Monday, March 28, 2011

Where's the Color in Your Diet?

Written by Christina Caple
Part of the National Nutrition Month initiative

Well, if you're like me, eating right and being physically active are huge priorities.  But again, if you're like me, you are busy, eating on the run, picky, and on a budget.  So how do I include a wide variety of fruits and veggies in my diet--how do I make my plate colorful?

Well, the cool thing is, my plate is usually secretly colorful!  So I’m super picky when it comes to veggies; which veggies I like, how I like them prepared, etc. I would even (possibly) go so far as to say that I generally don’t like vegetables. So you can imagine my excitement one day, as I’m walking through Border’s Bookstore, and I come across a cookbook called Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld. Of course, I’m immediately intrigued. Every single recipe in the book contains a deceptive ingredient; aka a vegetable puree. Everything from pancakes with cauliflower puree to chocolate chip cookies with butternut squash puree to enchiladas with carrot puree… It’s also really great because the recipes try to stay health-conscious by using whole-wheat flour, reduced fat dairy products, and try to keep the saturated fat to a minimum.

This book is great because it tells you how to make the purees (which you can easily make in ECONOMY size, freeze and save for later; which is a great time-saver), gives you healthy meal ideas, and deceptively provides a great dose of added nutrition to keep your busy body working it’s best.  So, of course I can’t tell you all these wonderful things without sharing at least on of my favorite recipes: so here it is (with a few of my own variations)!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
1 1/2 cups reduced fat honey graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons trans-fat-free soft tub margarine, melted
2 cups nonfat (skim) milk
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup granulated sugar, plus 3 tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup creamy reduced fat peanut butter
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

How to make it:

1.  Preheat oven to 350.  In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and margarine.  Pour into a 9-inch pie plate and press crumb mixture into the bottom and sides to form a pie crust.

2.  In a large saucepan over medium heat, whisk the milk, cornstarch, 1/3 cup of sugar, salt, egg, and egg white.  Stir occasionally.  When it starts to thicken, stir constantly to avoid lu mps.  Turn off the heat once it comes to a boil and is pudding consistency.

3.  Add the vanilla extract and pumpkin puree.  Pour half the mixture in medium bowl.  Make the peanut butter layer by adding the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and peanut butter to one-half of the mixture and stirring to incorporate.  Add the cocoa powder to the other half of the milk mixture to make the chocolate layer.

4.  Pour the chocolate mixture into the pie crust, then top with peanut butter.  Cover with plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours until set.  (I like to garnish with a few chocolate chips!)

Caple, C. (photographer). (2011).  [Photographs], Blacksburg, VA.

Recipes modified from:  
Seinfeld, J. (2007).  Deceptively Delicious:  Siimple secrets to get your kids eating good food.  New York, NY:  Collins. 

Like this post?  Read more Eat Right With Color posts!  

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