Try this new way to enjoy fresh vegetables. In a bowl, add 1 sliced cucumber, 2/3 cup cooked barley, 1 cup corn and 3/4 cup chopped red bell peppers. Stir in the following dressing: 3 tablespoons white vinegar, 1 tablespoon water, 1 1/2 teaspoon oil, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Marinate for at least 2 hours before serving. It's the perfect amount for two to share.
Want a new lunch idea? Try pita bread stuffed with fresh veggies. In a small bowl, toss together chopped cauliflower and broccoli florets, sliced green onions, diced tomatoes and cucumbers. Cut a whole-wheat pita in half and fill each side with the vegetables and 1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese. Warm the pita in the microwave for about 40 seconds. Top with 1 1/2 teaspoons low-fat ranch salad dressing.
Legumes are low in fat and high in fiber. Common legumes include beans, peas and lentils. Here are some tips for adding these nutritional powerhouses to your diet: 1. Add beans, peas or lentils to soups, stews, and casseroles. 2. Use pureed beans as the basis for dips and spreads. 3. Add chickpeas or black beans to salads. 4. Snack on a handful of soy nuts rather than on chips or crackers.
Whether it's mild or scorching, smooth or chunky, salsa is great on a variety of foods. Try it on potatoes, vegetables, fish and chicken. Unfortunately, store-bought salsa can be high in salt. But you can easily make your own. Start by chopping up 2 garlic cloves, 1 small red onion, 2 bell peppers and 4 tomatoes. Toss these with fresh cilantro, 1/4 cup lime juice and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Add 1 teaspoon black pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt (optional). Chill for at least 30 minutes to let the flavors meld.
Want a new way to enjoy more fruit? Try this peachy keen trick. Drain liquid from a 15-ounce can of unsweetened peaches (or pears). Toss fruit with 2 tablespoons honey and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Mash with a fork until the mixture is the consistency of chunky applesauce. Use as a topping for waffles, pancakes or French toast.
Want a new way to enjoy fresh fruit? Whip up a sweet and tangy fruit dip. Combine 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice and 1 teaspoon lime zest with 4 ounces (113 grams) of low-fat, sugar-free lemon yogurt. Serve with sliced cantaloupe, pineapple, mango, honeydew or other favorite fruit.
Want a new way to enjoy fresh fruit? Make fruit kebabs. Start by placing wooden skewers in water and soaking for at least 10 minutes. Place cubed fruit, such as cantaloupe, pineapple, mango or honeydew, onto skewers. Place skewers on a baking sheet and sprinkle with brown sugar. Broil until slightly bubbly, about 2 minutes on each side.
Want a new way to enjoy fruit? Make your own blueberry-banana smoothie. In a blender, add 2 fresh or frozen bananas, 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, and 1 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt. Blend until smooth.
Want a new way to enjoy fresh fruit? Grill it! Cut apples, pears or peaches into chunks, brush lightly with canola oil and sprinkle with cinnamon. Place on skewers or wrap in foil. Grill on low heat for 3 to 5 minutes.
Want a new way to enjoy fresh vegetables? Make grilled vegetable kebabs. Brush cherry tomatoes, button mushrooms, zucchini slices, red onions and bell peppers with Italian dressing. Place onto skewers and grill over medium heat, turning often, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.