Nutrition:  Separating Science from Fiction


Kid-Friendly Veggies

By the American Institute for Cancer Research

Like many parents, you may have a hard time encouraging your children to eat vegetables.  When they do eat them, it might be the result of a trick:  broccoli drowned in cheese or carrots grated and  cooked in pasta sauce.  Yet growing children, just like adults, need a variety of deeply colored vegetables, which are full of vitamins, minerals and other disease-fighting substances, in their diet.

It’s important to instill healthy eating habits in your children when they are young.  That will help them continue along the path of good nutrition throughout their life.  For optimum health and lower cancer risk, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) recommends that both children and adults eat five to nine servings of a wide variety of vegetables and fruits each day.

How can you increase the number of veggies your children are eating?  Try serving a mashed-potato-like veggie puree.  Purees can be sweet, warm and comforting food.  They’re also easy to make.  Just cook the vegetables until tender and mix in a blender or food processor.

The bright orange color of the following dish makes it fun.  And the hint of sweetness should tempt even the most resistant child.  You could even let him or her drizzle the maple syrup over the top after serving, rather than add it to the mixture.  Adults will like this dish too.

Butternut Squash and Carrot Puree

1Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil 1-2 Tbsp. pure maple syrup, to taste
1 medium onion, diced ½ tsp. ground nutmeg, or to taste
3 carrots, peeled, thinly sliced ¼ tsp. ground coriander, or to taste
3 ½ lb. butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into ½-inch pieces Salt and freshly ground white pepper, to taste
1 cup fresh orange juice

Heat large, deep skillet (preferably nonstick) or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add 1 Tbsp. oil and warm until hot.  Add onion and sauté until just tender but not browned, about 4 minutes.  Add carrots and sauté until coated, about 1 minute.  Add squash and sauté until beginning to soften, about 8 minutes.

Pour orange juice over vegetables.  Cover and simmer until vegetables are soft, about 25 minutes.  Uncover and simmer until all liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes.  Stir in maple syrup.  Cool slightly.  Working in batches, puree mixture in blender or food processor until smooth.  Mix in nutmeg and coriander.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Transfer to serving bowl.  (Can be 2 days ahead if covered and stored in refrigerator.  Heat gently in saucepan or microwave to rewarm.)

Makes about 5 cups of pureed vegetables.  Per half-cup serving: 105 calories, 2 g fat (<1g saturated fat), 23 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 18 mg sodium.

Sautéed Spinach with Mushrooms

by American Institute for Cancer Research

1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms
1 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 pkg. (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
½ tsp. minced ginger
2 tsp. soy sauce

In medium saucepan over low heat, warm olive oil and sesame oil.  Add mushrooms, onions and garlic.  Sautee 15-20 minutes or until onions and mushrooms are soft.

Add spinach, ginger and soy sauce.  Cover and cook 10 minutes or until spinach is hot.

Makes 4 servings, each containing 62 calories and 3 grams of fat.

Vegetarian Chili
Recipe can be found in Power Eating:  How to Play Hard and Eat Smart for the Time of Your Life

by Frances Berkoff, Barbara J. Lauer and Dr. Yves Talbot, published by Key Porter Books.

1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 C. Chopped Celery
1 C. Finely chopped Carrot
½ C. Chopped Onion
1 Clove Garlic, minced
28 oz. Can of Tomatoes
2 Tbsp Chili Powder
1 Tsp. Dried Oregano
½ Tsp. Ground Cumin
1 ½ C. Coarsely Chopped Zucchini or Cabbage
1 C. Chopped Sweet Red or Green Pepper
1 C. Sliced Mushrooms
19 oz. Can of Kidney Beans, not drained
19 oz. Can of Chickpeas, drained

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add celery, carrot, onion and garlic and sauté for three to four minutes or until softened.  Add tomatoes, chili powder, oregano and cumin. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, kidney beans and chickpeas, simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until thickened.
Nutritional Information:  1 serving; 268 Calories; 13g Protein; 45g Carbohydrates; 4g Fat.

Baked Acorn Squash with Apple Stuffing

by American Diabetes Assoc.

2 small acorn squash, halved and seeded
1 apple peeled and diced
2 Tbsp. celery, diced
2 Tbsp. onion, finely chopped
2 tsp. olive or canola oil
1 pinch salt
1 pinch fresh ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Prepare a square baking pan with nonstick pan spray.  Place the squash cut side down in a baking pan.  Bake for 20 minutes.  While the squash is baking, combine the apples, celery, onion, and 2 tablespoons water in a medium bowl; mix well.  Turn the squash cut sides up.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Divide the apple mixture to fill the cavities of the squash.  Bake the stuffed squash halves, covered with foil, for 30 minutes more.  Serve hot.

Servings: 4       Serving size:  1/2 squash
Amount per serving:  Calories 87; Total Fat 2g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 63 mg; Total Carbohydrate 18 g; Protein 1 g.

Hot Apple Cider

by Health Enhancement Systems

 2 cups water
3 sticks cinnamon
1 tablespoon whole cloves
1/2 teaspoon whole allspice
2 quarts unsweetened apple juice

Place the water and spices in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat to low, then simmer for 10 minutes.  Strain the mixture, discarding the spices, and return to the pot.
Add the apple juice to the water, simmer over low heat until thoroughly heated.  Serve warm in mugs.  Yield: 20 servings.
Per 1/2 cup serving:  Calories 46; Cholesterol 0 mg; Fat 0 g; Fiber 0 g; Protein 0 g; Sodium 3 mg

 Breakfast Rice Pudding

by American Institute for Cancer Research

½ cup dried cranberries
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 cups Skim Milk or Soy Milk or Almond Milk
¼ cup brown sugar or Stevia equivalent if on a sugar-free diet
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs, lightly beaten (or ½ cup in egg beaters)
2 cups cooked brown rice
½  cup raisins
Pinch of salt

Set rack in center of oven.  Preheat oven to 350°F.  Coat 8-cup pan generously with nonstick cooking spray.
In small bowl, place cornstarch.  Whisk in milk, sugar and vanilla.  Beat in eggs until well mixed.  Stir rice, cranberries, and raisins into milk mixture.  Pour into prepared baking dish.
Set large, deep pan (such as roasting pan) on rack in center of oven.  Place pan with pudding in center of this pan.  Pour hot water into larger pan until it is halfway up the sides of the one containing the pudding.  Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, 50 to 60 minutes.  Cool to lukewarm and serve, or cool completely.  Pudding keeps 3 to 4 days, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated.  Enjoy a ½ cup serving as a healthy “comfort food” or snack.

