Category Archives: recipes

Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic disease which affects an estimated 220 million people around the world.  It results from the body’s inability to use or produce insulin, the hormone necessary for sugar to transfer from the blood into the cells.  It provides the cells with energy that allows them to function.  People that have Type I diabetes test their blood on a regular basis, and take insulin shots when their blood sugar is too high because their pancreas can’t produce insulin.  People with Type II diabetes usually control their diabetes through pills and diet, since their body makes insulin, but the cells just don’t respond to it as well as they need to.  They try to keep their blood sugar at a steady, normal rate (between 80-120 mg/100 mL) because spikes and drops in blood sugar can be damaging and even fatal.

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To help diabetics plan their diets, scientists and dieticians came up with the Glycemic Index (or GI).  Foods that have low rankings generally cause little change in blood sugar levels.  Eating a low GI diet helps the body become more sensitive to insulin.  It also reduces cholesterol levels and risk of heart and brain problems, and allows the body to be able to endure more exercise.  So what’s the best way to incorporate a low GI diet into your busy schedule?  The Glycemic Index website suggests swapping out high GI foods with low GI foods.  It suggests eating less carbs.  You can do that by eating wholegrain breads, Basmati rice, pasta, quinoa, and more fruits and vegetables.


The holidays are here and everyone likes to share their favorite foods and treats, but what can you make that your guests will love, and that also ranks low in the Glycemic Index?  These recipes, from “The GI Diet Guru” website let you enjoy your dessert without counting carbs.

NO BAKE PINEAPPLE AND BERRY CHEESECAKE

(makes 10 servings)

No Bake Pineapple & Berry Cheese Cake

This healthy no bake cheese cake provides Glycemic Index watchers with a way to enjoy a dessert treat. Pineapple juice is used as a sweetener so there is no added sugar and there is a generous amount of protein too, keeping the GI very low.

INGREDIENTS:
3 cups light cream cheese
2 cups fat-free cream cheese
4 cups roughly crushed vanilla ice cream cones or wafers
5 sheets of leaf gelatin or enough powdered gelatin to set 2/3 pint liquid (check packet instructions)
2 tablespoons powdered milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 8-oz cans of pineapple in natural juices
1½ cups fresh strawberries, halved
½ cup fresh blueberries

Put the gelatin to soak in a little water. Add ½ cup non fat cream cheese to the crushed vanilla cones/wafers and mix together with the tips of your fingers. Pack the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan and put in the refrigerator.

Put the remaining cream cheese and vanilla extract in to a bowl, sprinkle in the powdered milk and stir together. Remove the pineapple from the cans, saving the juice, and chop it into fine chunks.

Draining away the water first, put the gelatin in a pan on a low heat, slowly mix in the juice from the canned pineapples. Little by little add the pineapple juice and gelatin to the cream cheese, stirring as you go.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per slice):
Calories: 217, Protein: 14g, Fat: 10g, Saturated: 6g, Cholesterol: 42mg, Carbohydrate: 22g, Sugars: 15g, Fiber: 2g, Sodium: 496mg

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE WITH RASPBERRIES
(makes 4 servings)

Chocolate mousse

Chocolate is usually not considered a diet food but cocoa itself has beneficial anti-inflammatory properties. It is usually the other ingredients added to chocolate that make it a dieter’s foe. This chocolate mousse uses 70% cocoa chocolate this contains much less fat and sugar then a conventional chocolate bar.

INGREDIENTS:
80g 70%-cocoa chocolate
2 egg whites
2 teaspoons sugar
4 tablespoons plain yogurt
30 raspberries

Break chocolate into a glass bowl and gently heat the jug in saucepan of water. When the chocolate is fully melted take the jug out of the saucepan and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

Separate the egg yolks from the whites. Add the sugar to the whites and whisk them until they become firm and form soft peaks as the whisk is removed.

Add the chocolate to the yogurt and mix them together well.

Fold the egg white into the chocolate yogurt and then spoon the mixture into ramekins or whatever bowls or glasses you have to hand. Refrigerate the mixture for 2 hours to allow it to set.

Just before serving arrange the raspberries on top and use a potato peeler to create chocolate shavings for decoration.

NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION (per serving):
Calories: 145, Protein: 5g, Fat: 9g, Saturated: 5g, Cholesterol: 3mg, Carbohydrate: 13g, Sugars: 10g, Fiber: 2g, Sodium: 52mg

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Tomato Soup Recipe

In an article published this last September by the National Health Service (NHS) of England, doctors, scientists, and chefs introduced a very complete, “anti-prostate cancer” recipe book.  The main point of these recipes is to decrease saturated fats, especially in the form of red meat and dairy, and increase vitamins D and E as well as lycopene (an anti-oxidant found in  products) in the diet.

Since lycopene helps fight the development of cancer, I found this wonderful tomato soup recipe to share with you all.  It’s great for the cold weather, and only has 1 gram (or about 8% of the daily value) of saturated fat per serving.  There’s no meat or dairy in the recipe, and olive oil is used instead of vegetable oil.  It can be accompanied with a large salad and toast with a little bit of cheese melted on top for a balanced meal.

