Commentary: Healthy Choices 1
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With another year upon us, I am continuing to focus on eating healthier, with positive side effects of  feeling better, having more energy and the biggie: weight loss at a healthy pace.  There are lots of little things I am trying: putting my fork down in between bites, not eating in front of the t.v. (I don't think about how much I am eating), watching the portion sizes I put on my  plate and not going back for seconds and working especially hard at not nibbling while preparing meals. I am trying to get to bed at a regular time so that I get up and exercise BEFORE I start my day. If I don't exercise first thing, the odds are that I won't exercise at all. 

My 2008 New Year's resolutions are 2 that I failed to make happen in '07: add more fish to our diets and make a variety of lower fat salad dressings.  I will let you know if I keep up on trying these 2 resolutions.  So far, not so good.

The following recipes are not no-fat, but lower fat, and boosting the flavor of the foods themselves.

Mediterranean Ham and Cheese Wrap

Yield: 4 servings 

¼ c low or no fat mayonnaise
1 tsp milk
½ tsp Italian seasoning
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp garlic powder 

4- 8” whole wheat flour tortillas (I like the Buena Vida brand)

4 red leaf or romaine lettuce leaves

4 slices lean ham (I like the Ol’ Farmers brand)

4 slices lower fat Swiss cheese (such as Alpine Lace)

 Optional: add one or more of the following:

½ c sliced roasted red peppers**

½ c sliced roasted onions**

½ c sliced roasted tomatoes**

¼ c sliced black olives

½ c sliced marinated artichoke hearts, well drained

Mix the mayonnaise with the milk, Italian seasoning, black pepper and garlic powder.  Spread down the center of each of the 4 whole wheat flour tortillas.  Layer the lettuce, ham and then cheese on top of the mayonnaise.  Place optional ingredients down center of wrap and roll closed. Place seam side down. 

Serve with fresh sliced oranges and a glass of milk.

** recipe included


Roasted Vegetables

Roasting brings out the natural sweetness in vegetables and intensifies their flavor.

Vegetables of choice cut into bite size pieces

1 tsp olive oil for every cup of cut up vegetables

Seasonings of choice such as rosemary, basil, parsley, marjoram, salt and pepper

Toss cut up vegetables with oil and seasonings.

Spread vegetables in a single layer on a cookie sheet.  Roast according to the following chart, stirring half way through the cooking time:

20 minutes: Tomatoes, summer squash, eggplant, broccoli

30-45 minutes: onions, peppers, winter squash, garlic, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower

60 minutes: potatoes, carrots, beets, pumpkin, turnips


Roasted Veggie Ideas

  • Serve roasted vegetables as a side dish, as part of the filling on a sandwich, wrap, quesadilla, taco or burrito, pureed into a dip, as a pizza topping, add to salads and pasta dishes, etc. 
  • Roasted “French fries” are my family’s favorite and have so much more flavor than their fast food counter parts.
  • Roasted Tomato Sauce- drain 2 large cans diced tomatoes (save drained juice in freezer for making soup or pot roast). Toss tomatoes with 2 T olive oil, 1 T dried basil, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp black pepper and up to 12 whole cloves garlic.  Roast at 400°F for 45-60 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Serve over brown rice or whole grain pasta.


Fresh Guacamole

Yield: 4 servings

1 avocado, peeled and chunked
½ c plain, non-fat yogurt
¼ c minced onion
1 T minced fresh garlic
¼ c diced fresh tomato
salt and pepper to taste
1 T minced fresh cilantro (opt)

Stir the avocado and yogurt together.  Stir in vegetables and season with salt and pepper and optional fresh cilantro. 

Serve alongside eggs at breakfast, spread on a wrap or serve with your favorite Mexican dish.




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