Tag Archives: recipes

Superfoods to the Rescue: Watermelon

Each month, we’re highlighting a superfood and sharing a delicious recipe. This month, we feature watermelon.

Here are some of watermelon’s best assets:

Vitamin A
Important for optimal eye health and boosting immunity by enhancing the infection-fighting actions of white blood cells.

Vitamin B6
Helps the immune system produce antibodies to fight many diseases. Vitamin B6 helps maintain normal nerve function and form red blood cells. The body uses it to help break down proteins. The more protein you eat, the more vitamin B6 you need.

Vitamin C

Bolsters the immune system’s defenses against infections and viruses, and can protect a body from harmful free radicals that accelerate aging and conditions such as cataracts.

Fast Facts
~ Watermelon is about 92 percent water, making it a good thirst quencher and diuretic.
~ High amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene can reduce the risk of heart disease, improve asthma conditions, reduce the risk of colon cancer and alleviate some symptoms of osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
~ Watermelon is a concentrated source of the carotenoid lycopene, which has antioxidant and cancer-preventing properties.
~ One watermelon can feed up to three dozen people.
~ According to a 2010 study by the Perishables Group, watermelon ranks #1 on the list of budget-friendly fruits at only 14¢ per serving.
~ More than 300 varieties of watermelon are cultivated in the United States and South America.

Flank Steak with Grilled Mango and Watermelon Chutney

1T brown sugar
1t salt
3/4t ground cumin
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (1 – 1/2-pound) flank steak, trimmed
Cooking spray

2 peeled ripe mangoes, cut into quarters (about 1 pound)
1t olive oil
1c thinly vertically sliced onion
1t minced peeled fresh ginger
1/3/ cup cider vinegar
2T brown sugar
2T fresh lime juice
1/4t salt
1/4t ground red pepper
2c finely diced seedless watermelon (about 3/4 pound)
1-1/2T chopped fresh cilantro
1-1/2T chopped fresh mint
mint sprigs (optional)
lime wedges(optional)

To prepare the steak, combine the first four ingredients. Sprinkle the steak evenly with the sugar mixture. place the steak on a heated grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill for 8 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Let stand 10 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across the grain into slices.

To prepare the chutney, place the quartered mango on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side. Cool and chop. Set aside.

Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute 4 minutes. Add ginger; saute 1 minute. Add vinegar, 2T of sugar, juice, 1/4t of salt and pepper; cook 5 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Stir in mango; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat. Stir in watermelon, cilantro and mint. Add mint sprigs and lime wedges, if desired.

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


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

Blogging With Heart: Recipes that keep a healthy beat

idaho lottery

In honor of “Heart Month,” here are some heart healthy recipes recommended by the staff of Health Directions, Lexington Medical Center’s health and wellness component. The recipes are from the “Eat Right Live Light” cookbook written and compiled with Elizabeth Koester Morton, R.D. Enjoy!

Banana Granola Pancakes
1½ cups pastry flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1¾ cups nonfat buttermilk
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
2 cups bananas, sliced
½ cup fat free granola cereal

Combine flour, sugar and baking soda in medium sized bowl and stir to mix well. Stir in buttermilk and egg whites. Fold in bananas and granola. Coat a griddle or large skillet with a nonfat cooking spray and preheat over medium heat. For each pancake, pour ¼ cup of batter onto the griddle. Cook until tops are bubbly and edges are dry. Flip and cook for an additional minute, or until second side is golden brown. Serve hot, topped with honey, maple syrup or fruit sauce.

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size: 2 pancakes. Calories: 76. Total Fat: 0.5g. Saturated Fat: 0.2g. Cholesterol: 0.9mg. Sodium: 114.8mg. Carbohydrates: 15.7g. Fiber: 2.0g. Sugars: 5.3g. Protein: 3.2g.

Serves 16.

Chicken and Black Bean Chili
1 pound chicken breast, boneless and skinless
2 cups black beans
2 cups frozen sweet corn
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 (10oz.) cans tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons black pepper
3 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped

Place all ingredients except cilantro in crock pot. Cook on low for 8 hours. Fifteen minutes before serving, add cilantro and break apart chicken breasts into bite size pieces. Serve plain, over brown rice, or in low fat whole wheat tortillas.

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size: 1 cup. Calories: 295. Total Fat: 2.2g. Saturated Fat: 0.5g. Cholesterol: 32.9mg. Sodium: 492.3mg. Carbohydrates: 46.1g. Fiber: 10.2g. Sugars: 8.0g. Protein: 26g.

Serves 8.

