All Posts By Robin Miller

Healthier Sliders, Three Ways

by in Robin's Healthy Take, October 4, 2013

sliders

Traditional, restaurant-style sliders can have 350 calories and 15 to 20 grams of fat per slider–one little patty on a roll. But sliders are cool, so I found a way to enjoy them guilt-free. With these slimmed-down gems, you can enjoy two sliders for the nutrient price of one restaurant slider, without sacrificing flavor.

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Build a Better Pot Roast

by in Robin's Healthy Take, October 1, 2013

pot roast

Pot roast doesn’t typically get a nutritional nod, but that’s likely because of the marbling (striations of fat not found in top round or loin). But for just 176 calories, 3 ounces of chuck roast (the cut that makes the best pot roast) boasts 22 grams of protein and almost half of the recommended daily intake for iron. In pot roast recipes, the meat is seared, simmered in broth and embellished with vegetables, making it the perfect dish for a cool night.

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15 Ways to Use Wild Mushrooms

by in Robin's Healthy Take, September 29, 2013

portobello mushroom

If mushrooms aren’t a regular part of your weekly menu, you might want to change your routine. Considered a “low-density” food because they make you feel fuller on fewer calories for longer periods of time, mushrooms also dish up incredible flavor and depth. Given those facts, you might consider revamping one weeknight meal by using mushrooms instead of red meat. You’ll quickly slash calories while feeling satisfied for hours.

You can find several mushroom varieties in most supermarkets, including cremini, chanterelle, shiitake, portobello, oyster, morel, porcini and enoki. Porcini are often sold dry, but don’t let that stop you. Rehydrate them and you can enjoy the chewy ‘shrooms and the incredible broth they create while soaking.

Nutritionally, mushrooms are crammed with vitamin D (aids calcium absorption and helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth), potassium (works with sodium to maintain fluid balance and proper metabolism and muscle function), selenium (an antioxidant that protects cell membranes from oxidative damage), and beta-glucans, substances that stimulate the immune system.

15 Ways to Use Wild Mushrooms

1. Mushroom Soup: Sauté a variety of wild mushrooms with shallots and garlic; season with thyme and bay leaves; simmer in good-quality beef broth for 20 minutes
2. Add sautéed mushrooms to scrambled eggs, omelets and frittatas
3. Add diced raw mushrooms to chicken and turkey burgers (mushrooms keep them moist)

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Top 20 Uses For Roasted Red Peppers

by in Robin's Healthy Take, September 20, 2013

roasted red peppers
My refrigerator is never without roasted red peppers. Not only do they add smoky, tangy depth to virtually any dish, they’re nutrient blockbusters, boasting 213% of the RDA for vitamin C per 100 grams (3.5 ounces). That’s great news because vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that protects cells from free radical damage, boosts immunity, helps ward off infection, and reduces inflammation. Vitamin C is also vital for the synthesis of collagen, a structural protein that maintains the integrity of blood vessels, skin, organs, and bones. But that’s not all. Bell peppers are loaded with antioxidant-rich carotenoids–over 30 different ones to be exact–including beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, and zeaxanthin.

Now that I’ve got your attention, let’s explore ways to incorporate roasted red peppers into your regular menu!

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25 Delicious Ways to Use Ground Chicken and Turkey

by in Robin's Healthy Take, September 17, 2013

slow-cooker chicken chili
In my house, we love a good meatball, bowl of chili and sloppy joe–all made with ground beef. But I don’t serve ground beef every night. Why? Look at the numbers. One 4-ounce serving of cooked ground beef has more than twice the calories of ground turkey and five times the saturated fat of ground chicken. And that’s for the 90% lean beef.

Here are the stats for 4 ounces cooked:

Ground Beef (90% lean): 261 calories, 14 grams fat, 5.4 grams saturated fat, 32 grams protein
Ground Beef (85% lean): 290 calories, 17 grams fat, 7 grams saturated fat, 32 grams protein

Ground Turkey Breast: 120 calories, 1.5 grams fat, 0.5 grams saturated fat, 26 grams protein
Ground Chicken Breast: 160 calories, 2 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat, 31 grams protein

So I like to mix up my menu by using ground chicken and turkey in dishes that call for beef. Here are 25 great ways to get you started on the same path!

