HAM AND GERMAN POTATO SALAD

THIS RECIPE IS MADE SO EASY IN THE CROCK POT AND HAS A LOWER FAT CONTENT THAT THE TRADITIONAL DISH!

3 diced potatoes
1/2 cup Oscar Meyer real bacon pieces
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp celery seed
dash pepper
1 cup water
1/2 cup vinegar
3 pound (Schneider’s) low fat ham, wrapped in foil

Place potatoes in the bottom of the Crock Pot. Add bacon pieces, onion and remaining ingredients over top. Place ham on top. Cook on low 6-8 hours stirring occasionally.

HEARTY, ETHNIC DISH MADE EASY AND LOW FAT!

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WHAT’S TRENDING IN FOOD AND NUTRITION

As a Registered Dietitian I like to keep abreast of what is trending in the field.  I love to experience new foods and try out new ideas.  My husband often needs some coaxing in trying new things though as is true with much of the public – it’s kind of like a toddler who is going through the stages of “picky eating” and “food jags”.  I use the same principles – offer a new food with other favorite foods, ask for a “no thank you” bite and don’t make an issue of food choices – just offer a variety of healthy foods to choose from!

Ancient grains are “in” again. They’re back and nutritionally superior than many modern-day, refined grains. Some to check out this year include quinoa, kaniwa, wheat berries, and millet

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Kale and chia seeds are the craze. Kale and chia seeds are unarguably two of the hottest superfoods as of late.  Just look at these health benefits of chia seeds!

Belief in the “wheat belly”Regardless of the conflicting evidence to support wheat-free and gluten-free diets for weight loss, Paleo and gluten-free diets will remain the most popular among those looking to control their weight. Gluten-free diets also help those suffering from inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis.

We’re using MyPlate to fill your plate. Thank goodness the Food Pyramid finally crumbled because quite honestly it was confusing even for us dietitians. This year we’re all about using the USDA’s MyPlate to help teach you how to fill your plate with more nutritious foods.

my plate 1

Local & sustainable foods are favorable. These were the two most trendy terms among consumers shopping for groceries.

Being more comfortable the weigh you are. The number of consumers who are comfortable with being an “unhealthy” weight seems to be on the rise this year.  Many people remain healthy even while carrying extra body weight – maybe the “big bone” theory has some credence!

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The low-fat trend is finally fading. Consumers are adding more fat back to their diets since recent studies have shown that “low fat” doesn’t necessarily lead to less body fat.

Breastfeeding is on the rise – YES!!  Women are overcoming the mass media of huge formula companies pushing their product and going with the natural and best way to feed their babies.

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Fruits and veggies first. Eating more servings of fruits and veggies was ranked the most important diet tweak to improve overall health this year.

Using low carbohydrate squash in place of pasta.  Spaghetti squash and zucchini make wonderful “noodles”.

Adapted from 14 Food & Nutrition Trends for 2014 at http://blog.myfitnesspal.com

APPLE SEASON ROAST PORK

YOU’LL NEED A 2 1/2 – 3 POUND PORK LOIN ROAST PLACED IN A 13×9″ BAKING PAN SPRAYED WITH NONSTICK SPRAY. I USUALLY CUT A FEW SLITS ALONG THE TOP OF THE ROAST! PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES F.

START WITH THIS DELICIOUS RUB:

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp minced garlic
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried oregano

Mix together in a small bowl and then coat the roast.

VEGETABLE MIX:

2 large red potatoes cut into wedges
1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 red pepper, coarsely chopped (I used a variety red, yellow and orange sweet peppers)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil (I used Italian salad dressing)

Place vegetables in a large zip lock bag. Add oil (or dressing) and shake to coat the veggies. Place the vegetables around the roast in the baking dish. Generously salt and pepper the whole dish and pop it in the oven for about an hour and a half (meat thermometer registers 155-160 degrees F). Place meat on cutting board, cover loosely with foil. Put vegetables in a bowl and pan juices in a gravy bowl. Cover to keep warm. Increase oven to 475 degrees F.

APPLES YUM!

2 Granny Smith apples cut into wedges
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp vegetable oil

Spread apples in same baking pan and drizzle with lemon juice and oil. Roast 10-12 minutes until slightly caramelized on bottom. Add apples to vegetable and stir to combine. Slice meat and serve with vegetable, apples and reserved juices.

