SWEET POTATO VEGETABLE SOUP

The north wind is a howling on this cold blustery evening.  A foot of fresh snow blows around during yet another January blizzard here in Minnesota.  It was the perfect weather to cook up a crock pot of hot soup to enjoy on this cold day. I made a pre-blizzard grocery run to pick up my soup ingredients on Sunday. As I glanced out of my kitchen window to watch the big fluffy snowflakes fall, I chopped up my vegetables and boiled my chicken and sweet potatoes on my stove. I let my mind wander and  thought of palm trees blowing in a gentle breeze by a beautiful blue ocean and heard the waves crashing into shore. Reality check, I heard the snow plow drive by and realized that I was back in my warm cozy kitchen preparing soup. A girl can dream can’t  she.

Sweet Potato Vegetable Soup

 

Serve with a glass of red wine or sparkling cranberry juice.

I love sweet potatoes so I wanted to include these in my chicken soup. I usually add egg noodles  to my chicken vegetable soup but I decided to swap those out in favor of sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes have enjoyed a superfood status due to their abundant supply of  nutrients which include Vitamin B6, folate, Vitamin C, potassium and manganese. They are especially high in beta-carotene which is the pigment responsible for giving  them their vibrant orange color. These nutrients in the sweet potato promote good vision, enhance immunity and help boost brain function. The high fiber content also has a very filling effect and increases satiey. The other vegetables in this soup are equally nutritious as well. People who frequently consume healthy soups containing lean protein sources such as chicken breast as an example, low sodium broths and a variety of vegetables tend to  be leaner as well as consume more nutrients when the soups are served as a main dish or as a first course to a meal.  Plan to serve a green salad and some fresh fruit with your soup  and you have yourself a very healthy and easy meal.

I enjoy collecting vintage china, tea pots, antiques and bird houses which add a decorative touch to our home.

SWEET POTATO VEGETABLE SOUP
Author: 
Recipe type: soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1.5 pounds chicken breast or thighs, skinned, cooked and diced
  • 3 large sweet potatoes, cooked, peeled and diced
  • 1.5 cups chopped cabbage
  • 1 cup diced red peppers
  • 12 oz bag of frozen stir fry vegetables
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 medium sliced onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic and herb flavored Mrs. Dash
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp ground sea salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 TB olive oil
  • 2 cups water from boiled sweet potatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth from cooking chicken in or low sodium brand
  • Remove all of the skin and fat from the chicken breasts or thighs. Boil chicken in water in a large pan on the stove until tender. Drain chicken, reserving 3 cups of broth. Refrigerate the broth and wait for the fat to harden on the top and skim all fat from the reserved broth. Boil the sweet potatoes in water and cook until tender. Peel the sweet potatoes. Reserve 2 cups of this broth for the soup. Add chicken broth, sweet potato broth and chicken to a large crock pot and turn on high setting. Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan and saute the chopped cabbage, onion, celery, garlic, peppers and mushrooms until tender. Place this mixture along with the bag of frozen stir fry vegetables and all of the seasonings in the crock pot. Cook on the high setting for at least 2 hours until all the vegetables are tender and serve.
Notes
Information in this food blog is not intended to to provide medical advice. Please contact your personal health care professional for medical and nutritional advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/ 12 of recipe Calories: 95 Fat: 1 gram Saturated fat: 0 mg Unsaturated fat: 0 mg Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 11 grams Sodium: 201 mg Fiber: 3 grams Protein: 8 grams Cholesterol: 20 mg

 

This makes a large batch of soup so you can enjoy eating this for a few days or freeze the leftover soup and reheat again when you are in the mood for a hearty soup. If you prefer, you can omit the meat and you will have a vegetarian meal. For a vegan meal, use vegetable broth in place of the chicken broth in your recipe. Enjoy and stay warm out there!

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes. I love to spend time out on the lake canoeing and boating each summer. I prefer to sit by the warm fireplace with a mug of hot cider and look out at the frozen lake watching the snow mobilers and ice fisherman in the winter months.

CRUNCHY GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE

Green bean casserole is my go to recipe for a quick side dish at meal time. You can easily prepare this at the last minute after work or even prepare this in advance before you go to work and place in your casserole dish. Refrigerate it and bake in the oven or microwave the prepared casserole after you get home from work. It is an easy dish to bring to those potlucks as well. I remember that my aunt used to bring this casserole to our family holiday celebrations.

CRUNCHY GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 12 oz packages of frozen green beans
  • 1 8 oz can of drained, sliced water chestnuts
  • 1 cup of fresh sliced mushrooms
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 10.5 oz can reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup
  • 1½ cups whole walnuts
  • 1 tsp. Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper or Garlic and Herb Seasoning Mix
Instructions
  1. Saute the sliced fresh mushrooms in the olive oil in a small frying pan. Oil or spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Add the 2 packages of frozen green beans, mushrooms, water chestnuts, Mrs. Dash and reduced sodium cream soup or 1½ cups of the cashew white sauce (see recipe below in my blog) to a large bowl. Stir all the ingredients together and place this mixture in a casserole dish. Top the green bean casserole with the whole walnuts. Bake in a preheated oven uncovered at 350 degrees for 50 minutes or microwave in a glass covered casserole dish for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve immediately.
Notes
Recipe nutritional information per serving has been calculated using the reduced sodium cream of mushroom soup.

