Sloppy Jane Stir Fry
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Sloppy Jane Stir-Fry

Entire recipe: 339 calories, 6g total fat (2.5g sat fat), 31.5g carbs, 11g fiber, 16g sugars, 38.5g protein

FreestyleSmartPoints® value 5* 

MAKES 1 SERVING

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 25 minutes 

Ingredients:

3 cups bagged broccoli cole slaw

2/3 cup canned crushed tomatoes

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 tsp. brown sugar (not packed)

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp. red wine vinegar

5 oz. raw extra-lean ground beef (4% fat or less)

Dash chili powder

Dash paprika

Dash each salt and black pepper

Directions:

Bring a large skillet sprayed with nonstick spray to medium-high heat. Add broccoli slaw and 1/2 cup water. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, or until fully softened.

Uncover and, if needed, cook and stir until water has evaporated, 2 - 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine tomatoes, tomato paste, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, and vinegar. Mix thoroughly.

Transfer slaw to a medium bowl, and blot away excess moisture.

Remove skillet from heat, respray, and return to medium-high heat. Add meat and seasonings. Cook and crumble for 4 - 5 minutes, until fully cooked.

Add tomato mixture and slaw. Cook and stir until hot, about 2 minutes.

MAKES 1 SERVING

Alternative: This dish is delicious with ground turkey too! Go for lean (7% fat or less) or extra-lean (3% fat or less) to keep the stats in check.

 

Jim Bohs
Healthy Tips For Hydration
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6 Tips for Healthy Hydration

By: EatingWell Editors 

 

Drink up—staying hydrated isn’t just for athletes. Water makes up about 60 percent of our bodies, so drinking enough fluids keeps everything functioning more smoothly from head to toe. And when you skimp on fluids, you might feel tired, find it harder to find the energy to exercise, or even struggle to think clearly. Staying hydrated shouldn’t be hard—and these tips can help!

1. Reach for Water

According to the National Academy of Medicine, women should get about 91 ounces of fluids each day; men, about 125 ounces. Since about one fifth of that typically comes from food, aim for 9 to 12 cups of fluids. Make water your main choice: it’s free—of cost and calories!

2. Add a Spritz of Flavor

For a more natural option, add a squirt of lime or lemon to naturally freshen your water. Or try mint, watermelon, or a slice of cucumber to give your water a refreshing flavor.

3. Eat Hydrating Foods

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All foods contain some water. Fruits and vegetables—think juicy watermelon, cucumbers, celery—deliver the most. Eating more fruits and vegetables does more than just help hydrate you. You'll also take in more fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. 

4. Drink Up When It’s Hot—and Cold

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In hot weather you typically need to drink more because you sweat more—especially if you’re exercising. Humidity also increases your water needs since it makes it harder for your body to cool itself. And although we tend to skimp on water when it’s chilly out—don’t. You lose more water while breathing frigid, dry air. Tea is a great drink choice for cooler weather, when you want something warm.

5. Replace Electrolytes, When Needed

Electrolytes—which include nutrients like sodium and potassium—are lost in sweat. Electrolytes are essential for vital reactions in the body. It’s important to replace electrolytes when they are depleted. Most electrolytes can be replenished simply with regular, healthy meals, but if you’re exercising for longer than 60 minutes, you may want to consider a sports drink (particularly if it’s a warm day).

6. Refill Your Bottle

The best way to make sure you’re drinking enough water is to keep a water bottle handy when you’re on the go. What kind of water bottle is right for you? This guide can help you decide.

• Glass water bottles are the easiest to clean and recycle. Glass is also the most fragile, so consider one with a protective silicone sleeve.

• Plastic bottles are typically inexpensive. And since 2010, most are free of bisphenol A (BPA), a compound that, according to some studies, may be linked with some types of cancer, infertility, heart disease and diabetes. Note: health concerns with other leachable toxins in plastics still exist and plastic bottles generally are not safe for hot liquids or microwaves.

• Stainless steel is lightweight and dishwasher safe, but can dent if dropped.

• Aluminum bottles look like stainless steel, with one difference: aluminum reacts with acidic liquids, so they’re lined with an enamel or epoxy layer that can wear down. Gauge how likely the lining is to leach BPA by looking at its color: a golden-orange coating will leak BPA; a white lining will not.

Jim Bohs
Lemon Garlic Shrimp & Vegetables
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Lemon-Garlic Shrimp & Vegetables

Here's a healthy twist on shrimp scampi. We left out the butter and loaded the dish up with red peppers and asparagus for a refreshing spring meal. Serve with quinoa. 

Ingredients 4 servings 

  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 large red bell peppers, diced
  • 2 pounds asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-pound raw shrimp, (26-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Preparation: Active 35 min. Ready in 35 Min.

  1. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add bell peppers, asparagus, lemon zest and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until just beginning to soften, about 6 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl; cover to keep warm.
  2. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add shrimp and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Whisk broth and cornstarch in a small bowl until smooth and add to the pan along with the remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, until the sauce has thickened slightly and the shrimp are pink and just cooked through, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat. Stir in lemon juice and parsley. Serve the shrimp and sauce over the vegetables.