Layered Black Bean and Spinach Salad

by the American Institute for Cancer Research

6 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 Tbsp. prepared mustard
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

12 cups baby spinach leaves, stems removed, loosely packed
3 cups halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded, cut into quarters and thinly sliced
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded, cut into quarters and thinly sliced
2 cans (15 oz each) black beans, rinsed and rained
1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 medium avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced into ½inch pieces

To make dressing, in small bowl, whisk together oil, juice, vinegar and mustard.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Set aside.
In deep, clear glass bowl, layer salad as follows:  6 cups spinach leaves, 1½cups of tomatoes, ½bell pepper, ½red pepper, ½beans and ½cup shredded cheese.  Repeat procedure.  Top salad with avocado just before serving.  Serve dressing on the side.
Makes 6 servings.

Per serving:  360 calories, 21 g total fat (4 g saturated fat), 32 g carbohydrates, 16 g protein, 13 g dietary fiber, 624 mg. sodium.

Curried Lentil Soup with Spinach and Mushrooms

by the American Institute for Cancer Research

8 oz. chopped mushrooms (about 3 cups)
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. minced garlic clove
2-3 tsp. curry powder
1 ½ cups brown lentils, rinsed and sorted
1 Tbsp. tomato paste
½ cup fat-free, reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 cups (half a 5 oz. bag) lightly packed baby spinach leaves, chopped
½ cup lowfat plain yogurt
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill or cilantro

In large wide saucepan over medium heat, cook mushrooms, onion, oil and garlic, stirring, until sizzling.  Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are wilted and tender, about 10 minutes.  Uncover and cook, stirring, over medium high heat, until moisture has evaporated and mushrooms begin to brown, 1-2 minutes.  Stir in curry powder.  Add lentils and 6 cups water; heat to boil.  Cook covered, over low heat, until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.  Stir in tomato paste until blended.  If thinner soup is desired, add broth.  Add salt and pepper.  Stir in spinach; cook, stirring, until spinach is wilted, about 5 minutes.  Ladle into bowls.  Swirl 1 tablespoon yogurt in center of each serving and sprinkle with dill or cilantro.  Makes 6 servings.

Per serving:  201 calories, 2 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 32 g carbohydrates, 15 g protein, 12g dietary fiber, 63 mg sodium.

Cranapple Crisp

by Health Enhancement Systems

Fruit Filling 
8 cups thinly sliced peeled apples
1/2 cup fresh or frozen cranberries coarsely chopped
1/3 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup golden raisins
1 Tblsp. Cornstarch
1 Tblsp. apple juice concentrate, thawed

2/3 cup quick-cooking oats
3 tablespoons whole wheat flour
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons frozen apple juice concentrate, thawed

Topping:  In a small bowl combine the oats, flour, sugar, and cinnamon; stir to mix well.  Add the juice concentrate and stir until moist and crumbly.  Set aside.

Filling:  In a large bowl combine the filling ingredients and toss to mix well.  Coat a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray.  Place the filling mixture in the dish and sprinkle with the topping.  Bake uncovered at 375° for 30 minutes.  Cover dish loosely with foil, then bake for an additional 15 minutes, or until the filling is bubbly and the topping is golden brown.  Serve warm.
Yield 8 servings.   Per  3/4 cup serving:  Calories: 78; Cholesterol:  0 mg; Fat: 0.7 g;  Fiber: 4 g; Protein: 1.7 g; Sodium: 7 mg

White Bean Spread with Spinach and Red Peppers

by American Institute for Cancer Research

4 cups baby spinach leaves
1 can (15 oz.) white or garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1-2 Tbsp. fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
½ cup minced red onion (optional)
1 jar (7 oz.) roasted red peppers packed in water, drained and chopped
Paprika, for garnish

In dry non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, sauté spinach with pinch of salt, stirring constantly until wilted, 3-4 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  In food processor, puree beans with broth, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper.  Add parsley and pulse until combined.  Spread half of bean mixture onto dinner-sized serving plate, smoothing top flat.  Layer spinach evenly on top of beans.  Sprinkle spinach with onion and carrots.  Top with layer of roasted red peppers.  Spread remaining white bean puree over red peppers.  Sprinkle with paprika.  Serve dip with whole-wheat pita bread wedges.

Makes 5 cups (20 servings of ¼ cup each).

Per serving:  39 calories, <1 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 7 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 1 g dietary fiber, 29 mg sodium.

Red Beans and Rice, Down Home Healthy: Family Recipes of Black American Chefs Leah Chase and Johnny Rivers, National Institutes of Health

Here’s a recipe that fits right in with the heart healthy way of eating.  A serving is low in fat, low in sodium, and high in fiber.

1 lb dry red beans (canned beans ok if well-rinsed)

2 quarts water

1-1/2 cups chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

4 bay leaves

3 tbsp chopped garlic

3 tbsp chopped parsley

2 tsp dried thyme, crushed

1 tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 cup chopped sweet green pepper

Pick through beans to remove bad beans.  Rinse beans thoroughly.  In a 5 quart pot, mix beans, water, onion, celery, and bay leaves.  Bring to boiling; reduce heat.  Cover and cook over low heat for about 1-1/2 hours or until beans are tender.  Stir and mash beans against side of pan.  (Or look for low sodium canned beans and rinse well and reduce cooking time.)

Add garlic, parsley, thyme, salt, black pepper, and green pepper.  Cook uncovered, over low heat, until creamy, about 30 minutes.   Remove bay leaves.  Serve over hot cooked brown rice.

Makes 8 servings.  Each serving provides:  170 calories and these %Daily Values for these nutrients:  total fat 1%; saturated fat 1%; cholesterol 0%; sodium 12%; dietary fiber 29%

NOTE:  You may substitute thoroughly rinsed canned beans to reduce cooking time; or use a crock pot.

