Broccoli Slaw with Cranberries, Almonds and Yogurt Dressing

Broccoli Slaw with Cranberries, Almonds and Yogurt Dressing

This delicious recipe is loaded with cancer fighting nutrients including vitamin C, beta-carotene and fiber. The yogurt dressing adds a boost of protein as well as calcium with a light, tangy taste. Pecans can be substituted for almonds and dried blueberries, raisins or apricots could be used in place of cranberries. Enjoy!

Ingredients
¼ cup sliced raw almonds
1 (12 oz) package of broccoli slaw (Manns or Kroger brand)
½ cup dried cranberries or other dried fruit
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
3 Tbsp. honey (or agave nectar)
3 Tbsp. plain, Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
¼ tsp. kosher salt
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper

Directions:
1. In a small, non-stick frying pan, toast the almonds over medium heat shaking the pan frequently until they start to brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add broccoli slaw and cranberries.
3. Combine remaining dressing ingredients in a large measuring cup or mixing bowl. Whisk together until the dressing is smooth and emulsified.
4. Pour dressing over broccoli slaw and mix. Add cooled almonds and stir to combine.
5. Chill for at least 30 minutes to 4 hrs before serving.

Makes 4 servings. Nutrition facts per serving: 117 calories, 7 grams fat, 12 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams protein, 1.5 grams fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 124 mg sodium.

Overweight but fit still at risk

Overweight but fit still at risk

A recent study published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism suggests that “metabolically healthy obese”- a subset of obese individuals, who were initially thought to not be at high risk of heart and other chronic disease, still might be.

 

Study author Kristine Faerch from the Steno Diabetes Center in Copenhagen states that while it was once thought that it was not unhealthy to be overweight or obese if you lived a healthy lifestyle, research suggests differently.  Overweight and obese individuals face an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.  To lower risk, keeping a healthy weight throughout the lifecycle is vital. 1

 

Faerch and her researchers evaluated data in over 6200 men and women that joined a Danish study where they were tracked for over 10 years.  The subjects’ initial BMIs and 4 risk factors for heart disease including HDL (“healthy” cholesterol), high blood pressure, triglycerides and blood glucose were monitored.  “Metabolically healthy” subjects had none of these risks, while “metabolically unhealthy” were defined as having at least one risk factor.  In the follow up period, 323 subjects developed heart disease.  Men who were metabolically healthy, but obese, had 3 x the risk of heart disease versus metabolically healthy men with normal weight.  Women that were metabolically healthy but obese had double the risk.  Overweight men that were metabolically healthy had equivalent risk as their normal weight counterparts.  Overweight women at the outset had a slightly higher risk than normal weight subjects.  The authors note that only 3% of male and female subjects were obese, but considered metabolically healthy.  Over a 5-year period, 40% of those considered metabolically healthy because metabolically unhealthy. 1

 

Joshua Bell from the UK’s University of Bristol is not surprised.  He and his colleagues published a paper in February nothing that obesity increases age-related disability and decline, even in metabolically healthy individuals.  His research found that after 2 decades, physical ability declined two times more while pain increased 6 times more in obese individuals compared to normal weight individuals. He stresses that heart disease is not the only risk factor to consider in healthy aging. 2

 

Matthias Schulze at the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Potsdam-Rehbruecke, who did not participate in either study, believes other measurements such as waist-hip ratio, waist circumference and body fat could be looked at to determine “metabolically healthy” obese. 3 Healthy and obese can change to unhealthy and obese very quickly.  More research is needed to find how to decrease disease risk in both groups.

 

References:

1.Louise Hansen, MSc, Marie K Netterstrøm, MSc, Nanna B Johansen, MD, PhD, Pernille F Rønn, MSc, Dorte Vistisen, MSc, PhD, Lise LN Husemoen, MSc, PhD, Marit E Jørgensen, MD, PhD, Naja H Rod, MSc, PhD, DMSc, Kristine Færch, MSc, PhD. Metabolically healthy obesity and ischemic heart disease: a 10-year follow-up of the Inter99 study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab jc.2016-3346.  Published March 7, 2017.

 

2.  J A Bell1,2, S Sabia1,3, A Singh-Manoux1,3, M Hamer4 and M Kivimäki1, Healthy obesity and risk of accelerated functional decline and disability.  International Journal of Obesity advance online publication 14 March 2017; doi: 10.1038/ijo.2017.51

 

3.Kristin Mühlenbruch, Tonia Ludwig, Charlotte Jeppesen, Hans-Georg Joost, Wolfgang Rathmann, Christine Meisinger, Annette Peters, Heiner Boeing, Barbara Thorand, Matthias B. Schulze.  Update of the German Diabetes Risk Score and external validation in the German MONICA/KORA study. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice.  June 2014 Volume 104, Issue 3, Pages 459–466

Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken

Thai Peanut Noodles with Chicken

Want a simple recipe that’s also delicious?  Look no further.  Adding peanut butter to your diet adds healthy mono-unsaturated fat, protein and flavor.  This easy recipe can be used with chicken, turkey or tofu.  Add more vegetables like green beans, broccoli or zucchini or use gluten-free noodles if needed.  If you like a more mild sauce, skip the crushed red pepper.

