Parmesan Almond Crusted Chicken Breast Stuffed with Cauliflower and Dried Cranberries

November 19, 2015 at 10:23 am | Posted in recipes | Leave a comment
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A nutritious take on a classic stuffed chicken recipe that is as delicious as it is healthy.

Ingredients:

Cauliflower Cranberry Stuffing
2¼ cups frozen cauliflower
¾ cup dried cranberries, roughly chopped
¼ tsp black pepper
pinch salt

Chicken
¾ cup almonds, sliced or chopped
6 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated or shredded
6 4 oz chicken breasts, boneless and skinless
1½ cups fresh baby spinach, washed
pinch salt and black pepper
pan spray

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Make the cauliflower cranberry stuffing: Fill a medium saucepan with water and add cauliflower.  Cook on medium heat for about 5 minutes or until tender. Drain water from saucepan and mash cauliflower with the backside of a fork or potato masher until slightly chunky. Mix in cranberries, salt, and pepper then set aside.

Cook the Chicken: In a small bowl combine sliced almonds and Parmesan cheese, set aside. Butterfly raw chicken by cutting ¾ of the way through the side of the chicken breast (so that it opens like a book) and season with salt and pepper.

Place spinach on chicken breast, covering all visible parts of the meat.  Spoon ½ cup of cauliflower cranberry stuffing on one side of chicken. Fold chicken breast over and push any extra stuffing back into the breast.

Spray baking sheet with pan spray.  Place chicken on sheet. Sprinkle about 2 tbsp of the almond Parmesan mixture on top of chicken.

Cook in a 350 degree oven for 22-25 minutes or until chicken reaches 165 degrees.
Chicken juices should be clear.

Yield: 6 servings

Nutrition Information per Serving:

Calories: 335 • Protein: 11g • Sodium: 388mg • Carbohydrate: 35g •
Fiber: 6.5g • Fat: 10g • Sat Fat: 4.5g

Recipe adapted by Samantha Foor, Dietetic Intern

 

Easy Weekday Breakfast Ideas

November 28, 2014 at 1:25 pm | Posted in Nutrition, recipes | Leave a comment
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They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Don’t skip breakfast if you’re pressed for time in the morning – instead try one easy breakfast ideas from Janelle Langlais, a dietetic intern with the MGH Department of Nutrition and Food Services.

Turkey, Butternut Squash & Nuts
Serves 1

3/4 cup Butternut squash
¼ cup or 10-15 almonds/walnuts/pecans sliced/chopped
1 tsp. cinnamon (as desired)
1/8th tsp. ginger (as desired)
2-3 oz. Turkey (or chicken) breast

Directions

  1. Combine squash, turkey (or chicken) and spices in a microwave safe dish.
  2. Microwave on high for 1 minute (keep an eye on things).
  3. Add nuts and spices.
  4. Enjoy with ½ cup of skim milk, soy milk or water as desired!

Calories: 365 • Carbs 22g • Protein 29g


Avocado and Egg Sandwich
Serves 1

1 Egg or 2 Egg Whites
2 Slices low-Carb whole wheat bread Or 1 Whole Wheat English Muffin
¼ Avocado sliced or ¼ cup Guacamole
2 slices of tomato
¼ cup spinach
1 slice low-fat cheddar/American cheese

Directions

  1. Microwave egg or egg whites in a microwave-safe dish for 1 minute or until egg is firm. Or conventionally cook egg in a frying pan on stove with Pam or canola oil.
  2. Toast English muffin or bread in toaster/toaster oven.
  3. Top egg with cheese, avocado slices/guacamole, add tomato and spinach.
  4. Enjoy!

Calories: 330 • Carbs 24g • Protein 23g


Blueberry Banana Overnight Oats
Serves 1

1/3 cup oats
2/3 cup Greek yogurt
1/3 cup soy milk, slightly overflowing
1/2 banana (1/3 if it’s particularly large)
1/4 cup blueberries
1/8 cup Granola and/or chopped nuts

Directions

  1. Mash banana and blueberries together in a bowl until blended together. Stir in oats, yogurt, and milk. Cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  2. In the morning, top with granola and/or walnuts, along with fresh berries/bananas, if desired.

Calories: 460 • Carbs 49g • Protein 20g

All About (Cooking) Oil

November 27, 2013 at 11:32 am | Posted in Nutrition | Leave a comment
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The last time you went to the supermarket, did you happen to notice all the different types of cooking oils on the shelf?  There’re the old standbys olive and canola oils, but you may also encounter things like walnut, sesame and even avocado oils.  All cooking oils are a type of fat made from plant sources (typically nuts and seeds), and many are the heart healthy mono- and polyunsaturated types which may help raise “good” cholesterol; especially when substituted for butter.  We all need some fat in the diet to help build and maintain cells and absorb certain vitamins.  Plus, fat adds flavor and texture to food and baked goods.  Specialty and gourmet oils can even add their own distinct flavor to your dishes.

When deciding what type of oil to use when cooking, the most important thing to be aware of is the smoke point:  the temperature at which heated oil starts to smoke.  Heating oil beyond this point will cause it to break down and leave an unpleasant flavor in your food.  (Not to mention a good chance the oil will catch fire!)  The smoke point is different for each type of oil, making some better choices than others for certain cooking methods.

