January 2012
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January 2012 posts

Savory Shrimp and White Bean Stew

Here’s a “shrimply delicious” option for a heart-healthy dinner tonight! This stew features succulent shrimp, rich in omega-3 fatty acids and creamy cannellini beans, a super source of protein and soluble dietary fiber. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 14-ounce can diced low-sodium tomatoes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon each dried oregano, basil, and rosemary
  • 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound small frozen shrimp, thawed and peeled
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a soup pot. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion softens, about 3 minutes.
  2. Stir in the cannellini beans, tomatoes, oregano, basil, and rosemary.
  3. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the stew is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the shrimp and simmer just until cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add parsley and serve.

Per serving: 377 calories, 37 gm protein, 35 gm carbohydrate, 11 gm fat, 2 gm sat fat, 6 gm mono fat, 170 mg cholesterol, 8 gm fiber, 234 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK For a heartier meal, serve this stew over a scoop of cooked brown rice.

Nutrition Goldmine: Beans are an excellent source of protein, are relatively low in calories, cholesterol-free, low in fat and a good source of soluble dietary fiber.

Southwestern Chicken Chopped Salad

It doesn’t get any easier! This salad combines the convenience of nutritious canned black beans and sweet corn with fresh ingredients like cilantro, basil and crunchy jicama. Dressed in mustard yogurt vinaigrette and snappy barbecue sauce, it all adds up to a super speedy supper that’s high in Vitamins A, C, K and dietary fiber. Serves 4.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup low-fat yogurt
  • ¼ cup fat-free sour cream
  • ⅛ teaspoon dry mustard
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced, white and light green parts only
  • Pinch black pepper
  • 12 ounces cooked chicken breast, shredded into bite sized pieces
  • ¼ cup bottled BBQ sauce
  • 8 cups romaine and spinach, torn
  • 12 large fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • ½ small jicama, cut into medium dice (optional)
  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • ½ 15-ounce can corn, drained (or frozen and thawed)
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 2 large tomatoes, cut into medium dice

Directions

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Put chicken into bowl with BBQ sauce and toss to coat.
  3. In a large salad bowl, toss together remaining ingredients, except for tomatoes. Top salad with chicken and circle with tomatoes.
  4. Serve with dressing on the side.

Salad with dressing: 416 calories, 37 gm protein, 52 gm carbohydrate, 5 gm fat, 2 gm sat fat, 1 gm mono fat, 78 mg cholesterol, 10 fiber, 628 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK In this recipe, the chicken serves as a condiment rather than a main ingredient, letting the vegetables be the star. For additional color, substitute red cabbage for some of the lettuce.

Rather than Resolutions, Establish Healthy Habits

I’m all for a new year to spark good intentions, but the group of 100+ gym members that magically appear in January and hijack my stair climber only to stand at the top and text have proven again that the majority of these resolutions only last through February. That’s good news for my quads, but rather than brainstorm overly ambitious feats, why not establish healthy, realistic habits that everyone can carry out through next Christmas?

Healthy Weight

Let’s resolve to the BMI instead of the cover of People magazine to determine what a healthy weight is.

BMI (body mass index) calculation uses weight and height to determine one’s relative risk of disease. This number correlates with body fatness, but it’s important to remember that it is not a direction measure as it reflects both muscle and fat. (Click here to calculate your BMI.)

BMI is an inexpensive, quick and easy to-perform method of screening for weight categories that may lead to health problems. However, it doesn’t take into account frame size, bone density, muscle mass (highly trained athletes have high BMIs due to increase muscle mass), or body fat (women have more body fat than men, also older people have more body fat than younger).

Ideal Body Weight

So the BMI is one method for determining what your risk is at your present weight. What about if you want to know what your ideal weight range is? I recommend using this method (known as the Hamwi method):

  • Men: 106lbs for first 60” (5 ft) and 6lbs per inch thereafter ±10%
    • Example: 5’ 10” = 149-183 pounds
  • Women: 100lbs for first 60” (5 ft) and 5lbs per inch thereafter ±10%
    • Example: 5’ 3” = 104-127 pounds

Like using the BMI, you have to consider the interpretive standards for this calculation also. If you consider yourself to have a small frame, then use the lower end of this range; whereas if you have a large frame then you would use the upper end of this range.

How do you achieve an ideal weight?

If we want to reach or maintain a healthy weight, consuming a healthy diet and engaging in physical activity is essential.

What is a Healthy Diet?

It took me 4+ years and an expensive degree to develop a confident answer to this question…but to save you time and money, let’s look at the straightforward responses of two of my favorite authors:

Southwest Turkey Polenta “Pie”

This is an upscale version of childhood sloppy joes, but heart-healthy. Serves 4 plus leftovers.

