Healthy Highlights from October’s “Good Housekeeping”

New on Fit Fare this week, a look at a healthy dose of Good Housekeeping:

98ADA8F7-117C-4B62-9EAD-E31BDF2E9067.jpgFruits and vegetables can be fun for kids, and changing the menu at school and in the community can make significant difference in children’s health.

This month’s issue of Good Housekeeping featured an article about the successful Somerville, Mass., program to reduce childhood obesity. “Shape Up Somerville” is a far-reaching initiative that not only replaced junk food in local schools with healthy fare but also encouraged the whole community to pitch in to make the town a healthier place to live.

And just for you who've followed the article to my very own web site, here's a look at the healthy recipes featured in this month's issue:

Healthy Makeover French Toast: Whole-wheat bread, egg whites, no sugar, and low-fat milk make this breakfast treat less indulgent.

Cranberry-Almond Granola: Granola might be a bit high in sugar and fat for cereal, but it's packed full of whole grains. A half-cup serving provides plenty of nutrition for only 190 calories. I find a bowl with milk to make a terrific dessert, actually.

Cheese and Salad Pizza: Bless the heart of whoever created this rendition of salad pizza and elected not to put lettuce on it. That's so wrong. This pizza, though, looks like it might make it into one of my upcoming meal plans -- but I'll replace the cherry tomatoes with cheaper romas and likely resort to subbing cheese from a can for pecorino, much as I love the real deal.

On an aside: Store-brand grated parmesan costs more than $6 a pound, and pecorino romano from Costco costs maybe $7.30 a pound. Normally, that would be close enough to convince me to upgrade to the real deal (like the butter I stock up on when it's on sale vs. margarine), but to switch here I'd need to buy like a two-pound block at once. That's an upfront cost of nearly $15! I know I can store it so it won't go bad, but still . . . is it worth it?

Rotini with Marinara, Broccoli, Carrots and Peppers: The picture looks so appetizing that it could get me over thinking that pasta with carrots sounds weird. I tend to think of carrots as a starchy vegetable, so the idea strikes me as odd, just like potato pizza. Maybe I'm overreacting.

Corkscrews with Cheese, Tomatoes, and Peas: Yeah, cheese sauce is kind of rich . . . but I love it. I'd sub in skim milk.

Turkey Picadillo Tacos: I've never had picadillo. I'd never even heard of it until a couple of years ago. Anyone else tried it? Do olives, cinnamon, cumin, and raisins really all meld?

BBQ Chicken Tacos: Life on a super-tight grocery budget at a time when food prices have shot through the roof has made me realize just how much the recipes in the upper middle class-skewing publications I've long read over-rely on gourmet and convenience products. You know, it's not actually any easier to get your chicken off a rotisserie bird from the deli, and at $7.99 for a three-pound whole bird, it sure isn't cheaper.

Quick tip: Invest in a probe thermometer. It's a metal probe attached to a long, insulated wire that plugs into a digital display with an alarm that sounds when the temperature of your food hits a certain number. Not only will it save you uncertainty in telling when your roasts (like that Thanksgiving turkey) are done, it's a great for cooking chicken unattended (poached or baked) for recipes.

Photo: Colleen Fischer

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