Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Broccoli Casserole

Mix pantry staples with broccoli to create a comforting casserole that works for weeknights as well as holiday spreads. If the kids enjoy this recipe, try other veggie-loaded casseroles to sneak nutrients in their meals.
 10 Servings

1        pound broccoli, cut into pieces
1        (10.75 ounce) can cream of mushroom soup
2        large eggs, lightly beaten
1        cup mayonnaise
1-1/2    cups shredded Cheddar
1         stick (1/4 pound) salted butter, cut into pieces
1        sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed (1/3 of a 12 ounce box)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Mist a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Steam broccoli until crisp-tender, 7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl of ice water.

Mix soup, eggs, mayonnaise, cheese, butter and pepper in a saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until melted and combined.

Drain broccoli; spread evenly in baking dish. Pour cheese mixture on top. Sprinkle with crackers. Bake for 30 minutes.

Leftover will last 3/4 weeks in freezer.

Heart healthy

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Baked Potatoes

4      (12-oz.) russet potatoes
1      small shallot, minced
1      garlic clove, minced
2      tablespoons olive oil
1/2    pound greens, washed, trimmed, and chopped
2       teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1/8    teaspoon ground red pepper
1/2    cup sour cream
1/2    cup butter, melted
1-1/2    teaspoons kosher salt
1/2     teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2    teaspoon hot sauce
1       cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
Vegetable cooking spray

1. Preheat oven to 400°. Pierce potatoes with a fork; bake directly on oven rack 1 hour or until tender. Cool 10 minutes.2. Sauté shallot and garlic in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat 1 minute. Stir in greens and next 2 ingredients. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Cook 10 minutes or until tender.3. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise; carefully scoop pulp into a large bowl, leaving shells intact. Mash together potato pulp, sour cream, next 4 ingredients, and 1/2 cup cheese. Add greens mixture. Spoon into potato shells, and place on a lightly greased (with cooking spray) baking sheet.4. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes. Top with remaining cheese, and bake 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese melts and potatoes are thoroughly heated.

1 .  Potatoes are great to serve for weeknight dinners and weekend entertaining. From mashed potatoes to potato salad, there is no shortage of ways to enjoy these simple, but versatile vegetables. They can make a great addition to any meal from breakfast to dinner. They are the perfect side dish for any meal, and also make great appetizers for entertaining. If you are feeling adventurous, you can  developed a way to add them to a pizza crust. Keeping potatoes stocked in your pantry should be a no-brainer. You can pull them out and transform them into the perfect dish for any occasion.

2 .  To freeze big items like cooked potatoes and meatballs, arrange in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan, and freeze 1 to 2 hours; transfer to a zip-top bag. You'll avoid one frozen mass, plus single servings thaw faster.
Heart healthy

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Collard Greens Creole Style

 Crispy bacon, sautéed onion, ham, and garlic perfect these Southern-Style Collard Greens, making them an essential part of your traditional Southern feast.
Makes 10 to 12 servings          Total time: 3 Hours, 

12        hickory-smoked bacon slices, finely chopped
2          medium-size sweet onions, finely chopped
3/4       pound smoked ham, chopped
6         garlic cloves, finely chopped
2        (32-ounce) containers chicken broth
3        (1-pound) packages fresh collard greens, (bunches) washed and trimmed
1/3     cup apple cider vinegar
1       tablespoon sugar
1       teaspoon salt
3/4     teaspoon pepper

1. Cook bacon in a 10-qt. stockpot over medium heat 10 to 12 minutes or until almost crisp. Add onion, and sauté 8 minutes; add ham and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in broth and remaining ingredients. Cook 2 hours or to desired degree of tenderness.
Leftovers can be frozen up to 3/4 weeks .

Heart healthy

Maxy sez : Why Does Diabetes Make You So Thirsty?

By Sanjay Gupta, MD
Excessive thirst, or polydipsia, can be triggered by different factors such as eating too much salt or taking medications that cause dry mouth. Thirst is also a symptom of diabetes. For people with diabetes, thirst can be a sign of hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar.

The kidneys play a vital role in regulating levels of blood sugar by filtering the blood and absorbing excess glucose. When very high levels of sugar build up in the blood, the kidneys can’t keep up and they produce more urine than normal — a condition known as polyuria. As a result, you can become dehydrated.

