Betty Wedman-St Louis, PhD, RD, LD

Licensed Nutritionist & Environmental Health Specialist

Archive for the ‘garlic’ tag

Watercress Salad

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Watercress SaladDespite how North Americans may classify them, weeds like watercress can be healthy and can offer medicinal properties. In fact, watercress is listed as an aphrodisiac in Dioscorides’ De Materia Medica from 77 A.D. Ancient Egyptians knew its benefits before it spread to Europe and Asia.

According to Food Plants of the World by Ben-Erik van Wyk, Persians, Greeks and Romans used watercress as a medicine, eating the leaves raw in salads and on sandwiches. Asian recipes often add watercress to soups and sautes.

Young watercress leaves and stems have a piquant, somewhat peppery flavor that adds zest to the rich complement of vitamins and minerals: vitamin C, folate, magnesium and iron. It is the best vegetable source of omega-3 fatty acids for reducing inflammation.

Watercress’ medicinal uses have expanded through the years. Ancient cultures employed it as a digestive stimulant and tonic, as well as an anemia remedy. Externally, Matthew Biggs, Jekka McVicar and Bob Flowerdew write in Vegetables, Herbs & Fruit, it served as a hair tonic and was used on skin to remove rashes. Poultices of watercress were used to heal glandular tumors and lymphatic swelling.

Current research is focused on the antiangiogenic cancer-suppressing properties found in this relative of the radish. Watercress’ isothiocyanate compounds make it an excellent plant for juicing by people who want to minimize abnormal cell growth.

To purchase watercress, look in the produce section for a sealed plastic bag with a hydroponically grown cluster of stems and leaves.

You can snip off just enough for mixing into yogurt to serve over grilled salmon.

Or enjoy this vegetable, which has more vitamin K (250mcg in about 3 1/2 ounces) than broccoli (205mcg) and green cabbage (145mcg), according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture database, as I do, in a watercress salad that tantalizes the taste buds.

Watercress Salad

2 to 3 cups watercress
2 cups broccoli florets
1 small garlic clove, minced
1/3 cup chopped scallion or onion
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dried juice-sweetened cranberries

Trim thick stems off watercress and chop into bite-sized pieces. Steam broccoli florets just until crisp. Cool. Combine garlic, scallion, vinegar and olive oil in a small bowl. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes for flavors to blend. Toss watercress, broccoli and vinegar mixture together. Top with cranberries.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 34 calories, 1g protein, 5g carbohydrates, 2g fat, 18mg sodium.

Written by PFAdmin

October 19th, 2015 at 3:15 pm

Vegetable Stir Fry

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Vegetable Stir FryThe highlight of the Institute of Food Technology (IFT) meeting in July was meeting Karla Chambers, Vice President of Stahlbush Island Farms. Her book, Farming, Food & Fine Art is filled with easy to prepare fruit and vegetable recipes with full color photos that make your mouth water. A Recipe & Coloring Book – The Color of Nutrition is just what is needed to encourage better eating habits. Both can be ordered from Stahlbush Island Farms at or Amazon.

The IFT conference also featured corn as a whole grain that food processors like Kellogg, Post and Pepperidge Farms will be using in cereal bars, crackers, baby snacks and baking mixes because it is gluten-free.

Stevia plants take too much land for growing this alternative sweetener so Cargill (makers of Truvia) and Evolva, a synthetic biology pioneer will be converting corn into steviol glycosides via a fermentation process that begins with genetically engineered baker’s yeast.

Another low calorie sugar called ” allulose” added excitement for beverage, yogurt, ice cream and baked goods manufacturers. It has the bulk, texture and taste of sugar with no calories and 70% of the sweetness. Whether it can be labeled as “natural” is yet to be decided. Allulose is found in small amounts in some fruits but the manufactured product is produced via the enzymatic conversion of corn, sugar or other materials containing fructose.

Cricket powder was a show stopper. Dr. Aaron Dossey, founder and CEO of bug ingredients and research firm All Things Bug, stated that many producers roast and then grind crickets to make a dark, coarse powder. He grinds crickets for heat-treating them, creating a paler, firmer powder with a more neutral flavor with a shelf life of 12 months that could be used in muffins, pancakes, or protein powders.

Aquatic plants could be the next source of healthy oils according to Mark Brooks, senior vice president of Solazme. Algae oil does not contain trans fats and is a monounsaturated fat like olive oil. It could be used in mayo, salad dressings and fried foods in the future.

Vegetable Stir Fry

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 bag (2 cups) frozen sweet corn
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 bag frozen spinach or 2 packed cups fresh spinach
Toasted sesame seeds
Salt & pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onions. Saute 3 minutes before adding garlic and corn. Saute 5-10 minutes longer until onions are tender. Add red pepper and spinach. Saute until spinach is fully cooked, about 5 minutes. Top with toasted sesame seeds before serving. Makes 4 servings.

One serving = 72 calories
Protein 2 g
Carbohydrates 15g
Fat 3g
Sodium 53 mcg

Written by PFAdmin

October 19th, 2015 at 3:12 pm

Eat Beef for B12

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Grass Fed BeefPlant foods get all the glory these days as we are challenged to stop eating burgers and choose highly processed meat substitutes. But human beings survive by eating other living things. We need to eat those foods that allow us to survive.

Beef is a significant source of Vitamin B 12 or cobalamin which is needed to form blood and immune cells. support a healthy nervous system and stimulate metabolism of proteins, fats and carbohydrates. A Yale University School of Medicine study by Solomon reported in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition June 2015 indicated cobalamin deficiency was common in the elderly and associated with neurocognitive abnormalities.

