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March 1: Lunchbreak - Glass Noodles, Broccoli Rabe, Cucumber and Tomato-Fish Sauce

Julie Upton
Appetite for Health

1. Eat Colorful ProduceMost of our diets are lacking in colorful produce, with 99% of all adults failing to meet the minimum fruit/vegetable guidelines. o Women strive for at least five servings per day (3 veg/2 fruit)o Men need 7 or more servings (4 veg/3 fruit)

Want to focus on bright and deeply colored options: Berries (reds/blues); dark greens (broccoli, arugula, watercress, cilantro, parsley); purples (radicchio, eggplant, raisins, prunes) and orange/yellow (orange, lemon, squash, carrots, sweetpotato); reds (tomatoes, apples); whites (potatoes, garlic, onions) Have some frozen veggies on set too as well as sodium-reduced canned

2. Use Healthier OilsFor our heart's health, we need to reduced saturated fat and replace it with mono and polyunsaturated sources. So, use olive oil in place of butter when cooking and include nuts, seeds and avocados in your diet in place of some of the full-fat dairy products or meats.

The guidelines actually call for us to eat 4 ounces of nuts weekly as plant based proteins instead of animal sources.

The other way to reduce saturated fat is to focus on the leanest cuts of meat, eat more seafoods (at least twice a week) and choose lowfat or nonfat dairy products. A great option is skim milk, cottage cheese or low-fat cheese.

(Visuals: olive oil, avocados, in-shell pistachios, pouch of tuna fish, glass of skim milk, low-fat cottage cheese and low-fat cheese block like cheddar)

3. Slash SodiumWe are eating twice as much sodium as recommended. In fact, the guidelines are down to just the equivalent of 1 tsp of salt per day (2,300 mg sodium). Instead of using salt, increase flavor in foods with herbs and spices, hot sauces and citrus.

Glass Noodles, Broccoli Rabe, Cucumber and Tomato-Fish Sauce

Ingredients:
1/2 lb glass noodles
3 ea roma tomatoes
2 Tbs fish sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tsps Dijon
2 tsps sambal
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3/4 lb ground pork, beef, or lamb
1 cup broccoli rabe, cut into small pieces
1 cup carrots, julienned
1 cup cucumber, shaved
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped

Directions:
Soak glass noodles in warm water for 20 minutes or until softened. Cut into thirds with a scissors to make the noodles more manageable. In a blender, combine the tomatoes, fish sauce, lime juice, soy sauce, dijon and sambal. blend until smooth then begin to slowly drizzle in the olive oil to form an emulsion. reserve. In a hot pan, brown the pork, beef and lamb. Remove the meat from the pan and drain. Reserve a little of the fat for sauteéing. Return a bit of the fat to a sauté pan. Add the broccoli rabe and begin to cook for about 30 seconds. Add the carrot and cook for about another 30 seconds. Add the meat, sauce and noodles to the pan. Toss to combine. When everything is warmed through, add the cucumber and tomatoes, toss to combine. Remove from heat and transfer to plates or a platter. Top with chopped peanuts and serve.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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