“People who have well-controlled diabetes should be at no increased risk for excessive thirst compared with somebody who doesn’t have diabetes,” says Noah Bloomgarden, MD, assistant professor of medicine-endocrinology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and clinical endocrinologist in the division of endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism at the Montefiore Health System in the Bronx, New York. “It’s really poor control of one’s blood sugar and an increase in urination and excretion of water that makes people [with diabetes] feel very thirsty and increases their need to maintain water balance.”

As Dr. Bloomgarden points out, even people who are doing a good job of controlling their diabetes can develop very high blood sugar. A cold, infection, or even a very stressful situation can cause blood sugar to rise, and excessive thirst may be the first sign that something is wrong. “If you’re experiencing excessive thirst, you should contact your doctor immediately, because it may indicate severe hyperglycemia,” says Bloomgarden.

If you have diabetes and you’re not sure whether you’re unusually thirsty, Bloomgarden suggests that you check your blood sugar. If your blood sugar is normal but you’re thirstier than usual (or you’re going to the bathroom more often), consult your doctor.

If you are experiencing excessive thirst related to hyperglycemia, it’s imperative to get your diabetes under control. Make sure you’re following the treatment plan prescribed by your doctor, including any lifestyle recommendations such as eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly. If you’re having trouble sticking with your treatment plan, you may benefit from consulting with a certified diabetes educator, who can help you self-manage your blood sugar.

It’s also important to make sure you’re drinking enough water, especially if your blood sugar is elevated. The Joslin Diabetes Center recommends drinking a minimum of eight glasses of water a day.

“There are no complications associated with increased thirst if people are able to drink water freely,” says Bloomgarden. But it can become a major issue if somebody is elderly or isn’t mobile and doesn’t have the ability to access water or other liquids. “Then they can get profoundly dehydrated, and that can be extremely dangerous,” he warns.

Do you have a health-related question for Dr. Gupta? You can submit it here. For more health news and advice, visit Health Matters With Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Much love and a big kiss
Aunt Jeannie



Your friend I am

Monday, November 14, 2016

Corn Chowder with Shrimp

Serves 6
Make a creamy corn chowder even better with the addition of fresh shrimp, carrot, and red bell pepper.
4        cups low-sodium chicken broth
2        16-ounce  bags frozen corn
1        onion, finely chopped
1        red bell pepper, seeded and diced
2        carrots, cut into 1/4-inch rounds
2        russet potatoes, diced
1        bay leaf
Salt and pepper
1         pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1/2      cup heavy cream, optional
1/4     cup chopped fresh parsley

1. Combine chicken broth, corn, onion, bell pepper, carrots, potatoes, bay leaf, 1 cup water and 1 tsp. salt in slow cooker. Cover and cook on low until vegetables are tender, about 6 hours.

2. Puree 3 cups of soup in a blender and return to slow cooker. Stir in shrimp. Cover and cook until shrimp are pink and firm, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in cream, if desired, and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Heart Healthy

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Maxt sez : 6 Diabetes Medication Mistakes to Avoid

By Beth W. Orenstein Reviewed by Pat F. Bass, III, MD, MPH
Treating type 2 diabetes can be tricky. Here are common mistakes that can prevent you from taking your medication as prescribed and tips for avoiding them.
If taking medication is part of your type 2 diabetes treatment plan, following your doctor's directions is essential.

“It's important you take your medications on schedule because they have a timed-release,” says Toby Smithson, MS, RDN, LDN, CDE, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the co-author of Diabetes Meal Planning and Nutrition for Dummies, and founder of Your healthcare provider has calculated the dosage and scheduling to best manage your blood sugar levels and keep them within normal range.

There's no single, exact formula when it comes to treating diabetes. But following your individualized course of diabetes medication makes it more likely to work as desired, says Matthew Corcoran, MD, CDE, ASCM, an endocrinologist in Egg Harbor, New Jersey, and founder of the Diabetes Training Camp at Franklin & Marshall College near Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

Controlling type 2 diabetes through medication and lifestyle changes can help you avoid serious complications such as heart disease, blindness, and kidney and nerve damage, according to the Independent Diabetes Trust. Yet it can be easy to get off track with your diabetes treatment plan, especially if you're newly diagnosed and think of yourself as healthy, according to a study published in April 2015 in Diabetes Care.

Here are common mistakes that may prevent you from sticking to your prescription routine and how you can avoid making them.

Mistake # 1 You don't realize the role of your medications. “It is important you understand how the medications you are taking work,” Dr. Corcoran says. You’re more likely to take them properly if you do — and if you don't, ask questions of your healthcare providers. “Don’t be shy about asking your doctor to explain how your medication works,”  he says.

