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On a healthy eating kick? Transform your faves into healthy recipes

On a healthy eating kick? Transform your faves into healthy recipes

If coming up with healthy recipes for dinner each night is getting harder, try going back to old family faves. With some quick and easy tweaks, you can make your favorite meals into healthy recipes.

Our Touro team shares some healthy eating tips below, along with a recipe that’s sure to delight your taste buds.

6 nutrition tips for healthy eating

Healthy eating isn’t about eating only healthy foods all the time. Making small adjustments can have a big impact. Here are a few ideas:

Add more color to your meals. Different hues of fruits and veggies contain distinct vitamins and minerals, so try a variety of these antioxidant-rich foods. Vegetables can also be added to recipes diced or even pureed.

Limit added sugar. Sugar is often added to packaged foods during processing or to add flavor. Carefully read food labels, looking specifically at the “added sugar” line of the nutrition label, and choose foods with less added sugar.

Think lean when it comes to protein. Your body needs protein for supporting your immune system, providing you with energy, and helping to build and strengthen tissue. When eating meat, choose lean options, such as chicken or turkey. You can go with nonmeat sources of protein, including beans, peas, lentils, nuts, seeds, fish, soy products and dairy.

Flavor your food without salt. Here in NOLA, we know all about the benefits of seasonings. Experiment with herbs and other options, such as lemon juice, in lieu of adding salt. Too much sodium can increase your blood pressure and your risk of developing certain medical conditions. Because a lot of the sodium in our diets comes from packaged foods, sodium is another line item to watch for on the Nutrition Facts Label.

Get more fiber. When you eat foods containing fiber, you feel fuller for longer. Fiber is also an essential component for keeping your digestive system functioning at its best. Add more fiber into your diet whenever you can with fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds.

Prepare foods in a healthier way. Fried foods may taste delicious, but they’re higher in unhealthy saturated fats, so choose other cooking options, such as baking, broiling or grilling when you can. You can even toss foods in the air fryer for that fried flavor without the extra fat.

A healthy dinner to add to your rotation

Love a good gumbo? We do, too! You probably know that the traditional gumbo isn’t the healthiest since it often calls for liberal amounts of butter and fatty sausage.

You can have your gumbo and eat it, too. Just lighten it up a bit with some smart choices.

A Healthier-for-You Seafood Gumbo


3/4 cup all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons canola oil (or another heart healthy oil)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 cups chopped onions

1 chopped poblano pepper

1 cup chopped celery

2 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic

15-ounce can whole tomatoes

4 cups chicken stock

4 cups clam juice

1 cup fresh okra, halved lengthwise with the tops trimmed

3 bay leaves

1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 teaspoons fresh thyme

3 blue crabs, if desired

1 pound peeled/deveined medium shrimp

2 dozen shucked oysters

3/4 cup chopped green onions

1/4 cup fresh parsley

1/2 pound lump crabmeat

salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat the oven to 400 F, then toast flour on a baking sheet for up to 40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the flour is dark brown, like a walnut.
  • In a large skillet, heat oil and butter over medium heat. Add onions, pepper, celery and minced garlic, and saute´ until the mix is softened, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Crush tomatoes into the skillet and cook for five minutes.
  • Sift the browned flour into the pot, coating the vegetables, then cook for two or three minutes. Stir stock and clam juice into the skillet.
  • Add okra, bay leaves, lemon juice, cayenne and thyme to the skillet. If including blue crabs in the gumbo, add them, too. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cook for 15 minutes with the skillet covered.
  • Add shrimp, oysters (with their liquid), green onions and parsley, then cook for three minutes or until shrimp turns pink.
  • Add lump crabmeat, then season the gumbo to taste with salt and pepper.

This seafood-rich recipe serves eight, and it can be served on top of rice or however you like your gumbo. This healthier version of gumbo is packed with lean protein and contains less butter and oil than the traditional favorite but is still loaded with flavor.

Looking for other ways to improve your health this year? A checkup is a good place to begin. Schedule an appointment with a Touro primary care provider.