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Old 07-02-2006, 09:04 AM   #1
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Go-To Foods

Greetings,

During the time in between either dining out, or cooking a fancy meal, I try to fill my body with the healthiest foods possible. This helps me keep my weight down while still being able to enjoy everything the culinary world has to offer, and it naturally helps me stay healthy and full of energy.

However, because I eat at least 6 small meals a day, I can easily become bored of the healthy foods that I eat more for their nutrition than taste. Therefore I'm always looking for new foods that can be labled extremely healthy, while also tasting good, to fit into my diet.

So what are your go-to health foods that you eat on a fairly consistant basis? I'm really only looking for the top two or three, so please don't post a lesson on healthy eating. Here are my three:

- Oatmeal (prepared with water, a tiny amount of honey, a handful of grapes, and a handful of almonds)

- Danone Activia (I'm in Germany right now, but the flavor here is called Cerealien)

- Carrots (just a peeled whole carrot to munch on while I work)

I look forward to hearing some new ideas!

Gruss,
Jason

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Old 07-02-2006, 09:17 AM   #2
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Hi Jason,

I'm working on eating better myself, so I haven't "mastered" the art of variety yet, but I'd say my top three (or five) would be:

- Oats (whether as oatmeal for breakfast in a variety of fashions or as good carb filler for protein shakes or other snacks)

- Grilled chicken (you can do so much with chicken and it stays so moist when grilled)

- Low fat or fat free cottage cheese (both as a snack on its own or as a good protein source for pancakes, cheesecakes, etc)

- Fruit (mostly apples and bananas for snacks)

- Danone Silhouette (sweetened with Splenda and very tasty, particularly cherry)

- Turkey pepperoni (also as a low fat/high protein snack)

Maybe I'll dig through my food logs to see other frequent occurrences. That's most of my "quick and ready" stuff. Prep wise, there's always more.
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Old 07-02-2006, 11:17 AM   #3
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Canned bean salad that I mix myself. I always try to keep a large bowl or container of this in the fridge. It's high in protein & fiber, & good for snacks, lunch, or a cold dinner side.

It's just a mix of whatever canned rinsed, drained beans you like (I usually use red kidney, cannelini or northern white, black, & garbanzo) & mix with extra virgin olive oil (very healthy), red wine vinegar, some chopped red onion, minced garlic, chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley, & some crumbled feta cheese to taste.

This has become one of my summer staples.
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Old 07-03-2006, 08:03 AM   #4
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For energy and protein, lentils, quinoa and amaranth are delicious, versatile and healthy, as they are filling with lower calories than rice or pasta. They go well with variety of seasonings and ingredients, and don't require lots of fat to make them tasty. Just a little evoo will do just fine.

For a smaller snack, muesli with yogurt, I prefer yogurt rather than milk, as the muesli don't get too mushy and more satisfying, too.

And of course, plenty of vegetables and fruits... just a bit of imagination and recipe hunt, there are so many delicious ways to enjoy them.
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Old 07-04-2006, 08:55 AM   #5
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Great suggestions! These type of go-to foods are pretty much what constitute my average days meals. A bunch of small ones throughout the day, at least on the days that I don't dine out or prepare somethign special. I do have one curiosity though...

Quote:
Originally Posted by urmaniac13
For energy and protein, lentils, quinoa and amaranth are delicious, versatile and healthy, as they are filling with lower calories than rice or pasta. They go well with variety of seasonings and ingredients, and don't require lots of fat to make them tasty. Just a little evoo will do just fine.
Do you have some recipes for cooking the lentils and such. One of my Indian friends used to always cook this lentil recipe that was amazing. Unfortunately I've lost contact with him and haven't attempted to recreate something similar. Thanks!

Gruss,
Jason
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Old 07-04-2006, 10:02 AM   #6
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For lentils with a touch of India, I like to use orange or yellow dahl, which cooks quickly, in about 15-20minutes with just enough amount of wather.
This is just the rough guide of what I do, as it varies depending on what I have/feel like at the moment of cooking.

