Greens

 

Oh so comforting, simple to prepare and the number one food you can eat to improve your health! They’re brimming with fiber, along with vitamins, minerals and plant based substances that protect you from many diseases!

 

The top 9 and their benefits…

1. Kale … an excellent source of vitamins A, C and K.  Has a good amount of calcium and supplies folate and potassium

2. Collards … similar in nutrition to kale, but have a heartier and chewier texture

3. Turnip greens … loaded with vitamins A, C and K, as well as calcium

4. Swiss chard … good source of vitamins A and C

5. Spinach … packed with vitamins A and C as well as folate

6. Mustard greens … loaded with vitamins A, C and K, with a good amount of calcium, folate and potassium

7. Broccoli … rich in vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A, potassium and folate

8. Red and green leaf and romaine lettuce … high in vitamin A and offer some folate

9. Cabbage … rich in phyto nutrient anti-oxidants and an excellent source of vitamin C

 

My favorite ways to prepare these beautiful vegetables are roasting, sautéing or enjoyed raw, adding olive oil and spices that tempt your palate! Savor every bite!

 

 

Gretchen-Roehrs-illustrations-4

The Surprisingly Healthy Thanksgiving Table

Feast on these wonderfully nutritious foods.  The byproduct being a joyful and happy day!

Butternut Squash

Besides being delectable, this squash has a high concentration of vitamin A, which is wonderful for immune system function.

Enjoy butternut squash as a soup or mashed, sprinkled with salt, pepper, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Green Beans

A low calorie, fiber filled vegetable.  It also provides you with vitamins A and C.  The fiber assists in keeping things moving through your digestive system.

Enjoy green beans sautéed in olive oil with chopped garlic and  sprinkled with organic sliced toasted almonds.

Cruciferous Vegetables (brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens)

These nutrient rich plants are filled with phytochemicals.

Enjoy them roasted or sautéed.

Turkey

This is a healthy, lean protein that helps to keep you satisfied.

I recommend using rendered turkey fat to baste the bird and make the gravy.  Turkey fat is healthier than the butter you may baste it with.

Cranberries

In their natural form (no sugar added), they provide you with vitamin C and fiber.  Cranberry extract and anthocyanins (which are in cranberries) were found to decrease free radical damage to DNA.

Enjoy them in a raw cranberry relish or throw some fresh or no sugar added dried cranberries into whole grain stuffing.

Sweet Potato

Provides you with a rich amount of vitamins B6 and C, potassium, fiber and phytochemicals.  One potato contains 45 percent of your daily manganese needs and 24 percent potassium.

Enjoy sweet potatoes cut into discs, then grill in a ridged grill pan on both sides and sprinkled with cinnamon, ginger and allspice.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

 

 

Lemon Sage Turkey Rub

3 TB grated lemon peel

¼ cup lemon juice

3 TB ground thyme

2 TB ground sage

1 TB cracked black pepper

1 tsp sea salt

  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. At the top of the bird, insert your fingers under the skin. Gently separate from the meat. Rub with mixture under and over the skin.

 

Note: When you are cooking the turkey, remember the internal temp of the bird must reach 165 degrees. If you stuff the bird, the stuffing must also be at that temp to kill any bacteria.

I prefer to cook bird without stuffing, this allows for an even cooking. There will be no overcooked and /or undercooked areas.

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Apple Bread Stuffing

6 medium apples,  peeled, cored and diced (tart, like granny smiths)

2 cups dried cranberries

4 medium onions, diced

4 celery stalks, chopped

3 TB olive oil

½ cup white wine (optional)

2 TB thyme, fresh, minced

2 TB sage, fresh

12 cups bread, cubed, any high fiber type

1 ¾ cups low sodium chicken broth

½ cup egg whites

½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

sea salt and black pepper to taste

 

  1. In a 12” skillet, heat olive oil on medium heat.  Saute celery, onions and apples till soft, about 15 mins.
  2. Add thyme, sage, and wine. Simmer until wine is absorbed, 1-2 minutes.
  3. Add bread, cranberries, chicken broth, egg whites, chopped parsley, sea salt and black pepper.  Cook about 5 minutes.
  4. Spray 8×13 inch baking dish with olive oil, place stuffing in pan.
  5. Bake in 350 degree oven for 20 minutes, till lightly browned.

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Thanksgiving Turkey Preparation

 

Thanksgiving Turkey Preparation

As a Chef, Lifestyle Consultant and Master of Fitness Sciences I receive a great many food safety questions. Thanksgiving is the holiday that produces the most questions—typically, about how to best prepare and cook a turkey. These helpful tips can take the stress out of your holiday!

How do I prepare the turkey?

If you are using a frozen turkey, plan ahead. Your bird should be placed on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator with nothing below it. This will prevent other foods, especially ready to eat foods, from being contaminated. You need to place your turkey in the refrigerator for 24 hours, per 5 pounds. For example, if your turkey weighs 20 pounds, it will need 96 hours (or 4 days) to thaw completely.

To stuff, or not to stuff?

My recommendation is that you cook the bird without stuffing it. If you stuff the turkey, you need to bring the turkey and the stuffing up to 165 degrees in order to prevent the growth of salmonella. Also, cooking a stuffed turkey causes inconsistencies. It will cause you to have wings and legs that are overcooked and breasts that could be undercooked.

How do I cook the turkey?

On average, your unstuffed turkey will take about 15 minutes per pound at 350 degrees. However, the ultimate test will be the meat thermometer. I highly recommend that EVERY kitchen have a meat thermometer. This is an essential tool for cooking safely. Your meat thermometer needs to reach 165 degrees at the thickest part of the bird. The thickest part of the bird is typically the middle of the thigh, however, test multiple spots in your bird.

After taking the turkey out of the oven, remember to let the bird rest for 20 minutes before carving.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. Be safe and make good food choices

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Food Safety, Plus 2 Bonus Recipes

By Chef Don Doward

food-safety

So, as I sat and had breakfast at a local restaurant, I was thinking about sending you a recipe for antioxidant rich foods like red kidney beans and garlic. As I watched the fresh orange juice being made, I realized that the oranges were not washed. I decided to share those two recipes, but I thought we should start with food safety.  Food safety is something that is often overlooked, at home and in restaurants.

If you are recovering from cancer treatments, your immune system may be compromised.   You will need to be careful of the way you prepare your food at home and be aware of food preparation standards in the restaurants you frequent.

One out of six people in the United States will get a food borne illness this year and in most cases they will get sick from food prepared at home. This can be a big problem, especially if your immune system has been compromised. So let share ways of insuring that you have a safe meal.

Foods to avoid are raw or undercooked meat, poultry, or seafood. Unwashed fresh produce, including organic should be washed and dried. Undercooked or raw eggs including any foods made with raw eggs (cookie dough). Raw seafood such as sushi  (frozen seafood, labeled as sushi grade will be better).  Sushi served in a restaurant should be frozen before it is prepared. This insures a safer product.

Meat, poultry and seafood must be cooked properly.  Use a food thermometer to insure the proper cooking temperature.  The minimum temperatures are:

Beef, Pork, Lamb and Veal  – 145 degrees

Ground Beef  – 165 degrees

Poultry – 165 degrees

Seafood – 145 degrees

Lobster, Crab, Shrimp – cook until they turn red and flesh is opaque

Clams, Oysters, Mussels – cook until shells open.  If the shells do not open, do not eat them

Eggs – whites and yolks should be firm.  Do not use raw eggs

Here are a few more tips to keep you safe:

Clean and sanitize cutting boards and counters often.  Do not use cutting boards for raw foods and potentially hazardous foods.

Keep raw food and ready to eat foods separate.

Wash and dry all fresh produce.

Cook all foods to proper internal temperatures.

Cool all perishable foods as soon as possible, within 2 hours.

Wash hands often and always when using different food items.

The above suggestions are ways to reduce the chances of contracting a food borne illness. While this article is directed at cancer patients it is also a great way to protect your family.

Zucchini and Basil Quinoa Pilaf Recipe
Ingredients
2 cups quinoa
1 large or 2 small zucchini, chopped into small, bite-size pieces
1 yellow onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups vegetable or chicken broth
Freshly squeezed lemon juice (2 lemons)
1 cup fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Directions
1. In a medium sized pot, cook onions and garlic in about 1/4 cup of broth for a few minutes, or until onions are soft.

2. Add quinoa, a sprinkle of sea salt and pepper, and the remaining broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and let simmer for about 15 minutes.

3. Remove lid, add zucchini, lemon juice and about 3/4 cup of chopped basil. Cover again with lid and let pot sit for about 2 minutes with the heat off.

4. Add remaining basil.  Season with sea salt and pepper. Serve while it’s hot.

Roasted Garlic
Ingredients
1 medium head garlic
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Directions
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees

2. Slice the top off the garlic, about ½” from the head, exposing the cloves

3. Place the garlic into a sheet of aluminum foil, cover with oil and seal

4. Place on a small cookie sheet

5. Roast about 35-40 minutes until the garlic is soft and golden brown

6. Let cool and squeeze or spread on bread

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Brussels Sprouts Fruit Salad

 

Perfect for Thanksgiving dinner … it’s like having fall on your plate.  And wonderfully healthy!  Plenty of fiber for cardiovascular health and vitamins C and K for bone health.  Simple to prepare.  Enjoy your holiday!

Serves 4

Ingredients

Salad

1 lb organic brussels sprouts, ends and outer leaves trimmed

1 organic pear, thinly sliced

1 organic apple, chopped

2 TB organic raisins, chopped

2 TB organic pepitas

1/4 cup organic fresh cranberries

Dressing

3 TB extra virgin olive oil

1 1/2 TB organic apple cider vinegar

2 TB organic apple cider

1 TB organic dijon mustard

salt and pepper

Instructions

1. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk together.  Set aside.

2. Slice brussels sprouts thinly and place in a large bowl.

3. Pour the dressing over the brussels sprouts and toss to combine.

4. Add remaining ingredients and toss together lightly.

5. Season with additional salt and pepper to taste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Turkey Chili

New England Fitness Design’s Turkey Chili is perfect for football season. Comfort food that is good for you.

Turkey Chili

Ingredients:

1 pound ground turkey
½ medium diced onion
1 diced red pepper
1 diced green pepper
1 16oz can low sodium red kidney beans
1 16oz can low sodium cannellini beans
1 16oz can low sodium black beans
1  28oz. can low sodium diced tomatoes
1 6oz can tomato paste
2 tsp chili powder

 

Directions:

  1. Cook onion, pepper, and turkey until turkey is cooked.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  3. Simmer about 25 minutes.
  4. Serve with multigrain tortilla chips and shredded cheese.

(For spicier chili, add buffalo sauce and extra chili powder to taste)

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Meal Design And Cancer

The National Cancer Institute states that 1 in 3 deaths associated with cancer is diet related. It’s time to rethink our association with real food.  Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine, let medicine by thy food”.  Powerful words, but not as powerful as the impact our meal plan has on our health.

We have so many great foods at our disposal.  However, we also have some foods that many people consume everyday which are not serving us well.  Over the course of these articles, I will highlight the positive choices that you can make, while advising you of some of the options that will not serve you well.  I will give you healthy recipes for your meal plan, choices that will make a profound change in your mood and health.

The title of this article is “Meal Design And Cancer”, not “Diet And Cancer”.  Too many of us equate the word “diet” with deprivation and starvation.  “Meal design” allows us to use some of the most powerful foods available. With my culinary experience, we will make these foods easy to prepare and delicious.

Lets start with foods that could have a negative impact on your health.  Processed foods have hidden ingredients and tend to be high in nitrates.  Nitrates are used as a preservative and to give meats a desirable color.  When foods containing sodium nitrates are processed, sodium nitrates are converted to nitrosamine, which is an identified carcinogen.

Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils are preservatives we should avoid.  In hydrogenating, these oils are brought to high temperatures with metal catalysts, which are cancer-causing agents.  These preservatives are also linked to obesity, which can lead to heart disease.  To our disservice, hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils only have to be listed on the ingredient list if the food item contains .5 gm per serving.  The manufacturer controls the portion size, meaning a portion could potentially be one bite.  Be sure to check labels carefully!

There are some great foods we can eat, that have a powerful, positive effect.  Lets start with black raspberries.  According to recent research, rats fed diets high in black raspberries saw the occurrence of esophageal tumors decrease by 43% to 62%.  Black raspberries are rich in anti-oxidants, believed to have more cancer preventing properties than blueberries and you don’t need a recipe!  You can eat them raw or in your oatmeal—steel cut, of course, with some cinnamon.

Another great choice is beans.  Red kidney beans are an antioxidant rich food, more than blueberries.  We can make some great dishes that will appeal to the whole family.

Chef Don Doward

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