Friday, February 24, 2012

Supplement 411: a Great Resource for Information on Dietary Supplementation

Take some time, perhaps as much time as you would spend shopping aimlessly for your dietary supplements, and navigate to a website called Supplement 411 . USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) has created this website to help guide athletes in their never ending search for the magic supplement...the pill or powder that will elevate their game to the next level. The site is designed to do the following:
  • Designed to give facts about the supplement industry,
  • Suggests what is the best thing to take,
  • Explains why athletes often choose to take dietary supplements,
  • Discusses the serious health and safety risks that athletes are exposed to when using dietary supplements,
  • Warns the consumer about the possibility of ingredient mislabeling and/or product contamination of banned substantces, and
  • Helps to identify risks and red flags when purchasing these supplements.

Click on the Supplement 411 link above or simply cut and paste this link into your browser and start educating yourself of the hidden dangers of dietary supplement use and abuse.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tilapia with Tomatoes and Olives

3 Tbsp Olive Oil
2 Cloves Garlic (finely chopped)
1 28-oz. can Diced Tomatoes
1/4 Tsp Dried Thyme
1/3 cup Pitted Black Olives (chopped)
4 6-oz. Tilapia Fillets
2 Tbsp Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley
Warm 1 Tbsp. oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in tomatoes, thyme and 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to medium-low and cook until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Stir in olives. Sprinkle tilapia with salt and place on top of tomato sauce. Cover and cook until fish is opaque throughout, 8 to 10 minutes. Drizzle with remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil, sprinkle with parsley, and serve.

Spicy Chicken Quesadillas

1 cup Chopped Skinless, Boneless Rotisserie Chicken Breast
1/3 cup Refrigerated Fresh Salsa
1/4 cup Canned No-Salt-Added Black Beans (rinsed and drained)
1/4 cup Frozen Whole-Kernel Corn (thawed)
1 1/2 Tbsp Chopped Pickled Jalapeño Pepper
8 (6-inch) Flour Tortillas
1 cup Shredded Reduced-Fat Monterey Jack Cheese
Cooking spray
1/4 cup Reduced-Fat Sour Cream
Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl. Divide chicken mixture evenly over 4 tortillas. Sprinkle quesadillas evenly with cheese. Top with remaining 4 tortillas. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 quesadilla to pan; cook 1 minute on each side or until golden. Remove from pan, and repeat with remaining quesadillas. Serve with sour cream.

Pan-Seared Halibut with Bell Pepper Relish

1 1/2 Tbsp Olive Oil (divided)
4 (6-ounce) Halibut Fillets
1/4 Tsp Salt
1/4 Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Chopped Shallots
1 Tsp Minced Fresh Garlic
1 cup Chopped Yellow Bell Pepper
1/2 cup Chopped Plum Tomato
1 Tbsp Sherry Vinegar
1/2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
1 Tbsp Chopped Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 1/4 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Sprinkle halibut evenly with salt and black pepper. Add fish to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Carefully remove fish from pan, and keep warm. Add remaining 2 1/4 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add shallots and garlic to pan; sauté 1 minute. Add bell pepper and next 3 ingredients (through paprika); sauté 3 minutes or until bell pepper is tender. Stir in parsley. Serve relish with fish.

Warm Coconut Rice Pudding

1 cup Water
1 cup Uncooked Instant Rice
1/2 cup Sugar
3 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/4 Tsp Salt
1 1/2 cups 2% Reduced-Fat Milk (divided)
2 Large Egg Yolks
1 cup Light Coconut Milk
1/4 cup Flaked Sweetened Coconut
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
1/4 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/4 Tsp Ground Cardamom
1 Tbsp Chopped Pistachios
Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Stir in rice; cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 5 minutes. Remove from heat; uncover. Set aside. Combine sugar, cornstarch, and salt in a small bowl. Combine 1/4 cup milk and yolks in a bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add sugar mixture to milk mixture, stirring with a whisk until blended. Bring remaining 1 1/4 cups milk and coconut milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Gradually add hot milk mixture to yolk mixture, stirring with a whisk. Return milk mixture to pan. Bring to a boil, and cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in cooked rice, coconut, and next 3 ingredients (through cardamom). Top with pistachios.

