Memorial Day officially marks the beginning of picnics and outdoor parties. Many of us are planning social get-togethers with family and friends but some may be just a quiet day in the backyard. Either way, celebrate the holiday weekend with good health in mind.
New recipes comprised of healthy ingredients may be a concern with some families and friends. Some may say it is a time to celebrate, not a time to be “good.”
I say eating healthy can include moderate amounts of “unhealthy” foods, however, why not eat healthy? Parties and picnics may be just the time to introduce healthy new recipes.
Trying a healthy recipe at a get together can be a bit disastrous unless one or two people try it and like it. It helps to get positive feedback. Here is my not-so-great experience in bringing a “healthy” dip to a friend’s gathering.
I brought a bean salsa with cucumbers to a recent friend get together. It went over like a lead balloon. It was a recipe that I make for our family often. I saw that no one was eating it. At first, I was apologetic for not bring something everyone would like. Brownies, chocolate chip cookies, sour cream dip and chips. However, I did get positive feedback from my husband and son. Both liked it as well as one other young adult who did try it. I can’t say I felt good about bringing that dish to the party. In fact, when talking about our next get together, I offered to bring a pasta salad and simply stated I would leave the beans out. To my surprise, one person piped up and said, “I like beans.” Go figure.
Keep your health in mind this Memorial Day holiday. Here a few mindful tips about eating to help you out.
Take time to be aware of your physical hunger and fullness. Let these guide your decisions to eat and stop eating.
Our food choices are individual. There are no right or wrong ways to eat.
Choose to eat food that is both pleasing and nourishing by using all your senses.
Here is a recipe, which uses beans. It’s high in potassium, fiber and protein. One half cup cooked contains 304 mg, 5 grams fiber and 5 grams protein.
1 can kidney beans, drained (15 ounces)
1 can black beans, drained (15 ounces)
1 can corn, drained (15 ounces)
1 can crushed tomatoes (15 ounces)
1 can chopped green chilies (4 ounces)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon oil
limes, juiced (3 limes, optional)
salt (to taste, optional)
pepper (to taste, optional)
Mix kidney beans, black beans, corn, tomatoes, chilies, and onion in a large bowl. Add lime juice (if using) and oil, toss gently to combine. Taste. Add small amount of salt and pepper if desired. Serve by itself, with raw vegetables like sliced cucumbers and/or whole grain tortilla chips. Enjoy!
Mary Ehret is the Penn State Extension Nutrition Links Supervisor in Luzerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Carbon, Sullivan and Bradford counties. Reach her at 570-825-1701 or at email@example.com.