Category Archives: Recipes

Book Review: A Mind of Your Own, Kelly Brogan

Book Review: A Mind of Your Own, Kelly Brogan
Tammy Shephard, Nutrition MS Student, Hunter College

My interest in nutrition and mental health first started after reading Patrick Holford’s inspirational book, ‘Optimum Nutrition for the Mind’ a few years ago. Ever since I have been fascinated with the potential of food to treat and enhance our mental function. Dr. Kelly Brogan is a board-certified psychiatrist based in New York who focuses on treating women with mental health complaints through a holistic, integrative approach. Her controversial book, ‘A Mind of Your Own’ was launched last March and has already attracted an impressive following and sparked interest from nutritionists and other doctors in the field.

In many ways, I found that the book echoed Holford’s recommendations about improving mood through natural healing.  Both of the books focus on the reduction of inflammation and the addition of ‘healthy fats’ to our diets. However, as a trained psychiatrist, I found Dr. Brogan’s take on western psychiatry and the link to diet particularly insightful.

Dr. Brogan exposes the mythology conventional medicine has built around the causes and treatment of depression and other common mood disorders. She illuminates her belief that depression is not simply a disease caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain but a set of interrelated symptoms which signal a broader dysfunction throughout the entire body. This dysfunction can stem from several common triggers –  including underlying thyroid problems, birth control methods and the gut microbiome. Details are shared around the frightening promotion of antidepressant medications by the pharmaceutical industry and the dangers associated with taking these drugs in the long-term.   Despite accentuating the consequences of an unhealthy diet, poor sleeping habits and chronic stress, Dr. Brogan emphasizes that the mechanisms underlying the inflammation can be reset with a dietary and lifestyle makeover. Recommendations center around balancing blood sugar, improving gut health and thyroid function– and most importantly reducing inflammation.  Her insights are backed up by extensive research from peer-reviewed journals, her own ‘health awakening’ after the birth of her first child and firsthand experience working with patients in her clinic over many years.

I was particularly engaged by Dr. Brogans ‘Pet Peeves’ – this includes a long list of seemingly harmless household products, over the counter medications and common prescriptions which she strongly believes can have a detrimental effect on our mental health.  The first is the birth control pill – she explains how synthetic hormones have been found to increase thyroxine-binding globulin (TBG) and sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG) which disrupts the bodies normal function and can lead to increased insulin resistance and inflammatory markers. She is a strong opponent to the use of cholesterol-lowering drugs, especially statins, and quotes multiple research studies which link the drug to over 300 adverse health effects including cancer, liver damage and hormonal chaos throughout the body. Cholesterol is highlighted time and time again as a key ingredient for a whole range of bodily functions including Vitamin D production and in the maintenance of myelin sheaths in the brain – these are particularly important for those struggling with mental health complaints. Acid blocking drugs/ proton pump inhibitors are cited as being a key cause of poor digestion and decreasing our ability to effectively absorb Vitamin B12 – a nutrient which plays an essential role in methylation and homocysteine recycling throughout the body. Most surprisingly, the popular pain relievers, Tylenol and Advil, are also on her black list, along with fluoride in drinking water, found to blunt mental function and antibiotics which have been linked to increased gut permeability.

After elucidating the biological mechanisms which underlie depression– Dr. Brogan offers an actionable 30-day plan to help people adopt her recommendations. The plan incorporates high nutrient dense foods and the exclusion of gluten, sugar, alcohol, dairy and caffeine. The exclusions have been found to reduce inflammation and repair the gut lining. Controversially, Dr. Brogan also recommends a high consumption of red meat (a food commonly associated with high saturated fat and heart disease) as a food for healing. The plan encourages an abundance of poultry, fish, eggs and healthy fats from seeds and nuts and readers are encouraged to stop using toxic household products.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book – especially if you’re looking to learn more about the biological mechanisms underlying mood disorders and the relationship between mental health and nutrition. The book is scientific in nature and gives a fascinating insight into the interrelationship between different areas of the body.

