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Healthy holiday recipes, part 2

(Courtesy photo)

(Courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- Holiday treats may be arranged strategically throughout offices this season making it hard to keep up with a balanced diet.

The Health and Wellness Center here can provide a helpful tool to control portions during the holidays.

The HAWC promotes balanced food portions and healthy eating with MyPlate, which has replaced the United States Department of Agriculture food pyramid.

MyPlate takes the traditional food pyramid and gives it a circular shape with color coded partitions showing how certain food groups should fill a plate.

"With MyPlate, you can actually see the serving size," said Melinda Reed, Health and Wellness Center registered dietitian. "MyPlate helps you visualize how many starches, fruits and vegetables to take in each serving."

According to the MyPlate plan on choosemyplate.gov, balancing calories, increasing fruits and vegetables, and switching to whole grains and fat-free or low-fat milk is a good way to live a healthy lifestyle. The site also cautions the intake of sodium and sugar.

"Individuals should remember to get two cups of fruit and three cups of vegetables each day," said Reed.

For more information on the MyPlate plan, visit the Vandenberg HAWC or go online to www.choosemyplate.gov.

Below are more heart healthy recipes from the HAWC:

BRAN FLAX MUFFINS
Yield: 35-40 small muffins
Servings: 1 muffin
Ingredients
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
3/4 cup flaxseed meal
3/4 cup oat bran cereal
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 1/2 cups finely shredded carrots
2 apples, peeled and shredded
1/2 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 cup milk
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
Heat the oven to 350 F.
In a large bowl, mix together flour, flaxseed meal, oat bran, brown sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
Stir in carrots, apples, raisins (if desired).
In a small bowl combine milk, beaten eggs and vanilla.
Pour liquid ingredients into dry ingredients.
Sit until ingredients are moistened. DO NOT OVER MIX.
Fill muffins cups 3/4 full. Bake for 15-20 min.
Nutrition information per serving: 110 calories; 40 calories from fat; 4.5 g fat (0 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 15 mg cholesterol; 12 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 2.5 g fiber; 155 mg sodium.
(Recipe from the Vandenberg Health and Wellness Center)

WHOLE WHEAT PASTA SALAD
Serving size: 3/4 cup
Ingredients
1 package whole wheat pasta
1 1/2 cup Italian dressing
1 cucumber
1 orange
1 yellow bell pepper
1 red onion
1 green bell pepper
Cook pasta according to label. Rinse pasta with cold water.
Chop peppers, cucumber and onion. Add to cooled pasta.
Pour in dressing and stir until combined.
(Recipe from the Vandenberg Health and Wellness Center)

SALSA DIP
Ingredients
1 package light soft Swiss cheese
1/2 cup salsa
Mix together and serve.
Nutrition Information per serving: 80 calories; 4 g fat; 5 g protein; 760 mg sodium.
(Recipe from the Vandenberg Health and Wellness Center)