To be honest there is not alot NEW in the area of Healthier Living. The conversations about what’s healthy and what’s not are still happening with little change really being made. We are creatures of habit and change is hard but not impossible. It won’t happen overnight just like whatever health challenge you are facing didn’t happen overnight. Too much stress, too little exercise and years of not really thinking about what we are putting into our bodies and of those we love won’t change overnight.
We are more than a week into 2014 and if you’ve resolved to do something about living healthier don’t give up. What’s not new is that we need to GET MOVING. Our bodies were built to move! 150 minutes per week, 30 minutes 5 times per week for adults and 60 minutes per day for kids over the age of five is the bare minimum. According to Statistics Canada released in 2013, only 15% of adults and 6% of children meet these targets! Try something new like snowshoeing. It is aerobic and fun.
We need to EAT MORE LEAFY GREENS. If you aren’t eating them now this is one food that boosts the nutrient density of your diet. Try something new: kale, collards, swiss chard, romaine lettuce, bok choy. Kale is one of the most nutrient dense foods in the supermarket. It is loaded with vitamins A, C and K. I swap out spinach for kale in soups, stir-frys and even pasta dishes. Try this new recipe:
BAKED PASTA, KALE AND BEANS
Drizzle of olive oil for cooking
1 onion, chopped
3-5 garlic cloves, minced
28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 cup cooked white beans or 19oz can, rinsed and drained
5.5 oz can tomato paste
1/4 cup pesto (optional)
3 cups whole wheat or brown rice penne or rotini pasta
2-3 large kale leaves, washed, torn away from middle tough stem and cut into ribbons
1/2 cup shredded soy mozzarella cheese or sheep’s milk white sharp cheese
1/4 cup grated romano cheese
Fresh torn basil leaves
In a large pan, heat the oil and saute the onion and garlic for a few minutes until soft. Add the tomatoes, beans and tomato paste and simmer for 10 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Stir in the pesto if using.
Cook the pasta until al dente, drain reserving 1/4-1/2 cup cooking liquid. Toss with kale, beans & mozzarella in a large bowl. Stir in hot tomato sauce which will slightly wilt the kale. Pour into a large baking dish or 2 if needed and sprinkle with grated romano. Season with fresh ground pepper. You can cover and refridgerate overnight, freeze or bake now at 350 for about 30 minutes until bubbly and golden. Garnish with torn basil leaves.
Serve with a side dish vegetable like steamed carrots or broccolini and a salad.