Instead of high-fat meats, this calzone is stuffed with fresh vegetables, which significantly reduces the amount of fat and calories. Serve with a salad and fruit.
- 3 asparagus stalks, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup chopped spinach
- 1/2 cup chopped broccoli
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- 2 tablespoons garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/2 pound frozen whole-wheat bread dough loaf, thawed
- 1 medium tomato, sliced
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2/3 cup pizza sauce
Preheat the oven to 400 F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, add the asparagus, spinach, broccoli, mushrooms and garlic. Drizzle 1 teaspoon of the olive oil over the vegetables and toss to mix well.
Heat a large, nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the vegetables and saute for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
On a floured surface, cut the bread dough in half. Press each half into a circle. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough into an oval. On half of the oval, add 1/2 of the sauteed vegetables, 1/2 of the tomato slices and 1/4 cup cheese. Wet your finger and rub the edge of the dough that has the filling on it. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges together. Roll the edges and then press them down with a fork. Place the calzone on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat to make the other calzone.
Brush the calzones with the remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil. Bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes.
Heat the pizza sauce in the microwave or on the stove top. Place each calzone on a plate. Serve with 1/3 cup pizza sauce on the side or pour the sauce over the calzones.
Nutritional analysis per serving
|Serving size: 1 calzone|
|Total fat||8 g||Total carbohydrate||34 g|
|Saturated fat||2 g||Dietary fiber||4 g|
|Monounsaturated fat||3 g||Protein||12 g|
- 4 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon minced garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 ounces fat-free plain yogurt
- 1 piece flatbread (about 2 ounces)
- 1 cup chopped spinach (about 2 ounces)
- 1/2 small cucumber, sliced (about 2 ounces)
- Coarse chopped basil, to taste
Season chicken with spices, cover or put into plastic bag, and let marinate in the refrigerator for 2 hours.
Heat gas or charcoal grill to medium high (or turn on broiler). Grill or broil chicken breasts about 3 to 4 minutes per side or until the internal temperature is 165 F. Let cool.
Slice chicken and toss with yogurt. Build wrap with all ingredients: flatbread, sliced chicken and yogurt, spinach, cucumber, and basil. Enjoy.
Nutritional analysis per serving
|Serving size: 1 wrap|
|Total fat||7 g||Total carbohydrate||33 g|
|Saturated fat||1 g||Dietary fiber||4 g|
|Trans fat||0 g||Sugars||0 g|
|Monounsaturated fat||2 g||Protein||49 g|
What can I do to keep my bones healthy?
You can take a few simple steps to prevent or slow bone loss. For example:
- Include plenty of calcium in your diet. For adults ages 19 to 50 and men ages 51 to 70, the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium a day. The recommendation increases to 1,200 mg a day for women after age 50 and for men after age 70. Good sources of calcium include dairy products, almonds, broccoli, kale, canned salmon with bones, sardines and soy products, such as tofu. If you find it difficult to get enough calcium from your diet, ask your doctor about supplements.
- Pay attention to vitamin D. Your body needs vitamin D to absorb calcium. For adults ages 19 to 70, the RDA of vitamin D is 600 international units (IUs) a day. The recommendation increases to 800 IUs a day for adults age 71 and older. Good sources of vitamin D include oily fish, such as tuna and sardines, egg yolks and fortified milk. Sunlight also contributes to the body’s production of vitamin D. If you’re worried about getting enough vitamin D, ask your doctor about supplements.
- Include physical activity in your daily routine. Weight-bearing exercises, such as walking, jogging, tennis and climbing stairs, can help you build strong bones and slow bone loss.
- Avoid substance abuse. Don’t smoke and avoid drinking more than two alcoholic drinks a day.
Enlist your doctor’s help
If you’re concerned about your bone health or your risk factors for osteoporosis, consult your doctor. He or she may recommend a bone density test. The results will help your doctor gauge your bone density and determine your rate of bone loss. By evaluating this information and your risk factors, your doctor can assess whether you might be a candidate for medication to help slow bone loss.
Protecting your bone health is easier than you think. Understand how diet, physical activity and other lifestyle factors can affect your bone mass.
Bones play many roles in the body — providing structure, protecting organs, anchoring muscles and storing calcium. While it’s particularly important to take steps to build strong and healthy bones during childhood and adolescence, you can take steps during adulthood to protect bone health, too.
