November 2011

November 2011 posts

Greek Chicken with Herbed Yogurt Sauce

Heart healthy and full flavored…it’s Greek to you! Marinated for moistness, chicken breasts say “opaa” when sauced with tangy low-fat yogurt spiked with fresh herbs and the Vitamin C and Limonene of lemon juice and lemon peel. Serves 4.


  • 1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon peel
  • 1½ tablespoon lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons oregano and parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 pound chicken breasts, boneless, skinless


  1. Combine the yogurt, lemon peel and juice, oregano, parsley, garlic, salt and pepper.
  2. Put the chicken into a dish and spread about ¼ cup of the yogurt sauce over the chicken. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight. Cover and refrigerate the remaining yogurt sauce.
  3. Place the chicken on a rack in a baking pan and bake in a preheated 375 °F oven for 30 minutes.
  4. Turn the oven on to broil and continue cooking about 5 minutes, until the chicken is browned and cooked through. (Adjust the rack higher if necessary)
  5. Spoon the remaining yogurt sauce over the chicken and serve with veggie confetti salad.

Per serving: 229 calories, 38 gm protein, 7 gm carbohydrate, 4 gm fat, 1 gm sat, 1 gm mono, 96 mg cholesterol,1 gm fiber, 273 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK This chicken can accompany a variety of salads, including tabouli.

Sweet and Spicy Grilled Fruit

Get your creative juices flowing with grilled fruit! In just minutes you can achieve sweet caramelization that’s a no-brainer for dessert, but don’t miss bringing them to the table as an appetizer or side dish, or saving them for breakfast the next day. It’s easy to mix and match flavors and fruits to add color and jazz to any meal.

Grilled Peach and Sweet Onion Salsa


  • 1 small sweet onion, peeled, diced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Non-stick pan spray
  • 3 peaches, peeled, halved, pit removed
  • 1 jalapeno chili, diced
  • ¼ cup mint, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon sugar


  1. Preheat grill. Toss onion with lime juice and salt and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Spray cut halves of peaches lightly and lay cut side down on hot grill. Grill on each side for about 3 minutes. Remove and cool; dice into ½ inch pieces.
  3. Combine peaches, chili, mint and sugar into onion mixture. Serve with grilled meat or fish.

Per serving: 51 calories, 1g protein, 13g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, --g fat, --g saturated fat, --g mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 197mg sodium

Grilled Strawberries


  • Wooden skewers
  • 1 pint whole strawberries
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar


  1. Preheat grill and soak 4 wooden skewers 60 minutes in water.
  2. Dust strawberries with powdered sugar and thread onto skewers.
  3. Grill berries over medium-hot fire for about 3 minutes per side or until they are slightly browned and warmed through.

Per serving: 35 calories, 1g protein, 8g carbohydrate, 2g fiber, --g fat, --g saturated fat, --g mono fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK You can serve fruit straight off the skewer for appetizers or desert; slice fruit and combine with mint to accompany grilled salmon or chicken; or serve over ice cream or under a dollop of low-fat sour cream or yogurt for a light finish or easy breakfast the next day.

Dinner before dark

Daylight Savings Time ended November 6th. Yay, you gained a whole extra hour (on a weekend!) Bummer, you have been robbed an entire hour of daylight now through December 22nd.

If you’ve already stashed your superhero cape in the attic from Halloween and have accepted that it seems impossible to serve up a healthy dinner during the week, then let me offer a few tips to see if we can make dinner before dark a reality. (Ok, lets be realistic and forgo the catchy title, and agree to sit down to dinner before (please not during) Dancing With the Stars.)

Let’s start here.

Pick the most appropriate description of your culinary expertise:

a. I think I can locate the start button on the microwave and preheat an oven.

b. “Boil, bake, sauté” – No problem!

c. I could appropriately use the following in a conversation with Padma Lakshmi: chiffonade, julienne, mirepoix, bouillon. I’m ready for something seasonal, refreshing and exciting, yet simple enough that I don’t have to bulldoze my entire evening’s schedule to prepare.

Some solutions for every expertise:

Spanish Baked Omelet

Spanish tapas, or small plates, are all the rage, and you’ll almost always find an omelet on the menu at a tapas bar. Ours is heart-healthy with a variety of vegetables including low calorie eggplant, anti-oxidant rich zucchini and fresh mushrooms. Serve tapas-style in small squares, or in wedges with a fruit salad for a complete meal.


  • 1 small peeled eggplant, cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small zucchini, thinly sliced
  • 6 mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 1 teaspoon each black pepper, paprika
  • 8 eggs or 4 eggs and 8 egg whites
  • 4 slices from large tomato


  1. Preheat oven to 325°.
  2. Put diced eggplant in colander; lightly sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt. After 30 minutes, rinse well with cold water and drain. Pat dry.
  3. Heat oil in large skill over medium heat. Add eggplant, zucchini, mushrooms and garlic. Cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Stir in parsley, raisins, black pepper and paprika.
  4. Lightly coat a quiche pan or 9” baking dish with nonstick spray.
  5. Beat eggs in large bowl. Then add vegetables and stir together. Pour mixture into baking dish. Place the tomato slices on top. Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until inserted fork comes out clean. Cool before cutting.