Holiday Pumpkin-Spice Muffins

by American Institute of Cancer Research

Nonstick cooking spray
1½ cups whole-wheat flour
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup packed brown sugar
1½ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp each cloves, ginger and nutmeg
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup light canola or olive oil
1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ cup chopped walnuts for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°.  Spray 12-cup muffin pan using nonstick cooking spray.  In large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and spices, stirring well.

In medium bowl, combine pumpkin, oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla; mix well.  Pour liquid mixture into bowl with dry ingredients and stir.
Divide combined mixture among 12 muffin cups.  Top with chopped walnuts, if desired.

Bake about 20 minutes or until muffins bounce back when gently pressed.  Makes 12 servings (1 muffin per serving).

Per serving:  174 calories; 7 grams (g) fat; 26 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 158 milligrams sodium.

Valentine Pumpkin-Spice Muffins,

by American Institute of Cancer Research

Nonstick cooking spray
1_ cups whole-wheat flour
_ cup all-purpose flour
_ cup packed brown sugar
1_ tsp. baking powder
_ tsp baking soda
1_ tsp cinnamon _ cup chopped walnuts for topping (optional)
_ tsp each cloves, ginger and nutmeg
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup light canola or olive oil
1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 large egg
1 large egg white
_ tsp salt 1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 400°. Spray 12-cup muffin pan using nonstick cooking spray. In large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and spices, stirring well.

In medium bowl, combine pumpkin, oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Pour liquid mixture into bowl with dry ingredients and stir.

Divide combined mixture among 12 muffin cups. Top with chopped walnuts, if desired.
Bake about 20 minutes or until muffins bounce back when gently pressed. Makes 12 servings (1 muffin per serving).

Per serving: 174 calories; 7 grams (g) fat; 26 g carbohydrates; 3 g fiber; 158 milligrams sodium.


English Vegetable Soup

Potatoes 3, chunked
Onion   1, chunked
Carrots 5, chunked
Tomatoes 5, chopped
Cooked navy beans   ½ cup
Green beans    ½ cup, chopped
Fresh mushrooms ½ cup, sliced
Vegetable oil 1 tsp.
Thyme ½ tsp
Basil ½ tsp
Marjoram ½ tsp
Oregano    ½ tsp
Bay leaf 1

Salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes, onion, and carrots in 5 cups of water for 15 minutes.  Then add all remaining ingredients, and simmer for 45 minutes.  OR  Put it all in a crock pot with vegetable broth instead of water – enjoy!

Egg Sesame Bread From the Gluten-Free Gourmet

by Bette Hagman

1 ½ tablespoons sesame seeds ½ cup lukewarm water
2 cups rice flour ¼ cup margarine
1 ¾ cups tapioca flour 1 ¼ cups water
¼ cup plus 2 teaspoons sugar 1 teaspoon cider, wine or rice 3 vinegar
½ teaspoons xanthan gum 3 eggs, at room temperature
1 ½ teaspoons salt 2 egg yolks
1 ½ yeast cakes, or 1 ½ tablespoons dry yeast granules

Brown sesame seeds in heavy skillet on medium heat.  Set aside.  Combine flours, ¼ cup sugar, xanthan gum, and salt in bowl of mixer.  Blend.  In a separate bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water to which the 2 teaspoons of sugar have been added.  In saucepan, melt margarine in the 1 ¼ cups of water.

Pour margarine mixture into dry ingredients, add vinegar, and blend on low.  Add eggs and egg yolks, beating slightly.  The mixture should be slightly warm.  Add yeast water and beat 2 minutes on high.  Stir in most of the toasted sesame seeds, reserving a pinch or two for the top.

Place the mixing bowl, tightly covered with plastic wrap, in a warm place and let dough rise until doubled, about 1 to 1 ½ hours.

Return dough to mixer and beat for 3 minutes.  Spoon dough into three 2 ½” x 5” greased loaf pans or 1 large one plus a few spoonfuls in greased muffin tins to bake as rolls.  Sprinkle with remaining sesame seeds.  Let dough rise again in a warm place until doubled, approximately 1 hour.

Bake in preheated 400°F oven for 10 minutes.  Place foil over the bread to keep it from turning too dark and bake 50 minutes more for the large loaf, about 15 minutes less for the small loaves, and about 25 minutes if you have made rolls.

This bread freezes well.  Cool and slice before freezing.

Each serving provides:

150 Calories; 28 g Carbohydrate; 4 g Protein; 193 mg Sodium; 2 g Fat; 59 mg Cholesterol

Springtime Asparagus Salad

by Sandra Woodruff

1 lb. fresh asparagus spears
½ Cup bottled nonfat, light red-wine vinaigrette or balsamic vinaigrette salad   dressing
2 medium plum tomatoes, thinly sliced
4 thin slices of red onion, separated into rings
¼Cup crumbled nonfat or reduced fat feta cheese
2 Tbsp chopped walnuts or toasted pecans

Rinse the asparagus spears with cool water, and snap off the tough stem ends.  Bring a large pot of water to boil over high heat, add asparagus spears and cook for 2-3 minutes or until the spears are just crisp-tender.  Drain spears, then plunge them into a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking   process.  Drain again, and arrange spears in a single layer on a large serving platter.

Drizzle the asparagus with half of the salad dressing.  Arrange tomato slices over the spears, and top with the red onion.  Drizzle the remaining dressing over the onion layer.

Cover salad and refrigerate for 1 - 3 hours.  Sprinkle the feta cheese and the nuts over the salad and serve immediately.

Serves six.  Per serving:  64 Calories, 1.8 g. fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 268 mg sodium, 10 g carbohydrates, 2.1 g fiber, 3.4 g protein, 31 mg calcium.

