Monday, October 20, 2008

Southwest White Bean Spread

1 Garlic Clove
1- 15.5oz Can Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1/3 Cup Loosely Packed Fresh Cilantro Leaves
3 Tbsp Fresh Lime Juice
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
Salt to Taste
Sides (Pita Chips, Cucumber Slices, etc)

Pulse garlic, next 5 ingredients, and 2 tbsp water in food processor 3 or 4 times until combined; process 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides. Add salt to taste. Cover and chill at least 2 hours or up to 3 days. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Drizzle with additional olive oil, if desired. Serve with pita chips, cucumbers, olives, etc.

Photo by: William Dickey

Blueberry Bread

1 1/2 Cups All-Purpose Flour
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Baking Powder
1/8 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 Cup Fresh or Frozen Blueberries
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Milk
1/3 Cup Butter, melted
2 Large Eggs
1 Tsp Lemon Zest
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together flour and next 3 ingredients in a medium bowl; stir in blueberries. Whisk together sugar and next 5 ingredients in a medium bowl until thoroughly blended. Add to flour mixture, stirring just until blended. Pour batter into lightly greased 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour or until a long wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire rack, and cool completely (about 1 hour).

Quick Turkey Chili

1 Medium Onion, Chopped
1 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
2 Garlic Cloves, chopped
1 lb. Ground Turkey
2 Tbsp Chili Powder
2 Tsp Ground Cumin
3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
1- 28oz Can Diced Tomatoes
1- 16oz Can Red Kidney Beans, rinsed and drained
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1 Cup Beer (Chicken Broth can be as substitute)
1 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Pepper
1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped

Saute chopped onion in hot oil in a large dutch oven over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender; add garlic, and saute 1 minute. Add turkey, chili powder and cumin. Cook, stirring often, 8 minutes or until meat is no longer pink. Stir in tomato paste and cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and next 5 ingredients. Bring mixture to a boil; cover and reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Stir in cilantro.
Photo by: Beth Hontzas

French Onion Soup

2 Large Sweet Onions, thinly sliced
1 Cup Dry Red Wine
1- 14.5oz Cans Beef Broth
2 Cups Seasoned Croutons
4 Slices Swiss Cheese, sliced thick

In a deep skillet, heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent and softened, about 15 minutes. Add wine and bring to a boil. Pour in the beef broth, lower the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes; season with pepper. Preheat the broiler. Divide the soup among 4 ovenproof bowls, then top each one with one-quarter of the coutons and a slice of cheese. Set the bowls on a rimmed baking sheet and broil until the cheese is bubbly and golden, about 1 minute.

Tuna and Tomato Pasta

2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Garlic Cloves Chopped
1 cup Flat Leaf Parsley
1- 28oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
4 Tbsp Butter (substitute with Smart Balance)
1-6oz Can Chunk Light Tuna in Water, Drained
1-1lb Box Barilla Plus Pasta Shells (or like noodle)

In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add 2 Tbsp parsley and cook for 1 minute. Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cover over low heat until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Whisk in the butter, then stir in tuna. Meanwhile, in large pot of boiling water, cook pasta until al dente; drain. Add pasta to the tuna sauce and tir in 3/4 of the remaining parsley; season with salt and pepper. Top with remaining parsley.

Pretzel Crusted Chicken Fingers

6 Chicken Breasts (each breasts cut into 3 to 4 pieces)
2 Large Eggs
1 Tsp Dijon Mustard
3 Cups Pretzels (coarsely ground)
2 Tsp Paprika
1/2 Tsp Onion Powder
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
Dipping Sauce:
1/2 Cup Dijon Mustard
1/4 Cup Honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray large baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. In large shallow bowl combine eggs with 1 tsp dijon mustard. Whisk to blend. Combine crushed pretzels, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder on a plate. Stir to blend. Dip breasts in pretzel mixture, egg mixture, then back in pretzel mixture. Place breast pieces on baking sheet in a single layer. Bake until breasts are lightly browned and internal tempperature reaches 170 degrees or about 20-30 minutes. Flip breasts after 15 minutes of cooking time. Remove from oven. Serve immediately with mustard sauce.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Cholesterol Awareness Quiz

1. It is important to know my cholesterol numbers because:
a) they help predict my chances of having a heart attack;
b) I may be asked to remember them on a game show;
c) heart disease is the No. 1 killer of men and women in the United States.

