Red, White and Pink All Over

Red, White and Pink All Over

Red, White and Pink All Over

By Sandra Meyerowitz, M.P.H., R.D., L.D.

February is usually filled with Valentines and heart-shaped goodies in all sizes. It is a month full of shared love and special treats. This year why not keep the red, white and pink theme, but make February a healthy month by cooking naturally rich foods for your loved ones?

The color red appears in our foods due to the presence of water-soluble flavonoids called anthocyanins and carotenoids like lycopene. Red cabbage, red plums, raspberries, rhubarb, as well as the skin of apples and red potatoes, are examples of foods that contain flavonoids. Tomatoes, watermelon, guava and pink grapefruit are examples of foods containing lycopene. Flavonoids and carotenoids are two of the natural antioxidants that help protect us from atherosclerosis, aging and cancer.

Here are some recipes to help you put together a red, white and pink menu to celebrate Valentine''s Day.

SALMON WITH RED PEPPER AND CORN SALSA*

The pink salmon and red peppers in this recipe follow right along with the Valentine''s Day theme and make a pretty entree to serve any night of the week. Salmon contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have proven to be heart healthy in many scientific studies.

Nutritional Information: 381 calories, 36 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrate, 18 grams fat (4g saturated fat, 16g unsaturated fat), 2 grams fiber and 86 milligrams sodium.

Preparation time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 12 minutes.

Serves 4

Salsa:

  • 1 red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 cup cooked corn
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 tablespoon Mrs. Dash® Extra Spicy Seasoning Blend
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 cup fresh minced parsley

Combine first seven ingredients. Mix well and refrigerate. Add parsley when ready to serve.

Salmon:

  • 4 6-ounce salmon steaks or filets
  • Olive oil spray
  • Mrs. Dash® Chicken Grilling Blend

Spray salmon with olive oil. Sprinkle each steak with Mrs. Dash. Place on foil-lined baking sheet and roast in pre-heated oven at 400 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Or grill each steak 5-6 minutes per side on medium high grill. Serve with salsa.

Shopping List

  • Red pepper
  • Corn
  • Red onion
  • Mrs. Dash Extra Spicy Seasoning Blend
  • Lemon juice
  • Olive oil
  • Honey
  • Salmon steaks or filets
  • Mrs. Dash Chicken Grilling Blend
  • Parsley
  • Olive oil spray

PINK SMOOTHIE

This cool treat will delight all the little Valentines in your house and probably the big ones too. It is a great way to start off the morning or to lift your spirits in the afternoon.

Nutritional Information per 4-ounce serving: 42 calories, 1 gram protein, 9 grams carbohydrate, <1 gram fat, 1 gram fiber and 15 milligrams sodium.

Preparation time: 5 minutes.

Serves 8

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
  • banana
  • 1 cup low-fat vanilla-flavored soymilk
  • 1/4 cup calcium-fortified orange juice

Mix all ingredients in blender and serve immediately.

Shopping list

  • Strawberries
  • Banana
  • Low-fat vanilla-flavored soymilk
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice

WHITE BEAN SPREAD

Spread this on sandwiches or in celery for an appetizer. Beans are a great source of fiber - another cholesterol-lowering nutrient.

Nutritional Information per 2 tablespoon serving: 28 calories, 2 grams protein, 5 grams carbohydrate, <1 gram fat, 1 gram fiber and 15 milligrams sodium.

Preparation time: 5 minutes.

  • 1 cup cannellini beans
  • 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika or dash cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 clove garlic, crushed

Place all ingredients in food processor or blender and mix well. Chill.

Shopping list:

  • Cannellini beans
  • Low-fat plain yogurt
  • Low-sodium soy sauce
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Paprika or cayenne pepper
  • Garlic

RASPBERRY YOGURT DIP WITH FRUIT

As an appetizer or a dessert this light addition will please the eye and the palate.

Nutritional Information for 1 tablespoon dip with 4 slices of fruit: 40 calories, 1 gram protein, 9 grams carb, <1 gram fat, 1 gram fiber and 16 milligrams sodium.

Preparation time: 5 minutes

  • 2 cups lowfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-calorie jam (raspberry or strawberry)
  • 2 apples
  • 2 pears

Combine yogurt and jam and mix well. Slice apples and pears. Place four slices of fruit on small plate and drizzle yogurt dip over the top.

Shopping List

  • Low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • Reduced-calorie jam
  • Apples
  • Pears

*Salmon with Red Pepper and Corn Salsa recipe reprinted with permission from Alberto-Culver Company. More of their recipes can be found at www.mrsdash.com.

Sandra Meyerowitz, M.P.H., R.D., L.D. is the owner of Nutrition Works, a health promotion company specializing in weight loss. She can be reached via e-mail: sandram@thelouisvilleoffice.com or (502) 339-9202.