Pork Tenderloin Roasted with Fennel

Fennel is an underutilized vegetable. It adds such a wonderful savory-sweet complexity to dishes. Fennel bulbs are high in fiber, contributing to heart health, and they are a good source of phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. Fennel has also been used medicinally all over the world for various ailments, everything from upset stomach and nausea to improved breastmilk production. It also has a pleasant and refreshing flavor, and the seeds are often eaten after meals similar to a mint.

The other star of this recipe is the pork loin. Fun fact: pork is a “red meat.” It appears pale when compared to something like beef because of myoglobin, a protein that delivers oxygen to your cells and accounts for the redness of meats. Pork has less myoglobin than beef, making it appear “white.” Remember though, the American Heart Association advises to limit your red meat intake, not because it’s red, but because of the high amounts of saturated fats that are found in red meats. When you do eat red meats, aim for leaner cuts, such as the loin in this recipe. 

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Tomato Stewed Trout

Trout doesn’t always come to mind when we are looking for a healthy fish. Typically, we think of salmon when considering foods high in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, but other cold-water fish are great sources too, including trout, halibut, sardines and anchovies. These omega-3 fatty acids help balance your cholesterol levels, lowering the risk of developing heart disease. You can try any mild fish in this recipe; check out this chart to see what other seafood options are high in omega-3s

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Parmesan Roasted Green Beans

French beans, string beans, green beans. Whatever you call them, these beans are a staple American side dish. They’re not only a great addition to dinner, but also make a great snack raw, especially if you love a crispy, crunchy texture. Green beans are a great complex carb; its high in fiber, nutrient dense with a bit of protein. This recipe in particular is so good, it will be easy to fill half your plate with vegetables and meet your MyPlate goals.

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Maple Glazed Carrots

Winter is time for cozy hibernation foods; we crave the hardy, the sweet and the savory. This recipe hits all three of those cravings: roasty savory carrots, smothered in sweet maple. Carrots are a wonderful vegetable, a good source of fiber and carotenoids. 

We know carrots are a healthy choice, but what about maple? Is it healthier than regular sugar? This is a common question, and any people make the switch in their cooking, baking, even in their coffee, favoring maple syrup, agave nectar or honey over table sugar.  Maple syrup, for example, contains 67 different healthful compounds, including calcium, zinc, manganese and amino acids. Other natural sweeteners are similar in that they do have added nutrients when compared to white sugar; however we need to keep in mind the big picture: its still sugar. Too much can add an excess of calories to your diet and will still have an influence on your blood sugar levels. That being said, eating something sugary with fiber (like in the carrots) protein and heart-healthy fats will help slow that sugar absorption, giving you long lasting energy and steadier blood glucose levels.

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Turkey and Whole-Wheat Dumpling Stew

This turkey stew has a thicker broth and delightful, chewy, cloud-like dumplings. Turkey is a great option for a lean protein, and we have long heard about how the breast or “white” meat is lower in fat than the “dark” meat that is found in the thighs and legs. However, you may be surprised to hear that dark meat also has a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals, including several B vitamins, zinc and selenium. This goes to show that a healthy diet is about balance, and you can feel good about having both white and dark meat in your dish.

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Poyha – A Native “Meatloaf” Recipe

Poyha is a traditional Native American dish, commonly attributed as Cherokee in origin, though the recipe has been made by tribes spanning from the Great Plains to the East Coast. The recipe calls for ground venison, but ground turkey will make a great substitute while keeping with traditional foods. Poyha is packed with protein, complex carbs and flavor. Some recipes will mix in additional dried fruits such as sour cherries or blueberries, boosting this dish with antioxidants. Give this seasonal comfort recipe a try, and use local ingredients if possible. This recipe would be paired nicely with a luscious salad or sauteed greens and mushrooms.

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Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Cheddar broccoli soup is one of the ultimate comfort foods for cold, cloudy days. How can we wrap ourselves in the creamy, cheesy goodness without sacrificing healthy habits? To start, don’t skimp on the broccoli! Broccoli is an amazing vegetable, and lots of research is currently being done on its health benefits, particularly its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. All cruciferous veggies—broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, kale—have been associated with a reduced risk of developing cancer. Broccoli, in particular, has been soaring in popularity because of its high content of diindolymethane, or DIM for short. Research is still ongoing, but it’s looking to be a strong anti-cancer agent. This improved recipe also reduces the amount of saturated fat by reducing butter and swapping out heavy cream for Greek yogurt. Read More

Sheet Pan Bake – Harvest Apple Chicken

Sometimes making dinner can be chaotic. Having those go-to recipes that are fast, easy and with minimal cleanup are crucial to minimizing stress while your home. You can even prep the pan ahead of time and keep it in the fridge covered with foil until you are ready to cook. This recipe features seasonal apples of your choice as well as hearty veggies. Chicken is lean protein and a more heart-healthy option compared to red meats. Using skinless cuts will further help reduce unnecessary saturated fats from your meals. This dish would pair well with a side brown rice or farro, tossed with some fresh rosemary.

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