 

Ingredients

1 lb. brown rice or Soba noodles

2 cups cooked chicken or turkey or sautéed firm tofu cut into cubes

½ cup natural peanut butter (smooth or crunchy)

3 Tbsp. low sodium soy sauce

½ cup water

1 ½ tsp. ground or minced ginger

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ½ Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

1-2 tsp. crushed red pepper

1 medium-sized red or yellow bell pepper, cut into strips

3 green onions, sliced diagonally (~ ¼ cup)

2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro

 

Directions

 

  1. Cook pasta according to directions and set aside.
  2. Sautee peppers in non-stick canola spray and set aside.
  3. Combine peanut butter, water, soy sauce, vinegar, and ginger in a large sauce pan and whisk until blended. Simmer over low to medium heat for ~10 minutes until sauce is creamy.
  4. Add cooked pasta, chicken, turkey or tofu and toss in peanut sauce. Add sautéed peppers, green onions and toss lightly.
  5. Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top and serve while hot.

 

Makes 8 servings.  Nutrition Facts per serving (using chicken):  331 calories, 10.5 grams fat, 36.4 grams carbohydrate, 22.2 grams protein, 2.5 gm fiber, 68 mg cholesterol, 267 mg sodium

Thai Chicken & Vegetable Soup

Thai Chicken & Vegetable Soup

I created this soup when I purchased a carton of culinary broth at a popular discount store.  It was so easy and tastes like something you’d eat at your favorite Thai restaurant.  It’s got a decent dose of folic acid from broccoli, but may be a little high in sodium for some.  Enjoy!

 

Ingredients:

1 cup chopped yellow or white onion

1 cup broccoli florets (fresh or frozen)

½ cup diced carrots

2 tsp. grated fresh ginger or ginger paste

1 clove garlic, minced

½ tsp. curry powder

1 Tbsp. canola oil

¼ tsp. red pepper flakes

½ cup broken vermicelli or rice

1 carton (32 oz) College Inn Thai Coconut Culinary Broth

1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice

1 cup diced/cooked chicken

1 cup light coconut milk

¼ cup each green chopped onions and cilantro

 

Preparation

  1. Cook the onion, broccoli, carrots, ginger, garlic, curry and red pepper flakes in oil for ~3 minutes.  Add noodles or rice, broth and lime juice.
  2. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat.  Simmer for ~7-15 minutes or until noodles or rice are soft.  Stir in chicken and coconut milk.
  3. Garnish with green onions and cilantro.

 

Makes 6 (1 cup) servings. 

 

Nutrition information per serving: 189 calories, 5 gm fat, 1.75 gm saturated fat, 0 gm trans fat, 12 gm protein, 18 mg cholesterol, 17.5 gm carbohydrate, 1.4 gm fiber, 568 mg sodium, 30 mg calcium, 35 mcg folic acid

Fast, not fat, food

Fast, not fat, food

As a busy professional, it is tempting to hit the drive through on those days when you may be in your car more than at your desk.  But think about what you’re eating-lots of salt, fat, refined flour and calories.  For most people, it may be too salty, too greasy or too stale to enjoy.  And when you think about it, eating fast food daily could put a dent in your wallet.

 

However, like everyone’s busy schedule, you may find yourself having to either miss lunch, or eat it in your car.  Though I don’t typically advocate eating and driving, I realize it’s a reality for many people.  If you’ve found yourself in a similar situation, here are a few quick “meals” you can make ahead and eat on the road.

 

  1. Turkey and cheese roll up. Take 2 slices of lean deli turkey and place it on a small, fajita sized whole wheat tortilla.  Spread a thin layer of horseradish sauce over the turkey.  Sprinkle shredded, 2% milk cheddar cheese on this layer.  Roll up and pack in a bag.  Pack 10-15 baby carrots and ½ cup green grapes in a bag to go with it.  And don’t forget a bottle of water!
  2. Peanut butter on whole wheat. Spread 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter on whole wheat bread and top the peanut butter with another slice of bread.  Enjoy an apple and some celery sticks on the side.
  3. String cheese and Triscuits. Just like it says- pack 2 low fat Mozzarella string cheese sticks and 12 Triscuits in a bag.  Pack 1 cup of baby carrots and cleaned/dried blueberries to pop in your mouth at the red light.
  4. Hummus & veggies in a pita. Pack ½ of a whole wheat pita with 2 Tbsp. of your favorite hummus.  Add a chopped cucumber and spinach leaves between to the pocket.  Pack 10-15 grape tomatoes to go with it and a bottle of water.
  5. Nutty trail mix. Mix ¾ cup Cheerios, ¼ cup almonds, ¼ cup walnuts, ¼ cup sunflower seeds and ¼ cup raisins or dried cranberries in a bag or reusable plastic container.  Grab a 4-6 oz. Greek yogurt and a spoon and run for your car!

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