Friday, January 30, 2009

Vegetarian Buffalo "Wings" for Super Bowl Sunday

Let's get ready to RUMBLE!!!!! ...Oh wait, my bad. That's wrestling, isn't it? Whatever it is, this Sunday is Super Bowl Sunday and Steelers and Cardinals fans across the nation are ready and rearing to go.

Nothing is more American than football, sauce-soaked buffalo wings and an ice-cold beer. I get excited just thinking about it. But what about the vegetarians out there? Why must they be deprived of buffalo wings? Well deprivation is gone with's vegetarian "Spicy Seitan Buffalo Wings."

I'll be the first to admit that I've not yet tried making these but I plan on giving them a whirl this weekend. They're made with margarine so you've got some heart healthy benefits going on there. Enjoy and please don't drink and drive people!

"Spicy Seitan Buffalo "Wings" are a vegetarian and vegan substitute for tradtional pub buffalo wings. Seitan doesn't come with wings any more than buffaloes do, but these meatless buffalo wings are cooked up with hot sauce and margarine for the same spicy flavor.

1 pound seitan, sliced into strips
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
olive oil for frying
1/3 cup margarine, melted
1/2 cup hot sauce
Preparation:Coat the seitan with garlic powder and onion powder then lightly fry in olive oil over medium high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until done.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the melted margarine and hot sauce. Place the seitan in the bowl and stir to coat well.

Serve with ranch dressing if desired."

Monday, January 26, 2009

Puff the Magic Cheese Puff

Who doesn’t love a cheese puff? These are surprisingly a little easier on the waistline than I expected. Plus, they’ve got spinach and margarine in them so you’re actually sucking down so pretty healthful ingredients. That’s all for now folks!

Spinach-Cheese Puffs

Yield: 1 servings
1 10-oz package frozen chopped
1 cups Milk
½ cups Margarine
1 teaspoon Salt
1 cups All-purpose flour
4 Large eggs
¼ lb Gruyere or swiss cheese (shredded)
½ cups Grated parmesan cheese
1 Parsley, beet or salad green

Calories per serving: 50
Fat grams per serving: 4
Cholesterol per serving: 22

Drain spinach; squeeze dry with paper towels. In 3-quart saucepan over medium heat, heat milk, margarine or butter, and salt until margarine melts and mizture boils. Remove saucepan from heat. With wodden spoon, vigorously stir in flour all at once until mixture forms a ball and leaves side of saucepan. Add eggs to flour mixture, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition, until mixture is smooth and satiny. Stir in Gruyere and parmesan cheeses and spinach. If not baking right away, cover surface of mixture with plastic wrap and refrigerate. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease 2 large cookie sheets. inches apart. Bake 15 to 20 minutes until cheese puffs are golden brown. Arrange appetizer and garnish on platter; serve immediately. MAKES 4 DOZEN CHEESE PUFFS.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Simply Deelish!

I can't say enough about this scrumptious, heart healthy chicken dish. I love it and it's super simple to make, even on a weeknight. How can a recipe not be good if it's hazelnut liqueur, almonds, garlic, onions, half and half and margarine?

Chicken Frangelico
Serves: 4 / Preparation time: 10 minutes / Total time: 20 minutes

3 tablespoons trans fat-free margarine, divided
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon plus 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup diced onion
1 clove minced garlic
1/4 cup Frangelico (hazelnut-flavored liqueur)
1 cup fat-free half-and-half (such as Land O' Lakes)
2 teaspoons cornstarch
4 (4 ounces each) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2-inch thickness
2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted

In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons margarine over medium-high heat until it melts. In a shallow dish or pie plate, combine the flour, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Coat chicken breasts in flour mixture and sauté in margarine, turning until golden brown on each side and cooked through. Remove the chicken to a platter and keep warm.

Add the remaining tablespoon of margarine to the skillet along with the onion and garlic. Sauté 3 to 5 minutes, scraping up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the Frangelico and continue to sauté an additional 3 to 5 minutes.

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the half-and-half and cornstarch. Reduce heat to medium low and gradually add the half-and-half mixture to the skillet. Allow the sauce to thicken. Pour the sauce over the chicken, top with toasted almonds and serve. Serve with brown rice, couscous or no-yolk egg noodles.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Stay Lean and Get Fit

I'm posting this press release from the American Heart Association because this study really goes to show you that all of us, not just women, need to get off our behinds and get moving. enough is enough!

