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Eating Healthy Spotlight on: Turkey

Written by Lisa Jillanza

It’s that time again for Thanksgiving and while Americans eat it nearly every year to celebrate Thanksgiving, how much do you know about turkey?

  • Turkey is very low in fat and high in protein. It is also a good source of iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and B vitamins. 
  • The fat and calorie amounts vary because white meat has fewer calories and less fat than dark meat and skin.
  • Turkey is also naturally low in sodium. It typically contains less than 25 milligrams (mg) of sodium per ounce on average.

Recipe: Turkey Chili

  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped fine
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 (35 oz.) cans stewed tomatoes, crushed
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans kidney beans, drained
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ¾ cup chicken or turkey stock
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon dried hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt, plus more if desired to taste
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 to 4 cups shredded, cooked turkey meat
  • Sugar
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, chopped red onion, sour cream for optional garnishes

In a large, 8-quart thick bottom pot, cook the onion and green pepper over medium heat, stirring until golden, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes, and cook, stirring, for a minute or two more.  Add a bit more olive oil if needed.  Add tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, beans, oregano, salt, pepper and cooked turkey meat.  Bring mixture to a simmer and reduce heat to low.  Simmer uncovered for an hour.

 

Recipe: Creamed Turkey

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup sliced mushrooms
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • ½ cup hot chicken broth
  • 1 small jar diced pimento, drained
  • 4 cups diced cooked turkey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Melt butter over medium-low heat. Sauté mushrooms until golden and tender. Add flour; stir until smooth. Slowly pour on milk and broth, stirring constantly, until thickened and bubbly. Add pimiento, turkey, salt, and pepper. Cook until heated through, but do not boil. Serve with rice or toast.

Healthy Living: Eating Healthy This Fall

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Fall can be a time of festivals, pumpkin patches, get togethers, football games and many more events where food plays a huge role in the activities of the day.  If you are like most people you want to watch what you eat during the fall season, as you know that the holidays are just around the corner – which means more overeating!

 

But even though fall is synonymous with fattening foods there are some fall food items that can help you to slim down. 

One of these foods is the apple.  Apples are low in calories and high in fiber (95 calories and 4 grams of fiber per medium fruit) and are great tasting!  In a recent study, dried apples have been found to help people lose weight and lower their cholesterol. 

Another great fall slimming food is the squash (and who doesn’t love squash from butternut to acorn?)  Just one cup of cooked squash packs 214 percent of the recommended daily value for vitamin A and a third of your recommended daily dose of vitamin C.  Squash are also only 80 calories per cup –compared to its more fattening fall friend the sweet potato at 180 calories per cup. 

Broccoli is another great fall slimming food – a cup of broccoli is just 31 calories and 2.4 grams of fiber.  Plus, experts say that when you add fresh vegetables to any food you tend to eat fewer calories so you can add broccoli to virtually any meal to decrease your caloric intake.

 

Lastly, there is kale.  These days dark, leafy vegetables like kale is the go-to when you are talking about healthy foods.  Kale is packed with vitamin A, loads of fiber and isothiocyanates that help your body to detoxify.

Eating Healthy Spotlight on: Pumpkins

Written by Lisa Jillanza
  • Many people do not know that pumpkins are made up of 90 percent water.
  • Pumpkins also contain other great nutritional aspects including potassium and vitamin A.
  • The bright orange color of pumpkins also tells us that they are a great source of the important antioxidant, beta carotene.

Recipe: Traditional Pumpkin Pie

  • 1 ¾ cups (one 15oz. can) unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

(For crust us a pre-made store bought crust or a homemade crust) In a small heavy saucepan, stir the pumpkin, brown sugar, spices, and salt together until mixed.  Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly.  Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 to 5 minutes or until thick and shiny.  Scrape the mixture into a mixer or food processor for 1 minute. With the motor on, add the milk and cream, mixing until incorporated completely.  Add the eggs one at a time, mixing just to incorporate, about 5 seconds after each egg.  When you add the last egg, also add the vanilla. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie shell.  Bake the pie for 50 - 60 minutes at 375 degrees. 

 

Recipe: Pumpkin Soup 

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 4 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 5 whole black peppercorns 

Heat stock, salt, pumpkin, onion, thyme, garlic, and peppercorns.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, simmer for 30 minutes uncovered.  Puree the soup in small batches (1 cup at a time) using a food processor or blender.  Return to pan and bring to boil again.  Reduce heat to low, and simmer for another 30 minutes, uncovered.  Stir in heavy cream.  Pour into soup bowls and garnish with fresh parsley.

Healthy Living: Women - A Banana a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Written by Lisa Jillanza

Everyone has heard that an apple a day can keep the doctor away, but if you are a woman over the age of 50 then you should be having a banana or two along with that apple. 

Recent studies show that woman over the age of 50 who ate foods high in potassium were 12 percent less likely to suffer from a stroke in general and 16 percent less likely to suffer from a stroke caused by a blood clot, or an ischemic stroke. 

Lastly the study showed that women were 10 percent less likely to die, from any cause, than those who ate low amounts of food containing potassium.

Another interesting finding from the study was that the correlation between potassium intake and stroke prevention was highest amongst women who did not have high blood pressure.  Therefore, nutritionists suggest that women should increase their potassium intake before high blood pressure has the chance to develop.

For women who aren’t big fans of bananas, never fear.  You can get twice as much potassium in a serving of spinach than you get in one banana. Become a label reader as many foods contain potassium that you may not know about.

Eating Healthy Spotlight on: Sweet Potatoes

Written by Lisa Jillanza
  • Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene and vitamin C.
  • The nutrients in sweet potatoes are also anti-inflammatory, which means that besides being great tasting, sweet potatoes can help reduce the severity of conditions like asthma, osteoarthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
  • In addition, sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamin B6.

Recipe: Golden Sweet Potato Brownies 

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups peeled and finely shredded sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
  • 2 tablespoons milk

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the batter just until blended. Fold in the shredded yam. Spread the batter evenly in the greased baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. Mix the confectioners' sugar, butter and milk until smooth. Spread over the brownies while they are still warm

Recipe: Spicy Baked Sweet Potato Fries 

  • 6 sweet potatoes cut into French fries
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning mix
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

In a plastic bag, combine the sweet potatoes, canola oil, taco seasoning, and cayenne pepper. Close and shake the bag until the fries are evenly coated. Spread the fries out in a single layer on two large baking sheets.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until crispy and brown on one side. Turn the fries overusing a spatula, and cook for another 30 minutes, or until they are all crispy on the outside and tender inside. Thinner fries may not take as long.