The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


November 17, 2013

Sneaking HEALTH into Thanksgiving

Healthy eating can be measured in terms not only of what you eat, but how much you eat. At holiday get-togethers, it’s difficult (and a bit snobby) not to partake of Aunt Sue’s sweet potato casserole. Generally, the rule of thumb is having one of whatever will fit onto a tiny plate where appetizers are the bill of fare, or one serving (ideally what might fit onto the palm of your hand, sweet potato towers not included) of entrees and sides for sit-down meals.

When you are the master chef in control of your dining domain, portion and ingredients are key to keeping it skinny. Two tools that can help bring nutrition to your holiday meal planning are rather obscure, ones you probably haven’t adopted into the pantry, but should: won ton wrappers (at about 100 calories each) and wheat germ.

Won ton wrappers are frequently guilty by association— to being stuffed with MSG-laced meat or cream cheese and crab, then deep-fried. But their nutrition value lies more in the area of packaging. When stuffed with the right ingredients, won ton wrappers can be a clever way to control portions and streamline calorie-laden, bready components. In fact, steamed dumplings using won ton wrappers are among the healthiest (and tastiest) choices on a Chinese menu. Won ton wrappers are generally found in the refrigerated produce section at the grocery store.

Wheat germ is the healthy ingredient with the unfortunate name. Especially when kissed with honey, wheat germ tastes good and adds texture. The “germ” refers to germination, indicating the part of the wheat kernel that would turn into a plant if sown. Wheat germ is the most nutrient-packed component to the wheat kernel. It is sold as an ingredient to heighten the nutritional value of dishes, being high in protein, Vitamin E and potassium. It can also add a bit of flavor and crunch. Wheat germ is typically found in the grocery store near the baking essentials or breadcrumbs; depending on the store, it may also be found near the cereal in the breakfast aisle.

Now that you have the basics on a couple of healthy ingredients you may not have used before, here are a few accompaniments using them to try alongside your traditional Thanksgiving dishes.

Text Only
  • Stories give us kinship with strangers

    Editor’s note: This column by the late Bev Davis originally was published April 10, 2010.
    My dad was a coal miner. By the time I came along, he was working above ground as a tipple foreman.

    April 19, 2014

  • momrun Just do it W.Va.!

    “Missy’s here — we’re not going to win. Missy’s here…”
    Learning she was a perceived threat from two women whispering at the starting line behind her, women she had never met from among the hopping, stretching, Lycra-clad crowd, had one effect on Missy Burleson — a smile spreading as far as her feet were about to sprint her.

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • living will 1 Decision day

    Pastor Roger Pauley and his wife Marcia were — like so many other baby boomers — charged with the responsibility of making decisions for their aging parents. For the pastor’s father, death was sudden.

    April 13, 2014 2 Photos

  • BAF approves community grants

    Beckley Area Foundation Board of Directors has approved $160,737 to fund forty-four projects throughout Raleigh County between April 2014 and March 2015.

    April 13, 2014

  • Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg unveils upcoming events

    Carnegie Hall in Lewisburg has a variety of events planned for the spring and summer.

    April 13, 2014

  • Singer named an Outstanding Young American

    President Bill Clinton, Elvis Presley, Wayne Newton and General Chuck Yeager have one thing in common, they are all past recipients of the United States Jaycees Ten Outstanding Young Americans award. For over 75 years, the United States Junior Chamber (Jaycees) has recognized the 10 young men and women – under the age of 40 – who best exemplify the highest attributes of the nation’s emerging generation. The U.S. Jaycees is pleased to name West Virginia’s own Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. to the 2014 Ten Outstanding Young Americans who will be honored at the 76th annual black-tie awards ceremony – to be held June 28, 2014, at the BWI Airport Marriott Hotel in Baltimore, MD.

    April 13, 2014

  • alderson americorps Alderson Main Street welcomes its new Americorps member

    The members and friends of Alderson Main Street welcomed their new Americorps member, Lynda Howe, at its recent monthly meeting.

    April 13, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tractor pull event coming to State Fairgrounds in May

    The West Virginia Grand Nationals N.T.P.A. Championship pulling event debuts at the State Fair Event Center in Lewisburg Memorial Day weekend.

    April 13, 2014

  • Djembes Drumming workshop to be held

    The New River Community and Technical College Office of Workforce Education is sponsoring a Djembes Drumming workshop on Tuesdays for six weeks beginning April 29.

    April 13, 2014

  • Learn basic sewing at NRCTC

    The New River Community and Technical College Office of Workforce Education will offer a basic sewing class in Lewisburg in May.

    April 13, 2014