 

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 3 oz. shrimp, 1½ cups vegetables & 3 Tbsp. sauce
  • Per serving: 182 calories; 6 g fat (1 g sat); 4 g fiber; 12 g carbohydrates; 20 g protein; 232 mcg folate; 143 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 4,055 IU vitamin A; 120 mg vitamin C; 97 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 1,091 mg sodium; 622 mg potassium 
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (200% daily value), Vitamin A (81% dv), Folate (58% dv) 
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 1 
  • Exchanges: 2 vegetable, 3 lean meat, 1 fat
  •  
Jim Bohs
10 Healthy Benefits of Increasing Fiber
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10 Amazing Health Benefits of Eating More Fiber

By:Eating Well/ Shaun Dreisbach 

 

When do you think of fiber as exciting? Yeah, that would be never. But this research will help change your mind.

Eating more fiber delivers a slew of health benefits. Here are 10 health benefits of fiber to encourage you get your fill.

1. You'll Lose Weight

Even if increasing your fiber intake is the only dietary change you make, you'll shed pounds. Dieters who were told to get at least 30 grams of fiber a day, but given no other dietary parameters, lost a significant amount of weight, found a recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine. In fact, they lost nearly as much as a group put on a much more complex diet that required limiting calories, fat, sugar and salt and upping fruit, veggie and whole-grain consumption. Fiber-rich foods not only fill you up faster and keep you satisfied longer, they also prevent your body from absorbing some of the calories in the foods you eat. "Fiber binds with fat and sugar molecules as they travel through your digestive tract, which reduces the number of calories you actually get," explains Tanya Zuckerbrot, R.D., author of The F-Factor Diet. Another study found that people who doubled their fiber intake to the recommended amount knocked off between 90 and 130 calories from their daily intake—that's equal to a 9- to 13-pound weight loss over the course of a year.

2. Maintain a Healthier Weight Over Time.

Yep, it can also help you avoid putting pounds back on. People who got more fiber tended to be leaner overall—while those who were obese got an average of almost 1 gram a day less fiber than normal-weight participants, according to a study at the Medical University of South Carolina. And recent research at Georgia State University found that mice put on diets lacking in fiber—specifically soluble fiber—gained weight and had more body fat compared to those who weren't deficient. What's more, mice given adequate soluble fiber resisted fat gain—even when put on a high-fat diet.

3. Cut Your Type 2 Diabetes Risk.

It's a well-established fact. A recent analysis of 19 studies, for example, found that people who ate the most fiber—more than 26 grams a day—lowered their odds of the disease by 18 percent, compared to those who consumed the least (less than 19 grams daily). The researchers believe that it's fiber's one-two punch of keeping blood sugar levels steady and keeping you at a healthy weight that may help stave off the development of diabetes.

4. Lower Your Odds of Heart Disease.

For every 7 grams of fiber eaten daily, your risk of heart disease drops by 9 percent found a review of 22 studies published in the BMJ. That's partly due to fiber's ability to sop up excess cholesterol in your system and ferry it out before it can clog your arteries

5. Have Healthier Gut Bacteria.

The good bugs that make up your microbiome feed off fiber—and flourish. As your gut bacteria gobble up fiber that has fermented in your G.I. tract (delish), they produce short-chain fatty acids that have a host of benefits—including lowering systemic inflammation, which has been linked to obesity and nearly every major chronic health problem. A recent Italian study found that eating a high-fiber Mediterranean diet was associated with higher levels of short-chain fatty acids. "And you can start to see the changes in gut bacteria within just a few days," says Kelly Swanson, Ph.D., a professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The catch: You've got to consistently get enough grams—ideally every day, if not most days of the week—to keep getting the benefits. Skimping on fiber shifts bacteria populations in a way that increases inflammation in the body. 

6. Reduce Your Risk of Certain Cancers.

Every 10 grams of fiber you eat is associated with a 10 percent reduced risk of colorectal cancer and a 5 percent fall in breast cancer risk, says a study published in the Annals of Oncology. In addition to the anti-cancer effects of fiber, the foods that contain it—like veggies and fruits—are also rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals that could further reduce your odds

7. Live Longer, Period.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health recently found that people who often ate fiber-rich cereals and whole grains had a 19 and 17 percent, respectively, reduced risk of death—from any cause—compared to those who noshed on less fiber-heavy fare.

8. Be more, well, regular.

Snicker all you like, but "constipation is one of the most common G.I. complaints in the United States," says Zuckerbrot. And you don't need us to tell you it's no fun. Fiber makes your poop softer and bulkier—both of which speed its passage from your body.

9. Get an All-Natural Detox.

Who needs a juice cleanse? Fiber naturally scrubs and promotes the elimination of toxins from your G.I. tract. Explains Zuckerbrot: "Soluble fiber soaks up potentially harmful compounds, such as excess estrogen and unhealthy fats, before they can be absorbed by the body." And, she adds, because insoluble fiber makes things move along more quickly, it limits the amount of time that chemicals like BPA, mercury and pesticides stay in your system. The faster they go through you, the less chance they have to cause harm. 

10. Have Healthier Bones

Some types of soluble fiber—dubbed "prebiotics" and found in asparagus, leeks, soybeans, wheat and oats—have been shown to increase the bioavailability of minerals like calcium in the foods you eat, which may help maintain bone density.

