INSTRUCTIONS FOR OPTIONAL INGREDIENTS*
MORE ABOUT INGREDIENTS AND METHOD
Everyone has a favorite food and mine is chicken soup. This week in honor of National Chicken Month I'm writing about my favorite food. My favorite chicken soup is not my mother’s but my own. Years of making it almost weekly and trying different ways to satisfy my family’s and my taste has brought it to near perfection. It’s simple and the recipe is forgiving. The best thing about soup is that it's so flexible; a handful of this, a pinch of that, and frequent tasting ends up being quite good. My favorite time to make chicken soup is any time. It's refreshing and it almost makes itself. The last time I made chicken soup was to initiate my new home’s kitchen, barely unpacked and with only the bare essential ingredients and equipment. It's an easy soup to make, and it helped me feel at home. Try this recipe, and while making it taste often; that's the best part.
Did you know that ...?
You will find simple easy to use nutritious recipes for potatoes and many more foods in Flavorful Fortified Food - Recipes to Enrich Life.
Those that bought this book are also now buying our new book Food First! Enhancing the Nutritional Value Of Meals with Fortified Food. Find both books in our website http://www.flavorfulfortifiedfood.com
This is sandwich month, and I hope you have as much fun reading some facts and folklore about this common, unassuming and convenient food as I did researching them. What is a sandwich? When used as a verb "to sandwich" has the meaning of to position anything between two other things of a different character, or to place different elements alternately. When used as a noun, a sandwich is a food commonly consisting of two or more slices of bread, crackers or other appropriate products that can hold one or more fillings between them. Flat breads of varying kinds have long been used to wrap food throughout Western Asia and northern Africa; from Morocco to Ethiopia to India bread is baked in flat rounds. Many South American countries such as Mexico use corn to make flat, round tortillas, which serve the same purpose. In Europe and most countries influenced by European cuisine, a loaf or dome shape is usually traditional. In this country bread, whether loaf or dome shaped is the most popular in some geographic locations such as the East coast and Midwest. Whereas in the Southwest, flatbreads such as pita and tortillas are one of the most common breads to use for wraps in a popular version of the sandwich. But then, so are cookies! Which do you prefer?
Most every English speaking country credits Sir John Montagu, Fourth Earl of Sandwich, England, for this popular creation. But alas! it was his Chef who actually created the first known sandwich, following his master’s request to come up with a food that he could eat during 24 hours gambling binge while keeping one hand free to continue playing the game. Although I've never known if this is a true fact or a myth, I do know that different forms of sandwiches in many different forms and names were documented in the history of many other cultures. Although the now famous Earl was not the inventor of the sandwich, he adopted the concept during his many trips in the Mediterranean where he observed that the Greek and Turk tribes were eating proteins and other foods served on pita and canapés during their mezes. These were adapted to the available foods in England during 1972 when the concept first became reality. There were other differences between concept and execution; a canapé is flat and intended to be eaten in one or two bites. Trapping the ingredients inside two slices of bread or other firm food easy to hold in one hand and making it a sizable portion doubles the convenience as it then becomes a portable complete meal. That is a sandwich.
Among the thousands of sandwiches you can include appetizers, snacks and desserts in their numbers. There is no limit on what you can insert in a sandwich, or what you can use to trap ingredients in the middle. The important factor is that whatever you use is fresh, nutritious and delicious.
For recipes that provide delicious and nutritious food check out Flavorful Fortified Food – Recipes to Enrich Life at www.flavorfulfortifiedfood.com
July is the perfect month for grilling outdoors and is designated as National Grilling Month. As a Blogger and food lover I'm always interested in all the months dedicated to a specific food. But honestly, I have to admit that there are some foods that I think about every day and would like to eat more of them. And being one that likes convenience and rich flavors, one of my preferred methods of cooking is to grill.
As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist I take my health very seriously. I know that anything in excess is not a wise choice. Being a good hostess I always look for acceptable alternatives for everyone in my guest list. Although no one can beat the yummy aroma and flavor of a steak grilled over a red hot flame, there are so many other choices that can be made in addition to, or instead of steak. Life is more interesting, and so is your menu, when you try preparing different foods on the grill. Since all proteins taste better cooked on the grill don't limit yourself to only steaks, hamburgers and hot dogs. Remember to add fruits, vegetables and whole grains for balanced, nutritious and tasty meals. Everything tastes better grilled!
Try these favorite proteins on the grill
Once you've mastered the art of grilling the sky's the limit. In Spain the best dish made on the grill is Paella. To have an excellent Paella you need a round grain rice, fresh ingredients, and good quality Saffron. Although Paella can be cooked on a stove or in an oven, remaining true to the dish, we make it on a grill in our own yard. Now that's what I call FLAVORFUL!
For more information about our books, Flavorful Fortified Food - Recipes to Enrich Life, and Food First! Enhancing the Nutrient Value of Meals with Fortified Food, go to our website http://www.flavorfulfortifiedfood.com for additional information and contact us. Like us on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/flavorfulfortifiedfood.com.
