List the foods that taste great and make you feel good about yourself when you eat them:
- Oatmeal, served hot, with fresh berries and cold milk. I never add sugar.
- Yogurt, plain, with fruit and granola.
- I make a salad of cauliflower, garbanzo beans and slivered almonds, dressed with plain yogurt. It’s rich in flavor, has a good texture, and feels like a healthy choice.
- Chicken salad. The one I make is savory, with onion, celery and mayonnaise. It is wonderful served with a wedge of fresh pineapple.
- Dinner salad. This starts with lettuce and other greens; I add cauliflower, cucumber, tomato and avocado. Toss in hard-boiled egg slices, garbanzo beans and nuts. Sometimes dried cherries. Top it with a grilled chicken breast and either ranch dressing or a raspberry vinaigrette. One summer, I ate this salad almost every single night.
- Soup. I start with any combination of dried beans, cooked until tender. I add vegetable stock made from tomatoes and other garden excess, then diced celery and carrots. I toss in a handful each of barley and wild rice. Sometimes a few spices or a shake of hot sauce. I make this weekly, in the wintertime, and have it for lunch almost every day.
- Smothered protein. The protein, in this case, is usually either a burger or a chicken breast, but a small steak or a salmon fillet would work, too. To the cooked meat, in my cast iron frying pan, I add a mountain of diced cauliflower, sliced brussel sprouts, cabbage, trimmed green beans, or any good, fresh and plentiful vegetable. I top the mound with whatever cheese I have on hand, add a couple tablespoons of water, broth or tomato juice, cover and let it steam. One pan, one plate, and a reasonably quick, easy and healthy meal.
- Fresh fruit. Growing up, we picked apples, pears, peaches and plums from the trees in our yard, and could eat them to our heart’s content. We got grapes from the vines, and raspberries from the bushes. Oranges and tangerines were a special treat. Fruit is always refreshing, and never makes me feel like I’m not eating well.
There are, of course, many other foods that taste great and that I love to eat, but that don’t leave me feeling that I’m taking good care of myself when I eat them. I’ll save the noodle dishes, pizza and macaroni and cheese for another discussion!