Tag Archives: Cooking

Managing Diabetes During the Holidays

By:  Donna Quirk, MBA, RD, LD
LMC Clinical Nutrition Manager

Today (November 14th) is World Diabetes Day, a day dedicated to diabetes education and prevention.  The International Diabetes Federation works all year long to increase awareness about the ever growing health threat that diabetes poses worldwide.

It also strikes me that World Diabetes Day occurs every year right as many of us start celebrating the holidays.

Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day are filled with fun and family … and food.  Keeping blood sugars in check while enjoying the food and festivities can be a struggle.  But as always, with a strategy and some planning you can do it!  Here are some ideas:

  • Roast winter vegetables to have as a side dish.  Cube potatoes or sweet potatoes, turnips, acorn squash, red onion then add baby carrots and brussels sprouts.  Toss with a combination of olive oil, apple butter, garlic powder, and pepper.
  • Spread in a baking dish and roast until golden brown.
  • Sprinkle pomegranates on turkey instead of cranberry sauce.  Use pomegranates in any salad as well.
  • Keep fresh fruit on the dessert table with yogurt for a dipping sauce.
  • To save calories and carbohydrates, make fruit crisps instead of pies.
  • Keep beverages calorie free or very low in calories.
  • Exercise regularly through the holiday season!

Green Bean Casserole is Thanksgiving favorite.  Here is an alternate recipe from this month’s Today’s Diet & Nutrition© magazine that saves the calories and fat from the cream soup and fried onions.

Green Beans With Crispy Topping
Serves 4

For the crispy topping

  • 1⁄2 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons chicken broth
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon onion powder
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1⁄2 cup rice crisp cereal

For the beans

  • 1 (12-ounce) bag green beans
  • 3 tablespoons chicken broth, divided
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme

Directions:

In a small saucepan over medium heat, make crispy topping by melting the butter then adding the broth, garlic and onion powders, red pepper flakes (if using), and cereal, stirring to coat the cereal. Cook, stirring frequently, until cereal begins to brown and pan is dry, about 2 to 3 minutes. Set aside and let cool.

Wash and prep the beans, if necessary. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, heat 1 tablespoon of broth and the olive oil. Add beans and season with salt to taste. Stir occasionally.

When pan becomes dry, about 3 minutes, add the remaining 2 tablespoons of broth. Cook until beans are crisp-tender, about 3 to 5 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, melt the butter with the thyme in the microwave, about 30 seconds. Set aside.

When beans are done, remove pan from heat and toss beans with butter sauce. Place beans in a serving dish and garnish with the crispy topping.

Nutrient Analysis: Calories: 95; Total Fat: 6 g; Saturated Fat: 3 g; Polyunsaturated Fat: 0 g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2 g; Cholesterol: 11 mg; Sodium: 94 mg; Carbohydrates: 10 g; Fiber: 3 g; Protein: 2 g

Recipe by Jessica Girdwain © 2012 Today’s Diet & Nutrition

Winter Squash

By: Susan K. Wilkerson, RD, LD
Clinical Dietitian

Acorn Squash

Squash comes in many different shapes and sizes.  Different varieties are available throughout the year.  Summer squash arrives in stores soon after harvest is meant to be eaten shortly there after.  Winter squash is available in the summer and late fall.  Winter squash are “good keepers” and became known as a winter vegetable because they would “keep” until December back in the days when refrigerators were not around.  Winter squash is harvested when the “fruit” is fully matured.  The skin is a deep, solid color with a hard skin.  When you purchase them, the stem should be attached.

All varieties of winter squash are low in calories and are good sources for complex carbohydrates and fiber.  They are excellent sources of Vitamin A and a very good source of Vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese.  They are also a good source of folate, omega 3 fatty acids, thiamin, copper, tryptophan, vitamin B6, niacin and pantothenic acid.  They contain healthy supporting antioxidants – lutein and zeaxanthin.

It would take a whole page to describe all the healthy reasons to eat winter squash!

All varieties of winter squash are easy to prepare.  For butternut and acorn squash, just cut the squash in half, remove the seeds and place in a baking dish with one inch of water to “steam.”  The squash is ready when it is fork tender.  Remove the flesh from the skin with a spoon or just eat it out of it natural container.  Spaghetti squash can be steamed whole in the oven or microwave.  Once tender to touch, cut it in half, remove the seeds, and “rake” out the flesh with a fork.  The flesh will look like spaghetti.  You can serve it hot, tossed with a drizzle of olive oil and parmesan cheese or use it in place of spaghetti noodles and top with your favorite pasta sauce.

So, eat a variety of squash.  They are delicious, good for you and add more color to you plate.

Spag Squash

Butter Squash