Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Penne with Treviso and Goat Cheese

When my mother in law sent me this recipe, it had me DROOLING! We absolutely loved it! I made extra's on purpose to have enough for lunch the next day, and it was just as delish the next day for leftovers! No spiking of the sugars, and the flavour was incredible! Thank you so much Lisa!
Highly recommend it!

Penne with Treviso and Goat Cheese
1 pound penne pasta (whole wheat)
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, halved
1 pound treviso or radicchio, chopped (about 4 cups) (I didn't use this ingredient, just spinach)
3 packed cups (3 ounces) baby spinach
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon salt, plus more for seasoning
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups (11 ounces) goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup basil leaves, torn (I was out of basil, so I actually used Parsley and it was just as good)

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water.

In a 12-inch skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant and golden, about 1 minute. Remove the garlic and discard.

Add the treviso, spinach, chicken stock, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of salt, and red pepper flakes. Cook until the treviso and spinach until wilted, about 6 to 8 minutes.

Add the pasta and Parmesan. Toss well and thin out the sauce with a little pasta water, if needed. Season with salt, to taste.

Transfer the penne to serving bowls. Top each portion with the crumbled goat cheese and garnish with basil before serving.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Strictly for Cereal Lovers

When I was diagnosed, one of the first things I had to get rid of was cereal. Mmmmm, cereal! My second love. It wasn't for about 2 years after I was diagnosed that I dared to eat my first bowl of cereal, which by the way tasted like heaven on earth. But even the taste couldn't convince me that it was good for me, from what the nutritionist had said. The doctor and my dietitian had said cereal was empty calories with not a lot nutrients, therefore leaving it a bad choice for breakfast.

Thank goodness for research! And even more grateful for the companies trying to keep up to the "healthy" world. If you haven't noticed, everyone is trying to make their product healthier. Cereal companies are one of those manufacturers who are trying to keep up to the health and doing a great job at it.

According to researches it's better than most breakfasts!!! (I'm not lying when I say this was the best thing I've read in a long time!)

In a study of nearly 10,000 kids and teens, researchers learned that those who ate any type of cereal every morning got more fiber and nutrients than breakfast skippers or those who at other types of breakfasts. kids who didn't have breakfast, on the other hand, ate more sugar daily and were more likely to be obese. Though the study looked at cereal eaters in general, it's smarter to always stick to varieties that are low in sugar and high fiber.

After looking strictly at cereal labels and paying close attention to my sugars after eating certain brand's, I compiled this list of cereals I trust with my health and Diabetes. I'd recommend these to anyone, and so would my nutritionist:

  1. Kashi GoLean
  2. All-Bran Raisin Bran
  3. Fiber One
  4. Barbara’s Shredded Spoonfuls
  5. Cheerios
  6. Kellogg’s Complete Oat Bran Flakes
  7. Grape Nuts
  8. Quaker Oatmeal Squares
  9. Shredded Wheat ‘n Bran 100% Natural Whole Wheat MiniWheats
  10. Total Whole Grain

If none of these cereal suit your fancy, always look at the nutrition label and make sure they have more than 3 grams of fiber, less than 45 grams of carbs, and around 2.5 grams of fat. If there's any protein, that's wonderful-but fiber is better for mornings.

(Source: Journal of the American Dietetic Association, July 2010)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Fighting A Cold The Old Fashioned Way

When we think of catching a cold, most of us would think back to the days when we would spend the entire day cuddled up in bed while our mother would so kindly bring us a bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup.

Well, your mom wasn't too far fetched when she was bringing you a cup of chicken noodle soup. She was dead on actually on how to help your sickness. There's key ingredients that are found in a good batch of chicken noodle soup that are helpful when fighting a cold.

With flu/cold season right around the corner, I have some information on the foods and why they are in the soup to begin with that would be good to know for next time your craving something warm and soothing.

It's a great source of zinc, which is shown to reduce the symptoms and duration of a cold.

They're great immune system enhancers because beta-carotene helps hold off infection.

Garlic and Onions
Are both unbelievably strong antivirals, which have compounds that speedily get to the lungs and respiratory tract to effectively attack cold viruses.

Egg Noodles
Help boost selenium intake, which makes it harder for the cold virus to multiply and mutate.

Red Bell Peppers
Are a strong source of salicylates, (f.y.i.-salicylates are chemicals that occur naturally in many plants. They usually act as a preservative to prevent rotting and also act as a defendant against harmful bacteria) aspirin's active ingredient.

Cayenne Peppers
Have more salicylates and are an effective natural decongestant.

Here's a recipe to get this season started for you!

Chicken Soup for the Cold...and soul.

2 cups of chicken, cooked and diced

1/2 cups of carrots, chopped

2 (2.72 oz.)store-bought packets of chicken-noodle soup mix

2 medium onions, diced (I used white, they are sweeter)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup of enriched egg noodles (you can buy whole wheat as well)

1 red bell peppers, chopped

2 tsp. cayenne pepper

1. Pour 8 cups of water into a large pot and bring to a boil.

2. Add the chicken, carrots, onions, and garlic, and boil for half an hour or until the carrots are tender.

3. Add the remaining ingredients and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes. Makes 8 1-cup servings.

167 calories
15 grams of protein
20 grams of carbs
1 gram of fat
2.5 grams of fiber
28 milligrams of sodium

(Source: citihealth.com)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Spinach That Won't Make You Cringe

Growing up, I'm sure most of us cringed at the thought of eating spinach for dinner. Well, guess what-mom was right when she said spinach was good for you!
Turns out, calorie for calorie, this vegetable is an incredible power food. In fact, the nutritional benefits are so great, you can eat as much of this awesomeness as you like and still look fabulous. "Packed with folic acid, vitamins A, C, and E and a huge mix of antioxidants, it also contains flavonoids, which are thought to slow the cognitivie decline that accompanies aging", says cityhealth staff of the Healthy Utah Magazine.
Other health benefits include lowering blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease, anemia, and cancer risks.
Here are some recipes of some great smoothie's, that include spinach, next time you're wanting something sweet, and something incredibly healthy.

(Sources: Healthy Utah, Citihealth Staff, and UThealth.com.)