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Smart Choices for the New Year
Simple and delicious ways to enjoy healthier meals

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California Turkey Wraps
Savory Smoked Turkey and Blue Cheese Salad
Chicken Tacos
Panzanella Salad

(Family Features) - Leading a healthier lifestyle doesn't have to mean making dramatic changes. It means making smarter choices.

Looking and feeling better starts by making conscious choices every day that may be small, but will add up in the end. Here are some simple tips and recipes that will help you make smarter food choices so that you can truly live better.

Add a Fruit or Vegetable to Every Meal. When you add a little bit here and there, before you know it you'll be eating your five cups of fruits and veggies a day without even thinking about it. Here are some simple ways to increase your intake:

  • Lighten up your cheese omelet by adding fresh tomatoes, onions and avocado.

  • Fill your sandwich with crunchy veggies such as green peppers and cucumber slices and add a pickle on the side.

  • Keep mid-afternoon cravings at bay by stashing a bag of baby carrots or sugar snap peas in your office refrigerator for a healthy snack.

  • Satisfy your sweet tooth by tossing a handful of frozen berries on top of your frozen yogurt.

Choose Smart Staples. Many families have a set of go-to ingredients they purchase on each trip to the grocery store. It only takes small adjustments to your current grocery list to achieve a better-for-you mix of foods and beverages. Try these easy tips:

  • Low fat or fat-free plain yogurt is an ideal choice because it's often higher in calcium than other dairy products and is a good source of protein and potassium.

  • When buying deli sandwich meat, going all natural is a great way to cut down on additives and preservatives. For example, Hormel Natural Choice deli sandwich meats are free of preservatives and artificial colors and flavors so they taste the way meat is supposed to taste: fresh and full of flavor.

  • Instead of drinking sugary sodas and juices, quench your thirst with tea. Whether you drink it hot or cold, unsweetened tea is calorie-free and loaded with antioxidants.

Lighten Up Lunch. Start a "Lunch Bunch" at work where members take turns bringing in a healthy lunch item for the group. Healthy lunch clubs are an excellent way to experience foods that are new and different and also good for you. Share recipes and make sure you know ahead of time about any food preferences or allergies that group members may have.

For more tips and recipes visit http://www.hormelnatural.com.

Raise Your Label IQ

If you're trying to make smarter, healthier food choices, you need to know how to read food labels. Here are some common terms and what they mean:

  • 100% Natural, All-Natural. For meat and poultry products, the USDA defines "natural" as products that do not contain any artificial flavoring, color ingredients, chemical preservatives or artificial or synthetic ingredients, and are minimally processed.

  • Gluten Free. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and sometimes oats. Gluten-free foods are important for those suffering from celiac disease or gluten allergies.

  • Whole Wheat. There is a difference between bread labeled "100% whole wheat," and bread that's labeled "100% wheat" or "made with whole grains." If a product is truly 100% whole wheat, the first ingredient listed will be "whole." If not, it's often mostly made with enriched wheat flour and does not offer whole-grain nutrition.

For more information and to download the Hormel "Shop Smart, Live Well" guide, go to http://www.hormelnatural.com.

California Turkey Wraps

Ingredients
  • 4 9-inch burrito size flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup ranch dressing, divided
  • 1 9-ounce package Hormel Natural Choice oven roasted deli turkey
  • 1 tomato, thinly sliced
  • 1 small cucumber, peeled, thinly sliced
  • 1 avocado, peeled, sliced and drizzled with 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 cup alfalfa sprouts
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves or arugula

Preparation
    1. Lay tortillas on clean surface; drizzle each with 1 tablespoon dressing. Layer each tortilla with equal amounts turkey, tomato, cucumber, avocado, sprouts and spinach. Drizzle with remaining dressing.
    2. Roll up tortillas tightly; cut in half diagonally. Secure each half with wooden pick.

Serves
Serving Size 4

Savory Smoked Turkey and Blue Cheese Salad

Ingredients
  • 1 8-ounce package Hormel Natural Choice smoked deli turkey, cut into strips 4 cups bite-size pieces red leaf lettuce
  • 4 cups bite-size pieces romaine lettuce
  • 6 ounces blue cheese, crumbled
  • 1 tart, crisp apple, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup candied pecans
  • Prepared vinaigrette
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation
    1. In large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients. Add vinaigrette to taste. Season with pepper. Toss well.

Serves
Serving Size 2

Chicken Tacos

Ingredients
  • 2 spinach or whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 package Hormel Natural Choice oven roasted carved chicken breast strips
  • 1/2 cup whole kernel corn, cooked, drained
  • 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded lettuce
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat ranch salad dressing

Preparation
    1. Layer each tortilla evenly with chicken, corn and cheese. Drizzle each with dressing; top with lettuce.

Serves
Serving Size 2

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
For child-size portion, use 1/2 spinach or whole wheat tortilla, 1 ounce chicken (size of average adult ring and little fingers) and 1 tablespoon each corn, cheese, lettuce and dressing.

Panzanella Salad

Ingredients
  • 8 slices Italian or rustic bread, 4 to 5 days old, crusts removed
  • 3 medium tomatoes, coarsely diced
  • 12 Kalamata pitted olives, quartered
  • 1 medium red onion, minced
  • 1/3 cup vinaigrette
  • 12 large fresh basil leaves, shredded
  • 1 (8-ounce) package Hormel Natural Choice smoked deli ham, cut into strips

Preparation
    1. Tear bread into pieces; soak in bowl of cold water 2 to 3 minutes. Drain; squeeze bread dry, removing all water. In large bowl, tear bread into smaller pieces with fork.
    2. In small bowl, combine tomatoes, olives, onion and vinaigrette; stir gently.
    3. Add vinaigrette mixture to bread pieces; mix well. And basil and ham; mix gently to combine.

Serves
Serving Size 4

SOURCE: Hormel



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