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Cloudy,46°
Monday, December 22, 2014
Stepping Out
Hearty, healthy meals for the New Year
Gather in the kitchen on a winter's weekend
By Karen Bloom
Hearty beef stew with roasted vegetables

The holidays are in the rear view mirror now and it’s time to settle into some cozy winter nesting. And, of course, there that’s annual New Year’s resolution to eat healthier. So take some time to decompress from the hectic pace of last month and get re-energized in the kitchen – and see if you’ve got what it takes to be a ‘Top Chef.” It’s not that hard to create some great comforting foods to warm the heart and soul, and get everyone on track with that New Year’s resolution. Home cooking with real ingredients is inherently healthier – and can be surprisingly easy. With a few simple changes, you can make a big difference in the healthfulness of everyday meals.
“By adding herbs and spices, it’s easy to make healthy foods more flavorful. And it’s a smart way to freshen up your family’s standby recipes while gradually reducing reliance on sugar, sodium or fat,” said Chef Mark Garcia, of the McCormick Kitchens.
For freshened-up family favorites, try making these simple, healthful changes that are simply delicious:
• Replace the heavy breading on chicken tenders with a flour mixture spiced with paprika, black pepper and oregano. Bake it in the oven to reduce fat and calories.
• For a healthier take on beef stew, use low sodium broth and serve over whole grain pasta or brown rice instead of mashed
potatoes.
• For a delicious twist on traditional chili, try using boneless, skinless chicken breasts with black beans and corn. Pump up the authentic Southwest flavor with cumin, garlic powder and red pepper.
Try adding some new recipes to your kitchen repertoire.

Hearty Beef Stew with Roasted Vegetables
Roasting the vegetables before adding them to the stew brings out delicious caramelized flavors.

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