Jim Bohs
Santa Fe Meatloaf
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Slow Cooker Santa Fe Meatloaf

 

Active Time 

20 Mins Total Time 5 Hours 30 Mins 

Yield Serves 6 (serving size: 2 slices) 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds 93% lean ground turkey
  • 2/3 cup plus 2 Tbsp. mild red enchilada sauce, divided
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 Tbsp. fresh or frozen corn kernels, divided
  • 5 tablespoons canned unsalted black beans, rinsed, drained, and divided
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 (4-oz.) can mild chopped green chiles, drained well
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed or grated
  • 1 1/2 ounces preshredded Mexican cheese blend (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Cilantro leaves (optional)

Nutritional Information

  • Calories 213
  • Fat 10g
  • Sat fat 3g
  • Unsatfat 6g
  • Protein 23g
  • Carbohydrate 13g
  • Fiber 2g
  • Sodium 607mg
  • Calcium 8% DV
  • Potassium 4% DV
  • Sugars 1g
  • Added sugars g

How to Make It

  1. Cut parchment paper to about 15 x 9 1/2 inches to form a sling to allow you to easily insert and remove the meatloaf from your slow cooker.

 

  1. Combine turkey, 2 tablespoons enchilada sauce, oats, onions, 1/3 cup corn, 1/4 cup black beans, chopped cilantro, cumin, salt, onion powder, chiles, egg, and garlic. Mix everything well using clean hands, and then shape into a 9- x 5-inch oval loaf flattened slightly on top. Place loaf onto prepared parchment paper; while holding edges of paper, carefully insert into a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker (make sure lid closes well without the paper getting in the way). Cover, and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours.

 

  1. Pull loaf out of slow cooker using parchment sling; set aside. Wipe parchment clean; drain liquid from bottom of slow cooker. Return loaf to slow cooker using parchment sling. Cover loaf with remaining 2/3 cup enchilada sauce, cheese, jalapeño (if using), remaining 1 tablespoon corn, and remaining 1 tablespoon black beans.

 

  1. Cover and cook on high until cheese is melted, about 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro leaves, if desired. Pull loaf out of slow cooker; cut into 12 slices.
Jim Bohs
Tortellini Primavera
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Tortellini Primavera

This creamy tortellini and vegetable pasta is a real crowd pleaser. To make it even quicker, use frozen chopped vegetables instead of fresh. Serve with: A green salad and whole-grain baguette. 

 

Ingredients 5 servings 

  • 1 14-ounce can vegetable broth or reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 cup shredded fontina cheese or ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon, dill or chives or 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • ⅛ teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups chopped fresh vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots and snap peas, or 16-ounce bag frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 16-ounce package frozen cheese tortellini

Preparation: Active 25 min. Ready in 25 min.

  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk broth and flour in a small bowl. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until just beginning to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the broth mixture to the pan, bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in cheese, tarragon (or dill or chives) and salt.
  3. Add vegetables and tortellini to the boiling water; return the water to a simmer and cook until the vegetables and tortellini are tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain; add to the pan with the sauce and stir to coat.

 

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: about 1¼ cups
  • Per serving: 426 calories; 15 g fat (8 g sat); 5 g fiber; 55 g carbohydrates; 15 g protein; 53 mcg folate; 68 mg cholesterol; 5 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 6,369 IU vitamin A; 23 mg vitamin C; 300 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 609 mg sodium; 342 mg potassium 
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (127% daily value), Vitamin C (38% dv), Calcium (30% dv) 
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 3½
  • Exchanges: 3 starch, 1½ vegetable, 1 high-fat meat, 2 fat
  •  
Jim Bohs
A Healthy Breakfast for Weight-Loss Success
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Your breakfast choices lay the foundation for your entire day and your long-term health. But you don't have to stick with the traditional options.

By Madeline R. Vann, MPH Medically Reviewed by Christine Wilmsen Craig, MD

 

Whether you prefer eggs, yogurt, or oatmeal, getting a healthy breakfast under your belt sets the tone for a day of weight control and fewer calories overall. In fact, research shows that people who start their day with breakfast make healthier choices and have a lower body mass index in general. The breakfast effect is even stronger for women than men.

"If we skip breakfast, we'll make unhealthier choices at lunch. People who skip breakfast eat more during the day," says Emily Banes, RD, clinical dietitian at the Houston Northwest Medical Center. This is partly due to a thought process in which people believe — incorrectly — that if they don't eat breakfast, they can eat more at lunch or dinner.

Here's the reality. On a physiological level, your breakfast choices — or lack of them — can set off a cycle of cravings and blood sugar spikes that spells doom for weight control. Better to start the day with stable blood sugar and ultimately fewer calories, courtesy of breakfast, says Banes.

Breakfast Calories: What to Eat

You may have to find your perfect breakfast food through a trial and error process. Banes advises thinking outside the breakfast box. It's fine if you prefer a small turkey sandwich or a hard-boiled egg to traditional breakfast foods, she says. Here are other ideas:

Consider whole grains. Whole grains are a good choice because they keep you feeling full, according to a dietary study that compared feelings of satisfaction between people who ate a hot whole-grain cereal for breakfast and those who ate refined wheat bread. Those who ate the whole-grain breakfast reported feeling less hungry over the following eight hours than the comparison group.