Why is bone health important?
Your bones are continuously changing — new bone is made and old bone is broken down. When you’re young, your body makes new bone faster than it breaks down old bone, and your bone mass increases. Most people reach their peak bone mass around age 30. After that, bone remodeling continues, but you lose slightly more bone mass than you gain.
How likely you are to develop osteoporosis — a condition that causes bones to become weak and brittle — depends on how much bone mass you attain by the time you reach age 30 and how rapidly you lose it after that. The higher your peak bone mass, the more bone you have “in the bank” and the less likely you are to develop osteoporosis as you age.
What affects bone health?
A number of factors can affect bone health. For example:
- The amount of calcium in your diet. A diet low in calcium contributes to diminished bone density, early bone loss and an increased risk of fractures.
- Physical activity. People who are physically inactive have a higher risk of osteoporosis than do their more-active counterparts.
- Tobacco and alcohol use. Research suggests that tobacco use contributes to weak bones. Similarly, regularly having more than two alcoholic drinks a day increases the risk of osteoporosis, possibly because alcohol can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb calcium.
- Gender, size and age. You’re at greater risk of osteoporosis if you’re a woman, because women have less bone tissue than do men. You’re also at risk if you’re extremely thin (with a body mass index of 19 or less) or have a small body frame because you may have less bone mass to draw from as you age. Also your bones become thinner and weaker as you age.
- Race and family history. You’re at greatest risk of osteoporosis if you’re white or of Asian descent. In addition, having a parent or sibling who has osteoporosis puts you at greater risk — especially if you also have a family history of fractures.
- Hormone levels. Too much thyroid hormone can cause bone loss. In women, bone loss increases dramatically at menopause due to dropping estrogen levels. Prolonged periods absence of menstruation (amenorrhea), before menopause also increases the risk of osteoporosis. In men, low testosterone levels can cause a loss of bone mass.
- Eating disorders and other conditions. People who have anorexia or bulimia are at risk of bone loss. In addition, stomach surgery (gastrectomy), weight-loss surgery and conditions such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease and Cushing’s disease can affect your body’s ability to absorb calcium.
- Certain medications. Long-term use of corticosteroid medications, such as prednisone, cortisone, prednisolone and dexamethasone, are damaging to bone. Other drugs that may increase the risk of osteoporosis include aromatase inhibitors to treat breast cancer, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, methotrexate, some anti-seizure medications and proton pump inhibitors.
Healthy aging is a hot topic for baby boomers everywhere. Whether you’re concerned about weight gain, sex drive or chronic diseases, the key to healthy aging is a healthy lifestyle. Eating a variety of healthy foods, practicing portion control and including physical activity in your daily routine can go a long way toward promoting healthy aging. Better yet, it’s never too late to make healthier lifestyle choices.
If an interest in healthy aging leads you to consider anti-aging therapies — such as restrictive diets, supplements or expensive treatments claiming to postpone or even reverse the aging process — be cautious. There’s no quick fix for healthy aging. Know what you’re buying, and know how to spot suspicious schemes. Often, anti-aging therapies don’t live up to the claims.
Another important aspect of healthy retirement is long term care. Consider your options now — including type of long term care, as well as how to pay for it — to help prevent hasty decisions later.
Most experts agree that the sun’s damaging effect on the skin has to do with oxidative damage. The sun’s UV radiation causes the formation of free radicals and helps contribute to the development of skin cancer and premature ageing of the skin. Building safe sun habits into your daily routine is essential to help protect your skin and keep it cancer free.
But having good skin can also work from the inside, new research demonstrates. Antioxidants act as scavengers of oxygen free radicals and new studies have found that by replenishing the skin’s antioxidant capabilities you can boost the skin’s natural UV-filtering properties, preventing sunburn and possibly even skin cancer.
Vitamin C makes up an important part of the skin’s antioxidant system and UV exposure significantly depletes the skin’s vitamin C reserves. So, if a person has low stores of vitamin C to begin with, UV light makes them even lower yet. In a recent study, researchers found skin levels of vitamin C were maximised after applying a 15 percent topical solution of vitamin C over three days.
