Saturday, December 29, 2012

Happy New Year! @EatRight Eat More #GardenCuizine Why? Disease Prevention.

You and Your Family deserve to
 Celebrate the New Year 
with a Wealth of Good Nutrition
Eat more dietary fiber and phytonutrients from beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables 

Healthy New Year Menu
  • Hoppin' John made with Blackeye Peas, Frijol Carita, (Cowpeas) - symbolic for coins - "peas for pennies"
  • Collard, Turnip or Mustard greens - symbolic for greens, currency $ dollars
  • Cornbread - symbolic for gold and a staple for any Southern inspired meal
  • Pork for added protein but not necessary when beans are served with brown rice or other grain since grains and beans makeup a complete high quality protein.
Hoppin' John is an American meal inspired by African, French and Caribbean ancestry. The main ingredient - cowpeas - are seeds of a green bean subspecies of Vigna unguiculata legumes. Other Vigna subspecies include Chinese long beans (shown in above photo), also known as yardlong beans that can be grown in your home, community or school gardens.  

These unique legumes are enjoyed for Good Luck at New Year's and are common in cuisines of Southeastern Asia, Thailand and Southern China. Cultivars include Chinese Red Noodle, Blue Goose and Texas Pinkeye.

Related Links
Barley Hoppin' John recipe

Cowpeas please! The History and Importance of the Cowpea plant by Melody Rose
Fruits and Veggies, More Matters
Blogpost Copyright (C)2012 Wind. All rights reserved. Photo yardlong beans displayed in Singapore, courtesy of Wikipedia

Thursday, December 27, 2012

How-to-Make Cioccolato Pizzelles #GardenCuizine #recipe

Diana's Cioccolato Pizzelles
Cocoa Pizzelles with garden anise seeds were among our favorite Christmas treats this holiday season. Our private Italian sweets connoisseur (Mama, who else!) rated them two thumbs up! Adding unsweetened cocoa provides chocolatey flavor, plus healthy antioxidants.

Recipe Yields: 50
2 tablespoons (Tbl sp) (28g) unsalted butter
2 Tbl sp (26g) vegetable shortening (trans fat free)
1/4 cup plus 2 Tbl sp Canola oil
1 tsp (2g) anise seeds

2 cups (250g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup Hershey's unsweetened cocoa
1 Tbl sp (15g) baking powder
1/8 tsp (dash) salt

6 eggs
1 1/2 cups (300g) sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract 
3/4 tsp anise oil (oil vs. extract - look for at your Italian Market)
Putting it all together
  • Locate your pizzelle iron and plug it in to get it preheated and ready.
  • Melt the butter and shortening with the oil; add the seeds so their anise flavor infuses into the oil. Remove from heat as soon as melted - set aside to cool.
  • In a small bowl, sift and whisk together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt to combine.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs well. Beat in the sugar. Slowly pour in the melted oil blend.
  • Mix in the dry ingredients until the batter is shiny and thick.
  • Cover the batter bowl with a damp towel until ready to use.
  • Spray your pizzelle iron with nonstick spray before making your first pizzelle.
  • Using a tablespoon, measure 1 tablespoon dollops of batter in the center of each pizzelle; close the iron and let cook for about one minute. You will have to experiment with how long it takes your pizzelle iron to perfectly bake your pizzelles. It is a little more difficult to tell when chocolate pizzelles are done because of their color. Once you get a rhythm going though, they bake-off pretty fast. Have fun!
  • Remove the hot pizzelles using a fork as needed to carefully pull them off the iron.
  • Allow the pizzelles to completely cool on wire baking racks before stacking them! Otherwise, they will get soft and not be crisp. If you accidentally stack them while still warm and they do get soft, you can rescue them by single layering the pizzelles on a baking sheet and bake in a 350 deg F. oven until reheated. Remove from oven and be sure to let them completely cool before stacking.
  • Once your pizzelles are all made and completely cooled - store in airtight containers - share and enjoy!
Buon Natale!