Macaroni – what typically comes to mind for many people is the elbow shape that you ate as a child when you ate mac & cheese. Today, macaroni comes in a variety of shapes and sizes and can provide a lot more variety. In honor of Macaroni Day, take some time to investigate the options in the grocery store. Also, consider the variety of recipes that can use this ingredient and check out the pictures above to jump start your creativity.
Have you made the Creamy Pasta recipe in Flavorful Fortified Food – Recipes to Enrich Life yet? If not, what are you waiting for? Don’t have a copy, order your PDF copy and make it today!
Senior Health and Fitness day is held on the last Wednesday in May throughout the nation as part of the Older Americans Month and National Physical Fitness and Sports Month activities. Many organizations and groups are holding events during this week and on Wednesday, May 28th to celebrate the day. However, senior health and fitness is not just a one day event. It is a lifestyle that requires a lifetime of effort and determination.
How are you celebrating this day? More important, what do you do during the year to ensure on this day you’re healthy and fit? Maintaining a healthy lifestyle and keeping mind and body active help keep everyone fit. Many community centers offer special activities focused on seniors. May 28th is an excellent day to explore those. It’s never too late to change lifetime habits that lead to better health. Why not celebrate your health every day of the year and be at your fitness best?
For easy to prepare and delicious recipes that will add protein and calories to your diet, get your copy of Flavorful Fortified Food - Recipes to Enrich Life by Digna Cassens, MHA, RDN & Linda Eck Mills, MBA, RDN, FADA.
As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) I often get asked to provide advice to a client with allergies. Before seeking treatment anyone suspecting an allergy requires diagnosis by a qualified professional. Many people think they have food allergies, but less than 4% of adults and 5% of children have clinically diagnosed food allergies. Many food allergies most children manifest are outgrown, whereas adult allergies will remain for life. One thing is for certain. If you suspect a food allergy it is important to diagnose it. A true allergic reaction may cause death. Anaphylactic shock is not easily ignored, since the person affected has difficulty breathing, slowed heart rate, and almost certain death unless treated immediately.
The term allergy is commonly used when a person experiences problems with specific foods, especially digestive problems. However, medically, real allergies cause specific reactions that range from mild to extreme. Death may result if exposure continues. Food allergies are diagnosed using several approaches; a detailed history, a food diary, and conducting tests and elimination diets. One method alone seldom works, except in the case of allergies resulting in anaphylactic shock.
The reason many people mistakenly think they have a food allergy is because often they experience gastrointestinal discomfort when ingesting a certain food. This is often the case with fluid milk, and can easily be resolved by cooking the milk or using other forms of dairy, such as fermented milk products (buttermilk, yogurt), or cheese. These people have a milk or lactose intolerance, not an allergy. A true milk allergy causes an anaphylactic reaction to all types of milk and dairy products, even the small amounts used in mixes and some processed foods. Although milk allergies are often identified in infants, only a small percentage continue to have the same reaction as adults.
Several food allergies cause a reaction whether the food is eaten or just smelled or touched. This is the case with peanuts and shellfish. If an individual is allergic to any of these foods it is best to keep them away from the home, and not eat in places where they're included on the menu. Don’t be ashamed to advertise your allergy. If you travel or eat outside of the home, be sure you wear an allergy identifying tag in case of emergency. The food allergies most children manifest are outgrown, whereas adult allergies will remain for life.
The only method to treat a food allergy is to avoid all forms of that food. Food intolerances may be avoided by modifying the food itself or substituting it with another food of equal or similar nutritional value. Food intolerances are more prevalent than food allergies although some, such as a gluten intolerance, may be equally serious to the individual. Food allergies are caused by the immunological reaction responsible for the food allergy.
Wash your hands! How many times have you heard someone say that or have you said it? Have you ever thought about all the germs growing on your hands? The best way to Fight Back is to wash your hands frequently and properly. Scrubbing your hands will reduce the number of bacteria on your hands.
The steps for handwashing are:
* Wet your hands
* Apply soap
* Rub your hands and build up a lather for 20 seconds.
* Rinse your hands for 10 seconds
* Dry your hands with a paper towel
* Using the paper towel, shut off the water
Proper handwashing is essential to stay healthy, especially when working with individuals who are high risk - children, elderly, and immune compromised individuals. Those individuals may need to have high protein, high calorie food. If you need assistance, check out the sample recipes in Flavorful Fortified Food - Recipes to Enrich Life and order your copy today.
People have tried to come up with a way to keep perishable foods fresh for many years. Until the early 19th century, the only options were pickling, salting, drying or smoking these provisions. Although these methods preserved food, they affected the texture, taste, and nutritional value of the foods. All that changed when French chef Nicolas Appert perfected his revolutionary bottling technique. He found that by enclosing foods within a sealed bottle and boiling it, the food would keep indefinitely. Within several months of the initial publication of his findings, others began using Appert's process with tin cans instead of bottles.
