Tag Archives: Westchester dietician

Slow Cookers for Fast Movers

Posted on: October 4, 2016

We’re one month into the school year – between dropping the kids off at basketball practice, dance class or SAT Prep – it might feel overwhelming, or even impossible to squeeze in a healthy, home-cooked meal for dinner. Enter the slow-cooker. You’re new in-home chef, and my personal best friend when I need a pork shoulder to lean on for a weeknight dinner and don’t have the time to cook. Here, I’ll explain the many benefits of the Crock-pot and share two of my favorite slow-cooker recipes for a healthy autumn. By Jackie Farrall, RD, CDN, Northern Westchester Hospital.

Is Fresh Always Best?
Though it’s a slow cooker, you may want fast preparation. You can always throw in some canned veggies and let the slow-cooker work its magic, while you work yours – outside of the kitchen. Crock-pot meals are simple because they often contain canned produce, no need to peel, cut or dice ingredients. Sure, you can always use fresh produce and though some will argue that “fresh is best,” when it comes to produce – canned fruits and vegetables, free of added salt and sugars, have the same nutritional value.

Turn up the Heat, Without Losing Nutrients
Canned tomatoes are a staple ingredient in a variety of crock-pot meals. When tomatoes are heated, the powerful antioxidant lycopene – linked to heart health, cancer prevention and even improved mood – becomes more readily available to your body.

Vitamin C, Thiamin, Vitamin B6, Folic acid and water-soluble vitamins are sometimes lost during cooking. However, in a slow cooker, lost vitamins are incorporated into the cooking liquids within the crock-pot. You can even use the remaining liquid in the pot as a gravy or sauce to top off the meal. This is the best way to maximize vitamin retention.

An Expensive Taste for a Cut of the Price
Using low-temperature cooking, slow-cookers make less expensive cuts of meat unbelievably tender. In fact, this technique is extremely effective for tough cuts of meat as they typically contain more connective tissue, which remains tough unless cooked slowly. Cooking meat slowly at low temperatures causes less moisture loss than high heat – resulting in a moist, tender meal at half the price.

The Colors of Autumn Will Fill your Crock-Pot with this Sweet Potato Chicken Quinoa Soup

1 ½ lb boneless skinless chicken breast, remove fat
1 cup of quinoa, rinsed
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 14oz can of diced tomatoes
1 Tsp of minced garlic
1 ½ Tsp of chili powder
½ Tsp ground cumin
5 cups of low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
Nonstick spray

Spray slow cooker with nonstick spray. Add all ingredients – chicken breasts, quinoa, sweet potatoes, black beans, tomatoes, garlic, chili powder, cumin and chicken broth to slow cooker. Slow-cook on high for 3-5 hours.

Recipe adapted from Chelsea Messy Apron

This Apple Pie Oatmeal May Cook Slow, but Will Be Devoured Fast!

1 cup steel-cut oats
2 large apples, peeled, cored and chopped into roughly ¾ inch pieces
1 ½ cups almond milk, unsweetened
2 ½ cups of water
2 Tsp ground cinnamon
¼ Tsp ground nutmeg
1 Tsp vanilla extract
2 Tbsp hemp seeds (or flax seeds)
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp coconut oil/cooking spray

Use coconut oil or cooking spray to grease slow cooker. Add all ingredients – oats, apple slices, almond milk, water, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, hemp seeds and maple syrup – to slow cooker and stir. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours. Give this delicious oatmeal a good stir and serve!

Recipe courtesy of Domesticate Me

Brain-Boosting Nutrition for your Little Students

Posted on: August 30, 2016

Follow these tips to get your little ones excited about healthy eating and ready to conquer the school day. By Jackie Farrall, RD, CDN, Northern Westchester Hospital

Back to school – notebooks, pencils and a nourishing pantry help our children perform their best while in class and at the playground. You may be surprised to learn, however, that what’s making it into your child’s school lunch isn’t always the best option. In fact, a study from Baylor University College of Medicine reported that packed lunches were actually less nutritious than lunch served in the cafeteria. If you want your child to reap the benefits of “Brain Food” follow these tips and make sure to include all of the food groups- protein, dairy, grains, fruits and vegetables. This will help sustain your child throughout the school day and into their after-school activities. 

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Germ Buster Nutrition – Eating for a Strong Immune System

Posted on: October 13, 2015

Germ Buster Nutrition – Eating for a Strong Immune System

Prevent the flu with good nutrition. 

By Elisa Bremner

In anticipation of flu season, it’s time to talk about prevention. First and foremost, please remember: the best defense against the flu is a year-round offense. This means eating right, staying active (60 minutes every day), getting enough rest (7-9 hours!) and minimizing stress (we can’t avoid stressful events in our life, but we can make the decision to handle them better). That being said, several nutrients play a role in enhancing your immunity. Mild deficiency of even one nutrient may weaken your body’s ability to fight infection.

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The Basics of Good Nutrition, by Northern Westchester Hospital Dietitian

Posted on: November 7, 2013

Let’s Celebrate ‘Good Nutrition Month’
By: Kimberly Stein, RD, CDN


November kicks off the holiday season, but there’s another reason to celebrate: It’s Good Nutrition Month.  The core ideas of what “good nutrition” constitutes come directly from the USDA MyPlate recommendations.  MyPlate is a revamped version of the food pyramid and was created as an easier visual guide to help consumers know what their main meals should consist of.  Here are 7 key points…

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New York Registered Dietitian on Whole Grains

Posted on: September 22, 2013

Whole grains, they’re not just for breakfast anymore!

By Jill Ashbey-Pejoves RD, CDN, CNSC, CDE

According to the 2010 Dietary Guideline for Americans, we should make half our grains whole. But why stop at half? The average adult doesn’t get even close to the 25-38 grams of fiber per day recommended by the Institutes of Medicine. By definition, whole grains or foods made from them contain all the essential parts and naturally-occurring nutrients of the original kernel including the bran, germ, and endosperm.

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