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Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

General cooking advice, recipes, and techniques for making your food taste better and have fewer calories.

WebMD – Raising Healthy Kids – Ways to Keep Kids at a Healthy Weight

Posted by 4love2love on July 18, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed By David Ludwig, MD, PhD

If your child is at a healthy weight now, you may wonder what you can do to help him maintain it.

If your child is currently overweight, you may wonder how you can help her stick to a serious diet and exercise plan.

Well, according to experts, rigorous diets and exercise plans are not the healthy habits to be striving for. Singling out an overweight kid will just make him feel persecuted and unhappy. It also won’t work.

Instead, you can help your overweight kid move toward a healthy weight in much the same way you can help a healthy weight kid maintain that healthy weight. How? By making it easy for everyone in your family to make healthy choices and encouraging them to make those choices so consistently that they become your family’s healthy habits.

Making healthy choices can help an overweight kid who is still growing hold his weight steady so he can grow into his weight as he gets taller. Small healthy choices also give healthy weight kids the habits and foundation to maintain their weight.

Healthy Habit 1: Choose to eat dinner as a family.

You can encourage family health by having the whole family sit down to dinner together as often as possible.

It might seem like an indirect way to help with your child’s weight, but experts say it can help. Studies have found that family meals are associated with a healthier diet and lower rates of obesity.

Why? Experts say that social eating is good for us. Family dinners are a healthy habit that help us stay emotionally connected.

Plus, when kids eat on their own — especially plopped down in front of the TV — they might not pay attention to their hunger and absentmindedly overeat.

Finally, when you cook at home, you control the menu, so it’s easier for everyone to eat healthy.

Healthy Habit 2: Don’t let your child set the menu.

It’s potentially a disservice to your family’s health to let a child’s limited tastes dictate the family’s diet. If you do, you might wind up eating hot dogs and mac and cheese every night.

When you’re cooking healthy meals — filled with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean meats, and dairy — your child might not like the vegetables that show up on her plate. But keep offering them anyway. Studies show that the more kids are exposed to a food, the more likely they are to try it.

When you’re making a healthy entrée that your child might not like, experts recommend that you include a healthy food that she does like — fruit, for instance — as a side dish. That way, there’s something familiar for her.

If she protests, experts suggest that you be firm: Make it clear that her choices are limited to what you’ve served. Resist the temptation to cave in and make her a separate meal. In time, she’ll come to accept the limits that you’re setting — and will start trying some healthier foods.

Healthy Habit 3: Choose to reduce TV time.

Because many studies have found a clear association between television-watching and obesity, experts say that reducing your kids’ TV time makes sense. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no more than 1 to 2 hours of TV watching a day for kids aged 2 and older. It’s best if children younger than 2 not watch TV at all.

Of course, the most effective way to curb your child’s TV watching is for you to also limit your time in front of it. The easiest way to successfully have a healthy family is for you to lead by example.

Afraid such healthy goals will challenge your poise and patience? If you’re swooping in every 15 minutes, scowling, and clicking off the TV, you might face a revolt — or your kids will just scurry off to a different screen — a computer, video game, or TV in another room.

To keep your cool and remember your goal to have a healthy family, don’t focus on what your kids can’t do, but what they can do. For instance, don’t even mention after-school TV. Instead, create a list of activities — rain or shine — that can be done after school instead of TV watching, like dancing to favorite songs or biking in the neighborhood. Then, help your child pick 1 to try.

Healthy Habit 4: Buy a pedometer for everyone in the family.

It’s not enough for you to demand that your child exercise. Instead, inspire your whole family to move more.

Outfitting each family member with a pedometer encourages healthy habits. Once a kid starts to track how many steps he’s taking, it’s pretty natural to want to take more. At the end of the day, everyone can compare the number of steps they took and chart their progress. It can become a fun competition that leads to better family health. Studies have found that pedometers can be effective in kids as young as 6.

How many steps should your child be taking? While many adults aim for 10,000 steps per day, researchers say that a child’s target should actually be higher. One study found that for kids aged 6 to 12, a healthy goal for girls was 12,000 steps a day and 15,000 steps a day for boys.

That might seem like a lot, but kids are naturally more active than adults. Of course, a child’s stride is much shorter, so they won’t walk as far as you will.

Start slowly. Begin by aiming for an additional 2,000 steps to what each person takes on an average day now. Even that modest increase will help with family health.

Healthy Habit 5: Choose not to micromanage your child’s eating.

As a parent, you don’t want to be watching every bite of food that goes into your kid’s mouth. You don’t want to be swatting her hand away from the cookie jar all the time. That sort of micromanaging will just make everyone miserable.