Pernil

Pernil

pernil

Original Recipe – from foodnetwork.com

Yield: 8 Servings

Ingredients

–       2 cups orange juice, divided

–       2 teaspoons white vinegar

–       3 tablespoons olive oil

–       10 garlic cloves, minced

–       1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

–       1 teaspoon dried oregano

–       1 teaspoon ground cumin

–       1 teaspoon ancho chili powder

–       1/2 teaspoon black pepper

–       1 1/2 teaspoons salt

–       1 (8 – 9 lb) bone-in pork shoulder

–       Water, as needed

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine ¼ cup of the orange juice with the vinegar, olive oil, garlic, cayenne pepper, oregano, cumin, ancho chili powder, black pepper and 1 teaspoon of the salt to form a paste. Set aside.
  2. Wash the pork shoulder and pat the meat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Put the shoulder, fat side up, on a cutting board. Leaving the fat in a single piece and attached at one end, use a knife to remove the layer of fat from the shoulder, opening it like a book to reveal the meat. Then, use the knife to poke 1-inch deep holes into the meat on all sides. Rub the spice paste around the shoulder, working it into the punctures. Return the fat back to its original position. Score the fat with diagonal cuts and sprinkle the remaining salt over both sides of fat. Wrap the shoulder tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for 8 hours or overnight.
  4. Remove the pork from the refrigerator 1 hour before you start cooking.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
  6. Pour the remaining orange juice into a roasting pan. Unwrap the pork from the plastic and put it in the pan, fat side up. Roast, uncovered, for 30 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 300 ˚ F. Roast for 3 hours and 45 minutes longer. If the orange juice dries up during the cooking process, add in more juice or water. Serve when the internal temperature of the pork reaches 185 ˚ F on an instant-read thermometer. The meat should pull away with the prick of a fork and the skin is crispy. Remove the meat from the oven to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes, under a tent of aluminum foil, before serving. Slice the meat, arrange it on a serving platter and serve.

Nutritional Overview

Calories 900
Total Fat 67 g
Saturated Fat 23 g
MUFA 31 g
PUFA 7 g
Carbohydrate 8 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Protein 61 g
Sodium 619 mg
Calcium 63 mg
Potassium 967 mg
Iron 3 mg

 

Revised Recipe

Yield: 7 servings

Ingredients:

–       3 lb pork shoulder blade roast, lean, all fat removed

–       4 cloves garlic, crushed

–       1 tablespoon salt

–       1/2 teaspoon oregano

–       1/2 tablespoon cumin

–       1/4 teaspoon crushed black pepper

–       1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

–       3 oranges, juiced

–       2 limes, juiced

Directions:

  1. Cut slits into pork and stuff holes with half of the crushed garlic.
  2. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over pork.
  3. Place pork in crock pot; cover and refrigerate overnight, turning pork occasionally to marinate.
  4. The next day, cook on low for 8 hours.
  5. Remove pork and shred using forks. Remove remaining liquid from crock pot, then return pork. Add about 1 cup of the liquid back; add more pepper, cayenne pepper and cumin as desired.
  6. Let pork cook another 15-30 minutes.

Nutritional Overview

Calories 229
Total Fat 6 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
MUFA 2 g
PUFA 1 g
Carbohydrate 6 g
Dietary Fiber 0 g
Protein 36 g
Sodium 81 mg
Calcium 24 mg
Potassium 646 mg
Iron 1 mg

 

What would the holidays be without that signature meat dish? Before digging in, put your fork down and try this lighter version of pernil. With the crock pot, it’s not only easier, but it helps retain the moisture too. With a leaner cut of meat, you save 700 calories and almost 60g of fat! It’s worth the swap not only to wake up feeling less full the next day, but to enjoy that coquito stress-free.

 

This recipe was made in partnership with El Museo del Barrio for their Three Kings Day celebration.

