March Is National Nutrition Month

— Written By

March is almost here and since it is celebrated as National Nutrition Month, it’s a great time to focus your attention on the importance of making informed, healthy food choices for you and your family as well as to develop sound eating habits. Don’t forget the importance of daily physical activity as well. Balancing physical activity and a healthy diet is your best recipe for promoting overall health and fitness. In recognition of National Nutrition Month, here are some lightened up favorites to give a try for your nutrition celebration! Enjoy!

Healthy Vegetable Garden Salad

Ingredients

  • 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ⅓ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar or Splenda blend
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (1 pound) package frozen shelled edamame (green soybeans)
  • 3 cups frozen corn kernels
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained well

Directions

  1. In a large serving bowl whisk together the red wine vinegar, grape seed oil, cilantro, lime juice, sugar, salt and garlic. Set aside.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the soybeans and boil for 3 minutes. Add corn to the boiling water and continue to cook for 1 more minute. Drain very well and pour into the bowl with the dressing. Gently mix in the cherry tomatoes, green onions and black beans. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Serves 8. Each serving contains Calories 252, Fat 9.8g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 436mg, Carbohydrates 33.3g, Fiber 8.6g, Protein 13g.

Marinated Edamame Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked green beans, cut into bite-size pieces with ends trimmed
  • 2 cups cooked and shelled edamame
  • ¼ cup green onion, diced
  • ½ cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ½ cup cucumber, chopped
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce, washed
  • 1 cup carrots, chopped
  • 2 Tbsps. parsley, minced
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries

Dressing:

  • 2 Tbsps. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 2 Tbsps. water
  • 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp. each basil, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, black pepper, and grated lemon peel

Directions

  1. Whisk together the dressing ingredients; adjust seasonings to taste. Set aside.
  2. In a salad bowl, toss together all of the salad ingredients, except the lettuce.
  3. Whisk dressing again, pour over salad mixture and toss. Cover and refrigerate at least one hour.
  4. When ready to serve, arrange lettuce on salad plates and top with marinated bean mixture.

Serves 8. Each serving contains (includes dressing) Calories 174, Protein 7g, Fat 6g, Carbohydrates 25g, Cholesterol 0mg, Fiber 5g, Sodium 39mg.

Easy Garlic Rosemary Chicken

Ingredients

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup dried rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Cover the chicken breasts with garlic, sprinkle with rosemary, lemon juice, and pepper to taste. Place in a 9 x 12 inch baking dish and bake in the preheated over for 25 minutes or until done and juices run clear (baking time will depend on the thickness of your chicken breasts.)

Serves 4, each serving contains Calories 147, Fat 2g, Cholesterol 68mg, Sodium 79mg, Carbohydrates 3.7g, Fiber 1.5g, Protein 27.6g.

Roasted Garlic Lemon Broccoli

  • 2 heads broccoli, separated into florets
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In a large bowl, toss broccoli florets with the extra virgin olive oil, pepper and garlic. Spread the broccoli out in an even layer on a baking sheet.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until florets are tender enough to pierce the stems with a fork, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and transfer to a serving platter. Squeeze lemon juice liberally over the broccoli before serving for a refreshing, tangy finish.

Serves 6. Each serving contains  Calories 28, Fat 1.7g, Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 13.8mg, Carbohydrates 3g, Fiber 1.6g, Protein 1.6g.

Roasted Lemon Parmesan Cauliflower with Capers

Ingredients

  • 1 lemon
  • 1 large head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into bite-size florets
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons capers, rinsed

Directions

  1. Position rack in lower third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Coat a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. With a sharp knife, remove skin and white pith from lemon and discard. Working over a small bowl, cut the lemon segments from their surrounding membranes, letting the segments drop into the bowl. Drain the juice from the segments.
  3. Toss the lemon segments, cauliflower, oil, salt and pepper on the baking sheet and spread evenly. Roast until starting to soften and brown, stirring once halfway through, 25 to 30 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle Parmesan and capers over the cauliflower; stir to combine. Serve garnished with more Parmesan, if desired.

Serves 4. Each serving contains  Calories 164, Fat 10 g, Cholesterol 7mg, Carbohydrates 13 g, Protein 8 g, Fiber 5 g, Sodium 424 mg, Potassium 675 mg.

Quick Giardiniera

Ingredients

  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 small head cauliflower, trimmed and cut into bite-size florets
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Combine vinegar, water, sugar, bay leaf and ½ teaspoon each crushed red pepper and salt in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  2. Add cauliflower, celery, carrot and bell pepper. Reduce the heat to maintain a lively simmer and cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Reserve 3 tablespoons of the cooking liquid, then drain.
  3. Transfer the vegetables to a medium bowl. Stir in oil, pepper, the remaining ½ teaspoon each crushed red pepper and salt and the reserved cooking liquid. Refrigerate for at least 25 minutes to chill. Stir and serve with a slotted spoon.

Yields 5 cups. Each ½ cup serving contains Calories 61, Fat 4g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Carbohydrates 4g, Added Sugar 1 g, Protein 1 g, Fiber 1 g, Sodium 51 mg.

Filled with Favorites Salad

Ingredients

  • Hearts of Romaine or Spinach
  • Radicchio
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Peaches, diced
  • Strawberries
  • Pepperoncini
  • Onions, chopped
  • Bacon bits
  • Spicy French dressing

Directions

Break up Romaine or Spinach, Chop Radicchio and onion. Dice peaches and slice strawberries lengthwise. Chop pepperoncini. Mix all above ingredients. Top with bacon bits and French dressing. Vary amounts according to taste.