Week 7 – Crockpot Chicken and Vegetables

Crockpot Chicken with Vegetables

Even a beginner cook could make this crockpot chicken and have it turn out perfectly. This recipe could not be easier. A few minutes of prep and you’ll come home to a deliciously cooked chicken with veggies on the side.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time7 hrs
Total Time7 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Chicken, comfort food, crockpot, Gluten Free, one dish meal, slowcooker
Servings: 6
Calories: 329kcal
Author: Grandma Antoinette

Equipment

  • Crockpot, Slow-cooker

Ingredients

  • 3 Medium Carrots peeled, and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 Ribs Celery and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 Medium Onions halve 1 and slice the other
  • 8 Small Red Potatoes quartered
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt divided
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Pepper divided
  • 1 Medium Lemon halved
  • 6 Cloves Garlic (I leave them whole since my kids don’t eat them)
  • 1 3/4 Lb broiler/fryer chicken
  • 1 Tablespoon dried rosemary crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 Teaspoons Paprika

Instructions

  • Place carrots, celery, 3 cloves of garlic, sliced onions, and potatoes in a 6-qt. slow cooker; sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper.
  • Place lemon halves, onion halves and 3 garlic cloves in the chicken cavity.
  • Tuck wings under the chicken and tie drumsticks together. Place the chicken over the vegetables in the slow-cooker, breast side up.
  • Mix together rosemary, lemon juice, oil, paprika and remaining salt in small bowl; rub all over the chicken.
  • Cook, covered, on low until a thermometer inserted in thigh reads at least 170° and vegetables are tender, 6-8 hours.
  • Let stand 15 minutes before carving. Serve with the vegetables.

This, Not That, Thursday – DIY Indoor Herb Garden

Good afternoon lovely people. 

We have something special for you today! Our “This, Not That, Thursday” is about indoor herb gardens. An indoor herb garden is a great way to have fresh herbs all year long and in almost any climate. Plus if you grow them from organic non-GMO seeds, you’ll know you’ve got the best of the best for your family.

Savor the flavor of your favorite herbs and add a bright bit of green to your kitchen when you bring your herb garden inside. If you have a sunny windowsill with at least four hours of sunshine a day, you have everything you need for a flourishing garden full of herbs such as mint, oregano, basil, rosemary, sage, and thyme.

There’s no benefit to growing herbs you aren’t going to use. Start with the ones you use often. If you’re still not sure which to grow, here are some ideas:

Rosemary – This herb is spicy and warm and great paired with beef, lamb, or chicken. Rosemary is also helpful for keeping rodents and mosquitoes away.

Thyme – Thyme is most often used as a spice in culinary uses and its aromatic and rich flavor is perfect for soups, stews, and marinades.

Oregano – Oregano is often used in Greek and Italian food (especially tomato dishes).

Mint – Mint is a tasty herb that adds some freshness to any dish (especially lamb!).

Basil – Most well known as the main ingredient in pesto, basil is a delicious and mild herb.

Sage – Sage is a great herb to add to pork or turkey sausage and combines well with any other herb on this list.

You can start your herb garden from seeds, or to get a quick start, you can purchase established herb plants from your local garden center or grocery store. When you purchase established plants you won’t have to wait long until the plants are mature enough for harvesting fresh herbs when you need them.

-Dr. P
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Week 5 – Crockpot Chicken Cacciatore

Love chicken dinners? Love slow cooker meals? Love Italian food? Then you will LOVE our slow cooker chicken cacciatore recipe! This amazing chicken cacciatore is packed with protein and vegetables that are slowly cooked for maximum flavor and minimal work. Set it & forget it!

Set it, forget it, then serve it up hot!

Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Love chicken dinners? Love slow cooker meals? Love Italian food? Then you will LOVE this slow cooker chicken cacciatore recipe! This amazing chicken cacciatore is packed with protein and vegetables that are slowly cooked for maximum flavor and minimal work.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time7 hrs
Total Time7 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course, One Dish Meal
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Chicken, crockpot, Gluten Free, high protein, low calorie, slowcooker
Servings: 6
Calories: 207kcal
Author: Grandma Antoinette

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker

Ingredients

  • 2 Medium Yellow onions thinly sliced
  • 1 3/4 Lbs broiler/fryer chicken cut up and skin removed
  • 3 Cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 can 14-1/2 ounces diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can 8 ounces tomato sauce
  • 1 can 4 ounces mushroom stems and pieces, drained, or 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1/3 cup white wine or water

Options

  • Serve with Pasta or Gluten Free Pasta for a GF version.