TOMATO SOUP

Jeni Wright – BBC’s Good Food Section (UK)

Tomato soup

INGREDIENTS:
2.75 lbs. tomatoes
1 med. onion
1 small carrot
1 celery stick
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. tomato puree
a pinch of sugar
2 bay leaves
5 cups hot vegetable stock (or boiling water, with 4 rounded tsp. of vegetable bouillon powder)
INSTRUCTIONS:
  1. First, prepare your vegetables. If the tomatoes are on their vines, pull them off. The green stalky bits should come off at the same time, but if they don’t, just pull or twist them off afterwards. Throw the vines and green bits away and wash the tomatoes. Now cut each tomato into quarters and slice off any hard cores (they don’t soften during cooking and you’d get hard bits in the soup at the end). Peel the onion and carrot and chop them into small pieces. Chop the celery roughly the same size.
  2. Spoon the oil into a large heavy-based pan and heat it over a low heat. Hold your hand over the pan until you can feel the heat rising from the oil, then tip in the onion, carrot and celery and mix them together with a wooden spoon. Still with the heat low, cook the vegetables until they’re soft and faintly coloured. This should take about 10 minutes and you should stir them two or three times so they cook evenly and don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
  3. Holding the tube over the pan, squirt in about 2 tsp of tomato purée, then stir it around so it turns the vegetables red. Shoot the tomatoes in off the chopping board, sprinkle in a good pinch of sugar and grind in a little black pepper, then tear each bay leaf into a few pieces and throw them into the pan. Stir to mix everything together, put the lid on the pan and let the tomatoes stew over a low heat for 10 minutes until they shrink down in the pan and their juices flow nicely. From time to time, give the pan a good shake – this will keep everything well mixed.
  4. Slowly pour in the stock, stirring at the same time to mix it with the vegetables. Turn up the heat as high as it will go and wait until everything is bubbling, then turn the heat down to low again and put the lid back on the pan. Cook gently for 25 minutes, stirring a couple of times. At the end of cooking the tomatoes will have broken down and be very slushy looking.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, take the lid off and stand back for a few seconds or so while the steam escapes, then fish out the pieces of bay leaf and throw them away. Ladle the soup into your blender until it’s about three-quarters full, fit the lid on tightly and turn the machine on full. Blitz until the soup’s smooth (stop the machine and lift the lid to check after about 30 seconds), then pour the puréed soup into a large bowl. Repeat with the soup that’s left in the pan. (The soup may now be frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost before reheating.)
  6. Pour the puréed soup back into the pan and reheat it over a medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until you can see bubbles breaking gently on the surface. Taste a spoonful and add a pinch or two of salt if you think the soup needs it, plus more pepper and sugar if you like. If the colour’s not a deep enough red for you, plop in another teaspoon of tomato purée and stir until it dissolves. Ladle into bowls and serve.
Nutritional Values:
4 servings
123 calories, 4 g. protein, 13 g. carbohydrates, 7 g. fat, 1 g. saturated fat, 4 g. fiber

Prostate Cancer

1 in 6 American men will get prostate cancer.  It kills approximately 27,360 (1 in 35) each year.  Though it accounts for almost 10% of cancer deaths, treatments for prostate cancer are very effective if the cancer is detected early.  Most symptoms of prostate cancer aren’t shown until the later stages of development, so it’s important for men to be checked annually.  Screening includes a Digital Rectal Exam and a Prostate-Specific Antigen Exam that should be done every year after turning 45 (if you have a family history of prostate cancer) or after 50 if you’re at normal risk.

The main ways to prevent prostate cancer are screening and having a diet low in saturated fat.  Researchers believe that an increased amount of saturated fats in the diet causes the body to increase the amount of testosterone it makes, which increases cell production in the prostate and can lead to cancer.  Saturated fats are found mostly in animal products and are solid at room temperature (ex. lard, butter, fat from red meats).  Dieticians suggest that less that 20% of the calories eaten daily come from saturated fats.

Which diets, then, help reduce your chance of getting prostate cancer?  The Mediterranean and Japanese diets are especially low in saturated fats.  They involve mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, olive oil, grains and breads, and poultry or fish (rarely red meat).   These diets are also great for your heart!  The Prostate Cancer Foundation has created two helpful cookbooks that provide healthier, low-fat versions of your favorite meals.  They will help you easily adapt this kind of diet which will hopefully reduce your chances of getting prostate cancer!  The cookbooks can be bought here:

The Taste for Living Cookbook

The Taste for Living World Cookbook

Fight Breast Cancer with Soy!