Opt for eggs. A study of people between the ages of 25 and 60 who were trying to lose weight found that those who ate two eggs for breakfast lost 65 percent more weight than those who ate bagels, and they also reported having higher energy levels throughout the day. Although this study showed no effect of egg consumption on cholesterol levels, Banes cautions that this may not be the right choice if you already have high cholesterol. Ask your doctor about egg-white alternatives.

Avoid high-sugar choices. Eating doughnuts, breakfast pastries, and sugary cereals may begin that cycle of cravings and blood sugar lows that can undermine your efforts.

Breakfast Calories: Ideas for Slow Starters

Not everyone leaps out of bed ravenously hungry.

"When you first wake up in the morning, if you are not a breakfast person, but you can eat two hours later, that's fine. Have a little yogurt with cereal in it, a little bit of peanut butter on some crackers, or a granola bar with a little bit of protein in it. It doesn't have to be traditional breakfast foods," says Banes.

Once you find the breakfast options that suit your diet and your taste buds, plan ahead so that these foods are on hand when you want them — and you can solidify a healthy habit that will last a lifetime.

Jim Bohs
Roman-Style Chicken
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Roman-Style Chicken

Prep 20 min. Total 1 hour

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients 

  • 4 skinless chicken breast halves, with ribs
  • 2 skinless chicken thighs, with bones
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced
  • 3 ounces prosciutto chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

Directions 

Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a heavy, large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken until browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside. 

Keeping the same pan over medium heat, add the peppers and prosciutto and cook until the peppers have browned and the prosciutto is crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, and herbs. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan, add the stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes. 

If serving immediately, add the capers and the parsley. Stir to combine and serve

Serve with whole wheat noodle or brown rice and a salad 

Nutritional Analysis per serving

Calories 266 calories                  Protein 28 grams

Total Fat 13 grams                      Sugar 4 grams

Saturated Fat 2 grams

Cholesterol 76 milligrams

Carbohydrates 8 grams

Jim Bohs
Is Quinoa Good for You? Everything You Need to Know About the Superfood
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By Katie Robinson

Medically Reviewed by Kelly Kennedy, R

Quinoa is a gluten-free seed that can make a great substitute for rice and other grains. 

It seems these days, quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is still all anyone talks about. Everywhere we turn there are quinoa salads, quinoa fried rice, and now even quinoa protein shakes. Forged in South America thousands of years ago and called “the mother grain" by the Inca, quinoa today is still considered a wonderful “superfood” — especially once the United Nations declared 2013 the “International Year of Quinoa.” (Yes, that happened).

But when and why did quinoa become so popular? What is it that makes this low-carb rice substitute so invaluable in the world of nutrition despite all the years that have passed?

What Is Quinoa Exactly?

According to the Whole Grains Council, quinoa is a gluten-free, whole-grain carbohydrate, as well as a whole protein (meaning it contains all nine essential amino acids). Most of this information is well known. But when it comes to whether quinoa is a whole grain or not, many people get confused. So, let’s clear this up.

Technically, the quinoa we all know and love is actually a seed from the Chenopodium quinoa plant. So no, it is not a grain. Whole grains (or cereal grains), like oats and barley, are defined as seeds extracted from grasses — not plants.

But the way we eat quinoa does resemble a whole grain. Because of this, the nutrition world considers it a whole grain. Or if you want to get real technical with it, quinoa is actually quantified as a “pseudo-cereal” — a term used to describe foods that are prepared and eaten as a whole grain, but are botanical outliers from grasses.

But the preferred colloquial term (though it may be slightly untrue) is whole grain.

What Are the Nutritional Facts for Quinoa?

Overall, quinoa has an incredible nutrition base. Compared with refined grains, whole grains like quinoa are considered better sources of fiber, protein, B vitamins, and iron, according to the Mayo Clinic. But aside from these key nutrients, one of the greatest nutrient profiles quinoa can offer is its level of protein.

Because protein makes up 15 percent of the grain, as reported by the Grains & Legumes Nutrition Council, quinoa is a high-protein, low-fat grain option. It’s also naturally gluten free, high in fiber, and provides many key vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B and magnesium. Because it is so nutrient-rich, quinoa is a wonderful choice for people on a gluten-free diet or any generally healthy diet.

According to the nutrition facts stated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA

 1 cup of cooked quinoa amounts to:

  • 222 calories
  • 39 grams (g) of carbs
  • 8g of protein
  • 6g of fat
  • 5g of fiber
  • 1g of sugar

*Try Quinoa today in recipes as a replacement for white rice to get real a nutrition upgrade.

Jim Bohs
Spring Chicken & Barley Soup
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Spring Chicken & Barley Soup

You might think of barley as an addition to hearty, wintery soups, such as mushroom-barley or beef-barley soup, but it also works well in lighter soups like this one with chicken, asparagus and peas. 

Ingredients 4 servings 

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped celery
  • 2 cloves garlic, divided
  • 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large bone-in chicken breast, (10-12 ounces), skin removed, trimmed
  • ⅓ cup pearl barley
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup trimmed and diagonally sliced asparagus, ( ¼ inch thick)
  • 1 cup fresh or thawed frozen peas
  • ½ teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup lightly packed torn fresh basil leaves
  • 1 strip orange zest, (½ by 2 inches)

Preparation: Active 45 min. Ready in 1hr. 15min.