NUTRITION TIPS:

* I OFTEN SUBSTITUTE CHICKEN BROTH FOR SOME OR ALL OF THE OIL

** USE SWEET POTATOES IN PLACE OF WHITE OR RED POTATOES FOR ADDED VITAMINS AND MINERALS

*** ADD MORE VEGGIES AND SERVE WITH A BIG SALAD SO HALF OF YOUR PLATE WILL CONTAIN FRUITS AND VEGGIES

 

THIS IS A GREAT FALL RECIPE TO WARM UP THE HOUSE AND USE THE GREAT FALL HARVEST FRUITS AND VEGETABLES!

10 HEALTHY PICNIC FOODS

PICNIC 8
Try streamlining your picnic basket with the following ideas for healthier food alternatives.
EDAMAME

For a fun and healthy appetizer, skip the cheese and crackers and try edamame instead. The soybean, which East Asians have enjoyed as a source of protein for more than 2,000 years, has gained popularity in the United States and is a staple on most sushi restaurant menus. Though you can purchase edamame beans already shelled, for picnic purposes, it’s probably best to go with the variety still encased in their pods for portability. Bags of frozen edamame pods are available in the freezer section of most grocery stores near other vegetables, and cooking them is a breeze. Just drop the desired amount into boiling water for five minutes or so, drain, and cool. And the extra bonus? A half a cup of shucked beans comes in at just 100 calories and 2.5 grams of fat.

CHIPS AND DIPS

Skip the chips entirely and replace them with whole-wheat pita rounds, each of which has as few as 80 calories and 1 gram of fat. A fun way to serve these is to toast and cut them into small triangles. Raw veggies, including carrots, broccoli and cauliflower, also make a great crunchy chip alternative. For healthier dips, choose hummus, salsa or black bean varieties over queso, refried beans, or creamy, fatty dressings such as ranch.

GREAT GRILLING

picnic 5

If you have access to a grill at your picnic site, burgers are both easy to transport and quick to prepare and turn out to hungry companions.  Consider alternate protein sources such as ground turkey, chicken or even veggie burgers. If you must use ground beef, look for a lean mix with 7 percent fat or less.  I also add a can of lentils to a pound of ground beef when making the burgers – increases protein and fiber while further decreases fat.  Great toppings include black bean and corn salsa, roasted peppers, grilled mushrooms.

ROAST CHICKEN

picnic 6

When you’re picnicking in an area where there’s no grill on site, try picking up a roast chicken from your local grocery store to serve as a main dish. It’s just as convenient as picking up a bucket of fried chicken, but much healthier.  Discard the skin and the roast chicken will pull off the bone easily!

SANDWICHES

PICNIC 7

Create a heart-smart, on-the-go deli for your picnic by packing lean proteins such turkey and chicken, low-fat cheeses, whole grain bread, and healthy fixings such as lettuce, tomato, sprouts, and bell peppers. Another option is to ditch the bread entirely and use the protein as an outer layer to create carb-free roll-ups, which can be secured with a toothpick or two. Try dressing sandwiches with mustard or salsa.  Many deli counters offer healthier alternatives to prepackaged lunch meats.

SALADS

Tossed Salad and Salad Dressings

Turn a tossed salad into a main dish by adding proteins such as beans — pinto, black or white — or a boneless, skinless chicken breast that you’ve baked and diced prior to leaving the house.  If you prefer slaws, try swapping out cole slaw made with high-calorie mayonnaise for a broccoli slaw flavored with light vinaigrette instead.

PASTA AND POTATO SALADS

picnic 9

You can lighten up traditional recipes by replacing the starch with whole-wheat pasta, or healthy, alternative grains such as quinoa couscous or bulgur. To give your new dish some substance, steam and dice vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini and squash, and add them in generous amounts to create a 3-to-1 veggie-to-pasta (or grain) ratio. Flavor your side dish with light vinaigrettes instead. If potato salad is a must, look for a recipe that ditches regular potatoes and uses sweet potatoes instead for a boost of vitamin A.  Substitute 1/2 of the mayonnaise with plain nonfat yogurt.

GRILLED VEGGIES

picnic 10

Complex carbohydrates such as grilled vegetables can make for a filling and healthy side dish. Try preparing a mix of grillable favorites, including summer squash, zucchini, peppers, onions and mushrooms, brushing them lightly with olive oil and seasoning them with pepper to taste. Slice up the veggies ahead of time for simplicity, and make clean-up a breeze by wrapping them up in foil before grilling. (I saw these ready-made at WalMart for a good deal too!)  If you’re headed to a picnic destination that does not have grilling capabilities on site, no worries: Just roast the veggies in the oven beforehand and wrap them up to go. They’ll taste good cold, too.