GardenCuizine Nutrient Analysis Cocoa Pizzelles: calculated from USDA nutrient values 1/50 of recipe (20g): one pizzelle: ~72 calories; total fat: 3g; monounsaturated fat: 1.2g; polyunsaturated fat 0.5g; saturated fat: 0.7g; sodium 39 mg; total carbohydrate: 10g; Iron: 0.7mg (4%DV); Protein: 1.4g (3%DV); Folate: 12 mcg (~3%DV); Selenium: 3.6mcg (5%DV)

Percent Daily Values (%DV) are based on a caloric intake of 2,000 calories for adults and children age 4 or older
Recipe, photos and blog post Copyright (C)2012 Wind. All rights reserved.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Energize your Holiday w/Honey Roasted, Cocoa Volcano Dust PECANS #GardenCuizine

Heart Healthy
 Honey Roasted Cocoa Volcano Dust
 P E C A N S
Fruits, Vegetables, NUTS and Seeds are good sources of PLANT STEROLS (phytosterols) that have been shown to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Eat nuts alone as a snack or use them in recipes as part of a heart healthy diet. These jazzed up pecans make a nutritious addition to holiday cookie trays or atop a holiday garden salad.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the following qualified health claim: “Scientific evidence suggests, but does not prove, that eating 1.5 ounces per day of most nuts, such as pecans, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.”  

1 pound raw pecan nuts
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon cardamom
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground dried hot peppers from your garden
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/8 cup water
1/8 cup honey
2 tablespoons canola oil

Putting it all together
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Layer the nuts on your baking sheet and roast for 10 minutes or until fragrant and toasted.
  • Grind your dried hot peppers (seeds and all) in a spice grinder (we use a small coffee grinder just for spices)
  • In a small bowl combine the sugar, salt, cocoa and spices
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and set aside.
  • Place the toasted nuts in a large bowl and toss with the spice mixture.
  • Return the nuts to the lined baking sheet and bake another 8-10 minutes.
  • Allow to cool on the baking sheet.
  • Store in air tight container. Serve atop holiday garden salads, as a snack, or in your favorite baked goods or recipes.
GardenCuizine Nutrition Data PECANS: calculated by Diana Wind, RD using USDA Nutrient Reference Data 

Excellent Source: Manganese
Good Source: dietary Fiber, Thiamin

1ounce (28g) PECANS = 193 calories; dietary Fiber 3g (11% DV); 276 mg Omega 3; Monounsaturated fat 11.4g; Polyunsaturated fat 6.1g; Saturated fat 1.7g; Protein 2.6g (5% DV); Thiamin 0.2 mg (12% DV); Magnesium 34 mg (8% DV); Manganese 1.3mg (63% DV); Zinc 1.3 mg (8% DV); Phytosterols 29 mg
Related Links
Pecan Nutrition in a Nutshell 

Antioxidants in Pecans

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dietitian Savors Sicily #GardenCuizine @FabriziaLanza @FCPDPG

Anna Tasca Lanza Cooking School
S I C I L Y, Italy
Sicilian Culture and Cuisine Case Vecchie - day 4

I'm savoring the memories of our 10-day excursion to Sicily with the Food and Culinary Professionals Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Our Sicilian journey began in Palermo. We traveled  around the western coast and through central Sicily as we toured our way around the island. Our fourth day was a full day of sightseeing and cooking at the Anna Tasca Lanza School - surrounded by prickly pear cactus, vineyards and rolling hills in north central Sicily. 

The Cooking School, located near the Regaleali Winery, was named after its late Sicilian founder, “Anna Tasca Lanza”. Her daughter, Fabrizia Lanza, has carried on the tradition of teaching Sicilian cooking at the family estate.
We watched Fabrizia prepare classic Sicilian foods - from appetizers to dessert - using local ingredients such as herbs from her garden and fresh-made ricotta that arrived still warm! Her menu featured: Panelle (Chickpea fritters), Stewed Lamb with Mint (Spezzatino di Agnello alla Menta), Saffron Stewed Potatoes, and Cassata - a famous Sicilian dessert.  

Fabrizia demonstrated and showed us how to prepare the select menu, including the preparation of Cassata using layers of sponge cake and ricotta cream, encased with green (must be green!) marzipan (made from almonds and ground pistachios) and finished with white icing and candied fruits.

