3/30/08

The two P's of healthy eating

Presentation and Portions. On friday night I wanted to cook karel a good dinner. He said he was feeling a bit tired and fatigued from getting a few yearly shots on Thurs so my first though was immune system boosting foods-antioxidants! I asked him what he wanted and he said a wrap. Yum-my favorite. I just love cooking the stuff for the inside of a wrap. He was on his bike for a little over an hour so I knew my time was limited for cooking. Most of my meals take less than 30 minutes to make but I needed to get some fruits and veggies for our meal. I decided to walk (YES-I said walk..not drive) to the fresh market 3/4 mile down the road. That took some time to walk and shop but only about 40 minutes. I bought loads of stuff (tomatoes, apples, mango's, grapes mushrooms, potatoes, butternut squash, bananas, chives, onions and lettuce) and for all of that, only $11. I think I would only be able to buy a few apples and maybe a head of lettuce and a pepper at the grocery store for the same price. I walked home with my bags of fruits and veggies and started cooking. Unfortunately, I kinda spent too long prepping my food and Karel came home before anything was finished. Oh well, I cut up some apple slices and grapes for him and with a glass of milk, he held off for 20 more minutes. I had never cooked butternut squash before and since I don't follow recipes (except for the recipes in my head that I come up with and what I see on the food network) I decided to cook the squash like a sweet potato and prepare it like my mom's mashed sweet potato dish. I microwaved the squash for 13 minutes (flipping it every 3-5 minutes) and then scooped out the seeds and then spooned it in a bowl. I added a small handful of oatmeal, a small spoon of Smart Balance Omega Butter, cinnamon and a little light brown sugar. For the wraps, I cooked the red potato's (after slicing them), mushrooms, tomatoes (which release more nutrients when heated) and onions. I cooked them in Spray Pam and a little Olive Oil, paprika, pepper and Cajun Spice (I love hot food!). I also hard-boiled some eggs and cut up some lettuce.
Since I didn't need to eat all the calories from a whole wrap, I wanted to use those 40-50 calories on protein rather than carbs. I filled up on salad and egg whites and prepared 1/2 a wrap (open) with all my great veggies. I love my breads and other carbs, but I's rather have a little of those foods than a lot, especially since i have to be most strict with my protein. We had spinach wraps so I just toasted them a bit in the hot pan that i cooked the veggies in. For desert, since we only had a little room left in our stomachs a few hours later, I cut up the fruit (bananas, grapes, apples and mango) and topped it with 2-3 spoonfuls of orange and vanilla Edy's Slow Churned yogurt ice cream (100 calories per 1/2 cup). As you can see from the pics, Karel and I can eat the same foods but in different quantities. And of course, it is all about presentation. If it looks good on your plate, you are less likely to eat fast and you will also feel super good about the healthy food you are eating. Enjoy!