DESSERT

strawberry-shortcake-dessert-7889009

For a refreshing summer treat, add some sliced strawberries along with fat-free whipped topping (keep the latter in the freezer, then transfer to the cooler as you’re leaving to give it time to defrost). Though you’ll need a cooler for this dessert to make sure the toppings stay fresh, keep the angel food cake stored separately so it doesn’t get wet and soggy before you’re ready to serve and enjoy.

FRUIT KABOBS

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Create a sweet and healthy kabob by cutting up a variety of fresh fruit, such as pineapple, apples, peaches, strawberries and bananas. Keep the chunks around cubic inch or less in size, and stack them on skewers, alternating among the different types of fruit as you go.

Creating a healthy picnic menu requires some advance planning, a few adjustments and maybe even a little creativity, but you and your guests can still enjoy a full and satisfying picnic experience without all the extra calories and fat. Your waistline and arteries will thank you.

AFTER THE PICNIC A NICE BRISK HIKE TO EXPLORE THE AREA IS A GREAT IDEA TOO!!

CANTALOUPE SALSA

Cantaloupe Salsa (2)

 

1 cantaloupe, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, diced and seeded
1/2 red onion, diced
1 c frozen corn, thawed
2 Tbsp lime juice
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Toss all together in a large bowl and chill for several hours. Stir before serving with tortilla scoops and possibly some sour cream (low fat if desired) to douse the fire!

THIS APPETIZER WAS A BIG HIT!  EVEN THOUGH I THOUGHT THE CANTALOUPE WAS A BIT HARD THIS TIME OF YEAR IT WAS SWEET AND TASTY AND DIDN’T GET TOO LIQUIDY LIKE WHEN I MAKE THE SALSA IN SUMMER WITH RIPE, RIPE MELON.

I HAVE ALSO MADE THIS WITH HALF CANTALOUPE AND HALF HONEY DEW WITH RED PEPPER. I CAN IMAGINE THIS WITH BLACK BEANS AND A LITTLE CUMIN AS WELL!

NATURES VIAGRA – BEETS!

SIX IMPORTANT FACTS ABOUT BEETS – YOU’LL LEARN TO LOVE THEM GREENS AND ALL! BEETS ARE NATURES VIAGRA!  Beets contain loads of boron, which is directly related to the production of human sex hormones – while ancient Romans had no … Continue reading

12 QUICK HOLIDAY NUTRITION TIPS!

CELEBRATE THE HOLIDAYS A LITTLE HEALTHIER AND AVOID THE UP TO 15 POUND WEIGHT GAIN!

  • Focus on weight management rather than weight loss.

Standing on Scale

  • Plan time for exercise. Exercise helps relieve holiday stress and prevent weight gain.

FLAT ABS 5

  • Do not skip meals. Skipping breakfast or lunch before a big holiday dinner actually may cause you to overeat.
  • If you know that you will not find any healthy choices, offer to bring something along, such as a salad, vegetable dish, chicken, or fish.

Fresh vegetables falling

  • Pace yourself and become more aware of what you are eating and drinking. Eat until you are satisfied, not stuffed.
  • Select small portions. This will allow you to enjoy all the different foods offered, while still controlling your calorie intake.
  • If you drink, select lite wines and beers, rather than mixed drinks. Alcohol is high in calories.  Use diet mixers if available.
  • Stand away from buffet tables and food trays to avoid the urge to nibble constantly. My husband’s problem!
  • Talk more, eat less. Make the holiday season about enjoying company, rather than all about the food.
  • Fill your plate with a rainbow of colors. Choose different varieties of fruits and vegetables often.

vegetables

  • Learn to say “no” politely. You can say: “No thank you. I have had enough. Everything was delicious.” This works even with someone who will not take “no” for an answer.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!

I’M OUT OF MY GOURD

Bountiful and Delicious: Healthy Harvest Foods
Bring Color and Nutrition to the Table

When you think of autumn, you most likely envision the beautiful orange, yellow, and red hues of the season. Stroll down the produce aisle of your neighborhood grocery store and discover those same vibrant colors in the form of seasonal vegetables and fruits, such as pumpkins, squash, and apples. Best of all, these harvest foods also are packed with nutritional value. Encourage those you care for to try some new and different varieties of fall produce this year, and give them the gift of health along the way!

Winter squash and pumpkins


Winter squash and pumpkins (both members of the gourd family) come in a wide variety of colors and sizes. They are becoming increasingly popular because of their versatile use in both sweet and savory recipes, and they are good sources of complex carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Pumpkins are especially good sources of alpha- and beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin (an antioxidant), vitamin C, riboflavin, and iron. Cooking pumpkins (also known as sugar pumpkins or pie pumpkins) are delicious in pies, cookies, custards, and soups. Their seeds are easily toasted for a crunchy high-fiber snack.

