Four healthy habits to help you daily

Just a few life simple lifestyle changes can help you control your health.

1. Last week we talked about how important breakfast is for you. Kicking off the day with a beneficial breakfast can reinforce your plan to eat well the rest of the day.

It is a great time to fit in whole grains, fruits, dairy and fibers. People that eat a good breakfast are more successful at keeping off those extra pounds.

2. Eat less meat or at least cut back on the daily amount of meat you consume.

3. Eat more fruits and veggies. These fruits can be fresh or frozen to help you stay healthy. (It is recommended we should eat at least 2 1/2 cups of fruits and vegetables daily.

4. Swap in some whole grains. If you are like most of us, you eat plenty of grains but fail to get enough fiber and whole grains. Swap out refined grains such as white rice, for whole grains such as barley. Whole grains not only fill you up, but also good for your heart.

Below are some recipes to help you keep those four healthy habits.

Until next week, eat more fruits and veggies!


Roasted Vegetable Pasta with Walnuts and Sage

nonstick cooking spray

2 cups 1/2-inch pieces carrots

8 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/4 cups dried multigrain penne pasta

1 15-ounce can no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

2 teaspoons snipped fresh sage

1 ounce reduced-fat cream cheese, softened

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup broken walnuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 400. Line a 15×10 pan with foil coated with cooking spray. In large bowl, combine next 3 ingredients, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Spread in pan. Roast 20-25 minutes or until vegetables are tender and browned. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. In a large skillet, bring tomatoes, sage and remaining salt and pepper to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low and whisk cream cheese until smooth. Stir in vegetables, pasta and Parmesan cheese; cook and stir just until cheese is melted. If needed, stir in enough cooking water to reach desired consistency. Top servings with walnuts and sage.


Indian-Spiced Cauliflower and Chickpea Salad

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups cauliflower florets

1 cup canned no-salt-added garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

3/4 cup 1/2-inch carrot slices

1/4 cup plain fat-free yogurt

1 tablespoon lime juice

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh jalapeno chile pepper

1-2 tablespoons fat-free milk

2 cups torn red-tip leaf lettuce

1 cup packed fresh Italian parsley

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion

Preheat oven to 450. In a medium bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients and toss to coat. Spread in a 15×10 baking pan. Roast 20-25 minutes or until tender, stirring once. Meanwhile, for dressing, in a small bowl stir toget her the next 4 ingredients and jalapeno pepper. If needed, thin with milk to desired consistency. In a large bowl, combine roasted vegetables, lettuce, parsley and onion. Add dressing and toss to coat.


Roasted Beet and Pear Salad

8 ounces beets, without tops

2 tablespoons sherry vinegar

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon salt

3 cups fresh argula or spinach

2 cups sliced pears

3 tablespoons Gouda cheese

4 teaspoons slivered almonds, toasted

Preheat oven to 425. Trim root ends from beets. Wrap each beet in foil and place in a 15×10 baking pan. Roast for 1 hour or until tender. Remove from foil and cool 15 minutes. Remove skins by wrapping beets, one at a time, in a paper towel and gently rubbing off the skins. Cut beets into bite-sized pieces; cool. Meanwhile, for dressing, in a small bowl whisk together the next 5 ingredients.

In serving dish, toss argula with half of the dressing. Top with beets and pears and drizzle with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with cheese and almonds.


Pork and Squash Salad

1 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3/4 cup 3/4-inch pieces butternut squash

1/4 cup chopped onion

1 8-ounce boneless pork loin chop, cut 1-inch thick and trimmed of fat

1 tablespoon pure maple syrup

1 tablespoon chopped pecans

3 cups mixed baby greens

1/4 cup dried cranberries

Place a 9-inch cast iron skillet in the oven. Preheat oven to 425. Meanwhile, whisk together the first 5 ingredients. In small bowl, toss squash and onion with 2 teaspoons of the vinegar mixture. Carefully arrange squash mixture around edges of hot skillet. Roast 5 minutes. Brush both sides of the pork chop with 1 teaspoon of the vinegar mixture. Place chop in center of hot skillet. Roast 18-20 minutes or until squash is stender and browned, turning chop and stirring vegetables once. Drizzle maple syrup over chop and vegetables. If using, sprinkle pecans over vegetables. Roaste 1-2 minutes more or until thermometer inserted in chop register 145 and pecans are toasted. Remove from oven and let stand 3 minutes. T

hinly slice chop. To serve, in a medium bowl toss together salad greens, cranberries, meat, vegetables and the remaining vinegar mixture.


Kiki Angelos is a food columnist for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel.