Pork Chops and Apple Salad

By Laura Cipullo, RD, CDE

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Straight from my Diabetes Comfort Food Diet Cookbook, I’m excited to share this recipe for refreshing pork chops and Apple salad. Perfect for the end of summer and upcoming apple season this fall!

Ingredients

For Apple Salad:

2 tbsp (30mL) balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp (15mL) Dijon mustard

2 apples, finely sliced, lengthwise

1 head Bibb lettuce, chopped

2 (500mL) cups spinach

1 stalk celery, sliced

1/2 onion sliced

1/4 cup (60mL) crumbled, reduced-fat blue cheese

For Pork Chops:

4 bone-in pork loin chops (each 6oz/175g)

1/8 tsp (.5mL) salt

1 tbsp (15mL) chopped, fresh thyme (or 1tsp/5g dried)

1 clove garlic, minced

Directions

For Apple Salad:

In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar and mustard. Add apples, lettuce, spinach, celery and onion. Toss to coat. Sprinkle with blue cheese, set aside.

For Pork Chops:

Season each pork chop with salt, thyme and garlic. Heat a large skillet with cooking spray over medium heat. Cook the pork chops for 8 minutes, turning once or until lightly browned and a thermometer inserted in the center of the chop reads 145F and the juices run clear. Serve with the apple salad.

Enjoy!

It Takes a Village – And Then Some!

It Takes a Village – And Then Some!

by Erica Leon, MS, RDN, CDN

While not easy, I somehow launched my children into college and beyond. With fellow empty-nester friends who are also health professionals and moms—one a nurse, one a psychologist—I took a walk down memory lane. We reflected on teaching children good self-care, particularly when they have health concerns related to food.

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Peanut Allergy:

Carpooling was challenging enough, but when I thought three-year-old Thomas had shared my son’s peanut rice cakes, I panicked! Thomas was severely allergic to peanuts as well as tree nuts. Still parked at the nursery school, I hoisted Thomas like a football, screamed for the teachers, and rinsed his mouth, hoping I did not have to administer his EpiPen. He never ate any of the rice cakes, but I learned a valuable lesson on scrutinizing food items when you have or care for a child with allergies!

According to Hildie Kalish, RN, an elementary school nurse whose child has a severe nut allergy, “Keep your child safe by constantly checking and then rechecking ingredients in food products. Never assume an item is safe as it is not uncommon for food manufacturers to change ingredients or processing techniques. As soon as children are old enough to understand, teach them to read labels and avoid sharing food with other kids. When they are responsible enough, have them carry Benadryl and their own Epi-pen or Auvi-Q, and make sure they know how to use them.”

Dehydration:

My nutritional skills were put to the test when I rescued ten-year-old Luke, my son’s friend, who was dizzy from playing baseball in the summer heat. Driving up with hydrating sports beverages and a mom’s wisdom, I remembered that Luke had an endocrine condition that made dehydration particularly dangerous. When a child exercises, their muscles generate heat, which in turn raises body temperature. The body cools itself through sweating, which must be replaced by fluid or the body will overheat.

Dehydration is more common in children, and young athletes are particularly prone to dehydration. Encourage your young athlete to drink fluids before, during, and after sports to prevent heat-related illnesses. Recommend fluid-rich foods such as fruits and vegetables and have your youngster carry a water bottle and drink a sports beverage when his/her physical activity level exceeds one hour.

Celiac:

I became a celiac expert when Rachel, a good friend of my daughter’s, was diagnosed. From that day forward, I stocked my cabinets with gluten-free items and helped her mom educate other parents about which foods to keep on hand for play dates.

 Merle Keitel, Ph.D, counseling psychologist and parent of a child with celiac, says,

“It is important to establish a support system that is aware of your child’s dietary restrictions and has food on hand that your child can eat if at their homes for an extended period of time.  In the case of celiac, fruits and vegetables work but if other children are having sweets, it is helpful for there to be chocolate or other gluten-free sweets so the child does not feel cheated and self conscious about being ‘different.’ Friends and extended family who are educated and willing to help can be a gift to the child with special dietary needs.”

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These real-life scenarios portray what can happen when a child has a chronic health condition. Says Kalish, “At school I work with families of kids newly diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I always say that education is key. I see parents overcompensating with extra treats for fear that their child will feel deprived. Diabetic children do not need extra treats. It is important to treat them like any other child and learn the merits of a healthy balanced diet with plenty of ‘everyday’ foods and occasional ‘sometimes’ foods.”

While we can try to protect our children from all types of threats, educating your child, caregivers, schools, and trusted friends about a chronic health condition is essential. Allow your child to take the reigns and manage his/her own health as soon as he/she are emotionally and intellectually ready. We want our kids to remember the lessons that we teach them at home, as they will eventually leave the nest.

Parmesan Chicken Fingers

With the Super Bowl this Sunday, we’re sure you are busy preparing for your Super Bowl party.  We thought these Parmesan Chicken Fingers, from Laura’s, “The Diabetes Comfort Food Cookbook“, which are  diabetes-friendly, kid-friendly, and Super Bowl friendly would be the perfect addition .  Your guests are sure to feel satisfied with this delicious dish!

Parmesan Chicken Fingers

Makes 4 Servings

 Ingredients:

  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast tenderloins
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • ¾ cup bran flakes cereal, finely crushed
  • 1/3  cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 ½ tablespoons ground flaxseeds
  • 1 teaspoon of dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder

 

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.  Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Season the chicken with pepper.
  3. Whisk the egg whites in a shallow bowl.  Combine the crushed bran flakes, cheese, flaxseeds, basil, and garlic powder on a plate.
  4. Dip the chicken tenderloins into the egg, shaking off any excess, and toss in the bran flake mixture.  Place on the prepared baking sheet.  Bake for 12 minutes, or until no longer pink and the juice run clear.

Sun-Dried Tomato Polenta

The weather is certainly warming up here in NYC and we just love it! My family and I can finally spend more time outdoors and I can try new recipes perfect for Spring. When the weather warms up, I love to use herbs like fresh basil. It adds such a fresh flavor. When I was reading the Diabetes Forecast Magazine and saw their Polenta recipe, I thought that basil would be a great addition to it. So here’s an adapted recipe for a deliciously fresh Sun-Dried Tomato Polenta.

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Sun-Dried Tomato Polenta
Serves 4

 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of water
  • ½ cup of coarse ground yellow polenta or cornmeal (do not use instant)
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped rehydrated sun-dried tomatoes (not oil-packed)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp of chopped basil
  • ½ tsp sea salt

 

Method

  1. In a 1-quart saucepan, bring the water to a boil.  Slowly add the polenta in a thin, steady stream, whisking constantly.
  2. Continue to whisk or stir with a long-handled wooden spoon over medium heat for 10-15 minutes, until mixture looks creamy.
  3. Once mixture is creamy, remove saucepan from the heat and add the remaining ingredients (sundried-tomatoes, olive oil, shredded Parmesan cheese, chopped basil, and salt).
  4. Mix well and serve immediately.

 

This recipe was adapted from the Diabetes Forecast Magazine.