Sky Lakes Medical Center | Live Smart | Fall 2019

2 LIVE smart | Fall 2019 There’s a case to be made for putting produce, grains and other plant- based foods front and center on your plate. Building a healthy diet around plant-based foods may help ward off chronic health problems—from obesity to certain cancers and heart disease. Now, that doesn’t mean you have to go vegetarian or vegan (though either can be good for you) to reap these potential rewards. A modest amount of lean meat is still a healthy choice, as long as your focus is mostly on veggies, fruits, grains, nuts, beans and other plant foods. Breakfast ‘square-meal’ squares WANT MORE delicious ways to add plants to your diet? Visit . Looking for a different option for breakfast? Perhaps something more on the savory side? These squares are a good way to add veggies to your first meal of the day, and they’re a good source of plant-based protein. Makes 4 servings. Ingredients Canola oil spray 1 tablespoon canola oil, divided 1 small carrot, shredded 1 ⁄ 4 cup finely chopped onion 1 whole scallion, chopped 1 ⁄ 4 teaspoon ground turmeric 4 ounces firm tofu, cut in 4 pieces 1 large egg white 1 teaspoon reduced-sodium soy sauce (optional) 1 ⁄ 2 teaspoon salt 5 ounces ( 1 ⁄ 2 package) frozen chopped spinach, defrosted 1 cup cooked brown rice Directions ▸ ▸ Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a loaf-shaped baking pan with cooking spray. Set aside. ▸ ▸ Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the carrot, onion, scallion and turmeric until the carrot is soft, about 5 minutes. Turn the mixture into a mixing bowl. ▸ ▸ Squeeze each piece of tofu to eliminate excess water. When it resembles cottage cheese, place it in a food processor or blender. Add the egg white, remaining oil, soy sauce (if using) and salt. Puree until smooth. ▸ ▸ Transfer to the bowl with the cooked vegetables. Stir in the spinach and rice. With a rubber spatula, mix until well combined. Spread the mixture in an even layer in the prepared baking pan. ▸ ▸ Bake 30 to 45 minutes or until firm to the touch in the center. Cool completely in the pan. Turn out onto a cutting board and cut into 4 squares. Wrap pieces individually; then place in a zip- close plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for up to three days or in the freezer for two weeks. Eat at room temperature or after gently warmed in a microwave. Nutrition information Serving size: 1 ⁄ 4 of recipe. Amount per serving: 153 calories, 7g total fat (less than 1g saturated fat), 8g protein, 17g carbohydrates, 3g dietary fiber, 355mg sodium. Source: American Institute for Cancer Research Make one day meatless. There’s a movement called Meatless Mondays, but you can reserve any day of the week for meat-free meals. Try black bean burritos; lentils and wild rice; or a dinner salad topped with garbanzo, kidney or red beans. Veg out on veggies. Raw vegetables—such as broccoli, carrots and cauliflower—are crunchy classics. But give some greens a go too. Consider kale, chard or collards. Roast them or add them to pizza or pasta primavera. Make your grains whole. Unlike their refined cousins, these powerhouses of the plant world retain the most nutritious parts of the grain. That’s why you should aim to make half your daily grains whole. Look for options like whole-grain breads, pastas and tortillas. Nibble on nuts. With their protein and fiber, nuts are a filling meat substitute, a crunchy topping for salads or a handy snack. Just remember: Nuts are high in calories—so a little goes a long way. Flip for fruits. They’re sweet from breakfast through dessert. Mix berries with low-fat yogurt or add apples or mandarin slices to salads. Sources: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics; American Institute for Cancer Research The power of plant-based foods NUTRITION