From The Nutritionist

It's March, and the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is celebrating
National Nutrition Month®. The theme for 2012 is "Get Your Plate in Shape".
Let's all join the celebration with better food choices and more physical activity each day!

Nutritionist Alexandria Hast
Guest Author
Alexandria Hast, PhD, RD

Shape-Up Your Plate!

Here are some tips from Campbell on how to shape-up your plate.

Start by filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Fruits and Vegetables provide a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, all while filling you up for fewer calories. Add color to your plate by choosing dark green, red, and orange vegetables, as well as beans and peas. It does not matter if the vegetables are fresh, frozen, or canned-- they still count towards your daily intake! The recommendation for most adults is to eat 2 ½ cups of vegetables each day. Don't like vegetables? Try pureeing them and incorporating them into some of your favorite higher-calorie foods like macaroni and cheese. Research shows that this can help to increase your veggie intake, and at the same time help to decrease your calorie intake!1 Fruits also come in a variety of different options-- fresh, frozen, canned, dried, or 100% fruit juice. Aim for 2 cups of fruit each day.

Fill the next quarter of your plate with grains. Try to incorporate more whole grains, like 100% whole-grain bread, pasta, or brown rice. The daily recommendation for grains is 6 oz equivalents. Strive to make at least half of these grains, or 3 oz equivalents, whole grains.

The final quarter of your plate should be reserved for a variety of lean protein sources, like lean meat, poultry, eggs, seafood, nuts, and beans. In addition, aim for 3 cups per day of low-fat or fat-free milk, yogurt, cheese, or fortified soy beverages – all good sources of calcium, vitamin D and protein.

As you start to develop better eating habits, it's also important to evaluate your exercise habits. Choose physical activities that are enjoyable so you stick with your plan. Team up with a friend to help you stay motivated and committed. Try riding a bike, walking on an incline, or doing circuit training to spice up your exercise routine. If you are a novice to physical activity, start by doing what you can in ten minute increments. Adults should aim for a minimum of 2 ½ hours of physical activity a week that requires moderate effort, like brisk walking.

Campbell offers a variety of products that can help you get more vegetables, fruit, and whole grains into your diet, including more than 90 soups with at least ½ cup of vegetables and other options such as V8® 100% Vegetable juices, V8 V-Fusion® 100% juices, and Pepperidge Farm® whole grain products. For more information to help shape-up your plate, visit www.ChooseMyPlate.gov

Here's to healthy eating and exercising!
Alex

1 Blatt AD, Roe LS, Rolls BJ. Hidden vegetables: an effective strategy to reduce energy intake and increase vegetable intake in adults. AJCN. 2011;94:735-741.

Alex recently received her PhD in Nutritional Sciences from the Pennsylvania State University. Her research investigated the effects of protein, energy density, and portion size on satiety and energy intake, and her work has been published in several peer-reviewed journals. She also obtained her Bachelor's degree from Penn State and completed a combined internship and Master's degree program at University Hospitals and Case University in Cleveland, Ohio. Alex has several years of experience as a clinical dietitian and is a member of the American Society for Nutrition, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, and the Pennsylvania Dietetic Association.

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En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

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Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.