Instructions

  • Place onions in a 5-qt. slow cooker. Add the chicken, seasonings, tomatoes, tomato sauce, mushrooms, and wine.
  • Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until chicken is tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve chicken with sauce over your pasta choice.

Notes

Nutrition Facts
1 serving (calculated without pasta): 207 calories, 6g fat (2g saturated fat), 73mg cholesterol, 787mg sodium, 11g carbohydrate (6g sugars, 3g fiber), 27g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 2 vegetable.

Week 4 – Heavenly Crockpot Potato Soup

Slow Cooker Heavenly Potato Soup

Grandma Antoinette's Potato Soup loaded with chunks of tender, hearty potatoes and made with a rich and creamy soup base. This soup is a family favorite and for good reason – it’s easy to make and absolutely delicious! Top it with cheese and bacon and no one will be able to resist.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time8 hrs 30 mins
0 mins
Total Time9 hrs
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Side Dish, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: comfort food, crockpot, low calorie, one dish meal, slowcooker
Servings: 12
Calories: 179kcal
Author: Grandma Antionette

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker

Ingredients

Main Ingredients

  • 8 Cups Diced Russet potatoes
  • 48 Ounces Chicken broth or vegetable broth for vegetarian version
  • 1 10oz Can Condensed Cream of Chicken soup, undiluted or Cream of Celery soup for vegetarian version
  • 1/2 Cup Chopped yellow onion
  • 1 Large Carrot diced
  • 1 Stalk Celery diced
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon Pepper
  • 1 8oz Package of cream cheese – Cubed

OPTIONAL

  • ½ Lb Sliced bacon cooked and crumbled (Omit for vegetarian version)
  • Minced chives
  • Shredded Cheddar cheese

Instructions

  • In a 5-qt. slow cooker, combine all the main ingredients EXCEPT the Cream Cheese.
    Cover and cook on LOW for 8-9 hours or until potatoes are tender.
  • Add cream cheese; stir until blended. Serve immediately & enjoy.
  • Garnish with bacon, cheese & chives if desired.

Notes

Nutrition Facts
1 cup (calculated without bacon): 179 calories,
9g fat (5g saturated fat),
25mg cholesterol,
787mg sodium,
21g carbohydrate
(2g sugars, 2g fiber),
4g protein.

Week 2 – Crockpot Sweet & Sour Pot Roast

In honor of Rosh Hashanah, this week’s Crockpot recipe is a flavorful pot roast for a delightful family dinner. (Brisket can be used if you prefer).

The rules are simple: Get a good piece of meat from your butcher, season it, cover it with liquid or sauce, and cook a long time over low heat. You’ll need to have this on for about 7-8 hours but it will be worth it!
L’shana tova umetukah

Crockpot Sweet & Sour Pot Roast

The rules are simple: Get a good piece of meat from your butcher, season it, cover it with liquid, and cook a long time over low heat.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time8 hrs
Total Time8 hrs 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Jewish
Keyword: Gluten Free, nut free
Servings: 8

Equipment

  • Crockpot

Ingredients

  • 3 pound pot roast
  • 2 large onions
  • 6 large carrots cut thin
  • 5 stalks celery chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
  • 6 Tbsp of cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 3/4 cup beef stock
  • 3/4 cup red wine
  • A handful of fresh cut herbs – parsley and tarragon

Instructions

  • Heat up a large skillet and add 1 tablespoon of oil. Sprinkle all sides of your pot roast with a couple of pinches of salt and pepper. Add pot roast to the sauté pan and brown on both sides (about 5 minutes per side). When pot roast is browned, add to crockpot.
  • In same skillet, add a touch more oil and sauté onions, celery, carrots, and garlic for about 5-10 minutes, cooking the vegetables just a touch.
  • Meanwhile in a measuring cup add wine, stock, brown sugar, ketchup, and vinegar. Whisk and set aside.
  • When vegetables are done add cranberries and cook for another minute. Pour in the wine mixture and add herbs, bring to a boil.
  • Carefully pour vegetables and sauce over pot roast, cook high 4-6 hours or on low 8-10 hours.
  • When done, take out the meat, let it cool for 5 minutes or until it’s easy to handle, cut, plate and spoon some vegetables over with a touch of gravy.

