Using MyPlate for One-Dish Meals
The goal of MyPlate is not for every meal to look like a plate of separate foods. You probably don’t eat that way. But if you keep MyPlate in mind when cooking “combination” foods like casseroles, burritos or stir-frys, you can create more and more balance in your meals until healthy eating becomes a habit that you don’t have to think about. When choosing ingredients for your one-dish meals, try these tips to follow MyPlate recommendations.
Casseroles and Stir-Frys
Pack in the veggies. Try to use two or three different colors of vegetables for a variety of nutrients.
Try to use whole grain pasta or brown rice instead of white.
Meat should be a small part of the recipe. Consider the meat a flavoring rather than the main part of the dish.
If there is no dairy in your recipe, try to choose calcium rich foods like calcium fortified tofu, broccoli or leafy greens.
Instead of filling your plate with the dish, serve a smaller portion so that you have room for some fruit for dessert.
Choose a variety of vegetables. If you like creamy soup, try using vegetables to thicken the soup instead of cream. For example, you can use pureed corn and chicken broth to thicken a hearty chowder recipe.
Choose just enough low fat, low sodium proteins like chicken, fish, lentils or beans to flavor the soup.
If your soup doesn’t have a lot of high fiber ingredients, enjoy it with whole grain crackers or a roll.
Try adding kale or greens for some calcium if you didn’t eat any dairy foods for your afternoon snack.
End the meal with a fruit based dessert that provides some more fiber, like baked apples stuffed with dried fruit and high fiber cereal.
Burritos, Burgers and Wraps
Make sure to top or stuff these foods with with plenty of vegetables, and also serve some on the side. Try to get a total of one cup of vegetables in the meal.
Use low fat cheese.
Use whole grain buns, wraps or tortillas that provide a good source of fiber. Corn tortillas and brown rice are good options, but they don’t provide as much fiber as other whole grain choices, so try to include other high fiber foods like beans.
End the meal with a smoothie made from whole fruit, ice and a splash of milk or calcium fortified orange juice.
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