The research found that vitamins C and E are powerful skin protectors and that they work together to prevent sunburn. Although each vitamin functions well separately, they strongly complement each other when used in combination. One study found that an oral combination of vitamins C and E in high doses – 2g of vitamin E and 3g of vitamin C per day for 50 or more days provided significant protection against sunburn, whereas either vitamin alone was ineffective. Such research supports the hypothesis that the oral use of vitamins E and C increases resistance to sunburn. These antioxidants are thought to reduce the risk of skin cancer, and are expected to provide protection from the sun.
Another study indicated that antioxidants found naturally in food sources such as green leafy vegetables, carrots, corn and eggs or supplements can absorb, and thus filter out, UV radiation. Of the participants in the 12-week trial, those who took the carotenoid supplement of beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene significantly reduced their susceptibility to sunburn after three months compared to the group that only took the placebo.
In other research it was revealed that antioxidants in the form of green tea had significant skin protection and anti-inflammatory effects, reducing sunburn. Black tea also appeared to have properties that may provide some protection against skin cancers.
This latest research provides strong evidence that the intake of combined antioxidants contributes in a positive way to minimise premature ageing in skin and enhance the skin’s resistance against UV sunburn and skin cancer. By taking antioxidants you may neutralise free radicals, which are associated with ageing and the development of degenerative diseases.
The researchers recommend not only use of oral and/or topical antioxidants but sunscreen (use SPF 15 or higher), protective clothing when out in the sun and a hat that shades the face, neck, and ears as cancer fighters. Antioxidants should be considered as highly effective enhancers to sun protection.
Antioxidants can be found in many foods including fruits and green leafy vegetables. They are also available as dietary supplements sold in supermarkets, pharmacies and health food stores
Your body needs water or other fluids to work properly and to avoid dehydration.
This article explains how much we need to drink, how to spot the signs of dehydration and how to choose healthier non-alcoholic drinks. For advice on alcohol, see our Alcohol section.
Water makes up about two-thirds of the weight of a healthy body.
Most of the chemical reactions that happen in our cells need water in order to take place. We also need water so that our blood can carry nutrients around the body and get rid of waste.
How much should we drink?
To stay healthy, it’s important to replace the fluid we lose when we breathe, sweat or urinate.
The amount a person needs to drink to avoid getting deyhdrated will vary depending on a range of factors, including their size, the temperature and how active they are. However, as a guide, the Department of Health recommends that we should drink about 1.2 litres of fluid every day. This works out to be about six 200ml or eight 150ml glasses.
The total amount of fluid we lose each day and need to replace is in fact greater than this – about 2.5 litres – but we get 1 litre of the fluid we need from food and the body recovers 0.3 litres from chemical reactions in our cells. The rest needs to be taken from drinks.
All drinks count, but water, milk and fruit juices are the healthiest. It is best to avoid alcoholic drinks.
Try to avoid sugary soft and fizzy drinks that can be high in added sugars. These can be high in calories and bad for teeth.
Signs of dehydration
When our bodies don’t have enough water, we are said to be dehydrated.
One of the first signs of dehydration is feeling thirsty.
If you think you may not be getting enough fluids, check if you have any of these other common signs of dehydration:
dark-coloured urine and not passing much urine when you go to the toilet
lack of energy
See Dehydration for more information.
Types of drinks
Try to choose healthier drinks as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Many soft drinks are high in sugar. Food and drinks that are high in sugar are often high in calories, and eating too many calories can make you more likely to gain weight.
Some energy drinks are high in both sugar and caffeine.
Checking the nutrition labels on soft drinks, such as fruit juices and fizzy drinks, can help you make healthier choices. For more information, see Food labels.
Water is the healthiest choice for quenching your thirst at any time. It has no calories and contains no sugars that can damage teeth.
If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try sparkling water or add a slice of lemon or lime. You could also add some squash or fruit juice for flavour.
Milk is a good source of calcium, a mineral that helps build and maintain healthy bones.
It also contains vitamins and other minerals, and does not cause tooth decay.
For a healthy choice, choose semi-skimmed, 1% fat or skimmed milk. Limit your intake of flavoured milks, milkshakes, condensed milk and milk-based energy or malt drinks because these contain added sugar, which is bad for teeth.
Milk is especially important for young children. They should drink whole milk until they are at least two years old, because they may not get as many calories as they need from lower-fat milks.
Fruit juices and smoothies
Fruit juice and fruit smoothies contain a variety of vitamins that are good for our health.