Her foods were paired with the appropriate award winning wines from her family's Regaleali Winery. Fabrizia took us for a private tour of her absolutely spectacular kitchen gardens, complete with chickens for fresh eggs and a breath taking view of the Sicilian countryside.
At the end of our fantastic day, we all gathered around a large farmhouse table to enjoy the meal that Fabrizia prepared for us
    ~ Grazie Fabrizia!
Watch for my Dave's Garden article "Gardens of Sicily" - coming soon!
Related Links
Fabrizia's book: Olive - A Global History of olive trees, olives and olive oil
A Warm Welcome to Case Vecchie
Photos and blogpost Copyright (C) 2012 Wind. All rights reserved.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Today in Our Fall (it's not Winter quite yet!) Garden #GardenCuizine

Today in Our Fall Garden
South Jersey
USDA Zone 7a (formerly zone 6b)
December 15, 2012

As the Winter season fast approaches (officially December 21), there is still time to clean up yards and gardens. Have you cleaned up your garden? Ours is a work in progress. Today, we got out there since it was a fairly mild day for December in New Jersey. We prepared our asparagus bed for the winter and finally dug up our canna and dahlia tubers.

Asparagus, Veggies and Herbs
If you grow asparagus, which is a long-lived perennial, you know that the tops grow into ferns and eventually turn brown and die back at the end of the growing season. If you haven't done so already, now you can cut the dead ferns off to tidy up your asparagus bed for the winter.  

We also like to pull up any dead veggies and herbs like tomatoes and basil and get the debris out of the garden. Doing so gives less opportunity for insects and disease.

Last Call to Dig up Tubers
And, if you grow flowers like cannas or dahlias, it's not too late to dig up the roots and tubers and store them inside over the winter. If you leave them in the soil all winter, chances are they will rot by spring. We dug ours up today and put them in heavy duty plastic bags filled with peat moss to absorb any excess moisture. We store the bags in our basement until spring.

Plan Your 2013 Garden
Don't forget to put seeds on your holiday wish list for your 2013 Garden. I highly recommend trying Swiss Chard. Our Northern Lights Swiss Chard has been harvested literally all summer right up until now.

Happy Holiday's, Gardening and Healthy Living

Related Links
Growing Asparagus by Diana Wind, RD

 Photo collage Copyright (C)2012 Wind. All rights reserved. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Why is Your Toddler drinking Gatorade? #GardenCuizine

Why is Your Toddler drinking Gatorade?

Last week I met a playful and smart four-year old preschooler and her loving family. Her BMI was above the 97th percentile (obese). In discussing her diet with her family, I learned that she routinely drinks Gatorade at home.

In researching this topic, I've discovered that many families indeed are offering Gatorade to their children of all ages, including those very young - ages 2 to 4.

I have nothing against sports, electrolyte replacement drinks, but that is what they are intended to be. Their target market should be athletes and those who are physically active and sweat. Athletes - NOT toddlers - can benefit by replenishing carbohydrates and electrolytes lost during physical activity with a sports drink

Electrolytes are needed for all life. Electrolytes are electrically charged ions found in our bodies' living cells. Electrolytes also enter our body from foods and beverages. Sodium and potassium are electrolytes. Sodium is lost in sweat during vigorous physical activity or endurance training. Granted, toddlers are active - some may even work up a sweat as they play hard - but in general, sports drinks should not be given to children.

According to the Academy of Pediatrics in their May 2011 Clinical Report on the appropriateness of sports drinks for children, "Frequent or excessive intake of caloric sports drinks can substantially increase the risk for overweight or obesity in children and adolescents."

Why buy Sports Drinks?
When any retail product becomes popular, sales increase and prices generally decrease. The tried and true law of supply and demand kicks in. Then, as expected, you usually see more of that particular product in stores when you're out shopping. 

The mere fact of an abundant supply can lead to eye-catching end caps in the stores, with alluring graphics and enticing prices. Next thing you know - it's in your home and being consumed by you and your family. 

Sports drinks like Gatorade have become popular and are being purchased by families who don't even engage in physical activity or sports at all. If you are an adult drinking sports drinks and you are not doing any physical activity to break a good sweat - why drink it? Don't just say, "because it tastes good."  

Sports drinks are made to taste refreshing and good. They often contain added flavors and sugar in addition to the added sodium. Read the label. Look for the calories and sodium content. Then ask yourself, do you need extra of either? Some brands may contain 50 or more calories and over 100 mg of sodium per 8-ounce serving

If you are an adult and you opt to buy sports drinks for yourself for whatever reason, check with your Pediatrician before offering the drinks to any of your children.