Instead, the easiest path to raising a healthy family is to remove the source of conflict. Replace the cookie jar with a fruit bowl. After all, kids do most of their eating at home — that’s true even for many teens. Because parents are the ones who shop, you have control over the food that’s in the house.

When you’re at the grocery store, swap the chips and cookies you normally put in your cart with healthier options. Don’t buy sugary drinks like soda and juice-like drinks, and limit the amount of 100% fruit juice you buy.

Buy only foods that you want your child to eat. It will boost your family’s health, and you won’t worry so much about which food she’s choosing for a snack.

Healthy Habit 6: Choose healthy ways to manage stress.

Some studies have shown that kids with stressed-out moms are more likely to be overweight. The cause of the stress can be anything from health problems in the family, money issues, or problems with their mate.

So, here’s another reason to enlist help to find solutions to your stressors — to help your kid’s weight stay in a healthy range. Try these healthy stress relievers:

  • Talk it out with a friend, counselor, or religious advisor.
  • Use exercise as a way to burn off stress.
  • Tell your kids about your stress, using words they can understand.
  • Look for support to help you with the things causing you distress from family, government programs, hospital classes, and so forth.

By handling stress in healthy ways you set a great example for your kids, too.

Healthy Habit 7: Choose to make sleep more important.

Studies have found that a lack of sleep is associated with weight gain. When kids are overtired, changes to hormones and metabolism seem to increase the risk of obesity.

To raise healthy kids, enforce a routine bedtime. You can make the transition easier by trying to make the time before bed relaxing. A helpful way to do this is to remove distractions from your child’s bedroom — including TVs, cell phones, and computers.

Sticking with the same routine even on the weekends can help eliminate fluctuations in mood from fatigue and avoid that Monday-morning angst from trying to get back on schedule.

Bedtime may get harder with teens. As kids hit adolescence, their body clocks reset, and they become biologically wired to stay up late. Because high school starts so early, many teens are chronically overtired and at higher risk of obesity as a result.

As a parent, the best you can do is to work with your teen to encourage healthy sleep habits before bed. Help them see just how much better they feel when they do get enough sleep and how much easier it is to concentrate in school.

A healthy amount of sleep helps reduce the risk of obesity in adults too. So prioritize sleep accordingly to set a healthy example for your family.

Healthy Habit 8: Choose to be consistent about family health.

Consult with an expert — like a dietitian or childhood weight loss expert — to adopt basic, sensible changes to your family’s diet and exercise routine and stick with them.

If after a few months you don’t think these healthy habits are helping — if, for instance, your child has been gaining weight — check in again with an expert and tweak your family’s plan.

The most important thing to help your family adopt healthy habits is to stick to your plan. Stay consistent: about the foods you have in the house, about family exercise routines, and about bedtime.

If you do, your kids are more likely to accept your rules in the long run. If they sense any hesitation on your part, they’re more likely to argue and push back. With persistence, you will be able to help your kids adopt healthy habits, and they will benefit for the rest of their lives.

 

© 2011 WebMD, LLC.

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WebMD – Chefs’ Diet Secrets

Posted by 4love2love on July 18, 2011

How top chefs manage their weight.
By Lisa Zamosky
WebMD Feature

If you think managing your weight is tough, imagine if your job was to spend all day cooking, thinking about, and tasting food. That’s the challenge professional chefs face each day when they go off to work. In spite of being around tantalizing food all the time, however, many professional cooks manage to keep themselves in great shape. How do they do it?

WebMD talked with three working chefs to learn about their weight management strategies, and with one nutritionist to determine if these methods make sense for those of us cooking at home.

Managing Hunger

How is it possible to eat all the time and still be hungry? Most chefs say they taste small amounts of food all day long but rarely sit down to a full meal.

Chef Dale Talde, director of Asian concepts for the Starr Restaurant Group, which is based in New York and owns many restaurants on the East Coast, says it’s a requirement of his job to taste every dish that leaves the kitchen to make sure it’s up to standards. Talde, who has been featured on the Bravo’s Channel’s Top Chefs and Top Chef All-Stars, figures that amounts to eating thousands of calories each day.

“But you never eat a full meal,” he says. “You’re not hungry but you’re not totally satisfied either.”

Talde works nights and says he’s lucky to get home before midnight. By then he’s ready to eat. “It’s that sense of a hard day’s work finished off by a meal,” he says.

Over the past two years, Talde has packed on about 30 pounds. His blood pressure has risen, too. This has caused him to get creative in finding ways to reduce his caloric and salt intake, but still perform his duties as a chef.

One of his biggest tricks is making sure he doesn’t let himself get too hungry.

