There are so many yummy things that come in threes.
Bacon, lettuce, and tomato.
Chocolate, marshmallows, and graham crackers.
And of course, the momma of all food trinities: carrots, celery, and onion.
My personal favorite? Peanut butter, bananas, and honey.
So I suppose it’s fitting that when I tick off a list of items to remember, it typically comes in threes. Today I’m sharing three of my favorite go-to ingredients for healthier meals:
- Chicken apple sausage. Just when I thought I would have to chuck all of my amazing Italian sausage recipes because of the ridiculous fat content, I found chicken apple sausage. These wieners have about 1/3 the fat content of their traditional counterparts, and most are made with all natural ingredients. They are fabulous! Believe it or not, I’m convinced they are more flavorful than original Italian sausage. You can find three-packs at club stores like Sam’s and Costco for less than you’d pay for Italian sausage at your grocery. One of my favorite meals ever is made with chicken apple sausage: Guilt-free Mardi Gras Gumbo. Try it…you’ll never look back.
- Whole Wheat Pasta. This one is tricky. Pasta can be a very sensitive issue. Especially for pasta-holics, any change can be stressful. But health benefits of whole wheat pasta over regular refined pasta are so great that it’s crazy not to switch…or at least give it a shot. (The World’s Healthiest Foods gives a great overview of whole wheat’s health and nutritional benefits, linking whole grains to decreased risk of heart disease, breast cancer, childhood asthma, Type 2 Diabetes, and of course, weight gain.) If you want the best nutritional punch, buy 100% whole wheat pasta, which many folks love, but my crew finds the texture a bit too dense, so we compromise and buy 51% whole wheat pasta. It’s a perfect hybrid for us – lots of nutritional benefits, a bit more substance and flavor than regular refined pasta, but no resemblance whatsoever to tree bark. I use it in my favorite pasta, Spring Rotini with ham, asparagus, and peas.
- Ground turkey (93/7). Let’s face it – ground beef is probably the most versatile main ingredient on the planet. The problem is that it’s super high in fat, unless you buy the 93% extra lean variety, and then you might as well buy a filet mignon for the extra price you pay. The perfect solution? Lean ground turkey! Typically much cheaper than lean ground beef, ground turkey cooks up like a charm with some cooking spray or a dab of olive oil, but contains only a small fraction of the saturated fat and cholesterol of ground beef. We have tried the 99% fat free ground turkey and found it lacking in texture and taste, so we prefer the 93/7, but if you can roll with the super low fat version, even better! A couple of quick and healthy favorites using ground turkey from last week include Turkey & Black Bean Enchiladas and California Turkey Burgers.
Anyone else have a favorite healthy go-to (or three) that you’d like to share? Please do!
We are SO starting this week off right. Now shake that booty!