Resolving to Eat Healthier for the New Year

A commitment to healthier eating is always near the top of the list of popular New Year?s resolutions. Not surprisingly, it?s also one of the hardest vows to keep. While intentions are good, willpower can waver after the first few days. An eating strategy that includes cooking dishes that are lower in fat yet rich in flavour and nutrients can help keep you motivated.

?Sometimes we need to be reminded that healthy eating doesn?t mean we have to sacrifice taste and flavour,? says Kimberly Green, registered dietitian with Pork Marketing Canada. She suggests keeping your New Year?s enthusiasm for healthy eating alive throughout the year by using these mouth-watering ways to add flavour while maintaining low fat:

?Choose Lean: All fresh trimmed pork cuts, except ribs, are ?extra-lean? (7.5% fat or less).

?Give It A Trim: Trim visible fat from meat.

?Rack It Up: Grill, broil or roast on a rack so any fat can naturally drip away.

?Add Flavour: Create marinades from citrus juices, vinegars, low fat salad dressings or soy sauce.

?Give It A Rub: Zesty herbs and spices add taste without calories and fat.

?Pair Wisely: Pair pork with seasonal fruits and vegetables to tantalize the taste buds.

?Portion Control: One serving of meat is about the size of a deck of cards.

[subhead] Choose Lean Protein

Canada?s Food Guide recommends that Canadian adults eat two to three servings per day from the meat and alternatives food group, and that they

choose leaner meats, like pork, more often. ?Pork is one of the leanest protein choices available. Tenderloin has essentially the same amount of fat and cholesterol as a boneless, skinless chicken breast,? says Green. In fact, there are 10 common cuts of pork including roasts, chops, loins and steaks that have only six grams of fat or less per 100g serving. Including fresh Canadian pork into your healthy lifestyle has never been easier thanks to a new label that now identifies ?Canadian Pork? in participating grocery stores.

Start the New Year off right by serving Pork Cassoulet, a flavourful and nutritious pork dish full of lean protein and dietary fibre. Try serving this dish with fresh bread and a side salad. For more healthy and flavourful pork recipes visit www.putporkonyourfork.com.

Pork Cassoulet

Yield: serves 8

Cooking Time: 1 hr and 15 min

Preparation Time: 10 min

Ingredients

2 lbs (1 kg) Canadian Pork loin or sirloin roast, boneless

1 Tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil

Salt and pepper

1 large onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups (750 ml) cranberry juice cocktail

2 (19 oz/540 mL) cans white kidney beans, drained and rinsed

2 Tbsp (25 mL) tomato paste

1 Tbsp (15 mL) dry mustard

1/2 tsp (3 mL) thyme

1 bay leaf

1 cup (250 mL) fresh/frozen cranberries, chopped (optional) Fresh parsley, chopped [subhead] Cooking Instructions

Cut Pork into 3/4 inch (2 cm) cubes. In large Dutch oven over medium heat, heat oil. Season Pork cubes with salt and pepper and brown. Transfer to a plate, and set aside. Brown onions and garlic until soft, then add cranberry cocktail. Stir to scrape up browned bits; bring to a boil and simmer for 5 – 7 minutes to reduce liquid.

In a small bowl, mix together tomato paste, mustard, and thyme. Add to onion and garlic mixture in Dutch oven, along with Pork, white beans and the bay leaf. Cover and bake in a 350°F (180°C) oven for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and stir in cranberries, if using. Return to oven and bake 30 minutes longer.

Top with fresh parsley and serve with French bread.

Funding for this project was provided in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Agricultural Adaptation Council?s CanAdvance Program.