Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Instant Pot Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash in your Instant Pot yields a perfectly cooked squash—not mushy, but tender and holding its shape. Spaghetti squash is also a perfect base for so many sauces or just a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese as a side dish. At the market, look for squash that are about 3 lbs.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
Cuisine: American
Keyword: diabetic, Gluten Free, heart healthy, Instant Pot, instapot, low carb, low fat, one dish meal, soy free, spaghetti squash, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 4
Calories: 109kcal

Equipment

  • Instant Pot

Ingredients

  • 1 3 lb spaghetti squash halved
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper

Instructions

  • Cut the squash in half lengthwise; scoop out and discard seeds.
  • Pour 1 cup water in the Instant Pot. Place a wire metal steam rack in pot. Arrange cut halves of squash on top of the steam rack. Put minced garlic on the inside center of the halved spaghetti squash.
  • Cover Instant Pot, and fasten the lid. Lock and seal the steam valve.
  • Set to HIGH pressure for 7 minutes. (The pot will take about 15 minutes to come up to pressure before the cooking program begins.)
  • Allow pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes, then carefully release pressure by turning valve to VENT.
  • Remove lid, and, using tongs, drain accumulated liquid from squash halves. Using a fork, scrape out flesh into spaghetti-like strands in a bowl (should have 4 to 6 cups)
  • Add olive oil, thyme, lemon zest, salt and pepper, to squash and toss to coat. Serve hot.

Meatless Monday – Crockpot Black Bean Soup

Crockpot Black Bean Soup

This Crockpot Black Bean Soup recipe is super easy to make, packed with protein, and it's super delicious! It also just so happens to be naturally vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free. Woo Hooo
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 10 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal, Soup
Cuisine: Comfort, Mexican
Keyword: comfort food, Gluten Free, heart healthy, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 8

Equipment

  • Crockpot

Ingredients

Main Ingredients

  • 1 large onion (yellow) chopped
  • 2 red bell peppers cored and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper cored and chopped
  • 2 carrots chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (15 oz cans)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 3 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Additional Garnish (Optional)

    Instructions

    • Combine all main ingredients in the bowl of a slow cooker, and stir to combine.
    • Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours, until all of the vegetables are cooked and tender.
    • Remove the bay leaf.
    • Serve the soup warm, garnished with your desired toppings. Or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days, or freeze in a sealed container for up to 3 months.

    Additional Options

    • use a blender or food processor to puree the soup completely (thick and smooth)
    • use a blender or food processor to puree about half of the soup (thick and smooth but still has texture)

    This Not That Thursday – Skip the Bread, Veggie Stuffing recipe

    Skip the Bread, Veggie Stuffing recipe

    If the group you're feeding on Thanksgiving Day has someone who is vegetarian, gluten-free or following a low-carb special diet, this is the stuffing recipe you’ll need to make the day perfect!
    Skip the carb-filled stuffing and have extra turkey 😉
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time40 mins
    Total Time1 hr
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: American, Thanksgiving
    Keyword: comfort food, Gluten Free, low calorie, low carb, low fat, stuffing
    Servings: 6
    Calories: 90kcal

    Equipment

    • large skillet

    Ingredients

    • 4 tbsp. butter
    • 2 meduim onion chopped
    • 2 large carrots peeled and chopped
    • 2 stalks celery chopped or thinly sliced
    • 1 medium head cauliflower chopped
    • 1 cup 8-oz. package baby bella mushrooms chopped
    • 1 tsp Kosher salt add more to your tase
    • 1 tbsp Freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
    • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped rosemary
    • 1 tbsp. freshly chopped sage or 1 tsp. ground sage
    • 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth

    Instructions

    • In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Add onion, carrot, and celery and sauté until soft, 7 to 8 minutes.
    • Add cauliflower and mushrooms and then season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes more.
    • Add parsley, rosemary, and sage and stir until combined. Pour over broth and cook until totally tender and liquid is absorbed, 10 minutes.
    • Serve hot and enjoy!