Asparagus and Scallion Soup with Almonds

by the American Institute for Cancer Research

¼ cup sliced almonds, for garnish
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 medium leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
6 scallions, thinly sliced, (2 reserved for garnish)
2 cans (14 oz. each) fat-free reduced sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
½ tsp. dried thyme, to taste
Salt and white pepper, to taste
1½ lb. asparagus (stem ends trimmed), thinly sliced
1 can (15 oz.) white beans, such as cannelloni, rinsed and drained
*1 cup evaporated skim milk (optional)

If using garnish, place almonds in saucepan over medium heat.  Toast nuts until golden, shaking pan occasionally to prevent burning, about 5-6 minutes.  Transfer nuts to paper towel and set aside.

In same pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add leeks and 4 chopped scallions.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5-6 minutes.  Add broth, thyme, salt and pepper, and bring to boil.  Add asparagus and beans.  Bring back to boil, then immediately reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until vegetables are soft, 12-15 minutes.  Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Puree soup in blender until smooth. Pour back into saucepan over medium heat.  Heat through.  Ladle into serving bowls.  Garnish with toasted almonds and remaining scallions. *For a creamier soup, stir in 1 cup evaporated skim milk after pureeing and pouring back into saucepan.  Heat before ladling into serving bowls.

Makes 6 servings.  Per serving:  146 calories, 3 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat),  24 g carbohydrate, 9 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 304 mg sodium.

Fresh Mango Salsa,

by the American Institute for Cancer Research

1 cup chopped ripe mango
1 large firm tomato, seeded, drained and chopped
½ cup finely chopped red bell pepper
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
2 tsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. olive or canola oil
¼ cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
Pinch of sugar
Freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste
½ tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste

In medium bowl, mix together all ingredients.  Refrigerate for 1 hour to blend flavors before serving.

Makes 5 servings.  Per serving:  61 calories, 3 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 9 g carbohydrates, <1 g protein, 1 g dietary fiber, 5 mg sodium.

Missing Egg Sandwich
Recipe from The Survivor’s Handbook:  Eating Right for Cancer Survival

by Neal D. Barnard, M.D.

Try this healthy eggless recipe.  But, if you have lots of leftover Easter eggs, scoop out yolk and chop up egg white and mix with recipe below for a high-protein powerhouse.  Enjoy!

½ pound firm reduced-fat tofu (1 cup)
1 green onion, finely chopped, including green top
2 tablespoons pickle relish
2 tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
2 teaspoons stone-ground mustard
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon turmeric
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
12 slices whole-grain bread
6 lettuce leaves
6 tomato slices

Mash tofu, leaving some chunks.  Add green onion, pickle relish, vegan mayonnaise, mustard, soy sauce, cumin, turmeric, and garlic powder.  Mix well.  Spread on whole-grain bread and garnish with lettuce and tomato slices.  (Serves 6)

Veggie Wrap

by Kris Kieswer Healthy Eating for Life for Women

¼ cup sunflower seeds
4 whole wheat tortillas
1—2 cups hummus
1-2 cups mixed salad greens or torn leaf lettuce
1 carrot, shredded
1 cup bean sprouts

Preheat oven to 375°.  Place sunflower seeds in a small ovenproof dish and roast until lightly browned and fragrant, about 10 min.  Set aside.  Warm tortillas, one at a time, in a large dry skillet, flipping to warm both sides until soft and pliable.  Spread each tortilla evenly with about ½ cup of hummus, leaving edges uncovered.  Divide remaining ingredients evenly among tortillas.  Wrap tortillas around filling.

Makes 4 wraps.  Per wrap:  240 Cal; 10 g protein; 34 g carbs; 9 g fat; 4 g fiber; 240 mg sodium; calories from protein: 16%; calories from carbs: 53%; calories from fats: 31%

Orange Rice Pilaf with Dried Fruit

by American Institute for Cancer Research

¾ cup chopped dried apricots, cherries or cranberries, or a combination

1/3 cup raisins

1 1/2  cups quick-cooking brown rice

3 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley, or 1 Tbsp. dried

2 tsp. orange zest

Fat-free, reduced sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)

Put dried fruits and raisins in small bowl.  Add hot water to cover, and let soak for 5-10 minutes, then drain.  In large saucepan, cook rice with fruits, parsley and zest in broth per package instructions.  Remove pilaf from heat and fluff gently with fork before serving.

Makes 6 servings.  Per serving:  152 calories, 1 g total fat (> 1 g     saturated fat), 34 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 158 mg sodium.

White Bean Salad with Asparagus

By the American Institute for Cancer Research

5 stalks green asparagus, tough ends removed
1 can (15 oz) white beans, rinsed and drained
1 orange bell pepper, seeded and chopped
½ cup finely chopped red onion
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup leafy salad greens, loosely packed

Cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces.  In vegetable steamer set into large saucepan, lightly steam for 2-3 minutes.  Set aside to cool.  In large bowl, combine white beans, orange pepper and red onion. Gently toss in asparagus.

In separate bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper.  Gently pour dressing onto salad.  Adjust seasonings to taste.  Line salad bowl with leafy greens.  Top greens with white bean salad.  Serve with hearty whole-grain bread.

Makes 5 servings.  Per serving:  120 calories, 6 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 17 g carbohydrates,  6 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 324 mg sodium.


Easy Spicy Beans and Rice, 

by Think Light

2 C. Quick cooking brown rice, uncooked
4 C. Water
2 15 oz Cans of any type of beans (preferably low-salt brands)
½ C. Salsa
1 Clove Garlic, minced
½ large Red onion, chopped
2 tsp. Cumin
2 C. Tomato sauce (Ragu, Prego)
10 dash Tabasco sauce

Cook rice according to package directions.
Rinse canned beans thoroughly in a colander.  In a large nonstick frying pan add salsa, garlic, onions, and cumin.  Saute until onions are limp.  Add beans, tomato sauce, and Tabasco sauce.

Gently stir together.  Simmer mixture until well heated.  Serve over rice.

Serves 4 (1-cup) servings:  Per serving—424 calories/fat: 2.7 gms (5%)/carb: 84 gms/protein: 21 gms/sodium: 450 mg/fiber: 25 gms/cholesterol: 0 mg

Patriotic Parfait,

by Anne Arundel Medical Center Vital Signs

Layer in individual parfait glasses the following ingredients:
½ cup fat-free, sugar-free vanilla yogurt  *
½ cup sliced strawberries
½ cup blueberries
Each 1-cup serving provides 90 Calories, less than 1 gram of total fat, and no cholesterol.
 *If you do not eat dairy, use coconut milk yogurt instead.

