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healthy cooking

DASH Diet for Dummies® – an interview with the authors Rosanne Rust and Cindy Kleckner

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It’s time for another Neily on Nutrition book series post together with Kristine James, featuring a book co-authored by my colleagues Cindy Kleckner, RDN, LD, FAND and Rosanne Rust, MS, RDN, LDN—DASH Diet for Dummies.

Rosanne is co-author of several books in the John Wiley & Sons For Dummies® series, including DASH Diet for Dummies, Hypertension Cookbook for Dummies, Glycemic Index Cookbook For Dummies®, Calorie Counter Journal for Dummies®, and a chapter about Diet Quality and Sweeteners in the textbook Sucrose, Fructose, High Fructose Corn Syrup, and Health.

Cindy has co-authored What’s Cooking at the Cooper Clinic and contributed nutrition chapters for Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper’s Overcoming Hypertension, Preventing Osteoporosis, and The New Aerobics for Women. She also co-authored (with Rosanne) Hypertension Cookbook for Dummies and developed recipes for the second edition of the Gluten Free Cooking for Dummies®.

Here is Kristine’s interview! Continue reading

What’s in Neily’s Slow Cooker? Chicken with Pasta Sauce served over Angel Hair

There are staples I always have in my kitchen. I wanted to make something really simple with my slow cooker so this is what I added to it:

  • Frozen What's in Neily's Slow Cooker?chicken thighs, boneless, skinless (4)
  • Can of pasta sauce (24oz)
  • Can of diced tomatoes (14.5oz)
  • Can of tomato paste (6oz)

That was it. Hours later I had the makings of a perfect meal (4 servings). Cooked up some angel hair pasta (my favorite!) and good to go. All it needed was a nice green salad. (Click to see video) Continue reading

Homemade 4-Bean Soup – in honor of National Homemade Soup Day!

I love Mondays! Really I do—especially because I work for myself. My boss is the best!

One of the reasons for my love of Mondays is Meatless Mondays! After enjoying a beautifully cooked steak and piece of salmon Sunday during my friend Walker’s Super Bowl party, it was time to lay low on the animal protein. (Love that about being a flexitarian—I don’t deny myself red meat, it’s my occasional treat.)

Walker super bowl party

I volunteered to bring soup to Walker’s party—perfect time of year for that. AND this week there is a special day for homemade soup. Join me in celebrating National Homemade Soup Day today won’t you? Continue reading

May is High Blood Pressure Education Month: Cindy Kleckner demos a wonderful low sodium recipe

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One of the easiest ways to decrease sodium in the diet is cooking at home. People often think it’s difficult to do so and takes up too much time. Not so! In this third video recognizing High Blood Pressure Education Month, registered dietitian nutritionist, Cindy Kleckner demonstrates Penne Pasta with Zucchini Yogurt Sauce & Walnuts. It’s a perfect recipe that combines essentials of heart healthy cooking with 100% whole wheat pasta, low fat Greek yogurt, veggies and walnuts, an excellent source of plant-based omega 3s. (Recipe follows video)

Penne Pasta with Zucchini Yogurt Sauce and Walnuts

Ingredients:

1 pound zucchini (about 3-4 medium zucchini)

2 garlic cloves

2 Tbsp olive oil

½ cup plan Greek yogurt

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 pound whole-wheat penne pasta

2 Tbsp chopped walnuts, toasted

2 Tbsp freshly grated Parmesan Cheese

Instructions:

  1. Cut the zucchini into thick slices and place them in a saucepan with a steamer basket over boiling water.  Cover the saucepan and steam for 5 minutes.
  2. Pulse the zucchini in a blender or food processor for 30-60 seconds with the garlic, olive oil, yogurt and pepper.
  3. Cook the pasta al dente as directed on the package, usually 8-10 minutes.
  4. Mix the pasta with the sauce from the blender and top with the walnuts and cheese.

Yield:  5 servings

Each serving:  215 calories 9g protein 9g fat 2g sat fat 50mg sodium 1g dietary fiber

Source:  Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies

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Oh no…what am I going to bring to my neighborhood party?!

Some key ingredients to always have on hand make it easy for me to throw something together when needed in a pinch. Like this weekend when I remembered at the last minute I was to bring something to the neighborhood block party.

Many things I’ve learned living in Texas is the natives really have interesting ways of doing things. But I must admit, some I really like! For example this dish COULD be called Southwestern Bean Salad or Mixed Bean Salad with Cilantro & Balsamic Vinaigrette. However since I make it different every time, it’s just easier to call it by its Texas name – Texas “Caviar”. I had another version on New Year’s Day with black-eyed peas and just a few weeks ago entertained my brother and friends with a different version. The consistent factor seems to be tomatoes, beans, whole grain, onion and dressing – everything else is up for grabs! I think to make this one perfect though would have been to add sweet corn and jalapenos for a bit of spice!

Here was the version for the neighborhood party: (see the video below for a “live” version of the recipe)

Neily’s Texas Caviar (in honor of Lakewood Heights Neighborhood Association!)

  • 2 cans dark red kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 large tomato
  • red onion (about 1/3 – 1/2 cup)
  • cilantro (about 3-4 tbsp)
  • brown rice 4oz dry (you could use quinoa or whole corn as well)
  • mini sweet peppers – about 14 (or a few red, yellow or orange sweet peppers)
  • balsamic vinegar (3 tablespoons)
  • extra virgin olive oil (3 tablespoons)
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • sweetener (I used stevia)

Mix all together. Chill for several hours before serving.

Nutrition info per 2/3 cup (about 4.5oz): 150cal, 4.5g fat, 0g sat fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 190mg sodium, 20g carb, 6g fiber, 6g protein

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