Wiley Mullins is a man on a wellness mission.
As this former-brand-manager-turned-entrepreneur watched his friends and family suffer from stroke, diabetes, heart disease and obesity, Mullins knew these conditions could be turned around with better lifestyle choices. He lost more than 55 pounds himself to improve his own health.
Acknowledging that the pleasures of the table can be a pitfall of fat, sodium, cholesterol and calories, Mullins launched a Web site that highlights nutrition research, nutritional wisdom and delicious encouragement to eat more fruits and vegetables.
"Most of us tend to eat the same three or four vegetables over and over," says Mullins. "Yet current nutrition science says we need to eat widely from the produce section.
"Check your supermarket for produce you've never tried. And remember: the richer the color, the higher the nutrient content."
Removing barriers to good eating is part of Mullins' mantra. "Think you can't afford good nutrition? It's right there in the fresh produce aisle -- convenient, affordable and available," according to Mullins. "Look for already-cut, ready-to-go fruits and vegetables.
"For example, Birds Eye Fresh, known for their line of fresh fruit and vegetables, recently introduced Table Toppers. It's a top quality line of fresh cut vegetables that are as easy to use as they are good for you.
"Simply open the bag and prepare. For all of us short on time, produce offerings like these are life savers."
Recognizing that many traditional family-favorite vegetable dishes include fat and salt, Mullins developed a line of low-sodium seasoning and spice blends that offers delicious, down-home tastes without butter, bacon, ham or other added fat. They can be found right in the produce department, appropriately stocked with their produce partners.
To support his enthusiastic promotion of produce, Mullins has introduced America's Wellness Team, which offers nutrition and wellness advice for consumers through a free monthly electronic newsletter on www.unclewileys.com.
Spinach, Grape and Mandarin Orange Salad With Honey-Lemon Dressing
2 cups Birds Eye Fresh Table Toppers Baby Spinach
1/2 cup halved Birds Eye Fresh Red Seedless Grapes
1/2 cup drained Mandarin orange segments
1/2 cup diced seeded, unpeeled cucumber
1/4 cup diced Birds Eye Fresh Red Onion
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 cup olive oil
1 to 2 teaspoons Wiley's Citrus-Garlic Salad Jazz
In large serving bowl, toss spinach, grapes, orange, cucumber and onion. In small jar with tight-fitting lid, shake together honey, lemon juice and olive oil to blend well.
Pour dressing over salad; toss and sprinkle salad with Citrus-Garlic Salad Jazz. Serve immediately.
Easy Sweet Potato Fries
1, 16-ounce bag Birds Eye Fresh Table Toppers Sweet Potato Fries
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 packet Wiley's Sweet Potato & Yam Spice
Heat oven to 450 degrees. In large bowl, toss sweet potato fries with oil. Spread on baking sheet and sprinkle evenly with spice. Bake 15 to 20 minutes; stir occasionally, until tender.
"Outrageous" Chicken Creole
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 1-1/2 pounds), cut into
1 cup water
1, 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with basil and garlic
1 cup Heinz 57 Chili Sauce
1-1/2 cups chopped green pepper
1 cup chopped Birds Eye Fresh Celery
1 cup chopped Birds Eye Fresh White Onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 packet Wiley's Dirty Rice Seasoning
Place chicken and water in medium skillet. Cook chicken in water over moderate heat 10 to 12 minutes, until no longer pink. Drain and discard any remaining water from skillet; add tomatoes, chili sauce, green pepper, celery, onion, garlic and seasoning. Cook over moderate heat and simmer covered 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Great over rice or pasta.
Green Bean & Carrot Medley
1, 12-ounce package Birds Eye Fresh Table Toppers Premium Cut Green Bean & Carrot Medley
2 tablespoons Wiley's Beans & Peas Seasoning
1 cup water
Place all ingredients in saucepan; bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat; simmer covered 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables are tender.
Wiley's Wisdom -- Tips to Turn Up Volume on Flavor and Nutrition
- Bring on Healthy Foods: While paying attention to portion size, go ahead and pile your plate high with nutrient-rich foods that are naturally fat-free, like fruits and vegetables.
- Slim Pickings: Choose lean meats, poultry and fish; trim excess fat before cooking.
- Clever Cooking: Bake, stew or grill instead of frying.
- Spice It Up: Substitute non-fat, low-sodium seasonings like cayenne pepper, curry, paprika and spice blends for salt.
Register for America's Wellness Team at www.unclewileys.com and tap into healthy lifestyle tips, delicious recipe ideas and current nutrition wisdom. And for additional creative recipes, visit www.birdseyefresh.com.
Recipes and photos from Family Features Editorial Syndicate