Notes

Side note: This pot roast can be cooked a day in advance; let the meat and vegetables cool in the crockpot in their juices, and then cover and refrigerate. Reheat, covered on high, about 30 minutes.

-Dr. P
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This, Not That, Thursday – Using Apple Peels & Cores

Apples! Did someone say apples? This week “This, Not That Thursday” is all about saving those apple peels and cores.

Every fall we take at least one trip to an apple orchard near us. They have family-friendly activities, wonderful local canned goods for sale, and of course, apples. So many apples! Plain apples, apples to make applesauce, pies, crisps and the “mother” of them all… Apple Cider Vinegar

When making any of the above you will probably peel & core some of those apples but did you know you can use the peels and the cores to make apple cider vinegar? This way you have virtually no waste! WINNER!

It is also totally possible to make apple cider vinegar from the whole apple so don’t worry if you don’t have leftover peels and cores from anything.

There are several more elaborate ways to make apple cider vinegar at home, but today I’m gonna show you how to make it from apple scraps. I especially like this method since it allows me to use the apples for other stuff while still making a valuable product from the “waste”.

HOW TO MAKE HOMEMADE APPLE CIDER VINEGAR

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 d
Total Time5 d 10 mins
Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: dairy free, Gluten Free, heart healthy, low calorie, low carb, low fat, low sodium, nut free, soy free, vegan, vegetarian
Author: Grandma Antoinette

Equipment

  • One quart jar
  • One canning lid ring OR a rubber band
  • Coffee filter OR paper towel

Ingredients

  • 5-6 Large apples Apple peels & cores any browning/discolored flesh from organic apples
  • 2-2 1/2 Tbsp granulated sugar I like Turbinado raw sugar
  • 2-2 1/2 cups water boiled and allowed to cool

Instructions

  • Cover the bottom of your jar with apple scraps, filling no more than 3/4 full. The apples need room to expand and stay submerged.
  • Add 2 Tbsp of granulated sugar and 2 cups of filtered water to the jar. The apples should be completely submerged. Mold can grow on any portions of apples that are not covered and ruin your batch of vinegar. If your scraps float to the top of the jar add a smaller jar on top to keep them submerged.
  • 3.Stir the apples, sugar, and water and cover with a coffee filter. Secure with a canning band, or a rubber band.
  • Allow apples to sit in a warm, dark place for 2 weeks. Above the refrigerator or on the top shelf of a cupboard are great places. Just don’t forget you put it there!
  • After 2 weeks, you might notice some fizz or bubbles. That’s good news! Strain out the apple pieces and compost. Cover the apple cider vinegar again with a coffee filter and canning band. Allow continuing to sit at room temperature for another 2-4 weeks.
  • The vinegar may become cloudy or a SCOBY could form on the top, both of which are normal. Taste test the vinegar once a week until it’s to your liking. You can stop the fermentation process by replacing the coffee filter with a canning lid and storing it in the refrigerator.
  • Use your homemade vinegar just like you would store-bought vinegar– for cooking, cleaning and everything in between

Notes

Tip: You don’t HAVE to use a quart-sized jar, but it’s what I readily have available. Feel free to use whatever size jar you have on hand. If you use a different size jar, the ratio is 1 Tbsp sugar per 1 cup water.
NOTE: About preserving and pickling with homemade vinegar: It’s generally recommended that you do NOT use homemade vinegar for any sort of preservation. In order to ensure the safety of your home canned products, you need a vinegar with an acetic acid level of 5%. Since most of us don’t have a way to check the levels of our homemade vinegar, it’s best just to skip using it for canning or preserving– better safe than sorry!
NOTE: You want the peels to be from apples that have been scrubbed very, very well. Organic apples are preferred, but simply buy the best you can afford and wash them very well. Secondly, it’s okay to use brown or bruised apples. However, it is NOT okay to use moldy or rotten apples.


This, Not That, Thursday – White Rice Alternatives

On this week’s installment of This, Not That, Thursday, we bring you 7 healthier alternatives to white rice.

