Move over Taco Tuesday – this enchilada casserole is flavorful and requires little effort to create. ¡Olé!
Suggested sides: Fresh fruit cup
End the week with a simple thick and hearty soup. The combination of peppers and cheddars creates a complex flavor of heat and tang.
Suggested sides: Garden salad and whole grain crackers
Nearly half of all Americans have at least 1 of 3 major risk factors for heart disease including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking. Eating a diet high in saturated fats, trans fat, and cholesterol has also been linked to heart disease. And too much salt (sodium) in the diet can raise blood pressure. But these facts are not all bad because most of these risk factors can be addressed by adopting a heart healthy diet. Following the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Diet, for example, can reduce blood pressure. The DASH Diet includes 2-3 servings of dairy and 8-10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Research also shows that enjoying 3 servings of dairy, as part of a reduced-calorie diet, results in greater weight loss compared to cutting calories with minimal dairy.
And since excess weight is a risk factor for heart disease, this is just another reason to incorporate dairy into a healthy meal plan. What a wonderful strategy to heathy eating, focusing on delicious foods to enjoy!
One of the easiest ways to reduce sodium intake is to limit processed foods, as many canned and frozen foods use salt as a preservative. The nutrition facts label can help identify other foods, like sauces, dressings and snack foods, that are also high sodium culprits. There may be good alternatives that are lower in sodium. Many fresh and dried herbs can add great flavor without the sodium or fat. Check out Cabot’s Kitchen Basics for a guide to stocking your kitchen, complete with a sample shopping list.
Starting the day with a heart healthy meal can set the tone for the day. Oatmeal made with milk and topped with fresh fruit, a whole grain waffle with peanut butter and banana, Greek yogurt with fruit and low-fat granola, or an egg white veggie omelet with a whole grain pita are some good choices. Enjoying protein rich foods at snacks can help curb hunger and, carefully selected snacks, can fill nutritional gaps. Whole grain crackers with cheddar, fresh fruit and Greek yogurt, and fruit or veggies served with a low-fat dip (Ginger Lemongrass Dip or Lightened-Up Warm Artichoke & Spinach Dip) are great options. Need some more inspiration, check out Cabot’s collection of healthier living recipes.