Tag Archives: Laura Stepp

What Can I Eat? Bringing Back An Old Favorite

By Laura Stepp, MA, RD, LD, Clinical Dietitian at Lexington Medical Center

Again, I find myself looking at another beautiful picture of food and thinking about all of those vegetables I bought at the farmer’s market over the weekend. There are so many ways to incorporate and combine vegetables. The possibilities are endless, and yes, overwhelming. So as I looked through the most recent edition of Diabetic Living® Magazine, I saw an up-to-date and refreshing recipe for an old favorite: Waldorf Salad Lettuce Wraps.

Waldorf Salad Wraps

Waldorf Salad Wraps

Now many of you (especially if you are a child of the 70’s or before) might be thinking, “Yikes! The mayonnaise based salad with nuts and fruits that our parents used to eat?” Yes. My cardiac and diabetes clients are always interested in eating better but are conflicted with wanting to enjoy old traditional recipes. At the same time, I’m encouraging them to try new vegetables in new ways. Let’s do both with this heart-healthy and diabetes-friendly version.

Servings: 4 (2 wraps each)
Carbs per serving: 33 g
Start to finish preparation; 25 mins (not including cook time for whole grain)

1-1/4 cups of a cooked whole grain (brown or wild rice, pearled barley)
1 cup thin sliced apple
1 cup chopped celery
¾ cup chopped cauliflower florets
½ cup red/black seedless grapes, halved or quartered
½ cup chopped walnuts (toasted)
½ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt (yes, really)
1 Tbsp honey (local – preferably)
½ tsp kosher salt (can substitute sea salt)
½ tsp celery seeds
¼ tsp black pepper
8 Bibb lettuce leaves (can substitute green or red leaf lettuce leaves)

1. In a large bowl combine the first six ingredients (Whole grain through walnuts). For dressing, in a small bowl combine the next six ingredients (yogurt through pepper)
2. Pour dressing over whole grain mixture; toss gently to coast. Spoon onto lettuce leaves; roll up.

Per Serving: 204 calories; (1 g Sat fat), 33g carbs (5 g fiber, 14 g sugars), 8 g protein

Go for the Green, But Think Outside the Leafy Box

by Laura Stepp, MA, RD, LD, Clinical Dietitian at LMC

It’s National Nutrition Month! Time To savor the flavor of eating right.

Laura Stepp

Laura Stepp

All colors of food are important to include in our meals, but since it’s March and I’m part Irish I think we need to explore the world of green foods. Besides the obvious green leafy choices, there are several excellent foods coming into season that will help put new life into our spring meals.

Asparagus and Brussel sprouts “spring” to mind. Both can seem scary due to their natural chemical makeup that can sometime cause them to smell (and sometimes taste), well, not so good. Both vegetables offer a variety of nutrients that are beneficial to our health and both can be used in several ways to increase flavor and variety to our recipes.

Green_veg_3___Read-Only___Compatibility_Mode_Eaten on their own and simply prepared allows asparagus and Brussel sprouts to show off just how good they really can taste. One of my favorite ways to prepare and eat either of these vegetables is to roast them in a 400 degree oven. If you are roasting Brussel sprouts, first cut them in halves or quarters. Drizzle a little olive oil and cracked pepper over the top, and then toss well before spreading on a cookie sheet in a single layer. I roast for 15 mins and check them. Brussel sprouts will need to be tossed and put back in for another 10-15 minutes depending if they were cut in half or quarters.

Oven roasting brings out and enhances the natural nuttiness of the vegetables without the smell that typically turns most people away. In addition to oven roasting, grilling or sautéing (stir-fry) will also enhance the flavor. (Tip: Choose asparagus that is thin, not thick, and trim the hard white ends off before cooking) A squeeze of lemon and some fresh grated parmesan cheese is an excellent way to finish off this simply heart-healthy side.

Eat Red for Your Heart

by Laura Stepp, MA, RD, LD, CDE at Lexington Medical Center

The American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign brings awareness to the fight against heart disease in women. There a several lifestyle and dietary habits that can contribute to increased risk factors associated heart disease or stroke. On the positive side, there are several lifestyle habits such as daily exercise, drinking water, not smoking, and limiting alcohol that can help to reduce risks associated with heart disease.

Red Foods HeartProbably the most talked about is diet. In the spirit of Go Red for Women, I want to explore the benefits of adding red fruits and vegetables to our meals to “Just Say Know” to heart disease.

Red fruits and vegetables and their cousins blue and purple plants offer several health benefits associated with lowering risk factors of heart disease and stroke. Red foods have heart healthy folate, potassium and fiber. They also are sources of the antioxidants Vitamin C and A, and anthocyanin Lycopene that may help reduce the risk of developing cancers and developing macular degeneration (associated with blindness).

red foodsTry some of these fruits and vegetables today!

Vegetables:
•Tomatoes
•Red Bell Peppers and Hot peppers
•Beets
•Red/Purple Cabbage
•Red Onion
•Red New Potato
•Rhubarb

Fruits:
•Apples
•Blood Orange
•Cherries
•Cranberries
•Pomegranate
•Red/Purple Grapes
•Red Pears
•Strawberries
•Watermelon

Take the “Chopped” challenge and try combining several of these foods into a single recipe. If you need inspiration, websites such as Cooking Light or the USDA’s MyPlate.gov offer several recipes.