Grape and Apple Waldorf Salad, by Think Light!
1 Red apple, unpeeled, cubed
½ Cup Green grapes
1 Celery stalk, chopped
1 Tbs. Pecans, chopped

1 Tbs. Apple juice, unsweetened
1 Tbs. Plain non-fat yogurt  *
1 Tbs. Non-fat mayonnaise

Combine salad ingredients in a bowl.  Mix dressing ingredients in a separate bowl; whisk until smooth.  Pour over grape mixture.  Toss well.

Serve on lettuce-lined salad plates.

Makes 4 (½ cup) servings:  Per Serving - 69.1 calories/fat: 1.64 gms (19%)/carb: 14.7 gms       protein: <1 gm/sodium: 48.3 mg/fiber: 1.7 gms/cholesterol: <1 mg

*If you do not eat dairy, use coconut milk yogurt instead.

Summer-Style Lentil Soup
by Mayo Clinic Nutrition Letter “Editor’s Choice”

4 teaspoons olive oil
½ cup onions, diced
¾ cup leeks, diced
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1 Tbsp. vinegar
½ cup carrots, diced
½ cup celery, diced
1 cup lentils
6 cups chicken stock or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
¼ teaspoon ground thyme
½ teaspoon caraway seeds
3 large strips lemon peel
½ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper

1.  Heat oil over low heat in soup pot.  Add onions, leeks and garlic; stir to coat with oil.  Cover pot and cook for 2 minutes or until onions are translucent, stirring occasionally.
2.  Add tomato paste and saute´ for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Add vinegar and stir to dilute tomato paste.
3.  Add carrots, celery, lentils, vegetable broth or chicken stock, bay leaf, thyme, caraway seeds and lemon peel; stir well.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer for 45 minutes or until lentils are very tender.
4.  Remove and discard bay leaf and lemon peel.  Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.  Serve in heated soup plates.  Makes 7½ cups.
Per Serving:  Calories 167; Carbohydrate 23 gms; Sodium 233 mg; Protein 12 gms; Fat 4 gms; Cholesterol   none.

Spicy Gazpacho
by the American Institute for Cancer Research

2 lbs. ripe tomatoes, seeded and diced, with their juice
2 large cloves garlic
1 slice stale bread, crusted removed *
½ cup reduced sodium tomato juice
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
4 tsp. white horseradish
2 tsp. white distilled vinegar
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
¼ cup finely diced peeled cucumber
¼ cup finely diced green bell pepper
¼ cup finely diced red onion
4 Tbsp. whole-wheat croutons

In blender, whirl tomatoes and garlic to a coarse puree.  Tear bread into 1 inch pieces and add t tomatoes.  Add tomato juice, tomato paste, horseradish, vinegar, oil, and cayenne pepper.  Whirl until soup is finely pulpy puree.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Transfer soup to a container, cover, and chill 3-4 hours to overnight. It will keep up to two days.

Divide chilled soup among four soup bowls.  To each bowl, add 1 tablespoon diced cucumber, pepper and onion.  Top with 1 tablespoon croutons and serve immediately.

*If bread is not stale, set it on rack in a 225 degree oven until dry and hard, about 20 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

Per Serving:  120 calories, 3.5 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 18 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 250 mg sodium.

Grilled Tuna or Tofu with Kiwi Mango Salsa

by the American Institute of Cancer Research

3/4-1 lb. fresh tuna steak or equivalent in Extra Firm Tofu
1 tsp. canola oil
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 small jalapeno pepper ( or to taste) seeded and minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 cup kiwi (about 2 large or 3 medium)
3/4 cup mango (about 1 medium), peeled and cut away from pit
3 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion
1/2 tsp. peeled and grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
8 tightly packed cups mesclun (mixed baby salad greens) rinsed and dried
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil (optional)

Preheat grill.  Cut tuna or extra firm Tofu into 16 cubes and place in non-metal bowl.  Add oil and toss to coat.  Toss and combine with rest of ingredients.  Set aside while making salsa or cover and refrigerate up to 30 minutes.  Peel and chop kiwi into 3/8-inch pieces.  Place in a nonmetal bowl. Chop mango into 3/8-inch.  Add to kiwi.  Mix in next 4 ingredients.  Set aside.  String marinated cubes loosely on skewers.  Grill 3 minutes.  Turn and grill until cooked through, 1 - 2 minutes more.  Remove from skewers.  To serve, arrange 2 cups mesclun on each of 4 dinner plates.  Heap 1/4 salsa over center of greens.  Set 4 cubes of tuna/Tofu around greens.  If desired, drizzle olive oil over greens. Makes 4 servings.
Per serving:  189 calories.; 3 g total fat    (<1 g   saturated fat); 22 g carbs; 22 g  protein, 4 g dietary fiber; 187 mg sodium

Black Bean and Melon Salad with Pomegranate Dressing

by the American Institute for Cancer Research

1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed & drained
1 cup finely chopped cantaloupe
¼ cup diced red onion
½ cup diced red bell pepper
1 can (8 oz.) corn, drained
1 ripe tomato, cut into 8 wedges
¼ cup finely chopped cilantro

2 Tbsp. pomegranate or mango juice
2 Tbsp. apple juice
1 Tbsp. white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. canola oil
Salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

In medium serving bowl, combine all salad ingredients, except tomato and cilantro.  In small bowl, whisk dressing ingredients together.  Gently toss into salad.  Place tomato wedges around sides of bowl.  Garnish salad with cilantro.  Makes 4 servings.  Per serving:  204 calories, 5 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 34 g carbohydrates, 8 g protein, 7 g dietary fiber, 493 mg sodium.

