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    Archive for the ‘thiamin’ Category

    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Spicy Mushroom & Black Bean Burger

    Onto the second vegan burger recipe!

    While this one requires a bit longer prep time than the firstblack-beans, it shouldn’t take more than twenty minutes.  This burger freezes very well, so you could make a huge batch and save most of it in the freezer for hurried nights.

    YIELDS: 4 patties

    INGREDIENTS:

    2 14-ounce cans low-sodium or sodium-free black beans, drained and rinsed for about 30 seconds
    1 Tablespoon olive oil
    1/2 cup white mushrooms
    1/2 cup onions, chopped
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    1/4 teaspoon cumin
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    1/4 teaspoon paprika
    Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
    1/8 teaspoon salt

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    In a medium bowl, mash black beans with a fork or wooden spoon (or, if you really want to get into it, use your hands!). The idea is not to make bean puree, but to achieve a chunky mashed texture. You definitely want solid bits of bean here and there. Once done, set bowl aside.

    In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil. Once hot, add mushrooms. Cook and stir frequently for 2 to 3 minutes. Add onions. Stir frequently for 1 to 2 minutes. Add garlic, and continue to cook until garlic is golden brown.

    Increase heat and add all spices (except salt). Stir frequently for 2 minutes.

    Transfer vegetable mixture into food processor. Add salt. Process for approximately 10 seconds.

    Add vegetable mixture to “bean mush” bowl.  Mix with hands, compressing all ingredients together, making “burger dough”.  Form “burger dough” into four individual patties and cook to your liking (either pan-fry for a few minutes on each side or bake on a lighty oiled baking sheet at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 7  minutes on each side).

    NOTE: I have been able to get a solid dough without needing to use binders (that said, I don’t mind eating crumbly vegan burgers).  If you want your burgers more solid, feel free to add a half cup of whole wheat breadcrumbs or quick-cooking oats.  Or, if you don’t require a fully vegan recipe, two egg whites will work, too.  Even then, don’t expect these to be as solid as the frozen type you can buy at the grocery store.

    NUTRITION FACTS (for one patty):

    249 calories
    0.5 grams saturated fat
    375 milligrams sodium
    14 grams fiber
    15 grams protein

    Excellent Source of: Folate, iron, magnesium, thiamin

    Good Source of: Manganese, phosphorus, zinc

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Spiced Lentil & Quinoa Bowl with Avocado Dressing

    lentejas_-lensculirnarisI consider this a perfect year-round dish.

    In the cold winter months, the warm lentils and quinoa, along with the spices, make for a comforting dish.

    Once summer hits, I love this as a cold salad!

    This is also one of those meals that keeps you full for a very long time, as it combines heart-healthy fats, soluble fiber, and protein.

    Don’t be let the long steps fool you; this is a very simple recipe.  The lentils and dressing can both be prepared while the quinoa cooks.

    By the way, if you don’t have a food processor (or don’t feel like taking it out, using it, and cleaning it), you can always replace the dressing with some fresh avocado slices.  Even if you don’t have avocados handy, the lentil and quinoa combination in itself is delicious!

    YIELDS: 4 servings (1 cup quinoa + 1 cup lentils + 2 TBSP dressing)

    INGREDIENTS (Quinoa):

    2 cups quinoa
    4 cups water
    Pinch of salt

    INGREDIENTS (Spiced Lentils):

    2 TBSP olive oil
    1 cup onions, chopped
    1/2 cup carrots, shredded
    1/2 cup red pepper, diced
    1/4 cup green pepper, diced
    1 cup mushrooms, chopped
    2 T garlic, minced
    1/2 t cumin
    1/4 t cinnamon
    1/2 t curry powder
    1/3 t salt
    1/4 t paprika
    1/8 t black pepper
    1 cup dried lentils, rinsed (any color; if you can find sprouted dried lentils, even better!)
    3 cups water
    1 Tablespoon lemon juice

    INGREDIENTS (Avocado Dressing):

    1 large avocado, pitted
    2 t lime juice
    1 garlic clove
    2 t ginger
    1/4 t salt
    1/4 c water

    INSTRUCTIONS (Quinoa):

    In a small pot, combine quinoa, water, and a pinch of salt.

    Bring to a boil, cover and reduce to simmer until all water evaporates.

    Fluff quinoa with fork.

    INSTRUCTIONS (Spiced Lentils):

    In a large pot, heat olive oil.  Once sufficiently hot, add onions, carrots, peppers, mushrooms, and garlic.

    Stir frequently over the course of 2 minutes over medium-high heat.

    Add spices.  Stir frequently for 2 more minutes.

    Add lentils and water, stir and bring to a boil.

    Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, stirring two or three times.

    Turn off stovetop, uncover, add lemon juice, and stir one more time.

    INSTRUCTIONS (Avocado dressing):

    Combine all ingredients in food processor and process until evenly combined.

