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Recipes: Ratatouille with White Beans & Polenta

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Ratatouille with White Beans & Polenta

EatingWell Test Kitchen
“Tons of lightly cooked vegetables combine with white beans in this hearty vegetarian dinner recipe. It can also be served over bread, like bruschetta.”

Ingredients

    • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
    • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
    • 4 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 small eggplant, cut into ½-inch chunks
    • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
    • 2 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced
    • 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added white beans, rinsed
    • 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
    • ¼ cup slivered sun-dried tomatoes
    • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
    • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped
    • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
    • 1 16- to 18-ounce tube prepared polenta (see Tip), sliced into 8 rounds
    • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts

Directions

  • 1Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and bell peppers, sprinkle with ⅛ teaspoon salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute more. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl.
  • 2Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pot. Add eggplant, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until browned in places, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer to the bowl with the vegetables.
  • 3Add another 2 tablespoons oil to the pot. Add zucchini, sprinkle with the remaining ⅛ teaspoon salt and cook, stirring frequently, until browned in places, 3 to 5 minutes. Add beans, cherry (or grape) tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, Italian seasoning, pepper and the reserved vegetables; stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes.
  • 4Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add polenta rounds and cook until golden brown on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Turn each slice and cook until browned on the second side, about 5 minutes more.
  • 5Stir capers into the ratatouille. Serve the polenta and the ratatouille topped with pine nuts.
  • Tips: Look for convenient tubes of precooked polenta in the pasta aisle or near refrigerated tofu at the supermarket.
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New Year, New You Fit Tip: Stop before you start

Make a list of bad habits you are willing to stop in order to live a healthier lifestyle. These decisions just might save your life.

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Recipes: Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs

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Spaghetti Squash & Meatballs

EatingWell Test Kitchen
“With this spaghetti squash and meatballs recipe, you can reduce the carbohydrates and increase the vegetable servings by skipping the pasta and serving the Italian-seasoned turkey meatballs and quick, homemade marinara sauce over thin strands of cooked spaghetti squash instead. Cooking the squash first in the microwave and then in a skillet to cook off the extra moisture, gives the squash a more spaghetti-like texture.”

Ingredients

    • 1 3-pound spaghetti squash
    • 2 tablespoons water
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
    • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
    • ½ cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese, divided
    • 1¼ teaspoons Italian seasoning, divided
    • ½ teaspoon onion powder
    • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
    • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
    • 1 pound 93%-lean ground turkey
    • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
    • 1 28-ounce can no-salt-added crushed tomatoes
    • ¼- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

Directions

  • Halve squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place facedown in a microwave-safe dish; add water. Microwave, uncovered, on High until the flesh can be easily scraped with a fork, 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Scrape the squash flesh into the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until the moisture is evaporated and the squash is beginning to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in ¼ cup parsley. Remove from heat, cover and let stand.
  • Meanwhile, combine the remaining ¼ cup parsley, ¼ cup Parmesan, ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning, onion powder, ¼ teaspoon salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add turkey; gently mix to combine (do not overmix). Using about 2 tablespoons each, form into 12 meatballs.
  • Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meatballs, reduce heat to medium and cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over, 4 to 6 minutes. Push the meatballs to the side of the pan, add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomatoes, crushed red pepper to taste, the remaining ¾ teaspoon Italian seasoning and ¼ teaspoon salt; stir to coat the meatballs. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meatballs are cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes more.
  • Serve the sauce and meatballs over the squash, sprinkled with the remaining ¼ cup Parmesan.
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New Year, New You Weight Loss Tip: Eat More Protein

Adding protein to your diet will keep you full for longer. If we feel our bodies with healthy proteins like lean meats, eggs, and Greek yogurt, we are more likely to eat less during the day and more likely to accomplish our weight loss goals.

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Recipes: Romaine Salad with Grapefruit & Shrimp

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Romaine Salad with Grapefruit & Shrimp

Robb Walsh
“The burst-in-your-mouth juicy sweetness of red grapefruit is a great partner for the slightly briny and chewy bite of cooked shrimp. In this healthy salad recipe, we use romaine lettuce and red cabbage, but a handful of peppery arugula or watercress would be a nice addition.”

Ingredients

    • 2 large red grapefruit (about 1 pound each)
    • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus 1 tablespoon, divided
    • 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper, plus more to taste
    • 1-1¼ pounds peeled and deveined raw shrimp (16-20 count), tails left on if desired
    • 8 cups coarsely chopped romaine lettuce
    • 1 cup very thinly sliced red cabbage
    • ½ cup slivered sweet onion
    • 8 sprigs fresh cilantro

Directions

  • Working over a medium nonreactive bowl, suprême grapefruit (see Tips). Squeeze the membranes to extract any extra juice. Measure 3 tablespoons juice into a large nonreactive bowl; save the remaining juice for another use.
  • Whisk ¼ cup oil into the large bowl along with vinegar, garlic, hot sauce, salt, and pepper.
  • Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shrimp and cook, stirring, until pink and just cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a medium bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of the dressing.
  • To serve, toss lettuce, cabbage, and onion with the remaining dressing in the large bowl. Divide among 4 plates. Top with the shrimp and the grapefruit segments. Season with pepper, if desired, and garnish with cilantro.
  • Tips: Be sure to use a nonreactive bowl—stainless-steel, enamel-coated or glass—when working with acidic food like grapefruit. Reactive vessels, such as aluminum and cast-iron, can impart off colors and/or flavors.
  • To suprême: Use this technique to get pretty, pith-free citrus sections every time. Cut a thin slice off the top and bottom of the fruit with a large sharp knife. Place on a cutting board. Remove the peel and white pith below, following the curve of the fruit as you go. Working over a bowl, switch to a small sharp knife and cut each segment from the surrounding membranes. Squeeze any extra juice from the membranes, if desired.
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New Year, New You Fit Tip: Celebrate the small wins

Celebrate all of your wins – big and small! You can celebrate by treating yourself to a day out for a massage, watch your favorite TV show, or draw yourself a nice, relaxing bubble bath. Just make sure your “treat” doesn’t sabotage your success like rewards of sweets and foods.

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Recipes: Za’atar-Roasted Chicken Tenders & Vegetables with Couscous

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Za’atar-Roasted Chicken Tenders & Vegetables with Couscous

EatingWell Test Kitchen
“Za’atar (or zaatar)—a Middle-Eastern spice blend that’s a mix of thyme, sumac, salt, sesame seeds and sometimes other herbs—gives this sheet-pan roast chicken recipe tons of flavor. Chicken tenders and pretrimmed green beans make this healthy dinner super-fast.”

Ingredients

  • 1 medium navel orange
  • 1 pound trimmed green beans
  • 1 medium red onion, halved and sliced
  • ½ cup Kalamata or Castelvetrano olives
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper, divided
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 1 tablespoon za’atar (see Tip)
  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • ⅔ cup whole-wheat couscous

Directions

  • Position rack in bottom third of oven; preheat to 450°F. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • Grate 2 teaspoons zest from the orange. Slice ½ inch off the ends and squeeze juice from them into a medium saucepan; add the zest. Set aside.
  • Cut the rest of the orange in half then cut into ¼-inch slices. Toss in a large bowl with green beans, onion, olives, oil, wine, salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread the mixture in an even layer on the prepared pan. Toss chicken with za’atar in the bowl, then place on top of the green bean mixture.
  • Roast on the bottom rack until the green beans are tender and the chicken is no longer pink in the middle, about 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add broth and the remaining ¼ teaspoon pepper to the saucepan. Bring to a boil. Stir in couscous. Remove from heat, cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Serve with the chicken and vegetables.
  • Spice blends like za’atar give you big flavor from just one ingredient. A mix of thyme, sumac, salt, sesame seeds and sometimes other herbs, look for it in the bulk spice section of natural-food stores, in specialty-food stores or on amazon.com. To make your own mix: Blend 1 tsp. each ground sumac, sesame seeds and dried thyme with ¼ tsp. salt.
  • Chicken tenders require zero prep (just rip open the package) and cook in a snap because they’re so thin, which makes them perfect for fast weeknight meals. The tender is typically found attached to the underside of the chicken breast, but can also be purchased separately.
  • Many whole grains take 30-plus minutes to cook, but whole-wheat couscous is ready in five. It’s a flavor sponge, so serve with a saucy dish or try stirring fresh herbs or citrus juice into it, as we do here. If you don’t like the taste of whole-wheat, don’t worry—it’s mellow in couscous.
  • Easy cleanup: Recipes that require cooking spray can leave behind a sticky residue that can be hard to clean. To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you apply the cooking spray.
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New Year, New You Weight Loss Tip: Get Rid of Unhealthy Foods

If you are trying to lose weight, you have no use for cookies, chips, or unhealthy foods.

These types of foods will only make it more difficult for you to reach your weight loss goals. There are some healthier options for your sweet and salty cravings.

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New Year, New You Fit Tip: Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is a great step towards achieving your weight loss efforts. HOW you choose to hydrate can have a big impact on your health and your waist.

Drinking water helps keep you satisfied between meals and avoid overeating. You can also avoid hundreds of extra calories each day by choosing water instead of sodas or other sugar-sweetened beverages.

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Recipes: Maple Granola

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Maple Granola

Sara Haas, R.D.N., L.D.N.
“This quick and healthy granola recipe can be enjoyed like cereal with milk or sprinkled over yogurt to make an easy parfait. Serve with a banana for a balanced breakfast. ”

Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
    • 1 tablespoon canola oil
    • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
    • 1 cup rolled oats
    • ¼ cup chopped pecans
    • 1½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
    • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

Directions

  • 1Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • 2Combine maple syrup, oil and vanilla in a medium bowl. Stir in oat, pecans, cinnamon and salt until evenly combined. Evenly spread out onto the prepared baking sheet.
  • 3Bake the granola, stirring halfway through, until golden, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool completely before storing.
  • Make Ahead Tip: Store airtight for up to 2 weeks.
  • Equipment: Parchment paper
  • People with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity should use oats that are labeled “gluten-free,” as oats are often cross-contaminated with wheat and barley.