Monday, December 29, 2014
Sunday, December 21, 2014
December’s Recipe ReDux is “Grab and Book and Cook!!” To celebrate The 42nd month of Recipe ReDux, we were challenged to pick a recipe on page 42 of a cookbook and make it healthier, plus give it our special touch. One of the first books I picked up was Vegetarian Pasta Cookbook by Sarah Maxwell- something that my husband had in his collection before we met. The recipe on page 42 was perfect- Trennette with Tomato Tarragon Cream. I love cream sauces but they are so high in fat so I was determined to work on this dish to make it lower in fat and calories, but to keep it yummy. The original recipe called for a large amount of cream (1 ¼ cup) and a lot of pasta to go with. I cut the cream down to only ¼ cup and added lightly sautéed red bell pepper and vegetable broth to enhance the flavor, and blended the sauce for a smooth velvety texture. I also sub-d garlic powder for fresh garlic and used zucchini in place of the pasta which really cut the carbs and calories- but I assure you this recipe was still big on taste. (If you are not a zucchini aficionado feel free to use spaghetti squash or even pasta if you wish). The recipe came out delicious and look at the difference in calories, fat and carbs!! The original recipe is great for a splurge and this remake could be eaten more often. Hope you will try it out and take a look at all the other page 42 themed recipes made healthy by the Recipe ReDux team!!
Original Recipe: Trenette with Tomato Tarragon Cream from “Vegetarian Pasta Cookbook: A Superb Selection of Delicious and Nutritious Pasta Dishes” by Sarah Maxwell, Chartwell Books 1996.
Coat a large pan with the olive oil, add the peppers and sauté on medium heat for 3-5 minutes until starting to soften and brown. Then add the tomatoes, chopped tarragon and ¼ cup of the broth to the pan and heat for another 5-7 minutes. Then turn off heat and set aside to cool a bit. While the tomatoes/peppers are cooling, make the zucchini strips by peeling the zucchini lengthwise. (2-3 large or 4-6 small should yield about 8 cups.) Then, carefully transfer the cooled tomato/pepper mixture from the pot into a blender. If you have a smaller blender only add one half of the mixture at a time (you can put the other half in a large bowl until ready to blend). Add the second ¼ cup of broth and the ¼ cup half and half and blend on low speed for about a minute, until a smooth consistency is reached. Put the blended mixture back in the pan and simmer for 3-5 minutes on low heat. Heat the zucchini strips in a separate pan coated with 1 teaspoon olive oil for 3-5 minutes as well, until desired tenderness is reached. Add the cooked zucchini to a strainer and drain excess moisture and pat dry. Divide the zucchini noodle into 4 portions and add about ½ cup sauce to each. Add salt/garlic powder taste and garnish with parmesan cheese if desired.
Make 4 servings:
Serving size: ¼ of recipe (about 2 cups zucchini noodles with ½ cup sauce) Calories 100 Protein 2 g Carb 7 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 3 g Fat 7 g Saturated fat 2.5 g Sodium 30 mg
Monday, December 8, 2014
Gabby in action....
Thursday, December 4, 2014
We are all looking for the fountain youth (especially here in LA!) as evidenced by the number and popularity of anti-aging skin care products on the market, not to mention the multitude of cosmetic procedures and surgeries that are sought out too!
In addition, there is increasing scientific research investigating anti-aging from the inside out...through diet habits and patterns. ( My colleague Cheryl Forberg RD wrote a fabulous book on this topic BTW!) And, an exciting study was recently released that adopting a Mediterranean dietary lifestyle could actually slow the aging process!
This study, released in the British Medical Journal, revealed that consuming the Mediterranean diet was associated with longer telomere length, an important marker of aging. Telomeres are repetitive DNA sequences at the end of chromosomes, which eventually shorten as we age. And shortened telomeres are associated with shorter life expectancy as well as increased rates of age-related chronic diseases. Therefore, having longer telomeres is a good thing as far as aging is concerned. Data from 4676 subjects participating in the Nurse's Health Study was looked at in which all of the subjects, healthy middle age women, completed detailed food questionairres and then did a blood test to determine the length of their telomeres The results showed that better adherence to a Mediterranean diet was significantly associated with longer telomeres. No one isolated component of the diet was able to be linked to this result, but rather the dietary pattern as a whole (high intakes of whole grains, legumes, fruits, veggies fish, nuts and olive oil, regular but moderate intake of alcohol and low intake of dairy, red meat and saturated fat) was responsible.