In past years, doctors have warned breast cancer patients to avoid using soy.  It was supposed to have the same cancer-promoting effects on the hormone-sensitive cancer as estrogen does.  According to a recent news article though, studies have shown just the opposite – that increasing soy in your diet can actually help reduce the risk of breast cancer.   Emily Moore, a registered dietician, has shared some simple tips on incorporating soy in your family’s diet to help prevent hormone-sensitive cancers (including breast and prostate cancers).  They include:

-use soy milk in your cereal

-substitute soy flour for white flour when making cookies

-use textured soy protein or tofu in any recipe that calls for ground beef, chicken, or turkey

-snack on soy nuts

-use soynut butter in cookies and on sandwiches

-add tofu to casseroles and vegetable dishes

-use edamame beans in your favorite soup or stew

-substitute vegetable oil with soy oil

Here‘s a easy, 5-star recipe that the whole family’s sure to love!  These lettuce wraps are similar to P.F. Chang’s, but it’s much healthier for you… using low-sodium soy sauce, tofu, extra-lean ground beef, and lots of vegetables.  Enjoy!

LETTUCE CUPS WITH BEEF AND TOFU STUFFING

Ellie Krieger
Prep Time: 30 min
Cook Time: 12 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tablespoons bottled chili-garlic sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sherry or Chinese cooking wine
  • 8 ounces extra-firm tofu
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh minced ginger
  • 4 scallions, greens trimmed and reserved, thinly sliced (about 1/3 cup each greens and whites – 3/4-ounce each)
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef (90 percent or leaner)
  • 1/2 cup finely diced water chestnuts
  • 1 large head Bibb lettuce, outer leaves discarded, leaves separated
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped peanuts

DIRECTIONS

In a bowl, whisk together chili-garlic sauce, sesame oil, soy sauce, hoisin sauce, vinegar and sherry.

Slice the tofu into 1/2-inch thick slabs and lay the slices on top of paper towels. Use more paper towels to firmly pat the tofu in order to remove as much water as possible. This should take about 2 minutes and use about 3 paper towels. Finely mince dried tofu and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok or extra-large skillet over medium heat. Add the ginger and scallion whites and cook until scallion whites are translucent and ginger is fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add ground beef and tofu and cook, stirring, until beef is opaque and just cooked through, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add reserved sauce. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, stirring, an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Add water chestnuts and stir to incorporate.

Fill each lettuce leaf with the filling. Serve garnished with scallion greens, red peppers and peanuts.

PER SERVING:

Serving size: 2/3 cup filling and 2 large, or 4 small, lettuce leaves

Calories 260; Total Fat 13 g; (Sat Fat 1.5 g, Mono Fat 5 g, Poly Fat 3.5 g) ; Protein 16 g; Carb 19 g; Fiber 5 g; Cholesterol 15 mg; Sodium 630 mg

Excellent source of: Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Folate, Vitamin K, Iron, Manganese

Good source of: Fiber, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc

Healthy, Diabetic, High Fiber, Low Carbohydrate, Low Cholesterol, Dairy Free

Heart-Healthy Recipes

It isn’t too hard to take small steps to become more heart healthy!  Instead of eating a hamburger, try grilled chicken; and substitute soda with milk or water.  When you go to a restaurant, be aware of portion sizes and only eat until you’re full – remember you can take home the leftovers and eat them for lunch the next day!  Instead of eating potato chips, keep fresh fruit and veggies on hand for when you get the munchies, and remember to try to squeeze in 30 minutes of cardio, 3 or more times a week.  These simple suggestions can lead to years more of healthy life!

Myrecipes.com has a section on 20-Minute Heart-Healthy Meals.  I think these recipes are great because, not only are they yummy, but they’re quick to make!  I tend to eat food that I know isn’t very nutritious, just because it’s quick to make and doesn’t take much planning ahead…but cutting cholesterol and counting calories isn’t at all tedious with this website.  All of the recipes are quick to make and include side-dish ideas so you don’t have to do any meal planning yourself.  In addition to the recipe, they include instructional videos to help those of us who aren’t so experienced in the kitchen.

Not only is salmon heart-healthy, but I think it’s delicious any time of year!

Sweet-Spicy Glazed Salmon

Sweet, spicy, salty, sour—just four ingredients hit all the flavor notes in the sauce for this top-rated dish. Chinese-style hot mustard has a sharp bite similar to that of wasabi. If you don’t have it on hand, use Dijon mustard or 1 teaspoon of a dry mustard such as Coleman’s.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 fillet)

Ingredients:

  • 3  tablespoons  dark brown sugar
  • 1  tablespoon  low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4  teaspoons  Chinese-style hot mustard
  • 1  teaspoon  rice vinegar
  • 4  (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/4  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425°.  Combine first 4 ingredients in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Remove from heat.  Place fish on a foil-lined jelly roll pan coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 425° for 12 minutes. Remove from oven.  Preheat broiler.  Brush sugar mixture evenly over salmon; broil 3 inches from heat 3 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Nutritional Information:
Calories: 252 (37% from fat)
Fat: 10.3g (sat 2.3g,mono 4.4g,poly 2.5g)
Protein: 27.7g
Carbohydrate: 11g
Fiber: 0.1g
Cholesterol: 65mg
Iron: 0.9mg
Sodium: 470mg
Calcium: 33mg
To find more heart-healthy recipes, check out this selection reviewed by the Mayo Clinic dieticians.  They even have a huge dessert section!