How healthy should we eat?

Wow! Snow, ice, freezing temperatures, no water, no power and the list goes on. Last week was a total challenge to almost all of us. So many folks lost power for several days, others lost water and many just made do with whatever they could. It could have been harder for me if I had not drawn up several gallons of water for cooking and drinking and a large plastic tote with water for flushing, heating for dish washing and so on.
The main thing I have to say is: “Thank you Lord for the help you gave all of us to keep on keeping on”. It was a struggle most days, but the important thing is that we made it. Neighbors checked on neighbors, friends called to see if you were doing all right and we managed to get through it.
Everything we read lately tells us how important it is to eat healthy, how important it is to follow the food pyramid, then they tell us the pyramid has changed and we end up not knowing how and what to eat. Sometimes, I feel that if we ate everything they tell us to eat to be healthy, we would eat from the time we got out of bed in the morning until the time we got back into it at night! First they tell us that eggs are bad for us, then, they tell us they’re not, red meat is bad, then it’s not if it is lean but eat small portions. Some types of fish are good others are not. Poultry is OK if it is not fried. So, basically, we are back to the old theory that calories do count and if we bake, broil or boil our meat, we are in good shape. When I do fry, I have gotten in the habit of using peanut oil. It has a hotter smoke point and the food does not seem to absorb so much of the oil.
When it comes to changing your eating habits, you can accomplish a great deal just by making some modest changes. If it’s possible, order child size, not supersize, some restaurants and fast food places specify that child size is only available for children under 12.. At fast food restaurants, the kid’s meals offer built-in portion control that the adult supersize doesn’t. Look for heart-healthy selections such as broiled fish, grilled chicken and steamed vegetables. Try to avoid eating as many creamy sauces, soups and fried foods. If you are cooking beef, select the leaner cuts rather than fatter cuts. Select reduced fat dairy products rather than the full-fat ones.
Of course, during this pandemic, we are all eating at home more often and that gives us total control over what we cook and eat, and this is good!
If you make chili with ground turkey or turkey sausage and low fat cheese instead of ground chuck and regular cheese, every serving will cut about 40 calories and 5 grams of fat and 2½ grams saturated fat painlessly. The Internet is a great resource to find other healthy substitutions. Choose pasta and breads made from whole grains. Eat fruits and vegetables with the deepest colors, such as dark green or bright red and orange. Remove the skin from poultry. Include low-fat dairy products. Limit sugary treats.
Turkey Burritos
Cooking Spray
½ cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound ground turkey breast
½ cup water
3 tablespoons bottled salsa
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1½ teaspoons chili powder
1 (4.5-oz) can chopped green chilies, un-drained
6 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 cup (4-ouunces) pre-shredded reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese
Heat a large non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add chopped onion and minced garlic, and cook for 3 minutes or until onion and garlic are tender, stirring frequently. Add ground turkey breast, and cook mixture for 10 minutes or until the turkey is browned, stirring to crumble. Stir in the water and the next 5 ingredients (water through chopped green chiles). Cover mixture and cook for 5 minutes over medium heat. Warm flour tortillas according to the package directions. Spoon 2½ tablespoons Mexican blend cheese down the center of each tortilla. Top each tortilla with ½ cup turkey mixture; roll up. Serve with Spanish rice for an easy and fun dinner. Yield: 6 servings (serving size is one burrito). Each serving has 329 calories and 11.1 g fat.
My daughter has cooked with ground turkey for a long time, and a hint from her was to use a beef bouillon cube for the flavor as well as the salt and leave out any salt called for in a recipe. My own experience has been that the rolls of ground turkey are difficult to break up in a skillet because of how tightly it is packed in the roll. The easiest ground turkey to work with is that sold in bulk at one of the larger Wal-Mart stores. When I purchase the package, I bring it home, cut in half down the center and then into 6 pieces. This makes nice sized patties for hamburgers if that is how I decide to fix it. Then, I place them in a plastic bowl with the outside label from the turkey, telling what it is. This keeps me from having to guess whether it is ground turkey or ground beef. The color helps too, of course, but sometimes it does look alike.
Spanish Rice
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup long grain white rice
1 small green bell pepper, chopped or diced
1 small onion, chopped or diced
1 can tomatoes (15 to 16-oz size) (I like to use whole tomatoes and chop them in the blender rather than the diced ready to use)
1 to 2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 chicken bouillon cubes
Place oil in large skillet and heat, add rice and cook and stir until rice is golden brown, add peppers and onions, cook and stir until they are wilted. Pour tomatoes into measuring cup and be sure you have 2 full cups, add water if necessary. Add tomatoes, bouillon cubes and cumin, stir together and bring to boil. When boiling, cover tightly, turn heat down to simmer and cook until rice is tender and all liquid is absorbed. Serve with above burritos.
Healthy Salmon Patties
1 can (14.75 oz) wild-caught pink or red salmon •
1 cup canned sweet potatoes •
1 large egg •
½ cup almond flour •
2 Tbsp minced fresh parsley (or 2 tsp dried) •
2 scallions, white and green, very thinly sliced • 2 Tbsp minced fresh dill (or 2 tsp dried) •
1 tsp hot-pepper sauce •
½ tsp paprika •
1 tsp salt •
¼ tsp black pepper •
2 Tbsp clarified butter or coconut oil, melted
Preheat oven to 425° F and cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Drain the liquid from the salmon, and using your fingers, crumble the fish into a large mixing bowl, removing bones. Add all the remaining ingredients—except the butter—and mix with a wooden spoon until well combined. Pop into the fridge to chill for 5-10 minutes. Brush the parchment paper with some of the melted butter, then use a 1/3 cup measuring cup to scoop out salmon mixture and drop onto the parchment. The cakes should be about 2½” wide and about 1” thick. Bake for 20 minutes, then flip each patty with a spatula and return to the oven. Bake 10 minutes more, until golden brown and crisp. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice and Tartar Sauce. Serving Size: makes three servings of two patties each.
Hope you enjoy these recipes. Have a great week!