Enjoy the Summer without the Burn

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The dog days of summer are here. For me, that means I’m soaking up as much sunshine and happiness as possible! I really do mean sunshine AND happiness—we get Vitamin D from the sun, and that increases our serotonin levels. Increased serotonin levels means increased happiness.

The flip side of getting your Vitamin D from sunshine is that you’re also getting an increased amount of harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays. Those are the rays that give you sunburns and are the main cause of non-melanoma skin cancers.

In order to enjoy the sunshine without the guilt and fear of getting sunburns, wrinkles, and potentially cancer, I follow these steps:

  • Wear sunglasses with UV protection.
  • Enjoy the sun, but bask in the shade.
  • Pretend that every day is derby day, and enjoy wide-brimmed hats.
  • Slather on 50 SPF sun screen ever two hours.
  • Hide behind protective clothing when I can’t find shade—like when I’m gardening or working in my yard.
  • Try to limit my time outside during the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., since this is when UV levels are highest.

For more ways to enjoy the sun without the burn, check out this infographic.

 

What We Eat: Reduced Fat Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Next week is National Chocolate Chip Cookie week, and our office is all about celebrating random days, especially when it involves chocolate chip cookies. And while we always enjoy treating ourselves to a good cookie every now and then – expecting to ruin a healthy day of eating. Hey, everything in moderation, right?

Well, we were amazed when Sarah shared a recipe for reduced fat, whole grain chocolate chip cookies. The recipe contains no butter, white sugar, or enriched flour, while still satisfying with its chocolaty goodness. The trick to substitute the above ingredients for a banana, whole grain wheat, and quick oats. All delicious ingredients, but I would have never thought of adding them to a chocolate chip cookie.

Now we don’t have to ruin a healthy diet, or feel guilty about doing so! Thanks for sharing Sarah!

 

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Reduced Fat Whole Grain Chocolate Chip Cookies

Makes about 24 cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 over ripe banana
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups quick oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 4 oz dark chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 350
  2. Mash the banana in a large bowl.
  3. Add egg and vanilla to the banana and mix.
  4. Beat in the brown sugar.
  5. Mix in oats, flour, baking soda, powder, and cinnamon.
  6. Add in chocolate chips.
  7. Drop dough on to silpat lined cookie sheet, slightly flatten.
  8. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

 

Recipe by Sarah B., PacificSource

What We Eat – Mediterranean Orzo Salad

As you have seen from earlier posts, we have featured many delicious recipes from Oregon State University’s Moore Family Center. This time, we feature a orzo salad recipe from the 2014 tailgate competition, which is tasty served as a hot dinner with grilled chicken. Though, this recipe is also a perfect left-over, which I am currently munching on, served cold for my lunch – so versatile!

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Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Total Pre/Cooking time: 45 minutes

Number of Servings: 5 – 6

Servings Size: ½ cup
Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of orzo
  • 2-­3 small zucchini, sliced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 2 roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 cups of kale, diced
  • 1 cup of fresh basil, minced
  • ½ cup of fat-­reduced feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup of balsamic vinegar
  • olive oil, salt & pepper for seasoning

Directions:

  1. Marinade thinly sliced zucchini in balsamic vinegar and a mix of 2-3 tsp. olive oil, in addition to salt and pepper (as preferred). Let the marinated zucchini slices sit for a couple of hours or overnight (don’t throw the marinade out when finally removing the slices!).
  2. Cook orzo according to package. While the orzo is cooking, heat oil and sauté the zucchini slices. When they are golden brown on both sides, put them on a plate covered with paper towels to remove leftover oil.
  3. Use the same pan to sauté the kale, add the diced bell pepper a few minutes later, and finally the diced tomato. After letting it cook for a few minutes, add the marinade from the zucchini slices as sauce to the pan. Let it cook on low heat for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add crispy zucchini slices and orzo to the pan; stir and add pepper and salt as preferred.
  5. Take the pan from the stove; add fresh basil and feta cheese, and mix well. The salad may be served warm or cold, depending on personal preference.