2. Which of these are major risk factors for heart disease?
a) smoking;
b) diabetes;
c) high blood pressure;
d) Listening to the presidential debates.

3. HDL and LDL are:
a) secret government codes;
b) cholesterol particles in our blood that help predict the health of our heart and arteries;
c) substances known as "lipoproteins."

4. HDL cholesterol is:
a) "healthful";
b) best if "high";
c) a blessing to heart health.

5. HDL cholesterol is improved with:
a) star-gazing;
b) sleep;
c) exercise.

6. LDL cholesterol is:
a) "lousy";
b) best if "low,"
c) apt to become oxidized and clog arteries.

7. A diet that can decrease LDL cholesterol is:
a) high in soluble fiber;
b) low in saturated fat;
c) not likely to be found in a trick-or-treat bag.

8. Which of these foods are good sources of soluble fiber?
a) dried peas and beans;
b) oats;
c) Hot Cheetos.

9. Researchers recommend "TLC" to reduce our risk for heart disease. TLC stands for:
a) Tender Loving Care;
b) Treat Lipoproteins Carefully;
c) Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes.

10. Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes to lower LDL cholesterol include:
a) running a marathon;
b) eating a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol;
c) weight loss;
d) 30 minutes of physical exercise most days.

11. Foods low in saturated fat include:
a) fruit ;
b) nuts;
c) double bacon cheeseburgers.

12. Examples of how to eat less saturated fat include:
a) snack on nuts instead of cheese;
b) use olive oil instead of butter;
c) skip the hot dog.

13. Stanols and sterols are:
a) interesting names for twins;
b) substances naturally present in plants that can lower blood cholesterol;
c) added to some foods such as margarine and orange juice.

14. Thirty minutes of regular physical exercise on most days can:
a) lower bad LDL cholesterol;
b) raise good HDL cholesterol;
c) make your heart muscle work more efficiently.

15. True or False: My day-to-day eating and exercise habits can help or hurt my heart.

ANSWERS: (1) a,c (2) a,b,c (3) b,c (4) all correct (5) c (6) all correct (7) all correct (8) a,b (9) c (10) b,c,d (11) a,b (12) all correct (13) b,c (14) all correct (15) true

Author: Barbara Quinn is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. Originally printed in the Monterey County Herald.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sweet Potato Bake

3 lbs. Sweet Potatoes (peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks)
1/3 cup Packed Light Brown Sugar
2 Large Eggs, Lightly Beaten
1/2 tsp. Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
1/4 cup Evaporated Milk
4 tbsp Unsalted Butter (cut into pieces)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch baking dish. Place potatoes and 1 tsp salt in a large pot and cover with water; bring to a boil. Cook unitl potatoes are tender, 15 minutes. Drain. Place potatoes in a large bowl and whip with an electric mixer until smooth and light. Add sugar, eggs, cinnamon, nutmeg, 1/2 tsp butter; beat until smooth. Pour sweet potato mixture into prepared dish and bake until golden and slightly puffed, 35-40 minutes, then serve warm.

Chicken Cashew Stir-Fry

3/4 cup Low Sodium Chicken Broth
2 tbsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
1 tbsp Sugar
1 1/2 tp Cornstarch
1 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (cut into 1-inch pieces)
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper
2 tbsp Vegetable Oil
1 1/2 tsp Grated Ginger
3 Cloves Minced Garlic
4 Scallions Sliced (green and whites divided)
1 Small Red Pepper (seeded and cut into strips)
6oz. Snow Peas (trimmed)
1/2 cup Chopped, Roasted and Salted Cashews

Whisk together broth, soy sauce, sugar and cornstarch. Place chicken in separate bowl. Pour half of marinade over chicken and add crushed red pepper; stir. Set aside remaining marinade. Cover and chill chicken for 15 minutes. Warm large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tbsp of oil. Remove chicken from marinade (discard marinade), add chicken to skillet and stir fry until cooked through, 3-4 minutes. Add half of ginger, garlic and white parts of scallions and cook 1 minute. Transfer to a plate. Add remaining oil to skillet. Stir fry peppers, peas, and remaining ginger, garlic and white parts of scallions until cooked through, 2 minutes. Return chicken to skillet; add reserved marinade and salt. Asute 1 to 2 minutes, until sauce thickens. Top with cashews and scallion greens.