Archive for the ‘cook’ Category

Happy Thanksgiving! It’s so DASH-friendly!

November 26, 2014

turkey2014We tend to think of the holidays as a time when healthy diets go out the window. However, it can be easy to stay on track with the DASH diet on Thanksgiving.

Remember the DASH diet principles: lots of vegetables, fruits, lean meats, fish, poultry, low fat and nonfat dairy, bean and nuts, whole grains, and limited saturated fats and sweets. Use the following tips to make your Thanksgiving very DASH-friendly. And check out one of our favorite menus from previous Thanksgivings.

Appetizers

Raw veggies on a platter with a hummus dip.

Sliced yellow, orange, and red bell peppers, with a dip made from nonfat sour cream and salsa, or with guacamole.

Unsalted nuts.

Apple and pear slices with grapes.

Thanksgiving dinner

Turkey breast (with the skin removed) is very low in saturated fat. If you cook the stuffing separately from the bird, you are more likely to have a moist turkey breast. (Stuffing the bird means you need longer cooking times, which may result in dry breast meat.)Cranberry-stuffing

Make a low fat gravy by using a skimmer cup to separate out most of the fat from the turkey drippings. Make your gravy high flavor by first sauteing some onions or shallots with some garlic. Then add some red wine, and boil to burn off the alcohol, while leaving great flavor. Add skimmed meat drippings. Use instant flour (Wondra) to thicken hot gravy.

Use low sodium, nonfat chicken broth for more flavor in gravy and for moistening stuffing which is cooked in a casserole.

Mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes are great sources of potassium, a key nutrient in the DASH diet. Use skim milk and light margarine for mashing.

Fill your plate with extra helpings of vegetables, to avoid overdoing calories.

Cranberry sauce is a great source of antioxidants, which are great for your heart.

Choose whole grain rolls.

pumpkin-pie-ceramic Dessert

Pumpkin pie can count as a vegetable. Have your favorite recipe, or check out our lighter low-fat pumpkin pie recipe.

Similarly, apple pie will provide a serving of fruit. Add some cranberries to make it special, and really on track for Thanksgiving.

Alcohol

Limit alcohol to moderate amounts to keep calories under control, and help you manage your blood pressure. Women should limit to 1 glass and men to 2 glasses per day. Fill your wine glass with water, so you have something to drink without overdoing alcohol. Or have a glass of skim milk to add another key DASH diet food.
If you are eating at someone else’s house, bring a vegetable dish or vegetable appetizers, so that you can be sure to have a healthy dinner.

Move it!

Exercise on Thanksgiving Day. Go for a walk, shoot some hoops, or play touch football. If it snows (which it may do in the North), go out and romp in the snow. Create a new tradition with some family active time on the holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

by Marla Heller, MS, RD

DASH diet expert, and author of The DASH Diet Action Plan, The DASH Diet Weight Loss Solution, The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook, and The DASH Diet Younger You.

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DASHing Through Thanksgiving

November 21, 2013

ImageWe tend to think of the holidays as a time when healthy diets go out the window. However, it can be very easy to stay on track with the DASH diet on Thanksgiving.

Remember the DASH diet principles: lots of vegetables, fruits, lean meats, fish, poultry, low fat and nonfat dairy, bean and nuts, and whole grains, and limited saturated fats and sweets. Use the following tips to make your Thanksgiving very DASH-friendly.

