Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 0 Non-Fat Milk; 0 Fat.

Week of October 23, 2005

With the possible exception of bread baking, nothing fills the house with a more welcoming aroma better than a savory stew gently simmering on the stove. As the outside temperature plummets and blistering north wind blows, these one-pot meals warm us to the core as no other food can.

These terrific one dish meals usually cost less money and are also wonderful for families that have varied schedules - just keep the stew warm for stragglers who get home late from school activities or the office. The following quick and easy chicken stew can be spiced up or down for your particular preferences.

Spicy Chicken and Hominy Stew
Serves: 2

1 teaspoon olive oil
2 large skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut into ½ inch strips
1 - 14 ½ ounce can diced Mexican-style tomatoes
1 cup drained canned golden hominy
1 1/4 teaspoons chili powder
Dash of cumin powder or to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Heat olive oil in heavy large nonstick deep skillet over medium-low heat. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to skillet and sauté until no longer pink and juices run clear, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, hominy, chili powder and cumin and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until chicken is cooked through and sauce is slightly thickened (this is due to the hominy) and reduced, about 8 minutes. Season stew to taste with salt and pepper and serve. Garnish with cilantro.

Per Serving: 268 Calories; 5g Fat (16.9% calories from fat); 30g Protein; 1g Saturated Fat; 26g Carbohydrate; 3g Dietary Fiber; 68mg Cholesterol; 713mg Sodium. Exchanges: 1 Grain (Starch); 4 Lean Meat; 2 1/2 Vegetable; 1/2 Fat.

Week of October 30, 2005

— From the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter, August 2005

How come some people successfully lose weight and keep it off, while so many others fail? That's what the National Weight Control Registry has been looking into for over a decade. Begun in 1994, the registry has amassed information on nearly 5,000 people who have maintained at least a 30-pound weight loss for five or more years. Periodically, they are interviewed to see what makes them able to stick to their goals. According to Dr. James Hill, the registry's co-founder, these successful maintainers share several key strategies:

They eat a high-carb, low-fat diet. The low-carb craze hasn't influenced these successful maintainers. On average, they get most of their calories (55 to 60%) from carbohydrates and 24% of their calories from fat; the rest is from protein. They emphasize "good" carbs--fruits, vegetables, and other high-fiber foods--not high-sugar carbohydrates.

They are conscious of calories. Successful maintainers know that total calories count, no matter what diet they follow. Whether the calories come from carbs, fat, or protein, a calorie is a calorie.

They eat breakfast. Eight out of 10 successful maintainers eat breakfast every day. This may help people better manage calories during the day, says Dr. Hill. They also eat often--an average of five smaller meals and snacks a day.

They self-monitor. Successful maintainers weigh themselves at least once a week; some more frequently. Many occasionally still keep food diaries.

They engage in lots of physical activity - 60 to 90 minutes a day. In line with the new government guidelines, successful maintainers carve out time every day for planned exercise, but they also look for ways to get more activity during the rest of the day. Walking is their No.1 activity.

  • Most people who become successful maintainers have failed several times before. Hardly anyone "gets it right" the first time around. It may take a few rounds before you succeed--so don't give up.
  • Successful maintainers live in the real world. While they tend to eat most meals at home, they do eat out nearly three times a week, on average, and even visit fast-food restaurants about once a week.
  • No surprise: 90% of participants report that life is better after weight loss. They report better energy, mood, and confidence.
  • It gets easier. If you can keep the weight off for two years, chances are you'll keep it off long-term. According to participants, you still have to work at it, but you gain more confidence in your ability, which goes a long way towards success.

Before you begin any exercise or diet program, you should have permission from your doctor.
Contents in this web site are in no way intended as a substitute for medical counsel .

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