  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; add onion and celery and cook, stirring, until beginning to soften, 2 to 4 minutes. Grate or finely chop 1 clove garlic; add to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add broth, chicken and barley. Bring to a gentle simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a plate with a slotted spoon. Return the broth to a simmer and cook until the barley is tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, shred the chicken or cut into bite-size pieces; discard the bone.
  3. When the barley is done, add the chicken, tomatoes and juice, asparagus, peas, salt and a grinding of pepper; return to a simmer. Cover and cook over low heat until the asparagus is tender, about 5 minutes more.
  4. Coarsely chop the remaining garlic clove. Gather basil, orange zest and the garlic and finely chop together. Ladle the soup into bowls and sprinkle each serving with a generous pinch of the basil mixture.

Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Reheat the soup, thin with broth if desired and finish with Step 4 just before serving.

 

Nutrition information

  • Serving size: 2 cups
  • Per serving: 254 calories; 5 g fat (1 g sat); 7 g fiber; 30 g carbohydrates; 22 g protein; 100 mcg folate; 32 mg cholesterol; 8 g sugars; 1,598 IU vitamin A; 31 mg vitamin C; 68 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 1,235 mg sodium; 712 mg potassium 
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (52% daily value), Vitamin A (32% dv), Folate (25% dv) 
  • Carbohydrate Servings: 2 
  •  
Jim Bohs
Florentine Hash Skillet
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Florentine Hash Skillet

EatingWell Magazine 

Here's a super-quick all-in-one-skillet breakfast to start your day, loaded with hash browns, spinach, egg and cheese. 

Ingredients 1 serving 

  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup frozen hash browns or precooked shredded potatoes (see Note)
  • ½ cup frozen chopped spinach or fresh spinach (or try a different green like kale)
  • 1 large egg
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Preparation: Active 10 min. Ready in 10 min.

  1. Heat oil in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Layer hash browns and spinach into the pan. Crack egg on top and sprinkle with salt, pepper and cheese. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until the hash browns are starting to brown on the bottom, the egg is set and the cheese is melted, 4 to 7 minutes.

Ingredient note: Shredded cooked potatoes can be found in the refrigerated produce section or dairy section of most supermarkets.

 

Nutrition information

  • Per serving: 226 calories; 15 g fat (5 g sat); 3 g fiber; 11 g carbohydrates; 14 g protein; 140 mcg folate; 200 mg cholesterol; 1 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 9,557 IU vitamin A; 9 mg vitamin C; 225 mg calcium; 3 mg iron; 370 mg sodium; 352 mg potassium 
  • Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (191% daily value), Folate (35% dv), Calcium (22% dv) 
  • Carbohydrate Servings: ½
  • Exchanges: ½ starch, 1 vegetable, 1½ medium-fat meat, 1 fat
  •  
Jim Bohs
Tips on Reducing Belly Fat
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Reduce Belly Fat Tip #1: Set Realistic Goals

The quickest technique to suffer the loss of motivation is to settle on impractical weight loss goals for yourself before you even begin your weight loss plan, ask yourself some straightforward questions. What do you want to realize from this weight loss program? and How much weight do you want to reduce in a day, a week or a month. Keep in mind that every small goal you accomplish will push you closer to your ending destination. But if you set unrealistic goals, you will only end up in dissatisfaction and displeasure when they are not achieved, even when you are making important progress in your weight loss goals.

Reduce Belly Fat Tip #2: Preparation is the Key
Right now is the moment to start a new way of life and commence getting free of your junk food, your colas in the fridge, those puddings and those goodies you hide in your desk drawer! Formulate a new list of the food you need and commence stocking on them in generous quantities. Add in vegetables, fruits, nourishing munchies, mineral waters and vitamins and minerals supplements you may need.

Reduce Belly Fat Tip #3: Make Sure You Have a Healthy Breakfast
This is the most important mealtime that you should by no means miss. Skipping breakfast means that you are training your brain to assume that you hungry starving and deprived, this will only bring about you to feel sluggish and when the anxiety is too much, you may make a decision to embark on an eating bender. This is pure suicide to your weight loss program!

Reduce Belly Fat Tip #4: Exercise
For extended lasting effects and to boost the speed of your weight loss, this is one important activity you must instill into your routine. No weight loss program can be successful without a first-rate work out program. Select a first-class work out program that lets you burn fat and gives an advantageous cardiovascular exercise at the identical time.

Reduce Belly Fat Tip #5: Get Enough Sleep
Always get an adequate amount of sleep during your weight loss program. An average adult would need in the order of 7-8 hours of sleep a day. This helps to keep your physical system working in spot on order, which is critical to the success of your weight loss program.

Reduce Belly Fat Tip #6:Relaxation
This is significant in any weight loss plan and you should make relaxation a vital role of your schedule. Meditation, relaxation and affirmations can help make better your confidence and make the process more pleasant.

By following these six effortless tips, you can begin seeing positive results in your hard work to lose weight. Be consistent and make them part of your lifestyle and success in your weight loss program is assured.

