Chances are on a rainy day you feel like eating something hot and comforting. Seek out healthy choices such as those that follow.
Start a rainy day right with one of these comforting choices.
- Oatmeal. Consuming whole oats, Borreli reports in Medical Daily, greatly benefits the heart. Old-fashioned or steel-cut oats are best. Make your oatmeal in the morning and stir in low-fat milk and fresh or dried fruit. You could also add unsweetened cocoa.
- Pancakes. Try whole-wheat instead of regular pancake mix. To reduce calories and fat, replace the egg with mashed banana. Instead of butter and syrup, try topping with cream cheese and sugar-free jam or marmalade.
- Tocino meal. Make healthy tocino by marinating chicken breast fillet overnight (use a purchased marinade or make one with brown sugar, pineapple juice, and banana ketchup). Instead of frying, use the “traditional method”—simmer until the water dries up. Use olive oil to make garlic rice that isn’t loaded with saturated fat. Serve with tomatoes or atchara rather than eggs.
Lunch or Dinner
There’s nothing like a hot meal on a rainy day. Try these with a little rice—preferably brown rice.
- Steaming Soups. Many are a meal in themselves with rice or bread. Those packed with vegetables are best. For instant soups, look for low-sodium ones. When dining out, look for low calorie soups like chicken pho and salmon sinigang. But it’s best to make your own using fresh ingredients. Try these:
- Tinola. Fry a quartered chicken breast with a knob or ginger. Add 3 cups water and half a chicken broth cube. Boil till the chicken is done. Add sliced sayote or green papaya and when it’s tender, add sili leaves or malunggay and serve.
- Minestrone. Chop a small white onion, one celery stalk, a zucchini and a carrot and stir fry in olive oil with a minced garlic clove. Season with black pepper, basil, and oregano. Add 3 cups water, a can of diced tomatoes, a chicken broth cube, and one can each kidney beans and cannellini. Simmer till vegetables are tender. Stir in pesto for more flavor.
- Squash Soup. Peel and slice a quarter of squash in just enough water to cover and half a chicken broth cube. Puree and reheat. Season to taste with pepper, nutmeg, and cumin and stir in a small can of evaporated milk.
People tend to crave more snacks on rainy days, which is why it is all the more important to select snack foods that are filling and nutritious and aren’t just a source of empty calories and unhealthy fat.
- Taho. Made with soy, taho would really be quite healthy if it were not for all the sugar. If you can reduce the sweet syrup and sago and you’re sure the taho is properly handled, though, go ahead and have a hot cup of it.
- Corn. Plain corn on the cob freshly cooked makes a good, filling snack—just go easy on the butter.
- Nachos. With low-fat toppings like salsa, olives, chicken, avocado, yogurt, and low-fat cheese, nachos can make a snack that’s good for you. It’s easy to make on your own, preferably with unseasoned, whole-grain corn chips.
- Hamburger. Pick burgers made with lean meat or, even better, mushrooms. Sandwiches loaded with vegetables are best. Hold the fries.
- Chili Dog. Make one with a chicken or turkey frank, low-sodium chili, minced tomatoes and onions, and grated low-fat cheese.
- Grilled Cheese. Use whole-grain bread and a low-fat cheese. Kesong puti can be grilled in whole wheat pan de sal.
- Banana cake. Freshly-baked or warmed up baked goods are truly comforting. Banana cake can be made from mix without an egg—the mashed banana is sufficient to hold everything together. Stir in heart-healthy chopped walnuts.
With all these options, you can enjoy eating on a rainy day without guilt. Just keep your portion size down!