December 2011

December 2011 posts

Heavenly Pancakes with Cherry Compote

We decided to update the traditional pancake breakfast to heart-healthy status. By substituting farina you instantly get a richer tasting pancake. And, the fruit and nuts add a special surprise. Serves 6 (2 each).


  • ½ cup uncooked instant farina (such as Cream of Wheat or whole wheat farina)
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¾ cup nonfat milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 ripe medium banana, mashed
  • ¼ cup toasted chopped walnuts
  • Cherry Pomegranate Compote


  1. Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. In a separate bowl combine milk, egg, banana and oil. Stir into dry ingredients just until blended and batter is lumpy. Let stand 10 minute and then stir in walnuts.
  2. Heat lightly greased griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. Pour batter by scant ¼ cupfuls onto pan. Turn when first bubbles break; cook until second side is golden brown. Serve with warm Cherry Pomegranate Compote.

Cherry Compote


  • 1 (16 oz.) pkg. frozen pitted sweet cherries
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Dash of salt
  • ½ cup pomegranate cherry Juice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. In a medium saucepan, combine cornstarch, sugar, and salt. Blend in cold juice and mix well. Add cherries and heat over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and serve over pancakes.

Per serving: 285 calories, 7g protein, 52g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 7g fat, 1g saturated fat, 1g mono fat, 32 mg cholesterol, 299mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Use any seasonal fresh fruit in season or frozen from the freezer to add color, antioxidants and fiber. For high fiber and nutty texture, use Bob’s Red Mill Whole Wheat Farina, delicious!

Chicken Scaloppini in Lemon Caper Sauce

We used to be intimidated by scaloppini until we gained the confidence to substitute chicken for the veal. Now, in less than 20 minutes, a meal fit for company! 


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 4 4-ounce skinless, boneless chicken breasts, pounded thin
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons capers, drained
  • ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ cup chopped parsley


  1. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the wine and broth and bring to a boil.
  2. Add the chicken, turn heat to medium/low. Cover and simmer until cooked about 6-8 minutes.
  3. Remove chicken to plate. Keep covered.
  4. Turn heat to high and cook the sauce until reduced about 5-10 minutes. Add lemon juice, capers, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper.
  5. Add chicken and parsley to sauce and heat through.

Per serving (1/4): 180 calories, 27 gm protein, 2 gm carbohydrate, 4.5 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 2 gm mono fat, 72 mg cholesterol, .5gm fiber, 409 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK: Cook with a rainbow of fruits and vegetables because they contain phytochemicals that aid in disease prevention. The beta-carotene found in carrots and the allicin in garlic are examples of phytochemicals.

Safe Passage

Traveling with children can be loads of fun but it also poses challenges that can test even the calmest of parents.

The safest way for your child to travel is in their car seat, even if they’re on a plane.

If there is a sudden change in trajectory, that 5-point harness will be able to hold onto the child better. We have a much better probability of surviving a crash (and less injury) if we stay where we’re seated. If we’re flinging around the inside of a car or plane, our chances of injury or death are increased.

Children are at a disadvantage because they’re lighter weight and have much more flexible cartilige than they do rigid bone because of all the growing that they have to do. That means that the 5-point harness that the car seats use hold in that little flexible body way better than just a 3-point seatbelt would. (A 3-point seatbelt is a standard lap-shoulder seatbelt), or a 2-point (lap belt) on a plane.

Let’s go back to the How do You Catch a Raw Egg demonstration.

Hearty Spinach and Bean Soup

Make Popeye proud! This satisfying soup is ready faster than you can say “I am what I am!” Fresh spinach, low in calories and high in phytonutrients, protein-packed beans and dashes of cinnamon and cumin make this soup super delish! Add depth with fire-roasted tomatoes or smoked paprika. Serves 4.


  • 1 15-ounce can low-sodium kidney or navy beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 24-ounce can low-sodium tomatoes, chopped, undrained
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • pepper to taste


  1. In a large soup pot stir in beans, tomatoes, onions, cinnamon, and cumin.
  2. Heat soup to boiling; reduce heat and simmer 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Stir spinach into soup. Season to taste with pepper.

Per serving: 147 calories, 9 gm protein, 29 gm carbohydrate, 1 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 0 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 10 gm fiber, 583 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK It’s easy to use spinach these days because it comes pre-bagged. Just rinse and cut off the stems. Spinach packs a wallop of beta-carotene and is rich in other vitamins and minerals.

State budget crisis may hurt community clinics that serve the poor and uninsured

Swedish was proud to host several community clinics and their patients this week at a vigil on our First Hill campus. The goal was to urge lawmakers, who are currently in Olympia and facing difficult decisions about the state’s budget crisis, to protect funding for community health clinics dedicated to serving uninsured and low-income individuals.

Individuals gather in support of community health clinics

More than 200 individuals gathered at the vigil.

Local clinics – such as Country Doctor, Health Point, International Community Health Services, Sea Mar, Seattle Indian Health Board and Neighbor Care – play a vital role in the health care safety net of our community.

And they are some of Swedish’s most important partners. Together, we work to provide access to health care for those in need regardless of income or insurance status.

In this economy, however, that has not been easy. We have seen a surge in uninsured and low-income patient populations. Swedish provided $112 million in charity care, Medicaid subsidies and other community benefits in 2010, double the amount from the previous year.

Dr. Julian Perez speaks at the vigil.

Meeting the needs of underserved populations is something no single organization can do alone. It requires partnership and collaboration. 

Our work with the community health clinics is an excellent example of that. The community clinics play an important role by providing front-line primary care in local community. Swedish supports their work by making our hospitals, diagnostic services, specialists and ERs accessible to their patients and providers.

While we understand the budget realities facing our state, we encourage you to learn more about this critical issue and we urge our lawmakers to seek creative solutions to these difficult problems.

Baked Sweet Potato Wedges

There’s no simpler recipe that offers such hearty praise, so plan to serve this often to small and large groups. Cutting the potatoes into thick slices will keep the ends from burning. For variety, sprinkle parmesan cheese over the potatoes 5 minutes before they are done.


  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled (approximately 1 pound)
  • canola oil spray


  1. Preheat oven to 400º.
  2. Cut potato in half lengthwise and each half into 4 wedges.
  3. Place wedges onto baking sheet and spray with oil all over.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until done. Serve immediately.

Per serving (1 wedge, or 1/4): 48 calories, 1 gm protein, 10 gm carbohydrate, 1 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 0gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 2 gm fiber, 16gm sodium

Healthy Hot Cereal

Of course oatmeal can stand alone on its heart-healthy merits. But in this easy new recipe—and with a couple of nutritionally charged ingredients—our old favorite gets an impressive makeover. Serves 4.


  • 3 cups water
  • 1½ cups rolled oats
  • ¼ cup wheat germ
  • 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
  • ½ cup raisins
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. In a heavy saucepan, bring the water to boil
  2. Stir in oats, wheat germ, and flax.
  3. Reduce heat to medium and cook uncovered 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Remove from heat, stir in raisins, and cinnamon. Cover and let stand 5 minutes.

Per serving: 235 calories, 8 gm protein, 43 gm carbohydrate, 5 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 1 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 7 gm fiber, 10 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Double the hot cereal recipe on the weekend and microwave portions weekdays. Flax seed is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids and helps boost the HDL cholesterol level. Put a freshly ground tablespoon on any morning breakfast. 

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