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Arroz con Grandules

Arroz con Grandules

Arroz_con_gandules

Original Recipe – from foodnetwork.com

Yield: 10-12 Servings

Ingredients

–       1 pound dried pigeon peas, picked through and rinsed

–       3 bay leaves

–       5 unpeeled garlic cloves, plus 2 cloves, minced

–       3 quarts water

–       1/4 cup achiote oil

  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons achiote/annatto seeds

–       1 medium white onion, diced

–       1 green bell pepper, cored and diced

–       1 teaspoon ground cumin

–       1 teaspoon ground coriander

–       1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

–       2 cups long-grain rice

–       1 tablespoon salt

–       1 lime, juiced

Directions

  1. Put the pigeon peas, bay leaves, and garlic in a large pot, cover with 3 quarts of cold water, and place over medium heat. Cover and cook the beans until tender, about 1 1/2 hours. Check the water periodically; add more, if necessary, to keep the peas covered. Drain the pigeon peas and reserve 4 cups of the cooking liquid.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375˚F.
  3. Prepare achiote oil; pour the oil and achiote seeds in a pot or skillet. Cook over medium-low heat for 5 to 10 minutes; the oil will be reddish-orange from the achiote. Strain the oil and discard the achiote seeds.
  4. Coat a large Dutch oven or other ovenproof pot with the achiote oil and place over medium heat. When the oil begins to smoke, add the onion, minced garlic, and peppers. Cook, stirring, for 10 minutes, until the vegetables have softened, without letting them brown. Stir in the cumin, coriander, and cayenne. Mix in the rice and stir. Add the reserved pigeon peas cooking liquid and stir. Add the peas, salt and lime juice. Top with a lid and place into the oven. Continue to cook until the liquid is evaporated, about 20 to 30 minutes, until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed.

Nutritional Overview

Calories 369
Total Fat 22 g
Saturated Fat 2 g
MUFA 6 g
PUFA 11 g
Carbohydrate 36 g
Dietary Fiber 5 g
Protein 8 g
Sodium 815 mg
Calcium 26 mg
Potassium 367 mg
Iron 2 mg

 

Revised Recipe

Yield: 7 Servings

Ingredients

–       3 cloves garlic

–       1 cup white onion

–       4 scallions

–       1/2 cup cilantro

–       1/2 cup green pepper

–       1 tomato

–       1 tablespoon oil

–       1 (15 oz) can pigeon peas or gandules, drained

–       2 cups of uncooked long-grain rice

–       3 cups water

–       1 container Maggi chicken buillon

–       1 packet of Sazon

–       Salt

Directions

  1. Chop all ingredients using a processor or chopper, if available.
  2. Heat oil on medium in heavy pot.
  3. Stir in onion, scallion, cilantro, pepper and garlic and; cook about 5 minutes.
  4. Add tomato and salt; cook one minute.
  5. Stir in rice and blend well.
  6. Add gandules, water, bullion, sazon and salt.
  7. Mix well.
  8. Reduce flame to medium-low until water is completely absorbed. Once water barely skims surface, set flame to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes.

Nutritional Overview

Calories 266
Total Fat 4 g
Saturated Fat 0 g
MUFA 2 g
PUFA 1 g
Carbohydrate 49 g
Dietary Fiber 6 g
Protein 10 g
Sodium 33 mg
Calcium 37 mg
Potassium 468 mg
Iron 2 mg

 

Healthy doesn’t have to mean taste-less! This recipe swap simply uses less oil and salt cutting the calories down by 100 and the fat by 18g – so enjoy this favorite a little healthier but just as delicious!

 

This recipe was made in partnership with El Museo del Barrio for their Three Kings Day celebration.

