Monday, December 30, 2013

Caring for Carcinoid Foundation

As 2013 concludes, I want to share this opportunity to donate to the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation and have your funds matched. This is the only foundation that is dedicated to raising research funds for pancreatic neuroendocrine cancer (my type of cancer) and other neuroendocrine cancers. The Foundation also provides support for individuals diagnosed with these rare types of cancer.  Pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors are diagnosed in 0.3 - 0.4 out of every 100,000 people each year. (Lucky me!!) Because they are so rare, there are minimal research funds available, so foundations such as this one are critical to making strides in diagnosis and treatment. There are many needs in this world, and if this one doesn't fit your giving priorities, then I'm confident you will find other ways to "live and give".  

We are so grateful for your support. 

If you have already made your year end gift, please accept our sincere thank you. 

If you have not yet made your gift to the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation, there is still time! 

Donate now, while there is still time, and take advantage of the $1 million dollar challenge. 

Your support, matched by the challenge will continue to fuel progress in 2014. 

Remember the December 31st tax deadline. Donations made to the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation  before midnight on December 31st are deductible on your 2013 federal income taxes. 

Thank you!  

With the help of our $1 million grant from the Goldhirsh-Yellin Foundation,  every increased gift to our year end appeal will be matched dollar for dollar, and every gift increased by 50% or more will be matched two to one - doubling and tripling the impact of support. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Deck the Halls with Green

This morning on the Today show, one of the guests  (don't ask me who -- I have no memory for celebrity names)  brought their "green drink" to show the viewing world. That's all it took to motivate me to make one for my breakfast.  I generally don't like cold drinks during the winter, but it looked so tasty that I quickly overcame my aversion to anything cold.  So I looked at what I had available in the fridge and put it into my Magic Bullet. Ah...just right for taste.  It was a small amount and fit perfectly in the glass that our son got at the All Pints North Brew Fest. I was just about to start taking the photos for this post,  when I spilled it on the table. So, I decked the halls and the table with green.  I quickly snapped the photos anyway so you could witness the start of my day.  Then I scraped it back into the glass and enjoyed every sip!!  Wow....I have missed my green juices and vow to have them regularly, cold weather or not. Besides, it is a glistening, relatively warm (25 degrees) Pzazz of a day here in Duluth. 

1 cup fresh spinach
1 stalk celery, cut into 3 -4 pieces
1/2 Braeburn or Granny Smith Apple        
1 Tablespoon lemon juice (appoximate)
4 Tablespoons fresh parsley  (approximate)
enough water to make it puree in the Magic Bullet (about 1/4 cup)

Put all ingredients in a Magic Bullet or similar device and watch the Magic of healthy, delectable Green Juice appear!

Servings per recipe: 1
Serving Size: 1 cup              
Calories: 67
Total Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 63 mg
Total Carbs: 17 g
Dietary Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 2 g

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Savory Mashed Sweet Potatoes

I made these for Thanksgiving last month and they were a big hit with everyone! So I made a double batch of them Friday to bring to a family Christmas celebration yesterday.  Again, several people requested the recipe, surprised at how much they liked savory sweet potatoes. These are definitely a much healthier alternative to the usual fare of candied sweet potatoes with marshmallows on top, like the ones I ate growing up.  If you like garlic, use the full 4 cloves listed in the ingredients, but if not, feel free to reduce the amount to whatever fits your "Pzazz-ometer". This recipe is an adaptation of one from the blog of Our Savory Life.  

4 medium-sized sweet potatoes
(choose ones that are all about the same size)
coconut oil for coating the potatoes
Additional 1 Tablespoon coconut oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
2-3 Tablespoons minced fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
dash of freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pierce the potatoes several times with a fork, then lightly coat them with coconut oil,and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. (One time I coated them first and then tried to pierce them....slippery and dangerous. Yikes!) Bake for 45 minutes or until juice from the potatoes are oozing. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

While the sweet potatoes are baking, saute the minced garlic cloves in the coconut oil over medium heat until fragrant and turning light brown (about 3 - 5 minutes).  Add the minced fresh thyme and continue cooking for about 3 - 4 more minutes.

Just a note about fresh thyme. Thyme is a very tiny herb and it is time consuming to strip it from the stem and then mince it. To get 2 - 3 Tablespoons of it for this recipe, I used about 10 sprigs. However, if time and energy are at a premium, use the dried ground form --- maybe about 1 -2 teaspoons.  The fresh thyme imparts such an incredibly good flavor, though, that if you can manage it, it is definitely worth the time and effort.

Remove the skin from the sweet potatoes and mash the pulp to desired consistency.  Add salt, pepper, and thyme/garlic oil mixture. Mix until well combined. These refrigerate well so they are a great dish to make a day before your holiday event. Simply warm them up in the microwave. Then be prepared to share the recipe!

Nutrition per serving:  
Servings per recipe: 4            
Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Calories: 138
Total Fat: 4 g
Cholesterol:  0 mg
Sodium:  332 mg
Total Carbs: 25 g
Dietary Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 3 g

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Beans-Greens & Garlic Dip/Spread/Sauce

Healthy, quick and versatile, besides being yummy!  I made this recipe last fall when I had an abundance of Swiss chard from the garden.  Today, spinach was the green of choice.  Any leafy green would work well, I think.  The versatility also comes in the form of being able to use this as a dip for crackers (or raw vegetables for those of you who can eat them) or as a sauce for pasta, or as a spread on bread.  Pzazz!  It tastes so creamy that you will be convinced it is fat-laden, but not a bit of fat can be found in it.  

1 (15 oz.) can Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed, but reserve the  fluid
  (the better alternative would be to cook your own beans and save the liquid. I was lazy.)
1 cup fresh spinach, torn into bite size pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
dash of salt and freshly ground pepper
splash of lemon juice

Put the beans, the spinach, and the garlic in the Magic Bullet.  To make it as a dip, put in about 1/4 cup of the reserved fluid. To use it as a pasta sauce, thin with about 1/4 cup more reserved liquid. Whirl away to desired consistency.  Add a dash of sea salt and freshly ground pepper, and splash of lemon juice.  

Other spices that might be good to try would be a dash of cayenne pepper, or rosemary, or let your imagination run wild.   Running wild sounds fun, doesn't it!! 

Servings per recipe: 5
Serving Size: 1/4 cup
Calories: 72
Total Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 103 mg
Total Carbs: 14 g
Dietary Fiber: 4 g
Protein: 5 g

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Creamy Black Bean Soup

Creamy Black Bean Soup
I originally found this incredibly easy pureed black bean soup recipe on Spark People, which is the site I use to calculate nutritional information for most of my recipes.  Then I also saw the recipe on the side of a can of black beans.  This is the easiest, quickest black bean soup recipe I have ever seen, taking a maximum of 10 minutes to make.  If you are still tired from preparing your Thanksgiving feast and starting to do some baking or cooking for Christmas, this quick and delicious and nutritious soup is a lifesaver!   Pzazz for sure! Of course, you can vary the type of salsa you use for variety, too.  

1 (15.5 oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup salsa

Put all ingredients in a Magic Bullet or similar device and puree to desired consistency, making in into a "creamy" black bean soup.  Ladle single serving into a bowl and heat in the microwave. Stir in a squirt of lime juice. Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley, and/or a dollop of yogurt. I used parsley and goat yogurt and it was yummy!!

Nutrition per serving:
Servings per recipe: 2
Serving Size: 1 1/4 cup
Calories: 200
Total Fat: 1 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 954 mg
Total Carbs: 43 g
Dietary Fiber: 11 g
Protein: 14 g