Food for Thought
As the cold winter months wind down, there is still a limited amount of local fresh fruit available. This is a great opportunity to use dried-fruit varieties and reap nutritional benefits such as fiber, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, says Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, founder of Toby Amidor Nutrition (http://tobyamidornutrition.com) and author The Greek Yogurt Kitchen (Grand Central May 2014).
But keeping portions in check is important in order to keep calories and sugar within reasonable limits, cautions Amidor. “Dried fruits are more condensed than fresh varieties, since water is removed. For this reason, the portion of dried fruit is about half the size of fresh. So, 1⁄2 cup of dried fruit counts as 1 cup of fresh. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s ChooseMyPlate food guidance system recommends 11⁄2 cups of fruit daily for women over the age of 30 and 2 cups per day for men 19 and older and for women aged 19–30. When purchasing dried fruit, read labels carefully and choose those without added sugar.”
This original recipe from Amidor will get you well on your way to your daily serving of fruit. Try it for breakfast, for lunch or as a dinner side dish. Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 15 minutes.1 C dry quinoa
2 Clow-sodium vegetable broth
1 C forzen peas
3 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 T fresh-squeezed lime juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 t salt
1/4 freshly ground black pepper
4 dried plums, chopped
4 dried apricots, chopped
2 T dried cherries
2 T fresh cilantro, chopped
1 medium carrot, grated
Recipe Key: c=cup | T = tablespoon | t = teaspoon
Combine quinoa and broth in medium saucepan and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat, cover pan, and simmer until all liquid has been absorbed, about 12 minutes. Remove pan from heat, and fluff quinoa with fork.
While quinoa is cooking, combine peas with 3⁄4 cup water in small saucepan over high heat. Cook uncovered for about 3 minutes. Drain peas and allow them to cool for 5 minutes.
In small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt and pepper. In large bowl, toss together quinoa, peas, dried fruit, cilantro and carrot. Add oil mixture and stir until incorporated. Makes 6 servings (3⁄4 cup per serving).
Per serving: 231 calories; 9 g total fat; 1 g saturated fat; 6 g protein; 33 g total carbohydrates; 9 g sugar; 5 g fiber; 0 mg cholesterol; 281 mg sodium.
Source: Original recipe by Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, adjunct professor at Teacher's College, Columbia University, and founder of Toby Amidor Nutrition (http://tobyamidornutrition.com).