It’s after the holidays and we’ve all probably gained some weight… now it’s time to stick to our healthy resolutions! Changing eating habits can be hard and knowing what to cook is even harder. There are tons of recipes out there for “healthy” meals but knowing if they’re truly healthy can be difficult if you are just starting your healthy eating journey. Luckily, sites such as the American Heart Association have healthier recipes that are perfect for everyone!
With the cold weather, hearty soups and warm foods are a Minnesota favorite. Turkey Chili is a perfect dish that incorporates many food groups providing a balanced meal. Using low fat ground turkey provides plenty of protein without all the extra fat. Packing your chili with beans boosts the fiber content and adds some more protein. Peppers, onions, tomatoes and any other vegetable can provide a hefty serving of vegetables for the day. Top your chili with some low fat cheese and some low fat sour cream for a serving of dairy. Want a substitute for sour cream? Try using plain Greek yogurt!
Who doesn’t like spaghetti and meatballs? This is a popular dish that can be high in carbohydrates, sodium, and fat. Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Marinara and Turkey Meatballs is a great recipe to lower sodium, lower fat, and increase whole grains. Making marinara sauce from scratch allows you to control the salt and other spices as well as include many more vegetables. The sauce recipe we share here has carrots, zucchini, pepper stir fry and tomatoes, providing at least a serving of vegetables. Whole grain pasta increases fiber and turkey meatballs provide a lean protein.
Healthy Swapping Tips
Not ready to make the change from ground beef to ground turkey? Or white pasta to whole wheat? That’s ok! Start slowly and mix the two. Ground beef is still a good meat choice it simply has more fat than turkey and the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends limiting red meat consumption to 3 portions per week totaling about 12-18 ounces. By mixing beef and turkey you gradually adjust to a slight taste difference. Mixing the two pastas makes the taste difference subtle; gradually increase the whole wheat and decrease the white pasta.
About the author:
Hy-Vee Riverfront Dietetic Intern