Beans & Greens Burritos; A Cancer-Fighting Meal for Saint Patrick’s Day!

This recipe from the American Institute for Cancer Research uses cancer-fighting collard greens as burrito shells making a tasty and healthy “green” meal for St. Patrick’s Day!

Beans and Greens Burritos

Makes 4 servings

4 large collard green leaves, rinsed

1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed

1/2 cup cooked brown rice

1/3 cup hummus

1/4 cup chunky salsa, mild or medium

2 stalks celery, thinly sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. oregano

1/4 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

On cutting board, lay each collard green leaf with top up and gently smooth leaf. Slice 4-5 inches off bottom to remove large stem.

Bring large pot of water to boil. Drop leaves in and blanch 2-3 minutes. Carefully remove from pot and lay flat on kitchen towel to drain and cool. Lay leaves in assembly line manner with top end up and cut bottom down.

In mixing bowl, add remaining ingredients. Mix gently but thoroughly. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Place mixture, evenly divided, in center of leaf and shape thick line from top to bottom leaving two inches at top and bottom. Gently fold up bottom edge, then top edge down. Next, fold left edge toward center and roll to right to form a burrito. Serve whole or cut diagonally in half.

Per serving: 130 calories, 3 g total fat (<1 g saturated fat), 23 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 6 g dietary fiber, 201 mg sodium

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Mini Vegetable Quiche

This is a quick and easy recipe to help you incorporate more vegetables into your diet, starting at breakfast when this may be a challenge.  Eating this mini quiche – hot or cold – on a whole grain sandwich thin or with a piece of fruit will start your day off with protein,  vegetables, and either a serving of whole grains or fruit, making this an ideal breakfast choice.

Yields 12 mini quiches

INGREDIENTS

  • 8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms 
  • 1 medium leek
  • 12 medium red pepper
  • 12 medium green pepper
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 3 eggs
  • 7 egg whites
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 12 teaspoon hot sauce
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Sauté mushrooms for 2-3 minutes in a pan sprayed with cooking spray over medium heat.
  2. Add leeks, peppers and garlic and sauté for another 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Turn off heat and put aside to semi-cool.
  5. Beat together eggs, milk, paprika, and hot sauce.
  6. Spray a muffin pan and pour egg mixture in muffin tins filling them 3/4 of the way full.
  7. Then add the vegetable mixture to each one and top with Parmesan cheese.
  8. Bake at 350 for approximately 25 minutes until golden brown.
  9. Eat immediately or cool on cooling rack and store in the fridge.
  10. To re-heat put them on high in the microwave for 30 seconds to 1 minute or in the toaster oven on 400 degrees for 7-10 minutes.

Nutrition: Calories per serving:  58.3, Total fat: 2.2 g, Saturated fat: 0.9 g, Cholesterol: 49.4 mg, Total carbohydrate:  4 g, Protein: 5.8 g

Resource:  http://www.food.com

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Don’t Forget to Eat your Fruits & Vegetables!

by Staci O’Connor, MS, RD, CLC, CDN

Most Americans are not getting enough fruits and vegetables into their diet and they are so rich in vitamins, fiber, nutrients, antioxidants, and water!  Below you will find simple ways to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables that you consume on a daily basis.

  1. Add fresh or frozen berries, dried fruit, or banana slices to your plain Greek yogurt or hot/cold cereal.
  2. Make a smoothie. Combine low fat milk or yogurt with frozen berries and a couple of cups of dark leafy greens for a super easy breakfast on the go.
  3. Top a whole wheat sandwich thin with a colorful vegetable omelette. Add red, orange, yellow and green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and broccoli to your scrambled eggs.  Think of the color of the rainbow and pick as many colorful vegetables to incorporate as possible.
  4. In a hurry? Grab a piece of fruit, such as an apple, banana, or orange with a handful of nuts on your way out the door.
  5. Aim to fill half of your plate with colorful vegetables at meal time.
  6. When dining out order extra sides of steamed, grilled or sautéed (in olive oil or vegetable broth) vegetables. Even if you don’t see any vegetable sides on the menu, ask if they can be prepared for you.
  7. Pizza night? Ask for a vegetable pizza or make your own vegetable pizza with your children.  Pile colorful vegetables onto your pizza and even consider eating a salad before you dive in for a slice of pizza.
  8. Top sandwiches with lots of fresh vegetables, such as romaine lettuce or spinach, tomato, onions, sprouts, mushrooms, or fresh red pepper.
  9. Incorporate raw vegetables with natural peanut butter or hummus for your morning or afternoon snack.
  10. Make a large vegetable-based salad for lunch. Pick a few days each week that can be your “salad” days.  Try to take the extra time to make your own salad at a salad bar or look for a healthy salad option at a restaurant.
  11. Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the table or counter at home and throw a piece of fruit or two in your suitcase/lunch box before you leave the house.
  12. Look for grocery stores or delis that have containers of mixed fruit or vegetables that are already cut up and ready to eat.
  13. Shred, puree or grate vegetables and see how creative you can get with your favorite recipes. Grated zucchini and carrots do wonders for turkey burgers and meatloaf. While pureed cauliflower, winter squash, or red peppers can be stirred into sauces, mashed potatoes, pot pies, or even mac and cheese.
  14. At dinner, add crushed pineapple to coleslaw, or include orange sections or grapes in a tossed salad.
  15. End your meal with dessert consisting of: a baked apple, pear or bowl of fruit salad.
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Strawberries-A Heart Healthy Treat!

By Debbie Jeffery, RD

Not only are strawberries an excellent way to satisfy the sweet tooth, they are also extremely nutrient dense.  One cup of strawberries contains more vitamin C than an orange, has 20% of your daily folic acid needs, and contains 4 grams fiber & 270 mg of potassium.  Strawberries also contain a variety of phytochemicals, including flavonoids, which may have anti-inflammatory properties.  The latest research also shows that the nutrients in strawberries may also help to maintain a healthy heart. Besides snacking on strawberries, you might enjoy sliced strawberries mixed with salad greens or a refreshing smoothie like the recipe below!

Strawberry Flax Smoothie        

1 cup fresh or frozen sliced strawberries

½ cup nonfat Greek vanilla yogurt

½ cup skim milk (soy, almond, rice, or coconut milk may be substituted)

3 tablespoons ground flax seed

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

Place all ingredients in blender and blend on high speed until smooth.  Consume immediately or refrigerate up to 2 hours before serving.

Serves 2.  Per serving: 145 calories, 4g fiber, 7g protein, .5g saturated fat, 19g carbohydrates, 170 mg calcium.

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Keeping a “Sweet” Heart!

By Debbie Jeffery, RD

February is National Heart Month and the time of year to think about the health of your heart.  Your heart is a powerful muscle whose primary function is to pump blood to all parts of the body, delivering nutrients and oxygen to your organs and tissues.  In an average day your heart will beat more than 100,000 times, pumping more than 4,300 gallons of blood throughout your entire body.  Many think of heart disease as a man’s issue but heart disease is the number one killer of women in the United States followed by lung cancer and then breast cancer. Heart failure may occur suddenly or develop gradually over years.  But one thing is certain, regular exercise and good nutrition habits play a major role in preventing heart disease. Healthy foods to keep our hearts strong and include:

Fruits and Vegetables: Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables ensures that you are taking in a wide range of nutrients to protect against heart disease.  These foods are high in vitamin C, beta carotene, and phytochemicals, all of which are essential antioxidants in the prevention of heart disease.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids:  Omega 3’s have been found to help decrease triglyceride levels, the rate of atherosclerotic plaque and arrhythmias.  Fish high in Omega 3 include salmon, sardines, herring, trout, mackerel, halibut and tuna.  Other sources of Omega 3 rich foods are flaxseed oil, walnuts, enriched eggs and edamame.

Soluble Fiber:  Soluble fiber helps to decrease cholesterol levels, therefore working to decrease the risk for heart disease.  Some foods high in soluble fiber are oats, oat bran, flax, lentils, apples and pears.

Nuts:  Nuts are high in fiber, vitamin E, magnesium and essential fatty acids.  Eaten in moderation, nuts can help decrease the risk for heart disease.  Some examples of heart healthy nuts are almonds, walnuts and pistachios.

Love your heart and keep it strong by eating a healthy diet and participating in regular physical activity.

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Build Your Own Bootcamp

All you need is sneakers and workout clothes!

Perform each exercise for 60-90 seconds, resting as needed between each exercise. Repeat the whole circuit 2-3 times. If you have more equipment at home, you can add in dumbbells, jump ropes and more!

Choose any six exercises below:
Pushups
Squats
Lunges
Tricep Dips
Planks
Sit Ups
Hamstring Bridges
Body Weight Rows or Pullups
Jumping Jacks
High Knees
Squat Jumps
Burpees
Mountain Climbers
Wall Sits
Calf Raises
Supermans

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Bikram Yoga–Don’t Sweat it!

Too cold to go for a run outside? What better way to warm up in the cold winter months than Bikram Yoga. This 105 degree, 40% humidity, 90 minute class may seem intimidating but it’s nothing to sweat about! This practice has many benefits to the body and mind and is definitely a challenge worth trying.

What is it? Bikram Yoga consists of two breathing exercises and 26 postures. Every class is the same routine going through each posture twice. There is a standing sequence aimed to strengthen muscles, improve flexibility and align the body. The last half hour of the class is completed on the floor where the focus is on spine and flushing toxins.

Being in this class guarantees a lot of sweating which has been found to release toxins and flush the circulatory systems. It is said that this practice helps change the body from the inside out including the bones, muscles, respiratory and circulatory systems. It helps teach you how to properly breathe and utilize the oxygen to your best capability.

Many of the poses create a “tourniquet effect” in which your blood supply is cut off for a moment, creating pressure. When released, blood rushes through the veins and arteries flushing them out.

Drinking plenty of water throughout the day to help prepare you for the class is highly recommended as well as not eating about an hour prior to the class in order to have digested everything.

As with any exercise, it is best to consult your physician before trying a class especially if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney issues or any orthopedic problems.

To find a full demonstration and explanation of each of the 26 poses, visit bikramyoga.com.

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