The seeds are great when eaten by the handful or added to fruit and vegetable salads. Pumpkin and squash seeds contain:

  • Phytosterols
  • Vitamins, including:
    Folate
    Tocopherols
    Carotenoids
  • Minerals, including:
    Phosphorus
    Selenium
    Zinc

I TOAST THEM ON A COOKIE SHEET SPRAYED WITH NON-STICK COOKING SPRAY AND SPRINKLE A LITTLE SEA SALT ON TOP!

Bright orange and yellow squash
Bright orange and yellow squash contain significant amounts of carotenes, as well as some lutein and zeaxanthin (antioxidants). Butternut squash is good sliced, stewed, boiled, or baked in a pie. It is a particularly good source of calcium, magnesium, and carotenes. Spaghetti squash makes a wonderful casserole or side dish. Try it with tomato sauce in place of traditional spaghetti. Acorn and Hubbard squash are particularly good sources of potassium and fiber. Acorn squash also is high in thiamine.

Apples

APPLES
Apples come in countless varieties, each with its own color, flavor, and texture. While some types of apples such as Golden or Red Delicious are best for eating fresh and crisp, other varieties such as Crab, Bramley, and Jonathan apples are best for cooking in pies, cakes, crisps, and chutneys. Look for sauce, butter, pickle, and relish recipes that include apples. Apples are powerhouses of flavonoids, such as quercetin, as well as a great source of cholesterol-lowering phytosterols. Apples also are a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zeaxanthin. In addition, apples with skins are one of the best known sources of pectin—a type of soluble fiber shown to help reduce cholesterol. Try making tea by steeping oven-roasted and dried apple slices for an old-fashioned hot beverage.

RECIPE:  BUTTERNUT SQUASH WITH APPLES – VEGETARIAN AND GLUTEN FREE

Squash sections with seeds removed form small hollows that become natural containers for seasonings.

2-pound butternut squash
1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts or sliced almonds
1 Tbsp butter or margarine
1 Tbsp honey
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 red medium unpared all-purpose apple, chopped (about 1 cup)

Wash squash and pierce with tip of a sharp knife in several places to allow steam to escape. Place squash on paper towel in microwave oven. Microwave uncovered on high 4-6 minutes until squash is hot and rind is firm but easy to cut through; cool slightly. Carefully cut into halves; remove seeds. Arrange squash halves, cut sides down, on 10-inch plate. Cover tightly and microwave on high 5-8 minutes or until squash is tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Mix remaining ingredients in small bowl. Cover tightly and microwave on high 1-2 minutes or until butter is melted and mixture is hot; stir. Cut squash halves in half. Spoon apple mixture over squash.
4 servings; 210 calories per serving.

Fruit and vegetable tips

vegetables

  • Thoroughly wash all vegetables and fruits, as you would any produce, before eating or cooking to destroy any bacteria and to remove any pesticides or herbicides from their surfaces
  • Select produce without soft spots, blemishes, or cuts
  • Eat fruits and vegetables fresh or lightly cooked to obtain the most nutrient value—avoid boiling when possible
  • Experiment with a variety of spices, herbs, and cooking methods

Fall activities


Autumn’s cool weather and beautiful foliage is a call from nature to get outside, enjoy the scenery, and get physically active. One great event for fun family fitness is visiting a pumpkin patch and picking your own pumpkins and gourds. In addition, many pumpkin patch locations feature other activities, such as corn mazes and hayrides.

Find farm locations in your area that allow visitors to pick their own fruits and vegetables by watching your local newspaper or searching the Internet for more information. TRY pickyourown.org  Whether picking apples, pears, squash, peppers, or sweet potatoes, this is great way to connect with nature, burn some calories, and come home with healthy, nutritious foods. Try canning to preserve your favorite varieties for the rest of the year, or grow your own harvest fruits and vegetables and enjoy eating them even more.

ENJOY AUTUMN!

MEAT & POTATOES MAN LOWERS CHOLESTEROL! CELEBRATE WORLD HEART DAY!

WE WERE ABLE TO LOWER MY HUSBAND’S TOTAL CHOLESTEROL BY 20 POINTS OVER THE PAST YEAR AND HE IS A MEAT AND POTATO MAN! Yes, we ate more fish (grilled and cooked with a variety of spices), less chuck roast (20gm fat/serving) changed to tender chuck (3gm fat/serving), more beans and lentils added to ground beef dishes and using 96% lean beef (like meatballs, meatloaf, tacos, chili), haven’t seen a hot dog, bologna, salami, bacon or sausage – but like turkey sausage!  Milk products are all low fat and fresh fruits and vegetables are always “half the plate”! Whole grains are staples. A stick of butter lasts for months.  Sweet treats are not in the house unless we’re having company but I still try for something as healthy as possible.  I don’t use artificial or “lite” products but use just a little of the real thing – seems to work!  I don’t like the idea of cholesterol lowering medicines so give this a shot!  AND DON’T FORGET TO EXERCISE DAILY! 

