Saturday, August 22, 2009

End of Summer / Beginning of Fall bounty

Hard to believe summer is winding down. A few yellow leaves have floated by and all the squash has been eaten by bugs! The good news is that gardens are overflowing with end-of-summer bounty. There are tons of peppers, corn, and tomatoes at all the farmer's markets. Lots of zucchini for those whose gardens did not get infested with squash boars. Plenty of basil too.

Great time to make a corn, cilantro, green chili and tomato salsa. Or how about a quesadilla (whole grain) with grilled tomato, onion, and zucchini topped with some grated low-fat Cabot pepper jack cheese? You can pile on the fresh salsa you just made.

Basil is everywhere. Now is a good time to make pesto and freeze it for an early fall dinner. When the temperature drops, use it on pasta, in white bean soup, or spread it on crusty warm bread with sliced tomatoes.

Pears are about to be ripe and there is nothing more delicious then pears with Gorgonzola. Add some toasted walnuts and dried cherries and toss in some spinach. Yum!

Hummus with sliced green peppers and tomatoes from the garden are a good snack. Just keep a napkin handy.

Soon gardens will be full of root veggies and greens. Cannot wait to start planting.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fudd's Does it Again

I checked out the cookie from Fudd's and they use no hydrogenated oils. I will see what kind of flour they use but in the meantime, I applaud them.

Elmer Fudd would be so happy.

Fuddrucker Goes Healthier

Needed to grab a quick bite last night so ran into Fuddrucker's for their veggie burger topped with grilled onions and mushrooms. I usually toss the white flour bun but I may start eating it because, lo and behold, they now offer whole grain buns. They also have sides of real guacamole.

They have even added grilled salmon (with a poster proclaiming salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids!) and few more delicious sounding salads. Though still deep fried, they now offer sweet potato fries which have a few more nutrients than white potatoes.

Here is how I usually, in true Health Nut fashion, eat my veggie burger (works for all burgers):

I ask for pepper jack cheese, grilled onions, grilled mushrooms and now a side of guacamole at the counter. Then I add tons of lettuce leaves or chopped lettuce, sliced tomatoes, chopped onions, sliced red onions, pickles, salsa, ketchup, and spicy mustard.

Since I eat it like a salad, I pull out the paper lining the plastic dish and throw it away. Otherwise add paper to the list of toppings. The burger is not only yummy but filling.

If you are watching your cholesterol, you can forget the cheese and substitute the guacamole which is high in monounsaturated fats and good for your heart. Ask for the veggie burger instead of the beef burger. They also have turkey burgers which are lower in fat than beef burgers.

To be graphic, when you eat a burger with a whole grain bun, less of the fat will be absorbed into the blood stream and more fat will be bound up with the fiber and eliminated via your colon. Hence good for the body.

Fudd's is a good place for kids because of all the options. I will have to check out the ingredients in their cookies. Let you know that next time.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Airports can drive you nuts!

Having spent lots of time in airports lately, I am happy to say there is an abundance of healthy food around. I think we've reached a "tipping point." Here are some suggestions:

Starbucks has lots of good choices from packaged nuts to some new breakfast items. In addition to oatmeal that comes with dried fruit and nuts, they have a whole wheat wrap filled with egg whites, spinach, and feta cheese. They also have whole grain English muffins with turkey bacon and eggs. They have fresh fruit and yogurt parfaits too.

Even fast food kiosks now carry fresh salads, some completely vegetarian with good cheese, nuts, and fruit. I found cut up veggies with cheddar cheese cubes and ranch dressing. There are burrito places springing up where you can get a bowl, forget the flour tortilla, and add chicken, grilled peppers, onions, salsa and guacamole.

Try to avoid lots of caffeine when flying and instead choose bottled water or herbal tea. You will be more likely to sleep on the plane and wake up refreshed and ready to go.

I found many variations of chicken Caesars and kabobs. These are always a good choice. The newspaper and magazine outlets now carry healthy energy bars like Cliff and Luna instead of the ones with processed flours and sugar.

For those of you who want to be more food conscious, it appears that the days of treating the lack of decent foods in airports as an excuse to overindulge are gone.

Happy trails.