Eating Well; Putting it all Together

Don’t just resolve to eat better in the New Year, commit to  enjoying meals with others and finding satisfaction with what you eat.Eating Well; Putting it all Together

While the focus of nutrition remains on what to eat, and research continues to  analyze individual foods, here’s the reality:

 In 2017,  nutritionists discussed eating for a robust gut macrobiotia, eating more plants, and the benefits of healthy fats. All  nutrition worthy goals! Expect me to continue these conversations.  However, too often, we fail to mention the importance of  satisfaction and  social connections. I am a fan of the Meditteranean eating pattern for its emphasis on both physical activity and enjoying food with others.

This past weekend I hosted an oyster roast for family. Eating Well; Putting it all TogetherIt was a 3 hour long meal, mostly spent shucking and eating oysters around our kitchen island. It was relaxed. We laughed, sometimes hard, and the focus was more on coming together than on anything else. Rarely do I spend this kind of time at one meal (meals are usually 20 minutes max at our house). But this was different. Our gathering included 3 generations, and was my attempt to do what has been identified as a general longevity factor:   building and maintaining solid relationships between family members: parents, siblings , grandparent and others. Eating Well; Putting it all TogetherInterested in eating better in 2018?  Stop fighting with food. Stop worrying about food. Embrace gathering around food to enhance bonds. Try integrating into groups that promote and suppport “healthy living” including : family, religious communities, and social groups. Remember, it’s not just about the food.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Slow cooker chicken cacciatore is easy to make and so delicious your family and guests won’t know it’s good for them, unless you tell them. Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

 

I have cookbooks to spare. I started my collection when I landed my first clinical nutrition job in a Philadelphia, teaching hospital. Here’s what  I remember: most of my patients had diabetes. Did you know that diabetics have an increased risk of heart disease?  It ‘s why I have The American Heart Association Cookbook in my library.  This book has enabled me to sharpen my  cardio-protective cooking skills and share this culinary knowledge with  patients interested in changing their lifestyles. Many of these tips have stuck with me throughout the years.

So why  this story?  The Recipe Redux December  theme  is  Grab and Book and Cook. Here’s our challenge…

We’re playing a little party game at the end of 2017: Grab your nearest cookbook and ReDux the recipe on page 201, 17, 217 – or any combination of the number ‘2017.’ (Of course, please don’t forget to credit the original recipe and change enough of the recipe to make it your very own.

…and I am choosing  The American Heart Association Cookbook for this party game.  On page 217  I  found a recipe for Chicken in Tomato Wine Sauce. I’ve changed it up to make it a slow cooker recipe and served it over creamy polenta. Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

While there is NOT a one size fits all approach to managing diabetes, this recipe fits into several eating patterns appropriate for diabetics (or anyone interested in a healthy eating and healthy aging) including low fat, DASH and Mediterranean. One serving provides a healthy dose of protein important for stabilizing blood sugar (and for muscle protein synthesis), is low in fat (particularly saturated fat), contains a whole grain, is a source of healthy fats, has no added sugar. In addition, this meal provides lycopene, a powerful antioxidant associated with lower rates of cardiovascular disease.  I hope you will try this recipe and find more delicious recipes from my colleagues in the links at the bottom of this post.

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Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore

Slow Cooker. Chicken Caccaitore

A delicious Mediterranean dish that’s high in protein and includes a whole grain.

  • Author: Diane Boyd
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 10

Ingredients

  • 2 sweet onions, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 16 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 28 ounce can San Marzano peeled tomatoes (use low sodium for DASH)
  • 1 cup white wine, reduced to half cup
  • 1-6 ounce can tomato paste (use low sodium for DASH)
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 5 springs rosemary for garnish
  • 6 cups skim lactaid milk
  • 2/3 cup reduced sodium chicken stock
  • 1 1/3 cups medium ground cornmeal

Instructions

  1. Add one tablespoon oil to large skillet and saute chicken breasts until they are just brown. Place in the bottom of slow cooker along with tomaotes, tomato paste, reduced white wine, seasonings, salt, and  lemon juice.  Discard any cooking fat remaining in skillet.
  2. Add second  tablespoon oil to clean skillet and saute onions until they are translucent Add the garlic and suace until  light brown. Add mushrooms and bell peppers. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour mixture over top chicken in slow cooker. Cover the slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours until chicken is tender.

For the creamy polenta:

  1. Bring milk  and chicken stock to a boil. Gradually add cornmeal stirring constanly with a whisk. Reduce heat to medium low and cook for about 20 minutes  or until creamy and thickened, stirring occasionally. Cover ; remove from heat.
    Serve polenta topped with chicken thigh and tomato mushroom sauce. Garnish with fresh sprig of rosemary.

Nutrition

  • Calories: 371kcal
  • Sugar: 16g
  • Sodium: 424mg
  • Fat: 12g
  • Saturated Fat: 4g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 36g
  • Fiber: 4g
  • Protein: 27g
  • Cholesterol: 100mg

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