Monday, June 30, 2008

Vegetarian for a Day

One of my go-to websites for recipes is SELF magazine is one of the publications the website provides recipes from (others include Bon Appetit and Gourmet). All of the recipes in SELF are supposedly health-conscious and provide the nutritional analysis; however, I had a more difficult time finding good, nutritious recipes than I thought I would (some of them looked gross and had poor ratings). There were lots of other recipes that looked yummy, but needed to be "modified" to make more healthful...I end up doing this when I cook all of the time (by switching from butter to oil and using less of it, adding more veggies, cutting back on high fat ingredients, using whole grain products when appropriate, etc).

All of the recipes this week are vegetarian (not vegan though). They all provide (or give a suggestion for) a non-meat form of protein, such as beans, nuts, cheese, eggs, or seafood. It's not a bad idea to have a vegetarian day/dinner/meal at least once a week. It can help keep your saturated fat and cholesterol intake in check (although not the case with the egg and cheese). It also encourages you to eat more beans...something I feel people avoid because they contain "dreaded" carbohydrates. Beans are full of fiber and contain a good source of lean protein. They are also an excellent source of folate, something all women in child-bearing years need to help prevent birth defects. And canned beans are so easy! Just rinse them and they are ready to go. Definitely not something to avoid!

Eating less meat/poultry is also good for the environment!

Anyway...For a treat, I also included a dessert recipe. Of course it is made with fruit, but it looks really good (and served with vanilla frozen yogurt, even better!)

Asian Spinach Salad with Orange and Avocado -
  • Per serving - 152 calories, 11 g fat (1.3 g saturated), 14 g carbohydrates, 6.2 g fiber, 2.5 g protein (exchanges: 2 fats, 2 vegetables)
  • Notes - Complete the meal with some lean protein...salmon, tuna, shrimp...your choice; buy fresh ginger and keep what you don’t use in the freezer; save small glass jars to use when making salad dressings...put all of the ingredients in the jar, put the lid on, and shake; you could substitute canned mandarin oranges in packed in juice or light syrup

Eggplant Cannelloni -

  • Per serving - 259 calories, 10.7 g fat (4.7 g saturated), 32 g carbohydrates, 10.8 g fiber, 10.5 g protein (exchanges: 2 fats, 1.5 protein, 4.5 vegetables)
  • Notes - Complete the meal with roasted asparagus and a side salad; jars of red peppers are usually by the pickles/olives/etc; notice the number of servings (4) will probably get to eat more than one roll!; you could substitute store bought tomato sauce instead of making the roasted red pepper sauce, but make sure you choose a brand that has little/no added sugar and only “expected” ingredients...see my previous post on pasta sauce for more info

Black-bean and Tomato Quinoa -

  • Per serving - 361 calories, 9.4 g fat (0.9 g saturated), 55 g carbohydrate, 10 g fiber, 14 g protein (exchanges: 2 fats, 1 protein, 1 vegetable, 3 starches); I modified this recipe from the original by replacing the 2 T butter and 1 T vegetable oil with only 2 T olive oil
  • Notes - Quinoa is a fast-cooking, protein-packed, whole grain...could it get any better??? you can find it in Whole Foods Market (by the bulk grains and bagged/boxed rice) other grocery stores look for it in the natural/health food should always rise the quinoa first to remove the natural bitter residue; complete the meal by doubling the dressing and using the other 1/2 over a side salad

Roasted Shrimp and Mushrooms with Ginger and Green Onions -

  • Per serving - 179 calories, 11.2 g fat (2 g saturated), 7 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 10 g protein (exchanges: 2 fats, 1.5 protein, 1 vegetable); I modified this recipe for the original by replacing the 1/4 cup canola oil with 4 teaspoons...this saves you 156 calories and 18 grams of fat per serving!
  • Notes - Complete the meal by roast asparagus alongside and serving with brown rice...toss the trimmed asparagus spears with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and place on a separate rimmed baking sheet; although I haven’t tried this, you may be able to use peeled shrimp with similar may need to reduce the cooking time to prevent the shrimp from becoming tough; the recipe calls for oyster mushrooms, but you could use any other variety you like

Veggie Cassoulet -

  • Per serving - 382 calories, 7.8 g fat (1 g saturated), 66 g carbohydrates, 15.5 g fiber, 19.6 g protein (exchanges: 1.5 fats, 2 protein, 3 vegetables, 2 starches)
  • Notes - A cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked bean stew or casserole originating in the southwest of France, containing meat...this vegetarian version is packed full of fiber

Spinach and Sun-dried Tomato Frittata -

  • Per serving - 289 calories, 13.4 g fat (5.2 g saturated), 27.7 g carbohydrates, 4.3 g fiber, 17.5 g protein (exchanges: 2.5 fats, 2 protein, 1 starch, 1 vegetable)
  • Notes - Breakfast for dinner is always have more time to spend preparing dishes that take too long in the morning; you can substitute any vegetables that you have in the fridge; if you don’t have small baking dishes you could use a pie plate or an oven-proof 6-inch skillet...the cooking time may be a little longer

Poached Rum Raisin Pears -

  • Per serving - 161 calories, 2 g fat (1 g saturated), 35 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 1 g protein (exchanges: 1 fat, 2 fruit)
  • Notes - It may be good to add a cinnamon stick (or some ground cinnamon) too; depending on how much alcohol actually cooks out will determine the number of calories and servings of fat...if all of the alcohol cooked out (which it doesn’t, but most will) there would be 143 calories and you would count 0.5 fats...i’ll assume at least two-thirds of it evaporates...that’s how I determined the “per serving” analysis

FYI...Buying juice is getting tricky these days...all sort of new "things" added to help with some health condition (omega-3's, antioxidants, etc.). Here is an article about new juice products and whether or not they are worth the extra money.

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