Papaya, Red Bell Pepper and Pecan Salad with Chicken

by American Institute for Cancer Research NEWSLETTER, Spring 2010, Issue 107

8 Cups torn romaine lettuce leaves
2 medium-sized ripe papayas, peeled, halved, seeded and cubed
1 large red bell pepper, halved, seeded and sliced into ¼ inch pieces
2 scallions, trimmed and sliced
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 Tbsp fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 Tbsp honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ lb cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces ¼ cup chopped pecans, toasted in a small skillet over medium high heat for 2-3  minutes and stirred constantly until lightly browned

In large salad bowl, combine lettuce, papaya, bell pepper and scallions.  Set aside.  In measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together lime juice, broth, honey, garlic and mustard.  Slowly add olive oil in thin stream and whisk dressing until well blended.  Season to taste, with salt and pepper.  Pour dressing over salad, add chicken and toss until combined.  Top with pecans and serve.

Makes 4 servings.  Per serving:  360 calories, 17 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 33 g carbohydrates, 24 g protein, 7 g dietary fiber, 122 mg sodium.

Have fun with substitutions:
Romaine: spinach- high in iron  and Vit C
Papaya: mango or chunks of cantaloupe or apple
Red Pepper: orange or yellow peppers- sweet and nutritious
Chicken: black beans and corn – perfect with the lime
Pecans: walnuts, pine nuts or slivered almonds, toasted the same way

Green Pea Guacamole Dip

by American Institute for Cancer Research NEWSLETTER, Spring 2010, Issue 107

Green peas, avocado and lime juice combine to give you a Springtime guacamole dip that’s low in fat and salt, yet full of flavor

1 cup baby green peas, frozen or freshly shelled
1 medium ripe avocado
2 Tbsp. finely chopped red onion
2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
2 tsp. fresh lime juice
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped

In small saucepan, cook peas with ½ cup water, covered, until soft, 5-6 minutes.  Drain well, spread peas on double layer of paper towels and gently blot dry.  Place peas in mixing bowl and mash with fork while warm.
Add avocado and mash until guacamole has desired texture.  Mix in onion, cilantro, lime juice and cayenne.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Guacamole can be covered with plastic wrap pressed  onto surface and refrigerated up to 4 hours.

Just before serving, sprinkle tomatoes over guacamole.  Serve with whole-wheat pita bread wedges.

Makes 8 servings.  Per serving:  60 calories, 4 g total fat (0.5 g saturated fat), 6 g carbohydrate, 1 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 40 mg sodium.

Chunky Peach Sauce

by the American Institute for Cancer Research

This sauce goes well with pork, poultry, fish or steamed  vegetables such as carrots or cauliflower.  For a less chunky version, puree until desired consistency is reached.

2 Tbsp. peeled, finely minced fresh ginger root
2 Tbsp. diced dried apricots
2 tsp. canola oil
3 cups fresh peaches, sliced (or thawed if fresh not    available)
¼ cup unsweetened apple juice
¼ tsp. ground cardamom
Pinch of salt
1-2 Tbsp. brown sugar (optional)

In large nonstick skillet, saute ginger root and apricots in canola oil over medium heat for 3 minutes.  Add peaches, apple juice, cardamom and salt. Cook stirring constantly, over medium-low heat until peaches are tender, about 5-7 minutes. Transfer mixture to food processor and pulse until chunky, adding brown sugar, if desired.  Serve warmed or at room temperature.

Makes 10 servings, ¼ cup each.  Per serving:  36 calories, 1 g total fat (0 g saturated fat) 7 g carbohydrates, <1 g protein, <1 g dietary fiber, 29 mg sodium.

Broccoli, Cherry Tomato and Watercress Salad

By American Institute of Cancer Research

2 cups broccoli florets
1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups cherry tomatoes, stems removed and cut in half
1 bunch watercress, long stems trimmed, coarsely chopped

In vegetable steamer set over boiling water, steam broccoli, covered, until   tender, about 4 minutes.  Rinse with cold water; drain well.  In large bowl, whisk vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and black pepper.  Add broccoli, tomatoes and watercress.  Toss to blend.  Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.  Per serving:  58 calories, 4 g total fat (<1g saturated fat),     6g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 20 mg sodium.

Spinach, Red Bell Pepper and Feta Cheese Salad with Yogurt Dressing

By American Institute of Cancer Research

½ cup non fat plain yogurt
1 tsp. honey
2 tsp. minced fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 bag (5 oz.) baby spinach, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
1 large red bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
1 stalk celery, trimmed and diced (about 1 cup)
¼ cup thinly sliced green onions (scallions)
1 oz. feta cheese, drained, rinsed and crumbled (about ¼ cup)

In a small bowl, stir together yogurt, honey, dill and black pepper until blended.  In a large serving bowl, toss together spinach, red pepper, celery and green onions.  Drizzle dressing over top and lightly toss to coat.  Sprinkle with feta and serve.
Makes 6 servings.   Per serving:  41 calories, 1 g total fat (less than 1g saturated fat), 6 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 1 g dietary  fiber, 91 mg sodium.

Barbecue Vegetable Brochettes

By John Kelly/New Century Nutrition

1 pound very firm tofu (optional)
1 bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce
1 small red onion
1 green bell pepper, seeded
1 red bell pepper, seeded
½ pound crimini or button mushrooms
1 basket cherry tomatoes (optional)
1 medium zucchini (optional)

Cut the tofu into 1-inch cubes and marinate it in some of the barbecue sauce for 30 minutes or more.  Cut the onion into 1-inch chunks, then separate the layers. Cut the bell peppers into   generous bite-sized pieces.  Remove the stems from the mushrooms and the tomatoes.  Cut the zucchini into ½-inch thick rounds.  Thread the vegetables and marinated tofu onto skewers.
Brush the brochettes with barbecue sauce and place over medium-hot coals for 10 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally and basting with additional barbecue sauce.  Makes about 8 brochettes.
Serve them on a bed of brown rice, pasta, or bulgur.
Per Serving:  100 calories; 7g protein; 13 g carbohydrate; 1.5 g fat; 238 mg sodium; 0 mg cholesterol


Post-Run Pumpkin Spice Protein Smoothie
by Lululemon

  • ½ cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • ½ a banana
  • 1 tbsp of raisins
  • 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • sprinkle nutmeg, cinnamon and ginger

Blend it all together in your favourite appliance and top with flax seed for an extra health kick!