This food blog is not intended to provided medical advice. Contact your personal health care provider for medical and/or nutritional advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅛ recipe Calories: 212 Fat: 15 g Saturated fat: 2 grams Trans fat: 0 mg Carbohydrates: 15 grams Sodium: 140 mg Fiber: 4 grams Protein: 5 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

The original version of this recipe calls for a can of french fried onion rings as a topping but I wanted to change it up a bit so I used whole walnuts as an appealing and healthy alternative to top it off. I also wanted to add some crunch for a different texture so I added some water chestnuts to the recipe.If you would like to make a main dish out of this casserole, add 1 1/2 cups of cooked sliced chicken, turkey breast or angus beef. This casserole is a good source of dietary fiber, copper, magnesium  and manganese.

Last but not least, I added some sauteed mushrooms since they are a favorite vegetable at our house. I use a homemade white sauce or reduced sodium version of cream soups when my recipes call for a cream soup of some kind. In order to add some extra flair and flavor when reducing sodium in your recipes you can add other sodium free seasonings such as Mrs. Dash or experiment with garlic powder, cumin, Italian seasoning, turmeric or curry powder in your recipes. If you prefer to use a white sauce in place of the reduced sodium canned soup, refer to your cookbook or google a recipe online. The typical recipe usually calls for milk, flour and butter. If you would prefer a non-dairy vegan white sauce, I found a recipe for five minute cashew sauce at A Pinch of Yum food blog which looks very good. Recipe for Five Minute Cashew Sauce: 2 cups cashews, 1 1/4 cup water or broth, 1-2 cloves garlic 1 tsp salt (use less if desired) Directions: Place cashews in a bowl. Cover with water or broth and soak for about 2 hours. Drain and rinse thoroughly. Place soaked cashews in a food processor or blender with the 1 1/4 cups broth or water, garlic and salt. Puree until very smooth in consistency. Makes approximately 2 cups. Add 1  to 1 1/2 cups of this to the casserole mixture in place of the canned cream soup.

Crunchy Green Bean Casserole

I did prepare this casserole for one of my family Christmas celebrations as the picture above shows.

 

 

 

PALEO CHOCOLATE ALMOND TRUFFLES

Just a few more days until Christmas is here! I celebrated Christmas with family members two weeks ago and have another family Christmas celebration this weekend. I really do enjoy preparing favorite old family Christmas recipes this time of year as well as trying new recipes. Some family members as well as friends follow a Paleo food plan so I decided to experiment in my kitchen recently and prepare a Chocolate Avocado Truffle recipe that I found on Dr. Mercola’s website. In order to make the recipe go farther, I added an extra half of  an avocado and swapped out the vanilla extract that his recipe called for and decided to use almond extract since I like the flavor of the almond extract with chocolate. In order to thicken up this recipe, I added some ground flaxseed, crushed walnuts and chia seeds. Everyone needs some dark chocolate  to keep them going this time of year. This recipe calls for  raw cacao powder. This was not available at my local grocery store. It can be purchased or ordered at most food coops. I was running behind on my Christmas food preparation so I decided to opt to use the next best thing, the Hershey’s dark cacao powder. Raw cacao powder is made by cold pressing unroasted cocoa beans which keeps the living enzymes in the cocoa but removes the fat.  The dark chocolate 100% dark cocao  powder may be beneficial in lowering LDL cholesterol, reduce the risk of blood clots, increase blood flow to the arteries, help reduce blood pressure and improve cognitive function if consumed on a consistent basis according to some research studies. The avocado in the recipe is an excellent source of monounsaturated fat as well as a good source of folate, vitamins B6, E and C, potassium and fiber. Coconut oil which this recipe contains as well, may also play a role in improving cognitive function according to some new research on this fat.

Paleo Chocolate Almond Truffles

 

PALEO CHOCOLATE ALMOND TRUFFLES
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ medium ripe avocados
  • 1 cup Hersheys 100% cacao special dark dry cocoa, (unsweetened powder) or 1 cup raw (dry)organic cacao powder
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 2 TB melted coconut oil
  • 3 TB regular or organic honey
  • 2 drops liquid stevia or 2 packets dry stevia
  • 2 TB chia seeds
  • 2 Tb ground flaxseed
  • ⅓ cup crushed walnuts (pecans or almonds may be substituted)
Instructions
  1. Peel and scoop avocado out of its shell and place in a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer, beat the avocado until it is smooth in consistency. Melt the coconut oil in a small pan over low heat on your stove or microwave. Add the melted coconut oil, almond extract,honey and stevia to the avocado mixture. Next, add the cocoa powder gradually ¼ cup at a time to the mixture and stir or beat in well with a hand mixer on low speed. Add the chia seeds and ground flaxseed to this mixture and stir in until well combined. Add the crushed walnuts to the mixture and mix thoroughly. Place the mixture into the freezer for 15 minutes. Remove from freezer and using a small cookie dough scoop, scoop the mixture out and roll into balls. if desired dust with powdered sugar. Refrigerate or freeze until serving time. If you freeze them, take the truffles out of the freezer, 10 minutes prior to serving time.
Notes
One serving ( one truffle) counts as 1 carbohydrate choice on a diabetes carbohydrate counting meal plan. If you would like to lower the carbohydrate content further in this recipe, experiment with reducing the amount of honey in the recipe and adding some additional stevia.