A glass (150ml) of fruit juice counts as one of your recommended five daily portions of fruit and vegetables. But juice can only ever count as one portion a day, no matter how much you drink. This is because it does not contain the fibre found in whole fruits and vegetables.
Fruit juice also contains sugar that can damage teeth. It’s best to drink it with a meal because this can help protect teeth.
The sugars found naturally in whole fruit are less likely to cause tooth decay because the sugar is contained within the structure of the fruit. When fruit is juiced or blended, the sugars are released. Once released, these sugars can damage teeth, especially if juice is drunk frequently.
When you buy fruit juice, check the labels carefully and choose 100% fruit juice with no added sugar. These drinks count as one of your 5 a day. Watch out for “juice drinks”, which can contain as little as 5% fruit juice and a lot of added sugar, and do not count as one of your 5 a day.
Learn more about 5 a day.
Fizzy drinks and squashes
Fizzy drinks, squashes and juice drinks contain lots of sugar and very few nutrients, so keep them to a minimum.
Their high sugar content means they are high in calories, and foods that are high in calories can contribute towards becoming overweight. Cutting down on these drinks is a good way to reduce the number of calories you consume, while not missing out on any nutrients.
Likewise, getting children to drink fewer sugary drinks is a good way to reduce the amount of sugar they consume. Children who drink a lot of sugary drinks are more likely to become overweight.
The added sugar in these drinks also means they can damage teeth. If you do have sugary or fizzy drinks, drinking them with meals can help reduce the damage to teeth.
The best drinks to give children are water, milk and milkshakes without added sugar.
If you or your children like fizzy drinks, try diluting fruit juice with sparkling water instead. Remember to dilute squashes well to reduce the sugar content in the drink.
Diet versions of fizzy drinks also contain very few nutrients, so milk or water are much healthier choices, especially for children.
Tea and coffee
Tea and coffee contain caffeine, which is a stimulant. This means caffeine can temporarily make us feel more alert or less drowsy. Caffeine affects some people more than others, and the effect can depend on how much caffeine you normally consume.
It’s fine to drink tea and coffee as part of a balanced diet. But it’s important that tea, coffee or other drinks containing caffeine are not your only source of fluid.
Pregnant women should limit their intake of tea or coffee (see below). Neither tea nor coffee are suitable drinks for toddlers and young children.
Caffeinated drinks can also make the body produce more urine. Some people are more susceptible to this than others, but it also depends on how much caffeine you have and how often you have it.
Energy drinks often contain high levels of caffeine. They are often high in sugar. They may also contain other stimulants and sometimes vitamins and minerals or herbal substances.
The caffeine levels in these drinks vary, but there is often around 80mg of caffeine in a small 250ml can. This is the same as two cans of cola or a small mug of coffee.
People who are sensitive to caffeine should consume high-caffeine food and drinks only in moderation.
Energy drinks are not suitable for babies or children.
Pregnant women should limit their intake of energy drinks as they are often high in caffeine (see below). Check the labels of energy drinks as they often say that the drink is not suitable for children or pregnant women.
Sports drinks can be useful when you’re doing endurance sports and need an energy boost.
However, they are no different to any other sugary soft drinks, which means they are high in calories and contribute to tooth decay.
Unless you’re taking part in endurance sports, water is the healthier choice and the best way to replace water that you have lost.
Caffeine during pregnancy
Pregnant women should have no more than 200mg of caffeine a day. One mug of instant coffee contains around 100mg of caffeine.
This is because high levels of caffeine can result in babies having a low birth weight, which can increase the risk of health problems in later life. High levels of caffeine might also cause miscarriage.
For more detail on how much caffeine is safe during pregnancy, see Foods to avoid when pregnant.
The eat well plate shows the different types of food we need to eat – and in what proportions – to have a well balanced and healthy diet.
It’s a good idea to try to get this balance right every day, but you don’t need to do it at every meal. And you might find it easier to get the balance right over a longer period, say a week.
Eating healthily is about about eating the right amount of food for your energy needs. In England, most adults are either overweight or obese. This means many of us are eating more than we need, and should eat and drink fewer calories in order to lose weight.
Based on the eatwell plate, you should try to eat:
Plenty of fruit and vegetables
Did you know that we should be eating at least five portions of a variety of fruit and veg every day.