“I don’t [usually] like to eat before noon, but now I wake up earlier to get something healthy in – some cottage cheese with salsa and arugula, for example – that way I have something in my stomach before I go to work. It’s easier to maintain what you’re eating when you’re not starving,” Talde says.

The Nutritionist’s Take: Talde’s approach is smart, says Susan Bowerman, MS, RD, CSSD, assistant director of UCLA’s Center for Human Nutrition.

“The night is over and it’s not even a question that they’re famished at 11 p.m. or midnight,” Bowerman says of chefs working the dinner rush. “It’s how they unwind at the end of the day.”

For chefs and home cooks alike, scheduling time for a good breakfast — with some protein (such as a protein shake or some protein-rich cottage cheese) and healthy carbohydrates such as fruit — helps keep hunger at bay, making us less likely to overeat. The key is to fuel up adequately and make sure you’re getting nutrients earlier in the day.

Limiting Alcohol

Drinking fine wines and liquors often goes with the territory of being a chef. “It’s often 2:00 in the morning when we get out of work, so there’s not much else to do but go to the bars,” Talde says.

For many chefs, fine wine – and plenty of it – is the natural accompaniment to a good meal. But alcohol adds a lot of calories to your day. Half a bottle of wine, for example, is approximately 250 calories, Bowerman says. Drinking also loosens one’s resolve to eat well.

Talde says he recently began alternating a glass of wine with a glass of sparkling water at dinner to cut back on the calories. He also found that drinking water from a wine glass made the experience feel more special. “Then I really don’t notice and it doesn’t feel like I’m missing out on anything,” Talde says.

The Nutritionist’s Take: “Alternating an alcoholic beverage with a calorie-free beverage is a tip I always make for people,” Bowerman says. And putting the nonalcoholic drink in a wine glass is a great psychological trick that for some can make sparkling water just as satisfying as drinking wine. “The wine glass idea makes sense,” Bowerman says. “It may be something just about feeling the stem of the glass that elevates the meal to something more special.”

If drinking only half the alcohol you normally would with each meal seems unsatisfying, take a different approach. Bowerman suggests adding up the total number of drinks you have in a week and then cutting it by a third. “Can you cut out one night, rather than cutting back every single day?” she asks. For some people, that approach is more successful.

Keep It in the Bowl

Chef Nikki Cascone was a contestant on the Bravo Channel’s fourth season of Top Cheftestant and owns Octavia’s Porch, a restaurant in New York. She’s among the lucky few with a naturally fast metabolism that has kept her slim for most of her life. But after having a baby four months ago, managing her weight has become a new challenge.

Like Talde, Cascone finds that the chef’s lifestyle makes it difficult to eat well. “You’re never really off when you get to a certain level, especially when you own a restaurant. There are late-night hours and it’s a very tense environment. You’re dealing with the public, high stress, and high temperatures. I’ve had to train myself to eat healthy,” she says.

One trick that’s worked well for Cascone is keeping all her meals confined to one bowl, and consciously filling the bowl with lean protein, such as chicken, legumes, seeds, and vegetables. Packing it full of healthy foods helps her to feel satisfied. Limiting the meal to one bowl helps her to not overeat.

The Nutritionist’s Take: “She’s practicing portion control,” Bowerman says of Cascone. The size of the container we eat from can determine how much we eat, according to Bowerman, and for the average dieter at home, that’s a great tip.

But if you don’t care for the idea of eating every meal from a bowl, control your portions instead by using a smaller plate. “It’s about the visual impact of looking at a full plate of food,” Bowerman says.

Swap Ingredients

Diane Henderiks, RD, is a personal chef and culinary nutritionist who frequently appears on Good Morning America. Her goal is to raise the culinary bar for healthy cooking. “I switch up ingredients to maintain the integrity of the dish without fat and sodium,” she says.

Henderiks’ motto is that any dish can be made healthier. She cooks with fresh and dried herbs, citrus juices, and nectars to make dressings that are lower in fat and sugar. Ground turkey substitutes for ground beef, applesauce or yogurt are used in place of butter, broth or wine instead of oil, and she uses marinades and rubs to add flavor to meat without adding calories.

Similarly, Cascone uses a balsamic vinegar reduction (balsamic vinegar cooked on the stove top until it’s reduced to a syrup) for a very low-calorie salad dressing, and has replaced all table sugar with agave syrup as a way of eliminating refined sugars from her diet.

The Nutritionist’s Take: For the home chef, these are great techniques and they all add up, Bowerman says. “Cutting fat and calories becomes habit.”