    Summertime Grecian Flounder

    “Flounder baked with fresh tomatoes, kalamata olives, capers, onion, and white wine. Serve with basmati rice and any green vegetable will do but asparagus is my favorite!”

    Summertime Grecian flounder

    “Flounder baked with fresh tomatoes, kalamata olives, capers, onion, and white wine. Serve with basmati rice and any green vegetable will do but asparagus is my favorite!”
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time30 mins
    Total Time45 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Mediterranean
    Keyword: Gluten Free, heart healthy, low calorie, low carb, low fat
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 282kcal

    Ingredients

    • 5 Plum (Romtomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 onion chopped
    • 3 cloves garlic chopped
    • 1 pinch Italian seasoning
    • 24 kalamata olives pitted and chopped
    • 1/4 cup white wine
    • 1/4 cup capers
    • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
    • 6 leaves fresh basil chopped
    • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese freshly grated is best
    • 1 pound flounder fillets
    • 6 leaves fresh basil torn

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C).
    • Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Plunge tomatoes into the boiling water and immediately remove to a medium bowl of ice water; drain. Remove and discard skins from tomatoes. Chop tomatoes and set aside.
    • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat; saute onion until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, garlic and Italian seasoning; cook until tomatoes are tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Mix in olives, wine, capers, lemon juice, and 1/2 the basil. Reduce heat, blend in Parmesan cheese, and cook until the mixture is reduced to a thick sauce, about 15 minutes.
    • Place flounder in a shallow baking dish. Pour sauce over the fillets and top with remaining basil leaves.
    • Bake 12 minutes in the preheated oven, until fish is easily flaked with a fork.

    This, Not That, Thursday – Sugary Drink Alternatives

    Hi everyone! 
    For this week’s “This, Not That, Thursday” we are looking at healthy alternatives to sugary drinks. Numerous studies have shown the negative health effects of drinking sugary drinks on your waistline and your teeth. It may have far more health risks than many of us may realize. Drinking sugary drinks can cause a decline in kidney function, an increase in your risk of diabetes, and can cause vascular issues. Sugary drinks also deplete your mineral levels and leave you dehydrated. Sugary drinks are also linked to dementia and cancer.

    These are just a few of the negative health effects of sugary drinks. Help to cut the cola with these healthy and delicious sugary drink alternatives.

    Tea – iced or hot-
    With all the different ways to enjoy it hot or cold, tea is likely one of the best sugary drink substitutes on this list. Tea has an extensive variety of flavor profiles and caffeine levels. There’s a tea out there for everyone! Perfect for any season or time of day, tea is a versatile sugary drink substitute and easy way to enjoy flavored beverages with little to no calories. Herbal tea can be used to help you unwind, boost your immune system, or reduce pain or soreness.

    Freshly-squeezed lemonade-
    A classic summertime pick-me-up, fresh lemonade—maybe with a dash of cane sugar or agave nectar for a hint of sweetness—has enough citrusy flavor to help wash away those memories of your sugary drink guzzling days.

    Sparkling water-
    After decades of public health initiatives, consumers are leaving sugary drinks behind for its sleeker, healthier counterpart: flavored sparkling water. Nowadays, sparkling water makers are everywhere, from homes to offices, hotels to restaurants. Rather than buying bottles and cans, avid sparkling water drinkers often invest in carbonated water dispensers to mitigate the environmental impact of buying cases of fizzy water. Now that’s some savvy sipping!

    Kombucha-
    Kombucha is a recent health trend that shows no signs of fizzling out. While its poignant flavor is not for everyone, Kombucha typically contains little to no sugar and is a potential source of probiotics, which are known to promote gut health. It contains antioxidants and may protect against cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

    Sparkling water with a splash of juice-
    Perfect for brunch, sparkling water with a splash of pineapple, orange, cranberry, or mango juice is a great non-alcoholic, low-calorie alternative to sugary drinks or mimosas at brunch.

