Coast Cooking

Try these healthy recipes to get started on a more healthy lifestyle

This all vegetable sandwich is delicious.
This all vegetable sandwich is delicious. Special to the Sun Herald

Over the years, I’ve been guilty of writing about cheeseburgers and other delightful foods that may not be very healthy in the long run.

Times change.

Mississippi is in the midst of an obesity epidemic, and obesity can lead to serious health problems, including high blood pressure, diabetes, breathing problems and joint ailments, to name a few.

The best way to fight obesity is to embrace a healthy diet.

Patricia Anderson is not only a health and fitness expert, but she also is owner of Freedom Café and Freedom Fitness in Ocean Springs, and she recently shared some healthy recipes with me to include in this column.

All of the recipes she shared are delicious and filling and little cooking is required. All you have to do is use fresh ingredients.

For vegetables, such as corn, just steam it until tender, for dried beans, soak in water, then simmer in stock until tender.

It is not recommended, but you can use canned vegetables, just be sure to rinse the contents well before preparing.

Use fresh, healthy ingredients and pay attention to the calories you consume, and you will soon be on your way to a more healthy lifestyle.

Energy Bites

223 calories for five balls

1 cup dry oatmeal

2/3 cup coconut flakes

½ cup peanut butter

½ cup ground flaxseed

½ cup mini dark chocolate chips

1/3 cup honey

1 tablespoon chai seeds

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine all the ingredients, form into balls just smaller than a golf ball. Keep in a Ziploc bag, makes a great after-school snack.

Veggie Bowl

373 calories per serving

Small handful spring mix

5-6 cherry tomatoes

¼ cup black beans

¼ cup brown rice

¼ cup corn

¼ diced avocado

2 tablespoons diced red onion

2 teaspoons diced cheese

Juice squeezed from ¼ lime

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Optional dollop Greek yogurt

All ingredients should be precooked. Arranged as artfully as possible in individual servings, please just don’t toss it all together. Best served slightly chilled.

Veggie Sandwich

422 calories per serving

2 slices toasted Ezekiel bread (or any whole grain)



Sliced tomatoes



1 tablespoon goat cheese

Diced bell pepper

No quantities are necessary in this healthy sandwich, just layer the ingredients on the bread according to your likes and dislikes, being careful not to overdo it, and serve while the bread is still warm. You will be amazed at how delicious and filling this sandwich is. It is my favorite.