The magnitude ot the results is limited by the design of the study, being cross-sectional, only measuring telomere length at one point in time and also the sample cohort of women was primarily of European descent. The researchers point out that genetics may play a role in the variations in telomeres, but the impact of diet is very intriguing and needs to be looked at further.
Either way, there is A LOT of other positive evidence out there already in terms of the Mediterranean diet and it's health benefits, namely with respect to cardiovacular health and weight management. Anti-aging effects may just be another attribute too which is exciting!!
I'm pleased to note that many of my recipes feature the foods from the Mediterranean diet or center around this theme :) A few of my favorite recipes are Eggplant Stacks and Rice Salad!!
Friday, November 28, 2014
An Awesome Thanksgiving Leftover Recipe and Some Great Info About Cranberries From The Cranberry Institute
Tips: Four Tasty Tidbits about the Tiny, Tart Cranberry· All forms of cranberries contain proanthocyanidins or PACs, so whether you like them dried, fresh, frozen, in juice or in sauce, just eat them!· PACs are flavonoids that are unique to cranberries because they have a different structure than PACs found in other fruits. PACs prevent bacteria, such as E. coli, from sticking to the cell walls.· Research has shown the cranberry may improve blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and reduce inflammation, oxidative stress and the incidence of certain infections.· Cranberries are one of three commonly cultivated fruits native to North America. U.S.-grown cranberries are grown predominantly in Wisconsin, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Oregon, Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, Minnesota, New York and Rhode Island.Tricks: A Few Wonderful Ways to Use Cranberries this Holiday SeasonAdd cranberries, in various forms, to some of your favorite recipes to boost fruit intake.· Use cranberry sauce as a spread on “leftover” turkey sandwiches after Thanksgiving· Fill a mason jar with dried cranberries, mixed nuts and seeds to give as a holiday hostess gift· Pour cranberry juice into seltzer water and add a lime wedge for a party “mocktail”· Add cranberries to turkey stuffing for a delicious, tangy pop of flavor· Combine cranberry sauce and orange juice as the base of a glaze for holiday hamScience Bites: News from Cranberry ScientistsCranberries May Provide Protection Against Peanut Allergies!A study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry made a surprising discovery when researchers found that cranberry polyphenols could bind to the peanut proteins that contribute to allergies thereby reducing an allergic reaction. Polyphenols have an attraction to bind to peanut proteins. While more research is required, this particular study showed that polyphenol-rich plant juices and extracts, such as cranberry juice, reduced the binding of one or more of the peanut allergens to immune cells – a process that may reduce the symptoms of an allergic reaction. The peanut protein compounds combined with cranberry polyphenols triggered significantly less allergic activity than standard peanut flour. These findings suggest potential uses of the polyphenol-fortified peanut flour as a safer ingredient for oral immunotherapy, although more research is warranted.Reference: Plundrich NJ, Kulis M, White BL, Grace MH, Guo R, Burks AW, Davis JP, Lila MA. Novel strategy to create hypoallergenic peanut protein-polyphenol edible matrices for oral immunotherapy. J Agric Food Chem. 2014 Jul 23;62(29):7010-21. doi: 10.1021/jf405773b. Epub 2014 May 2.Cranberries Show Promise in Helping to Treat Inflammatory Bowel DiseaseA study in Food Chemistry identified cranberries as a potential food for preventing and reducing the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), a condition with limited treatment options. The prevalence of IBD and the risk for the development of colorectal cancer make its treatment and prevention important.Researchers tested the effects of cranberry products, including cranberry extract and dried cranberries, on preventing colitis (a form of IBD) in mice. The results of the study suggest that groups fed cranberry extract and dried cranberries both had significantly reduced disease activity. Researchers also found dried cranberries were more effective in preventing colitis than cranberry extract. These findings suggest cranberries may have a role in the prevention and treatment of IBD, although more research is warranted.Reference: Xiao X, Kim J, Sun Q, Kim D, Park CS, Lu TS, Park Y. Preventive effects of cranberry products on experimental colitis induced by dextran sulphate sodium in mice. Food