Does Your Dinner Pass These Tests

  • quot;Color-Crunch" Test: Try to choose fruits and vegetables with a variety of colors. Vary the textures, too!
  • quot;Whole" Test: Pick the whole-grain version of bread, rolls, rice, or pasta to help you make at least half your grains whole.

and microwaving are faster than baking or roasting. Slice meat and poultry thinly for faster cooking.

  • Use cooking equipment to cut food preparation time. Rinse and dry vegetables in a salad spinner. Slice hard-cooked eggs and mash avocadoes with a pastry blender. Shred small amounts of cheese with a vegetable peeler. Thaw foods quickly in a microwave oven.
  • Prepare meals that pack variety in just one dish. Try chicken fajitas in a soft taco. Stuff tuna, salmon, and vegetable salad into a pita pocket. Prepare a ham and spinach quiche. Make a chef's salad with no cooking at all. Or prepare risotto with seafood, Swiss chard, and shredded cheese, or stir-fry with noodles, tofu, and vegetables.
  • Keep a variety of prepared foods on hand. Check the Nutrition Facts panel on the food label to choose those that match your family's nutrition needs. Prepare them with fresh foods: for example, prepared pasta sauce heated with cooked ground meat, then served over pasta or a microwave-baked potato. Or try a heat-and-eat pot roast sold in the meat case of the supermarket; just serve with a microwaved potato and green beans.
  • Serve assemble-your-own menus: perhaps deli sandwiches, mini-pizzas on English muffins, or burgers with veggies and cheese toppings that your family can assemble to personal preference in your kitchen.
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Green Smoothies

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