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Healthful eating: A positive approach Don’t focus on foods to subtract from your diet; add healthy ones.

  • Atlanta Journal-Constitution
  • Published Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, at 11:20 p.m.


Adapted from a recipe by Carolyn O’Neil, MS, RD, co-author, “The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous!”

Serves: 6

Total time: 30 minutes

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 cup carrots, diced and steamed

1 cup butternut squash, diced and steamed

1 garlic clove, minced

2 cups cooked quinoa (prepared to package directions)

2 cups kale, stripped off the stem and sliced into ribbons

1/4 teaspoon finely chopped rosemary leaves

Pepper and sea salt, to taste

1/4 cup toasted pecan halves or pieces (reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish)

Heat oil in large skillet and add carrots, butternut squash and garlic. Cook until crisp tender. Fold in the cooked quinoa, kale, rosemary and pecans. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and sea salt. Present quinoa on a large platter and garnish with additional toasted pecans.

Per serving: 282 calories (25 percent from fat), 9 grams protein, 46 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams fiber, 8 grams fat (1 gram saturated), no cholesterol, 26 milligrams sodium.

The Wichita Eagle — Feb. 6, 2013


Adapted from a recipe by Lisa Hanson

Serves: 4

Total time: 30 minutes

2 15-ounce cans white beans and their liquid

2 cups water

2 cloves garlic

1 onion, peeled and quartered

3 cups Swiss chard, chopped

1 link turkey andouille sausage, thinly sliced (optional)

In a large saucepan, combine white beans and their liquid, water, garlic and onion. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and puree with an immersion blender or standard blender. Return to the heat and add the chopped chard and sausage (if using.) Bring back to a low simmer, until chard is wilted, about 5 minutes. Divide into bowls and serve.

Per serving, without turkey sausage: 313 calories (2 percent from fat), 22 grams protein, 57 grams carbohydrates, 19 grams fiber, 1 gram fat (trace saturated fat), no cholesterol, 71 milligrams sodium.

Per serving, with turkey sausage: 369 calories (11 percent from fat), 26 grams protein, 57 grams carbohydrates, 19 grams fiber, 5 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 23 milligrams cholesterol, 356 milligrams sodium.

The Wichita Eagle — Feb. 6, 2013


Adapted from a recipe by Lisa Hanson

Serves: 4

Total time: 30 minutes

2 cups water

1/4 cup Mirin (Japanese rice wine)

2 tablespoons yellow miso paste

2 tablespoons grated ginger

2 tablespoons crushed garlic

4 wild-caught salmon filets (1/4 pound each), skin off

1 cup snow peas

1 cup bean sprouts

1 cup shredded broccoli

Sesame seeds and chopped fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)

In a large saucepan, bring water, Mirin, miso, ginger and garlic to a simmer. Add salmon filets and gently poach for 5 minutes. Add snow peas, bean sprouts and broccoli and continue to simmer for 3 additional minutes.

To serve, divide salmon and vegetables between 4 bowls. Ladle broth on top and garnish with sesame seeds and cilantro.

Per serving: 197 calories (23 percent from fat), 26 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams fiber, 5 grams fat (1 gram saturated), 54 milligrams cholesterol, 402 milligrams sodium.

The Wichita Eagle — Feb. 6, 2013


Adapted from a recipe by Lisa Hanson

Serves: 4

Total time: 75 minutes (hands on 30 minutes)

1 whole spaghetti squash, halved and seeded

3/4 pound grass-fed ground beef

1/2 cup low-fat ricotta cheese

1/2 pound baby spinach, steamed, drained and chopped

1 Vidalia onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, chopped

4 medium tomatoes, diced

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup basil, shredded

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375. To prepare the spaghetti squash: Place the squash cut-side down on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, to prepare the meatballs: In a large bowl, combine ground beef, ricotta, spinach, onion and garlic. Roll into 16 golf-ball sized balls and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

To prepare the sauce: In a medium saucepan over low heat, combine diced tomatoes, balsamic vinegar and half of the basil. Cook until just warmed through. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve: Remove squash from oven and shred with a fork to create spaghetti-like strands. Divide into serving bowls. Top with meatballs and tomato sauce, the remaining basil and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Per serving: 333 calories (52 percent from fat), 25 grams protein, 16 grams carbohydrates, 3 grams fiber, 19 grams fat (8 grams saturated), 72 milligrams cholesterol, 254 milligrams sodium.

The Wichita Eagle — Feb. 6, 2013

Every year, so many of us make healthy eating resolutions. But, inevitably, the resolve to diet withers, and we go back to scarfing and feeling guilty.

So what’s the long-term solution?

“People need diners’ education just like they need drivers’ education,” says Carolyn O’Neil, a dietitian and author of “The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous!” (Atria Books).

“Nutrition advice, especially at the beginning of the year, when people have such great intentions, is often associated with a list of foods you’re not supposed to eat,” O’Neil says. “Cut back on salt and sugar and fat. No desserts. No french fries. It’s a list of negatives.”

She likes to take a more positive approach.

“We’re in a new age of nutrition discovery, and as a dietitian, I’d much rather people focus on what they should be adding to their diets,” O’Neil says. “Try adding more whole grains, for instance, which have more nutrients and fiber. Maybe you get brown rice instead of white rice with your sushi. Maybe you’re ordering a pizza and you get a whole grain crust.”

O’Neil’s advice is to add a wider variety of whole grains and leafy greens.

“Try quinoa, if you haven’t tried it yet,“ O’Neil says. ”It’s so easy to make because it cooks in just a few minutes. Kale was the big star last year, but other greens are becoming popular again, including everything from Swiss chard to turnip greens and Asian mustard greens.”

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