Post Content

Lani blog
Lani Telian, Department of Public Health

 

 

This year, I’m basing my diet completely on subs. 

Not footlong subs – I’m focusing on small substitutions. As a girl with strong family ties, and family values that are strongly tied to food, its been hard for me and my family to change recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation. Yet I think I’ve reached a point where I can let go of the guilt involved with tweaking some of Nana’s recipes to make slightly healthier versions.

While some special, once-in-awhile treats are okay to leave as is, some foods that we have grown to love on a more regular basis can withstand a few healthy changes. But I love food, and I love good food. I’m looking for small substitutions that will lower the amount of fat, calories or sodium without changing the taste or consistency of the foods I love.

This week, I decided to try out my ‘substitution resolution’ with Dolma, aka stuffed peppers. With Nana’s permission, here is her recipe with just one simple, tiny change.StuffedPeppers small

Scoop out green peppers, tomatoes, and zuchini or summer squashes, and chop up whatever you scooped out into tiny pieces. 

In a large bowl, add the chopped veggies and mix together with: 2 lbs of lean ground beef, 3/4 cup of rice (use ½ cup of brown rice instead!), 3 Tbsp of finely chopped onion, 1 small can tomato paste, 1 cup tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, 6 cloves of garlic minced or crushed (maybe a little less, that’s up to you and whoever you’re kissing later), 2 handfuls of chopped fresh parsley, 2 tsp of salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 3 tsp of allspice, and optional 2 Tbsp of basil.

Stuff mixture into the scooped-out veggies.  Arrange stuffed vegetables in a large, tall pan, cover almost to the top with water that has a little salt, lemon juice and tomato sauce added to it.
 
Put a plate on top of the veggies to keep them in place. Then, cover the pan and bring to a boil.  Turn heat down to medium and cook until rice is soft (about 45 – 60 minutes).

And there you have it! Same great taste, but with healthy grains instead of refined grains (which is always a good switch to make!). Here’s to many more healthfully-tweaked meals this year!

Written By:

Tags: , , , ,

Recent Posts

Constipation Concerns for Children: Diet and Activity Can Help! posted on Apr 25

Constipation Concerns for Children:  Diet and Activity Can Help!

  By Rachel Colchamiro and Cara D’Anello Believe it or not, constipation is a pretty popular topic of conversation among parents of young children—at least it was in my house when my kids were little!  It’s tough to know when things are normal or when   …Continue Reading Constipation Concerns for Children: Diet and Activity Can Help!

Parents: Why It’s Best to Follow the Recommended Immunization Schedule posted on Apr 23

Parents: Why It’s Best to Follow the Recommended Immunization Schedule

Most parents vaccinate their children according to CDC’s recommended immunization schedule, protecting them from 14 potentially serious diseases before their second birthday. We are lucky in Massachusetts that we have high vaccination coverage for the majority of recommended vaccines. In fact, for children 19-35 months of   …Continue Reading Parents: Why It’s Best to Follow the Recommended Immunization Schedule

Weekly Flu Report, April 20, 2018 posted on Apr 20

Rates of flu-like illness rose slightly over the past seven days, according to the latest weekly flu report. There is still flu vaccine available if you have not gotten a flu shot. Call your healthcare provider or visit https://vaccinefinder.org which offers listings for local boards of health   …Continue Reading Weekly Flu Report, April 20, 2018