Chem. 2015 Jan 15;167:438-46. doi: 10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.07.006. Epub 2014 Jul 9.RESOURCE REMINDER!Updated USDA-Reviewed Cranberry Health Research ReviewThe USDA recently reviewed an updated cranberry nutrition and health review published in the Cranberry Health Research Library on CranberryInstitute.org.Cranberry Health Research Library Updated September 2014Twenty-four new abstracts have been added to the Cranberry Health Research Library. Browse the selections by year to find the most recent publications. Click here: http://cranberryinstitute.org/doclib/doclib_search.cgiComprehensive Review of the Health Benefits of Cranberries in Advances in Nutrition Available for Continuing Education Credits through Today’s Dietitian!o “Cranberries and Their Bioactive Constituents in Human Health,” published in Advances in Nutrition, provides in-depth information about the bioactive compounds in cranberry and the pathways by which they may help protect against urinary tract infection, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. The Cranberry Institute and Today’s Dietitian partnered to create a continuing education course for registered dietitians with permission from Advances in Nutrition. Registered dietitians will receive four credits after studying the review and completing a multiple-choice exam.o Click here to read for continuing education: http://ce.todaysdietitian.com/CranInstOur Favorite Recipe for the Holiday Season!Cranberry & Turkey Stuffing CasseroleYield: 6 – 1 cup servingsIngredients1 Tbsp. vegetable oil¾ cup minced yellow onion¾ cup minced celery½ tsp. poultry seasoning⅛ tsp. ground black pepper¾ cup low-fat, reduced sodium chicken broth3 cups whole grain bread (approx. 6 ounces), cut into 1-in. pieces12 oz. cooked, diced turkey1 cup prepared turkey gravy1 ½ cups cranberry sauceDirections1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; add onions and celery and cook 2 minutes. Mix in poultry seasoning and pepper and continue to cook 30 seconds. Pour in hot broth and heat through.2. Stir in bread pieces and mix to combine. Cook until stuffing mixture is moist and heated through. Remove from heat and hold.3. Combine turkey and gravy and spread evenly in the bottom of a 2-qt casserole dish. Next, spoon half of the cranberry sauce (¾ cup) on top of the turkey-gravy layer. Gently spread the reserved stuffing mixture evenly on top of cranberry sauce.4. Bake in a 350°F oven for 30-35 minutes or until heated through and firm. Top will be slightly crunchy.5. Scoop a 1-cup portion of casserole onto a plate and serve with an additional 2 Tbsp. of cranberry sauce on the side.Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 320, Calories from Fat 45, Saturated Fat 1g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 5g, Cholesterol 45mg, Sodium 460mg, Total Carbohydrate 43g, Sugars 26g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 22g, Vitamin A 2%, Vitamin C 4%, Calcium 8%, Iron 8%Recipe courtesy of the Cranberry Marketing Committee, uscranberries.com
Friday, November 21, 2014
4 cups of washed, stems trimmed and halved Brussels sprouts,
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped turkey bacon, preferably nitrate-free (*use a gluten-free brand such as Trader Joes or Jennie-O if you are on a gluten free diet), about 4-5 slices
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, divided
Cook the Brussels sprouts until almost done- they can be cooked by either boiling them in a pot of water or steaming in a pyrex dish in an half inch of water for about 4 minutes. (I actually got some from Trader Hoes that I could stem in the bag.) Meanwhile, coat a medium sized pan with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the onion, turkey bacon and 1 tablespoon of maple syrup sauté until lightly brown, about 5-7 minutes. Throw in the cooked Brussels sprout halves add the second tablespoon of olive oil and maple syrup and continue to sauté until the Brussels sprouts are lightly browned and tender., about 5 minutes. Add salt to taste if desired and serve.
Note : you can serve this dish hot, it is also nice at room temp or cold topped with Maple Mustard Vinaigrette.
Makes 4.5 cups, 9 servings
Serving size: ½ cup Calories 80 Protein 4 g Carb 8 g Fiber 2 g Sugars 5 g Fat 4 g Saturated fat 0.5 g Sodium 140 mg
Thursday, November 13, 2014
I have a nice base recipe that I use which I told her about, and I asked her how she wanted to modify it to make her own flavor, She was excited to try something new and suggested walnuts, I mentioned that maple goes well with walnuts and we came up with a cool idea to actually add maple syrup to the batter. It worked really well and the kitchen smelled absolutely amazing while they were cooking.