    Fruit and herb infusions-
    Infusions are a great way to use up any extra fruit and herbs in your fridge before they spoil. Simply chop whatever fruit and herbs you have, throw them in a pitcher or reusable water bottle, and you’ll be sipping on some fruity goodness in just a few hours. If you enjoy fruit flavors but don’t want the sugar rush of juice, infusions are the way to go!

    Coconut water-
    Like Kombucha, Coconut water is a health fad and popular healthy substitute for sugary drinks that’s been on the scene for a few years now. Not to be confused with coconut milk, coconut water is a natural source of potassium and electrolytes, making it the perfect tropical alternative to plain water.

    Mineral water-
    Mineral water contains zero calories and has the added nutritional benefit of minerals such as calcium, magnesium sulfate, and sodium sulfate. Mineral water is an everyday sugary drink substitute that’s sold at most grocery stores and online. It can help to lower blood pressure, regulate blood circulation, strengthen bones, and promote digestive health.

    -Dr. P
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    Red, White and Blue Summer Salad

    Red, White and Blue Summer Salad

    In this salad, we combine traditional Caprese flavors with summer blueberries, peaches and added prosciutto for saltiness, creating a balanced and flavor-packed dish. Caprese and fresh fruit always remind me of summer.
    Prep Time20 mins
    Total Time25 mins
    Course: Salad, Side Dish, Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: Gluten Free, heart healthy, low calorie, low carb
    Servings: 12
    Calories: 233kcal
    Author: Grandma Antoinette

    Ingredients

    • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
    • 1/2 cup fresh basil julienned
    • 1/3 cup white balsamic vinegar
    • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves julienned
    • 2 garlic cloves minced
    • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 teaspoon sugar
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
    • 8 cups fresh arugula
    • 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese pearls drained
    • 2 medium peaches sliced
    • 2 cups fresh blueberries
    • 6 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto julienned

    Instructions

    • In a small bowl, whisk the first 9 ingredients. Add tomatoes; let stand while preparing salad.
    • In a large bowl, combine arugula, mozzarella, peach slices, blueberries, and prosciutto. Pour tomato mixture over top; toss to coat. Garnish with additional mint leaves. Serve immediately.

    Notes

    Nutrition Facts
    1 cup: 233 calories, 18g fat (5g saturated fat), 27mg cholesterol, 486mg sodium, 10g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 2g fiber), 8g protein.

    My word, today is just perfect. Too perfect in fact, to be inside slaving in front of the stove for dinner tonight. In just 20 minutes this delightfully fresh dish is on the table without the need of an oven heating up the whole house. 
    Let Grandma Antoinette help you with dinner <3

    -Dr. P
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    Turner Syndrome – A distinctive group of woman

     

    Turner syndrome

    Women with Turner Syndrome (TS) are a distinctive group of women who require specialized medical and obstetrical/gynecological care. TS is found in approximately 1 in 2,500 pregnancies and is the result of the loss or partial loss of an X chromosome. Normally women’s chromosomes are 45XX and with TS it will be 45X. Because of this missing chromosome women with TS can look slightly different and can have an array of possible medical conditions such as:

    • cardiovascular disease which could be the result of a congenital anomaly
    • osteoporosis
    • hypothyroidism
    • abnormal lipids
    • diabetes

    Pediatricians and pediatric endocrinologists usually follow these patients closely during childhood and adolescence, initiating estrogen to begin puberty and normal development. Conception and pregnancy offer unique conditions which will require individualized intense care by a team of specialists and preconception counseling is a must. Because of the higher risks for various medical conditions, TS patients need to be followed carefully throughout their lives.

    -Dr. P

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    What is your blood pressure profile?

    High BP

    We all know that having high blood pressure puts you at an increased chance to have a heart attack or a stroke. We all know family and friends who take their high blood pressure pills every day to help control their blood pressure. For many years, doctors diagnosed patients as having high blood pressure if it was 140/90 mm Hg or greater on repeated testing. There is now a new definition of hypertension and this could mean that half of all Americans will be diagnosed as hypertensive.

