Windber Medical Center

WIN 2014

Spirit of Women magazine is a national publication presented to women by hospitals and their physicians. The magazine provides up-to-date, evidence-based healthcare information and promotes our hospitals as leaders in women's health excellence.

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H E A L T H Y E A T I N G Thinking SMALL Make a meal out of healthy appetizers Quinoa-Stuffed Baby Bell Peppers Orzo, Spinach, Cannellini Bean and Feta Cheese Salad 6 SPI RIT O F WOM EN W I N T E R 2 014 w w w. s p i r i t o f w o m e n . c o m By Bev Bennett T he first bite is the best. You anticipate the flavor, texture and aroma bursting on your taste buds with that initial forkful, and your expectations are blissfully met. But after a few more mouthfuls, your brain may be ready for a new thrill to keep the excitement of fresh tastes alive. That's part of the appeal behind the current small plate craze at restaurants, say researchers, and it's also why a meal of bite-size appetizers can be a healthy way to satisfy your appetite, whether you're mixing and matching from a menu or making your own. SET THE PLATE If you're going to eat a variety of smaller dishes, though, you need to do some planning to turn those tidbits into well-balanced and flavorful meals, say nutrition experts. For good health, include lean protein, whole grains and some vegetables in your appetizer recipes, says Marisa Moore, a registered dietitian in Atlanta and spokesperson for the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. To please your palate, think about color, crunch and contrast, adds Suzanne Landry, a chef and wellness educator in Ventura, Calif., and author of "The Passionate Vegetable" (Health Inspired Publishing, 2013). But don't worry that you have to trade nutrients for taste: Wholesome and delicious can easily blend together in an appetizer. One of Moore's favorites, for example, is smoked salmon. "It's good for omega-3 fatty acid. I have it with whole-grain bread on the side," says Moore. "Kabobs are [another] opportunity to put lean protein in an appetizer." Lettuce wraps offer healthy nibbling too, especially if you try different kinds of greens.

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