Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Hallowe'en!

Yes, most people think about chocolate and candy when they think about Hallowe'en food.  However, there are many recipe ideas out there for creative snacks, meals, and desserts.  Think witch's fingers, eyeballs, spiderwebs - the whole idea is to make 'normal' foods come to life with the Hallowe'en theme.

I found two such recipes that I wanted to share to inspire you, but feel free to share your favourites in the comment section.

Apple Bites From FamilyFun Magazine

These toothsome treats are a fun and healthy break from Halloween sweets.
  • Apples
  • Slivered almonds
  1. Just quarter and core an apple, cut a wedge from the skin side of each quarter, then press slivered almonds in place for teeth.
If you're not going to serve them right away, baste the apples with orange juice to keep them from browning. 


Mummy Meat Loaves Recipe from Woman's Day

  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time: 40 minutes
  • Serves 12
Sweet cherry tomatoes are hidden in the center of these mini-meat loaves, offering a welcome burst of juicy flavor when you take a bite. Post Halloween, keep the recipe in rotation by piping the mashed potatoes as you would cupcake frosting.

 Recipe Ingredients
  • 3/4 lb white or yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-in. pieces
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup panko or plain bread crumbs
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, coarsely grated
  • 3/4 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 12 grape tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup lowfat sour cream
  • 24 frozen peas, thawed

Recipe Preparation

    1. Heat oven to 375°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with foil liners. Place the potatoes in a pot, add enough cold water to cover and bring to a boil. Add 1 tsp salt, reduce heat and simmer until just tender, 15 to 18 minutes.
    2. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the eggs, ketchup, Worcestershire, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper; stir in the bread crumbs. Add the garlic and carrot and mix to combine. Add the beef and pork and mix just until incorporated. Divide the meat mixture among the foil liners and push a tomato into the center of each one. Transfer to the oven and roast until a thermometer inserted into the meat registers 155°F, 14 to 16 minutes.
    3. Drain the potatoes and return them to the pot. Add the sour cream and 1/4 tsp salt and mash until very smooth. Transfer to a pastry bag fitted with a 1/2-in. ribbon tip (Wilton 104). Transfer the meat loaves to a platter and pipe the potatoes back and forth over each top to resemble a mummy’s wrapping. Place 2 peas on each for eyes.
Have a safe and Happy Hallowe'en and practice portion control and mindful eating with your candy and chocolate.

Steph Wheler, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Feeding the World

I was able to attend a lecture last night that fits quite well with the topics discussed on World Food Day and Blog Action Day.  Raj Patel was in Saskatoon for the Whelen Visiting Lecture series.  His talk was titled How to Feed the World.  The award winning writer, activist, and academic drew quite the crowd.  The room at the Bessborough Hotel was filled to standing room only.

Raj provided us with a history of the green revolution to help us understand the current state of obesity and starvation in the world.  The green revolution was originally designed to fight communism and deals with seeds, population control, and state support.  He also talked about the World Bank and economic structural adjustments that it applies to countries (such as decreased government funding for healthcare, education, and agriculture).

He talked about the "free market" which only has willing buyers, not willing sellers and continues to leave countries undeveloped and in poverty.  Raj is quite interested in Malawi and discussed how the community has come together to avoid the need to purchase expensive fertilizers.  The farmers have been given the ability to experiment and come up with new techniques and have since increased production by 20%.  This brought on the topic of food sovereignty which is when communities make decisions about their own food and agricultural policies.

Raj made interesting connections such as violence against women and hunger.  He said that 60% of the people going hungry in the world are women and girls.  Thus, when agriculture is successful, women are harvesting more and things like breastfeeding fall off.  Again, this is where communities coming together can create change.  In Malawi they have recipe days where the women come together and cook, but also communicate and share frustrations and thus are able to move towards change.

Yes, the disparity and huge differences between the obese and the starving come down to distribution and equality, but many people struggle to know where they can help.  The things that stood out most to me in the lecture were the ways that Raj described our current situation - we're expecting countries to develop, but we're not letting them control their food systems.  He talked about not letting the food system control us, because we have come to see that as normal.  In order to create social change, Raj encouraged the room to dream differently, think outside the structures that think us, break a law everyday, and do the work that needs to be done (and the work that needs to be done is unpaid).

There are so many issues that can be linked back to food security - violence against women, education of women, etc.  We need to help in all of these areas, but we also need to let countries create a sense of community and have a say in what is right for them.

For those of you who missed the lecture, they mentioned that you will be able to stream it on the U of S Centre for Continuing and Distance Education website and it will also be on cbc television.  

Steph Wheler, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pre-Hallowe'en Q's Day

I'm sure many dietitians and health professionals (and health conscious parents) dread the candy and chocolate that come with Hallowe'en.  Although many of our holidays and celebrations now revolve around candy and chocolate, it seems that Hallowe'en is a time of great indulgence. 

On a more positive note, Hallowe'en treats are already in small portions, so they can help you have control just by the smaller size.  Again, I want to stress moderation - for you and/or your children.  Set limits to how many pieces can be consumed in a day so that the candy and chocolate are not taking the place of healthier options.

If you're trying to figure out what treats to buy, Health Castle has written an article comparing different Hallowe'en candies and chocolate bars.  It's interesting to see how they match up.

Since it is Q's Day here at the Nutrishus Blog, I have 2 questions for you:
1) What will you be giving out to trick or treaters?
2) What is your favourite Hallowe'en treat?

Any questions, comments, answers, recipes, etc. are welcomed on Q's Day - have your say!

Steph Wheler, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching