Less Fat, Still Ono

By Barbara Burke
and Joannie Dobbs

Wednesday, November 17, 1999

Quick eats needn’t
be high calorie

DURING the busy holiday season, many people take a vacation from meal planning. Activities like shopping for gifts, mailing greeting cards, and planning holiday events often edge out any thought to preparing balanced, lowfat meals. But, it's easier than you think to offer quick, nutrient dense, great tasting food -- even on the run.

Perhaps the most important step to avoid gaining unwanted pounds during the holidays is stocking your refrigerator and pantry with plenty of lowfat items. Include a variety of low-calorie foods that are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber and provide an adequate amount of protein.

When possible, prepare meals and snacks before you become famished to help keep your portion size to a minimum.

Fruits, vegetables, and low-fat yogurt and cottage cheese are convenient foods to have on hand. Consider saving time by paying a little extra for pre-cut vegetables.

While salads are a great accompaniment to any meal, most salads don't have enough staying power to help you make it through a hectic day. If you grab a salad for lunch, be prepared with a healthy snack if hunger hits a few hours later.

You may be surprised to learn that Spam musubi, with about 5 grams of fat and 200 calories, is a better choice than many fast food entrees.

Chili and rice, a soft chicken taco, and some submarine sandwiches can be relatively low in fat and calories. Check out nutrition information.

Soups can be both lowfat and filling. One of our favorite recipes begins with a commercial pasta sauce. We recommend either Safeway Select Verdi Garlic and Basil Pasta Sauce or Classico Spicy Tomato and Pesto Pasta Sauce.

Quick 'n Hearty Tomato Soup

1/4 cup commercial pasta sauce
1 cup skim milk

Place sauce in a microwavable cup. Slowly stir in milk until blended. Heat for 1 to 2 minutes in microwave. Serves 1.

Approximate nutritional information per serving using Safeway Select Verdi Garlic and Basil Pasta Sauce: 120 calories, 2.5 g total fat, 0.5 g sat fat, 5 mg chol, 370 mg sodium.

Approximate nutritional information per serving using Classico Spicy Tomato and Pesto Pasta Sauce: 130 calories, 3 g total fat, 1 g sat fat, 5 mg chol, 390 mg sodium.*

Here are some ideas for quick lunches or snacks. A serving of ready-to-eat turkey, chicken chunks or ham is about the size of 2/3 of a deck of cards.

Turkey and Fruit

2 ounces cooked, skinless turkey breast
3/4 cup of seedless grapes

Use frozen grapes to keep the meat cool until lunchtime. Serves 1.

Approximate nutritional information per serving:145 calories, 2 g total fat, 1 g sat fat, 25 mg chol, 420 mg sodium*

Pineapple and Ham

3/4 cup fresh pineapple chunks (or canned in water or juice)
6 Healthy Choice ham slices
6 black olives
Green onion tops or toothpicks

Drain pineapple. Roll ham tightly and tie with slivers of green onion top or secure with toothpick. Serves 1

Approximate nutritional information per serving: 185 cal, 3 g total fat, 1 g sat fat, 20 mg chol, 570 mg sodium*

Barbara Burke is a Hawaii-Pacific University instructor who has been teaching
and writing about food and nutrition since 1975.

Joannie Dobbs, Ph.D., C.N.S., is a food and nutrition consultant
and owner of Exploring New Concepts, a nutritional consulting firm.
She is also responsible for the nutritional analyses
indicated by an asterisk in this section.

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