White rice is a cheap and easy starch many people choose to cook with, but there are healthier alternatives to white rice out there. Use these alternatives to amp up the nutrients in your meal.

1. Red Or White Quinoa

Quinoa contains the second most protein of any grain and has all of the essential amino acids. It is also naturally gluten-free and high in fiber.

2. Cauliflower Rice

Cauliflower rice is a great, low carb alternative to rice. It is also gluten-free and one serving contains a day worth of Vitamin C.

3. Broccoli Rice 

Broccoli rice is another great gluten-free low carb alternative full of fiber, plant-based protein, and iron.

4. Barley

Although not as popular as some of the other grains, barley provides a good serving of fiber and many other important minerals such as selenium.

5. Farro

Farro is an easy to digest grain that is full of protein and iron.

6. Sweet Potato Rice

Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fiber and also gluten-free.

-Dr. P
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Insta Pot Beefy Gyros

These Instant Pot Beef Gyros are a quick meal filled with healthy, clean ingredients and veggies that will make your mouth water! Ready in 25 min what could be better?

Beef Gyros with the Insta Pot

These Instant Pot Beef Gyros are a quick meal filled with healthy, clean ingredients and veggies that will make your mouth water! Ready in 25 min what could be better?
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time15 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: low carb, soy free
Servings: 6
Calories: 395kcal

Equipment

  • Insta Pot

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs beef roast thinly sliced *I've also used loin flap meat and it's so easy to slice and cook
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tbsp parsley dried
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable or beef broth
  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp oil olive, coconut, avocado, etc
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar optional
  • 1 tsp olive oil optional

Toppings

  • Pitas or Naan bread
  • carrots sliced
  • onions sliced
  • grape tomatoes quartered
  • cucumbers sliced
  • Lettuce
  • Feta or goat cheese optional, use container to measure

Tzatziki Sauce:

  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup cucumber peeled seeded, and chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 1 tsp salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp fresh dill

Instructions

  • Turn Instant Pot on saute and let the pot warn up. When it’s warm, add oil to the bottom of the pot and let it get hot.
  • Add meat, seasoning, garlic, and onion to Instant Pot. Sear and let onions soften for 3-5 minutes.
  • Pour lemon juice and broth over the meat. Give the meat a quick stir, then lock lid into place. Turn the steam valve to sealing. Using the Meat/Stew preset, cook the gyro meat for 9 minutes.
  • Let the pressure naturally release for 3 minutes before releasing the remaining pressure using the quick release method.
  • While the gyro meat is cooking mix together the Tzatziki sauce and slice your vegetable toppings. For added flavor, drizzle apple cider vinegar and olive oil over vegetables.

Notes

Note: To make your gyro, layer the lettuce at the bottom of the pita or naan bread. Then add your meat, toppings, and sauce. This will keep the pita
or naan from getting soggy.
Nutrition
Calories: 395 cal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 32g | Fat: 27g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 989mg | Potassium: 596mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 2.5% | Vitamin C: 5% | Calcium: 6.9% | Iron: 18.1%

-Dr. P

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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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Summer Bucket List for Long Island Kids


For our latest installment of “This, Not That, Thursday” we bring you Dr. Polcino’s “Summer Bucket List for LI kids.”
It features oodles of ideas when it comes to places to go, things to do, events, and activities to do with kids on Long Island! From toddlers to tweens, our Summer Bucket List has great ways to spend the days, and you’re sure to see a smile on everyone’s face.

-Dr. P
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Vitamin D, better than you thought?

Vitamin D

Vitamin D has long been associated with bone health in women.

A new study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute found that higher circulating Vitamin D levels appear to be associated with a lower risk of colorectal cancer.

Here are some of the findings in that study:
-25(OH) D or 25-hydroxyvitamin D is the measurement that is made to establish circulating Vitamin D levels
-the level of 25(OH) D that is sufficient for bone health is considered to be around 55 nmol/L
-Vitamin D levels less than 30 nmol/L appear to be associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer
-Vitamin D levels of 75-87.5 nmol/L seems to be associated with a 19% reduced risk of colorectal cancer
-Vitamin D levels of 87.5-100 nmol/L seems to be associated with a 27% reduced risk
-Vitamin D levels above 100 did not seem to reduce the risk even more.

Of course, more studies are needed to arrive at the proper Vitamin D guidelines but you should discuss these new findings with your health care providers.