Mistake # 2 :You forget or skip doses. Sometimes it happens, and you should know what to do if you miss a dose. Ask your doctor if you should take it as soon as you realize the mistake, or simply take the next dose on schedule. Don’t simply double up. To stay on track, set reminders, such as an alarm on your smartphone or computer. Try to connect each dose with another daily activity done at the same time. “For instance, if you are to take your medication before breakfast, keep the medication bottle by the area you eat or next to your toothbrush as part of your morning routine,” Smithson says. Once you develop a habit of taking your medications at certain times, she says, you'll be less likely to forget or delay.

Mistake 3 # : You stop taking your meds if you experience unpleasant side effects. Some diabetes drugs can cause nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea — any of which could tempt you to go off your care plan. Don't do that, Corcoran says. Instead, talk to your doctor about the side effects. There are many different diabetes medications available, and more on the horizon, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center, so you have options. An alternative drug or a different dosage of your current medication may help alleviate side effects, Smithson says.  

Mistake 4 :You take the wrong dose or the wrong medication. If you’re on insulin for type 2 diabetes, you may be given long-acting and short-acting insulin to take at different times, and the doses for each are likely to be much different. For example, short-acting insulin is designed to quickly lower blood sugar and is tied to pre- or post-meal blood sugar. "If you are supposed to take 40 units of long-acting at bedtime, but take the short-acting insulin instead, your blood sugar could fall too low. Pay attention each and every time you take insulin and make sure you’re grabbing the right one,” Corcoran says. It may be helpful to color-code your vials or keep the long-acting and short-acting on different shelves of the refrigerator, he suggests.

Mistake 5 :You confuse the medications for your various health conditions. You may be taking medications not only for diabetes but for other illnesses as well. Consider using a daily pill organizer with various compartments for each day — morning, afternoon, and evening. Sit down every Sunday night and carefully fill your pillbox. It’s also wise to use just one pharmacy so that the pharmacist can cross-check all your prescriptions for possible drug interactions. Also, be sure to tell your doctor about any other prescriptions or over-the-counter medications or supplements you’re taking, Corcoran says.

Mistake 6 :You ignore signs that your medication isn't as effective as it used to be. Over time, your diabetes medications may need adjustment, according to the Joslin Diabetes Center. A drug might stop working. Losing or gaining weight, or exercising more or less, can affect your medications and dosing schedule. If you’re having symptoms of low or high blood sugar, or if your blood sugar numbers are going out of range, talk to your doctor. “You need to work continually with your doctor so that you don’t have unexpected low or high blood sugars,” Corcoran says.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Shrimp & Potato Chowder

Makes about 2 quarts      Total time: 50 Minutes
Add shrimp a few minutes before serving so they don't overcook.
2               tablespoons butter
3               bunches green onions, sliced
1-1/2         pounds new potatoes, diced
2               cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1-1/2         cups heavy cream
1/2            cup dry white wine
1                teaspoon kosher salt
1/4            teaspoon black pepper
1/2            pound medium-size raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
2               teaspoons hot sauce

1. Melt butter in a medium Dutch oven over medium heat. Add green onions, and cook, stirring often, 1 minute.

2. Add potatoes and next 5 ingredients, and increase heat to high. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook, stirring occasionally, 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

3. Stir in shrimp and hot sauce, and cook 3 minutes.

CHOP, CHOP Cut onions and potatoes into pieces that are the same size. This will ensure they cook uniformly.
Heart healthy 

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Beef Stew

This dish gets zip from whole mustard and richness from red wine. And that leftover wine pairs beautifully with the stew.
 Serves 4 (serving size: about 1-1/2 cups)          Total time: 1 Hour, 25 Minutes

1-1/2           pounds beef chuck roast, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 1 lb. trimmed meat)
1                 teaspoon black pepper
1-1/2          teaspoons salt, divided
1                 tablespoon canola oil
3                 medium carrots (about 7 oz.), cut diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1                 medium-size yellow onion (about 8 oz.), cut into 12 wedges
6                 garlic cloves, chopped
1                 cup dry red wine
2                 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4                 cups beef broth
12               ounces baby new potatoes, cutting larger ones in half
2                 tablespoons whole-grain mustard
1                 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/4              cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

1. Sprinkle beef with pepper and 1 teaspoon salt. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Add beef to Dutch oven; cook, stirring occasionally, until brown on all sides, about 6 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Heart  healthy

Monday, November 7, 2016

Shrimp-and-Sausage Jambalaya

Many Cajun and Creole dishes are seasoned with the so-called holy trinity--bell pepper, onion, and celery. This Creole-style jambalaya has lots of tomato in it.
 Makes 6 to 8 servings

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 pound andouille or other spicy smoked sausage, sliced
1 large onion, diced
1 bell pepper, diced
3 celery ribs, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons Creole seasoning
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, with juice
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups uncooked long-grain rice
1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
4 green onions, chopped

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add sausage, and cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove sausage with a slotted spoon; set aside.

