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Healthy Eating in 2023
Cats Coming
A man holding a bowl of salad

Sariah Israelsen: This is Utah public radio I'm Sariah Israelsen. Thanks for joining us for USU Extension Highlight. Teresa Hunsaker, USU Extension consumer educator emeritus is back with us. With this new year we wanted to focus this week on ways to eat healthier. Teresa, what tips do you have for us to start out?

Teresa Hunsaker: Well, you know, I think there's just six basic things if people will keep in mind because our bodies are kind of craving a new norm after all of those treats and you know, high fat, maybe high sugar foods during the holidays.

So, the very first tip that I would have is eat more simply. Reduce the creamy sauces and gravies and high fat foods, high sugar and include more vegetables and more fruit and more whole grains and keep things simple.

The second would be to make more from scratch, so less processed food. And that again goes back to maybe more raw vegetables and raw fruit platters and things like that, some whole grains instead of a traditional pasta, have a whole grain pasta dish.

And then the other one is one that we all know and that's plan meals. Sit down and think about simple breakfasts, simple lunches, simple snacks.

Drink plenty of water, plan and prepare maybe some foods ahead, such as your snack foods like carrot sticks, celery sticks and jicama — things that are ready to eat when it's time to maybe have a little snack that's not one of our traditional treats.

And then find fun ways to move a little bit more. There are so many fun things that we can do in the winter, even for exercise and outdoor activities that can get our bodies back on schedule and moving a little bit more.

Sariah Israelsen: Those are some good tips. Thank you so much for that. What are some good recipes that we could include in our meal planning.

Teresa Hunsaker: The very first one I have to give you is one of our family's all-time favorite and that is my peppered pork lettuce wraps.

So you make a quick dressing of a light mayo, some skim milk, some minced garlic, and you whisk that together. Then you sauté some lean boneless pork loin. — just in some strips. sauté that and a little bit of oil add some coarse ground pepper. While it's sautéing, add in a jar of roasted red peppers. That's it for the filling.

Then you take your lettuce leaves and you'll put a little bit of your peppered pork into your lettuce leaf and then top it with some chopped cucumbers, some sliced radishes, a little bit of sliced red onion, some zucchini noodles — zoodles — and then you drizzle that mayo garlic kind of a sauce over the top and wrap it up. Oh, my goodness. It is so quick, so easy, so yummy.

I wanted to also feature two quick salads. One of them is a black bean quinoa and avocado salad. Again, it's real simple. It's got arugula, baby kale, some black beans that have been rinsed and drained, an avocado, roma tomatoes, red onion, cilantro, zucchini and then some cooked quinoa, a little sweet corn and a simple lime and olive oil dressing. Again, you'll have the recipe, but this goes together really quickly.

And then this other one — because I'm an Arizona girl originally — this one always speaks to me and that's a citrus and greens salad. It has blood oranges, navel oranges, a really sweet pink grapefruit and lettuce leaves or spinach. I prefer spinach or you can use beet greens, endive, baby kale, whatever your favorite is, or what's the least expensive and on hand. And then some purple onion and some kind of shredded dry white cheese like an asiago, parmesan, mozzarella, or Monterey jack.

The dressing is orange juice, orange zest, olive oil, and some rice vinegar. Anyway, these two salads and those wrapped pepper pork dishes are so yummy. I think people will really enjoy them.

Sariah Israelsen: Those sound delicious. Thank you so much for sharing those. I'm definitely going to have to add those into my recipes. And as always, these recipes will be posted on the website for you to enjoy at And Teresa, thanks again for joining us.

Black Bean Quinoa and Avocado Salad
2 cups baby arugula
1 cup baby kale
1 can (15 ounce) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large avocado sliced
½ cup chopped Roma tomatoes
¼ cup chopped red onion
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 small zucchini cubed
2-3 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup frozen white sweet corn…thawed

1/3 cup lime juice
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp granulated garlic powder
½ tsp salt
1 TBS sugar

Toss arugula, kale, black beans, tomatoes, onion, cilantro, zucchini, corn, and quinoa. Prepare the dressing. Top salad with avocado slices and drizzle with dressing.

Citrus and Greens Salad
1 blood orange
1 navel orange
1 small pink grapefruit
1 cups fresh spinach, or mixture of any other favorite greens…beet greens, endive, baby kale, etc.
½ small red/purple onion thinly sliced
2-3 TBS sliced fresh basil leaves
1 cup shaved or shredded dry white cheese, like asiago, parmesan, Monterey jack, Romano

1/3 cup olive oil
¼ cup orange juice
½ tsp orange zest
1 TBS sweet rice vinegar or a sweet white balsamic vinegar
1 TBS honey
2 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
½ tsp dried thyme leaves
½ tsp chopped garlic
Optional: red currants, pomegranate, or craisins

Remove and discard peel and white pith from oranges. Cut oranges crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices, then cut slices in half. Combine spinach, onions, citrus in a large bowl. Add vinaigrette; toss to coat. Transfer mixture to a large platter. Top with basil, cheese, and dressing.

Peppered Pork Lettuce Wraps
Sauté pork in oil over medium high heat in medium sized fry pan or skillet. Add in the pepper and peppers when meat is almost done. Cool slightly and fill lettuce wrap with peppered pork and any added toppings, drizzle with the garlic dressing, wrap and eat. So yummy!!!

½ cup lite mayonnaise
2 TBS skim milk
1 tsp minced garlic
Whisk together in a small bowl and set aside.

1 lb. boneless pork loin chops cut in thin strips
1 tsp. coarse ground pepper
1 jar (approx. 7 ounces) roasted red peppers, drained and sliced (or you can roast your own red peppers)
1 TBS oil
For a little 'kick' of heat...sprinkle in some red pepper flakes.

Lettuce leaves...iceberg, butter or Bibb lettuce, or any other sturdy leafy green (we even like cabbage leaves for this)

Chopped cucumber
Sliced radishes
Thinly sliced red onion
Zucchini noodles