Jim Bohs
Who Said Healthy Had To Be Boring
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Topped Sweet Potatoes

From: EatingWell Magazine

Transform ordinary baked potatoes into a full dinner with these chili-topped spuds. In this healthy recipe, we use sweet potatoes for an added nutrient kick. Sprinkle on extra toppings as you see fit—sliced scallions, chopped fresh cilantro, diced avocado and sliced jalapeños are all tasty choices.

Ingredients 4 servings

·       1-pound lean ground beef

·       ¾ cup finely chopped white onion

·       ½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper

·       2 tablespoons chili powder

·       1 tablespoon ground cumin

·       2 teaspoons dried oregano

·       1 teaspoon ground coriander

·       1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes

·       ¼ cup water

·       4 medium sweet potatoes

·       ½ cup shredded cheese, such as Cheddar or pepper Jack

Preparation: Prep 30 min. Read in 30 min.

1.     Cook beef, onion, bell pepper and garlic in a large skillet over medium-high heat, crumbling the beef with a spatula, until the meat is browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin, oregano and coriander; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes (with their juice) and water and simmer for 5 minutes.

2.     Meanwhile, prick sweet potatoes with a fork in several places. Microwave on High until tender all the way through, 12 to 15 minutes.

3.     Serve the sweet potatoes topped with the chili and cheese.

 

Nutrition information

·       Serving size: 1 cup chili & 1 sweet potato each

·       Per serving: 417 calories; 18 g fat (7 g sat); 8 g fiber; 35 g carbohydrates; 31 g protein; 42 mcg folate; 88 mg cholesterol; 12 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 24,269 IU vitamin A; 62 mg vitamin C; 233 mg calcium; 5 mg iron; 443 mg sodium; 1,286 mg potassium

·       Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (485% daily value), Vitamin C (103% dv), Iron (28% dv), Calcium (23% dv)

·       Carbohydrate Servings: 2½

·       Exchanges: 1½ starch, 1½ vegetable, 3 lean meat, ½ high-fat meat

 

Jim Bohs
Saucy & Healthy
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Saucy Tomato & Spinach Chicken

Simple, easy, and delicious!

Ingredients: (serves two)

§  2 chicken breasts, cut into pieces

§  2 cloves garlic, minced

§  1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil

§  1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes

§  Few huge handfuls fresh spinach

§  1/2 C black beans or cannellini beans (optional, rinsed and drained)

§  2 servings cooked brown rice (or whole wheat pasta)

§  Cracked pepper and Chili powder to taste

 

Instructions:

1) Start by tossing the chicken, garlic, and olive oil (plus some cooking spray if your pan tends to stick) into a pan on medium/medium high heat. sauté until the chicken is fully cooked.

2) Once the chicken is cooked, add in the can of diced tomatoes, stirring until mixed.

3) Next, add in a few huge handfuls of fresh spinach — don’t worry about adding a lot as it will cook down! Stir until fully wilted — this will only take a minute or two.

4) Next, add in the beans and whatever grain (already cooked) you want to use — we used two servings of cooked brown rice, but cooked whole wheat pasta would also be good!

Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese, serve with a salad

Jim Bohs
Spicy, Tasty, Vegan!
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Spicy Vegan Black Bean Soup

Yields 6 servings

 

Prep Time

15 min

Cook Time

35 min

 

Ingredients

1.     3/4 cup water (or 2 tablespoons olive oil; if not oil-free)

2.     1 red onion, chopped

3.     1 clove garlic, minced

4.     1/3-1/2 jalapeño, finely chopped, to taste (optional)

5.     2 medium-sized carrots, chopped

6.     1 red bell pepper, chopped (or any color)

7.     4 teaspoons ground cumin

8.     2 teaspoons chili powder

9.     1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)

10.  1- 15 oz. can organic sweet corn, drained and rinsed

11.  3 -15 oz. cans organic black beans, drained and rinsed

12.  4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

13.  1/2 lime, juiced

14.  1/4 cup cilantro

15.  sea salt & pepper, to taste

16.  toppings: avocado, crushed tortilla chips, jalapeño, cilantro, dairy-free cheese

Instructions

1.     Heat the water (or oil, if preferred) in a soup pot or large dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the onions and garlic, with a pinch of sea salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent.

2.     Stir in the jalapeño, carrot, red bell pepper, cumin, chili powder and red pepper flakes. Cook until vegetable are soft, about 7-9 minutes.

3.     Pour in the beans, corn and broth. Bring to a slow boil over medium-high heat then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook until the beans are soft and the broth has lots of flavor, about 20 minutes. Turn off heat.

4.     Using a hand immersion blender, blend about half of the soup, still leaving whole beans intact. Blend more for a smoother texture or less for a chunkier texture, depending on preference (this step is optional; you can also blend half in a regular blender, making sure to let out the steam, to prevent a soup explosion as it gets very hot. Pour it back into the soup pot).

5.     Stir in lime juice and cilantro and taste test to see if it needs more salt or pepper. Adjust accordingly.

6.     Serve with your favorite toppings!

Notes

1.     For an even heartier soup, add in brown rice or quinoa!

Leftovers can be refrigerated up to 4 days or frozen

Jim Bohs
Delicious Spaghetti Recipe
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Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce

From: EatingWell Magazine

Instead of opening a jar of sauce, try this easy spaghetti with meat sauce on a weeknight. Serve with steamed broccoli and garlic bread. The recipe makes enough for 8 servings. If you're serving only four for dinner, cook 8 ounces of spaghetti and freeze the leftover sauce.