This food blog is not intended to provide medical advice to people. Please contact your own health care professional for personal medical and nutritional advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 truffle Calories: 162 Fat: 12 grams Saturated fat: 4 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 14 grams Sodium: 75 mg Fiber: 4 grams Protein: 3 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

We really enjoy taking some evening car cruises to view  all of the beautiful Christmas lights displayed on houses, churches and in parks this time of year. We took a trip to the Kiwanis Holiday Lights display in Mankato, Minnesota a few weeks ago. I am including some pictures of this fun and fabulous lights display. You can drive through the park or park your car and walk through the display on lighted trails at the park. Santa also visits the park. Hot chocolate as well as horse drawn sleigh rides are offered too.

Kiwanis Holiday Light display, Mankato, Mn.

Well aside from all the health benefits, my family and friends found this chocolate truffle to be delicious. Joining together with family and friends around  the Christmas tree enjoying favorite traditional family holiday foods and and trying new foods as well is what this season is all about. This is the time of year that the birth of Jesus Christ is celebrated as well. Our church and many others offer Christmas services where we sing along to favorite Christmas carols. There always seems to be hot apple cider and holiday goodies after the services. Enjoy your family traditions this time of year, eat your favorite foods in moderation, bring along a healthy dish to pass such as a fresh fruit basket or veggie platter. Plan to go for a walk in the mall or around your neighborhood as a family to stay healthy this time of year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Remember Jesus is the reason for the season! Below are some favorite family photos of our Christmas celebration.

ACORN SQUASH WITH WILD RICE STUFFING

I can certainly feel a chill in the air here in Minnesota. Most of my fall gardening projects are done now and my rosebushes are covered to protect them in anticipation for those long winter months ahead. This is the time of year that I love to spend time in my warm cozy kitchen preparing  recipes using the squash that I  harvested from my garden that we planted last summer. Squash tend to keep very well long after they have been harvested so we can enjoy them in the cold months ahead of us.

Serve with fresh fruit and a kale salad for a delicious and nutritious meal.

Wild rice is also grown and harvested in northern Minnesota.  I recently decided to prepare a delicious main meal that incorporates both the wild rice and acorn squash. I served the Acorn Squash with Wild Rice for lunch recently on one of those cool days and we really enjoyed the taste and texture of this meal. My husband and I are also very nutrition conscious  and we enjoyed the meal for it’s awesome health benefits as well.

Serve with a glass of sparkling cranberry, grape or pomegranate juice or red wine.

Acorn squash is an excellent source of immune supportive Vitamins A  and C. It is also a good dietary source of potassium, manganese, copper, niacin, folate, thiamine and Vitamin B6. Just a 1/2 cup of cooked acorn squash provides 20% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) or daily value(DV) of Vitamin C for healthy adults as well as 4 grams of fiber.  The B vitamins which include niacin, thiamine, riboflavin, folic acid, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 help to maintain a healthy metabolism, nerve function, adrenal function, liver function and are also valuable to skin and eye health. The B vitamins help the body convert food (carbohydrates) into fuel (glucose) which is used to produce energy in our bodies. The B vitamins also help the body metabolize fats and protein.

ACORN SQUASH WITH WILD RICE STUFFING
Author: 
Recipe type: Main Dish or Side Dish
Cuisine: Regular, Vegetarian or Vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 3 medium acorn squash, (approximately 1½ pounds each) halved lengthwise with the seeds removed
  • 3 TB olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 2 TB pure maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup celery stalks, finely chopped
  • ¾ cup finely chopped mushrooms
  • 1 tsp thyme seasoning
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups cooked wild rice (prepare on your stove or in a rice cooker)
  • ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • ⅓ cup chopped dried cranberries,
Instructions
  1. Heat your oven to 450 degrees F. Place the squash cut side up on a baking sheet. Brush the squash with 1 TB melted coconut oil or olive oil on the inside of the squash halves .Add 1 tsp of pure maple syrup to each squash half. Sprinkle ground cinnamon on each squash half. Roast squash in the oven or approximately 40-50 minutes or until the squash is tender. If desired, you may microwave the squash until tender, ( approximately 18-20 minutes per 2 squash halves).
  2. Place 2 TB of melted coconut or olive oil in a large frying pan and saute the chopped onions, garlic, mushrooms and celery until they are softened which may take about 5 minutes. Add the thyme and black pepper to this mixture and stir well. Add the cooked wild rice, dried cranberries and chopped walnuts to the vegetable mixture in the frying pan and gently fold in. Continue heating until the mixture is warmed through, approximately 3-5 minutes .Remove the frying pan from heat source.
  3. After you have removed your cooked squash from the oven, add the wild rice filling mixture to each squash half. Serve immediately
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ⅙ th recipe Calories: 375 Fat: 14 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 62 grams Sodium: 27 mg Fiber: 6 grams Protein: 7 grams Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

Acorn squash and wild rice are also  very good sources of dietary fiber. One half cup of cooked accorn squash provides 4.5 grams of fiber. One cup of cooked wild rice provides 3 grams of fiber. According to Web MD, the average American consumes 15 grams of fiber per day. The Institute of Medicine recommends that healthy women consume 25 grams of fiber per day and healthy men consume 38 grams per day. Some people may need to limit dietary fiber for certain medical conditions so please consult your family physician or your personal registered dietitian for guidelines concerning this.