DALLAS, Dec. 23, 2008 — Staying lean and fit can dramatically lower the risk of heart failure in men, researchers report in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.In the Physicians’ Health Study, researchers from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, followed 21,094 U.S. male physicians, 40 to 84 years old, for 20 years and found lean and active men had the lowest risk for heart failure and obese and inactive men had the highest risk.

After adjusting for risk factors such as high blood pressure, diabetes and high cholesterol, the risk of heart failure increased by 49 percent in overweight men and 180 percent in obese men compared with lean participants.• Any amount of vigorous physical activity that caused sweating, ranging from a low of one to three times a month to a high of five to seven times a week, was associated with an 18 percent reduction in heart failure risk, after adjusting for other known causes of heart failure.

Compared with men who rarely or never vigorously exercised, men engaging in vigorous physical activity five to seven times a week had a 36 percent reduction in heart failure risk.• Compared with participants who were lean and active, the risk of heart failure increased 19 percent in the lean and inactive; 49 percent in the overweight and active; 78 percent in the overweight and inactive; 168 percent in the obese and active; and 293 percent in the obese and inactive.

“Whereas previous studies have established that obese men have a higher likelihood of developing heart failure, the present investigation has extended this knowledge by pointing out that even overweight or pre-obese men are not spared from this increased risk,” said Satish Kenchaiah, M.D., M.P.H., lead author of the study and investigator at the Physicians’ Health Study, Brigham and Women’s Hospital. “On average, in men who are 5 feet 10 inches tall, for every 7 pounds of excess body weight, the risk of heart failure will go up by 11 percent over the next 20 years”

The study took place from 1982 to 2007, and participants completed questionnaires about demographics, lifestyle and medical history twice in the first year and annually thereafter. The physicians reported height and weight, which was used to calculate body mass index (BMI). Men with BMI less than 25 were considered lean, 25 to 29.9 was overweight, and greater than 30 was obese. Physical activity was based on activity that worked up a sweat with options of rarely/never, one to three times a month, once a week, two to four times a week, five to six times a week or daily. Men who said they rarely/never exercised were considered inactive.

Those who said they exercised one to three times a month or more were considered active. About 40 percent of the participants were overweight and about 5 percent were obese at baseline. A greater proportion of obese men exercised less. Participants who rarely or never exercised were older, had higher BMI, smoked cigarettes more often and had a greater prevalence of high blood pressure and diabetes.

During follow-up, 1,109 of 21,094 physicians developed heart failure.“Another interesting finding of our study is that BMI and vigorous physical activity did not influence each other’s effect on the risk of heart failure,” Kenchaiah said. “Higher BMI increased the risk of heart failure in inactive as well as active individuals. By the same token, the beneficial effect of vigorous physical activity in reducing the risk of heart failure was observed in lean, overweight, and also obese men.”About 67 percent of Americans have excess body weight and only about 30 percent exercise regularly, he said.

“Each year about 660,000 Americans are newly diagnosed with heart failure. Once heart failure develops, the quality of life deteriorates, and about 80 percent of the men and 70 percent of the women <65 years with heart failure die within eight years.”About 1 million hospitalizations and 3 million outpatient and emergency visits are attributed to heart failure in the United States each year, with estimated costs for 2008 at $35 billion, he said.“Adopting a healthy lifestyle, keeping a normal weight, and exercising regularly will go a long way toward reducing one’s risk of heart failure and, in turn, the population burden of heart failure,” Kenchaiah said. “Both staying lean and being fit go hand in hand.”Future studies should focus on the types of physical activity, total energy expenditure and the types of obesity that influence heart failure risk, he said.

“Importantly, clinical trials targeting weight reduction and exercise level on the risk of heart failure will likely provide definitive answers.”Co-authors are Howard D. Sesso, Sc.D., M.P.H., and J. Michael Gaziano, M.D., M.P.H. Individual author disclosures are available on the manuscript. The National Institutes of Health and the National Cancer Institute funded the study.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Help Make Someone's Day

Haaaaaaappy New Year!!! Welcome back people. It's 2009 and I'm ready to do some major blogging this year.

I was talking to a friend the other day that was recently laid off. Understandably so, she's down in the dumps in a major way. Poor thing is living off her savings and has no idea when she'll be able to find a new job. Times are tough for many, many people out there.

Why not make 2009 the year we all stop focusing so much on ourselves and do a little good for others? Is a coworker struggling? Offer to buy them lunch. See a senior citizen lugging bags at the stop. Help them and lend a hand (or two).

During a recession it's easy to wallow in our own misery and think about what could have been. That will do ya absolutely nothing. Get off your butt and go make the world just a little bit brighter. I think you'll find that after doing so, your own situation won't seem so bleak.