Caramelized Onion Soup with Golden Raisin Pesto
It's that time of year when we stop drinking wassail and start thinking waistlines. Here are favorite tips from members of the Utah Nutrition Council, dietitians and other nutrition experts to help you lose weight (or just feel great) in 2008:

• "Teach your kids (or someone else's) how to cook. That way, they won't need to rely on fast food and low-quality prepackaged items for the rest of their lives. While you're at it, bring the nurture back into nutrition by setting aside time to eat as a family at least once per day. A growing amount of research links family eating with improved language skills; better family cohesiveness; less risky behavior in teens ; and more fruits, vegetables and whole grains consumed by both kids and parents. I love it when research confirms common sense!" — Julie Metos, University of Utah

• "Forget all the bottled designer water products currently on the market. Water was never meant to convey calories, vitamins, minerals and protein. That's the function of the food you eat.

Water is, however, very important, and plain old tap water (filtered if you prefer the taste) can't be beat as an economical and effective way to keep yourself well hydrated. It is the river of commerce for all nutrients traveling through the digestive track into the blood, and ultimately into the cells. It keeps us from drying out in the winter and from overheating in the summer. It keeps your kidneys and bowels healthy. You can usually attain this with 8-12 cups of water or water-containing beverages per day. When in doubt, drink until your urine is light straw-colored and your skin has good elasticity.

Water-based energy-boosting beverage products have their place for seriously competing athletes, but the vast majority of us just don't need them." — E. Wayne Askew, Ph.D., University of Utah

• "I lost 20 pounds in the past four months by drinking water with all my meals instead of soft drinks and walking during my morning and afternoon breaks. I didn't really change my diet, but I just ate sensibly. I weigh myself once a week and keep a chart to mark my progress." — Steve McDonald, Utah March of Dimes

• "Give yourself credit each time you climb a set of stairs. And help your children get exercise by having them help you pick up around the house or put away clean clothes. Also, let them choose which fruits and vegetables to eat for dinner and help you prepare them." — Sharon Kay Garn, WIC dietitian, Salt Lake Valley Health Department

• "Choose a fruit or veggie for at least one snack a day. Try a different color each day, or every other day. Or have a "color week" and select one color per week, and eat a fruit or veggie with the same color throughout the week." — Kristie Smith, Healthways online nutrition consultant

• "Drink a glass of water and eat 'your apple a day' a half hour before your main meal." — Jimae Kenney, Intermountain Health Care

• "Teach your kids how to cook. Bring them in the kitchen with you and learn together how to make tasty, healthy food!" — Claire Raffel, Utah Food Bank Services

• "Move around whenever possible. When talking on the phone, never sit; walk around, do calf-raises or march in place.

If you can't exercise (such as treadmill or stationary bike) while watching TV, do sit-ups and push-ups during the commercials or some jumping jacks.

Also, if you have to have sugary-type cereal in the morning, mix it with a half-bowl of whole-grain, high-fiber type cereal. It will help add fiber and nutrients to your diet and will help you feel full longer." — Jacob Schmidt, Utah Beef Council

• "Moderation in most things. It's not good vs. bad. Also, play. And listen to your body (but avoid bakery shops)!" — Jaunita Schwobe, consulting dietitian

• "If you are going to give birth (or if you know someone who will be) plan to breast-feed. It reduces the risks of illness, disease to your baby, and reduces health risks to the mom as well." — Judy Harris, Utah Department of Health, WIC program

• "Don't deny yourself food; this will lead to craving it more. Allow yourself a small amount, but concentrate on what you eat. Enjoy the flavor, texture and smell. You will be more satisfied and eat less." — Elizabeth Smith, University Health Care

• "The health benefits of eating whole grains are far greater than people realize. ... Greater whole grain consumption has been linked to 20 percent to 30 percent lower risk of diabetes and heart disease, as well as lower mortality rates. At least three servings daily are recommended. Examples of serving size include one slice of whole grain bread or a half-cup of cooked whole-grain pasta or brown rice." — Karen Collins, American Institute for Cancer Research

