Thursday, April 22, 2021

Going for a New Grain in Stuffed Peppers

I'm what the Whole Grains Council calls a "Grain-iac", and just when I thought I tried them all-I learn about a new one. Fonio is an ancient grain, some found in Egyptian tombs. It cooks quickly with a consistency like couscous. Like other whole grains, it's highly nutritious. Unlike many cereal grains, fonio is rich in the amino acids methionine and cystine. This new grain was my pick for the Stuffed Pepper Formula introduced in this month's Food Network Magazine.
 

Stuffed Peppers

(Serves 6)


Protein
6 ounce ground turkey 
In a saucepan sprayed with olive oil spray, brown, drain and set aside.
 

Vegetables
1/4 cup onions, diced
3/4 cup zucchini and celery
Saute to soften 5 minutes. 


Spices
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoon taco seasoning
1/4 teaspoon salt
Ground pepper
Stir into vegetables and saute 1 minute.
 
 
Tomatoes
1 cup diced tomatoes in juice
Mix into pan with seasoned vegetables.
 
 
 
Legumes
Add cooked legumes.
1 cup red peas
 
 
 
Whole Grain
Add cooked whole grain.
1 cup fonio 

 
Protein
Add browned protein
Mix and heat throughout.
 
Fill peppers.
Cover with foil.
Bake at 385F for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with grated cheese. Return to oven for 8 minutes to brown.
 
The best part of this recipe is that any protein, vegetable, spice blend, legume or whole grain can be used. This is a great way to add variety, utilize stock on hand and create your own signature pepper!

 


   

Thursday, April 8, 2021

A Comfort Meal with Perks

 

It's a classic tomato soup-grilled cheese dinner, with a little extra. The lentils in the tomato soup add fiber, iron, protein and health promoting polyphenols and cook in less than 30 minutes. The recipe is easy to make and full of flavor. The sandwich is made with 100% whole wheat bread and filled with aged cheddar. Finishing the meal with a grapefruit half was plenty to end the days' intake and allow 12 or 14 hours time before the next day's morning meal.

 

Red Lentil Tomato Soup

(Serves 4)

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil until lightly brown.
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/4 cup onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced

Add spices and pepper.  Cook and stir 45 seconds.
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon cumin
2 mini red peppers, diced

Pour in tomatoes and broth.  Add lentils.
1 16 ounce can petite tomatoes, diced, no-added salt
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1/4 cup red lentils
Turn heat to low.  Cover and stir occasionally, until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
Remove center piece on lid of electric mixer.  Carefully add mixture to the blender.  Cover lid with a clean cloth and blend until smooth. 


 

 

Monday, March 29, 2021

Personalize the Plate with Whole Grains


Whole Grains Sampling Day-the last Wednesday of March (National Nutrition Month) is a day set aside to try a new whole grain.

Any grain, when cooked, is the starting point for stir fry and grain bowls.

Grains serve as the chewy component of soups.

When roasted, they provide the cereal block in Muesli.

Cooked whole grains offer unique tastes and textures to hot dishes and cold salads.

You've probably noticed the variety of grains ground into flours and pastas on the grocery shelves. Here's my farro pasta, made with 3/4 whole grain farro flour.


In all of those dishes, whole grains are combined with vegetables and protein to create a healthy plate.



The time is here to try a new whole grain. The West Virginia Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics sponsored a whole grains sampling day giveaway in February, with proceeds funding the scholarship and foundation program supporting food and nutrition students.

 

The winner has been busy creating new dishes

Spelt Stew


 
Teff & Amaranth Sourdough Waffles

Bulgur Pilaf

Teff Banana Porridge

What new whole grain will you try soon? Most people who try a new whole grain like it!

National Nutrition Month® is an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During the month of March, everyone is invited to learn about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.

This year's theme is "Personalize Your Plate." There is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and health. We are all unique with different bodies, goals, backgrounds and tastes! And a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist can tailor a healthful eating plan that is as special as you are.

 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Personalize the Meal Setting

It's part of the master meal plan-providing a clean and inviting scene for eating. Plate arrangement, food safety and sanitation, orderliness of surroundings all contribute to the enjoyment of a meal. Whether eating at home or in a food service establishment, the environment is as important as the menu and the service. Take a seat and enjoy the meal with me:

  • Start with a pretty plate, basket, tray or lunchbox to place the food. Add cutlery as necessary with napkin and cup.
  • Trust that the food was prepared in a clean kitchen where food was stored and prepared at proper temperatures. Was hand washing frequent?
  • Find a spot free of clutter, with a view that avoids piles of papers, boxes, dishes and garbage. 
  • Enjoy a meal without a screen or even a "to do" list in front of you.
  • Try to allow at least 20 minutes of actual eating time.

The plate or lunchbox can help in planning the meal components and portions. Think vegetables and fruit in half the compartments, whole grains in a quarter and lean protein in the rest. A 7 inch plate can make the portions appear larger. Adding a beverage of milk or plant based dairy contributes calcium, Vitamin D and B vitamins to the diet.

National Nutrition Month® is an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During the month of March, everyone is invited to learn about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.

This year's theme is "Personalize Your Plate." There is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and health. We are all unique with different bodies, goals, backgrounds and tastes! And a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist can tailor a healthful eating plan that is as special as you are.


 

Sunday, March 14, 2021

Personalize Your Spices

Is it time to spring clean the spice cabinet? Most of us have spices too old to remember when they were purchased. Many times we buy a bottle of a certain spice when a small amount is required to make a new recipe. 

Internet searches give suggestions for suitable substitutes. Chances are you've developed some of your own blends which suit your palate.

The Chicken Tagine recipe in this month's Fine Cooking magazine has a Moroccan spice blend ras el hanout in the list of ingredients but offers a DIY blend in the headnote. These spices are likely found in most pantries.