If your holiday menu includes fried foods (like latkes), an oil with a high smoke point like canola or corn oil is best.  Canola oil can even be used as a substitute for butter or margarine in some recipes; its neutral flavor won’t affect the taste of the finished dish.  Oils with a lower smoke point, such as some types of sesame or walnut oil, are better suited to use as a condiment to add flavor to finished dishes or cooking at a lower heat.  Olive oil, a main feature in the Mediterranean Diet high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, falls somewhere in the middle.  Extra virgin olive oil can be used in baking or sautéing foods at medium heat, but its distinct flavor is also well suited to dressings and sauces (or even drizzling right on steamed veggies).

Whichever type of oil you choose, it will stay fresh if stored in a tightly closed container away from heat and light.  It’s also good to keep in mind that all fats, even heart-healthy olive oil, are high in calories.  At nine calories per gram and about 100-120 per tablespoon, those calories can add up quickly!  Paying attention to portion size can help prevent holiday weight gain.  And as always, include a variety of fruits and veggies; whole grains; lean meat, fish and poultry; and low fat dairy in your meal plan.

Wishing you a happy holiday season!

(Post content reviewed by MGH Department of Nutrition)

Apple Spiced Sweet Potatoes

November 22, 2013 at 11:00 am | Posted in recipes | Leave a comment
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Jazz up your Thanksgiving table with this sweet potato recipe from the MGH Be Fit program that features seasonal spices and a healthy dose of vitamin A to help protect your body against infection.

Ingredients:

1½ pound sweet potatoes
1½ cup sliced apples (skins can be left on)
¼ cup raisins
2 tsp canola oil
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp brown sugar
3 tbsp pecans, chopped

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and chop sweet potatoes into 2” chunks. Slice apples. Add potatoes, apples, raisins, oil, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and brown sugar to a casserole dish. Toss to combine and cover with foil. Cook until fork-tender, approximately 45 minutes. While potatoes are cooking, toast pecans in a skillet on medium heat until they start to turn brown and give off a nutty aroma, approximately 3 minutes. When potatoes are fully cooked, top with toasted pecans and serve.

Yield: About 5 4oz servings

NUTRITION INFORMATION PER SERVING:
CALORIES: 212 • PROTEIN: 3g • SODIUM: 195mg •
CARBOHYDRATE: 40g • FIBER: 5.5g • FAT: 5g • Sat Fat:0.5g

(Recipe adapted from MGH’s Eat Street Cafe)

Healthy Holiday Cooking Chat

November 15, 2013 at 11:35 am | Posted in Announcements | Leave a comment
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MGH logo with blue circle

Thanks to everyone who tuned in to our healthy holiday cooking chat earlier this week. Click below for highlights. Hope you’ll join us next month when we talk strategies for managing holiday stress with The Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine.

Handling Holiday Stress

November 16, 2012 at 10:16 am | Posted in Comics | 1 Comment
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Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season, full of food, family and friends, and … stress! So much stress! Try these three easy tips to relax and fully enjoy the festivities.
holiday_habits

Treats and Feasts

November 17, 2011 at 9:00 am | Posted in Nutrition | Leave a comment
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By Suzanne Russell-Curtis, RD, CDE
Bulfinch Medical Group   

Often when given the diagnosis of Diabetes, an individual immediately thinks of food and all the enjoyment of eating that will be lost due to the disease. This can be a very difficult time of year for anyone who thinks this way. Well, I have some good news for all of you, it’s not true! You can enjoy celebrating with family and friends.

Two out of 3 Americans are overweight and many are trying to lose weight or prevent the return of excess pounds. Talk with your loved ones about the need to stay on track throughout the holiday season. They love you and will support you with this goal (and many may be watching their diet as well). Work together with your family to modify that traditional sweet potato casserole, try baked sweet potato without the extra sugar and marshmallows.  Split a dessert with someone.  Make a pact to play a game of flag football after the turkey and take a walk after any large feast. Remember the holidays are about celebrating with family and friends— not with the apple pie and stuffing (they don’t make you laugh).

Here are some tips for modifying traditional recipes/cutting back on calories:

Mashed potato with cream and butter –> Mashed potato with low fat milk and margarine, or a baked potato (eat the skin to add fiber)

Green bean casserole —> Steamed fresh or frozen green beans

Stuffing —> Make it with whole wheat bread

Cranberry Sauce —> Fresh cranberries

Turkey leg —> Skinless turkey breast

Basting turkey in its own juices –> Basting it with low sodium vegetable broth

Cocktails —> Diet ginger ale with splash of grenadine for a cocktail, glass of red wine with dinner **

Appetizers —> One small plate and walk away

“Little sliver” of all the desserts —> Split 2 small desserts or cut back on how many pies, cookies, etc are made

** Be careful with alcohol consumption. Talk with your doctor before alcohol intake. If cleared: male- 2 drinks/day, female- 1 drink/day and NEVER drink on an empty stomach. Drink with a well balanced meal.

Photo credit: Joel R. Terrell


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