1. Chili (try Food Network Kitchens’ Slow-Cooker Chicken Chili, above), soups, and stews
2. Bolognese Sauce: Use over pasta and mashed potatoes.
3. Burgers and sliders: Add seasonings and fresh herbs as desired. (Try Food Networks Kitchens’ Asian Turkey Burgers or Food Network Magazine’s Asian Chicken Burgers.)

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Healthier Homemade Cheese Pretzels

by in Robin's Healthy Take, September 8, 2013

parmesan pretzels

I grew up in a Philadelphia suburb, so I’ve had my share of soft pretzels. But Philly isn’t the only place making soft pretzels these days. You can find the baked-dough twists in airports, malls and carnivals nationwide. There’s also the frozen variety. The problem is, these mass-made pretzels are often loaded with calories and salt.

Depending on the size, a regular soft pretzel (123 to 149 grams) can have 340 to 480 calories and 1,000 to 2,000 milligrams of salt. The lower range is for the plain pretzels and the higher stats are for those with alluring toppings like butter, cheese, pepperoni and sugar.

But there’s no need for the numbers to be high. I made smaller versions for fun and, even when multiplied by four, they have fewer calories, fat grams and sodium milligrams than their traditional counterparts (and that’s including the cheese on top!).

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9+ Reasons to Love Artichoke Hearts

by in Robin's Healthy Take, September 2, 2013

artichoke
It doesn’t matter how you find ‘em–frozen, canned, bottled, marinated or discovered at the center of the beautiful fresh vegetable–artichoke hearts have amazing flavor and boast some serious nutrients.

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Why You Can Feel Good About Phyllo

by in Robin's Healthy Take, August 20, 2013

spinach tartlets

Whether you call it phyllo, fillo or filo, one thing is certain, this store-bought dough is versatile. Phyllo (Greek for “leaf”) is actually layered sheets of paper-thin pastry dough that, when baked, become light, crisp and flaky, with a wonderful toasted flavor. And there are reasons to feel good about phyllo: Because the dough has no trans fat, no saturated fat, no cholesterol and just 160 calories per 5 sheets, it makes the perfect substitute for puff pastry, ready-made piecrusts and refrigerated pie dough. Try the Spinach and Goat Cheese Tartlets, above (from Food Network Magazine), or any of the tips and recipes below.

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Fish Sticks: A Healthier Catch

by in Robin's Healthy Take, August 13, 2013

fish sticks

Although fish sticks can be a great way to introduce kids (and other picky eaters) to seafood, they’re basically breaded, fried, bland-tasting finger food. Yes, the omega-3 fatty acids are a terrific addition to the meal, but the 17 grams of fat per serving (3.5 ounces) isn’t. Instead of raiding the freezer, whip up a healthier version in a snap.

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Tips for Homemade Dressings

by in Robin's Healthy Take, August 12, 2013

grilled chicken salad with gazpacho dressing

It’s easy to make salad dressings that are full of flavor, not calories. Here are some tricks for homemade versions.

1. Add citrus juice, citrus zest and fresh herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro, chives, oregano, or thyme) for a burst of flavor and color.

2. Replace all but 1 to 2 tablespoons of the oil in a recipe with reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth.

3. Use a blender: The ingredients come together faster and easier. (Try Food Network Magazine’s Grilled Chicken Salad with Gazpacho Dressing, above.)

4. For variety, use cider vinegar, sherry vinegar or white balsamic vinegar.

5. Add chopped shallots for nuance that’s more subtle than garlic or onion.

6. Bind ingredients together with 1 to 2 tablespoons honey mustard, Dijon mustard or grainy mustard.

7. Use reduced-fat sour cream for creamier dressings, as in this blue-cheese version from Food Network Magazine.

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