Sep 17 2014

Eight No Time To Cook Breakfast Ideas


Breakfast Parfait made with yogurt, fruit and cereal

Breakfast helps with weight control and children perform better in school  when they start the day with good food.

I recommend families avoid foods with a high concentration of sugar, such as  donuts, pop tarts etc. Sugar belongs in dessert not morning food (the natural sugar found   in whole fruit and milk is OK,because  these foods carry many other vital nutrients too). Good sources of protein at breakfast can include   milk, yogurt, egg, peanut butter, beans,or Canadian bacon. Include fruit- preferably a whole piece of fruit not juice and  I like vegetables too  such as eggs or egg whites prepared with mushrooms, onions, peppers, tomatoes or eggs served with Sofrito.


Planning ahead for a morning meal that is calm and relaxing can impact the entire day. Here are a few ideas for

No time to cook breakfasts:

  1. Smoothie: combine equal amounts of yogurt and frozen fruit in a blender. Blend 10 to 20 seconds- if needed  add a little juice or milk to thin the drink.
  2. Melt cheese over a whole wheat English muffin.
  3. Spread peanut butter on a slice of bread, wrap around a banana, and eat like a hot dog.
  4. Frozen whole grain waffle toasted and topped with fruit and yogurt.
  5. Cottage cheese and fruit.
  6. Stuff a whole wheat pita pocket with cheese and thin slices of apple. Heat in the microwave for 30 to 40 seconds.
  7. Tortilla wrapped around scrambled eggs.
  8. Bagel  topped with cottage cheese, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and thin apple slices.


Here are two favorite recipes to cook

Overnight Breakfast Porridge

Assemble ingredients before going to bed. Makes 1 large serving, double portions to serve more.

¼ cup rolled oats

¼ cup white rice or cooked brown rice

2 tbsp raisins, chopped

¾ cup water

3/4 cup milk


Combine all ingredients and let soak overnight in the refrigerator. In a saucepan cook on  low heat for 10 – 20 minutes while the family gets ready for the day. Add more milk or water if it gets dry or too thick.


Blueberry Breakfast Puff

Makes four servings

Like pancakes but easier- no flipping.

2 tbsp butter

1 cup milk

4 eggs

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place 1 tbsp butter in two  1 –quart ovenproof casseroles and place in the hot oven for 1-2 minutes to melt the butter.While butter melts, beat together the eggs, and milk until well blended. Pour over the flour and blend with a fork, breaking up any lumps.

Remove warm dishes from oven. Swirl butter to coat the dish. Divide the batter equally between each dish. Pour ½ cup berries on top of the batter in each dish. Bake in hot oven 20 minutes. Serve with maple syrup.

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Jul 07 2014

Beet Reuben Sandwich

It might sound a bit weird to make a sandwich using beets but the result was heaven. I got the idea from the Maine Grind in Ellsworth, Maine where I ordered it on a recent trip North. Since then I have made it for friends and family with lots of accolades and recipe requests. The recipe is simple: spread Thousand Island dressing on two slices of bread, place  cooked sliced beets, drained sauerkraut, and a slice of Swiss cheese between the bread slices. Butter the outside of  each slice of bread and grill the sandwich just as you would if you are making a grilled cheese sandwich. You want the cheese to melt and the crust to become golden and lightly browned. What a delicious sandwich. I plan to make it again soon with golden beets.

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Jun 16 2014

Emeals it Might Help You Eat Better


A co-worker raved about e-meals, he said it took the hassle out of shopping and helped him eat better and healthier. I was a skeptic, after all cooking is my hobby.  I do not find it tedious and I hate following recipes. I thought I would give it a try in hopes it would be good enough to recommend to patients.  I contacted e-meals and they sent me a free subscription. I have been using it for about 8 weeks and  I think it is great. I have been surprised at the quality and simplicity of recipes. Pictured below is a marinated pork dish with a side of kale and crispy garlic bread- it is part  my current low-calorie meal plan

Each week you will get seven recipes and an easy-to-use grocery list. The grocery list is ingenious, it includes the main items and a list of the staples you need to have on hand such as flour, salt, sugar and so on. It  is well organized, there is no guess work and now after using it for a few weeks I feel I can trust it. Below is a menu form the Mediterranean plan that includes the main entree, plus polenta and a side Watermelon Tomato Salad .

I am only cooking for two but I started with the Mediterranean plan for a family of 3-6. I expected portions to be small but they are not. I found I had too much and after two weeks I switched to the Low Calorie meal plan for a family of two. I love this plan because it includes so many of my favorite vegetables. Below is a picture of a lentil rice dish and squash.

Switching meal plans is a breeze . I just changed to the Low Carb plan and they just added a diabetic meal plan which I intend to try too. If you want  delicious, healthy, easy to prepare menus I recommend you try e-meals. A one year subscription costs $29.95.


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Jun 02 2014

Secret Sauce Can Reduce Heart Disease

Last year the delicious tasting Mediterranean diet beat out a low-fat diet for treating cardiovascular disease and a sauce known as Sofrito was part of the dietary prescription that led to healthier hearts.


Participants on the Mediterranean diets were asked to eat Sofrito at least twice per week.   The sauce is made by slowly simmering minced tomatoes, garlic and onion in olive oil with or without aromatic herbs. Sofrito can be added to fish or poultry or to make any vegetable more interesting. Sofrito was new to me last year, I now think of it as Spanish Catsup or Spanish Salsa, and I keep a batch in my refrigerator and use it as I would salsa or catsup.


Here is my recipe for making this simple condiment:

Mince: 2 onions, 6 garlic cloves and 2-3 leeks, white part only (leeks are optional).In a medium sized saucepan slowly cook the vegetables in ½ -3/4 cup olive oil until soft. Add two 28 ounce cans of chopped or whole tomatoes. Cover and cook for 60 minutes on low heat. Break-up any remaining whole tomatoes with a spoon. Cover and refrigerate.











Serve it with eggs, chicken, pasta, – the possibilities are endless. It will add flavor to every meal and using it at least twice per week could help your heart health. Of course there is more to a heart healthy diet than Sofrito.  The general dietary guidelines in the study also recommended abundant use of olive oil, 2 or more servings of vegetables daily, 2-3 servings of fruit daily, 3 servings of legumes (beans) per week, 3 servings of fish per week , at least one servings of nuts or seeds weekly, and skinless poultry was encouraged over red meats, sausage or burgers . Donuts, cakes, candy and soda were discouraged. Wine was recommended as the main source of alcohol and good chocolate (50% cocoa) was encouraged for those with a sweet tooth.



The complete article published in the New England Journal of Medicine can be read here: Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease with a Mediterranean Diet. In short the study found the Mediterranean diet, even with no restriction on calories “resulted in a substantial reduction in the risk of major cardiovascular events “.

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May 19 2014


Cabbage is economical and delicious.  One cup of raw, chopped, cabbage carries 22 calories, 2 grams of fiber and small amounts of vitamins C and A and a little calcium too.

Cut cabbage  in half, remove the center core. With a sharp knife chop the cabbage into slices,

cook it slowly in a large sauté pan until it is soft and creamy.Here is a recipe for Sauteed Cabbage .Serve it as a side dish with a little salt and pepper or add  cooked onion, hard boiled eggs and top with a crust to make a wonderful main dish Cabbage Pie

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