Maple Glazed Salmon with Tomato-Dill Couscous

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When did yesterday get weird? Hmm.

During my morning cup of coffee, I decided to get on Twitter and thank my Illini basketball players for a fabulous season. Unfortunately, they were knocked out of the NCAA tournament after a very questionable call with just over 90 seconds left in the game. The guys were so classy with their tweets. It was hard to be sad — they played their hearts out. Of course, I was then running late as I don’t normally pause to catch up on Twitter in the mornings. Mistake #1 of many yesterday.

I got to work and I realized that my patients were booked on days I’m off work…AND double booked. How did this happen!?! I was in the middle of that fiasco when two {rather handsome} drug reps came in with some diabetes education materials. Before long, I was nearly running late for a meeting. The next thing I knew we were through our lunch rush and having lunch ourselves.

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Then…in walked our GFS rep and I had some things to to talk about with him. By the time he left, I looked at the clock and it was going on 3pm. I sat down at my work computer and saw my appointment reminder for my 2pm dentist appointment. This is an appointment I’ve had for THREE months…it was the soonest appointment they had for new patients and it’s the only dentist I’ve heard great reviews about (I hate the dentist, to the great reviews part is important…). I called the dentist office and told a little white lie when I was told they don’t reschedule new patients after a no-show. “Emergencies” happen…forgetfulness happens. Oops. That just isn’t like me!

I skipped my boot camp class because I was running late for that, too. Instead I had to head to the store to get 20 pounds of lettuce. The joys of running a kitchen.

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I got home, grabbed Lily to check the mail, and walked around to the front of the house to check for packages. And there…in a trap…was a LARGE animal. I took a picture and sent it to my father-in-law who shared that it was a possum. I called Mr. Prevention and all but demanded that he come home and do something with it. While the possum played dead/opened its mouth to bear its teeth, Lily was interested in making friends with the thing!

Mr. Prevention got home and despite dinner being almost ready, he headed out to buy a pellet gun. That’s a normal Monday night activity, right? My very cheap husband dropped over $150 on the stupid gun. I’m sure our neighbors are still talking…

Weird day…from start to finish.

Weirder yet? Mr. Prevention liked this meal…loved this meal. Couscous and all!

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Maple Glazed Salmon with Tomato-Dill Couscous from Cooking Light, as seen on Whipped

1 Tbsp olive oil 1 cup uncooked couscous 1 cup + 2 Tbsp fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth 1/8 tsp salt 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved 1/4 cup red onion, diced 2 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped

1 tsp paprika 1/2 tsp chili powder 1/2 tsp ground ancho chile powder 1/4 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp brown sugar 3/4 tsp kosher salt 4 (6 oz) salmon fillets 2 Tbsp maple syrup

Directions:

Preheat broiler to 500 F.

Heat a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan and heat until hot. Stir in couscous; sauté 1 minute. Add chicken broth and salt; bring to a boil. Stir in couscous, cover, remove from heat, and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Stir in tomatoes, onion, and dill.

Combine first 6 ingredients; rub spice mixture evenly over flesh side of fillets. Place fish on a pan coated with cooking spray; broil 6-9 minutes or until flaky and cooked through. Brush fillets evenly with syrup; broil 1 minute. Serve each salmon filet over 3/4 cup couscous mixture.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition Information (per serving): 520 calories; 12.5 g. fat; 125 mg. cholesterol; 703 mg. sodium; 42.8 g. carbohydrate; 7.3 g. fiber; 54.5 g. protein9.3 g. sugar

Result: This meal was fantastic and very filling! I love the rub on the salmon — don’t skip it! The couscous was simple, but the red onion added the perfect touch. Because couscous cooks so quickly, this meal is ready in 20 minutes or less! Enjoy!

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Work and my last “regular season” hockey game!

Be well,

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Meatless Monday: Giant Whole Wheat Apple-Oat Breakfast Cookies

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In high school I had a really fun job at a paint-your-pot pottery studio. I loved helping with kids’ birthday parties and as someone who used to be somewhat artistic, it was a fun outlet for my creative side. The studio so happened to be right by a bakery. In fact, you couldn’t get to the studio unless you walked past the bakery. Evil genius.

