2013: It’s A (Healthy) Wrap

turkey-fajita croppedWrap up some healthy turkey and colorful veggies as you usher out the 2013 holiday season. Our Health-e-Recipe for Turkey Fajitas with Baby Spinach and Red Peppers tastes like it came from a restaurant — only it’s low in calories and fat.

The secret is in the seasoning. Our marinade combines chili powder, cinnamon, cumin, garlic powder, black pepper and finely ground coffee. Like the unsweetened chocolate in Mexican mole sauce, the coffee gives an earthy, roasted taste to the turkey filling.

Like other leafy greens, baby spinach contains lutein, a plant compound that may protect cells and ward off eye disease. It’s a healthier alternative to iceberg lettuce. The red bell  pepper contrasts in taste and color, adding vitamin C and natural sweetness. Red onion gives this dish a spicy flair along with more protective phytochemicals.

Whole-wheat tortillas warmed up first add cancer-fighting fiber to this dish. Whole grains are more filling than enriched white flour and are digested more slowly so that your blood sugar is maintained at a healthy level until your next meal.

Find more delicious, cancer-preventive recipes at the AICR Test Kitchen. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.

Make Healthier Desserts with Your Kids: 7 Tips

This holiday season teach your kids how to bake healthier desserts without compromising taste.

The CDC shows kids today consume an excessive amount of sugar, with teens ages bigstock-Family-Baking-401599014-18 trumping all other age groups with an intake of about 34 teaspoons a day. The roughly 550 calories those teens consume each day provide no nutritional benefit for cognitive and physical development, and potentially may be harmful. Young children are not trailing too far behind, either. Kids ages 4 to 5 consume on average about 17 teaspoons a day.

Get your kids in the kitchen! They won’t refuse to help out when preparing desserts. Use the time cooking together as an opportunity to teach basic math to little ones or organizational skills to older kids. Cooking also teaches kids about self-sufficiency, a life long skill with the potential to increase their health as adults.

Here’s 7 tips for making healthier desserts. Continue reading

Making the Healthy Choice the Tasty Choice

roasted head of garlic

Roasted head of garlic: one of our “chef secrets” for a flavorful AND healthy meal.

Whether you’re a professional chef or just a busy professional or parent, it can seem like a real challenge to come up with meals that are both palate-pleasing and healthy. How can you help “tasty” and “healthy” get along better in your kitchen?

Last week during our Twitter chat, a variety of culinary and nutrition pros shared their ideas. We talked about how to use less sugar in desserts, how to add creamy mouth-feel in healthier ways (besides smothering in butter!) and alternatives to salt for flavor.

Here are some “chef secrets” shared during our chat:

Make it creamy without all the (saturated) fat:

  • Puréed or blended veggie-based soups provide a comfortingly creamy texture, and low-cost canned beans add a satisfyingly creamy texture when puréed while also offering fiber, protein and nutrients.