Speaking of cooking, I greased the pan and tuned on the heat but Gabby actually poured the pancake batter into the pan under my close supervision. I wasn’t quite ready to let her try flipping them yet, but this will come with time.
She had a fantastic time and already started discussing other favors to try while she was eating these pancakes at the table. The maple syrup adds a subtle sweetness and they really can be eaten plain or with just a little butter spread on top. If you like them sweeter you can add a bit more syrup on top. Enjoy!!
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoons brown sugar
¼ cup egg whites
1 cup nonfat milk (I used unsweetened almond milk)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup chopped walnuts
In a small bowl combine the baking powder, flour and brown sugar together. To a larger bowl add the egg whites, maple syrup, vanilla and milk and whisk together. Then slowly whisk in the flour mixture until a smooth, thin batter is formed. Stir in the walnuts. Let stand for a 20-30 minutes in the frisdge minutes. Add ¼ cup (for 1 pancake) to a non stick skillet, or one coated with cooking spray and heat on high heat for 1-2 minutes each side. Repeat with ¼ cup mixture 7 more times for a total of seven small pancakes. (Note: if you make this ahead of time and keep in the fridge it will thicken up quite a bit, so you can whisk in a little milk before cooking to thin out if desired.
Tuesday, November 4, 2014
Thursday, October 30, 2014
More Interesting Cranberry Info and A Guest Recipe From The Cranberry Institute: Cranberry Chicken Salad on Flatbread
Fall is in full swing and one of the best flavors of the season is cranberries. I was excited to get more info from the Cranberry Institute which I am sharing with you along with their delicious Chicken Salad Recipe which is posted below as well. Enjoy!!
Tips: Four Tidbits about the Tiny, Tart Cranberry1. Cranberries naturally contain the flavonoid proanthocyanidins (PACs). The unique structure of the PACs found in cranberries offer properties that prevent bacteria from sticking to cell walls.2. The PACs in cranberries may help prevent harmful bacteria from sticking to the urinary tract, such as E. coli associated with urinary tract infections (UTIs).3. MyPlate suggests trying dried fruits, including dried cranberries, as a snack because they are easy-to-carry and store well. Perfectly portioned single-serve packs of dried cranberries are an easy grab-and-go snack!4. Cranberries are naturally fat-free, have little sodium and align with the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendations.Tricks: A Few Favorite Fall Ways to Use CranberriesAdd cranberries, in various forms, to some of your favorite recipes to boost fruit intake.· Use cranberry sauce as a spread on turkey sandwiches· Turn fresh or frozen cranberries into a cranberry relish· Top pancakes or waffles with whole berry cranberry sauce instead of butter or syrup· Mix fresh or frozen cranberries into store-bought or homemade applesauce· Add dried cranberries to oatmeal for added layers of sweet and tart flavorScience Bites: News from Cranberry ScientistsRESOURCE REMINDER! Updated USDA-Reviewed Cranberry Health Research ReviewThe USDA recently reviewed an updated cranberry nutrition and health review published in the Cranberry Health Research Library on CranberryInstitute.org.Low-Calorie Cranberry Juice Improves Biomarkers for Individuals with Metabolic SyndromeMetabolic syndrome is the name of a host of conditions that include insulin resistance, high blood pressure, abdominal fat and dyslipidemia that significantly increase risk for heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. Metabolic syndrome is an important public health issue as it’s estimated that approximately 25% of the U.S. population suffers from it. As a result of the insulin sensitivity and obesity, chronic inflammation is thought to the risk of cardiovascular disease.Researchers in Brazil sought to examine the effect of consuming reduced calorie cranberry juice on risk factors and biomarkers of inflammation and oxidation associated with metabolic syndrome. Published in the British Journal of Nutrition researchers randomly assigned 56 subjects with metabolic syndrome into one of two groups: 20 subjects were instructed to drink 24 oz. of a reduced calorie cranberry juice beverage daily for 60 days and the control group