Friday, July 30, 2010

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

We are always looking for more things to grill in the summertime.
I was handed this fantastic recipe and loved it with our
miniature grill that we've been obsessed with this summer.
If you're a mushroom lover, this recipe is for you!
It's a perfect side dish for a BBQ and more importantly-
how we like our recipes-fast and healthy!

Grilled Portobello Mushrooms:
6 portobello mushrooms
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup low fat Italian dressing
fresh chopped basil
fresh ground pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
sprinkled on feta or Parmesan cheese

Directions: Trim stem on portobella mushrooms. Use pastry brush to brush marinade on 6 portabella mushrooms. Grill about 3 minutes each side on the barbecue. Slice into strips and sprinkle with feta cheese or fresh Parmesan.
(I actually marinated the mushrooms for a couple of hours before grilling, which I think made the flavor extra delish.)

(Thank you Leslie!)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Tomato

Has it actually been a month???!! I can't tell you how sorry I am! Summer has flown by and has kept me unbelievably busy. Not stress busy, but "doing things" busy. It's been great, but the down side of course has been that my food intake has been a bust. Which has left me not wanting to post, due to me sounding like a hypocrite. I would never want to tell you guys to eat healthy while I'm eating horribly. BUT, however-like I've said before, our bodies are extremely forgiving, and I'm ready to get back in the game of being on track, feeling good and getting my sugars regulated again!

I'm going to start off my long m.i.a. by posting about a vegetable that, although I've been eating uncontrollably, I still manage to fit into my everyday.

The Tomato.
An absolute miraculous vegetable that we all take for granted I'm sure.
Here is a list of 10 reasons why we should love the
tomato all over again

1. Tomatoes contain all four major carotenoids: alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene. These carotenoids may have individual benefits, but also have synergy as a group (that is, they interact to provide health benefits).

2. In particular, tomatoes contain awesome amounts of lycopene, thought to have the highest antioxidant activity of all the carotenoids.

3. Tomatoes and broccoli have synergy that may help reduce the risk of prostate cancer. One study showed that prostate tumors grew much more slowly in rats that were fed both tomato and broccoli powder than in rats given lycopene as a supplement or fed just the broccoli or tomato powder alone.

4. A diet rich in tomato-based products may help reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer, according to a study from The University of Montreal. The researchers found that lycopene (provided mainly by tomatoes) was linked to a 31% reduction in pancreatic cancer risk between men with the highest and lowest intakes of this carotenoid.

5. Tomatoes contain all three high-powered antioxidants: beta-carotene (which has vitamin A activity in the body), vitamin E, and vitamin C. A U.S. Department of Agriculture report, What We Eat in America, noted that a third of us get too little vitamin C and almost half get too little vitamin A.

6. Tomatoes are rich in potassium, a mineral most of us don't get enough of. A cup of tomato juice contains 534 milligrams of potassium, and 1/2 cup of tomato sauce has 454 milligrams.

7. When tomatoes are eaten along with healthier fats, like avocado or olive oil, the body's absorption of the carotenoid phytochemicals in tomatoes can increase by two to 15 times, according to a study from Ohio State University.

8. Tomatoes are a big part of the famously healthy Mediterranean diet. Many Mediterranean dishes and recipes call for tomatoes or tomato paste or sauce. Some recent studies, including one from The University of Athens Medical School, have found that people who most closely follow the Mediterranean diet have lower death rates from heart disease and cancer. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health, who followed more than 39,000 women for seven years, found that consumption of oil- and tomato-based products -- particularly tomato and pizza sauce -- was associated with cardiovascular benefits.

9. When breastfeeding if moms eat tomato products, it increases the concentration of lycopenein their breast milk. In this case, cooked is best. The researchers also found that eating tomato products like tomato sauce increased concentrations of lycopene in breast milk more than eating fresh tomatoes did.

10. Tomato peels contribute a high concentration of the carotenoids found in tomatoes. The amount of carotenoids absorbed by human intestinal cells was much greater with tomato paste enriched with tomato peels compared to tomato paste without peels, according to a study from Marseille, France. The tomato skin also holds most of the flavonols (another family of phytochemicals that includes quercetin and kaempferol) as well. So to maximize the health propertiesof tomatoes, don't peel them if you can help it!

(10 reasons to eat the tomato came from Elaine Magge, MPh from the Weight Loss Clinic)