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Empanadas

Empanadas

curry-pork-empanada-b

 

Original Recipe –from foodnetwork.com

Yield: 10 Servings

Ingredients (Dough)

–       3 cups all-purpose flour

–       1 teaspoon salt

–       1/2 teaspoon baking powder

–       1/2 teaspoon baking soda

–       1/4 cup vegetable oil

–       1 cup warm water

Ingredients (Filling)

–       1 lb browned ground beef or 1 lb cooked shredded chicken

–       1/2 medium onion, diced

–       1/2 green bell pepper, diced

–       3 garlic cloves, crushed

–       1/8 cup chopped fresh cilantro

–       1/8 cup sliced green olives

–       1 pinch salt and pepper

–       1 tablespoon tomato paste

–       1 (1 1/4 ounce) package sazon goya with coriander and annatto

For Cooking

–       1 cup vegetable oil (for frying)

Directions

  1. DOUGH: combine all the dry ingredients in electric mixer, add all the wet ingredients. Mix for about 3 minutes until well combined. Dough will form.
  2. Take it out and knead for about 3 minutes, let sit wrapped in plastic-wrap for another 15 minutes.
  3. Divide into 12 pieces, then roll into 4 inch circles.
  4. FILLING: Brown ground beef (drain excess grease), or sauté shredded chicken in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Add all the ingredients and cook for an additional 10 minutes stirring occasionally. Let cool.
  5. COOKING: Preheat the oil in a frying pan at about a medium temperature. Place about 2 tablespoons of the filling in the dough and seal the edges with a fork.
  6. Fry for about 5 minutes on each side, then place on dish lined with paper-towels.

Nutritional Overview:

Calories 512
Total Fat 37 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
MUFA 12 g
PUFA 15 g
Cholesterol 40 mg
Carbohydrates 30 mg
Protein 16 g
Sodium 554 mg
Calcium 38 mg
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Potassium 194 mg
Iron 3 mg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revised Recipe – dough recipe from Laylita.com

Yield: 10 Servings

Ingredients (Dough)

–       3 cups all-purpose flour

–       ¼ teaspoon salt

–       6 oz unsalted butter (1 ½ sticks), chilled and cut into 12 pieces

–       1 egg

–       4-5 tablespoon water

Directions

  1. Mix the flour and salt in a food processor.
  2. Add the butter, egg and water until a clumpy dough forms.
  3. To make the empanada dough by hand, follow the same instruction but use your hands to mix the ingredients together. To make it easier to incorporate the butter you can freeze it and then grate it into the flour mix.
  4. Form a ball, flatten slightly, and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes.
  5. Roll out the dough into a thin sheet and cut out round disc shapes for empanadas (use round molds or a small plate).
  6. Use immediately, or store in the refrigerator/freezer to use later.
  7. FILLING: Use 93% lean beef or slow cooked chicken breast for filling to reduce fat content and calories.
  8. COOKING: Substitute cooking oil for cooking spray when browning meat to reduce fat content

Nutritional Overview

Calories 399
Total Fat 24 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
MUFA 8 g
PUFA 1 g
Cholesterol 95 mg
Carbohydrates 30 mg
Protein 16 g
Sodium 243 mg
Calcium 31 mg
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Potassium 204 mg
Iron 3 mg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Who doesn’t love an empanada for the holidays? It has everything you need in one place. This wonderful delicacy is very high in fat due to the deep-frying. To eliminate the fat, get rid of the oil altogether! Try backing your empanadas instead. By adjusting the dough recipe and brushing it with an egg mixture, you can still yield a crispy crust.  The most important part an empanada meat patty is the filing. The filing can be yummy without extra calories.

 

This recipe was made in partnership with El Museo del Barrio for their Three Kings Day celebration.

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Arroz Con Dulce

Arroz con Dulce

Arroz-Con-Dulce

Original Recipe – from food.com

Yield: 6-8 Servings

Ingredients

–       2 cups rice

–       2 cups water

–       1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut

–       1 can (14 ounce) coconut milk (ex. Coco Lopez)