Ras el hanout

(2 teaspoon)

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon allspice
 
Here are more of my homemade spice blends:
 

Homemade Taco Seasoning 

(Makes 3 1/2 cups)

2 cup chili powder
2/3 cup ground cumin
2/3 cup garlic powder
2 tablespoon 2 teaspoon ground white pepper
1 tablespoon 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Mix and store in closed container. 
This is the recipe we made in the HSC Cafe.   
 

Seafood Seasoning 

(Makes 2/3 cup:  One serving is 1/4 teaspoon)

4 tablespoon celery seed
3 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 1/3 teaspoon allspice
3/4 teaspoon mustard powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
 
 

Cajun Seasoning

(1 teaspoon)

1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
Pinch white pepper
Pinch cayenne
Pinch dried thyme
Pinch dried oregano

Blackened Seasoning

(Serves 2)

1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt

National Nutrition Month® is an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During the month of March, everyone is invited to learn about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.

This year's theme is "Personalize Your Plate." There is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and health. We are all unique with different bodies, goals, backgrounds and tastes! And a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist can tailor a healthful eating plan that is as special as you are.

   

 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Personalize Your Breakfast

Breakfast is a time for building up muscles, stamina and frame of mind. Winter breakfasts might include a hot cereal, toasted bagel or even a skillet meal with an omelet and potatoes. Sometimes it's a time to enjoy yesterday's leftovers, microwave pizza or sandwich. Each of us personalizes the choices.  Like other meals-include a fruit or vegetable, a whole grain and lean protein foods. 

My breakfast parfait above is made with layers of whole grain fruit and nut bread, nonfat plain yogurt and a carrot marmalade. I drink a glass of skim milk with each meal providing high quality protein and hydration to my nutrition profile.

Breakfast is especially important for seniors and those recuperating from illness or injury.   While most Americans eat the bulk of the daily protein later in the day, it's best to to space the intake throughout the day. 

I aim for 20-24 grams of protein at breakfast.  That's more than a cup of milk or a container of yogurt-though that's a place to start. Soy and pea milk each have equivalent amounts of protein per cup (8 grams) as cows' milk.  Almond, rice and coconut milk do not.  Greek yogurt has twice the protein as regular milk.
 
I like to plan my seasonal meals with ideas from magazines. The "Carrot Cake Marmalade" recipe is from Food and Wine Magazine. It is delicious! Because my plans included eating with a bread made with almond paste (also sweetened), I decreased the granulated sugar in the original recipe to 5 tablespoons. 

Eating the same foods over and over can get old-and may not be the healthiest choice. Including different foods can increase nutrient variety and decrease food insensitivity. Here are some out-of-my-normal breakfasts I've enjoyed with ideas from cookbooks and magazines.

Buckwheat Waffles


Quinoa Breakfast Bowl with Fermented Cabbage


Grits and Fruit Bowl

 
Pot Sticker Huevos Ranchero
Green Smoothie

Sourdough Pancakes with Peanut Butter and Banana


Overnight Fruit Cobbler

Teff Porridge

National Nutrition Month® is an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During the month of March, everyone is invited to learn about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.

This year's theme is "Personalize Your Plate." There is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and health. We are all unique with different bodies, goals, backgrounds and tastes! And a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist can tailor a healthful eating plan that is as special as you are.

 



 



Monday, March 1, 2021

Personalize the Recipe Your Way

You do it all the time-change a recipe to fit you. You adjust the seasonings to fit your palate, perhaps changing hot peppers to sweet peppers, adding more or less of a given spice to suit you. Some use less sugar to meet dietary guidelines. Others use one half whole grain flour for the total flour.

In this recipe, I'll suggest swaps for protein ingredients and techniques for fitting the casserole in your favorite size baking dish.

Tortilla Casserole

I've made this casserole with cooked chicken or pork. First I bake the chicken (to an internal temperature of 165F) or cook the pork tenderloin (in the slow cooker to an internal temperature of 145F). Then I shred the cooked meat in the kitchen aide mixing bowl using the paddle blade. One chicken breast is enough for a 3 person casserole. One pork tenderloin will feed 6. Shred in quantity and freeze some for an easy barbecue or casserole at a later date.



For a meatless version, substitute cooked dried beans.

For a 9 X 13 inch pan (6 servings), double the amount of ingredients. When we prepared this in the cafeteria I managed, we arranged 12 servings in a half size steam table pan and cut 3 X 4 to serve.

(3 servings)

Cook meat or beans. Shred meat. 
9 ounce chicken breast, boneless, skinless or pork tenderloin or 1 1/4 cups cooked dried beans.

On stove-top, heat tomatoes, spices, peppers and onion.
2/3 cup canned diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin
2/3 teaspoon chili powder
Dash oregano
1/3 cup sweet peppers, diced
2 tablespoon onion, diced

Add corn and cooked protein (chicken, pork or beans) to pot.
1/2 cup corn
Cooked protein

Mix cornstarch into milk. Add milk to pot.  Heat over medium low heat until mixture begins to thicken, about 15 minutes.
2/3 teaspoon cornstarch, non GMO
1/2 cup skim milk


Cut each tortilla into quarters.  Arrange 1/2 of tortillas in bottom of small baking dish (this one is 5 X 9), greased with olive oil spray
3 corn tortillas

Add 1/2 of vegetable-protein mix.

  
Top with 1/2 of cheese.
3/4 cup shredded cheese

Repeat layers.




Bake at 325 F for 1/2 hour. 

National Nutrition Month® is an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During the month of March, everyone is invited to learn about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.

This year's theme is "Personalize Your Plate." There is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition and health. We are all unique with different bodies, goals, backgrounds and tastes! And a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist can tailor a healthful eating plan that is as special as you are.

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