Just be careful when replacing sugar with natural sweeteners like agave syrup, because “you’re not saving any calories,” Bowerman says. Still, she concedes it could be a small change that works for some people because the taste of agave syrup is more complex than table sugar, and it often blends better in things like ice tea. “Sometimes these replacements, although not saving calories, are more satisfying, and so people use less of it.”

Focus on Grains

Cascone says when she’s building her bowl of food she grants more space to grains than to protein. “I’m big on grains like quinoa. That’s a priority over fish or meat,” Cascone says.

The Nutritionist’s Take: Whole grains (as opposed to refined grains) are a very important part of our diet, Bowerman says, and few of us get enough of things like barley, brown rice, buckwheat, oatmeal, popcorn, or wild rice.

Still, she says, protein is the most satisfying type of food when it comes to keeping hunger in check. Whole grains are high in fiber and filling but can be high in calories too, so it’s important to watch portion size carefully. “When I have people look at a plate of food, one-third should be filled with lean protein. The rest of the plate should be vegetables and salads,” Bowerman says.

 

©2005-2011 WebMD, LLC.

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Low-Carb Snacks – Buffalo chicken bites

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Preparation time: 25 minutes (includes baking time)

Buffalo chicken bites
Cooking spray
1 pound cooked chicken breasts, cut into bite-size chunks
1/2 cup red hot sauce (such as Frank’s Red Hot Sauce)
3 tablespoons melted, reduced-calorie margarine
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
Celery sticks
Reduced-fat ranch or blue cheese salad dressing (I prefer no salad dressing or an oil-based dressing)Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat a baking dish with cooking spray, and place chicken bites in the baking dish. In a bowl, combine Red Hot sauce, margarine, parsley, and garlic powder. Pour evenly over chicken. (If you wish, you can refrigerate the combined chicken and sauce until you are ready to heat and serve.) Bake for 20 minutes. Put a toothpick in each piece of chicken and place on serving tray. Serve with celery sticks and salad dressing.

Yield: 42 pieces
Serving size: 7 pieces

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:
Calories: 154
Carbohydrate: 1 g
Protein: 24 g
Fat: 6 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Sodium: 209 mg
Fiber: <1 g

Exchanges per serving: 3 lean meat
Carbohydrate choices: 0


This recipe was developed by Tami Ross, a Diabetes Nutrition Specialist and Certified Diabetes Educator in Lexington, Kentucky.

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Artichoke heart and salmon salad

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes (to blanch artichoke hearts)

4 fresh artichoke hearts, blanched and chopped (canned can be substituted)
Lemon half
1 can (12 ounces) water-packed, skinless, boneless salmon, drained well
1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed and drained
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 tablespoon chopped celery leaves
4–6 green onions, chopped
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/4 cup reduced-calorie red wine vinaigrette salad dressing
4 radicchio leaves

To prepare the artichokes, trim stem and remove the thorny tops of the outer leaves with scissors or by bending the leaves. Cut off the top inch of the thin, inner leaves with a knife. Pull out the pink inner leaves by hand and remove the choke (bristle-like hairs) with a small scoop or knife. As you work, rub all cut surfaces with lemon to keep from browning. Submerge artichokes in water with some lemon juice added until ready to cook.

 

Bring 1 1/2 quarts of water to a boil in a saucepan, add artichokes, and cook for about 3–5 minutes until softened; let cool. When cooled, remove remaining leaves from hearts and cut hearts into quarters or chop coarsely.

In a medium bowl, combine salmon, artichoke hearts, peas, celery, celery leaves, green onions, lemon peel, and dressing. On each serving plate, place one leaf of radicchio. Scoop a quarter of the salad onto the leaf and serve.

Yield: 4 servings
Serving size: about 1 1/4

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:
Calories: 204
Carbohydrate: 13 g
Protein: 20 g
Fat: 8 g
Saturated fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 49 mg
Sodium: 745 mg
Fiber: 5 g

Exchanges per serving: 3 lean meat, 1 starch
Carbohydrate choices: 1


This recipe was developed by Kathleen Stanley, the Diabetes Education Program Coordinator at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. She frequently performs cooking demonstrations and has been involved in diabetes education for over 18 years.