Per serving: With 8 eggs: 160 calories, 11 gm protein, 10 gm carbohydrate, 9 gm fat, 2 gm sat fat, 4 gm mono, 282 mg cholesterol, 4 gm fiber, 489 mg sodium With 4 eggs and 8 egg whites: 134 calories, 11 gm protein, 10 gm carbohydrate, 6 gm fat, 1 gm sat fat, 3 gm mono, 141 mg cholesterol, 4 gm fiber, 515 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK A second zucchini or summer squash can be substituted for the eggplant. To lower cholesterol content, use 4 eggs and 8 egg whites instead of 8 eggs.

Grapefruit and Avocado Salad

The silky richness of heart-healthy avocados, rich in folic acid and monounsaturated fats, meets the sparkling tang of pretty pink grapefruit, a good source of lycopene and potassium. Oranges are another sweet, juicy option. Skip the chips and get your avocados in a refreshing new way! Serves 4.


  • ½ medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 ripe grapefruits, peeled, sectioned and skins removed
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced into 12-16 long thin slices
  • 1 head romaine or bibb lettuce, or 1 pound mixed salad greens


  1. Arrange lettuce on 4 salad plates.
  2. Top with 4 avocado slices, and 6 grapefruit sections.
  3. Sprinkle chopped onion over fruit.

Per serving: 136 calories, 3 gm protein, 17 gm carbohydrate, 8 gm fat, 1 gm sat, 5 gm mono, 0 mg cholesterol 5 gm fiber, 11 mg sodium

THE SEASONED COOK Avocados are a great source of folic acid, potassium and monounsaturated fats. And, if you’re on a statin, remember to substitute the grapefruit because of potential side effects.

Final Issue - Swedish and SEIU Reach Agreement

After productive and collaborative work with mediator Larry Fox, Swedish and SEIU reached agreement on a four (4) year labor contract. The agreement includes modest wage increases, a healthcare plan redesign, and employee health premium adjustments.

The agreement was overwhelmingly ratified by the union’s membership last night. “This has been a true team effort,” explained Swedish CEO Dr. Rod Hochman. “Both sides made compromises to come an agreement that we could all adopt. That spirit of cooperation is critical now more than ever and we are pleased to see all the hard work in mediation pay off.”

The Health Plan part of the agreement is important as Swedish has experienced 9 – 12 percent increases per year in healthcare costs. Future increase in our healthcare costs will automatically be shared between Swedish and employees through plan design changes. The new contract also allows us to manage costs with premium share for dependents on par with local competitors. In addition, there is now an employee-only premium share, which can be reduced if employees participate in a new wellness program. The new health plan will become effective on April 1, 2012 and will be introduced in the first quarter of next year. More information on the new health plan, which will include another Open Enrollment, will be provided beginning in early 2012.

Wages and Premiums includes a lump sum payment for the first year, with modest wage increases over the remainder of the contract but no changes to any premiums over the next 4 years. This will significantly help Swedish manage costs in the future and will realign us to be more competitive with the local labor market, while still providing employees a map for pay increases in an uncertain economic climate.

Pension was agreed upon as part of the entire package of benefits. Swedish and SEIU developed a compromise that allows for SEIU members who wish to remain in the defined-benefit plan that ability with a “pay to stay” component. While we recognize there are other employees not covered by the SEIU contract who were not given this option, this was the best choice because the financial concerns regarding the pension are addressed while balancing the restrictions about the defined benefit plan that were negotiated as part of the 2005 SEIU contract. Additional information regarding the defined benefit pension plan will be communicated to remaining active participants beginning in early 2012.

Other significant non-economic tentative agreements reached include:

  • Improved flexibility for moving employees where and when they are needed most
  • Consolidation of many existing labor management committees into one committee for all bargaining units
  • Improvements and standardization of contract language addressing: job posting, employment practices, restructures, preceptor, grievance procedure, acquisitions and floating in all three agreements
  • Ability for employees to transition employment between Swedish Edmonds and Swedish Medical Center and preserve their hire dates and seniority

More detailed information on the contract will be made available in training sessions that will inform managers of the changes to the contract.

Swedish Edmonds also ratified their RN and Pro/Tech agreements yesterday.

Rustic Fruit Tart

This layered tart (serves 12) is like a bread pudding, making it perfect for dessert or for brunch. It’s full of fruit so serve it up without the guilt. Apples have pectin, a soluble fiber that helps to prevent cholesterol buildup.


  • Non-stick pan spray
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs or panko bread crumbs
  • 4 large egg whites (½ cup egg substitute)
  • ¼ cup low-fat half-and-half
  • ⅔ cup granulated sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup dried cranberries
  • 6 cups (about 5 large) mixed apples and pears, peeled and sliced into thin slivers


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Spray a 9-inch round springform pan and lightly dust with bread crumbs or panko.
  2. Beat the egg whites and half-and-half in a large mixing bowl. Beat in sugar, salt, spices, and lemon juice. Add the flour to the milk mixture and mix to form a thick cake batter.
  3. Add the fruit to the batter and mix gently just until the slices are evenly coated. Pour into prepared pan.
  4. Bake at 375°F for about 50 minutes, or until the top is well-browned. Cool in the pan for at least 15 minutes before unmolding. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Per serving: 168 calories, 3g protein, 39g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 1g fat, 0g saturated fat, 0g mono fat, 0mg cholesterol, 40mg sodium

The Seasoned Cook Be sure to taste the fruit in advance to gauge the need for sugar. Substitute soft fruits such as plums or nectarines as well as various Asian pears and apples .

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