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Practical Nutrition: Don’t let the heat be an excuse not to cook | Practical Nutrition Advice with Mary Jo Sawyer

What are you cooking for dinner? With greater summer time temperatures, heating up your kitchen through the use of the oven may be the final thing in your thoughts. To keep away from that, some individuals eat out extra typically. Others graze all through the night on high-calorie meals, snacks or frozen treats.

Don’t let the heat be an excuse to not cook. You can nonetheless put together nutritious meals with out utilizing your range and oven — or ruining your health objectives. To maintain meals balanced, embrace three out of the 5 food teams: protein, grains, fruits, greens or dairy.

These 4 cool food-prep options might help you get food on the desk throughout scorching summer time days.

Enjoy a chilly salad for dinner. Take benefit of seasonal recent produce out of your backyard, farmers market or grocer’s (air-conditioned) produce part. Form the base of your salad with quite a lot of lettuces or darkish, leafy greens. Then fill in with colourful, low-calorie uncooked greens.

The remainder of your salad elements could make or break nutrition. Many individuals douse their salads in dressing. Ranch dressing provides 140 energy per 2 tablespoons. Use smaller quantities of dressing or attempt lower-calorie ones.

Be positive to embrace a lean protein supply, resembling grilled hen or fish, when consuming at house. At salad bars it’s straightforward to load up on protein meals — hen or tuna salads, eggs, cheese, nuts, seeds, kidney beans, chickpeas, tofu or chopped meats. To hold energy in examine, choose one foremost protein supply, and a smaller portion of a second one.

Dried fruits are additionally high-calorie. Limit to 1 tablespoon, or add a recent fruit or cup of recent fruit chunks on the aspect.

Sandwich meals are fast and straightforward. Size counts. A 12-inch sub can have greater than 700 energy. Instead, choose smaller parts of whole-grain breads, wraps or buns, or make a lettuce wrap.

Lean deli meats are an excellent and fast choice, particularly lower-sodium ones. Cheese provides taste, however at about 100 energy per slice, so watch parts. Likewise, 2 tablespoons of peanut butter has about 190 energy; 5 tablespoons 475.

For an entire meal, add a salad, recent fruit or yogurt.

Break out your sluggish cooker. While typically utilized in chilly climate, they cook full meals with out heating up your kitchen, in order that they’re good proper now. Beware that many sluggish cooker recipes are filled with high-calorie, high-fat or high-sodium components. For a scrumptious healthful recipe, attempt as we speak’s Slow Cooker Chicken, Potatoes and Green Beans.

Revisit your microwave. When you do cook, plan to have leftovers for an additional meal, then reheat in the microwave. It’s additionally a useful gizmo for cooking recent or frozen greens for a aspect dish to spherical out your meals.

Mary-Jo Sawyer is a registered dietitian with VCU Medical Center the place she offers outpatient nutrition counseling. Contact her at maryjosawyer@ymail.com, and comply with her on Facebook at Practical Nutrition, Mary-Jo Sawyer, RD, or on Twitter @MaryJoSawyer.

— Adapted from a recipe by Sarah Olson at www.themagicalslowcooker.com


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