(Family Features) Almost half of American adults say they need to change their diets so they can improve overall healthfulness, according to a 2012 survey by The NPD Group. But no matter how wholesome something is, if it doesn't taste good, no one will want to eat it.
To help make sure your family has a nutrition-minded diet that still delivers on taste, stock up on delicious but guiltless ingredients such as:
- Colorful fruits and veggies -- Nutritious produce brings vitamins, minerals and fiber to the table. Keep snack-ready apples, bananas, grapes, pears, berries and oranges visible and within reach, so they're easy to grab when the kids get hungry. Look for ways to add veggies to dishes, like unique soup or sandwich recipes.
- Whole grains -- Whole grains have more fiber, which is important for heart and digestive health. Look for whole grain sandwich breads, pitas, pastas and pizza crusts. Experiment with side dishes using whole grains, such as brown rice, quinoa or barley.
- Herbs and spices -- Watching sodium intake is also important for heart health. In addition to using lower sodium ingredients, you can boost flavor with herbs and spices. Oregano, basil, garlic, cumin, chili powder, thyme and rosemary can be used to flavor soups, meats and fish, and can be mixed into a small amount of fat-free mayonnaise to dress up sandwiches.
Fortunately, it's easy to find recipes that have great tasting, wholesome ingredients. These recipes use Sara Lee Premium turkey, chicken and ham deli meats, which you can find behind the deli counter at your grocery store. These deli meats feature the American Heart Association (AHA) Heart-Check mark*, which means they have been certified to meet the AHA guidelines for heart-healthy food as part of an overall sensible eating pattern. They also do not contain added hormones, MSG, gluten, fillers or artificial flavors or colors and serve as a good source of protein.
To get more tasty recipes that feature these sliced-to-order deli meats and others, visit www.saraleedeli.com.
*Please note that the Heart-Check Food Certification does not apply to research or recipes or information reached through links unless expressly stated. For more information, see the AHA nutrition guidelines at: heartcheckmark.org/guidelines.
Turkey Tortellini Soup
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
1 package (9 ounces) fresh three cheese tortellini
2 cups Sara Lee Premium Lower Sodium
Oven-Roasted Turkey Breast; diced
1 small head of escarole; cleaned and chopped
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
Bring chicken stock and water to a boil in a large stockpot. Add tortellini and cook per package instructions.
Add turkey and escarole during last 2 minutes of cooking. Stir in Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with pepper.
Serve with extra Parmesan cheese and crusty Italian bread.
Tuscan Turkey Sandwich
Yield: 1 sandwich
1 1/2 teaspoons fat free mayonnaise
1 teaspoon prepared pesto
2 slices hearty white or buttermilk bread
2 to 3 slices Sara Lee Premium Lower Sodium Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
2 to 3 slices vine-ripened tomato
Fresh basil leaves
1 slice Sara Lee Premium Provolone Cheese
Mix mayonnaise and pesto in a small bowl until light green. Spread pesto mayonnaise on one side of bread.
Add turkey, tomato, basil and provolone. Top with second slice of bread.
Oven Roasted Chicken
Barbecue Pizza with Pineapple
Yield: 4 servings
1 12-inch pre-baked whole grain thin pizza crust
2/3 cup barbecue sauce
2 cups grated Sara Lee Premium Baby Swiss Cheese
12 to 15 slices Sara Lee Premium Oven
Roasted Chicken Breast, cut into strips
1 8.25-ounce can pineapple chunks, drained
3 scallions, thinly sliced
4 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
Preheat oven to 425ºF.
Place pizza crust on cookie sheet. Brush a thin layer of barbecue sauce onto crust. Sprinkle half of Swiss cheese over barbecue sauce.
Layer pizza with chicken, pineapple, scallions and cilantro. Sprinkle remaining Swiss cheese on top.
Drizzle with remaining barbecue sauce, if desired. Sprinkle with pepper.
Bake pizza on middle rack of oven for 10 minutes.