• "Dish out 20 percent less (food) than you think you might want before you start to eat. You probably won't miss it." — Brian Wansink, Cornell University "Mindless Eating" (Bantam, $25)



Olive oil as needed

1 large onion, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, chopped or sliced

1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes

1 quart chicken broth

Salt and pepper to taste

Golden Raisin Pesto:

1/2 bunch cilantro

3 tablespoons lemon juice

Olive oil, as needed

1/4 cup pine nuts

1 cup golden raisins

Salt and pepper to taste

Cilantro leaves for garnish

Raisins for garnish

Soup: In a saute pan, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil until almost smoking. Add onions and cook until caramelized, stirring constantly. Stir in garlic and tomatoes, stirring all the while; cook about 5 minutes. Then add broth; bring to a boil and let simmer 10 minutes more. Salt and pepper to taste.

Golden Raisin Pesto: In blender or food processor, combine cilantro, lemon juice, olive oil as needed, pine nuts and raisins. Pulse until well blended and smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, adjust seasonings in soup; divide and ladle into bowls. Garnish with dollop of pesto, fresh cilantro leaves and whole raisins.

Serves 8. — Jeanette Corvino, grand prize, 2007 Wise Choice California Raisin Recipe Contest


1 10-inch whole-wheat wrap or burrito-size tortilla

2 teaspoons honey- or hot-and-sweet mustard

2 teaspoons reduced-fat mayonnaise

1/2 cup baby spinach leaves, lightly packed

3 ounces thinly sliced roast turkey breast

4 thin slices Golden Delicious apple

1 tablespoon chopped pecans

1 tablespoon dried cranberries, chopped

Heat a heavy, medium skillet over medium-high heat. Warm tortilla in the pan until it is pliable and lightly toasted, about 1 minute. Turn and heat for 30 seconds. Transfer the tortilla to a cutting board or a large plate.

Mix the mustard and mayonnaise and spread the mixture over the tortilla, leaving a one-inch border around the edge. Arrange the spinach leaves on top. Cover the spinach with the turkey. Lay apple slices across the middle in a row. Sprinkle the pecans and cranberries on top of the apple.

Lift the bottom edge of the tortilla and, working in the direction away from you, roll up the tortilla as tightly as possible. Serve immediately, or wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 12 hours. Bring wrap to room temperature before serving. Serves 1.

Nutritional information per serving: 331 calories, 9 grams fat, 40 grams carbohydrate, 30 grams protein, 5 grams dietary fiber, 396 mg. sodium. — Dana Jacobi, American Institute for Cancer Research


4 large eggs

4 large egg whites

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cooking spray, preferably olive oil

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

2 cups cooked broccoli florets

1 cup boiled or baked potato, peeled and sliced (roughly 1 medium potato)

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch rings

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated pecorino or parmesan cheese

Preheat the broiler. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, egg whites, salt and pepper until well-combined. Set aside.

Coat a medium skillet (broiler-safe) with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. Add onions and saute until they are translucent, stirring constantly. Add broccoli, mashing it with the back of a wooden spoon to flatten. Break the potatoes into 1/2-inch pieces and stir in skillet until heated through. Add cooked vegetables to the bowl of beaten eggs. Rinse out the saute pan and return it to a medium-high heat. Add oil, swirling to coat the sides of the pan. Pour in the egg and broccoli mixture. As the eggs set, lift the edges of the frittata while tilting the pan. In the center of the pan, pull aside the eggs in various places to let liquid flow to the bottom. Place the bell pepper rings into the top of the nearly firm frittata. When eggs are mostly set but moist-looking on top, sprinkle with oregano, then the cheese.

Place frittata under broiler until the top is dry and set, about 2 minutes. Slide frittata onto a plate and let sit 15 minutes before cutting. Cut into 4 wedges. Serves 4.

Nutritional information per serving: 209 calories, 9 grams total fat, 16 grams carbohydrate, 14 grams protein, 3 grams dietary fiber, 217 mg. sodium. — American Institute for Cancer Research