Planning a heart-healthy balanced meal can be a challenge. To help with the concept of balance, I bring you a Five Food Group (FFG) Friday meal.
I’ve based these FFG meals on the Choose My Plate model, which is the US Government’s initiative to promote healthy eating habits. MyPlate is an easy-to-understand visual of a healthy plate of food incorporating the five food groups: protein, grains, fruit, vegetables, and dairy.
The rationale behind including all five food groups on the plate is that each food group provides different nutrients, all of which our body needs in order for us to be at our best. This is a very heart-healthy way of eating since it includes a nice amount of fiber by incorporating three food groups with fiber (fruits, vegetables, and grains). Making heart-smart choices for protein and dairy by choosing lean or reduced fat foods and including heart-healthy unsaturated fats kick the heart-healthiness of MyPlate up a notch.
It is not, however, always easy to get all five of those food groups on every plate. I counsel my clients to eat the food groups they miss at their main meals as their snacks. For example, if they have cereal with a banana for breakfast (grains, dairy, fruit), then to include a protein and vegetable snack (celery with peanut butter). That way, over the course of the day, all food groups end up in balance.
I am bringing you FFG Fridays to help with the difficult challenge of building a plate with all the food groups.
Introducing the FFG Omelet Sandwich – Huevos Delicioso!
This hearty breakfast is made from egg whites (protein), mushrooms, onions, salsa (vegetables), reduced fat cheddar cheese (dairy), a Flat Out fold-it (grain), and avocado (fruit).
Using egg whites and reduced fat cheddar make the dish more heart healthy by reducing the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol, while the avocado adds a nice amount of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.
To make this yummy dish, use a non-stick pan to sauté 2-3 medium mushrooms and a thin slice of onion (both chopped) in a spritz of canola oil until soft then remove from pan. Add another spritz of canola oil and slowly pour in 1/2 cup of egg whites – if you pour down the side of the pan, you will reduce the places were the egg sticks. Once the egg starts to cook and set, add the cooked mushrooms and onions and sprinkle 1/8 cup shredded cheddar on one half of the egg only. I also add some ground pepper and garlic powder at this point. Use a spatula to loosen one edge and flip one half of the egg on top of the other to make the omelet. Slide out of the pan onto your Flat Out and top with 2 Tbsp salsa and 1/4 sliced avocado.
Per serving: 320 calories, 12 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 835 mg sodium, 35 g carbohydrate, 10 g fiber, 26 g protein.
Suggestion: This dish may be a little high in sodium for some people due to the salsa. To reduce the sodium, use sliced tomatoes instead of salsa.