JUST AN ASIDE:  My Mom had a cholesterol level over 300 for much of her adult life, yet when she was developing dementia and they checked her arteries for plaque, the doctors said “she has the arteries of a 16 year old!”  Not to make light of cholesterol but your gene pool, diet, environment and life style have a strong influence on developing heart disease!  Mom died at the age of 88 and four days of old age!

MEATLOAF, MEATBALL, HAMBURGER PATTY RECIPE:

1 pound 96% lean ground beef
1 (15oz) can organic lentil beans
1 cup cooked quinoa (1/2 cup dry cooked according to directions)
1 pkt (1.25oz) Onion Recipe Soup & Dip Mix

In large bowl combine ingredients. Refrigerate about an hour to allow quinoa to absorb some of the liquid. Then shape into loaf, balls or patties. Cook loaf in 350 degree oven for about 40-45 minutes. Cook balls in 350 degree oven about 20 minutes. Grill patties about 10 minutes a side.

*Sometimes I add worcestershire sauce and/or ketchup for a little different flavor.

FOR TACOS BROWN 96% LEAN GROUND BEEF WITH A CAN OF LENTILS AND ADD YOU FAVORITE TACO SEASONING – NO ONE WILL KNOW THE LENTILS ARE THERE!

 

Choose

Once in a While

Avoid

Meat, poultry, fish, and shellfish—up to 6 ounces/day
  • Lean meats without visible fat
  • Poultry with skin removed
  • All fish
  • Shellfish
  • Fatty meats
  • Duck
  • Liver
  • Sausage
  • Bacon
  • Processed meats
Dairy products—two or more servings/day; three or four servings for pregnant or breastfeeding women
  • Skim and 1% milk
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Low-fat cheese
  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • 2%-fat dairy products
  • Part-skim cheese
  • Imitation hard cheese
  • Lite cheese
  • Whole milk
  • Cream
  • Half-and-half
  • Whipped cream
  • Whole-milk dairy products
Eggs
  • Egg whites
  • Cholesterol-free egg substitutes
  • Egg yolks—three or four/week
Fats and oils—5-8 teaspoons/day
  • Olive oil for cooking
  • Canola oil for baking
  • Spreads that are trans-fat free
  • Most nuts
  • Seeds
  • Avocados
  • Olives
  • Peanut oil
  • Trans fat
  • Saturated fat
  • Lard
  • Bacon fat
  • Coconut
  • Palm and palm kernel oil
Breads, cereals, pasta, rice, dried peas, and whole beans—six or more servings/day
  • High-fiber grains—3 grams of fiber or more/serving, including:
  • Cereals
  • Breads
  • Pastas
  • Crackers
  • Rice
  • Starches
  • Commercial baked goods, including:
  • Waffles
  • Muffins
  • Quick breads
  • Pancakes
  • Danish
  • Croissants
  • Doughnuts
  • Products made with saturated/trans fat oils
Fruits and vegetables—five or more servings/day
  • Low-sodium fruits and vegetables:
  • Fresh
  • Frozen
  • Dried
  • Canned
  • Canned fruit in heavy syrup
  • Coconut
  • Creamed vegetables
  • Vegetables with sauces
Sweets and treats—limit to one or fewer servings/day
  • Sorbet
  • Ices
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Hard candy
  • Gummy candy
  • Gingersnaps
  • Plain popcorn
  • Pretzels
  • 100% fruit juice
  • Tea
  • Coffee
  • Homemade cakes, cookies, and pies
  • Ice milk
  • Pudding
  • Commercial granola bars
  • Ice cream
  • Chocolate
  • Commercial chips and snacks
  • Store-bought desserts
  • Candy

Western New York Farmer’s Markets

Vegetables

Fresh Fruits and Vegetables displayed at our local Farmer’s Markets

Summer is a wonderful time to explore the Western New York Region.  You’ll find winery tours, art festivals, county fairs, music, fireworks, corn festivals, and WHOLESOME FRESH FOODS!!

I found this link when I was looking for a good list of local Farmer’s Markets and was excited to find all the other links to fun things to do this summer within easy driving distance:

Local Farmer’s Markets and MORE!