Wild rice is a good source of protein, folate, manganese, zinc, phosphorous, niacin, Vitamin B6 and magnesium. Most Americans tend to fall short of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) or daily value (DV) for magnesium. One cup of cooked wild rice supplies 13% of the daily value or ( RDA) for magnesium , 7% of the daily value or (RDA) for iron and 6.5 grams of protein. I love the taste and texture of wild rice, not to mention all of the nutritional benefits of this grain.

This recipe would be a delicious addition to your Thanksgiving menu.

Vintage Canned Foods found by my mother in her attic

My food blog Vintage Nutrition Kitchen is inspired by many of the vintage china and serving bowls, platters, glassware and goblets that were passed on to me by my mother, grandmother and great aunt. I found that I was letting these unique and beautiful items sit in my china cabinet admired, but unused. When I began writing this food blog, I wanted to use these precious family treasures as serving dishes for my food blog creations. I also love to collect and display vintage kitchen gadgets in my cozy country themed kitchen. My mother was exploring the attic of our century old home when I was a child and she found the vintage food cans pictured above. She cleaned them off and she shellaced the cans to preserve the finish on them. I have them proudly displayed in a china cabinet in my living room. She certainly had a knack for finding old things. She was digging in our garden of the home that I grew up in and ended up finding a century old nickel that time. As I grow older, I am finding that I appreciate those memories more and more.

Minneopa State Park, Mankato, MN

 

Fall is certainly one of my favorite seasons here in the midwest. Although it gets very cold here during the winter months, we are blessed to be able to enjoy four different and colorful seasons. My husband, mother in law and myself took a fall leaf tour near Mankato, Minnesota a few weeks ago and I am including some of the beautiful pictures that I snapped that day.

Seven Mile Park, near Mankato Mn

 

I admit that I took a little break from my food blog  and plan to publish my food blog Vintage Nutrition Kitchen monthly in the future. So far this has been a very enjoyable and relaxing hobby for me. I may end up changing and shortening my food blog domain slightly  so that it is compatible  with Twitter.  I will keep my readers posted of any changes. Have a  wonderful Thanksgiving!

 

Farm-Fresh feed.png

CHERRY & CHIA FROZEN SMOOTHIE

February is the time of year that we celebrate romance and love with Valentine’s Day as well as encourage people to engage in heart healthy lifestyle habits during American Heart Association month. The combination of sweet and juicy cherries along with chia seeds in this frozen smoothie serves as a  nutritious yet delicious Valentine’s Day treat or even a quick breakfast on the go.

Chia Cherry Frozen Smoothie

CHERRY & CHIA FROZEN SMOOTHIE
Author: 
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups frozen unsweetened cherries
  • ½ cup 1% milk or non-dairy milk such as almond, soy or cashew milk
  • 2 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp pure almond extract
  • 2 tsp stevia
  • 1 cup vanilla bean or cherry flavor frozen yogurt or non-dairy frozen dessert (example So Delicious or Tofutti brands)
Instructions
  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and well combined. Serve immediately.
  2. Substitute the non-dairy milk and non-dairy frozen dessert if desired to prepare a non-dairy or Paleo friendly smoothie.
Notes
If desired, you may substitute 1 cup Greek non-fat yogurt in place of the frozen yogurt. Nutrition Information per serving: 152 calories, 3 grams fat, 1 gram Sat. fat, 2 grams Unsat. fat, 8 mg cholesterol, 19 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams dietary fiber, 15 grams protein,0 grams trans fats

Nutrition information in this food blog is not intended to provide medical advice. Consult your personal health care provider for medical advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: ½ recipe Calories: 243 Fat: 4 grams Saturated fat: 2 grams Unsaturated fat: 2 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 43 grams Sodium: 90 mg Fiber: 3 grams Protein: 6 grams Cholesterol: 18 mg

 

Cherries are nutritional superstars which provide powerful antioxidants that fight disease causing free radicals in our body and they also have anti-inflammatory properties as well. Research done at the University of Michigan suggests that tart cherries provide cardiovascular benefit and can reduce the risk of stroke. They are sweet and tart in taste and an excellent source of fiber as well as a good source of potassium and Vitamin C in the diet. One cup contains only 87 calories. Cherries are delicious to snack on and you can add them to salads, muffins, quick breads, smoothies or to a bowl of hot or cold cereal in the morning.

Chia seeds can be added to smoothies, yogurt or hot cereals and taste great in puddings. They naturally gel or thicken liquid foods. Chia seeds have been a staple in Mayan and Aztec diets for centuries and recently gained popularity as a nutritional staple in the United States in the last ten years. Chia seeds come from salvia, a plant with sky blue flowers that is native to Mexico. They are a rich source of polyunsaturated fats and are one of the highest sources of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. The heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids in chia seeds are thought to play a role in reducing inflammation in the body, enhancing cognitive function and reducing cholesterol according to various research studies on this subject. The combination of the protein, high fiber content and gelling action of chia seeds when combined with liquids contribute to their high satiety, which is the feeling of being full and satisfied. This can potentially reduce food cravings between meals and fill you up more at meal time. Since they are also a great source of fiber, they are very helpful in preventing constipation as well if consumed as part of a high fiber diet on a regular basis.

Be sure to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the love of your life and be good to your heart in honor of the American Heart Association’s heart health month!