–       1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk

–       1 can (12 ounce) evaporated milk

–       6 whole cloves

–       1 cinnamon stick

–       2 teaspoons ground ginger

–       1 cup raisins

Directions

  1. Cook the rice with water according to package directions until the liquid has just been absorbed (rice will not be thoroughly cooked). Remove from heat.
  2. Warm the three milks with the cinnamon stick, cloves and ginger over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add the milk, raisins and shredded coconut to the rice and simmer until the rice is soft, about 10-15 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and cloves.
  4. Pour the rice into a low serving dish or platter. Sprinkle with ground cinnamon if desired.
  5. Can be served warm or cold

Nutritional Overview:

Calories 595
Total Fat 28 g
Saturated Fat 22 g
MUFA 4 g
PUFA 1 g
Cholesterol 38 mg
Carbohydrate 79 g
Dietary Fiber 4 g
Protein 13 g
Sodium 431 mg
Calcium 363 mg
Potassium 803 mg
Iron 2 mg

 

Revised Recipe

Yields: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

–       2 cups brown rice

–       2 cups water

–       1/2 cup shredded sweetened coconut

–       1/2 can (7 ounces) coconut milk

–       1 can (14 ounce) sweetened condensed milk

–       1 can (12 ounce) fat free evaporated milk

–       4 whole cloves

–       1 cinnamon stick

–       2 teaspoons ground ginger

–       1 cup raisins

Directions

  1. Cook rice according to package directions until liquid has just been absorbed, before rice is thoroughly cooked. Remove from heat.
  2. Warm milks with cinnamon stick, cloves and ginger over medium heat for 15 minutes; stir often.
  3. Add milk, raisins and shredded coconut to rice. Simmer until rice is soft, about 10-15 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and cloves.
  4. Pour rice into serving dish and sprinkle with ground cinnamon.

Nutritional Overview:

Calories 442
Total Fat 10 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
MUFA 2 g
PUFA 0 g
Cholesterol 24 mg
Carbohydrates 79 g
Dietary Fiber 3 g
Protein 12 g
Sodium 193 mg
Calcium 372 mg
Potassium 667 mg
Iron 1 mg

 

Arroz con dulce is a holiday sweet tooth favorite. To avoid the guilt of such an indulgence, use fat free evaporated milk to reduce fat content and calories as well as the amount of cholesterol. In the original recipe, the total fat was a whopping 28 g! By reducing the amount of coconut milk by half in addition to using fat free evaporated milk, the fat content is down to 10g. Saturated fat (“bad fat”) is also decreased drastically. Originally 22g, now is only 7g. Brown rice is more nutrient dense, that is, it gives you more of the vitamins and minerals your body needs to function properly compared to white rice. This switch will require additional cooking time for brown rice since it takes a little longer to yield the same consistency as white rice. Your cardiologist will be very pleased with these smart, yet simple substitutions and your sweet tooth will not even notice the difference.

 

This recipe was made in partnership with El Museo del Barrio for their Three Kings Day celebration.

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Coquito

Coquito

coquito

Original Recipe – from http://latinfood.about.com/

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

–       3 egg yolks

–       15 ounces cream of coconut

–       15 ounces evaporated milk

–       8 ounces condensed milk

–       1/2 pint vanilla ice cream

–       2 cups white rum (recommended: Bacardi)

–       1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract

–       1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a large blender and mix until smooth.
  2. Refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight; shake well and serve chilled.

Nutritional Overview:

Calories 576
Total Fat 30 g
Saturated Fat 24 g
MUFA 5 g
PUFA 1 g
Carbohydrate 34 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Protein 11 g
Sodium 130 mg
Calcium 298 mg
Potassium 545 mg
Iron 1 mg

 

Revised Recipe

Yields: 8 servings

Ingredients

–       1 beaten egg yolk

–       1 can of 2% evaporated milk

–       1 can of fat free condensed milk

–       1 can of coconut milk

–       1 cup of white rum

–       1/2 cup of water

–       1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

–       1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

–       1/4 cup of raw almonds

Directions

  1. Combine the beaten egg yolk, evaporated milk, cinnamon in a saucepan and cook on low-medium heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.
  2. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Place mixture and remaining ingredients in a blender and blend on high until smooth.
  4. Refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight; shake well and serve chilled.