Another study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 1990 by TUcker et al looked at the biochemical indices of nutrition in healthy people over 60 years old. They correlated the importance of B vitamins- including B12 – with neuropsychological function and concluded that nutrition is critical in the functioning health of the aging brain.

Beef is a far better source of B vitamins than grains or legumes, including fermented soy products. A 3oz serving of beef = 2.51 mcg B12 and 0.08 mg thiamine compared to 1 slice wheat germ bread at 0.02 mcg B12 and 0.1 mg thiamine * or 3 oz chicken at 0.25 mcg B12 and 0.06 mg thiamine (* enrichment with synthetic B vitamins by federal standards).

Grass-fed beef is more expensive because it comes from cattle that eat only grass and other forage foods through out their lives. Conventional beef is fed a diet of grains and other byproducts. USDA standards for grass fed animals require that they must have continuous access to pasture, hay or harvested forage after weaning.

Mayo Clinic outlines the advantages of grass fed beef as less fat, 50% more omega 3 fatty acids than conventional beef, 4 times more CLA or conjugated linoleic acid to reduce the risk of arteriosclerosis and improve lean body mass. Grass fed beef is richer in antioxidants- Vitamins E, A. and C.

Critics of meat eating like to argue that cattle produce methane which contributes to environmental change. Methane emissions are substantially less when cattle are grass fed rather than conventional farming according to the University of Louisiana. Furthermore, the journal Global Change Biology reported animal grazing reduces the need for fertilizer and fuel used by farmers.

Cattle do produce methane but animals in factory farms produce more because they are fed poor quality forage which alters their digestive systems. Before we give up consuming beef, poor needs to be done to manage the higher levels of methane caused from natural gas and petroleum production. These sources of methane do not provide us with key nutrients for daily living.

The important nutrition message is that all eaters can lower their global footprint by following 3 simple rules: avoid processed foods and meat from factory farms, reduce food waste, and buy local in season foods.

Grass Fed Beef with Mango Salsa

1 1/2 to 2 pounds grass fed beef sirloin flap steak
1 ripe mango, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1/4 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Saute Steak in covered skillet over medium heat until desired degree of doneness, 20 minutes for rare, 30 minutes for medium or 45 minutes for well done. Meanwhile, combine rest of ingredients in small bowl and let flavors blend. Salsa can be made ahead for more flavor blending. Makes 6 servings.

Calories per serving 236
Protein 24 g
Carbohydrates 9g
Fat 9g
Sodium 89 mcg

Written by PFAdmin

October 19th, 2015 at 2:50 pm

Seafood = Brain Food

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The secret to immortality comes from the sea according to Shin Kubota at Kyoto University. He tends jellyfish and reports they contain apoaequorin- a protein proven to support brain function like memory and learning.

Japan has the world’s oldest population and also enjoys the culinary delights of sea cucumbers and sea urchins. Both of these marine species are able to change the elasticity of collagen within their bodies so researchers are considering they may hold the key to maintaining youthful skin in humans, according to Professor Maurice Elphick in General and Comparative Endocrinology. Peptides within these echinoderms cause rapid stiffening and softening of the collagen in their cell walls which may provide the secret to preventing wrinkles.

Most Americans have become aware of omega 3 fatty acids from seafood sources like wild Alaskan salmon, but few realize that it also contains a healthy dose of astraxanthin to support the cardiovascular system and joint health. Findings reported in Atherosclerosis recommend daily supplementation of 0.5 to 4.5 grams omega 3 fatty acids to improve a blood vessel’s ability to relax. Higher doses were not effective.

We need to start looking to other sources for marine-based fatty acids and minerals in the diet. In December 2012, the New York Times featured a whelk and potato chowder on the front page of the food section. Whelks are a by-catch of the fishing industry that can be boiled in salt water and served as an Atlantic sea snail with garlic butter. Whelks, conchs, and murexes contain concentrated amino acids which have been enjoyed by other cultures to boost libido, increase energy, and improve muscle tone.

To get in the spirit of enjoying the fruits of the sea, try a classic dish called Bouillabaisse or fish soup. It is more of a stew than a soup which originally was cooked on the beach by fishermen using any of their catch that had little market value. Today, Bouillabaisse can be found on some seafood restaurant menus featuring tomatoes, potatoes, onions and saffron to complement an assortment of seafood choices. It fits into the MIND diet (Mediterranean Intervention Neurodegenerative Delay) and the DASH diet (Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension). Fish and seafood really is brain food. Try adding various assortments of seafood to this recipe for a quick and tasty meal.


1 small onion or leek, chopped
1 small garlic clove, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 ripe tomatoes, chopped
3 cups water or fish stock
1 teaspoon tomato paste
Large pinch of saffron
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves or 1 fresh sprig
1 1/2 pounds fish, cut into bite-size chunks
2 potatoes, peeled & sliced thin
Salt & pepper to taste

Saute onion and garlic in oil. Add tomatoes, water, tomato paste, saffron, bay leaf and thyme. Cook until tomatoes are soft. Add fish and potatoes. Simmer until fish and potatoes are tender, 8 to 10 minutes over low heat. Season to taste. Makes 4 servings.

Calories per serving 246
Protein 24g
Carbohydrates 13g
Fat 4g
Sodium 232mcg (No salt added)

Written by PFAdmin

September 28th, 2015 at 3:03 pm

Bison Basil Garlic Burgers

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Bison Burger1 pound ground bison
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 egg
1 teaspoon mustard

Combine all ingredients and shape into 4 burgers. Cook in skillet over medium heat until patties are desired doneness. Serve hot with favorite accompaniments. Makes 4 servings.

One 3 oz cooked burger = 159 calories
Protein 35g
Carbohydrates 0
Fat 3g

Written by PFAdmin

September 28th, 2015 at 2:57 pm