Roasted Carrots, Beets, and Red Onion Wedges,
by American Heart Association

Cooking spray
2 medium beets (about 5 ounces each), peeled, cut into ½ inch wedges, and patted dry with paper towels
3 small carrots (about 2 ounces each), cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces (not baby carrots)
1 medium red onion (about 4 ounces), cut into ½ inch wedges
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 425°F.
Line a large baking sheet with aluminum foil to keep it from betting stained.  Lightly spray the foil with cooking spray.

Put the beets, carrots, and onion wedges on the foil. Drizzle the oil and sprinkle the oregano and salt over the vegetables, tossing gently to coat.  Arrange the vegetables in a single layer so they don’t touch.

Bake for 15 minutes.  Stir.  Bake for 10 minutes or until the vegetables are just tender when pierced with a fork.

Serves 4, ½ cup per serving.

Nutrition Analysis (per serving)  Calories 78; Total Fat 2.5g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 155 mg; Carbohydrates 14g; Protein 2 g.

Cook’s Tip:  Avoid getting beet stains on your hands by peeling the beets under cold running water.

 Lisbon Kale Soup
by Canyon Ranch Health Resorts

½ cup cooked kidney beans
½ cup cooked chick peas
½ cup cooked navy beans
1 medium carrot, diced
½ cup large potato, peeled and diced
½ medium onion, diced
½ teaspoon olive oil
4 ½ cups vegetable stock
½ cup diced Roma tomatoes
1 cup Sacramento tomato juice
1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
3 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1 cup chopped green kale

Drain and rinse beans.  In a large pan, saute´ carrots, potatoes and onions until onions are translucent.  Combine all remaining ingredients except kale in a stock pot.  Simmer for 15 minutes.  Add kale and simmer for an additional 20 minutes.
Makes 6 (3/4 cup) servings, each containing approximately:  100 calories; 17 gm. Carbohydrate; 2 gm. Fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 6 gm. Protein; 16 mg. sodium; 5 gm. fiber

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Autumn Vegetable
by the American Institute for Cancer Research

Canola oil  spray
1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. tarragon vinegar or white wine vinegar
1 1/2 Tbsp. orange juice
1 tsp. orange zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium beets (red or golden), peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 medium leek (white part only) cut in half lengthwise, thinly sliced
1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small red onion, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
1 tsp. dried tarragon
1/2 cup quinoa

Preheat oven to 450°.  Lightly coat large baking sheet with cooking spray.  Prepare dressing in small bowl by whisking together oil, vinegar, orange juice, zest, salt and pepper.  Arrange carrot, beets, leek, sweet potato and onion in single layer on baking sheet.  Sprinkle with tarragon.  Drizzle 1 1/2 tablespoons of dressing over vegetables.  Bake 30 - 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.  While  vegetables are roasting, in fine mesh sieve, rinse quinoa well under cold running water; drain, in saucepan, place quinoa and 1 cup water; bring to boil.  Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, 12-15 minutes or until water is absorbed and quinoa is translucent.  Transfer to bowl and let cool. When vegetables are tender, remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.  Add vegetables to quinoa.  Toss with remaining dressing.  If not serving right away, cover salad with plastic wrap and refrigerate.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 8 1/2-cup servings.  Per serving:  1-1 calories, 3 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 16 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 27 mg sodium.

Sweet Potato Latkes
by Canyon Ranch

2 pounds peeled and grated sweet potatoes
1 ½ cups diced onion
3 whole eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Canola oil for coating

  1. In a medium bowl combine potatoes and onions and mix well.  Add eggs, salt, pepper, olive oil, orange peel and cinnamon.  Sift in flour last and mix well.
  2. Lightly spray a large sauté pan with canola oil.  Portion a scant ¼ cup potato mixture for each latke, flatten and cook 3 latkes in pan at a time.  Cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes.  Flip and finish browning on the other side.

Makes 8 (3-latke) servings, each containing approximately:  185 calories; 35 gm. Carbohydrate; 3 gm fat; 80 mg. cholesterol; 5 gm. Protein; 402 mg. sodium; 5 gm. fiber

Pumpkin Spice Muffins

Canola oil spray
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed brown sugar (or baking-approved sugar substitute)
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. each cloves, ginger & nutmeg
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/3 cup canola oil
1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, for topping (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°.  Coat a 12 cup muffin pan with canola oil spray.  In a large bowl, combine the dry ingredients.  Stir well.  In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin, oil, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla; mix well.  Pour the liquid mixture into the dry ingredients and stir.  Divide the combined mixture among 12 muffin cups.  Top with chopped walnuts, if using.  Bake about 20 minutes or until the muffins bounce back when pressed lightly.

Makes 12 muffins.  Per serving (1 muffin): 174 calories, 7 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 26 g  carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 158 mg sodium.

Autumn Roasted Vegetables
by the American Institute for Cancer Research

3 carrots, unpeeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
9 small white button mushrooms
2 cups Brussels sprouts (cut in halves if large) or 1/2 pound
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 10-inch pieces
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 cups fat free reduced sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 Tbsp finely chopped pecans for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Toss vegetables with oil, thyme, salt and pepper.  Place vegetables in roasting pan.  Pour stock into pan.  Roast 45 minutes, stirring and turning every 10 to 15 minutes.  When nearly tender, raise heat to 425 degrees and continue roasting 10 to 15 minutes more or until vegetables are browned and tender.  Remove from oven and drain off any excess liquid.  Serve hot, garnished with pecans.
Makes 4 servings.

Per serving:  144 Calories, 4 g. of fat (<1 g. sat. fat), 22 g. carbohydrate, 7 g. protein, 4 g. dietary fiber, 255 mg. sodium.

