Maybe you’ve read “5 Foods for Men’s Health” in this issue of alive@work and you’re ready to add more of those key foods to your diet. Or maybe you just want some delicious, warming family dinner ideas. Thankfully, nutrients that are good for men are good for the rest of us, too.
Take the beta carotene in sweet potatoes: the human body (not just men’s bodies!) converts beta carotene into vitamin A. This vitamin is needed for cell growth and development; for healthy skin, bones, teeth, nails and vision; and for maintaining immunity.
For your next dinner, bite into better health.
Roasted Pepper and Chipotle Sauce Pasta
SERVES 4 TO 6
Key food for men’s health: cooked tomatoes
Not only does this recipe contain lycopene-rich cooked tomatoes, but it also contains a hefty serving of whole grains. Studies consistently show that a diet rich in whole grains can combat all sorts of health issues, including reducing the risk of various types of cancer.
3 Tbsp (45 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
2 large garlic cloves, finely minced
4 large sweet red peppers, roasted, seeded and diced
1 – 14 oz (398 mL) can fire-roasted tomatoes in their juices, diced
1 to 2 Tbsp (15 to 30 mL) tinned chipotle pepper, packed in oil, minced
2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh basil, finely chopped
1/2 tsp (2 mL) sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 lb (450 g) whole grain pasta like spaghetti or rotini
1/2 cup (125 mL) plain goat cheese, crumbled
Heat oil in saucepan. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft and clear, but not browned. Stir in peppers, tomatoes and 1 Tbsp (15 mL) minced chipotle and cook over medium-low heat until flavors have blended, about 15 minutes. Stir often. Add more chipotle if you wish. Add basil, sugar and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
Add pasta to large pot of boiling salted water. Boil until done as you like, about 12 minutes. Drain well and shake off as much water as you are able. Return to the pot and fold in roasted pepper and chipotle sauce. Serve with crumbled goat cheese.
Each serving contains: 263 g calories; 9 g protein; 12 g fat (4 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 30 g total carbohydrates (6 g sugars, 3 g fiber); 136 g sodium
Green Monster Soup
Key food for men’s health: broccoli
The flavor of this no-fuss soup only gets better after a day or two, and it also freezes well. Consider serving with crostini.
The frozen peas have a healthy dose of fiber and bone-building vitamin K, while the frozen broccoli is also a good source of vitamin K, along with vitamin C and folate—plus, it has anticancer properties.
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
2 leeks, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh ginger, minced
4 cups (1 L) low-sodium vegetable broth
2 cups (500 mL) frozen peas
2 cups (500 mL) frozen broccoli florets
1 medium potato, diced
1 tsp (5 mL) dried thyme
1/4 tsp (1 mL) cayenne
Salt and pepper, to taste
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 cup (250 mL) plain Greek yogurt
Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks and cook 3 minutes. Add garlic and ginger; cook 1 minute more. Add vegetable broth, peas, broccoli florets, potato, thyme, cayenne and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes, or until potato is tender.
Stir in lemon juice and puree soup in blender until smooth, in batches if necessary. Return to pot and stir in yogurt; heat through. Do not boil or yogurt will curdle.
Each serving contains: 221 calories; 14 g protein; 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 35 g total carbohydrates (9 g sugars, 8 g fiber); 258 mg sodium
Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie
Key food for men’s health: sweet potatoes
Shepherd’s pie has traditionally had two names: cottage pie (made with beef) or shepherd’s pie (made with lamb). These English/Irish dishes were made with leftover roasted meat chopped finely and whatever mashed potatoes and cooked vegetables were left over from the Sunday night dinner.
To put a healthier spin on this dish, we’ve substituted extra-lean ground turkey for the lamb or beef and sweet potatoes for regular white potatoes.
Whichever way you make it, this dinner is economical and easy to make, especially if you are using leftover cooked vegetables. If you’re using frozen vegetables, you can thaw them quickly by placing them in a colander and running hot water over them. Drain well and then add them to the recipe.
3 sweet potatoes to equal 2 1/2 cups (625 mL) cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
1 Tbsp (15 mL) butter (optional)
1 Tbsp (15 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
450 g (1 lb) extra-lean ground turkey
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp (5 mL) black pepper
1/4 cup (60 mL) low-sodium ketchup
1 Tbsp (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce
2 cups (500 mL) leftover cooked vegetables or thawed frozen vegetables of your choice
Peel and chop sweet potatoes. Add sweet potato pieces to large pot of water. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer until they can easily be pierced with a fork. Cool, then mash. Add butter if using and mash lightly. Set aside. If using leftover sweet potatoes, simply mash and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 F (190 C). Lightly oil 9 x 9 in (2.5 L) baking dish. Set aside.
Heat large frying pan over medium heat; add oil and onion and sauté until the onion is soft, about 3 to 5 minutes. Add ground turkey, breaking up meat as you cook it. Continue cooking until meat is no longer pink; pour off any excess fat.
Add garlic, rosemary and pepper and sauté for 2 minutes. Add ketchup and Worcestershire sauce and stir until well combined. Add vegetables and stir in well. Pour into prepared pan. Evenly spoon mashed sweet potatoes over top. Bake for 30 minutes, or until mixture is heated right through.
Each serving contains: 260 calories; 16 g protein; 11 g total fat (3 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 25 g total carbohydrates (7 g sugars, 5 g fiber); 142 mg sodium