2. Add onion and next 7 ingredients to hot drippings in Dutch oven; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in reserved sausage, tomatoes, broth, and rice. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, 25 minutes or until rice is tender.

3. Stir in shrimp; cover and cook 5 minutes or until done. Sprinkle each serving with green onions.
Heart healthy

Chicken Stroganoff

 Prep :30 minutes          Total time : 30 Minutes     9   ingredients     6   servings
Use chicken for a lighter take on classic stroganoff that goes from stovetop to table in just 30 minutes. We love it over egg noodles, rice or whatever you have on hand.

2              tablespoons butter 
1             package (20 oz) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-1/2x1/2-inch strips 
2            packages (8 oz each) fresh sliced crimini mushrooms
1            medium onion, thinly sliced 
3             tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2        teaspoon salt
1/4        teaspoon pepper
1            cup Progresso™ chicken broth (from 32-oz carton)
1/2        cup sour cream (optional)

1 .  In 12-inch nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of the butter over medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook 6 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is no longer pink in center. Remove to plate.
2 .  In same skillet, melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add mushrooms and onion; cook 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender. Stir in flour, salt and pepper.
3 .  Reduce heat to medium. Add chicken and broth; cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened. Stir in sour cream until well blended and heated through.

Top with chopped fresh thyme, basil or parsley as a garnish.
Serve this chicken stroganoff with egg noodles.
To save time, purchase sliced crimini mushrooms in the produce aisle of your favorite grocery store.
Heart healthy

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Potato Soup ---- slow cooker

Bread bowls are a sandwich shop favorite for a reason. Instead of venturing out into the cold night air, fill homemade Italian Bread Bowls with chunky potato soup featuring potatoes, onions, carrot, celery, and savory seasonings.
 Makes 8-1/2 cups

6   potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (2-1/2 pounds)
2   medium onions, diced
2   carrots, thinly sliced
2   celery ribs, thinly sliced
2   (14 1/2-ounce) cans low-sodium fat-free chicken broth
1   teaspoon dried basil
1   teaspoon salt
1/2   teaspoon pepper
1/4   cup all-purpose flour
1-1/2   cups fat-free half-and-half
Italian Bread Bowls
Garnish: fresh celery leaves (cheddar cheese optional)

1 .  Combine first 8 ingredients in a 4 1/2-quart slow cooker.

2 .  Cook, covered, at HIGH 3 hours or until vegetables are tender.

3 .  Stir together flour and half-and-half; stir into soup. Cover and cook 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve in Italian Bread Bowls, and garnish, if desired.
Heart healthy

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Creole Chicken Soup ---- slow cooker

No dish is quite as soothing as a hearty bowl of chicken noodle soup. Slow cookers couldn't have made the road to comfort any easier: Simply toss in the ingredients, switch on, and then walk away. We love old-fashioned, wide egg noodles for this recipe. To make sure they aren't mushy and overcooked, don't leave them in the slow cooker any longer than 10 minutes.
 Makes 11 cups          Total time: 7Hours, 20 Minutes

2    pounds bone-in chicken thighs, skinned and trimmed
3    medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (1 1/4 cups)
1    celery root, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (2 cups)
1    medium leek, white and light green parts only, cleaned, chopped
2    garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2    fresh thyme sprigs
2    fresh sage sprigs
1    fresh rosemary sprig
1   bay leaf
1-1/2    teaspoons table salt
1    teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8    cups chicken broth
2    cups wide egg noodles
3    tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1    tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1. Place chicken and next 11 ingredients in a 6-qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW 6 hours or until chicken and vegetables are tender and chicken separates from bone.

2. Remove chicken from slow cooker. Dice meat, discarding bones. Return meat to slow cooker. Stir in noodles and parsley. Cover and cook on HIGH 15 to 20 minutes or until noodles are tender. Stir in lemon juice. Serve immediately, and garnish with any leftover chopped fresh parsley.
Heart healthy