    NUTRITION INFORMATION (per serving):

    538 calories
    2.5 grams saturated fat
    450 milligrams sodium
    15 grams fiber
    18 grams protein

    Excellent Source of: Folate, manganese, monounsaturated fats, niacin, potassium, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K

    Good Source of: Iron, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Perfect Pasta Sauce

    51vnSOGsI6L._SL500_AA280_Your typical tomato sauce recipe calls for plenty of chopping — and time! Many sauce purists, in fact, claim the only way to achieve deliciousness is by simmering tomato sauce for hours on the stovetop, allowing flavors to blend and fully integrate.

    While all that is true, it is not the only way to make an out-of-this-world pasta sauce.

    This recipe is super quick, but provides a sauce that truly tastes as if you had labored over it for hours.  I knew this was a must-share recipe when a friend of mine — who consider herself a “sauce connoisseur” — proclaimed this one of her top-three all-time favorite sauces and demanded the recipe.

    YIELDS: 1/2 cup (2 servings)

    INGREDIENTS:

    12 grape tomatoes
    1 medium garlic clove
    1/3 cup roasted or raw red peppers
    2 Tablespoons sundried tomatoes (packed in olive oil)
    1 Tablespoon white onion, chopped
    1/3 teaspoon dried oregano
    1/3 teaspoon dried basil
    1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
    1/8 teaspoon sea salt
    Pinch of pepper
    1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
    1 Tablespoon lemon juice

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    Combine all ingredients in blender or food processor and blend/process until well-mixed.

    NUTRITION FACTS (per quarter-cup serving)

    100 calories
    1 gram saturated fat
    170 milligrams sodium

    Excellent Source of: vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E

    Good Source of: folate, niacin, potassium, thiamin

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Five-Minute Creamy Mushroom Soup

    mushroomsI love a bowl of homemade soup on chilly days, but don’t always have the time (or patience) to make soup from scratch.

    Alas, this amazingly simple “chop, blend, and heat” recipe produces an out-of-this-world-delicious (and super healthy!) soup.  I’ve been hooked on this since day one.

    Since this soup is filling due to its share of healthy fats and protein, it can be perfectly paired with a salad or small sandwich.

    YIELDS: 1 – 2 servings

    INGREDIENTS:

    1 cup water
    1/4 – 1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews
    1/4 cup chopped onion of choice (I use yellow)
    1 garlic clove (use 2 if you want it extra-garlicky)
    1 cup sliced mushrooms of choice (I use white)
    1/4 cup chopped celery
    1 Tablespoon lemon juice
    1/8 teaspoon salt or miso
    Pepper, to taste

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    Process all ingredients in blender.

    Transfer to pot and heat for 5 minutes.

    Serve and enjoy.  Top with cilantro or scallions!

    NUTRITION INFORMATION (per serving):

    358 calories
    4 grams saturated fat
    300 milligrams sodium
    3 grams fiber
    11 grams protein

    Excellent source of: Folate, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin C

    Good source of: Copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium.

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    You Ask, I Answer: What Makes Brown Rice Healthier?

    b6-brown-rice-lgWhy is brown rice considered so much better than white rice?

    The food labels for each one aren’t all that different.  Brown rice just has a little more fiber.

    So, what’s the big deal?

    — Jessica Bracanti
    (City withheld), CT

    As helpful as food labels can be in guiding our food choices, they barely tell the true tale of a food’s whole nutritional profile.

    You are right — strictly from a food label standpoint, brown rice doesn’t seem to have many advantages over white rice.  It’s what you don’t see on the food label that makes all the difference!

    Brown rice contains significantly higher levels of phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, selenium, and vitamin E.

    If there were no enrichment laws (those which require that nutrients lost in processing be added back to refined grains like white rice), brown rice would also contain higher levels of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, iron, and vitamin B6 than its white counterpart.

    Remember, though, that vitamins and minerals are only part of  a food’s nutritional profile.

    Since brown rice is a whole grain, it offers you its bran and germ components — and all their health-promoting phytonutrients and antioxidants..

    Some preliminary research indicates that specific components in rice bran oil lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.  Add to that to brown rice’s soluble fibers (which are also implicated in decreasing LDL cholesterol) and you have a heart-healthy one-two punch.

    These are the same fibers, by the way, that help achieve a longer feeling of fullness more quickly.

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    Quick & Healthy Recipe: Flippin’ Healthy French Toast

    825101-FB~Sliced-Loaf-of-Bread-PostersI am often amazed at the many ways in which people desecrate French toast by turning it into a sugar-laden caloric bomb.

    I will never forget a restaurant in New York City’s Hell Kitchen neighborhood that served French toast coated in a thick layer of what appeared to be Golden Grahams cereal, only to then top that off with thick caramel syrup and powdered sugar.

    This recipe delivers a wide array of delicious flavors without the excess calories.  Make sure to serve with ripe fruits, as they are responsible for the sweetness of this dish.

    YIELDS: 4 slices (serves 2)

    INGREDIENTS:

    4 slices whole grain bread (frozen overnight)
    3/4 cup milk of choice (dairy, soy, almond, rice, hemp, etc.)
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    2 teaspoons coconut extract
    1 tablespoon cinnamon
    2 teaspoons butter/oil/vegan ‘butter’ (for griddle)
    2 tablespoons vanilla powder
    2 tablespoons unsweetened shredded coconut
    1 tablespoon cinnamon
    3/4 cup sliced strawberries
    1 medium banana
    1/4 cup raw walnuts, chopped

    INSTRUCTIONS:

    (The night before, store slices of bread in freezer.  This will allow them to absorb more liquid without falling apart.)

    Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

    In a wide bowl, mix milk of choice (I use unsweetened soymilk),  vanilla extract, coconut extract, and cinnamon.

    Dip bread slices in mix and set aside on small plate.

    Heat butter/oil/vegan butter (I use Earth Balance “butter” sticks) in griddle or pan.

    Once griddle/pan is hot, place bread slices.  Heat for 2 or 3 minutes, flip, and cook for another 2 or 3 minutes.

    Turn off heat and transfer bread slices to flat baking sheet (you may need to lightly coat with baking spray first).

    Pour any remaining mix on bread slices and top off with vanilla powder, shredded coconut, and cinnamon.

    Place baking sheet in oven.  After 7 minutes, flip bread slices over and heat for in oven for another 7 minutes.

    Serve and top with sliced strawberries, bananas, and walnuts.

    NUTRITION FACTS (for a 2-slice serving):

    460 calories
    4.4 grams saturated fat
    410 milligrams sodium
    10 grams fiber
    13 grams protein

    Excellent source of: Fiber, folate, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin C

    Good source of: Copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium

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    You Ask, I Answer: Toasted Bread

    toaster_on_saleThe answer is probably no, but I’ve never heard the question asked. Does toasting bread change its nutritional value?

    — Corey Clark
    (Location withheld)

    While not too significant, the nutritional composition of toasted bread is slightly different from untoasted bread’s in the following ways:

    • Toasting bread lowers its glycemic index (the degree to which it can spike blood sugar).  This is more pronounced in breads made with white flour.
    • Toasting lowers the levels of two B vitamins (thiamin and folic acid) and the amino acid lysine.  The longer the bread is toasted, the greater the loss of these nutrients.  Since these nutrients are abundantly consumed in the standard U.S. diet — and bread has very low levels of lysine anyway — their slight loss via toasting is not worth worrying about.

    The biggest misconception I have heard about toasted bread is that it contain less calories than untoasted bread.  Untrue!

    However, a slice of toast requires more chewing than an untoasted slice, which helps trigger satiety faster (thereby helping you achieve a feeling of full with a lower amount of calories).

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    You Ask, I Answer: Enriched Whole Grain Bread?

    dsc00448I love this Costco whole grain loaf [I took a photo of the ingredient label for you to see] but have questions regarding some of the ingredients that go into it, namely the thiamine mononitrate, the riboflavin and the ferrous sulfate.

    I know that they can be described as dietary supplements but I am an avid whole grains baker myself and never add any of that to my breads.

    Two questions: Should I?   Do these nutrients double as dough conditioners and could it the reason Costco is using them?

    — “MC”
    Via e-mail

    Guess what?  Contrary to what Costco wants you to think, that loaf is not 100% whole grain.

    Notice the first ingredient?  Unbleached flour?  That’s refined white flour.

    Sure, whole wheat flour is the fourth ingredient, so this bread contains some whole grains, but it is not an entirely whole grain bread.  If you seek 100% whole grain products, look for whole grain flours as the first (and only) ingredient.

    In the United States, per the National Enrichment Act of 1942, all refined grain products MUST be enriched with niacin, thiamin, riboflavin and iron.

    Folate is a fortified nutrient and was not legally required to be added to refined grains until 1998.

    Remember, enrichment refers to putting nutrients lost during processing back into a food, while fortification entails tacking on nutrients not naturally found in a given food.

    When a bread is 100% whole grain (meaning ONLY whole grain flours are used), it is not enriched.

    These nutrients do not double as dough conditioners; they are there because it’s the law!

    By the way, this would only be considered false advertising if the loaf was sold under the guise of being “100% whole grain.”  It is TECHNICALLY a whole grain loaf since it DOES contain whole grains.

    Trust me, manufacturers know this.  They also know the words “whole grain” help boost sales.

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    You Ask, I Answer: Vegemite

    [What can you tell me about] the nutritional content of vegemite?

    Is it safe to eat some every day on top of toast, or should I be worried about preservatives/salt/etc?

    — Jade Miller
    (location withheld)

    Vegemite is a concentrated brewer’s yeast extract mixed with spices and malt extract that is quite popular in Australia and New Zealand.

    The Brits have their own version known as marmite, which replaces the sweeteners with salt and also adds vegetable extract.

    Among connoiseurs, the general consensus is that marmite has a strong flavor.

    Anyhow, vegemite offers a mere 9 calories per teaspoon (unless you are very fond of the substance, one teaspoon is all you need to spread on your toast) along with 1 gram of protein and 1 gram of carbohydrates.

    It is a very good source of niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, and folate.

    There is no need to be concerned with sodium, since that one-teaspoon serving only adds 152 milligrams to your day.

    As far as I’m concerned, feel free to spread the vegemite love on your toast each morning!

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