More on five daily portions of fruit and veg
Plenty of potatoes, bread, rice, pasta
and other starchy foods
Choose wholegrain varieties whenever you can.
More on starchy foods
Some milk and dairy foods
More on milk and dairy foods
Some meat, fish, eggs, beans
and other non-dairy sources of protein
More on meat
More on eggs
More on beans and pulses
Just a small amount of foods and drinks
high in fat and/or sugar
More on fat
More on sugar
Try to choose options that are lower in salt when you can.
More on salt
Is the eatwell plate for me?
The eatwell plate applies to most people – whether they’re a healthy weight or overweight, whether they eat meat or are vegetarian, and no matter what their ethnic origin.
However, it doesn’t apply to children under the age of two because they have different nutritional needs. Between the ages of two and five, children should gradually move to eating the same foods as the rest of the family, in the proportions shown on the eatwell plate. Find out more in Feeding your baby and Weaning and beyond in the Birth to five guide.
Anyone with special dietary requirements or medical needs might want to check with a registered dietitian whether the eatwell plate applies to them.
If you’re a fan of good cooking, learning from others – both from their mistakes and successes – the fourth season of Worst Cooks In America might be something meant just for you.
Whether you can cook or can’t, it’s always fun to watch cooking-challenged people try to do their best in front of an audience of millions. It’s simply fun, hilarious, exciting, inviting! And it’s also always great to see how people learn from their mistakes (or don’t), how people evolve, how they develop their skills and become great chefs. It’s always great to learn something new yourself, to gather new ideas and new ways of cooking something.
With all that in mind, and of course for your simple viewing pleasure, Worst Cooks in America is doing the best to satisfy your hunger for all of it! Especially as the hapless are mentored by superstar chefs Anne Burrell and Bobby Flay.
“Worst Cooks is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for these hapless cooks to learn from the best of the best – Anne and Bobby. Their natural competitive nature and sense of humor dealing with their team’s mishaps and blunders have made the show an audience favorite,” said Bob Tuschman from Food Network. “The culinary transformations are heartwarming and hilarious – viewers will be amazed at just how far the contestants come.”
The fourth season premiers February 17th.
Disclosure: This post was requested by an advertiser.
- 1/2 cup (125ml) trim milk
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup self-raising flour
- 75g feta, crumbled
- 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
- 2 large courgettes, coarsely grated, squeezed of excess moisture
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1 lemon, 1 teaspoon finely-grated zest
- oil spray
Step 1Whisk milk and eggs in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in flour until smooth. Stir through the remaining ingredients.
Step 2Spray a large frying pan with oil and place over a medium-high heat. Spoon 1/4 cup mixture per fritter into pan, 3 fritters at a time. Cook for 3 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through.
Step 3Continue to make 12 fritters, spraying pan with more oil if necessary. Serve with lemon wedges, toast and a green salad.
For a different taste and added colour, replace courgettes with 2 grated large carrots.
Christmas looms once again. Given our innate love of indulgence, the challenge is to treat ourselves and have fun without looking like an overstuffed turkey at the end!
With a little planning, however, you can survive the silly season and be fit, healthy and relaxed when it is all over.
When it comes to food, I like to redefine the concept of a Christmas ‘treat’. The Oxford Dictionary defines a treat as “a source of special delight or pleasure” and while traditional Christmas favourites such as chocolate, ice cream, éclairs, mince pies, plum pudding, brandy butter, fruit cake, savouries, champagne, cocktails and beer may fit the bill, so do many healthier foods. Foods like salmon, prawns, ham on the bone, turkey, succulent fillet of beef, nuts, strawberries, cherries, mangoes, melons, figs, avocadoes and fresh asparagus are “a source of special delight and pleasure” to me, and these are the foods I concentrate on when planning food for the holiday season. Small portions of chocolate, cake and desserts have their place too, but as trimmings to these delicious foods, not as main players.
My advice for a happy and healthy holiday season is as follows:
- Fill your menu with healthier treats
- Allow a few of the less healthy treats
- Keep your portions small and eat slowly and mindfully
- Drink plenty of water
- KEEP ACTIVE
Eat, drink and stay healthy…
- Enjoy fruit and vegetables – use seasonal berries and other fruit to bulk out desserts and nibbles platters. Salads with bread and leftover cold meats make ideal lunches or evening meals. Have small quantities of meat and then fill up your plate with vegetables and salads.
