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From the editor: Make healthy, low-calorie foods exciting

You've heard it all before. To lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume.

The equation is simple, but the reality often isn't. Losing the weight that starts accumulating around Halloween or simply getting back to normal dietary patterns in January isn't easy. And this week's cover story by Irene Maher, a Times health reporter for decades, doesn't offer any quick-fix, foolproof ways to slim down after the gluttony of the holiday season.

But she does offer a crucial piece of advice: To get back into healthy eating habits, you have to figure out how and what you eat and set realistic goals for altering that.

Let's not fool ourselves. We're not going to Paleo-diet our way out of carbs or suddenly give up ice cream for life. Depriving yourself of treats and comfort foods isn't wise, not only because most people end up caving and eating more of those guilty pleasures, but because cutting that stuff out often affects your mental health negatively, too. And who wants to start the new year like that?

As a necessary, nourishing part of our lives, we should want to eat, not worry about doing so. There are plenty of ways to make healthy, low-calorie foods exciting, and that's the inspiration for this week's recipe suggestion. It's a simple bowl recipe ideal for lunch but also suitable for a fulfilling dinner.

Contact Michelle Stark at or (727) 893-8829. Follow @mstark17 on Twitter.


Veggie Brown Rice Bowl


  • For the salad:
  • 9 cups kale or greens of choice
  • 2 cups cooked brown or wild rice
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2-3 cups cubed butternut squash (you could buy precubed, or use carrots instead)
  • ½-1 cup fresh garden peas
  • For the Lemon Tahini Dressing:
  • 4 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 large lemon, juiced (about 3 tablespoons lemon juice)
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons water to thin, as needed


  1. Cook brown rice according to package directions and roast cubed squash and broccoli florets at 425 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, wash and prepare greens and whisk together dressing ingredients.
  3. Once brown rice and veggies have cooked and cooled slightly, create your salads by dividing chopped greens into four bowls and top with veggies, rice and dressing. Serves 4.
Source: Adapted from

From the editor: Make healthy, low-calorie foods exciting 01/04/16 [Last modified: Monday, January 4, 2016 4:49pm]
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