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Living Well In Yalobusha County

Top Tools For A Healthful Kitchen

By Pamela Redwine

If you haven’t tried out our Zumba class you have one more opportunity.  Our last Zumba exercise class will be Friday, October 26. The class is $5 and meets from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m.  The Healthy You Exercise continues to meet every Monday and Wednesday from 9 a.m. until 10 a.m. and is free to the public.

The 4-H FCS club met Thursday, October 18.  During their meeting they had a Decorated Pumpkin Contest. It was a lot of fun to see all of the creativity the kids used with their pumpkins.

Sign up now for the Whimsical Holiday Painting class which will be held during the Holiday House on Saturday, November 3 from 2 to 3 p.m. The cost is $10 and space is limited. No prior painting experience is required. Call 675-2730 to register.
Top Tools for a Healthful Kitchen
Are you putting together a healthful kitchen and not sure where to start?  Check out our top ten list of key cooking equipment.
1. Sharp Knife – if you follow MyPlate’s advice (and you should!), half your plate should be filled with fruits and veggies at each meal. In order to make prepping these foods a breeze, it makes sense to have a good, dependable knife. Choose a knife that fits well in your hand and that is firmly in your price range. Keep a large knife for chopping and a small knife for chopping or more detailed slicing.
2. Secure, Easy-to-Clean Cutting Board – We love plastic cutting boards with rubber edges. They prevent slipping and are dishwasher-safe for easy sanitizing. Keep a few cutting boards handy – that way, you can always use a separate cutting board for raw meat. Keeping cutting boards and tools separate is a key part of avoiding cross-contamination.
3. Bread Machine – These machines aren’t just for bread anymore — you can use them to create bread, pizza, bread sticks, calzones, etc. Plus, if you’re making your own versions of these foods, you can incorporate whole grain flours and reduce sodium content for a more healthful final product.
4. Nonstick Skillet – This makes whipping up stir fries, pasta, and sauteed veggies a snap! Plus, the nonstick coating means that you’ll need to use less fat in order to keep ingredients from clinging to the pan.
5. Dutch Oven- A Dutch oven is very versatile. It’s especially great for soup, chili, pasta, and many other plant-based dishes.
6. Lettuce Spinner – A lettuce spinner delivers crisp, clean, dry leaves in minutes, and is great for storing salads too. It will even pay for itself – whole lettuce is way cheaper than pre-washed greens.
7. Rice Cooker – This appliance cooks grains perfectly. Try it with rice, quinoa, steel cut oats, barley, etc.
8. Crock-Pot – This is especially great for beans — our long-cooking, high-fiber friends can soak and cook in this pot until they are totally perfect. Plus, you can use a Crock-Pot for soups, chilis, chicken, and much more.
9. Microwave – They are super at defrosting and reheating, which makes safe food preparation quick and easy. Plus, healthy “planned-overs” are the mainstay of any kitchen!
10. Pannini Press – Some people use this more than the stove! It’s perfect for vegetarian sandwiches and it also makes bean quesadillas
Article Source: Communicating Food For Health Newsletter, October 2012

Recipe of the Week
By: Pamela Redwine

Cajun Fire Chicken

Cooking spray
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 (4-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 (14 1/2 ounce) can stewed tomatoes, undrained and chopped
2 teaspoons hot sauce
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Additional hot sauce (optional)
Fresh thyme sprigs (optional)

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat.  Add chicken, and cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned. Add pepper, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons hot sauce, 1/4 cup cilantro, and dried thyme. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Uncover and simmer 10 minutes.
Stir remaining cilantro into tomato mixture. Serve with additional hot sauce, garnish with thyme sprigs, if desired.
Yield: 4 servings.

Nutritional Information
Per Serving: Calories 192, Fat 3.8g, Protein 27.6, Carbohydrate 11.8g, Fiber 2.1g, Cholesterol 66mg, Sodium 323mg, Exchanges: 2 vegetables, 3 very lean meat

Recipe source: Quick and Easy Diabetic Recipes

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