- Cook your roast vegetables separately from the meat – a light brush with oil or an oil spray is all they need to become crisp and delicious.
- Buy lean meats and trim off any fat before cooking and eating. Remove the skin from chicken and turkey.
- Skim fat from meat juices before you make gravy; cooling the juices first helps. Alternatively, use a gravy powder as a base and use vegetable water (eg. pea water) as the liquid. A little brandy, cranberry or redcurrant sauce will give extra zing!
- Try custard/brandy custard or thick Greek yoghurt with Christmas pudding rather than brandy butter and rich creams/ice creams. If you can’t resist cream or ice cream, have one, not both!
- Stock up on healthier food items and treats. Shortbread is laden with fat, while biscotti has very little. Berries, mangoes and smoked salmon are great ingredients for any celebration.
- Make Xmas mince pies with filo pastry instead of traditional high-fat pastry. If using short-crust pastry, use a very thin layer and leave the pies open. Check the label of the fruit mince to ensure it does not contain suet (pure fat).
- Alternate alcoholic drinks with water or diet soft drinks – this way you keep hydrated and are less likely to overdrink.
- Avoid overeating at Xmas parties by eating something healthy before you go. This way you are less likely to be tempted by the rich cheeses, sausage rolls, chippies etc. These foods are easy to over-consume when you are hungry and drinking alcohol.
- Replace butter and margarine with lower-fat spreads such as mashed avocado, hummous, mustards and relishes.
- Try chocolate-dipped strawberries or cherries as an alternative to chocolate –all the enjoyment of chocolate in a much healthier package!
- Eat your food slowly – it takes time for the brain to register fullness.
- Stay active – a walk, swim or game of tennis will do wonders for the body and soul. Use your leisure time to play with the children or socialise in the outdoors.
- For a sweet treat why not try biscotti or mini-muffin-sized Xmas mince pies (made using filo pastry). They hit the spot with relatively few kilojoules!
- Swap the savouries for platters full of vegetables. Better colour, texture and flavour and better at looking after your health and weight!
The most important thing is not to feel guilty about having treats on Christmas Day. It’s only one day and you can always make up for it by having lighter, healthier meals on following days.
Just in time for holiday celebrations, Dunkin’ Donuts packaged coffee has come out with three new varieties. Those new varieties are available for a limited time only, they come in whimsical packaging, with select bags having a paper gift tag. The new varieties are Gingerbread Cookie, Pumpkin Spice and Mocha Mint.
Celebrating the season, the holidays and creativity of people around the globe, the mentioned select bags of the Dunkin’ Donuts seasonal coffees can be used as the perfect stocking stuffer, hostess gift or holiday treat. And to help you with creative gift wrapping ideas Dunkin’ Donuts packaged coffee has partnered with a very popular crafting blogger Cindy Hopper.
“I love wrapping holiday gifts – from little treasures like Dunkin’ Donuts seasonal packaged coffee to bigger presents like kids’ toys and electronics – in unexpected and creative ways,” said Hopper.
For example, you could forget all about buying any wrapping paper. And instead use what you already have available at your home. From newspaper comics to pages from old atlas. From wallpaper scraps to colorful t-shirts (well, maybe). By using something different to wrap it with it makes the gift even more memorable.
“You simply need some motivation and imagination, to create packaging that will delight any gift recipient!” says Cindy.
Disclosure: This post was requested by an advertiser.
- 30 mini phyllo shells (two 1.9-ounce packages; see Note)
- 1/2 medium apple, peeled and finely diced
- 5 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of freshly ground pepper
- Pinch of ground nutmeg
- 4 ounces Brie (1/2 small wheel), cut into 30 square
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Arrange phyllo shells on a large parchment-lined baking sheet. Divide apple among the shells.
- Whisk eggs, mustard, salt, pepper and nutmeg in a large measuring cup. Pour the egg mixture over the apple (do not overfill the shells). Place a Brie square in each shell.
- Bake until the egg is set, the Brie is melted and the phyllo is starting to brown around the edges, about 15 minutes. Let cool slightly before serving.
Tips & Notes
- Note: Mini phyllo shells, or fillo, are available in the freezer section near other frozen appetizers. They do not need to be defrosted before filling and baking.