-Dr. P

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Getting ready for college life


It is already mid-August and many families with a college student are about to start on a new adventure. Whether the young adult is going to a commuter school and living at home or attending an away college and living in a dorm, there are many changes about to hit family dynamics and the college students lives. Long discussions should now begin about forming healthy habits that will be important for now, and more importantly, for the future. I always advise living the way your grandmother taught you. Here are some of Grandma MaryAnn’s suggestions.

Grandma MaryAnn says you must:

  • Get your sleep – It is important to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night. During sleep your body may be resting, but your brain is busy processing all the information it was exposed to during the day. Sleep helps your immune system to stay strong and prevent colds and other infections you are constantly exposed to. If possible, shut off all your electronic devices 30 to 40 minutes before going to sleep; the light from the screens can affect chemicals in your brain that enhance getting to sleep.
  • Eat well – Food is your body’s fuel. In order to work hard and think clearly, you need to eat the fruits, nuts and vegetables that we all know are the right stuff. Starting with a healthy breakfast will get the brain ready for the day. Healthy snacks are a must. The crash after the candy bar will be tough to handle.
  • Exercise – Exercise needs to be a part of your regular schedule because it decreases stress, keeps your mind sharp, and is fun. You should think of it as an investment in yourself.

I wish all the students a great year, and remember to call your Mom and Grandma as often as you can because with loving words from your biggest supporters, there is nothing you can’t handle.

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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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Grandma Antoinette’s Fried Zucchini Flowers

Grandma Antoinette’s Fried Zucchini Flowers

“This recipe has been our family favorite. Hope you enjoy them as much as we do.”
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: soy free
Servings: 4
Author: Grandma Antoinette

Ingredients

  • 18-24 male zucchini flowers (with stems)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • vegetable oil for frying
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  • Clean flowers and dry with a paper towel.
  • Mix flour, baking powder, and salt together in a bowl. Whisk eggs, milk, and olive oil together in a separate bowl; stir in flour mixture until batter is smooth.
  • Heat vegetable oil in a deep skillet over medium heat.
  • Dip flowers in the batter and fry in the hot oil until golden and crispy, 2 to 5 minutes, working in batches as needed. Transfer fried flowers to a paper towel-lined plate; sprinkle salt over each.

Snazzy Quick Roasted Chicken

Snazzy Quick Roast Chicken

Ingredients
1 h 30 m
229 cals
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Keyword: low carb, low fat
Servings: 8 People
Author: Grandma Antoinette

Ingredients

  • 1 3 pound whole chicken
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C).
  • Rinse chicken thoroughly inside and out under cold running water and remove all fat. Pat dry with paper towels.
  • Put chicken into a small baking pan. Rub with olive oil. Mix the salt, pepper, oregano, basil, paprika and cayenne pepper together and sprinkle over chicken.
  • Roast the chicken in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Lower the oven to 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) and continue roasting to a minimum internal temperature of 165 degrees F (74 degrees C), about 40 minutes more. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes and serve.

Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli

Spaghetti Squash with Broccoli

In this low-carb spaghetti squash lasagna recipe, garlicky broccoli, spaghetti squash and cheese are combined for a healthy take on a favorite casserole. This bakes right in the squash shells for a fun presentation.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Gluten Free, low calorie, low carb, low fat, soy free, vegetarian
Servings: 2 people
Calories: 194kcal
Author: Grandma Antoinette

Ingredients

  • 1 2 - 3lb Spaghetti Squash
  • 1 Tablespoon Extra-Virgin Olive oil
  • 1 Bunch Broccoli ( or Broccolini) Chopped
  • 4 Cloves Garlic
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons Water
  • 1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella cheese (part-skim)
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 3/4 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Ground Pepper

Instructions

  • Position racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 450°F.
  • Place squash cut-side down in a microwave-safe dish; add 2 tablespoons water. Microwave, uncovered, on High until the flesh is tender, about 10 minutes. (Alternatively, place squash halves cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 400°F oven until the squash is tender, 40 to 50 minutes.)
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add broccolini, garlic and red pepper (if using); cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add water and cook, stirring, until the broccolini is tender, 3 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Use a fork to scrape the squash from the shells into the bowl. Place the shells in a broiler-safe baking pan or on a baking sheet. Stir ¾ cup mozzarella, 2 tablespoons Parmesan, Italian seasoning, salt and pepper into the squash mixture. Divide it between the shells; top with the remaining ¼ cup mozzarella and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
  • Bake on the lower rack for 10 minutes. Move to the upper rack, turn the broiler to high and broil, watching carefully, until the cheese starts to brown, about 2 minutes.
  • Easy cleanup: To save time and keep your baking sheet looking fresh, line it with a layer of foil before you bake.

