Eating right can taste good too

  • Published
  • By Marita Radloff
  • HAWC registered dietitian nutritionist

Most of us are interested in having a balanced diet, with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein, but don't want to sacrifice flavor. But eating healthfully doesn't have to mean only eating the same bland foods over and over again! There is an array of healthful ingredients that will boost flavor and nutritional value, while decreasing sodium intake and the use of processed foods. 

Eating right doesn't mean that you have to eat flavorless foods, and these tips will help you add some zest to those seemingly dull healthy foods without adding sugar, fat or salt.

*Unsweetened applesauce, pumpkin purée or squash purée can sub for oil, eggs or sugar in some recipes for baked goods.

*Marinate lean meat like chicken in olive oil, spices and herbs with fresh citrus juice, vinegar or wine. Coat meat thoroughly and refrigerate for at least an hour before cooking.
*Use hard cheeses such as parmesan and asiago. These cheeses are super flavorful and lower in fat, so you'll use less but still get a savory cheese taste.

*Use avocado in place of mayonnaise when making tuna or chicken salad. You'll still have rich full flavor, but with healthier fat and fiber!

*Sprinkle cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice instead of sugar on fruit, or add red pepper to bring a surprise heat and unique flavor!

*Make soups with a low sodium broth and add in herbs and spices for flavor instead.
If you're looking for more ideas on how to add flavor to your meals, come to the Commissary Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a healthy and flavorful cooking demo from the HAWC's dietitian! Sample a tasty and easy to make dish that will convince you that eating right can be flavorful!   

Editor's note:
All of these topics are covered in the HAWC's next 12-week Better Body, Better Life program starting April 4. The program is open to all employees and family members 18 and older.  To register, stop by Bldg. 827 or call 478-222-6907. Check out the HAWC's Facebook page for events, tips and a new recipe in the Rev-Up weekly this month.

Salmon with Sweet & Spicy Rub
Total time: 17 minutes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 7 minutes
· Cooking spray
· 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
· 1 tablespoon chili powder
· 1 teaspoon ground cumin
· 1/8 teaspoon salt
· 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
· 6 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, fresh or thawed from frozen, skin and any  bones removed
· 1 tablespoon olive oil  Recipe directions

If using frozen salmon, thaw salmon according to package directions. Coat your grill or a grill pan with cooking spray and preheat over medium heat. Combine the brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Brush each salmon fillet with ½ teaspoon of the oil, then rub each fillet with ½ tablespoon of the spice mixture.

  Grill the salmon until charred, about 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the salmon and cook another 5 to 6 minutes for medium doneness. Fish should flake easily. For well-done fish, cook an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to plate and serve immediately with a green vegetable and whole grain side!   (Recipe adapted from