Healthy eating is the foundation for the rest of your efforts to become healthy, and we're making it really very simple. All you have to do is follow these basic guidelines: ·
- Use lots of colorful vegetables and fruit, whether fresh, canned, or frozen. ·
- Use mostly “good” fats such as olive oil and other vegetable oils. Polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats are found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and fish. They lower disease risks.
- Stay away from saturated fats found in red meats and full-fat dairy and from trans fats, hydrogenated oils, found in processed foods and baked goods.
- Our bodies absolutely need good fats to function well.
- Use whole grains. They're a good source of fiber, which keeps our bodies functioning optimally, as well as of important nutrients such as selenium, magnesium, and potassium. ·
- Use low-fat proteins, such as skinless chicken breast, beans, nuts, and lean cuts of beef and pork. And have two servings a week of fish.
- Keep your salt intake to about 1 teaspoon a day (2400 mg. sodium) or less. Make it 1/2 teaspoon a day (1200 mg. sodium) for seniors and others who need to limit their salt intake.
- Limit sugars to about 10 teaspoons a day (40 g)
That list is simple and easy to follow. Always keep it in mind when you're making choices about what to eat: Lots of fruits and vegetables; good fats; whole grains; low-fat proteins; low salt and low sugar intake. You can do that!
Now, how about today's recipe?
Garden Bean Salad with Fresh Vegetables
1 15-ounce can beans such as navy, white, cannelli, pinto, or your choice (You can use 1 ½ cups cooked dried beans. Recipe to come in future posts)
Choose among the following: This salad is best the more vegetables you use.
½ cup carrots, shredded, prepared (optional)
½ cup celery, chopped (optional)
½ cup bell pepper, chopped (optional)
½ cup onion, chopped (optional)
½ cup vegetables on hand (optional)
1 tablespoon low-fat, low-sodium bottled Italian or Caesar dressing or 1 tablespoon homemade salad dressing, using a ratio of 4 parts good oil to 1 part vinegar or lemon juice (Recipe to come in future posts.)
3-4 washed lettuce leaves, your choice, or 2 cups packaged pre-washed lettuce
Pour canned beans into a colander. Rinse well. Drain. Rinse and drain again. Add the rinsed and drained beans to a large bowl. Or place 2 cups drained, cooked dried beans in the bowl.
Add your choice of prepared vegetables. Place in refrigerator for about 30-45 minutes to cool. Remove and add salad dressing. Mix well. (If using commercial bottled dressing, test for acidity. Add oil to cut the tartness.) Serve over washed lettuce leaves that have been spread on plates.
Whole wheat pita goes well with this salad.
Whole Wheat Pita
Place entire pita in a toaster oven on warm for 5-7 minutes. Remove and cut into wedges. Serve beside Garden Bean Salad.