Spiced Butternut Squash Mash
by Maureen Callahan, Pfizer For Living

4 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash (about 1 small)
1 tbsp. Olive or canola oil
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cumin
3/4 tsp. mustard seed
3/4 tsp. turmeric

Place butternut squash in a large saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer 10-12 minutes or until tender.  Drain.  Remove squash to a plate and keep warm.  Wipe out saucepan with a paper towel.
Place oil in saucepan and heat over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté 2-3 minutes or until   tender.  Add garlic and salt and cook 30 seconds.  Stir in cumin, mustard seed, and turmeric and cook 1 minute.  Add squash to pan.  Stir until well blended, mashing some of the squash pieces with the back of the spoon until mixture holds together.  Serve immediately.  Makes 4 servings.
Per serving:  Calories:  107; Fat 3.9 g; Saturated 0.5 g; Polyunsaturated 0.5 g; Monounsaturated 2.7 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 303 mg; Carbohydrates 19 g; Fiber 5 g; Sugar 3.7 g/ Protein 2 g

Pear-Apple Crisp
by Maureen Callahan, Pfizer For Living

4 medium pears, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
4 medium Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup plus 1 tbsp. whole-wheat flour
4 tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
Cooking spray
3/4 cup rolled oats
3 tbsp finely chopped walnuts
3 tbsp. canola oil
1 tbsp dark honey
Dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350°.  Combine pears, apples, 1 tbsp. flour, 2 tbsp. brown sugar, cinnamon, and   nutmeg in a large bowl.  Toss gently to mix.  Place mixture in a 9-inch square baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Combine oats, walnuts, remaining 1/4 cup flour, remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar, canola oil, honey, and salt in a small bowl.  Stir with a fork until dry ingredients are moistened and the mixture clumps together.  Sprinkle oat mixture evenly over pear mixture and bake for 50-55 minutes or until bubbly.  Serves 8.

Per Serving:  Calories 222; Fat 7.7 g; Saturated 0.6 g; Polyunsaturated 3.1 g; Monounsaturated 3.5 g; Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 23 mg; Carbohydrates 39 g; Fiber 5 g; Sugar 24.1 g; Protein 2.7 g

From the New American Plate, to the latest news about nutrient timing to enhance athletic performance, to the changing nutritional needs of growing kids and aging baby boomers, to the impact of calcium on weight loss, and the low-carb fad, nutrition is in the news!  With so much information and misinformation, it is hard to separate fact from fad and science from fiction!  Often the media reports research findings in “sound bites” that capture public attention, but leave out the details that make the whole story more complete and accurate.  No wonder there is mass confusion leading to frustration and to food and supplement choices that are less than ideal – and that could be downright harmful!

One of the most important principles to remember about nutrition is that “one size does not fit all”.  And, unless you want to “super size” yourself, avoid “super size” portions.  When it comes to serving sizes, to the number of servings per day, and to supplement needs, all that will vary depending upon age, gender, body composition, special health considerations, and level of physical activity.  For example, toddlers need smaller portions than older children; muscular athletes need more calories than their less muscular and less active counterparts (greater muscle mass increases metabolism); older adults and pregnant women need more folic acid (400-800 mg).  Teenage and post-menopausal women need more calcium—and half that amount in magnesium to enhance calcium absorption.  1300 mg of calcium is generally recommended for teenagers, and 1200-1500 mg for post-menopausal women, depending upon bone health.  And while calcium, specifically from unsweetened yogurt, has been associated with weight loss, excessive amounts are associated with higher incidence of kidney stones and can interfere with the absorption of iron, zinc and potassium!  The Upper Intake Level for safe consumption is 2500 mg/day (food and/or food and supplements combined).

As for nutrient timing for pre and post exercise, protein/carb combos seem to work best.  It is important to include these in your daily  calorie count so that these calories enhance muscle recovery, glycogen replenishment, and performance rather than get stored as fat!  Pre-exercise snacks needs will vary with intensity, duration and type of workout.  Re-fueling after a workout is essential, preferably within 30 minutes of finishing to insure glycogen replenishment (glycogen is stored energy from carbs in the muscle and liver).  Some examples of  protein/carb combos would be whole grain bread and natural peanut butter; cottage cheese and fruit; nuts and  apple; chicken or tuna with carrots, or beans and rice.

What about the low-carb craze and all the confusion about the glycemic index?  First of all, not all carbs are created equal.  There is a big difference between a cup of broccoli and a can of soda!  And the glycemic index of a meal differs from the glycemic index of any individual food in that meal.  The combination of foods and beverages consumed makes up the glycemic index of the meal.  And attention to the glycemic index will be different for   individuals with diabetes  than for those who are not diabetic.  Type, intensity, and timing of exercise will also matter.

For accurate information about nutrition, please go to the American Dietetic Association website at; for information more directly related to nutrition and physical activity, go to The American Council on Exercise website at

The bottom line is to be active on most days of the week, eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, adequate lean protein, healthy fats (like olive oil, nuts, seeds – more on this in a future issue), and whole grains which are high in fiber.  Drink plenty of water and avoid sodas and processed, refined foods.

And as for those claims that seem too good to be true – beware!  If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.  And if you’re looking for a miracle – exercise has over 50 scientifically proven health benefits – so get moving!  Enjoy a heart-healthy meal with family or friends and go out for a walk.  It’s not only sensible – it’s fun!

Even a “good diet” isn’t enough ~ 
If you are meticulously careful about balancing your nutritional intake, eating 9 or more servings a day of vegetables and fruits, opting for whole grains rather than refined, and consuming adequate but not excess calories, you may still be missing some essential nutrients in the appropriate amounts.

The Facts About Nutrition ~ 
Everyone needs balanced nutrition each and every day.  This means the perfect combination of vitamins, minerals, trace elements and electrolytes combined with a medley of protein, carbohydrate and fat needed daily for optimal performance and feeling your best.  This combination is agreed upon by Health Professionals (the committee on Dietary Allowances of Foods and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Science) everywhere for almost all healthy persons.  There are additional considerations given to special needs that require special nutritional attention.  Some of the special needs not addressed by balanced nutrition include physical activity, climate, aging, chronic disease, dieting, smoking, alcohol and prescription drug use.  Be sure to check with your licensed health care provider and pharmacist before taking supplements to make sure they are safe and suited to your individual health care needs.  Nutritional supplements are not meant to treat or cure disease.

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Do not add supplements before checking with your Doctor/Pharmacist for possible medication interactions!

You might consider consulting with a functional medicine health care provider if you suspect food sensitivities and/or “leaky gut”.

  The information provided here is for educational purposes and not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice.