Easy Eats – Squash and Walnut Pie

Easy Eats - Squash and Walnut Pie

Ingredients

1 small butternut squash

2 tablespoons sugar

8 tablespoons ground walnuts

1/4 cup vegetable oil (you can add more)

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

 Directions

Wash the squash, peel, remove seeds and cut into pieces about 2 inches long. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Place the sliced squash in hot oil, reduce heat to medium-low and fry each side of them until golden or a fork can easily be poked through them (add more oil if needed). Place them on paper towel to absorb extra oil. Preheat the oven to 350º F. Place one layer of fried squash on an oven proof plate. Sprinkle 1-tablespoon sugar, 1-teaspoon cinnamon powder and 4 tablespoons chopped walnuts on top of the squash. Repeat the layers. Put it in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes. Serve the squash and walnut dessert cold or hot.

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Mary’s Memo – September 26th

FOOD: THE BIGGEST ISSUE NOT ON THE TABLE IN 2016 ELECTIONS


Amid the hoopla and distractions of the 2016 elections, the 2016 elections have so far ignored the one topic that is among the biggest challenges of our time - our food. According to Darlish Mozaffarian, MD, DrPH, Dean, Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University, poor nutrition is the leading cause of poor health in the United States and globally, causing more deaths and disability than any other factor. Nutrition, the number one cause of illness, is largely ignored by the health system. Whether in the current administration or the next one, we need a White House Conference on Nutrition. The last and only such conference was held in 1969 (one that I attended). It was directed and organized by Dr. Jean Mayer, special consultant to the president, who went on to lead Tufts University and found the only graduate school of nutrition in North America, Tufts Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy. That conference achieved many successes, including improved programs for school lunch, child nutrition and nutrition education; greater access to food assistance including WIC (Women, Infants and Children), consumer protection and information activities for the public and industry.

This is nutrition’s time. More than ever, the public is interested in healthy and sustainable eating, while many across industry recognize that their success depends on being a part of the solution. As we enter the last lap of the 2016 elections, it’s time for food to be a major issue on the table. Source: Tufts Diet and Nutrition Letter, September 2016.

CHOLESTEROL-LOWERING STATIN DRUGS HELP PREVENT HEART ATTACKS AND STROKES


In people at “intermediate risk” for cardiovascular disease, a major study in the New England Journal of Medicine confirms this. The study involved 12,705 people from 21 countries. None had cardiovascular disease, but all were at intermediate risk because of factor such as obesity and smoking. Over the course of 5½ years, people taking statins were 24% less likely to have heart attack or stroke than those taking a placebo. That worked out to be about one less event per 100 people. Statin users had a lower rate of discontinuation due to adverse effects than those taking the placebo. Source: University of California at Berkeley Wellness Letter, October 2016.

“MARIANIZING” RECIPES


What attracted me to this recipe was the ease of preparation. To make it more flavorful, I used an entire can of La Choy beans sprouts because what am I to do with the leftover sprouts? 1 cup of shredded cabbage was omitted because of the additional bean sprouts. Water was replaced with chicken stock which is richer than broth. Otherwise, the recipe was left intact.

CHICKEN CHOW MEIN SOUP


• 2 cups cubed cooked chicken (can be from rotisserie chicken)
• 2 ribs celery, sliced
• 1 cup sliced button mushrooms
• 1 can La Choy Bean Sprouts, well drained
• ¼ cup shredded carrot
• 14 cup chopped scallions
• 32-ounce carton of Swanson Chicken Stock
• ¼ cup dry sherry or water (I used sherry)
• 3 tablespoons Law Choy Low Sodium Soy Sauce
• 4 ounces angel hair pasta, broken in thirds
• 1 14.5-ounce can Swanson 98% fat-free chicken broth
• 1 8-ounce can bamboo shoots, drained

Heat all ingredients in 4-quart Dutch oven over medium high heat, stirring occasionally. When soup comes to the boiling point, cover and simmer 15 minutes. Recipe makes 6 servings.

THERE’S BEEN A CHANGE MADE TO THE EVERYTHING COOKIE RECIPE


Although feedback was positive regarding Everything Cookies, I didn’t like the 1 cup of salad oil in the recipe. That was eliminated and replaced with an additional stick of butter. In my opinion, cookies are much better in texture and flavor.

REVISED EVERYTHING COOKIE RECIPE


• 3 sticks butter, softened
• 1 cup packed light brown sugar
• 1 cup granulated sugar
• 1 large egg
• 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
• 3 cups unsifted, all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon soda
• 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
• 1 cup quick oats
• 1 cup coconut
• 1 cup Rice Krispies
• 1 12-ounce bag of dark chocolate chips

Mix all ingredients together in electric mixer bowl.. Drop by rounded teaspoonful onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake in preheated 350ºF oven until lightly browned on top. Recipe makes 6 to 7 dozen.

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Easy Eats – Glazed Salmon and Broccoli Rice

Easy Eats - Glazed Salmon and Broccoli Rice

Ingredients

1/4 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 cup long-grain white rice

1 head broccoli, florets only, chopped (about 2 cups)

4 pieces skinless salmon fillet (1 1/4 pounds total)

1 large red onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick wedges

1 tablespoon olive oil

kosher salt and black pepper

 Directions

Heat broiler. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and soy sauce. Set aside. Cook the rice according to the package directions, stirring in the broccoli during the last 3 minutes. Let the rice and broccoli stand off the heat until the broccoli is tender, about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Meanwhile, place the salmon and onion on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and season with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Broil until the salmon is opaque throughout, 8 to 10 minutes, spooning half the soy sauce glaze over the fish during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Serve the salmon and onion with the rice and the remaining glaze.

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Easy Eats – Apple Crisp

Easy Eats -Apple Crisp

Ingredients 2 1/2 cups apples peeled, cored, and sliced 1 cup sifted all-purpose flour 1 cup white sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 cup butter, softened  Directions Preheat oven to 375ºF. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish. Arrange apple slices evenly in prepared baking dish. Sift flour, sugar, cinnamon, and salt in a bowl. Cut in butter using a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal; sprinkle over apples. Bake in preheated oven until topping is golden, 40 to 45 minutes. Cool slightly before serving. EasyEats_EmailBlock_9.15_apples

Mary’s Memo – September 12th

FIGHT CANCER WITH FIVE SMART FOODS


Eat more berries and cruciferous vegetables, and skip red and processed meats. According to the World Health Organization, cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide. Life style choices are directly linked to one-third of all cancers: excess weight, low intake of fruits and vegetables, lack of physical activity and tobacco and alcohol use. “Reducing your intake of certain food groups while increasing your intake of certain ‘superfoods’ can reduce your risk of cancer twofold,” explains Abby Arday, RD, CDN, CNSC, a dietitian at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell. “For example, consuming fatty fish such as salmon and tuna instead of processed and red meats, especially charred meats, can help reduce the risk of colon, breast and stomach cancers.” Here are the five food choices that can help lower your cancer risk.

Boost Berry Intake: Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and especially blueberries are well-known sources of antioxidants, fiber, phytochemicals and vitamin C.

Get More Omega-3’s: “Incorporating more omega-3’s into your diet decreases inflammation and can reduce the risk of colon cancer,” says Arday. “Almonds, walnuts, flaxseed, salmon, mackerel, trout and tuna contain the highest quantities of omega-3’s.

Choose Cruciferous Vegetables: The Cruciferae family of vegetables includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and collard greens. Cruciferae are excellent sources of fiber, folic acid, phytochemicals and antioxidants. Diets low in folic acid and fiber have been linked with an increased risk of colon cancer.

Limit Red Meat: High intakes of beef, lamb and pork, especially if charred, are linked to increased risk of colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancers. The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) recommends limiting red meat intake to less than 18 ounces of cooked meat per week.

Avoid Processed Meat : Salami, pastrami, hot dogs, ham, bacon, sausages, smoked, cured or salted meats have been linked to an increased risk of stomach cancer.
Source: Weill Cornell Women’s Nutrition Connection, September 2016.

REPORT: GMO FOODS AS SAFE AS CONVENTIONAL CHOICES


Even as a new Vermont law and food giants including General Mills and Campbell Soup push to label GMO products, a sweeping new scientific report concludes that genetically engineered crops are as safe as conventionally grown foods. “We looked at a lot of evidence and found no apparent health risk,” says Timothy Griffin, PhD, an associate professor at Tufts’ Friedman School and director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment program. He is one of 20 scientists who spent two years reviewing 900 research publications at the behest of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. “We also heard from a number of speakers who talked about research both on potential health impacts and on perceptions…. how people perceive different risks and benefits,” Griffin goes on. “We looked at all the evidence and concluded that there doesn’t appear to be any negative impact. If there had been a clear signal, that would have been a very different story, but there wasn’t.” Nonetheless, he adds, the report struck a cautionary tone. “That doesn’t say there will never be a risk. Policy and regulatory functions need to continue to look at these issues.”
Source: Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, September 2016.

RECIPES


One of this week’s recipes is from the June 1997 Cooking Light magazine via daughter Mary Ann.

SUMMER PASTA WITH WALNUTS


• 8-ounces farfalle (bow tie pasta), uncooked
• 2 medium yellow squash, halved lengthwise and sliced (about 1½ cups)
• 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced (about 1½ cups)
• 2 cups fresh corn kernels (about 3 ears)
• ½ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
• 1 cup low fat ricotta cheese
• ½ cup low fat buttermilk
• ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
• ¾ teaspoon salt
• ¼ teaspoon pepper
• 1½ cups chopped tomatoes, seeded

Cook pasta in boiling water 8 minutes. Add squash and zucchini; return to a boil, and cook 3 minutes. Add corn; cook an additional 2 minutes. Drain well. Combine basil and next 5 ingredients (basil through pepper) in a large bowl. Add pasta mixture and tomato; toss gently to coat. Sprinkle with walnuts; garnish with basil sprig, if desired. Serve immediately. Recipe makes 4 servings.
Encore for Cajun Cabbage. I really like this recipe and it’s good reheated.

CAJUN CABBAGE


• 3 strips thick sliced bacon
• ½ of a large head of cabbage, chopped
• 1 14.5-ounce can Del Monte Tomatoes Season with Green Peppers and Onion
• 1/3 cup cider vinegar
• 2 teaspoons Cajun seasoning
• 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco

Cook bacon in a Dutch oven or electric skillet until crisp. Drain bacon, reserving dripping. Stir cabbage, tomatoes, vinegar, Cajun seasoning and Tabasco sauce in hot drippings; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover pan and simmer 45 minutes. Before serving, chop bacon and sprinkle on top of cabbage mixture. Recipe makes 6 servings.

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Easy Eats – Braised Balsamic Chicken

Easy Eats -Braised Balsamic Chicken

Ingredients 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 1 teaspoon garlic salt ground black pepper to taste 2 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, thinly sliced 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes 1/2 Cup balsamic vinegar 1 teaspoon dried basil 1 teaspoon oregano 1 teaspoon dried rosemary 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme  Directions
  1. Season both sides of chicken breasts with garlic salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; cook seasoned chicken breasts until chicken is browned, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour diced tomatoes and balsamic vinegar over chicken; season with basil, oregano, rosemary, and thyme. Simmer util chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear, about 15 minutes.
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Mary’s Memo – September 5th

SEPTEMBER IS ....


The word comes from Latin septem for seven, since this was the 7th month of the Roman Calendar Month named when calendar year began with March. Events in September include Labor Day, Native American Day on the first Monday after Labor Day, Grandparents Day on first Sunday after Labor Day, Better Breakfast Month, Pet Awareness Month, Uncle Sam’s image first used in 1813, Newspaper Carrier Day September 4th, National Cheese Pizza Day, September 5th, and Read A Book Day, September 6th.

HIGH-FIBER DIET MAY REDUCE FOOD ALLERGIES


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, food allergies are a growing food safety concern affecting an estimated 4 to 6 percent of children in the United States. The average American consumes 15 grams of fiber per day, only half the recommended amount. Increasing fiber intake can improve intestinal health, promote regular bowel movements and improve health of helpful bacteria in the intestines. Fiber also aids in regulating blood glucose, as well as maintaining a healthy weight. Fiber is an essential component of a healthy diet; the best food sources of dietary fiber are vegetables and fruits and whole grains. Fiber supplements can increase fiber intake, but choosing whole foods over supplements is recommended , when tolerated, for the many additional benefits high-fiber foods have to offer.

NEW OBESITY MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES FOCUS ON “REAL-WORLD CARE”


Even though more than a third of Americans are now classified as obese, many people think of obesity as a temporary battle of the bulge rather than a serious medical condition. ”Thinking of obesity as a chronic medical condition can help patients seek medical help for weigh management,” says Rachel Lustgarten, RD, CDN, a dietician with the Comprehensive Weight Control Center at Weill Cornell Iris Cantor Women’s Health Center. “Instead of Wasting money on useless and potentially dangerous supplements, quick fixes and fad diets, people will feel more comfortable receiving medical assistance from a healthcare practitioner when obesity is correctly framed as a chronic health condition.”

WHAT YOU CAN DO


Follow a diet that is primarily composed of vegetables, fruit, whole grains and lean proteins with the goal of having 5 or 6 servings of fruits and vegetables each day. Avoid “high-density” foods that pack in a lot of calories with high fat content. For example, substitute a grilled chicken sandwich and a salad for a cheeseburger and French fries. Get at least 30 minutes of activity every day. Stair climbing, brisk walk, dancing and garden work are all good ideas. Look for alternative workouts if you start to get bored with your routine; boredom is a common reason given why people abandon exercise.Source: Weill Cornell Iris Cantor Health Center, September 2016.

REGARDING BETTER BREAKFAST MONTH


The time that elapses from our last meal at night until morning is the longest period our bodies go without food. That is why everyone should start the day with a good breakfast. My menu is sometimes unorthodox; it may be an entrée that I don’t want to eat for my main meal again or a bowl of soup leftover from the night before. As long as it is nutritious, what makes the difference! That said, feel free to choose conventional foods, such as Cheerios, a whole grain ready-to-eat cereal that’s been around since I was a student at Purdue. General Mills has added many alternatives but in my opinion and nutritionally speaking, the original Cheerios is still the best. And don’t forget oatmeal. It’s so quick to prepare in the microwave. To make, measure 1/3 cup quick oats and a dash of salt with 2/3 cup water. If you like, include about ¼ cup dried cherries, raisins or blueberries. Cover and cook on high for 1 minute and 10 seconds. Remove from microwave and sweeten to taste and add a scant teaspoon of butter.

ENCORE.


Recently someone told me that one of their favorite recipes from Thank You, I’m Glad You Liked It, is Quiche Without a Crust. Serve it for breakfast, brunch or dinner.

QUICHE WITHOUT A CRUST


• 2 cups white bread cubes
• 3 tablespoons melted butter
• 8 eggs
• 1½ cups milk (whatever kind you use)
• ½ teaspoon of salt (or to taste)
• 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
• 2 cups shredded Swiss cheese (reduced-fat kind if available)
• 1 cup cooked ham cut in julienne strips

In the bottom of a 10-inch quiche dish or pie plate, toss together bread cubes and melted butter. Spread evenly over bottom of dish. In a large bowl , using wire whisk, beat eggs just until blended. Add milk, salt, nutmeg, cheese and ham. Pour egg mixture over bread cubes. Bake in preheated 350ºF oven for 35 minutes or until golden brown and puffy. To serve, cut into 8 wedges. Enjoy!

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Easy Eats – Parmesan Roasted Corn

Easy Eats - Parmesan Roasted Corn

Ingredients

1/2 cup mayonnaise

5 ears corn

1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Directions
  1. Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat and lightly oil grate.
  2. Brush a thin layer of mayonnaise on each ear of corn.
  3. Sprinkle the corn with parmesan cheese, chili powder, salt, pepper.
  4. Wrap each ear with aluminum foil and place on the grill. Turn occasionally, until the kernels begin to brown; about 10 minutes.EasyEats_EmailBlock_9.1_corn

Mary’s Memo – August 29th

FROM THE COOKBOOK SHELF


The cast-iron pan is making a comeback, and with good reason! A well-made, well-seasoned pan is naturally non-stick, will last for generations and is ideal for baking, sautéing, frying, slow cooking and more. There’s nothing quite like the sound of a steak hitting a perfectly seasoned cast-iron pan and the sear imparted is incomparable. Chef Rachel Narins, author of Cast-Iron Cooking: Getting the Most out of Your Cast-Iron Cookware, demystifies the caring for cast-iron with a friendly, accessible introduction to the properties, perks and full range of possibilities that come along with the classic cookware. From stovetop to oven to campfire to grill, this affordable, long-lasting material is unmatched in its versatility and Cast-Iron Cooking will teach readers how to take full advantage of it.