Ingredients 8 servings

·       1-pound whole-wheat spaghetti

·       2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

·       1 large onion, finely chopped

·       1 large carrot, finely chopped

·       1 stalk celery, finely chopped

·       4 cloves garlic, minced

·       1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

·       1-pound lean (90% or leaner) ground beef, lean turkey or ground white meat chicken

·       1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

·       ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

·       ½ teaspoon salt

·       ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation:  Active 30 min. Ready in 30 min.

1.     Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.

2.     Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is beginning to brown, 5 to 8 minutes.

3.     Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Increase heat to high. Stir in tomatoes and cook until thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in parsley and salt.

4.     Serve the sauce over the pasta, sprinkled with cheese.

 

Nutrition information

·       Serving size: 1 cup pasta & generous ¾ cup sauce

·       Per serving: 389 calories; 9 g fat (3 g sat); 9 g fiber; 54 g carbohydrates; 27 g protein; 55 mcg folate; 48 mg cholesterol; 8 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 1,946 IU vitamin A; 14 mg vitamin C; 120 mg calcium; 5 mg iron; 484 mg sodium; 711 mg potassium

·       Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (39% daily value), Iron (28% dv), Vitamin C (23% dv)

·       Carbohydrate Servings: 3½

·       Exchanges: 3 starch, 1½ vegetable, 2 lean meat

 

Jim Bohs
Spring Cleaning

10 Ways to Spring-Clean Your Diet

By: Laurie S. Herr  |  Friday, March 16, 2018

A change of seasons is the perfect time to rethink old eating habits, make healthy food swaps and get a fresh start—in spring or any time of year

Seems like every spring, the urge hits to clean out, spruce up and simplify. We fling open our closet doors and toss out old shoes and sweaters, ready for a fresh start. So why not spring-clean your eating habits, too? Say goodbye to old routines and lighten up with nutritious foods—plus healthier, smarter ways to eat.

1. Cut Back on These Foods

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Alcohol. Booze takes a toll on your liver, the main organ that "detoxes" your system. It also acts as a diuretic, so it's harder to stay hydrated. Stick to the recommended limits of one drink a day for women, two for men. Try club soda with a splash of juice for a refreshing mocktail.

Added sugars. Sodas and packaged foods are often loaded with hidden added sugars, upping your risk for obesity and heart problems. The American Heart Association recommends keeping added sugars under 6 teaspoons a day for women and 9 teaspoons for men. One 12-ounce regular soda has about 8 teaspoons of sugar, so it's easy to overdo things fast. When you want a sweet treat, reach for fruit instead.

Salt. Americans eat an average of 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day. Cut 1,000 mg out every day and you could lower your risk of heart disease by up to 9 percent, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine.

Refined grains. White flour, white rice and the like are stripped of healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals. Check food labels carefully and look for foods that list whole grains as the first or second ingredient.

Processed foods. Prepared foods with long lists of ingredients load you up with sugars, salts and unhealthy trans-fat. Pass them up and make room for more healthy, whole foods instead.

2. Eat More of These Foods

 

 

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Fruits and veggies. They're colorful, low in calories, rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and can help prevent heart disease—what's not to love? Make vegetables the star at dinnertime: start with veggies you have on hand or what looks good at the market, add a protein and starch, and you're set.

Whole grains. Eating more whole grains may help you live longer by reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease and premature death from other causes, according to two large review studies in 2016. Try one new-to-you grain, such as quinoa, amaranth or wild rice, each week.

Healthy fats. Eaten in moderation, some high-fat foods—think avocados, nuts, eggs, fatty fish, olive oil, dark chocolate and cheese—are super good for you. Experts at the Harvard School of Public Health say eating more of them can help curb cravings for processed carbs. Whip up a batch of guacamole, or add a little cream to your coffee now and then.

Probiotics. Have you fed your microbiome lately? Foods rich in probiotics help keep your gut healthy by feeding the "good" bacteria. Some good sources: yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut and some cheeses.
3. Eat Breakfast Every Day

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Mom was right: a good breakfast fuels your day. Studies show that eating breakfast can help prevent weight gain. And according to a 2017 study in Spain, people who skipped breakfast had more fatty buildup in their arteries, an early sign of heart disease.

4. Pull Back on Portions

It's easy to let serving sizes creep up during the winter months—everyone indulges over the holidays, right? Make spring a time to cut back to healthier portions. Tip: Use smaller plates and serve dinner from the stove rather than on the table.

5. Eat More Mindfully

 

 

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Recent research suggests that mindful eating—taking the time to chew and notice the different tastes and textures of every bite—can help with weight loss. You'll eat less to feel full and enjoy your meal more. Always in a hurry? Set the oven timer for 20 minutes, then sit down for a more leisurely lunch.

6. Hydrate

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Water is vital for the function of every organ system, helping to circulate oxygen and whisk away toxins. If you don't like drinking plain water, jazz it up with a spritz of lemon or lime. Green tea works too, and has a bevy of health benefits—from boosting immunity to fighting cavities. Try swapping a cup of coffee for green tea instead.