Per quiche: 39 calories; 2 g fat ( 1 g sat , 1 g mono ); 39 mg cholesterol; 3 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 2 g protein; 0 g fiber; 65 mg sodium; 20 mg potassium.
Carbohydrate Servings: 0
Exchanges: 1 fat
- 1 square graham cracker, broken into 2 rectangles
- 1/2 teaspoon Nutella or other chocolate-hazelnut spread, divided
- 2 slices banana, about 2 inches long
- 1/2 teaspoon sweetened shredded coconut, toasted if desired, divided
- Spread each graham cracker piece with 1/4 teaspoon Nutella and top with a slice of banana and a sprinkling of coconut.
Per serving: 71 calories; 2 g fat ( 0 g sat , 0 g mono ); 0 mg cholesterol; 13 g carbohydrates; 4 g added sugars; 1 g protein; 1 g fiber; 46 mg sodium; 94 mg potassium.
Carbohydrate Servings: 1
Exchanges: 1 carbohydrate (other)
- 1/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
- 1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
- 1 pound 90%-lean ground beef
- 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- Preheat grill to medium-high or preheat the broiler.
- Combine Cheddar and Gruyere in a small bowl.
- Gently mix beef, Worcestershire, paprika and pepper in a large bowl, preferably with your hands, without overworking. Shape into 8 thin, 4-inch-wide patties. Mound 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture on each of 4 patties, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Cover each with one of the remaining patties. Crimp and seal the edges closed.
- To grill: Lightly oil the grill rack (see Tip). Grill the stuffed patties over medium-high heat, about 4 minutes per side for medium-well. (Be sure not to press the burgers as they cook or they’ll split open and the cheese will ooze out.) To broil: Cover a broiler pan with foil and coat with cooking spray. Broil the stuffed patties in the upper third of the oven, about 4 minutes per side for medium-well. In either case, let the burgers stand for 5 minutes before serving.
Tips & Notes
- To oil a grill rack: Oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)
Per serving: 264 calories; 16 g fat ( 7 g sat , 6 g mono ); 89 mg cholesterol; 1 g carbohydrates; 26 g protein; 0 g fiber; 186 mg sodium; 405 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Zinc (37% daily value), Calcium (15% dv), Iron (15% dv).
Exchanges: 3 1/2 medium-fat meat
- 4 cups green beans, trimmed (about 12 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons paprika
- 1 pound raw shrimp, (21-25 per pound; see Note), peeled and deveined
- 2 16-ounce cans large butter beans, or cannellini beans, rinsed
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar, or red-wine vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, divided
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Bring 1 inch of water to a boil in a large saucepan. Put green beans in a steamer basket, place in the pan, cover and steam until tender-crisp, 4 to 6 minutes.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic and paprika and cook, stirring constantly, until just fragrant but not browned, about 20 seconds. Add shrimp and cook until pink and opaque, about 2 minutes per side. Stir in beans, vinegar and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup parsley.
- Divide the green beans among 6 plates. Top with the shrimp mixture. Sprinkle with pepper and the remaining 1/4 cup parsley.
Tips & Notes
- Note: Shrimp is usually sold by the number needed to make one pound. For example, “21-25 count” means there will be 21 to 25 shrimp in a pound. Size names, such as “large” or “extra large,” are not standardized. In recipes calling for a specific count, order by the count (or number) per pound to be sure you’re getting the size you want.
- To peel shrimp, grasp the legs and hold onto the tail while you twist off the shell. Save the shells to make a tasty stock: Simmer, in enough water to cover, for 10 minutes, then strain. The “vein” running along a shrimp’s back (technically the dorsal surface, opposite the legs) under a thin layer of flesh is really its digestive tract.
- To devein shrimp, use a paring knife to make a slit along the length of the shrimp. Under running water, remove the tract with the knife tip.
Per serving: 245 calories; 8 g fat ( 1 g sat , 6 g mono ); 115 mg cholesterol; 26 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 23 g protein; 8 g fiber; 596 mg sodium; 855 mg potassium.
Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (43% daily value), Fiber (33% dv), Vitamin C (30% dv), Iron (25% dv), Potassium (24% dv), Vitamin A (20% dv).
Carbohydrate Servings: 2
Exchanges: 1 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 very lean meat, 1 fat