Some diet advice for warm weather

<strong>Penny’s Pantry</strong> Penny Case

Penny’s Pantry Penny Case

Our weather has been so nice for this time of year. I have more pep and energy when the sun is out and it’s warm.

I have some low fat and nonfat recipes in this column, as I know some people want to loser their winter weight. In warmer weather, you can go walking, jogging, and bike-riding for the exercise you need. It seems everyone is more motivated. I know it takes lots of willpower an self-control when you are dieting.

You need to have a good diet plan to lose weight. It’s so hard to lose weight when you are over 50, that I know for a fact. When I was young, I had no trouble losing weight. Now it’s harder. I’ve been on lots of different diets during my lifetime, and now I just cut down on my portions so I get to eat anything I want. I don’t eat many sweets like cakes, cookies, or other desserts.

Don’t give up when you start a diet. After a while your stomach shrinks and you won’t eat as much. The first few weeks are the hardest. My advice: Don’t watch TV as it always seems that when you’re on a diet all the commercials are of food. Why is that? When you are at a restaurant, order whatever you want and only eat half and take the rest home. Getting just a bowl of soup and a salad is good for you. Like always, drink a lot of good, cold water.

If you have knee problems, losing weight will surely help you have less pain. You’re rubbing bone on bone if you are overweight. My doctor always told me people don’t realize the pressure it puts on your knees and feet, and I know that for a fact as I have knee problems. When I lose weight I notice my knee pain goes away. I see a lot of overweight people using canes, walkers, and even scooters. If only they would lose weight, they would feel a lot better.

Until next time, enjoy these recipes.

Catfish Parmesan

• 3/4 cup dry bread crumbs

• 3 tbsp. grated parmesan cheese

• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

• 1/4 tsp. paprika

• 1/8 tsp. each pepper, dried oregano, and basil

• 6 fresh or frozen catfish fillets (4 oz. each)

• 3 egg whites, beaten

In a shallow bowl, combine the bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, parsley, and seasonings. Dip catfish in egg whites, then in crumb mixture. Arrange in a 13x9x2 baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Lightly spray fillets with cooking spray. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Yield: Six servings.

Calico Rice

• 1 of each, medium sized and diced: green pepper, sweet yellow pepper, sweet red pepper, onion

• 1 1/2 cups uncooked long grain rice

• 1 envelope dry onion soup mix

• 2 tbsp. picante sauce

• 1 tbsp. ground cumin

• 4 garlic cloves, minced

• 3 cups water

In a skillet or saucepan coated with nonstick cooking spray, saute peppers and onion for three minutes. Stir in rice, onion mix, picante sauce, cumin, garlic, and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender.

Yield: Eight servings.

Salmon Appetizers

• 1 can (15 oz.) salmon or two cups cooked salmon, drained, boned, and flaked

• 1 package (8oz.) fat free cream cheese, softened

• 4 tbsp. salsa

• 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley or cilantro

• 1/4 tsp. ground cumin

• 8 flour tortillas (8 inches)

In a small bowl, combine salmon, cream cheese, salsa, parsley, and cumin. Spread about 2 tbsp. over each tortilla. Roll up tightly and wrap individually with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Slice into bite size pieces.

Yield: Four dozen.

Penny Case is a lifelong resident of Wellington who loves to cook and share recipes. Send recipes to her at 22 Johns St. or at

Penny’s Pantry Penny Case’s Pantry Penny Case