Welcome to this edition of the Healthy Teaching Kitchen, brought to you by the Miami VA Healthcare System’s Nutrition and Food Services. My name is Reut Cohen, and I’m a registered dietitian at the Miami VA Healthcare System. Finding recipes that are both healthy and delicious can be a challenge. When working with our Veterans, I always teach them how to make healthy substitutions for ingredients found in recipes.

In celebration of National Nutrition Month, I have a few healthy recipes that are sure to pack a nutritious punch. The Green Smoothie and Southwestern Chicken Wrap recipes are high in protein, full of fiber, and have tons of vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C and potassium.

Benefits For Your Health

“Green Smoothie and Southwestern Chicken Wrap”

Fiber

Dietary fiber is found in all plant-based foods. Some benefits of fiber:

  • Helps many people feel satisfied (full) faster
  • Helps with regular bowel movements and digestive system health
  • Helps lower cholesterol
  • May help improve glucose tolerance for people with diabetes

Food sources high in fiber include avocados, black beans, and other fruits and vegetables.

Protein

Proteins serve as the building blocks for muscles, bones, skin, cartilage, blood, enzymes, hormones, and vitamins. They play an important role in normal bodily functions and also provide calories.

Food sources that are high in protein include chicken, yogurt, and beans.

Potassium

Potassium is important for the heart to function. It also helps with muscle contraction, making it important for normal bodily functions like muscle movement and digestion. People with kidney disease may need to be careful of too much potassium in their diets. Talk to your doctor or dietitian if you have concerns regarding potassium.

Food sources from the recipes that are high in potassium are bananas and tomatoes.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is helpful for:

  • Growing and repairing tissues in the body
  • Helping make collagen, which is used to make skin, cartilage, blood vessels, ligaments, and tendons
  • Healing wounds
  • Maintaining bones and teeth
  • Helping to absorb iron from non-meat sources

 

Your body does not store vitamin C, so it is important to get plenty of it from food. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, which can help block damage to DNA that may cause faster aging, cancer, arthritis, and heart disease.

Food sources from the recipe that are high in vitamin C are tomatoes, limes and pineapples.

Spinach Smoothie, Made with Fresh Spinach and Non Dairy Milk.

Spinach Smoothie, Made with Fresh Spinach and Non Dairy Milk.

Southwestern Chicken Wrap

Yield: 4 wraps
Serving size: 1 wrap

 

Ingredients

●        1 avocado

●        1 can (15 oz.) Black Beans Drained

●        2 cups cooked and Shredded Chicken (ie. Rotisserie Chicken)

●        1/2 tomato

●        1/2 red onion

●        Salt

●        Black pepper

●        Lime Juice

●        Canned jalapeno

●        ¼ cup Greek yogurt

●        1 (10-inch) tomato wrap

●        8 oz. (40 leaves) spinach

 

 

Directions

1.       Cut tomatoes, avocado and red onion into thin slices.

2.       Combine Greek yogurt with lime juice and canned jalapeno in a bowl.

3.       Season with salt and pepper to taste.

 

Instruction for preparing wrap

 

1.       Place a 10” tortilla wrap on a clean, dry surface. Smear with yogurt dressing.

2.       Place spinach leaves on top of dressing.

3.       Place pulled chicken, black beans, tomato, avocado and red onion slices on top.

4.       Roll wrap.

5.       Enjoy!

 

Nutrition Facts (Per Wrap)

Calories: 234.6

Fat: 6 grams
Protein: 11.3 grams

 

Green Smoothie

Yield: 2 (8 oz. portions)

 

Ingredients             

·         2 cups baby spinach

·         1 cup water

·         1 cup pineapple chunks

·         1 cup Greek yogurt

·         1 medium ripe banana

 

Directions

 

1.       Put all ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth

2.      Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 90

Protein: 13 gm

 


Reut Cohen - blog author

About the author: Reut Cohen is a Clinical Dietitian with the Nutrition and Food Service at Miami VAMC

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Published on Jun. 1, 2017

Estimated reading time is 3 min.

Views to date: 228

8 Comments

  1. Joseph Goins June 6, 2017 at 12:42 am

    How about some heart healthy recipes? As far as the heat in the wraps, try a different type of pepper, such as poblano or Anaheim. I have acid reflux but have much better time with milder chillies. Make sure that you scrape out the seeds! That is where most of the heat comes from. Cooking or roasting the peppers also gets rid of some of the heat.

  2. Arnold Welber June 5, 2017 at 9:00 pm

    May we offer Tofu or Tempeh or coconut milk for those of us that have whole food plant food based preferences please. And this is from a son of a 102 year maternal parent (of blessed memory) that ate all the greasy Jewish food. LOVE YOU! :-)

  3. Frank Pinkos June 5, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    Both suggestions look interesting. As someone said it may need to be toned down for the older digestive system. lol It would be nice if it would be put into a printable format so that just the recipe prints out. Some web pages include a print button that simplifies the entire process. I look forward to more recipes. The simpler the better, thanks.

  4. Leon Suchorski June 3, 2017 at 5:29 am

    My grandparents came to this country over 100 years ago, and lived to a ripe old age., I have had one aunt who died at 93, another at 102, another at 95, and my mother is alive at 97. And I did the cooking in our house since I was 4 years old. I could not stand the way that my mother made my scrambled eggs, so I started cooking my own breakfast, and when my mother found out, she told me what she wanted for supper, and I had it on the table. I have not been afraid to experiment to make things easier, or to come up with ideas of my own.

  5. babs June 2, 2017 at 10:03 pm

    recipe for wrap is not healthy, there are people out there who cant eat jalapenos due to heartburn, indigestion. why promote a recipe that causes gastrointestinal problems for people that are hot spicy food tolerant. make it not so hot with some other than jalapenos where it can be zesty but not dangerous for some people like myself

  6. Rick Hernandez June 2, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    I’m going to try this, looks great!
    Thank you!

  7. william e french June 2, 2017 at 10:26 am

    thank you

    • ERIC GARDNER June 6, 2017 at 12:32 pm

      OMG!!! Horrible looking, and then I read the list of ingredients and almost upchucked. Grossest garbage all put together that I have ever seen in one item, except for the rotisserie chicken. Do not give me one because I will just throw it into the garbage can.

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