The bakery had these HUGE apple and oatmeal cookies that were so filling. Nearly every shift I worked at the studio (working for this evil man who is now incarcerated — click with caution…the story is beyond sad and scary), I would get one of these cookies as a small meal for my 4-to-5 hour shifts.

Obsessed I was. Obsessed I am.

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When I went off to college, I had withdrawals. Literally.

My mom would spend a LOT of money shipping me these cookies to my dorm, and then to my sorority house…and then the bakery closed. I kid you not, these oatmeal cookies were a staple in my diet, and a healthy one at that, for many years.

I’ve tried to find a substitute…something close. Something half-way decent.

But I haven’t succeeded…until now.

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These meet nearly every criteria that I loved about those bakery cookies. Namely, the size and the fact that I can eat the WHOLE thing…guilt-free. I love that they contain lots of fiber, vitamins and minerals, a bit of fruit, and healthy omega 3 fatty acids.

Just to be sure I’m not completely biased to less-than-stellar cookies, I made these for the cafeteria at work. Let’s just say people were looking for seconds…but they were gone. I will be making these again for at work and at home.

Note: these freeze really well, too! Make plenty!

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Giant Whole Wheat Apple-Oat Breakfast Cookies slightly adapted from Food.com

3 cups whole wheat pastry flour or white wheat flour 3 cups old fashioned oats 1 cup brown sugar 1 Tbsp cinnamon 1 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped 2 1/2 cups unsweetened applesauce 1/2 cup canola oil 3 apples, peeled, cored, and diced 3 eggs, lightly beaten

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl combine the flour, oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda and walnuts. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the applesauce, oil and eggs.

Mix wet ingredients into the dry; stir to combine. Scoop approximately 1/2 cup of dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Press dough of each cookie down slightly with fingers to 4 to 5-inch diameter cookies.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the tops are firmed. Let set on baking sheet a few minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Yield: 18 giant breakfast cookies

Nutrition Information (per cookie): 292 calories; 12.1 g. fat; 31 mg. cholesterol; 306 mg. sodium; 41.7 g. carbohydrate; 4.8 g. fiber; 3.6 g. protein; 13.5 g. sugar

Result: Awesome, delicious, satisfying breakfast cookies! With the fiber and fat, these are very filling and subtly sweet. You’ll love how easy they are to make, how substantial they are for a breakfast on-the-go and how well they freeze for later! Enjoy!

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Another week…here we go!

Be well,

sig4

Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon

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Yesterday, our cleaning lady brought in these 2 packages from our front porch. I was moving them off the island so I could start on dinner and one of the boxes weighed a TON. Addressed to Mr. Prevention, I set it aside and went about my way. When he got home, I told him about the extremely heavy package and he kept asking, “What do you think it is?”

“I have NO idea,” I kept responding.

“You’re going to kill me,” he said.

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He grabbed a knife, opened the package, and pulled out 16 pounds of cinnamon almonds.

::blank stare::

He then opened a second box — glucosamine and chondroitin.

My face demanded and explanation. “Our CostCo membership ended December 31st,” he said.

Hm. Okay. Iwillneverunderstandyou.

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Mr. Prevention is looking a little senile these days. Senile-looking in the sense that he pops a big handful of pills in the morning. That heap of pills consist primarily of 2 huge glucosamine and chondroitin pills along with a daily multivitamin. And though he wasn’t in NEED of more glucosamine and chondroitin, why not get them before our CostCo membership expires?

If they would ship salmon, I would’ve scored a final bag or two. CostCo carries some great wild Alaskan salmon, for the record. It’s also great for the aches and pains that Mr. Prevention complains of, and is certainly a top-ranked food in my mind. Full of omega 3 fatty acids, salmon is a natural anti-inflammatory and has suggested roles in everything from brain health…to baby health.

If you’re not entirely sold on salmon, this is a great first recipe to try. The glaze is sweet and sticky and packed with flavor and texture. Simple to make, this recipe is sure to please!