Keep it Simple

When it comes to children, you can't go wrong with encouraging and providing hydration from plain water. Not artificially flavored bottled waters or bottled Propel (which has 80 mg of sodium per bottle), just good 'ol plain water. 

What about Juice or Milk?
Juice is not appropriate in the treatment of dehydration according to the Academy of Pediatrics. As a beverage, they recommend to limit fruit juice to 4 to 6 ounces a day for children age 1 to 6. And for older children ages 7 to 18, juice intake should be limited to 8 to 12 ounces per day.

Low fat milk provides important nutrients, especially for growing children. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommend that children, ages 2 to 3 years, consume two 8-ounce glasses per day for dietary calcium, vitamin D, protein and other nutrients. 2 1/2 cups per day is recommended for kids ages 4 to 8. And up to 3 cups per day of low fat milk is recommended for children age 8 to adult.

If you have ANY questions or concerns regarding your child and what foods or beverages they should or should not have, please bring it to the attention of your Pediatrician and healthcare team.

Related Links
Sports and Energy Drinks  
Consumption of Sports Drinks by Children and Adolescents

Blog post Copyright (C)2012 Wind. All rights reserved.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Today in Our Garden | Harvested Garlic Chive and Chia seeds! #GardenCuizine

Today in Our Fall Garden
South Jersey
USDA Zone 7a (formerly zone 6b)
October 7, 2012
Garden Clean Up! 
With the arrival of freezing temperatures here on the East coast, we need to finish getting the garden cleaned up. I wasn't at all surprised to see our Swiss Chard "still" growing!! That is one care-free veggie to grow. We never did get to plant more greens, so there really was not much else to see today in the garden besides oregano, garlic, strawberry leaves and a few stray peppers amidst dead plants and seeds everywhere.  

Overwintering Cannas and Dahlia tubers
As usual, we cut down our dying canna and dahlia stalks. We even put out a heated water bowl for backyard wildlife. Some cannas planted near the house foundation will come back next year. The majority, out in the garden, are too exposed and usually rot if they don't get dug up. Soon we will dig them up and overwinter the clumps, plus dahlia tubers, in Peat Moss in plastic bags stored in the basement. We have found through trial and error that this method works best for us. 

Harvest Seeds Now
If you like to grow plants, it's not too late to look around for annual seeds that you would like to plant in the spring. Annuals can be started inside under grow lights beginning around March. We don't start CHIA inside because it is so hardy and self sows prolifically throughout the garden! We plan on using the nutritious seeds harvested today in recipes.  

Today's seed harvest included:
  • Garlic Chives, Allium tuberosum (shown in photo)
  • Lady in Red Salvia
  • Yvonne's Salvia
  • Tarahumara CHIA, Salvia tiliifolia
Happy and Healthy Gardening!
Related Links
Check Out Chia - Super Seed Nutrition by Diana Wind, RD 
The Story of Yvonne's Salvia

Friday, November 23, 2012

Next time you make Stuffing, Spice it up! 'n keep it ♥Heart Healthy! #GardenCuizine #gardenchat

"Good Stuff"
Stuffing with Hot Peppers 
from the Garden!

Our mouths were tingling this Thanksgiving from the aromatic, heart-healthy, stuffing made with
Capsicum chinense 'Yellow Mushroom' hot peppers from our garden! 

"What's in the stuffing?" was the question asked from someone who used to get heartburn from high fat, high calorie stuffing in the past. Nothing fancy, just a simple classic stuffing with a few added hot peppers. Hot peppers are easy and fun to grow. Try growing some in your garden

Okay, so I tossed in a persimmon too! This was our year for experimenting with persimmons in the kitchen. The mild, sweet flavor of persimmon gets lost when combined with anything spicy, I've noticed. But, persimmons add nutrients and dietary fiber.

Heart Healthy Stuffing
No need to add Salt
Think about the main ingredient - bread. Read the bread label. Bread contributes plenty of sodium. 

Low Fat
With plenty of protein from your main entree, their really is no need for added protein in the stuffing, let alone the added saturated fat and calories that meats like bacon or sausage contribute. So at Thanksgiving at our house - you won't find added high fat sausage in stuffing anymore. Gone are the Andouille sausage stuffing days. But, guess what? This was "Good Stuff!" It pleased even the most picky eaters and those seeking pronounced flavor in stuffing. 

