Foods You Should Resolve to Keep in 2017!

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Happy New Year, friends! Its once again time to reflect on our year and start making resolutions for a fresh new start.  Last year was chock-full of healthy food trends, for example embracing full fat dairy products because they may lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and prevent weight gain, and drinking green tea for it’s antioxidant benefits. Slowly but surely, the trend is to focus is changing from what to eliminate for a healthy diet to what to add for a healthy diet. After all, it’s much more fun to incorporate more foods than it is to restrict them.

In the spirit of New Year’s resolutions and aspiring to be healthier, here are some foods to keep or incorporate into your diet through 2017!

Eggs   

Eggs were a big trend in 2016 thanks to the popularity of dishes like avocado toast, and soft fried egg on your favorite burger.

 

Back in the 70s, eggs got a bad reputation for their cholesterol content, the relationship between cholesterol and heart disease. Those early studies about eggs and heart disease didn’t take saturated fat into consideration. Dietary cholesterol’s effect on heart disease risk may be dependent on genetics and is not clear. So it turns out that eggs are like most foods—you should eat them in moderation. They are also inexpensive, accessible, and contain high quality protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Beets

Beets are a favorite in juices, salads, and even baked goods for their naturally great color. However the earthy taste may turn off picky eaters. It’s time to learn to love the beet.

The bulb and the greens are edible, together providing calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and small amounts of other vitamins. Beet juice has been used to improve athletic performance, which is related to nitrate content in beets. The increase in nitrite concentration in the blood after beet consumption has shown to reduce blood pressure and improve the body’s response to moderate-intensity exercise. Get on board and join the beet club!

Lentils

Lentils, a pulse crop in the legume family, are a must for your menu in 2017. Aside from the fact that they are an excellent source of plant-based protein and fiber, lentils have shown to help with long-term blood sugar control and lowering LDL levels to reduce heart disease. Lentils are praised by farmers because they take nitrogen from the air and add it to the soil, making it richer for growing crops. If you think you’ve had your fill of beans, think again. There’s too much good in one little seed.

Kale and Beet Salad with Salmon

2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, divided

1/2 cup water

1 tablespoon honey, divided

1 cup vertically sliced red onion

4 medium golden beets, trimmed

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

6 cups torn stemmed curly kale

2 (6-ounce) cans pink or red skinless, boneless salmon, drained and flaked (such as Wild Planet)

1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted

Bring 2/3 cup vinegar, 1/2 cup water, and 2 teaspoons honey to a boil in a small saucepan. Add onion; boil 1 minute. Remove pan from heat, and let stand for 10 minutes. Drain.

Pierce beets a few times with a knife; wrap in a large piece of microwave-safe parchment paper. Microwave at HIGH 7 minutes or until tender. Rub off skins with a paper towel. Halve beets; cut into wedges.

Combine remaining 2 tablespoons vinegar, remaining 1 teaspoon honey, oil, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Add beets and kale; toss to coat. Place about 1 1/2 cups kale mixture on each of 4 plates; top each with 3 ounces salmon, about 1/4 cup onion, and 1 tablespoon almonds.

Serves 4, each serving contains: Calories 355, Fat 15.5 g, Protein 29 g, Carbohydrate 29 g

Fiber 6 g, Cholesterol 56 mg, Sodium 600 mg, Calcium 211 mg, Sugars 13 g.

 

Spiced Beet and Carrot Soup

1 pound small red beets, peeled and quartered

1/2 pound large carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise

2 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, divided

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups diced peeled apple

3/4 cup chopped yellow onion

1/2 teaspoon garam masala

2 cups organic vegetable broth

2 cups water

1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

3/4 cup plain 2% reduced-fat Greek yogurt

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted

1/3 cup baby watercress

Preheat oven to 425°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Place beets and carrots in a bowl. Drizzle with 1 1/2 teaspoons oil; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Toss. Arrange the vegetables on prepared pan. Bake at 425° for 40 minutes or until tender, stirring once. Remove from oven; cool slightly. Cut beets and carrots into 1-inch pieces.