Southern Okra
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cups sliced fresh okra
Boiling water
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green pepper, chopped
3 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped

Combine first four ingredients; set aside. In a covered saucepan, cook okra in boiling water for 10 minutes until tender. Drain and set aside. In a skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Saute onion and green pepper until tender. Stir in sugar mixture and tomatoes; cook for 5 minutes. Add okra and simmer until heated, stirring as little as possible.

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size: ½ cup. Calories: 59. Total Fat: 1.8g. Saturated Fat: 0.2g. Cholesterol: 0g. Sodium: 206.5mg. Total Carbohydrate: 10.7g. Fiber: 2.5g. Sugars: 4.6g. Protein: 1.6g.

Penne Pasta Primavera
2½ teaspoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon white pepper
1½ cups evaporated skim milk
8 ounces penne pasta
2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced
½ cup carrots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 cups fresh broccoli flowerets
½ small red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 medium onion, cut into thin wedges

Combine cornstarch, pepper and milk in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Shake until the cornstarch dissolves. Set aside. Cook the pasta al dente according to package directions. Drain well, return the pasta to the pot and cover to keep warm. Coat a large skillet with nonfat cooking spray. Place over medium-high heat, add the garlic and stir-fry for 30 seconds. Add the vegetables along with 1 tablespoon water. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are crisp-tender. Add a little more water if the skillet becomes too dry. Reduce heat to medium and add pasta to the skillet mixture. Shake the milk mixture and add it to the skillet. Toss gently over medium heat for about 2 minutes or just until the sauce begins to boil and thicken slightly. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the Parmesan cheese. Toss gently to mix. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size: 1 ½ cups. Calories: 273. Total Fat: 1.9g. Saturated Fat: 0.5g. Cholesterol: 4.3mg. Sodium: 140.7mg. Carbohydrates: 50.1g. Fiber: 3g. Sugars: 3.9g. Protein: 14.2g.

Serves 5.

Brown Rice Chicken Bake
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 (10oz) package frozen green peas
2 cups cooked chicken breast, cubed
½ cup fat free mayonnaise
½ cup chopped celery
2 teaspoons soy sauce
¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon dried tarragon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Transfer to the baking dish, cover and bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size: 1 cup. Calories: 238. Total Fat: 2.7g. Saturated Fat: 0.7g. Cholesterol: 39.7mg. Sodium: 397.4mg. Carbohydrates: 32.2g. Fiber: 4.2g. Sugars: 1.9g. Protein: 19.7g.

Serves 6.

Beef Stew
12 ounces boneless beef round roast, cut into cubes
½ cup onions, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
3 garlic cloves
2 potatoes, peeled and sliced
4 carrots, sliced
1 (14oz) can fat free beef broth
¼ cup nonfat/skim evaporated milk
1 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons burgundy wine

Coat large skillet with nonfat cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Add beef, onions, green peppers and garlic. Cook and stir until the beef is browned. Stir in the potatoes, carrots and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the meat is tender. Stir in the milk and paprika. In a small container, stir the cornstarch and wine until smooth. Slowly stir this mixture into the beef mixture. Cook until slightly thickened and bubbly; cook and stir an additional 2 minutes.

Nutrition Facts: Serving Size: ¾ cup. Calories: 138. Total Fat: 2.5g. Saturated fat: 0.8g. Cholesterol: 20.8mg. Sodium: 90.8mg. Carbohydrates: 15.2g. Fiber: 2.1g. Sugars: 3.5g. Protein: 13.2g.

Serves 7.

Chocolate Delight
6 low fat graham crackers
1 cup powdered sugar
2 small containers fat free Cool Whip
1 (8 oz.) carton fat free cream cheese
2 small boxes instant sugar free chocolate pudding
3 cups skim milk
1-2 teaspoons Baker’s semi-sweet chocolate

Cover bottom of 13 by 9 by 2-inch pan with graham crackers. (Line walls of pan with crackers if desired.) Combine powdered sugar, 1 small cool whip and cream cheese. Beat until smooth. Spread evenly over crackers then refrigerate until firm. Mix chocolate pudding with skim milk. Pour over cream cheese layer, refrigerate until firm. Cover pudding mixture with remaining container of cool whip then grate semi-sweet chocolate over top layer. Refrigerate and serve.

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 121. Total Fat: 1g. Saturated Fat: 0.6g. Cholesterol: 2.1mg. Sodium: 2.96mg. Carbohydrates: 22.7g. Fiber: 0.4g. Sugars: 12.9g. Protein: 4.6g.

Serves 15.