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Toasted Sesame Ginger Salmon from How Sweet It Is

4 (5 oz) filets raw salmon 2 Tbsp olive oil 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil 1 Tbsp rice vinegar 1 Tbsp brown sugar 1 Tbsp low-sodium  soy sauce 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated 4 green onions, sliced

1/4 cup honey 1 tsp toasted sesame oil 1 tsp low-sodium soy sauce 1 pinch ground ginger 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds

Directions:

For the salmon, combine olive oil, sesame oil, vinegar, sugar, soy sauce, garlic and ginger in a ziplock bag; shake well. Add the salmon to the marinade and manipulate to coat salmon. Refrigerate salmon to marinade for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine all ingredients for the glaze and set aside.

Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and mist with olive oil.

Preheat the broiler in your oven to 450 F.

Remove salmon and place directly on the baking sheet; put into the oven. Cook for 10-12 minutes, or until opaque and easily flakes with a fork. Remove and serve immediately, with green onions and the glaze.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition Information (per serving):  374 calories; 13.8 g. fat; 103 mg. cholesterol; 356 mg. sodium; 21.5 g. carbohydrate; 0.8 g. fiber; 40.3 g. protein

Result: Between the toasted sesame oil and the honey, there’s just no going wrong with this recipe! The marinade is fabulous, but because the glaze is so flavorful, I’m thinking this recipe could be made even easier by skipping that step. Yep, the glaze is THAT good. Enjoy1

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 I didn’t think this week was shaping up to be crazy…but, it is! Hope it goes quickly ;)

Q&A tomorrow!

Be well,

sig4

Salmon with Mango Chimichurri + Weekly Menu

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As Mr. Prevention and I (Lily, too!) were driving to the CSA farm yesterday, he said he had received a Groupon email notification for Lake Michigan salmon fishing. Naive little me had to do some research into this — I thought salmon was a salt water commodity only. Clearly, I’ve lived in the central states forever.

What I do know about salmon (fresh water varieties, I’m not sure about) is that 2 servings a week meets the recommended (DRI) amounts of omega 3 fatty acids. I also know that we’ve only been managing about 1 serving of fresh fish a week.

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This salmon recipe jumped out at the page thanks to that bright mango chimichurri and quick preparation time. The yellow/orange and green are so beautiful together and the flavor combination was outstanding, especially served over the meaty salmon.

Being the foodie that I am, chimichurri is something I haven’t made before. It is designed to serve over grilled meat and uses the equation of oil + acid (citrus or vinegar) + fresh herb for its creation. So simple, so good…and so many possibilities.

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I purchased a 2 pound piece of salmon that had not been pre-portioned because I find that easier to throw on the grill. The larger cut also seems to be the preferred way of selling wild caught salmon around here, which is totally fine by me. It makes for a fun presentation!

I served the salmon with sauteed green beans that had a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice along with some slow roasted fingerling potatoes that had been halved and tossed in olive oil, salt, and pepper.

We’re serving salmon this week in the hospital cafeteria…I hope staff love it as much as me!

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Salmon with Mango Chimichurri from Martha Stewart

1 mango, peeled, pitted, and diced 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped 1/2 tsp red-pepper flakes 1/4 cup olive oil 2 Tbsp lime juice Salt and pepper, to taste 2 lbs skin-on salmon fillet

Directions:

Stir together mango, cilantro, red-pepper flakes, oil, and lime juice; season with salt and pepper.

Heat a grill or grill pan to medium-high. Clean and lightly oil hot grill. Season salmon with salt and pepper and lightly brush with oil. Grill, skin side up, until salmon begins to turn opaque, 4 to 6 minutes. Flip and cook until opaque throughout, 4 to 6 minutes. Once cooked, spoon chimichurri over top, and serve.

Yield: 6 servings (5 ounces salmon + ~1/3 cup chimichurri)

Nutrition Information (per serving): 374 calories; 22.5 g. fat; 93 mg. cholesterol; 172 mg. sodium; 6.5 g. carbohydrate; 0.83 g. fiber; 32.3 g. protein

Result: Summer meets salmon! This was my first chimichurri attempt and it was beyond simple. Fresh fruit + herb and oil…sign me up any day, especially when severed over a piece of flaky, grilled wild salmon chock full of omega 3 fatty acids. This meal is whole some and pairs well with nearly any side. This comes together in about 15-20 minutes and makes for a perfect weeknight meal with loads of flavor. Enjoy!

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Weekly Menu: July 14th – 19th

Other than grocery shopping and playing my first hockey game in MI, I’m not sure what’s on the agenda! In case you missed the Facebook update, Lily can swim…and there’s a cute photo of her in her life jacket!

