10/19/12

Potato and Spaghetti Squash Casserole

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups potatoes, diced
  • 6 cups spaghetti squash, baked
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 8 oz package cream cheese
  • ¾ cups parm. Cheese
  • 4 egg whites
  • 9 oz bag spinach
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Garlic salt
  • Flax seed (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. Boil potatoes until tender and then drain water
  2. Add spinach, salsa, and diced tomatoes and wait until the spinach cooks down
  3. add onions, cream cheese, parm cheese, egg whites, squash, and spices/salt
  4. cook until bubbly and all the cheese is melted
10/19/12

Penne with butternut squash

Ingredients:

1 pound pasta

4 ounce bacon

1 TBSP garlic

1 cup onion

1/2 cup white whine

12 ounces butternut squash

1 cup vegetable broth

2 tsp thyme

broccoli and cauliflower

Directions:

Cook noodles to directions

Cook bacon to directions and then crumble

Combine all ingredients

10/19/12

Mock-Cheese Zucchini, Rice, and Lentil Casserole

 Ingredients

  • 1 cup rice
  • 1 cup lentil
  • 2 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 jar spaghetti sauce
  • 1 cup nutritional yeast
  • ½ cup soy milk
  • Garlic salt
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes
  • 3.5 cups water

 

Combine all ingredients in 9×13 pan and bake covered w/ aluminium foil w/ holes poked in it at 350 for 2 hours.  Uncover for about the last 10 min of baking.

10/19/12

Goolash

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 large Onion chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 can condensed tomato soup
  • 2 large cans diced tomatoes
  • Pint salsa
  • 1 box pasta

 

Preparation:

  • Brown meat with onion and celery and boil noodles
  • Add tomatoes and salsa and soup when meat cooked. Bring to a simmer
  • Combine meat and pasta, bake at 350 for 30 minutes
10/19/12

Sweet Peppers and Wild Rice

Sweet Pepper Wild Rice Salad

½ cup uncooked wild rice

1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth, divided

1 ¼ cups water, divided

¾ cup uncooked long grain rice

1 medium sweet red pepper, chopped

1 medium sweet yellow pepper, chopped

1 medium zucchini, chopped

2 tbsp olive oil, divided

4 green onions, chopped

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

2 tbsp lemon juice

 

In a small saucepan, combine the wild rice, 1 cup broth and 1/2 cup water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 50-60 minutes or until rice is tender.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, combine the long grain rice and remaining broth and water.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-18 minutes or until rice is tender.

In a large nonstick skillet, saute the peppers and zucchini in 1 tbsp oil for 3 minutes.  Add onions; saute 1-2 minutes longer or until vegies are tender.  Transfer to a large bowl.

Drain wild rice if necessary; stir into vegie mixture.  Stir in white rice.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Drizzle with lemon juice and remaining oil; toss to coat.  Serve warm or at room temperature.

 

10/19/12

West African Stew

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch half slices
  • 1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed cream mushroom
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chick peas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped spinach

Directions

  1. Heat oil in skillet. Add onion and garlic. Cook until onion is tender.
  2. Add potatoes and tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes. Add raisins, cinnamon, red pepper, broth and water. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat 15 minutes.
  3. Add chickpeas and spinach. Heat through. Serve over cooked rice or couscous, if desired.

 

10/19/12

Southwest Chicken Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups macaroni
  • ½ lb. broccoli cut into small pieces
  • 2 to 3 large carrots
  • 1 can (10 ¾ oz) cream of mushroom soup
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ¾ cup salsa
  • 1 lb. cooked chicken cubed

 

Preparation:  In saucepan prepare macaroni, then add broccoli and carrots for last 4 min. of cooking.  Drain the water.

 

In same saucepan add soup, milk, salsa, chicken and macaroni mixture.

 

Top with cheese if desired.

10/19/12

Spinach and Parmesan Chicken

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 pound pasta
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound Chicken, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • Italian seasoning
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (10 ounce) package fresh/frozen chopped spinach
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS

  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and reserve.
  2. In a large skillet, heat oil and chicken (sprinkle with Italian seaonsing); cook through until no longer pink. During the last 5 minutes of cooking, add onion and garlic to skillet. Add broth, basil and tomatoes with liquid.
  3. Cook over medium heat for 5 minutes to slightly reduce. Add chopped spinach; cover skillet and simmer on reduced heat until spinach is tender.
  4. Add pasta to skillet and mix together. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.

 

10/19/12

Vitamin B12 and Vegetarian Athletes

Many people know that vitamins and minerals are necessary for basic functioning.  There are two basic types of vitamins, fat soluble and water soluble.  The fat soluble vitamins are A, D, E, and K.  the rest are water soluble.  It is possible to overdose on fat soluble.  But if someone ingests too much of the water soluble vitamins, the extras are dumped in the urine.  However, B12 doesn’t follow the same rules as other water soluble vitamins.  It can actually be stored in the liver with supplies that will last someone years.  One of the most common deficiencies in people that experience is actually a water soluble vitamin, Vitamin B12.  People most at risk are  athletes who are limiting calories or have specialized, consistent or restricted eating plans (avoiding meat, diary, and/or eggs).

Vitamin B12 plays an extremely important role in the body.  B12, along with the rest of the B vitamins, is a  ‘micronutrient’ and is used to convert proteins and carbohydrates into energy.  B vitamins are also used for cell repair and production.    Vitamin B12 specificially plays a role in red blood cell production and maintenance of the central nervous system.  A study at Oregon State University showed that even a small deficiency in B vitamins decreased the athletes ability to perform at high intensities and also delayed muscle recovery/repair after workouts.  With the knowledge of what B vitamins do for the body, its easy to see why a slight lack of these in the diet can result in drastic outcomes for athletes trying to perform well for race day, or even recover fast enough for their next working later in the day or tomorrow.

Since a vegetarian or vegan diets tend to limit or completely remove animal products, the natural sources for vitamin B12 are not going to be consumed by the individual.  These sources include eggs, meat, poultry, shellfish, milk, and milk products.   However, many fortified cereals contain all of, or most of the recommended daily intake of B12.  Additionally, if you buy a milk substitute, most of brands of almond, rice, soy milk are fortified with 50% of the recommended intake of B12 per 8 oz. serving.  With foods being fortified with B12, it is much easier than it was several years ago to consume enough each day.  However, many of the new “all natural” or “organic” cereals are not fortified.  So people that tend to buy these types of cereals are at a greater risk of a deficiency.

The daily recommended intake for B12 is about 2.4 mcg.  However, this number isn’t consistent across the board of experts.  A lot depends on the person’s ability to absorb the vitamin, their activity level, and many other factors.  Below are some common foods that contain higher levels of B12:

 

Sources of Vitamin B12
Food[58] µg vitamin B12/100g
beef liver 83.1
turkey giblets 33.2
pork liver sausage 20.1
Raw Pacific oysters 16.0
Cooked Alaska king crab 11.5
Raw clams 11.3
Simmered chicken giblets 9.4
Cheese 3.3
Beef (uncooked sirloin) 1.15
Egg (raw, whole chicken’s egg) 0.89
Whole cow’s milk 0.45

 

As mentioned above, only animal sources naturally contain B12.  So people eating a restricted diet should closely monitor their B12 intake.  But, even if their daily intake isn’t enough, the results won’t begin to show up for several years since B12 is stored in the liver.  Vitamin B12 deficiency is characterized by anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Neurological changes, such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, can also occur. Additional symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include difficulty maintaining balance, depression, confusion, dementia, poor memory, and soreness of the mouth or tongue. The neurological symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can occur without anemia, so early diagnosis and intervention is important to avoid irreversible damage.  Some of the neurological changes caused from B12 deficiency can be irreversible.

For myself, after being vegan for nearly a year, I decided that it wasn’t a good thing for me to continue doing.  Personally, I feel like I’m cheating if I take multivitamins to replace nutrients (although I do take a multivitamin occasionally).  I decided to start including eggs and cheese again, and meat about once a week.  With the fortified cereals that I eat, I am getting enough B12.  I don’t drink milk, but rather make my own soy milk, so the soy milk I consume doesn’t have B12 in it either.  If someone is unwilling to change their diet to include animal sources of B12, another really good source of B12 (and all the B vitamins) is something called nutritional yeast.  Just a 1/4 cup of it contains 150% of the RDA of B12 for the day and 9 grams of protein.  It has a cheesy flavor to it, and if used correctly can be a tasty alternative to cheese on vegetables, in casseroles, and many other dishes or soups.

 

For more information on vegetarian diets and protein, click here.

For more information on vegetarian diets and iron, click here.