A common thought regarding produce is that fresh is best. In many ways it is, but using canned vegetables does not necessarily mean you are sacrificing nutrients.
Studies show that like frozen produce, canned produce (when free of added salt and sugar) has a nutrient value that is often as good as (or better) than fresh produce.
Freshly picked vegetables do start out having the most vitamins and minerals, but degradation occurs during shipment and storage. Majority of produce in supermarkets sits on shelves or in storage for many days before it’s sold.
Canned produce can also lose some of its nutrients as well. Nutrients lost in particular are the water-soluble nutrients like vitamins B and C. But overall, the nutrients stay relatively stable in canned produce because they are protected from the deteriorating effects of oxygen.
Overall, both options are equally healthy but you need to keep in mind that fresh vegetables lose nutrients more rapidly. If buying canned, look for no salt added and no sugar added. Your best bet is to buy fresh from a produce stand, buy local, or grow your own garden!
Jazz up some pork tenderloin by slicing it and pan-frying it with bell peppers. Don’t be scared of the anchovies – they melt into the sauce and give a well-rounded, earthy flavor (not fishy!). Delicious when served with mashed potatoes.
1 lb pork tenderloin, trimmed and cut crosswise into 1-inch thick medallions
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary, divided
4 canned anchovy fillets, drained and mashed (you can swap these out for 3 Tbsp minced olives to give a similar salty taste)
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 yellow bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
Salmon is a great fish for the grill – its meatier texture can withstand the grilling while other more delicate fish may not. Serve with this fresh citrus salsa verde for a delicious, light meal.
2 large oranges
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 scallions, finely sliced
3 Tbsp chopped fresh mint leaves
2 Tbsp capers, rinsed, drained & coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp orange zest
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
canola oil, for oiling the grill
4 (4-5 oz) center cut salmon fillets, skinned
2 Tbsp amber agave nectar
salt and black pepper, to taste
A unique twist on a traditional corn on the cob side dish. This dish is similar to street fare found in Mexico. If you can’t find crema Mexicana, swap it out with low-fat sour cream.
1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
6 ears corn
1/4 cup crema Mexicana
6 lime wedges
1. Prepare grill.
2. Combine first 3 ingredients.
3. Place corn on a grill rack coated with cooking spray and cook 12 minutes or until corn is lightly browned – turning frequently.
4. Place corn on a platter and drizzle with crema. Sprinkle with chipotle mixture and garnish with lime wedges.
Yield: 6 servings (160 calories, 5.2 g total fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 5 g protein, 28.2 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber, 8 mg cholesterol)
Cooking Light, August 2003
It’s easy to dine healthy at a summer picnic or barbecue with these simple tips!
Healthier Picnic Options
- Non perishable items: pretzels, salsa, whole wheat buns, baked chips, nuts
- Perishable side dishes: marinated vegetable salad, bean salad, hummus & raw veggies, fresh fruit, potato salad/pasta salad/ coleslaw made with ½ plain nonfat Greek yogurt and ½ light mayonnaise
- Drinks: water, sparkling water, fruit juice, iced tea, water or tea with fruit (make ahead of time to really extract the fruit flavors into the drink!)
- Dessert: grilled fruit, fruit & low-fat dip, dark chocolate s’mores
- Entrées: skinless chicken breast, veggie burgers, grilled portabellas, fish & seafood, veggie kabobs, lean beef (trim off visible fat), ground turkey burgers
- Plan just the right amount of food to take so you don’t have to worry about leftovers.
- Remember to wash your hands – bring along disposable gloves and hand sanitizer if running water & soap is not available.
- Carry your cooler inside the air-conditioned car, not the trunk.
- Use a separate cooler for drinks so the one containing perishable food won’t be constantly opened and closed.
- When taking food off the grill, use a fresh plate – not the one used to hold raw meat
Turn a picnic into a “fit-nic”
- Start up a game of badminton, volleyball, corn hole, croquet, horseshoes, Frisbee, softball, football, soccer, or just walk around!
** To reduce your cancer risk, the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends not burning or charring grilled meat, fish, or poultry.
Memorial Day weekend is the perfect time for a barbecue. Try this unique twist on a traditional burger! Use ground turkey breast for a leaner, healthier patty and amp it up with traditional southwest flavors. Serve with some sweet potato fries or grilled veggies for a complete and delicious meal!
3/4 cup finely chopped sweet onion
1/3 cup wheat germ (optional.. adds a bit of nuttiness)
1 1/2 tsp ancho chile powder
3/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1 1/2 lbs ground turkey breast
4 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese, thinly sliced
6 slices sweet onion
6 Kaiser rolls, split
6 Tbsp chipotle-poblano ketchup (recipe below)
An easy (but impressive!) mediterranean style meal. Serve with a fresh green salad for a complete meal. If you don’t like scallops, swap them out for jumbo shrimp.
1/2 cup prechopped onion
1 cup uncooked orzo (rice-shaped pasta)
1 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds sea scallops
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper