Sunday, November 27, 2011

Orange Glazed Marmalade Turkey and Cholesterol Levels What's Dangerous?

Normal cholesterol levels and can be determined by looking at the following cholesterol level charts. You also see whether you are at your optimal goal or your relative risk level. These charts are based upon the recommendations of the National Cholesterol Education Program and the American Heart Association in combination with Web MD.

LDL Cholesterol

LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is known as "bad cholesterol." When there is too much LDL in the blood, it builds up on the inside of the blood vessels walls, making it more difficult for blood to flow freely. This increases the risk of hear disease and stroke.

Less than 100 Optimal Goal
100 - 129 Close to Optimal
130 - 159 Borderline High
160 - 189 High
190 or higher Very High

HDL Cholesterol

HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is also known as "good cholesterol". HDL helps clear LDL away from blood vessels walls, decreasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Less than 40High Risk
40 - 59 Close to Optimal
60 or Higher

Triglycerides (TG) are not the same thing as cholesterol. They are another type of fat often found in the body. TG are tested at the same time as cholesterol. Triglycerides make the blood more likely to clot. This can increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. TG can also lower the levels of HDL.

Less than 150 Optimal Goal
150 - 199 Borderline High
200 - 499 High
500 or Higher Very High

Total Cholesterol

Total cholesterol (TC) refers to the total amount of LDL, HDL, and VLDL added together.
Less than 200 Optimal Goal
200 - 239 Borderline High
240 or Higher

Healthy Foods that will lower Cholesterol:
Beans and Legumes
Brown Rice
Pumpkin and Pumpkin Seeds
Soy Products
Cholesterol-Lowering Margarines
Collard Greens
Dark Chocolate
Green Tea
Shitake Mushrooms

Orange Glazed MarmaladeTurkey, Carrots and Potatoes with Herbs

1.5 to 1.75 pound boneless turkey breast roast, skin and fat removed
2 teaspoons mixed dried herbs (mix a combination of any/all – rosemary, basil, parsley, tarragon, chives, thyme, sage)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons sugar-free orange marmalade
1 pound potatoes scrubbed and cut in to slices or cubes (can use any type of potatoes)
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
4 medium carrots, peeled and cut in to 1 inch sections, (you can also add broccoli, green beans whatever you like)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.Spray a 9x13 inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Place turkey in the dish.In a small bowl, mix dry ingredients (herbs, salt, pepper, garlic powder). Rub half of mixture over the turkey.Spread marmalade over turkey.Stir potatoes, carrots and oil in to remaining herb mixture. Place vegetables in dish around the turkey. Bake for 1 hour.Remove from oven and let sit 5-10 minutes to allow juices to saturate through the foods.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Cauliflower and Health Benefits

Cauliflower is a member of the 'white' family in terms of fruits and vegetables. Included in this group are other natural foods such as bananas, mushrooms, onions, and garlic. Cauliflower contains allicin, which can improve heart health and reduce the risk of strokes, and selenium, a chemical that works well with Vitamin C to strengthen the immune system. Cauliflower can also help to maintain a healthy cholesterol level.

Folate is also found in cauliflower, which is a B vitamin that is needed for cell growth and replication. For this reason, it is often recommended that women who are pregnant or may become pregnant eat significant amounts of cauliflower in order to help their unborn children develop properly.

Of course, cauliflower is an excellent source of fiber, which helps to improve colon health and can even help prevent cancer. And, most recently, it has been discovered that cauliflower, as well as other cruciferous vegetables, such as brussel sprouts and cabbage, contain indole-3-carbinol, a substance that can affect the metabolism of estrogen in the body, and prevent breast and other female cancers.

Healthy Cauliflower Casserole:

3 large potatoes, peeled and sliced
1/2 small head cauliflower, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder, parsely, oregano
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup  shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese or fat free cheese ( you can use more if you wish)

salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes and boil for 15 minutes, or until fork-tender. Remove to a bowl; do not drain the water from the pot. Add the cauliflower to the pot and boil for 5 minutes, or until fork-tender, drain. Place cauliflower in the bowl with the potatoes. Mash with a potato masher or an electric mixer on medium speed ,add herbs, broth, sour cream and mix together.
Spoon half of the potato mixture into a baking dish. Sprinkle lightly with some of the cheese. Saving the most for the top.
Bake for 10 minutes, or until heated through and the cheese has melted.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Bean Soup and Health Benefits Recipe

 Beans are very good for you! And, yes, beans are loaded with carbs, but they're the complex, good kind that help provide energy to your muscles and brain.  Kidney Beans: Along with lots of fiber and protein, kidney beans are an excellent source of the trace mineral, molybdenum. This mineral helps detoxify sulfites, a type of preservative added to many foods (and to which many people are sensitive), from the body. Pinto Beans: "Pinto" is Spanish for "painted," which refers to the pinto beans' splashes of color. They're rich in antioxidants, fiber, protein, molybdenum, folate, manganese, vitamin B1, phosphorous, iron, magnesium, potassium and copper. Navy Beans: Navy beans got their name because they were a staple food of the U.S. Navy in the early 20th century. They're rich in fiber, protein, folate, manganese, vitamin B1, phosphorous, copper, magnesium and iron. Black Beans: Also referred to as turtle beans, black beans are loaded with antioxidants and fiber, and are an excellent source of high-quality protein. So take your pick they are all healthy!
 1 pound packaged dried beans
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
8 cups reduced-salt chicken broth
 1/2 cup chopped celery leaves
2 pounds ham chopped
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste
Pick over the beans, rinse them, and place them in a  5 quart crockpot on low overnight.
The next day, drain and rinse the beans, and place them back in the crockpot. Stir in the chicken broth, ham , black pepper,  celery leaves and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and reduce the heat to a simmer.
Place on high for 4 hours, stir every hour. Serve with low fat crackers.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pumpkin Health Benefits and Recipes

Pumpkin is incredibly rich in vital anti-oxidants and vitamins. This  vegetable is very low in calories yet good source of vitamin A.
The plant is a "vine",  creeper on the surface and needs alot of room to grow.
It is one of the vegetables which is very low calories;  provides just 26 cal per 100 g and contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; but is rich a source of dietary fiber, anti-oxidants, minerals, vitamins. Recommended by dieticians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.Pumpkin is a storehouse of many anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-E. and is required by the body for maintaining the integrity of skin and mucus membranes. It is also an essential vitamin for vision. Research studies suggest that natural foods rich in vitamin A helps body protect against lung and oral cavity cancers. Thus, it helps protect from "age related macular disease" (ARMD) in the elderly.Rich in B-complex group of vitamins like folates, niacin, vitamin B-6  thiamin and pantothenic acid. It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus.

Pumpkin seeds  (click title for recipe instructions) are good source of dietary fiber and mono-unsaturated fatty acids which are good for heart health. 

Roasting  a Pumpkin

To bake a fresh sugar pumpkins are the best, cut in half and scoop out the seeds and strings. Place halves, hollow side down, in a large baking  covered with aluminum foil and add a little water. Bake, uncovered, at 375
To freeze pumpkin puree. Freeze in zip lock bags with your spices in it and use for future pie recipes.

Pumpkin Smoothies

1/2 cup pumpkin
3/4 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
2 teaspoons brown sugar
4 ice cubes
Place everything in a blender. Blend until smooth.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Fresh Vegetable Stir Fry and Health Benefits

If you are on a diet or trying to keep your cholesterol low and are looking for
a healthy recipe for dinner that is full of flavor, filling, why not try a stir fry?

Vegetables are fat free and low calorie and if you also use chicken, another low fat food, you can afford to serve the dish on a small portion of rice or pasta. Of course if you want to feel really virtuous you can skip the carbs altogether and, as vegetables are so efficient at filling you up, you won’t feel hungry.
The secret to a good stir fry lies in the preparation. Make sure all your ingredients are chopped up before you start. Separate your ingredients according to cooking time and the things that take longer to cook that need to go into the wok first.

 2 cloves fresh garlic
4 red, yellow or green bell peppers cleaned seeded and sliced
1 lb fresh mushrooms sliced
baby corn
broccoli florets
2 zucchini cut in slices I used one yellow and one green squash
1 pound of fresh tomatoes put through the food processor keeping a little chunky
fresh parsley and basil
sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
dash of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup Burgundy wine
3 tablespoons olive oil for stir fry

In a large electric fry pan or large fry pan on medium heat, add olive.  After the oil is heated, add garlic, vegetables in order by how long the desired softness. Add the wine and cook 15 minutes more.  Add to steamed rice, boiled pasta.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Healthier Apple Berry Crumble

    Blackberries are also rich in manganese and vitamin C. It is important to have adequate vitamin C as a lack of it can weaken our immune system, which in turn can make you stressed and run down. Other good sources of manganese and vitamin C are strawberries and raspberries.

    Lower Cholesterol with apples!  The pectin in apples lowers LDL ("bad") cholesterol. People who eat two apples per day may lower their cholesterol by as much as 16 percent.

Apple Berry Crumble
  • 6 mcintosh or gala apples cut in slices
  • 1 cup blackberries or blueberries
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • zest from 1 lime and juice squeezed
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces
  •  fat free vanilla ice cream  or fat free whipped cream(optional)
Heat oven to 350° F. In a shallow baking dish, combine the fruits, honey, pecans, lime zest, and juice. Toss and set aside.
In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, and butter. Using your fingertips, work the butter into the flour mixture until crumbly and sprinkle over the apples.
Bake until the apples are tender and the topping is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit, covered, for 10 minutes. Serve warm, with ice cream if desired or fat free whipped cream.

Plastic Filled Christmas Ornaments

The skies the limit with imagination with these plastic filled Christmas ornaments! Using things I find around the house and outside t...