 

 

WIENER SCHNITZEL

Wiener Schnitzel is a thin breaded and pan fried cutlet made from veal. It is one of the most well known and delicious specialities of the Viennese cuisine. The Wiener Schnitzel is also the national dish of Austria. I must admit that I am 50% German heritage but was not even remotely aware of this delicious food until I married my husband Jim. His mother is a native of Vienna, Austria. She met his father while he was stationed in Vienna while he served in the United States Air force. They later married and eventually settled back in Minnesota. Of course, this is Jim’s favorite food since his mother has been preparing this for him most of his life. When I came into the picture after meeting and eventually marrying Jim, I sampled this food many times as well  and really liked it.  I decided that finally after 31 years of marriage to Jim, I  would get the recipe from his mother and prepare this Austrian delicacy in my own kitchen. Of course I wondered if mine would taste as good as his mothers. He did admit after tasting it that it was very good and up to par with his mom’s wiener schnitzel. Wow, I was pleased to hear that since I had not attempted to prepare this delicious food in the past. If you don’t have veal on hand, you may substitute pork. I used pork loin chops and we really enjoyed the taste of these in this recipe. Most of the foods that I prepare tend to be baked, broiled or grilled. My career as a dietitian kept me busy calculating calories, grams of fat, cholesterol and carbohydrates for my patients and for myself as well when I want to drop a few extra pounds. This dish is fried which makes it taste absolutely fabulous. As a dietitian, I believe that all foods can be enjoyed and used in moderation, including fried food occasionally such as this.

Wiener Schnitzel

Wiener Schnitzel
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 4 Boneless pork loin chops or veal, approximately 4 oz, raw each
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
Instructions
  1. Pound pork or veal chops with a meat mallot in order to tenderize. Roll the pork or veal chops into flour. Next, dip into beaten eggs. Roll the chops into the bread crumbs. Fry the pork or veal chops in the heated vegetable oil until golden brown on each side and thoroughly cooked internally as well .Remove pork or veal chops from the frying pan and drain on a paper towel.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3 oz cooked Calories: 321 Fat: 18 grams Trans fat: 0 mg Carbohydrates: 23 grams Sodium: 269 mg Protein: 15 grams Cholesterol: 185 mg

 

Greta

Wiener Schnitzel is often served in Austria with Kopfsalat (lettuce served with a sweetened vinaigrette dressing), potato salad or parsley potatoes as well as a cucumber salad.  The beverage of choice with this meal in Austria or Germany is beer.  Another suggestion  would be to serve this dish with a baked sweet potato and a spinach or kale salad with a vinaigrette dressing for a colorful and healthy meal. Here’s hoping that you enjoy this meal as much as we do! Cheers!

The pictures below show how the meat is prepared prior to breading and frying it for this recipe.

HEALTHY HOLIDAY CHEESEBALL

Wow, It is hard to believe that there are only four days before Christmas. If you are like me, you are still putting all the finishing touches on decorating your home for this season, baking last minute Christmas cookies and wrapping that last present and placing it under your Christmas tree. I prepared this cheeseball last night for my husband’s work place Christmas party today. As usual, I wanted to modify my original recipe calling for cream cheese, shredded cheese, chopped nuts and a one ounce packet of ranch flavor dressing mix. I purchased the 1/3 less fat Neufchatel Cheese to replace the higher fat cream cheese. Next I walked over to the cheese aisle in the grocery store, admiring all of the wonderful varieties of cheese. I selected a few for the holiday season and also purchased a package of Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese made with 2% Milk in place of the shredded cheese made with whole milk. I chose the reduced fat version because I have found that these do not alter the taste and still have a smooth consistency. The revised version of this recipe still contains dairy fat, but much less now per serving with these minor changes. Dairy products are a good source of calcium and protein so I  use them in my diet for that reason. I have used some organic dairy products and find the taste of these is very good. My favorite dairy food of all is Black Cherry  Greek Yogurt.

Healthy Holiday Cheese Ball

 

I used ground walnuts in my recipe but you could use ground pecans or another variety of nuts as well. Walnuts contain heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids called alpha linolenic acid (ALA). ALA is a very beneficial for heart health and may also reduce inflammation in the body. Walnuts are also a rich source of polyunsaturated fat, including an omega-6 fatty acid called linoleic acid which also benefits our hearts. Walnuts have also been linked to improving brain health and prevention of cancer in some medical studies. Including a handful of nuts in your diet each day is also a great way to receive dietary fiber, protein and heart healthy fats. Add them to snack mixes or cereal in the morning also. Two tablespoons will provide 100 calories, 10 grams of fat, 0 mg of cholesterol, 0 mg of sodium, 2 grams of carbohydrate, 2.5 grams of protein and 1 gram of dietary fiber.

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HEALTHY HOLIDAY CHEESEBALL
Recipe type: snack
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 20 servings
 
Ingredients
  • 2 8 oz packages ⅓ less fat Neufchatel Cheese
  • 1½ cups Reduced Fat Shredded Cheddar Cheese made with 2% Milk
  • 1¼ cups chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 3 tsp Mrs. Dash Garlic and Herb Salt Free Seasoning Blend
  • 2 tsp minced Dehydrated Onion
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
Instructions
  1. Set cream cheese out at room temperature in a large bowl for ½ hour before mixing the ingredients together to make it easier to work with. Mix seasonings into the cream cheese with a spoon or mixer. Crush the chopped nuts. After the seasonings are mixed into the cream cheese, add the cheddar cheese and mix well. Form into a ball and roll in the chopped nuts. Refrigerate until serving time and serve on a platter with a variety of crackers and raw vegetables.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/20 of recipe Calories: 130 Fat: 11 grams Saturated fat: 4.75 Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 3 grams Sodium: 142 mg Fiber: 0.5 grams Protein: 5 grams Cholesterol: 22 mg

 

If you are a label reader, you will no doubt find that many prepackaged seasoning mixes are very high in sodium content and many also contain monosodium glutamate which I prefer to avoid in my diet. For this reason, I experimented with my spices on hand in my cupboard and substituted the Garlic and Herb salt free Mrs. Dash Seasoning Blend, garlic powder, onion powder and dehydrated minced onion in place of the ranch flavored dressing mix.

Serve the Healthy Holiday Cheeseball for your Christmas or New Year’s Eve celebrations.

 

 

You may wish to serve this cheeseball with a variety of crackers and raw vegetables for your Christmas Eve or New Years Eve celebrations. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year readers.

Merry Christmas

I love decorating my kitchen with vintage table cloths or table runners, antique pictures and other vintage memorabilia. I purchased the table cloth pictured above at an antique store here in my small Minnesota city of 18,000 residents that I reside in.  It is right at home on top of my old singer sewing machine purchased for me by my late mother in an antique store in Mapleton, Minnesota. The The Singer Sewing Machine is displayed in my entryway to my home. My advent wreath with red candles sits on top of my old sewing machine welcoming guests into my home.

Singer Sewing Machine in the Entryway of my Home

 

Have a Merry Christmas as well as a blessed and prosperous New Year!

 

PUMPKIN ‘N SPICE LATTE

Brr, there is a chill in the air. It is the last week of October and 75% of the colorful fall leaves have fallen from the trees here in Minnesota. We had a high temperature of 52 degrees today but there will be one final heatwave of this Indian summer since temperatures are predicted to be a sunny and warm 70 degrees tomorrow just in time for the weekend! We like to sit out on out front porch and sip on hot Pumpkin N Spice Lattes or hot apple cider this time of year and enjoy every minute outside that we can since we know that winter weather with cold wet snow and ice is just around the corner. On the bright side, that means Christmas is coming! Since Halloween is next week, I enjoy enjoy preparing recipes using pumpkin this time of year. Just love this latte recipe as well as pumpkin muffins and pumpkin bread. I saw a recipe for pumpkin soup on a recipe blog that I would like to try. I also plan on creating a pumpkin smoothie recipe very soon since I love my breakfast smoothies!

Pumpkin ‘N Spice Latte

I tried the Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte a couple of years ago and went to work in my kitchen to create a very similar tasting beverage with fewer calories and no artificial flavors or additives. The homemade version is very economical too compared to purchasing this beverage. You can expect to pay $3.00-$5.00 for one serving of this beverage at your local Mc Donalds, Starbucks or Caribou coffee. A nutritional comparison reveals that the Starbucks 12 oz Pumpkin Spice Latte using non-fat milk and 2 tablespoons of whipped cream contains 200 calories, 6 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 mg of cholesterol, 170 mg of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrate and 11 grams of protein. Made with whole milk, the calories increase to 330, as well as 14 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 50 mg of cholesterol. The protein and carbohydrate content remain the same when prepared with whole milk. Plan to walk for 30-60 minutes to burn this off!

Autumn Garden

PUMPKIN 'N SPICE LATTE
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 1 serving
 
Ingredients
  • 5 oz almond or 1% milk
  • 2 TB fresh pureed or canned pumpkin
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla or almond extract
  • 1 tsp granulated Stevia or 1 TB sugar or Agave Nectar
  • ⅛ tsp cinnamon
  • a dash of nutmeg
  • 7 of brewed coffee
  • Topping:
  • 2 TB Reddi Whip topping or non-dairy topping such as whipped coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Place milk, coffee, vanilla or almond extract, pumpkin, sweetener and spices in a 12 oz mug. Whisk together until well combined. If desired, you may place these ingredients into your magic bullet or blender and blend until smooth and pour into your tall coffee mug. Microwave for 60-70 seconds until the beverage is hot. Spray the Reddi Whip topping on the beverage and sprinkle with pumpkin pie spice if desired. Serve immediately. You may substitute ¼ tsp pumpkin pie spice in place of the nutmeg and cinnamon in this recipe if desired.
Notes
The recipe was calculated using the Stevia sweetener and almond milk. Nutrition information was calculated using My Fitness Pal recipe calculator.

If desired, add 1 scoop (approximately 1 TB) of vanilla protein powder to the recipe and blend this with the other ingredients in a blender or nutribullet prior to heating to increase the protein content of the beverage.

Information in this food blog is not intended to be medical advice. Consult your personal health care provider for medical and nutritional advice for yourself.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 12 oz Calories: 111 Fat: 3 grams Saturated fat: 0.5 Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 6 grams Sodium: 79 mg Protein: 1 gram Cholesterol: 0 mg

 

Pumpkin has a very healthy nutritional profile as well. One half cup of pumpkin contains only 50 calories, 5 mg of sodium, 10 grams of carbohydrate and 3 grams of fiber. Pumpkin is very filling due to the fiber content and the thick creamy consistency. Pumpkin is a rich source of nutrients. One half cup provides 200% of the Daily Value for Vitamin A, 70% of which is beta-carotene and also provides 4% of the Daily Value for Vitamin C. Beta carotene if important for our eye and skin health and also fights some forms of cancer such as prostrate and lung cancer according to some research studies on this nutrient. Vitamin A and Vitamin C act as a cell defense squad since they are both antioxidants and act as shields for your cells against cancer causing free radicals.

We love to take fall leaf watching tours this time of year. Nature certainly shows the awesome handiwork of God in this earth! Enjoy these scenic fall photos that we shot with our camera.

Beautiful waterfalls, Minneopa Park, Mankato
Waterfalls at Minneopa State Park, Mankato, MN
Scenic Overlook of the falls at Minneopa State Park
Autumn Scene, Minneopa State Park, Mankato
Scenic Overlook of the Mississippi River, Alma Wisconsin
Beautiful Seven Mile Creek Park, north of Mankato, MN
Colorful Seven Mile Creek Park
A small creek wanders through Seven Mile Park.

 

Exploring Minneopa Park, Mankato, MN
Fall Splendor at Seven Mile Park, north of Mankato, MN
Overlooking the Mississippi river near Alma, Wisconsin
Hummingbird feeding on the flowers

 

 

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BROWNIES

It is beginning to look like fall here in Minnesota. The leaves on the trees are turning beautiful shades of bright yellow, red and orange. The farmers markets are selling all varieties of squash including zucchini as well as apples and baked goods. I purchased a zucchini there recently and baked a batch of moist and delicious Double Chocolate Zucchini Brownies. They are easy to pack into a lunchbox or enjoy with a cup of coffee in the afternoon. I lightened up the recipe by substituting unsweetened applesauce in place of vegetable oil. This decreases the calories in the entire recipe by 960 or 60 calories per serving. The recipe yields 16 brownies. I also added 1/4 cup of ground flaxseed to the recipe to increase the fiber content and add extra texture to the recipe. You may substitute margarine or coconut oil if desired in place of butter in this recipe to reduce the cholesterol and saturated fat content of the recipe. Recent research on coconut oil has shown that it offers many promising health benefits, including improvement in cognitive functioning according to some newer studies.

I usually do not frost these brownies since they taste very good without the frosting. I was baking some cupcakes for my niece’s wedding shower and had some frosting left over so I decided to use it up by frosting these brownies. It does add some extra flavor and helps satisfy that chocolate urge that I sometimes crave.

The picture below was taken a week ago in Lansing, Iowa overlooking the Mississippi River in a park perched above this small river town. We went camping for the weekend in the area and explored the quaint river towns and gorgeous scenery in northeast Iowa and ventured across the river into Wisconsin as well. It was a fun weekend! Of course I packed up a batch of some freshly baked double chocolate zucchini brownies to take along on our weekend adventure!

 

 

I used Hersheys 100% cacao dark cocoa in this recipe to improve the health benefits of using dry cocoa. The cacao dark chocolate cocoa powder is higher in antioxidant flavonoid content. Flavonoids are part of a powerful group of antioxidants known as polyphenols. Flavonoids battle disease producing free radicals in our body. Dry cocoa is very healthy, extremely low in fat content as well as a low calorie food. It can be used in baking cakes and brownies or add 2 tsp to your favorite smoothie for a chocolate flavor. It is very good when added to banana and peanut butter  smoothies. Dry cacao powder also has heart health benefits as well and may help to lower the LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

 

DOUBLE CHOCOLATE ZUCCHINI BROWNIES
 
Ingredients
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup honey
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ⅓ cup Hershey's dry100% cacoa dark cocoa baking cocoa
  • 1⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups shredded, unpeeled zucchini, gently pressed to remove excess liquid
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ¼ ground flaxseed
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F., or 330 degrees if using a glass pan. Lightly spray a 9 x 9 inch cake pan with non-stick spray or grease lightly with vegetable oil. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs, honey, applesauce, sugar and almond extract until smooth in consistency. Combine dry ingredients, including ground flaxseed in a separate bowl and gently stir together until combined. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and beat until well combined.Stir in the zucchini and chocolate chips. Add 1 cup of chopped walnuts or almonds if desired to the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan Bake for 35-40 minutes until done or until a toothpick inserted in the brownies comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the brownies cool off before cutting.
  2. Dark Chocolate Frosting: ¼ cup ( ½ stick) butter, ⅓ cup Hershey's dark cacao dry cocoa powder, 1 cup powdered sugar, ¼ cup 1% milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract
  3. Melt butter in a small glass bowl the microwave. Stir in cocoa.Alternately add the powdered sugar and the milk, beating to a spreading consistency.Stir in vanilla. Makes one cup of frosting.
  4. Spread cooled brownies with the frosting.
Notes
if you do not frost the brownies, the nutritional value per brownie is as follows: 179 calories, 6 grams total fat, 3 grams saturated fat, 1 gram unsaturated fat, 0 grams trans fats, 27 mg cholesterol, 127 mg sodium, 29 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber and 4 grams protein.

The information presented in this food blog is not intended to provide medical advice. Contact your personal health care professional for medical and nutritional advice.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/16 of recipe Calories: 221 Fat: 7 grams Saturated fat: 4 grams Unsaturated fat: 1 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 37 Sodium: 135 mg Fiber: 2 grams Protein: 4 grams Cholesterol: 29 mg

 

The picture below shows one of the many historic buildings in Lansing, Iowa.

Overlooking the Mississippi River in Ferryville, Wisconsin
The Clear Stream in Lansing, Iowa. Great trout fishing stream.
Exploring the campground.
Relaxing around the camp fire at the campground near Lansing, Iowa.