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

Grandma Antoinette’s Pepper steak

Grandma Antoinette’s Pepper steak

"My favorite recipes are ones with few ingredients that I normally have on hand, you'll love it too!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time50 mins
Course: Main Course
Keyword: dairy free, Gluten Free
Servings: 4
Calories: 388kcal
Author: Grandma Antoinette

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 large bell peppers sliced into thin strips
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 pounds flank steak cut into thin strips

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook onion, bell peppers, and garlic in oil until tender-crisp, stirring frequently. Set aside.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Pour soy sauce, honey, and red wine vinegar in pan, then add beef. Cook beef, stirring frequently, until done, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in cooked vegetables, and cook another 10 to 15 minutes.

Grandma Antionette’s Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Grandma Antionette’s Baked Eggplant Parmesan

Grandma’s lighter take on eggplant parmesan maintains all the flavors of the classic dish but is baked instead of fried. This is a household favorite here & is bound to be in your house too. Besides being delicious, there are 11 grams of filling protein in this hearty vegetarian dish.
Prep Time45 mins
Cook Time45 mins
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: low fat, soy free, vegetarian
Servings: 6
Calories: 204kcal
Author: Grandma Antoinette

Ingredients

  • 2 eggplants (about 2 pounds total)
  • 3 egg whites
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1 cup fine dry breadcrumbs (gluten free can be used)
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 ounce), divided
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ cup slivered fresh basil leaves
  • cups tomato sauce
  • ¾ cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese (3 ounces)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400°Coat two baking sheets and an 8-by-11½-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Cut eggplants crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices. Whisk egg whites and water in a shallow dish until frothy. Combine breadcrumbs, ¼ cup of the Parmesan, salt and pepper in another shallow dish. Dip the eggplant slices into the egg-white mixture, then coat with the breadcrumb mixture. (Discard any leftover breadcrumbs and egg white.) Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on the prepared baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, turn the eggplant slices over, and bake until crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer.
  • Stir basil into tomato sauce. Spread about ½ cup of the sauce in the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Arrange half of the eggplant slices over the sauce, overlapping slightly. Spoon 1 cup of the remaining sauce over the eggplant and sprinkle with half of the mozzarella cheese. Add a layer of the remaining eggplant slices and top with the remaining sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, until the sauce bubbles and the top is golden, 15 to 20 minutes

Healthy and Creative Recipes from Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

I have come to discover Alexis Kornblum’s wonderful website, Lexi’s Clean Kitchen, and her creative cooking.  From her healthy food section, I would like to start a series that provides nourishing recipes.  You can expect to find gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo-friendly, refined sugar-free, soy-free, and vegan-friendly recipes.  Each time, a dinner, snack, dressing, drink, or treat will be featured.

First up is Roasted Garlic Chicken and Veggie Primavera.  The dish has roasted garlic, delicious olive oil, Himalayan sea salt, a hint of spice, and fresh parmesan cheese.  Flavor heaven.  Here is the link to the recipe: lexiscleankitchen.com/2014/07/11/healthy-food-friday-zucchini-roasted-garlic-chicken-and-veggie-primavera

RoastedGarlicChickenVeggiePrimavera7

For dessert, you are having Nutella Swirl Pumpkin Muffins.  These muffins are spongy, moist, loaded with pumpkin, and hold a hint of sweet.  lexiscleankitchen.com/2014/10/03/healthy-food-friday-nutella-swirl-pumpkin-muffin

Nutellaswirlpumpkinmuffin9-Dr. P

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The Vegetable from the Fountain of Youth

“If you’re looking for the Fountain of Youth, kale may just be it!” Tom Gatto, a registered dietician, updates us on the nutritional powerhouse called kale. His discussion includes nutrient density, how to prepare it, and which vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it contains and how they enhance our health.

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