    Here are the new definitions:

    Normal BP:  systolic less than 120 and diastolic less than 80

    Elevated BP: systolic between 120 and 129 and diastolic less than 80

    Stage 1 hypertension: systolic between 130 and 139 or diastolic between 80 and  89

    Stage 2 hypertension: systolic 140 or greater or diastolic 90 or greater

    With this new information, go speak to your healthcare provider about your blood pressure profile.

    -Dr. P

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    Another reason to encourage weight control in adolescents

    kid-scale

    Obesity is a known risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and colon cancer. A recent study out of Israel found that obese or overweight 17- and 18-year-olds can have an increased risk of developing colon and rectal cancer, and the risk may be increased as high as 50%! We now have another reason to encourage good eating and exercise habits for our children. The earlier these healthy life style habits begin, the better.

    -Dr. P

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    Chicken & Sweet Potato Stew

    Chicken & Sweet Potato stew

    This skillet recipe is a colorful and healthy main dish that can be on the table in just over an hour. The subtle, sweet-spicy flavor is a nice surprise.
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time40 mins
    Total Time55 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: dairy free, diabetic, Gluten Free, heart healthy, low carb, low fat, soy free
    Servings: 4

    Ingredients

    • 2 teaspoons olive oil
    • 1 small red onion chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic minced
    • 2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves cut into cubes
    • 2 sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
    • ½ pound white button mushrooms thinly sliced
    • 1 cup fresh spinach
    • 1 pinch crushed red pepper or more to taste
    • 1 pinch paprika or more to taste
    • 1 pinch sea salt or more to taste
    • 3/4 cup chicken broth

    Instructions

    • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute onion, garlic and mushrooms in hot oil until softened, about 5 minutes.
    • Stir chicken, sweet potatoes, spinach, crushed red pepper, paprika, and sea salt with the onion and garlic in the saucepan. Pour as much chicken broth into the saucepan to make the mixture as soup-like or stew-like as you’d like it.
    • Bring the broth to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until the chicken is no longer pink in the middle and the sweet potatoes are tender, about 30 minutes.

    Summertime Shrimp Salad

    Summertime Shrimp Salad

    “Use an array of colorful veggies to make this healthy shrimp salad pop. Cooking the shrimp with fresh herbs and garlic infuses them with flavor without coming off too strong for a light dinner salad that’s perfect for summer entertaining.”
    Prep Time5 mins
    Cook Time35 mins
    Total Time40 mins
    Course: Salad
    Keyword: dairy free, diabetic, Gluten Free, low carb, low fat
    Servings: 4
    Calories: 290kcal

    Ingredients

    • pounds raw shrimp 21-25 count, peeled and deveined
    • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
    • 4 cloves garlic crushed
    • ¼ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
    • ¼ cup lemon juice
    • 1 medium cucumber diced
    • 3 large heirloom tomatoes chopped
    • ½ cup chopped fresh basil plus more for garnish

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350°F.
    • Toss shrimp with oil, thyme and garlic on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake until the shrimp are pink and firm, 8 to 10 minutes.
    • Transfer the shrimp to a large bowl (discard thyme and garlic). Add lemon juice and stir to coat. Gently stir in cucumber, tomatoes and basil. Arrange the shrimp and vegetables in a serving bowl. Serve drizzled with any dressing left in the bowl and garnish with more basil, if desired.