 

BLUEBERRY WALNUT ZUCCHINI BREAD

The leaves on the trees are slowly beginning to turn shades of bright red and gold and the weather has cooled off to highs of the sixties and seventies during the day with chilly evenings as well. We have not had a frost overnight yet. My garden is still producing tomatoes and peppers and a rare strawberry or two. This is a beautiful time of year and the perfect temperature for baking bread. No need to turn on the air conditioner when I’m baking, just open a window or two to cool off my kitchen. I didn’t plant zucchini this year as I have done in the past. I usually produce a bumper crop of these and have to leave extra zucchini on unsuspecting neighbor’s steps to use them all up. I purchased a large zucchini recently at our local farmers market for only seventy five cents and wanted to bake some zucchini bread. I had seen a zucchini cake recipe online and decided to change a few ingredients as well as add some walnuts to the recipe and bake it as a quick bread. In order to reduce the fat and calorie content of the recipe, I swapped out 50% of the vegetable oil or butter for unsweetened applesauce. I decided to use butter in place of vegetable oil to give my recipe a richer, buttery flavor. If you need to limit the cholesterol and saturated fat content of your diet, you could use a vegetable oil in place of the butter. My husband and I are blessed to have normal levels of cholesterol. We do control our cholesterol intake by using very lean cuts of meat as well as using fish and chicken breast in addition to consuming a healthy diet. We occasionally splurge on a little butter though! I reduced by flour by 1/4 cup and substituted ground flaxseed for this to add a unique taste and some extra nutritional benefit. Next, I substituted half of the sugar called for in the recipe for honey. To use honey in place of one cup of sugar in your recipe, use 2 tablespoons less honey, add 1/4 tsp additional baking soda and reduce the liquid in your recipe by three tablespoons.

In addition to the delicious taste, this bread is chock full of healthy ingredients including blueberries, walnuts and zucchini. Walnuts are a member of the tree nuts family and are a rich source of Vitamin E, magnesium, copper and biotin. Walnuts offer heart healthy cardiovascular benefits by helping lower the risk of chronic oxidative stress and reducing inflammation in the body if consumed on a consistent basis. Scientific studies done on walnuts indicate that these benefits may also help reduce incidence of other diseases such as  breast and prostrate cancer as well. Study participants consumed three ounces of walnuts per day. Walnuts may also offer benefits for prevention of obesity and weight loss in general. This may be surprising to some people since they think of high fat and high calories foods such as nuts as a contributor to obesity. Walnuts contain heart healthy polyunsaturated and omega-3 fatty acids. Nuts consumed in limited quantities of a one ounce serving per day as a snack or when combined with other foods can be very satisfying and filling and may benefit in controlling appetite thus assisting with weight loss.

BLUEBERRY WALNUT ZUCCHINI BREAD
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 18 slices
 
Ingredients
  • 3 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ½ cup melted butter or vegetable oil
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 2¾ cup all purpose flour
  • ¼ cup ground flaxseed
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1½ tsp baking soda
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries or drained canned unsweetened blueberries
  • ¾ cup chopped walnuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat two 9 x 5 inch glass bread pans with non-stick spray or light grease with vegetable oil to prevent sticking. Combine the eggs, butter or vegetable oil and vanilla in a large mixing bowl and beat well. Add honey to this mixture and beat until well combined. Next add the sugar and mix this into the ingredients. combine the flour, ground flaxseed, baking powder and baking soda into a separate bowl and stir together with a fork until well combined. slowly add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir together mixing just long enough until well combined. Combine blueberries with one tsp of flour in a small bowl stirring gently until coated well.
  2. Fold in zucchini first, next the nuts and lastly the blueberries. Pour batter into prepared pans. You can use a 8 x 8 inch cake pan in place of one of the bread pans if desired. Bake for approximately 40 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out without wet batter clinging to it. Cool bread on a rack.
Notes
the cholesterol and saturated fat content would be less if you substitute a vegetable oil such as canola, olive or corn oil as an example. If desired, you may use coconut oil. The cholesterol content of the recipe will be lower and the saturated fat content will be very similar to the amount in the recipe using butter. Persons on gluten free diets may substitute a gluten free flour or flours in place of the all purpose flour. Investigate how these flours may be substituted in place of all purpose flour and in what quantities before preparing this recipe.
This blog is not intended to provide medical advice. Please contact your personal health care professional to provide you with nutritional and medical advice.
It is best to bake the bread in a glass pan since the acidic nature of the blueberries may corrode the metal in a metal bread or cake pan. If you do have to use a metal pan, remove bread from pans immediately after cooling off your bread to help prevent this.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1/9 of loaf bread pan Calories: 226 Fat: 6 grams Saturated fat: 2 grams Trans fat: 0 grams Carbohydrates: 29 grams Sodium: 275 mg Fiber: 2 grams Protein: 4 grams Cholesterol: 38 mg

 

Zucchini is a very versatile vegetable and can be used in breads, stir fries and soups and is delicious when prepared on the grill. It is very low in calorie content and is a moderate source of vitamin C, potassium and folate.

Blueberries are a good source of fiber, very low in calories and an excellent source of disease fighting antioxidants. They provide vitamin C, Vitamin K and the mineral manganese. Blueberries offer many health benefits which I won’t go into detail in this post. For more information about their health benefits, read my August 2016 post which includes the recipe for Blueberry Summer Salad.

 

Enjoy these beautiful fall days and take a little extra time to sample recipes incorporating fall produce from your local farmers market or your own garden.