THE BLOG
10/07/2014 01:00 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Cooking Healthy!

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My husband and I both love to cook healthy, and we love to cook together. It was a challenge at first because he's one of those '60s kids who became a vegetarian at 14 and never went back. He's been a vegetarian for 53 years. I, on the other hand, enjoy chicken, fish, and lean beef in moderation. Luckily he's not one of those anti meat people, and he has no problem helping me cook it. He just has no desire to eat it. That's fine, to each his own.

The interesting thing about this cooking relationship is that we've developed a bunch of healthy recipes that can be either vegetarian or not or both. I'll share one of those with you in a minute.

But first, I want to show you a cool app I found to make a nutrition label for any recipe.

It's called Calorie Count. It's from www.about.com. It's free and it's easy and fun to use. (Just so you'll know, I have absolutely nothing to do with Calorie Count or about.com. I just really like this app). You can create an account and use the app for lots of nutrition and fitness-related tracking, but you don't even need to create an account to build nutrition labels for your recipes.
Here's what to do.

Google the words calorie count new recipe.

Click the calorie count: new recipe listing. The "My Recipes" window will open.

Before you enter your ingredients, enter the number of servings your recipe makes.
Then, enter the ingredients in your recipe like this: quantity measurement, then ingredient.

For example 1 cup, sweet red peppers, chopped.

Once you've listed all your ingredients, click the "Analyze Recipe" button below the ingredients box and a Nutrition Label just like the ones on food packages will be automatically created. Very cool!

If you like Asian Fusion, here's one of our favorite recipes to try at home.

You can use Calorie Count to enter these ingredients and check out the nutrition. The recipe makes 4 servings.

4 cups, skinless chicken breast, chopped small
1 cup, brown rice
1 cup, sweet red pepper, chopped
2/3 cup, Vidalia onion, chopped
1 tablespoon, garlic, minced
4 tablespoons, low sodium soy sauce.

Here are the steps.

1. Start your rice in a separate pot with about 1 2/3 cups of water. Keep an eye on it, and flip it occasionally as it plumps

2. Sauté the chopped chicken breast in a large saucepan in about ¼ cup of water and 1 tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce. Add a small bit of water if chicken starts to stick.

3. When the chicken looks like it's starting to cook, add the tablespoon of garlic

4. When the chicken is about 1/2 cooked, add the Sugar Snap Peas, chopped pepper, cooked onion and 2 tablespoons of low sodium soy sauce

5. When the dish is nearly cooked, add the cooked rice and one more tablespoon of low sodium soy sauce.

You can substitute wild rice or white rice if you don't like brown rice. And you can spice it up with a pinch of dried crushed red pepper and/or a ½ teaspoon of graded fresh ginger if your taste runs that way. Or add some fresh cilantro if you so desire.

The whole dish takes about half an hour from start to serving. It's less than 500 calories per serving. If you're a vegetarian, omit the chicken (this will drop the calorie count to about 300 per serving). Hope you'll try it.

BTW, an hour of vigorous aerobic exercise should burn it right off.