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low sodium 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

The New Year’s tradition of black-eyed peas — Bring on the luck and prosperity!

I moved down to Texas quite a number of years ago and when I had my first New Year’s was served black-eyed peas. It turns out it’s a Southern tradition—supposedly black-eyed peas bring luck and prosperity.

Apparently, the tradition started with the Jewish holiday, Rosh Hashanah. But if you are in the South on New Year’s Day or even New Year’s Eve after the strike of midnight you might be served black-eyed peas. 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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Super Simple Low Sodium Cooking with Culinary Expert Cindy Kleckner

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May is almost here and it will be High Blood Pressure Education Month. I was thrilled to spend some time with culinary expert Cindy Kleckner, registered dietitian nutritionist, and co-author with Rosanne Rust of Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies.

One in three people suffer from high blood pressure (hypertension) and can greatly benefit from reducing sodium in the diet. The average American consumes almost 3,400 mg of sodium per day. The recommendation is 1,500 mg and the upper limit is 2,300 mg per day.

Interestingly the majority of sodium does NOT come from added salt at the table or in cooking but from processed packaged foods and food consumed away from home in restaurants and fast food places.

Years ago I learned that fish is “nature’s fast food” because as you will see it IS fast. Watch as you see my good friend Cindy whip up a fabulous dish! Sea Scallops with Pistachio Sauce placed on top of Sweet Potato Mash. Recipes are below.

Seared Scallops with Pistachio Sauce

 Ingredients:

1½ pounds large sea scallops

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

¼ cup chopped unsalted pistachios

1 Tbsp unsalted butter

Instructions:

  1. Dry the scallops well with paper towels, removing as much water as possible.   Heat ½ Tbsp of the olive oil on high in a large nonstick skillet.
  2. Add half of the scallops and sauté without turning them until they’re well browned, about 2 minutes.  Turn the scallops and cook until the sides are firm and the centers are opaque.
  3. Transfer the scallops to a plate and place a piece of aluminum foil loosely covering the plate.  Repeat with the remaining oil and scallops.  Transfer to the plate.
  4. Add the chopped pistachios and butter to the skillet and cook until the butter in lightly browned.  Pour the sauce over the scallops and serve.

Yield:  4 servings

Each serving:  289 calories  41g Pro  12g fat  3g sat fat  98mg cholesterol  1g fiber  451mg sodium (sea scallops are naturally higher in sodium accounting for the majority of sodium in the recipe)

Sweet Potato Mash

Ingredients:

4 medium sweet potatoes

Dash cinnamon, to taste

Dash ground cloves, to taste

Dash ground ginger, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Pierce each sweet potato with a fork to allow steam to escape during baking and place directly on oven rack.  Bake 45 minutes or until tender.
  2. Take the potatoes out of the oven and cut a slit in the top of each one.  Scoop out the potatoes into a bowl using a large spoon. The potatoes will be hot, so you may prefer to allow them to sit for 5 minutes or use a oven mitt to hold the potato.
  3. Mash the potatoes with a fork to your desired consistency.  A perfectly naked potato will mash almost instantly with a fork.
  4. Blend in a dash of cinnamon, cloves and ginger, to your desired taste.

Yield:  4 servings

Each serving:  112 calories  2g protein  0g fat  0g sat fat  72mg sodium  4g dietary fiber

Source:  Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies

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Neily’s Whole Wheat Pasta Salad

16oz whole wheat rigatoni, dry
Leftover from rotisserie chicken (3/4c white, 1/4c dk meat)*
2oz sugar snap peas
3/4 red onion
40 cherry or grape tomatoes
1c chopped carrots
1/3 c Newman’s Own Light Balsamic Vinaigrette
2T balsamic vinegar

Cook pasta. Mix all ingredients. Chill before serving.

*Can leave out for vegan dish or substitute shrimp.

Servings: 8

Nutrition information per serving:

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

Interview with co-author of “Hypertension Cookbook for Dummies”

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Cindy Kleckner, MS, RD, LD – co-author of Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies – and I sat for a chat about her book, high blood pressure and sodium. (Scroll to the end if you prefer to see the interview on YouTube.)

Neily Tell me Cindy, what was it like when you were invited to co-author this book?
Cindy It was really exciting. My co-author was Rosanne Rust, lives in Pennsylvania. She has written 3 other books. So when I had the opportunity, it was real fun for me to be able to exercise my creativity as a culinary expert along with my registered dietitian skills.
Neily Definitely, that’s great! So let’s talk about hypertension. Hypertension being the fancy, medical term for high blood pressure. Who is at risk for developing hypertension?
Cindy We have to look at age first. As you advance in age, you have more of a tendency to have high blood pressure: men over the age of 45 and women over the age of 50 are more at risk. Certain ethnic populations such as African-Americans, people who are obese are a great concern, people who smoke. All those things play into it: if you drink excessive alcohol, if you don’t manage your stress very well, those are the things that put as at most risk.
Neily And what is it: one of 2 people over the age of 60 have high or develop blood pressure?
Cindy Exactly! One in 3 Americans..that is about 76 million people right now. And it really puts as at risk for spending a lot of money in healthcare costs.
Neily Definitely. So, the book talks about the DASH diet. Tell us what the DASH diet is about.
Cindy DASH stands for ‘Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension’ and the original study showed that people who incorporated fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, watched the type of fat they were eating, how much they were eating, if you incorporated more fat-free, low fat dairy products and substituted beans for some of your animal protein and also reduction of sodium and salt – those are the things that constitute the DASH diet that really help to prevent high blood pressure.
Neily Great! So I imagine, those principles are probably things that you might have incorporated into the recipes: and there are a 150 recipes in the book?
Cindy Exactly.
Neily Great. So tell me a little more about the recipes in the book. Am I going to have to be a culinary expert to make them?
Cindy No. Not at all. In fact the goal is to get fresh food on the table fast. Smaller number of ingredients that are   very flavorful to take away the salt you have to add, herbs and spices and all that and also, we try to appeal to all masses – so adults, children (there is a section on feeding kids) and also vegetarians. So it is very   diverse.
Neily Great. So if I buy this or somebody bought this book for say their mother or father, for example, then there is   something for everybody to eat in the family.
Cindy Exactly. It’s a good book for prevention, as I said, incorporating a lot of flavorful ingredients. I think   everyone will love it.
Neily Great. Excellent. Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies. Please tune into the next couple of videos because we are going to make a couple of recipes from here!

Introducing Hypertension Cookbook for Dummies

Just about a month ago a book arrived in my mailbox—Hypertension Cookbook For Dummies.  I was so excited and couldn’t believe it was published already!  It seemed only months ago that a colleague Rosanne Rust, MS, RD, LDN a registered dietitian and already an author of three Dummies series books emailed me.  Was I interested in co-authoring this book or did I know anyone?  As much as I want to be an author, I wasn’t the person for this particular job, but I thought I might know someone who was!

Registered dietitian and culinary expert Cindy Kleckner proved to be the perfect person.  I’ve known Cindy since our years together at the Cooper Clinic.  She continues to give nutrition lectures and culinary demos for the Cooper Fitness Center at the Craig Ranch location in McKinney, Texas.  Most recently she was doing 4-week kitchen boot camps.  I knew she had a repertoire of recipes well suited for this book.  It’s very exciting to see this project complete.  Congrats Cindy and Rosanne!

Here is our interview for the book.

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