Whole-wheat blueberry muffins
Although the USDA Food Guide Pyramid is grain-heavy, most Americans simply don't work enough whole-grain foods into their diets. Because whole-wheat flour contains wheat germ, it is higher in fiber than conventional all-purpose flours.
Perfect for breakfast or a snack, blueberries add an extra nutritional boost to these high-fiber muffins. Blueberries are high in fiber and vitamin C. They're also low in calories, fat and sodium. Loaded with phytochemicals, blueberries help fight infections, heal wounds and enhance the absorption of iron from other foods.
Makes 12 muffins
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole-wheat flour
2 cups fresh blueberries, or frozen blueberries, thawed and well-drained
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 egg whites
1/2 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin cups with paper baking cups. Stir together flour and whole-wheat flour. Measure out 1 tablespoon flour mixture and sprinkle over blueberries; toss to coat evenly and set aside. Stir baking powder and salt into flour mixture; set aside.
Beat butter and sugar together until creamy. Beat in egg whites until well-combined. Stir in milk and vanilla. Stir in flour mixture, blending just until softened. Stir in blueberries. Spoon into muffin cups, filling nearly to the top of each cup. Bake 25 minutes or until golden brown.
Per muffin: 198 calories (26 percent from fat), 6 grams total fat (3 grams saturated), 14 milligrams cholesterol, 32 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 240 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.
Orange-glazed salmon and greens
Salmon is a fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, a fat that is good for the heart. Omega-3 fatty acids can dramatically reduce triglycerides in the blood as well as reduce cholesterol. The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two (3-ounce) servings (cooked weight) of fatty fish a week to help lower the risk of heart disease. Greens are high in calcium and a good source of folate, which is especially important for pregnant women. Not a fan of greens? We think this recipe will win you over.
Makes 8 servings
1/3 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1/4 cup light soy sauce
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
4 salmon filets, about 6- to 8-ounces each
2 teaspoons canola or peanut oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 red pepper, cut into 1- by-1/4-inch strips
1 cup sliced mushrooms
7 to 8 cups fresh torn greens (such as spinach, mustard, collard, Swiss chard, or combination)
Combine orange juice concentrate, soy sauce, water, sesame oil, honey and ginger. Stir to combine well. Measure out 1/4 cup mixture to use as a basting sauce on salmon; reserve remaining sauce.
Place salmon filets on broiler pan and brush with half of the 1/4 cup orange juice mixture. Broil 5 to 6 minutes or until browned. Turn salmon, brush with orange juice mixture and broil 5 to 6 minutes or until fish is opaque and flakes easily with fork. Remove skin.
Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet. Add onion and saute', stirring frequently, until onion is translucent. Add red pepper and mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are crisp-tender. Pour reserved orange juice mixture into skillet and heat until sauce boils rapidly. Add torn greens, cover and cook 1 minute.
Using tongs, lift steamed greens from skillet and arrange in deep serving platter. Place salmon over greens. Spoon remaining vegetables around salmon, then pour sauce over salmon, coating well.
Per serving: 186 calories (25 percent from fat), 5 grams total fat (1 gram saturated), 44 milligrams cholesterol, 14 grams carbohydrates, 19 grams protein, 371 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.
Southwest vegetable and brown rice soup
This soup does not contain meat, however we chose canned chicken broth over canned vegetable broth because it contains less sodium. Feel free to swap if you prefer a vegetarian version.
There is also plenty of fiber in this soup, thanks to the black beans and brown rice. A complex carbohydrate, brown rice has more vitamins and minerals than white rice. It's also high in insoluble fiber.
Finally, note the red pepper adds color, texture, flavor and some powerful antioxidants to boot.
Makes 10 to 12 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 carrots, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 cup brown rice
2 (14.5-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth
1 (8-ounce) can no-salt added tomato sauce
1 cup salsa
2 cups water
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon leaf oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro
Heat oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and carrots and sauté, stirring frequently, until onion is tender. Stir in red pepper, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in zucchini, rice, broth, tomato sauce, salsa, water and seasonings. Cover, heat to boiling, reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes.
Stir in beans and corn. Simmer 15 minutes, or until vegetables and rice are tender. Ladle into serving bowls and sprinkle each serving with minced cilantro.
Per serving (based on 10): 158 calories (13 percent from fat), 2 grams total fat (trace saturated fat), no cholesterol, 26 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams protein, 230 milligrams sodium, 5 grams dietary fiber.