maintained their normal diet. The product used in the study was a reduced calorie cranberry juice beverage that provided 23 calories, 69 mg vitamin C and 14 mg folic acid per 8 oz. serving. Total daily phenolics from the 24 oz. of juice equaled 362.5 mg/day. The researchers monitored markers for inflammation, oxidative stress and metabolic dysfunction.The results found that those drinking reduced calorie cranberry juice beverage had reductions in several markers for inflammation and oxidation. In addition, the cranberry-treatment group had an increase in adiponectin, a hormone that reduces inflammation, may increase fat oxidation and could lower blood sugar. At the same time, there was a decrease in the amino acid homocysteine, which has been correlated with an increased risk for heart disease. Research has shown that low levels of adiponectin and high levels of homocysteine are independent risk factors for heart disease, therefore improvements in these biomarkers by cranberry consumption is remarkable.Reference: Simão TN, Lozovoy MA, Simão AN, Oliveira SR, Venturini D, Morimoto HK, Miglioranza LH, Dichi I. Reduced-energy cranberry juice increases folic acid and adiponectin and reduces homocysteine and oxidative stress in patients with the metabolic syndrome. Br J Nutr. 2013 Jun 11:1-10. [Epub ahead of print]Cranberry Juice Improved Heart Health Markers Among Diabetic MenIndividuals with diabetes are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. To better understand if cranberry juice could help reduce the risk factors for heart disease among individuals with type 2 diabetes, researchers at Tehran University in Tehran, Iran conducted a double-blinded, randomized clinical trial to assess the impact of cranberry juice on biomarkers of heart disease.The subjects were randomly assigned to drink either 1 cup of cranberry juice or a placebo beverage daily for 12 weeks. Researchers measured biomarkers for cardiovascular disease: paraoxonase-1 (PON-1) activity, apoA-1, apoB, glucose, and Lp(a), before and after the intervention.Results? The researchers found that among those drinking cranberry juice, there was a significant decrease in serum glucose and apoB (P<0 .01="" a-1="" a="" activity="" and="" apo="" are="" biomarkers="" compared="" disease.="" for="" heart="" improvements="" in="" increase="" initial="" p="" pon-1="" positive="" reflect="" respectively="" results="" serum="" significant="" span="" that="" these="" they="" values.="" with="">0>The authors concluded that a cup of cranberry juice daily for 12 weeks reduced serum glucose and resulted in improved biomarkers for heart disease. This study adds to other previously published studies that suggest flavonoids in cranberry juice may play a role in improving biomarkers for health.
Shidfa F, Heydari I, Hajimiresmaiel SJ, Hosseini S, Shidfar S, Amiri F. The effects of cranberry juice on serum glucose, apoB, apoA-I, Lp(a), and Paraoxonase-1 activity in type 2 diabetic male patients. J Res Med Sci. 2012 Apr;17(4):355-60.Our Favorite Recipe Right Now!Cranberry Chicken Salad on FlatbreadMakes 8 servingsPortion: ½ cup chicken salad on 1 flatbread rollPrep Time: 15 minutesCook Time: 5 minutesIngredients1 cup dried cranberries⅓ cup 100% cranberry juice, unsweetened½ cup reduced-fat mayonnaise⅓ cup fat-free poppy seed dressing8 oz. grilled white chicken meat, diced1 cup sliced celery¾ cup thinly sliced scallions2 cups shredded fresh spinach8 flatbread rolls, splitDirections1. Place cranberries and cranberry juice in a saucepan and heat slightly. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature. Cranberries will absorb all liquid. Hold.2. In a bowl, whisk together mayonnaise and dressing.3. Stir in diced chicken, celery and scallions. Toss well to coat. Stir in reserved cranberries and mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours before serving.4. To Serve: For each serving, place ¼ cup spinach onto a split flatbread roll and portion ½ cup salad on top of spinach. Replace top and serve.Nutrition Information Per Serving: Calories 390, Calories from Fat 100, Saturated Fat 2g, Trans Fat 0g, Total Fat 12g, Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 800mg*, Total Carbohydrate 57g, Sugars 17g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Protein 13g, Vitamin A 20%, Vitamin C 15%, Calcium 10%, Iron 20%Recipe courtesy of the Cranberry Marketing Committee, uscranberries.com