    Romanesco Broccoli Soup

    Romanesco Broccoli Soup

    The Romanesco broccoli is technically an edible flower and is easily recognized by its eye-catching fractal appearance. It is grown in the region of Lazio, home to Rome and hence its name. In Italy, you find it typically consumed raw, steamed, boiled, roasted or sauteed. It has a delicate nutty flavor making it easily adaptable to various preparations and is a favorite ingredient in Italian soups just like this one.
    Prep Time10 mins
    Cook Time40 mins
    Total Time50 mins
    Course: Main Course
    Cuisine: Italian
    Keyword: low fat
    Servings: 4
    Author: Grandma Antointte

    Ingredients

    • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    • 2 small carrot finely chopped
    • 1 onion finely chopped
    • 1 rib celery finely chopped
    • 7 ounces Romanesco broccoli (a large head) tough parts discarded, chopped
    • 4 small potatoes peeled and chopped
    • 8 cups hot water
    • salt and ground black pepper to taste

    Instructions

    • Step 1
    • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add carrot, shallot, and celery; cook and stir until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add Romanesco broccoli and potatoes.
    • Step 2
    • Pour hot water into the saucepan. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, covered, until broccoli and potatoes are soft, about 40 minutes. Puree soup with an immersion blender until smooth.

    Vegan Watermelon Fruit Pizza

    Vegan Watermelon Fruit Pizza

    These wedges of juicy watermelon are topped with nondairy coconut yogurt and berries that make for a crisp and refreshing dessert. For kids snacks, leave the wedges blank and let everyone add their own toppings to the yogurt.
    Prep Time10 mins
    Total Time10 mins
    Course: Appetizer, Dessert, Side Dish, Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: dairy free, diabetic, Gluten Free, heart healthy, soy free, vegan, vegetarian
    Servings: 8
    Calories: 70kcal
    Author: Dr. Polcino

    Ingredients

    • ½ cup unsweetened coconut-milk yogurt alternative
    • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup
    • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 large round slices watermelon 1 inch thick, cut from the center of the melon
    • cup sliced strawberries
    • ½ cup halved blueberries
    • 1/2 cup halved blackberries
    • 2 tablespoons toasted unsweetened coconut flakes

    Instructions

    • Combine yogurt alternative, maple syrup and vanilla in a small bowl.
    • Spread ¼ cup of the yogurt mixture over each watermelon round. Cut each round into 8 wedges. Top with strawberries and blueberries and blackberries.
      Sprinkle with coconut. Enjoy!

    Notes

    Per serving: 70 calories; 2 g fat(1 g sat); 1 g fiber; 15 g carbohydrates; 1 g protein; 8 mcg folate; 0cholesterol; 11 g sugars; 1 g added sugars; 813 IU vitamin A; 20 mg vitamin C; 47 mg calcium; 0 mg iron; 5 mg sodium; 196 mg potassium
    Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (33% daily value)
    Carbohydrate Servings: 1
    Exchanges: 1 fruit

    What Could Your Frequent Hot Flashes Indicate?

    Mature Woman Experiencing Hot Flush From Menopause
    Frequent hot flashes may indicate an increased risk of developing heart disease.

    A recent small study of menopausal women with frequent hot flashes may show a relationship between these flashes and an increased chance of developing heart disease. Frequent hot flashes meant that the women experienced these flashes 5-6 times per day.

    In the study, changes were seen in the vessels of the cardiovascular system.  This again points to the importance of menopausal women having regular visits with their health care professionals to assess their cardiovascular health!

    -Dr. P

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    These Missed Signs Could Be Why Women Are More Likely to Die of Heart Disease

    Electrocardiogram - Concept of healthcare, heartbeat shown on monitor - pink

    The risk of suffering from a heart attack increases for women after going through menopause.  It seems that estrogen is heart protective, and after the menses stops, estrogen production greatly decreases.  Therefore, heart problems become more of a concern.

    It is important to remember that more women die of heart disease each year than men.  This may be attributed to the fact that women do not seek medical attention as quickly as men when possible heart concerns develop.  When suffering a heart attack, most men will describe crushing or squeezing chest pain while women will have no chest pain or simply a fullness feeling in the chest.  Many women during a heart attack may complain of dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea, and weakness.woman hugging her husband

    Please be alert for a woman’s special signs of a heart attack, and do not delay a trip to the ER.  Your family and close ones need you!

    -Dr. P

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