Nutritional Overview

Calories 382
Total Fat 14 g
Saturated Fat 10 g
MUFA 2 g
PUFA 1 g
Carbohydrate 12 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Protein 11 g
Sodium 130 mg
Calcium 343 mg
Potassium 307 mg
Iron 1 mg

 

This traditional holiday drink is loved by many throughout the Holiday season, but it can wreak havoc on your diet regimen and contribute to that much dreaded post-holiday bulge. This original traditional recipe packs 576 calories per serving – that’s almost half of what some people need in an entire day! Not to mention the significantly high amounts of fat (30g) and carbohydrates (34g) – and that’s before you’ve even taken a bite of the Holiday spread. Don’t fret, read on for a healthier twist on this delicious beverage. Simply use fewer egg whites, no ice cream (we know, but it will still be delicious!) and low-fat or fat-free milk options as well as coconut milk instead of coconut cream. These simple swaps will significantly cut down on the drink’s calories by about 200kcal, cut the fat and saturated fat in half, and decrease the total carbohydrate by 22g, allowing you to indulge without going overboard!

 

This recipe was created in partnership with El Museo del Barrio for their Three Kings Day Celebration.

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Three Kings Day Recipes

logomuseobarrio1In partnership with El Museo del Barrio, Nutrition Club members provided healthy recipe swaps for several traditional Three Kings Day recipes in celebration of the holiday, parade and Health Fair on January 6th. See the attached document (linked below) for details on the following original and updated dishes along with complete nutritional information:

  • Coquito
  • Arroz con dulce
  • Empanadas
  • Pernil
  • Arroz con grandules

Our recipes were featured on the El Museo del Barrio website and Facebook Page. Happy Holidays!!

Empanadas_700x470

Nutrition Club_Three Kings Day Recipe Swaps

Healthy Halloween Treats

banana boos 2 banana boos 1Banana Boos. Cut a banana in half length-wise; insert a popsicle stick into the bottom of the banana and lie it down. Use a tiny amount of peanut butter to stick chocolate chips to banana as eyes. Use a raisin or any other candy or fruit as a mouth. Again, use a little peanut butter to help make it stick to the banana. Store in freezer or consume immediately.

 

 

monster mouths 1 monster mouths 2Monster Mouths. Cut away 2 halves from the sides of four apples, stem side up on a cutting board, leaving the center slice with stem and core (about 1 inch thick). Discard the 4 core slices. Cut each half round in half again, and then into two wedges (each apple will yield 8 wedges). Spread 2 teaspoons of preferred nut butter (or pumpkin or apple butter if nut allergies is a problem!) on wide edge of apple slice. Top with another apple slice, to resemble jaws. Insert almond slivers or candy corn into nut butter to make fangs, or marshmallows for teeth.

 

Spider deviled eggsSpidery Deviled Eggs. Start by whipping up a batch of deviled eggs – place 12 eggs in a sauce pan; add enough cold water to cover eggs. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat and cover. Let eggs sit for 12 minutes. Remove from water to cool. Peel off egg shells and slice in half lengthwise. Carefully scoop out yolks and mash in a bowl with 2 tsp Dijon mustard and 1/3 cup Greek yogurt. Add mix back to center of empty egg whites and top with a sprinkle of paprika. Cut 12 pitted black olives in half and place on top in the middle of each deviled egg to form the body of the spider. Cut several additional olives lengthwise to form the six spider legs.

 

scary strawberriesScary Strawberries. Wash strawberries and set aside. For 15 strawberries, melt 4 ounces of white chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir until smooth and add in 1/16 tsp almond extract. Dip dry strawberries in chocolate mixture and place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet. Let the excess drip and form the ghost tail.  Before the chocolate dries completely, press mini chocolate chips into coating for eyes. Freeze for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, melt 1/8 cup of mini chocolate chips In microwave and stir until smooth. Using a toothpick, draw a mouth with the melted chocolate on each ghost.