Eating Well With Kim: Healthy Food Finds

By: Kim Beavers
By: Kim Beavers

A couple times every few months I like to point out foods that I think are worthy of attention either because they are new, improved, or just old favorites that deserve to be highlighted.

How do I choose which foods to review?

That is a very good question! There is no real formula except that the food has to have SOME nutrient value. If a food is improved nutritionally, or adds flavor to other healthy foods, thus encouraging consumption I may highlight that food.

If a food is budget friendly or more convenient, it may get my attention and warrant a closer look. Here is a sampling of some items I found intriguing this week. I hope you find them helpful as well.

Whole Wheat Pancake mix:

Bob’s Red Mill Pancake and Waffle Whole Grain mix: I love this mix and have been using it for years now—it uses whole wheat pastry flour which has a lighter texture and flavor than that of more traditional hard red wheat.

Krusteaz Honey Pancake mix:

This pancake mix is NOT 100% whole wheat but does contain whole wheat flour as the second ingredient after enriched flour. One hundred percent is better of course but if you have finicky eaters this might be a good compromise between white and whole wheat pancakes. Flavor is important of course and compromise is always good.

For whole grain pancake recipes check out: universityhealth.org/ewwk

Whole Grain Bread:

Kroger Brand White Whole Wheat bread is my compromise at home. My kids do not embrace whole grain bread the way I do and so my compromise is this whole grain bread made with white wheat. I like this brand because it is 100% whole wheat and not just “made with whole wheat”. Why more companies do not make bread from white wheat I have not figured out, it is a win in my household.

  • White wheat is a different type of wheat that has no major genes for bran color (unlike traditional “red” wheat). Think of it as albino wheat, the bran is lighter in color and flavor. Nutritionally the two kinds of wheat are the same!

Frozen Meals:

Lean Cuisine’s Honestly Good frozen Meals: are what I consider the frozen meal answer to the “clean eating trend”. And guess what, I like it! Am I a fan of frozen meals? Not really!

However I love anything that is an improvement and there are plenty of people who eat frozen meals somewhat regularly so I do applaud this move by Lean Cuisine. They feature whole grains, and vegetables and lean meat. Calories are ~300-400, fiber is ~4-7g and protein is ~15 to 27g and the sodium is reasonable for a meal with numbers ranging from 290-590mg.

Tomato Paste

Delallo Tomato Paste in a tube is an answer to the question “what do I do with all the left over tomato paste from the can I opened when my recipe only called for two tablespoons?” With the tube a little paste can be used and then the cap can be replaced and the tube can be stored in the refrigerator for use later. In case you are still wondering what to do with left over “canned” tomato paste, here is the answer: remove it from the can, place it in a small zip-top plastic bag and place in the freezer for use later.

Delallo Tomato paste comes in three flavors (plain, sweet basil, and hot pepper). The uses for tomato paste are many, here are a few examples.

  • Use in tomato-meat sauce: brown the meat, then add a generous squirt of tomato paste, mix it into the meat, and cook it for a few minutes before adding crushed tomatoes or sauce ---it adds another level of flavor to the meat and the sauce.

  • Make a quick fried egg inside a heavy scoop of paste in a frying pan on Sunday morning and transfer it to a toasted everything bagel for a nice breakfast.

  • Just a small dab in a salad dressing adds an interestingly different flavor and texture

Use as a flavor base for meat stews or braises. When sautéing the onions, add a couple tablespoons of paste and sauté until golden brown then add liquid --- it adds a delicious flavor!

Until next time-- Eat Well. Live Well.


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