Nutrition Nuggets: Hot Trends Go Healthy

by Carol Berg Sloan RD

Food and Nutrition Trends for 2009 include the desire for comfort foods……uh oh…chicken pot pie, rice pudding, ice cream, chocolate chip cookies, twice-baked potatoes..a dietitian’s nightmare. But these foods can provide comfort AND good nutrition.
Making small changes will allow you to enjoy the tastes you remember without the fat and calories. For example, using phyllo dough instead of pie crust cuts back on fat considerably in chicken pot pie, while adding blueberries, flaxseed and walnuts boosts the nutrient profile of a delicious fruit crisp.
Check out these recipes for Chicken Pot Pies and Fruit Crisps, the ulimate comfort foods!

You and Me Chicken Pot Pies recipe by Ellie Krieger MS, RD

Cooking spray
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 leeks, bottom 4 inches only, washed well and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 medium potatoes cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and chopped into 1/2-inch pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
3 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
2 tablespoons grated parmesan
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray four individual-sized baking dishes with cooking spray. Season the chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and a few turns of pepper. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, turning once. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Add 2 more teaspoons of the oil, the leeks, and the celery to the pan and cook until vegetables begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the potatoes, green beans, garlic, and remaining salt and pepper and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the milk to the pan. Stir the flour into the chicken broth until dissolved and add to the pan. Cook, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. Stir in the reserved chicken, peas, parsley, and thyme. Spoon the mixture into the prepared baking dishes. Put the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil into a small bowl. Unroll the phyllo dough and cut it into quarters. Place a quarter sheet on top of each baking dish and brush with olive oil. Repeat with remaining 3 baking dishes. Tuck the edges of the phyllo into the dish rim. Top each pie with parmesan. Place on a baking sheet and bake until the filling is bubbling, about 30 minutes.

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving
Calories 586
Carbohydrates 70 g
Total Fat 13 g
Saturated Fat 3.1 g
Protein 50 g
Fiber 8 g
Sodium 958 mg

Apple Blueberry Walnut Crisp
recipe from

Makes 6 Servings
3 large Red or Golden Delicious apples (about 2 pounds), unpeeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 pint blueberries (1 cup) or 1 cup frozen wild blueberries
3/4 cup walnuts, very finely chopped
1/4 cup old-fashioned or quick-cooking oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons canola oil

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Combine the apples, brown sugar, flour, vanilla, and cinnamon in a large bowl and toss to coat. Gently toss in the blueberries.
Place the apple mixture in an 8 x 8-inch baking dish and set aside.
To make the topping, combine the walnuts, oats, brown sugar, whole wheat flour, flaxseed, cinnamon, and salt in a medium bowl. Add the canola oil and stir until the dry ingredients are well coated. Spread the topping evenly over the fruit mixture.
Bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until the fruit is tender and the topping is golden brown (cover with foil if the topping browns too quickly). Serve with lowfat vanilla frozen yogurt or a dollop of light whipped cream.

Nutrition Information per Serving 260 calories, 16g fat, (1.5g saturated, 2.3g omega-3), 105mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, 4g protein, 10% vitamin C

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