But canned foods didn't really take off until the 1860s. Civil War soldiers in the United States relied on canned foods and they returned home touting their taste. The railroad industry began using canned foods to transport local meats and vegetables across the country. By the 1870s, the United States dominated the canning industry and was exporting vast quantities of salmon and other foods around the world.
The only real danger from canned food comes from the Clostridium botulinum bacteria, which causes botulism. Food-borne botulism is an extremely dangerous form of food poisoning that may occur when food is improperly heated during the canning process. Most cases in the United States come from home-canned vegetables, so the CDC recommends boiling all home-canned foods for 10 minutes before consumption. Outbreaks are rare, but the botulinum toxin is generally considered to be the most poisonous substance in the world, and one gram could kill as many as 10 million people.
Canned foods provide a shelf-stable option for foods. This is a great way for individuals with limited opportunties to shop to maintain a variety of fruits and vegetables. Canned vegetables can be eaten cold in an emergency. Canned foods sometimes get a bad rap for their higher sodium levels. However, manufacturers have been gradually lowering the sodium level of foods. You can also lower the sodium level of canned vegetable by draining them.
Canned foods can be used in many recipes found in Flavorful Fortified Food - Recipes to Enrich Life.
On Microwave oven day, it's time to pause from our usual nutrition topics and revisit food safety. The good news is the 2013 Food Code was released by FDA on November 13th and there are no changes relating to the use of microwave use.
Thawing - If you thaw food in a microwave oven, it must
be cooked immediately after thawing.
Cooking - Foods cooked in a microwave oven shall be rotated or stirred throughout or midway during cooking to compensate for uneven distribution of heat. Cover the foods to retain surface moisture. Cook food to a
temperature of at least 165⁰F in all parts of the food. Allow the food to stand covered for 2 minutes after cooking so the heat is distributed evenly.
Reheating - Food reheated in a microwave oven for hot holding shall be reheated so that all parts of the food reach a temperature of at least 165⁰F, it is rotated or stirred, covered, and allowed to stand covered for 2 minutes after reheating.
Microwave ovens are a huge help to individuals who need assistance to have a hot meal. Using them properly will help keep food safe and prevent getting sick from improperly handled food. Stay safe!
It is always difficult when there is a loved one receiving hospice and palliative care. The hospice staff is specially trained to assist the family members make the client as comfortable as possible.
During my time working in hospice care, I learned to be creative in attempting to meet the nutritional needs and desires of the clients. In many cases, the interventions were not traditional. However, for the client, the interventions made them happy. Ice cream and candy bars such as peanut butter cups may not seem like the most nutritious food, but it does provide calories, protein, and fat. Often the client would drink more than eat.
This was the beginning of the beverage recipes in our book, Flavorful Fortified Food - Recipes to Enrich Life. The recipes allowed for a lot of variety for the individual who had previously been limited to a very small variety of products and flavors. While the beverage recipes did not reverse their terminal status, in some cases, intake improved enough to keep pressure areas from getting worse and helped with pain management. In other cases, the beverages kept the client better hydrated during those final months, weeks, or days of life.
Yes, there is a positive role the Registered Dietitian Nutritionist can play in hospice and palliative care. Start using the recipes in Flavorful Fortified Food - Recipes to Enrich Life with clients and family members to enrich their life.
September is National Food Safety Education Month. This is the perfect time for us to take a break from talking about the nutritional value of foods and how the recipes in our book, Flavorful Fortified Food – Recipes to Enrich Life, meet a variety of the needs.
Making nutritious food isn’t any good if the individual eating it ends up with a food-borne illness because the food became contaminated. According to Centers for Disease Control, one in six individuals will have a food-borne illness at some time and 15% of all incidences occur at home. Keeping food safe is as easy as Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill.
Clean – The goal is to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. Wash your hands thoroughly and often for 20 seconds. Cutting boards cause 14% of the food-borne illnesses and about 92% of those illnesses is related to inadequate cleaning of the cutting board. Don’t forget to wash those reusable grocery bags. They not only carry food, but a wide variety of bacteria.
Separate – Keep raw food separate from cooked food. Mixing them is a recipe for disaster and increases the risk for food-borne illness.
Cook – Are foods cooked to the correct internal temperature? If you are not sure that those temperatures should be, go to http://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html
Chill – Does your refrigerator have a thermometer near the door? Is your refrigerator temperature 40⁰F or less? Do you cool foods on the counter before placing in the refrigerator? If you answered “no” to the first two questions or “yes” to the last question, food is at risk for increased bacteria growth.
Want to learn more go to www.figntbac.org or www.fsis.usda.gov
Digna and Linda have years of experience working with individuals needing assistance to eat sufficient calories and protein in multiple settings. Flavorful Fortified Food - Recipes to Enrich Life is our way to share this knowledge with clients, patients, athletes, caregivers, and professionals.