Mushroom-Brown Rice Risotto

1 1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt (divided)
1 cup Short-Grain Brown Rice
1/2 cup Dried Porcini Mushrooms (about 1/2 ounce)
3 cups Hot Water
2 Tbsp Olive Oil (divided)
1 lb. Button or Cremini Mushrooms (sliced 3 cups)
1-inch Cut Green Beans
1/2 Tsp Black Pepper (divided)
1/2 cup Chopped Shallots
1/2 cup White Wine
2 oz Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese (grated-about 1/2 cup)
1/4 cup Chopped Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley
2 Tsp Chopped Fresh Thyme
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil, and add 1 teaspoon salt. Stir in rice; reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes (rice will not be done). Drain. Set aside. Place porcini in a medium bowl; add 3 cups hot water. Let stand 15 minutes. Drain through a sieve over a bowl; reserve liquid. Chop porcini. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add sliced fresh mushrooms; sauté for 8 minutes or until moisture evaporates and mushrooms begin to brown, stirring occasionally. Stir in reserved porcini, green beans, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; cook for 2 minutes or until the green beans are crisp-­tender. Place mushroom mixture in a large bowl; keep warm. Return pan to medium-high heat; add remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Add shallots, and sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add rice; cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes or until the wine evaporates, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 cup reserved mushroom liquid to rice mixture; cook 3 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Stir in remaining mushroom liquid, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion is absorbed before adding the next (about 30 minutes total). Stir in mushroom mixture, Parmigiano-­Reggiano, and parsley; sprinkle with thyme. Serve immediately.

Ginger Raisin Biscotti

2 Eggs
3/4 cup Sugar
1/4 cup Molasses
1 tsp Vanila Extract
2 1/4 cup Flour
1/2 Tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp Baking Soda
1/4 Tsp Salt
3/4 cup Raisins
3 Tbsp Crystalized Ginger (chopped)
Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Line two 9x4-inch baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Measure flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt into a small mixing bowl and stir together well; set aside. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, sugar, molasses and vanilla together until smooth. Add to dry ingredients, a little at a time, and mix together until stiff dough. Stir in raisins and ginger. Turn onto lightly floured surface and divide in half. Shape into balls and place each piece on a prepared baking sheet. Flatten to form rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Bake 30 minutes at 350F degrees; cool slightly. Cut into 1/2-inch slices with serrated knife and arrange cut sides down on baking sheet. Reduce heat to 200F degrees and bake for 15 minutes; turn and bake for 15 minutes more. Cool completely.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Marinated Shrimp and Artichokes

1/4 cup White Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley
2 Tbsp Finely Chopped Green Onion
3 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 (0.75-oz.) Envelope Garlic-and-Herb Dressing Mix
1 lb Peeled and Deveined, Large Cooked Shrimp (21/30 count)
1 (14-oz.) can Artichoke Hearts (drained, and cut in half)
1 (6-oz.) can Large Black Olives (drained)
1 cup Halved Grape Tomatoes
1 (4-oz.) Package Feta Cheese (cut into 1/2-inch cubes)
Small Fresh Basil Leaves
Whisk together balsamic vinegar and next 4 ingredients in a bowl. Stir in shrimp and next 4 ingredients. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours. Stir in desired amount of basil just before serving. Serve with a slotted spoon. Tested with Good Seasons Garlic & Herb Salad Dressing & Recipe Mix.

Roasted Vegetables and Chickpeas

1 lb. Carrots (peeled and cut in 2-inch pieces)
1 lb. Sweet Potatoes (peeled and cut in chunks)
1 Large Red Onion (peeled, halved, and cut in 1-inch wedges)
1 lb. Red or Russet Potatoes(cut in cubes)
6 Cloves Garlic (minced)
1 -16-oz. can Chick Peas (garbanzos, rinsed and drained)
2 to 3 Tbsp. Vegetable Oil or Olive Oil
1 tsp. Dried Rosemary (crushed)
1 tsp. Packed Brown Sugar or Granulated Sugar
1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
1/2 tsp. Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Position an oven rack in center of oven. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Place all vegetables, garlic, and chickpeas in a large shallow roasting pan. In a small bowl combine the oil, rosemary, brown sugar, salt, and pepper. Drizzle over vegetables; toss well to coat. Roast, uncovered, about 45 minutes or until vegetables are lightly browned and tender, stirring twice.

Microwave Egg Scramble

2 Eggs
2 Tbsp Milk
2 Tbsp Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Salt and Pepper
Coat microwavable mug with cooking spray. Add eggs and milk; beat until blended. Microwave on high 45 seconds; stir. Microwave until eggs are almost set, 30-45 seconds longer. Top with cheese; season with salt and pepper.