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Skillet chicken piccata

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Preparation time: 5 minutes 

Cooking time: 20 minutes

4 four-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
Nonstick cooking spray
Black pepper
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon light margarine
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1 cup fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup thawed and drained frozen green peas
1/4 cup chopped green onion

Using a meat mallet, pound chicken breasts to uniform thickness. Spread 1 cup flour on a dinner plate or shallow dish and dredge chicken pieces in flour. Spray a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat to medium-high. Brown floured chicken pieces on both sides (about 2–3 minutes per side), then remove from skillet to a clean plate. Sprinkle chicken with black pepper. Lower heat under skillet to medium, and add olive oil, margarine, and garlic to skillet. When margarine has melted, sprinkle 1 tablespoon flour over mixture and stir into a roux (pastelike mixture). Slowly add chicken broth to skillet, stirring constantly with a whisk or spoon. Continue stirring until sauce thickens, then mix in lemon juice. Return chicken to skillet, spooning some of the sauce over the chicken. Cover skillet and cook an additional 7–10 minutes over medium heat until sauce bubbles and chicken is cooked through. Add peas and green onion to pan and cook 2 minutes more, then serve.

Yield: 4 servings
Serving size: 1 breast

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:
Calories: 191
Carbohydrate: 3 g
Protein: 29 g
Fat: 7 g
Saturated fat: 2 g
Cholesterol: 78 g
Sodium: 692 mg
Fiber: 1 g

Exchanges per serving: 4 lean meat
Carbohydrate choices: 0


This recipe was developed by Kathleen Stanley, a Diabetes Educator at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.

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Chicken gumbo

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45–55 minutes

Cooking spray
3/4 pound fresh okra or frozen, thawed okra, cut in 1/2-inch slices
1 tablespoon corn oil
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon (or 1 clove) minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 cans (14 1/2 ounces each) 50%-reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth
1 cup water
1 pound cooked, diced, chicken breast (for convenience, thaw fully-cooked, frozen, diced chicken, such as Tyson)
3 2/3 cups cooked hot brown rice

Coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray, warm over medium heat, add okra, and cook until slightly softened, about 6–8 minutes. Remove okra to a plate and set aside. Add oil to the skillet and warm over medium-high heat. Gradually add flour, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue cooking and stirring until the flour-oil mixture turns golden brown, about 3–5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high then stir in tomatoes, onion, garlic, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and salt. Cook until onion becomes translucent, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile combine broth and water in a stockpot, cover, and warm over medium heat. Stir tomato mixture into hot broth, mixing well. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and stir in okra and chicken. Cover and simmer 30–40 minutes. Serve 1 cup gumbo over 1/3 cup cooked rice.

Yield: 11 servings
Serving size: 1 cup gumbo over 1/3 cup rice

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:
Calories: 163
Carbohydrate: 22 g
Protein: 12 g
Fat: 3 g
Saturated fat: <1 g
Cholesterol: 22 mg
Sodium: 391 mg
Fiber: 3 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 starch, 1 nonstarchy vegetable, 1 lean meat
Carbohydrate choices: 1 1/2


Tami Ross is a Diabetes Nutrition Specialist and Certified Diabetes Educator in Lexington, Kentucky.

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Low-calorie lasagna roll-ups

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes

6 rippled lasagna noodles
1 pound lean ground turkey, 7% fat
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can (15 ounces) low-sodium crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup low-sodium canned tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
Nonstick cooking spray
1/2 cup shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Heat oven to 375°F. In a large pot, boil 4 quarts water over high heat, then add lasagna noodles, one at a time. Stir gently after adding last noodle, and boil 8–10 minutes. Noodles should be flexible but not overly soft. Drain noodles and immediately place on a baking sheet or cutting board in a single layer. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook ground turkey until cooked through, and break into crumbles. Add chopped onion and sauté until onions soften slightly. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, oregano, garlic, black pepper, and red pepper flakes if desired. Stir and lower heat to simmer for 1–2 minutes. Spray a small baking dish (at least 9 inches square) with nonstick cooking spray. Handling each noodle separately, spoon about 1/4 cup of meat mixture along the length of the noodle, then roll up from one end. Place open-side down in the baking dish. Spoon remaining meat mixture evenly over the tops of the lasagna rolls. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the rolls, and bake 25 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Garnish with chopped parsley before serving.

Yield: 6 servings
Serving size: 1 roll

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:
Calories: 197
Carbohydrate: 29 g
Protein: 9 g
Fat: 5 g
Saturated fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 43 mg
Sodium: 182 mg
Fiber: 3 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 1 medium-fat meat
Carbohydrate choices: 2


This recipe was developed by Kathleen Stanley, a Diabetes Educator at Central Baptist Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky.