Heat a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon oil; swirl to coat. Add apple, onion, and garam masala to pan; cook 1 1/2 minutes. Add beet mixture, broth, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, and let stand 15 minutes.

Place half of the beet mixture in a blender, and blend until smooth. Pour soup into a bowl. Repeat. Stir in lemon juice. Ladle about 1 1/4 cups soup into each of 4 bowls; top each serving with 3 tablespoons yogurt, 2 tablespoons walnuts, and about 1 tablespoon watercress.

Serves 4, each serving contains: Calories 247, Fat 12.3 g, Protein 8.4 g, Carbohydrate 29.5 g,

Fiber 6.8 g, Cholesterol 3 mg, Sodium 577 mg, Calcium 91 mg.

Mid-Day Pick-Me-Up

6 ounces chopped peeled beet (1 cup)

4 ounces chopped pineapple (1/2 cup)

1/2 ounce seeded jalapeño pepper

Juice in an electric juicer. Serve immediately for the best quality, or within 24 hours.

Serves 1, each serving contains: Calories 114, Fat 0.5 g, Protein 3 g, Carbohydrate 27 g,

Fiber 2 g, Cholesterol 0.0 mg, Sodium 134 mg, Calcium 44 mg, Sugars 23 g.

Lemon Curd with Berries

2/3 cup sugar

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup fresh orange juice

1/8 teaspoon salt

6 large egg yolks

3 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces

2 teaspoons grated lemon rind

1 1/2 cups blueberries

1 1/2 cups raspberries

8 teaspoons graham cracker crumbs

Combine the first 5 ingredients in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Heat to 180° or until thick (about 6 minutes), stirring constantly with a whisk; remove from heat. Add butter and rind, stirring until butter melts. Place curd in a medium bowl. Cover surface of curd with plastic wrap, and chill completely. Spoon 2 tablespoons curd into each of 8 small cups. Top each serving with 1 1/2 tablespoons blueberries and 1 1/2 tablespoons raspberries. Repeat layers of curd and berries. Top each serving with 1 teaspoon crumbs.

Serves 8, each serving contains: Calories 174, Fat 8.1 g, Protein 2.7 g, Carbohydrate 24.4 g,

Fiber 2.1 g, Cholesterol 169 mg, Sodium 85 mg, Calcium 30 mg.

 

 

Lentil Soup with Spicy Italian Sausage

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound fully cooked hot Italian sausage, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1 large onion, chopped (about 3 cups)

2 large carrots, peeled, chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)

2 large parsnips, peeled, chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)

2 large celery stalks, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning blend

1 pound brown lentils (about 2 1/3 cups)

3 quarts (or more) low-salt chicken broth

1 5-ounce package baby spinach leaves

Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to bowl. Add onion, carrots, parsnips, celery, and Italian seasoning blend to drippings in pot; cook until onion is translucent and vegetables begin to soften, stirring often, 7 to 8 minutes. Add lentils; stir to coat. Add 3 quarts broth. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if soup is too thick, 20 minutes.

Add sausage to soup and simmer until vegetables are tender and flavors blend, 10 to 12 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.

 

 

Lentil Veggie Soup

1 cup dried brown lentils
4 cups vegetable broth
1 (14 1/2 oz.) can diced tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 medium onion, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery stalks (including leaves,) chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Pour lentils in a bowl, cover with water, and allow to sit overnight.

Over medium heat, cook onions in olive oil in a large soup pan. Add garlic and celery. Once celery begins to soften, add carrots, tomatoes, bay leaf and vegetable stock. Pour in drained lentils.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and allow the soup to simmer for 30 minutes.

Remove and discard bay leaf and add vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serves 4, each serving contains; Calories 228, Fat 9.1 g, Cholesterol 0.0 mg, Sodium 1,082 mg, Carbohydrates 31 g, Dietary Fiber 6 g, Protein 7.9 g.

Written By

Photo of Tammy Kelly, Ed. DTammy Kelly, Ed. DCounty Extension Director (252) 527-2191 tammy_kelly@ncsu.eduLenoir County, North Carolina
Updated on Jan 6, 2017
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