Does your stuffing recipe call for using a whole stick (or two!!) of butter or dotting the casserole with butter? Do your arteries a favor, just use a small amount of olive oil when cooking the veggies. Trust me, this stuffing has plenty of flavor and your family will NOT miss the saturated fat and dietary cholesterol from the butter.

GardenCuizine Freestyle Recipe: meaning, no need to measure out ingredients. I'll note what I used, but exact measurements are not necessary. Recipe for 8x8 baking dish. 

1/2 loaf Challah and/or whole grain bread cubes (or enough to fill up your baking dish)
2/3 cup chopped Celery

Hot Peppers* any kind (we used 2 Yellow mushroom peppers)
2/3 cup chopped Onion
2/3 cup chopped Carrots
1 teaspoon dried Thyme leaves
1 teaspoon ground Sage*
1 teaspoon dried Marjoram*
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground Black Pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed Rosemary* 
2 Tablespoons chopped Parsley
1 3/4 cups plus 12 ounces Turkey stock (or vegetable stock if you want to keep the recipe vegetarian) Note: if you're roasting a Turkey make a small pot of stock with the giblets, water and chopped carrots, celery, onion, bay leaves, parsley stems and black peppercorns. Turkey stock can be used for gravy too!
3 Eggs
1/8 teaspoon ground Nutmeg 
Persimmon (optional) - we used American native Diospyros virginiana
1 to 2 Tablespoons Olive oil

*or 1 tsp poultry seasoning 

Putting it all together
  • Butter your baking dish. 
  • Chop up your veggies and saute them in 1-2 tablespoons olive oil until fragrant and somewhat tender. *The key to this recipe is to add just enough hot pepper to please both those who like spicy and those who don't like their food too spicy. Sprinkle sage, rosemary, thyme and marjoram over the veggies while cooking. Ladle in a few scoops (about 12 ounces) of turkey broth. Simmer until carrots are tender and turn off heat and let cool. 
  • Meanwhile, cube the bread - no need to let it go stale or dry it out. In a large bowl toss the bread cubes with chopped parsley.
  • Add in the sauteed vegetables; stir gently to combine and scoop into baking dish.
  • In another bowl whisk 1 3/4 cups cooled stock with the eggs; add nutmeg (you can add a chopped, ripe persimmon - optional). Pour the liquid egg mixture over the seasoned bread cubes. It should be good and moist almost like a bread pudding. Add more broth as needed. You should see the liquid, but it should not cover the top layer of bread cubes.
  • Bake at 350°F covered until set (about 30 minutes), remove cover to brown top layer (another 15 minutes or so). 
Buon Appetito!
Photos and blog post Copyright (C) Wind. All rights reserved. Revised 11/26/2021

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Antioxidant-rich Cranberry-Persimmon Jelly Recipe #GardenCuizine #Thanksgiving @OceanSprayInc

Homemade Whole Berry 
Cranberry-Persimmon Jelly
Vitamin C, Antioxidant-rich, Dietary Fiber

1 12-ounce package Ocean Spray® fresh (or frozen) Cranberries
1 Japanese Persimmon (Diospyros kaki 'Hachiya')
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup orange juice
zest of 1/2 an orange

Putting it all together 
  • Wash and rinse cranberries in a colander. Pull out any stems or rotten berries. 
  • Wash, remove stem and chop persimmon (leave the skin on - that's where most of the dietary fiber is!) 
  • Place berries and chopped persimmon in a pot
  • Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until berries get soft and start bursting open (about 15 minutes or so). Sometimes I help the process along and squish some of the cranberries along the side of the pot with a spoon. 
  • Due to the addition of chopped persimmons, I decided to use an immersion blender to puree some of the mixture (right in the pot) so it would not be too lumpy with fruits. This is optional.
  • Remove from heat and let cool slightly before pouring into a special serving dish. We like to use a crystal dish on holidays. Just be careful the jelly isn't too hot so you don't crack your dish! 
  • Let your cranberry-persimmon jelly cool on the counter and then move to the fridge to thoroughly chill and set. Cranberry jelly can be made a day in advance for convenience or you can make it the same day - it sets up pretty fast.
Happy Thanksgiving! 
Related Links
Have You Tasted A Persimmon? by Diana Wind, RD
Giving Thanks for Nature's Harvest 
Photos, Recipe and Blog Post Copyright (C)2012 Wind. All rights reserved.