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Italian-style freezer sandwiches

Posted by 4love2love on June 29, 2011

Preparation time: 45 minutes
Baking time: 55–60 minutes
Cooling time: 15 minutes

Italian-style freezer sandwiches
1 pound ground turkey breast
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely minced
1/4 cup diced black olives (approximately 1 ounce)
1 can (4 ounces) sliced mushrooms, drained
1 can (15 ounces) tomato sauce
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
12 hamburger buns
12 slices fat-free processed mozzarella cheeseIn a large nonstick skillet, brown and drain ground turkey. Add onion, jalapeño pepper, black olives, mushrooms, tomato sauce, garlic powder, oregano, and basil. Bring to a boil over high heat then reduce heat to medium and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes; stir frequently. Remove from heat and cool. (Meat filling may be served right away if desired; just increase cooking time from 10 minutes to 20 minutes).Spread bottom of each bun with 1/3 cup cooled meat filling. Top with 1 slice cheese and other half of bun. Wrap sandwiches tightly in foil. Place in freezer bags and freeze.

When ready to serve, preheat oven to 350°F and place the foil-wrapped sandwiches on a baking sheet. Bake for 55–60 minutes, or until heated through.

Yield: 12 sandwiches
Serving size: 1 sandwich

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving:
Calories: 243
Carbohydrate: 29 g
Protein: 16 g
Fat: 7 g
Saturated fat: 1 g
Sodium: 577 mg
Fiber: 1 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 1 1/2 lean meat, 1 fat
Carbohydrate choices: 1 1/2


This recipe was developed by Tami Ross, a Diabetes Nutrition Specialist and Certified Diabetes Educator in Lexington, Kentucky.

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WebMD – 10 Best Low-Carb Snacks

Posted by 4love2love on June 25, 2011

By Elaine Magee, MPH, RD
WebMD Expert Column

Chips, cookies, ice cream, candy bars, crackers, and microwave popcorn are some of America’s most popular snack foods. But they’re often packed with fats and carbs, with little nutritional value.

What are your options if you are looking for a smart low-carb snack?

You could choose foods that are higher in fiber and/or important nutrients, feature carbohydrates with lower glycemic indexes, are balanced with some protein, and contain some of the more heart-healthy fats.

That’s exactly what the following 10 low-carb snacks are all about.

My Top 10 Low-Carb Snacks

1. Turkey and Cheese Roll-Ups

Cut one part-skim mozzarella cheese stick in half lengthwise. Roll about 1 ounce of sliced roasted turkey breast around half of a part skim mozzarella cheese stick and repeat with the remaining cheese and turkey to make a total of two roll-ups.

Each serving contains: 3.5 grams carbohydrate, 0.3 gram fiber, 144 calories, 17 grams protein, 6.6 grams fat, 3.8 grams saturated fat

2. Side Salad Topped with a Hard-Boiled Egg or Avocado

Top a typical side salad with a hard-boiled egg or 1/4 chopped avocado, drizzle with a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and 1-2 teaspoons of balsamic vinegar or 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinaigrette.

Each serving (with egg) contains: 3 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 146 calories, 11 grams protein, 10 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat

Each serving (with avocado) contains: 6 grams carbohydrate, 4.4 grams fiber, 120 calories, 4 grams protein, 9 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat

3. Large Artichoke

Cut artichoke in half (from the stem to the tip) and cut out the inedible thistle part of the center of the artichoke. Place in microwave-safe, covered container with 1/2 cup water and cook on high until tender throughout (about 6 minutes for one artichoke or 10 minutes for two). Enjoy with lemon juice or 2 teaspoons of canola oil or olive oil mayonnaise.

Each serving (with lemon juice) contains: 17 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams fiber, 76 calories, 5.5 grams protein, .2 gram fat, .01 gram saturated fat

Each serving (with mayonnaise) contains: 17 grams carbohydrate, 9 grams fiber, 106 calories, 5.5 grams protein, 3 grams fat, 0.1 gram saturated fat

4. Avocado and Shrimp Cocktail

Toss 2 ounces of cooked thawed shrimp with 1/4 avocado (chopped) and a tablespoon of cocktail sauce.

Each serving contains: 8.5 grams carbohydrate, 3.4 grams fiber, 161 calories, 13 grams protein, 7.6 grams fat, 1.2 grams saturated fat

5. Typical fast-food Caesar salad with grilled chicken (no dressing)

Each serving contains: 12 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 220 calories, 30 grams protein, 6 grams fat, 3 grams saturated fat

6. Peanut Butter & Celery Sticks

Serve 3 celery stalks with 2 tablespoons of natural peanut butter.

Each serving contains: 8.5 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 208 calories, 7 grams protein, 16 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat

7. A Handful of Nuts

A handful, depending on the size of the hand, can be the ideal snack portion: a quarter cup. You can keep roasted, unsalted mixed nuts on hand or choose any variation of nuts.

