Author Archive for: ‘smeyer’

March Featured Recipe: Carrot & Ginger Soup

12 servings

1/2 T - olive oil or butter
1/4 cup - onion, diced to 1/2”
2 cups - carrot, evenly sliced into thin rounds
1 T - fresh ginger, minced 4 cups vegetable or chicken broth salt & pepper to taste
1/2 tsp orange zest

1. Heat oil or butter over medium heat.
2. Add onion, carrot & ginger.
3. Sauté until vegetables are soft (6-8 minutes).
4. Add remaining ingredients, except orange zest.
5. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, simmer 15 – 20 minutes until carrots are very tender. Add more broth if needed to keep carrots covered.
6. Puree soup in blender or food processor.
7. Add zest just before serving.


February Featured Recipe: Wheatberry Salad with Dried Fruit

12 servings

1 cup - uncooked wheat berries
1/2 cup - minced shallots
1/4 cup - cranberry juice
2 T - vegetable oil
3 T - raspberry vinegar
1 T - balsamic vinegar
2 tsp - dijon mustard
1/2 tsp - ea salt & pepper
1/2 cup ea - chopped dried cranberries & cherries & currants
1/2 cup - diced Gouda cheese, (2 oz)
1/3 cup - chopped green onions
1/3 cup - slivered almonds, toasted

1. Cook wheat berries according to package instructions then drain and rinse with cold water.
2. Combine shallots and next 6 ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Toss wheat berries, dried fruit, and remaining ingredients with vinaigrette.
4. Chill at least 4 hours or overnight.

*Notes: Make this salad in advance so the flavors have time
to mellow. This salad is high in fiber, flavorful, filling and
easy to pack.

Heart Healthy Diets are not About Cereals

January 31, 2011
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian

"Did you know that in just 6 weeks Honey Nut Cheerios can reduce bad cholesterol by an average of 4 percent?”  This is a commercial that I usually see at least once a day and each time it airs I cringe.  Really, does the average consumer believe that eating Honey Nut Cheerios will lower your cholesterol?

January Featured Recipe: Curried Hoppin' John Soup

Warm up to this month's featured recipe!

1 1/4 cup - dried black-eyed peas (or 6 cups canned)
5 - bacon slices or turkey bacon 1 - medium onion
2 - celery ribs
1/4 tsp - cayenne
1/2 tsp - curry powder
1/2 tsp - ground cumin
1/4 tsp - dried hot red pepper flakes
6 cups - chicken or veggie broth
3 T - chopped fresh cilantro

1. If using dried black-eyed peas, soak them in hot water for 30-40 minutes.  Drain peas well.  If using canned beans, drain and rinse them well.
2. Coarsely chop bacon; finely chop onion & celery.
3. In 5 qt. kettle, cook bacon over medium heat, about 10 minutes.
4. Add onion, celery, spices; cook & stir 5 minutes.
5. Add peas and broth; simmer, uncovered, until peas are tender, about 20 minutes for canned, closer to 45 minutes for dried peas.
6. Season soup with salt & pepper.
7. In a blender puree 2 cups soup until smooth.
8. Stir puree and cilantro into soup remaining in kettle.

RD or Nutritionist: What's in a Name?

January 04, 2011
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian

Happy New Year!  Tis the season for new resolutions. If you happen to turn on any news show, you will likely hear a nutrition “professional” dispensing advice about your health for the New Year.  As a nutrition professional, it is easy for me to dismiss claims that are not backed by science, but for the general population all this conflicting advice only adds to the confusion.

Kick The Cookies Up a Notch

December 07, 2010
Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian

I initially thought I would write about “holiday nutrition survival tips” however, Leslie beat me to it in Lighting Up The Season!  Given that it’s also the season to be somewhat indulgent, my topic shifted to baking.
I love making cookies and what better excuse to bake some than Christmas?!  This past Sunday I had the opportunity to decorate cookies till my heart was content at Sweet Violet Cake Company (formerly Culina).  I attended the Holiday Cooking & Decorating Workshop, and though I was clearly out of my league, it inspired me to take my holiday baking to a new level.  In fact, I informed my husband that our annual cookie decorating activity is going to be kicked up a notch this year.   One of my favorite holiday traditions is spending an evening decorating sugar cookies with my husband. In the past it has involved bowls of colored frosting, butter knives and toothpicks.  This year it will include pastry bags (!), edible glitter, squeeze bottles and of course a cup of hot cocoa!  I’m thinking they’d look perfect on this cool (southern style!) farmbasket cookie plate.
For a great cookie base, try Cece’s Cookies…yum.

Know what fats you need

Sherri Meyer, MG Registered Dietitian

A recent MG conference call about essential fatty acids got me thinking.  How many people actually know what essential fats are?  More specifically how many people know the difference between omega 3 fatty acids and omega 6 fatty acids?  The consumer information is confusing and often misleading.  We are told to choose unsaturated fats over saturated fats and eliminate trans fat, simple, right?!  Well actually it’s more complex then that.  
There are specific types of unsaturated fats that are essential…meaning we cannot make them on our own and must ingest them through our diet.   Two essential polyunsaturated fats are omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids.
Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential for health. We need omega-3 fatty acids for normal body functions such as controlling blood clotting. Omega-3 fatty acids are also associated with benefits like protection against heart disease and possibly stroke. Omega 3 fatty acids are thought to reduce inflammation, which is thought to contribute to various diseases such as heart disease & cancer.   More recently, omega 3 fatty acids have been associated with decreased rates of depression.
The three most nutritionally important omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) & alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). Omega-3 fatty acids come mainly from the fat of cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines, herring, mackerel, black cod, and bluefish. Cold-water fish contain the two critically important omega-3 fatty acids, (EPA and or DHA). There are vegetarian sources that contain the omega 3 fatty acid ALA.  These sources include walnuts, canola oil, flaxseeds & some green vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, kale, spinach & salad, which contain a precursor omega-3 (ALA) that the body partially converts to EPA and DHA.   It is recommended that we consume one omega 3 fatty acid source per day.   If you do not consume any fish products, you may want to speak with your doctor about essential fatty acid supplementation.

Omega 6 fatty acids are also polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential for health. Omega 6 fatty acids are abundant in the Western diet; common sources include safflower, corn, cottonseed & soybeans oils.  These oils, specifically soybean oil are often used in processed foods such as cookies, cakes & snack crackers.  Research has suggested that we are consuming too much omega 6 & not enough omega 3 fatty acids. This dietary imbalance may explain the rise of such diseases that stem from inflammation such a coronary artery disease & various cancers.   Too much omega 6 is thought to promote inflammation, but there is some evidence to suggest otherwise. There are benefits to omega 6 fatty acids such as lowering LDL (“lousy”) cholesterol, hence providing protection against heart disease.  So there is benefit to consumption of omega 6 fatty acids, but we have clearly been consuming too much in the form of processed foods.
For now the solution is quite simple:  increase your intake of the healthy omega 3 fatty acids (consume more fish & vegetables) and reduce your consumption of processed foods.

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