7. Clean Out Your Pantry and Fridge

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Go through your cabinets and look for foods that come in boxes. Swap crackers or chips for crunchy veggies. If you rely on prepared meals like mac and cheese or canned soup, find an easy recipe to make your favorites from scratch.

8. Cook More at Home

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Skip dining out and save on calories, sodium and money. Use fresh ingredients and boost flavor with herbs and spices rather than salt. Bonus: You'll serve up smaller portions, too.

9. Plan More Meatless Mondays

 

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Forgoing meat even just once a week is an easy way to lower your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Studies show that people who eat a plant-based diet also tend to weigh less than meat-eaters.

10. Plant a Food Garden

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Jim Bohs
Dijon Salmon

Dijon Salmon with Green Bean Pilaf

Salmon.jpg

 

From: EatingWell Magazine

In this quick dinner recipe, the delicious garlicky-mustardy mayo that tops baked salmon is very versatile. Precooked brown rice helps get this healthy dinner on the table fast, but if you have other leftover whole grains, such as quinoa or farro, they work well here too.

Ingredients 4 servings

·       1¼ pounds wild salmon (see Tip), skinned and cut into 4 portions

·       3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

·       1 tablespoon minced garlic

·       ¾ teaspoon salt

·       2 tablespoons mayonnaise

·       2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard

·       ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided

·       12 ounces pretrimmed haricots verts or thin green beans, cut into thirds

·       1 small lemon, zested and cut into 4 wedges

·       2 tablespoons pine nuts

·       1 8-ounce package precooked brown rice (found in frozen vegetable freezer in supermarket)

·       2 tablespoons water

·       Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Preparation: Active 30 min. Ready in 30 min.

1.     Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil or parchment paper.

2.     Brush salmon with 1 tablespoon oil and place on the prepared baking sheet. Mash garlic and salt into a paste with the side of a chef's knife or a fork. Combine a scant 1 teaspoon of the garlic paste in a small bowl with mayonnaise, mustard and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread the mixture on top of the fish.

3.     Roast the salmon until it flakes easily with a fork in the thickest part, 6 to 8 minutes per inch of thickness.

4.     Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add green beans, lemon zest, pine nuts, the remaining garlic paste and ¼ teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring, until the beans are just tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium. Add rice and water and cook, stirring, until hot, 2 to 3 minutes more.

5.     Sprinkle the salmon with parsley, if desired, and serve with the green bean pilaf and lemon wedges.

 

Nutrition information

·       Serving size: 4 oz. fish & 1 cup pilaf

·       Per serving: 442 calories; 25 g fat(4 g sat); 4 g fiber; 22 g carbohydrates; 32 g protein; 46 mcg folate; 69 mg cholesterol; 2 g sugars; 0 g added sugars; 795 IU vitamin A; 13 mg vitamin C; 99 mg calcium; 2 mg iron; 605 mg sodium; 706 mg potassium

·       Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (22% daily value)

·       Carbohydrate Servings: 1½

·       Exchanges: 1 starch, 1½ vegetable, 4 lean meat, 3½ fat

 

Jim Bohs
Eat Clean. Eat Good

4 Steps to a Diet-Approved Grilled Cheese

Who doesn't love a gooey, cheesy sandwich? Learn how a few smart swaps can turn this comfort food favorite into a healthy meal.

By Brianna Steinhilber

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Think this looks too good to be healthy? You're in for a delicious surprise!

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t love grilled cheese, especially on nights when spending a lot of time in the kitchen just isn’t an option. The super-fast prep makes it a major crowd pleaser that’s easy to whip up in a flash. While the sandwich is generally considered a splurge when following a healthy diet, it is possible to enjoy the cheesy goodness sans the side of guilt. With these four easy swaps, you can up the health factor of the classic grilled cheese for a delicious meal you can feel good about feeding your family.

1. Consider the Bread
One of the easiest ways to improve the health score of your grilled cheese is by starting with a better-for-you loaf. Plain white may be your go-to, but whole-wheat will taste just as good once it’s slathered in melted cheese – plus, it delivers a dose of healthy whole grains and fiber.

2. Be Choosy With Your Cheese
There are tons of delicious cheeses out there, but when choosing your slice, follow this general rule of thumb: The sharper and more flavorful a cheese is, the less you’ll need to use to make an impact. A reduced-fat cheddar, parmesan, or hard goat cheese are all tasty options with a strong, sharp taste, allowing you to cut back on the amount needed to pack a flavor punch.

3. Sneak in Veggies
Who says cheese has to be the only topping? When it comes to add-ons, the possibilities are endless. Try layering on your favorite veggies: Onions, peppers, spinach, tomatoes, and red peppers are all flavorful additions. (Hint for moms and dads: This is a great way to get kids to eat more veggies!)

4. Skip the Butter
Soggy bread is a major grilled cheese faux-pas, but many people think the key to the crispy slices is slathering them in butter. You can actually get the same crispiness by using a panini press or greasing your pan with a little olive oil before grilling the sandwich. So skip the butter and save major fat and calories, without sacrificing the crunchy texture you love.

 

Jim Bohs