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2015 Jun

Good-for-You Recipes

When I was little, my parents didn’t dress up my vegetables or hide them in sneaky recipes. I ate my Brussels sprouts and broccoli without complaint. But not everyone has children who will eat what’s in front of them. Recently I attended a launch party in Norfolk for FNV, a new initiative by the Partners for a Healthier America (PHA) to promote healthy foods to younger audiences. The idea is to market good-for-you fruits and vegetables in upbeat, exciting ways, so consumers will choose healthier options.

In the spirit of FNV, here are a few healthy recipes to jazz up your family’s meals this month. You can easily customize them to include your favorite fruits and vegetables—or take out what you don’t like. I promise, your kids will ask for more!

Summer Vegetable Spaghetti

2 cups small yellow onions, peels and cut into eights

2 cups chopped, peeled, ripe tomatoes (about 1 lb.)

2 cups thinly sliced yellow and green squash (about 1 lb.)

1 1/2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed (about 1/2 lbs.)

2/3 cup of water

2 T. minced fresh parsley

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 t. chili powder

1/4 t. salt

Ground black pepper, to taste

1 can (6 oz.) no-salt-added tomato paste

1 lb. uncooked spaghetti

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

• Combine first 10 ingredients in a large saucepan; cook for 10 minutes, then stir in the tomato paste. Cover and cook gently for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender.

• Cook spaghetti in unsalted water according to package directions. Drain well.

• Serve sauce over spaghetti. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top.

Watermelon Tomato Salad

2 large tomatoes, rinsed and cut into 6 slices each

2 T. white balsamic vinegar (or substitute apple cider vinegar)

1 T. olive oil

1 T. fresh basil, rinsed, dried, and chopped (or 1 t. dried)

4 cups diced watermelon, with seeds removed (about half a small melon)

1/4 t. salt

1/4 t. ground black pepper

• Arrange three tomato slices on each of four salad plates.

• Combine vinegar, oil, and basil in a bowl and mix well.

• Add watermelon, and gently toss to coat evenly.

• Spoon watermelon over the tomatoes.

• Season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Fruit Skewers with Yogurt Dip

1 cup strawberries, rinsed, stems removed, and cut in half

1 cup fresh pineapple, diced (or canned pineapple chunks in juice, drained)

1/2 cup blackberries

1 tangerine or Clementine, peeled and cut into 8 segments

8 6-inch wooden skewers

For dip:

1 cup strawberries, rinsed, stems removed, and cut in half

1/4 cup fat-free plain yogurt

1/8 t. vanilla extract

1 T. honey

• Thread two strawberry halves, two pineapple chunks, two blackberries, and one tangerine segment on each skewer.

• To prepare the dip, puree the strawberries in a blender or food processor. Add yogurt, vanilla, and honey, and mix well.

• Serve two skewers with yogurt dip on the side.

Tropical Fruit Compote

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

2 t. fresh lemon juice

1 piece lemon peel

1/2 t. rum or vanilla extract (optional)

1 pineapple, cored and peeled, cut into 8 slices

2 mangos, peeled and pitted, cut into 8 pieces

3 bananas, peeled, cut into 8 diagonal pieces

Fresh mint leaves (optional)

• In a saucepan combine 3/4 cup of water with the sugar, lemon juice, and lemon peel (and rum or vanilla extract if desired). Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and add the fruit.

• Cook at a very low heat for 5 minutes.

• Pour the syrup into a cup and set aside. Remove the lemon peel and cool the cooked fruit for 2 hours.

• To serve the compote, arrange the fruit in a serving dish and pour a few teaspoons of syrup over the fruit. Garnish with mint leaves (if desired).

For more information about the FNV initiative, visit www.fnv.com and www.ahealthieramerica.org.

Recipes courtesy of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.healthyeating.nhlbi.nih.gov.

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