Hot Crawfish Dip

1/2 cup Butter
1 Bunch Green Onions (sliced-about 1 cup)
1 Small Green Bell Pepper (diced)
1 (1-lb.) Package Frozen Cooked, Peeled Crawfish Tails (thawed and undrained)
2 Garlic Cloves (minced)
1 (4-oz.) Jar Diced Pimiento (drained)
2 Tsp Creole Seasoning
1 (8-oz.) Package Cream Cheese (softened- considered Reduced Fat)
French Bread Baguette Slices
Garnishes: Sliced Green Onion and Chopped Flat-Leaf Parsley

Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium heat; add green onions and bell pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until bell pepper is tender. Stir in crawfish and next 3 ingredients; cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Stir in cream cheese until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Serve with toasted French bread slices.

Sweet Potato-Carrot Casserole

6 Large Sweet Potatoes (about 5 lb.)
1 1/2 lbs. Carrots (sliced)
1/4 cup Butter (consider Smart Balance Light)
1 cup Sour Cream (consider light)
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 Tsp Lemon Zest
1/2 Tsp Salt
1/2 Tsp Ground Nutmeg
1/2 Tsp Freshly Ground Pepper
1 1/2 cups Miniature Marshmallows
1 cup Sugar-and-Spice Pecans
Preheat oven to 400°. Bake sweet potatoes on an aluminum foil-lined 15- x 10-inch jelly-roll pan 1 hour or until tender. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Cool potatoes 30 minutes. Meanwhile, cook carrots in boiling water to cover 20 to 25 minutes or until very tender; drain. Process carrots and butter in a food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Transfer carrot mixture to a large bowl. Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Process, in batches, in food processor until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Add sweet potatoes to carrot mixture. Stir in sour cream and next 5 ingredients, stirring until blended. Spoon mixture into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with marshmallows. Bake 10 more minutes or until marshmallows are golden brown. Remove from oven, and sprinkle with Sugar-and-Spice Pecans.

Pork Medallions with Pears

1 cup Quinoa (rinsed)
1 lb. Pork Tenderloin (cut into 1-inch-thick slices)
1 Tbsp. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tsp Fennel Seeds
4 Green Onions (sliced)
2 Cloves Garlic (chopped)
1 1/2 lbs. Ripe Anjou or Bartlett Pears (peeled, cored, and sliced)
1 Tbsp Fresh Lemon Juice
Prepare quinoa as label directs. Press pork with palm of hand to flatten. Sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. In 12-inch skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add pork; cook 5 to 6 minutes or until browned on both sides, turning over once. Transfer to plate. Reduce heat to medium. To same skillet, add fennel seeds; cook 30 seconds, stirring. Add green onions, 1/3 cup water, and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring. Add pears, lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; cook 2 minutes or until pears begin to soften, stirring occasionally. Return pork to pan, along with any juices. Cook 3 to 6 minutes or until pork is slightly pink in center (145 degrees F). Serve pork with quinoa; top with pear mixture. Garnish with additional green onion, if desired.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Will Cholesterol Kill Baseball?

A recent article in the online Wall Street Journal reported that there have been several new contracts with rather large baseball players. Strength and power are the best words to describe some of the best MLB hitters. Therefore, it is necessary for these players to have a good bit of weight on them. However, too much weight and where that weight is coming from can be a problem...

According to the WSJ article, "Ron Noy, a New York-based sports orthopedist, said weight inevitably increases stress on lower extremity joints, such as hips, knees and ankles, as well as the lower spine. The force across these joints increases up to eight times their weight during competition, so more weight means a higher likelihood of meniscus tears, hip labral tears and impingements."

It is important for these players (and all athletes) to pay attention to the types of calories they are consuming. No matter what their calorie needs are, their diet should consist of a wide variety of lean and clean foods in order to enhance training, improve overall performance, and most importantly ensure optimal health.

Yankees pitcher, CC Sabathia "pledged to return to the Cap'n Crunch-free diet that allowed him to slim down before the 2011 season. 'I just need to go out and be healthy and try to do what I can to be up there for every start for this team,' he said. 'For me, that means losing weight, so that's what I'll do.'"

Read the full Wall Street Journal article here:

WSJ Baseball Article