Be well,

RD Q&A

My house is starting to feel like a home. Mr. Prevention worked all day yesterday and I managed to unpack 60-70% of the boxes on my own. Here’s some shots of the…mayhem.

Before…
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During…

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 Let’s get on with the Q&A…just looking at those pictures is making me exhausted and stressed!

Cheryl: While at the health food store picking up some Satiereal Saffron Extract (Dr. Oz’s suggestion for natural appetite suppressant), I asked the owner if there was anything to supplement thyroid medication.  She suggested cold pressed, extra-virgin, coconut oil, 1 tsp 3x per day.  Told me that it helps with memory, cholesterol, weight loss, and some other things.  My concern is the calories.  She said when it is taken as a supplement, calories aren’t counted because it contains MLTs(?).  Is this true?  The label said 1 tsp is 125 calories.  She has customer’s that take it for energy and other benefits that have also lost weight.

Prevention RD: Hi Ceryl! :) I think she’s referring to medium-chain trigycerides (MCT’s) which is the main type of fat in coconut oil and why it is being touted as a “healthier” oil. While MCT’s are metabolized differently (check out this post for more info on that), the calories very much so still “count”. In fact, in a clinical setting, some patients are given MCT’s for quick energy (calories) and to assist in weight GAIN. Three teaspoons (1 tablespoon) is typically 120 calories. Certainly people can lose weight any number of ways – it all boils down to calories. As for the calories not “counting” – false! :)

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Nicole O.: Please explain the difference between and allergy and an intolerance. I have been having issues with this because I believe an allergy can be detected with a blood test, correct? But, what about an intolerance? Would an allergy have more severe reactions and an intolerance may not? Is an allergy inherited and an intolerance may just upset the system? Help! with the “gluten intolerance” craze sweeping the nation, I need to know. Also, some people with a lactose intolerance can tolerate soft serve or yogurt, but not ice cream…and so on…

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Gina, RD: I’d love to hear your opinion about; What is “too little” calories? And when do you go in “starvation” mode? I have an answer I like to give, but I’d love to hear your thoughts and what you’ve read. So many people seem to think that even if they are overweight they can eat too few calories and then they will burn muscle…I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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Heather of Southern Pink Lemonade: Could you describe the benefits/differences of palm/coconut sugar vs. white granulated sugar?

Prevention RD: Coconut sugar is getting famous for its low(er) glycemic index, meaning the energy (calories) are absorbed more slowly and the body does not see the quick spike in blood sugar that it may from other sugars (this spike can cause anything from fatigue to hunger). While this sounds positive, the glycemic index (GI) is not a very well-respected measurement for nutrition. What I love about coocnut sugar is that it has 1/3 less calories (30 calories/tablespoon vs. cane sugar’s 45 calories) and 7 grams of sugar per tablespoon vs. cane sugar’s 12 grams. In short, it’s lower carbohydrate. That said, recipes may call for more to offer up adequate “sweetness” and the reduced sugar content is then irrelevant. Coconut sugar is VERY expensive and in my very limited experience, does not “act” like sugar in baking. In short, it may offer a nutritional edge, but the cost, availability, and benefit may not make it worth the c0mmotion.

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Chrissy of Stick a Fork in It: What are your thoughts on flax seed, and what is the best form to consume it (whole, ground or oil)?

Prevention RD: I’m glad you asked! Whole flaxseed are NOT digested and therefore, no nutritional benefit is gained. Flaxseeds must be ground or their oil extracted to yield the nutrition. Flaxseed oil is expensive, so I usually opt for the ground seeds, but both are nutrition powerhouses and packed with omega 3 fatty acids. I love to use flaxseed oil in salad dressings and is there anything better than a warm flaxseed muffin with some dried fruit? Yum!

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That’s it for today. As always, please feel free to pass along your questions on the Prevention RD Facebook page, as a comment below, or via email at preventionrd at gmail dot com! Thanks for all the great questions! :-D

I have to run up to the hospital for my TB test and then it’s on to unpacking some  more. The family comes tomorrow…gotta be ready!

Thanks for all the birthday wishes. Love you all to pieces! xo!

Be well,