March 9, 2003 – March is National Nutrition Month, and "Healthy Eating, Healthy You" is the theme for this year. Within that theme, here are key messages:
– Healthy eating helps you get the most out of life. A healthy lifestyle is the key to looking good, feeling great and being your best at work and play. It all starts with a healthy eating plan.
– Individual needs and preferences determine personal food choices. Match your food choices to your lifestyle and individual requirements, choosing enough to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.
– Make moderation your goal — you decide how much to consume, and how often. Healthy eating doesn't mean feeling deprived or guilty. Look at the big picture: what you eat over several days — not just one day or one meal. That's important.
– Develop a personal fitness plan that's compatible with your lifestyle. The key is to find a variety of activities you enjoy. You don't need expensive equipment or complicated fitness programs.
– Actively pursue variety. Expand your range of choices and explore new tastes within and among food groups. Eating a wide variety of foods not only promotes optimal nutrition; it provides the pleasurable aspects of eating.
With that last message in mind, here's a way expand your tastes: Try making some Chicken Lentil-Curry Stew. It isn't your same old stewed chicken or lentil soup, but a delightful combination of flavors that's a kid pleaser, adult appetizer and good for you, too!
Chicken Lentil-Curry Stew
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds bone-in or boneless chicken thighs, skin removed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, peeled and minced
1 (14.5-ounce) can of tomatoes, chopped
12 baby carrots
1 pound potatoes, peeled and cut in 3/4 inch cubes
3/4 pounds okra, sliced (optional)
1 pound dry lentils
4 cups water
2 tablespoons curry powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)
Heat the oil in a five-quart saucepan with a tight-fitting lid. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Fry until golden brown in the vegetable oil, a few minutes on each side. Remove from the pan. Sauté the garlic and onions in the same pan, scraping up bits from the bottom of the pan, until soft and golden.
Add the vegetables and mix to coat well. Add the lentils, chicken, water and seasonings, except for the cilantro. Bring to a boil and lower the flame. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until the potatoes and lentils are soft. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
Makes 8 servings. Per serving: 370 calories, 8 gms fat (20 percent fat calories), 45 mg cholesterol, 135 mg sodium.
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