Friday, February 27, 2009

Recipe Week

Whew! Busy week... I am very glad to be home on the couch this Friday night. For some reason, this week was full of cooking. Tuesday's campus bake sale was a success, and since my pumpkin bread got such rave reviews, I figured I'd post the recipe. (I post for selfish reasons too-- I'd love to dispel the myth that I cannot bake. It's not me! It's my ancient oven!)

And speaking of recipes, I also promised two classmates the recipe for my newly created Tuna Bruchetta. I am especially proud of myself for this one. Anyone who knows me knows I have a tough time eating fish. Definitely not one of my fave foods. But I made a New Year's resolution and I'm stickin' to it. This dish totally got the cat excited, as she is a "tunatarian."

Cranberry Chocolate Pumpkin Bread
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup all purpose white flour
1/2 cup Splenda (or plain sugar if you're not keen on sweetners)
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 1/4 tsps baking powder
1 1/2 tsps cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 tsp nutmeg

1 whole egg
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 and spray a 9x5 loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. In a big bowl, combine flours, sugars, baking powder, spices and salt. Whisk to combine. In a separate bowl, lightly beat egg, egg whites and vanilla until combined. Add pumkin; stir to combine. Add the pumkin mixture to your dry ingredients, and stir lightly until just blended. Fold in cranberries and chips. Spoon into loaf pan. Be sure batter is even across the top-- use a spatula if it needs smoothing. Bake for 50 minutes until top of loaf is firm to the touch. Cool and slice into 8 slices. Enjoy! Each slice is about 150 calories, and loaded with vitamin A.

Tuna Bruchetta
1/2 loaf italian bread, bruchetta sized
olive oil
2 tsps grated parmaesan reggiano cheese

1 pouch vacuum packed albacore tuna (or 1 can water packed tuna, drained)
1 cup italian style stewed tomatoes, drained well and diced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 Tbsp capers, chopped
salt and pepper

Preheat broiler. Slice bread into 6 evenly sized slices and discard heel. Lay bread on broiler pan and drizzle or spray with olive oil, then sprinkle with cheese. Broil until bread is toasted and cheese is slightly brown and bubbly, about 2 minutes. In a medium bowl, combine tuna, tomatoes, lemon juice and capers. Mix well and break up with a fork. Season with salt and pepper. Top toasts with tuna mixture and serve. Great with simple salad greens dressed with oil and vinegar.

As if two new recipes weren't enough on the new food scene, my husband's coworker sent him home with a persimmon Monday! I have never tasted one, and it's been ripening on the counter all week. Can't wait to taste this little orange wonder tomorow.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

In the Weeds

So, 4 weeks into the semester and I promise you all, I am keeping busy! This week I am especially pressed for time between 2 papers and a midterm exam. Nonetheless, I have carved out some time to give a blog update (read: I am procrastinating editing my paper...)

So, a few updates on class. I decided on a research topic, and it has nothing to do with desserts or cafeterias in the workplace. Instead, I was approached by a professor to work on a current "real" research project she began a few years ago. I will be measuring attitudes in the workplace towards breastfeeding. Odd? Perhaps. Not exactly something I have experience with? For sure. Totally awesome that I get to work on a really dynamic and engaging project with a super cool Professor? Yes! Oh, and I will eventually get to see my name in lights and be famous as a published researcher. Or at least see my name in the American Journal of Lactation. Admit it... you ALL subscribe and read this monthly.

Other class updates... thank you to my newly co-habitating friends who agreed to be interviewed now that they are cooking for two. When you moved in with your partner, did you struggle with portion control at mealtimes? Did you experience lack of willpower or get annoyed because he/she could eat more than you? Relax... my research is showing that's normal. And we'll be designing an educational program that addresses these concerns (and hopefully helps resolve them, too.)

Did you know irradiated food is safe? Did you know pesticides are water soluable, so be sure to rinse your fruits and veggies? Did you know you can cut the mold off hard cheeses and they'll be ok (Stay a while, cheddar...) but that once a soft cheese gets moldy, you should toss the whole chunk? (Farewell, dear brie...) All this and more I have learned in my Food Issues class.

Also, I've had the chance to get involved with the Dietetics Student Organization. We are forming a team for the university's Relay for Life, and I'll be walking this year in honor of so many. Please consider making a donation to my team in rememberence or in honor of your loved ones fighting cancer. (Make your check out to the American Cancer Society and mail it to me. Or, stay tuned for an email and donate online)

Finally, a nutrition question that came to me recently... What's the deal with Antioxidents? Should I drink those newfangled juices claiming to be loaded with them? In short, no. Antioxidents are important and play a role in your body's immunity. But a balanced diet full of many colored fruits and veggies, whole grains and lean proteins is still your best bet-- not just for consumption of antioxidents, but for health overall. Juices can have lots of added sugars, so enjoy them in moderation. And skip the sodas and enhanced water beverages. Junk food is still junk food, even with added antioxidents. Best bets to get antioxidents in your diet? Blueberries, cranberries, blackberries or any other dark red or purple fruit (Think plums, pomogranites and cherries). Beans, artichokes and pecans also rank high on the list. Still looking for something to drink rather than eat? Try a cup of green tea.