Sautè finely chopped onions, carrots, garlic and freshly ground ginger in just enough olive oil. When they are tender add a bayleaf or two, white wine, separately toasted and finely ground coriander seeds, turmeric and cumin, lentils and just enough water with bouillon granule or vegetable broth to cover the ingredients, bring it to boil and let it simmer until lentils are cooked, about 15-20minutes (I don't like them too mushy). Add some water if needed.
Towards the end of cooking, add ground cardamom, when it is finished, garnish with fresh, chopped coriander leaves.
Some variations are addition of shredded radicchio and/or smoked pancetta at the stage of sauteing, also a little chopped celery.
You can add chopped fresh tomatoes or tomato puree as well.
For spices you could also use ready made garam masala.
If you like it spicy, add your choice of peppers.

For quinoa and amaranth, the basic preparation is...

First I like to toast them dry, not necessary but I like the additional flavour this way. Just roast them in a skillet until they become golden, being careful not to burn them.

Then use 1 quinoa/amaranth to 3 water (volume) to cook. Let them simmer over low heat, until the water is absorbed and the grains become al dente. (amaranth takes about 15minutes, quinoa about 25 minutes)

Then you can use them for stir fry or salad with your favourite vegetables and seasoning. I like mushrooms, scallions, shallots or regular onions, broccoli, bell peppers etc. for vegs, curried flavours go well with them, as well as my lebanese spice mix, or just salt pepper and drizzle of good evoo.. really, just about anything.

I hope this will give you some idea, but if not, let me know... I will try to give you a little more precise direction!!
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Old 07-04-2006, 10:22 AM   #7
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Urmaniac,

Thank you very much. I'm definately going to stop at the grocery store to pick up a few ingrediants and try this out. I've been wanting a recipe like this for a long time, gratitude.

Gruss,
Jason
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Old 07-04-2006, 10:50 AM   #8
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You're very welcome Jason!!
They are really fun to play with, you can do so many things with them. They (all lentils, quinoa, amaranth) are also great for stuffed vegs, like bell peppers, zucchini, cabbage, tomatoes, also mixed with rice, chickpeas, beans etc. I hope you will enjoy the experience!!
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Old 07-04-2006, 10:59 AM   #9
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Simple, healthy foods I eat quite often:

-cottage cheese (lots of protein and calcium)
-berries (tons of antioxidents and vitamins)
-veggie cocktail, like V8 (excellent source of potassium and vitamins... 1 cup serving = 2 of your daily requirements for veggies)
-tinned smoked kippers (excellent source of healthy omega fats)
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Old 07-16-2006, 10:09 AM   #10
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I go to the grocery once a week, and immediately clean the fruit and put it in a bowl to munch on. Hubby is diabetic, and his diet calls for a cup of fruit twice a day. Having it cold and clean and ready to go makes for great snacks.

We eat lots of salads. I mean green salads. In the summer (our kitchen and dining room are not air conditioned) we tend to eat in the living room. So at about 5 p.m. I bring out a bowl of salad for each of us. It is our "first course" and makes it so we aren't all that hungry when the meat & starch come around. In the winter we tend to eat supper all at one time, but summer calls for lighter fare and this works well.

One thing that works for us is that I make a lot of home-made soups and stews. For example, right now there are about 4 servings of split pea soup and one of lentil soup in the freezer. These can be nuked and are extremely healthy. I have some freinds who cannot cook, and often bring these up to them so they can nuke and eat. This a few hours of cooking that feeds over and over for weeks. I also make and freeze vegetarian curries that I later thaw and add whatever leftovers are in the fridge to.

We are kimchee officianados, and I make either napa or cucumber kimchee at least once a month. This is again a few hours of work that gives you a healthy snack for a month.

When you finish a jar of pickles, open a can of beets or green beans and drain it, toss it into the pickle juice. I sometimes zip it up with a dried chile pepper. A nice snack or ingredient for a salad.
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