Each serving (1/4 cup roasted almonds) contains: 6.7 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 205 calories, 9.5 grams protein, 18 grams fat, 1.4 grams saturated fat

8. Edamame Bowl

A super-convenient way to enjoy high protein soybeans as a snack is to put 3/4 cup of frozen, shelled edamame into a microwave-safe bowl and micro-cook them for a few minutes or until nice and hot. Sprinkle with pepper and 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, if desired.

Each serving contains: 8 grams carbohydrate, 4.3 grams fiber, 97 calories, 9 grams protein, 4 grams fat, 0 grams saturated fat

9. Carrot Sticks and Hummus

Cut one large carrot into sticks or coins and serve with 1/4-cup hummus.

Each serving contains: 15.8 grams carbohydrate, 5.8 grams fiber, 133 calories, 6 grams protein, 6 grams fat, 0.9 grams saturated fat

10. Soy Latte (iced or hot)

Blend a cup of light soymilk with a shot or two (1/8 to 1/4 cup) of espresso or triple-strength coffee (decaf if you’re sensitive to caffeine). Serve over or blend with 3/4 cup crushed ice for an iced soy latte.

Each serving contains: 8.5 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 73 calories, 6 grams protein, 1.9 grams fat, 0 gram saturated fat

Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, is the “Recipe Doctor” for WebMD and the author of numerous books on nutrition and health. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.

© 2010 WebMD, LLC.

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Free Jamie Oliver Alaskan Seafood Recipe Book Sample

Posted by 4love2love on June 10, 2011

All those who love those exotic sea food recipes from Alaska should be looking forward to this freebie offer. Even those who haven’t had the chance to savor these delicacies from Alaska should make it a point to try them. Free Jamie Oliver Alaskan Seafood Recipe Book Sample is being given away. Click the link below to order this free recipe book.

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What Cooking Means To Me

Posted by 4love2love on June 8, 2011

I have a genetic issue that causes me to be prone to high cholesterol. Right now, I am on medication to help control that, but I have worked to modify my diet to help relieve some of the cholesterol that I intake. I also have Type 2 diabetes, which means that I have to watch starches, sugars and carbs. I also have to be careful of calories because I am overweight.

So for me, cooking is an experiment in keeping myself healthy and off as many medications as possible. Right now, my diabetes is diet controlled. So every day is a challenge to see how different foods and ingredients affect my sugar levels. I also have to consider the amount of cholesterol in my ingredients, because I would like to eventually not require the cholesterol medications. I’ve had great cholesterol until recently, but within the last few months, my cholesterol has steadily gotten worse. Now it’s time to work even harder to cook healthier, better food that will work on my overall health and help me lose weight at the same time.

I’m well over 80 lbs overweight, but my goal is to get back down to 200 for now, which will mean losing another 40lbs. It’s coming off slowly but it is coming off. 2 years ago I was in a wheelchair, and could not walk without assistance. I stopped taking most of my medication since a lot of them were painkillers and within 2 months I was able to walk again with a cane. I still need it sometimes and I still have to use the mobile carts in the stores when shopping most of the time, but I am doing much better than I had been.

I grew up cooking hamburger helper and whatnot because I was the only girl and the oldest child and my father did not cook at all except the occasional eggs for breakfast. Since then, I have learned to use wine and acid in my cooking to improve flavor and have gotten to where I use little to no oil in almost everything I cook. I have learned some techniques that serve me well in the kitchen and I get a great amount of praise for the things I do cook from friends and neighbors that have sat in my house and eaten what I’ve prepared.

Eventually I would like to go to some culinary school and learn much much more than what I know now, and eventually possibly write my own recipe books. I hope to make more items from scratch and use less shortcuts and be able to cook tasty, healthy food that will be good for anyone with any type of medical condition that puts them on dietary restrictions.

All my recipes can be modified rather easily, as I don’t cook with much salt, preferring herbs for flavor. I love spicy food, but I realize not everyone does and I know that sometimes people will need to cut back on some of the heat I add to many of my dishes. I love hot peppers, just not too hot, though I’m not afraid to try anything. I see things like frog legs and alligator at the market and I am always tempted to buy them because I want to experiment. I’ll take a recipe someone else has done and turn it around to suit me once I’ve experienced what they have created because I love to find new flavors, new combinations, new techniques.

Cooking isn’t just a passion for me, it’s a way to survive. It’s a way to make sure that I’m going to live another 30 or more years without having serious problems with my health.

I hope that, knowing that, you will appreciate the recipes I provide as I provide them for what they are, which is my learning and growing as a cook.

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Fire Stew

Posted by 4love2love on June 5, 2011

This is one of my most popular recipes. People come over to eat this often or when they’re here they ask if I will make it for them. I have been asked repeatedly for my recipe, and it was difficult to write it down because I make it a little different every time. I’ll change the meat, or some of the vegetables or some of the seasonings depending on my mood. So, here I will put down the basic recipe and you can play with it as you like to suit your individual tastes.