Peaches are never better than now and one of the featured recipes in Cast-Iron Cooking is Peach Crisp, put together in minutes and flavor is divine!

PEACH CRISP


• 5 large peaches, pitted and sliced ¼ inch thick
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
• ¼ cup granulated sugar
• 1 cup rolled oats
• 1/3 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
• 5 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces and softened.

Preheat over to 350ºF. In medium bowl, gently toss the peaches with cinnamon, nutmeg, 2 tablespoons flour and granulated sugar. To make topping, combine the oats, brown sugar, butter and the remaining 1 cup flour in a separate bowl. Mix well with your hands until it just comes together. Transfer the peaches to a 10-inch cast-iron skillet and scatter topping over them. Place the skillet on a baking sheet to catch any overflow. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until topping is browned. Serve warm. Recipe serves 4 to 6.

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO EXERCISE?


The short answer is that the best time to exercise is whenever you can fit it in to your schedule. While there is no strict “rule of thumb” on the subject, here are some guidelines that might help.
It’s always best to have something in your stomach before exercising. Your body needs carbohydrates for energy. If you want to exercise first thing in the morning, remember that your blood sugar is lower at the start of a day; have a light breakfast or snack first.

The size of the meal should dictate how long you wait to exercise. Likewise, the intensity of your activity should play a role in how long you wait after eating. If you have a large meal, wait three or four hours before exercising, especially if exercise is vigorous. After a smaller meal, wait approximately two hours. If you have a snack, wait an hour or so.

If part of your exercise routine is an after-dinner walk, don’t feel you have to wait three hours to stroll through your neighborhood. Go ahead and walk after a meal. If you’re going for a jog or to an aerobics class, then give yourself more time.

There’s no real danger in working out too soon after eating, but too much activity right after a meal may give you an upset stomach. Be your own judge and listen to your stomach. If exercising less than an hour after a meal works with your schedule and doesn’t bother you, then go ahead and exercise. Source: Weill Cornell Women’s Nutrition Connection, September 2016.

FAVORITE WAY TO FIX ZUCCHINI


My all-time favorite way to fix zucchini is Zucchini Casserole Imperial from my cookbook. It’s like having a quiche without a crust. Serve as aa side dish or meatless entrée.

ZUCCHINI CASSEROLE IMPERIAL


• 4 cups sliced zucchini
• 2 cups boiling water
• 3 large eggs
• 1 cup light Hellmann’s Mayonnaise
• 1 medium onion, chopped fine
• ¼ cup chopped green pepper
• 1 cup Parmesan cheese
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
• 1 tablespoon butter

Cook zucchini in water just until tender; drain well. Beat eggs; stir in mayonnaise, onion, green bell pepper, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Add drained zucchini. Spoon into 1½-quart casserole dish. Dot top of casserole with butter. Bake in preheated 350ºF oven for 30 minutes or until set. Recipe makes 6 servings.

YOU ASKED


Q: Can shredded zucchini be frozen now to use in zucchini bread later?
A: It’s better to use shredded zucchini in bread and freeze the bread because shredded zucchini will be watery when thawed.

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Easy Eats – 3 Ingredient Stuffed Zucchini

Easy Eats - 3 Ingredient Stuffed Zucchini

Ingredients

4 Zucchini 5 ozs. Goat Cheese 2 Cups Marinara Sauce Chopped Parsley (optional)

Directions
  1. Preheat oven or grill to 400F.

    Slice zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds, leaving the zucchini hollowed out. Season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper and place on baking sheet.

    Using half of goat cheese, spread a small amount in the bottom of each zucchini. Spoon marinara sauce on top, then dot with remaining goat cheese.

    Grill or bake until goat cheese is soft and marinara is bubbling, about 10 minutes. Serve immediately.

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