Polenta

Ingredients

  • 2 cups water
  • ⅔ cup polenta
  • 1 teaspoon low-fat margarine
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat grated Parmesan cheese

Directions

  1. Bring water to rolling boil.
  2. Gradually add polenta while continuously stirring.
  3. Turn heat down so polenta is barely bubbling. Continue to stir occasionally for 15 minutes.
  4. Mix in margarine and Parmesan cheese.
  5. Pour into loaf or 8-inch square pan to cool and set, while preparing turkey.

Turkey

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • ½ cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon each, minced garlic, dried oregano, ground cumin, chili powder
  • 1 cup low-sodium diced tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons, prepared chunky salsa
  • Optional garnish: ¼ cup cilantro, finely chopped

Directions

  1. Heat oil in pan over medium heat.
  2. Add turkey, breaking up meat until cooked through and lightly browned.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and simmer mixture until most of liquid is absorbed.

To Assemble

  • When polenta is firmly set, cut into pie shape wedges and place in shallow bowls. Dish turkey mixture over polenta and garnish with cilantro.

Per serving: 309 calories, 32g protein, 31g carbohydrate, 6g fat, 1g sat fat, 3g mono fat, 71g cholesterol, 3g fiber, 442 sodium

THE SEASONED COOK The polenta can be made ahead and served at room temperature.

Sautéed Swiss Chard

This savory accompaniment to any meat or dish is nutritionally rich while providing appealing color contrast. Think white to pair: beneath grilled fish or a poached egg; or at the side of pork or chicken. Serves 4.

Try this with: Pork Dijon with Chutney and Whipped Winter Squash

Ingredients

  • Canola oil spray
  • 2 pounds whole Swiss chard, washed
  • 1 shallot or ½ small onion diced
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg

Directions

  1. Remove chard stems and chop. Stack leaves and cut across in 1" strips.
  2. Spray pan with oil and add shallot. Sauté for 2-3 minutes until softened.
  3. Add the stems and 2 tablespoons water, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add leaves, remaining water, and nutmeg. Continue to cook for 1-3 minutes. Turn often using tongs until tender.

Per serving: 50 calories, 4 gm protein, 10 gm carbohydrate, 0 gm fat, 0 gm sat fat, 0 gm mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 gm fiber, 484 mg sodium

Uncle Sal’s Lentils & Veggies

We’re trying to eat at least one vegetarian dinner per week without losing flavor. We really like the blending of these flavors. You’ll never even miss the meat! Serves 4.

Try this with: Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 2 cups broth, vegetable, low-sodium
  • 1 cup water
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon each black pepper and oregano
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 summer squash, thinly sliced
  • ½ medium red onion, thinly sliced or diced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 ounces crumbled goat or blue cheese

Directions

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring broth and water to boil. Add lentils, garlic, black pepper and oregano. Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid.
  2. Meanwhile, in a vegetable steamer, steam broccoli, summer squash onion, and carrots until tender.
  3. In large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, oil and mustard. Add all ingredients, except cheese, and toss until well coated.
  4. Sprinkle cheese on top.

Per serving: 358 calories, 22 gm protein, 43 gm carbohydrate, 13 gm fat, 4 gm sat, 6 gm mono, 11 mg cholesterol,18 gm fiber, 212 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Try this recipe using red lentils, which are a wonderful color, or French lentils, which are smaller, cook even faster, and hold their shape better.

Nutrition Goldmine: Lentils are an excellent source of folic acid and fiber, and broccoli and squash provide lutein.

Tangy Baked Cod

How many recipes are enhanced by mustard? Too many to count. And this meal with baked cod is no exception. Our Spinach Barley and Broiled Tomatoes are excellent accompaniments. Serves 4.

Try this with: Spinach Barley and Broiled Tomatoes Parmesan

Ingredients

  • canola oil spray
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon or yellow mustard
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 pound cod fillet
  • 1 tablespoon each tarragon and chives
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray an ovenproof dish with oil spray.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the olive oil, mustard, vinegar, and water. Stir to blend.
  3. Place fillets in dish, cover with mustard mixture.
  4. Place pan on top shelf of oven and bake for 10-12 minutes until done.
  5. Divide into 4 portions. Serve by spooning the liquid from the pan over each portion. Top with parsley, tarragon, and chives.

Per serving: 128 calories, 20 gm protein, 2 gm carbohydrate, 4.5 gm fat, .5 gm sat fat, 3 gm mono fat, 46 mg cholesterol, .5 gm fiber, 141 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK You may substitute another white fish such as tilapia in this recipe.

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