Just so  you know, this stew is meant to be very spicy, so if you don’t like spicy foods, you will need to make a lot of modifications to the recipe.

Ingredients :

  • 1-1 1/2 lbs of meat. This could be chorizo, hamburger, ground turkey, shredded chicken, venison or whatever type of meat you prefer. I would not recommend pork for this stew.
  • 2 15 oz cans of tomato sauce
  • 1 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (I prefer the petites in garlic and olive oil)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of sweet red wine (I generally use a cheap Merlot)
  • 5-6 whole carrots (sliced)
  • 4-5 stalks of celery (sliced)
  • 1 can or the equivalent of green beans
  • 2 cans of whole potatoes (you can actually use raw potatoes that are better for you, but I hate to peel and wait the extra time to cook for the potatoes to be ready. If you do use raw potatoes, use the small ones, like the golden or the baby reds)
  • 1/2 cup sliced Jalapeños
  • Hot sauce
  • 2 tsp chopped Cilantro (fresh or dried)
  • 1 tsp chopped Basil (fresh or dried)
  • 2 tsp chopped Parsley (fresh or dried)
  • 2-3 cloves of crushed or minced garlic
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 2 tbsp season salt
  • 2 tbsp Morton’s Nature’s Seasoning (there is a reduced salt version I prefer)
  • 2 tsp fresh ground mixed peppercorn (it comes in a grinder and is very delicious for any pepper use)
  • 2 generous splashes of lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cup brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cup water

 

In a large dutch oven, set on medium-high heat, add tomato sauce, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, meat, seasonings, lemon juice, wine, olive oil, jalapeños, 4 splashes of hot sauce and cook until meat is partially done, stirring occasionally. Add water and rice along with all raw veggies. Turn up heat and stir regularly until liquid begins to boil. Allow liquid to boil for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.

 

Lower heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for about 30-45 minutes. Stir often enough to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking until rice is done and veggies are cooked until they are cooked but still firm.

 

I often serve in a bowl with shredded mild cheddar cheese on top, then stir the cheese into the stew before eating. It’s absolutely delicious.

 

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Breakfast Burritos

Posted by 4love2love on May 31, 2011

This is a recipe that I have been using a long time. I make a few modifications from time to time, but this is the base recipe. Feel free to make some modifications to suit your taste as needed.

  • 2 Packages of Lil’ Guy Tortillas (Burrito Size) – These stay good in the refrigerator for a fairly long time and do not stick after being refrigerated.
  • 1 to 1 1/2 dozen eggs (I use brown eggs)
  • 1 lb. Chorizo (Mexican sausage) – You can substitute other sausage as you like, I prefer chorize for the spiciness it adds.
  • 1/4 cup chopped Jalapeños or other type of pepper.
  • 1/4 cup diced Onion (I use red onions, though even frozen onions will work)
  • 1 can of diced Tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced Potatoes
  • Olive Oil
  • Milk
  • Dry red wine
  • Lemon Juice
  • Sea Salt (or regular)
  • Ground Pepper (I like Peppercorn Medley in the grinder)
  • Herbs for flavor (I like Parsley, Basil, and Cilantro)
  • 1 full 10 oz. or larger bag of shredded cheese (I prefer mild cheddar or a Mexican/taco blend)
In one skillet, cook chorizo with a small amount of dry red wine and a couple splashes of lemon juice. Cook on medium heat until the sausage is fully cooked. Drain excess fluid out of the pan.
While the meat is cooking, in a second pan, use a small amount of olive oil to fry the diced potatoes. Once they are golden brown, add Jalapenos, Onion and saute on medium-low heat. Once meat is cooked and drained, add potato mix to the meat, keep on medium heat and add diced tomatoes.
In a bowl, crack all eggs, whisk together with a small amount of milk and add them with the diced tomatoes in the meat/vegetable mix. Keep heat on medium and add reasonable amount of seasonings. Mix thoroughly together and let cook, stirring occasionally until egg mix is completely cooked. Turn off heat and put a layer of cheese on top of mix and let sit for 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.
You can warm the tortillas in the microwave for about 20-30 seconds or on a flat skillet. If you use the skillet method, a few seconds on each side is sufficient. Put enough of the filling into the tortilla shell to cover the center of the tortilla, covering about 1/3 of the tortilla. Sprinkle cheese on top. Roll one side over mixture, fold the bottom part upward, then roll tortilla over until no mixture is showing except through the top opening.
Feel free to add salsa, hot sauce, or any other condiments you like.
Enjoy!

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