    • Appetizers
      • Raw veggies on a platter with a hummus dip.
      • Sliced yellow, orange, and red bell peppers, with a dip made from nonfat sour cream and salsa.
      • Unsalted nuts.
      • Apple and pear slices with grapes.
    • Thanksgiving dinner
      • Turkey breast (with the skin removed) is very low in saturated fat. If you cook the stuffing separately from the bird, you are more likely to have a moist turkey breast. (Stuffing the bird means you need longer cooking times, which may result in dry breast meat.)
      • Make a low fat gravy by using a skimmer cup to separate out most of the fat from the turkey drippings. Make your gravy high flavor by first sauteing some onions or shallots with some garlic. Then add some red wine, and boil to burn off the alcohol, while leaving great flavor. Add skimmed meat drippings. Use instant flour (Wondra) to thicken hot gravy.
      • Use low sodium, nonfat chicken broth for more flavor in gravy and for moistening stuffing which is cooked in a casserole.
      • Mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes are great sources of potassium, a key nutrient in the DASH diet. Use skim milk and light margarine for mashing, and watch out for the serving size.
      • Fill your plate with extra helpings of vegetables, to avoid overdoing calories.
      • Cranberry sauce is a great source of antioxidants, which are great for your heart.
      • Choose whole grain rolls, or skip them, to focus on other favorites.
    • Alcohol
      • Limit alcohol to moderate amounts to keep calories under control, and help you manage your blood pressure. Women should limit to 1 glass and men to 2 glasses per day. If you have already had your drink, fill your wine glass with water, so you have something to drink without overdoing alcohol. Or have a glass of skim milk to add another key DASH diet food.
  • If you are eating at someone else’s house, bring a vegetable dish or vegetable appetizers, so that you can be sure to have a healthy dinner.
  • Exercise on Thanksgiving Day. Go for a walk, shoot some hoops, or play touch football. If it snows (which it may do in the North), go out and romp in the snow. Create a new tradition with some family active time on the holiday.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

by Marla Heller, MS, RD

Spinach Versus Kale! Which One Rules?

April 1, 2013

KaleKale salad is one of the vegetable trends that is so good for our health. Many vegans like it as a great source of calcium.

Since kale is relatively new in our repertoires, many of us don’t know why it is fast becoming so popular. Nutritionally speaking, kale is a powerhouse. One cup (about 2 1/4 ounces or 67 g) has 34 calories, and 300 mg potassium, with only 29 mg sodium, and is very rich in beta-carotene and vitamin C. It has 90 mg of calcium which is very highly absorbed, even much better than from dairy.

Spinach is also full of nutrients. Two-and-a-quarter cups (the same 2 1/4 ouncesThe Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook or 67 g) has 15 calories, 53 mg sodium, 377 mg potassium, but less beta-carotene and much less vitamin C. It has more iron and less calcium than kale. However, the iron and calcium is very poorly absorbed from spinach. Spinach is very high in oxalic acid which binds calcium and iron so tightly that very little is absorbed during digestion. Not only does it reduce the absorption of calcium from the spinach, but it will also bind calcium from other foods that are consumed at the same time.

Bottom line? Choose kale for salads, to add to lasagna or pizza, or to incorporate in omelets. That will give you the biggest payoff for vegetable sources of calcium. Recipes for the kale salad, shown right, and more delicious foods based on kale are in the soon-to-be-published book, The Everyday DASH Diet Cookbook, by Marla Heller, MS, RD, with Rick Rodgers.

Lighten Up Your Holiday Desert for the DASH Diet

December 19, 2012

I love pumpkin pie. But after eating lighter all year, I don’t want to overdo things at Christmas dinner. So I bring this light pumpkin pie, and no one except me is the wiser.

Low Fat Pumpkin Pie

4 egg whites, slightly beaten

16 ounce can pumpkin (or the meat from 1-lb pumpkin)

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 Tbsp molasses

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

12 oz can evaporated skim (fat free) milk

9″ unbaked pie shell

Preheat oven to 425 F. Combine ingredients in above order. Mix well. Pour into pie shell (or into an au gratin dish for a fat-free dessert). Bake for 15 minutes at 425F. Then reduce temperature to 350F, and bake for 45 more minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Each piece of pumpkin pie has 240 Cal, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, and 7 mg cholesterol.

Without the crust, each piece would have 130 Cal, 0 fat, 0 saturated fat, and 2 mg cholesterol. For a low sugar version, use Splenda™ instead of brown sugar, and increase molasses to 3 tablespoons.

I love to cook

December 20, 2008

My husband and I love to cook. But we were hampered by an out-of-date kitchen. So we decided to go down to the studs and the rafters. Everything had to go. If you want to see the progress, go to http://netrd.com/i_love_to_cook.htm. For recipes concocted in the old kitchen, see http://dashdiet.org/dash_diet_recipes.htm.


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